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The 2007 Tradition is a bit more forward than usual showing ripe black and red fruits with spice, herb and gamey notes. A lovely young Chateauneuf for current drinking, it has enough structure to develop over the next 8 to 10 years.
Renaissance is Grenache 60%, Mourvedre 30%, Syrah 10%, from 50-100 year old vines, aged in barriques, with 25% new. Bottled unfiltered.
Two Duclaux brothers have revived this traditional producer and are making fine Cote Rotie in the classic style, blending fruit from different plots (in the Coteaux du Tupin, Maison Rouge, and Coteaux du Semons); this version is 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier. Grapes are destalked, cold macerated for 10 days, fermented for up to 30 days using indigenous yeasts, and cask aged for two years, with new oak just for the 15% or so of press wine. The result in 2001, tasted today: fresh black and red fruit, earth, a bit of pepper, violets and truffley stuff; medium body, good length, youthful but damn tasty now with lively juicy fruit and Cote Rotie meatiness. It’s not a blockbuster but could handle a few more years in the cellar; it’s got all of the classic elements and the suggestion from a colleague of a glass of this and some sausage from the grill has got us all wishing for an early lunch… JW
The 2010 Domaine Ferrand is a superb Chateauneuf-du-Pape that should be drinking beautifully now. Here's a review by our friend Josh Raynolds from 2013... (94% grenache, with syrah, mourvedre and bourboulenc): Bright ruby-red. Sexy, spice-accented aromas of red berry preserves and potpourri, with a hint of spicecake in the background. Lively and precise on the palate, offering sweet red berry flavors that become richer and deeper with air. Silky tannins add shape to the very long, focused, floral-dominated finish. Shows a lot of sex appeal now but this densely packed, balanced wine is built to age.
It's always odd when a top flight domaine splits and considering the Jamet family is Côte-Rôtie royalty, this is especially perplexing. Yet the two brothers are both making compelling wine. The robe is an inky purple. The nose offers aromas of saddle leather, Italian plum, black raspberry, licorice, and loam. There’s a hint of what seems like oak, but is more likely stems. The palate is mid-weight, lithe, and energetic, though simultaneously grounded—freshly turned earth and crushed herbs vie for attention. This shows black and blue fruits, not to mention plenty of granitic spice, and has a long, nearly peacock’s tail, expansive finish. There’s plenty to unravel here, but there’s great flair grounded by an sapid mineral core. A fine Côte-Rôtie with plenty of upside for the cellar. This should be immensely satisfying in 7-10 years and beyond.
Paul Jeune of Domaine Monpertuis uses at least 75% Grenache in his cuvee classique, which gives the wine a wealth of juicy mixed berry fruit on the nose and palate. The remainder of the cepage is Mourvedre, Syrah, and Cinsault. The old vines at Monpertuis (between 60 and 110 years!) impart depth and great concentration to the wines. The objective with the cuvee classique is to make a Chateauneuf that can benefit from some time in the cellar but that has approachable tannins and can be enjoyed young as well. The wine is very skillfully balanced; its well-integrated and relatively moderate alcohol coming in at 14% and melding quite compellingly with the other flavors and textures of the wines. A rare treat! -MSB
With 4.5 hectares in vines, Mordoree is one of the smallest producers in Chateauneuf. Reine du Bois: Grenache 80%, Mourvedre 10%, Syrah, Counoise, and Vaccarese 10%, from 60+ year old vines; aged 10 months, 60% in tank, the balance in barriques, of which 40% are new. Bottled unfiltered.
18.5 hectares under vines. Reservee is Grenache 85%, Syrah 9%, Mourvedre 4%, and 2% others. Aging is 18 months in large old barrels; the wine is bottled unfiltered.
16 hectares of vines. Prestige is Grenache 60%, Syrah 15%, Mourvedre 10%, and the balance Cinsault, Terret Noir, Vaccarese, and Muscardin, from vines over 90 years old. Aged 65% in large barrels, and 35% in mostly new barriques. Bottled unfiltered.
Philippe Bornard farms six hectares of vines in the tiny village of Pupillin. He works biodynamically and avoids the use of sulfur whenever possible though, like many natural winemakers, he gives his export bottles a small dose. Bornard's Melon Queue Rouge offers a nose full of baked apples and warm spice along with hints of oxidation. The palate is voluptuous with sweet fruit but balanced by the brilliant acidity that characterizes wines from the Jura. Long and lingering with further delightfully oxidative notes on the finish. -msb
My note on this wine from tasting at the Domaine reads: "Wow. Totally different from the '08." All the wild, sour cherry notes and lean acidity of the 2008 had been replaced by sweet, ripe cherry. These wines show great vintage variation and I love it. Rather than making the same wine year in and year out, Ludwig's wines have the distinct character of the vintage that yields them, in this case a warm, easy year that was a relief after 2008. There is always a little bit of carbonic maceration with Bindernagel's Poulsard, and '09 really shows the carbonic side of the wine. This is a joyful bottle that cries out to be chilled and quaffed. -msb
One of the most unique and rare wines in the world offering complex nuttiness, salinity, and intense acidity. Decant and serve with a great cheese....
Vin Jaune is the perfect gift for the wine geek in your life. Made from the highest quality Savagnin grapes — high in both sugar and acidity at the time of harvest — Vin Jaune requires at least six and a half years of aging under the traditional veil of yeast before bottling. Jacques Puffeney, "pope of the Jura," waits an additional two years to ensure the quality of the wine in the bottles. Intense and complex, these wines can age a lifetime. -msb
Cuvée Sacha is a wine that defies description, a blend of "Sa"vagnin and "Cha"rdonnay in which the Savagnin is raised sous voille, and the Chardonnay, ouillé. This combination gives the wine great freshness on the nose along hints of apple skin and almond flesh on the palate. A wine with riveting acidity, Sacha is a great choice with a cheeses at the end (or the beginning) of a meal. -msb
An organic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Grenache, Syrah, and Provençal sun. Forward fruit flavors of tangy cherries and cranberries are expressed over food friendly tanin. Signature south of France garrigue, green olive, and spice notes play an impressive supporting role.
A great vintage for the Baudry "Domaine" Cuvée and a great value, even with the sagging dollar. The vines are 35 years old and are on gravel (70%) and clay/limestone (30%). Harvsting is by hand, as with all of Baudry's wines, and the fermentation is with wild yeasts. After a slow fermentation, the wine is aged for 12 months in 5 to 10 year old barrels. The 2005 is beautifully balanced and has lovely raspberry fruit with earthy tones from the limestone soils. An extremely satistying and delicious Chinon which will drink well for another 5 to 8 years.
For the last few years, the Baudrys have been making this wine with 80% grapes from a small parcel of clay/limestone in Saint-Louans, whose vineyards give some of the earthiest and most mineral wines in Chinon, and 20% grapes from a gravel parcel in Cravant, adding more supple fruit to the blend. The resulting mix is a superb wine of terroir that can be drunk young but will also benefit from 5 to 10 years of aging. In 2009 it is particularly successful, with deeper, lusher fruit than usual, raspberry and strawberry confit, with spice and dark chocolate, but balanced by intense chalky minerality and acids. We suggest cellaring this wine for 3 to 5 years, or decanting for many hours if drinking now.
The Clos Guillot is a superb parcel on a limestone slope in the commune of Chinon with clay and "tuffeau" soils. Fermentation in wooden cuves with pigeages, 12 months of aging in two to five year-old barriques. A Burgundian style of Chinon, the 2009 has gorgeous red currant, black fruit and kirsch aromas with floral hints. The palate is deep, round, supple and fresh with a lovely finish. This is a superb, elegant bottle of Chinon, perhaps best in 5 to 15 years. "A dynamite wine in the making" says John Gilman in The View from the Cellar, "in perfect balance and only requires some time alone in the cellar to really blossom. A superb wine."
Les Grézeaux is a unique parcel of old vines on gravel soils over a bed of clay, sand and limestone at the base of the Coteaux du Sonnay, just west of Cravant. Fermentation in cement tanks, aging in 3 to 5 year-old barrels. The wine always has a silky, supple texture and in this generous vintage the fruit is complex and deep – aromas of red and black berries with hints of mint and with earthy dark fruits on the palate and good finishing acidity. It seems perfectly balanced and built to last. Will it age as well as the 1989? Perhaps not, but only time will tell and it will be very difficult to keep from drinking this gorgeous wine.
Michel Bregeon is one of the heroes of Muscadet, having continued to pick by hand and ferment with wild yeasts throughout the 80's and 90's when those around him had gone industrial. Beginning in 1982 he has made, in good vintages, a cuvee originally called "Gorgeois" that was kept in cuve for three to six years before bottling, gathering richness and complexity through autolysis of the lees. Chambers Street was the first source for this wine beginning with the 1996 and we have just received the excellent 2004 (bottled in February 2010) now recognized by the INAO as a Cru Communal under the name Gorges. A much better vintage in the Pays Natais than elsewhere in the Loire (as seen in Jo Landron's superb Fief du Breil and others) the 2004 Gorges combines richness and depth with great acid balance and length while staying light on it's feet at roughly 12 % alcohol. The color is light bronze, the aromas are of ripe citrus, melon and wet stone. The palate is earthy and chalky with hints of caramel, smoke and anise. While it will be a great pleasure to drink this wine now with an elegant fish or white meat dish, or goat cheese, those who have a place to forget this wine for 10 to 15 years should have something special on their hands...
A beautiful vin-de-soif, the 2012 Trinch from Pierre and Catherine Breton is a refreshing and delicious Bourgueil to drink over the next few years. Pretty, ripe black cherry and strawberry aromas, quite elegant and deep, but balanced by bright acidity. The palate is supple and lush, more cherry-ish than normal for a Bourgueil, but remains light-on-its feet. Very food friendly and great by itself, served quite cool, perfect with picnics and grilled foods this summer...
The wines of Stephane Guion seem to get bettter every year and this is a great vintage for Loire reds! This lovely wine has layers of fruit, ripe cassis and strawberry, with darker hints of blackberry and chocolate, with plum and spice added on the palate. Surprisingly round for Guion but, as always, with good acidity and chalky minerals. There is good weight and length indicating that peak drinking is five years away. Decant for a few hours if drinking now or simply open the night before and re-cork. A sensational value, imported by CSW. (This is our last 25 cases. Happily, the 2010 is also superb, if slightly lighter in style)
*This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.2008 is a great vintage for moelleux and demi-sec Vouvray as the high acidity of the vintage gives fabulous brightness and balance to the extra sweetness. The Huet 2008 Haut-Lieu is superb now with terrines, foie gras, vegetable soups, mild cheeses and much more - and don't hesitate to age ten more years.