Private Collection: France - including a new infusion of Mugneret-Gibourg!

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Mourre du Tendre 2014 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tres Vielles Vignes Rouge

From old vines of Grenache planted in 1929 and in the '40s, along with a small percentage of Mourvedre planted in 1967, this is the definition of an old-school Chateauneuf-du-Pape. In most vintages this wine is aged for about 3 years, in a combination of concrete and large old barrels. Pesticides have never been used in the vineyards, fermentation is always with native yeast, and there is no use of new oak. Whole clusters are employed in a semi-carbonic maceration that lasts 30-40 days, so there is certainly the presence of tannins and earth, but also brightness and purity of fruit. A flattering review of the wine has likened it to Barolo and Barbaresco, and in truth it is a fair comparison. The whispy, high-toned fruit and acid, blending with firm and well developed tannins, the need for a proper decant... all of these details do give this humble Chateauneuf a Nebbiolo-like quality.

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Pouillon, R 2015 Champagne Grand Cru Extra-Brut Les Valnons

Considered something of an iconoclastic wine, as Aÿ is principally considered Pinot Noir territory, this is always a powerhouse Blanc de Blancs. The Chardonnay comes from clay and chalk soils with some silt and the resulting wine (five years on the lees here) is always a fantastic juxtaposition of mineral tension and natural richness.

1 btl per customer!

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Heitz. A 2018 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

Another sliver of a parcel here, right at the top of Charlemagne.

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Vieux Telegraphe 1990 Chateauneuf du Pape

My first visit to Vieux Telegraphe was on my birthday in 1993, and I bought two cases of the 1990. I therefore admit that I have a sentimental attachment to the wine (and a couple of bottles left in the cellar), but I’ve always loved the wine on it’s own merits, and still think that his Majesty RP has given the wine an unfair shake (and a mere 89 points). It’s true that Vieux Telegraphe has never gone for the sure-to-score-a-zillion-points-blockbuster. The house style is much more restrained and elegant than the recent top-scoring, Port-like monsters of Chateauneuf; by contrast Vieux Telegraphe transmits the essence of stony Chateauneuf terroir along with old-vine Grenache and Syrah without overwhelming your palate or your dinner. As with many other Grands Vins, I happen to like Chateauneuf best with some serious age; this wine is an unequivocal treat. JW

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