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This is an outstanding Pomerol from Chateau Bellegrave, which was in conversion to organic certification in 2010. While it shows the depth and structure of this excellent vintage in Bordeaux, the wine is surprisingly supple and forward, making it a delicious wine for current drinking. The aromas are ripe and rich with black fruits, cassis and blackberry with sous-bois, cocoa, spice and floral notes. The palate is firm but round, deep and elegant with complex fruit flavors backed by earth and mineral notes with good freshness and silky tannins. Decant this lovely wine a few hours in advance if possible or cellar for five to fifteen years
75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc coming from hand harvested vineyards (35-60 year old vines) in the revered region of Pomerol. The estate has long dismissed the use of chemicals but has recently transitioned to biodynamic methods. Wine has been aged in French oak, with 1/3 being new, 1/3 being old, and the last 1/3 being from the producer’s previous vintage.
This fantastic organically-farmed Saint Emilion is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, fermented in concrete tanks for 25 days and then aged for 22 months in first- and second-use barrels. With a beautiful minerality of clay and limestone, the wine shows the finesse and elegance of a great vintage. The bouquet is complex with dark berry, prune, plum, dry tobacco, cedar, violet and herbal notes and the palate is luscious with supple tannins, good acidity and a lingering finish. A delicious wine at a great value to drink with brisket, roasted lamb and hamburgers. You can also cellar the wine for several years (+7 years) if you would prefer to consume it later. Caroline Coursant
The wines of Chasse-Spleen come from Moulis-en-Medoc, a small village to the north-west of Margaux. Like Margaux, the soil content has a large amount of gravel, but uniquely Moulis hosts underlying layers of clay and limestone. Chateau Chasse Spleen is the most well known of the producers in this village, producing Bordeaux blends with high portions of Cabernet Sauvignon.
From the region of Graves, Chateau Auney l'Hermitage was known until 2012 as Chateau Le Chec. This estate is made up of 10 smaller domaines, which were put together after being abandoned, or right before being so. Certified organic since 2012. Harvested by hand from 25 year old vines - 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and Petit Verdot. A complex soil of limestone, clay, sand, on top of gravel sub-soils. Manually picked in mid September. Destemmed, before wine ferments with native yeasts. 15 months in wood, less than 25% new. Notes of shaved graphite, plum skins, damp soil, and soft green pepper on the nose, with a juicy, gently tannic palate with red apple, black cherry, and crushed rock.
The second label to Chateau Fonroque, this wine sees none of the estate's Cabernet Franc. The Merlot that goes into this wine comes from under the limestone plateau of St.-Emilion, picked from biodynamically farmed vines on the limestone-clay and silty clay soils of the slopes and bottom-slopes. All fruit is picked by hand. The wine was fermented naturally and aged in a mixture of 75% barrel and 25% concrete vats. A very impressive partner to Fonroque, mimicking the minerally character that the estate is known for. The nose delivers scents of dark flowers and rich baked fruit - strawberry, cherry, blueberry. The palate shows deep red and black cherry and plum, with accents of warm cedar and herbs. There is great minerality, which lends the wine a structure of supreme freshness, but a textural softness that no doubt comes from the high clay content of the plots on the lower portion of the estate's slopes. Great wine. David Hatzopoulos
The 2016 Chateau Fonroque is the last vintage made by Alain Moueix before he sold the estate, though he continues to consult in the vineyard and winery. Organic certification obtained in 2006, biodynamic certification obtained in 2008. The ultimate blend is 90% Merlot, with 10% Cabernet Franc , mostly from the limestone-heavy plateau and high slopes - together creating a sturdy, powerful St.-Emilion of great strength and elegance. Wine was fermented naturally in concrete, and aged in a mix of barrique, with 30% being new. Wonderfully plummy nose, red cherry, raspberry syrup, hints of graphite, cocoa, black licorice, very ripe dark, dank roses and violets. The palate is cool and mineral, with strawberry, plum, blackberry, blueberries, herbs, with a hint of bell pepper. Long finish, high acid, tannin on the gums and middle of the tongue - with airy, lingering flavors of freshly cracked black pepper and graphite. Scrumptious wine. I've enjoyed every bottle I've opened. David Hatzopoulos
Produced by Philippe Durand from 10.5 hectares of stunning, clover covered vineyards on the western slope of Mont Calon in Montagne. Vine age ranges, with most being an average of 45 years, though 15% are 80 years old and there are some Merlot vines that were planted 150 years ago. Strict berry picking is done to remove all withering grapes. Fermentation is done naturally, mostly in cement. The wine is aged for 12-14 months in 50% new oak. Black-red color in the glass. On the nose the wine shows squashed blackberry, pine needles, black tea, graphite. A real pleasure aroma-wise. The palate has black plum, black cherry, and long finish of bitter espresso that ends with a quick shift to a softer flavor of dark chocolate. Firm tannin and medium acidity. Such a great bottle to drink - random encounter that proved to be delicious. Should drink well over the next decade. David Hatzopoulos
This cuvée from Michel Théron is from some of his younger vines (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot) in Macau and sees 50% new oak. However, like all he produces, this bottle isn’t incoherently dense. There is a taut and assertive medley of black and red fruit on the nose, with a unique salty spark. The palate is spicy, with cassis and pepper, and savory, with jerky, miso, and mint. This wine should be experienced while youthfully bright, but it is formidable, with a hearty character that will continue to evolve over the next 15 years or more. David Hatzopoulos
The 2016 Haut-Medoc is incredible. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 7% Petit Verdot, vine age averaging 18 years old, planted to fine gravel soils. Certified organic and biodynamic. Harvest was done manually between September 20th to October 3rd. Naturally fermented in a dramatic range of cement tanks (40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 hl). Aged in barrel for 12 months on the lees. The nose is beautiful - mulch, black and red fruits, stripped dark bark. The palate is exceptional - red cherry, plum, raisin. There is also something quite minty about the wine. However, the mouthfeel is the best part of the story. Dense and light at the same time. I attribute that to the gravelly soil, which give the wine a chewable texture, while still letting the wine shine with briskness. Delicious. Drink now, or keep it for 15 years. David Hatzopoulos
This wine is from the limestone plateau of near the village Belves-de-Castillon. It is 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, from vines averaging 30 years old. Fermented naturally in wood and cement. Aged in barrel, with 10% being new wood, for 8 months before going into cement vats for 5 more months. Clos Puy Arnaud is owned by Theirry Valette, who brought the estate into both organic and biodynamic certification. The wine is beautiful, but really shows itself 3 or so hours after opening. The nose is dense and heady, full of ripe dark flowers, crushed cherries, with a savory waft of dried fruits like raisins and dates. The palate has a spark of firm black plum and graphite. The structure is invigorating and tense. Tannin on all corners of the mouth, and straight, refreshing acidity. Delicious, and a touch of hearty body. David Hatzopoulos
What a treat - a beautiful Haut-Médoc with zero added sulfur from certified organic and biodynamic farming! Pascale Choime and Laurence Alias of the Closeries des Moussis have a small parcel with sandy gravel soils (bordered by dense woods providing biodiversity) on the Plateau de Sénéjac, 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, where they produce this pure and vibrant Bordeaux. There is minimal extraction, aging is 16 months in old barrels. We tasted the 2018 last winter in Angers with Laurence - it showed lovely silky red and black fruits, with great purity and length, really an outstanding Haut-Medoc, unburdened by new oak and sulfur-dioxide. Quite delicious for current drinking or cellaring for ten - fifteen years. Highly recommended! David LIliie
The cuvé "Baragane" (named after a type of leek found in the vineyard) comes from approximately 150 year old pre-phylloxera vines located in Cantenac (Margaux) on silty-clay soils, a 0.4ha field blend with forgotten and unknown varieties. Yields rarely go above 10 hl/ha, the grapes are carefully destemmed to keep the berries intact, and transferred to the fermentation tank by gravity. After three weeks of maceration the wine goes into 3 year0old 225ltr oak barrels for élevage during 15 months. 700 bottles were made following a light filtration and less than 20mg/l of sulphur added.
Château Coutet in St. Emilion is comprised of a single plot, 13 hectares large. The soil is a mix of limestone, sand, and clay, and the vineyard is planted to 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 7% Malbec, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Never once have herbicides or pesticides touched the vineyards belonging to Chateau Coutet, a certified organic producer. The property boasts oak trees, fig trees, and orchid meadows as a measure to ensure the land’s health, and thus the quality of its grapes and wines. All vineyard work is done organically. In the cellar, juice is fermented in concrete, then 85% of the resulting wine is aged in 20% new French oak barrels. The rest is aged in concrete vats. Aging lasts 18 months before bottling.
Our biodynamic friends, the Hubert family, make the lovely Chateau La Grolet "Origines" from old vines of 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. The 2019 shows a deep red/black color with high-toned aromas of ripe cassis and black raspberry with cedar, brown spice and earth, really quite pretty. The palate is supple, elegant and well-structured with cassis and red fruits over firm acidity with earth and mineral flavors. This is a real Bordeaux of terroir that is delicious now especially if decanted many hours in advance or opened the night before. Cellaring for five to ten years will create a lovely mature wine. David Lillie
Certified organic and Biodynamic, this estate is located on the same plateau as Saint Emilion and Pomerol. Soil is red clay, silt, and limestone. Vines average 50 years. Grapes are hand harvested. Native yeasts are used for fermentation, which happens in concrete over 2 weeks. The 2016 'Emilien' saw a total of 24 months in wood, none new. The nose is woodsy, with tree bark and wild herbs, forest plums and cherries. The palate is tense with dark minerals under a richer layer of black and red fruits, black pepper and earth. The structure is well-placed, medium tannin and medium acidity. Drinking exceptionally now, but will age over the next decade. David Hatzopoulos.
The Hubert family are owners of Chateau Peybonhomme-les-Tours in Blaye and Chateau La Grolet in Bourg. The farming here is among the best in Bordeaux, certified organic and biodynamic. The vineyards are a fantastic oasis of greenery compared to the rest of Bordeaux, and are located on slopes of clay over limestone giving the wines good concentration and firm minerality. The Quintessence of Peybonhomme is a selection of the best juice from tastings each year and is primarily Merlot and Malbec from old vines, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, a portion of which is aged in new oak. The 2018 is a bit more dense and forward than the 2017 - it's a beautiful and lively Bordeaux showing deep aromas of ripe cassis, blackberry, black cherry, cocoa, spice and earth. The palate is supple and ripe, lifted by cool acidity, with complex black fruits, earth and mineral flavors with a long finish. The wine broadens and gains complexity with time open so decant if possible. A versatile food wine, this beautifully balanced Bordeaux will accompany anything from roast chicken to pork dishes to steak. Put a few in your cellar for 10 - 15 years for a mature experience,..
Biodynamic farming, native yeast fermentations, superb value –all phrases not typically associated with Bordeaux. Yet, each year the Hubert family provides us with just that in their staple cuvee from the Côte de Blaye. The Cru Bourgeois is a blend of mostly Merlot with Cabernet Franc, and a bit of Malbec. Generously aromatic owing to the limestone/clay soils in which it is grown, the 2018 offers crushed violets, cassis, and rhubarb on the nose. The palate shows the warm vintage with finesse. Cascades of ripe red fruit, black currant, and spice, with supple tannins and an undercurrent of chalky minerality. This is a great addition to the dinner table alongside grilled meat, roast chicken and stews or sipped on its own, drink over the next 5 to 8 years.
Chateau Haut-Bergeron has one of the longest and most celebrated histories in Sauternes and has remained in the family for nine generations! The blend is 80-90% Semillon, and 10-20% Sauvignon Blanc grown on a mixture of sandy clay and calcareous clay. The grapes are picked in three passes to ensure optimal ripeness and levels of botryis, and the wine is aged in 50% new French oak for 18-20 months. This is a great Sauternes to pair with something salty or intensely flavored like foie gras or strong cheeses, or with a dessert that isn't too sweet like an apple crumble!
This is a unique example of Bordeaux Blanc from one of the first organic and biodynamic properties in the region, located in the lesser-known Sainte-Foy. Corinne and Jean-Michel Comme started to replant these vineyards in 1998 using as little intervention as possible, avoiding pesticides, green harvesting, even tractor plowing, and using neutral oak for aging to allow each vintage to speak for itself. Grown on clay and limestone soils, the Vin de Passion displays a beautiful balance of texture, minerality, and ripe fruits. The blend is 1/3rd Sauvignon Blanc, 1/3rd Semillon, and 1/3rd Muscadelle, which gives the wine a richer mouthfeel and more floral aroma than a typical Bordeaux Blanc. The fruit is fermented in steel and cement, rests on the lees for one month, and continues to age for five months before being lightly filtered and bottled. Notes of fresh linen, wild flowers and lemon oil on the nose upon opening, but after some time in the glass a bit of nuttiness and marzipan is revealed. On the palate is juicy lemon, green pear, fleur de sel, and smooth river rocks. For the price, this is an over-performing, beautiful wine that will pair with a wide variety of lighter fare. Michelle DeWyngaert