La Vieille Ferme Rouge Quarter Bottle
JRM - A convenient single-serve bottle of one of the great value wines of the world.
La Vieille Ferme Blanc Quarter Bottle
Wine Spectator 86 - Star fruit, white peach and verbena notes mingle in this fresh, easygoing white.
JRM - A convenient single-serve bottle of one of the great value wines of the world. Delicious.
Marius White Vermentino 2019
La Vieille Ferme Ventoux Rouge 2021
Maker's Notes - Pretty deep red colour. The fresh nose is on ripe red fruit with hints of cherries. Well balanced with soft tannins, it is a full and fresh wine with a nice length.
Jeremy's Notes: One of the best wine values on earth. Always well made, approachable, fruity and well balanced. A pleasure wine for drinking any time with any food. Authentic, genuine and tasty.
Luberon La Ciboise Rouge 2021
Maker's Notes -
garnet red colour
complex and fine with notes of black fruit (blackberry / blackcurrant)
fruity with lovely notes of liquorice. Silky tannins. Creating a precise and elegant wine with lovely freshness
Ciboise Luberon Blanc 2022
Jeremy's Notes - Refreshing white featuring a fresh kiwi core, with Key lime and white peach notes mixed in. Shows a stony hint that gives the finish spine. Good value.
La Vieille Ferme Luberon Blanc 2022
CRU/JRM - There is no better value in white wine. This is a satisfying, palate-coating and extremely pleasant white that pairs very well with almost everything.
Maker's Notes - Pretty pale-yellow dress. This wine reveals an elegant nose with delicate notes of white flowers and citrus. This lively wine is very fresh and has a touch of minerality on the palate.
La Vieille Ferme Luberon Rose 2020
Maker's Notes - Pretty delicate petal-rose colour. This wine offers an expressive, particularly fruity nose with notes of red fruit and citrus. On the palate, this wine shows a beautiful aromatic richness and a perfect balance between the body and the freshness.
Mathilde Chapoutier Languedoc Rouge 2020
Maker's Notes -
Deep, dark garnet, nearly black.
Intense and fiery with ripe fruit notes (blackcurrants/ raspberries).
Full and powerful. The ripe fruit notes are found again on the palate along with sweet spices. Pronounced silky, delicate tannins.
Vin de Pays d'Oc Syrah 2021
Maker's Notes - The colour is a deep ruby red. The nose reveals powerful aromas of wild berries and spicies, truly typical from the "Syrah" grape. On the palate, strong flavours of blackcurrant and red berries surround a smooth fruit on the back of the wine. The finish has lots of personality.
Ventoux Rouge 2020
Maker's Notes - Its colour is a deep ruby red, showing garnet reflections while young. With its predominately berry-fruit bouquet, this wine shows the full aromatic power of these two noble grape varieties whilst retaining the freshness imparted by well-controlled wine making.
CRU/JRM - One of our best-selling wines for many years and with good reason. Terrific value and always consistently well made.
Costieres de Nimes Rouge La Ciboise 2020
Maker's Notes -
bright, deep, dark garnet.
Nose: intense with notes of ripe fruit (blackcurrants/raspberries).
Palate: delicious and full. The ripe fruit and soft spices come through again on the palate. Pronounced yet soft, delicate tannins.
Les Animals Fourmi Ventoux Rouge 2021
JRM - Delicious and attractive. Smooth palate, lovely fruitiness and good balance. A crowd pleaser any day.
Les Animals Ours Luberon Blanc 2021
Maker's Notes - Beautiful limpid colour with yellow and green undertones. The nose reveals a seductive fruity bouquet with notes of lemon, citrus and white flowers. Fresh on the palate, with great tension, this is a fine, elegant and well-balanced wine, offering nice acidity and a touch of bitterness on gourmet aromas of peach syrup. It will be ideal as an aperitif or to accompany a starter.
Les Animals Elephant Luberon Rose 2022
Maker's Notes - Pretty pale pink color with pastel undertones. The nose is seductive with subtle hints of red fruit (currants, strawberries, raspberries) and delicate flowers (rose, hawthorn). Well balanced in the mouth, between freshness and roundness, it offers a refreshing lemony finish.
Marius Grenache Rouge 2020
Maker's Notes - Appearance: bright, dark garnet. Nose: powerful red berry aromas (cherry, raspberry) accompanied by cocoa and sweet spice fragrances.
Nose: powerful red berry aromas (cherry, raspberry) accompanied by cocoa and sweet spice fragrances.
Palate: delicious and juicy on entry, a profusion of red fruit, full on the palate with silky, velvety tannin. The perfect example of a Grenache noir
Vin de Pays d'Oc Viognier 2019
Maker's Notes - An intense, bright colour, with a golden hue. To the nose the specific aromas of the grape variety are to the fore, with apricots, peaches, exotic fruits and preserved citrus fruit. The palate is both smooth and fresh, finishing on dried fruits hint.
Sierra Cantabria Rioja Seleccion 2019
Wine Spectator 88 - This juicy red has light tannins and bright acidity, offering bright red and black fruit flavors, with hints of smoke and licorice. Drink now through 2025.
Maker's Notes - Intense ruby red color, medium-high layer and light orange iridescence. Aromas of red fruits, fresh fruit (strawberry), of good intensity, well assembled with the aromas of spices, vanilla and wood. In the mouth we find it slightly tannic, fresh, medium-bodied, smooth, balanced, with fruit well integrated with notes of oak, vanilla and light toasted notes.
Wine Spectator 90 - A fun, open-knit red, offering lively kirsch, anise and blackberry cobbler notes, followed by a light dusting of lavender on the finish. Grenache and Syrah.
Maker's Notes - The colour shows an elegant, ruby-red hue. The aromas are delicate, dominated by red berries, such as wild strawberries and raspberries. In the mouth this wine is supple and seductive on the palate, light, easy to drink, with a deliciously fruity and fresh finish
Beaujolais Villages 2020
JRM - The 2020 Beaujolais-Villages displays pretty aromas of cherries and dried flowers, followed by a medium to full-bodied, ample and juicy palate, concluding with a pure and precise finish. Delicious and easy-going.
Duche d'Uzes Rose 2020
Maker's Notes -
Pale, bright hue with slightly bluish tints.
Powerful aromas of crushed strawberries and citrus complemented by floral notes.
Extremely fine on the palate, releasing fruity and floral notes of violets, complemented by a nice acidity which prolongs the enjoyment.
Côtes du Rhône St. Esprit Rouge 2021
CRU/JRM - Fresh and inviting, with more fruit and depth than many of its peers. Offers a plum and cherry puree profile, laced with floral and red tea accents on the finish.
Cotes du Rhone St. Esprit Rose 2021
CRU/JRM - This rosé offers up an overt savory herb streak backed by a mix of white cherry and peach flavors. Plump, juicy finish. Drink now.
Cotes du Rhone Blanc St. Esprit 2020
Wine Spectator 89 - Plump and fresh, with inner brightness as the star fruit, green melon and white peach flavors mingle gently. Ends with a kiss of verbena on the finish. Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Viognier.
Mathilda Rose Victoria 2019
Wine Advocate 88 - The flamingo-hued 2019 Mathilda Chapoutier Grenache Rose features scents of crushed stone and alpine strawberries. It manages to avoid being confected while being fresh and fruity—not always an easy thing in Grenache-based rosés. Medium-bodied, it finishes with a slightly silky-textural flourish.
Vinous 88 - Light, bright orange. Smoke-tinged redcurrant, strawberry and orange zest on the nose and palate. Supple and dry, with a gripping finish that features a subtle herbal nuance.
Côtes du Rhône Blanc “Belleruche” 2022
CRU/JRM - Seriously good Cotes du Rhone. Stays interesting glass after glass. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier and Clairette. Drink now.
Côtes du Rhône Rose “Belleruche” 2020
Vinous 89 - Shimmering orange. Ripe red berry, orange pith and floral aromas
are complemented by a subtle nectarine flourish. Smooth and open-knit, offering plump strawberry and tangerine flavors that take on a spicy quality with air. Shows good energy on the finish, which lingers with good, floral-tinged persistence.
Wine Spectator 87 - Fresh, with a light watermelon rind edge that adds freshness and direction to the light-bodied mix of white cherry and white peach flavors. Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault.
Pepestrino IGT Toscana Bianco 2019
Jeremy’s Notes: A refreshing, tasty white with good balance and intensity. Interesting flavours of pear, grapefruit and peach. Quite a unique item. Great aperitif and accompaniment to fish, shrimp and chicken dishes.
Hito Rosado 2019
Vinous 90 - Lurid onion skin color. Ripe pit fruit and red berry aromas and flavors take on a spicy nuance with air. Fleshy and seamless in texture, showing a mineral, saline quality on its long, penetrating finish, which echoes the floral note. This savory wine has a wide range of food-matching capabilities.
Chateau Roquefort Rouge 2019
Maker's Notes - This wine is clear, shiny, tuby red with cherry highlights. The varietal aromas of the Merlot express themselves with notes of red currants and black cherries. The attack is frank, the morello cherry and the vanilla accompany a final licorice and ample. With tannins that are both soft and omni-present, its potential for ageing is 10 to 12 years.
Côtes du Rhône Rouge "Belleruche" 2021
CRU/JRM - Consistently fine Cotes du Rhone from one of the world's greatest wine makers. Versatile, tasty and very well made. Serve this with anything.
Finca Resalso 2021
Wine Spectator 89 - Dark and brambly, this lively red underscores flavors of crushed blackberry and blueberry fruit with notes of toast, pine and smoke. Medium-bodied, with light tannins and hints of licorice and mocha emerging on the finish. Drink now.
CRU/JRM - A wine this good at this price point is remarkable. Delicious and very moreish. A perennial favourite for good reason.
Ventisei Toscana Rosso 2018
Wine Spectator 88 - Strawberry jam, cherry and earth flavors are the themes in this focused red. Smooth and balanced, with a light band of tannins on the finish. Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Eleveira Douro Red 2018
Jeremy's Notes - This is very attractive. Plush mouthfeel, smooth and balanced with an elegance that belies the price-point. Medium-bodied with a nice balance of fruit and tannins, making it a good match for a wide selection of foods. Michele Chapoutier doesn't muck around and his expertise in vineyard and cellar management shows very well in this recent Portuguese venture.
Eleivera White Douro 2018
Maker's Notes - Appearance: elegant, pale yellow flecked with green.
Nose: fresh, fruity aromas of peaches and pears with citrus notes.
Palate: clean and fresh on entry, with perceptible volume on the mid-palate. The finish is broad and taut with citrus aromas.
Riesling Baden 2021
Maker's Notes -
Colour: light yellow with golden tints.
Nose: both fruity and floral. Citrus, Mirabelle-plum and orange blossom notes.
Palate: taut, mineral structure, lovely roundness. A fresh, nearly saline, wine. Very long finish.
Côtes du Rhône Reserve Rosé 2022
Maker's Notes - Seductive pale pastel-pink colour with shiny reflections. With great finesse, the nose opens up with a subtle aromatic bouquet with notes of white spring flowers such as acacia and lily of the valley. Delicate and elegant, the palate reveals great freshness which continues with a beautiful length.
Côtes du Rhône Reserve Rouge 2020
Jeremy's Notes - Perrin's Reserve Rouge is a reference wine for Cotes du Rhone. Well balanced, nuanced, elegant and delicious. They always get this right and the 2020 is no exception. Terrific value, punching well above its price point.
Banyuls Rouge 2020 (500mL)
CRU/JRM - Slightly sweet, fragrant and smooth. A unique wine favoured by those who appreciate a little sweetness. Generates lots of Oohs and Aahs.
Grand Ferrage Cotes de Provence Rose 2020
Vinous 91 - Glistening orange-pink. Incisive red berry and citrus fruit scents are complemented by building floral and mineral nuances. Silky, dry and precise, showing good heft to the strawberry and blood orange flavors, which are braced by an undercurrent of juicy acidity. Smoothly blends depth and energy and finishes very long and focused, with lingering florality and a suggestion of chalky minerals.
Wine Spectator 88 - This lively rosé has a glossy texture sporting cherry, tea and blood orange notes that are fresh and inviting. Accents of herb and stony mineral fine-tune the finish. Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Rolle.
Mathilda Shiraz 2018
CRU/JRM - An Aussie shiraz with a French accent. Dark ruby and full of black fruits and pepper aromas. Silky smooth and elegant.
Côtes du Rhône Villages Rouge 2020
CRU/JRM - Superbly made, elegant, long, balanced and delicious. Top shelf CDR. Super value. Grenache and Syrah.
Maker's Notes - Beautiful garnet-red robe. The nose offers a superb aromatic bouquet with notes of red and black fruit such as cherries and blackcurrants mixed with floral notes, spices and "garrigue". With elegance, the mouth develops into fine and silky tannins with aromas of small red fruit and a beautiful aromatic and racy finish with subtle notes of tobacco.
Perrin Nature Bio Rouge 2020
Maker's Notes - This wine has a very expressive nose with notes of violets and fresh strawberries. Supple, rich and complex on the palate, it reveals beautiful aromas of pepper, black fruit and thyme before a long, silky and elegant finish.
Perrin Nature Bio Rose 2021
Maker's Notes - Pretty pink-gold colour with shiny reflections. On the nose, Nature Rosé offers a superb aromatic bouquet of great intensity with notes of red fruit such as pomegranate and blackcurrants. The palate is full of delicacies with delicious notes of small red fruit such as redcurrants and blackcurrants, perfectly balanced by great freshness.
Studio Miraval Blanc 2021
Maker's notes - Elegant, very pale colour with subtle green reflections. With great finesse, the nose opens up with delicate notes of white flowers and citrus. Balanced and fresh, the palate reveals the same seductive aromas and ends with a superb saline finish which offers beautiful length.
Cote de Brouilly Vieilles Vignes 2020
Winemaker's Notes - The appellation of Côte de Brouilly sits on the steep slopes of the extinct volcano Mont Brouilly and is surrounded by the larger appellation of Brouilly. The soils here are volcanic with blue stones, from diorite deposits. The Stéphane Aviron Côte de Brouilly is sourced from two separate vineyards of these slopes. The first makes up about 75% of the blend and sits in the poor soils facing southwest on the hillside. Vines average 60+ years old in this parcel and these grapes account for the wine’s depth and structure. The second parcel faces due south with younger vines (45+ years) and contributes ripe juicy fruit to the final blend.
CRU/JRM - Stephane Aviron's wines are stunning value for money. Highly respected and consistently well made. This is silky and moreish.
Chenas Vieilles Vignes 2020
Maker's Notes - Dark black cherry colour with purple. Deep, ripe aromas of black cherry with a hint of black pepper. Very good weight; fleshy and round, very soft and harmonious. Delicious now or could be aged for several years.
Sierra Cantabria Crianza 2018
Wine Spectator 90 - A well-balanced red in a medium-bodied frame, offering flavors of black fig reduction, leafy tobacco and fresh, loamy earth that show good concentration, with a piercing note of black licorice. Ends with fine tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2025.
Lucilla IGT Toscana 2019
Vinous 90 - The 2019 Lucilla is deep, fleshy and superexpressive. Silky tannins wrap around a core of bright red berry fruit. Floral notes perk up the finish. Lucilla is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Over time, the international varieties have become domesticated.
Wine Advocate 89 - The Castello di Farnetella 2019 Lucilla offers a medium-dark ruby color and nice, easy concentration. The wine is amply perfumed with cherry, fresh plum and summer lavender flower. Other recognizable aromas include baked clay and light spice. Let Lucilla join you on your next take-home pizza night.
Studio Miraval Rose 2021
Vinous 90 - Pale pink. Racy and focused on the nose, displaying spice-tinged red fruit and citrus pith scents and a hint of florality. In a tense, nervy style, showing fine delineation to its strawberry, redcurrant and clementine flavors. Finishes tight and long, with the citrus fruit and floral notes repeating.
Saumur Rouge 2018
Jeremy's Notes - Fruity and structured. Good balance and palate feel. Decent length with complexity but no heaviness. Nice.
Chateau Cotes de Saint Clair 2018
Julienas Vieilles Vignes 2019
Jeremy's Notes - Stephane Aviron's Julienas has been a big favourite for the last seven vintages. The 2019 is another gem and perhaps the best vintage yet. This is about as good as Gamay gets. Beautifully smooth and well-crafted and a lovely complexity and finish. Serious value for money.
Farnetalla Chianti Colli Senesi 2019
Vinous 89 - The 2019 Chianti Colli Senesi is laced with sweet red berry fruit, mint, spice, tobacco and dried flowers. This is an especially perfumed style of Chianti from the Colli Senesi.
Wine Advocate 88 - The easygoing Castello di Farnetella 2019 Chianti Colli Senesi delivers bright and lifted aromas of ruby cherry and tart forest berry. The wine shows a main focus on freshness and ease of drinking, but it also has the acidity and the mild, lean-bodied texture that you'd want next to an epic plate of cacio e pepe pasta. This 2019 vintage is slightly more concentrated compared to past editions.
Wine Spectator 88 - A hint of sweet wood smoke graces the strawberry, cherry and earth flavors in this gentle red. It firms up on the finish. Drink now through 2024.
Felsina Chianti Colli Senesi 2019
Vinous 89 - The 2019 Chianti Colli Senesi is a pleasantly bold, hearty wine packed with black cherry, game, leather, plum and spice essences. Pretty floral notes appear in the glass to brighten the finish. Readers will find a wine that is very typical of the Colli Senesi appellation.
Wine Spectator 87 - A core of black cherry and plum fruit is wrapped in a cloak of wild herbs, menthol, earth and dusty tannins in this red, which ends with freshness, if on the astringent side.
Wine Advocate 87 - This is an easy, no pretense wine with toasted nut, dry flower and simple fruit or cherry aromas. The Fèlsina 2019 Chianti Colli Senesi Berardenga delivers freshness and good primary intensity over a lean body and texture.
Cairanne 'Peyre Blanche' 2019
Maker's Notes - Our 14 hectare vineyard in Cairanne is located south west of the old village. The soils are stony, made of clay and sand. The wine is fleshy and develops beautiful aromas of blackcurrant, Garrigue and liquorice. Beautiful deep and intense purple colour. The fruity and expressive nose is an explosion of red fruit with spicy notes of pepper and juniper. Round and silky on the palate, it is a well-balanced wine between ripe fruit and slightly chalky tannins which bring elegance and structure.
Rosso di Montepulciano 2018
Saumur Blanc 2021
Maker's Notes - A lovely rich and fat hand-picked Chenin Blanc from the heart of France's Loire Valley. Saumur whites are made from Chenin Blanc and are characteristically crisp and fruity. Here the wine has a pale yellow hue and an intense nose with aromas of ripe stone fruits at first with honey and toasty notes following. Strikingly crisp at first it then shows its real fruitiness and generous, ripe structure. And it wraps up well with a pleasingly fresh and clean citrus finish.
Moulin a Vent VV 2018
Terroir: This cuvée is from two of the best parcels in Moulin-à-Vent: Rochegres and Le Mont. Stéphane Aviron considers this to be one of the best terroirs of Beaujolais. The soils here are white granite with iron and manganese deposits. The vines in the parcels are all old, averaging 65 years old and many over 100 years in age.
Vinification: Grapes are vinified separately until time for the final blending and bottling. Whole bunches are used and then macerated in temperature controlled stainless steel vats for ten days. The wine is aged in neutral Burgundian barriques, 228-liter barrels, that are between three and six years old for 12 to 14 months.
Fleurie Vieilles Vignes 2019
CRU/JRM - From vines of between 55 and 90 years of age located on the steep slopes of the famed La Madone vineyard in Beaujolais, this has deep colour and a fine, perfumed bouquet. The texture is silky, with a pure, fresh finish. Fantastic value for money.
Saint Amour Vieilles Vignes 2020
Wine Spectator 86 - A light-bodied red, with a broad profile offering ripe blackberry and bramble fruit flavors interwoven with herb, savory spice and anise accents. Plush, light tannins.
Dolcetto d'Alba 2020
Wine Spectator 90 - A densely structured red, evoking blackberry, plum, earth and black pepper aromas and flavors. Saturated with fruit yet remains lively and long on the finish. Drink now through 2025.
Vinous 88 - The 2020 Dolcetto d'Alba is fresh and vibrant, with lovely blue/purplish berry fruit, lavender and
licorice. In 2020, the Dolcetto is a bit lighter in body and less persistent than in most vintages because of rain prior to
Muscat de Beaumes de Venise 2018
Maker's Notes - The wine has a pale golden hue. The bouquet of this Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise shows intense fruity and floral aromas. On the palate, this wine has deliciously elegant freshness. It is full-bodied without excess, and has lingering fruity aromas on a melon and lemon-tinged finish.
Dolcetto d'Alba 2019
Wine Spectator 87 - Bright cherry, earth and bitter almond mark this light-bodied red. It has a tea-like finish, with a light astringency
Rasteau 'L'Andeol 2019
Maker's Notes - Elegant velvety crimson-red dress. The nose on this 2019 Rasteau opens with seductive aromas of cocoa and fresh strawberries. Powerful and well-balanced, the palate develops delicious notes of red fruit and black olives with delicate chalky tannins that give this wine real character.
Grande Ferrage Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire Rose 2020
Vinous 92 - Limpid orange. Expressive, mineral-accented nectarine, strawberry and melon scents, along with blood orange and floral nuances. Palate-staining red berry, citrus and pit fruit and honeysuckle flavors deftly meld depth and liveliness. Shows firm cut and repeating mineral and floral notes on the impressively persistent, finely etched finish.
Wine Spectator 88 - This mineral-laced rosé shows elements of red berries, flint and spice encased in a smooth, supple texture. A vivid acidity gives this elegance, with melon and herb notes on the finish.
Valpolicella Classico 2019
Ventisei Vino Nobile 2016
Maker's Notes - The Nobile is the most representative of our terroir. Here the main star is the Sangiovese which in Italian means “Jupiter’s Blood”. A wine for the Gods. Spontaneously fermented, the Blood of Jupiter naturally deserves our greatest attention, which is why we age the grapes from every single plot separately for 18 months in oak barrels and large casks. Luscious and majestic, Nobile enchants you with its fragrant mulberry notes and delicate cinnamon hints, making you feel like an Olympian.
Jeremy's Notes - This wine has a special smoothness and elegance that evokes simple luxury. It is not bold or super-concentrated but rather palate-caressing and silky. This pairs well with most food but is an outstanding no-food sipper and we all need those.
Bolgheri Bianco "Nova' 2018
Wine Spectator 84 - Ripe, showing lemon, earth and copper flavors. Rich, verging on oily, with moderate length. Vermentino, Viognier and Sauvignon. Drink now.
Maker's Notes - Straw yellow with green hues. Aromas of Mediterranean shrubs, brooms and mature pears with underlying saline scents. The viognier gives some delicate notes of exotic fruits.
The flavour profile is savoury and well-balanced with notes of fresh fruit, a fragrant acidity and a long lingering aftertaste of fresh almonds. Very elegant and rich in the mouth.
Emilio Moro El Zarzal Blanco 2018
Wine Advocate 90 - Even if they are not quite from the Duero zone but from Bierzo, I also tasted their whites produced with Godello grapes, including the 2018 El Zarzal, which has 13% alcohol, very good acidity and low pH. It was produced with fruit from vines averaging 15 years of age, fermented in oak at controlled temperature and matured in French 2,500-liter oak foudres with the lees for eight months. It's expressive and aromatic, with some grape-pulp aromas, somewhat floral and with a spicy touch. It's varietal and clean, with integrated oak, a medium-bodied palate and a refreshing finish, serious and with a mineral twist.
Chianti Classico 2018
Vinous 89 - The 2018 Chianti Classico is a bold, rustic wine. Dark cherry, tobacco, leather, cedar and game bring out the
wilder side of Chianti Classico, and yet the
2018 retains the essential translucence of
Sangiovese. The 2018 is very much a wine for the dinner table.
Chateau Crabitey Graves Rouge 2018
Wine Spectator 90 - Dark cherry and red currant fruit melds nicely with notes of red tea and warm earth. Light alder thread stitches up the solid, juicy finish. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Mas de Cadenet Rosé Victoire 2019
Vinous 92 - Diaphanous pink. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes raspberry, pink grapefruit, peach, succulent herbs and honeysuckle. Sappy and incisive on the palate, offering vibrant red berry, citrus zest and bitter quinine flavors that show impressive energy and back-end cut. The citrus and floral notes drive a long, nervy finish that shows fine delineation and mineral lift.
WA 91 - Very pale pink and imbued with the fragrances of crushed stone and sun-dried herbs, the 2019 Cotes de Provence Sainte-Victoire Rose is the embodiment of the appellation. This blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah is medium-bodied yet lively and refreshing, with white peach and melon flavors tinged with red currants, finishing cool and stony.
Barbera d'Alba 2019
Wine Spectator 89 - This red is fleshy, yet fluid, its black cherry, black currant and almond notes are persistent through the finish. It's balanced, with a light chalky feel in the end. Drink now.
CRU/JRM - Altare's wines are luxurious and utterly delicious. There is an amazing smoothness and elegance that few makers achieve.
Bila Haut Occultum Lapidem Rouge 2018
Wine Advocate 89-91 -The 2018 Côtes de Roussillon Villages Latour de France Occultum Lapidem offers hints of grilled meat and oyster sauce, then raspberries, pepper and warmth. Medium to full-bodied.
CRU/JRM - Occultum Lapidem means "hidden jewel" and is a fitting name for this delightful and interesting wine. A real gem.
Bila Haut L'Esquerda Roussillon Rouge 2018
Wine Advocate 90-93 - A 60-40 blend of Grenache and Syrah, the 2018 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde l'Esquerda looks potentially outstanding. Crushed stone accents give this full-bodied red a sense of austerity, while the blueberry and cherry fruit is bold and muscular, yielding to a long, mouthwatering finish.
Gewurztraminer Pfalz 2021
Maker's Notes -
Colour: light yellow, green tints
Nose: intense notes, a blend of fruit (lychee, etc.) and rose, with some lighter notes of citrus (lemon, grapefruit).
Palate: this sharp, dry wine is supple and forthright on entry to the palate.
Nice balance of acidity and a finish with notes of lychees and citrus.
Chateau Crabitey Graves Blanc 2020
Vinous 89 - The 2020 Crabitey Blanc, 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Sémillon, offers an attractive mix of bright, floral accents and textural depth. Lemon confit, almonds, dried herbs, sage and mint are nicely lifted in this bright, nuanced white.
Langhe Nebbiolo Rosso di Rocca 2020
Vinous 88 - The 2020 Langhe Nebbiolo Rosso di Rocca is another pretty entry-level offering from Albino Rocca. This aromatic, light-bodied Nebbiolo is a tasty every-day drinker. Sweet red cherry, blood orange and spice linger.
Masseria Setteporte Etna Rosso 2015
Who makes it?
The Setteporte Estate is a family run winery on the southwest side of Sicily’s active volcano, Mount Etna. The family has had a winemaking heritage here in Biancavilla dating back generations. The vineyards sit at an altitude of between 650 – 800 m and take advantage of the red volcanic soil. These vineyards need to be terraced to cope with the slope on which they are planted.
How they make it?
As you might already have worked out, Etna Rosso is easily translated to mean “Etna red”. So, it is no surprise that the main grape variety in this blend is Nerello Mascalese as it is gaining attention as an Etna grape. Besides Mascalese, there is also an addition of about 5% Nerello Cappuccio. Both of these are local grape varieties and importantly, the vineyards have organic certification. To let the wine come together, it spends 12 months in French oak, 20% of which is new.
What does it taste like?
There is plenty of intense cherry fruit with smoky nutmeg and earth. It is a medium bodied wine with supple tannins and fresh acid. A floral note joins the minerals and spice on the finish. It is a good drink.
What to drink with it?
With the savouriness of this wine it is a good companion for range of foods and flavours. For instance, a good place to start would be something simple like a tomato based sauce over pasta. Grilled lamb chops would be another.
Quickie review - An elegant take on a classic Etna red with intense cherry and a smoky minerality. Made for food, but it is good by itself.
Crozes Hermitage Rouge La Petite Ruche 2019
Begali Ripasso Vigneto La Cengia 2019
JEREMY'S NOTES - The 'baby' Amarone from Begali. Intense bouquet, full-flavoured yet soft on the palate. Nice finish. Yummy.
Pagliarese Chianti Classico 2016
WA 88 - The 2016 Chianti Classico by Pagliarese is an elegantly trimmed down red wine with delicate aromas of wild berry, red cherry, cassis and spice. Those fruit tones are generously and seamlessly integrated within the mid-weight body of the wine. As you should expect from Sangiovese (blended in this case with 10% Canaiolo and Mammolo), you get a healthy dose of balanced acidity on the easygoing finish.
Vacqueras Domaine de Genets 2018
Wine Spectator 89 - Cherry and plum paste notes are wrapped in a light-handed mix of singed alder and warmed licorice. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
Wine Advocate 87 - The tank-matured 2018 Vacqueyras Domaine des Genets—a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre—is a solid representation of the vintage. A bit lighter in weight than expected and slightly herbal, it's a silky-textured, easy-drinking wine redolent of cherries and garrigue. Drink it over the next few years.
Shays Flat Red 2014
Wine Advocate 86 - Made in a distinctly savory, Rhône-like style, the 2014 Shay's Flat Vineyard Shiraz delivers notes of espresso, asphalt and black olives.
Bila Haut Occultum Lapidem Blanc 2017
Wine Spectator 93 - A refined, powerful white, with enveloping flavors of almond, white peach and spiced apple infused with wool, baking spice and vivid mineral elements. Dried flowers, heather, matchstick and honey notes mesh together on the long, lingering finish. Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Vermentino. Drink now through 2024.
Wine Advocate 89 - The 2017 Côtes du Roussillon Occultum Lapidem Blanc is a 60-40 blend of Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris, half fermented and aged in steel, the other half in demi-muids. It's plump and medium-bodied, with notes of lime zest and melon, a silky mouthfeel and hints of peach on the fresh, vibrant finish.
St. Peray Les Tanneurs Blanc 2020
Wine Advocate 89 - Matured in a mix of tank and demi-muids, the 2020 Saint-Péray Les Tanneurs boasts scents of ripe pears, melons and a hint of citrus. It's medium to full-bodied and round in the mouth, and while not that rich or concentrated, it's nicely balanced, citrusy and long on the finish.
Crozes Hermitage Rouge Les Launes 2021
CRU/JRM - A perennial favourite and serious value for money. Medium-bodied, cherries and raspberries at the front and a silky textured finish.
Crozes Hermitage Blanc La Petite Ruche 2019
WA 88 - Chapoutier's large-production white Crozes, the 2019 Crozes Hermitage Blanc La Petite Ruche, is a modest, melon and citrus-scented wine that's plump and round on the medium-bodied palate, lush and easy to drink, with a finish that's marked by notes of salted licorice and citrus zest.
Chateau Fleur La Mothe 2018
Wine Advocate 90 - Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Fleur la Mothe offers up pronounced notions of cassis, blackberry pie and Black Forest cake with hints of pencil shavings, black olives and lavender. Medium bodied, the palate has an impressive intensity of crunchy black fruits with a lively backbone and well-managed, grainy tannins, finishing long and fragrant.
Vinous 90 - I was pleased to see that the aromatics on the 2018 Fleur La Mothe have gained more refinement and focus since I tasted it from barrel, offering blackberry and briar, touches of blue fruit and sous-bois scents emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins, fine weight and focus and just the right amount of grip on the structured finish. Allow 3–4 years in bottle, because this Cru Bourgeois can age seriously well.
Da-Di Sangiovese Toscana 2021
This is a pure and naked expression of the Tuscan grape with cherry, dried raspberry, terracotta and bitter almond. The Da.Di reveals compelling richness of fruit and a natural, mid-weight texture followed by dusty tannins.
Crozes Hermitage Rouge “Les Meysonniers” 2019
Wine Spectator 93 - Fresh, ripe and well-defined, with raspberry, bitter cherry and plum puree notes that race through, carried by a fine minerally spine while savory and sanguine details infuse the finish. Drink now through 2030.
Vinous 92 - Vivid ruby. Displays ripe, smoke-accented cherry and dark berry
scents that are complemented by hints of licorice, game and cracked pepper. Juicy and broad in the mouth, offering appealingly jammy red and blue fruit liqueur and baking spice flavors and a
salty touch of olive. Finishes long and
smooth, with well-knit tannins and repeating pepper and cherry notes.
Wine Advocate 91 - An exceptional vintage for this wine, the 2019 Crozes Hermitage les Meysonniers showcases violets, cassis and crushed stone aromas on its complex, nuanced nose. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it's silky and seductive, with a long, exquisitely balanced finish.
Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero 2019
Wine Spectator 88 - Fresh and well-spiced, this balanced, medium-bodied red shows a pure beam of crushed black cherry fruit flavors, with accents of loamy earth, orange peel and dried herbs. Drink now.
JRM - A perrenial favourite for good reason. Meduim to full bodied with , finesse, complexity and length. The tannins are moderate and the mouthfeel is sumptuous.
Bourgogne Pinot Noir Cuvee Reserve 2017
Burghound 87 - A deft application of wood easily allows the pretty red pinot fruit aromas to shine. The super-fresh and highly energetic flavors possess excellent cut and a lovely mouth feel while delivering solid depth and length. This is very good for its level and a wine that should drink well almost immediately if desired.
Ribera del Duero 2016
Wine Advocate 90 - The flagship wine that carries the name of the project is currently the 2016 Cepa 21, produced with youngish Tempranillo matured in French barrique for 12 months. It has some spicy and smoky notes from the élevage in oak, which gives it a showy profile. It's ripe without excess with a sweetness of fruit that coats the palate and makes it a bit jammy. There are plenty of tannins to stand up to food
Crozes Hermitage Blanc Les Launes 2020
Wine Spectator 92 - Plump and bright, with star fruit, green almond and chamomile notes backed by an alluring lemon shortbread accent on the finish. Utterly delicious. Marsanne and Roussanne.
Wine Advocate 89 - The 2020 Crozes Hermitage les Launes Blanc features modest, composed aromas of melon, pear and citrus. It's a mellow, medium-bodied effort that hits the right buttons, delivering ample weight and richness on the palate without sacrificing length on the finish.
Rosso di Montalcino 2019
Wine Enthusiast 90 - Made with organically grown Sangiovese, this bright red has aromas of iris, baking spice and underbrush. The savory palate offers red cherry, star anise and vanilla alongside polished tannins. Drink through 2026.
Bourgogne Chardonnay Cuvee Reserve 2019
Jeremy's Notes - As ubiquitous as Chardonnay has become, Burgundy is still its homeland and with good reason. Terroir matters and Burgundy is all about terroir. This is about as good a value in Burgundian Chardonnay as it is possible to find. Smooth, elegant, complex and long.
Chateau Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé 2021
Vinous 91 - Vivid orange-pink. Mineral tinged red berries, orange zest and nectarine aromas show fine clarity and pick up a floral nuance with air. Juicy and focused on the palate offering sappy
tangerine and strawberry flavors that deepen steadily and take on a spicy white pepper note through the back half. Finishes long, gently chewy and precise, with repeating red fruit and spice notes.
Wine Spectator 90 - Pure and chiseled in feel, with racy-edged white cherry, rose petal, jicama and jasmine notes backed by a lingering wet stone accent on the finish. This has length and subtleties that set it apart from the pack. Cinsault, Grenache, Rolle and Tibouren.
Wine Spectator 90 - This elegant rosé combines orange pith, white cherry and grapefruit flavors, with undertones of mineral, spice and heather accents. Refreshing acidity gives this a mouthwatering finish.
Wine Advocate 89 - Plump and rounded on the palate, Miraval's 2021 Cotes de Provence Rose follows that up with a mouthwatering, citrusy finish. It's a pretty standard Provence offering but executed at a high level, with attractive scents of crushed stone accenting peach, melon and lime-like notes. Just who owns this wine estate may be in the hands of a French court, but the winemaking is firmly under the control of the Perrin family and reflects their high standards of quality.
Sierra Cantabria Organza White 2018
Maker's Notes - Bright gold. It offers a nose of tropical fruit, minerality and baking spices. On the palate it is round, smooth with silky texture and spicy and mineral finish.
CRU/JRM - This is luscious, moreish and very delicious. Silky smooth and palate caressing. Hard to resist.
St. Joseph Rouge Deschants 2021
Maker's Notes -
intense garnet red.
very floral (violet), developing into liquorice and spices.
supple attack with a dominance of red fruits. The finish is long with spices.
Château Caronne Ste. Gemme Haut Medoc 2016
Vinous 90 - The 2016 Caronne Sainte
Gemme is raised for 12 months in 25% new oak. It has a generous raspberry and blackberry scented bouquet with just a touch of cigar box, though I would have liked more personality expressed. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin. There is commendable depth here,
the acidity well judged and it sports excellent purity and length on the finish.
There is a tender quality about this Caronne Sainte Gemme underneath that
more obvious power.
Wine Advocate 88 - The 2016 Caronne Ste Gemme is medium garnet-purple colored and quite woody to begin, with a core of cassis and plums with menthol and dried herbs. Medium-bodied, taut and savory in the mouth, it has a chewy finish.
Lucidus Rouge 2012
Wine Advocate 88 - the 2012 Lucidus rouge offers Cote Rotie-like olive, underbrush and both blackberry and raspberry-styled fruit. Medium-bodied, elegant and lightly textured, it carries surprising richness and depth. Enjoy it over the coming couple of years as well.
Pinteivera Red Douro 2016
Jeremy's Notes - Medium to full-bodied, relatively complex nose, smooth palate feel with decent length. Lovely fragrance. This is really well done.
Pinteivera White Douro 2018
Maker's Notes - Appearance: radiant, pale yellow hue flecked with gold.
Nose: complex and expressive releasing fruity (apricot, citrus) and floral (acacia) notes, along with honey and vanilla.
Palate: this fresh, full-bodied wine is broad on entry to the palate and shows a lovely minerality and floral aromas on the finish.
Wine Advocate 91 - The second wine in the price hierarchy is the 2017 Almirez, produced with vines aged 10 to 35 years old from their 72 hectares of vineyards in the villages of Valdefinjas and Toro. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in French oak barrels, 30% of them new, the rest second use, for 14 months. 2017 is one of the driest years with one of the earliest harvests ever, but surprisingly enough, the wines feel lighter, fresh and aromatic, expressive and open and do not show any heat. Furthermore, it feels like a fresher year in the sense that the wine integrates the oak quite well. The change here, as Marcos Eguren explained, has been in the toast of the barrels, something they started in 2015; they have lighter toasts, from a long and slow toasting of the oak, and the barrel respects the fruit a lot more. Fine-tuning continues.
I Sistri 2016 Toscana Chardonnay
WA 92 - The oak-aged 2016 I Sistri (100% Chardonnay) opens to a soft golden color with bright luminosity. There is a lot of character and aromatic intensity here, thanks to the optimally ripened quality of fruit. You get warmer tones of peach, pear and apricot, but you also get cooler tones of mint and white almond. Twelve months in oak give this wine a mid-weight feel with toasted flavors and creamy density.
Vinous 88 - The 2016 I Sistri is a pretty wine, with good varietal character in its lightly tropical, citrus and floral notes. This mid-weight, nuanced Chardonnay will drink well for the next few years.
St. Joseph Blancs Deschants 2019
Wine Advocate 88 - Broad and corpulent, the 2019 Saint-Joseph Deschants Blanc is honeyed on the nose, with ripe pear and melon notes. Full-bodied, rich and round, it appears to be a fast-maturing example of this cuvée.
Chateau Laborde '1628' 2016
Sierra Cantabria Cuvee 2017
CRU/JRM - Made in the modern Rioja style, this is a deep, lush, luxurious wine with good structure and length. Very appealing.
Col Dorato Prosecco Extra Dry
Jeremy’s Notes: Lovely bouquet of acacia flowers, pear, lemon peel and grapefruit. Light body, with a delicate, persistent mousse and a fresh, tingly finish. Just divine! Enjoy on its own, as an aperitif, or with lighter meals and desserts.
Bourgogne Pinot Noir Maison Dieu 2019
Burghound 87 - Notably ripe yet nicely fresh aromas include those of plum, dark currant and plenty of earth. There is fine volume to the velvety and round middle weight flavors that offer very good depth in the context of what is typical for the genre, on the mildly warm and rustic finale. Worth considering.
Crozes Hermitage Blanc Les Meysonniers 2019
Wine Advocate 91 - A step up from La Petite Ruche, Chapoutier's 2019 Crozes Hermitage Blanc Les Meysonniers ratchets up the intensity and complexity, adding hints of honey and crushed stone to notes of ripe melon and citrus. Medium to full-bodied, round and succulent on the palate, it finishes with mouth-coating flavors and ample length. Aged in a mix of demi-muids and stainless steel, it's a deftly balanced but opulent Marsanne that drinks well now, so why wait?
Calados del Puntido 2015
Wine Advocate 90 - First produced in 2012, the most affordable of the reds produced here is the 2015 Calados del Puntido, and it's Tempranillo selected from 25 hectares of vineyards. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in French barriques for 16 months. This comes from Páganos, and tasting it next to other wines of similar prices from other Eguren wineries, the character of iodine of the wines is there; it has the textured palate of the wines from Páganos/Laguardia, from soils that aren't very deep and have quite a lot of silt. It's quite glyceric and round. It's medium to full-bodied and fills your mouth, and it has tannins that are rounder, more unctuous, quite different from the wines from San Vicente. A clear step up from the 2014.
Wine Spectator 89 - This red shows some muscle, with underpinnings of iron and black tea flanking the currant and blackberry flavors. Details of savory spice, olive and cola layer onto the structured finish. Drink now through 2025.
Chateau Fontaine Audon Sancerre 2021
Wine Spectator 88 - This has steely acidity that cuts through flavors of melon, white blossoms, tart apple and peach. Elegant and pure, with chalk and lime zest.
Vacqueras Les Christins Blanc 2017
CRU/JRM - A cut above most southern Rhone whites, this has plenty depth, and good intensity. The flavour profile is quite complex and satisfying. This would do good justice to fish, scallops and shrimp dishes, or provide a superb aperitif on its own.
Felsina Chianti Classico Berardenga 2019
Vinous 91 - The 2019 Chianti Classico Berardenga is a classic wine for the year. Bright, perfumed and light on its feet, the 2019 Chianti Classico Berardenga is so wonderfully expressive. There is a feeling of vibrancy to the 2019 that is hugely appealing. A wine of energy more than power. Crushed red berry fruit, cinnamon linger in a gorgeous Chianti Classico that is more about transparency than power.
Wine Advocate 91 - One of the best vantage points for drinking Chianti Classico is at the entry level. A wine like the Fèlsina 2019 Chianti Classico Berardenga offers so much freshness and cheerful, easy-drinking appeal. It's a terrific partner to pizza, pasta or basically anything on the trattoria menu tonight. This wine shows bright cherry flavors and redcurrant with pressed flowers and some tangy blood orange. It is steady and generous, with lots of bright primary intensity.
Wine Spectator 90 - This is lively, its cherry, strawberry and orange peel flavors picking up earth and woodsy accents. Firm tannins sweep in on the finish, yet this stays fresh and long. A touch more austere than many '19s.
Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica 2018
Wine Advocate 91 - The 2018 Reserva Única was produced with Tempranillo and 3% Graciano fermented destemmed with indigenous yeasts selected from their vineyards and matured in oak barrels, 60% French and 40% American, for 24 months, including malolactic. The wines from 2018 are more delicate, have very good precision and feel fresh but have structure and balance and incisive tannins, and this is a very good example of it.
Vino Nobile de Montepulciano 2018
Vinous 92 - The 2018 Nobile di Montepulciano is pretty and understated in the glass, wafting up with a mix of black currants, savory herbs and worn
leather hints. This is round with a balanced inner sweetness, displaying mineral tinged wild berry fruit and nuances of confectionary spice. The 2018 leaves only a gentle coating of fine tannins while finishing with citrus nuances and a hint of hard red candies. The Avignonesi style lent quite well to this warm and rainy vintage; as a result, they
created a very delicate yet likable Nobile.
Wine Spectator 91 - A powerful red, with savory eucalyptus, tobacco and tomato leaf aromas and flavors offset by cherry and plum notes. Beefy tannins set the stage for a lingering, grainy finish.
Bourgogne Haute Cotes be Beaune 2017
An attractive, aromatic nose just beginning to show some development, the red and black cherry fruit is joined with a hint of undergrowth. Good body and silky smooth tannins make for an elegant finish.
St. Joseph Blanc Les Challeys 2020
Wine Spectator 92 - Tasty lemon curd, verbena white peach and chamomile notes are guided by a flattering whiff of shortbread through the plump finish. Marsanne and Roussanne. Drink now through 2025.
Wine Advocate 88 - Honeydew and cantaloupe notes feature prominently on the nose of the 2020 Saint Joseph les Challeys Blanc, an 80-20 blend of Marsanne and Roussanne. Medium to full-bodied, it's not the biggest, richest Saint-Joseph blanc, but it's smooth, easy drinking and harmonious, with a clean, refreshing finish.
Gigondas Rouge Les Jocasses 2021
Maker's Notes -
Appearance: very intense, beautiful ruby red hue.
the nose is powerful and shows great finesse. The alternation of strawberry jam aromas and spicy/peppery notes creates a very pleasant bouquet.
Palate: floral then spicy (pepper) notes on entry. The wine displays a superb tannic structure and lovely long-lingering flavours.
Pagliarese Chianti Classico Riserva 2015
WA 90 - Boasting a mid-weight style, the 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva exhibits a firm and tightly knit texture that is carefully interwoven with dark fruit, spice, leather and gravel. I really love the fact you can taste those crushed rocks in this new generation of wines from one of my favorite Italian appellations, Chianti Classico. Those aromas offer a level of elegance that is specific to this beautiful territory. This wine is a blend of 90% Sangiovese with 5% Canaiolo and 5% Mammolo aged in large oak casks.
Rosso di Montalcino 2016
WS 91 - Intense and complex, this combines cherry and berry fruit with earth, iron, leather and spice flavors, finishing with sour cherry, leather and tobacco notes. Drink now through 2022.
WA 90+ - Piancornello does a great job with its lower-end Rosso. Indeed, the 2016 Rosso di Montalcino makes a great impression in the glass, thanks to its beautifully dark ruby color. The bouquet offers black cherry, spice, tar and licorice. The mouthfeel is simple and crisp. It makes the perfect pairing partner to wood-fired pizza with extra mozzarella cheese melted on top.
CRU/JRM Once again and not surprisingly, very hard to tell this from a full-blown Brunello. A magnificent effort and a steal of a bargain. The yields are less but the quality is stunning. Claudio Monaci is the little master of Montalcino. Delectably complex and long. Bravo.
Vina Bosconia Reserva 2011
Wine Advocate 92+ - 2011 was a warmer and riper year, but there's not a huge difference between the 2011 Viña Bosconia Reserva and the 2010; this is perhaps mellower, with more integrated acidity. It's 13.5% alcohol with a pH of 3.3 and 6.7 grams of acidity measured in tartaric acid per liter, and it fermented in the 144-year-old oak vats and matured in used American oak barrels for five years.
Cap de Faugeres Cotes de Castillon 2016
Wine Advocate 90 - The 2016 Cap de Faugeres (composed of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) has a medium garnet-purple color and reveals notions of warm plums, blackberry pie and black raspberries with touches of pencil shavings and sautéed herbs. Medium-bodied with a velvety texture and good core of black fruits, it finishes on a long-lasting earthy note.
Wine Spectator 90 - This is racy and fresh, showing a beam of loganberry and red currant coulis flavors driving along, laced with subtle savory detail and tobacco and iron notes. The racy finish is carried by mouthwatering acidity. Drink now through 2028.
Emilio Moro Vendimia Seleccionada 2017
Wine Advocate 91 - The Vendimia Seleccionada is produced with the best plot of the vineyards they use for the Emilio Moro range in a given year, and for the second year in a row, it was the vineyard they call Turquilla, as the 2017 Vendimia Seleccionada that I tasted next to the 2016 was also produced with grapes from that vineyard. 2017 is a very challenging year, as 50% of the crop was lost to frost. They have done a very good job for the conditions of the year, but having the 2016 next to it shows the superiority of the older vintage, as this does not reach the same quality levels; there is less complexity and depth. It has fine, grainy tannins and a supple, dry finish and it opens up quite nicely in the glass.
Emilio Moro La Revelia Blanco 2018
Wine Spectator 93 - This rich white is backed by lots of freshness, with pineapple, honey cream and mango notes, infused with floral, baking spice and toast details. Graceful, with lots of complexity through the citrusy finish. Drink now through 2026.
Maker's Notes - Clean and vibrant with a straw yellow colour. The nose stands out for the intensity and complexity of its aromas but with the unmistakable personality of Godello; the elegance of careful preparation and respectful ageing. On the palate, it is unctuous and balanced, with a well-integrated acidity and a longlasting aftertaste.
St. Aubin Villages 2015
Wine Spectator 91 - Inviting aromas and flavors of baking spice and pastry give the more submerged notes of apple, peach and honey time to emerge as this white unfolds from start to finish. Opulent and heady, with a succulent finish.
Burghound 88 - Fresh and pretty aromas of green apple, citrus and a wisp of pear introduce round and delicious yet attractively vibrant flavors that flash a subtle minerality on the agreeably saline and dry finish. I like the texture and while this is not especially complex, and there is a hint of warmth, I do like the clean delivery. Note that this could be enjoyed young or held for a few years first.
Château Le Sartre Graves Pessac-Leognan 2012
Vinous 88 - The 2012 Le Sartre is juicy and exuberant, with lovely mid-palate depth and terrific overall balance, especially at this level. Sweet tobacco, menthol, licorice and dried flowers add nuance in a racy, hearty red to drink over the next few years.
Wine Spectator 88 - Juicy and enticing, with raspberry and plum fruit forming the core while anise and fruitcake notes fill in the background. A tarry spine holds the finish, letting the fruit play out.
Barbera d'Alba 'Gepin' 2015
Vinous 91 The 2015 Barbera d'Alba Gepin is terrific. Dark, rich and voluptuous, but with plenty of structure, the 2015 expresses all of the natural intensity of the year while retaining a very appealing sense of translucency. Succulent dark cherry, plum, spice, leather, mint and dried herbs add to the wine's forward, racy personality.
CRU/JRM Aged one year in large oak casks. Good depth on the nose - cherries and stone - quite expansive and plush on the palate with dense fruitiness and some minerality. Excellent balance and fair density with good length.
Gigondas Rouge Les Reinages 2020
Vinous 92 - Saturated ruby. Bright and focused on the nose, displaying ripe, red fruit, lavender and spice aromas. Juicy and openknit, offering concentrated,
appealingly sweet raspberry, cherry and
candied licorice flavors that tighten up and become livelier as the wine opens up. Finishes long, smooth and juicy, with resonating licorice, red berry notes and just a hint of dusty tannins.
Pouilly-Fuisse Vieilles Vignes 2019
CRU/JRM - Old vine Chardonnay with good concentration, intensity and texture. Aromas of green apple, lime zest, lemon and white blossom. The palate is medium-bodied with smooth texture and well balanced acidity. Very nice stuff.
Chateau Fourney St. Emilion Grand Cru 2016
Wine Advocate 90-92 - The 2016 Fourney has an attractive, slightly earthy bouquet that opens nicely in the bottle, well defined and full of charm. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, quite classic in style with plenty of tobacco and smoke towards the structured finish. Give this two or three years in bottle and you should have a fine Saint Emilion.
Chateau Larose Perganson 2015
Wine Spectator 88 - Juicy and fresh, with a core of cassis and dark plum lined with singed alder notes and backed by a mouthwatering sanguine hint.
Wine Advocate 86- Tasted at the Cru Bourgeois annual tasting, the 2015 Larose Perganson felt a little muddled on the nose compared to its peers. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly tough tannin, muscular yet balanced with a firm finish that will hopefully soften with bottle age. Tasted September 2017.
Bourgogne Hauts Côtes de Nuits “Bec a Vent” 2019
Jeremy’s Notes: An entry-level priced Burgundian Pinot Noir with lovely complexity, depth and finish. Vosne-Romanée richness at a bargain price. An inexpensive way to fall in love with fine Burgundy.
Emilio Moro La Felisa 2018
Wine Advocate 89 - The third vintage of the new organic Tempranillo produced without added sulfur is the 2018 La Felisa. It reached 13.5% alcohol and kept healthy acidity parameters in a cooler year than 2017. The wine was produced with grapes from vines aged 15 to 25 years old, fermented with 18 days maceration and matured for seven to 10 months in oak barrels. It has a tender nose with floral notes, somehow delicate and expressive, coming through as fully developed, perhaps a little fragile, aromatic and very open. It feels like it's developing quite quickly, even if it has quite a lot of tannin. I'd opt for drinking this sooner rather than later.
Langlois-Chateau Cremant de Loire Brut NV
Decanter 92 - A blend of 60% Chenin Blanc with equal parts Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc. This has finesse on the palate, freshness and a delicate, persistent mousse. Crisp acidity, with vibrant lemon sherbet characters, but also plush and rounded on the mid-palate. Its complex and long with a pronounced green apple character on the finish, and it will keep.
Wine Enthusiast 90 - A blend of Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay, this is a round, mouthfilling sparkling wine with ripe apple flavors layered with grapefruit acidity and a tight, final texture that is crisp and mineral.
Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2021
Langlois-Chateau Cremant de Loire Rose Brut NV
Vinous 88 - Light pink in color. Aromas of fresh flowers, flower stem, watermelon rind and strawberry. On the palate, light and bright, lots of red raspberry, straightforward not too complex.
Wine Enthusiast 88 - With some tannins, this is a full-bodied and ripe sparkling rosé. It has strong wild strawberry flavors that give the wine a very fruity character. A sense of structure enhances the naturally rich nature of the wine.
Wine Spectator 87 - Fresh and nicely rounded, offering plump strawberry, red currant and peach flavors that hang gently on the finish.
Emilio Moro Malleolus 2018
Maker's Notes - Very deep, intense cherry red in colour. It is expressive and elegant on the nose with an outstanding aromatic intensity based on the Tempranillo variety,
the spices and the torrefacto notes from its passage through French oak, bringing richness, volume and complexity to the whole. It is broad and meaty in the mouth with polished tannins and a long and persistent aftertaste.
CRU/JRM - Moro's Malleolus is a consistently top-notch Ribera with great depth, length and satisfying palate. The 2018 continues a stellar reputation for quality and luxury.
Langhe Rosso L'Insieme 2011
JRM - The 'Meritage" wine of the Langhe, combining the finest qualities of Nebbiolo, Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon. Complex, elegant and long with a sumptuous nose and great palate-feel. A unique and luxurious wine.
Lady's Lane Heathcote Shiraz 2016
Maker's Notes - This is a powerful and generous wine expressing itself with delicacy thanks to a very delicate tannic structure. Intense flavors of ripe fruits and spices combined to a fine acidity – a hyphen between richness and strength reflecting perfectly the terroir of Heathcote.
Savigny-les-Beaune Villages VV 2017
Wine Spectator 90 - This is very spicy, with vanilla, sandalwood and clove notes playing against currant, cherry and smoke flavors. Dusty tannins coat the mouth as this exits lazily on the finish.
Burghound 88 - A brooding and somber nose consists of ripe plum, pungent earth and a hint of the sauvage. The solidly well-concentrated flavors are lush to the point of opulence while brimming with dry extract that buffers the moderately firm tannic spine on the mildly rustic finale. This could be enjoyed young.
Bourgogne Cotes de Nuits Villages 2019
Wine Spectator 88 - This red is supple and focused, with bright cherry, raspberry and currant flavors. Picks up a touch of earth and spice as it fades gracefully on the finish. Drink now.
Vinous 86-88 - The 2019 Côte de Nuits Villages Vieilles Vignes is fresh and well defined on the nose of blackberry and bilberry fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with gentle grip and a pleasant, quite saline finish. A delicious and pure Côtes de Nuits Village.
St. Joseph Blanc Les Granilites 2017
Wine Advocate 92 - Toasted marshmallow and grilled melon notes appear on the nose of the 2017 Saint-Joseph Les Granilites Blanc. Full-bodied, rich and layered, it represents the next step up from the Deschants bottling. Sourced from the Tournon-Mauves area of the appellation, it's marked by the region's granitic soils, remaining fresh and long on the finish, despite being velvety in texture.
Wine Spectator 92 - Ripe and rich, with brioche, white ginger, creamed melon and green fig fruit flavors entwined together and gliding through the broad, creamy finish.
St. Joseph Rouge Francois de Tournon 2018
Vinous 92-93 - Bright and expansive on the perfumed nose, displaying vibrant dark berry and floral scents that develop spicy character as the wine opens up. In an energetic, fruit-driven style, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors and suggestions of licorice and candied flowers. Finishes very long and chewy, with building tannins and repeating spiciness.
Wine Advocate 92 -Aged mainly in barrel, the 2018 Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon boasts flamboyant aromas of cracked pepper, clove, baking spices and cedar set against a backdrop of black cherries and black olives. Medium to full-bodied, richly textured and long on the finish, it shows the structure of its granite sources—a sense of tannic restraint that suggests ample aging potential, yet doesn't preclude present-day enjoyment.
Wine Spectator 93 - Fresh and focused, with a lovely beam of dark cherry and bitter plum reduction notes laced with graphite, violet and anise. Racy, tightly focused finish. Best from 2021 through 2029.
St. Peray Lieu Dit Hongrie Blanc 2018
Wine Advocate 92 - Bottled just a week before my visit, the 2018 Saint-Péray Lieu-dit Hongrie was already showing off its stuff, bursting with notes of grilled pineapple and citrus. It's medium to full-bodied but crisp and firmly built, with a silky feel on the palate and a lingering, nicely focused finish.
Vina Tondonia Reserva 2010
Wine Advocate 96 - The 2010 Viña Tondonia Reserva has all I expect from a Reserva from Tondonia, complexity, elegance and evolution, a developed nose with notes of forest floor and wild berries, herbs and flowers, a touch of iodine, brick dust and very fine, polished tannins. It has the seriousness and elegance of Tondonia. This is a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho (they use the masculine form of the name of the grape) and 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo that fermented in the ancient oak vats from when the winery was created 144 years ago and matured in well-seasoned, American oak barrels for six years.
Wine Spectator 93 - This elegant red is fine and creamy on the palate, with notes of sun-dried cherry, iron, spiced orange peel, graphite and mocha that slowly unfurl. A bit high-toned on the nose as well as loaded with mineral aromas. Muscular tannins are deftly integrated, while savory dried mint and eucalyptus notes play on the lasting finish. Tempranillo, Garnacho, Graciano and Mazuelo. Drink now through 2030.
Crozes Hermitage Rouge Les Grands Chemins 2020
Wine Spectator 92 - Expressive, with welcoming black cherry and plum pâte de fruit aromas and flavors, gilded with violet and anise notes. Reveals a graphite edge on the finish. Tasty.
Wine Advocate 89-91 - The medium to full-bodied 2020 Crozes Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins features gently floral aromas and a backdrop of cherry fruit. It's silky and fine, with a hint of mocha on the lingering finish.
Coleccion Privada 2015
Wine Advocate 93 - Compared to the 2014 vintage, the 2015 Colección Privada is explosive, showy and hedonistic. It jumps out of the glass with a mix of flowers, wild berries and exotic spices, really showy. There is additional freshness here, and the wine seems to have taken the aging in oak (16 months in brand new barrels, 50% American and 50% French) much better than the 2014. This has to be one of the finest vintages of Colección Privada.
Wine Spectator 92 - This big red is light-footed, as fresh acidity and well-integrated tannins support the broad texture. Plum and blackberry flavors mingle with toast, licorice and black olive notes, leaving a savory finish. Drink now through 2030.
Vinous 93 - Lurid violet color. Highpitched red/blue fruit, floral pastille, spicecake, coconut and allspice aromas, along with a smoky mineral quality that emerges with aeration. Sweet, nervy and seamless in texture, offering juicy, spice-accented raspberry, blueberry and mocha flavors that deepen and fan out on the back half. Shows excellent clarity and repeating florality on a very long, spicy finish that's given shape by supple, even tannins.
Châteaunuef-du-Pape Rouge La Bernardine 2020
Jeremy's Notes - We have imported La Bernardine every year and it never fails to sell out. That's because it's wonderfully well made, scrumptious, luxurious and elegant. Complex, smooth and long. It will also age well if you decide to lay it down.
Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Haute Pierre 2019
Wine Spectator 92 - Features melted red licorice, fresh currant, spiced fruit cake and raspberry tart flavors that are inviting and supple yet quickly firm up on the palate, thanks to fine-grained tannins and red tea-laced acidity. Reveals good tension and persistence. Grenache and Syrah.
Wine Advocate 91+ - Delas's 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape Haute Pierre is a blend of Grenache and Syrah vinified in concrete and aged in foudre. Remarkably, I still detected hints of cedar on the nose, joined by notes of leather, clove and raspberries. It's full-bodied and reasonably supple, except for some woody tannins. While it came across as a bit disjointed, in a few years this should come together nicely.
Nero di Nubi 2015
CRU/JRM - Tuscan Pinot Noir is by no means a common item but Felsina have a masterful hand at vineyards and wine making. The Nero di Nubi is not released young, the current vintage is going on seven years in the cellar. It will not fool you into thinking this is a classic Burgundy but it is miles better than all the tutti-frutti pinot noirs from the wannabe new world sites. This is an elegant, smooth and complex pinot noir produced in miniscule quantities and well worth the price.
Cornas Chante Perdrix 2016
Wine Spectator 94 - This lets a core of warm plum sauce, dark loganberry and singed anise flavors ooze out, while violet, white pepper, bay leaf and dark olive notes provide the frame. A mouthwatering mineral edge weaves throughout. Best from 2020 through 2035.
Vinous - 93: Dark purple. Dark berry preserve, licorice, incense, olive and exotic spice scents are accompanied by a building woodsmoke note. Sappy and broad on the palate, offering spice-tinged bitter cherry, blueberry and violet pastille flavors supported by juicy acidity. The floral note carries through a very long, dark-fruit-driven finish, and gently chewy tannins add shape and grip.
Robert Parker 91 - The 2016 Cornas Chante Perdrix starts off a little tarry, but it quickly shapes up in the glass to reveal grilled meat and red plum aromas. It's medium to full-bodied, with an open-knit texture and a long, peppery and crisp finish. It should drink well for a decade or so.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge Les Sinards 2020
CRU/JRM - No ratings yet but this typically scores in the low to mid 90's with good reason. It's as good as ever.
Maker's Notes - Beautiful, limpid colour of shiny ruby-red. The nose is revealed with finesse with an aromatic bouquet of fruit, full of freshness. On the palate, this wine is soft, elegant, with good acidity and seductive tangy notes of red fruit such as red currant. A wine of great finesse.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape 'Les Sinards' Blanc 2019
Wine Advocate 92 - The full-bodied, richly textured 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Sinards Blanc is a barrel-fermented blend of Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, all drawn from a single vineyard parcel. Notes of pencil shavings accent honeyed pineapple and white peaches, backed by hints of lime and tangerine in this lush, almost decadent white wine.
Wine Spectator 92 - Bright, high-pitched style, with talc, white peach and jicama notes laced with hints of lime pith and fennel. Nice tension and energy through the mineral-edged finish. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Clairette.
Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Telegramme 2020
Wine Advocate 91-93 - Comprising old vines not from la Crau or le Pied Long (two years ago, the Bruniers purchased eight hectares of 60-year-old Grenache, specifically for this cuvée) and young vines from those lieux-dits, the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Telegramme delivers pretty notions of strawberries and raspberries, plus just a hint of chocolate. Full-bodied but silky, fine and elegant, this looks like the finest wine I've tasted under this label—a solid wine of its own.
Brunello di Montalcino 2011
Vinous 92 - The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino is one of the more successful wines of the vintage. Sage, lavender, iron, smoke and dark red cherry notes flesh out in a supple, inviting Brunello. A kick of Mediterranean warmth gives the 2011 its generous texture, with all of the elements very much in the right place. I would prefer to drink the 2011 over the next handful of years or so. This is a strong showing from Piancornello.
WA 91 - Here's a pretty, ruby-colored Sangiovese from the heart of southern Tuscany. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino shows a lot of purity and red fruit intensity with wild berry and dried cherries in pole position. The wine offers a good sense of depth and balance thanks to those warmer notes of light tobacco and spice that add complexity in a subtle and lasting way. This Brunello is also distinguished by the mouthfeel that is tonic and bright without feeling too ripe or thick. This is a silky and elegant wine with a medium finish.
WA 93 - The 2011 Victorino is produced with Tempranillo grapes from 35 hectares of ungrafted, old vineyards in the villages of Valdefinjas, Toro and Villabuena del Puente, which fermented with yeasts selected from their own vineyards and aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months. This is the fruitier and more approachable of the three wines I tasted from them, with aromas of clean, ripe, terse fruit, with hints of violets and a pinch of spices mixed with echoes from the soil. The palate is full-bodied, with glossy tannins, dense and ripe, with very good acidity, balanced and elegant. It’s approachable, but should develop more complexity with time in the bottle. 40,000 bottles produced. Drink 2014-2019.
Wine Spectator 93 - A firm structure supports the plush texture of this rich red. Savory notes of espresso and anise mingle with a deep core of plum, black olive and mineral. Not that expressive now, but harmonious nonetheless. Best from 2016 through 2026.
Vinous 92 - Dark purple. Powerful aromas of cassis, licorice, roasted coffee and cocoa powder. Juicy and broad in the mouth, offering dark fruit liqueur flavors lifted by sexy floral and oak spice qualities. Shows real intensity on the creamy, clinging finish, which features polished tannins and a note of smoky minerals.
Condrieu La Galopine 2016
Vinous 93 - Light bright yellow. Expansive aromas of white peach, tangerine, melon and pungent white flowers pick up a hint of honey with aeration. Plush orchard and pit fruit nectar flavors slowly become spicier and livelier with air. The floral quality lingers on a very long, seamless finish that shows excellent focus and spicy cling. In a hefty but surprisingly vibrant style, and pretty delicious already.
WA 91 - Not the most aromatic wine of the appellation, the 2016 Condrieu la Galopine relies instead on texture and charm. This medium-bodied wine was partly barrel fermented, and there is a vague sensation of roasted nuts, although apricots and melons dominate the palate before fading quickly into peppery-gingery spice on the finish.
Volnay Villages Vieilles Vignes 2019
Burghound 89-91 - Spiced plum, floral and soft earth aromas introduce vibrant and well-detailed middle weight flavors that possess fine density before terminating in a dusty and youthfully austere finale. This is very good for its level as the premier cru contribution shows.
Cornas Temenos 2017
Wine Spectator 93 - Ripe, fresh and racy in feel, with a well-detailed beam of plum, blackberry and anise notes, laced with violet, white pepper and black olive accents. The sleek finish features an iron hint vibrating like a tuning fork. Drink now through 2036.
Vinous 93 - Bright purple. Powerful dark berry, cherry, incense and licorice scents are accompanied by building vanilla and floral pastille flourishes. Fleshy blueberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors stain the palate and pick up a smoky bacon nuance on the back half. Unwinds steadily with air and finishes chewy and impressively long, displaying alluring sweetness, an echo of florality and youthfully gripping tannins.
Wine Advocate 92 - A blend of grapes sourced from Reynard and Croix St Pierre (near the top of the appellation), the 2017 Cornas Temenos shows greater depth and richness than Les Arenes, with blackberry and black cherry fruit in reserve behind notes of crushed stone and pencil shavings (it's aged in 228-liter oak, 15% to 20% new). Medium to full-bodied, it's firmly structured and promising for the future.
Barolo Arborina 2011
Wine Advocate 91 - The 2011 Barolo Arborina delivers a tight and austere personality. The wine was slightly shut down upon release but has since gained in volume and depth. It shows sharp lines and great definition with plenty of dark fruit, cassis and dried cherry. The tannins are ripe and dry. Only 6,000 bottles were produced.
Vinous 91 - The 2011 Barolo Arborina is dark, fleshy and supple on the palate, with lovely overall presence. Wild flowers, spices, new leather and tobacco all add shades of nuance. The firm Arborina tannins kick in on the finish, giving wine an attractive burst of energy and persistence.
Wine Spectator 90 - A rich version, displaying sweet cherry, strawberry, licorice and spice flavors, this borders on chewy, with dense tannins gracing the finish. Best from 2018 through 2030.
Château Siran Margaux 2014
Wine Advocate 91 - The 2014 Siran has a very refined bouquet with blackberry, briary and light tertiary aromas. There is fine precision here, understated compared to the Sirans of old. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and a keen line of acidity. Linear in style and a little conservative towards the finish, but showing freshness from start to finish. Edouard Miailhe, proprietor of Siran, has really upped the ante here and this 2014 is just a classic Bordeaux claret that should drink well from the start, yet has the substance to suggest it will age with aplomb.
Decanter 91 - This exhibits a big, ripe, fleshy, blackberry nose, with vibrant fruit and a deep red colour. It’s sumptuous, concentrated and very rich, balanced by bold tannins yet not too extracted. It’s quite spicy and just lacks a little drive on the finish, but this is a fine offering from this increasingly impressive estate.
Wine Spectator 89 - Alluring black tea and singed sandalwood notes glide through, backed by accents of supple-edged cherry and plum preserves. Offers a gentle but persistent finish. Drink now through 2024.
Crozes Hermitage Rouge Le Clos 2019
Vinous 94 - Inky ruby color. Intensely
perfumed dark berry, floral and spice qualities on the mineral-driven nose. Stains the palate with appealingly sweet
cherry-cola, black raspberry and candied
violet flavors that are sharpened by a spicy suggestion of freshly cracked pepper. Smoothly melds depth and energy and finishes extremely long and precise, with slowly emerging tannins and resonating floral and mineral notes.
Wine Advocate 93 - The 2019 Crozes Hermitage le Clos managed to escape hail damage but remains an intense, concentrated effort. Hints of violets and garrigue appear on the nose alongside cassis and black cherries, while the full-bodied palate is supple, leading into a long, licorice-tinged finish. Drink it over the next decade or so. Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes.
Wine Spectator 93 - Sleek and refined, with a smoldering bay and cast iron hints along the edges of a core of dark cherry and plum preserve notes. Juicy, yet restrained, iron-tinged finish. Drink now through 2030.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc La Bernardine 2019
CRU/ JRM - White Chateauneuf is a wine produced in insufficient quantities. The complexity and elegance, combined with richness makes this a wine of luxury; palate-coating and scrumptious, with persistence and a long, satisfying finish. Yum.
El Puntido Gran Reserva 2006
Vinous 93 - Deep red. Smoke- and spice accented cherry and vanilla aromas are complemented by hints of dried flowers, camphor and pipe tobacco. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering juicy red fruit, spicecake and mint flavors that deepen with air. Shows very good energy and appealing floral character on an impressively long, penetrating finish that's given shape by discreet tannins.
Wine Advocate 92 - The 2006 El Puntido Gran Reserva is pure Tempranillo grapes from the Puntido vineyard that are selected from the eastern-most part of the vineyard close to Laguardia, which is more exposed to the north winds and gives a wine of marked tannins that needs more time in barrel and is ideal to create a Gran Reserva. This wine ages for 24-26 months in barrel and is kept in bottle for a further five years. The 2006 is still dark ruby-colored, with an open and expressive nose of leather, cold bonfire, incense and steak tartar notes and a medium-bodied palate with some gritty tannins and very pure flavors where the leather and meaty notes linger in the aftertaste. This is the most classical wine I’ve ever seen from the Eguren family, and an exceptional effort for the 2006 vintage. Modernity meets tradition!
Wine Spectator 92 - This rich red delivers a mouthful of black currant fruit, with strong notes of espresso, tar and mineral. Full-bodied, backed by muscular tannins and balsamic acidity. A modern style. Drink now through 2026.
Barbaresco Ovello Vigna Loreto 2013
Vinous 92+ - Tobacco, sage, menthol, licorice, leather and dark-fleshed fruits are some of the signatures in the 2013 Barbaresco Ovello Vigna Loreto. Nuanced and expressive throughout, the Ovello is another striking wine from Albino Rocca.
Wine Spectator 92 - A broad, rich style, with dense tannins shoring up the sweet plum, cherry and berry flavors. The tannins are assertive and will need some time to resolve, but everything is in the right place. Best from 2020 through 2032. 216 cases made.
San Vicente 2017
Vinous 93 - Deep violet. An expressive bouquet displays aromas of fresh red and dark berries, pipe tobacco and peppery spices, with vanilla and floral nuances emerging quickly. Smoke and spice-tinged black raspberry and cherry vanilla flavors convey appealing sweetness and a spicy flourish adds lift and back-end cut. Soft, even tannins shape the finish, which shows fine clarity and repeating spiciness.
Wine Spectator 89 - This toasty red offers cocoa-lined cherry and red plum notes, backed with cedar, anise and savory spice undertones, with burly tannins. Drink now through 2027.
El Puntido 2017
Vinous 93 -
Deep violet. Dark berries, exotic spices and incense on the expansive nose, along with hints of pungent flowers and vanilla. Juicy and open-knit, offering sweet black and blue fruit, spicecake and mocha flavors that slowly firm up on the back half. Round, even tannins frame a long, spice-laced finish that leaves dark cherry and cassis notes behind.
Wine Spectator 89 - Cherry flavors shade from Bing to maraschino in this fruity red, backed by cocoa and toasty notes. Firm tannins and citrusy acidity give it a lively structure. Drink now through 2027.
Maestro Raro 2015
Wine Advocate 94 - The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Maestro Raro is a wine of brooding density and muscular might. The bouquet is chiseled and extra tight with all levels of black fruit and spice packed tight at its core. That bounty is yearning to be released, as it will when the wine is further down its evolutionary course. I actually felt a moment of pause tasting this wine so young because I am confident that the best is yet to come. It would be a real shame not to wait. Tart blackberries and cherries segue to tar, spice, cola and crushed river stone. That tannic tightness on the close still needs time to soften. Only 6,500 bottles were made, but this is a terrific, terrific value.
Brunello di Montalcino 2016
CRU/JRM - Piombaia's 2016 Brunello is very well made. Long, quite complex and elegant, it will improve for at least another decade. Classic Brunello flavours.
Amarone Classico 2017
Wine Advocate 94 - The Begali Lorenzo 2017 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is a beautiful wine that shows ample ripeness, with balance. It shows elegant restraint, but it is also exuberant and fully loaded. Its opulent character is very much in line with the hot vintage and the basic promise of Amarone that always prioritizes big intensity and lots of brooding fruit. This estate opts for more Rondinella in the blend, clocking in at about 35%, with 60% Corvina and 5% other complementary grapes. Rondinella adds much of the darkness and the extra concentration you see here. It is aged in French tonneaux and botte for three years. The Lorenzo Begali house style offers oak contours and renderings with extra softness and textural density.
Vinous 93 - Dark, rich and deeply seductive, the 2017 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico lifts up with notes of crushed blackberries, balsamic spice, smoke and lifting hints of mentholated herbs. It’s silky, coating the palate in glycerol-like textures contrasted by saturating black fruits, salty minerals and bitter cocoa. A fine layer of tannin clamps down hard, leaving only purple-tinged inner florals and hints of black licorice to resonate throughout. The 2017 does a wonderful job of straddling both the savory and sweet side of Amarone, but it will require a good amount of cellaring to fully flesh out.
Barbaresco Ronchi 2013
Vinous 95 - The 2013 Barbaresco Ronchi is superb. Ample and large scaled, as wines from this clay-rich site often are, the Ronchi is firing on all cylinders today.
Layers of dark red stone fruit fill out the wine's ample frame effortlessly. Pine, menthol, anise, citrus peel and tobacco add attractive aromatic overtones, but it is the wine's balance that is most impressive today. Simply put, the Ronchi is a standout.
Wine Advocate 91 - The 2013 Barbaresco Ronchi shows richness and density that grounds this wine firmly to the palate. This is a lasting and enriched expression that offers the intensity and the natural length that characterizes this vintage. Dark cherries and spice segue to balsam herb and cola. This is an elegant and nicely articulated expression from the Ronchi cru.
Wine Spectator 91 - A tightly wound red, with firm, raspy tannins that make the future difficult to predict. With air, sweet cherry, licorice and spice flavors emerge. Fans out nicely on the lingering finish. Best from 2019 through 2032.
Brut Tradition Grand Cru NV
Wine Spectator - 92: Powerful, wielding its whole-grain bread, nut and graphite aromas and flavours with aplomb. Open rather than dense, despite its weight, richness and well-integrated structure. Fine length leaves you wanting more.
Wine Advocate - 91: The NV Brut Grand Cru is absolutely striking. A big, rich wine, the Brut Grand Cru fills its broad shoulders beautifully, with gorgeous layers of deep, expressive fruit. Sweet floral notes, mint and honey add volume and complexity. The Brut Grand Cru is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, based on the 2009 vintage with the addition of 20% reserve wines. All the elements are in the right place in this superbly crafted wine. Champagne is never inexpensive, but this is easily one of the best wines readers will find in its price range.
Côte Rôtie “Les Becasses” Red 2006
Robert Parker - 89-91: Probably the finest basic Cote Rotie he has made since 1991 is the 2006 Cote Rotie Les Becasses. Dark ruby/purple with notes of cassis, bacon fat, smoke, and tapenade, the wine is medium to full-bodied, ripe, chewy, and long. This is heady stuff, a classic Cote Rotie that can be drunk now or cellared for 12-15 years.
Wine Spectator - 91: Edgy, with lots of green pepper, tobacco, olive and sage notes laid over a core of black currant fruit. Briary finish. This has plenty of range, but just needs to settle into itself.
Brut Grand Cru Cuvee Reserve NV
Wine Advocate - 92: Lallement’s NV Brut Grand Cru Cuvee Reserve is cool, implosive and structured, all qualities typical of the 2008 vintage. Sweet floral notes meld into mint, red berries, graphite and crushed rocks. The Reserve is at once rich yet weightless. This edition is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay based on the 2008 vintage with 20% 2009 juice. The low dosage of 4 grams per liter contributes the wine’s tension and energy.
Felsina Rancia 2016
Wine Advocate 96 - The 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia knocks it out of the park. Like the other new releases from Fèlsina, this pure expression of Sangiovese needs more time to evolve and improve with bottle age. But even at this young stage, you are made fully aware of the beautiful intensity and complexity of the quality fruit at its core. There is so much energy and tension here, further reinforced by the fresh acidity of the vintage. There are vibrant tones of wild cherry, raspberry and spice, followed up by white truffle and tilled earth.
Wine Spectator 94 - This features ripe, juicy black cherry and black currant fruit, with licorice, earth and tobacco flavors. Firm tannins frame the elements, imparting structure and complexity for the long haul. Terrific texture. Best from 2022 through 2042.
Vinous 94-97 - The 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is yet another magnificent wine in this range from Fèlsina. Silky, gracious and inviting, the 2016 starts off gradually and then builds, gaining volume and explosiveness with air. A wine of breadth, textural intensity and pure power, the 2016 Rancia is shaping up to be epic. That's pretty much all there is to it.
Barbaresco Fausoni 2014
Vinous 93 - The 2014 Barbaresco Fausoni is all grace. Aromatic and lifted, with striking inner perfume and sweetness, the 2014 Fausoni is a terrific example of the year. Sweet red cherry, red plum, rose petal and mint infuse this pliant, super-expressive Barbaresco. In many years, Fausoni can be a bit lean, but in 2014, the late-ripening season allow for the full ripeness of fruit and tannin. What a gorgeous wine this is.
Wine Advocate 91 - This Nebbiolo shows amber and garnet hues over a lean and delicate appearance. The 2014 Barbaresco Fausoni is broad and accessible in character. The bouquet really puts it all out there and holds nothing back. It delivers bright fruit, spice and white licorice. The fruit feels a degree riper and darker in this unusual vintage that ended with a blast of pre-harvest heat following a cool summer. The Fausoni vineyard is home to 45-year-old vines.
Wine Spectator 91 - Shades of spice augment the cherry and medicinal herb flavors in this savory red. A firm line of dusty tannins holds court on the finish despite the relatively open texture. Best from 2019 through 2033.
Barbaresco Cotta 2014
Vinous 93 - The 2014 Barbaresco Cottà, often a big, bombastic wine, is unusually refined in this vintage. The deep center of fruit that has always defined this wine is present, but there is more freshness and less of the heaviness that often marks this wine. Hints of blood orange, mint and rosewater give the 2014 an exotic upper register. Shades of blue/purplish fruit, lavender, mint and savory herbs add the closing shades of nuance.
Wine Advocate 93 - The 2014 Barbaresco Cottà does not offer the acute high notes that you get with the other beautiful Barbarescos from Sottimano in this vintage. The intensity is broader and flatter, so to speak, but overall, the wine's intensity is just as bright and compelling as the others, albeit in a more subdued manner. Dark cherry and blackberry segue to spice, anise and cured leather. The wine feels soft and rich in texture as well. Some 10% of the wine is aged in new oak barrel.
Wine Spectator 93 - Pretty cherry, floral, mineral and tobacco flavors line this racy red. There is an underlying density to the structure and a lingering aftertaste of fruit, iron, underbrush and tobacco. Best from 2020 through 2033.
Barbaresco Pajore 2014
Vinous 95 - The 2014 Barbaresco Pajoré is broad, ample and super-expressive. Dark cherry, spice, lavender, licorice and leather flesh out in a multi-dimensional, complex Barbaresco endowed with myriad shades of nuance. Here, too, the tannins are fully ripe, which allows all the purity of the fruit to come through loud and clear.
Wine Advocate 94 - The 2014 Barbaresco Pajorè is a lovely wine with a firm and convincing sense of inner intensity and elegance. Red cherries and cassis rise from the bouquet, which is delivered with almost musical pulses of brightness that keep time and tempo. The wine's concentration is dark ruby and luminous. Dried mint, anise and licorice appears on the silky finish. The 1.5-hectare Pajorè vineyard is located in Treiso. Vines are up to 70 years old.
Wine Spectator 92 - Fresh thyme, cherry, tobacco and mineral flavors are the hallmarks of this firm, linear red, which is shy aromatically, but there is a core of sweet fruit. Fine length and freshness. Best from 2020 through 2032.
Felsina Fontalloro 2016
Wine Advocate 98+ - The 2016 Fontalloro is the best vintage of this landmark wine that I have tasted thus far. This is a very elegant vintage, with more volume in the mouth and precise notes of tar, licorice, camphor ash, resin and Indian spice. In a race between the highly competitive 2015 and 2016 vintages, I give a slight advantage to this wine. The warmer 2015 vintage shows more richness and exuberant fruit. However, this wine from 2016 offers a more focused and chiseled delivery. I am hopeful that this wine will continue to evolve and sharpen as it ages in the bottle. This is a beautiful wine to put aside in your cellar for ten years or more.
Vinous 96 - The 2016 Fontalloro is bold, hearty and deeply flavored, with all of the Sangiovese wildness that is so typical of Fontalloro. Ripe dark cherry, grilled herbs, smoke, leather, game and incense are some of the many aromas and flavors that open up in a potent, virile Fontalloro loaded with personality and character. In so many ways 2016 is THE archetype of what Fontalloro is - a Sangiovese that is a bit wild and unruly but also full of charm.
Wine Spectator 92 - This is rich and polished, with black cherry, blackberry and plum flavors matched to dense tannins and bright acidity. Tips toward the tannic side now, picking up earth, spice and tar notes on the long finish. Best from 2021 through 2028.
Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Hommage a Jean Ferte 2018
Burghound 90 - Noticeable wood and menthol nuances surround the notably ripe aromas of plum liqueur, violet and soft warm earth nuances. The slightly finer though still obviously powerful flavors possess outstanding richness while delivering better depth and persistence on the firm and ever-so-slightly warm finale.
CRU/JRM - A wine for laying down a few years. Will reward patience.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Chaumes 2007
Burghound - 89-92: This is spicy, ripe and seductive and very Vosne with its mix of red and dark pinot fruit aromas that dissolve gracefully into rich, full and very generous fleshy medium-bodied flavors that possess both good volume and depth on the sappy, velvety and persistent finish. This isn't classy or sophisticated but it's easy to admire and has the depth to rise well above the ordinary.
Here the fruit aromas are darker and edged with caramel. In the mouth it is softer and a hint sweeter than the Malconsorts – there’s an impressively intense concentration of fruit in the mid-palate. Again some faint astringency to the tannin – this is a super Chaumes.
Gigondas Domaine du Clos des Tourelles 2015
WA 94 - Slighter richer is the 2015 Gigondas Clos des Tourelles. It shows similar floral notes but fills the mouth with ripe stone fruit and cherries, fine tannins and an incredibly silky finish. All of the Perrin Gigondas show the elegant side of the appellation.
Vinous 92-94 - Vivid ruby. Expressive aromas of blackberry, cherry compote and candied flowers are sharpened by a smoky mineral topnote. Gently sweet and focused on the palate, offering intense red and blue fruit flavors that deepen and spread out slowly with aeration. Shows hints of candied licorice and allspice on a very long, sappy finish that features smooth tannins and an exotic twist of blood orange.
Barbaresco Ovello Vigna Loreto 2015
Wine Spectator 96 - Pretty cherry, strawberry and floral aromas and flavors define this elegant, supple red. Firmly structured and beautifully integrated, leaving a lingering aftertaste of iron, tobacco and underbrush. Best from 2022 through 2042.
Wine Advocate 92+ - Of the three single-vineyard expressions of Barbaresco from Albino Rocca tasted this year, the 2015 Barbaresco Ovello (with 2,500 bottles made) exhibits the most defined mineral note. The bouquet shows dark fruit, spice and medicinal herb. It also delivers a very pretty and defined note of crushed granite or pencil shaving. The Ovello is also distinguished by a sweet and more succulent mouthfeel. Of these three wines, including the Barbaresco Cottà and the Barbaresco Ronchi, this is my favorite.
Vinous 92+ - The 2015 Barbaresco Ovello Vigna Loreto is beautifully lifted in the glass. Even in this warm vintage, the Loreto retains the nerve and tension that are such signatures of this Barbaresco vineyard. Crushed flowers, dried herbs, mint and chalk are all nicely delineated in a precise, finely sculpted Barbaresco endowed with real character. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2015 for at least a few years before diving into bottles.
Barbaresco Cotta 2015
Vinous 93+ - Here in its first release, 2015 Barbaresco Cottà, shows the natural breadth of this vineyard in Neive. There has a real sense of weight and gravitas that distinguishes the Cottà in this range. I would give the 2015 at least a few years in bottle to fully come together. This is certainly an auspicious debut. The Cottà could very well be a new star in the range.
Wine Advocate 91 - The 2015 Barbaresco Cottà displays a subdued but steady personality. The bouquet is stitched carefully together with dried berries followed by balsam herb, rosemary sprig and cherry cola. There is an oxidative or slightly evolved note, but it is well massaged into the black fruit and spice that sits at the core of this Barbaresco from Neive. The mouthfeel is elegant and bright. This is the inaugural vintage by Albino Rocca. Some 2,000 bottles were produced.
Barbaresco Montersino 2016
Wine Spectator 94 - Pure, exhibiting rose, cherry and raspberry aromas. Elements of tobacco, eucalyptus, mineral and tar chime in on the palate. Elegant and long on the finish. Firms up and shows fine balance overall. Best from 2022 through 2037.
Vinous 92 - The 2016 Barbaresco Montersino is marked by distinct floral overtones, bright red berry fruit and gracious, mid-weight structure. Clean mineral notes add energy to a Barbaresco that stands out for its tense, crystalline personality. Pine, mint, chalk and crushed rocks give the 2016 its distinctive aromatic upper register to balance things out. This is such a vivid and expressive wine.
Nuits-St.-Georges VV 2016
Wine Spectator 92 - Fruity and savory, this red evokes cherry, raspberry, wild thyme, rosemary and chalky mineral flavors. Tightens up on the finish, with assertive tannins. Best from 2023 through 2038.
Wine Advocate 88-90 - (Barrel Tasting) The 2016 Nuits Saint-Georges Vieilles Vignes offers simple, slightly smudged redcurrant and strawberry fruit on the nose. More definition here would have been nice. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, moderate depth, the 100% whole bunch lending sous-bois/woodland notes toward the finish that finally delivers the complexity I would be seeking. I suspect that this will improve during the remainder of its élevage.
Burghound 87 - A discreet application of wood sets off equally somber aromas of herbal tea, spice, earth and plum liqueur. The succulent, round and impressively voluminous flavors exude a subtle minerality that adds a sense of lift to the mildly tough and austere if complex and lingering finish that flashes evident rusticity.
Besserat Bleu Brut
Maker's Notes - Aspect: Coppery and bright, Nuances of yellow straw
Bouquet: Open and indulgent. Wisps of Linden Blossom, Honeysuckle, Hazelnuts, Mirabelle plum
Palate: Harmonious, Balanced, Vinous
Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc Tradition 2020
Wine Advocate 89 - The 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc is approximately half Grenache Blanc, with the balance a blend of Clairette and Roussanne. The Grenache and Clairette are vinified and matured in concrete, while the Roussanne is barrel fermented and aged, and then the components are blended. It's marked by struck flint, melon and tangerine on the nose, while the palate is medium to full-bodied and reasonably generous but also crisp and slightly bitter on the finish. Drink it over the next year or two.
Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Tradition 2019
Wine Advocate 93 - Black cherries and garrigue appear on the nose of the 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape, a blend of about 60% to 70% Grenache, plus lesser amounts of Mourvèdre and Syrah. Full-bodied, richly concentrated and tannic, with a long, mouthwatering finish, it's one entry-level CdP that should be cellared a year or two prior to consumption.
Brunello di Montalcino 2016
Maker's Notes - Deep, sophisticated Brunello wine with pronounced aromas of violet, raspberry and eucalyptus, underpinned by notes of cedar and white pepper. The palate reveals flavours of wild strawberry, truffle and almond. Cava d’Onice Brunello is a big, full-bodied wine with powerful tannins and velvety mouthfeel.
St. Joseph Sainte Epine 2017
Wine Spectator 94 - A suave and smoky style, with sandalwood, black tea, olive, juniper and bay leaf notes leading the way, followed by a core of lightly steeped bitter plum and blackberry fruit. Concentrated, showing latent length as all the elements take a late encore, supported by a lingering mineral echo. Should unwind a bit more slowly than most of its colleagues. Best from 2022 through 2035.
Wine Advocate 93 - The 2017 Saint Joseph Sainte-Epine comes from a couple of vineyards planted in 1981 on weathered granite soils geologically identical to those found in Hermitage's Les Bessards. Crushed stone, salted licorice and pencil shavings accent black cherries and black olives, while the full-bodied palate is velvety but structured, ripe and warm but firm and mouthwatering, with at least a decade of aging potential. Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes.
Vinous 93 - Opaque ruby. Deep-pitched black and blue fruit, licorice and pungent floral qualities on the powerfully scented nose. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering bitter cherry, cassis and salty olive flavors that become more lively and turn sweeter on the back half. Smoothly blends power and energy and finishes long and spicy, with a hint of smokiness and slowly mounting tannins.
Brut Grand Cru Reserve Rosé NV
Wine Advocate 92 - Offering up aromas of gingerbread, tangerine and smoky peach, the NV Brut Grand Cru Réserve Rosé is medium to full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a rich but tight-knit core of fruit, racy acids and a pinpoint mousse, concluding with a sapid finish. Disgorged in May 2018, this is a serious rosé that would work well at table.
Jeremy's Notes - Lallement's Grand Cru Brut Rose is one of our customers' favourites. It has that irresistible balance of flavour, structure and texture that is so attractive and fulfilling. Just delicious. Everything you want in a Rose Champagne.
Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2019
Maker's Notes - The nose is a basket of fruits with yellow and white flesh, where peach and exotic fruits dominate. A few notes of vanilla and brioche add a touch of extra fat. The richness of its mouth unfolds in a long sarabande of persistent aromas.
Vosne Romanee Les Chalandins 2018
CRU/JRM - High-class Vosne with all the richness, elegance and complexity one would expect. A luxurious wine from a denomination that usually demands dizzying prices. This is a comparative value proposition.
Chateau Faugeres St. Emilion Grand Cru 2014
Vinous 93 - Large-scale, dramatic and intense, the 2014 Faugères is exceptionally beautiful and polished. Succulent red cherry, plum and pomegranate notes make a strong first impression. Sweet floral notes, spice and new leather add aromatic nuance throughout. This is an especially effortless wine with all of its elements in the right place.
Wine Advocate 92 - The 2014 Faugeres still has bundles of red plum and juniper berry on the nose, if anything even more generous than when I tasted it a few months ago. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, superb structure and well judged acidity. It merges with more black fruit towards the finish and has palpable energy on the finish—still excellent.
Wine Spectator 90 - Sports a lively core of bramble, blackberry and black currant, with good licorice and fruitcake notes filling in behind. Presents some slightly rambunctious energy but should settle in soon enough. Best from 2018 through 2028.
Hermitage “Monier de la Sizeranne” Red 2006
Robert Parker - 92: The top-notch 2006 Hermitage La Sizeranne boasts an opaque ruby/purple color along with a sweet bouquet of black raspberries, creme de cassis, acacia flowers, crushed rocks, and subtle wood. Full-bodied, rich, and broad with moderate tannin, good acidity, and a long finish, the 2006 will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age, and keep for 15+ years.
Wine Spectator - 91: A bright, juicy style, with forward raspberry and boysenberry fruit backed by sweet spice and fruitcake hints. The solid, juicy finish has a good graphite edge.
Wine Advocate 93 - Elio Altare gives me a bit of his winemaker's wisdom: "Wine is like a marriage—it needs to be consummated early." With that in mind, the 2015 Barolo is engineered for near- and medium-term drinking with lots of plump fruit that jumps right out. The wine is open and inviting. Dark fruit is followed by warm tones of tilled earth and cured tobacco. Grapes are harvested from different parcels in four vineyard passes. In 2015, the team had the time to wait for each parcel to mature properly because the harvest was relaxed and spread over more comfortable timing. This Barolo would match up nicely with a mild liver dish.
Wine Spectator 92 - A ripe style, boasting plum, black cherry and sun-kissed hay flavors, with a hint of vanilla. The lush fruit and texture is offset by dense tannins. All the components converge on the long finish. Best from 2021 through 2038.
Vinous 92 - The 2015 Barolo is an absolutely glorious wine. Sensual, silky and polished, the 2015 has so much to offer. Bright red berry fruit is nicely complemented by an array of floral and spiced notes that add nuance. Polished tannins add to the wine's considerable near-term appeal, but the straight Barolo also has a track record h ere of aging exceptionally well.Vineyard sites include Pernanno, Sarmassa, Rochettevino and Cerretta. Don't miss it.
Condrieu Clos Boucher 2015
WA 95 - A much smaller production cuvée, the 2015 Condrieu Clos Boucher (aged 80% in barrel and 20% in stainless steel) is a sensational Condrieu that offers textbook, yet pedal to the metal notes of white peach, tangerine, citrus blossom and hints of minerality. Impeccably balanced, fresh and lively, it should be given six months in bottle and enjoyed over the following 4-5 years.
Vinous 94 - Very light gold. Powerful, mineral-accented orange pith, melon, white peach and violet scents show impressive focus and vivacity. Possesses an impressive blend of depth and finesse, offering concentrated citrus and pit fruit, honey and candied ginger flavors complemented by a subtle anise quality. Finishes with superb mineral cut and lift, leaving suave floral and mineral notes behind. This complex, densely packed wine would complement lighter foods as well as rich ones and, from my experience with older vintages such as the 2005 and 2010, it's a highly reliable cellar candidate.
WS 93 - Ripe and creamy in feel, with pear, quince, almond cream, shortbread and warm brioche notes melded together, backed by a light hazelnut echo on the flattering finish. Drink now through 2020.
Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Suchots 2007
Vinous 90-93 - Deep red. Superripe yet vibrant on the nose, with a sappy lift to the raspberry and spice aromas. Lush, silky and sweet, with underlying minerality giving energy to the raspberry and cocoa powder flavors. This dense but vibrant wine really saturates the palate with flavor. Seems a bit richer in alcohol than most of these 2007s, which is not at all a bad thing.
Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva 1987
Vinous 93 - Bright gold. Complex, expansive bouquet evokes dried peach, orange rind, clove, anise and pungent herbs, with a deep, smoky quality gaining strength with air. Lush and creamy in texture but almost shockingly lithe, with zesty citrus and orchard fruit flavors and a strong mineral underpinning. The herb and spice notes resonate on the long, juicy, very precise finish. No way I'd guess that this was 23 years old. 90% Viura, 10% Malvasia.
Wine Spectator - 87: This mature white shows apple cider, tea and woody flavors that have depth, but turn a bit flabby on the finish. There's character to this—and still some juicy acidity—but it's fading now. Drink now. 1,166 cases made
Jeremy’s Notes - Like nothing I have ever tasted, wonderful roundness and complexity. Slight sherry on the nose but fresh on the palate.
Wine Spectator 92 - Coffee, licorice and boysenberry flavors are ripe and generous in this round red. Spicy sassafras and chocolate notes add interest. Balsamic acidity and chewy tannins give this backbone. Shows density and length. Drink now through 2029. 666 cases made.
Wine Advocate 90 - We jumped ahead to the 2014 Malabrigo, as they didn't produce it in 2012 or 2013. The oak is more evident as we go up the price ladder, and this pure Tempranillo, which went through malolactic in barrel where it matured for 18 months, is definitively oaky. The nose is dominated by spice, smoke and toast aromas. The palate is medium to full-bodied with plenty of tannins, a bit grainy, with a dry finish and moderate to low acidity. There are notes of barbecue and smoky bacon that will please many. For fans of oaky Tempranillo. 8,000 bottles were filled in February 2017.
Hermitage Blanc Chante Alouette 2018
Wine Advocate 93-95 - The 2018 Hermitage Chante-Alouette is ripe and custardy in feel, with plenty of richness that's balanced by ample freshness. Hints of citrus, melon and white peach mingle easily on the nose and palate, offering a lovely introduction to white Hermitage.
Vinous 93 - Pale, glistening yellow. Penetrating aromas of fresh orchard and pit fruits are accompanied by hints of chalky minerals and pungent flowers. Juicy and concentrated in style, offering pear nectar, white peach and Meyer lemon flavors that tighten up and show fine definition on the back half. The floral note repeats strongly on the energetic finish, which hangs on with impressive, mineral-tinged persistence.
Amarone Monte Ca'Bianca 2013
Wine Advocate 94 - Touches of eucalyptus, balsam and rosemary essence add a delicate side to this pretty wine. The 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Monte Ca' Bianca spends more time in the barrel than its siblings, and you can taste it. Menthol and black olive also make an appearance in this relatively cool vintage. This is a beautiful and classic interpretation with thick lines, long persistence and determination, giving the wine a gentle demeanor to accompany a spinach and speck risotto. The blend is 40% Corvina, 35% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella and 5% Oseleta, and the grapes see 100 days in the fruttaia to become raisins.
Hermitage Rouge Domaine de Tourettes 2013
Wine Advocate 94 - One of the gems in the vintage is the 2013 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes, which comes from both the Bessards and Grandes Vignes lieux-dits on Hermitage Hill. Completely destemmed, then vinified in stainless steel and concrete tanks, the wine is aged 18 months in 30% new French oak; it offers terrific notes of dark fruits, graphite and ample minerality in a full-bodied, layered, ripe profile. It’s more approachable than the Les Bessards, yet will still have three decades of longevity.
Vinous 93 - Brilliant violet. Complex mineral- and smoke-accented scents of dark fruit liqueur, violet and olive paste gain urgency from a smoky mineral quality . Juicy and sharply focused on the palate, offering sappy blueberry and bitter cherry flavors that deepen and become sweeter with air. Shows excellent depth and vivacity and finishes spicy and very long, displaying a resonating floral quality and building tannins.
Wine Spectator 92 - Ripe for the vintage, with a fleshy core of plum compote and raspberry coulis flavors, backed by ample cocoa-edged grip that melds through the loam- and anise-accented finish. Best from 2017 through 2023.
Besserat Brut Rose NV
Wine Advocate 90 - This disgorgement of the NV Cuvée des Moines Brut Rosé is from September 2017 and is (probably) based on the 2014 vintage. The salmon colored wine leads to a delicate, fresh and vinous nose with intense red fruit and floral aromas and a refined chalkiness. It's a bit reductive perhaps but nicely round and fruity on the elegant and refined palate. An excellent cuvée of Pinot Meunier (40%) and equal parts of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Puligny-Montrachet Villages Vieilles Vignes 2015
Wine Spectator 89 - Though rich, a line of juicy acidity runs through this spicy white. Peach, apple, marzipan and orange zest flavors hold court, playing out on the chalky finish. Drink now through 2021.
Vinous 87 - Bright pale yellow. Very ripe aromas of peach, spices, flowers and menthol, with a touch of reduction. Supple, spicy wine with an almost exotic quality to its very ripe stone fruit flavors. A touch aggressive with alcohol in the middle palate but with some balancing sweetness. Finishes with a slightly bitter phenolic edge and decent length.
Longitude 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
Vinous 94 - An intensely mineral-driven wine, the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Longitude pulses with energy and tension. Partial aging in cask gives the wine much of its texture and slightly burnished quality to the fruit. Dried pear, spice, menthol and licorice are laced into a vinous, textured finish that speaks to crystalline purity and nuance. As the name suggests, the Longitude emerges from a collection of parcels along the same longitude of chalk and limestone soils, in this case Vertus, Cramant and Oger, fermented in a combination of cask and stainless steel. This release is based on 2012, with the addition of 40% reserve wines. Dosage is 4 grams/liter. Disgorged: November 2014.
Wine Spectator 92 - Lithe and graceful, this bright Champagne is refined and chalky in texture, displaying a lovely mesh of ripe apple, apricot, lemon parfait, biscotti and fresh ginger flavors.
Barbaresco Curra 2013
Vinous 96 - The highlight of the 2013s, the Barbaresco Currà is simply exceptional. Powerful and explosive, with striking aromatics, pulsating fruit and tons of pure energy, the Currà makes a strong case for itself as one of the finest wines ever made here. A host of sweet red cherry, kirsch, mint, raspberry and cedar meld into the long, persistent finish.
Wine Advovate 93 - The 2013 Barbaresco Currà offers a savory side that is seamlessly juxtaposed against a plump fruity side. Those two halves paint a pretty picture of this unusual and slightly cooler vintage. The wine shows power and a great sense of forward thrust or momentum that will serve it well as it ages in your cellar. The 1.5-hectare vineyard is planted to 65-year-old vines in the Neive subzone.
Wine Spectator 92 - A fresh, cherry-, mineral- and tar-flavored red whose great structure provides support. Elements of underbrush and earth come into play on the lingering finish. Best from 2020 through 2033.
Gigondas Clos des Tourelles 2017
Wine Advocate 96-98 - Even better than I remember it being last year, and potentially edging out the L'Argnée this vintage, the 2017 Gigondas Clos des Tourelles is just flat-out terrific juice. From yields around 15 hectoliters per hectare, it's 80% Grenache and 10% each Mourvèdre and Syrah, all aged in foudre. Soaring floral notes of rose petals, violets and garrigue appear on the nose, followed by ripe raspberry flavors that flow almost weightlessly across the silky, full-bodied palate. So fine, so elegant, so long, it nearly left me speechless.
Vinous 95 - Opaque, bright-rimmed ruby. Intensely perfumed, mineral-accented cherry and dark berry scents are accompanied by suggestions of licorice, candied flowers and exotic spices. Fleshy and broad in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated cherry pastry and blackberry flavors that become more energetic as the wine stretches out. Shows superb energy and mineral lift on an impressively long, subtly tannic finish that leaves behind a suave floral note.
Gigondas L'Argnee Vieilles Vignes 2017
Wine Advocate 95-97 - There are a whopping two demi-muids of the stellar 2017 Gigondas L'Argnee Vieilles Vignes in the pipeline, so readers will have to be on their toes to grab a bottle or two. Made from the same pre-Phylloxera parcel of Grenache, it's incredibly intense this vintage, boasting enough purple raspberries, black cherries and Asian spices to send me almost into sensory overload. Yet for all the flavor, this full-bodied wine is velvety-silky in feel, with a long, elegant finish.
Vinous 94 - Opaque ruby. Highly expressive aromas of mineral-tinged red berries, incense and licorice candy, along with a suave floral nuance that builds as the wine opens up. Appealingly sweet and seamless on the palate, offering penetrating raspberry, cherry, spicecake and candied lavender flavors that are braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Finishes silky, sweet and impressively long, with gentle tannins and lingering floral pastille and exotic spice notes.
Latitude 1er Cru Extra Brut
Vinous 92 - The NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Latitude 1er Cru is a big, vinous wine. Bold, ample and large on the palate, the Latitude exudes power. Dried apricot, roasted nuts and spices are pushed forward in a rich, creamy wine that reflects the personality of these clay-rich soils on the southern edge of Vertus. With time in the glass, the Latitude gains freshness, volume and intensity.
Besserat Triple B 2013 Brut Nature
Wine Advocate 90 - The NV Triple B (but referred to only as Brut Bio at the time of tasting) is entirely sourced from organically and bio-dynamically farmed vineyards; it blends 50% Pinot Noir with 30% Chardonnay and 20% Meunier. There was no malolactic fermentation here. Very clear and discrete on the nose, with aromas of red apples, lemons and rhubarb, this is a fresh and elegant, lovely, clear and refined Champagne with a very nice purity. Very stimulating and bright.
Maker's Notes - Slightly yellow copper-coloured robe, delicate and dense bubbles
Intense and varied nose of fresh fruit and perfectly ripe. Initial notes of vine peach an
red fruits. Notes of stewed fruit (apple-pear-cinnamon) and crystallised fruit (quince,
mandarin orange). Overall it is complex and smooth. The attack phase is pleasantly
intense with the characteristic elegance of 2013 vintage. Its minerality is in harmony with the terroir and the estate’s viticulture practices. The finish offers a remarkable salinity
Besserat Extra Brut N/V
Wine Enthusiast 93 - This limited-edition wine is a blend of grand cru Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Aged for 10 years in bottle, it is a steely, structured wine that brings sophistication to the white fruits and lively acidity.
Maker's Notes -
Aspect: Deep yellow I Matte gold
Bouquet: Reserved / Opulent / Macadamia nut
Corinth raisins / Zante currants / Smoke and toast
Palate: Rich pastry / Yet racy / Superb length
Assemblage : Chardonnay / Pinot Noir
Cuvée des Moines Blanc de Blancs (Brut)
Wine Advocate 90 - Disgorged in December 2018, the latest rendition of Besserat de Bellefon's NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvée des Moines exhibits a toasty, reductive bouquet of bread dough, smoky citrus rind and green orchard fruit. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, fleshy and nicely balanced, with a frothy mousse, lively acids and a clean, harmonious finish. This is a well-made Blanc de Blancs that reflects this marque's recent progress.
Maker's Notes - "Sculpted from the rocky soil of its terroir, BB Blanc de Blancs offers
a magnificent chain of creamy bubbles of incredible precision. The nose is intense, mineral and saline, with fresh citrus aromas
intermingling harmoniously with floral notes of honeysuckle and acacia. A finely-honed palate with superb structure and magnificent amplitude. Translucent and pure, citrus and lemon compose a symphony of absolute elegance."
Cellarmaster, Champagne Besserat de Bellefon.
Hermitage Blanc Domaines des Tourettes 2017
WA 94 - A blend of 90% Marsanne and 10% Roussanne, the 2017 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes Blanc features scents of toasted almond, honey and pineapple. Full-bodied, rich and creamy, it's rounded out on the palate by melon-like fruit, then adds citrus zest, crushed stone and brine on the long finish. Drink it now or after about 10 years.
Vinous 93 - Pale gold. Powerful orchard and citrus fruit scents are complemented by suggestions of smoky minerals, chamomile and fennel. Chewy and broad in the mouth, offering concentrated pear, Meyer lemon and honeysuckle flavors braced by a core of juicy acidity. Delivers a solid punch of ripe pit fruits on an impressively long, focused finish that echoes the floral and mineral notes.
Wine Spectator 93 - This is suave, with macadamia nut, salted butter and verbena notes weaving around a core of creamed Jonagold apple, star fruit and Bosc pear flavors. Everything entwines seamlessly through the finish. Best from 2021 through 2028.
Hermitage Rouge Monier de la Sizeranne 2012
Wine Advocate 90 - The 2012 reds started with the 2012 Hermitage la Sizeranne, which comes from a number of lieux-dits in Hermitage. Outstanding stuff, it has lots of smoked herbs, saddle leather, pepper and minerality to go with a solid core of raspberry/blackberry fruit. Fleshy, ripe and textured, with fantastic purity, it's a pleasure-bent effort to drink over the coming 7-8 years.
Hermitage Rouge Domaine des Tourettes 2015
Wine Spectator 95 - This is loaded with well-defined loganberry, blackberry and boysenberry pâte de fruit flavors, flecked with anise and black tea notes and carried by a fine iron streak that lingers wonderfully. A wine of cut, purity and precision. Best from 2020 through 2035.
Wine Advocate 94 - A blend of Syrah grapes from several lieux-dits, including Les Bessards, the 2015 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes is aged in new and second use barrels. It's a dark, concentrated wine, meaty, rich and tannic but with a bright beam of cassis fruit that lifts it and gives it great definition and shape on the palate. Give this medium to full-bodied wine at least 5 years in the cellar and drink it over the next 15.
Vinous 92-94 - Inky ruby. Dark fruit and floral scents unfold slowly to reveal Indian spice and mineral accents. Densely concentrated cassis and blueberry flavors are lifted by a core of smoky minerality and a jolt of cracked pepper. Smoothly plays richness off vivacity and finishes impressively long and chewy; dusty tannins frame the sweet dark fruit.
Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 'La Crau' 2019
Wine Advocate 96+ - The 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau is a hugely successful vintage, marked by scents of sun-warmed stones, garrigue, black cherries and black olives. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it finishes with tremendous length and softly dusty tannins, which should help ensure a long, positive evolution.
Wine Spectator 93 - Silky and refined, with focused cherry puree, plum reduction and raspberry coulis notes racing through, infused subtly with rose petal, warm stone and lavender hints. Features nice perfume through the finish. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. Drink now through 2036.
Horcajo 2015 Ribera del Duero
Wine Spectator 95 - Rich and lively, this red is powerful and expressive, showing black cherry, currant, licorice, tar and mineral flavors. Ripe but balanced, with well-integrated tannins and fresh acidity supporting the deep core of fruit. Drink now through 2034.
Rose de Saignee 1er Cru Extra Brut NV
Vinous 95 - The NV Extra Brut Rosé de Saignée is a classy, gorgeous wine. Bright, sculpted and finely chiseled, the 2016 has so much to offer. Chalk, mint, white pepper and crushed rocks perk up the red berry fruit. Sweet floral notes emerge with a bit of time in the glass. In this vintage, the Rosé is wonderfully translucent and so expressive. The NV Rosé is 100% Pinot Noir from 45-50 year old vines in Vertus, done in steel. Dosage is 3 grams per liter.
Wine Advocate 93 - The Extra-Brut Rosé de Saignée is a rich, gastronomic wine, delivering aromas of raspberries and cherries mingled with notions of kirsch, warm spices and petals. Medium to full-bodied, layered and fleshy, with racy acids and a pretty pinpoint mousse, it's a vinous Champagne that would work well at table.
Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 2018
Wine Advocate 95-97 - Another in a string of top vintages, Beaucastel's 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape was produced from Grenache yields of only eight hectoliters per hectare ("normal" is about 28 hectoliters per hectare, according to Marc Perrin). The final blend I was shown is almost candied in its fruity intensity of raspberries and cherries, yet it has a potent underpinning of more savory elements, like tapenade, grilled meat and dried spices. Full-bodied, with fine, silky tannins, this shows tremendous length, reverberating with hints of crushed stone on the finish.
Vinous 92-94 - Deep ruby-red. Ripe dark berries, cherry liqueur and hints of garrigue, smoked meat and potpourri on the mineral-accented nose. Palate-staining black currant and cherry pie flavors show excellent clarity, chewy texture and a hint of spicecake that builds as the wine opens up. The energetic, impressively long finish repeats the floral and dark fruit notes, and youthfully chewy tannins add shape and solid closing grip.
Decanter 96 - This is a towering, muscular Beaucastel this year with more depth, intensity and black fruit, pushing towards blackcurrant. It’s very dense and extremely concentrated in 2018, more than most but it has the energy and the vibrancy to thrust it front and forward ending with a saline finish. Grenache and Cinsault fermented in cement, Syrah and Mourvèdre fermented in foudre.
Jeb Dunnuck 94 - Moving to the reds, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape showed nicely with a deep ruby/purple color as well as classic Beaucastel aromas and flavors of darker currents, blueberries, smoked meats, black licorice and roasted herbs. With medium to full-bodied richness, a pure, clean, elegant texture, sweet tannins, and a great finish, this seamless, elegant Beaucastel will be approachable in its youth, yet still have 20+ years of prime drinking.
Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Plantes 2017
Jeremy’s Notes: Exquisite. Very plush, deep and complex. This is a thrilling wine that is maturing beautifully, revealing the potential we tasted years ago while it was still young. Drinkable now with years of pleasure still to come. Bravo Patrice Cacheux.
Malleolus de Sanchomartin 2007
Wine Advocate - 96: The 2007 Malleolus de Sancho Martin is a bit more reticent aromatically than the Valderramiro but with a very similar profile. On the palate it has greater volume as well as a bit more structure. Opulent, rich, and concentrated, it will reward extended cellaring and offer prime drinking from 2016 to 2037.
Wine Spectator - 95: This powerful red delivers traditional character with a modern swagger. This is packed with black cherry, licorice, tobacco and mineral, yet accents them with cola, toast and vanilla. The tannins are rugged yet well-integrated, carrying the fruit and spice through the long finish.
Vieille Vignes du Levant Grand Cru Extra Brut 2011
Wine Advocate 97 - I’m increasingly convinced that Pierre Larmandier produced Champagne’s wines of the vintage this year, and the 2011 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vieille Vigne du Levant only compounds that suspicion. Unfurling in the glass with a deep and complex nose of citrus zest, crisp yellow apples, smoke, warm bread, mandarin oil and oyster shell, it’s full-bodied and fleshy but incisive, with huge concentration, bright acids and a long, intensely saline finish. Totally transcending the reputation of 2011, it has many of the textural properties of a great white Burgundy, married with the cut and chalky grip of Champagne’s Côte de Blancs.
Maker's Notes - This is a Champagne which should be tasted for its own qualities as an aperitif, to accompany poultry with morels, and this cuvée will happily stand its ground with dishes cooked in cream. It must be allowed time to open up, so that you can appreciate its power, complexity and exceptional length. It should be kept for two years (it will gain in depth) and much longer, even, if that’s how you like it.