The High Flying Domaine Grand Veneur
Rebholz: Masterpieces of Dry German Wine
The Best Value in Chablis?
Wine Spectator Insider Gets on the 2017 Port Train
Mazzei: Tuscan Overachievers
Two Exceptional Bordeaux Values
The High Flying Domaine Grand Veneur
Grand Veneur was one of the first in the region to use new oak barrels and consistently use more Syrah and Mourvèdre to than many of their peers, resulting in wines that have color and power than wines that driven by Grenache for their character. The flagship is clearly the Vieilles Vignes—a wine that is on par with Clos de Papes, Janasse’s “XXL” and Clos St. Jean’s top cuvees, but is still less than $100 a bottle—for now. That said, the other wines offer excellent value, as well, from the drink-now, traditionally minded “Miocene” to their full-throttle “Les Origines.” We just restocked on the 2016’s and have the ’17’s arriving at the end of the year and you’d do well to put a pile of these in your cellar.
Freshly Restocked, In Stock Now:
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Fontaine Blanc, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The flagship 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc La Fontaine is a more substantial, serious effort that offers notes of caramelized citrus, brioche, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Rich, layered and concentrated, yet also fresh and lively, it’s a terrific white that’s going to sing on the dinner table. Drink it anytime over the coming 4-5 years (it will keep even longer).”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Vivid straw-gold. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe pear, candied orange, smoky minerals and chamomile, along with a deeper suggestion of honey. Energetic, palate-staining citrus and orchard fruit flavors show outstanding clarity and slowly put on weight and spread out with air. The mineral note reappears on the finish, which shows a noteworthy combination of richness and sharply defined, bright, filigreed character.”
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96+ points “Possibly the finest vintage of this cuvée to date, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines (50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and the balance Syrah) offers a full-bodied, unctuous, yet thrillingly pure style in its black raspberry, cassis, licorice and spice aromas and flavors. It has a smoking good mid-palate, building, ripe tannin and a huge finish.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Inviting, with layered flavors of boysenberry, fig and blackberry preserves forming the foundation, while melted black licorice, warm fruitcake and wood spice notes are inlaid throughout. A lingering ganache echo adds more base through the hefty finish. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Best from 2022 through 2035.”
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Miocene Rouge, Rhone 2016 750ml ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Ripe and compact still, with a core of dark currant and plum puree flavors waiting in reserve while sleek graphite, Turkish coffee and ganache notes hold sway for now. There’s fresh acidity and nice detail throughout, though, so let this unwind fully in the cellar. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2021 through 2032.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “The entry-level effort is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Miocène and it’s primarily Grenache with smaller amounts of Syrah and Mourvèdre. It offers a classic, fresh, beautifully focused style in its raspberry, garrigue, flower and spice aromatics. This gives way to a medium to full-bodied, deep, rich, layered red that has the underlying tannic grip and structure of the vintage. It’s going to keep for 10-15 years.”
Alaine Jaume Gigondas Terrasses de Montmirail, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “The 2016 Gigondas Terrasses de Montmirail from the Jaume family is 65% Grenache and the balance Mourvèdre and Syrah, aged mostly in tank with a small part in smaller barrels. Its deep ruby color is followed by a pretty, elegant, seamless wine that has great notes of red fruits, white flowers, spices, and a limestone-like minerality. Silky and polished, it shines for its elegance and purity.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Gigondas Terrasses de Montmirail shows why everyone is excited about the 2016s in the Southern Rhône. A full-bodied, rich and velvety wine, it comes close to being chocolaty and fudge-like without closing that border, instead delivering dark plum and cherry fruit, dusty, earthy notes and savory spice. It should drink well for a decade or more.”
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “Looking like a future star, the 2016 Gigondas Terrasses de Montmirail is full-bodied, lush and creamy. Black cherry and vanilla flavors finish with savory tannins, an enticing bit of licorice and no heat at all. Very promising.”
Arriving ETA December:
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Miocene Rouge, Rhone 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Miocene Rouge, Rhone 2017 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “The traditional cuvée at this great estate is the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Le Miocene, and in 2017 it’s a classic blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre, brought up mostly in concrete (there’s a small amount in older barrels). It has a wonderful fresh, forward, delicious style as well as notes of black raspberries, garrigue, pepper, and hints of flowers. Pure, medium to full-bodied, upfront and ready to go, it’s a beauty geared for drinking over the coming 8-10 years.”
The next best price is $45
Case-6 Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2017 750ML ($719.95) $479 pre-arrival special (that’s only $79.83/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a bigger, richer, more opulent wine. Beautiful notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, graphite, and crushed violets, all flow to a full-bodied, Châteauneuf Du Pape that has a voluptuous, sexy texture, brilliant depth of fruit, fine tannins, and a purity of fruit that’s hard to find in this vintage. It’s a thrill a minute, and while it’s approachable today, it will keep for 15-20 years. 416 cases.”
Decanter 96 points “Grown on galets, the fruit for this wine is all destemmed and fermented in stainless steel before being aged for 16 months, half in concrete and half in new barriques. The strong Mourvèdre component comes through as deep, ripe dark fruits and violets. It’s full-bodied and dense with soft, lush tannins, and is held together by a beam of strong acidity, finishing long. A lithe, muscular, impressive wine that will last the course. Just 5,000 bottles made.”
Case-6 Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines, Rhone 2017 750ML ($419.95) $289 pre-arrival special (that’s only $48.17/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Origines takes things up a notch on the serious scale and has a much more concentrated, focused, structured style. A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah that saw 50% new barrels, it offers a rich, concentrated, focused texture, notes of black raspberries, roasted garrigue, pepper, and tons of minerality, building tannins, and outstanding length. The new oak is beautifully integrated, it’s perfectly balanced, and it’s one of those wines that has a kiss of modern character yet stays firmly planted in the Southern Rhône.”
The next best price is $69.99
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That principle still holds at the estate of Ökonomierat Rebholz, now in the third generation of producing wines that are resolutely dry, mineral and reflective of their terroirs. Even during a period of time when the fashion in Germany was for sweeter and sweeter bottlings, Rehbolz held firm in their specialization in dry whites and dramatic Pinot Noir. Located in the southern part of the Pfalz region, their estate vineyards rest mostly on limestone (with a touch of sandstone in some of the GG vineyards, as well) and that land yields some of the most impressive wine in Europe every year.
Their 2017’s are masterpieces, packed with dense minerality that is allied to a vitality seemingly directly tied to the organically-farmed vineyards. Whether the two GG Rieslings, or the just-as-impressive Pinot Blanc (Weisburgunder), these are wines that quicken the pulse of any lover of top tier white wine. We’re excited to inform you that these hard-to-find gems have re-arrived and are ready to occupy a prime place in your cellar.
Freshly Restocked, In Stock Now:
Okonomierat Rebholz ‘Ganz Horn-im Sonnenschein’ Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($99.95) $69 special
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling .com 97 points “At once ripe and generous at the front, yet austere and radical at the finish, this is a super-straight and mineral wine that needs some time to give its best. From biodynamically grown grapes. Respekt certified. Drink in 2019.”
Decanter 95 points “Gravelly, sandy soil makes for subtle but concentrated citrus flavours in the Ganz Horn site. A coolness emanates from the glass as the nose is gentle and shows subtle hints of citrus. The mouthfeel is lacy, with zesty lemon and a grounded, dancing dryness pervaded by limpid acidity. This is slender and sinuous and hooks you with its citrus charm.”
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling .com 97 points “In order to describe the herbal notes in the nose of this wine to you properly, I would need to spend the whole evening studying them! Rose hips and wild berries, plus a hint of passion fruit. Crystalline finish. From biodynamically grown grapes. Respekt certified. Drink or hold.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This dry Riesling combines power and grace, with a fierce attack of zesty floral and mineral notes, expressing kumquat and nectarine details midpalate. Shows an impressive concentration of flavors packed on an elegant frame, with an underlying mineral streak running from start to finish. This is well-toned and full of energy. Best from 2022 through 2034.”
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling .com 97 points “This proves that pinot blanc really can give a great dry white wine. Crazy, exotic fruit in the nose, but not a jot too much. Then comes the enormously concentrated palate and a finish that literally takes your breath away. From biodynamically grown grapes. Respekt certified. Great aging potential. Drink or hold.”
The 2018 Tiberio Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is a Rose made entirely from indigenous Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes. While you may deduce from its darker, cranberried color that it is set out to be a fruit bomb, you will be pleasantly surprised it is quite the opposite. While there are bold, juicy flavors of red cherry and raspberry, a bright orange/citrus and mineral component cuts through the palate, making this a crisp and refreshing wine, perfect for sipping on its own, but that will also hold up to more rustic fare, such as grilled, meats, brick oven pizza, and spicy Italian dishes. This is the Rose you need to be drinking this Fall. Period.
In Stock Now:
Tiberio Cerasuolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018 750ML ($21.95) $17.75 special
Case-12 Tiberio Cerasuolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 92 points “Luminous pink-red. Bright aromas of red cherry, redcurrant, blood orange and botanical herbs. Then bright and juicy, with laser-like acidity lifting and extending the red fruit flavors on the juicy, long, floral and slightly saline finish. A very precise, seamless Cerasuolo with no hard edges and sneaky concentration.”
Tiberio Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($24.95) $18.50 special
Case-12 Az. Ag. Tiberio Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($269.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 92 points
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 90 points “Abruzzo’s Tiberio winery has quickly risen to the top of the hierarchy not just in Abruzzo’s but in all of Italy. What the talented Cristiana Tiberio has achieved in the very hot 2017 vintage with Pecorino (a variety that does not like heat) is a testament to her talent. The 2017 Tiberio Pecorino is by no means the best Pecorino she has ever made (and frankly, it would have been very strange if it was otherwise, given the year’s weather), but it offers lovely balance with pure sage and kiwi notes that mingle with ripe orchard fruit nuances complicated by a saline edge. Both these wines made for a wonderful start to my meal, but they would have paired very well with all the other dishes I chose to eat this evening.”
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 90 points “Bright straw-green. Reticent aromas and flavors of ripe peach, apple and pear, plus a hint of flinty silex. Rather round, fat and silky, this is quite full in the mouth for a Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and a Tiberio wine, but there was no getting away from the hot 2017 vintage in Abruzzo. A lovely wine with a delicately floral, long finish, but also a bigger wine than is usual from this estate. It will merit a higher score if it loses some of its baby fat in bottle while maintaining freshness.”
New Wines from Domaine Vocoret
When you combine the quality of the estate with the excellent 2017 vintage, you have a real winning set of wines on your hands. Writing for the Wine Advocate, William Kelley declared that “there can be little argument that 2017 is the finest Chablis vintage since 2014.” Furthermore, he urged his readers ” to acquire the wines while they are still available.” At these prices, that’s going to be an easy thing to do. These arrive later next month and you’d do well to put your order in right now.
Arriving ETA Late November:
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Blanchot, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2017 Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot bursts from the glass with a fragrant bouquet of orange rind, citrus blossom and honeysuckle. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, broad and fleshy, with ripe but succulent flavors and good dry extract.”
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2017 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos is the high point of the range, unfurling to reveal a rich bouquet of confit citrus, peaches, white flowers and almond paste. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with the most concentration and length of any wine in the cellar, buttressed by ripe acids.”
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote “Valmur is always one of the most mineral inflected, stony and long-aging of the Grand Crus and so it is here at Vocoret. This is an impressive, coiled Chablis that’s built for the cellar but will repay that time admirably.”
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Vaudesir, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote “Vaudesir is always the ‘overlooked’ Grand Cru, which is a shame. This is a beautiful, expressive bottle of Chablis that’s the most open of Vocoret Grand Crus. Big aromatics, mineral detail and delicately orchard fruit frame beautiful acidities and a fantastic texture.”
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Les Forets, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Importer Note “Fôrets is on the western side of the Serein river on a south-facing hill of high-quality Kimmeridgian soils just a few miles southwest of the town of Chablis. This site is known for elegant, steely expressions of Chardonnay.”
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Les Forets Vielles Vignes, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote “This is a richer, more powerful version of Foret, sourced from an old vine-parcel of particular note. Like all of the other Premier and Grand Cru wines from Vocoret, this is fermented and aged in wood, though it sees a touch more new oak than the “regular” Foret bottling. A stunner, especially in 2017.”
The next best price is $51
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Montee de Tonnerre, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 90 points “Aromas of orange rind, green apples and white flowers introduce the 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Montée de Tonnerre, a medium to full-bodied wine that’s quite powerful and concentrated, with a fleshy core of fruit but lively balancing acids.”
The next best price is $47.99
The average listed price is $56
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Vaillons Vielles Vignes, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 91 points “From a parcel in Séchet planted in the 1950s, the 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes is one of the high points of the range, wafting from the glass with aromas of ripe lemons, green apple, spring flowers and crushed chalk. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny and tangy, with good tension and chalky grip on the finish.”
The average listed price is $52
Can’t Wait? Check These Older Vintages Out, In Stock Now:
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Case-6 Domaine Vocoret et Fils Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($349.95) $299 special (that’s only $49.83/bottle!)
Stephen Tanzer 92+ points “Much less expressive on the nose than the Blanchots but still with noteworthy incipient complexity to the aromas of citrus peel, white flowers, wet stone, white pepper and clove. Boasts terrific grain and thrust, but this youthfully dry, uncompromising wine is downright brooding today in spite of its essential light touch. Incisive flavors of citrus fruits, white flowers and ginger are further lifted by subtle herbal accents. This is excellent.”
Burghound 92 points “In contrast to the Vaudésir this is much better with much more evident Chablis character on the green fruit and citrus-infused nose that displays an appealing hint of mineral-reduction. There is excellent punch and detail to the relatively rich and powerful flavors that possess reasonably good mid-palate concentration before culminating in a notably stony and lingering finish that is presently quite tightly wound. This is definitely going to require a few years to further flesh out and develop better depth but the balance and underlying material are present for that to occur.”
The next best price is $92
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “Pale straw-yellow. Sweaty, savory aromas of fresh peach, ginger, quinine and crushed rock. Wonderfully generous, even silky, on the front half, as much floral and marrowy as peachy in the early going. With its strong impression of terroir, this wine already delivers a lot of personality, but its strong finishing saline minerality and brisk acidity call for at least a couple years of delayed gratification. This very ripe, smooth but vivacious 2014 grand cru should age gracefully.”
The average listed price is $79
WS Insider Gets on the 2017 Port Train
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 375ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 1.5L ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 97 points
Mayacamas Vineyards Chardonnay, Mount Veeder 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2016 Chardonnay is fabulous. A vivid, textured wine, the 2016 possesses remarkable finesse and intensity in all of its dimensions. Lemon oil and white flowers are amped up by the natural intensity of these old vines. The 2016 was fermented and aged in neutral oak, with no malolactic fermentation. Mayacamas is setting a new standard for what California Chardonnay can be. Don’t miss it.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Editor’s Choice. From the mighty dry-farmed site within the secluded appellation, this incredible wine is expressive in tones of flint, fig, pear and lemon peel, with lasting acidity that brightens and freshens the palate. Medium bodied, it’s soft in feel yet structured, balanced and complex.”
Domaine Brazilier Coteaux du Vendomois Tradition Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Biodynamic from chalky, limestone soil. 25+ year old vines.
Importer tasting note “The color is a soft pink tinged with orange. Elegant nose of intense peppery notes, along with discrete fruity scents. After a fresh attack, mouth displays a remarkable and persistent aromatic complexity, spices mingling harmoniously with ripe fruit.”
Domaines Lupier La Dama, Navarra 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The elegance, finesse and nuance of the 2015 La Dama is simply irresistible. It’s ethereal, perfumed, elegant and complex (rose petals, orange peel, wild herbs…), even if it’s extremely young. It’s bright ruby, with great purity and detail, transparent and full of energy. It is harmonious and nicely textured, with chalky tannins and a stony sensation. It’s more powerful than it feels and has the stuffing and balance to develop nicely in bottle. This is truly sensational, full of mineral energy. 6,878 bottles were filled in May 2017.”
The Goldtropfchen is a famous vineyard for a reason—this wine is delightful.
Weingut Willi Haag Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
David Schildknecht – Vinous “Penetrating scents of lemon and grapefruit laced with woodruff and wintergreen usher in a palate unusually citric and coolingly herbal when compared with the Willi Haag 2016s from Brauneberg or Veldenz. But given that midpalate citricity, I’m surprised at a finish that proves rather sedate and only modest in length. Still, it offers admirable refreshment and a hint of counterpoint by way of stony impingement. Last year’s more exciting inaugural bottling from this famous site was also a Kabinett. Hopefully we’ll soon get to experience a Willi Haag Goldtröpfchen Spätlese.”
Paitin ‘Sori Paitin’, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “Sweet cherry and strawberry fruit is framed by earth, eucalyptus, tobacco and tar notes in this rich yet firm red. The assertive tannins suggest a glacial evolution but the lasting impression of fruit shows this wine’s potential. Best from 2022 through 2040. 815 cases made.”
Brut Nature bubbles from Chablis? Sign us up.
Domaine D’Henri 821 Chardonnay Brut Nature, Burgundy 2017 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
VinopolNote “Domaine d’Henri has emerged as one of our favorite Chablis producers, so when we heard they (now) made bubbles, we had to get some. It lives up to expectations, too. This is Blanc de Blancs done in a Brut Nature style, with great minerality and distinct Chablis chalk in its veins.”
These are brilliant, bold wines with rich textures and emphatic flavor profiles. From their Chianti Gran Selezione to their Super-Tuscan blends, these offer outstanding drinking at prices far below their peers—for now. As with most ambitious producers, they aim to be in the extremely expensive wine market, so now’s the time to stock up.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli ‘Siepi’ Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
James Suckling 98 points “Beautiful aromas of violets, berries and currants. Dried flowers, too. Full body, such intense fruit and acidity. Vivid and complex. Wild raspberry. Tight and dense. A triumph for Siepi. Half sangivoese and merlot. Better in 2022 but hard to not drink now.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This has depth and complexity, featuring black cherry, plum, leather, spice and mineral flavors. The dense texture exudes refined tannins as this stays fresh through the long, saturated finish. Fruit, spice and tobacco elements linger. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2035.”
Also In Stock Now:
Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Gran Selezione, Chianti Classico DOCG 2013 750 ML ($69.95) $49 special
Case-6 Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Gran Selezione, Chianti Classico DOCG 2013 750ML ($419.95) $269 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “An essence of sweet cherry grounds the surrounding flavors of leather, iron, spice and tobacco in this firm red, which remains vibrant and refined. Bracing acidity and dense, muscular tannins play out on the long finish. Drink now through 2028.”
Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli ‘Concerto’ Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
James Suckling 96 points “This is fabulous with blackberry, blueberry and currant aromas. Some slate. Full body, dense and smooth with firm and silky tannins and intense fruit. This is a classic sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon blend. Don’t miss it. Needs three or four years to completely come together.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
When we find Bordeaux we really like in this price range we buy as much as we can, so we’ve got this available by the bottle and with a little extra love by the case. It’s due to arrive just in time for fall and winter Bordeaux drinking season and we’d highly suggest you squirrel away a case or two—this is going to be your house red.
In Stock Now:
Chateau Carignan, Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16.50 special
Case-12 Chateau Carignan, Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2016 750ML ($219.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
James Suckling 91 points “This offers bright and ripe dark berries and plums with a smooth, dark-stone edge, continuing into the palate that offers a succulent and supple array of rich, plush tannins and ample flavor. A blend of 75 per cent merlot, 15 per cent cabernet sauvignon and ten per cent cabernet franc. Try from 2021.”
The next best price is $19.99
Only time will tell if L’Hetre ends up being one of the most expensive wines in Bordeaux (the initial vintage of Le Pin went for ~$20) but for now it’s one of the best values in classy, right-bank Bordeaux. We sold through most of our first two tranches (all that remained was a bit of the second wine, Raison d’Hetre) but we’ve got another drop that just arrived, so we’re fully restocked.. Don’t sleep on this one—it’s a delicious wine that drinks well now and will continue to for a while to come.
l’Hetre, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-6 l’Hetre, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2016 750ML ($159.95) $119 special (that’s only $19.83/bottle!)
Julia Harding MW – jancisrobinson .com “L’Hêtre 2016 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux is the first release of this wine from the organically farmed estate perched at 100 m on the end of the St-Philippe d’Aiguilhe limestone plateau, the highest point in Bordeaux…‘Rich in blackcurrant fruit with a savoury dark glow to make it more than just fruit. Just a touch of smoky char even though the oak is well in the background, a seductive fruit sweetness. On the palate, this is beautifully balanced, the alcohol perfectly integrated in the tannic structure and fruit core with a fresh tang that runs through the middle. There’s a cool fluidity to it even with its depth and length. Fine, dry, lingering and savoury aftertaste. Impressive first vintage with a promising future in the bottle. I opened this on a Sunday evening and it was still tasting fresh and vibrant four days later. This is a very classy wine, and the tannins tell you everything: fine, definite, building in the mouth but in perfect balance with the fruit and freshness. Blue-blooded Castillon. Catch it while you can.’”
Case-12 l’Hetre ‘La Raison d’Hetre’, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2016 750ML ($259.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Julia Harding MW – jancisrobinson .com “There is a second wine, Raison d’Hêtre, made from the younger vines and lower slopes. It’s a little lighter in body and tasted as if it had a little more of the Cabernets in the blend though the proportions are the same, but this was perhaps just slightly less ripe Merlot fruit.”