In Today’s Newsletter:
New Dauvissat Arrivals
Holiday Trend Setters
The Sweetest Gift
2010 Prado Enea Reloaded!
BV George de la Tour Private Reserve
The Best Value in Barbaresco?
New Marguet Review
Featured New Arrivals
New Dauvissat Releases
Fantastic Chablis from a Master
Vincent Dauvissat La Forest, Chablis Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, only 2 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points “Pale, bright yellow. Very closed but pure aromas of lemon zest and oil and wet stone. Wonderfully tactile, intense and alive, offering sharply chiseled flavors of citrus fruits, crushed rock and salty minerality and terrific lemony lift. This very deep but relatively austere 2015 calls for a good four or five years of aging but should ultimately be one of the elite premier crus of its vintage. (Dauvissat also opened a bottle of the 2009 Chablis La Forest, which combined wound-up aromas of lemon, crushed and minerals with some sexy biscuit and truffle suggestions of evolution. On the palate, the wine is still incredibly young, boasting terrific lemony energy and cut and showing just the first hints of empyreumatic and oyster shell character. This wine is neither high in alcohol nor in acidity yet it’s classic and powerful and should broaden out dramatically in bottle over the next ten years.)”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Chablis 1er Cru la Forest has a seductive bouquet of toffee apple, quince, flint and touches of apricot blossom developing over time all with superb delineation. The palate is very well balanced with outstanding energy and tension, perhaps waxy in texture and with a slow burning build that leads to a vibrant quince, marmalade and white pepper finish that seems to lacquer the mouth. What a great Forêts, even if the 2016 is showing even greater potential.”
The average price nationally is $108
Vincent Dauvissat Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($279.95) $219 special, only 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2015 Chablis Grand Cru les Clos seems to be the most closed of all the 2015s, even after two days of being open in bottle. It only reluctantly reveals oyster shell, quince, baking powder and flint scents. It is exquisitely defined. The palate is very well balanced with a lightly-honeyed opening, a keen thread of acidity and a subtle dash of spice that becomes more prominent towards the poised and elegant finish. What a beautiful les Clos that will vie with Vincent’s les Preuses for supremacy.”
Stephen Tanzer 94+ points “Bright, light yellow. Extremely closed nose hints at leesy oatmeal and crushed rock; much less expressive and more monolithic today than the Preuses. Densely packed, sappy and youthfully austere in the mouth, hinting at incipient sweetness but showing very little today. At once spicier and less floral than the Preuses, this imposing wine conveys a strong wet stone character and terrific lemony lift. Powerful in dry extract and as backward as any 2015 Chablis I tasted this spring.”
The average price is $301
Vincent Dauvissat Les Preuses, Chablis Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($249.95) $199 special, only 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2015 Chablis Grand Cru les Preuses has a very mineral drive and stony bouquet that to all intents and purposes I guess has not budged one iota since being opened two days prior to my visit. It is beautifully defined and understated with precise yellow flower and flint-like scents. The palate is succinctly balanced with a fine thread of acidity, a more feminine and elegant les Preuses compared to the 2016, but very long and utterly refined on the finish. This fulfills all that promise it showed in barrel.”
Stephen Tanzer 95+ points “Pale yellow. Aromas of lemon-lime and crushed stone are lifted by topnotes of violet and lavender sea salt. Wonderfully rich, pliant wine with the thickness of the vintage perfectly leavened by citrussy lift and the rocky character of this grand cru. Simultaneously suave and powerful, fine-grained and penetrating, this seamless, bulletproof grand cru finishes with outstanding building length and an impression of chewy dry extract. Really amazing texture, concentration and early personality for a wine with a moderate 12.5% alcohol. This should go on for a long time.”
The average price is $247
Vincent Dauvissat Sechet, Chablis Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, only 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Chablis 1er Cru Séchet fulfills the tremendous promise that it demonstrated in barrel last year. It has an expressive bouquet with scents of wild honey and a touch of petrol, leaning a little towards Riesling in style but with marvelous delineation. The palate is nervous and tensile, shimmering with energy which is quite amazing considering that 2015 was not supposed to have a high-acidity finish. The aftertaste is so mineral driven that the Séchet momentarily transports you to the vineyard. This comes highly recommended: an intellectual Chablis that should mature with style.”
The average price nationally is $108
Vincent Dauvissat Vaillons, Chablis Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, only 4 bottles available!
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Chablis 1Er Cru Vaillons was more closed than the Séchets at this point in time, gradually revealing scents of white citrus fruit, nectarine, beeswax and flint, those aromas drawing you in with each swirl of the glass. The palate is very harmonious with a honeyed opening, very concentrated with dried honey, quince and a ravishing ginger and lemongrass-tinged finish that lingers long in the mouth. As usual, this is a flattering Vaillons but that would be to overlook the complexity and precision within.”
Stephen Tanzer 91+ points “Pale yellow. Reticent aromas of menthol, oatmeal and white truffle, with stone and citrus fruit notes in the deep background. Silky on entry, then quite firm in the middle, conveying an impression of strong soil character–and sound acidity–to its flavors of citrus fruits, minerals and oatmeal. This rather powerful wine finishes very long and youthful, a tad aggressive but not dry. Dauvissat told me he’s already drinking this wine but I believe that it’s destined for a slow and graceful evolution in bottle. Incidentally, at this point in our tasting, Dauvissat told me that he’s still waiting on his 2000s, 2001s and 2002s.”
The average price nationally is $100
Holiday Trend Setters
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “($36) The name references a type of soil. The flavors combine red berries and a whiff of mushroom, along with spice, orange peel and citrus. The wine seems to tighten up through the midpalate, which leaves the finish feeling a bit restrained. Try giving it a good long decanting, or cellar till 2020.”
VinopolNote: Disregard the Wine Enthusiast’s hesitation – this wine is open and ready to go! No further cellaring required. This wine exhibits a full range of Pinot Noir flavors in a well-balanced, medium-weight body. Nothing seems tight or restrained. Eric Hamacher doesn’t make wines like that after all!
The next best price is $35.99
Wine Advocate 93 points “Unfurling in the glass with notes of black cherries, mulberries, cracked black pepper and dark chocolate, the 2017 Morgon Côte du Py is a deep, brooding, medium to full-bodied wine with considerable power and firm but fine-grained extract. Concentrated and structured, it will reward patience.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Sec, Loire 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
John Gilman 93+ points “The 2017 Vouvray “Le Haut Lieu” Sec from Domaine Huët is absolutely classic in profile, coming in at an even thirteen percent and offering up beautiful precision on both the nose and palate. The lovely nose wafts from the glass in a youthful blend of quince, apple, chalk dust, lanolin, a hint of honeycomb and a topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is crisp, full and focused, with a rock solid core, great soil signature, excellent balance and a very long, bright and complex finish. This is a very, very elegant young vintage of Le Haut Lieu Sec and the wine will age very long and very gracefully. Fine, fine juice. 2018-2021; 2028-2060+.”
Importer note “The original Huët vineyard is nearly 9 hA. It has the richest soils of the domaine’s three crus—a deep limestone-clay—and the wines are generally the estate’s most approachable. In some vintages, small quantities from nearby estate parcels may be added to Le Haut-Lieu.”
The average price is $36
Chateau Coutet, Barsac 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Chateau Coutet, Barsac 2014 375ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “This shows the vivid, racy side of Barsac, with streaming flavors of pineapple, yellow apple, green plum and white ginger, displaying lovely energy from start to finish. Ends with enough honeysuckle and orange blossom notes to balance the richness. Best from 2020 through 2035. 4,000 cases made.”
Produttori del Barbaresco Montestefano, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “This is full-bodied, displaying cherry, licorice, wild herb, iron and tobacco notes. The dense tannins take over and dominate the finish now, despite this remaining fresh and long. Full-bodied and minerally. Best from 2025 through 2040.”
Wine Enthusiast – Editor’s Choice 96 points “New leather, camphor, forest berry, dried rose and culinary spice are some of the aromas you’ll find on this exceptional red. The firmly structured, poised palate doles out juicy cranberry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise framed in tightly-knit, refined tannins while bright acidity provides energy and balance. Drink 2020–2033.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “A dark, brooding wine, the 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano comes across as quite virile today, with huge tannins and equally imposing dark fruit. Smoke, leather, licorice and game add to an impression of raw, almost unrestrained, power. There is not a whole lot of finesse here at least not now. The Montestefano is a wine painted in broad brush strokes that emphasize power over elegance. Then again, that is Montestefano. Readers should be in no rush to open the 2013.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The final wine in this portfolio of amazing single-vineyard expressions is the 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano. This is the densest and darkest of them all, and I would therefore suggest that the longest drinking window be reserved for this expression. Montestefano is shaped as an amphitheater of vines that locks in the summer heat and sees less wind compared to Montefico. This is a solid and firm wine with deep, dark intensity and solid tannins that form an unyielding backbone. You should hold onto this bottle for at least 5 more years before popping the cork.”Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2015 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2015 1.5L ($139.95) $115 special
James Suckling 95 points “Plenty of dark plums, black cherries, blackberry pie, cedar, tobacco and a hint of orange rind. There’s a real vitality to the palate, which is so well carved out by firm, savory tannins and seriously bright acidity. A chewy finish. Drink in 2022.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “The fine cherry, plum, leather and spice flavors pick up accents of chocolate, earth and mineral as this red gathers steam. Builds to a firmly structured finish, where sweet fruit and dusty tannins linger. Drink now through 2028.”
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 94-97 points “The 2015 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is one of the most finessed young Rancias I have ever tasted. Silky, aromatically precise and nuanced to the core, the 2015 is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. This is an impressive showing.”
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2003 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2003 1.5L ($299.95) $249 special
Robert Parker – Hedonist’s Gazette 100 points “I noticed the Chinese love to have both a sweet wine and a vintage port at the end of a meal, which is pretty much over-kill for me. However, I was blown away by the 2003 Taylors vintage port. The Great Wall of China, Black Tie Dinner.”
Pierre Ravoni – Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2003 Taylor’s has a lovely ripe, primal bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, vanilla and marmalade that shows slightly better delineation than the Fonseca. The palate is medium-bodied with very composed, refined tannins that belie the heat of that summer. There is wonderful focus here and fine tension, the finish offering precise notes of black cherries, mulberry, cloves and white pepper. This is one of the finest Ports of a precocious vintage. Tasted May 2013.”
The Sweetest Gift
Chateau D’Yquem, the Sauternes against which all other Sauternes are judged. From one of the greatest vintages on record…
“Truly, this is a legendary vintage for d’Yquem.” – Lisa Perroti-Brown, Wine Advocate
Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes 2015 375ML ($259.95) $219 special, 10 half-bottles in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown – Wine Advocate 100 points “Following a very long harvest stretching nearly two months, the 2015 Château d’Yquem came in at 13.9% alcohol and 144 grams per liter of residual sugar, sporting a pH of 3.65 and six grams per liter of tartaric acid. None of these numbers, however, even remotely begin to tell you how profound this wine is. The nose opens with electric notes of ripe pineapples, green mango, orange blossoms and lemon tart with hints of fungi, lime zest, crushed rocks and jasmine. The freshness on the palate is just astonishing, permeating and lifting layer upon layer of tropical fruits and earthy notions, all encased in a sumptuous texture and culminating in a very, very long, mineral-tinged finish. Truly, this is a legendary vintage for d’Yquem. I’ve been conservative with my drinking window here, and I would not be at all surprised if our descendants are drinking this vintage well into the next century.”
James Suckling 99-100 points “This is an incredible young Yquem that is so vinous like a great vintage of Montrachet but then on the palate it turns to Yquem with spice, dried fruit and mushroom as well as sweet fruit. Last for minutes. Acidity is all there giving it a dynamic vibrance that jolts your senses. Special wine. It has a little more than than 140 grams of residual sugar, less than the legendary of 2001. But is very close in greatness. Let’s wait and see.”
Antonio Galloni 98 points “The 2015 d’Yquem is without question one of the wines of the vintage. Just as alluring from bottle as it was from barrel, the 2015 is a wine that engages all of the senses, from the intellectual to the more hedonistic. Lilting notes of pineapple, mint, orange peel and white flowers grace the palate, but it is the wine’s sense of balance and total harmony that impress most. In 2015, Yquem had its earliest start to the harvest since 1893. Even so, the winemaking team did a magnificent job of preserving freshness. The 2015 was fermented in 100% new oak, and residual sugar is 145 grams per liter, but great wine is never about numbers. Above all else, the 2015 Yquem is a wine of energy and class. Don’t miss it!”
Wine Enthusiast 96-98 points “Barrel Sample. This wine is ethereal. It certainly offers attractive honey and bitter orange flavors but also a fresh character that gives the wine lift and crispness. It is, of course, going to age magnificently, although it is so delicious and refreshing now.”
Need a truly stunning gift? The magnum is arriving Wednesday:
Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes 2015 1.5L ($1,099.95) $979 pre-arrival special, only 3 magnums available
Arriving This Wednesday
2010 Prado Enea Reloaded!
Your Second Chance at First Growth Rioja
Muga’s top-end “Prado Enea” bottling is a wine that represents the best of Rioja. Produced only in great years and held extensively before release, this is one of the top examples of traditional Rioja and will age and deliver pleasure like a top Bordeaux—only a lot less expensive.
2010 was about as perfect a year as you could hope for in Rioja, with warm but not hot weather and a dry harvest. Muga took advantage of this and has made one of their best ever bottlings of Prada Eneo. This edition is 70% Tempranillo with the balance made up of Garnacha and Mazuelo—grapes that provide freshness and lift to go with the brooding power of the flagship grape.
We sold through our first tranche of this wine back in the spring but have secured another round, arriving Wednesday. It’s exciting to offer this to you again, though quantities are still quite limited. Act now to secure yours before the wine disappears again.
Arriving This Wednesday, November 28th:
Bodegas Muga ‘Prado Enea’ Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 99 points “The wonderfully silky texture with an added juiciness is what makes this wine so very special. The flawless and seamless nature to the wine is so impressive that it takes your breath away. Plenty of beautiful fruit but what mouthfeel. Drink now and forever.”
Wine Advocate 97 points “I was really looking forward to the 2010 Prado Enea Gran Reserva, as I’ve seen a very good improvement in this cuvée in the last few vintages, and 2010 is one of the more-balanced vintages of recent times. This is the most classical among the wines in the portfolio, the one with the longer élevage, a little bit like the wines from yesteryear but with today’s knowledge about vineyards and vinification/élevage. This has settled to a blend of approximately 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the remaining 10% between Mazuelo and Graciano, from the cooler, higher-altitude vineyards, which means they only bottle it every two or three years. In recent years, 2007 and 2008 were not bottled. It ferments in small oak vats built by their own tonneliers, and they like to delay malolactic until the spring by opening the windows so the cold from outside comes into the winery. For the aging, each variety goes into separate barrels racked from newer to older barrels to complete some 36 months or three years. It has very healthy and balanced parameters, and that’s what the wine feels like. It’s still young. It’s never a dark wine, more of a ruby or bright color, and it has a nose of youth, subtle and elegant. But the quality shows in the unbelievable elegance and harmony on the palate, where the tannins are very fine, the flavors are subtle but deep and the length is just phenomenal. This is only medium-bodied, with perfect ripeness and integrated acidity. This should have a very long life in bottle, especially as I had the chance to check the evolution of the 2004 next to this. 90,000 bottles were produced from 2010. The following vintages will be 2011, 2014 (a small bottling) and 2015.”
The average price nationally is $74
Also Arriving Wednesday
#24 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2018
Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points “Fantastic aromas of dark berries, sandalwood and Spanish cedar that are ever so deep. Full body, an incredible spin of polished tannins and bright acidity. Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper. Powerful and structured. A great Tignanello. A little more sangiovese than usual. Best since the legendary 1997?”
Wine Spectator 97 points “Dense and intensely flavored, with violet, black currant, blackberry, graphite, wild herb and spice aromas and flavors, this is concentrated and solidly built, yet also harmonious, vibrant and pure. Approachable now, but should be better in a few years. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2015 Tignanello is a wine that opens, like a fully blossomed rose, right in front of you. This vintage is immediately accessible, generous and opulent. The wine will surely flesh out and gain focus with more bottle age, but one of the best qualities of this vintage is just how beautiful the wine tastes straight out of the gate. The fruit is beautifully ripe with fresh blackberry and cherry nuances, spice, leather, sweet tobacco and smoke. Up until this vintage, the various blending components that make up Tignanello were vinifed in separate lots. Starting with 2015, the wine is blended sooner in order to achieve better overall integration. The entire Tignanello estate counts 130 hectares of vines, but the single-vineyard “Tignanello” that makes this wine is 57 hectares. Some 340,000 bottles were produced.”
BV George de la Tour Private Reserve
A Napa Icon, Back to Form
There was a period of time where BV’s top wine, the George de la Tour Cabernet, would have been held up as an example of a great winery resting on its laurels, but recent vintages confirm that it’s returned to its perch at the top of Napa’s food chain. We’re getting the 2013 in at the end of the month and it’s as good a bottle of Cabernet as we’ve seen for at/under $100—the product of a lot of time, money and energy well spent coupled with a tremendous vintage.
In the 70’s and 80’s, any list of the top five Napa Cabs would certainly include BV’s George de la Tour, sourced from some of the best vineyards in the valley and spared no expense or care in the production. Unfortunately, by the mid-90’s, the wine was unspectacular at best and lingered that way until the mid 00’s, when BV decided to revive its flagship wine. Money, time and expertise were poured into the project and now it’s clearly one at the top of the class of Napa. For a Cabernet of this caliber, it’s exceptionally reasonably priced, as well—just $91.50 by the six pack.
Arriving November 30th:
“a fabulous wine”
Beaulieu Vineyard BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($149.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Beaulieu Vineyard BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($899.95) $549 pre-arrival special (that’s only $91.50/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Ripe, concentrated and intense, with fabulous richness throughout, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve brilliantly melds together elements of both the classic and modern. The flavors are dark and unctuous, but even with the wine’s considerable mid-palate sweetness, the 2013 needs time for the tannins to soften. There is no shortage of potential, but readers will have to be patient.”
Wine Advocate 95+ points “One of the two flagship cuvées, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour is a fabulous wine. Obviously, this is the one wine that received the most meticulous attention from their outside consultant Michel Rolland. A great effort in 2013, as one might expect in this vintage, this wine needs 5-6 years and seems capable of lasting 30-40 or more, given the history of the great BV Private Reserves. Inky purple to the rim, with an extraordinary nose of créme de cassis and kirsch, licorice, cedarwood, and a touch of underbrush, the wine hits the palate with a full-bodied, powerful, concentrated, dense style, has great acidity, moderately sweet tannin, and a long, long finish. This wine is young and still slightly unformed, but loaded with potential and upside. Forget it for 5-6 years and drink it over the following half-century.”
From Star Winemaker Chris Peterson
“When the history of Washington wine is written, a seminal moment will be the 2001 inauguration of the Enology and Viticulture Program by the legendary (and late) Stan Clarke at Walla Walla Community College. In subsequent years, that program launched dozens of successful Washington winemaking careers. The very first class, in 2003, probably didn’t even include a dozen students, but it did contain Chris Peterson, our 2017 Winemaker of the Year…
“When Peterson left DeLille to start Woodinville-based Avennia (founded in 2010 in partnership with Microsoft marketing veteran Marty Taucher), he garnered immediate praise for a fully formed house style that emphasized elegant, restrained reds and whites, with a balance of fruit and non-fruit elements, and a firm embrace of the earthy side of wine. His winemaking skill was noticed by former NFL quarterbacks Damon Huard and Dan Marino, and when they started their Passing Time Winery in 2012, they chose Peterson as their winemaker, partnering to make richer, more robust Cabernet Sauvignons that retain his signature elegance.
“More than 15 years into his winemaking adventure, Peterson is bullish on Washington’s prospects. ‘We are in a golden age,’ he enthuses, ‘and I think it’s only the beginning.’ “ – Seattle Magazine
Avennia Arnaut Boushey Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 94-97+ points “Also deeply colored, the 2016 Syrah Arnaut Boushey Vineyard is a sensational, meaty, savory, complex beauty. Full-bodied, with sweet tannin, no hard edges and beautiful purity, it has fine, fine tannin, a bloody, salty character, and a great finish. It’s rocking stuff.”
Avennia Gravura Red, Columbia Valley 2015 750ML ($44.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points “A blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Gravura exhibits a classic bouquet of cassis, pencil shavings and rich soil, followed by a medium-bodied, velvety and layered palate, with a rich core of fruit that’s attractively vibrant and already incipiently complex. This is a sophisticated, well-balanced and keenly priced Bordeaux blend that definitely impressed me.”
James Suckling 93 points “Love the blackberry, blackcurrant and blueberry character. Dried spices and cinnamon. Full body, polished and velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Bigger style but holds together. Blend of 46% cabernet sauvignon, 47% merlot and 7% cabernet franc. Drink or hold.”
Avennia Sestina Red, Columbia Valley 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2015 Sestina is showing very well, offering up a rich, more exuberant bouquet than the 2014 rendition. This emphasizes notes of cassis, black plums, dark chocolate, espresso roast and a subtle framing of new oak. On the palate, it’s full-bodied and lavish but controlled, with an ample, more sun-kissed core of fruit and fine-grained structuring tannins. Like the 2014, it’s a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. While the 2014 and 2015 are quite different in style, it’s hard to choose between them qualitatively. While it needs a few years in the cellar, I suspect the 2015 will hit its peak sooner.”
The average price is $64
What’s The Best Value in Barbaresco?
New Adriano Arrives Friday
Wine Spectator 93 points “A streak of cherry bisects the supple texture and sleek structure in this elegant red. Hints of licorice, menthol, leather and tobacco add depth as this plays out on the chewy, resonant finish. Best from 2022 through 2038.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Elegant, leading off with perfumed aromas of rose, cherry, strawberry and white pepper. The profile is sleek, with a solid base of acidity and tannins. Shows terrific length, evoking fruit and mineral on the aftertaste. Best from 2019 through 2033.”
New Marguet Review
“This is a breathtakingly beautiful wine in the making…” –John Gilman, A View from the Cellar
“Benoît Marguet is a fast-rising star in the Montage de Reims if not in the entire Champagne region…” –Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate
Marguet Pere & Fils ‘Les Crayeres’ Ambonnay Grand Cru, Champagne 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, only 10 bottles available!
John Gilman 95 points “The 2012 les Crayères is the only blended lieux à dit bottling from Monsieur Marguet in this vintage, with the cépages of this iteration seventy-two percent pinot noir and twenty-eight percent chardonnay. Like the other single vineyard bottlings chez Marguet, this received no dosage and was disgorged in September of 2017. This is a breathtakingly beautiful wine in the making, offering up a very youthful and vibrant nose of apple, white peach, chalky minerality, patissière, white flowers and gentle upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very mineral in profile, with racy acids, great focus and grip, elegant mousse and a very, very long, nascently complex finish. This shows just a bit of oak influence from the barrel fermentation of its vins clairs right now, but it is a lovely element that just adds to the complexity of the wine. Stunning juice. 2024-2065.”
Great, Back Vintage Grand Cru Vosne
The best buy in Grand Cru Vosne is library Hudelot-Noëllat. Through the mid-aughts, they were a true insider’s secret—a venerable domaine with great holdings that had underperformed until recently. The current winemaking team has pushed Hudelot-Noëllat to new heights and the wines are still values. It’s hard to find Richebourg and Romanée St. Vivant at this quality level for this sort of pricing (compare to, say, Cathiard, to get a sense of the values they offer).
From what we’ve seen across the country, the new releases of both Richebourg and RSV are going to push $700-800 (or more), which makes this offering of perfectly cellared wines a steal (in relative terms). These are wines that have a decade-plus head start in their journey to maturity and the cost for that time is practically nothing—a real opportunity.
We’ve secured additional stock on many of these wines—now totaling 42 bottlings, arriving at the end of the month, and are showing you a few highlights from the 2005 vintage below. You can click here to view the entire set online and buy them now—like with most top Burgundies, quantities on each individual wine are extremely limited.
Five ’05s Arriving Mid-December:
Alain Hudelot-Noellat Les Beaux Monts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($399.95) $299 pre-arrival special, 2 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 89-92 points “(20% of the juice is from vines in their fourth leaf) Deep, bright red. Sappy, pure aromas of dark berries and minerals. Fat and sweet but less expressive and less perfumed than the ineffable Suchots. This boasts lovely sweet red berry flavors but seems a bit stunted today on the back end, with the chewy tannins standing out.”
Burghound 89-91 points “The slightly higher-toned nose is even fresher and brighter with a similar nose of spicy black fruit trimmed in obvious minerality that introduces complex, delicious and somewhat more forward middle weight flavors that possess good detail and the same firm mineral streak suggested by the nose. This is classy juice with excellent length and while I like the greater finesse here versus the Suchots, the latter wine has better mid-palate fat and concentration.”
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points “Deep red. Blueberry, blackberry, flowers, spices and minerals on the slightly exotic nose, lifted by spicy oak. Round, lush and rich, with the weight and palate presence of a grand cru. Offers an uncanny combination of breadth and inner-mouth perfume, with the sweet oak serving to frame the fruit. Today this is the fleshiest and oakiest of the three premier crus from Vosne-Romanee, but the finish is wonderfully tangy and sappy, not to mention extremely long. A great showing-and very much in the typical style of this domain’s best wines from past vintages.”
Burghound 91-93 points “In a somewhat curious departure from all of the prior wines, the wood is borderline dominant and fights with the otherwise spicy and notably ripe black fruit nose that merges into rich, delicious and powerful flavors that possess plenty of punch and muscle on the exceptionally long finish. I asked for a second sample and it was much more balanced and more in keeping with the Hudelot style. I suspect with the impressive amount of dry extract present that once the final blend is made the oak will be successfully integrated and as such, my score awards the benefit of the doubt.”
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points “(from vines ranging from 30 to 50 years of age) Vibrant red-ruby color. Highly perfumed aromas of berries, cherry, spices and flowers. Dense and tangy, with a wonderful light touch and uncommon detail to the sappy red cherry and floral flavors. Racy acids frame the flavors and give the very long finish a captivating lingering perfume. Wonderfully delicate, stylish wine.”
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “Good deep red. Musky black cherry, raspberry, fresh herbs and sexy oak on the nose. Sweet, lush and creamy, with a combination of sappiness and roundness giving it great early appeal. In the fruit-driven style of this producer’s 2005s, but more pliant and sweet than most of them.”
Burghound 91-94 points “A moderately oaked nose of red and black pinot fruit nuanced by ample earth and sauvage notes that continue onto the notably sweet, full and concentrated flavors supported by firm and dusty tannin on the youthfully austere finish. This is a classically styled and quite ripe Clos de Vougeot with excellent dry extract levels.”Alain Hudelot-Noellat Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru 2005 750ML ($899.95) $799 pre-arrival special, 1 bottle available
Burghound 95 points “A very densely fruited nose is composed mostly from the black side of the fruit spectrum along with notes of menthol, spice and Asian tea nuances. There is excellent concentration to the intense and attractively well-detailed middle weight flavors that possess a suave and highly seductive mouth feel before terminating in a mouth coating, complex and hugely long finish. This is an unusually powerful RSV that is less elegant than usual yet one that is still very much on the way up, indeed I would suggest allowing it at least another 5 to 7 years of cellar time as it’s very much still a baby.”
Stephen Tanzer 94+ points “Good deep red. Knockout perfume of strawberry, violet and cocoa powder, complemented by sweet oak. Sappy, spicy and deep, with a compelling sweetness leavened by firm minerality. Wonderfully silky in texture and graceful. Highly complex flavors of raspberry, leather, smoke and mineral stain the back end with subtle perfume. This struck me as like a more pliant version of the Beaumonts but with the powerful mineral and tannic spine for a 20-year-evolution in bottle.”
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