The Legendary 2015 Hermitage La Chapelle
Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage “La Chapelle”, Rhone 2015 750ML ($319.95) Buy Now: $236
The 2015 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle has already reached legendary status. Between the wine’s consistently excellent track record and the quality of the 2015 vintage, we knew that this was going to be a wine to pay attention to. Jeb Dunnuck rated the wine a perfect 100 points and it was the highest rated Northern Rhone in Vinous (98 points). All of this is to say that we expect this to remain a coveted wine for decades to come (and for good reason).
The hill of Hermitage is both one of the most famous wine landmarks in the world and also so much more interesting than common lore purports it to be.… Read the rest
Luneau-Papin Muscadet “Terre de Pierre” 2012 ($29.95) Buy Now: $24 Special
Luneau-Papin is one of the two or three best producers of Muscadet. That’s sort of a blessing and a curse. Why a curse? Well, Luneau-Papin is one of the best couple of producers of the greatest white wine value in France. For quality, profundity and deliciousness, the wines stand toe-to-toe with wines that cost several times as much, and yet somehow, they don’t get the respect that’s accorded even middling producers of white Burgundy.
That should change, and if you want a wine to help you see the light, we’ve got you covered today. Luneau-Papin’s Muscadet “Terre de Pierre” 2012 is a masterpiece of a Muscadet, made in a style that marries the minerality and freshness you’d expect from the region with longer aging to provide richness and depth that are uncommon. … Read the rest
Philippe Pacalet Moulin A Vent, Beaujolais, France 2014 750ML ($59.95) Buy Now $49 special
Never patient when it comes to Beaujolais, I drank Pacalet’s intrepid Moulin-a-Vent the very night it arrived at our shop. A simple salmon dish served as accompaniment, and I poured some out into a decanter in order to contrast normal and accelerated evolution of the wine as it aerated. Cherry aromas soared out of the glass, with an immediate flavor profile of goji berries, plum, Bing cherries, and a touch of leather. The fruit bears this intriguing crunchiness, with the acid mingling but never overarching beyond the wine’s overall feel. There is a playful energy this Beaujolais, which went lovely with the salmon and danced between being a little showy and a bit mellow over the course of four hours.… Read the rest
Thibault Liger-Belair Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy 2011 750ML ($27.95) Buy Now: $20.90 special
Sometimes a hit of Burgundy is in order, a reconnection with those illustrious, puzzling, sumptuous whites and reds. But sometimes, too, price becomes an issue. Which is when the thirsty savant of Burgundy seeks out regional Bourgogne from a fine producer such as Thibault Liger-Belair. His négociant side business, Thibault Liger-Belair Successeurs, purchases wines and raises them in barrel, with very satisfying results.
The 2011 Bourgogne Rouge opens with a ripe Côte de Nuits bouquet of dark fruit, earth, and violet. Deeply colored, it carries some weight on the palate, backed by nice acidity. But this wine, as with the 2011 vintage, is more about perfume than power.… Read the rest
Chateau d’Arcole, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($34.95) Buy Now: $29 special
My palate exercised by a cellar-worthy 2010 Sociando-Mallet, I relaxed with the first sip of 2009 Château d’Arcole. The former Bordeaux, a deep Cabernet, was still quite young; the latter, a soft Merlot, drank smoothly till all was gone. Both years were outstanding, but sometimes life calls for a fleshy, rounded St. Emilion, full of plum and spice, like Château d’Arcole.
The name comes from a Napoleonic battle, the grapes (70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon) from the château’s 300-year-old vineyard, which has never been bombarded by synthetic chemicals. The wine, certified organic, receives the dignified attention of Château d’Arcole’s Grand Cru status: Rotating stainless fermentation vats, gravity pumping, no filtration, not too much new oak.… Read the rest