Featured New Arrival: 2008 Cristal
The First Round of ’18 Cru Beaujolais Arrives
First Offer: Drappier’s Carte d’Or
Collector’s Corner – Dujac’s Grand Crus
A New Review for a Vilmart Standout
Staff Pick – Alternative Napa Whites
Three Great Traditional Chateauneuf Producers
2008 Roederer Cristal
We’re offering a very special case-6 price on this because it’s a wine that any collector is going to want to stock up on. It’s incredibly vibrant and engaging now, but this is also clearly a wine that’s going to go the distance.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($339.95) $249 special
Case-6 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML (1999.95) $1,439 special (that’s only $239.83/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 100 points “Top Cellar Selection. This latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer’s own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years. Drink from 2020.”
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The 2008 Cristal is a perfect wine, and Champagne simple does not get any better. This incredible wine offers a beautiful perfume of clean, crisp fruits, layers of complexity in its toasted spice and white flowers, and an utterly seamless, yet powerful style on the palate. This is a rich, decadent expression of Cristal yet it’s still crystalline and elegant, with no sensation of weight, and it just glides over the palate. Haut Couture at its finest and this majestic, profound, legendary Cristal can be drunk anytime over the coming 2-3 decades.”
James Suckling 100 points “Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh, and there are subtle woody notes, with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long, and very pure, powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot noir is a strong core and the chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated, yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned, and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025.”
Antonio Galloni 98+ points “The 2008 Cristal is a wine that takes over all the senses and never lets up. The brilliance and cut of the Chardonnay finds an extra kick of resonance from the Pinot Noir to carry the mid palate and finish in this stunningly beautiful, chiseled Champagne. Lemon oil, almond, flowers, dried herbs and Mirabelle plum are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop as the 2008 shows off its pedigree. The 2008 is a regal, towering Champagne from Roederer. That’s all there is to it.”
Decanter 98 points “Cristal 2008 is on a roll to yet higher levels of exquisite purity and precision of fruit in a paradoxical balance of weightlessness and depth of flavour, permeated with minerals and a salinity reflecting the greatest terroirs of the Roederer estate. Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon believes that 2008 is his best effort to date, and it’s easy to see why. It’s from a cooler, maritime vintage that came right in the end, with one of the longest harvests ever, running from mid-September to early October. The colour is a stylish pale gold flecked with green. Aromas of white flowers are joined by a cleansing citrus vigour and richer tones of peach and mirabelle. The palate is still quiet, but a tender creaminnes shows through, and there’s so much concentration to come if you drink if after 2021. The greatness of the wine owes everything to the influence of organic and biodynamic precepts in the field – and Lecaillon’s sleepless perfectionism in the cellar towards finer fruit and a careful brake on too much yeasty expression. The acidity is vibrant but better integrated in the 2008 than in the 1996. Magnificent. Dosage 7.7g/l.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97+ points “Let’s start describing the 2008 Cristal technically first. It is a 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 36 plots in seven grands crus: Verzy, Verzenay, Beaumont and Aÿ for the Pinot Noir and Mesnil, Avize and Cramant for the Chardonnay. Twenty-five percent of the wine was fermented in oak, and 16% underwent malolactic fermentation to moderate the fresh acidity of the 2008 vintage. The assemblage was bottled in May 2009. After 8.5 years on the second lees (longer than any Cristal before), the first release was disgorged in September 2017 with a relatively low dosage of 7.5 grams per liter.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “There’s a sense of focus and vibrancy to the overall structure, while the palate is all grace and charm. A fine, lacy texture carries a tapestry of ripe white cherry, toast point, blood orange zest, honey and ground ginger notes, with a minerally, mouthwatering finish. A stunning Champagne with a long future ahead of it. Drink now through 2033.”
B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Case-12 B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($599.95) $479 special (that’s only $39.92/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2016 Syrah comes from a site in the Yakima Valley that was planted by Leighton. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by classic Syrah notes of dark berry fruits, smoke tobacco, olive tapenade, and ground pepper. Medium to full-bodied, with both freshness and richness, it’s impeccably balanced, with beautiful fruit and a great finish. It’s another seriously good wine from Brennon that delivers the goods. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years.”
Charles Smith / K Vintner’s Winery Note “Deep, dark, and brooding. Dare I say seductive? Black plum, exotic owers, grilled meats, sage, and wet earth. Finishes bold and lovely with purity. This wine is dynamic!100% Syrah / 100% whole cluster pressed / Native yeast / 39 days on skins / 20% new, 80% once-used French oak puncheons / 19 mo. barrel-aged on lees.”
A powerhouse of a dry Riesling that’s coveted in its native Germany.
Dr. Crusius Felsenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 94 points “Another cool and minty wine from Dr. Crusius, but this has quite a bit more power and depth than the other GGs of this vintage from this producer. A crisp apple and mineral finish of considerable intensity and length. Drink now and for a few decades to come.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2016 Nahe Riesling Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg “GG” is precise, fresh and intense on the nose, with very clear and perfectly ripe fruit aromas intertwined with delicate flint notes. Full-bodied, well concentrated, lush and with remarkable finesse, this is a very elegant and frisky Felsenberg with a long, intense and concentrated finish. The mineral expression is very fine and lingers. An impressive wine.”
Quinta Da Falorca Reserva Lagar, Dao 2011 750ML ($59.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2011 Reserva Quinta Da Falorca Lagar is a blend of Touriga Nacional (70%), Alfrocheiro (15%) and Tinta Roriz (15)%, aged for 18 months in new French oak. On opening, this didn’t seem anywhere near as silky as the Touriga Nacional, also reviewed. On the second day, if anything, it was more so, very Burgundian and very graceful, but also more powerful, with a bit more astringency on the finish. There are expressive fruit flavors around the edges, but, as with the Touriga, this is unevolved and needs time despite its late release. It is potentially a big winner, but I liked the Touriga slightly better just now. That could easily change.”
Rich but not oaky, it’s a new take on Ribera del Duero.
Goyo Garcia Viadero Joven Vina Viejas, Ribera Del Duero 2018 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Importer Note “Joven de Viñas Viejas is from a single vineyard planted entirely to Tempranillo on sandy clay & limestone soils at high elevation. The grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, fermented with wild yeasts in steel tank with light extraction, then raised over the winter entirely in tank. Bottling is without fining or filtration, and only a tiny addition of SO2 if needed. This is a classic, young Ribera del Duero with an extra shade of vibrancy and fabulous tension between dark fruit, florals, mineral, and acidity. In short, the way Ribera should taste. Pair with blood sausage, charcuterie, and grilled lamb chops.”
Le Domaine d’Henri Troesmes, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special
Importer Note “From two hillside parcels located in the Troëmes section of the 1er Cru Beauroy vineyard on the left bank of the Serein river, this gorgeous wine shows notes of citrus and pears with tinges of mineral. This vineyard tends to be a little warmer than many in Chablis and thus possesses plenty of richness in the mouth. This richness is balanced by elegant, fresh acidity and a very persistent finish. Although fairly fruit forward in its youth, this wine will age gracefully for at least 10 years, if stored correctly. Drink with richer seafood dishes, fowl and mushrooms.”
Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Spectator 98 points “($150) This delivers intense balsamic notes of juniper, wild rosemary and sage, along with rose, cherry and berry aromas and flavors. Elegant and saturated with flavor, supported by a vibrant structure. Ends with energy and refined tannins. Best from 2022 through 2040. 750 cases made.”
Ian D’Agata 94+ points “Deep red. Captivating floral nuances complement red cherry, mineral and tobacco elements on the nose and on the very suave palate. Surprisingly light-bodied for a Brunello Riserva, but perfumed and very refined. This outstanding Brunello Riserva boasts a finish that lasts and lasts.”
These are some of the most complete “warm vintage” wines we’ve tasted—as Kelley put it “Winemakers appear to have learned the lessons of recent ripe vintages such as 2017, 2015, 2011 and 2009 and were better prepared in 2018…In short, among the best producers, the 2018 vintage is impressively consistent in style and quality.” In other words—stock up.
From a winemaking perspective, the closest comparison to what Daniel Bouland is doing is probably Domaine Dujac. The cross-regional comparison probably violates some sort of law of wine-writing, but when you look at what Bouland does with his grapes, it makes sense. There’s almost exclusively whole cluster fermentation at both houses and Bouland’s wine show as muscular and robust—capable of very long aging and transformation into profound wines.
The difference, of course, is that working with Gamay, Bouland’s wines are more immediately drinkable than anything from Dujac (Bouland also doesn’t use new oak on his wines). And the prices are far below what top Burgundy can command. Young, the Bouland bottles show both intense fruit and structure—you wouldn’t necessarily think to drink Beaujolais with steak, but these are incredible pairings with even very hearty foods (especially since Gamay has a zesty freshness to it that keeps the meals light.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Daniel Bouland Morgon Les Delys, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 96 points “There are some 6,600 bottles of Bouland’s 2018 Morgon Les Delys Vieilles Vignes de 1926—a cuvée that readers shouldn’t confuse with Bouland’s new Delys bottling from younger vines that he used to blend into his Corcelette. Revealing a deep and complex bouquet that mingles blackberry and cassis fruit with nuances of smoke, rich soil tones and spice, the wine is deep, full-bodied and enveloping, saturating the palate with layer after layer of sapid fruit and velvety tannin, its imposing structural bones entirely hidden by copious flesh. As is often the case, this is a Morgon with more than a passing resemblance to a young Clape Cornas, and in its muscular stylist register, it’s one of the finest cuvées being produced in the Beaujolais today.”
Daniel Bouland Chiroubles ‘Chatenay’, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “Bouland’s 2018 Chiroubles bursts with aromas of ripe blackberries, red plums, violets and cracked black pepper. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, ample and layered, with a succulent core of fruit, fine concentration and a long, lip-smacking finish. An especially gourmand rendition of this cuvée, it hails from a steep hillside site and is matured in tank.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2018 Morgon Bellevue Sable comes from younger vines, planted on Viala rootstock in sandy soils—as the “sable” newly added to its label makes clear. Revealing aromas of blackberries, smoked meats, cracked pepper and violets, it’s medium to full-bodied, ample and muscular, with powdery structuring tannin, juicy acids and a blockier, more reserved profile than the Chiroubles and Brouilly that preceded it. This will demand a couple of years’ patience before it shows all its cards.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points “From vines planted in sand—which is now indicated on the label—in 1927, Bouland’s 2018 Morgon Corcelette Vieilles Vignes Sable unfurls in the glass with notions of ripe plums, red cherries, smokes meats, violets and black pepper. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and multidimensional, with a broad attack, considerable depth and dimension at the core, juicy acids and a long, intense finish. Powerful and concentrated but framed by velvety tannins, this brilliant Morgon is the antithesis of facile, ephemeral Beaujolais nouveau!”
The winery makes a set of outstanding wines, starting with the “basic” Fleurie, which isn’t basic at all. It’s a perfect embodiment of the estate, and if you plan on drinking your Beaujolais younger than 5 years old, is the one you should be buying out of the lineup.
The somewhat confusingly named “Cuvee Tardive” is from older vines and is meant to be aged longer—this is a wine I buy for people to celebrate their weddings, or kids, or any year that’s important to them. It’s not going to go 30 years like a classic Burgundy, but for drinking from 5-20 years from vintage, it’s stellar, resembling Pinot more and more as it ages. The ’18 is significantly more approachable young than any since the ’11, but given how that wine is aging, should go as long as you’d like in the cellar.
Finally, we have the “Griffe du Marquis,” a wine honoring Alain’s father. The Griffe is the most powerful wine out of the lineup, structured like the Tardive but with more fruit richness. This is a relatively new bottling and it should age well; it’s explosive out of the gate. It’s the Roilette equivalent of the Lapierre “Cuvee Marcel” or Foillard’s “3.14.”
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Clos de la Roilette Fleurie, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2018 Fleurie from the Clos de la Roilette is showing very well, revealing an inviting bouquet of ripe cherries and cassis mingled with spices, violets and peonies. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, enveloping and layered, with fine-grained structuring tannins, ripe acids and a fleshy core of fruit. Gourmand and expressive, Coudert says the 2018 reminds him of his 2011, an analogy with which I concur.”
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Shimmering violet. Highly perfumed dark berry and floral aromas are complemented by suggestions of exotic spices and minerals. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering black raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors that are given spine by a core of juicy acidity. In a seamless, energetic style, displaying a suave blend of richness and finesse and finishing gently sweet and impressively long, with well-knit tannins and lingering florality.”
Clos de la Roilette Fleurie Cuvee Tardive, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Clos de la Roilette Fleurie Cuvee Tardive, Beaujolais 2018 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points “Youthful purple. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red/blue fruits, baking spices and potpourri, with hints of blood orange and savory herbs emerging with aeration. Juicy, densely packed mulberry and boysenberry flavors show excellent clarity and powerful back-end thrust becoming sweeter with air. Shows serious power and sexy, floral lift on the impressively persistent finish, which is supported by slowly building, youthfully gripping tannins.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points “Coudert’s brilliant 2018 Fleurie Cuvée Tardive offers up a deep and incipiently complex bouquet featuring raspberries, mulberries, rose petals, violets and cracked black pepper. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, deep and layered, with an abundance of rich and powdery structuring tannins, ripe but lively acids and a long, lingering finish. While this is built for the long haul—its name alluding to the aging potential of this old-vine cuvée, not to a later harvest—its enveloping profile and perfectly mature phenolics will make it unusually approachable in its youth.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Lurid ruby. A suave, spice-accented bouquet evokes ripe red/blue fruits and incense, and a smoky mineral flourish adds urgency and lift. Chewy, focused and appealingly sweet, offering densely packed black raspberry, boysenberry and violet pastille flavors that open up slowly with aeration. Shows very good heft, but there’s distinct elegance here as well. Closes sappy, youthfully tannic and extremely long, leaving a sexy floral note behind.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2017 Fleurie Griffe du Marquis reveals an attractive bouquet of violets, rose petals and berries, framed by a light patina from its time in barrels (ranging between two and eight years of age). On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, with a similar structural profile to the Clos de la Roilette Cuvée Tardive but displaying less chunky structure and a more aromatic personality. The oak influence here is very deftly handled, and the wine is a success.”
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Drappier’s Carte d’Or
Forbes placed the wine we’re offering today, the estate’s Carte d’Or , as the #3 “Best Champagne You’ve Never Heard Of” for good reason. Drappier makes big, flamboyantly rich Champagne that is always a crowd pleaser—at prices that mean you can actually pour it for crowds. It’s hard to find better bubbly under $35/btl, so if you’re a Champagne drinker you should stock up now.
Arriving November 22nd:
Drappier Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Drappier Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($299.95) $205 pre-arrival special (that’s only $34.16/bottle!)
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 90 points “The latest release of the NV Carte d’Or Brut was disgorged in November 2017, and it’s showing well today, wafting from the glass with notions of waxy lemon rind, hazelnuts, fresh peaches and lily pollen. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, pure and vibrant, with pinpoint bubbles, brisk acids and good length and definition on the chalky finish. Attractively balanced, it will gain depth with bottle age.”
Dujac’s Grand Crus
Dujac is known primarily for their holdings in and around Morey-St. Denis, though recent years have seen them add new parcels to their domaine. We’re focusing on their prime wines today—Grand Crus and one that might as well be. These are some of the most sought after wines in the world and we’re proud we have such a large collection.
In Stock Now:
Only four bottles available
Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($699.95) $579 special
Jasper Morris, MW 95-97 points “A satisfactory yield approaching 45 hl/ha. Medium deep purple. Refined, reserved and really classy. Do not expect an explosion from Clos de la Roche but do expect something to make a long term classic. The balance on the palate is exquisite and subtly nuanced, as always it is a drier style but the fruit is infused throughout. Exceptional persistence. Magical. (Jan 2018)”
John Gilman 95 points “The 2016 Clos de la Roche from the Seysses family was really singing at the time of my visit. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a refined blend of red plums, cherries, gamebird, a touch of fresh nutmeg, superb soil tones and a deft base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very elegant out of the blocks this year, with a sappy core of fruit, outstanding backend soil signature, ripe, suave tannins and a long, complex and tangy finish. I love the balance and breed this exudes this year. 2030-2075. (Nov/Dec 2017)”
Only six bottles available
Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($699.95) $599 special
Decanter 97 points “The average age of the Seysses’ 1.95ha holdings in the Clos de la Roche are slightly older than those of neighbouring Clos St-Denis. Using fruit from five main parcels, it’s a very complete, self-confident wine with good density and concentration, sappy, spicy undertones, fine-grained fruit and tannins, and a very long, tapering finish.”
Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2017 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru is an excellent wine in the making, offering up a complex bouquet of orange rind, warm spices, red cherries, rose petals, espresso roast and rich soil tones. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied with excellent depth and dimension, velvety textured after the satin of the Clos Saint-Denis but similarly supple and elegant, with juicy balancing acids and a sapid finish. While this remains a charming, giving vintage, there’s enough structural tension here to suggest the wine will be sneakily long lived.”
Only three bottles available
Domaine Dujac Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2014 750ML ($499.95) $299 special
John Gilman 93-94+ points “The 2014 Charmes-Chambertin was also late finishing up its malo, and unlike the Eche´zeaux, it was not all that happy about being tasted. This wine had not yet absorbed all its new wood and was showing a bit chewy, but all the constituent components are in place for this wine to snap into place with a bit more elevage. The nose is a promising blend of black cherries, cassis, grilled meat, espresso, dark soil tones and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, long and rock solid at the core, with fine focus and soil signature, ripe tannins and a long, chewy and adolescent finish.”
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2014 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru has an exquisite bouquet with blackberry, bilberry and cassis fruit. This is very elegant and linear, great precision here. The palate is very well balanced, structured with citrus-infused blackcurrant fruit. There is that titillating prickle of salinity on the finish, a Mazoyères-like Charmes that should age well over the next 15-20 years.”
Domaine Dujac Aux Malconsorts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($699.95) $599 special
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The 2016 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts actually has a similar bouquet to the Les Beaux Monts but with heightened mineralité which is prioritized over the fruit. I was momentarily whisked back to my youth, pot-holing in the Lake District, that tang of limestone and moorland in the air. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin. As Alec Seysses remarked, there is more “wine” in the Malconsorts compared to the Beaux Monts. It has brilliant delineation and a very complex finish that fans out with real confidence. This is one of the top wines from Dujac. Chapeau.”
Stephen Tanzer 93-95 points “13.2% alcohol): Good full red. Captivating perfume combines raspberry, Oriental spices, minerals and cocoa powder. Wonderfully sweet but tightly wound, offering a terrific core of sappy red berries and spices framed by sound acidity. Finishes with a subtle saline touch.”
A New Review for a Vilmart Standout
Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier d’Or Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2014 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 95 points
Holiday Season Note
Purchase now and ship ASAP to ensure you’re ready for your holiday entertaining and gift giving.
Massican, the personal wine project of star winemaker Dan Petroski, makes some of my favorite white wines in the Western Hemisphere. They’re perfect examples of what’s been called the “New California”—wines that are clearly influenced by old-school, old world sensibilities (especially regarding ripeness and balance) but have a certain California-ness about them that they don’t run from. These wines are the epitome of that—bright, fresh and mineral but with a density and generosity that speaks of Napa.*
Most of his wines are blends, utilizing a mixture of Italianate grape varieties and some that are common to California. The results are stunning and are wines that are delicious and showy (in the best way). What’s more, they tend to go with an incredible array of foods, from fish and shellfish prepared simply to roast pork and hearty vegetable dishes
*There’s one wine, Gaspare, made in Fruili in collaboration with the legendary producer
Ronco del Gnemiz. I’d urge you to check that out, as well—it’s great, but definitely speaks solely of Italy, not California
In Stock Now:
Massican Gemina, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Editor’s Choice. Wow, this is a beautiful wine. A blend of 77% Pinot Grigio from the Napa Valley’s Chiles Valley and 23% Greco from Russian River Valley, winemaker Dan Petroski melds them both together into a floral and fresh explosion of vivid flavor. Tart apricot and peach meet freshly squeezed lemon as balanced acidity lingers masterfully on the finish.”
Winery note “Grapes: pinot grigio – 77%, greco – 23%. With our hearts and minds attached to the wildfires that ravaged our community during the early part of October we often forget that the vintage was defined by another incredible weather event – the record breaking heat wave that lasted from June through Deptember. It was a relentless heat wave but we are fortunate for GEMINA to be made from two grape varieties, one of those varieties is greco which is accustom to savage climate of southern Italy and can face the intensity of one hundred degree days.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Floral and stony, this impressively complex and memorable white has a thirst-quenching grasp of gravelly minerality, a core element built around bold, beautiful flavors of fig, Meyer lemon and tangerine.”
Winery note “Sauvignon blanc – 100%. The 2017 vintage in Napa Valley will always be remembered because of the wildfires that began in the late evening of Sunday, October 8. The fires spread with lightning speed because of the heavy winds that night and not only many homes were lost but also many lives in the area. Each day we take a step to repair the physical and emotional loss due to the fires but we will never forget how fragile our planet is and how quickly mother nature will remind us of the breadth and ferocity of her power.”
Three Great Traditional Chateauneuf Producers
Charvin is the most resolutely old-school of the bunch, making wines that demand age but reward it with classically mature flavors and aromas. Ferrand and R. Usseglio both make wines that are significantly more friendly young—delicious bottles that have rich fruit and succulent textures. Across the board, these are wines that are excellent values, as well. The 2017’s arrive next Friday and they mark yet another successful vintage for the southern Rhone. They remind us of 2015 with softer tannins and gloriously ripe fruit.
Arriving ETA November 22nd:
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale, Rhone 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale (from vines planted in 1902) is firm and structured to age magnificently. Roses, black tea and red raspberries all appear on the nose and palate, framed by fine-grained tannins. I suspect it will close down shortly, but there is terrific material here, and the wine will drink well for two decades.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvee Imperiale kicks the intensity up a notch and offers rocking notes of black cherries, garrigue, ground pepper, and incense. More expansive, full-bodied, concentrated, and pure, it’s a brilliant, brilliant wine that stays tight and compact at the moment yet has beautiful concentration, present tannins, and a great finish. It has everything, but it needs 4-5 years or bottle age.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “A special cuvée made for American importer Peter Weygandt, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Girard includes a bit more old-vine Grenache, and it shows in the wine’s increased elegance. It’s more floral than the regular bottling, with scents of tea and roses, but it’s also darker and richer, with black cherry fruit, a velvety mouthfeel and a long, layered finish.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape checks in as 90% Grenache and the rest 3% each of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Bourboulenc, with a splash of Cinsault, brought up all in tank. It has a deep, layered, powerful yet elegant style as well as notes of black raspberries, crushed violets, blueberries, ground pepper, and earth. With a rounded, sexy texture, no hard edges, fine tannins, and a beautiful finish, it’s a fabulous wine in the vintage.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is an awesome wine from Laurent, and while it shows the sunny, ripe, sexy style of the vintage, it never loses the elegance and purity that’s the hallmark of Charvin. Lots of kirsch, graphite, dried flowers, garrigue, and ample minerality flow to a medium to full-bodied, silky, incredibly well-balanced red that has a stacked mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and it will cruise over the following two decades.”