VinopolPick Thursday – December 18th

December 18th, 2014
Soos Creek Winery, Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Crus at Grand Prices, and Gift Ideas for Any BudgetSoos Creek Winery

Established in 1989, Soos Creek winery was a 20+ year old dream of now retired Boeing employee, David Larsen.  Still considered a small production facility, over the last 20 years Soos Creek has had a slow and steady increase from 100 cases to 1,200 cases annually.  Small production has the incomparable ability to display the meticulous care that is involved and the proper attention that is required through each phase of the winemaking process.  This factor is very important and has been a main focus of Larsen’s, explaining the slow increase in production throughout the years.

The single most important factor for Soos Cellars is the vineyards, and Eastern Washington was an ideal location, with a great amount of potential for seeking out excellent vineyards.  Soos Creek strictly uses Bordeaux varietals, with fruit coming from some of the best and oldest vineyards in Eastern Washington; Champoux, Ciel du Cheval, Slide Mountain, Elephant Mountain, DuBrul, Dineen, Lewis, Sagemoor, Klipsun and The Benches.   Sourcing fruit from different vineyard locations is yet another intentional focus for Larsen, with a belief that this practice will create an even more balanced wine, with greater flavor complexities. However, in years of incredible quality and outstanding wines with specific vineyard characteristics, single vineyard designate wines have been produced.

Such small production is quite labor intensive to say the least, without the ability to utilize machinery and equipment to do much of the work for you.  The detailed work involved creates a personal relationship with each individual lot, allowing the ability to closely monitor each specific fermentation vessel.  All barrels used are French oak from several different coopers, to provide complexity and different components in the final blends.  To avoid too much oak influence in the wines, no more than 40% of new oak is used for each wine, creating a better integration.

These wines are of excellent value, with Soos Creek being small enough to be unrecognized by most and therefore, undervalued.  Soos Creek wines are full of elegance, and multiple layers containing a structural backbone and density that really show Washington state fruit and its capabilities.

Soos Creek Wines Arriving Tomorrow
December 19th

Soos Creek Wine Cellars Artist Series Red Blend, Columbia Valley 2011 (34.95)
$24.50 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points –Vinous “(a 53/47 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc): Bright, dark red. Inviting, perfumed aromas of raspberry, currant, cocoa powder and licorice, lifted by an enticing floral element. Densely packed and broad but light on its feet, offering a fine-grained texture to its sweet berry and aromatic spice flavors. With the energy that comes from a cool year, this wine comes across as voluminous but not at all thick. And with its solid tannic clout and excellent rising length, it has the balance to evolve gracefully in bottle.”

Soos Creek Wine Cellars Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red, Red Mountain 2011 ($39.95) $28 pre-arrival special 
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points –Vinous “(42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc): Bright, saturated medium ruby. Brooding, youthfully medicinal aromas of blackberry, licorice and flint, smoky minerals. Dense, sappy and powerful, boasting terrific concentration and grip to its high-pitched flavors of blackberry, blueberry, spices and mint. Terrific texture and depth here but this tightly coiled wine is painfully young today and in need of six to eight years of cellaring. Finishes with a strong tannic spine and urgent cherry and spice intensity. This beauty strikes me as even stronger than the superb 2010 bottling.”

Soos Creek Wine Cellars Palisade, Columbia Valley 2011 ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points –Vinous “(an 82/18 blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon): Bright, dark red. Subdued but pure aromas of dark raspberry, dark chocolate, musky spices and earth. At once broad and juicy, offering savory currant and dark raspberry fruit flavors complicated by licorice and smoky soil nuances. Nicely concentrated wine with a restrained sweetness. Finishes with tongue-dusting, essentially supple tannins.”

Soos Creek Wine Cellars Soleil Red, Columbia Valley 2011 ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 90+ points –Vinous “(55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 10% Syrah): Bright, saturated ruby-red. Brooding aromas of dark berries, licorice and violet, accented by black pepper and herbs. Densely packed and classically dry, with a fine-grained texture to the flavors of blackberry, cassis, violet, black pepper and minerals. Finishes with a firm spine of dusty, fine tannins and very good length.”

Soos Creek Wine Cellars Sundance Red, Columbia Valley 2011 ($24.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 88 points –Vinous “(38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 15% Syrah and 13% Cabernet Franc): Dark red. Aromas of dark cherry, brown spices and celery seed, plus a lively suggestion of rose petal. A juicy, slightly peppery midweight with a cool-vintage character to its red fruit and spice flavors. On the lean side but nicely aromatic in the mouth, although the nose seemed to shut down in the glass. I’d enjoy this over the next three or four years.”


Gift ideas list

Looking for a special bottle for friends, family or co-workers?  How about a corporate gift?  We’ve put together a list of wines we think are quite special in a variety of budget categories!

Under $20

Evesham Wood Blanc du Puits Sec, Eola-Amity Hills 2013 ($19.95)
$16 special, 5 bottles available
“A dry wine with lush floral and melon aromas.  This is a blend of Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and other varietals.”

Rutherford Hill Barrel Select, Napa Valley 2010 ($37.95) $16 special, 3+ cases available (case pricing available!)
“Blended from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, this is a good, full-bodied red wine. It’s dry and tannic, with blackberry, blueberry, tobacco, sweet red currant and oak flavors that finish sweet and spicy.”–Wine Enthusiast

A.R. Valdespino El Candado Pedro Ximenez Sherry,= 375ML ($17.95) $14 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Offers layers of macerated date, ganache, warm caraway, buckwheat honey and chocolate-covered orange peel notes, with a deep, intense finish that lets a wonderfully smoky hint curl through. The power is obvious, the range and definition more subtle. Drink now.” WS

Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Schieferkristall Riesling Kabinett Feinherb, Mosel 2012 ($27.95) $19 special, 11 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points
“Schieferkristall refers to the Kabinett-styled wines at the Estate (the reference to Kabinett is pushed to the back label). A whiff of wild yeasts gives quickly way to a very attractive and floral bouquet of rose-water, grapefruit and mint. The round and fruity feel from the residual sugar (20 g/l) is nicely balanced by some zesty acidity and a pure and spicy feel in the long finish. This is a deliciously fresh and lively off-dry Riesling made with a small 9.5% of alcohol. 2014-2020”

Montepeloso A Quo Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2011 ($24.95) $18 special, 2+ cases available
Antonio Galloni 90 points
“Once again, Montepeloso’s entry-level A Quo is fabulous. I expected to find a rich, powerful wine given the year, instead the 2011 A Quo is fresh, vibrant and beautifully delineated. Hints of raspberry jam, rose petals and sweet spices literally jump from the glass. The 2011 is best enjoyed over the next few years, while the fruit remains vibrant. This is a terrific showing from proprietor Fabio Chiarellotto.”

Chateau de La Liquiere Faugeres Nos Racines, Languedoc-Roussillon 2011 ($24.95) $19 special, 2+ cases available
Robert Parker 88 points
“The 2011 Faugeres Nos Racines comes from nearly 95% Carignan that was aged all in tank. A beautiful effort, with fresh plum, black cherry, ground herbs, decayed flowers and old cabinet-like nuances, it is medium to full-bodied, mouth-filling and layered, with excellent fruit. Showing some chewy, savory (if not a touch dry) tannin on the finish, enjoy it over the coming 4-5 years.”

Bow & Arrow Gamay Noir, Willamette Valley 2013 ($21.95) $18 special, 1+ case available
Vina Ilusion, Rioja DOCa 2011 ($21.95)
$14 special, 2+ cases available

Under $50

Massolino Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2010 ($59.95)
$49 special, 2+ cases available
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2010 Barolo is gorgeous. Sage, rosemary, tar, dried rose petals and sweet spices meld together. An impeccable, perfumed Barolo, the 2010 impresses for its balance. Fine, silky tannins support the gracious finish in this medium-bodied, refined Barolo. Readers who want to get a sense of what the 2010 vintage is all about will want to check out this fabulous effort from Massolino. This is decidedly a medium-bodied style for Serralunga, but it works.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2012 ($44.95) $38 special, 2+ cases available
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Lovely bay leaf, pepper, lavender and tobacco notes impart texture and range as they wrap around a core of solid black currant and fig fruit.  Shows a grippy charcoal feel through the finish.  Very solid.  Best from 2015 through 2024.  835 cases imported.”
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “Moving to the releases in barrel, the 2012 Gigondas (60% Grenache and the balance mostly Mourvedre, with some Syrah) has plenty of potential, with juicy black raspberry, sweet spice, licorice and toasty notes as well as medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. Nicely balanced, it shows the purity of the vintage, as well as a relatively approachable style that should allow it to drink nicely on release.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Riesling vom Stein Jungfernlese, Wachau 2006 ($59.95) $49 special, 1+ cases available
Terry Theise notes:
“It means the virgin-vintage, the first crop from young vines. And it’s what the Germans would call Feinherb, and it’s what any sane person would call irresistible! A potion of iris and lavender, spicy and penetrating; very long, seductively earthy, like a really profound Nahe Spätlese, almost the 5-spice and wildflower of Dönnhoff’s Felsenberg.”

Alvaro Palacios ‘Les Terrasses’ Velles Vinyes, Priorat DOCa 2012 ($44.95) $36 special, 2+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Brilliant ruby.  Potent, mineral-laced raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by exotic floral and spice qualities, picking up white pepper and mocha accents with air.  Seamless and sweet, offering silky red berry preserve flavors with a touch of allspice.  Closes lively and precise, with sneaky tannins and a jolt of bitter cherry.”

Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2011) ($59.95) $49 special, 1+ cases available

Under $100

F.X. Pichler Loibner Steinertal Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2012 ($69.95) $59 special, 1+ cases available
Falstaff  93-95 points
“[translated] Medium green yellow. Rather subdued, delicate orange peel, underlaid with yellow stone fruit, and a touch of minerals. Firm texture, ripe yellow fruit, crisp acidity, lemony touch, very dark minerality, still needs time.”

Penfolds RWT Shiraz, Barossa Valley 2007 ($149.95)
$99 special, 1+ cases available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Presents youthfully mute aromas of warm blackberries, stewed plums, kirsch, cedar and cloves with an array of Indian spices opening out with air.  In the full-bodied mouth it gives very firm, coarsely grained tannins, very crisp acid and good concentration, finishing long and chewy.”

Brovia Garblet Sue Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2010 ($89.95) $79 special, 2 cases available
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“Firm tannins support a core of bright red fruit, freshly cut flowers and crushed rocks in the 2010 Barolo Garblèt Sue’. Today some of the ferrous notes typical of this site are less obvious, as the fruit is incredibly rich and intense. Over time, though, it is the wine’s pure energy that stands out most, another typical Garblèt Sue’ characteristic. This is one of the more polished vintages of the Garblèt Sue’ I can remember tasting. Iron, smoke, dark red fruit and a host of ferrous notes round out the huge, explosive finish.”

Antica Terra ‘Ceras’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 ($89.95) $75 special, 8 bottles available
Winery’s note:
“Ceras is Botanica’s counterpoint. Its color is more purple than red. It is more about minerals and herbs than fruit and flowers. It is a focused and elegant distillation of rock rather than an opulent cascade of fruit. It is an expression of the geology that lays beneath our land, the tart blue fruits of the coast range and the tender herbs that one finds amongst the trees and mushrooms of the Northwest forest.  600 cases produced.”

Domaine Robert Chevillon Les Vaucrains, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2008 ($119.95) $99 special, 1+ case available
Stephen Tanzer 91-94 points
“Deep, bright ruby-red. Black raspberry and chocolate aromas are complemented by sweet oak. Less refined than the Saint-Georges or Cailles but solidly built and quite powerful, with a youthfully medicinal character to the blast of dark fruit flavors. Extremely primary and impressively long. This may need the most patience of this excellent set of 2008’s”

Under $200

Wooden Case-12 Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio 2013 ($219.95) $128 special, 5 cases available

Domaine Robert Groffier Pere & Fils Les Sentiers, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2012 ($199.95) $169 special, 10 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points
“(50% vendange entier):  Deep red with ruby highlights.  Sexy, very ripe aromas of black raspberry, coffee, smoke, minerals and peppery spices.  Sweet and densely packed, with excellent energy and lift to the raspberry, spice and mineral flavors.  Strong, thick, nicely balanced wine with very good stuffing and length.  The finish leaves behind intense spiciness and smoky minerality.”

Falletto di Bruno Giacosa ‘Le Rocche del Falletto’, Barolo DOCG 2005 ($249.95) $169 special, 2+ cases available
Wine Advocate 96+ points
“The 2005 Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto is a massive, towering Barolo loaded with tons of rich, primary fruit. The wine remains powerful, dense and muscular with superb length even if it is a smaller-scaled Barolo compared to previous great vintages. That said, when I came back to the wine after it had been in the glass for an hour or so, I found that the wine had grown remarkably.”

Chateau Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Leognan 2010 ($249.95) $199 special, 1+ case available
Wine Advocate 98 points
“Deep plum/purple, Haut-Bailly’s 2010 required some coaxing to appreciate its subtle notes of barbecue smoke, lead pencil shavings and creme de cassis as well as its touches of pomegranate and forest floor. The oak is pushed far into the background and the tannins are extremely silky, but the intensity of the wine is profound and the finish lingers for close to 55 seconds. This wine is ripe yet delicate, powerful yet stylish, and essentially resembles a remarkable fashion design from a house of haute couture. This wine needs a good 7-8 years of bottle age and should keep for 40-50+ years.”

Philipponnat Clos des Goisses Brut, Champagne 2001 ($249.95) $149 special, 7 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2001 Brut Clos des Goisses has begun to take on attractive early tertiary nuances. A big, broad-shouldered wine, the 2001 has gorgeous depth but not quite the finesse of the very best years. Even with all of the intense fruit and rich, palate-staining finish, some slightly rough edges remain. Dried apricots, spices, licorice, sweet herbs and tobacco add elements of exoticism on the finish. A spell of cold weather and rain during the harvest appears to have marked the 2001. This is going to be a fascinating wine to follow, although I don’t think it will reach the heights of the 2002. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2041

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Riesling vom Stein Smaragd, Wachau 2010 1.5L ($139.95) $119 special, 3 bottles available
Terry Theise notes:
“Almost rugged and gnarly-that’s ’10 baby. Flowering fields aroma doesn’t specifically signal “Riesling,” but the stretchy sinewy palate scratches that very itch; it’s the sting of mint without the mint of mint.”

Sky Is the Limit

Egon Muller-Scharzhof Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2011 ($399.95) $279 Special, 9 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Mullers 2011 Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese delivers a penetrating and multifarious nose of heliotrope, lily, candied lime rind, quince preserves, white peach preserves, distilled herbal essences, marzipan and brown spices. Almost weightlessly delicate yet simultaneously expansive and creamy, this both caresses and stimulates the palate with a kaleidoscopically interactive array of those diverse and exotic elements that on the nose signaled its ripeness and botrytis ennoblement. An almost syrupy sense of white peach along with hints of white raisin that emerge in that prodigious finish fails to tip the scales in too-confectionary a direction thanks to a vibratory sense of energy and refreshing rivulet of juicy fresh peach and lime that is threaded throughout.”

Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes 1995 ($319.95) $279 special, 1+ cases available
Neal Martin Wine Journal 95-97 points
“Tasted at the chateau. O.K. – I think this is better than the 1990! Intense hue. Brilliant expressive apricot/orangey nose with tonnes of botrytis. Unctuous and fat. Slightly lower in acidity than other vintages. Very concentrated with an incredibly intense finish.”

Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG, Veneto 2004 ($399.95) $349 special, 4 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2004 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is insanely beautiful. A dark, mysterious beauty, the 2004 hits the palate with masses of black fruit, tobacco, smoke, licorice and incense. The 2004 is constantly changing in the glass, as it reveals layer after layer of flavor and pure nuance. Readers will have to be patient with the 2004, but it is spectacular. I tasted the 2004 just after bottling, and will not be surprised if it is even better with more time in bottle. The huge, voluptuous finish bodes well for the future. Readers who can find the 2004 should not hesitate. This is another magical 2004 from Quintarelli.”

Opus One Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2009 1.5L ($799.95)
$579 special, 3 bottles available
Antonio Galloni  94 points 
“The 2009 Opus One is impeccable. It brings together the silkiness of the 2007 with the power and darkness of the 2008, a combination that is hugely appealing, to say the least. With a little air, the 2009 can be enjoyed young, but it is best cellared for at least a few years, which will allow some of the baby fat to drop off. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot and 1% Malbec.”

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Criots-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2011 1.5 L ($899.98) $699 special, 1 bottle available
Antonio Galloni 94-96 points
“Exotic white flowers, ginger, white pepper and lychee are some of the many notes that emerge from the 2011 Criots-Batard-Montrachet, a wine that dazzles from start to finish. The 2011 is pure seduction. Captivating aromatics, beautifully layered fruit and fabulous persistence are the hallmarks. Colin-Morey thought the 2011 needed a little more time in cask, and planned to bottle the wine later in the summer.”


Chambertin Grand Crus

All Available Here Now!

In dramatic contrast to neighboring villages such as Chambolle-Musigny, the Gevrey-Chambertin village makes a surprisingly powerful and masculine style of Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is at its most intense in Gevrey-Chambertin. This is a wine for meat-eaters and mushroom lovers, its gamey notes giving it a particular affinity for meats such as steak or lamb and, when aged to its prime, has an unrivaled earthiness.

Gevrey-Chambertin’s long history in winemaking started with the founding of Gevrey’s most treasured vineyards, Clos de Beze and Chambertin. The Clos de Bèze vineyard was cleared and planted back in the seventh century by monks from the Abbey of Bèze, which owned the land for several ensuing centuries. Chambertin was planted later, in the 12th century, adjacent to the Clos de Beze by a Monsieur Bertin, who felt that he could make good wines if he grew the same grape varieties as his famous next door neighbor. His vineyard was called Champ de Bertin (“Bertin’s field”) and later shortened to Chambertin. Later on in history, Chambertin would surpass the treasured Clos de Bèze in international fame, with periods when the two grand crus would be lumped together, talked about simply as Chambertin. The Chambertin wines were one of Napoleon’s favorites and it is said that he insisted that they be available to him even during his various military campaigns, ordering his troops to salute the vineyards of Chambertin as they marched past.

As with most of Burgundy’s vineyards, both Chambertin and Clos de Bèze have had numerous owners. The Diocese of Langres, leaders of the Langres Cathedral of Northern France, were for a long time guardians of these vineyards, evidence of a long and intimate involvement in the history of Burgundy’s wine industry. The Clos de Bèze vineyard stayed with the Diocese of Langres for four centuries, with records of ownership going to the church in 1219. The decline of religious institutions in the 1600’s led to many vineyards being sold for a short period before being re-acquired by the church in 1708. This lead to a long dispute between private citizens and the church for ownership of the land before it was eventually sold off privately in the mid-1700’s. In 1847 Gevrey appended the name of the illustrious vineyard, Chambertin, starting a trend for other villages to follow. The official Gevrey-Chambertin AOC was created in 1936, with the designation of its Grand Crus following one year later.

The historic Gevrey-Chambertin village has within its boundaries a bevy of the very most prized vineyards in the world. There are 26 Premier Cru vineyards in Gevrey-Chambertin, several of which produce an amazing amount of wine and are famous in their own right. When Jules Lavalle made his classification in 1855 he put some of the premier crus on the same level as today’s grand crus, a sign of the true quality available in this area. Chambertin and Clos de Bèze were the only ones to make it into his Tête de Cuvée category. One step down he grouped the Grand Crus of Chapelle, Mazy, Ruchottes, Charmes and Griotte together with today’s Premier Crus of St Jacques, Lavaux Saint-Jacques, Estournelles and Cazetiers. In all Gevrey today boasts of an impressive 9 Grands Crus, the most Grands Crus of any village in Burgundy, with the name of the prized Chambertin vineyard retaining a regal omnipresence throughout Gevrey’s finest vineyard names (Mazis-Chambertin, Latricieres-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, etc.).

Chambertin and Clos de Bèze are the centrepiece on the grand cru slope south of Gevrey-Chambertin, meeting at side by side. The slope in Chambertin is slightly more gentle, producing a more powerful and masculine wine. Clos de Bèze is steeper, with thinner soil that faces slightly more east and wines that are more elegant by nature. Moving below these two are Mazis- and Latricieres-Chambertin. Mazis- Chambertin is incredibly concentrated and very fine. Latricières- Chambertin can be explosively fruity, but is more about a delicate silkiness. Situated slightly higher up the slope, Ruchottes-Chambertin is rich and stylish. The tiny Griottes-Chambertin, is lower down the slope and boasts a velvety texture and rich fruit. It is generally denser than the lighter although wonderfully fragrant Chapelle-Chambertin and Charmes-Chambertin. In almost the entire Gevrey-Chambertin village, the weather and rainfall conditions are so perfect as to make Pinot Noir practically a tailored grape for the area. The best wines come from these vineyards nestled along hills south of the village, where marl and limestone reaches greater concentration; but there are also some super-star Premier Crus on the hills to the North-West of Gevrey. Thanks largely to the iron-rich clay soils, classic Gevrey Chambertin is typically deeper in colour, firmer in body and more tannic in structure than most red Burgundy. The best can develop into the richest, most complete and long-lived Pinot Noir in the world.

Today there are many fine sources to choose from, with over 100 highly competitive producers in Gevrey-Chambertin, and overall quality is higher than ever. Armand Rousseau and Domaine Roty, one of the oldest wineries in Gevrey, are some of the most celebrated but there are many more to explore. The wines of Dupont-Tisserandot, Serafin, and Dugat-Py, to pick a few, are all based in Gevrey-Chambertin, and will give a clear idea of the expansive depth to Gevrey-Chambertin wines. Massive, yet velvet-smooth, the tannins of Gevrey-Chambertin have power and contribute to its great longevity. The wines survive for decades, taking on an unrivalled complexity of flavor as they mature. Best drinking dates for particular wines vary, but in general these wines require at least 10 years post vintage to reach their prime. The wines, with their complexities of earthiness, smoke and fruit, beautifully reflect the soils and climate where they are grown, the perfect environment for Pinot Noir, and perhaps the original environment of Pinot Noir.

Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Cru Wines Available Here Now – With Super Pricing!

Domaine Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2011 ($329.95) $199 super special, 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 94 (+?) points
“Medium red. Highly nuanced yet quite primary on the nose, offering scents of raspberry, underbrush, dried rose, ginger and smoky oak. Juicy, saline and quite dry, with dark berry and strawberry flavors complicated by an earthy perfume. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and excellent length. With 24 hours in the recorked bottle, this beauty showed a silkier texture and chewy, deep flavors of raspberry and spices that saturate the palate without leaving any impression of weight. A great effort for the vintage.” ST

Louis Jadot Chambertin Clos-de-Beze Grand Cru 2011 ($299.95) $249 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94-97 points
“Good medium red. Extravagantly complex nose combines raspberry, wild rose, crushed rock, clove, mocha and wild herbs. Wonderfully subtle, spherical and nuanced, communicating an almost 3-D texture to the flavors of red berries, spices, licorice, herbs and flowers. The wine’s firm spine of tannins is utterly covered by lush, fleshy fruit today. The thick, slowly rising finish washes over the palate like a wave.” ST

Louis Jadot Chambertin Clos-de-Beze Grand Cru 2012 ($479.95) $399 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95-97 points
“The 2012 Chambertin Clos-de-Beze Grand Cru, which like the Chapelle-Chambertin is domaine-owned, has a more voluminous, multi-faceted bouquet with engaging incense and mineral notes infusing the beautifully defined black fruits. The palate is very well balanced on the entry with more tension and nervosite than the Chambertin, building effortlessly towards a quite regal, sophisticated finish whose mineralite lingers long in the mouth. Outstanding.” WA

Domaine Jacques Prieur Chambertin Grand Cru 2008 ($399.95)
$259 special, 5 bottles available
Burghund 92-94 points
“This cool and equally fresh and restrained nose offers notably denser and much more complex aromas of red and blue pinot fruit, violets, earth and pungent minerality that is very much in keeping with the backward and ultra primary flavors that are firm, intense and precise, all wrapped in an austere, driving and powerful finish. This has everything it needs to amply reward long-term cellaring and it will need it.”BH

Maison Nicolas Potel Chambertin Grand Cru 2006 ($199.95) $169 special, 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Good medium red. Explosive, wild aromas of black raspberry and smoked meat. At once suave and powerful, with a compellingly layered texture and great depth to its flavors of black fruits, game, pepper and earth. Wonderfully thick, powerfully structured wine with great back-end breadth and persistence. A powerful expression of soil, and built for a long life in bottle. The finish shows an intriguing suggestion of black olive.”ST

‘Domaine & Selection’ Elevage Laurent Ponsot Le Chambertin Grand Cru 2009 ($349.95) $319 special, 3 bottles available

Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2008 ($189.95) $169 special, 6 bottles available
Burghound 94 points
“A distinctly cool and ultra-elegant nose of restrained and exceptionally fresh mineral-infused red pinot fruit gives way to stone-inflected, tightly focused and delineated middle weight plus flavors that are beautifully tension-filled. This possesses a beguiling personality as there’s real verve and punch on the delicious but linear finish where more minerality surfaces. This strikingly persistent effort is not only classy but seriously lovely as the sense of harmony is second to none in this group. Moreover, because this is a wine of refined power, it could actually be enjoyed now though it seems a shame to waste so much upside potential.” BH

Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2010 ($229.95) $159 special, 11 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93-95 points
“Good bright dark red. Wonderful mineral tang lifts the complex aromas of raspberry, cherry, pomegranate, coffee, pepper and spices. Fat, sweet and deep, with the piquant minerality and a peppery element giving lift and energy to the middle palate. Notes of candied strawberry and raspberry are complicated by saline soil tones. Powerfully structured wine with long, bright finishing flavors that saturate the sides of the mouth.”ST

Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011 ($179.95) $139 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points
“Good full medium red.  High-pitched aromas of raspberry, crushed stone, white pepper, blood orange and flowers.  Tight today and folded in on itself, with some excess CO2 currently suppressing the mid-palate fruit.  Fairly tough tannins cut off the wine’s finishing flavors, but the intensity and precision of this grand cru suggest that it will reward seven or eight years of cellaring.” ST

Lucien Le Moine Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011 ($349.95) $245 special, 1 bottle available
Burghound 92-95 points
“Don’t miss!-Noticeable but not prominent oak frames restrained, cool and stony red pinot fruit scents that complement perfectly the textured, mineral-inflected and notably taut medium full-bodied flavors brimming with dry extract on the explosive and energetic finish that is finer than that of the Charmes. There is plenty of underlying tension and I very much admire the balance and obvious class though note that patience will be required.” BH

Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2010 ($499.95) $399 special, 1 bottle available
Burghound 91-93 points
“This is much more deeply pitched than usual with notes of earth and violets and while there are traces of red berry aromas, this hails more from the dark berry side of the fruit spectrum. There is excellent volume to the very rich and round middle weight plus flavors that possess a velvety mouth feel on the focused and impressively long finish. This also exhibits more depth of material than it usually does and this is one of the better Rousseau Charmes of recent years.”

Domaine Dupont-Tisserandot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2010 ($149.95)
$119 special, 16 bottles available
Burghound 93 points
“(80% from Charmes proper with the balance from Mazoyères; the two parcels total .8 ha). The presence of the wood treatment is more visible on the exceptionally fresh and pure mix of wild red berry fruit aromas and pungent earth scents. There is excellent power to the rich and admirably concentrated medium-bodied flavors that possess outstanding complexity, intensity and drive, all wrapped in a balanced and seriously persistent finish. This will require at least 10 years of cellar time to really unfold and 12 to 15 is likely to be the sweet spot.”BH

Geantet-Pansiot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2008 ($199.95) $179 special, 10 bottles available
Burghound 93 points
“A reserved but fresh and very pretty nose of primarily red berries cut with hints of earth and oak that complements well the rich, full-bodied and powerful broad-schouldered flavors that are supported by a firm tannic spine and excellent dry extract levels that coat the palate on the beautifully long finish.  This is head and shoulders above the rest of the range but note that patience will be required.”

Jacky Truchot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2005 ($999.95) $799 special, 1 bottle available

Louis Jadot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2009 ($179.95) $119 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90-92 points
“The 2009 Charmes-Chambertin shows excellent suppleness in its round fruit. This is a generous, open style with good balance, even if the wine lacks the sheer excitement of the best selections here. Bright red fruits and flowers inform the open, accessible finish. The Charmes is made from purchased wine. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027.”WA

Serafin Pere & Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2009 ($279.95) $219 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95+ points
“The 2009 Charmes-Chambertin is striking, even if it is an infant today. Graceful and weightless through to the finish, the 2009 impresses for its balance, freshness and overall sense of structure. This is far from and easygoing 2009. It will require at least a decade to enter the early part of its drinking window. Here, too the integration of fruit and structure is superb. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2034.”WA

Domaine Taupenot-Merme Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2006 ($119.95) $89 special, 18 bottles available
Burghound 90-93 points
“This is a clear step up in aromatic purity and elegance, which is saying something as the Pruliers is gifted too in this regard with an elegant, pure and complex nose that is both seductive and complete while dissolving into serious yet extremely pretty medium-bodied flavors that also coat the mouth with extract, which confers a real sense of volume and focused muscle. Lovely and very long.”BH

Domaine Rene Leclerc Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru 2010 ($149.95) $119 special, 3+ cases available

Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru ‘Clos des Ruchottes’ Monopole 2010 ($799.95) $599 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95-97 points
“The 2010 Ruchottes-Chambertin is an intensely cool, reticent wine. The bouquet recalls the Mazis, but then the firm Ruchottes tannins set in. Ultimately the Ruchottes is built on purity, definition and nuance. The chiseled aromas and flavors possess stunning detail, but it will be some time before the 2010 is ready to drink. Still, I very much like the energy and drive. Bright, floral notes add lift and vibrancy on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2025-2045.”WA

Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru ‘Clos des Ruchottes’ Monopole 2011 ($699.95) $499 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points
“Bright, deep color.  Wild, musky, ripe dark berries, black cherry and botanical herbs on the captivating nose.  Dense and sappy, offering an exhilarating high-wire act of sweetness and acidity.  Complex flavors of black raspberry, licorice and game birds.  Seriously concentrated, expressive grand cru with great purity and round, mouth-saturating tannins.  In its tension and fruit persistence, this is close to a 2010 in style; the same could be said for Rousseau’s Mazy-Chambertin and Clos de la Roche.” ST

Frederic Esmonin Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2012 ($149.95) $138 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 (+?) points
“Good deep red with ruby highlights.  The nose began tight and oaky but opened with air to show enticing scents of dark raspberry, cherry liqueur, violet and licorice.  The richest and sweetest of this set of 2012s, showing noteworthy concentration and breadth to the captivating flavors of berries, flowers and stony minerality.  Wonderfully stuffed for an Esmonin wine but with no excess weight–and not a hint of rusticity.  Finishes very long and perfumed, with utterly fine-grained tannins.  Showing remarkably well following the recent bottling; in fact, I may well be underrating it today.” ST

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