VinopolPick Thursday – Serafin

January 22, 2015

Stay tuned for Champagne Grower-Producer Christophe Mignon and Serafin Pere & Fils new arrivals, but first:
Mastermakers of BaroloCloseout Sale!
Arriving Today:

Bartolo Mascarello Barolo DOCG 2007 ($149.95) $99 closeout special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Mascarello’s 2007 Barolo flows from the glass with masses of round, enveloping fruit. This is an unusually soft, juicy Barolo from Mascarello that is remarkable for its textural richness and warm radiant fruit. The 2007 doesn’t have the aromatic complexity of the 2005 or 2006, but it makes up for that with its totally seductive personality. Crushed flowers, berries and sweet baking spices linger on a generous finish that evokes memories of the 1990. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2032. “WA
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $109.97/bottle.
The average price is $125/bottle.

Giacomo Conterno Francia Barolo DOCG 2009 ($179.95) $131.90 closeout special, 36 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“The 2009 Barolo Cascina Francia is a stunning wine. Roberto did not make Monfortino in 2009, therefore that wine was declassified and added here. The results are truly spectacular. The wine shows the soft fullness that is characteristic of the vintage, backed by tight tannins that pull the wine together. Dark fruit, licorice, chopped herb, white truffle, tar and pressed rose form a united aromatic front. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2035.” WA


Champagne Christophe Mignon

Grower-producer and Pinot Meunier specialist Christophe Mignon comes from a long line of winemakers.  He produces his Champagnes from his 6.3 hectares of vines that were planted by his great-grandparents.  His holdings are on soils of deep clay and chalky tuffeaux divided into 30 parcels in Le Breuil and Festigny in the Vallee de la Marne.  He employs one person per hectare to tend and harvest the vineyards.  This helps him provide particular attention to the vines and harvest only fully mature and high quality grapes.  Each of the 30 parcels is vinified and aged separately in lined tanks. Fermentation is temperature controlled and uses indigenous yeast.

Mignon is a passionate adherent to biodynamics and similar naturalistic approaches such as homeopathy and phytotherapy.  He has followed lunar calendar for 20 years in vineyards and cellar, and he believes that “the moon for a vigneron is like a metronome for a musician.”  He can be quite inventive in his application, producing his own blades for his tractor to fit the width and depth of his vineyard rows and soil.  His wines are produced very dry in style with minimal sulfur.

Christophe Mignon Champagnes Arriving Tomorrow

Christophe Mignon Pur Meunier Extra Brut NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Producer note:
“3 g/L dosage.  100% Pinot Meunier.  This champagne… is elegant, refined and indulgent, with notes of spices, pear and dried fruit.  The average age of the (plots of vines) is 36 years.”

Christophe Mignon Pur Meunier Brut Nature 2006 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points
“Pale onion skin color. Musky aromas of yellow plum, blood orange and nectarine, with toast and sweet butter accents building with air. Lush and expansive on the palate, offering ripe orchard and pit fruit flavors that develop a honeyed character with air. A touch of bitter orange zest adds bite to the long, smoky finish, which shows impressive energy and cut.” JR

Christophe Mignon Pur Meunier Brut Rose NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni–Vinous 92 points
“Mignon’s NV Pur Meunier Rosé is quite pretty. Crushed flowers, spices, sweet herbs and cranberries are all very much alive in the glass. Lifted and precise, the Rosé is absolutely gorgeous. The blend of equal parts vintages 2010 and 2011 works nicely here. Some of the 2011 greenness is evident, but not at all overpowering. Dosage is 6 grams per liter.” AG

Christophe Mignon Pur Meunier Brut NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points
“Bright yellow-gold. Pungent melon, pit fruit and fig aromas are complemented by exotic floral and lees notes that gain power with air. Dry but fleshy peach and pear flavors become sweeter with air, picking up a gentle redcurrant quality. The incisive finish leaves smoky orchard fruit and herbal notes behind.” JR


Serafin Pere & Fils 2012s

Arriving tomorrow:

The Serafin 2012s… are superb and if your taste runs to serious and long-lived old school burgs that tend to be robust but not overtly rustic, then these are wines for you. Serafin noted that they were bottled in April, 2014.”

The Cote de Nuits of Burgundy offers Pinor Noirs with power, structure and excellent aging potential.  Domaine Serafin is based in Gevrey-Chambertin, a village known for producing earthy and gamey wines.  The Domaine also produces wines from Chambolle-Musigny, known for its powerful structure yet elegant aromas, and from Morey-St.-Denis, which offers wines stylistically between the other two regions.

Stanislaus Serafin founded the Domain in 1947 after emigrating from Poland in the 1930s.  His son, Christian, joined the Domaine in 1957.  Today, Christian’s daughter manages the 5.3 hectare estate and his niece, Frederique Bachotet is the winemaker.  The vines are low-yielding and produce concentrated wines.  The wine is produced organically and is unfiltered.  The Grand Cru, Premier Cru and the Vieilles Vignes wines see 12 to 18 months 100% new oak, which Christian believes aids the longevity of the wines.  The Village wines see up to 70% new oak and the Bourgogne Rouge 50%.  JL Chave purchases the used barrels.

Despite their limited availability, the wines very are highly regarded in France, where they can be found in many 3-star restaurants.

Serafin Pere & Fils Wines Arriving Friday, January 23rd

Serafin Pere & Fils Bourgogne Rouge 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Baudes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2012 750ML ($199.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points “Bright dark red. Blueberry, menthol and minerals on the nose, plus a dusty violet quality. Juicy, dense and rather powerful, showing good energy and pronounced torrefaction notes of chocolate, mocha and coffee. There’s nothing hard about this wine’s tannins.” ST

Serafin Pere & Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2012 750ML ($349.95) $279 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94-96 points
“The 2012 Charmes-Chambertin represents a major step up from the rest of the wines in the range. Totally spherical and seamless on the palate, the 2012 captures the richness of the year, with impeccable polish and depth. A decidedly explosive Charmes, the 2012 isn’t especially subtle in showing off its pedigree. There is a lot to look forward to here. Sadly production is down 50%.” AG

Serafin Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 2012 750ML ($99.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 88-90 points
“Medium red. Smoky strawberry and a whiff of gibier on the nose. The palate shows an almost liqueur-like sweetness to the creamy flavors of red fruits, coffee and mocha. Sappy acidity and substantial tannins give shape to this lush village wine.” ST

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Cazetiers, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2012 750ML ($249.95) $189 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92-94 points
“Good bright, deep red. Reticent aromas of black cherry, minerals, mint and menthol. Densely packed, fresh and energetic, showing a strong spice character to its black cherry and mineral flavors. Has the thickness of texture to carry its tannins. Finishes spicy and long, with a lingering note of chocolatey oak. From a crop level of 38 hectoliters per hectare: Serafin made four barrels, compared to a normal five.” ST

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Corbeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 91-93 points
“The 2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Corbeaux comes from 0.45-hectares of vines planted in 1968 by Christian’s father adjacent to Mazis-Chambertin. It has a precocious bouquet compared to the Vieilles Vignes, with scents of mulberry, dark plum and luscious black fruit that are tightly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with a slightly grainy entry. This is showing the oak a little more than the Vieilles Vignes at the moment, but there is sufficient concentration to absorb that with time. The linear finish, crisp and taut, bodes well for the future.” WA

Serafin Pere & Fils Le Fonteny, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2012 750ML ($199.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 91-93 points
“The 2012 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Fonteny comes from 0.33-hectares of vine planted in 1965. It has a somehow more “languid” bouquet, demonstrated a touch more fruit compared to the Corbeaux, the fruit erring more to red than black. The palate is rounded and velvety smooth on the entry with vibrant cassis and blackcurrant fruit, fine tannins and impressive presence towards the finish that continues long after the wine has departed. Excellent.” WA

Serafin Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2012 750ML ($139.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90-92 points
“One of the real gems in this range, the Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes wraps around the palate with gorgeous depth and dimension. Violets, cloves and menthol meld into a core of dark fruit. The vintage has given the Vieilles Vignes an extra bit of volume that is hugely appealing. All the elements fall into place effortlessly. This voluptuous Gevrey should offer a wide window of fabulous drinking.” AG

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Millandes, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points
“Deep, spicy aromas of black cherry, violet, menthol and espresso. Densely packed and sappy, with a liqueur-like ripeness to the flavors of black cherry and mint. A rather rectilinear wine with a serious spine of dusty tannins that will require some aging. In a more structured, masculine style in 2012, like the Gevrey Vieilles Vignes and the Cazetiers.” ST

Serafin Pere & Fils Wines Available Here Now

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Baudes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2009 750ML ($159.95) $109 special, 17 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91-93 points
“The 2009 Gevrey-Chambertin Les Baudes is one of the more open, radiant wines in this lineup. There is an unabashed sexiness to the fruit that is quite beautiful. This shows superb intensity and juiciness all the way through to the round, finish. The Baudes comes from a parcel next to de Vogue’s vineyards in Bonnes Mares. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.”WA

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Baudes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Bright, moderately saturated red. Spicy aromas of blackberry, licorice and violet. Tight and serious in the mouth, with dark berry and violet pastille flavors accompanied by strong coffee/mocha torrefaction. At once feminine and firm, finishing with sound tannins and acids. Very different in style from the Gevreys here.” ST

Serafin Pere & Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($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

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Millandes, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru 2009 750ML ($159.95) $99 special, 20 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2009 Morey St. Denis Millandes is fabulous. It boasts a great combination of rich, dark fruit and powerful structure. Today the wine is already starting to shut down, something that bodes quite well for the future. Mint, flowers, spices and licorice stain the palate on the deep, resonant finish. This is a brilliant showing from Christian Serafin. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.”WA

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Millandes, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($159.95) $119 special, 12 bottles available
Burghound  90-93 points –Outstanding –
“ Here too there is mild reduction which renders the nose difficult to assess in depth though again the underlying fruit appears to be ripe. There is excellent volume, power and a taut muscularity to the concentrated and mineral-tinged medium weight flavors that culminate in an austere, backward and highly persistent finish. This is very old school in style and will require ample patience for it to develop, yet will be well worth the wait.”BH

Serafin Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2009 750ML ($99.95) $69 special, 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
“Medium red. Full-blown aromas of coffee, mocha and game. Less fruity than the basic village wine but dense, sweet and nicely fresh, with a deep middle and plenty of medicinal reserve. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and persistent notes of chocolate, coffee and underbrush.” ST

Serafin Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2011 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“Bright medium red. Cherry, raspberry, smoke, minerals and pungent spices on the expressive nose. Sexy, tangy, sharply delineated flavors of red fruits and spices complicated by a whiff of game. Less dense than the 2012 version but displays lovely cut and vivacity. Finishes brisk and persistent. Serafin describes his 2011s as elegant and less tannic than his 2012s, and made from bigger grapes. Crop levels were off only about 10% from average, making this vintage the closest to normal of the last four.” ST

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Cazetiers, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2007 750ML ($159.95) $136 special, 16 bottles available
Burghound 92 points
“This is a classic Cazetiers with a distinct animale element to the ripe red berry, violet and underbrush tones that continue on the earth-inflected, sappy, precise and moderately concentrated flavors that possess real character and excellent power on the impressively long, balanced and textured finish. This has another dimension relative to all of the prior wines.”BH

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Cazetiers, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($219.95) $169 special, 12 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“Moderately saturated medium red. Very reticent but pure aromas of redcurrant, dark cherry, earth, leather and spices. A dense, nicely balanced midweight, with ripe acidity giving shape to the cherry, licorice and espresso flavors. Firmly tannic but with plenty of thickness of texture to support its backbone. Finishes chewy and long but youthfully tight, with lovely aromatic persistence. I’d hold this until 2020.” ST

Serafin Pere & Fils Les Corbeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 5 bottles available
Burghound 89-92 points, Stephen Tanzer 89-91 points
“Bright, full medium red. Raspberry, blueberry and blackberry fruit aromas are complicated by smoky minerality. Quite closed in the mouth, with brisk acidity contributing to an impression of firm structure. Not a silky style, but serious and persistent. The high level of CO2 is no doubt responsible for some of the wine’s present hardness.” ST

Serafin Pere & Fils Le Fonteny, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($159.95) $119 special, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 (+?) points
“Moderately saturated medium red. Black cherry, raspberry and a whiff of meat on the nose, lifted by pungent pepper and blood orange treble notes. Less open than the village wine, showing lovely spicy lift to the flavors of red fruits and flowers. Juicy, elegant Gevrey with serious length and lingering spice character.” ST