Cristal Champagne Brut 2008 Louis Roederer
– The Cristal 2008 is deep, intense and masterful. It offers the quintessential reflection of its chalk soils which lend it its velvety texture and delicate tension. Amber hue with green and orange tints. Fine, even and lively sparkle.
Complex and intense bouquet disclosing candied citrus, yellow fruit, Williams pear, pollen and toasted almond. The delicately seductive bouquet shows intensity and well-honed precision.
The wine is powerful, full yet tight, on entry to the palate. The 2008 is undeniably well structured but in a particular way: the wine’s almost saline concentration has not been created by the sun, but is derived from the dryness of the chalk soil in a particularly cool summer.
The result is a smooth, almost liquorous, mouthfeel that coats the palate with a powerful yet soft texture. This gives way to an incredible finish, underpinned by freshness and an impression of absolute purity with a taut and very saline character.
Domaine de la Pousse d’Or – Santenay 1er Cru “Les Gravieres”, 2008
91 Points Allen Meadows’ Burghound
“Outstanding, top value… there is good energy to the attractively textured middle weight flavors that offer good richness and volume as well as a somewhat softer mouth feel… I like the complexity and overall sense of balance here.”
88-89 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
“From tank – on the eve of its bottling – the Pousse d’Or 2008 Santenay Les Gravieres smells of game, leather, and humus; offers dark berries and bitter chocolate on a polished, almost plush palate; and finishes with satisfying if not striking length. It should merit the better part of a decade of attention, though its gamey element may well become more pronounced and not prove every taster’s cup of Pinot.”
About Domaine de la Pousse d’Or
Domaine de la Pousse d’Or is a 40-acre estate in Volnay that traces its history to the 15th century. In old French the estate’s name meant “golden earth,” a testament to the reputation of its terroir. It was run for many years by the legendary Gerard Potel, whose wines were considered some of the best of Burgundy. Potel died in 1997 at age 61, and the estate was purchased by Patrick Landanger, who added vineyards and updated the facilities. Today the estate produces Grand Cru and Premier Cru, notably Volnays, a Pommard, a Santenay and Cortons. And it is still highly regarded by Burgundy collectors. Its wines often earn ratings of 95 pts and above.
Santenay is the southernmost appellation in the Côte d’Or. The appellation includes the communes of Santenay and Remigny and it has 813 vineyard acres. Both red and white wines can be made within the Santenay appellation, though in practice about 85% of the wine produced here is red. Pinot Blanc may be used in white wines, though most white Santenays are 100% Chardonnay. Though there are no Grands Crus, Santenay boasts 12 Premiers Crus. Among the best Premiers Crus vineyards are Clos de Tavannes, La Comme, Les Gravières and Le Passe Temps. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that “good Santenays share a robust, tannic, earthy character with a bouquet that suggests cherry and strawberry fruit intertwined with the smell of sautéed almonds.” Clive Coates has noted that the white wines of Santenay “should be crisp, medium-bodied and fruity, less racy but fuller than Saint-Aubins, perhaps with a touch of spice…”
Domaine de Mayat -Vieilli en Fut de Chene, Bergerac AC, 2015 (Magnum)
Made from 100% Merlot, deep garnet red wine with powerful aromas of black fruits. A round, velvet taste with a rich structure of tannins.
Enjoy with duck breast, leg of lamb or brie de Meaux.
Domaine Faiveley – La Framboisiere, Mercurey 2017
Domaine Faiveley is located in France, at the heart of Viticultural Burgundy, between Dijon and Beaune in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
Historically based in the Côte de Nuits capital, the Faiveley family has progressively extended its domaine and today owns vineyards in the finest climats in Burgundy – Gevrey-Chambertin, Pommard, Volnay, Puligny-Montrachet, Mercurey and others.
To maintain all the freshness and quality of the grapes they were pressed and vinified on site in Mercurey. The wine was then taken to Nuits-Saint-Georges to be matured, in part, in oak barrels for 12 to 14 months, in nineteenth century vaulted cellars which provide ideal conditions for raising wines. The barrels come from high quality barrel makers and have been rigorously selected for their fine grain and light toast.
An aromatic nose which mixes red and black fruit with spice and a touch of smoke. Round and fleshy in the mouth (medium body) with velvety tannins and a lively freshness; flavours of raspberry and other very ripe red fruits. An early-drinking style. Enjoy with charcuterie, ham or game.
‘Cask sample. Mid cherry red. Deliciously fragrant with red fruit. It may be auto-suggestion but there’s raspberry fruit in here. A touch smoky but fine with freshness to the end. Juicy, lively.’ – 16.5/20, Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, January 2017
Domaine M. Noellat et Fils – Chambolle-Musigny, 2005
Domaine Michel Noëllat & Fils
The Domaine Michel Noëllat & Fils is located in the heart of Vosne-Romanée. The Domaine extends over 25 hectares from Marsannay-la-Côte (Côte de Nuits) to Pommard (Côte de Beaune) and remains dedicated to traditional winemaking methods. It is currently managed by brothers Alain and Jean-Marc Noëllat. The Domaine produces 2 Grands Crus and 8 Premiers Crus as well as Village and Regional appellations.
Vines, harvest and vinification
The vines are on average 40 years old. Rigorous disbudding controls yields and harvest time is decided on by regularly checking the vineyards, periodic analysis and tasting the fruit.
The grapes are harvested manually, sorted and then taken to the winery in small crates to avoid crushing the fruit and causing premature oxidation. The stalks are removed completely from the fruit; the grapes are then put into open stainless steel vats where the temperature is thermo-regulated. Pressing is undertaken carefully using a pneumatic press.
The reds are steeped at a low temperature for 3 days then fermentation is undertaken in vats for about 2 weeks. The cap is punched 4 or 5 times during the vinification period. The wines are aged in French oak casks, with approximately 30% new casks for Village wines and 50% new casks for Premier Cru and Grand Cru wines. Bottling takes place after between 15 and 18 months of aging.
Domaine Octavie – Touraine Sauvignon, 2017
Full-flavoured and clean Sauvignon Blanc, made natures’ way. The producers strive to keep everything in balance thus limiting the need for artificial controls. The quality rivals most Sancerre but this wine is a fraction of the price-tag.
E. Guigal – Côtes du Rhône Rouge, 2013
Deep and dark red. Shiny. Aromas of fresh fruits with red berries and spices. Full, round and racy. Rounded and smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensely aromatic wine.
90 Points Wine Enthusiast.
“A perennial favorite, it’s reassuring to see that the quality continues to remain high even from Guigal’s least expensive cuvée. Red fruits—cherries and raspberries—marry easily with hints of clove, cracked pepper, black olive and espresso. It’s round on the midpalate, showing more focus and ample length on the finish.” J.C. (2/1/2015)
Soil type Varied soil, sediment, limestone, granite. Pebbles and Alluvia.
Grape variety 60% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre.
Average age of vines 35 years.
Winemaking Traditional winemakeing methods, temperature controlled fermentation. Long soaking on the skins.
Ageing 1 ½ years in oak foudres.
Average yield 41 Hl / hectare.
Average annual production 3.500.000 bottles.
Tasting Eye : Deep and dark red. Shiny.
Nose : Fresh fruits with red berries and spices.
Palate : Full, round and racy. Rounded and smooth tannins. A full-bodied, rich and intensly aromatic wine.
Overall : Full with a long finish and plenty of elegance and finesse due to the well balanced tannins and fruit.
The Guigal Estate was founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal in Ampuis, a small ancient village and cradle of the Côte-Rôtie appellation. It shelters a unique vineyard where the vines and the wines have been famous for 2,400 years. Arriving in 1924 at 14 years old, the founder vinfied 67 harvests in Côte-Rôtie and, at the beginning of his career, took part in the development of Vidal-Fleury establishment.
In 1961, although still very young, Marcel Guigal took over management of the Establishment beside his father who was stricken suddenly with total blindness. In 1973, his wife Bernadette joined him and they worked together to develop the family business. In 1975, their son Philippe was born. Today he is the Estate’s winemaker. With his wife Eve by his side, he represents the third generation and continues the family work in the service of the Great Wines of the Rhône Valley.
Since 1946, hard work and perseverence have born fruit and certain events attest to this, notably the purchase of the Vidal-Fleury Establishment in the mid ‘80s. Although belonging to the Guigal Estate, Vidal Fleury maintains commercial and technical autonomy.
Ten years later in 1995 the estate acquired the famous Château d’Ampuis, an important historic and oenological monument whose long history is directly linked to the Côte-Rôtie appellation. An ancient fort built in the 12th century, it was transformed into a Renaissance château in the 16th century. The château is situated amongst the vines and bordered by the king of rivers: the Rhône.
The Château d’Ampuis has become the headquarters of the Guigal Estate whilst the offices and the cellars remain in the ancient small village of Ampuis.
In 2001, the Guigal Estate expanded through the purchase of both the Jean-Louis GRIPPAT Estate in Saint-Joseph and Hermitage and the VALLOUIT Estate in Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage.
The GUIGAL Estate vinifies and ages the wines of the Southern Rhône appellations in its cellars in Ampuis. The wines of the great Southern appellations Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Tavel and Côtes-du-Rhône are also aged in these cellars.
In 2006, the Guigal family acquired the Domaine de Bonserine and supports its development although it remains independent from the GUIGAL Estate.
We are not very far from the first few square metres of the small cellar where Etienne Guigal first laboured, but today there are 3 hectares of cellars and galleries which house barrels, tanks and vats. The history and the soul of the Guigal family are clearly present in these cellars which discretely house the most exceptional wines.
E. Guigal – Saint-Joseph, Rhone, 2013
E. Guigal is a winery and négociant business situated in Ampuis in the northern part of the Rhône region in France. Founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal, today it’s arguably the most famous producer in the Rhône Valley.
A powerful nose dominated by red berries and integrated oak aromas. Round and supple in the mouth, medium-bodied with good freshness. Berry fruit is interlaced with nuances of herb and olive.
E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone, 2011
E. Guigal is a wineryand négociant business situated in Ampuis in the northern part of the Rhône region in France. Founded in 1946 by Etienne Guigal today it’s arguably the most famous producer in the Rhône Valley.
Fruit notes of cherry and strawberry are given a savoury edge with notes of olive and pepper. A touch of vanilla from 18 months oak ageing. Fresh with refined tannins. Enjoy until 2020+. Pair with red meats, game and cheese.
Famille Perrin Châteauneuf du Pape – Les Sinards 2014
Domaine Perrin is a reputable family owned and run négociant business situated in the Southern Rhone. They are owners of the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate Château de Beaucastel along with other well-known estates such as Mirival in Provence.
The Family’s other Châteauneuf! Les Sinards comes from the young vines at Beaucastel and from a neighbouring vineyard that they farm.
The 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape les Sinards is a solid effort in the vintage and while it functions as a young vine/second wine cuvee for the Perrin Family, it trumps many an estate’s top cuvee. Floral, elegant and perfumed with lively notes of plums, blackberry, underbrush, pepper and licorice, it has good acidity, medium-bodied richness and outstanding length. It will drink nicely for 7-8 years. – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate.
Famille Perrin Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc – Les Sinards – 2014
- This extremely rare wine comes from a 2.5 acre vineyard located within the “clos” around the historical pope’s palace. All of the viticulture is carried out by the Beaucastel team.
- Sinards White comes from an area that we call the Clos du Château, near the village of Châteauneuf du Pape. The 2.5 hectare vineyard is located right next to the one of Les Sinards Red.
- The 2014 has a lot of freshness and minerality. An expressive and complex nose on peaches and pears, sweet spice and subtle ageing notes. The palate is rich and smooth, with great persistence, nice mineral tightness with a saline and greedy finish.
Famille Perrin Gigondas – La Gille – 2014
- Produced on sandy soils, which cover a small part of the appellation, Grenache expresses great softness and is very aromatic without being heavy. This wine is full bodied but with finesse at the same time.
- This 2014 is full of promises. A complex nose with rich notes of red and black fruit, the mouth is rich with a powerful and generous attack and the tannic texture is already balanced and elegant, with a long, racy finish.
Note: 90/100The Globe And Mail, Beppi Crosariol – 05/10/2017
From a great southern Rhône appellation (that would be Gigondas) and a great producer, this displays more elegance and less of the more typical Gigondas power. Full and seamlessly textured, it’s fully but not overly ripe, with juicy cherry-like fruit, a meaty essence and light, chewy tannins. Worth cellaring for up to six years.
Note: 89/100Wine Discovery, Tim Appelt – 01/10/2017
Pretty aromas of violets, sage, ripe cherry and plum fruit are layered over a dusting of oak spice. While the fruit shows some jammy character on the palate, and the alcohol is slightly warm, there is enough acidity to keep the fruit juicy and bright overall, complementing the fine but mouthcoating tannins, and drying the finish. Some weight, but also some poise and refinement.
Note: 90/100Wine Advocate – 03/03/2016
The 2014 Gigondas la Gille comes almost all from estate fruit (there’s some very old vine fruit from Franck Alexandre), and comes all from sandy soils,
vinified with a more gentle extraction than the Beaucastel releases. From a difficult vintage, it’s a smokin’ wine that offers elegant, perfumed notes of kirsch, bouquet garni and black cherries on the nose. These give way to a midum-bodied, supple, seamless Gigondas that has more upfront charm and character than most in the vintage. While I doubt it will make old bones, it will certainly evolve nicely on its overall balance and harmony.
Famille Perrin Vacqueyras – Les Christins – 2014
– Famille Perrin’s Vacqueyras is a beautiful example of Grenache based wines from the Southern Rhône Valley, with an impressive aromatic expression, structured body and great ageing potential.
– Balanced vintage, this 2014 is looking good, very aromatic, with freshness and finesse. With a dominant of Grenache, this wine has great potential.
Famille Perrin Vinsobres – Les Cornuds 2014
- The 2014 vintage is unexpected for the region. A mild and wet winter, a hot and dry spring and temperate and humid summer characterizes this vintage. An atypical year, a winemaker’s vintage. Bud-break took place very early and flowering was carried out in ideal conditions and fruit set was excellent, especially on Grenache. However, work in the vineyards and constant monitoring were necessary all the way through to harvest. The months of July and August were humid favouring growth.
- This beautiful vintage shows a beautiful blend between Syrah and Grenache. Great freshness, delicate notes of fresh black fruit slightly over-ripe, sweet spices. The generous mouth, offers elegant tannins full of finesse and the finish is full of character, firm and mineral.
Faugères AOP Calmel & Joseph, 2015/17
Beautiful cherry red hue with dark black tints. Aromas of undergrowth, garrigue and a touch of mint on the first nose. The wine is honest and clean on entry, with notes of game and mushrooms. Spicy notes of thyme, rosemary and lavender come through after the glass is swirled a few times. The tannins are prominent and reveal ripe fruit aromas. This wine has a very strong personality yet expresses itself with finesse and elegance.
La Ruffe “les Cuvées Rares”, Calmel & Joseph, 2015/16
Purple-red robe. A very expressive nose that opens with notes of chocolate and spice, followed by citrus fruit and white flower aromas. There are also hints of pure fruit, reminiscent of freshly-picked, crushed grapes. On the palate this is a clean and lively wine with subtle notes of small red berries and scrubland herbs. The tannins are elegant, discreet and well-integrated. The balance and originality of this wine gives it its “cuvée rare” status.
Clay limestone and blood-red “ruffes” soil typically found in the Terrasses du Larzac.
Jancis Robinson 201617 + / 20 : A sleeping dragon …
Le G de Château Guiraud, 2016
– Château Guiraud is one of the few properties to be located within the village of Sauternes itself (the only other being its illustrious neighbour Château Yquem). Alongside sweet wines they also produce an organic dry white.
Fermented in barrel and aged for 7 months on its lees, this wine has great texture and depth. Crisp gooseberries, honey and just a touch of blossom.
Le G de Château Guiraud, 2017
– With its rich expression and assertive personality, the G de Château Guiraud 2017 embodies with brilliance the style and charm of the Château Guiraud brand.
Certified as an estate practicing Organic Agriculture since 2011, Château Guiraud reigns over a prestigious terroir with a wide variety of soils. This rare complexity helps build the style of great wines that seduce each year with their consistently excellent quality.
– Along with an intense aromatic expression, complexity and elegance, the palate also offers the perfect balance of textural density and a zippy, refreshing tension. A beautiful vintage full of flavour, which will radiate in its youth but blossom fully only with age.
Louis Latour – Mâcon-Lugny “Les Genièvres”, 2016
Pale gold in colour, with a beguiling aroma of fresh apples, lemon curd and toasted citrus fruits atop a palate of fresh and crisp green-apple acidity, buttery and peachy fruit and a long, warming finish.
90 Points James Suckling.
“This is a bright and crisp chardonnay that makes you feel France with sliced lemon, apple and mineral character. Medium-bodied, crisp and delicious. Drink me.”