Clos Puy Arnaud, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon, 2009
– For one of the best wines Bordeaux can offer, look no further than this one! With an immense palate, highly concentrated notes of cassis, and firm, ripe tannins, this wine is the ideal vintage to show off class and elegance. You’ll love the hint of clove in the aftertaste, as well as the notes of blackberry, cedar, forest floor, and licorice. There’s even touch of incense in this opulent wine, which only tastes better the longer it is allowed to age.
This biodynamic Bordeaux with its intense fruit character is the perfect wine to go with venison.
– This stunning wine, with black/purple color, exhibits notes of blackberry, licorice, incense, forest floor and cedar along with a hint of toasty oak. The wine is opulent, even sumptuous in texture, has stunning purity and a provocative 45+ second finish. This is another over-achieving Castillon that should drink well for at least a decade or more.’ 92 points Robert Parker, Feb 2012
Cloudy Bay – Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2017
A wine full of fresh herbal aromas and layers of ripe guava and tropical fruit. Gooseberries and passionfruits on the medium-full body; the palate is succulent and crisp with a long flavoursome finish.
91 Points Wine Enthusiast.
“Classic gooseberry and pink grapefruit notes feature gentle herbal nuances on the nose. There’s ample weight and texture on the palate, with a burst of mouthwatering citrus on the finish.” — J.C. (7/1/2015)
90 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough is intensely scented of gooseberries, elderflower and fresh lemon with hints of white asparagus and sage. Medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with vibrant vegetal and citrus notes held up by a lively acid backbone and good long finish.”
17/20 Jancis Robinson.
“Herbal and pungent, with a sort of saline, iodine character – reminds me a bit of some single match scotch, in fact. Wet hay too. This is certainly complex, and better than the 2013, for sure.”
Côte-Rôtie “Brune et Blonde de Guigal” 2012
94 points James Suckling
– Bottled as a single blend in 2012, this has a fine, peppery edge to the nose with elegant dark-chocolate aromas ahead of brambly dark plums and black-cherry fruits. There’s a wealth of richness and power here, and it’s so layered and dense. A wine that shows a smooth build of fine and even tannin. The gentle pepperiness cracks into the finish, where there’s another warm dark chocolate afterglow. This spent 36 months in oak, of which 50% was new. Best from 2018 and for at least a decade afterwards. (11/2016)
91-93 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
– Scheduled to be bottled in two weeks, the 2012 Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde has a complex, pure, medium to full-bodied feel in its cassis, black raspberry, olive and spice-laced bouquet. Possessing sweet tannin, plenty of fruit and a great finish, it has plenty of similarities to the 2011 and is joy to drink. (JD) (12/2015)
93 points Vinous
– Saturated ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes black and blue fruit liqueur, incense and fresh flowers, and notes of smoky minerals, vanilla and licorice adds complexity. Coats the palate with sweet cherry-vanilla and blueberry flavors given lift and cut by zesty acidity and a hint of cracked pepper. Finishes on a gently tannic note, showing excellent lift and floral-driven tenacity. (JR) (3/2016)
92 points Wine Spectator
– This offers a distinctive set of alder and olive aromas before giving way to a slightly taut core of bitter cherry, plum and red currant fruit. Lovely bay and leather accents hang on the background, leading to a long, grippy finish that exudes a slightly perfumy sandalwood note. (JM) (4/2016)
Côtes du Roussillon Villages AOP Calmel & Joseph, 2016
Deep purple red colour, almost black. The nose is pronounced with hints of ripe red fruits, almost jammy. Cherry, fig and dried plum dominate. The attack is concentrated but soft. Natural sugar envelops soft tannins. Aromas of candied fruits cover the back of the palate. Nice balance and good length.
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.
Croft – Vintage Port, 2007
Deep purple black with narrow magenta rim. The heady and powerfully aromatic nose displays a characteristic abundance of rich plump fruit and the exotic notes of eucalyptus and rock rose which are the hallmark of the Quinta da Roêda wines on which the blend is based. Juicy and luscious on the palate, with discreet and well fused tannins and a long generous finish.
93 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
“There is a nice limpidity on this Croft 2007. It is not the power that strikes you but the purity with black cherries, liquorices, violets and a hint of iodine. Very tight and focused. The palate is full-bodied with chewy tannins on the entry, pure blackberry, raspberry, white pepper and Asian spice towards the finish. Very fine focus, very pure and harmonious. Sensuous finish but it just tapers away when I need more grip and assertiveness. Still, this is a lovely Croft.” Neal Martin, May 2009.
92 points Wine Spectator.
“Shows aromas of very ripe fruit and sweet tobacco, with hints of earth and spices. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with round, velvety tannins and a long, fruity finish. Likeable for its soft texture. Best after 2016. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.” (05/09)
Notes on Viticultural Year and Harvest
The 2007 growing season was preceded by a wet winter that replenished water reserves after four hot, dry years. The humid conditions continued into spring and early summer with lower than average temperatures combined with periods of rain. There were no significant periods of intense heat during the summer months. This ensured that the leaf canopies were in an exceptionally healthy condition and able to benefit from the warm weather that preceded the harvest.
The first two weeks of September saw constant daily temperatures of between 35ºC and 38ºC. These warm and dry conditions brought the crop to perfect maturity, advancing the production of sugar and phenolics while retaining the excellent natural acidity resulting from the relatively cool summer. As a result the harvest produced perfectly balanced musts which have produced stylish and elegant wines, full of vitality, with a superb fresh concentrated fruit character.
Croft – Vintage Port, 2011
The heady scents and opulent ripe fruit which define the Croft Vintage Port style are supported by a mesh of taut, muscular tannins. These, together with impressive depth of flavour, make the 2011 one of the most structured and powerful of recent Croft vintages.
Deep purple black colour. The complex seductive nose has the archetypal Croft opulence but displays impressive depth, background and reserves of aroma. A rich, powerful fruitiness provides the backdrop for heady scents of blossom and rock rose. Luscious ripe berry fruit flavour surges though the palate. The wine’s velvety texture is underpinned by taut, muscular, perfectly integrated tannins which provide stamina with an attractive firmness and vigour to the finish. More virile and structured than some recent Vintages from this classic house, the 2011 nevertheless displays all the rich ripe fruitiness and exotic scented character associated with the Croft house style.
97 Points Wine Spectator
“Effusively juicy, rich and concentrated, showing plenty of snap to the crisp and well-spiced flavors of wild berry, dark currant and plum tart. Orange-infused chocolate notes linger on the exotic, mocha-filled finish. Best from 2020 through 2045.” Kim Marcus, September 2013
95 Points James Suckling
“Beautiful aromas of violets and blueberries with hints of blue slate. Full body, medium sweet with chewy tannins and a long, long finish. A leafy, stemmy, nutty undertone to this with hints of shaved milk chocolate. Very refined and beautiful.” May 2013.
95 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2011 Croft is initially taciturn on the nose, even after allowing it 20 minutes in my glass. A light swirling immediately awakens the aromatics to offer blackberry, Seville orange marmalade, blueberries and dried fig – complex and quite compelling. There is real mineralité within this bouquet that, returning after 30 minutes, offers alluring ocean spray scents rolling in off the ocean. The palate is medium-bodied with a velvety-smooth opening that belies the fine, structured tannins underneath. It clams up a little towards the finish, shuts the lid tight and consequently there is the sensation of less persistency here compared to the Taylor’s or Fonseca. But Croft has a knack of filling out with bottle age and becomes both gentle and generous with the passing years.” Neal Martin, Eroberparker.com,
Notes on Viticultural Year and Harvest
The winter preceding the 2011 harvest was cold and wet. The weather station at Croft’s Quinta da Roêda registered 496 mm of rainfall between 1st November and 31st March compared to a 30-year average of 358mm. The rain proved very beneficial, replenishing depleted ground water reserves and allowing a balanced ripening of the grapes during the hot dry summer which followed. Budburst occurred at the normal time towards the end of the third week of March and wet and relatively warm conditions in April encouraged vigorous growth. From early May conditions turned generally dry and remained so for most of the summer.
Only 12 mm of rain fell at Roêda in the months of May, June and July compared to a 30-year average of 105 mm. In spite of the arid conditions the vines were able to draw water from the ground reserves providing ideal conditions for balanced ripening of the grapes. The hot dry weather in August was broken at the ideal moment by two spells of rainfall, on 21st August and 1st September, which rounded off the ripening season and produced a balanced and evenly mature crop.
Picking began at Quinta da Roêda on 10th September in excellent harvesting conditions. Fermentation times were long, allowing for complete and even extraction, and the musts in the quinta’s lagares showed exceptionally intense colour and aroma.
Cusumano – Merlot IGT Terre Siciliane, 2017
Rich spicy and plumy flavours on the nose, classic Mediterranean notes on the palate with hints of tobacco and black pepper. Full bodied wine.
85 Points Wine Spectator.
“There’s a wild edge to this medium-bodied red, which sports spicy plum, cherry, underbrush and licorice notes. Drink now. 12,500 cases made.“
Dezzani – Barolo “San Carlo”, 2014
From one of the great recent Barolo vintages, the taste is dry, full, austere, and velvety. The scents are of a violet, rose and spices. It has a garnet red colour.
Grapes: Nebbiolo – clones: Michet, Lampia and Rosé
Area: Langhe, Piedmont.
The manual harvest in early October is followed by vinification: forty-days of maceration at controlled temperature and the subsequent malolactic fermentation. The process is completed by a twenty-four months ageing in big oak barrels and a further twenty four months in bottle.
The colour is typically red garnet.
The aromas are complex and elegant, ranging from ripe red fruit and spices, until toasty and ‘tar’.
The flavour is gently tannic, austere, full and velvety.
This great bottle is ideal with important first courses, roasts, game and hard cheeses, but can also be a great sipping wine after dinner.
Serve at 20-22 °C.
Wine with a long ageing potential.
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.
Dr Loosen – Riesling Beerenauslese, 2013 (18.7cl)
The Mosel Region
The Mosel’s steep, southfacing slopes create the perfect climate for Riesling, giving the vines ideal exposure to the sun. Generally cool conditions allow the grapes to ripen slowly for maximum flavor development while retaining bright acidity.
Riesling Beerenauslese “BA”
Beerenauslese (“berry select”) is a rich, honeyed dessert wine made from grapes that have been partially shriveled by the botrytis fungus, also known as “Noble Rot.” These extremely concentrated, moldy grapes are painstakingly separated from the unaffected fruit and vinified to make one of Germany’s most prized vinous treasures.
The legal minimum for BA must weight is 110° Oechsle, but at Dr. Loosen it usually starts with a minimum of 120° Oechsle (28 Brix). This Beerenauslese, exclusively from estate-owned vineyards, has a juicy mouthful of ripe fruits with a finish that is long and satisfying, but never heavy. It is perfect as an aperitif, with rich foods like foie gras, or with creamy desserts featuring fresh fruits.