Château d’Agassac, Haut-Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2010
A superb wine from the Southern Medoc, this blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc is a real sleeper of the vintage. Floral notes intermixed with forest floor, black currant and some subtle smoke and truffle are all present in this seriously endowed, full-bodied wine that is performing beautifully.
Château d’Aiguilhe, Comtes von Neipperg, Côtes de Castillon, 2010
One of the best-run estates in the underrated and undervalued appellation of Cotes de Castillon is Chateau d’Aiguilhe, which is owned by Stephan von Neipperg. As with all of von Neipperg’s wines, Stephane Derenoncourt is the consulting winemaker. The blend is usually 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, although I did not see the statistics on this particular vintage. The 2010 (10,000 cases produced) achieved 14% natural alcohol from modest yields of 34 hectoliters per hectare. It exhibits a deep ruby/purple hue, lots of cassis, crushed rock and floral characteristics, a round, generous, savory, broadly textured style and sweet tannins. Drink it over the next decade.
Château Fourcas Hosten, Listrac Médoc, 2009
Fourcas-Hosten has long had a reputation as one of the best Châteaux in the commune of Listrac in the Médoc. This vintage is very classically profiled with a nose of cassis, cocoa, and cedar followed by a complex array of black and red fruits on the palate. Exceptionally well-balanced, this is a wine that can improve over the next couple of years, but is already a joy to drink. Jancis Robinson MW said “…quite an intriguing nose, full, firm and dramatic. Nicely balanced with polished tannins and very appetising, the type of wine that could be a pleasure to drink all its life.”
Château la Tour Carnet, Grand Cru Classé, Haut-Médoc, 2009
Deeply-coloured. Powerful nose of ripe red fruits (strawberry) with slightly burnt oak presence. Power takes centre-stage on the palate with lovely fat at point of entry. A robust style with a good framework still showing pronounced oak. Slightly dry tannins on the finish. Wonderful potential.
‘This dense purple wine displays notes of charcoal, subtle toast and white chocolate as well as blueberry and blackberry liqueur intermixed with hints of graphite and licorice. Dense, full-bodied, unctuously textured, and quite long and thick, this concentrated, impressively endowed wine is silky-textured and already accessible. However, I suspect its best days are at least 5-7 years ahead of it. It should keep for a minimum of two decades.’ – 92pts, Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (199), March 2012.
Château La Tour Carnet
Château La Tour Carnet is a 4emé Cru Classé property owned since by Bernard Magrez. ‘It is one of the most picturesque chateaux in Bordeaux, dating from the 12th century, with real towers and a Camelot-style moat surrounding it. A large estate, they have been making top-flight wines for well over a decade, yet the prices remain very realistic for a classified growth Bordeaux.’ – Robert Parker, Wine Critic.
Château Lafon-Rochet, Grand Cru Classé, Saint Estèphe, 2008
A strong effort for this vintage, the 2008 exhibits a dark plum/purple color, plenty of firm, rugged, austere tannins, copious red and black fruits, admirable flavor intensity and medium body. Cellar it for 3-4 years and drink it over the following 15.
Château Lafon-Rochet is a 4ème Cru Classé St-Estèphe estate that has been owned by the Tesseron family since 1959. The property has one of the best terroirs in Bordeaux: its one block of 45 hectares is on a gravelly rise not far from Pauillac, and overlooks first growth Lafite Rothschild and second growth Cos d’Estournel.
Château Leoville Poyferre, Saint-Julien, 2011
– The bouquet is one of the most opulent we experienced this year, laced with ripe black fruits. The palate is amazingly harmonious, with gorgeous integration between oak and fruit, and the purity and precision is awesome. Beautifully balanced.
Château Rollan de By, Médoc, Cru Bourgeois, 2009
Very fleshy, this delicious red shows plum, raspberry and blackberry pâté de fruit notes backed by spice cake, anise and toasty vanilla. The finish is long and polished. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Chateau Rollan de By
The property is owned by Jean Guyon and is a leading estate in the Medoc and of the Cru Bourgeois chateaux. The wine spends 15 months in 100% new French oak barrels and consistently offers good value.
Château Sénéjac, Haut-Médoc, 2009
‘This is a major sleeper of the vintage and the finest Senejac I have tasted. The team from Pontet Canet, who have done such a phenomenal job at that estate, were in charge of making this Senejac, and the result, not surprisingly, is a sensational wine that consumers need to buy by the case. Dense purple, with notes of creme de cassis, incense, licorice and forest floor, this wine is delicious and full-bodied, with sweet tannins, low acidity, copious fruit and exceptional concentration. Everything is in balance, and the wine is capable of lasting 10 or more years.’ – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Feb 2012.
Owned by Lorraine Cordier, whose family also own Château Talbot. One of the better known Crus Bourgeois of the Haut-Médoc and always offer very good value for money.
Château Sociando-Mallet, Jean Gautreau, Haut-Médoc 2014
– Château Sociando-Mallet produces full-bodied wines with a deep, dark colour. Their complex bouquet is usually dominated by black fruit aromas with a touch of minerality and well-integrated, elegant oak. Often somewhat “virile” when young, the wines gain in balance and complexity with age. They are fresh, straightforward, and have a wonderful length.
Château Sociando-Mallet has always been a wine with great ageing potential. A wine to be enjoyed even after 30 years in great vintages.
– The Wine Cellar insider 88-90
2014 Sociando Mallet – Firm, bright, crisp and fresh, with blackberry, tobacco, smoke and spicy cassis character, the wine is full bodied, tannic and should age well.
Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Villa Antinori, 2015
An intense ruby red in color, Villa Antinori 2013 shows aromas of red fruit well amalgamated with spicy and balsamic notes. The palate is ample and enveloping and features firm and supple tannins. The wine is very persistent and the aftertaste brings back the notes first felt on the nose.
Chinon Cuvée Prestige “le Villy”, Domaine du Raifault, 1989
Fully mature and still full of life, this parcel shows why Chinon is so special. Dried red fruits, tobacco leaf and mushroom combine with mouthwatering ferrous acidity and lacy tannins to make a wine that’s nearly irresistible.
Clos Louie – ‘Louison & Leopoldine’, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon, France 2014
A tiny organic vineyard with pre-phylloxeric vines owned by Pascal and Sophie Lucin Douteau. ‘Louison & Leopoldine’ is their second wine; with a high proportion of Cabernet Franc it has a charm and elegance and is drinking wonderfully right now.
‘Red cherry with hints of mint, creamy and smooth on the palate. Expressive and with fine depth of flavour – a good find.’ – www.bordeaux.com
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, 2015/16 (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.