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.
Cristal Champagne Brut 2012 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…”