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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100
Ayni Malbec Mendoza 2017

Deep ruby-red in color with violet hints. Complex and intense bouquet, features blackberries, cherries and plums, with delicate floral notes and spices. Balanced and fresh mouth, full-bodied with good length of spices.

The grapes come from the fantastic area of Paraje Altamira in the Uco Valley, Mendoza.
Irrigation: Drip 
Harvest: Manual 
Maceration: 4 days cold soaking below 10°C in stainless steel tanks 
Alcoholic fermentation: 80% of the wine in stainless steel tanks for 15 days with wild yeasts, 20% of the wine in 225-liter closed French oak barrels 
Malolactic fermentation: Yes

Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.



Mandolin Chardonnay 2017

With its maritime influence, California's Monterey region has an extended growing season that yields wines with full flavor development and great acid balance.
Mandolin Chardonnay has a lush tropical fruit core, balanced by crisp acidity and nicely integrated oak.

The grapes for this Chardonnay were sourced from vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA of Monterey County, where high winds, dry days, and bay fogs create a cool, but very long, growing season. These growing conditions are ideal for cool-climate grapes such as Chardonnay, and lead to full, forward fruit flavors and ideal acidity. Grapes were harvested at an ideal balance of sugar and acid, and the wine was fermented in 1-2 year-old French oak barrels. This wine did not undergo malo-lactic fermentation, thus preserving its bright acidity. Total Acidity: 0.70 pH: 3.45 Residual Sugar: 0.51 g/liter

Chartron & Trebuchet Chablis Premier Cru Montmains 2017

Chartron & Trebuchet Chablis Premier Cru Montmains  is made from 100% Chardonnay.

Aged on the lees for 10 months. No Oak.

The Chablis region is a limestone plateau cut by valleys. The Premier Crus lie on a stratum dating from the Kimmeridgian (155 millions years BC) with alternating marl and limestone and tiny deposits of oysters in the rock, reminiscent of the warm and shallow sea which then covered Burgundy.
Chartron et Trebuchet Chablis 1er Cru Montmains has subtle lemony and floral notes that open out onto more mineral nuances. The attack is frank and precise, with a remarkable finish. Aromas of chalk, jasmine and lemon confit embellish the mouth.

Average age of the vines is 20 years old
Wine was slightly filtered before bottling.

Perfect with hot oysters or fish in sauce, but also with white meats in sauce (veal, poultry). Sushi pairs perfectly with its minerality. Goat cheese, Blue cheese and Comté.

Domaine de l'Ecu Muscadet Granite 2017

Guy Bossard Domaine de l'Ecu Muscadet Granite is made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne sourced from a 3 hectare vineyard.

ub-soil: granite
Yield: 40-45 hl/ha
Soil ploughing and soil scraping. Canopy management.
PRUNING: Simple Guyot.
Orientation of the slopes is SOUTH WEST. Stony soil. Sub-sol: Two-Mica Granite.
Production: 555 cases
It is the color of white gold. An elegant nose with pronounced notes of mineral, flint, silex, and notes of citrus fruits and oyster shells. The attack is sharp and straight, the mouth crystalline imparting a great purety, fresh with the ambiance of the sea; mouth slim, fleshy and complex, very salty notes and notes of chalk and citrus fruits. A wine equipped with a long life with a persistant ambiance of the sea. A wine essentially to keep....

Organically farmed since 1975. Biodynamic – Demeter certified since 1998. 100 % hand-picked grapes Reception of the grape harvest by gravity, no use of pumps. Pneumatic gentle press No racking of the must Fermentation: 100 % natural yeast • Temperature control: 15 °- 17 °. Aged "ON THE LEES" in underground vats

A perfect match to the following dishes: 
Tartare of langoustines, zest of lime and mandarin.
Sushi and sashimi of white fish, sea bass and sea bream...
Shellfish, refined oysters, crayfish.
Carpaccio of ScallopS with kaffir lime zest.
Turbot, John Dory, Monkfish in sauce, Skate with capers, beurre noisette.
Eels "à la Provençale". Wild Sea Bass with an oyster sauce and seaweed butter.
Grilled Rabbit Leg with rosemary, tian of courgettes
Cheeses: Livarot, Epoisses, Curé Nantais

 


Red 1983 Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée

1983 Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée. Picture of bottle available upon request. 

Tanzanite Brut Rose Method Cap Classique NV

Tanzanite Brut Rose Method Cap Classique is made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay.

It begins with a sumptuous and luminous pink appearance. Followed by a delicacy of red fruit aromas. The nose is generous and elegant. Fresh attack followed by a harmonious sensation on the palate. Perfectly balanced in the best Tanzanite Style which combines elegance and flair.

Yearly the grapes are sourced from Robertson. Hand picking of the grapes we do in small 18kg lots and then whole bunch pressing on every 5 Ton of grapes. Yields are around 450-480 liters per ton of grapes. Juice was inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast for primary fermentation at cool temperatures for 8-10 days. This is followed by Malolactic fermentation on all base wines. The MLF ads depth and complexity to the base wines. With maturation the wine will get soft, creamy and elegant. Secondary fermentation took place in the bottle and wines were left on the lees and tasted every few months to monitor the ageing on the lees. Minimum time spent on the lees 24 months.

It’s the only area in the Western Cape where you will find Chalk in our soil.
The wine is made from selected vineyards. Limited to 6 000 bottles annually.
Age of the vines is around 10-15 years old.

Pairs well with roasted white meat, game, tapas, ham and smoked salmon.


Uvaggio Primitivo Lodi 2015


Uvaggio Primitivo Lodi  is made from 87% Primitivo, 13% Barbera

As we traverse the highways and byways of the wine world, the number-one question we encounter is “are Primitivo and Zinfandel really the same wine?” Well, yes and no. After years of genetic research, ampelographers discovered both are clones of a Croatian grape called Crljenak Kaštelanski (aka: Tribidrag). This means they’re not exactly the same (but oh so very close). It’s lively and fruity, generally offering a brighter expression than typical Zin (think fresh blueberries, not blackberry preserves). Neither Croatian or Pugliese, ours is a perfect complement with America's farm-to-table cuisine.

Decades ago we helped pioneer an 'old vine' Zin revial in the Napa AVA, plus planted Napa's first Primitivo. We have moved-on to a more cost effective AVA, sourcing from a vineyard planted for the Prisoner program.

Fruity and engaging; having a briary aroma of blackberry, floral notes like violet and a hint of spices like clove; with berry and cherry flavors, it has a bold and firm finish.

Harvest in mid Sept was followed by several days of cold maceration, after which the must was inoculated with a fruit enhancing strain of yeast. Immediately following the primary fermentation and pressing, the wine went into older neutral barrels for a malo-lactic conversion. While only minimally handled, late spring of the following year it was racked and we blended in a small percentage of Barbera, to enhance its expression and add complexity. Aging continued for another three months in neutral oak cooperage.
Bottled in Aug 2016; 14.9% alcohol, pH 3.58 & TA 6.0 g/l

Review:

"A wine for grown-ups, this is big but balanced and dry in style. It matches impressive layers of just-ripe blackberry and black-plum flavors with a sturdy structure of fine-grained tannins that clean the palate easily. It has considerable depth and focus, indicated by how the dark fruits seem to keep increasing in intensity even on the finish. - JIM GORDON"

- Wine Enthusiast (October 2017), 92 pts - Editors' Choice

 Wine Enthusiast: 92
Mas des Capitelles Faugeres Vieilles Vignes 2016

Mas des Capitelles Faugeres Vieilles Vignes  is made from 50% Mourvedre, 25% Carignan and 25% Syrah

Deep inky color in the glass. Aromas of raspberry, cherry and hints of vanilla round out the nose. Medium to full-bodied and very well structured with ripe chewy tannins. Flavors of peppery humus, cherry and hints of leather flow towards a lengthy & spicy finish.

Mas des Capitelles La Catiede 2016

Mas des Capitelles La Catiede is made from 50% Carignan, 20% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache and 10% Syrah

Color is deep and intense.
Aromas of red berries (Cherry, Black Currant)
The wine is balanced with silky tannins. 
Flavors of leather and citrus with a nice pleasant finish.

"La Catiede" is the name of the "Lieu-dit" where the vines are planted. It has been in the Laugé family for many generations and naming a Cuvée La Catiede represent the heritage and an hommage to their ancestors.

Delicious with lamb and grilled vegetables.




Wolfberger Alsace Gewurztraminer 2017

Wolfberger Alsace Gewurztraminer is made from 100 percent Gewurztraminer 

Very aromatic, with rose petal, peach and honeysuckle aromas. Full bodied, bright, zesty and crisp, this wine is extravagant and extroverted. Try it with aged Munster cheese and raisin-walnut bread.

Wolfberger Pinot Gris Rangen de Thann 2013

Wolfberger Pinot Gris Rangen de Thann  is made from 100 percent Pinot Gris

Honey, ripe fruits and sweet spices.
Long and ripe fruit flavors, with apricot and badian hints.

The Rangen Grand Cru is located in Thann, deep in the south of Alsace. Its particular soil is made of volcano-clastic rocks that drink up the heat of the day and send it back out again at night. The composition of the soil allows the roots of the vines to drink deeply from the mineral-rich sub-soil. Its southern exposure has the advantage of refreshing, drying winds in case of dampness. The high slopes are quite steep, reaching 68% in some places, requiring that the harvest be done by abseiling or roping down. Perfect for aging, these wines will reveal even more qualities after several years in the cellar.

Pair with duck honey and balsamic vinegar, foie gras, cheese like vacherin, comte 18 months, pork aigre douce (sweet and sour), dessert with apricot.

   

Segries Clos Jean Alesi Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2016

Segries Clos Jean Alesi Cotes du Rhone Rouge  is made from 1/3 each of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.

This wine was originally called Segries Lanzac Clos Hermitage Cotes du Rhone Rouge  

This 3.5 hectare vineyard, located in the famous “Quartier de la Chartreuse de Villeneuve-les-Avignon”, has been owned by the Formula 1 race car driver Jean Alesi since 1995. It is managed by Château de Ségriès.

This wine is a blend of 33% Grenache, 33% Syrah, and 33% Mourvedre sourced from 40-year-old vines. It was fermented in concrete vats then aged for nine months in 5% new oak barrels. The wine is a very grapey color in the glass. There is a light nose of tightly packed black fruit, dried herbs, pepper, and licorice. In the mouth there are tight-grained blue fruit, fine, powerful tannins, and a little strawberry flavor breaking loose. With air the wine reveals pencil and pepper flavors along with the structure for aging.

Yield: 40 hl/ha
Age of the vines: 40 years. 
Vinification: 21 days skin maceration in temperature controlled concrete vats
Ageing: 9 months oak aging -5% new French oak from Seguin Moreau cooper and 95% of 1 year old barrels.

Delicious with roast meat, grilled vegetables, strong cheese and chocolate desserts.


Chavy-Chouet Bourgogne Blanc Les Saussots 2017

Chavy-Chouet Bourgogne Blanc Les Saussots is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. A medium yellow straw color in the glass. On the nose, you will find layers aromas of cured lemon and hints of coconut and mango. On the palate, the juice has clean flavor, fresh acidity, and excellent balance. Vanilla notes follow through to the slightly creamy finish. 

The grapes from this wines are grown from the Meursault area. (either outside of the AOC limit or with younger vines).

Seafood, fish, salad or by itself as an aperitif. 

Drink this one now or over the next 3 to 4 years.

Willowcroft Albarino 2017

Willowcroft started planting albarino in 2010 after Lew visited Galicia trying to find a replacement for Chardonnay that had been lost to flavescence doree.
The wine is dry with earthy citrus & mineral notes and a touch of peach on the finish.

100% Albarino grapes.

Harvested from home Vineyards (brix 24.4 and TA 6.9). 

No Malo-Lactic fermentation in order to preserve a good acidity and some freshness.

Fermented and aged for 7 months in Stainless steel tanks.

Bottled in April 2017 after a slight filtration.


Willowcroft Chardonnay Cold Steel 2017

Crisp & clean with wonderful aromatic, bright Chardonnay fruit flavor.

100% Chardonnay grapes.

Harvested from home Vineyards on Sept 6th 2016 (brix 22.4). 

No Malo-Lactic fermentation in order to preserve a good acidity and some freshness.

Fermented and aged for 7 months in Stainless steel tanks.

It was slightly filtered before bottling

Lismore Age of Grace Viognier 2017

This is a Greyton WO.

Balance is the key to this wine. Viognier is an aromatic and generous varietal, it benefits from barrel maturation and lees contact with a fuller mouth feel and increased texture. This combined with the firm acid backbone and intense fruit will allow this wine to integrate beautifully and gain further complexity over the next 3-5 years.

Rich, lush and decadent. Viognier is a gorgeous variety. Honeysuckle, peaches and dried apricot with a lingering citrus finish. A clean fresh acidity supports the extravagance of the nose and the palate.

Viognier, a traditional Rhone variety is perfectly suited to Lismore’s cool-climate terrior. The vineyard block is on decomposed shale and one of the healthiest and well balanced on the farm. The entire team looks forward to the Viognier harvest and the beautiful amber tinged berries.

The grapes were picked at optimal ripeness and whole bunch pressed, slowly extracting the juice at a rate of 500ltrs per ton. The juice was settled for 48 hours and was racked into burgundian barriques (1st fill) for fermentation and maturation. The wine was left on the lees with regular “batonnage” for 11 months.

Lighter styles are often paired with curries and the like. This Viognier is different. We recommend medium bodied meals that are intense and complex. For example:
- Sesame encrusted tuna marinated in a blend of orange, lemon and lime juice spiced with sesame oil and balsamic vinegar – seared on a wood fired grill and served with griddled vegetables, or
- Free range duck breast smoked with Darjeeling tea and coriander leaves. Set on a cinnamon poached pear glazed with a gooseberry jus.
In both of these dishes, the fruit and floral aspects of the wine are complimented by the exotic and aromatic elements in the dish which are also highlighted by the spiciness from the oak fermentation; the fresh acidity freshens the palate, and yet the Lismore Viognier has the body to hold up against the weight of the duck or the tuna. It is also gorgeous with a well laid cheese platter.

Review:

"The 2017 Age of Grace comes from purchased Viognier fruit from Elgin grown on rose quartz soil. It has a well defined bouquet of yellow plum, mirabelle, apricot blossom and subtle popcorn aromas. The palate is clean and precise with a fine line of acidity, hints of stem ginger complementing the tropical fruit (passion fruit and peach skin), and the finish is spicy and quite persistent. Excellent.- Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 93 pts

"Bottled but not yet labeled, the 2017 Age of Grace Viognier is made with Elgin fruit grown on rose quartz soil. Although made oxidatively, it’s very floral in character with notes of jasmine and honeysuckle. Samantha attributes this in part to natural ferment and the partial use of polyurethane egg, which contributes an extreme florality. It’s a lovely wine with bright, dense tropical and stone fruit on a full, creamy palate and showing good minerality on the finish."
- International Wine Review (February 2018), 92 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 93 International Wine Review: 92
Lismore Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Floral notes of passion flower and fynbos, granadilla, gooseberry and pear on the palate along with an underlying minerality which gives this unique terroir driven wine its signature.

Review:

"The 2016 Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc, which was in 500-liter barrels and one concrete egg for nine months, has a lovely, quite complex bouquet of melted wax, crushed stone and grilled walnut scents; hints of gooseberry develop with time. The palate is well balanced with crisp acidity, delivering a satisfying citric attack with plenty of salinity on the brisk finish. Excellent.- Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (August 2018), 91 pts

 


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91
Big Table Farm Sunnyside Pinot Noir 2015

Lucy and Tom have been tending the same vines for over thirty years with care and diligence. The evidence of their work and care is clear – not only in the appearance of the vineyard but the quality of fruit they produce and subsequently the wines.

tasting notes— This wine offers a full rich nose, cinnamon, cedar and musk. Great density on the palate, rich but with a focused palate as the acid holds it all in the middle so perfectly.  Flavors are explosive, fresh, and everything perfectly in place.  The structure here is based more on its acidity than tannins, though the tannins are there they and just melt on your tongue.  This wine has great length to accompany its generosity.

scores—
95 points — purely domestic wine report


Vivid red. A highly perfumed, complex bouquet evokes ripe red berries, blood orange, star anise and vanilla, and smoky mineral and candied rose nuances build as the wine opens up. Silky, focused and gently sweet, offering concentrated raspberry, cola, floral pastille and spicecake flavors, underscored by a vein of juicy acidity that gives the wine a surprisingly delicate touch. Shows excellent clarity and youthful tension on the strikingly long finish, which is shaped by fine-grained, even tannins.
94 points — Josh Raynolds — Vinous

Refined and fresh, with pretty cherry and violet aromas and sleekly complex raspberry, stony mineral and tea flavors that glide toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2023. 369 cases made.
93 points — Wine Spectator


9.0 to 9.5 — Vinography
93 points — International Wine Report

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 94 Wine Spectator: 93 95 Points
Chono Pinot Noir Single Vineyard 2016

Chono was founded by Alvaro Espinoza in 2004 and was later sold to Colchagua-based producer Sútil, in 2011. The wines focus on specific terroirs for each variety. Winemaker Oscar Salas has been making Pinot Noir for more than a decade, and prioritises gentle extraction and a bit of barrel ageing, ‘to let the terroir shine but with a multi-faceted profile’. A lifted, pure and focused mid-weight style with fine tannins.

Peter Richards MW: Elegant, with light baked herbs and leafy notes, plus dried and fresh red fruit. Fine abundant tannin and classy maturity. Very focused, pure and savoury. Accomplished and elegant in age, but perhaps needs some food. Love this! - 95 Points Decanter

 95 Points