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Timelesswines

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Of the week!

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We travel to each vineyard to taste
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Lyrarakis Assyrtiko Voila 2017

Lyrarakis Assyrtiko Voila  is made from 100% Assyrtiko.

Description: Our family discovered the quality potential of East Crete since the 70's. Originally on the “Vóila” plain and subsequently in the extended surroundings, we discover exceptional vineyards where the great grape variety Assyrtiko thrives.

Tasting notes: Bright platinum color. Pure floral aromas with ginger spices and delicate notes of ripe citrus. Marvelously ripe grapes have given this wine a crispy and rich mouthfeel with a mineral and chalky character.

Alcohol: 13.5% ABV
Acidity: 7 g/L
pH: 3.2
RS: 3.43 g/L

Region: Voila area, Sitia, east part of Crete
Soil: Loam
Sun Exposure: Northeast
Pruning Technique: Head trained, spur pruned
Altitude: 580m above sea level
Irrigation: Not irrigated
Yield: 7tn/ha
Varieties: Assyrtiko 100%

Winemaking: The harvest was performed by hand seeking to obtain a proper fruit maturity. Skin contact was carried out at 12°C for 16 hours. Fermented in a stainless steel tank, this wine had a slow fermentation rate that lasted for more than 15 days.

Food pairing: All seafood, grilled fish, as well as white meat cooked with lemon.

Review:

"Tart, juicy citrus and apples with a long, sappy, chalky mouthfeel."

- Decanter (December 2018), 91 pts

 91 Points
Lyrarakis Mandilari Plakoura Cretian Red 2014

Lyrarakis Mandilari Plakoura Cretian Red  is made from 100% Mandilari

Description: The rare low-yield Plakoura vineyard is the equivalent to a Premier Cru slope at 500m. Altitude, with sandy, stony soil. The head-trained pruning in combination with the north-east exposure of the vineyard and plenty of sunshine, ensures that the grapes reach optimum ripeness at the time of harvest. Very thorough cultivation helps us achieve extremely low yields, succeeding in vinificating a very concentrated wine with a deep red color and an excellent structure, which will age for a long time.

Tasting Notes: Deep, intense red color. In the nose, complex aromas of juicy plums, toffee and licorice are superbly balanced by the chocolate and vanilla notes provided by its ageing process in oak. In the mouth it is well concentrated with a lively lingering finish. This wine has an excellent bottle ageing potential that can overpass 10 years.

Alcohol: 13% ABV
Acidity: 5.62 g/L
pH: 3.5
RS: 2.11 g/L

Region: Plakoura vineyard, Karkadiotisa area - central Crete
Soil: Sandy-loam with a good amount of stones
Sun Exposure: North East
Pruning Technique: Head trained, spur pruned
Altitude: 500m above sea level
Irrigation: Not irrigated
Yield: 5tn/ha
Varieties: 100% Mandilari

Winemaking: Green-harvested in August. Harvested by hand during the second week of September, defined by berry sensory assessment to obtain a proper fruit and aromatic balance. Fermentation with selected yeasts at temperature between 25°C and 28°C. The wine was aged for 12 months in both new and used oak barrels and then stored in bottles for 9 months before being launched commercially.

Food pairing: Grilled red meat, game and piquant cheese.

Lyrarakis Za Za Zu Sparkling NV

Lyrarakis Za Za Zu Sparkling is made from Vilana, Vidiano and Muscat of Spina

A gentle sweet kiss of peach and juicy stone fruit that excites the senses and tickles the tongue with bubbly delight followed by aromas of a spring breeze bringing scents of apple and cherry blossom with hints of baby’s breath, lily and a garden of white flowers. There is a delicate sweetness to this wine that lends itself to enjoying with friends or peaceful contemplation.

Region: Alagni area, central Crete
Soil: Clay loam
pruning technique: Cordon trained, spur pruned
Altitude: 520m above sea level
Irrigation: Not irrigated
Yield: 8.5 tn/ha

Winemaking: Hand harvested in the last week of August. Grapes are vinificated separately. 
Blending was performed using internal tasting results, choosing the ones with the best characteristics of texture and freshness. Secondary fermentation adds subtle creamy complexity and gives the wine its attractive fine gas bead and mousse.

Alcohol: 10% ABV
Acidity: 5.7 g/L
pH: 3.15
RS: 4.29 g/100ML

Food pairing: Fruit paste desserts, vegetable risotto and a large variety of antipasti.


Lyrarakis White 2017

Lyrarakis White is made from 75% Muscat of Spina and 25% Vidiano.

Description: An aromatic white wine with an exciting, crispy mouthfeel, vinificated by combining indigenous and international grape varieties, which have perfectly acclimatized on our island.

Tasting Notes: Bright and lively pale yellow color. Mature aromas of grapefruit and stone fruit enhanced by a persistent presence of rose petals. Elegant and fine balanced with pleasant acidity and plushy finish.

Alcohol: 12% ABV
Acidity: 6.39 g/L
pH: 3.25 
RS: 1.02 g/L

Region: Alagni area - central Crete
Soil: Clay - loam
Pruning Technique: Cordon trained, spur pruned
Altitude: 480m above sea level
Irrigation: Not irrigated
Yield: 9tn/ha
Varieties: 75% Muscat of Spina and 25% Vidiano

Winemaking: Hand-harvested in the last week of August (exact harvest time defined by berry sensory assessment, to obtain the optimum taste and aromatic balance). Grapes are vinificated separately. After de-stemming, the almost uncrushed berries remain in the press under reductive conditions for about 8 to 10 hours. Blending was performed using tasting results, choosing the ones with the best characteristics of texture and freshness. Matured on fine lees for 3 months.

Food pairing: Sea food, Thai or spicy cuisine and a large variety of salads.

Review:

"Classy muscat aromatics with serious peach undertones and minerality on the nose. The palate displays refreshing lingering acidity ."

- 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards, 91 pts - SILVER MEDAL

 91 Points
Avennia Justine Red Blend 2016

Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah 

Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.

 Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.

Review:

A blend of 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah brought up all in older oak, the 2016 Justine offers a great core of black fruits as well as lots of peppery herbs, earth, and classic meatiness. It looks to be a great vintage for this cuvée."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2018), 92-94 pts

 94 Points
Avennia Gravura Red Blend 2016

Avennia Gravura Red Blend is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc

Gravura is our ode to the Graves AOC of Bordeaux, emphasizing a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends. Featuring more Merlot and with the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.

Gravura Tasting Notes: Beautiful nose of red and black fruits, some savory leaf notes, mocha, pencil shavings. The palate is elegant and balanced, almost pretty: raspberry, black and red currants, milk chocolate and caressing tannins. Finish medium-long and ethereal.

Review:

"Bright dark red. Aromas of dark berries, licorice and hot rocks. Plush, smooth and concentrated, with something distinctly old-fashioned about its flavors of black fruits and spices complicated by leather, minerals and warm stones. A good portion of these vines date back to the early 1970s." - Stephen Tanzer 92 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
Laird Pinot Grigio Cold Creek 2017

Laird Pinot Grigio Cold Creek is made from 100 percent Pinot Grigio. 

The Laird Family’s Cold Creek Ranch is a 300 acre vineyard located on the Sonoma side of the Carneros district. The cooling sea breezes off the San Pablo Bay are perfectly suited for Pinot Grigio as well as Chardonnay, two grape varieties that thrive in this special vineyard.

Tasting Notes: The clear yellow sapphire hue sparkles in the sunlight, with inviting aromas of juicy passionfruit, honeysuckle and Juicy Fruit gum. The palate is balanced with medium acid and enticing flavors of melon, apricot, vanilla, and subtle mineralty, leading to a focused, mouthwatering finish.

Vineyard: 100% Cold Creek Ranch
Appellation: Los Carneros (Sonoma)

Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Flat Rock Ranch 2013

Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Flat Rock Ranch is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our Flat Rock Ranch vineyard is located near the north corner of where Yountville Cross Road meets Silverado Trail, on State Lane. This prized, complex fruit from the Yountville Appellation is a result of unique geological and meteorological conditions: volcanic soils similar to the adjacent Stags Leap District, but also display ancient coastal deposits, and sedimentary and alluvial soils that provide beneficial stress for our vines. Marine air currents from San Pablo Bay to the south are caught when they reach the “Yountville Mounts,” providing a natural cooling effect that balances warm, sunny days that ripen the rich tannins of our hallmark Cabernet Sauvignon to elegant distinction.

Tasting Notes: Bold violet-red color introduces a captivating bouquet of blueberries, tea leaf, and vanilla. This full-bodied wine has flavors of cassis, hazelnut and briary undertones with fresh acidity and chewy tannins on the palate.

Review:

"A focused and poised young cabernet with blackberry, blueberry and cherry aromas and flavors. Full body, velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Shows depth and power. Better in 2019."

- James Suckling (December 2016), 93 pts


"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Flat Rock Ranch, from another Yountville site, is softer than the Mast Ranch, with sweet tannin, dense purple color, plenty of crème de cassis, blackberry and blueberry. There is a nice floral element as well, and the wine finishes full, rich and impressive. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades."

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 94 pts

 Wine Advocate: 94 93 Points
Laird Pinot Noir Ghost Ranch 2016

Laird Pinot Noir Ghost Ranch is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir

9 months in French Oak (60% new)

Vineyard workers have long reported seeing people between the rows and down by the creek, people who simply disappear when approached. Hence the name “Ghost Ranch”. This is our family’s seventh vintage of Pinot Noir.

Tasting Notes: With enticing garnet hues, that leads way to aromas of fresh raspberries, toasty oak, Bing cherries and baking spice. With a medium body and a balanced smooth palate that opens to distinct layers of wild strawberry, vanilla & sweet cherry compote.

Easily paired with a variety of cuisine including Pasta Puttanesca, cedar plank salmon or Paella.

Laird Jillians Red Blend 2014

Laird Jillians Red Blend  is made from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Syrah, 10% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot

21 months in 75% French Oak and 25% American Oak (40% new and 60% neutral)

Vineyard: Cabernet Sauvignon (60% Mast Ranch + 40% Linda Vista Ranch), Syrah (100% Eagle Vines Ranch), Merlot (100% Big Ranch), Malbec (100% Flat Rock Ranch) and Petit Verdot (100% Flat Rock Ranch).
Appellation: Napa Valley

Our family has been proudly growing grapes in Napa Valley for two generations; this unique fusion of four varietals honors the youngest member of the third generation in our farming family, our daughter Jillian. This Left Bank Bordeaux-style blend with a twist of Rhone is structured, but easy to drink. Jillian’s is the only blend we make and it’s our most popular red wine.

Tasting Notes: Complex and precocious just like the real Jillian. Its deep, ruby red appearance accompanied by viscous legs leads the way to a seductive bouquet of toasted oak, lavender and ripe strawberries. A medium bodied palate, with delicate tannins and acidity, leads the way to tart dusty cherries and boysenberries that dance across your palate, while flavors of clove, vanilla and blueberry custard unfold on the finish.

Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014

Laird Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet.

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from three vineyards: Mast Ranch, for its earthy and robust structure, Flat Rock Ranch, for its fruit-forward characteristic and silky structure, and Linda Vista Ranch, for its juicy and vibrant approach-ability.

Tasting Notes: Opaque ruby color with a tinge of purple introduces developing aromas of blackberry jam, cranberry, and acacia flower. This medium-bodied red wine expresses flavors of ripe black plum, walnut, and cassis on the front of the palate, and is complemented by chewy tannins and juicy cherry on the finish.

Vineyard: 42% Mast Ranch + 35% Flat Rock Ranch + 23% Linda Vista Ranch
Appellation: Napa Valley
Varietal: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Review:

"A rich, unctuous wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is sweet, layered and enveloping in feel. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, cloves and new leather are all fused together. This is an especially intense, flamboyant expression of the vintage."

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (September 2016), 90 pts

"Aromas of blueberries, currants, spices and concrete. Medium to full body, firm and chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs time to soften but so pretty already. Drink or hold."

- James Suckling (January 2017), 93 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 90 93 Points
Laird Chardonnay Cold Creek 2016

Laird Chardonnay Cold Creek is 100% Chardonnay

Our Cold Creek Chardonnay is grown in the slightly cooler microclimate of the Sonoma side of the Los Carneros district to the west, where thick fog and cool marine winds protect its tender skins. Indigenous to the Burgundy region of France, Clones 15 and 95 at a 50:50 ratio exhibit an approachable style and luminous, golden color.

Tasting Notes: The appearance of golden straw leads you through an aromatic journey with notes of tropical fruits, sweet nectarine, melon, and vanilla. The wine has flavors of jasmine, citrus, and ripe Fuji apple that are complemented by a creamy mouthfeel and hints of lemon curd. The finish lingers on the palate, making you yearn for the next sip.

Vineyard: 100% Cold Creek Ranch
Appellation: Los Carneros
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay

50% Malolactic Fermentation

Review:

"Complex pear, melon, fig and citrus flavors are presented in an elegant, graceful style in this pure version. Drink now. 1,800 cases made. –JL."

- Wine Spectator (April 2018), 90 pts

 Wine Spectator: 90
Laird Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2017

Laird Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley is made from 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc

Vineyard: 100% Big Ranch Road
Appellation: Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley and Rutherford
Varietal: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

15% of Big Ranch fermented in Neutral Oak barrels + 2% of Smith Ranch fermented in Neutral Oak Barrels.

This lively and prolific varietal thrives in alluvial deposits composed of gravelly sand and gravelly loam, with good water retention and moderate fertility. Our Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is crafted in an approachable, fruit-forward style that is typical of the varietal and expressive of its terroir.

Tasting Notes: Translucent gold color leads to notes of juicy ripe pineapple, jasmine, Kaffir lime and Juicy Fruit gum entice the nose. Balanced, yet vibrant body of acidity tantalizes the palate with pineapple, passion fruit and Charentais Melon; a refreshing layer of minerality hits your mid-palate. The elegant, floral finish opens into a complex balance of white peaches, nectarines.

Fullerton Three Otters Pinot Noir 2016

Fullerton Three Otters Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir - 7-40 years old

This Willamette Valley blend hails mainly from three different vineyards in the north, east, and south of the Willamette Valley, with a smaering from five of Fullerton's other sites. The soils of the vineyards represent the breadth and diversity of the Willamee Valley with both sedimentary- and volcanic-based soils. 

Blueberry and ripe strawberry with a dash of baker’s spice, bramble, and herbs. The palate carries the fruit forward elegantly with balanced tannins following. Intriguing complexity and depth—an impressive wine for all.

This wine comes from 100% destemmed rotator barrels fermented at ambient temperature reaching a peak temperature of 73° F. The rotator barrel spun twice daily during fermentation yielding a gentle extraction. After fermentation, the wine went through a three-week extended maceration, allowing the tannins to polymerize, soffening the wine. Aged for 12 months in French oak barrels and three months in tank, the wine was then bottled after filtration.
This wine is handled very gently in the cellar allowing the nuances of the delicate fruit to be preserved and the wine to be very approachable in its youth. We have a preference for pump-overs versus punch-downs for its smoother extraction and softening effect on the tannin. To retain freshness and verve we age most of the wine in tank. However, we softened up and rounded out about 25% of the blend in barrel. The result is a fresh, fruit forward, yet earthy and intriguing, Pinot Noir.


Black Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

The Black Oak Cabernet Sauvignon is garnet red in color, refreshing and inviting to the palate. The wine’s aromas are layered with rich plum notes and a warm cedar component. The ripe, dark cherry flavors, are reminiscent of decadent blackberries with a nice sprinkling of dried herbs. With a mellow tannin structure, this medium-bodied wine is delicious and well-integrated.

Navigator Cabernet Sauvignon AVA CA 2017

Navigator Cabernet Sauvignon  is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

16 months in stainless steel and French oak barrels

Sourced from multiple vineyards accross California, the Navigator Cabernet Sauvignon is a complex yet easy drinking wine. Flavors of dark red fruit with notes of baking spice and coco envelop the palate and lead to a soft yet lengthy finish.

Kinsella Estates Heirloom Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Kinsella Estates Heirloom Cabernet Sauvignon  is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

20 months in French Oak (75% New)

Organic made.

This constant “fan favorite” certainly doesn’t let us down for the new vintage! With the yields lending to the smallest vintage in our Heritage Vineyard’s history, it certainly doesn't skimp in quality. Aromas of violet, lavender and cedar starts you down the path to a luscious, smooth and feminine 100% cabernet. Black fruits lead the charge here with a level of sucrosity that shockingly surpasses previous vintages. One phrase keeps coming back to us, “Liquid velvet!”.

From one of the earliest seasons on record and a fourth year of drought, the quality is high across the board. A mild winter caused early bud break, followed by a much longer bloom contributing to smaller grape clusters which led itself to a 20% reduction in crop size. An intense, compacted harvest began the first week of September and finished with a bang just six weeks later. The early and quick start was due to an unusually warm Spring that contributed to early vine development. Once again, we feel blessed with a 3rd straight vintage of astonishing quality. Th e only wish for the 2015 vintage would be for more fruit! - Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown

Any vegetable or meat in the grill. Delicious with Chocolate as well.
Saumaize Michelin Pouilly-Fuisse Ronchevats 2016

Saumaize Michelin Pouilly-Fuisse Ronchevats is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

Powerful and warm wine offering quince and sweet fruit aromas. Thick and toasty. Rich and well textured.

Review:

"(from southwest-facing vines on soil rich in clay, with clumps of calcaire; done in fûts, including a bit of new oak): Bright medium yellow. Expressive, perfumed aromas of peachy fruit salad and spicy oak. Quite rich and thick but also vibrant and alive, with its subtle peachy high tones framed by bracing citrussy acidity. Needs time in bottle to harmonize and knit. This is not a particularly mineral site, according to Christine Saumaize. Incidentally, the family's 2016 Le Haut des Crays was scheduled to be bottled in November. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2017), 91 pts

Saumaize-Michelin Macon-Vergisson Sur la Roche 2016

Saumaize-Michelin Macon-Vergisson Sur la Roche is made from 100 percent Chardonnay

Harmonious, fresh and clean aromas of fresh apple, lemon, orange blossom, white flower. Pure, crisp, silky and fine texture. Ripe fruit flavors and good acidity.

The vines are 40-45 years old of age on average. All of the wines are 100% barrel fermented and 100% M-L fermentation.

Domaine Charles Pere & Fille Pommard 2015

Domaine Charles Pere & Fille Pommard is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

Wine-making

The Pommard is a selection of seven different parcels, each fermented separately, with the final blend made at the end of aging to create the best expression of soil diversity. Fully destemmed then placed in vats for 15 days and aged for 18 months in French oak barrels.

Tasting notes

A deep ruby-purple color, the Pommard nose reveals blackberry and blueberry notes with a touch of ripe plum and cherry pith. The mouth provides firm tannins that melt across the finish, with beautiful persistent structure good for

ageing. Food pairing suggestionsIt will goes very well with coq au vin, premium beef cuts and hard cheeses 


Soil : Ancient alluvial soils to well drained pebbly clay & limestone soils in the center slope, and mix of Jurassic marl, brown calcic and limestone soils

Exposition : South East

Altitude : 250m to 330m

Average age of vines : 35 years

Surface area : 1.4 hectares

Yield : 40 hl/ha


Review:

While this wine has some of structure to be expected from a Pommard, it is more about rich, black fruits and ripe berry flavors. Blended from seven different parcels, it is ripe, generous with tannins that are well integrated into the layers of fruit. Drink this full-bodied wine from 2022. - Wine Enthusiast 92 points

 Wine Enthusiast: 91
J-L & F Chavy Puligny Montrachet 2015

The grapes are harvested from a few different parcels: Les Tremblots; Les Meix, Les Levrons; Corvée des Vignes; and Les Reuchaux. Jean-Louis uses oak sparingly. This wine is aged in oak, 15% of which is new.

Aromas of summer fruit and ripe plums. Good intensity on the palate with a steely focus and a long, intense finish. 

Review:

This wine is "a ripe take on Puligny, the apple flavors heading into pineapple, bright and juicy, still holding some chamomile notes in the lees." (04/18) Wine & Spirits 90 Points