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Bonny Doon Clos de Gilroy is made from 88% Grenache and 12% Mourvedre.
For a long time Randall Grahm went to bed aïoli, clovèd in nothing but the barest essential oils. The Wine Formerly Known as Clos de Gilroy (TWFKaCdG) pays homage to the quaint, rustic town of Gilroy, the spiritual locus of all matters alliaceous. However, note well, the fruit for this wine does not, despite its name, derive from Gilroy, but instead primarily from the vivaciously scented Alta Loma vineyard in the Arroyo Seco region of Monterey County, accompanied by equally expressive Grenache from Rancho Solo, located just outside the wind-swept, tumble-weeded town of Soledad. (Il faut souffrir.) Grenache is really the star of the show, and it exhibits all the hallmarks of exceptional coolth—bright raspberries, red fruit, esp. black currant, with a strong suggestion of black pepper and mint, a whiff of dark earth, and a supple, lingering finish.
Bonny Doon Vineyard aims for weapons-grade fruit from their sundry Grenache vineyards, with the intent of producing killer Cigare, but sometimes they end up Clos (but no Cigare). A somewhat more elegant Clos de Gilroy than one has typically seen in years past, this wine has the elegance of a Proustian madeleine, and supports the notion that Grenache is the stylistic analogue (writ South) of Burgundian Pinot noir. This wine is exceptionally spicy, peppery and perfumed, and pairs exceptionally well with a range of dishes, not the least being peppered ahi tuna steak. Best served with a slight chill, especially as the weather warms up.
Bonny Doon Vineyard’s winemaking practice is exceptionally light-handed, with minimal intervention and manipulation. The 2017 Clos de Gilroy was created from grapes deriving from three cool climate Monterey County vineyards as well as one warmer (but older and wiser) side in Contra Costa. The fruit was hand-sorted, gently destemmed, and cold soaked to enhance flavor and persistence.
Varietal Blend: 88% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre.
Vineyards: 34% Alta Loma, 39% Rancho Solo, 15% Ventana, 12% Del Barba
Appellation: Monterey County
Alcohol by Volume: 13.6%
TA: 5.5 g/L
Production: 2,425 cases
Serving Temperature: 53-55º F
Optimal Drinkability: Drinkable upon release, 5+ years ageability
Pairs exceptionally well with a range of dishes, not the least being peppered ahi tuna steak. Best served with a slight chill, especially as the weather warms up.
Burgo Viejo Rioja Crianza is made from 90% Tempranillo & 10% Graciano.
Red ruby colored wine with violet tones; well-balanced, black fruit, vanilla and coconut flavors. Powerful, complex and silky smooth...classic old style Rioja at a bargain price.
"A tight red with a dense palate of dark berries and chocolate. Full and reserved, yet polished and energetic. Give it two years to soften. Drink in 2020."
- James Suckling (August 2nd 2018), 92 pts
"Well priced and very appealing, this is part of a line up of really enjoyable, harmoniously oaked wines from Burgo Viejo, made from Tempranillo and 5% Graciano. Pepper spicy and refined, with clean, modern, textured blackberry fruit and a fresh, tangy finish. 2019-24."
- TIM ATKIN RIOJA 2019 SPECIAL REPORT, February 2019, 91 pts
Riebeek Cellars Shiraz is made from 100% Shiraz.
Cold soaked for one day and then inoculated with selected yeast.
Fermentation temperature was between 24 - 26 degree Celsius. Malolactic
fermentation was done with French oak chips and American oak staves. This
was then blended with wine matured in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels for 12 months.
Often referred to as Shiraz Country, the Riebeek Valley is renowned for
exceptional Shiraz wines. The Riebeek Shiraz is a lively rich wine, full bodied
with a subdued smokiness on the nose and a pallet of ripe fruit and
Well-balanced and smooth, the aftertaste lingers with the exciting flavors of
Perfect companion to meat, game, duck, goose, pasta and cheese. Serve at
Riebeek Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon,15 % Shiraz.
An exciting new world style wine with upfront blackcurrant flavors. The black fruit is well-balanced with subtle French oak for a complex nose and an elegant and lingering follow-through. An exceptional example of a lighter style Cabernet Sauvignon that can be enjoyed young. Excellent with red meat dishes or veal.
Keermont Estate Reserve Red Blend is made from 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, 6% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot
The Keermont Estate Reserve is the winery's flagship red blend. With this blend they aim to bring to life the nuances of both the terroir at Keermont Vineyards and the particular vintage.
Venetian red in color, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish.
All grapes are grown on Keermont Vineyards. Most of the vineyard parcels grow on deep red clay rich soil derived from sandstone and granite and are surrounded by indigenous vegetation. They lie between 250 and 400 meters above sea level in the valley between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountain ranges and have a variety of aspects from North East to West facing.
Small batches of grapes are specifically selected according to ripeness, harvested by hand and vinified separately. This process is carried out gently and naturally in open top fermenters using traditional methods only. This wine spent 22 months maturing in French oak barrels (20% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration
"This 2013 Estate Reserve was previously known as just "Keermont" since the estate wanted to keep the wine before release. A lot of fruit was lost to wind during flowering, ergo there is a little more Cabernet in the blend. The wine spent 22 months maturing in French oak barrels (20% new) before being bottled by hand without filtration on December 22, 2014. It has a precise, detailed bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, cold stone and just a touch of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity and quite strict tannin, grippy in the mouth, yet very elegant, presenting a lingering, almost Saint-Julien-like finish. Give this another year in bottle and you will have a very fine wine in your possession. - Neal Martin"
- Vinous (August 29th 2018), 92 pts
"This is Keermont’s flagship wine, the first wine made under the label in 2007. It sees 2 years in oak and is kept in bottle another 2 years before release. Richly aromatic with spice and fynbos/herbal notes. Fabulous, layered texture of rich, dense dark red fruit seamlessly integrated with toasted oak. A blend of 36% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Fanc, 10% Malbec, 6% Syrah and 4% Petit Verdot. 14.5% alc. Alex has been gradually increasing the percent of Cabernet Franc in this wine over time."
- International Wine Review (January 2019), 92 pts
Dark ruby color. Aromas of cherry, currant, vanilla bean and hint of tar. Full-bodied, with flavors of cherries, cocoa powder and oak. A touch of sweetness on entry with a little bit of air with soft tannins that are starting to integrate well.
The latest step in the project is Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) Dioro. The earlier Valsacros were made from a field selection of the older vineyards. Now, thanks to the new facility Amador has been able to build an upmarket version of Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) with a four-stage selection process that includes an initial field selection of the fruit followed by a second table selection as the grapes come into the winery. After fermentation wine from selected tanks is transferred to new French oak barrels for 12-14 months of barrel age. Finally, the best barrels are set aside for Dioro and the remainder used to "upgrade" the normal Vinsacro.
Vinsacro Dioro is a blend of grapes from 100+ year old "vidau" vineyards where many varieties were planted together in the same plot.
Today the grapes are harvested and vinified separately. The final blend depends on the vintage but typically it's Tempranillo (50%), Garnacha (20%) and remaining 30% is a mix of mainly Graciano (10%) & Mazuelo (10%) with a little of Monastrell (5%) & Bobal (5%).
"The top of the range is the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro, a wine that is only produced in excellent vintages. It's a blend of 40% Vidau (the old field blend) plus 45% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo, from a slope in the south of the Monte Yerga called Cuesta la Reina, from a big, 120-hectare plot that has been with the Escudero family for generations. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel with a long maceration. It matured in new French (70%) and American oak barrels for 18 months. It's still very young and a little shy, with a reticent nose where the lactic and spicy aromas are intermixed with earthy and dark fruit aromas. The palate is full-bodied but perfectly balanced, compact, powerful and serious, with abundant tannins, extract and clout. This should develop nicely in bottle, given its stuffing and balance. An excellent, modern version of a classical Rioja. 20,000 bottles were filled in June 2017. - Luis Gutierrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #235, February 2018), 92 pts
"(sourced from a 100+ year old plot of mixed varieties; aged in new and used French oak barrels for 14 months) Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruits on the expansive, spice- and smoke-accented nose, along with suggestions of vanilla, candied flowers and cola. The oak qualities recede quickly on the palate, which displays sappy, deeply concentrated boysenberry, black raspberry and spicecake flavors that show a suave blend of richness and energy. Supple tannins build steadily on the penetrating finish, which leaves cherry-cola and baking spice notes behind. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2019), 93 pts
"I loved the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro Rioja, and this beauty is 50% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache, 10% each of Mazuelo and Graciano, and the balance Mourvèdre and Bobal, all of which spent 12-14 months in French oak. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as smoking good notes of black currants, dried herbs, licorice, and background oak. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, and layered on the palate, with terrific fruit and impeccable balance, I suspect it will shine for over a decade."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 93 pts
Pioneiro Red Wine Vinho Regional Peninsula de Setubal is made from 60% Castelao (also known as Periquita), 30% Aragones and 10% Syrah
Aged 5 months in French oak barrels
The story of this wines begun more than a century ago, with the pioneering dream of Venâncio da Costa Lima: to bring good wines to every corner of Portugal. Pioneiro wine brand was created to pay homage to his vision.
What's Unique? Pioneiro (meaning “pioneer” in Portuguese) wine vintage style label pay homage to the founder’s dream, dating back to 1914. But in a relaxed, casual way, typical of this wine producer mood.
Intense garnet color, complex nose with touches of ripe fruit, jam and spices, full-bodied flavor and a very balanced finish.
Castelao: as the most widely-grown red grape variety in Portugal it is still often referred to in Portuguese as "Periquita" or "Joao de Santarem", although that name is legally owned by José Maria da Fonseca in the Setúbal Peninsula outside of Lisbon. It is highly adaptable to different climatic conditions and its remarkable versatility enables winemakers to make a range of wines – from the easy drinking and quaffable reds and rosados to the powerful and intense reds perfectly suited to lengthy cellaring. Castelão comes into its own and is most expressive in the Sétubal Peninsula, where it makes meaty and intense wines with aromas of red berries and blue flowers that marry well with the deft use of oak.
Made from 15 year old vines planted on sandy soils.
Classic vinification at controlled temperature (25 °C) with prolonged maceration for phenolic extraction. Wine went through malolactic fermentation.
It was aged 5 months in French Oak barrels.
Wine was slightly filtered before bottling to avoid sedimentation in the bottle and to ensure stability.
Pasta, Cheese, red meat and game.
Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant Cuvee Oumuamua is made from 52% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 13% Syrah.
As our story unfolds, we learn that with the 2018 vintage, there has been a fundamental change in the style of Le Cigare Volant. Not that there was anything at all “wrong” with the thirty-four vintages preceding the current one, mind you. For a number of reasons, mostly, alas, drearily fiscal/economical, the older style of Cigare has unfortunately proven to be a not particularly sustainable proposition at least from a financial perspective. The “new” Cigare, with a re-adjustment of the encépagement, by which we have dropped Mourvèdre from the mix and elevated the percentage of the (greatly underappreciated) and quite brilliant variety, Cinsault, creates a style of wine far more approachable and seductive in its youth.
We call this cuvée, “Oumuamua,” (or “scout” in Hawaiian), so named in light of the recent mysterious cigar-shaped object/visitor to our solar system, initially imagined to be some sort of asteroid, but believed by none other than the chairman of the Astronomy Dept. at Harvard University to possibly be a sort of probe, perhaps a solar-powered light-sail, sent on a kind of reconnaissance mission to check us out. (Ok, this last part is a bit of interpolation.) Anyhoo, it has been agreed that this was a very, very strange object that recently came to visit. And it appears that it may have arrived in the very nick of time, to bring a sort of much-needed revitalization to our planet, and by metaphoric extension, to the Cigare brand itself.
The color is a deep, vivid violet-red, owing in part to the lower pH of the wine. On the nose, the wine has a haunting kirsch nose (I suspect that’s the Cinsault), along with associated small red fruit (red and black currant) and perhaps a suggestion of blackberry. My colleague, Nicole Walsh and I toil away at the Cigare blend every year, and while the blend will change (sometimes radically, as it has this year), we share an idea of the Platonic form of Cigare, and the ‘17 certainly embodies that form. It goes something like this: Juiciness, fruit (but not confected or overripe), brightness, exuberance, joy, and not least, a sense of savoriness. I realize I’m not speaking orthodox wine parlance. We look above all for balance and for liveliness, for vinous qi. This wine is still incredibly young and just wants to jump out of its shoes.
INEYARD | PRODUCTION NOTES
The Alta Loma Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco area of Monterey County, was planted years back to one of the earlier selections of Tablas Creek Grenache clones, typically not a great selection for imparting real backbone or structure to the wine, but capable of making a wine that is enormously pretty and fragrant; in cool years, the fragrance of cassis or black currant is almost overpowering; most surprisingly, the Grenache in cool years from this vineyard is profoundly black in color. The Cinsault was sourced from the Loma del Rio Vineyard, a vineyard, under a previous nom de guerre (San Bernabe), we know quite well. This was the first year of production for the Cinsault and it was thinned multiple times both for enhanced concentration and evenness of ripening. The cooler climate gives the Cinsault a wonderful articulation of flavor, but what is most noteworthy is the fact that we were able to coferment the Cinsault with Syrah from the equally cool Mesa Verde Vyd. in the Santa Ynez Valley. Something magical happens when Syrah and Cinsault marry; the healthy tannin titer from the Syrah seems to give more structure to the Cinsault, helps to stabilize the color, and in general, insures that the blend will not evanesce tout de suite into the aetherial plane. The spicy, licorice component from the Syrah is a perfect foil to the Griotte cherry derived from the Cinsault.
Appellation: Monterey County
Vineyards: 48% Alta Loma, 35% Loma Del Rio, 6% Mesa Verde, 6% Zayante, 4% Rancho Solo 1% Lieff
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
TA: 6.1 g/L
Production: 11,500 cases
Cellaring: Drinkable upon release (6/19) with ageability of 7-10 years
Bonny Doon Old Telegram Mourvedre is made from 100 percent 100% Mourvedre.
Like the Rhone classic, it is produced from grapes which the label identifies as Mataro, an alias under which thick-skinned, late-ripening Mourvedre sometimes goes. From the nose, one scents licorice, blood(!) (make that very rare meat), blackberries (both berry and leaf), wet earth. There is a definite scent of beef bouillon, one of the absolute true signifiers of (proper) Mourvèdre. On the palate, the tannins are very plush and soft, almost a sense of sweetness (emphatically no R.S. in this), but with a really vibrant acidity and very great length. We somehow skirted the peril of over- ripeness and raisination, which is always a bit of a peril in the sunny climes of Antioch, CA. The wine is rich but also quite elegant at the same time.
Pairs with Wine-braised lamb shanks with herbes de Provence. Enoki mushroom tempura with soy-based dipping sauce. Hoisin-marinated chicken breasts served with wild & brown rice medley. Wild mushroom & thyme pizza. Pork shoulder. Beef short ribs.
Manoir du Carra Beaujolais Cru Fleurie Clos des Deduits is made from 100% Gamay grapes coming from the lieu dit "Montee de la Tonne".
The vineyard measures 1.5 hectare and the average age of the vines is 50 years. Yield: 48 hl/ha
Manual harvest; Semi-carbonic maceration for 10-12 days; Aging in Foudre for 3-4 months; Slight filtration.
Intense red color, subtle fruity and floral aromas of violet, berry and cinnamon. Ample in the mouth, fruit flavors. Even better after a few years of cellaring.
Excellent with red and game meats, and cheeses.
"This single vineyard with vines up to 50 years old has produced a solid, dark and structured wine. Ripe fruits give the wine weight and juicy acidity, both of which will allow it to age. Drink from 2021. - Roger Voss"
- Wine Enthusiast (January 2020), 92 pts
Alain Jaume Cotes Du Rhone Rouge Haut de Brun is made from 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault
The colour is purple-tinged garnet.The aromatic range of the nose goes from fresh berries (wild raspberry, blackcurrant, blackberry) to spices.The palate is big and full-flavoured, with silky-smooth tannins and aromas of the fruit already mentioned. The finish introduces touches of liquorice and pepper. A Côtes du Rhône with great complexity for an every day drinking.
A classic Rhône to drink between 1 and 4 years. Best poured at 17°C.
Traditional wine making and ageing is performed in vats only. Bottling after 10-12 months.
Ideal throughout the meal, but particularly with poultry and other white meats, as well as mild cheeses.
"The 2017 Côtes du Rhône Haut de Brun is in the same ballpark as the 2016, with a similar level of concentration, yet it has more dark fruits as well as good minerality. This medium-bodied, concentrated, fresh 2017 will keep for 7-8 years.
There are few better run estates in the world than that of the Jaume Family’s Domaine Grand Veneur. Located in the northern part of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and run today by brothers Christophe and Sebastien Jaume, the estate produces a quasi-modern style of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (their Les Origins and Vieilles Vignes) as well as a growing number of negociant based wines from throughout the Southern Rhône. The 2017s whites are terrific across the board, and this vintage has produced charming, pure wines that are already drinking beautifully. The 2016 reds are some of the finest I’ve tasted from this estate."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 2018, LE MILLÉSIME… The 2016s from the Southern Rhône - Part 1), 88-90 pts
Le Blanc du Chateau des Landes Bordeaux Blanc is made from 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Semillion.
Le Blanc du Chateau des Landes Bordeaux Blanc is a very fruity style of Bordeaux Blanc AOC. It has great aromatic intensity with white peach and citrus aromas.
No oak for this wine. The wine was aged on the lees for a few month in stainless steel tank.
Malolactic fermentation was completed as well in the process .
Excellent as an aperitif, it also goes very well with poultry and salads. If you have a chance to have access to fresh oyters, it is a great match as well.
The first vintage of this wine was made in 2018 as Nicolas Lassagne wanted to create an easy drinking wine that will be perfect as an aperitif in the summer time or to compliment salads and seafood in the winter time.
Alain Jaume Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac is made from 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre
An intense red garnet color. On the nose, aromas of red and black ripe fruit (kirsch and wild blackberry). The mouth is full, with aromas of blackcurrant liqueur and spice. Tannins are both harmonious and elegant thanks to the fleshiness of the wine. Hints of licorice and vanilla on the finish, which gives the wine length and complexity.
Soil type LIRAC vineyard is facing Chateauneuf du Pape, opposite side of the Rhône river. As showed by the picture and following geologist George Truc, soils are almost similar in both side. They are marked by the violence wrought by the Rhone river. It consists of a layer of marine molasses of the Miocene period covered by alpine alluvium. The presence of a great number of rounded stones known as "galets" in the earth is evidence of the time when the Rhone, then a torrent, tore fragments of rock from the Alps and deposited them on the plain. LIRAC is one of the up-coming best area from the southern Rhône valley, as it delivers outstanding wines. Winemaking & ageing Traditional wine-making in stainless still vats. Hand sorted bunches, crushed and destemmed grapes. Fermentation temperature : 30°C. 18 days of vatting with pigeages.
"The 2016 Lirac Domaine du Clos de Sixte is a terrific wine, easily the rival to many Châteauneufs from across the river, starting with its alluring aromas of flowering garrigue and ripe cherries. A blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre, this full-bodied wine is lush and concentrated on the palate, then turns velvety on the long finish. I'd treat it like a Châteauneuf du Pape in terms of cellaring: hold it for a few years, then drink it over the next 15. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue 233, October 2017), 93+ pts
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Le Jade Picpoul de Pinet is made from 100% Picpoul de Pinet
Pale straw color. Delicate white flower, citrus and juicy pear aromas. Fresh, crisp, and bright acidity with mineral and saline accents. Well-balanced and easy-drinking.
A refreshing treat laced up with snappy food-friendly acidity.
Picpoul Le Jade makes a classic match with oysters on the half shell and goes very well with exotic food in general. Picpoul means lip-smacking good.
SOIL : Clay and limestone soil just a few kilometres from the reputed Etang de Thau (salted water lagoon) overlooking the Mediterranean town of Sète.
VINIFICATION : Grapes are harvested at 12°- 13° maturity
Skin maceration for several hours
Selection of drained juice after undergoing pneumatic pressure.
Cold double decantation.
Thermoregulated fermentation at 16°C
No malolactic fermentation.