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Bouysses Cahors is made from 100 percent 100% Malbec.
A beautiful dark brilliant ruby purple color. The nose is complex of black cherry, blackberry with a hint of violet, followed by a buttery and vanilla note. The palate is rich, powerful, with smooth and melted tannins. This wine is fleshy and velvety.
Serve with game meat, red meat, duck confit, and goat cheese.
Château Les Bouysses is an ancient priory rich of 800 years of history. It was bought by the Marre Family in 1933. “Bouysses" is the old French word for “buis” – the boxwood that borders the alleys of the property. The 30 hectare-estate is located in the town of Mercues nearby Cahors in the Southwest of France. It is planted with 24 hectares of vines and 6 hectares of walnut trees.
T3: very ancient alluvial deposits - siliceous and gravelly soilT2: ancient alluvial deposits - siliceous, sandy and gravelly soil less altered than T3
The soils are located for 50% on middle terrace (*T2) and 50% on upper terrace (*T3).
A thirteenth century royal decree requesting lords to donate some land to allow the establishment of religious communities and monasteries was at the origin of ‘Les Bouysses’, in 1230. The lord of Rassiels (a place situated above Douelle), Raymond de Lard, therefore ceded land called “Les Bouysses” to Dame Guillemette, the second abbess of Leyme, for the establishment of a cistercian priory. A small number of nuns lived there, perhaps a dozen or thereabouts.
During the Hundred Year- War the nuns were forced to leave by the English. Subsequently the nuns returned until year 1600, from which date they remained at Leyme but kept their eyes on events at the Bouysses priory. In 1745 they authorized the demolition of their chapel which was remplaced by a winery on the same site. Henceforth the wine was located at ‘Les Bouysses’ and the prayers at Leyme.
In 1789 property belonging to the Church became property of the French state and in 1791 the estate was sold to François Agar, who was mayor of Mercuès and wine merchant in Mercuès and Paris-Bercy. A fire at the Bercy warehouse caused his bankruptcy and he was obliged to sell the estate to one of his cousins Count Michel Agar de Mosbourg. The latter built most of the existing buildings with the exception of the winery and one of the cellars. The elegant perron with double flight of stairs outside copy italian designs that he had loved during his trips to Italy. The Orangery was built in 1820. The stables were built nearby following a request by Napoleon Bonaparte who was to have visited with his guard and horses. He never made the journey.
Count Michel Agar de Mosbourg did have one son who had no sons or daughters. It was therefore the nephews of the latter, the Vicomtes de Rougé, who became owners at the end of the nineteenth century. The last viscount, inventor of aircraft tailplanes, sold some land to finance his research. As his invention was stolen before he was able to patent it, and consequently lost the fees he should have received, he was obliged to sell off the rest of the estate.
The Marre family became owners in 1933. Until relatively recently it was a purely agricultural enterprise but it was decided to rehabilitate the main building called the ‘Château’.
Aalto P.S. Pagos Seleccionados Tinto is made from 100 percent Tempranillo.
The farming year began with a mild autumn and little precipitation. A very dry winter started with -9ºC reaching at the end higher temperatures than normal for that time of the year. Spring and summer characterized by little rain, only some rain showers in July and late August avoided the hydric stress of the vines. The vegetative cycle of the vine developed with big variations of temperatures, alternating warm and atypical low temperatures of 4ºC for mid-June. The ripening of the grapes happened under very good conditions and the harvest started on 24th September 2019.
100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) primarily from very old vines – 60 to 90 years old – from selected plots in La Horra and La Aguilera. The harvest was done by hand, in small boxes of 15 kilos that are thoroughly inspected, bunch by bunch, on the selection table.
Color: dark cherry, Aroma: toasty, spicy, fine cocoa, black fruit, Mouth: tasty, toasty, fine bitterness, ripe tannins
Guia Penin 94 Points
Alain Jaume Crozes Hermitage La Butte d'Or is made from 100 percent Syrah.
The wine comes from vineyards planted on well drained soils that are composed of gravels deposited by the Isere and Rhone Rivers. They store heat and bring a beautiful expression of Syrah.
The nose offers intense aromas of violet, blueberry and blackcurrant that mingle with subtle notes of mint and black pepper. In the mouth, the wine is juicy and pleasant with a velvety texture.
Hand-picked grapes, vinification in stainless steel vats. Total destemming. Cold pre-fermentation maceration.
"The 2019 Crozes-Hermitage La Butte D'Or is incredibly spicy and peppery, with a medium-bodied, elegant, nicely balanced style. Delivering silky yet present tannins as well as good acidity, it’s just about as gulpable and delicious as they come. Enjoy bottles over the coming 4-6 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (November 2020), 89-91 pts
It is hard to imagine with the Lithology range receiving 298 points out of 300 for the three single-vineyard wines, that there could possibly be a wine above them. But there is, and it is our Estate wine. Blended several times very intently by masters of their craft Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, this is the ultimate expression of our house’s work. Positive, full-bodied, and quite powerful, there’s the expected crème de cassis and blackberry from St. Helena Cabernets, with mineral, herb, subtle tobacco and vanilla, plum skins, and pie crust, purple flowers, forest-conifer notes, and very fine tannic structure. It is a magnificent, and magnificently elegant expression of this house, and when asked recently, Monsieur Rolland stated plainly to me, “oh yes indeed – this is the best one, the best yet…”
Pure perfection in Cabernet, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Alejandro Bulgheroni is all varietal and comes two-thirds from Oakville with the balance from sites in St. Helena and Rutherford. Aged 20 months in 70% new French oak and put together by Philippe Melka and Michel Rolland, it has an incredibly pure, full-bodied, massive yet weightless style that I suspect couldn’t be achieved anywhere outside of Napa Valley. Cassis, blackberries, leafy herbs, lead pencil shavings, and tobacco leaf are just some of the nuances here, and it’s full-bodied, deep, and concentrated on the palate while maintaining an ethereal, seamless, utterly perfect balance between its fruit, alcohol, tannins, and acidity. As good as it gets, it needs just 2-4 years in the cellar and will evolve gracefully for at least 20-25 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc.
Here the Cabernet comes to us typically flawless, and the wines are as such. There is blue fruit, blueberries, black plums, blackberries, and cassis to the aromas, as well as stones, mineral, chocolate, fresh tobacco, and subtle herbs. It is incredibly full-bodied, but at the same time effortlessly drinkable, with ultra-smooth tannins and a positive, long, upturned finish. 70-75% new French oak is the norm for us with Dr. Crane, and those flavors are absorbed to become a vanillin complexity, sweetness, and length. An unbelievable wine.
You don’t see many Cabernet Franc-dominated wines from this site, but the 2019 Cabernet Franc Lithology Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard is certainly impressive. Offering more herbal, chocolate, gravelly earth, and espresso aromas and flavors, it has full-bodied richness and, as expected, is a powerful, opulent expression of this noble variety. The blend is 83% Cabernet Franc and 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 20 months in 80% new French oak. It will benefit from short-term bottle age and drink nicely for 20 years.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Alejandro Bulgheroni Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate Lithology is a series of single vineyard and AVA-designated wines made from select sites within Napa Valley. Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is produced solely from fruit grown in the historic Beckstoffer to Kalon Vineyard planted in 1865 by W.H. Crabb and represents Oakville's famous bench land.
The 2019 Cabernet Franc Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard just shines for its bouquet, which is classic To Kalon with its floral, incense, spicy, red and black-fruited aromatics. These all flow to a medium to full-bodied, utterly seamless Cabernet Franc that’s balanced, has laser-like precision, and a great finish. This isn’t the biggest or richest wine in the lineup, but it’s Cabernet Franc in all its glory, with soaring aromatics and complexity, ample richness and texture, and a beautiful sense of finesse and elegance. It’s going to keep for 15-20 years with no issues.
-Jeb Dunnuck 98 Points
Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc, the 2019 Lithology Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is a barrel sample with a deep garnet-purple color. It needs a fair bit of coaxing to unlock scents of blackberry pie, warm blueberries and cassis plus suggestions of spice cake, underbrush, candied violets and chocolate box. The full-bodied palate brings forth loads of earthy layers to accent the rich, black fruits, framed by plush tannins and lovely freshness, finishing long and fragrant.
-Wine Advocate 97 to 99 points
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Lithology Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard is one of the very finest wines I have tasted from Alejandro Bulgheroni's Napa Valley project. The 2019 To Kalon captures all the pedigree of this iconic Oakville vineyard, and yet also remains nuanced and wonderfully finessed for an intense wine. To Kalon Cabernets are rarely this elegant, but the Bulgheroni 2019 sure is.
-- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
The 2019 Helena Montana is characteristically powerful & complex on the nose, showing ripe red and black cherry, along with dried herbs de Provence, and subtle hints of toasted clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg spices. The palate is loaded with structure and complexity, showing concentrated fruit and non-fruit flavors, framing a powerful core of firm tannin and juicy acidity. The finish is very long, and balanced.
Incredibly spicy and aromatic with pumice and cloves. Pops out of the glass. Cedar, too. Full-bodied with soft, polished tannins adding tension and creaminess. Long and beautiful. All about class and breeding. Try after 2025.
-James Suckling 99 Points
Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"I loved the 2014 Pedestal Merlot and it’s 81% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. It offers a downright voluptuous and incredibly sexy style in its ripe black currants, toasted spice, chocolate and licorice aromas and flavors. Broad, expansive, layered and pleasure bent, with ripe tannin, it's a knockout Merlot that's going to have 10-15 years of drinkability. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 95 pts
Hoopes Chardonnay Napa Valley is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Serendipity was in the morning air when Maya and Sophie took Lindsay for a walk down a Yountville country lane. Maya, the feisty one, spied a jackrabbit and bounded off in hot pursuit. When Lindsay caught up with her, she found herself surrounded by some fine looking Chardonnay vines. Always on the look-out for the best fruit for Hoopla, with some neighborhood super-sleuthing, Lindsay tracked down the vineyard owner and kept talking until she got his handshake. That chance discovery gave us really great Chardonnay that we offer at a really great price. In fact, chasing rabbits is exactly what we’re talking about. This cheeky Chardonnay will make you want to get into some mischief too.
Our goal with the Hoopla Chardonnay is a fresh juicy wine showcasing flavors and aromas of the grape. A long cool fermentation and aging in stainless steel shines helps preserve the luscious aromas and fruit characters in the wine. Classic notes of fresh pineapple, ripe pear and Fuji apple greet the nose with a lovely warmth and creaminess in the mouth from aging sur-lie in tank without the introduction of oak. This mid-palate breadth yields to an open, clean and refreshing finish. We find ourselves reaching for this crowd-pleasing wine time and time again without fail.
This wine is delicious with roast chicken and buttery mashed potatoes, fish tacos, Chinese chicken salad, lobster mac and cheese, triple crème Brie slathered on French baguette and salt & pepper flavored kettle-cooked potato chips.
"I was blown away by the 2020 Chardonnay, a clean, crisp, vibrant expression of Chardonnay that has medium to full-bodied richness, wonderfully integrated acidity, and a distinct sense of minerality in its citrus, stone fruit, and white flower-driven aromatics. It's shockingly good and tastes like it cost 3-4 times its price."
- Jeb Dunnuck (February 2023), 96 pts