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Hommage Blanc is made with 75% Roussanne and 25% Viognier. 2019 was the first vintage with 20% of the fruits coming from the Estate, the rest comes from James Berry, Glenrose and Adelaida. You will love this wine because of its perfume and its mouthfeel. Aged in oak for 6 months, it is elegant with a nice texture.
The wine has a refined bouquet of honeysuckle and some tropical notes. Nicely balanced, it has a great texture, a lingering finish with a beautiful minerality. To describe it I would use the word elegance. A beautifull white wine that can be aged for 8 years with an optimum drinking window between 3 to 6 years and ideal temperature to serve at 52F.
"The flagship white, the 2018 Hommage Blanc is a deeper, richer white based on 75% Roussanne and 25% Viognier that was brought up in 30% new French oak. Lots of white peach, honeysuckle, orange blossom, and hints of citrus all emerge from the glass, and it offers medium to full body, hints of spice and brioche, a rounded, supple texture, and outstanding length. It's going to shine on the dinner table. I expect it to put on weight with a year in bottle and keep for over a decade."
- Jeb DUNNUCK (October 31st 2019), 93+pts
Born and raised in the Southeast of France, Guillaume comes from a family of grape growers and winemakers. After 24 years in Narbonne, he moved to Bordeaux. Both regions famous for their wines are also very different from each other. It requires some grape growing and winemaking experience to switch from one to the other, such as different climates, soil types, vine illnesses and more. But life is full of surprises. Not convinced he wanted to make wine in Bordeaux, he took a harvest internship at L’Aventure in Paso Robles. The same bolt of lighting that he felt for Solène, struck again. He fell in love with the soil and terroir of Paso Robles. What was supposed to be a 3-month harvest internship, turned into 6 months, and he was offered the position of Assistant Winemaker. While working for L’Aventure, he worked day and night on his own project - to launch his very own brand. In 2007, Clos Solène was born.
When Guillaume and Solène acquired the estate in January of 2017, the existing vineyard was planted in 1998 onto vigorous rootstock. The rows were planted a little wider than Guillaume would have planted, but he felt that it was a great place to start, especially having 20-year-old vines in place, which is considered “old vines” for this area. After testing to make sure the vines were clean of any and all viruses, Guillaume decided to re-graft the whole 8 acres and turn the plot into a nursery for future planting.
Robert Parker on Clos Solene:
"Clos Solène was founded in 2007 by Guillaume and Solène Fabre. At present, they make about 2,500 cases a year but have recently purchased their own estate and hope to grow the brand to around 4,000 cases. Guillaume, a native of the Languedoc-Roussillon in France, has begun planting rootstocks and grafting over vines and is experimenting with Côte-Rôtie-style training for his Syrah vines. Currently, most of the fruit is purchased, but the pair hopes to dial back to only 30% purchased fruit as their own vines come online. Guillaume says he wants his wines to have “a common denominator of elegance and perfume,” and indeed the wines are much more restrained than is usual for Paso. 2017 with its heat spikes was especially challenging here. “It was 105 degrees for two straight weeks,” Guillaume recalls. “We picked a bit earlier, used less new oak, less stems and less extraction. We did triage picks and then sorted very heavily. We lost about 30% to 40% of production on the sorting table because we let go of anything impacted by that heat. - Erin BROOKS"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (February 2020)
Clos Solene Harmonie is made from Paso Robles 67% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah
Composed of 5 of the best vineyards on the west side of Paso Robles with mainly limestone and shale terroirs, brought elegance and pureness to this vintage. Aged for 16 months in larger used barrels, it delivers, on the nose, an incredible bouquet, and on the palate, notes of strawberries followed by some silkiness texture with delicate tannins and a great acidity.
Aged 16 months in mostly used puncheons 400-liter barrels (15% new)
Pairs with roasted pork. Eggplant parmesan, filet mignon
"The 2017 Harmonie (67% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre, and 15% Syrah) is beautiful and certainly makes the most of the vintage. Black cherries, red currants, cedary spice, dried herbs, and floral notes all flow to a medium to full-bodied blend that has flawless balance, ultra-fine tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It can be drunk today or cellared for over a decade."
- Jeb DUNNUCK (October 31st 2019), 97 pts
Cazaux Vacqueyras Blanc Les Clefs d'Or is made from 50% Clairette, 30% Roussanne and 20% Grenache Blanc.
A wine with lively acidity, expressive aromas of fennel and white flowers. It is long and full in the mouth with minty and anisy aromas mixed with white peach flavors. Refreshing and mineral character.
Clairette grapes are green harvested to concentrate and harmonize aroma. Each grape varietal is hand picked separately. Pressing with skin contact at low temperature. Aged 12 months in stainless steel tank. (No oak)
Enjoy this wine with all sorts of fish starters, squid salad with olive oil and basil. A must try with fresh oysters.
"The 2018 Vacqueyras Les Clefs D'Or Blanc is another head-turner. A blend of 50% Clairette, 30% Roussanne, and 20% Grenache Blanc brought up in tank, it offers a clean, vibrant style carrying classy notes of tart peach, citrus, lemongrass, and exotic herbs. Medium-bodied, balanced, and with a kiss of minerality, it’s solid today, yet I suspect it will age gracefully for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (September 2019, Southern Rhône Part 2: 2017 & 2018 from Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Cairanne, and Rasteau), 92 pts
Burgo Viejo Rioja Blanco Organic is made from 60% Viura and 40% Trempranillo Blanco
No Oak. Aged 3 months on the lees with frequent batonnage
Pale yellow color with green tones. Fresh and intense flavors of white fruits, peach, apple and some citrus notes.
Full-bodied mouth with nice balance of volume and length.
Vineyards are located in Alfaro.
Manual harvest in 8 kilograms baskets.
Light pressing of the grapes.
Fermentation at controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks.
No Malolactic fermentation.
Aged 3 months on the lees with frequent batonnage. (stirring of the lees)
Pairs with seafood, pasta and rice dishes, smooth cheeses.
2019 Burgo Viejo Rioja Blanco Organic - Gold Medal - Berliner Wein Trophy
Grand Veneur Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc Le Miocene is made from 60% Clairette, 40% Roussanne
Pale yellow colour with hints of green, aromas of white flowers (may blossom, honeysuckle).
The palate is pleasantly balanced between liveliness and roundness, which brings out characteristics of dried apricot, honey and elderberry. A Châteauneuf du Pape white displaying a great finesse.
Best between 1 and 8 years.
Soil type Coming from the single vineyard named “La Fontaine”, the plot is facing north.It is made of clay-sand and limestone. Thanks to the northern orientation, it is always very well aired. This sector allow the Roussane and Clairette to mature in great conditions without losing freshness, which we believe is key point. Winemaking & ageing Whole-bunch pressing. Vinification in stainless-steel tanks. Fermentation temperature controlled at 15°C.
"Based on a 60/40 split of Clairette and Roussanne brought up all in tank, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Le Miocène Blanc offers a pretty, already complex nose of mulled citrus and pear fruits, leafy herbs, and honeyed toast. With notable richness, medium body, and bright acidity, as well as a clean, dry finish, it’s classic white from this great region to enjoy over the coming 3-5 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2020), 92 pts
Grand Veneur Cotes Du Rhone Viognier Blanc is made from 100% Viognier.
Soil: clay/sand with limestone.
Yield: 38 Hl / hectare
Hand-picked harvest. Vinification in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature of 18°C.
Bottled early, 6 months after the harvest.
The color is clear and brilliant. A very intense nose of flowers, white peach and pear. On the palate, aromas are expressed with balance and an amazing freshness. A great example of Rhone white, single grape "Viognier".
To be enjoyed young, but can age for 3-5 years.
Located next to the single vineyard “Les Champauvins”, nearby the Domaine Grand Veneur. Soils are made of clay and sand with limestone.
Winemaking & aging
Hand-picked harvest. Fermentation in temperature-controled vats. Early bottling, 6 months after harvest.
"A rare good Viognier from the Southern Rhône, the 2019 Domaine Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Blanc de Viognier offers delectable floral and apricot aromas, a medium-bodied, taut feel on the palate and a cool, refreshing finish tinged with citrus zest and silk. Drink it over the next year. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (September 2020), 90 pt
Jean Reverdy Sancerre Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Single vineyard. Vinification: cold fermentation in stainless steel tank, no oak, no malolactic fermentation.
Sweet, fruity and clean. White flowers (acacia, jasmine) and citrus fruits aromas. Perfectly balanced.
A delicious wine, perfect with fish dishes, especially salmon, and a local goat cheese Crottin de Chavignol.
"Displaying all the hallmarks of classic Sancerre, this wine has a citrus and green fruit core, topped off with subtle bell pepper and a flinty finish. Lively acidity calls out for some creamy goat cheese or a light seafood dish."
- Vinepair (September 2019), #38 OF 2019 TOP 50
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
Vintners Dennis O’Neil and Steph Martin began development of Checkerboard Vineyards in 1999 and retained winemaker Martha McClellan to create a portfolio of wines reflecting the mountainside. The estate includes four vineyard sites of different elevation, exposure and soil composition, providing the foundation for a portfolio that includes Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard, Checkerboard Coyote Ridge Vineyard, Checkerboard Nash Creek Vineyard, Checkerboard Kings Row, Checkerboard Sauvignon Blanc, and Checkerboard Rose. Grapes are harvested at dawn in micro-lots and delivered steps away to the winery where clusters are sorted, discarding any blemished ones. Individual berries are hand-selected for vinification and transferred for fermentation, by hand, to Taransaud wooden tanks, stainless tanks, and individual wooden barrels.
Farming is based on long-term sustainability and includes water conservation and monitoring, permanent cover crops planted in alternating rows, and the use of entomology for pest control and the development of soils with good organic matter and microbiology. Checkerboard Vineyards is a member of Fish Friendly Farming which promotes environmentally-friendly land practices and water quality management. Aurora Vineyard is located in a small valley midway up Diamond Mountain and on a large knoll at an elevation of 1,200 feet. The knoll bulges outward, giving the vineyard full Southern exposure and open light from the East and West and protection from Napa Valley’s summer fog. Six acres are planted in the knoll’s rich, volcanic soils that are riddled with basalt cobble in a loamy red clay. The remaining six acres are planted in a deep gravely mix of volcanic ash and chips of decomposed Rhyolite that were washed down from the steep, rocky crags of Diamond Mountain above.
There's a fresh, sweet aroma to the 2016 Checkerboard Aurora Vineyard that builds excitement and anticipation for what's to come. On approach, the palate is juicy and expansive and explodes with flavors of blackberry, mulberry, dark cherry, caramel, leaf tobacco and green olive. The wine continues with a voluptuousness that's linear and constant yet lifted by natural acidity. The finish is showy, long and lingering with finely polished tannins. An exceptional vintage.