The 2015 Côtes du Rhône is another beauty by this team. Licorice, roasted herbs, pepper and plenty of sweet fruit come together in this medium to full-bodied, layered, and textured effort. Made from 60% Grenache, and Mourvedre and Syrah that saw mostly concrete tank, it’s a smoking Côtes du Rhône (and a fabulous value) to drink over the coming 3-4 years.
The 2016 Côtes du Rhône is a winner. Blackberries, flowers, violets, hints of pepper all give way to a fresh, yet rich, beautifully textured red that has fine tannin and the purity of fruit that's common in the vintage. .
-Jeb Dunnuck 90 Points
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
Alain Jaume Lirac Rouge Roquedon is made from 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Carignan.
Inky color. The nose is dominated by aromas of wild fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry) and spices. Long and balanced mouth.
"Roquedon" deliver more of the "round"- "sweet" body from the Grenache, and cherry-red fruit expression. It is dark in color, almost black.
Traditional wine-making in stainless still vats. Crushed and destemmed grapes. Fermentation temperature : 30°C. 18 days of vatting with pigeages. Ageing mainly in vats and about 10% in oak barrels. Bottling 15 months after the harvest.
"Based on 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Mourvèdre and Carignan, the 2016 Lirac Roquedon offers more black (and even some blue) fruits to go with complex white pepper, garrigue, and new leather aromas and flavors. Ripe, opulent, and fleshy on the palate, this medium to full-bodied Lirac has loads of character."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 92 pts
Chateau Mazane Vacqueyras Rouge is made from 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre.
Ages in 30% Aged in oak, 70% concrete vats.
Medium-bodied, pure and elegant. It offers plenty of plum, blueberry, spring flowers and peppery notes. Beautifully textured, enjoy it over the coming 6-7 years.
Pair with with duck (roasted or grilled) as well as any grilled vegetables (eggplant, zucchini).
The vineyard stretches over the plateau of scrubland that is ideally located between the terraces of the Ouvèze (tributary of the Rhone) and Dentelles de Montmirail, and constitutes pebbles soil debris of Dentelles de Montmirail and clay.
Traditional winemaking, temperature controlled fermentation.
"Slightly lighter on its feet, with more red fruits, cassis, garrigue, spice, and subtle minerality, the 2016 Vacqueyras Chateau Mazane stays incredibly light and graceful on the palate and has incredible class. Nuanced, elegant and lightly textured, yet brilliantly concentrated and full-bodied, it's another undeniably delicious, seriously good wine from this estate. The blend is 60% Syrah, 30% Syrah and the rest Mourvèdre and it has a decade of terrific drinking ahead of it."
- Jeb Dunnuck (September 2018), 94 pts
Alain Jaume Rasteau Les Valats is made from 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre planted on clay and stones based soil.
40 Hectoliters / Hectare
Deep red garnet color. Aromas of fresh red berries. On the palate, the richness of the fruit and tannins harmonizes with the roundness of the wine.
The finish is long, with spicy touches and minerals notes. Complete and authentic.
Grapes planted on clay and stones based soil.
"Notes of wet sandstone, crushed earth and olive lend elegant restraint to crisp black cherry and blackberry here. A blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, this concentrated wine is marked by savory tones of dried mint and sage. Fine but firm tannins and a mineral freshness accent the finish. It's ready now but should improve through 2030. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA"
- Wine Enthusiast (March 2019), 91 pts
"Earth, black olive and plummy fruit combine on the nose of the 2016 Rasteau Les Valats. It's a bit rugged, but in a good way, with savory tannins framing the dark flavors and lingering on the finish. Dark and dusty, it calls out for grilled meat. - Joe Czerwinski"
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #238, August 31st 2018), 90 pts
"The 2016 Rasteau Les Valats is another outstanding wine from this team, offering classic Rasteau earthy black fruits, gravelly minerality, and a touch of spice to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, powerful style on the palate. Based on 80% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, it’s a powerful yet balanced 2016 that will keep for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 90 pts
Argot Mosaic Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
"The 2016 Chardonnay Mosaic simply sings of honeyed peaches, apple pie and spiced pears with nuances of marzipan, ginger and nutmeg. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with stone fruit and spiced apple layers with a creamy texture and fantastic freshness, finishing on a lingering honeyed note. 600 cases produced. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018), 91 pts
Descroix Beaujolais Nouveau is made from 100% Gamay
Light, fresh, fruity wine, easy to drink. Serve chilled.
Nouveau is made with carbonic maceration, or whole-berry fermentation. This technique preserves the fresh, fruity quality of the grapes without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins.The result is an easy-drinking, cherry-red, tasty, clean wine that is best served chilled. Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be consumed young, within 5-7 months.
Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be made from grapes grown in the 10 crus (great growths) of Beaujolais; only from grapes coming from the appellations of Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages. Approximately 1/3 of the entire crop of the Beaujolais region is sold as Beaujolais Nouveau.
The Gamay grapes that go into Beaujolais Nouveau are handpicked, as are all the grapes in the Beaujolais. Beaujolais & Champagne are the only vineyards where hand harvesting is mandatory. Gamay (Gamay noir Jus Blanc) is the only grape permitted for Beaujolais.
The region of Beaujolais is 34 miles long from north to south, and 7 to 9 miles wide. There are nearly 4,000 grape growers who make their living in this picturesque region just north of France's third largest city, Lyon.
Beaujolais Nouveau originated about a century ago as a 'vin de l'année' - a cheap and cheerful drink produced by locals to celebrate the end of the harvest season. The Beaujolais AOC was established in 1937, and after WWII, the wine was sold outside of the area. By the 1970's, Beaujolais Nouveau day was a national event.
The Domaine Descroix Estate
Domaine Descroix was founded in 1905 and has been in the family for four generations. Xavier Descroix is the current owner. The winery is located in the village of Lantignie, north of Beaujolais, right next to Beaujeu which is the historic capital of Beaujolais and gave its name to the region. Lantignie encompasses the crus Regnie, Brouilly and Morgon.
The wines are vinified, aged and bottled at the winery combining tradition and modern technologies.
They sell 50% of their production in bulk to négociants, the rest at the property and started to sell to the export market in 2006.
They work in respect of the terroir and the environment and focus on the work in the vineyard and low yields to obtain high quality grapes producing excellent wines. They aim to produce Beaujolais wines that are authentic and true to the appellation.
The Domaine Descroix Vineyard
The vineyard measures 11.27 hectares total (27.84 acres), broken down as follows:
- 9.75 hectares in Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages AOC, located in the towns of Beaujeu and Lantignié. Soils are made of granite and sand which results in fruity wines with character.
- 0.56 ha in Brouilly AOC, located in the town of Saint Lager, at the bottom of Mount Brouilly, on schist based soils. The wines are fruity with good concentration.
- 0.69 ha in Morgon AOC, located in the parcels called “Grand Cras” in Morgon. Soils are made of manganese and granite and produce typical and powerful wines.
- 0.27 ha in Beaujolais Villages Blanc and Bourgogne Blanc planted with Chardonnay and situated in Beaujeu, on very steep slopes made of clay and granite soils, with a southern exposure.
Ayni Vino de Parcella Gravas is 100% Malbec
Ayni Gravas was created show the diversity of wine profiles that can be derived from Paraje Altamira’s terroir. The goal with this particular wine is to show a markedly calcareous profile that derives in a more intense black fruit flavor profile and a chalky tannin structure with great age potential, as opposed to the more feminine and elegant style which is typical from Paraje Altamira wines.
Chakana plans to further develop this wine, increasing its accents through vineyard selection and oak aging. Over time, production can potentially increase to 10,000 bottles (maximum).
Ayni Gravas is produced from smaller plots of a 20 hectare vineyard in Paraje Altamira, Valle de Uco, Mendoza. Paraje Altamira is a Geographical Indication (IG) located on the alluvial cone of the Tunuyan River. The Ayni vineyard has been planted on virgin soils on the upper (south western) side of the cone. The vineyard is crossed by numerous smaller river beds that once formed the river delta, and these create a pattern of different soil depths and gravel formations, imparting very different characteristics on the wine. Ayni Gravas is produced only with the sections of the vineyard where the calcium carbonated gravels come to the surface and the vines grow amongst them with no soil. Only a smaller percentage of the vineyard (approximately 20%) features these conditions.
Pairs well with grilled meats and stews.
"Dark medium ruby. Enticing violet lift to the aromas of boysenberry, blackberry and licorice; wild but not excessively so. Juicy and fine-grained, with penetrating chalky minerality enlivening the flavors of crushed blackberry, flowers and spices. In a very savory, almost salty style, finishing dry and firm, with fresh, fine-grained tannins and lovely energy and length. (just 12.5% alcohol; from the same vineyard as the Ayni Vineyard Paraje Altamira but from a selection of soils) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (June 2019), 91 pts
"There is a new 2017 Ayni Parcela Gravas, a selection of Malbec from their Ayni vineyard in Paraje Altamira from very shallow plots with a high content of limestone. The nature of the soils might have resulted in some stress in a warm and dry year like 2017, and the wine felt a bit ripe and with harsher tannins than the regular Ayni. For the rest, the production and élevage remained more or less the same. I look forward to seeing the results in a cooler year. For now, the tannins need a little bit of time in bottle. 3,000 bottles were filled in March 2019. - Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91 pts
The Pinot Noir from California is the inaugural Pinot release from Freelander. Aged in French and American oak, it shows baked cherry and violet in the nose. Crisp flavors of red currant, baking spice and vivid strawberries balance the mouth feel. A touch of toasted oak completes the gentle finish.