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Gaja Gaia & Rey Langhe Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The winery's historic Gaia & Rey Chardonnay is a wine that not only reshaped the legacy of the house itself, but also redefined Piedmont as one of the truly great winemaking regions of the world. Named after Lucia and Angelo Gaja's daughter, Gaia Gaja, and Angelo Gaja's grandmother Clotilde Rey (the family's great matriarch and one of its most forward-thinking visionaries), Gaia & Rey was first bottled in 1983 and released the following year. With this historic bottling, Angelo Gaja showed the world that exceptional white wines could be produced in the Langhe Hills, where red wines had been produced almost exclusively before. He also delivered to the world what is now considered one of the greatest white wines of Europe, a truly remarkable accomplishment in a country where red grapes have historically dominated the realm of fine wine. The 2017 vintage proves that great quality sometimes comes from scarcity. Three days of frost at the end of April set back the crop size by 10 percent, then high heat in summer and lack of rainfall presented challenges in managing the vineyards. The good news is that with strict selection and our no-compromise approach, the fruit harvested was healthy and excellent white wines were the result, despite the drop in production.
This wine was first made in 1983, and back then, no malolactic fermentation occurred. Jump forward in time to the 2017 Langhe Gaia & Rey, and this is another vintage in which malo did not start. (Partial malolactic returns in 2018). Since those first years of production, the oak usage has also been tweaked, now with less barrique in favor of more botte grande. Thanks to these changes, the aromatic profile of this wine veers toward citrus and rich tropical fruit, especially in a warm vintage such as this. However counterintuitive, this edition also shows a very bright and precise touch of acidity that serves to give the wine balanced and mouth-cleansing salinity.
- Wine Advocate 93+ Points
Located in Piedmont in northwestern Italy, the GAJA winery is widely considered to be one of the greatest estates in the world, producing coveted and collectible labels. From its classic Barbaresco and Barolo and its single-vineyard bottling, to its ground-breaking Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, GAJA is a pioneer and guardian of tradition, a legacy that continues to reshape the standard for excellence in the world of winemaking today.
Gaja Costa Russi Nebbiolo is made from 100 percent Nebbiolo.
Costa (Italian for the side of the hill facing the sun) Russi (the nickname of the former owner) is ruby red in color, with a captivating aroma of blackberries, violets and roasted coffee beans. The purity of the palate is layered with dark fruit flavors and complex tannins.
STYLE: Complex, Elegant
FLAVOR: Blackberry, Violet, Roasted Coffee Beans
The 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a more floral, sappy Barbaresco, offering textbook notes of black cherries, rose petals, sappy herbs, and violets. It's one of the more vibrant, juicy, and perfumed wines in the lineup and has medium to full body, bright yet integrated acidity, and the same incredibly polished yet certainly present tannins found in all these 2016s. This is another elegant 2016 that never puts a foot wrong.
-Jeb Dunnuck 98+ Points
The 2016 Barbaresco Costa Russi is ripe, creamy and enveloping, as it so often is, and yet also preserves the super classic sense of structure that runs through all these wines. In 2016, Costa Russi has an extra touch of mid-palate sweetness that gives the wine its sense of immediacy. Succulent red cherry, rosewater, kirsch, mint and dried flowers meld together in the glass. Soft and sensual, with tons of allure, Costa Russi is another winner from Gaja. Time in the glass brings out the wine's density and tannins, both of which it has in spades.
- Antonio Galloni 98
This delicate red features floral, strawberry, cherry, currant and loamy earth aromas and flavors, showing terrific balance. A line of firm tannins adds support, and the finish is long and expansive. Best from 2023 through 2045. 175 cases imported.
-Wine Spectator 97 Points
Gaja Darmagi Cabernet is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
Angelo Gaja forever changed the world’s notion of Piedmont wines when he released this historic wine for the first time in 1985 (with the 1982 vintage), made from Bordeaux varietals planted in the township of Barbaresco. According to the often told legend, Angelo Gaja’sfather exclaimed “darmagi!” upon learning that his son had planted Cabernet Sauvignon in vineyards previously devoted to Piedmont’s traditional Nebbiolo grape. Akin to the French quel dommage, the Piedmontese expression darmagi means what a pity! Or what a shame!. With his characteristic respect for tradition and those who came before him, the younger Gaja decided to call this wine Darmagi, a homage to his family’s legacy with an eye toward the future.
You'll find more dark fruit and more freshness here than in many of the other offerings from Gaja, with a dark, deep inky appearance. The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Darmagi is a 100% expression of the grape, whereas past editions saw tiny parts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The fruit comes from a 2.5-hectare vineyard planted in 1978 directly under the town of Barbaresco, setting the stage for an elegant rendition of Cabernet Sauvignon with a fresh and contained style. The wine shows a nice balance between the extraction you get from the grape skins and the rich succulence you get from the pulp inside the berries. In the 2017, you taste more of the skins, and in the 2018, Gaia Gaja comments, you taste more of the pulp. The 2016 offers both, countering each other with precision. Whole grapes are pressed very gently, and the wine is aged in oak for 18 months, with less emphasis on new oak now. In fact, only 30% of the total sees new oak, and a greater percentage of the wine goes into large oak casks instead.
- Wine Advocate 95 Points
With its maritime influence, California's Monterey region has an extended growing season that yields wines with full flavor development and great acid balance.
Mandolin Chardonnay has a lush tropical fruit core, balanced by crisp acidity and nicely integrated oak.
The grapes for this Chardonnay were sourced from vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA of Monterey County, where high winds, dry days, and bay fogs create a cool, but very long, growing season. These growing conditions are ideal for cool-climate grapes such as Chardonnay, and lead to full, forward fruit flavors and ideal acidity. Grapes were harvested at an ideal balance of sugar and acid, and the wine was fermented in 1-2 year-old French oak barrels. This wine did not undergo malo-lactic fermentation, thus preserving its bright acidity. Total Acidity: 0.70 pH: 3.45 Residual Sugar: 0.51 g/liter
Morlet Coup de Coeur Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
From the same hillside vineyards as ‘Ma Princesse’ and ‘Ma Douce,’ this unique cuvée was judiciously blended from a strictly limited number of selected barrels displaying truly outstanding features. It is our ‘Heart’s Astonishment’ or ‘Coup de Cœur.’
Straw yellow color. Complex bouquet of candied lemon, citrus oils, Reinette apple and strong notes of hazelnut and white truffle. Mineral driven on the palate, the mouth feel is rich yet delicate. Seamless and classic, it is wonderfully subtle and long on the finish. With a very high ageing potential, this wine can be cellared for over a decade.
The borderline perfect 2017 Chardonnay Coup De Coeur comes from a selection of the best barrels and there are only 150 cases of this elixir. Aged in 40% new French oak, this exotic, powerful Chardonnay offers a heavenly bouquet of honeyed citrus, toasted brioche exotic flowers, and orange blossom. It’s rich, voluptuous, and thrillingly textured, yet has good acidity, remarkable purity, a stacked mid-palate and a finish that won’t quit. Count me impressed; California Chardonnay doesn’t get much better.
-Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
Coup de Coeur is an über barrel-selection blend of the Morlet’s Chardonnay vineyards, using exclusively Old Wente clone selection. The 2017 Chardonnay Coup de Coeur bursts with spicy notions of allspice and coriander seed over a core of ripe Bosc pears, apple pie and almond croissant with wafts of beeswax and candied ginger. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is tightly wound, offering beautiful tension to offset all the opulent, spicy flavors, finishing very long and incredibly harmonious even at this very youthful stage. 150 cases are due to be made.
-Wine Advocate 99 Points
Morlet Family Vineyards Ma Douce Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The cool maritime breeze and mild and sunny mountain climate create ideal conditions for this hillside vineyard located on the second ridge from the Paciﬁc Ocean. Handcrafted using classical Burgundian winemaking techniques, this wine is dedicated to Jodie Morlet. It is ‘My Sweet’ or ‘Ma Douce.’
Full yellow color. Aromas of lemon drop, Crème Brulée and orange zest intermixed with strong notes of minerality (wet stones) and fresh hazelnut. Full-bodied, mineral driven, this wine displays a creamy texture and very long mineral finish. Built to age gracefully for a decade, this wine is already very approachable.
Propietary Name Ma Douce
Name Meaning My Sweet “Douce brize” from the Ocean
Varietal composition Chardonnay
Type of wine Vineyard designated
Appellation Fort Ross-Seaview
Vineyard singularity On the second ridge off Ocean High elevation Goldridge soil
Typical harvest date End of October
Picking Manual, small lugs, refer truck
Sorting Cluster by cluster
Fermentation In barrel through native yeast 100% Malolactic
Upbringing Sur lies with bâtonnage
French oak from selected coopers
Cellaring time 5-10 years
Serving Slightly below room temperature Decanted when served young
Ma Douce comes from a vineyard in Fort Ross-Seaview—not far from Marcassin Vineyard. It is planted mainly to Old Wente clone selection. The 2017 Chardonnay Ma Douce comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notes of ripe peaches, pink grapefruit and guava plus hints of butterscotch, toasted almonds, orange blossoms and acacia honey. Full-bodied, the palate is laden with exotic fruit and citrus layers, offset by a wicked backbone of freshness and the most seductive creaminess to the texture, finishing very long with tons of savory sparks. 450 cases were made.
-Wine Advocate 98 Points
Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Winemaker and Founder James Hall. Since 1988 founder and winemaker James Hall has guided the Patz & Hall winemaking program, instilling it with his own boldness, imagination and trademark perfectionism. Combining a belief in great viticulture, traditional winemaking practices, and the judicious use of innovative techniques, James has earned a reputation for crafting dramatic benchmark Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that balance vibrant power with vineyard-inspired depth and sophistication. In 1983 James joined Napa Valley’s Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards as assistant winemaker. There, he spent four years developing his expertise crafting barrel-fermented, small-lot Chardonnays. While at Flora Springs, James struck up a close friendship with sales manager Donald Patz, and the two soon discovered that they shared a similar philosophical approach to wine and winemaking. In the spring of 1988, while working as the winemaker and estate manager for Honig Winery, James teamed up with Donald and Heather Patz, and Anne Moses to make and release Patz & Hall’s inaugural Napa Valley Chardonnay.
Aromas of ginger, guava and Crème brûlée with toasted almond, and toffee-brown sugar. Dense, and full bodied, there’s a pleasingly crisp and mouthwatering green apple note on the palate that melds with dried apricot, tangerine flavors along with a hint of toasted oak.
From the Russian River, the 2017 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch is a step up and has more intensity and depth, with a rocking bouquet of honey stone fruits, brioche, toasted hazelnuts, and crushed stone. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully balanced, with bright acidity, it has a kiss of background oak but is a seriously good, layered effort that will cruise for 5-7 years, probably longer. - Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Tasting Note: This very aromatic Syrah has hints of black pepper, dark berries and herbs and a bloody, earthy character on the nose. The palate is full-bodied with velvety but structured tannins and a balanced natural acidity. The finish is fresh, long and supple. Best served at 16 to 18 °C, this wine will greatly benefit from decanting when drunk within the first 3 to 5 years after bottling.
Andrea Mullineux told me that their debut 2012 Mullineux Iron Syrah has been the hardest cru to fine-tune over the years. Indeed, it has been trialed since 2005 but never bottled...until now. "We have been working hard to perfect the acidity here and it's been important to get life into the soil, getting the vineyard healthy, so that it can be picked with good acidity. Because it is dry farmed, in a space of three days, it can god from 22 to 26 Brix – so picking decision is critical," she said. It has a subtle marine influence coming through on the nose with macerated black cherries, boysenberry jam and touches of iodine. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, quite grainy tannins, very nicely poised with touches of fig and marmalade towards the slightly saline finish. This is a strong debut to form the trio of Syrah single "terroir" offerings.
"The 2013 Iron Syrah has a roundness and softness on the nose that almost belies its complexity - red berry fruit, red peppercorns, rooibos and undergrowth scents that are very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe tannin, wonderfully savory and quite gamey, and beautifully balanced with impressive volume and sustain on the finish that you would have difficult distinguishing from a top Côte-Rôtie. This is an excellent Syrah, my only reservation being that there is a touch of heat on the finish. - Neal Martin"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, November 2015), 93 pts
"Similar to the Schist Syrah in its weight and meatiness, the Iron Syrah offers a more elegant, immediate appeal. Dark red plum, smoked meat, and savory herbs are seamlessly integrated on a lush, juicy and firmly structured palate, finishing very very long."
- iwinereview.com (January 2016), 95 pts
Chartron et Trebuchet Hautes Mourottes Ladoix Premier Cru is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Ladoix AOC: This AOC (LADOIX) is about 75 % red and 25 % white wine from the commune of Ladoix-Serrigny (Ladoix is old French for “the source”). 11 premier Cru’s, with a production is 33,000 cases of red to 12,500 cases of Blanc. Location is very near the Grand Cru’s of Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.
Tasting Notes:The white wine here is toasty, smoky, with a complex, mineral and long lemony finish……4-6 year aging wine. Ladoix blanc is somewhat rare, and we are only importing 25 cases …
VINEYARD: Rocky and reddish limestone and enough marl to make it ideal for white wines.
Plantations: ----- vines / hectare.
Yield: -- hectoliters / hectare.
HARVEST: Harvest by hand.
VINIFICATION: Traditional vinification. The grapes are pressed immediately upon arrival at the winery in pneumatic presses. The alcoholic fermentation is carried out in oak barrels, 20% new oak. The wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels with regular stirring to gain depth and complexity.
AGEING: The wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels with regular stirring to gain depth and complexity.
Its freshness and finesse allow it to be enjoyed as an aperitif. It also pairs well with white meat and sauce. At the sea side, it will be perfect with a plate of shellfish (lobster, scallops) steamed or poached or noble fish just fried, grilled or steamed. Cheeses: Goat cheese, Beaufort Comté, Emmental...