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Chapoutier St Joseph Granits Rouge is made from 100 percent Syrah.
In Saint Joseph, as in Hermitage, elevated soils of high granite composition give both Syrah and Marsanne a unique style in an otherwise more simple, broad appellation. The hill above Tournon, the village across the Rhône from Tain, is almost as steep as Hermitage itself, though not so south-facing. Consequently, the vines are very poor yielding, and the wines are able to express place more clearly than the average wine of the appellation. Small plots of 2.4 and 2.3 hectares of 60-80 year old vines of Syrah and 60+ year old vines of Marsanne yield 400 and 900 cases respectively of each of the Les Granits Rouge and Blanc.
Deeply colored, the 2017 Saint-Joseph Les Granits is all Syrah from that appellation’s namesake vineyard and was brought up in just 20% new French oak (a mix of demi-muids and barrels). It has a stunning bouquet of blackcurrants, blackberries, ground pepper, scorched earth, and graphite. This carries to a rich, medium to full-bodied, powerful Saint Joseph that has beautiful depth, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. Drink it anytime over the coming 15+ years. 465 cases. -
Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Note From Jeb Dunnuck:
This was another stunning tasting with the team at Chapoutier. They’ve produced some of the wines of the vintage in both 2017 and 2018. The team here compares 2017 to 2007, which is a comparison I understand, even if I think the quality of their 2017s are a step up. Both vintages were hot and dry, and the wines have expressive, sunny profiles. I reviewed their top 2017 dry whites last year, but the 2017 reds showed spectacularly well this year, most coming in at the upper end of their barrel range. Looking at the 2018s, this is another blockbuster year at this estate and the wines reveal even deeper purple (almost blue) hues compared their 2017 counterparts as well as a touch more freshness in their aromatics reminiscent of a cooler vintage. Nevertheless, these are big, rich, concentrated wines that have building tannins and structure as well as loads of fruit, and are built for the cellar. One of the beauties of the 2018s is that the wines have a wonderful sense of freshness and purity reminiscent of a cooler year, yet paired with the fruit, depth, and richness of a warmer year. Lastly, the lineup here seems to grow each year and at present, includes two sparkling wines, three Saint-Péray, two Condrieu, two Cornas, four Côte Rôtie, six Crozes Hermitage, nine Hermitage, and six Saint Joseph. Also, there are a handful of Vin de France and IGP releases. The top “Sélections Parcellaires” cuvées range from 300 to 1,000 cases, and while they can be frightfully expensive, they’re among the greatest wines in the world. However, don’t overlook the value releases from Chapoutier, where you get serious bang for the buck.
The story began with Michel Chapoutier, a unique man with a thirst for knowledge, definitely one of a kind. Michel is openminded and always willing to learn. He seeks to discover and reflect the full potential of his terroirs and let the soils express their true character. That which gives the wines their signature style. This now forms the basis of the M. CHAPOUTIER ethos and our team strives to reveal the very best of what the soils have to offer.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape XV Rouge is made from 50% Grenache, 45% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah. From 100 year old vines.
It shows a bit of toasty oak up front but balances that with ample black cherry fruit and soft, dusty tannins. Long and harmonious on the finish, it should drink well on release in 2019 and for a decade or more after that.
Pairs with beef with mustard sauce - Pork tenderloin with winter vegetables - Roasted duck - Malaysian pork chop and spice tea.
"The second year Vignon has produced this cuvée, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape XV is a plush but restrained blend that incorporates more Mourvèdre and less Syrah, with the Grenache and Mourvèdre co-fermented when possible. It shows a bit of toasty oak up front but balances that with ample black cherry fruit and soft, dusty tannins. Long and harmonious on the finish, it should drink well on release in 2019 and for a decade or more after that. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (Issue 239, October 31st 2018), 94 pts
"A blend of equal parts Mourvèdre (from the northern part of the appellation) and Grenache (from the southern part of the appellation), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée XV offers ripe black cherries, cured meats, lavender, and ground pepper. This beauty is fresh, elegant, and seamless on the palate, with good acidity and a great finish. It's going to be better with 3-4 years of bottle age and keep for 10-15.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 28th 2018), 94 pts
Chavy-Chouet Bourgogne Blanc Les Saussots is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. A medium yellow straw color in the glass. On the nose, you will find layers aromas of cured lemon and hints of coconut and mango. On the palate, the juice has clean flavor, fresh acidity, and excellent balance. Vanilla notes follow through to the slightly creamy finish.
The grapes from this wines are grown from the Meursault area. (either outside of the AOC limit or with younger vines).
Seafood, fish, salad or by itself as an aperitif.
Drink this one now or over the next 3 to 4 years.
Black Stallion Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
The winery takes its name from a major equestrian area that once occupied the grounds. Its calling card is Cabernet Sauvignon, made in a classic Napa Valley style that offers richness and finesse. While single-vineyard wines are occasionally bottled, most Black Stallion wines are made from small lots cherry-picked from the valley’s disparate winegrowing zones. These are then painstakingly blended to create luxurious, unforgettable wines that capture the depth and brilliance of Napa Valley’s diverse growing regions.
This elegant wine begins with aromas of blackberry, black cherry and sandal wood. Flavors of black currant, fennel and lavender are followed by soft acidity and spiced fruit finish. Pairs well with hearty meat dishes. For a cheese selection, Comte, aged Gouda and Point Reyes Original Blue are suggested.
The name Black Stallion is a tribute to the Silverado equestrian centre, which once occupied the site now home to the winery. Grapes for its Limited Release wines are sourced from higher elevations in the valley, contributing greater power and concentration. Drinking Window 2020 - 2045
-Decanter 95 Points
Mordoree Lirac Rouge Reine des Bois equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre
Color : deep dark red, with blueish hints.
Aromas : highly fruity ( raspberry, billberry, blackberry ), floral (violet) and intense with a grilled touch ( coffee ).
Palate : melted and concentrated tannins, full bodied, very long fresh finish.
Ageing potential : 8 to 10 years
Grilled meats, sauce meats, game birds, game rabbits and semi-mature cheeses.
"A tank sample of the 2018 Lirac La Reine des Bois suggests yet another top vintage for this reliable cuvée. It's more "red fruits" than the 2017, but it's still fully ripe, with velvety tannins, ample weight and power on the palate and a bright, vibrant finish. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #256, October 2019), 91-93 pts
M. Chapoutier Hermitage Monier de la Sizeranne is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
In Hermitage, Syrah achieves its noblest expression and La Sizeranne has become a benchmark wine for the region. M. Chapoutier's roots in the Rhône date back to 1808, when the family first settled in Tain l'Hermitage. The family purchased a winery owned by Comte Monier de la Sizeranne and over time, acquired a number of excellent vineyards, including some of the oldest in France. M. Chapoutier was the first winery to put Braille on a wine label in 1996. Maurice Monier de la Sizeranne was the owner of the plot of the Hermitage, la Sizeranne until he was blinded in a hunting accident and unable to take care of the land, choosing instead to sell to the Chapoutier family. Following his accident, Maurice became the inventor of the first version of abbreviated Braille, and Chapoutier included Braille on the wine labels as a tribute to his work.
he grapes ferment in open wooden vats after total destemming. Two daily treadings ensure a good extraction of the tannins. Maturation takes place in oak casks, of which one third is new. Several rackings permit a slow and natural clarification process. The wine is unfiltered and unfined.
(20% new oak): Opaque ruby. Intense, mineral-driven aromas of ripe blackberry, smoked meat and incense. Pliant, supple and sweet, with a distinct smokiness to its dark berry and spicecake flavors. Finishes with slow-building tannins, repeating smokiness and strong floral persistence. A very strong showing for this bottling.
-- Josh Raynolds Vinous 92 Points
Johann Michel St. Joseph Rouge is made from 100 percent Syrah.
The parcel is quite small : only 0.37 hectares (0.9 acre) hence the very limited production: 700 bottles.
The vines are only 4 years old. They are planted at 120 meters in altitude and at a density of 4400 vines per hectare.
Aged in French Oak barrel for 12 months.
Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in barrels (2 to 4 year old barrels)
The average age of the vines is 25 years.
Yield: 33 hl/ha
Castelmaure Grande Cuvee Corbieres Rouge is made from 50% Grenache (30 year old) and 50% Syrah (30 year old)..
In the early 1990’s, Castelmaure began experimenting with a Prestige Cuvée of Corbières. This wine has become known as “Grande Cuvée” and is made with the help of the winemaking team of Tardieu-Laurent.
Vinification: destemming, pneumatic press, end of fermentation at 25 degrees C; two racking; aging in tank then in 220 Liter Bordeaux barrels for 10-12 months. Egg fining, slight filtration..
Deep and intense color, powerful aromas of dark berry fruit, prune and coffee nuances, and a persistent finish.
Vineyards: planted on 50% Schist and 50% limestone soils.
GOLD MEDAL - 2019 Concours Paris
"An intrigue of graceful fruit and floral notes interwoven with a star anise and dark plum sauce richness. - Blind tasted by Justin Howard-Sneyd MW, Andrew Jefford & Frederic Marti."
- Decanter Magazine (Corbières Reds: Panel tasting results, April 2020), 91 pts
Cazaux Gigondas Cuvee Prestige is made from 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Mourvèdre.
A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre produced from the oldest vines of the estate and only in the years of highest grape quality. Aromas of prune, chocolate, spices, fruit brandy and plum. Rounded tannins and a long finish.
Red meats aged, venisson
"Not yet bottled, the 2017 Gigondas Prestige is a smaller production cuvée and comes from the oldest vines of the estate (the blend is 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Mourvèdre) and is vinified and aged in French oak. Its deep purple color is followed by a concentrated, medium to full-bodied Gigondas that has complex notes of blackcurrants, cedary herbs, pepper, and crushed mint. It has good acidity, present yet ripe tannins, and a great finish, and is certainly a beautiful Gigondas in the making. Unfortunately, there are only 700 cases made."
- Jeb Dunnuck (September 26th 2018), 92-94+ pts
Chateau Cabrieres Cotes du Rhone Rouge Vieilles Vignes is made from 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah.
Château Cabrières’ Côtes du Rhône vineyard is located south of Orange, on the edge of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The area of the vineyard is 1.53 hectares. The soil is comprised of clay-limestone mixed with pebbles.
Bright cherry red color with an expressive red fruit nose (strawberry and raspberry). Soft tannins in mouth, with freshness and spices. This CDR tastes like a baby Châteauneuf-du-Pape!
Pairs with charcuterie, pizza, pasta and mild cheeses.
A blend of equal parts Syrah and Grenache from vines not far from the domaine of Marcoux, the 2017 Côtes du Rhône offers a great nose of currants, kirsch, dried earth, and savory garrigue. Sweetly fruited and balanced, it has plenty of richness as well as a light, deliciously drinkable style." -
Jeb Dunnuck (August 2018), 89-91 pts
Fayolle Crozes-Hermitage Rouge La Rochette is made from 25-year-old vines planted on loess and red granitic soils. 100% Syrah.
Deep ruby red color.
The wine has plenty to offer with red and black fruit aromas, as well as a good minerality.
The finish is long, clean and juicy and offers some white pepper spiciness typical of the best Crozes-Hermitage.
Soil type is red brittle granite and white soil.
Hand harvested in small crates. The grapes are then pumped into tanks (full cluster, not destemmed).
It will stay in this tank for 15 days for the skin contact maceration and the Alcoholic fermentation.
They will also use the "rack and return" technique (delestage).
Then the wine is transfered into neutral French Oak barrels where the wine will complete the Malo-Lactic fermentation.
"The 2017 Crozes Hermitage La Rochette combines gentle notes of cracked pepper with ripe blueberries in a full-bodied, creamy-textured wine. It's lush on the palate, only firming up on the lengthy, mouthwatering finish. - Joe Czerwinski"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (January 2020), 91 pts
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 & Trebuchet Chablis is Chardonnay.
The Chablis region is a limestone plateau cut by valleys. The Premier Crus lie on a stratum dating from the Kimmeridgian (155 millions years BC), with alternating marl and limestone and tiny deposits of oysters in the rock, reminiscent of the warm and shallow sea which then covered Burgundy. Yields are 60 hl/ha.
Located in northern Burgundy near Auxerre, the Chablis vineyards are alongside a small river aptly named the "Serein" (meaning Serene).
Clear pale golden color. The nose is both floral and mineral. The palate reflects the nose with fresh notes of citrus, chalk and green tea. The finish is accurate and crystalline.
Perfect with hot oysters or fish in sauce, but also with white meats in sauce (veal, poultry). Sushi pairs perfectly with its minerality. Goat cheese, Blue cheese and comté cheese.