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Monzio Compagnoni Franciacorta Saten Brut Millesimato
Color: very deep golden yellow, often, with very abundant froth and persistent perlage of great finesse.
Scent: it has a rich spectrum of scents, it is enveloping and almost greasy without any cloyingness; there are sensations of vanilla, biscuit, licorice, anise.
Taste: in perfect correspondence with the nose, even the taste is full, rich, generous, juicy; all well balanced by an acid base that allows the sweet sensations (of ripe fruit) to express themselves without tiring the palate
The name "Saten" means Silk.
The name "Franciacorta" comes from a phrase in the 1100-1200’s for tax exempt. The phrase is "Franzacurta”….referring to tax exempt status of some local towns in Lombardy, Italy. Franziacorta became a DOC in 1967 and was granted the DOCG status in 1995. There are 2000+ hectares (5,400 acres) total for the appellation with over 100 producers. Total production for the DOCG is around 550,000 cases.
Located in Adro among the splendid hills of Franciacorta, in a 15th century farmhouse, Monzio Compagnoni Azienda Agricola is today considered one of the most dynamic wineries operating in the Franciacorta and Bergamasco wine sector. From our vines we obtain Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Grigio, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Nero and Moscato di Scanzo grapes, with which we produce wines from Franciacorta and Bergamo. The winemaker Marcello Monzio Compagnoni has been carrying out this great winemaking reality for thirty years now through study, experience and passion and thanks to the modern and pragmatic mentality and the productive soul he has been able to carve out an important space in the world of wine.
When the founding fathers of the Napa Valley carved out new sub-AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in the 1980s, Soda Canyon Ranch was not yet on anyone’s map. The vineyard is neighbored to the northwest and west by the winegrowing districts of Stags Leap District and Oak Knoll District, respectively, which were among the early pioneers of California Cabernet Sauvignon to attain global fame. To the northeast and southeast—and further off the beaten path—were Atlas Peak and Coombsville, thought to be the next frontiers for the emerging wine-producing region.
With richness and depth of flavor, the 2018 Timeless Napa Valley is the embodiment of patience and attention to detail. Decades of experience at Soda Canyon Ranch allow winemaker Nate Weis and team to highlight the individual merits of each block. Combining the strongest lots from each resulted in a refined and harmonious bottling.
In 2018, the diurnal shift at Soda Canyon Ranch produced a darker, lusher fruit profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Simultaneously, the overnight recovery periods resulted in expressive and refined Merlot, giving the wine a pleasant profile of bright, red fruit. With an extended harvest window, the signature, plush density and structure of Petit Verdot is also prevalent in the final blend. Cabernet Franc thrived in 2018 with its predilection for the cooler soils and the climate of blocks 5, 6, 16, 20 and 21—areas we call the Transition Zone and Hardpan Alley. The variety’s floral and tobacco-like aromatics are accentuated, and its more aggressive nature for back-end tannins tamed.
Once blended, the 2018 vintage rested in French oak barrels for 16 months, developing flavors of vanilla and baking spice. Velvety tannins dance across the palate of bright and lingering cassis. With a smooth finish, this is a comforting wine of elegance and depth—a sophisticated expression of the sedate summer.
This is a little old-school and shows lots of dark berry, chocolate and dried fruit. It’s full, dense and layered with fleshly sensibility. Velvety texture.
-James Suckling 93 Points
Blend: Colmant Brut Reserve NV is a blend of Pinot Noir 52%, Chardonnay 48% (Franschhoek, Robertson, Elgin, Somerset-West and Stellenbosch). 10% of the blend is made of reserve wine from the previous vintage and 12% of the base wine is barrel fermented.
Ageing: 28 months minimum on the lees at steady 13°C temperature.
Tasting: A subtle pale gold color with a very clean and elegant nose. The aroma has a gentle spicy toastiness with a lemon / yeasty perfume followed by more mature fruit. Plenty of freshness on the palate, with a good acidity which perfectly balances the yeasty depth, bready flavors and ample structure. Long smooth finish. Will develop nicely over the years.
Drinking tips: Divine as an aperitif and loyal as a party buddy, it also goes perfectly with oysters, sushis or any delicate seafood.
"The Brut Reserve (disgorged April 2018) was 10% fermented in French oak barrel and includes 20% reserve vintages. It spent 30 months on the lees. The well-defined, focused nose features bright citrus lemon and hints of baked bread. The palate is well balanced with a taut, crisp, citric entry. This is vivacious, very pretty and graced with lovely apricot hints on the finish. A superb MCC from Colmant. - Neal Martin"
- Vinous (August 28th 2018), 91 pts
"Fresh with leesy notes, a fine mousse and delicate palate of minerals and green citrus zest, this is a first class New World sparkler. It’s rich enough to enjoy on its own or with white meats. It’s a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay aged on the lees for 30 months and 25% reserve wines from earlier vintages."
-International Wine Review, 91 pts
"Disgorged February 2011, the Non-vintage Brut Reserve is a blend of 52% Pinot Noir and 48% Chardonnay based on the 2008 vintages blended with reserve wines from 2007 and 2006 (25% of the blend), aged for 30 months on the lees. It has a very fine pettillance in the glass. The nose is very well defined with crushed stone, oyster shell and the subtle perfume of fine lees coming through with aeration. The palate is very crisp and lively on the entry with vibrant acidity, a citrus thread from start to finish, and though it is not a powerful Cap Classique, it is wonderfully poised with great persistence on the fresh lime and Granny Smith-tinged finish.
There are many alternatives to Champagne, and South Africa is no exception with some fine “Method Cap Classique.” Jean-Philippe Colmant hired winemaker Nicolas Follet to create a small range of impressive sparkling wines; they eschew malolactic fermentation and practice extended lees aging."
- eRobertParker.com , 92 pts
It was day 6 in South Africa and we find ourselves outside of beautiful Cape Town, in the country near the Riebeek Kasteel area in Swartland. Let's talk a little about my accommodations before I tell you about this amazing bubbly. We arrive at the one and only hotel in Riebeek to find out that there were not enough rooms open for all.
We reached out to our contact at Riebeek cellars, who we will refer to as "Point Break" from now on. For those of you that have not seen the movie Point Break, this guy looked and sounded like a blonde Keanu Reeves with a Dutch accent. Anyway, Point Break tells me that they have secured a small bed and breakfast that we could use for the overflow. Sounded nice...so I opted for it.
Upon arrival, the home was beautiful on the outside with a catchy French name, "Shades of Provence". After Point Break fiddled with the skeleton key and lock for a good 35 minutes in the rain, we finally get to see the inside of our new home. The door opened straight into the kitchen where the first thing I noticed was the mouse sh*t all over the place. It was winter there and the mice were trying to stay warm, I'm sure. Little did they know this damn place had no heat.
Besides myself and my fiancee Sylvia, there were 3 other people and a total of four rooms. At this point I knew I better drag both our suitcases up those steps and get to the best room before everyone else. At stroke-causing speed, I skipped up the steps nearly knocking Point Break on his back and went through the rooms. I settled for a nice corner room with the least amount of dirt on the concrete floor and with only one or two spider webs on the wrought iron bed post.
For dinner that night, we returned to the hotel restaurant to join the rest of our group. The 5 of us forced to stay in the bed and breakfast were in a far worse mood than everyone around us. Arriving late, we sat at the end of the dinning table and hoarded as much wine as possible to try and drink ourselves to a point where we could sleep in that disgrace of a French country side home that Point Break secured for us.
That night, I slept with the lights on, all my clothes on, and on top of the sheets hoping to avoid spider bites. I awoke that morning to Sylvia standing over me holding what looked like a hot water knob off of the shower. "It wasn't even attached.", she said. Sylvia proceeds to take a "whore-bath" in the sink using her own packed sock as a wash cloth. It was the only thing she deemed clean. To top it off, in a brief moment of happiness she finds a hair dryer in a cabinet. She pulled it out in triumph only to realize that there was a used condom stuck to the side of it. Obviously, this is her last trip to South Africa.
Lovely salmon pink color. A very delicate nose of strawberry and redcurrant fruit with floral undertones. There is a silky richness on the palate full of red berries balanced with a subtle bready texture. Very accessible. Will also develop nicely over time.
Colmant Brut Rose NV is made from 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay
This wine spends a minimum of 24 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14C before degorgement.15% of the base wine has been barrel fermented.
Pinot Noir 75%, Chardonnay 25% (Franschhoek, Robertson and Elgin).
15% of the blend is made of reserve wine from the previous vintages and 15% of the base wine is barrel fermented.
This wine spends a minimum of 24 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14°C before degorgement.
Perfect as a summer sundowner. A delicious complement to white meat, strawberry dessert and decadent dark chocolate.
"The Brut Rosé (disgorged March 2018) is a blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay with 15% base wine and 15% reserve wine, with the Pinot Noir macerated on its skins for color, matured on the lees for 24 months. Deep salmon in color, it has a fine mousse and attractive strawberry and cherry scents on the nose - no shy and retiring rosé here. The palate is well balanced with Braeburn apples, hints of strawberry and a touch of tart cherries fanning out toward the creamy-textured, satisfying finish. A sparkling rosé that’s proud to be pink!- Neal Martin"
- Vinous (August 28th 2018), 91 pts
Georges Cartier Champagne Brut Tradition NV is made from 65% Pinot Meunier, 25% Pinot Noir, and 10% Chardonnay.
This champagne was made to reflect the potential of each grape growing areas of the Champagne region.
The grapes for Georges Cartier Brut Tradition have been carefully selected from the 3 emblematic areas of Champagne. Chardonnay is sourced from the Côte des Blancs, Pinot Noir from Montagne de Reims and Pinot Meunier from the Marne Valley.
Each grape variety brings its own character and specific quality to the wine: Pinot Meunier brings fruit and roundness, Pinot Noir brings character, power, structure and balance, while Chardonnay contributes to the finesse, minerality and elegance of the result wine.
The blend in 2022 will be 70% 2018 vintage and 30% of reserve wines (consisting of 2014, 2015 and 2016 vintages).
It will be RD (meaning "Recently Disgorged") to keep freshness, fruitiness, minerality and elegance.
"A blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay. Lemon drop and buttercup combine with lime sorbet. Bubbles burst with ease and the wine’s mineral tone keeps the palate cleansed."
- The Tasting Panel (May/June 20022), 93 pts
Tanzanite Brut Method Cap Classique is made from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir.
Fruity, flinty, nutty, honey and creamy notes and beautiful brioche tones are coming through on the nose. It’s dry, lingering and well structured. The Pinot noir gives the wine good backbone, structure and longevity and the Chardonnay gives flintiness which develops in creamy, elegant notes in the wine with ageing. Beautiful creamy mousse.
Tanzanite Wines Yearly source their grapes from Robertson in the Western Cape, famous for its specific areas with chalk in the soil. After sourcing these spots winemaker Melanie van der Merwe asked farmer Ernst Bruwer, from the Farm Mont Blois, to plant Chardonnay and Pinot noir grapes on these spots. After years of trials she realized that year after year the base wines made from these plots compared to base wines made from any other areas tends to mature much slower and gives beautiful complexity in the end product. At around 18.5 to 19 degrees balm hand picking of the grapes are done in small 18kg baskets. This is transported to a press house, which she rents during harvest time. She does whole bunch pressing on every 5 Ton of grapes. Yields are around 480- 500 liters of juice per ton of grapes. Juice is inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast a specific French yeast strain she uses. Fermentation at cool temperatures for 8-10 days takes place and this is followed by Malolactic fermentation on all base wines. After MLF wines are blended. Secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle and wines are left on the lees to mature and tasted every few months to monitor the ageing on the lees. Minimum time spent on the lees will be 24 months.
It’s the only area in the Western Cape where you will find Chalk in our soil.
Age of the vines is around 8-15 years old.
Enjoy as an aperitif or with fresh seafood, oysters, smoked venison Carpaccio, creamy chicken, apple crumble and even Cape Malay curry.
"This is a richly flavored sparkler showing complex notes of brioche, apple, and a hint of clementine. It’s bone dry on the finish with lingering toasty lees notes. A blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir aged 24+ months on the lees. The winemaker is Stellenbosch enology grad Melanie van der Merwe who made sparkling wine for 11 years at Distell before starting her own brand."
- International Wine Review (Champagnes & Sparkling Wines for the Holidays: The Best of 2018), 90 pts
"A blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, the NV Brut begins with biscuity aromas followed by green apple, citrus blossoms and lees. The palate is focused with precision and finesse and shows that the winemaker has taken a lot of time and effort to create this wine. Bright, energetic acidity livens up the mid-palate, and the mousse is firm with a soft nuttiness from the autolytic characteristic. The finish is long and subtly spicy with and lingers with notes of sweet brioche and cashew butter, as the wine spent two years on the lees. - Anthony Mueller" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (March 2020), 90 pts
Tanzanite Brut Rose Method Cap Classique is made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay.
It begins with a sumptuous and luminous pink appearance. Followed by a delicacy of red fruit aromas. The nose is generous and elegant. Fresh attack followed by a harmonious sensation on the palate. Perfectly balanced in the best Tanzanite Style which combines elegance and flair.
Yearly the grapes are sourced from Robertson. Hand picking of the grapes we do in small 18kg lots and then whole bunch pressing on every 5 Ton of grapes. Yields are around 450-480 liters per ton of grapes. Juice was inoculated with Prise de Mousse yeast for primary fermentation at cool temperatures for 8-10 days. This is followed by Malolactic fermentation on all base wines. The MLF ads depth and complexity to the base wines. With maturation the wine will get soft, creamy and elegant. Secondary fermentation took place in the bottle and wines were left on the lees and tasted every few months to monitor the ageing on the lees. Minimum time spent on the lees 24 months.
It’s the only area in the Western Cape where you will find Chalk in our soil.
The wine is made from selected vineyards. Limited to 6 000 bottles annually.
Age of the vines is around 10-15 years old.
Pairs well with roasted white meat, game, tapas, ham and smoked salmon.
"Pale pink. Ripe red berries accented by Cointreau show on the nose of this very dry and crisply textured sparkling rosé. It’s mineral and subtly fruit flavored palate is superbly fresh and alluring despite an astringent touch on the finish. It’s a great sparkler for food. A 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 10-15 year old vines in the Robertson area."
- International Wine Review (Champagnes & Sparkling Wines for the Holidays: The Best of 2018), 91 pts
Inglenook Rubicon is made from 93% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Cabernet Franc.
Since its inaugural vintage in 1978, Rubicon has been the Estate's premier red wine, reflecting the soul of the property and expressing Francis Coppola's wish to create a Bordeaux-styled grand wine, that is, "a wine that can please contemporary taste, but with a historical aspect [that defines] our vineyards at their zenith."
Rubicon was named after the small river crossed by Julius Caesar in 49 B.C., declaring his intention to gain control of Rome, thereby launching a civil war among opposing factions. Over time the phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has come to signify any irreversible action with revolutionary intent or the outcome of which holds great risk. True to its uncommon depth, Inglenook's Rubicon continues to be a testament to the finely tuned rendering of a risk well-taken.
After four years of drought, a winter with average rainfall was welcome, as it provided ample soil moisture for a strong start to the 2016 growing season. Average late-spring temperatures and limited precipitation minimized the risk of frost during mid-May bloom, ensuring average yields. June closed with a heat spell, slowing vine canopy growth at the ideal time. Harvest of the blocks contributing to the 2016 Inglenook Rubicon blend occurred under optimum conditions from September 6th through September 27th.
Ideal harvest conditions endowed the 2016 Rubicon with the three elements associated with a truly great wine from the Rutherford appellation: complexity, balance, and elegance. The aromas are intense and focused with top notes of creamy, sweet vanilla, and black licorice wound around a core of exquisitely ripe black cherry and crème de cassis. This refinement extends directly to the palate, where the wine is both broad and deep with sensuous, silky tannins. Supremely balanced in terms of both opulence and complexity, ripe black fruits and an ultra-smooth texture provide an impressive crescendo to a very long finish.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicon is a wine of total precision and class. Translucent and energetic, with distinctly mid-weight structure, the 2016 is a wine of reserve, tension and breeding. Shy at first, the 2016 has a lot to offer, but it needs a number of years in bottle to be at its most expressive. Cedar, tobacco, licorice and wild cherry add the closing nuances.
- Antonio Galloni 97 Points
Jean Arthaud Morgon Cote du Py is made from 100 percent Gamay.
In the heart of the Crus area of Beaujolais, wines of “Morgon” AOC are often described as best representing the character of their terroir. The appellation is dominated by a hill called Mont du Py. Its soil of decomposed schist gives typical aromas to the wines. French winemakers usually describe this particularity in a verb: “morgonner”, be like a Morgon. This Morgon Côte du Py is produced on this hill peaking at 300m above sea-level. The selected parcels are very sunny, on south-oriented steep slopes.
Deep ruby in color, this wine offers a complex nose, mineral and fruity. It mingles aromas of ripe raspberry, black and morello cherries with hints of flint, ink, clove and black pepper. The highly vibrant palate has a sound underlying structure which is powerful yet velvety, thanks to tannins which, despite mellowing, are still very perceptible. This is a stylish wine bearing the hallmarks of its terroir with a long and spicy finish.
This wine has also a very good ageing potential and will start to develop some secondary aromas after 5 or 6 years if kept properly in a wine cellar.
Slight filtration before bottling, no fining. 85% of the wine was aged in cement tank, and 15% of the wine was aged during 6 months in 2-year-old French Oak 228-liter barrels.
Temperature controlled skin contact maceration for 12-14 days.
The wine is a blend of 50% full cluster fermentation and 50% destemmed.
Soil is decomposed schist and very old volcanic rocks.
Average age of the vines is 55 years old.