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Roland Champion Champagne Brut Rose Grand Cru NV

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 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Spectator: 91 International Wine Review: 91
Product Description

Roland Champion Champagne Brut Rose Grand Cru NV is the blend of 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier, 40% Pinot Noir. 70% of this clear juice being from the 2007 vintage, and the other 30% being from the 2006 vintage.
The color is obtained by adding 15% of red wine from Verneuil, aged at least 4 years, which gives this unique orange/salmon color.

Small red fruits (strawberry, raspberry, cherry), characteristic of Pinot Noir with some brioche, toasted aromas coming from the Pinot Meunier. Clear and vinous. Development of red fruit aromas (blackcurrant) on a spice backdrop (cinnamon) and a nice fresh cut apple, grapefruit flavor. A fresh, lively and delicate flavor. Ideal balance between Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir.
 
dosage : 8 grams per liter
ageing : 3.5 years on laths
Even if it doesn't say on the label, 100% of the production is RD (Recently Disgorged)
Total Production for this Cuvée : between 150 cases and 330 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year

"Elegant and well-meshed, this blends delicate acidity with subtle notes of ripe cherry, strawberry and blackberry fruit accompanied by hints of walnut, bread dough and spice. Shows a lovely, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2017. 150 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th 2012), 91 pts

"A delicate, subtle Champagne, delivering aromatic notes of mulling spices and yeast that accent the flavors of kirsch, bread dough, candied lemon zest and rose petal. This is finely tuned, with lively acidity and a minerally finish. Drink now through 2021. 330 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator (Web Only 2011), 91 pts

"Bright orange. Aromas of blood orange, dried rose, allspice and minerals, with a subtle note of anise. Juicy and precise, with very good depth to its spicy red berry and citrus pith flavors. Finishes smooth and long, with excellent clarity and lingering spiciness."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (Josh Raynolds, December 2011), 91 pts

"This rosé exhibits a lovely salmon color with layered flavors of dried red fruit, grilled nuts, and yeast notes. A blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Chardonnay from two vintages, it is rich and creamy on the palate, with layers of yeast and dried red berry fruit flavors and a long refined finish."
- International Wine Review (December 2011), 91 pts

"Champion is a small grower in Chouilly, in the Cotes des Blancs, an area known for fantastic chardonnay. This rosé — of which he makes only about 330 cases — includes 10 percent red wines (pinot noir, pinot meunier) to give it a pale, salmonlike color and a beguiling palate of cranberries, strawberries and currants. Wow. And yum."
-  Washington Post (David McIntyre, Dec 20th 2011), ***

Winery: Roland (Champagne Champion)

The Champagne Champion Roland Estate
This small grower is located in the Grand Cru Village of Chouilly, in the `Cote des Blancs`. The vineyard of Chouilly has a south, southeast sun exposure, which gives the chardonnay its delicate aromas.
Founded in 1951 by Andre Champion, his son Roland expanded the company by purchasing some new land, and gave his name to the family house of Champagne. François is the third generation of the family and continues in his father’s footsteps. He is the enologist and currently runs the company. He farms their 18 hectares (44.5 acres) and blends wines resulting from different parcels and various vintages to elaborate his Cuvees.
The property consists of 40 different parcels planted with the following grape types:

  • Chardonnay: 70%
  • Pinot Meunier: 22%
  • Pinot Noir: 8% in the commune of Verneuil

The grapes are harvested manually, which is the rule in Champagne. Then, the grapes are immediately pressed in-site to avoid oxidation and preserve the quality of the grapes.
The wine is aged in their cellar made of chalk where the constant temperature is 1012°C (50/54°F).

Production is 85,000 bottles (7,000 cases) yearly, part of which is sold “sur latte” to negociants. The remaining 35,000 bottles are sold under their own name.

They produce the following wines:
NV Brut, Blanc de Blanc: 25% of production
Vintage Champagne, Speciale Club Carte Noire: 70% of production
Rose Brut: 5% of production

Currently, all wines are 90% pre-sold to an adoring French clientele. Daughter Carole Champion represents the fourth generation to continue with the property.

 

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Vitanza Quadrimendo is made from 50% Sangiovese Grosso, and 50% Merlot

This wine is flavorful and complex with a good backbone of acid and tannin.
Deep red ruby color. Intense aromas with characteristic peppery notes. Dry, tannic and powerful but with a smooth body.

Total aging time was 12 months in French oak, and 12 months bottle refinement.

 


"Plenty of spice, chili and berry character with hints of cedar and dried mushrooms. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. A blend of sangiovese and merlot. Drink now or hold."

- Jamessuckling.com (August 2015), 92 pts

 

 

 92 Points
Ayni Rose Nature Sparkling NV

Ayni is the quechua name of a principle of reciporcity practised for centuries by the andean cultures, it means in order to receive something you first have to give. Ayni is also the name of our most special vineyard, located in Paraje Altamira one of the best appelations within Uco Valley in Mendoza.

Argentina has a history of sparkling wine production since the early 1960’s.

Tasting Notes: Aged for 18 months on its lees before disgorgement. It’s a creamy with a nice toast aroma. It is made in a well-balanced style, with fine bubbles and a dry, palate-cleansing finish.

Vineyards: 100% Altamira in the Uco Valley subregion
Soil type: Sandy loam over calcium carbonate coated gravels, 30 to 50 cm deep
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Average age of the vines: 10 years 
Winemaking: Methode Traditionnelle (Champenoise). Aged sur lattes for 18 months. Made following the tratidional method, fermentation goes until it gets totallay dry. No liquor is added to keep the freshnes, elegance and purity of is clean profile.

A versatile wine, good on its own or paired with any food.

"An impressive first release for this all-Pinot Noir bubbly from Paraje Altamira, aged for 18 months on its lees before disgorgement. It’s a creamy, bready, well-balanced style, with fine bubbles and a dry, palate-cleansing finish. A fizz to watch. 2017-22"
- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2017), 92 pts

"Perhaps with the same sort of structural power that Altamira reds possess, this sparkling rosé shows something immutable in body, lively texture, bracing acidity. The wine spent 18 months on the lees and this, no doubt, provides flavor complexities well beyond the fruit, but still the fruit predominates with intense aromas, substantial, and crisp, lively acidity. If what you’re looking for is a sparkler for carpaccio or roast beef, this is it."
- Descorchads 2018, 94 pts

 94 Points
Roland Champion Champagne Special Club Grand Cru 2011

Champagne with rich and structured aromas. Very pleasant and generous roundness, nice length in mouth. Golden color with buttery and fruity aromas. All the expression of a magnificent terroir for your most pleasurable moments.

To be a member of this Club, Champagne producers have to elaborate their Cuvées in their own facility, meaning the pressing, bottling, ridding, disgorging, etc., have to be done at the domaine/estate. Then, only the Recoltants-Manipulants are accepted. Everybody has to respect the Club’s rules to ensure the quality. These rules include: * Only vintages * Two tastings to control the quality: the first one after the blending, when the wine is still “Vin Clair” (juice) and another after the 3 years (or more) of ageing “sur lattes”. There are 26 members, each of whom can produce his Special Club with his own techniques: * blending or “monocru” (only one grape variety) * “blanc de blancs” or “blanc de noirs”; ageing from 3 to 10 years, brut or extra-brut. 4 year ageing minimum Strict selection of plots only made out of our old vineyards.

Review:

"Produced from old vines in the Grand Cru vineyards of Chouilly in the Côte des Blancs, this is a beautifully crisp, ripe wine, showing taut fruit and fine, stylish acidity. As a Special Club bottling, it adheres to stringent qualitative guidelines set out by an elite group of growers. Still young, it will be best from 2019. - Roger Voss"

- Wine Enthusiast (May 2017), 94 pts

 

 Wine Enthusiast: 94
Alain Jaume Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac 2014

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.

 


Review:

"(raised in a combination of concrete vats and new and used barriques for 16 months): Opaque ruby. Powerful dark berry, licorice and smoky mineral aromas, along with suave floral and peppery spice accents. Smooth and fleshy on the palate, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry and lavender pastille flavors sharpened by a hint of white pepper. Deftly blends richness and vivacity and finishes long and sweet, with supple tannins lending gentle grip. - Josh Raynolds"
- Vinous (June 2016), 91 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91
Rebuli Prosecco NV

Rebuli Prosecco is a noble wine with a bright straw color, made from a selection of Prosecco grapes, which highlights the flavors and perfumes of the area. It is ideal for important occasions and as an aperitif. It is also excellent with risotto and noble meat.
 

"Pretty silvery straw color. Orange, juicy lemon, peach aromas with a crisp, lightly effervescent, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a long, tangy mineral, starfruit and spice accented finish. Exceptional flavorful, balanced and stylish. A perfect aperitif."
World Wine Championship Award: GOLD MEDAL
Beverage Testing Institute - May 9th 2011 - 91 points (Exceptional)

               
"Toasty, which makes this a little more champagnelike and perhaps more familiar to consumers. Nice balance; quite refreshing."
- Washington Post (Dec 08) - VERY GOOD

"This wine is so much fun that it seems vaguely illegal. Lightly floral in aroma, it shows fresh but restrained fruit flavors. The effervescence is abundant but soft, yet the wine remains structural and refreshing thanks to crisp acidity. Clearly the top pop for parties." - Washington Post (2006)

"Very pale straw. Very fine mousse. Nice elegant bead. Aromas of fresh bread dough, pear, touch of marzipan. Light attack. Semi-dry. Licorice note on palate. Soft, light. Simple, light pear flavors."
- International Wine Review (Dec 08)

This large Spumante estate with just over 100 acres of vines produces high-quality Prosecco. The non-vintage Rebuli Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry is light-bodied and flowery with plenty of white peach, orange and pineapple notes in its exotic aromatics and flavors. It is off-dry, but most consumers would consider it to be a dry sparkling wine. Drink it over the next 12-18 months.-Robert Parker 90 Points

 Wine Advocate: 90
Vinsacro Dioro Rioja 2010


 

Dark ruby color. Aromas of cherry, currant, vanilla bean and hint of tar. Full-bodied, with flavors of cherries, cocoa powder and oak. A touch of sweetness on entry with a little bit of air with soft tannins that are starting to integrate well.

The latest step in the project is Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) Dioro. The earlier Valsacros were made from a field selection of the older vineyards. Now, thanks to the new facility Amador has been able to build an upmarket version of Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) with a four-stage selection process that includes an initial field selection of the fruit followed by a second table selection as the grapes come into the winery. After fermentation wine from selected tanks is transferred to new French oak barrels for 12-14 months of barrel age. Finally, the best barrels are set aside for Dioro and the remainder used to "upgrade" the normal Vinsacro.

Vinsacro Dioro is a blend of grapes from 100+ year old "vidau" vineyards where many varieties were planted together in the same plot.

Today the grapes are harvested and vinified separately. The final blend depends on the vintage but typically it's Tempranillo (50%), Garnacha (20%) and remaining 30% is a mix of mainly Graciano (10%) & Mazuelo (10%) with a little of Monastrell (5%) & Bobal (5%).

 


Review:

"Bright purple. Potent dark berry aromas are complicated by notes of vanilla, pipe tobacco and woodsmoke. Fresh and precise, with densely packed black raspberry and cola flavors that opening nicely with air. Gentle tannins build slowly on the clinging finish, with the raspberry and smoke notes echoing. - Josh Raynolds"
- Steven Tanzer ‘s International Wine Cellar (September / October 2014), 91 pts

The 2010 Vinsacro Dioro opens to an explosion of flowers and ripe blueberries that is very perfumed. It feels quite modern and aromatic with well-integrated oak and a luscious palate. This is produced from a field blend they call Vidau, which, in their case it is approximately 50% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo and a myriad of other grapes like Graciano and even Monastrell. The wine aged in brand new French oak barrels for 17 months, and it's clearly a high-end wine with aspirations. 35,000 bottles. Wine Advocate 92 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Advocate: 92
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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100