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 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
Argot Mosaic Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Sourced from both high-elevation and valley floor vineyards, located in the cool-climate AVAs of Sonoma Mountain, Bennett Valley and Petaluma Gap. A drama-free growing season allowed for a leisurely harvest of perfectly ripe, healthy fruit. Low-stress, clean ferments, led to an exceptionally pure Pinot Noir, laden with fruit, earth and spice.
"Medium ruby in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Mosaic has a pretty nose of pink peppercorn, herbs and dusty earth over a core of savory black fruit and spices. Medium-bodied, it gives good layers of flavors in the mouth with concentrated black fruits and loads of spice, grainy tannins to support and a long, lingering finish. Yum! 600 cases produced.. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018), 92+ pts
No Syrah terroir in Sonoma County compares with Sonoma Mountain’s northwest crown—cool fog-affected mornings, sun-bathed afternoons, cooled by persistent coastal breezes, and temperate evenings. The soils in Steiner’s Syrah blocks — ashy and moondust-like, littered with decomposing sea bed — further contribute to the unique nature of this site. After a 3-vintage hiatus, I am thrilled to be back working with Steiner Vineyard’s Syrah. By its nature, this slow-to-ripen, cool-climate site produces fabulously deep, intense, structured wines. Now, raising a big, brawny Syrah is no rare act of alchemy. It is the wonder of Steiner’s terroir — a magical elegance and beauty, informing the inherent power, depth and intensity — that makes this bottling so special. 2016 produced a classic wine that deftly balances massive flavors and texture, while retaining vital freshness, and a palpable sense of cool. Production was low, so get it while you can. Simply a “WOW” wine, not to be missed.
VINEYARD: Steiner Vineyard. Located at 1,100 ft, on the northwest crown of Sonoma Mountain. CRUSH: Early morning harvest by hand, October 1st, cluster and berry sorted, destemmed and crushed. FERMENT: 5-day cold soaks, followed by 14 day native fermentation in open-top bins. AGING: 20 months, French oak, 100% new, mixture of 300L hogsheads and barrique shapes. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
"Refined and stylish, featuring a complex core wrapped in multilayered blackberry and blueberry flavors, laced with bitter chocolate, black licorice and smoky meat notes. Drink now through 2030.- Tim FISH"
- Wine Spectator Insider (January 15th 2020), 93 PTS
Argot Starstruck Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot (15-25 years old)
Sourcing from vineyards scattered throughout Napa Valley’s spectrum of terroirs, this wine arrives in the glass with a great complexity of personality. Remaining true to last vintage’s bottling, 2016’s Starstruck pours a vibrant purple, offering vibrant aromatics, regal structure and great freshness. Where this bottling has evolved, is by way of Sage Ridge’s warmer, up-valley, higher elevation, red-fruited power, which bolsters the dark blue/purple, cool-fruited character of the other three, cooler-climate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Further, the addition of Merlot has added a wonderful juiciness in both flavor and structure. A palate’s tour of Napa Valley’s myriad terroir — sunbaked ridgetops; forested hillsides; orange-soils; cooling, maritime winds; dense, fog-shrouded mornings. While 2016 keeps with the theme from previous vintages, new flourishes have been added to the mix — a warmer, up-valley vineyard, along with a dollop of Merlot — to up the ante. This cuvee opens to an alluring approach-ability, vibrance, and kiss of juiciness, by way of baked red pie-fruits. On a beam of blood orange accents, a powerfully precise delineation of intense dark fruits flushes out the palate. A singularly delicious and complex representation of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, that begs to be devoured.
Sourced from four Napa Valley vineyards — Suscol Ranch’s orange, iron-laden soils; Sugarloaf West’s fiercely steep hillside; Sugarloaf East’s south-facing, ferociously rocky “soils”; Sage Ridge’s geographically dramatic ridgetop vineyard in far-eastern Napa. CRUSH: Hand-harvested at night, to protect fruit integrity — Sage Ridge, 9/12, 9/26; Sugarloafs and Suscol, 10/13. Cluster sorted, destemmed, berry sorted by hand, fully crushed. FERMENT: 7-day cold soaks, an average of 20 days skin contact. Individual vineyards raised separately, blended shortly before bottling. AGING: 20 months in French oak, 80% new. Suscol Ranch barrels racked once at twelve months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Starstruck is a step up and offers more density and depth, as well as the classic purity of fruit that makes this vintage so compelling. Ripe, powerful notes of blueberries, cassis, green tobacco, and graphite all flow to a full-bodied Cabernet that has loads of fruit, ripe tannins, good acidity, and the class to evolve for upwards of two decades. Bravo!" - Jeb Dunnuck (January 2019), 94 pts
A yellow straw color. On the nose, the wine shows intense fruity aromas of fresh grapefruit, apricot and melon. In the mouth, Valmiñor combines fruity flavors and freshness with a rounded acidity, resulting in a balanced wine that boasts an opulent taste with elegant aromas and slight spritziness.
The Valminor Estate
One of the newcomers, Adegas Valmiñor was founded in 1997 and is based in Rosal and boasts a new, ultramodern winery that produces 25,000 cases yearly of 100% Albariño "Valmiñor". (Note: “Adegas” means “bodegas” [winery] in the local Galician dialect). Owner, Carlos Gomez, makes about 3 different white wines, but Albariño is his speciality.
Carlos Gómez started Valmiñor in 1997 and headed up the project to build and open the new facilities in 2001. A trained executive with extensive experience in the wine business, Carlos founded Valmiñor and has since continued to expand the group's capacity to include Bodegas Ebano in Ribera del Duero in 2004, and more recently acquired a second Rías Baixas producer, Viñas o Torroxal. Today the group also includes a distribution company, as well as an agricultural services organization.
he winemaker Cristina Mantilla has been working as Valminor's winemaker since the very beginning in 1997. She obtained a Chemical Degree at the prestigious University of Santiago de Compostela and post-graduated in Oenology and Viticulture in Madrid. She started working in Rías Baixas but as her experience grows she also works beyond the Galician borders. In 97 Carlos Gómez founded the winery and Cristina Mantilla decided to join and give birth to a new and dynamic project with a very clear idea in mind.
Cristina has been the sole winemaker from the very first vintage of all the wines elaborated at Valminor and the bodega in Ribera del Duero, EBANO.
Cristina has furthered her carreer by producing white wine from 100% Loureiro grapes (skin contact versions) and she made the first ever Rosé style wine in Galicia. She is definitely a pioneer in making unique wines in Galicia.
The Valminor Vineyards
Galicia has a mild climate without dramatic changes in the weather, a soil rich in minerals and excellent conditions for maturing and it makes this valley the perfect place for growing quality varieties like Albariño, Loureiro and Treixadura.
Adegas Valmiñor owns 34 hectares in O Rosal, and uses purchased fruit from two prime growing areas: 40% Cambados and 60% Arbo fruit (a unique micro-climate that is a touch warmer than other areas). The Cambados region is located on the coast and provides acidity and freshness to the wine. Together the two fruit sources make a superb blend. Valmiñor means "minor valley" and today Valmiñor has built a new winery in O Rosal.
Dark mahogany. Aromas of dried fruits, oak and raising notes. Smooth, well balanced, rich and complex with a long after taste.
To be served on its own at room temperature, chilled from the fridge or over ice 'on the rocks'. Also a superb way to accompany desserts, pastries and cured cheeses.
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Named after the French word for Crow, or Raven, this Syrah is certainly as dark as the name implies. Hailing from Discovery Vineyard, perched high above the Columbia River in the heart of the Horse Heaven Hills, these grapes were grown in a very unique terroir. Avennia's approach of old-world style, minimalist winemaking allows for full expression of the fruit, showcasing the elegant and savory side of Syrah.
"Leads with a nice balance of dark fruits—blackberry and blueberry—with more savory elements, including blackberry leaf, olive, charcuterie, and a hint of shiitake. The palate features snappy fresh black fruits, a hint of smoked meat, and a lively finish with plenty of savory elements that make this wine quite interesting. Give it a year in the cellar and enjoy over the next eight years or so." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
"Aromas of blackberry and violet accented by a note of stems. Sweet, supple wine with dark fruit flavors lifted by a black-peppery topnote and accented by cinnamony Red Hots. For all its high notes, this is essentially a creamy wine with no edges. I suspect it will tighten up in bottle and eventually display a more savory aspect. Incidentally, this will be the last vintage for this bottling because, beginning with vintage 2018, Chris Peterson will introduce some new single-vineyard Syrahs from the exciting new WeatherEye vineyard on top of Red Mountain. This steep site, owned by Cameron Myhrvold and farmed by Ryan Johnson, extends over the ridgeline and onto the northern flank of Red Mountain. The project is called Red Mountain Elevated, and Peterson is making the wines. (14.5% alcohol; done mostly in puncheons; vinified with 10% stems) - Stephen Tanzer”
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2019), 92 pts
"The last vintage for this cuvée, the 2017 Syrah Le Corbeau Discovery Vineyard is similar in style to the Arnaut yet offers slightly more floral notes in its blue fruits, wild strawberry, violets, rose petal, and sappy, forest floor aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied, with bright acidity and good balance, it’s a beautiful Syrah that leans heavily toward the fresh, elegant end of the spectrum while still offering tons of character and pleasure.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 92-94 pts