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Dr. Leimbrock Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese Feinherb 2018

Dr. Leimbrock Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese Feinherb is made from 100 percent Riesling 

Aged in large oak barrels for 6 months

The Graacher Himmelreich vineyard has an excellent southwestern exposure. The cultivation of the vine is done by the classic single pile education.

Harmonious and fruity with aromas of exotic fruit, peach and green apple, candied fruits and hints of honey. Delicate, juicy with well integrated acidity, full-bodied and an attractive finish.

Classic large oak barrel, cultured yeast.

Pairs well with Asian cuisine, Mediterranean vegetables with raw ham, spicy dishes.

Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche Grand Cru 2013
Vineyard Site: in the southern part of the Côte de Beaune, the estate of the Marquis de Laguiche is entirely located on the Puligny side of the appellation. A very mild slope and a great south-east exposure.
History & tradition: at every period of history, a few vineyards have been considered heirloom treasures for their incomparable quality. The Montrachet of Marquis de Laguiche belongs to this Pantheon. This property (2.06 hectares - 5.15 acres) is actually the largest parcel of the Montrachet vineyard and has been in the hands of the Laguiche family since 1363. The Drouhin family is in charge of its cultivation and vinification and, since 1947, has spread and preserved its worldwide renown.
Soil: brown-red earth, strewn with white, polished limestone pebble. The word "rachet" in Montrachet means infertile land, where nothing can grow.
 
Viticulture
Plantation density: from 10,000 stocks/ha in order to extract all possible nuances from the terroir.
Pruning: Guyot.
Yield: 48hl/ha. Low on purpose to limit the production of each vine stock.
 
 
Vinification
Harvesting: by hand, in small open crates in order to preserve the integrity of the fruit.
Sorting: if necessary, the grapes are sorted twice : once when being picked, the second time on the sorting table at the winery.
Pressing: very slow so as to respect fruit.  Juices from the very last pressings are not retained
The wine goes directly into barrels after débourbage (decanting of white wine to reduce sediment).
 
Ageing
Type: in barrels (0% in new oak).
Length: 15 to 18 months.
Origin of the wood: French oak forests.
Weathering of the wood: Joseph Drouhin insists on total control of the weathering for a period of 3 years, one of the contributing elements to the elegance of the wine.
 
Throughout the ageing process, decisions are taken only after careful tasting evaluation. The data obtained is then completed through technical analysis. As with every other Joseph Drouhin wine, absolute priority is given to the true expression of terroir and character of the vintage.
 
Tasting note by Véronique Boss-Drouhin
"An authentic masterpiece! This wine should be regarded as the yardstick by which all other Burgundies should be judged. The colour has a splendid golden sheen. On the nose, a multitude of aromas are a pleasure to discover: floral notes of lily of the valley, peach blossom, exotic fruit, honey, grilled almonds, even exotic woods at times. On the palate, the structure is dominated by a harmonious roundness which never imparts any heaviness. The aftertaste is exceptionally long and enhances the finesse of the whole. A glorious symphony of sensations!".
 

 
Serving
Temperature: 14-15°C (58-60°F).
Cellaring: 10 to 40 years.

Reviews:

A dense and tight white with a compressed palate and super refined texture. Full body plus bright apple and pear with hints of vanilla cream. Goes on for a long, long time. Tiny production, about half of normal. Better in 2017.

-James Suckling 95 Points

(from a blend of parcels picked during the first five days of October): Pale bright yellow. Peach, pear, tangerine peel and stony, iodiney minerality on the captivating nose. Dense, extremely young and penetrating, with a touch of youthful austerity and strong acidity to the peach and stony mineral flavors. More floral, elegant and fine-grained than the Batard. Best today on the long, stony, rising finish. Drouhin farms these vines and chooses the harvest dates.

-Tanzer 92-95 Points

 
Perfumed and floral, this is a wine with weight and richness. There is a lot of structure here, concentrated rich yellow and white fruits giving a textured and mineral wine. It comes from a property vinified by Drouhin for 70 years. The wine is for aging; drink from 2019.
-Wine Enthusiast 95 Points

 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95 Wine Enthusiast: 95 95 Points
ERA Grillo Terre Siciliane Organic 2018

ERA Grillo Terre Siciliane Organic is made from 100% Grillo

The bouquet is fresh and floreal. On the palate there are some lovely citrus and tropical fruit flavors, with a refreshing acidity.

The average age of the vines is 25 years old. The vineyards' soils are made of stoney calcareous, rich in minerals and fossils that gives this wine bright aromatics and a refreshing lift on the palate. After a 12-hour skin maceration to obtain enhanced aromas, the wine is fermented in stainless steel. The finished wine is placed in stainless steel holding tanks until bottled. Aged 3-4 months in stainless steel.

Pairs well with seafood dishes.


Famille Sambardier Pouilly Fuisse La Levee 2015

Famille Sambardier Pouilly Fuisse La Levee is made from 100% Chardonnay

The wine is very aromatic, with brioche, butter and citrus flavors. 
The length to the finish is long and balanced with great acidity and richness.

Hand harvested. Grapes were sourced from a vineyard in the village of Solutré. 
10% of the wine was aged in French Oak barrels.

Excellent with poultry and fresh water fish. Delicious also with goat cheeses.


Famille Sambardier Pouilly Fuisse La Levee 2016

Famille Sambardier Pouilly Fuisse La Levee is made from 100% Chardonnay

The wine is very aromatic, with brioche, butter and citrus flavors. The length to the finish is long and balanced with great acidity and richness.

Hand harvested. Grapes were sourced from a vineyard in the village of Solutré. 10% of the wine was aged in French Oak barrels.

Excellent with poultry and fresh water fish. Delicious also with goat cheeses.


Fefinanes Albarino de 1583 Albarino 2017 (magnum)

Fefinanes Albarino de 1583 Albarino is made from 100% Albarino.
Aged for 5 months in oak barrels (a combination of fine-grained American and French Allier barrels).
1583 is the birth date of the Viscount of Fefinanes, Gonzalo Sarmiento Valladares, builder of the Castle of Fefinanes, in Cambados.


They wanted to pay tribute to their ancestor with this wine that managed to reach a perfect harmony between the fruitiness of the Albarino grape and the complexity brought by the oak aging.


Lovely straw yellow color, clean and bright. The nose is reminiscent of ripe crystallized fruit and spices. The palate is elegant, round and well balanced, with a silky texture.


Excellent with shellfish, grilled or stewed fish, white meats, poultry.

Review:

"Fatter, fleshier, and more textured than the straight Albariño, the 2017 Albariño 1583 is another brilliant white from this estate that’s well worth seeking out. Notes of green apples, spice, and crushed rocks all flow to a medium to full-bodied white that has a dense, layered mid-palate, terrific balance, and a great finish. This beauty is geared for the dinner table and, as with the base cuvée, it should keep for 2-4 years easily. This cuvée is 100% Albariño that spent four months in French and American oak followed by two months in stainless steel."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 93 pts



 93 Points
Fefinanes Albarino de III Anos Albarino 2016

Palacio de Fefinanes Albarino "III Ano"  is made from 100 percent Albarino

The III Año shows all the expressiveness of the Albariño grape, with full nose of mature fruit and a mineral character. Complex and meaty with firm structure in the mouth, it promises a splendid evolution which will favor a long life for this elegant wine with personality.

Aged for 3 years on the lees in stainless steel tanks.

Wine is aged for a total of 6 months: 4 months in French and American Oak barrels. No new oak, only 1, 2 and 3 year old barriques. During these 4 months, wine is aged on the fine lees with frequent Batonnage (stirring of the lees) in order to get the most expressive notes from the Albarino varietal. Then, it is transfered into a stainless steel tank, which allows the oak aromas to be assimilated and integrated.


1583 is the birth date of the Viscount of Fefinanes, Gonzalo Sarmiento Valladares, builder of the Castle of Fefinanes, in Cambados. They wanted to pay tribute to their ancestor with this wine that managed to reach a perfect harmony between the fruitiness of the Albarino grape and the complexity brought by the oak aging.

Excellent with shellfish, grilled or stewed fish, white meats, poultry


Fenocchio Roero Arneis 2018


The light hay coloring is loaded with greenish reflections. The fragrance is soft and complex, especially inviting with aromas hinting broom, chamomile and fresh fruit. The flavor is pleasantly tangy, full and very persistent.


Area of production: Monteu Roero

Fenocchio Roero Arneis is made from 100% Arneis
Vineyards area: 1.2 hectares (2.98 acres)
Exposition: Southeast
Altimetry: Hilly zone at around 300/350 meters a.s.l
Soil: calcareous,clay, soil of medium texture
Age of the vineyards: 10/15 years
Grape yield per hectare: 70 quintals
Harvest: Mid September


Vinification: The grapes are gently pressed and then the wine-must obtained is refrigerated in stainless steel vats to allow the lees to settle. After 24-36 hours the juice is separated from the lees and fermented at a controlled temperature. Bottling is done in sterile conditions. Aged in stainless steel tanks and matured in the bottle.
Tasting notes: the light hay coloring is loaded with greenish reflections. The fragrance is soft and complex, especially inviting with aromas hinting broom, chamomile and fresh fruit. The flavor is pleasantly tangy, full and very persistent.


Food Pairing: Great as an aperitif. Pairs nicely with saucy dishes white meats and grilled fish .
Serving temperature: Recommended serving temperature is around 10 - 12 degrees Celcius (52-56 degrees Fahrenheit)
Alcohol: Approx. 13-13,5% Vol
Total acidity: Approx. 5.5 – 5.8 g/L

 
Ferren Chardonnay Lancel Creek 2016

Lancel Creek Vineyard is perched above the tiny hamlet of Occidental on the remote Sonoma Coast. This secluded, two-acre site was prepared, planted, and is still tended by Ulises Valdez. The pale, off-white Goldridge soil provides just enough nutrients and moisture for these densely planted vines to ripen a small amount of intensely aromatic and flavorful Chardonnay. The vineyard faces the Pacific Ocean, a mere five miles to the west. The combined influence of the cold Pacific and the warming afternoon sun produces a wine of incredible richness and sublime balance.

Soil types: Goldridge, fine sandy loam.
Age of the vines: 15 years

Review:

Flirting with perfection, the 2016 Chardonnay Lancel Creek Vineyard offers a touch more zip in its crushed lemon, white flowers, mint, and honeysuckle, aromas and flavors. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, yet just incredibly pure, this is a heavenly Chardonnay that's getting up there with the crème de la crème in the vintage. Tasting like a Grand Cru Chablis on Steroids, it's going to continue drinking beautifully for over a decade. It's a wow wine and should be sought out by readers. The Chardonnay of the vintage? - Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points


 99 Points
Ferren Chardonnay Lancel Creek 2017

Lancel Creek Vineyard is perched above the tiny hamlet of Occidental on the remote Sonoma Coast. This secluded, two-acre site was prepared, planted, and is still tended by Ulises Valdez. The pale, off-white Goldridge soil provides just enough nutrients and moisture for these densely planted vines to ripen a small amount of intensely aromatic and flavorful Chardonnay. The vineyard faces the Pacific Ocean, a mere five miles to the west. The combined influence of the cold Pacific and the warming afternoon sun produces a wine of incredible richness and sublime balance.

Soil types: Goldridge, fine sandy loam.
Age of the vines: 15 years

Review:

"The 2017 Chardonnay Lancel Creek is powerful and resonant, yet also retains striking translucence. Lemon confit, honeysuckle, wild flowers and lightly honeyed notes all grace this exquisite Chardonnay. Even with all of its obvious texture, the Lancel Creek is translucent and light on its feet. The 2017 is rich but not overdone in any way. What a beautiful wine it is. - Antonio Galloni"

- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (January 2020), 94 pts



 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 94
Ferren Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2017

Ferren Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

Review:

"Buttery, yet balanced by a lithe freshness and filled with apple pastry, pear tart and quince paste flavors, loaded with spicy richness. The finish turns unctuous and creamy, showing powerful toasty accents. Drink now through 2025. 100 cases made. - KM”
- Wine Spectator (Web only 2020), 93 pts

 Wine Spectator: 93
Fortezza Falanghina del Sannio Taburno 2017

Fortezza Falanghina del Sannio Taburno is made from 100% Falanghina - 25 years old

No oak.

Straw yellow color with greenish reflections. Fresh and floral scents, citrus aromas, apple, pear and mineral notes. Round, smooth and juicy with high acidity, yet well balanced with rich flavors.

Southeastern exposure with an altitude of 300-450 meters above sea level.
Planting density: 3,500 vines per hectare on average.
Training system: espalier with Guyot pruning.
Manual harvest in small crates between the end of September and beginning of October.
Winemaking in white in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature.

Pairs well with seafood, mozzarella cheese, risotto, white meats.

Review:

"I love the effusive lemon and lemon-blossom nose of this falanghina and it’s matched by a juicy palate and moderate acidity for this grape. Drink now."
- James Suckling (October 2018), 91 pts


 91 Points
Fortezza Fiano DOC Sannio 2017

Fortezza Fiano DOC Sannio  is made from 100% Fiano - 20 years old

No oak.

Straw yellow color with light green reflections. A rich bouquet of white flowers with mineral notes, freshnesss and elegance, good acidity and good body.

Southeastern exposure with an altitude of 250-350 meters above sea level.
Planting density: 3,500 vines per hectare on average.
Training system: espalier with Guyot pruning.
Manual harvest in small crates end of September.
Winemaking in white in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature.

Pairs well with seafood, grilled tuna, white meats.

Review:

"Plenty of peach and fresh-pineapple character here to fill out the medium-full body. Fresh and quite long, in spite of the moderate acidity. Drink now."
- James Suckling (October 2018), 90 pts

 90 Points
Fortezza Greco DOC Sannio 2017

Fortezza Greco DOC Sannio is made from 100% Greco - 20 years old

No Oak

A gold color; complex aromas of ripe fruits, candied fruit, honey. Soft and well-structured.

Southeastern exposure with an altitude of 250-350 meters above sea level.
Planting density: 3,500 vines per hectare on average.
Training system: espalier with Guyot pruning.
Manual harvest in small crates end of September.
Winemaking in white in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperature.

Pairs well with fresh cheese, pasta with vegetables, vegetable soups.

Review:

"A prototypical, very fresh greco with bright, lemon character and a hint of smoke. Long, very clean finish with some mineral character."
- James Suckling (October 2018), 92 pts


 92 Points
Freelander Chardonnay 2018

The 2016 is the inaugural Chardonnay release from Freelander. This California wine shows good acidity and provides a nice balance to the ripe pineapple, pear, and passion fruit flavors. Just a hint of vanilla spice oak ends in a finish that’s clean and pure.

Fullerton Five Faces Chardonnay 2017

Fullerton Five Faces Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

Five FACES is an acronym for the Fullerton family – Filip, Alex, Caroline, Eric, and Susanne. The wines blend fruit from multiple vineyards in Willamette Valley, mainly in the north of the valley with one to the west in the Van Duzer Corridor. A full representation of the Willamee Valley’s soil types is on display with one volcanic vineyard, two loess (windblown) vineyards, and two sedimentary vineyards. The vineyards range in elevation from 550-700 feet.


Honeydew melon, japanese pear, apricot, honeysuckle, apple-blossom, nutmeg, brioche, and lemon curd. Melon is echoed on the palate with notes of lemon, tangerine, toasted almonds, and fennel. Lovely and integrated acidity balances the palate weight from 17 months on the lees.

17 months in 10% new French Oak

Paris with creamy dishes and cheeses. Chicken and Turkey.


Gambellara Soave I Basalti 2018

Gambellara Soave I Basalti is made from 100 percent Garganega

Soave DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata)

Production area: Soave hills
Vineyard training system: Open pergola

Vinification: Destemming, maceration of the grapes in the must for 12 hours, racking and long fermentation at 18 °C
The color is a brilliant straw yellow with a fresh fruit perfumes, especially apple and pear, and floral notes such as elder and bloom. The taste is very fresh and light, with a very interesting acidity. There is an important presence of mineral salts due to the volcanic origin of the soil. Ideal as aperitif, light main courses such as pasta and risotto, shell fish and fish, soups and vegetables.

Gaudrelle Monmousseau Clos le Vigneau Vouvray 2017

Clos le Vigneau Vouvray is made from 100% Chenin Blanc

The wine is off dry in style with honey, earth and apricot notes. Wines from the town of Vouvray have been known to age well for 40 years. This particular bottling should hold for at least 5-7 years. This Loire Valley white wine from France is perfect on a warm spring day.

Review:

"The 2017 Vouvray Clos Le Vigneau comes all from a single lieu-dit (Clos Le Vigneau) and is 100% Chenin Blanc brought up all in tank. This medium-bodied, rounded, off-dry white offers up beautiful notes of peach, honeyed apple, and citrus-like aromas and flavors. I love its purity, it has good acidity, and it’s a brilliant white that’s going to shine for at least 4-5 years, and I suspect much longer. There’s no need to delay gratification though."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 91 pts

 91 Points
Gessinger Zeltinger Sonn Riesling Spatlese 2018

Gessinger Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese is a late harvest wine produced from grapes picked around 7 days after regular harvest time. The wine is rich, intense, full flavored. Pear, honeysuckle, apple and great acidity that make it a balanced and elegant wine.


Timeless Notes:

Let's have a quick recall of German Riesling labeling. There are four main tiers of sweetness that I usually stick too. There are others, but I find these four to be the most enjoyable: The Kabinett, Spatlese, Auslese, & of course, the famed Trockenbeerenauslese.

 

Today, we are talking about a semi-sweet to sweet which is the Spatlese from the Gessinger family estate. It comes from a fully ripe grape and is the lightest of the late harvest Rieslings. These wines drink very young or within a few years of age. In this case, the wine is on the sweet side, and I have to admit I am not one that usually reaches for the sweeter wines. This one, however, is nearly impossible to put down after trying.

The majority of Rieslings worth mentioning are grown along the Mosel river. The bank of the Mosel is made up of different types of blue or red slate.  The soil type we are dealing with today is the best of the best, Devonian slate. This very porous slate combined with the clay soil give the wines grown in the region a fine mineral taste as well as excellent balance.

The Gessinger family moved from Italy to the Mosel region of Zelting in the 1500's. In 1680 their winery was founded and in 1820 they became one of the first family owned vineyards in the middle Mosel. In 1899, they joined an exclusive group of winery owners dedicated to the Mosel called, "The Bernkastel Ring". They have been members of this elite group for over 100 years. The Ring is composed of the finest producers in Germany which sell to connoisseurs all over the world. Because of the Ring's reputation, for years Gessinger's wines were only sold at their September auction. This made it impossible for anyone outside of the "click" to get a hold of these top Rieslings.

I spent a week in Bernkastel, a small hamlet in the middle Mosel, a true story book town. Each morning looking out over the town, I would almost expect to see medieval peasants totting their grapes down from the river banks. On my final day, I had a chance to catch up with the Gessinger family. We tasted their fabulous wines in a small underground tavern. Even with the smoke spilling out of the flu from the chimney, I was still able to smell the aroma of apricot, pear, and some granny apples rising from the glass. The wine is well balanced, rich, flavored and intense. It has good acidity to help balance out the late harvest grapes. Elegant and food friendly. 

This is a wine I would use to start a meal off and it works just as well to finish one up. It will drink well for the next few years... no rush in consuming this one.

With only 2000 cases produced total, this includes their Spatlese and Auslese, there is not much to go around!

Gessinger Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 2015

Gessinger Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese is a big and rich wine with ripe peach and pear on the nose, honeyed, citrus and mineral aromas. Clean and pure, distinctive character. Very long finish

All vineyards are located in the middle Mosel town of Zelting. Weingut Gessinger joined the Bernkastel Ring in 1899 and for years their wines only appeared at their September auction. Gessinger is quite small, less than 2,000 cases and all his whites are 100% Riesling planted on Devon Slate (best soil type of the area).

Giorgio Z Chardonnay 2018

Giorgio Z Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

D.O.C.FRIULI

Pale straw yellow color. 
The aromas are fine and elegant with apple and acacia flowers scent and a note of bread crust.  
The wine is hamonious, smooth and soft.

Soil type is Clay. 
Average age of the vines is 15 years old. 
100% hand harvested. 
Fermentation at 15°C during 15 days.
Aged in stainless steel tank on the fine lees for 6 months.
Slight filtration before bottling

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