Juggernaut Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Juggernaut is made from steep hillside vineyards on mountainous terrain in Alexander Valley, the Sierra Foothills and Livermore Valley in California. Hillside vineyards have less access to water, with the rockier soil also holding fewer nutrients. These conditions stress the vines, resulting in the production of a fraction of the fruit of most vineyards. The harsh environment causes the vines to struggle, yielding fewer clusters and smaller berry size. Since most of the flavor resides in the grape skins, the result is berries that are loaded with rich, ripe, intensely concentrated flavors and complexity. Aged 20 Months in New French Oak Barrels, this wine has aromas and flavors of black currants, vanilla , licorice and blackberry with a creamy texture on the finish.
Château-Haut-Brion Pessac Léognan 1996Haut Brion was the first recorded First Growth to be imported to the United States, when Thomas Jefferson purchased six cases during his French travels and sent them to his estate in Virginia. Unlike the other 4 First Growths, Mouton, Lafite, Latour and Margaux, which are planted to 70-80% Cabernet Sauvignon, Haut Brion has less than 50% Cabernet in the blend, with up to 40% Merlot, which explains why it is usually not as 'big' as its First Growth peers, but eminently more aromatic. Interestingly, Robert Parker makes a point to say in his 4th edition of Bordeaux, "After more than 30 years of intensely tasting Bordeaux, I have a greater and greater affection for Haut-Brion, its character increasingly appealing to me as I have gotten older and wiser..."
Chateau Clinet Pomerol 1996Planted to 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, Clinet boasts extremely old vines with an average age of close to 50 years. It is also superbly located no more than 1/2 mile away from Lafleur and Pétrus. All of the work in the vineyards is done by hand, and the winemaking conducted with the help of wine consultant extraordinaire Michel Rolland.
Château-Suduiraut Sauternes 2005 375mlClassified as a First Growth in 1855, the beautiful estate of Suduiraut is located just down the road from Yquem. Planted to 90% Semillon and 10% Sauvignon Blanc, it is undeniably one of the great estates of Sauternes. 'At its best, Suduiraut turns out very rich, luscious wines that in blind tastings can be confused with Yquem. In great vintages, the wine needs a decade to be at its best, but will keep easily for 30 years. Richly colored, quite perfumed and decadently rich, Suduiraut can even be massive in the top years.' Robert Parker
Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2005Originally known as La Maison Noble du Bayle, the Guiraud estate earned its name and its fame, when it was owned by the Guiraud family in late 1700's . The black label still in use today came from the the Guiraud family. The label, with its gold coat of arms logo, symbolizing their Protestant roots, is one of the oldest, original designs in the Bordeaux region and has essentially remained unchanged since it was originally designed. Designated as an illustrious First-Growth during the 1855 classification, the estate is planted to 65% Semillon and 35% Sauvignon Blanc, with a total of 100 hectares under vine. It is interesting to note that Chateau Guiraud maintains one of the highest percentages of Sauvignon Blanc in the Sauternes appellation. The terroir of Chateau Guiraud is a blend of sand, gravel, clay, limestone soils. On average the vines are close to 40 years of age. To produce the wine Chateau Guiraud, vinification takes place in new, French oak barrels. The wine is aged in 35% to 50% new, French oak barrels for an average of close to 24 months before bottling, depending on the character of the vintage. Serve Guiraud Sauternes chilled with seafood dishes, especially shellfish, lobster, crab and oysters on the half shell. Foie gras is a perfect pairing with its natural sweet, salty and savory characteristics. Chateau Guiraud can also be paired with roasted chicken, veal and pork dishes that are either spicy, or prepared with a touch of sweetness. Spicy Asian cuisine, raw fish, like sushi or sashimi, and cheese, both hard and soft also make great pairings with Chateau Guiraud. Have fun with it! Discover the charms and deliciousness of the 'nectar of the Gods.'
Chateau L'Evangile Pomerol 2006Superbly situated next to La Conseillante, Pétrus and Vieux-Chateau-Certan, this extraordinary vineyard was purchased by the Rothschild family of Château Lafite in 1990 and the wines keep getting better and better... Lafite's goal is for L'Evangile to rival Cheval Blanc and Pétrus year in and year out. The 34.6-acre vineyard is brilliantly situated on deep, gravelly soil mixed with both clay and sand, and is planted to 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc with an average age of vines of 45+ years.
Château-Haut-Brion Pessac Léognan 2007Unlike the other 4 First Growths, Mouton, Margaux, Lafite and Latour, which are planted to 70-80% Cabernet Sauvignon, Haut Brion has less than 50% Cabernet in the blend, with up to 40% Merlot, which explains why it is usually not as 'big' as its First Growth peers, but eminently more aromatic. The growers in Graves learned that Merlot performed extremely well in their soils, so most producers use a fair amount of the grape made famous by the esteemed Pomerol estate, Chateau Petrus. However, Cabernet Sauvignon is still the most widely planted varietal in Graves, which gives the most power and tannins. The combination of elegance and power must have led Robert Parker to say in his 4th edition of Bordeaux, "After more than 30 years of intensely tasting Bordeaux, I have a greater and greater affection for Haut-Brion, its character increasingly appealing to me as I have gotten older and wiser..."
Château-Hosanna Pomerol 2008Planted to 71% Merlot and 29% Cabernet Franc with old vines averaging 40 years, Hosanna was previously known as Certan-Giraud. Owned by the reputable Jean-Pierre Moueix firm, the talented Christian Moueix has made Hosanna into a superstar since their acquisition in 1998. Parker gushes: 'Hosanna comes closest in aroma, taste and texture to a hypothetical blend of Cheval Blanc and L'Evangile (both of which are located only about one mile away). It is one of Pomerol's finest.' Only 1500 cases produced each year.
Domaine Allary Haut Brion Pessac Léognan 2008Domaine Allary Haut-Brion (which used to be called Domaine de la Passion Haut-Brion) is a 1.5-hectare parcel of vines situated in the heart of First Growth Haut-Brion's vineyard. From 1954 to 1978, the property bottled under its own name, but for the past 30 years, the grapes have been going into Haut Brion wines under a cropshare agreement. Planted to 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, Allary Haut-Brion is owned by Dr. Michel Allary who decided once again produce a domaine wine at the property and 2008 is the first vintage under the new label. His daughter and grandson ensure a family-owned and managed future. Today the wine is made by celebrated Bordeaux consultant, Stéphane Derenoncourt, who is known for being somewhat modern in his approach, late harvesting and using a fair amount of new wood, to give the wines softer, sweeter tannins; but in other ways, this wine is very traditional. The new generation of Allarys work the gravel and sandy clay vineyard by hand or using horses. There are no tractors. Next year biodynamic viticulture will be introduced. ROBERT PARKER REPORTS : 'This is a tiny jewel of a vineyard (just over three acres) right in the heart of the Haut Brion vineyard. Not surprisingly, the wine is stunning. Made from 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Stephane Derenoncourt as the consultant, as one might expect, this beauty has some of the character of the surrounding historic estate of Haut Brion.'
Château-Calon-Ségur Saint Estèphe 2011'The great Madame Denise Gasqueton, a Bordeaux icon whom I always visited early in the morning (8:15 a.m. for nearly 20 consecutive years), passed away on the first day of the 2011 harvest. The 2011 Calon-Segur is a fitting tribute to her extraordinary passion and love for this fabulous estate in the northern sector of St.-Estephe. A very strong effort, it boasts an opaque purple color as well as surprisingly sweet tannin and abundant quantities of black cherry, black currant and dusty, loamy scents. Medium to full-bodied with beautifully integrated tannins and sensational purity and length, this super effort is a wonderful homage to the memory of Madame Gasqueton. Moreover, it is potentially one of the longest-lived wines of the vintage and should drink well for 25 or more years.' reported Robert Parker April 2012 This historic 3rd Growth estate in Saint Estephe dates back to Roman times, and has enjoyed an excellent reputation for over 500 years. In the 18th century Calon Segur was part of the great Segur estate which included Lafite, Latour and Mouton. During this time, the owner, Marquis de Ségur, was fond of saying "I make my wine at Lafite and Latour but my heart is in Calon" - a quote which explains the heart motifs that are dotted all around Calon-Ségur - on walls, fireplaces and even the wine label itself. Calon Segur is situated on a bed of sandy gravel and iron-enriched limestone in the northernmost part of St.-Estephe and has vines averaging 35 years. Planted to 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, the estate produces three red wines from its vineyard.
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Calderara Sottana 2016Halfway between the sea and the sky in Sicily, you’ll find Marco de Grazia’s Mount Etna estate, Tenuta delle Terre Nere. The estate is located in the northern slopes of the volcano, with vineyards between the village of Solicchiata and the town of Randazzo, the area historically recognized as the finest in the appellation for fine red wines. This wine is made with 100 % Nerello Mascalese. The Calderara Cru is composed of two vineyards, totaling roughly 15 hectares, at an altitude of 650-700 meters. A small portion of Calderara is pre-phylloxera, the remainder is 40-50 years old. The soil is extremely rocky volcanic ash overrun by black pumice and solid volcanic rock. Alcoholic fermentation and maceration lasts 10 to 15 days; malolactic fermentation and maturation are carried out in oak. After 18 months the wine is bottled without filtering. 'Hard as it is to believe, proprietor Marc de Grazia continues to ratchet up the quality at Tenuta delle Terre Nere, his property on Mount Etna. Simply put, these are the most brilliant wines I have ever tasted from de Grazia.' Wine Advocate
Ladoucette Pouilly Fumé 2017We visited this historic estate in the Loire Valley while visiting a good friend living in Sancerre. Ladoucette is the most famous estate in Pouilly-Fumé, which neighbors the area of Sancerre, and also grows Sauvignon Blanc to produce beautiful white wine. The vineyard has been in the hands of the Comte Lafond and Ladoucette families since 1787, when the Comte Lafond purchased the estate from the illegitimate daughter of King Louis XV. The estate has been owned by Baron Patrick de Ladoucette, a descendant of the Comte Lafond, since 1972. Today, the Baron produces outstanding Loire Valley wines under the de Ladoucette, Marc Bredif, La Poussie, Regnard and Baron Patrick labels. The Ladoucette Pouilly-Fumé is a classic example of the region. Before pressing, the grapes are d estemmed and then vinification is performed by gravity. 80 percent natural juices and 20 percent from pressing go into the wine. Cool fermentation at 60 degrees Fahrenheit in stainless-steel tanks for six to eight weeks, before maturing from three to six months on natural lees. The wine is blended seven to eight months after harvesting and stored in glass-tiled tanks. No wood is used in the vinification process in order to preserve the freshness and full flavor of the Sauvignon Blanc grape.
Sabotage Wine Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015Sabotage was launched in 2017 when next-generation vintner, Sean Roney, traded the courtroom and suits for vineyards and boots. 'Sabotaging' his career in law, he followed his father’s footsteps to work in the business he grew up loving. Sourced from select hillside and valley vineyards in the St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Atlas Peak, Mt. Veeder, Diamond Mountain and Spring Mountain appellations, his Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a small production offering created under the guidance of esteemed winemaker Marco DiGiulio. C lassic Napa Valley Cabernet in style, the fruit is at the forefront, the tannins are sweet and the texture is opulent. Dedication to quality dominates the winemaking for Sabotage. Sean wants wine that offers richness, complexity and balance with each sip. Made of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Cab Franc, 3% Petit Verdot & 1% Malbec, only 2000 cases made. 'Raised in a winemaking family, I went east to pursue the law. But the siren song of wine disrupted my life in the courtroom. I found myself home, walking vineyards at dawn, instead of reading case files at midnight. They say what is meant for you will not pass you by. I consider this wine to be the finest expression of sabotage. ' — Sean Roney, Sabotage Vintner
Domaine Meo-Camuzet Vosne-Romanée Aux Brulees 2016Méo-Camuzet is one of the most celebrated domaines of the Côte d'Or, located in the heart of prestigious Vosne-Romanée. The domaine boasts 14 hectares of land in some of the most spectacular appellations and crus of Burgundy. Founder Étienne Camuzet was not only a passionate vigneron , but a full-time politician, and spent most of his time in Paris, representing the Côte d'Or. By the time his daughter had inherited the estate, she found herself with no successors, so the estate was passed down to her closest relative, Jean Méo. Jean was also deeply involved in national politics-he served as a member of Charles DeGaulle's cabinet. Consequently, he, too, had to direct the domaine from afar. In the early 1980s, as many of the métayeurs were starting to retire, it became clear that the domaine needed a new direction. Jean's son, Jean-Nicolas had also spent most of his life in Paris, but had an enormous passion for winegrowing. By 1985, it was his turn to take the helm. In lieu of continuing to rent out their highly-pedigreed vineyards, he made the bold decision to slowly start reclaiming the land for the domaine's own bottlings. He called upon the resident expert, one of Burgundy's greatest winemakers of all time, Henri Jayer, for guidance. Henri had spent over forty years farming parcels from Méo-Camuzet under his own label. For three years, he mentored Jean-Nicolas during the transition and finally decided to retire in 1988. Jean-Nicolas has since directed the winemaking in the cellar and managed sales. He has put the vineyards in the capable hands of Christian Faurois, son of one of domaine's métayeurs, who has dedicated himself to these vineyards since 1973. We have visited this illustrious estate and tasted wine with Jean-Nicolas. He is extremely serious and detail-oriented with an underlying passion for the vines and the wines which he ultimately produces. Today Domaine Méo-Camuzet bottles four astounding grands crus (Richebourg, Clos de Vougeot, Corton Clos Rognet, and Échezeaux, with two more Cortons soon on the way), ten premier crus (from the communes of Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-St-Georges, Chambolle-Musigny, and Fixin), several village wines including this Vosne-Romanee, one Bourgogne Rouge , and only one white. Jean-Nicolas aims for balance and purity of fruit, which he accomplishes with terrific success. Though delicate and fine, even in their youth, the paradoxical concentration and intensity of these wines make them ideal for long aging.
Domaine Meo-Camuzet Fixin 2016The village of Fixin may be somewhat off-the-radar among the more famous red wine towns of Burgundy (such as Gevrey-Chambertin, Vosne Romanee and Chambolle Musigny), but the area produces excellent mineral-driven Pinot Noirs from famous domaines including Meo-Camuzet. Two characteristics dominate this wine: it is extremely soft and extremely easy-drinking. It's velvety on the palate, silky and, very long. Overall, it has a lot of charm, and has won the hearts of numerous wine-lovers, including the most demanding.
Antinori Santa Cristina Toscana Rosso 2016Santa Cristina was originally introduced in 1946 as a Chianti Classico by Piero Antinori's father, Niccolò. But with the passage of the 1984 DOCG laws - spearheaded by Piero Antinori- requiring lower vineyard yields, Chianti Classico grapes became so complex and rich that they required more aging than this soft, fruity fresh wine. So in the 1987 vintage Santa Cristina became a 'Toscana', and in the 1994 vintage Antinori began including 10% Merlot to the blend. Look for vibrant ripe fruit on the nose with hints of flowers. Well-structured, soft and harmonious. Ripe tannins and lingering fruit in the finish will pair well with pasta in tomato basil sauce or with brick oven pizza.
Fattoria di Felsina Fontalloro 2016Fattoria di Fèlsina is one of the greatest quality estates in Tuscany. Based in the Chianti Classico region, Fèlsina produces one of the finest ranges of ageworthy and complex Chianti bottlings in all of Italy. Unlike many of their neighbors, Fèlsina has never succumbed to the temptation to produce "new age" Chianti made of international-styled blends that include Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Instead, they continue to use solely Sangiovese in their Chianti wines. Consequently, their elegant yet intensely flavored Chiantis place them firmly among the top handful of Chianti producers, with the best vintages of their top Riserva Chiantis often approaching Brunello di Montalcino (also 100% Sangiovese) in terms of complexity and potential for longevity. In addition to their distinct bottlings of Chianti Classico, Fèlsina also produces one of Italy's top Vino di Tavola's (or IGTs), called Fontalloro. Fontalloro is sourced from old Sangiovese vines in three top vineyards that straddle the border between two of Chianti's top regions: "Classico" and "Colli Senesi". The vineyards are practicing biodynamic and all of the fruit is hand-harvested. It is produced from vines that are in excess of fifty years of age, the fruit is deand aged in small French oak barrels for fifteen to eighteen months prior to bottling. Vinification: After de-stemming and pressing, 28-30oC fermentation with automatic daily punch-downs, followed by 16-20 day maceration. Aging: The wine was then drawn off, underwent malolactic fermentation, and went into barriques in March-April for 18-20 months. It was blended in stainless steel, then aged in glass 8-12 months. Production: 3,335 cases made. 'Felsina is a reference-point property for readers who want to discover the best Tuscany has to offer. Prices remain exceedingly fair considering the quality of what is in the bottle.' raves Wine Advocate