Monday, November 23, 2015

Recent Red Northern Rhônes -- III

The current vintages in the market and coming to market – 2012, 2013, and 2014 promise excellent wines. The most interesting appellation right now, for me, is Saint-Joseph, both for the value and for the quality of the best wines. And surprise, there are more good wines coming out of Crozes-Hermitage than ever before. (Continue reading here.) 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Miscellaneous Loire Reds

François CROCHET

2013 Sancerre
he crop in Sancerre was quite small, and as a result, this wine is denser and more concentrated than usual. The wine, from Pinot Noir, is full-bodied with dark cherry and raspberry fruit and smooth tannins. Stylistically, it is somewhere between a good New World Pinot and a Côte d’Or wine. It drinks well now and shouldn’t have trouble aging at least a decade. 12.5% stated alcohol. 88/B+ (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

2014 Burgundies: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 19

This report is being posted later than I expected. I returned to Paris from Beaune on Friday night at about 9 pm. At about 9:30, as I was contemplating going back out for dinner, I heard some loud bangs. My apartment is in the building about thirty meters down the street from the Bataclan concert hall. Needless to say, my attention for the last two days has been diverted elsewhere from wine. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

2014 Burgundies: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 18

Thursday began with bright, clear cool weather, perfect for tasting wine. The reds are continuing to look better and better, one might even say that they are exploding in quality, while the whites now seem to be closing up a bit. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

2014 Burgundies: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 17

Wednesday was a holiday in France. I don’t like to drive on holidays in France because the police are everywhere enforcing the strict laws against drinking and driving. As a consequence, I limited my tastings to a single visit, the wines of Château de Puligny-Montrachet, Maison DEux Montille, and Domaine de Montille. (Continue reading here.)

2014 Burgundies: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 16

Tuesday was what I call a three-Gruenchers day. Not all that long ago, the Chambolle-Musigny premier cru Les Gruenchers was seen only under the Domaine Dujac label. But in recent years several other producers that have become more prominent also feature the vineyard: Domaine Digoia-Royer, Domaine Dujac, and Domaine Fourrier, where I tasted on Tuesday: Domaine Ghislaine Barthod, where I tasted the Gruenchers last Friday; David Duband, where I did not taste the wine when I was there last week; and Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair and Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion, where I do not visit. In total, then, I know of seven producers now bottling Gruenchers. Generally, Gruenchers provides a Chambolle of dark fruit and with plenty of suppleness and finesse, but each of the four estates where I taste it has its own style and so there is quite a bit of diversity from this small vineyard. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

2014 Burgundies: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 14

Friday morning began in Morey-Saint-Denis at Domaine Robert Groffier. A curiosity of the domaine is that although it is located in Morey-Saint-Denis, it has no Morey vineyards. I’ve been visiting cellars so long that Nicolas Groffier represents the third generation making wine there to receive me. A lot has changed here from the way the wines used to be made, including dialing back the new oak and bottling later. It’s clear on tasting with Nicolas that he has put a lot of thought into what each wine should be and how to treat the grapes in the vineyards and each wine in the cellars. As you’ll see when I do the detailed write-up on the visit here, there’s plenty of good wine, but it was the Chambertin-Clos-de-Bèze that I remember most vividly today. It’s simply a great Chambertin/Chambertin-Clos-de-Bèze vintage.(Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

2014 Burgundies: Report from the Vineyards -- Day 12

As some colder weather sets in, it’s now becoming clear to me that the red wines are beginning to firm up and show more structure than they did two weeks ago when I first arrived. I’ve not revisited in one of the same cellars from that first week, but I checked with a friend in the trade who does take customers to the cellars and so does see the evolution of the same wines over time and he agreed with me. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

2014 Mosel Riesling Grosse Gewächse -- Part IV (Ruwer and Saar)

The wines here were as a group considerably better than those of the Mittel Mosel. There isn’t a single wine that I thought not good enough to write up. That said, this is not a powerful vintage, and I expect the wines should be consumed relatively young, perhaps in the next 3-6 years. (Continue reading here.)