2 Rustic Reds

2007 Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux “Cuvée Floureto”
I am a big fan of this estate & their wines.  It was just last week that we tasted the 2006 & here was an opportunity to try the 2007 last night.  I remember tasting both of these wines at the estate—the 2007 not yet released.  The 2006 was unapologetically wild & rustic right out of the gates, leaner, more structured & very tight of the 2.  The 2007 was deep, brooding, ample & a looming beast.  I was therefore really surprised & taken to see how it had resolved 14 years later, into such a sweet spot—much more civil without taking anything away from its innate masculinity, mojo & soul, & was now more intriguingly rustic, alluringly harmonious & more seductive with the sun baked stone base notes once again shining through.  With every whiff, something new came forward—more subtle white pepper, leather (more aged & used, than young & raw), sandalwood, a hint of smoke, pheromone/musk, humus/forest floor nuances, significantly aged red fruit liqueur, cooked savory herbs, exotic spice & on & on.   The mouthfeel was visceral, tempered & the wine was so mesmerizingly pleasurable.  While I am sure this wine can age for much, much longer, it was such a wonderful drink now. Why wait?  Amongst the growing fervor for lavishly opulent, bordering raisiny, well baked Southern Rhone Grenache based “trophy” renditions, here is one that resoundingly reminds me of those grown & traditionally crafted in the Old Days.

2000 Domaine Tempier Bandol “La Tourtine”
While this is NOT a Rhone wine, the grape mix is certainly shared by the two regions & I think therefore deserves a “voice” here, especially since they were served side by side.  I have been an avid fan of this domaine’s wines for quite some time.  Tempier’s is quite the romantic fairy tale entwined with a young couple’s (Lulu & Lucien Peyraud) life long love affair set in the wild countryside of Provence.  Their wines are the fruition of their way of life & one easily gets caught up in their story especially when having a spit roasted leg of lamb frequently brushed with a branch of rosemary, dowsed in olive oil AND their Bandol Rouge. When we Americans got hip to it, we as usual get into determining which vintage is the more grand, noteworthy & age worthy.  It’s a curious thing to say the least, as to me, each vintage shows a very different perspective on what the vineyard wants to say.  Case in point, the 2000.  It certainly is not one of their most highly rated vintages, again not that that is even important.  For me, it’s the wine’s wonderful savoriness, earthiness, earnest, unpretentious joie de vivre which is present in spades. Yes, having this wine was pure pleasure.  I didn’t have to think about anything but enjoying it & with each sip I would reminisce of seeing Lulu’s beaming smile & remembering her unbridled joy for living life.

1985 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Auslese

1985 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Auslese 
At dinner last night, 2 dear friends shared a bottle to end the meal. What a treat, to say the least. Over the years, I have enjoyed this venerable Ruwer estate’s wines—quite candidly a mix of hits & misses. This 1985 was a hit. I was first taken by how youthful this wine showed when first poured, given its 36 years of age.  The nose was quite sublime—
surprisingly delicate in minerality–very welcoming & intriguing.  With every swirl of the glass, more & more nuances seem to show themselves. On the palate, the once apparent sweetness has largely transitioned to a very visceral, creamy/lees like mouthfeel, with such grace, class & still uplifting qualities. Safe to say, that very little, if at all, botrysized grapes were used in its production—looking at the color, translucency , aromas & taste.   It truly was a wonderful treat.  While I am sure it can further age, I love the sweet spot it is in right now.  Thank you Vern & Gail for sharing.

2006 Whitcraft Pinot Noir

2006 Whitcraft Pinot Noir Bien Nacido “This is the “N” My only friend the “N”

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Without a doubt one of our all time favorite Pinot Noirs out of California—our last bottle.  Chris Whitcraft was such a character to say the least. Over the years he produced many truly memorable bottlings from iconic vineyard sources such as Hirsch, Melville, Aubaine, Bien Nacido—both Q & N blocks & of course Burt Williams’ Morning Dew vineyard up in Mendocino.  (FYI—Burt Williams, original, founding winemaker of Williams & Selyem, was his mentor & best friend).  His most stirring for me was this bottling—old vine (planted in 1973), own rooted Martini —most of which went into his N Block bottling.  He told me he however kept one special barrel separate—which he bottled as “This is the “N” My only friend the “N”.  It was never flamboyant, flashy or obviously showy. It was really about capturing something special—vinosity, earth driven grit & soul—unapologetically & for some I am sure not to their liking. “I don’t expect someone to sing a song pitch perfect. I hope they sing from their heart & that it moves me”.   Sadly, I recall this was the last vintage Chris made himself. (His son Drake took over & has really made quite the name for himself & his wines).  We toast with this bottle to the memory of the wildly eccentric & unique character of Chris Whitcraft & his wines.

2001 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay “Sanford & Benedict”

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2001 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay “Sanford & Benedict Vineyard”
What an absolutely stellar bottle of Californian Chardonnay!  I was very fortunate to have experienced the boom of the California wines back in the mid to late 1970’s.  (Just to give you a point of reference, we in fact carried the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay on our wine list back then) & subsequently over the years watch the scene unfold.  While I was quite taken by many wines over the span, one of my aha moments was tasting a Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay by Au Bon Climat from back in the mid to late 80’s.  For me, it really was unlike any other wine out there.  Rather than trying to pigeon hole it into a specific category—somewhere between those from Burgundy & others from California–I just thought of it as “otherworldly”—its own niche.  While it is quite easy to get distracted with other new faces over the years, the ABC Sanford & Benedict was my banker—a wine I would, moving forward, measure other California Chardonnays by, yes in terms of quality, but also food affinity, ageability & especially in terms of price.  So, here we were on this night & 2 dear friends—Helen & Brent—popped open this bottle from their cellar to share.  Needless to say, I was quite apprehensive of what this wine would be like, especially considering it was nearly 20 years old.  (And, in the back of my mind was all of the current findings/discussions of pre-mox found in white Burgundies produced around the same time frame).  In short, I was astounded.  This was a wine to behold—packed with mineral, civil minded framing with French oak & offering great texture, balance AND still with lots of uplifting energy & vigor.  All at 20 years old!  AND, it was a perfect wine for our small gathering to raise a glass in homage to our friend Jim Clendenen.  Aloha, my friend.  

A Family Meal with Red Zinfandel

Over the years, Zinfandel gained the nickname of “America’s grape”. Yes, it has been around a very long time AND its evolution has been quite remarkable to say the least. Recently, I had been reminded by long time, noted wine journalist Randy Caparoso, the merits of the Zinfandel grape variety—not only at how tasty and interesting it can be and how very different it can be when grown in a different terroir and microclimate, but mainly how wonderfully food friendly it can also be. Although all of his points were well founded, I found the food friendly reminder the most intriguing. That is what really inspired us to do this dinner.

The challenge with Zin is finding the “good” ones, as not all Zins are created equal. We will feature three very tasty, interesting and unique renditions for this evening. We have worked hard to get these wines because they are so different and each provides a glimpse of their respective region and their VERY different style of winemaking. Chef Keith Endo created dishes for each and we hope the wines and the pairings will not only taste good, but will shed light on what can be.

FIRST COURSE

WINE: Scherrer Zinfandoodle “Alexander Valley”–One of my true aha moments with Californian wine was the tasting the 1991 Scherrer Zinfandel, it truly was that good and memorable. In a day, where BIG, black, opulent, heart, robust renditions were in fashion, the Scherrer was instead quite elegant, suave, wonderfully transparent, textured and finely balanced. It took us somewhere between seven to nine years to finally get some of his Zin to Hawaii. In the past few years, Fred Scherrer then released a Zinfandoodle—a fanciful name coined by his grandfather—which a much more playful, delicious, wonderfully food friendly blend of two or three vintages of fruit also from his father’s vineyard in the Alexander Valley. (I later discovered part of the core is from a small patch of vines which produce seedless grapes). We love how unpretentious and welcoming it truly is and on this night we want to show how special it can be at the dinner table.

Oxtail Uovocrimini mushrooms, crispy polenta “fries”, worcestershire jus, baby arugula & truffle oil

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SECOND COURSE

WINE: Edmeades Zinfandel “Mendocino”–My love affair with Edmeades began starting with the 1994 vintage. Then winemaker Van Williamson fashion such brooding, burly, hearty, wild and wooly old vine, single vineyard Zinfandels that were masculine, full of mojo and soulfulness. The most fascinating bottling, however, proved to the “Mendocino” Zinfandel. I learned it was fashioned after the homemade wines of old. In the old days, European migrants didn’t have the luxury of producing a white wine for fish AND a red wine for meat. So, the one wine they made had to work with both fish AND meat. This was that style of wine—much more tame, civil, well textured and balanced. The current Edmeades winemaker, Ben Salazar has since fine tuned the winemaking—freshening it up and taking out the funk-centric idiosyncrasies AND without comprising the mojo, virility and soulfulness whatsoever.

House-Made Pork Sausagepancetta-thyme-rosemary orzo, pork jus, roasted peppers & pickled red cabbage

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 ENTREE

 WINE: Ancient Peaks Zinfandel “Paso Robles”–Ancient Peaks is a winery owned by three families down in southern Paso Robles. Their estate vineyard, Santa Margarita Ranch is located at roughly 1,000 feet in the very remote hills of the appellations coolest sweet spot. There are at least five different and unique soil types, of which are used to produce this wine. I chased and lobbied to get some of this wine to Hawaii for years. I love its blue collar, down to earth personality and how delicious, food friendly and gulpable it really is.

Hudson Valley Duck Confithomemade cavatelli, Swiss chard & port wine reduction

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This was quite an interesting dinner!

featuring a very different slant on what wine & food pairing could be.

Different perspectives on what sparkling wine can be

We continually search to find really “good”, interesting wines from along the Mediterranean basin and from afar to bring home to offer our valued guests. Here is a taste of four sparkling wines it has taken some time to gather. While Champagne is still “King of the Hill” in the bubbly category, there are some interesting, unique & completely refreshing sparkling wines to experience. Each of these provides a very different slant of bubbly can be. Each brings a smile to the face, when reminiscing of my first taste/encounter. And, I feel they deserve a “voice”. I hope you take advantage of this opportunity.

Lokelani Brut Rose–Here is a wonderfully, light, tasty, completely refreshing sparkling wine from Maui Winery. I have so much respect for Paula Hegele, the proprietor/visionary. Despite seemingly insurmountable challenge after challenge, she has stayed the course for 43 years of grit, determination and complete passion. Imagine, for instance, NO dormancy for the vines, no “sleeping/rejuvenation” (imagine you never sleeping?). Imagine being in tropical climate where there are diseases, pests, etc that no one would know how to treat? Paula persevered through it AND with the charming, ulifting, genuine smile and twinkle in her eye. She deserves our support. A toast to Paula!

 

Birichino Cinsault “Pet Nat”fizzy & so tasty & refreshing”.  You start off with really interesting Cinsault grapes, in this case from the iconic Bechthold vineyard out in Lodi, which was planted in 1886!!!! Most is used to produce their Old Vine Cinsault bottling. The leftover and the saignee is used to this orange-brown tinged Petulant Naturel—“Pet Nat”, using the Old World’s Ancestrale Methode”, capped thus trapping the CO2 in solution. Yes, a completely different take of what fizzy wine can be.

 

Lambert de Seyssel “Petite Royal”–One of the historic, iconic sparkling wines of France—located in Savoie of eastern France. This estate was bought back and is being resurrected since 2008. 70% Molette and 30% Altesse which are two indigenous grape varieties of the area grown in clay-limestone. The sparkling wines of Seyssel indulge in the same méthode traditionnelle production techniques used for Champagne. This cuvee is two years sur latte and an additional ten months on the lees. Pure, minerally, wonderfully refreshing AND a completely different slant on what sparkling wine can be.

 

Wolfberger Cremant d’Alsace Rose–Now, here is something one doesn’t run across too often here in Hawaii—a sparkling wine from Alsace, France. Back in the 1990’s in my former life as a wine distributor, we used to bring in the Wolfberger because of its breathtaking purity, its silky, though uplifting texture and its true deliciousness. Well, here is their Cremant d’Alsace Rose—100% Pinot Noir–done in the same méthode traditionnelle production techniques used for Champagne (15 months on the lees). Yet, another different perspective in what sparkling wines can be!

a Recent Article from the Honolulu Star Advertiser

Over the years, I have encountered many red zinfandels that stunned me with their beauty, intriguing vinosity, savoriness, tastiness and wonderful food-friendliness.  I vividly remember the 1976 Ridge “Lytton Springs” as one of the first to absolutely wow me and create a lifelong memory.

My journey with this long-time California grape variety has continued and evolved, with many other memorable experiences.

I was recently reminded by Randy Caparoso, a noted wine journalist and former founding partner/wine guru of the Roy’s Restaurant group, that we should be paying more attention to zinfandel-based wines, as they can have lots of flavor, mojo and innate character, while also being incredibly food-friendly, a point that Caparoso, as a former sommelier, strongly advocates.

In addition, many top producers are championing really old, heritage vines grown in various nooks and crannies throughout California, rather than replacing those vines with more popular, mass market grape varieties. The real enticement, however, is value —especially compared with grapes like pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon.

Care for a taste? Here are recommendations for really interesting zinfandels:

2016 Ancient Peaks Zinfandel “Paso Robles”–grown in the Santa Margarita Ranch, in the hills of southern Paso Robles, Calif., at roughly 1,000 feet in elevation, is owned and operated by three ranching families (real cowboys). My wife and I chased & lobbied them for many years to get some of their wines to the islands. The ranch has at least five distinct soil types, three of which contribute to this wine — shale, volcanic and rocky alluvium. I love how earnest, blue-collar and welcoming this wine is, year after year. Serve it at barbecues (slightly chilled), with pizzas and meatloaf, or simply pour it when friends come over to talk story after an especially long, hard day at work.

2013 Edmeades Zinfandel “Gianoli Vineyard”–Starting with the 1994 vintage, Edmeades, with winemaker Van Williamson at the helm, has crafted some of the most provocative, hearty, robust, soul-stirring zinfandels out of California.  Now under the direction of winemaker Ben Salazar, Edmeades zinfandels are somehow more civil, not as wild, wooly and “funk-centric,” yet they remain true to the soul of their stable of top-notch vineyards.  I’ve written before about Edmeades “Mendocino” bottling which is more readily available. They also produce a  small, high-quality portfolio of single-vineyard zinfandels, in this case from Gianoli Vineyard, an iconic site in the remote, rugged, high-elevation Mendocino Ridge appellation. It was first planted in 1882, although roughly 40% was replanted in 1997 using cuttings from onsite heirloom vines. The wine is certainly is something to write home about — bold, full of mountain-grown, old-vine character, structure and complexities. While only 250 cases were produced, it is worth searching out.

2016 Scherrer Zinfandel “Old & Mature Vines”–This has been a unique and heartfelt rendition of old-vine zin since the original 1991 vintage. Smelling and tasting that 1991 bottle was an aha moment for me, providing a compelling example of what zinfandel can be. What draws me to this wine is that it is an old-vine zinfandel crafted by a pinot noir master, meaning it is much more transparent, civil and refined.  Recently, a regular guest kindly shared the 1997 vintage of this wine with several of us. It certainly had a pinot-esque edge in terms of transparency, texture and balance. It was truly lovely. Having tasted every vintage of this bottling over the years, I can say the 2016 is stellar today, but just wait and see what 20 or more years of additional bottle aging will bring. It certainly will be a worthwhile adventure.  Scherrer also produces Zinfandoodle–a charming blend of two or three vintages.  This terrific wine “find” is also quite a good match for a wide array of dishes, from fowl to meat, from casual to more serious fare.

This is just the starting point.  Other noteworthy renditions I have also seen available in Hawaii on a much more limited basis include those from—Carlisle (one of the most acclaimed & prolific masters of old vine Zinfandel); Turley (quite the cache producer of unique Zins from up & down California, now with winemaking prodigy Tegan Passalacqua at the helm); and Linne Calodo (the Problem Child & Outsider bottlings, which showcase the minerality of the marine soils of Paso Robles and therefore a completely different slant on what Zinfandel can be).

As a side note, Caparoso is now championing many family owned, old-heritage-vine zinfandels from the Lodi, Calif., region, where he lives. I have tasted several, and would say they give a completely different perspective on what this grape variety wants to say. As more of these real treasures come to the islands, I will make sure to spread the word.

Four Interesting & Unique Aromatic, Dry Muscat Wines

At VINO as regulars well know by now, we continually search to find really “good”, interesting wines from along the Mediterranean basin & from afar to bring home & offer our valued guests. Once in a while, we strike GOLD. Yup, this is one of those occasions. The Jackpot!!!!…featuring a quartet of Muscat based white wines. The Muscat grape is very widely planted throughout the world. There are many sub-varieties of this vine and they all produce very different takes, most of which can be quite forgettable. We are fortunate to sample Muscat based wines from around the world. Our task for this tasting was to find four which will show tasters what this grape variety can be, under the right circumstances. Yup, we think these four unforgettable wines are really worth tasting and experiencing. I am pretty jazzed about this one, as we are always looking for really good aromatic white wines, which can create a whole ‘nother dimension to wine & food pairings. Yes, this is yet another tasting that we hope will help affect change.

2015 Botani Moscatel Old Vines”–This is old vine (planted in1946, 1968 and 1975) Moscatel de Alejandría grown on the very steep, rocky (slate & quartz soiled) hillsides of Sierra de Málaga. Yes, yet another dry, aromatic white wine, done with a more masculine, virile touch. We love its uplifting, mesmerizing combination of lime blossom & stony nuances & its striking, dynamic mouthfeel.  “Botani Moscatel was chosen in 2016 by Robert Parker as one of the three best wines of the world with best value for money”.

 

2013 Zind-Humbrect Muscatundeniably the most celebrated Muscat producer in the entire appellation”.  Where the home turf of Alsace is a rather sleeping, relaxing countryside, it is also the home turf to Olivier Humbrecht one of the world’s larger than life superstar winemakers AND his extraordinary white wines. Yes, his wines have incredible concentration levels, but today, done with much more grace & civility than in his younger years. AND, they also have a clearer focus on terroir than amplification & sheer power. The 2013 Turkheim bottling featured fruit from mainly the alluvial Herrenweg vineyard.  It was also a vintage where the acidity levels were naturally higher & the resulting wine that much fresher on the palate.  Definitely a wine that will add interesting & different perspective to this tasting.

 

2014 Les Mille Vignes Muscat Sec–Hear ye, hear ye! Let us introduce you to the wine wizardry of New Age winemaking prodigy Valérie Guérin, the hottest wine phenom in France who has a cult like following for her wines. Her family’s domaine is located in Fitou down in southern France (an exclusively red wine appellation).  “The terroir is an amalgam of strong natural elements: clay, limestone, and schist soils; wild scrubland scented with thyme and lavender, and perhaps the most potent force of all, Tramontagne—a fierce wind that sometimes seems it will never stop blowing”.  She also produces a miniscule amount of white wine, though not labeled as Fitou, this is a most dazzling and unique white wine produced from the Muscat à petit grains. You will be entranced by how she masterfully combines the stoniness of the soils, character of the surrounding wild countryside with the exotic, profuse, mesmerizing perfume of the Muscat grape, as only she can do. I doubt you have ever had a wine like this before.

 

2018 Giovanni Montisci “Modestu”–To end this fabulous tasting, we finish with a VERY rare treat!…..a wine I would easily describe as “otherworldly”, it is so wonderfully unique & noteworthy. It really is the wine which made us jump on a plane for 32 hours of planes & airports to go see. PLUS, many hours of driving the radically, ever turning/winding, narrow roads just to actually get there. Montisci owns & works but 2 hectares of vines….in this case at least 60 years in age, grown in sandy-granite soils at roughly 2200 feet in elevation, in the remote mountains of central Sardegna. Yes, this is old vine Moscato vinified dry (or close to it, with a most interesting & unique, fleshy, viscous texture & lots of swag. It certainly caught my fancy. Thankfully, we were able to get ONE case & after a few of years of trying. No, it is not a fad wine. It is a real standout & redefines what this aromatic grape variety can be!

2 New Italian Wine Discoveries

We continually search for really interesting wines from around the Mediterranean basin—indigenous, family owned and operated, heirloom/heritage vines and farmed sustainably. We recently ran across TWO very noteworthy family wine projects—one from Campania and one from Mt. Etna in Sicily. They certainly caught our attention! Really good juice. Here is your chance to try them yourself. How often do opportunities like this come around?

 

Terre del Vescovo–We continually search for interesting wines in Italy’s Campania region which is probably most famous for being the home turf of Mt. Vesuvius. We feel this is also the home turf (of potentially Cru quality) of the indigenous, highly revered Aglianico grape variety. The true artisanal, more traditionally produced renditions are indeed getting harder and harder to find! Terre del Vescovo recently popped up on the radar screen and we were quite taken with their wines.   “They own and farm four hectares of vineyards in Montemarano, a top cru of the Taurasi zone where the appellation’s highest-elevation sites yield chiseled, mineral, age-worthy reds. At up to 2100 feet above sea level on soils of clay and limestone, the vines benefit from significant diurnal temperature shifts crucial to developing complex, well-defined flavors and preserving freshness at this southerly latitude. Thanks to this slow maturation, the late-ripening Aglianico is harvested in November, sometimes under a blanket of snow”. On this night, we will sample two of their wines.                                                                       

2017 Coda di Volpe “Kisteis”–Coda di Volpe is an ancient grape variety to the area and is used to make very interesting regional white wines, most notably Lacrima Christi Bianco. This is a very interesting, fresh, stony rendition grown in the estate’s clay limestone soils and age on its fine lees for 2 to 3 months. Certainly caught our eye.

2010 Irpinia Campi Taurasini “Re’na Vota”–“The King” is produced from 100% Aglianico, planted in 1952. This wine deftly shows the vast potential Aglianico innately has. The wine spends four years in large botti and one year in bottle before release. Here is your chance to try it, in all its glory.

 

 

Grottafumata–Interestingly, this estate is really noted and revered for their high quality olive oil. Come to find out, they also produce small amounts of wine too, on the eastern slope of Mount Etna. The area is actually named Mount Ilice—1.4 hectares located on the closest part of Etna to the Mediterranean Sea—at a 45 degree slant, nearly 2800 feet in elevation. The old vines (40 to 100 years in age) struggle in the volcanic soils, strong winds, cooler growing temperatures to eke out some very special juice. We will be tasting two of their wines on this night.

2017 “Lato Sud” Bianco–This is a studly, masculine white wine with lots of bravado and swag. Yup, nothing shy or demure here. 70% Carricante, 30% Catarratto, with very small percentages of Minnella, Grecanico, Terribile, Inzolia and Coda di Volpe (40 to 100 years old). The wine is then wild yeast fermented in clay amphora for three days, completes its malolactic in and then aged in stainless for nine months.

2017 “Lato Sud” Rosso–This is NOT a big, full throttle red, as most tasters might expect. It is quite masculine, VERY savory, vinous, stony with quite a surprising transparency and purity of old vines (40 to 100 year old vines) & terroir. Well worth the effort of getting some that’s for sure!

Limestone & Chardonnay

One of the world’s most famous soil and vine combinations is Chardonnay grown in limestone/calcareous soils. They usually create an incredibly dynamic synergy which creates oenological magic, in a way which creates something so unique and somewhat unrecognizable to most avid New World Chardonnay fans.  Yes, these are wines somehow much more about the soil the vines grow in, rather just flavors & nuances associated with the Chardonnay grape variety itself.  It is the caterpillar that has transformed into a gorgeous, breathtaking butterfly. Something you, after the fact, scratch your head in wonderment. Here are four terrific renditions to better show you what we mean. All four come from Burgundy, France, each with a different composition of limestone influenced soils AND each done by a different winemaker.  How often do opportunities like this come around?

2016 Henri Perrusset Macon Villages–We start off with a “country” style Chardonnay, produced by a father and son team. I say “country” style because of how unpretentious it thankfully is. NO fanfare, NO oak, NO foo-foo. Just downright delicious, earnest, food friendly and gulpable. A true standout in its category. I wish there were more wines made today with these kinds of values.

2014 Maison L’Envoye Bourgogne Blanc “Vieilles Vignes”–What a terrific discovery this 2014 has been. Produced from 45 to 50 year old vines, biodynamically raised down in the Maconnais. It is really a wine about limestone soils and old vines, rather than grape variety and winemaking. We absolutely love its purity, minerality and remarkable etherealness.

2014 Antoine Jobard Bourgogne Blanc–As many of this domaine’s neighbors would attest to, Jobard produces some of the very best Bourgogne Blanc and wines in all of Burgundy. The grapes, for this seemingly unassuming labeled white wine, are a blend of four parcels–Herbeaux, En l’Ormeau, La Monatine, and Sous la Velle—a total of 1.12 hectares. The wine is fermented and aged in barrel with lengthy lees contact–all is done in a very slow, continuous manner. Don’t be deceived by the label and nomenclature, this is a wine to behold, because of its fortitude, mojo, pedigree and vehement structure. Historically, the Jobard wines take a very long time to unwind and strut their stuff. Antoine carries his truly iconic father’s legacy forward, which we can readily see with this wine.

2015 Larue St. Aubin Premier Cru “Murgers des Dents de Chien”–St. Aubin is located just behind the Montrachet and Chevalier slope and just north of Chassagne Montrachet. Domaine Larue is one of the most revered out of St. Aubin and Burgundy, in general because their mastery of growing and masterfully making their Chardonnay based whites that “sing its limestone birth right”. The Premier Cru “Murgers des Dents de Chien” parcel is their showpiece and is but 1.12 hectares in size, planted in 1946, ‘64, ‘72, ‘90 & ‘97. It is barrel fermented and spends ten to twelve months on the lees. The resulting whites have mesmerizing purity/minerality with wonderful vinosity, innate and more “delicate” complexities which are quite stunning.

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