- Item #: i_322274Bottle Size: 750mlWith a forward nose of vivid fruits, from gooseberry to white peach and white grapefruit, melded with a touch of river water, lanolin and nougat, the palate on 1749 continued and expanded on the initial fruit-laden theme. Sweet yet almost tart, notes of star fruit, more gooseberry and white grapefruit merged with a lush mouthfeel, counterbalanced by good acidity to keep it clean and buoyant. Hints of apricots, orange blossoms and clover honey furthered the delicious depth on the palate. The finish is fresh and quick but with a lingering fruit essence and mixed floral touch that reverberates nicely.
This wine is perfect for the warm weather we’ve been having and has a classic Loire Valley profile with a nice dollop of New Zealand-esque citrus-- it’s balanced, clean, fresh, uplifting and clearly a worthy Hi-Time Wine of the Month. Enjoy!
- Item #: i_333925Bottle Size: 750MLCERTIFIED BIODYNAMIC
his cuvée is planted in the decomposed granite terroir of Ajaccio in southwestern Corsica and is named for vigneron Jean-Charles Abbatucci’s daughter. He left the appellation of Ajaccio a number of years ago, because they refused to evolve their laws to accommodate the ancient grape varieties he had planted that were native to Corsica and pre-date the appellation system itself! In the 2017 vintage his Sciaccarello vines produced less, and there is a touch of Carcajolo Nero in the blend, along with Nielluccio (his father’s spelling for these grapes!). This medium-bodied red is a stunner with intense aromas of the local myrte that grows wild on this part of the island, great freshness, energy, and crunch, and the type of versatility that can accompany fish or meat and everything in between.
- Item #: i_379709Bottle Size: 750MLJOHN GILMAN VIEW FROM THE CELLAR 92 POINTS-"It had been a few years since I last tasted a bottle of Agrapart’s lovely “Les 7 Crus” cuvée. The wine is really lovely, offering up a pure and complex bouquet of apple, tart pear, chalky minerality, citrus zest and fresh-baked bread. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a lovely core, elegant mousse, fine focus and a very long, zesty and perfectly balanced finish. This is one lower dosage bottling that is drinking with style and grace in its youth. 2016-2030."
- Item #: i_376417Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93The Avizoise is made from Les Robards and Voie d'Epernay, fermented in neutral 600-liter barrels and bottled with four grams of dosage.
- Item #: i_375800Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93PETER LEIM 1+ STARS-"It’s dark and stony on both the nose and palate, de-emphasizing its fruit flavors, yet it avoids the vegetal character typical of the vintage, instead feeling savory and strongly chalky even to the point of bitterness, albeit in an appealing way. It grows in intensity the farther back it moves on the palate, finishing with harmony and length. This is excellent, and it will be fascinating to see how it evolves with further aging. Last tasted: 2/18
- Item #: i_325554Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 921 1/2 Stars ChampagneGuide.net-"Compared to Agrapart's 7 Crus, this is both finer in texture and larger in body-you see the influence of grand cru terroir not only in finesse but in puissance as well. It's intensely chalky under the silky notes of pear, green citrus and guava, anchored by vibrant acidity, and it feels fragrant and flowery on the long finish, demonstrating a superb balance and focus. Last tasted: 11/13."-Peter Leim
- Item #: i_351682Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsWINE ADVOCATE 92 - 94 POINTS - "Looking like a future star, the 2016 Gigondas Terrasses de Montmirail is full-bodied, lush and creamy. Black cherry and vanilla flavors finish with savory tannins, an enticing bit of licorice and no heat at all. Very promising."
- Item #: i_350312Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+WINE ADVOCATE 93 + POINTS: "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 Domaine du Clos de Sixte Lirac is made from 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre
- Item #: i_345737Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 96eROBERT PARKER 96 POINTS: "Only produced in top vintages (this is the first since 2012), the 2015 Cornas Vieilles Fontaines comes from 80-year-old vines within the La Fontaine lieu-dit. It's a tough wine to evaluate at this stage, as it's quite closed and reticent on the nose, showing some crushed-stone notes and typical granite-based austerity, but on the palate it shows great purity of fruit and vigor. It's full-bodied but tight-laced, focused on driving through the long finish like a thoroughbred down the stretch. Give it at least 5 years in the cellar"
- Item #: i_345736Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91-93Wine Spectator: 95James Suckling: 83Jeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsWINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "An understated style, but focus and you’ll see just how lovely the cassis, cherry and raspberry flavors are, carried by riveting acidity and flecked with notes of powdered white pepper and violet. An iron girder drives the finish, pulling everything along. This is defined by pure, sleek cut. Best from 2020 through 2035.
VINOUS 93 POINTS
WINE ADVOCATE 91 - 93 POINTS
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS
- Item #: i_350399Bottle Size: 750ml#51 WINE ENTHUSIAST TOP 100 of 2018
WINE ENTHUSIAST 93 POINTS - "A single vineyard offering from selected parcels in the La Moussiere vineyard. Certified biodynamic. 7-8 months on fine lees after fermentation, prior to bottling. This wine comes from Mellot's home domaine of La Moussière, It is young and intense, with a mix of spice, concentrated citrus and crisp acidity. The depth of flavor in this wine is extraordinary and merits aging. Drink from 2020."
- Item #: i_378941Bottle Size: 750mlJacques Beaufort has long been one of our Champagne hero's. Back in the early 1970's Jacques was virtually alone leading the charge against the use of chemicals and herbicides and he has now been farming biodynamically for decades. Beaufort's approach to winemaking is equally stripped-down and non-interventionist. Such a strict, natural approach has its obvious risks, and over the years his Champagnes have been a bit "hit or miss" but his hits like this 2010 are often home runs. This is a bright, exuberant (dare we say hedionistic) Champagne that belies it Brut Zero configuration. The 2010 Andre Beaufort presents a delicate mousse and persistent bubbles, greeting your nose with pear, herbs de Provence and toasted hazelnuts. Expressive in character and bold on the palate, it culminates with a fine, zippy finish.
- Item #: i_376185Bottle Size: 750mlTHE CHAMPAGNE GUIDE 96 POINTS - "Clouet's flagship is a radiant, golden silk-satin ballgown of ravishing complexity and breathtaking grace, a delicate high-heeled balancing act of refreshing poise in the midst of profound concentration. Its richness ventures to Champagne's outer limits of succulent white fruits of all kinds, grilled pineapple, honey and great complexity of brioche, nougat and butter. Celebrating a generous 50% reserve from solera, its rumbling maturity is proclaimed in hints of butterscotch, coffee beans, and smouldering hearth. Just when you fear it is all too much to behold the vibrant energy of its 2002 base wine swoops into a finish defined by well-poised acidity and softly mineral, fine chalk texture. It holds it posture of tall, slender magnificence for minutes without ever dropping its determined gaze."
We have had our sights on the Champagnes of Jean-Francois Clouet for long time since, by all accounts, he is one of the top Pinot Noir specialists in all of Champagne. This limited bottling (yes, you guessed it, just 1911 were produced) is drawn from Jean-Francois’ ten best plots all situated mid-slope in the “golden square” of Bouzy. This is an amazing wine that would have placed near the top of our list if only there had been more available. Australian scribe, Tyson Stelzer, flipped for it, writing: ”Clouet’s flagship is a radiant, golden silk-satin ball gown of ravishing complexity and breathtaking grace, a delicate high-heeled balancing act of refreshing poise in the midst of profound concentration. Its richness ventures to Champagne’s outer limits of succulent white fruits of all kinds, grilled pineapple, honey and great complexity of brioche, nougat and butter. Celebrating a generous 50% reserve from solera, its rumbling maturity is proclaimed in hints of butterscotch, coffee beans, and smoldering hearth. Just when you fear it is all too much to behold the vibrant energy of its 2002 base wine swoops into a finish defined by well-poised acidity and softly mineral, fine chalk texture. It holds its posture of tall, slender magnificence for minutes without ever dropping its determined gaze. 96 Points.”
- Item #: i_376772Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS-"Unfortunately I was only able to taste one new release from Andre Clouet this year. The NV Brut Grande Reserve emerges from the glass with layers of hazelnut, pear, spice and dried flower aromas. This rich, creamy wine impresses for its balance and sheer richness. I loved it. This is Lot L06. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014."(11/11)
Fashioned from 100% Bouzy and Ambonnay Pinot Noir form the 2009 and 2008 vintages with 30% of the base wine fermented in used Sauterenes barrels. The bouquet is open airy with inviting sourdough, yellow plum, citrus and Macintosh apple notes. This is a concentrated, but not at all ponderous, Champagne with a palate that features appetizing summer and citrus fruits seamlessly wedded to oak derived notions of honey, toast and brown spices. The low (6g/l) dosage works well here to keep everything lively while also letting Champagnes chalk and soil character to come to the fore. This intricately crafted Brut beautifully marries power and poise in way that one seldom finds at this low price point.
- Item #: i_376767Bottle Size: 750mlTHE CHAMPAGNE GUIDE 95 POINTS - "I say 10% of the blend is from my blood!' declares Jean-Francois Clouet, who has changed the style of his family's rose to a fresher and more direct mood, not so soft, aiming for the lively impression of malic acidity, even though it goes through full malolactic fermentation. The result is arose that epitomises elegance and focus, in the midst of generous red fruits that characterise Bouzy and Ambonnay. This cuvee encapsulates the wonderful talent of Pinot Noir to build and rise on the finish, opening to wonderful characters of perfumed rosehip, pink pepper and pomegrate. An undercurrent of fine, chalk mineral texture, accurate line and persevering length define a pristine and enticingly priced rose."
- Item #: i_276892Bottle Size: 750mlThe wine shows a complex range of aromas from white flower to fresh fruit. The wine is long and refreshing in the mouth, balanced with underlying minerality. A vintage with a great aging potential.
Champagne Andre Robert was born in 1960 with the purchase of the Robert estate but winemaking goes back several generations in the family. Henry Robert, an officer during WWI, came back to a devastated land. Most of Champagne's vineyards were either war torn or disease ridden. With not much more than a horse, he acquired a small plot of land and nursed the vines back to health. Persistence paid off and in the 1930's, Henry founded the first wine cooperative in Champagne.
During WWII, Andre Robert, who was just a teenager at the time, joined his father and the horse. Toward the end of the 1950's, a tractor replaced the horse and Champagne Andre Robert's first commercial wines were released in 1962.
Bertrand Robert took over the property in 1981 after studying enology in Reims. Over the last three plus decades, he has remained committed to the principles that were first forged by his grandfather ninety years ago. No insecticides or anti-decay products are used. As if reciting a mantra from the French Revolution he proclaims, "We practice 'viticulture durable.' Respect the water, respect the earth, respect the air."
A member of the Independent Wine Producers Federation, Robert does not purchase any fruit and all of the wines are made on the estate. This may not sound like a big deal but while there are a lot of small growers in Champagne, the vast majority of the wines are made by very large houses that buy fruit and often use a variety of production facilities.
- Item #: i_352326Bottle Size: 750mlIMPORTER'S NOTES-"100% Chardonnay. Dosage 8 to 9g/L. Blend of 2009 and 2010 vintages. Located in the Côte des Blancs, Bertrand Robert's family’s plots sit on some of the most prized terroir in the world, much of it in the Grand Cru territory of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger. Aromas of yeast, apple, walnut and fresh bread complemented by hints of white flowers and acacia. Complex, subtle and pure, offering precise minerality backed by citrus, stone fruit, brioche and ginger flavors. Finishes long and with a chalky texture.
It is hard not to be delighted by this bubbly’s fresh mix of white flower, acacia, and orchard fruit aromas. In the mouth this Champagne is vividly juicy and filled to the brim with ripe apple, white peach and nectarine flavors that are imbued with pervasive inflections of wet stones and seashells. The finish, which fades only with greatest reluctance, tantalizes with subtle glimmers of allspice, ginger and brioche.
The Robert family has been in the Champagne growing business for well over a century, but it wasn’t until 1961 that André Robert established the family’s own estate brand and production cellars. In 1997 André’s son Bertrand took over management of the operation. Today he farms some 27 acres split into dozens of tiny garden sized parcels. His vines average between 25-30 years of age with the lion’s share being Chardonnay planted in the Le Mesnil cru. Bertrand practices Viticulture Raisonnée, a protocol that emphasizes natural measures to control pests and rot with chemical treatments used only as a last resort. So once again, as we have seen with other top growerproducers, the quality of this Champagne is a natural outgrowth of family pride combined with generations of local knowledge along with a deep reverence for the land.
- Item #: i_374622Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTES - "Generous and plentiful foam, with numerous strings of tiny bubbles. The nose is very powerful, dominated by aromas of fruits in pastry, stewed apricot, with frank notes of sugared almond. Slight notes of pepper and aniseed. On the palate, the feeling is very ample and long, with remaining pastry feeling, ending on a spicy note."
A rich yet subtle blend ot 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay all sourced from the firm's plantings in the Grand Cru village of Ay. The blend is based on the 2013 vintage with 20% cask aged reserve wines. The wine as given a dosage of 9 grams per liter after aging on the yeast for 15 to 18 months.
- Item #: i_376663Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTES-"The base wine for this Old Vines Champagne comes from our plots, Pierre Robert Haut, Tarclett, and Varmery. The vines are on average 45 years old, which is important for the selection of the plots, as each plant produces a third less than a younger plant. Hence a higher aromatic potential and an optimum maturity at harvest time. The primary aromas are typical of a Pinot Noir from Ay: blackcurrant, small red fruit, in the nose and on the palate, with a spicy note at the end of the tasting.These aromas have evolved with the second fermentation, dominated now by juicy fruit, such as white peach and stewed lemon. Despite a lively attack on the palate, this wine feels round, vinous, frank and well structured, long on the mouth without being heavy. This is a wine for lovers of varietal wines, the opposite of a blended Champagne."
- Item #: i_351473Bottle Size: 750mlDomaine Boisson, located in Meursault, was not very well known until recently. It was a kind of hidden gem. The domaine is part of the family Domaine Boisson-Vadot which is divided into three entities: the parents have Boisson-Vadot, the son Pierre Boisson and the daughter Anne Boisson. The élevage for the wines is long (between 15 and 20 months) and the quality of the wine is regular, with great finesse and infinite finish. The Meursault Sous la Velle has an open bouquet with aromas of citrus and white-fleshed fruit (apple and pear) and acacia notes. It has a fresh, nicely fruity palate with a distinctive mineral quality.
- Item #: i_352133Bottle Size: 750mlCERTIFIED ORGANIC
Natural fermentation, low doses of sulfur, cement cuve, no wood; long fermentations, then wines are aged for 6 to 8 months on fine lees.
Antoine set out on a solo mission that consisted of a return to natural farming and winemaking, and getting Patrimonio drunk by those who care, away from the tourists and off the island. Mission accomplished, to put it mildly. After all these years, Arena is the reference point of wine merchants the world over for great Corsican wine. It has done more for Corsica and Patrimonio than anyone could have dreamed of. So what makes Carco so special? The path to greatness is wrought with trials and tribulations. In the early days, Antoine’s rouges were inconsistent—at times great, at other times hot and funky, as he experimented with various ways to battle the island’s excessive heat. The Carco blanc, though, was perfection from the start: timeless Vermentinu imbued with salt, sun, and rocks year in and year out. Through it all, Carco kept steady and won Corsica its proverbial seat at the table. Chris Santini, Kermit Lynch wine merchant
- Item #: i_345941Bottle Size: 750mlFrom the highly regarded winemaker from Hartwell, Realm, Kata and Fait Main (Teeter Totter) comes an absurd value. The inaugural release of the Arbalest is a project involving winemaker Benoit Touquette and importer/distributor Kimberly Jones. Our French and California wine buyers sampled this wine together last week and absolutely loved it. After tasting it, we knew we had to bring it into the store and quickly snapped up every single bottle that was available. This lush and juicy full-bodied wine boasts an abundance of dark fruit flavors and incredible texture with silky smooth tannins.
The idea of Arbalest was born when Benoit and Kimberly were traveling in France. They tasted a lot of wine in Bordeaux and both felt they could improve the quality of reasonably priced wine from the region. Benoit drew on his relationships in Bordeaux and found a source for high quality grapes. Benoit then did what he does best. He made this wine in his style consistent with his other wines, but kept the price amazingly low.
Benoit was born in Bordeaux where he was surrounded by family and friends in the wine business. He was amazed at the passion people had for wine and soon felt it himself. He graduated from Bordeaux University with a Master’s Degree in Oenology and learned from one of Bordeaux's greatest, Michel Rolland. After some time, Benoit decided it was time for a new challenge and decided to go to Napa. There he worked with another legendary winemaker, Andy Erickson, whose resume includes such iconic estates as Dalla Valle, Screaming Eagle and Spottswoode.
The mentorship of Michel Rolland and Andy Erickson was transformative for Benoit. He has learned well and clearly knows how to make delicious wines. In the spirit of full disclosure, we have to admit this wine possesses the character of Touquette’s full-bodied Napa reds. The quality of the perfectly ripened fruit flavors and creamy texture in this Bordeaux blend made us feel like we were enjoying a much higher priced wine. It does have a touch of minerality you might encounter in Bordeaux, but this is a dead ringer for a high quality Napa wine.
Enjoy the inaugural release of this limited production wine while you can.
Arbalest displays aromas of blue florals, blackberry, boysenberry and plum. On the palate, this wine is full-bodied with well- integrated tannins and flavors mirroring the nose. Fresh dark fruit including blueberry and creme de cassis are followed by beautiful hints of umami on the mid palate. The finish is seamless and persistent. Drink now through 2022.