- Item #: i_353121Bottle Size: 750mlDomaine la Barroche is a family estate that has been passed down from one generation to the next since the 14th century. Julien’s father, Christian Barrot, is passionate about viticulture and has taken meticulous care of the family’s 12.5 hectare of vines since the early 1970’s. Until Julien joined his father back in 2002, all of the wine had been sold in bulk to negociants. Now, half of the Grenache vines are more than 100 years-old and are some of the oldest found in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Julien has moved to completely organic viticulture (not certified) and his father is still following his passion and continues to work in the vineyards. Taking all of his father’s work to the next level, Julien is now vinifying each grape variety and some parcels separately, studying and learning his holdings parcel by parcel.
The 2017 Domaine La Barroche Chateauneuf-du-Pape offers a singular wine personality, a delicate alchemy of spices and well-ripened black fruits, a delight for the senses.
- Item #: i_351780Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Located at the foot of the village of Rasteau between the towns of Orange and Vaison-la-Romaine, Domaine Beau Mistral is comprised of 28 hectares (70 acres) covering several appellations from the southern Rhône Valley and is rightly situated next to such famous crus from the region such as Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas.
After being passed through destemming machine, the grapes are added to tanks where the temperature is closely monitored throughout the fermentation, which lasts several weeks. Pumping-over and some gentle punching-down take place in order to preserve the wine’s fruit and suppleness.
Ageing: 100% in tank.
Food pairing: This wine pairs exceptionally well with red meats and dishes such as roasted veal with morel mushrooms, herb-crusted ribs and cheeses.
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "With its complex aromas of spice and red fruit, the 2016 Cairanne Les Garrigues is a knockout. Plus, it's medium to full-bodied, plump and succulent, with supple tannins and terrific freshness. It never seems heavy or alcoholic. Drink now to 2025."
- Item #: i_304757Bottle Size: 750MLSince the 2004 vintage, we have expanded our work with the Levet family to include a second bottling of Cote Rotie known as “Les Journaries”, a cuvée drawn from grapes harvested from old vines in the “La Landonne” lieu-dit. This wine is more subtle, more elegant and “quieter” if you will than the “Chavaroche”. At the same time, it is very much a Levet wine with a bouquet of violets, wild berries, a touch of animal and resinous-like tannins that speak of the inclusion of stems (a hallmark of the Levet tradition). The “Journaries” is approachable at an earlier stage than its companion “La Chavaroche” but, that being said, it is a wine that not only ages gracefully but almost requires a touch of patience. Bernard Levet’s wines are well-structured wines that are built for aging and experience significant improvement with time in bottle. In our opinion, these wines at maturity reflect most effectively the true nature of the terroir of Cote Rotie. MADROSE
- Item #: i_351375Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Wine Spectator: 95Decanter: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 95JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is another sunny, beautifully Provençal effort that has a huge nose of garrigue, raw steak, leather, truffle, and peppery spice. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and balanced, it’s not a massive Beaucastel yet it has a classic, Provençal, incredibly satisfying style that will benefit from 4-6 years of bottle age and keep for two decades."
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The full-bodied, dense 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape seems a bit closed at the moment, but Asian five spice powder still brings plenty of complexity and nuance to the rich, dark fruit aromas and flavors. Multidimensional, layered and long, this is another terrific vintage for Beaucastel's main cuvée, perhaps falling just slightly behind the 2016 and 2018."
- Item #: i_353005Bottle Size: 750mlAs has always been the case, Versino makes very little Cuvée des Felix—usually about 400 cases in total, a fraction of which make it to the US. Bois de Boursan grows all the 13 authorized Châteauneuf varieties in their multitude of vineyard parcels (27 plots across 10 hectares, all in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape proper), but this wine is driven by Grenache (65%) and Mourvèdre (25%), with Syrah (5%) and an assortment of other varieties comprising the balance. It is aged 18 months in used French oak barriques and is typically a touch more tannic and tightly wound compared to Bois de Boursan’s estate Châteauneuf bottling (which we offered back in January). Nevertheless, like most Châteauneuf-du-Pape, today’s 2012 is delicious to drink now, thanks to Grenache’s generous fruit. It is downright explosive right out of the gate, with a dark, ruby-black hue in the glass and lots of black fruits on the nose and palate: crushed blackberry, cherry, and boysenberry are layered with black licorice, cacao nibs, wild herbs, lavender, warm spices and leather with faint accents of dried olive and meat stock. It is full-bodied on the palate, its richness checked by a lively jolt of freshness. Think big, but agile: It’s built to age 10-15 years and will show best following a 45-minute decant and a service temperature closer to 60 degrees. Use some big Burgundy stems and pair it with pulled pork cooked “low and slow” in the oven. This pairing is a ‘master class’ in concentrated flavors and a great way to enjoy one of wine’s most enduring classics. Enjoy!
- Item #: i_321295Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 94-96 POINTS - "Also not yet bottled the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Felix offers a similar level of concentration, yet is more tight, structured, and elegant. Currants, scorched earth, leather, and ground pepper notes give way to a full-bodied, powerful, concentrated 2016 that's going to benefit from short-term cellaring yet cruise for two decades. This cuvée is 65% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, and the rest a mix of varieties, all aged in very old barrels."
- Item #: i_353006Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 93JEB DUNNUCK 91-93 POINTS - ""Still not bottled, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a terrific wine, as well as a great example of the vintage. Ripe and upfront, with a gorgeous bouquet of black cherries, blackberries, new saddle leather, and roasted herbs, it's full-bodied, has sensational depth and richness, ripe, yet present tannin, and a great finish. Give it a few years and drink it over the following 10-15 years."
- Item #: i_353128Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Features a core of gently steeped plum and boysenberry fruit, laced with a mouthwatering anise note and gilded with sandalwood and violet hints throughout. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2023."
- Item #: i_351680Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The estate’s top wine is the 2016 Lirac Secret de la Grange, a 90-10 blend of Grenache and Syrah that never sees oak. This full-bodied blend is fabulously concentrated and lush, with ripe fruit flavors of raspberries and stone fruits, an intriguing hint of almond paste and a rich, long finish tinged with licorice. It should drink well for up to a decade."
- Item #: i_353133Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "Moving to the 2017s and starting with the base Châteauneuf Du Pape, it's a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah that was brought up mostly in demi-muids. Revealing a ruby/purple hue as well as notes of black raspberries, kirsch, garrigue, incense, and loamy soil and earth, this beauty hits the palate with beautiful depth of fruit, a layered, rounded, sexy texture, no hard edges, remarkable purity, and just tons of charm. Drink it any time over the coming decade or more."
- Item #: i_349955Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92-94Wine Spectator: 96WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS: "This is tightly coiled, with intense raspberry and cherry reduction notes waiting to unwind, but held in check for now by myriad licorice, iron, rooibos tea and singed alder details. Shows terrific cut and tension through the finish, revealing a blaze of minerality. Just needs some time to harmonize fully."
- Item #: i_350004Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93VINOUS 93 POINTS - "Opaque magenta. Mineral- and spice-accented dark berry and cherry aromas are complemented by a smoky nuance that builds with air. Concentrated blackberry and bitter cherry flavors show very good depth and take a sweeter turn on the back half. Finishes emphatically spicy and quite long, with supple, well-knit tannins lending shape to clinging cherry and floral pastille notes."
- Item #: i_352095Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91VINOUS MEDIA; ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "Smoke-accented cherry, dark berries and licorice on the perfumed nose, which takes on succulent floral and herb nuances with air. Smooth, concentrated and gently sweet, offering mineral- and spice-accented black raspberry, cherry and violet pastille flavors and a spicy jolt of cracked pepper. Finishes supple, sweet and quite long, with harmonious tannins and lingering florality."
- Item #: i_350488Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Wine Spectator: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 94JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "This is the Syrah blend, roughly 70% Syrah, 20-25% Grenache, the rest either Viognier and Roussanne, not co-fermented, but blended then aged for a year in tank. The Syrah-dominated 2010 IGP Vaucluse Heloise is a beauty that has an open, rounded, complex style. Offering lots of blackberries, spice, hints of pepper and forest floor, It's medium-bodied, silky, and elegant on the palate, with fine tannin and beautiful elegance. It reminds me of a Côte Rôtie from the southern part of the appellation."
- Item #: i_350340Bottle Size: 750mlWines from Le Clos du Caillou are Rhône blends at their most intense. Concentrated and richly textured, these organically raised, older-vine wines capture the spice and silk of old-vine Grenache grown on the region’s finest terroirs. Each wine too reflects the native perfumes of the south, the “garrigue” blend of thyme, rosemary and lavender that grows wild among the estate’s vines. Of all the terroir in the Côtes du Rhône appellation, the “clos” of Caillou has to be one of the most exceptional. Completely surrounded by Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards, this walled parcel of land was intentionally left out of the appellation by the owner, following a bureaucratic spat back in 1936. What this means today is that Caillou’s Côtes du Rhône wines are the qualitatively the same, with regard to terroir and exposition, as top Châteauneuf wines.
- Item #: i_352742Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Vinous Media: 95 PointsDecanter: 95 PointsJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "I always love this cuvée, and the 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Quartz offers a terrific perfume of black raspberries, white flowers, orange blossom, honeysuckle, and crushed rocks. It's medium to full-bodied, seamless, and finesse-driven on the palate, with the pure, elegant style of the estate front and center. It picks up more minerality with time in the glass, is beautifully balanced, and has a great finish."
WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz features scents of black olives and black cherries on the nose. It's a full-bodied, dense, tightly packed wine that will need time to fully express itself—is it a modern-day 2005? Ample cherry and stone fruit appear on the long, intense finish, confirming the terrific potential this wine possesses."
DECANTER 95 POINTS - "Grown half on galets and half on sand in lieu-dit Les Cassanets, the fruit is destemmed and fermented mostly in concrete, before being matured in demi-muid, except for a 10% portion in amphora. It has a highly individual aromatic profile, very dark and brooding. The full-bodied palate features black fruits with a lovely sense of purity and line. There's real weight and presence without heaviness, and wonderful harmony and balance. A highly polished wine with a slight sweetness to the fruit and a very long finish. The best Quartz in some time from Clos du Caillou - real depths to explore here despite the polish."
- Item #: i_352497Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Decanter: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 94DECANTER 94 POINTS - "Sourced from lieu-dit Les Bédines, the fruit is destemmed and fermented in concrete, then matured 75% in foudre and 25% in demi-muid. Loganberry and bay leaf notes display burgeoning complexity, leading to a very full-bodied and flowing palate with highly polished red berry fruit. It has great finesse in a highly tailored style, with incredible silkiness to the tannins - they're plentiful but super-fine. Captivating and seductive."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "More elegant as well as more complex, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Les Safres boasts beautiful notes of kirsch liqueur, new saddle leather, garrigue, and pepper incense. Rounded, beautifully textured, and elegant, with ultra-fine tannins, it's a seamless, sensational Châteauneuf Du Pape wine that shines on all accounts. It shows the sunny, sexy style of the vintage and is approachable today yet will keep for 15+ years or more."
WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Hints of rosemary and pine accent cherries and apricots in the Grenache-dominated 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Safres. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it finishes long and intense. Already drinking well, it should continue to do so through 2030."
- Item #: i_352779Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 94JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "As always, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes has a touch more dark fruits, more concentration, and more structure, which makes it less approachable but more age-worthy. Blackcurrants, ground pepper, bouquet garni, crushed rocks, and garrigue notes all emerge from this structured, focused, yet ripe and beautifully textured Châteauneuf Du Pape that's going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age."
ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes starts off with scents of tapenade, then adds ripe cherries and cola notes. Dark and concentrated, it's full-bodied and open-knit, perhaps a bit coarser than the elegant 2016, with a touch of chocolate on the long finish. The Grenache in this cuvée was planted in 1905, making this a relative value among old-vine offerings."
- Item #: i_353137Bottle Size: 750mlWe are excited to announce our Wine of the Month for March. We tried numerous wines before selecting the crowd-pleasing Clos des Lumieres Cotes du Rhone. This is a fantastic wine and amazing value, boasting stunning purity with oodles of fruit in a medium to full-bodied frame. The Grenache brings a lovely round, silkiness to the red-fruited character while the Syrah brings gentle spice and darker fruits into play. This is a joy to drink with absolutely no hard edges!
A classic blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, Le Clos des Lumieres delights both nose and palate and is a great fit for this month as we move from Winter to Spring. As the days begin to grow longer and our menus move from heartier to fresher and more vibrant fare, we like a wine that can handle both-- something to sip during the still-chilly nights with rich foods while being equally at ease for sunny Sunday brunches. This is it!
Domaine le Clos des Lumieres is a 50-hectare family farm founded in 1946 by the grandfather of the domaine's current vigneron, Gerald Serrano. The ambitious and talented winemaker is solely responsible for the recent ascendance of this estate - Prior to taking things over in 2003 Gerald's father was selling all grapes on the estate to the local cooperative. Having grown up on the property, Gerald is intimately familiar with the terroir here. The oldest vines now edge 60 years in age and this land really seems to "pack the character in."
Clos des Lumieres is a delicious wine and an amazing value. Buy this with confidence as an easygoing daily drinker to share with family and friends.
The nose is rich and layered with dark red fruits leading to citrus, earth, incense, spice and sweet red plum. The mouth is viscous and rounded with soft acidity and balanced tannins that bolster the flavors of mixed red fruits and berries (red plum and blueberry stand out), light earth and Rhone-y spice, pepper, garrique and a finish of salted plum and kirsch. Very comfortable in its skin and offering quality that's way out of its price point, Lumieres is certainly a bright spot on the wine landscape and easily deserves the spotlight this month.
- Item #: i_311270Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92James Suckling: 94Decanter: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 92JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS -"This has a very plush, luscious and generously fleshy feel. Cherry compote, raspberries, blackberries and plums. Tarry elements, too. Smooth, velvety, pure and even. Succulence, elegance and clarity. Such value here. Drink or hold."
ROBERT PARKER 92+ POINTS - "The 2016 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet de Beaucastel was bottled just two weeks before my visit, hence the plus sign attached to its rating. Planted just outside the boundaries of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, the vines here average 80 years old. Mouthwatering aromas of red fruit and spice lead the way, backed by a full-bodied wine that's creamy and lush but also silky and vibrant. As always, it's one of the best Côtes du Rhône wines from a given vintage... Certainly, the wines are breathtaking at the upper levels, but the Perrin family continues to put effort into the entry-level wines as well, from the Coudelet de Beaucastel, which is always one of the top Côtes du Rhône wines, to the other wines reviewed under the Famille Perrin heading. 92+ points."
- Item #: i_345233Bottle Size: 1.5LWine Advocate: 92ROBERT PARKER 92 POINTS - "Perennially one of the best Côtes du Rhône on the market, the Perrins have hit the mark again with their 2015 Cotes du Rhone Coudoulet de Beaucastel. So complex, lush and rich, it can compete with many producers' Châteauneufs, this vintage reveals dark fruit, hints of cola, cinnamon and allspice and a long, slightly warm finish."
- Item #: i_322198Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 94-96ROBERT PARKER 91-93 POINTS: "Sourced from 60-year-old vines and aged in 15% to 20% new oak, the 2016 Saint Joseph l'Olivaie offers a concentrated mouthful of black olive and cherry fruit, a velvety texture and a long, cool finish. This medium to full-bodied wine should drink well on release and for up to decade. Young Jerôme Coursodon now farms 16 hectares in Saint Joseph, centered around Mauves, just outside Tournon. He considers the 2016s more approachable than the dense 2015s."
JEB DUNNUCK 91-93 POINTS: "Leading off the 2016s from barrel, the 2016 Saint Joseph L'Olivaie comes from the lieu-dit of the same name and vines averaging 60 years in age. It’s a ripe, concentrated beauty that's loaded with notions of black raspberries, scorched earth, spice and pepper. With medium to full-bodied richness, ripe, present tannin and a great finish, it's going to be a great value. I continue to love the wines from the young Jerome Coursodon, who pulls from roughly 16 hectares of vines all in the southern part of Saint Joseph, mostly just outside the village of Mauves. The 2015s are monster, blockbuster styled efforts that I suspect won’t appeal to the traditionalists out there, but are singular wines. The 2016s are more elegant and finesse-driven, yet still pack in more sweet fruit than just about everyone else out there."
- Item #: i_333501Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 95ROBERT PARKER 95 POINTS - "Rocking stuff, the 2015 Côtes Catalanes Grenache D66 (80% Grenache and 20% Grenache Blanc) from Richard Floyd boasts a deep, saturated color as well as hedonistic notes of black currants, chocolate, massive crushed rock-like minerality and baking spices. Rich, full-bodied, unctuous and concentrated, yet with considerable purity and freshness, it's a big blockbuster beauty to drink over the coming decade."