FRENCH WINE

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  1. ARBALEST 2016 BORDEAUX

    Item #: i_345941
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 91
    We are thrilled to have the newly released 2016 Arbalest in stock. This a fantastic follow-up to the inaugural release which was an instant hit and outsold every other Bordeaux in the store. This lush and juicy full-bodied wine boasts an abundance of dark fruit flavors and incredible texture with silky smooth tannins.

    The Wine Advocate's Lisa Perrotti-Brown loved this wine calling it, "a seriously fun Bordeaux wine that offers jaw-dropping great value. In giving this wine a score of 91 Points, she also described it as "jam-packed with juicy black fruit, framed by ripe rounded tannins and seamless freshness."

    From the highly regarded winemaker from Hartwell, Realm, Kata and Fait Main (Teeter Totter) comes an absurd value. Arbalest is a project involving winemaker Benoit Touquette and importer/distributor Kimberly Jones. 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 on the quality of reasonably priced wine from the region. Benoit reached out to his friends in Bordeaux and found sources 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.

    While the prior vintage was delicious, somehow the 2016 kicks it up a notch. Given the picture-perfect growing season, we knew Benoit would knock it out of the park and we were not disappointed. Enjoy this delicious, crowd pleasing wine with a good steak or simply on its own-it's that good!

    WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Here's a seriously fun Bordeaux wine that offers jaw-dropping great value, made by French native, Napa super-star winemaker Benoit Touquette. The 2016 Arbalest is a blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot. The Petit Verdot and the Cabernet Sauvignon come from the Left Bank. I’m not allowed to tell the name of the Château, but it’s in the Saint-Estèphe area. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc come from the Right Bank, where the soil is clay-limestone on limestone rock, with a southwest exposure."

    "Medium garnet-purple colored, it charges out of the gate with notes of warm black plums, Black Forest cake, licorice and candied violets plus hints of fallen leaves and cedar chest. The medium to full-bodied palate is jam-packed with juicy black fruit, framed by ripe rounded tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and spicy. 2,000 cases were made."
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  2. CHATEAU LA DAUPHINE 2016 FRONSAC

    Item #: i_346032
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    James Suckling: 93
    Jeb Dunnuck: 92 Points
    JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS: - "A firm and chewy red with dark-berry, chocolate and walnut character with some salty, mineral undertones. Full body. Dense and driven for the vintage. A blend of 90 per cent merlot and ten per cent cabernet franc."

    DECANTER 92 POINTS: "This is probably the best wine ever produced at La Dauphine, loaded with brambly fruits and softly-spun minerality, taking it into the top tier of the appellation. They are now at 53ha of vines, making them a significant Right Bank player. Working entirely organically and biodynamically, this year a new plot has been included from up on the limestone plateau that was not historically biodynamic, so they have had to start the process of certification all over again. The blend this year is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc."
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  3. LA VIEILLE CURE 2016 FRONSAC

    Item #: i_354251
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 92
    James Suckling: 92
    Jeb Dunnuck: 93 Points
    DECANTER 93 POINTS - "Last year this was one of the wines of the vintage for me. It is a little more finely grained in 2016, slightly more structured and with a touch higher acidity, but still has those succulent black cherry and damson purée fruits. It also retains the twist of glamorous charred oak notes that give it punch and purpose. An excellent wine."

    JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "From one of the top terroirs in Fronsac and made with the help of talented Jean-Luc Thunevin, the 2016 Château La Vieille Cure is 80% Merlot and 10% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, all aged in 50% new oak (a small part is also brought up in tank). This deep purple-colored effort got a big “Wow” in my notes and boasts a head-turning bouquet of cassis and black raspberry fruits intermixed with notes of dried flowers, vanilla bean, and leafy herbs. With remarkable purity, medium to full body, silky tannins, and a great finish, it’s a thrilling Fronsac that I suspect might be one of the best to date. Drink it over the coming 10-15 years."

    JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A riper style with some darker-plum and mulberry aromas, framed in lightly spicy and cedary oak influence. The palate has good depth and silkiness with a wealth of fine, plush tannins and a smooth, fresh and flavorful finish. A blend of merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. Try from 2022."

    WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 La Vieille Cure has a deep garnet-purple color and quite a savory nose of chargrilled meats, tapenade, beef dripping and dried herbs over a core of plum preserves and Black Forest cake. Full-bodied, rich and packed with black plums and savory layers, it has a firm, velvety frame and fantastic length."
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  4. LES VALENTINES 2016 SAINT EMILION

    Item #: i_353085
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Les Valentines Saint-Emilion Grand Cru is a solid, forward style St. Emilion composed of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. solid, forward style St. Emilion composed of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.
    A traditional, annual release, their 2016 vintage of Les Valentines sports a lovely deep red color with dark red fruit on the nose and palate. It is a soft, easy to drink wine with a touch of bitter chocolate on the finish and a satisfying balance.
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