- Item #: i_378248Bottle Size: 750mlThe Bara property was built in 1860 in Bouzy, perhaps Champagne's most esteemed Pinot Noir village, thanks its warm, south-facing slopes. In the beginning, the estate was a farm with stables, a cow shed, and a cellar, However, in 1965, the barn was transformed into a press room and a winery. Paul Bara, the father of today's owner Chantale, was the first of the dynasty to sell Champagne under the family's name in the 1950s and he was also one of the first grower producers to export its his wares to the U.S. Crafted only from exceptional exceptiona harvests, the firm's Millesime is fermented in tank without malolactic and is aged on the yeast for at least five years. Clearly one of the great successes of the excellent 2012 vintage.LA REVUE DU VIN DE FRANCE comments: " A full and spherical expression of Pinot Noir (90%). A good classic vinified in VAT, taught, yet harmonious."
- Item #: i_352545Bottle Size: 750mlThe Beck-Hartweg vineyard has one more special feature: 25% is classified as Grand Cru Frankstein (only 4% of the total Grand Cru production of Alsatian wine has this classification) and is spread among four south-east sloping hillsides of solid granite. The mountain granite soil is a composite of light, stony,shallow sand and forces the roots to penetrate down into the rock fissures for nutrients which gives the wine crystalline minerality and long finish.
- Item #: i_352567Bottle Size: 750mlOnly the most dedicated and courageous growers would dare to practice biodynamic viticulture in a climate that is as cool and damp as Champagne’s. Benoit Lahaye is one of these brave souls, having been a practitioner of natural winegrowing since the early 1990s. Made entirely from 36-year-old Pinot Noir vines in the vineyard of "Les Juliennes" in the Grand Cru village of Bouzy, this very reddish rosé is effusively fruity on the nose, displaying deep aromas of just-squeezed strawberries and raspberries. The light (3 g/l) dosage and absence of malolactic fermentation work in concert to give the red berry flavors extra brilliance and intensity.
- Item #: i_352267Bottle Size: 750mlBURGHOUND 92 POINTS - "A pure, elegant and airy nose features wisps of both red and dark pinot fruit along with subtle earth notes that are set off by relatively generous wood. There is excellent concentration and intensity to the middle weight plus flavors that possess excellent power and drive, all wrapped in a serious, balanced and strikingly persistent finish. This is a big Beaune with solid minerality and phenolic maturity and one to consider."
- Item #: i_351434Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "The iconic 2012 Pape Clement is a candidate for near-perfection as well as one of the wines of the vintage. From proprietor Bernard Magrez, this is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. This extraordinary vineyard (a few miles to the west of Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion) has hit all the highlights of this vintage. Interestingly, the quality of the Pomerols and Graves wines in 2012 is closer to what one would consider a great vintage than the general image of 2012. This is truly great wine and not far off their magnificent 2005 and 2010. Full-bodied, with rich cassis, subtle burning embers and spice followed by velvety, well-integrated tannins, the wine is lush, expansive, savory and profound. This is a remarkable wine that could be drunk at a reasonably young age, but should cellar brilliantly for a quarter-century. Yields were modest at 37 hectoliters per hectare from this 132-acre estate. The alcohol level came in at 13.5%. (RP)"
- Item #: i_334035Bottle Size: 750MLPuisseguin-Saint-Emilion lies in the heart of the satellite titles of St. Emilion apellation in the 'right bank' Libournais subregion of Bordeaux. It has the strictest laws regarding the production of wine of any AOC appellation. This 90-10% Merlot/C. Franc blend at 13.5% ABV has aromas of plum, cherry, vanilla, cigar box & cocoa on the nose once it opens up. Taste of earth, mushroom-truffle, dried cherry & a light oak on a medium-full palate from balanced tannins.
- Item #: i_352910Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - " This property has been on the qualitative high road for a number of years, and the 2012 continues that path. Deep ruby/purple, with wonderfully sweet, earthy, black cherry and blackcurrant fruit jumping from the glass, it is broad, opulent, beautifully textured and juicy. This is a sexy, lush, heady Pomerol to drink now and over the next 15 or more years. Full, long and impressive, there is no reason to defer your gratification with this beauty."
VINOUS 92 POINTS - "The 2012 Rouget shows the more virile, imposing side of Pomerol in its dark flavors and powerful feel. Hints of smoke, tar, game, licorice and tobacco add gravitas on the finish. Give this masculine wine a few years in bottle and drink it to age 15-20. Once the tannins soften a bit, the 2012 should be a real gem."
- Item #: i_351419Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92ROBERT PARKER 92 POINTS: "Slightly more modern in style, the 2012 La Clape Grand Vin is sensational blend of 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Syrah, 15% Grenache and 5% Carignan. Completely destemmed, it saw a whopping 50 day maceration before having the Syrah and Mourvèdre moved to 225-Liter barrels (33% new) and the Grenache to vat, where it stayed for a year. At that point, it was all blended together, and moved to vat for another 12 months before being bottled with no fining or filtration. It exhibits lots of crème de cassis and black raspberry fruit to go with subtle oak (which fades with time in the glass), melted licorice and graphite. This gives way to a medium-bodied, pure, elegant red that has gorgeous purity of fruit, a great mid-palate and fine tannin that emerges on the finish. This is high quality juice that can be enjoyed now, or cellared for 4-5 years, possibly longer."
- Item #: i_333858Bottle Size: 750MLROBERT PARKER 94-96 POINTS: "The final blend for the 2012 Cheval Blanc was 54% Merlot and 46% Cabernet Franc. Despite the use of 100% new oak, there is not a hint of vanillin, toast or espresso notes in the aromatic bouquet, which is filled with scents of black currants, sweet cherries, lavender, forest floor and a hint of underbrush. Concentrated with a surprisingly lofty alcohol level of 13.9% as well as a tannin level that equals their 2010 (a wine bestowed a three-digit score), this full-bodied, opulent 2012 has a pH of 3.8, which accounts for its suppleness, velvety texture and heady richness. It is a great success in this vintage. It will be approachable early given its silky structural aspects, and should last for two decades."
- Item #: i_379141Bottle Size: 750mlThis classic and utterly delicious blanc de blancs spends four years on the lees and offers sexy floral and citrus notes, with a a lovely texture and energy.
- Item #: i_374390Bottle Size: 750mlIn 1986, Eric Dhondt and Edith Grellet decided to stop selling off grapes to negociants and started Dhondt-Grellet. Their focus on farming translated into honest Champagnes from great holdings across the Côte des Blancs.
Their son, Adrien, at just 25 years of age has now taken over the winemaking and is quickly bringing his family's wines to another level. He has slowly increased the range of Champagnes produced by isolating his holdings across the villages of Cramant and Cuis and bottling unique expressions of Chardonnay
- Item #: i_374662Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS-"A 100% Pinot Noir here with a terrific floral nose: violets and red roses, some gently flinty reductive notes and red berries to boot. The palate's impressive thanks to plenty of tannin and a really impressive structure. Bold, long and very pure. Red-cherry-pip finish. Drink now."
- Item #: i_345753Bottle Size: 750MLJacques Puffeney’s father was a vineyard worker who owned a mere speck of land in the village of Montigny Les Arsures (just around the corner from Arbois). Jacques made his first wine at the age of 17 but, to earn a living, he worked simultaneously as a “saleur de Comté” helping to make the fabled cheese of his region. Over time the Puffeney family acquired vineyards in Montigny and the surrounding villages and now the domaine encompasses 7.5 hectares, all in the appellation of Arbois. Jacques Puffeney’s prowess in both the vineyards and the cave has been recognized throughout France and has earned him the nickname among his colleagues of “the Pope of Arbois.
The white wines are treated in the most traditional fashion of the Jura, left to age in barrel (foudres and barriques) for extended periods without topping up so as to encourage the development of the oxidative characteristics that define the best of the classic Jura wines. Jacques Puffeney does not fine or filter any of his wines.
- Item #: i_350832Bottle Size: 750mlThe Dauvissat holdings in "Les Preuses" equal three-quarters of a hectare. The vineyard sits near the high point of the hillside on the right bank of the Serein river that courses by the village of Chablis and in close proximity to the neighboring Grand Cru of "Bougros". The "Les Preuses" produced by Sebastien Dauvissat is always generous with an ebullient bouquet that, in very ripe vintages, has a tendency to "muscat", that is to say it adds a layer of exotic, ripe fruit to its bouquet.
- Item #: i_333895Bottle Size: 750MLWINE ADVOCATE 91-93 POINTS: "The 2012 Nuits Saint Georges Les Charmoix is Etienne Grivot’s second village cru in Nuits Saint Georges, sourced from old vines with a propensity to ripen a little later than Les Lavieres. The nose is therefore rounded and fleshier than the aforementioned cru with buoyant red cherries and strawberry. The palate is also showing a more sorbet-like freshness and offers lovely blood orange notes on the vibrant finish. This is superb for a village cru."
- Item #: i_377744Bottle Size: 750MLSUSTAINABLE FARMING 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay
Old vines in Verzeney Grand Cru
Jean Lallement (Lall-Mont) is an estate of only four hectares split between Verzenay and Verzy in the Montagne de Reims. A tiny producer, one of the smallest in this portfolio, but what wines! Original, complex, distinctive and yummy, all from a young vigneron who’s restlessly improving every year. The vineyards are spread between Verzenay and Verzy both grand cru villages, with small holdings in the premier cru of Ludes. Alex Lallement explained the terrior of Verzenay as more masculine and higher in elevation, while Verzey is more feminine and perfumed.
- Item #: i_374557Bottle Size: 750mlBertrand Lilbert is one of the super stars of Cramant and indeed of the Cote des Blancs. 3.5ha of vineyard parcels spread across Cramant, Chouilly and Oiry. The wines are made in a classic structured style with abundant acid to guarantee long aging potential. But that said, they are certainly very enjoyable in their youth. The Lilbert property was established in 1746 and consists of only 3.5 ha Grand Cru Vineyards in the Cote des Blancs, 60% in Cramant, 30% in Chouilly and 10% in Oiry. Bertrand used to work in an Epernay viticulture testing laboratory before taking over the management of this property. Michel Bettane, France’s top wine critic, names Lilbert as the reference point for long-lived classic Cramant. As Andrew Jefford observes in his book, The New France, “This tiny 4-ha Cramant domaine is the source of some very fine and long-lived Blanc de Blancs made by Georges Lilbert and his son Bertrand. The style is less soft, creamy, and flowery than the Blanc de Blancs of most large houses might leave the drinker expecting: Cramant here has a taut, steely, rigorous quality….”. Overall production is tiny with only three cuvées being produced for a huge total production of a tiny 30,000 bottles!
- Item #: i_376844Bottle Size: 750mlThe Nicaise family has been making Champagne for four generations from their 22 acres of vines in the Premier Cru village of Hautvilliers a trown famed as the home of Dom Perignon. The quality of this grower-producer really took a major step forward in 2007 when the latest generation, Laure Nicaise-Préaux and her husband Clement Préaux, officially started working at the house to help with the winemaking. Clément apprenticed at Selosse and worked at the Mailly co-op so he came armed with great training and experience. As his father-in-law has slowly yielded more control to him, Clement has lowered the dosages and improved the overall balance in the wines. From the excellent 2012 vintage this Chardonnay dominated (80%) Brut displays an effusive array of bright orchard fruits combined with outstanding precision and length. Drinks like a vintage Grande Marque costing twice its modest price.
- Item #: i_376559Bottle Size: 750MLWINERY NOTES: "Apples, stone fruits and wounderful aromas of freshly baked bread open to a full-bodied yet profoundly stony palate. Focused, fine and long on the finish, we beleive it will age well for at least a decade."
This limited (70 case) Millesime is a 50/50 blend of Grand Cru Chardonnay (Oger, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, and Cramant) and Premier Cru Pinot Noir from Hautvillers and Cumieres. Hand harvested with 33% of the base wine undergoing malolactic feremtation followed by extended "Sur Latte" aging for 84 months.
- Item #: i_345402Bottle Size: 750MLAnother great "second wine" value here, this time from 3rd Growth Saint-Estephe estate Calon Segur. From Calon Segur's famous walled vineyard, this is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot plus Cab Franc and Petit Verdot aged 17 months in 30% new oak. Rich and fleshy with tannins that want decanting or a few years.
JAMES SUCKLING 90 POINTS - "A spicy, meaty red with berry character and hints of mahogany. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a juicy finish. Outstanding second wine for the vintage."
- Item #: i_375984Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 92WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS-"A sleek, creamy Champagne, with an expressive range of toast, apricot, candied Meyer lemon zest, cassis and pastry cream set in a tightly knit and racy frame. This offers personality now, but the focus and concentration recommends it to the cellar as well. Disgorged February 2017. Drink now through 2030."