Pinot Fin and Fixin from Burgundy

It was noted that I do not drink many wines from Burgundy.  In an effort to correct this deficiency Phil and Joe recommended the two wines featured in this post.  Both of these wines represent efforts by a younger generation.   It took Lou to remind me that he opened a bottle of the 2009 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Pinot Fin, Bourgogne last year which I wrote about in Drinking New Wines With Lou.  That bottle of “Pascal Lachaux” was imported by Premier Cru whereas the bottle imported by MacArthur Liquors is labeled “Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux”.  This wine is produced by Pascal Lachaux who is the son-in-law of Robert Arnoux.  It is labeled as Pinot Fin because the fruit is mostly sourced from old rootstock bearing that name.  It offers up a somewhat meaty nose followed by good, clean fruit flavors in the mouth.  The 2010 Domaine Michel Noellat, Fixin was produced by the Michel’s sons Alain and Jean-Marc Noëllat.  Fove $5 more you get village level fruit and it really shows.  There was strong personality on the nose and in the mouth which was complemented by a grippy structure.  I really enjoyed its depth and at times simply found myself simply smelling my glass.  I heard that the first shipment of 2012s are due any day now.  Check back in the near future to find more Burgundy posts.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2009 Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux, Pinot Fin, Bourgogne – $30
Imported by MacArthur  Liquors.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir from 60+ year old vines on old Pinot Fin rootstock sourced from blocks in several villages, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanee, and Nuit-Saint-Georges.  The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation and aging in French oak barrels.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was slightly meaty with clean fruit.  In the mouth the clean fruit had an orange-citrus lift and lithe acidity.  The fruit became rounded with black flavors, making way to a gentle, clean aftertaste.  This remained young over two nights but is still drinkable now.  *** Now-2019.


2010 Domaine Michel Noëllat, Fixin – $35
Imported by Potomac Selections Inc.  Alcohol 13%.  There was a rather good news with some depth to the floral scented sweet fruit..  There were flavors of clean, Pinot Noir fruit that maintains the personality of the nose in the mouth.  This good wine had perfumed, brighter red fruit in the middle.  It was acidity driven and had enjoyable tannins contributing some cool, ripe grip.  *** Now-2020.


The Return of Chateau du Trignon

The wines of Chateau du Trignon have not appeared on this blog since we hosted a tasting of 1998 Gigondas back in 2008.  I suspect it has been almost as long since the Cotes du Rhone selections were last sold at MacArthur Beverages. These earlier vintages were made under Pascal Roux until 2007 when he sold the estate to Jerome Quiot.  Both the 2011 Chateau du Trignon, Cotes du Rhone and the 2009 Chateau du Trignon, Rasteau will benefit from another year in the cellar.  They both offer clean, if somewhat unexciting, flavors.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2011 Chateau du Trignon, Cotes du Rhone – $13
Imported by USA Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose revealed firmer black fruit.  In the mouth the firm black fruit continued, tight and linear at first before taking on some spice in the finish followed by a little pebbly texture in the aftertaste.  ** 2015-2019.


2009 Chateau du Trignon, Rasteau – $20
Imported by USA Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of Grenache and Mourvedre  Alcohol 14%.  There were polished flavors of black and red fruit.  The acidity was there along with a subtle supporting structure.  With air it  took on some fresh, firm cherry fruit that morphed to fresh, blue fruit in the finish.  It remained polished in nature.  **(*) 2015-2020.


Sicilian Bargains

There are a lot of cool wines produced on Sicily but many of them can be maddeningly above my price range.  Tim recently snagged a bunch of close-outs which I was more than happy to purchase and taste.  The 2010 Vini Barraco, Nero d’Avola, Sicily is a big wine not for the feint of heart, it certainly grabs hold of ones mouth.  It is best left in the cellar.  The 2010 Vini Biondi, A Crush on Etna, Rosso Azzurro is a fine value down to $19 from the $30 it was when I wrote about it last year in Tasting Austrian and Italian Wines With Lou.  It has improved dramatically by showing attractive complexity and reduced structure.  It was best on the first night though unopened bottles will last for several years.  Why wait?  Don’t forget this wine is the project of Jean-Marc of Domaine Rouge-Bleu.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2010 Vini Barraco, Nero d’Avola, Sicily – $25
Imported by William’s Corner Wine.  This wine is 100% Nero d’Avola.  Alcohol 15%.  The nose is more pungent with black cherry, floral aromas, and tar.  In the mouth there was a ripe, textured core of floral fruit that has citric, drying tannins peaking through.  The flavors persisted in the defined structure.  With air the wine became more puckering with a subtle yeast hint in the aftertaste.  This pungent, puckering wine left flavors of black fruit and tannins on the gums.  *** 2016-2022.


2010 Vini Biondi, A Crush on Etna, Rosso Azzurro – $19
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is 100% Nerello Mascalese.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There was a complex nose of earthy red fruit and fresh, green herbs.  In the mouth were smooth and controlled flavors of earthy red fruit.  It was lighter in nature with grapey tannins.  It showed good complexity with a hint of licorice, and dried spices.  On the second night it was harder with more structure evident.  *** Now-2020.


Gigondas From Two Old Family Estates

My introduction to the Southern Rhone took place through the wines of Gigondas.  I have been drinking the wines of Domaine de Font-Sane and Domaine Brusset since the 1998 vintage.    Domaine de Font-Sane is a family run winery founded in 1860.  Their vineyards are located closer to the center of the appellation and I believe this shows in the 2011 Domaine de Font-Sane, Tradition, Gigondas.  There is no doubt this is a robust example of Gigondas that has the ability to develop with age.  Despite that capability, I thoroughly enjoyed drinking it right now for it already has good complexity and an earthy note.  Domaine Brusset  is another family run winery founded in 1947.  Its vineyards are slightly higher being located at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail.  Perhaps reflecting the cooler site the brighter flavors were very clean and the wine in need of age.  My recommendation is to stock up on the Domaine de Font-Sane.  It is available at a great price for such a complex wine and if you are tempted to open a bottle on a crisp Spring day you are sure to be pleased.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2011 Domaine de Font-Sane, Tradition, Gigondas – $22
Imported by Simon ‘N Cellars.  This wine is a blend of 72% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre, and 2% Cinsault which was raised for 12 months in vats followed by 6-8 months in large barrels.  Alcohol 15%.  The nose bore earthy aromas of herbs and red fruit.  In the mouth the roundish, grippy flavors of red and blue fruit initially mixed with earth notes.  There was a lot of texture with ripe and drying tannins before baking spice flavors came out.  The structure was evident on the gums.  This wine already has good complexity to its lively flavors but will certainly age.  ***(*) Now-2026.


2012 Domaine Brusset, Tradition Le Grand Montmirail, Gigondas – $25
Imported by Simon ‘N Cellars.  This wine is a blend of 70% tank-aged Grenache and 30% barrel-aged Mourvedre, Syrah, and Cinsault.  Alcohol 14%.  The lighter black flavors existed in a robust frame.  There was a bit of tang as the acidity came out with plenty of clean fruit.  The wine brightened towards the finish and mixed with some extract and spicy tannins.  **(*) 2016-2024.


I Find Paydirt in Bedrock

Thought I had heard about Bedrock Wine Co some time ago I had never tasted the wines before.  During my recent trip to Seattle I was quite surprised to see two bottles at such an attractive price.  I am glad I saw them for both Jenn and I very much enjoyed both bottles.  I recommend you buy both.  Let the 2012 Bedrock Wine Co., North Coast Syrah age a little while you drink the 2012 Bedrock Wine Co., Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley.  The later of which blends in small amounts of Abouriou and Aubun as a bonus!  Lovely stuff.  These wines were purchased at Pete’s Wine of Eastlake.


2012 Bedrock Wine Co., North Coast Syrah – $27
This wine is 100% Syrah which was 33-50% whole cluster fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for 11 months in 100% French oak of which 15% was new. Alcohol 14.5%.  With viscous legs in the glass the aromas precede the flavors.  This interesting wine had ripe, floral black fruit surrounded by a haze of fine, ripe tannins.  The acidity was seamless with more extract towards the finish.  There was the slightest hint of glycerin in the mouth feel.   Nice wine.  *** Now-2020.


2012 Bedrock Wine Co., Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley – $27
This wine is 40% old-vine Zinfandel and 60% Carignan, Alicante, Petite Sirah, Abouriou and Aubun which was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged in 12% new French oak.  Alcohol 14.6%.  The nose bore red fruit, ripe cranberry, and wet tobacco.  In the mouth were ample, textured flavors that were full of verve.  There was a lot of grip and ripe tannins which stuck to the lips and gums.  There were baking spices, acidity and some red fruit noticeable on the sides of the tongue.  Towards the finish were blacker flavors, dry baking spices, and dry firm tannins.  The wine enticed me to drink it.  ***Now-2018.


My Type of Wine, the 2010 La Bastide Blanche, Bandol

If you follow Eric Asimov then you know the 2010 La Bastide Blanche, Bandol is the second recommended wine in his recent article Taming of the Bestial Bandol. I suspect this explains why there is no longer any stock at Weygandt Wines.  After tasting this wine I can understand why.   It is aromatic and flavorful in the mouth with savory flavors that fill the mouth with complexity and minerals.  This is the type of wine Jenn and I love so if your tastes are aligned to ours then grab all that you can before it disappears.  Tasted over two nights it drank best on the second night so either decant a bottle now or cellar it for the short-term.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages who has now run out of stock.


2010 La Bastide Blanche, Bandol - $25
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of mostly Mourvedre with Grenache and Cinsault.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There was a complex nose of fresh herbs, lavender, potpourri, and red fruit.  In the mouth were minerally, compact flavors of red and black fruit from the start.  This savory wine was meaty and though still controlled, had mouthfilling flavors.  There were moderate tannins and a little sour cherry at the start.  There were ample notes of black minerals, watering acidity, and a persistent aftertaste.  ***(*) Now-2026.


Happy Birthday! Hogshead Wine Turns Three


Yesterday was the third birthday of the Hogshead Wine Blog!!!  There are now a total of 1,103 posts on this blog of which 243 were published during this past year.  This represents an average of almost five posts per week, down from eight posts per week at the last anniversary.  Still, the lifetime average is seven posts per week typically Monday through Friday.  The reduction in posts reflects the significant amount of time it takes to research for and write about the History of Wine.  That is not bad considering I have both a family and full-time day job.   There are now 4,768 published images occupying 1.9 GB of space.  I have worked hard to bring many historic images to your attention and hope that you are attracted to both the images and the writing.

Traffic continues to steadily build.  There are now 1,107 dedicated WordPress, Email, Twitter, and Facebook followers.  Individual readership remains steady at some 4,000 reader per months generating under 7,000 page views per month.  Local readership has increased slightly to 58% followed by international readers from 179 different countries led off by the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, Spain, Australia, Italy, and the Netherlands.  This order has shuffled slightly from the year before.  There are a large number of referrers but the top remain Facebook, Twitter, MacArthur Beverages, and David White’s Terroirist.

The post I Try Cups of Copa Di Vino has now swapped placed with Wine Related Dutch Paintings of the 17th Century to become the most popular post.  Surprisingly, the About page is almost as popular as Did I Save $200 by Drinking 2012 Chakan Estate?  Two of my least viewed posts include 1983 Warre’s and 1985 Dow’s along with 2006 Leitz, Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz, Riesling Spatlese.  Perhaps this proves that dull titles do not generate much interest.  The titles for my historical post usually incorporate a period quote with the most popular being “Grapes Very Fair and Excellent Good”: The First Known Vintage in the Colony of Virginia.  My passion lies in the History of Wine.  I suggest you check that page from time to time for this summer will see some interesting posts.

Thank you all for continuing to read and comment!


Categories: Personal History

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