Archive for November, 2011

2009 Clos du Mont-Olivet, Vieilles Vignes, Montueuil-la Levade, Cotes du Rhone

November 30, 2011 1 comment

This cuvee from Clos du Mont Olivet is imported by Dionysos Imports and available at MacArthurs for the value price of $13.  If you are a fan of Domaine La Garrigue or the J.L. Chave, Mon Coeur then you will certainly enjoy this wine.  I love this style of Cotes du Rhone both when it is young and with age.  I recommend you give it a try but hurry up because it was featured today by Dave McIntyre in the Washington Post.

Thierry Sabon, Image from michaeldavisphoto (flickr)

2009 Clos du Mont-Olivet, Vieilles Vignes, Montueuil-la Levade, Cotes du Rhone
This wine is a blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Carignan and 5% Syrah that was raised in cement tanks before aging in large oak barrels and vats.  The Grenache is sourced from vines averaging 40 years of age, the Carignan from vines averaging 39 years of age, and the Syrah from 28-year-old vines.  This wine starts off a bit prickly on the tongue as plenty of black/blue fruit and acidity come to play.  In the mouth there are fine coating tannins in this black fruited, young wine.  It turns steely in the finish with notes of stones.  Though it needs age it is certainly lovely after several hours of air. *** 2015-2020.

The Textured and Earthy 2009 J.L. Chave, Mon Coeur, Cotes du Rhone

November 30, 2011 8 comments

The J.L Chave Selections are negocient wines produced at a separate facility from the traditional Hermitage wines.  This wine is imported by Erin Cannon Imports and available at MacArthurs for $18.  If you enjoy traditional, earthy, Southern Rhone wines then grab several bottles of this wine to age in your cellar.  It was initially too earthy and gamey for Jenn but once it opened up she rather enjoyed it.  It is similar in style to the Domaine La Garrigue, Cuvee Romaine and Vacqueyras.  We saved some to try tonight so I will report back tomorrow.  This is fun stuff!

2009 J.L. Chave, Mon Coeur, Cotes du Rhone
This is a Grenache and Syrah blend.  This starts off earthy, gritty, and pleasingly robust.  Initially there is some spritz that fades off.  Gobs of textured red fruit, mouth-coating gravelly tannins, and an earthy aftertaste.  With two hours of air ripe, lifted blue fruits develop which are pleasing to chew.  This should age well for 5-10 years but may be drunk now with 3 hours of air. *** Now-2022.

2007 Weingut von Hovel, Riesling Spatlese, Oberemmeler Hutte

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Oberemmeler Hutte, Image from Weingut von Hovel

Eberhard von Kunow is proprietor of this centuries old family estate whose wines are richly reviewed on the web.  I purchased a few bottles at a close out price based on the recommendation of Phil.  I did not get to taste the first bottle I opened as it was quickly drunk at our International Gold Cup party.  I recently opened another bottle which I was able to slowly enjoy over three nights.  This selection is produce from fruit sourced from the Oberemmeler Hutte vineyard which is solely owned by Weingut von Hovel.  This 5 hectare vineyard has soils of fine, weathered, blue slate.

Vineyard Map, Image from Weingut von Hovel

This selection from Weingut von Hovel is imported by Rudi Wiest and is available at MacArthurs for $18.  This is certainly worth purchasing both for immediate satisfaction or cellaring.  I continue to get great enjoyment from the wines of Mosel Saar Ruwer.

2007 Weingut von Hovel, Riesling, Spatlese, Oberemmeler Hutte, Mosel Saar Ruwer
This wine is 100% Riesling which was fermented and aged in German oak barrels.  There is a rich straw color which is almost golden.  There are hints of sweet orange flavors with a gentle slate undertone and subtle acidity.  The initial, delicate spritz eventually resides.  The initial fruit is precise before the acidity comes into play bringing with it earthy flavors and stones.  This enjoyable wine is very well balanced. ***(*) Now-2022.

2008 Domaine du Cros, Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Marcillac

November 29, 2011 3 comments

Vineyard at Marcillac, Image from France Sud Ouest (flickr)

Marcillac is located in the south-west of France in the Aveyron department.  Located within the Massif Central the vines are planted on terraces and steep slopes.  The soils contain iron rich clay, which due to their color, are locally known as Rougier.  This region has produced wine for 1,000 years but fell out of favor after the 19th century phylloxera and 20th century decline.  In 1965 it received VDQS status as Vin de Marcillac and became an appellation in 1990 when it received its AOC status.  Domaine du Cros is an old family estate where four generations produced wine from 1 hectare of vineyards until 1982.  At this point Philippe Teulier steadily purchased and rented older vineyards.  Today there are 25 hectares of which 21 are used for the production of AOC wines.

Le Domaine du Cros, Image from Domaine du Cros

This bottle from Domaine du Cros is imported by Wine Traditions Ltd. and available for $12 at MacArthurs.  If you are looking for a new wine to try or an engaging, lighter bodied wine then I definitely recommend you give this cuvee a go!  It is a refreshing alternative to the wines we typically drink.  I am certainly curious to try the other cuvees.

2008 Domaine du Cros, Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Marcillac
This wine is 100% Fer Servadou which is the only grape variety allowed in the Marcillac AOC.  The fruit is sourced from 50-80 year old vines.  The 22 hectacres of terraced vineyards are located at 450 meters.  The grapes are fermented in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in 30-year-old oak and chestnut casks.  The floral nose is spritely with notes of pepper and fresh greenhouse undertones.  In the mouth the delicate black fruit starts off with a wee bit of ripeness before the lightly-inky body develops.  This light-bodied wine has red fruits, acidity, and flavors of pepper in the aftertaste. *** Now.

Two From Bierzo!

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Bierzo, Raul Perez, Image from OLE

The Godelia is imported by Europvin, brokered by Todd Ruby, and available at MacArthurs for $17.  The Raul Perez, Saint Jacques is imported by OLE and available at MacArthurs for ~$25.  Both of these wines are quite enjoyable and I recommend that you try each one.  With contrasting styles you are sure to find a favorite.  Be quick to purchase any of the wines from Raul Perez, production is limited, and the availability in the states is miniscule.  I believe OLE imported 45 cases of the Saint Jacques, Ultreia. I will certainly look out for the other wines of Raul Perez.

2008 Bodegas y Vinedos Godelia, Bierzo
This wine is 100% Mencia sourced from 40 to 80-year-old vines.  These vines are located on soils of fine elements, quartzite, and slate at an altitude of 500 to 700 meters.  The wine was aged for 12 months in French and American fine oak barrels.  An enjoyable lifted nose.  In the mouth the dark, cool fruits mix with some toast notes.  The lightly textured fruit is alive with lots of acidity.  Well done, I found a tad more pleasure from the nose. *** Now-2015.

2009 Bodegas y Vinedos Raul Perez, Saint Jacques, Ultreia, Bierzo
This wine is 100% Mencia sourced from 120 year old vines from an 8 acre vineyard.  The vineyard is located at 500-550 meters .  It was aged for 12 months in egg-shaped 1500 liter barrels.  There is a subtle, darker nose.  In the mouth the lovely tart fruit mixes with acidity.  There is a silent concentration to this wine.  The lurking power is reflected in the tightly coiled,  youthful profile.  This is serious Mencia that could use another year or two of aging. ***(*) 2014-2019.

2008 Domaine Pouillon, Katydid

November 26, 2011 1 comment

Domaine Pouillon originated at Reed’s Lane Vineyard when Alexis Puillon fell in love with his future wife Juliet.  Together they started the winery.  The estate has a 2.5 acre vineyard planted with Syrah, Viognier, Roussane, and Marsanne.  Additional fruit is purchased from McKinley Springs, Coyote Canyon, Brehm, Jewett Creek, and Columbia Country Vineyards.  Alexis first worked at Fetzer winery before he apprenticed at Chateau Beaucastel.  This bottle was recommended by Michael and purchased at Soul Wine for $22.  I would personally cellar this wine for a couple years before opening again.  But if you must drink a bottle now then make sure you give it a few hours of air.  Either way, this is a well-priced, balanced, enjoyable wine that I recommend you try.  Both Jenn and I certainly enjoyed this bottle!

McKinley Springs Vineyard, Image from McKinley Springs Winery

The McKinley Springs Vineyard was first planted in 1980.  Today the grower Rob Andrews maintains over 20 different varietals located on 2000 acres of vineyards.  Most of the vineyards are located at 800 to 1200 feet on soils of silt loam with a deep layer of broken basalt.

Coyote Canyon Vineyard, Image from Nancy Bay (Picasa)

Coyote Canyon Vineyard has been in the Smith family for many generations.  The prime products were wheat and Hereford cattle but in 1994 Bob and his son Mike planted 20 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon.  In 2006 Mike’s son Jeff joined and the resulting expansion now encompasses 1100 acres of vines and 25 different varietals.  The vineyards are located at the top of Horse Heaven Hills at 1000 feet.  The soils are a mix of volcanic, loam, and alluvial flood deposits.

2008 Domaine Pouillon, Katydid, Horse Heaven Hills
This is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre.  The Grenache and Syrah are sourced from the McKinley Springs Vineyard whereas the Mourvedre is sourced from Coyote Canyon Vineyard.  The grapes are fermented then aged in neutral French oak barrels for 11-12 months.  This Rhone-styled blend had a light+ nose of good, finely textured fruit.  Upon first opening, the wine shows leaner red fruit, gravelly spices then eventually fills out and ripens after a couple of hours.  It ultimately becomes a medium-bodied wine with ripe, powdery, supple black cherry and red fruit.  The acidity and tannins are well-integrated. ***(*) 2014-2019.

Pictures from Sophie Autran of Domaine de Piaugier

November 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Sophie Autran of Domaine de Piaugier was kind enough to send me some additional pictures from the domaine.  These images include a picture of Sophie, her husband Jean-Marc, and father-in-law Marc, pictures of her daughters Maude and Marine picking white grapes last September, a picture of the cave, and a barrel of cuvee Maude.  If you have not already tried the 2009 La Grande de Paiugier then I recommend you stop by MacArthurs this holiday weekend to pick up a bottle or two.

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The Rather Good 2009 Domaine des Moirots, Givry

November 24, 2011 Leave a comment

This post concerns another wine selected for me by Matt.  This wine is imported by and available at Weygandt Wines for $25.  I was pleasantly surprised by this wine.  The earthy nature immediately appealed to both Jenn and I.  It is drinking very well right now which was attested to the quickly drained bottle.  I would look no further if you want to drink a Burgundy over the holidays.

2009 Domaine des Moirots, Givry
The light to medium strength nose contains earth notes before the red fruit steps out.  In the mouth this was quite tasty right out of the bottle.  The black cherry flavors mix with incense, a fair amount of tannins, and noticeable amount of dark fruit in the aftertaste.  The overall impression is of accessibility, balance, and an engaging nature. *** Now-2015.

A Glass of Wine at the Palace Kitchen

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

I had a quick dinner and a glass of wine at the Palace Kitchen bar in Seattle.  I had never heard of Hestia Cellars from Washington so I quickly asked for a glass of their wine at $12.  Now I am not sure if the “Red” listed on the Palace Kitchen menu is the Meritage or something selection.  I will followed up.

2009 Hestia Cellars, Red
This sported ample amounts of ripe fruit, not quite sweet but certainly jammy.  It seemed supple with well-integrated tannins and acidity.  It worked well as a single glass at the bar but it was too sweet for me to enjoy another glass. * Now.

2010 Leo Hillinger, Zweigelt, Burgenland

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

The Winery and Cellar, Image from Leo Hillinger

Phil recommended that I try this Austrian red wine from Leo Hillinger and I am glad that I did.  Leo Hillinger took over the family wine business from his father in 1990.  Since then he has steadily transformed the business by acquiring select vineyards and building a new winery and cellar which was opened in 2004.  There are now 46 hectares of vines managed using biological and organic techniques instead of chemicals.  The grapes are hand harvested and destemmed.

Vineyard, Image from Leo Hillinger

This wine is imported by Select Wines of Chantilly, VA and available for $16 at MacArthurs.  This is the least expensive of the Classic series and a strong, flavorful value.  This wine will appeal to a broad audience and is a good introduction to both Zweigelt and Austrian wine.  It would also be a fun alternative for Thanksgiving!  The introductory quality of this wine has left me curious to try his more expensive selections.

2010 Leo Hillinger, Zweigelt, Burgenland
This wine is 100% Blauer Zweigelt sourced from the Baumgarten Rust and Altenberg Jois vineyards.  It was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks.  There is a medium nose of lifted pepper and fruit.  In the mouth, the flavors start with tart, ripe, red fruit.  The red flavors and acidity are at the tip of the tongue followed by a blue fruited midpalate with surprising medium-bodied weight.  With air the fruit takes on sweet, orange and floral notes. *** Now.