Beach bottles!


Our beach week has ended and the first day of class at my daughter’s new school has begun.  Do not be surprised if there are some gaps in my posting as I settle into our new schedule.

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We drank some enjoyable wines at the beach this year.  The pair of white Burgundies from Christophe Cordier were in the dump bin to make space for new vintages.  The 2012 vintage was marked by yield reductions due to hail damage.  The 2012 Christophe Cordier, La Verchere, Vire-Clesse emerged unscathed and is an outright treat of a wine at such a low price.  I would wait another year before drinking it again.  The 2012 Edmunds St. John, Rocks and Gravel, Dry Creek Valley is a spritely, lighter bodied wine that already shows good complexity.  It should improve with short-term cellaring but I certainly recommend you try a bottle or two first!

We also tried two wines from Northern Rhone.  I will admit an overall preference for the 2013 Domaine Georges Vernay, Sainte-Agathe, Cotes du Rhone not just because it tastes great but that it will clearly develop over the next several years.  The 2012 Lionel Faury, Syrah, L’Art Zele, Collines Rhodaniennes does have some structure but it is a more forward, fruity wine that gives the impression it should be drunk young. Perhaps it may not develop the same level of complexity but the fat-like quality is seductive.  You should try both wines.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2012 Christophe Cordier, Vieilles Vignes, Bourgogne Blanc – $17
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There was similar texture to La Verchere at the start but this showed rounder flavors with a hint of cream in the finish.  The acidity was completely integrated with the white fruit, drier finish, and chalky aftertaste.  ** Now-2017.

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2012 Christophe Cordier, La Verchere, Vire-Clesse – $16
Imported by Robert Kacher Selections.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay. Alcohol 13.5%.  There was a rich, apple nose followed by focused richness in the mouth.  The gravelly, ripe apple flavors had good texture with toast-like notes on the gums.  The structure and apple acidity suggest that this enjoyable wine will develop in the short term.  **(*) Now-2018.

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2012 Edmunds St. John, Rocks and Gravel, Dry Creek Valley – $25
This wine is a blend of 55% Grench, 27% Syrah, and 18% Mourvedre.  This round wine offered up flavors of mandarin oranges and red fruit that was made spritely by the acidity.  The wine progressed to blue fruits with a spice and cola like ripeness that added complexity to the young flavors.  A treat to drink this wine is well poised for development.  *** Now – 2020.

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2013 Domaine Georges Vernay, Sainte-Agathe, Cotes du Rhone – $27
Imported by Simon “N” Cellars.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 40 year old vines located near Condrieu.  It was fermented in stainless steel then aged for one year in use barrels.  Alcohol 12.5%.  Clearly a northern Rhone Syrah this wine sported lighter blue and red flavors that slowly built weight and savoriness in the mouth.  With impeccable balance the fine and ripe textured tannins matched the savory and cool fruit elements.  *** Now – 2025.

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2012 Lionel Faury, Syrah, L’Art Zele, Collines Rhodaniennes – $30
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 18 year old vines located near Cote Rotie.  It was fermented in cement vats then aged for 15 months in used demi-muid.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was clearly ripe with fruitier aromas backed by floral notes.  In the mouth the black fruit had weight on the tongue and fat that laid over a low note of structure.  The wine became firm in the finish with dry baking spices.  *** Now – 2020.

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