The 2014 Lionel Faury, Saint-Joseph will satisfy you on the second night for it is simple and closed on the first. It eventually reveals floral berries on the nose and an almost bracing start of red fruit and acidity. The structural components exist to support development over a few years at which point it should be an elegant, pure wine. It is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2014 Lionel Faury, Saint-Joseph – $27
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is 100% Syrah that was aged for 12 months in 10% new and 90% used oak. Alcohol 13%. The nose offers floral, aromas of tangy berries and cherries. In the mouth is an almost puckering start of red fruit and watering acidity. The wine has moderate weight with a supportive structure that comes out in the middle. It wraps up with a slightly smoky hint in the red and black fruited finish. ***(*) 2018 – 2025.
Today’s pair of wines recently hit the shelves thanks to Phil Bernstein. Always interested in expanding my Northern Rhone experience I excitedly popped open the 2011 Jean-Michel Gerin, Champin Le Seigneur, Cote-Rotie. Jean-Michel Gerin first worked under the advisement of Jean-Luc Colombo whose modern 2013 Jean-Luc Colombo, Les Bartavelles, Chateauneuf du Pape I recently tasted. From the onset Gerin employed “modern” ways including new oak some of which was American. The Champin Le Seigneur is a blend of Syrah and Viognier sourced from all of his parcels. Fortunately, this particular vintage is not evocative of oak. Instead, it is a gentle, pure wine of mixed fruits, floral notes, and stones. It is quite tasty right now but will develop with further age.
From Corsica comes the 2013 Domaine Comte Abbatucci, Cuvee Faustine. This blend of Sciaccarellu and Niellucciu provide attractive flavors of tart red fruity and dry floral notes. There are not many Corsican wines available in Washington, DC so this wine is worth a try. The balance tilts towards the structure with air so I suspect now might be the time to drink it. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2011 Jean-Michel Gerin, Champin Le Seigneur, Cote-Rotie -$45
Imported by Esprit du Vin. This wine is a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Viognier. Alcohol 13%. There are gentle clouds of ripe aroma. In the mouth the smooth, dense entry combines red and black fruit with an inky, mineral, stone infused middle. The interest continues as fat infused strawberry and floral flavors develop with air. ***(*) Now – 2027.
2013 Domaine Comte Abbatucci, Cuvee Faustine – $25
Imported by Kermit Lynch. This wine is a blend of 70% Sciaccarellu and 30% Niellucciu raised in stainless steel and cement. Alcohol 14%. The red fruited start defines itself with tart red fruit bound in a tangy structure. There are dry floral and herb notes but the structure really blooms in size. I Like the flavor profile with its very delicate and ethereal ripe berries on the gum and persistent herbs. *** Now – 2022.
A case of perfectly stored 1986 Chateau Bel Air, Cotes de Castillon showed up at MacArthur Beverages last week. You can tell because the fills are all in the neck, the corks are age-defying, and the color of the wine is deep. The wine itself is simple with flavors of hard cherry and eventually polished wood. And that’s about it!
The wines of Les Champ Libres are produced by René-Jean Dard and Hervé Souhaut. Both of these men produced northern Rhone wines, the latter of which have appeared on this blog. The 2015 Les Champs Libres, Lard, des Choix is a wine of great energy. Both the nose and palate offer deep, grapey, young fruit that is quite remarkable. I kept expecting some Pilsner/yeast aspect to break out but it did not. Instead, this is a personality rich wine that any lover of the Northern Rhone must try. These wines are (or were!) available at MacArthur Beverages.
1986 Chateau Bel Air, Cotes de Castillon – $10
Imported by Luke’s Distributing Co. Alcohol 12%. The nose remains subtle. In the mouth the flavor of hard cherry remains firm. The structural components are still around and the watering acidity reminds you that this wine is very much alive. It needs some air before gaining a touch more interest from a polished wood note. *(*) Now but well-stored bottles will last.
2015 Les Champs Libres, Lard, des Choix – $22
Imported by Louis/Dressner. Alcohol 13%. The aromatic nose offers up grapey aromas and deep young fruit. In the mouth are lively, deep flavors of floral, purple fruit. The initial acidity on the tongue tip leads to a textured wine that leaves an ethereal, perfumed coating of fat-infused flavor. **** Now – 2018.
The 2013 Jean-Luc Colombo, Les Bartavelles, Chateauneuf du Pape is available at a close-out price placing it just above that of Cotes du Rhone. If you enjoy a modern style of wine this is an excellent value with grapey, black fruit flavors, texture, and salivating acidity. It will drink well for a number of years. It is available at MacArthur Beverages.
Domaine Pierre Andre is regarded as a “very traditional producer” by John Livingstone-Learmonth. Pierre Andre did not use pesticides or herbicides in his vineyards which contain vines over 100 years of age. He produced organic wines since 1980 and Demeter certified since 1992. Today his daughter Jacqueline Andre runs the estate who continues the use of cement vats and old wood. Her father had a preference for late harvesting which comes through in the 1998 Domaine Pierre Andre, Chateauneuf du Pape. The nose is complex with fruit and in the mouth I am reminded of dry Port flavors. This is a substantial wine but it tastes good with a good sense of minerals, cedar, and pleasing texture.
2013 Jean-Luc Colombo, Les Bartavelles, Chateauneuf du Pape – $22
Imported by Palm Bay International. This wine is a blend of 45% Syrah, 35% Grenache, and 20% Mourvedre. Alcohol 13.5%. This is a modern style of wine with concentrated flavors of grapey, black fruit delivered with some grainy texture, density, and weight. It is bright in a sense with citric, puckering tannins, and a salivating black flavored finish with a hint of bitterness. *** Now – 2022.
1998 Domaine Pierre Andre, Chateauneuf du Pape
Imported by Lauver Imports LTD. Alcohol 15%. The nose reveals blackberry and bramble fruitiness overlaying compote. In the mouth there are clean, grainy flavors of black fruit followed by a mineral middle and finish. The flavors are ripe, bordering on raisined, perhaps better described as a dry Port flavor. It is a bit heady but the wood box and cedar note, sense of density, and ripe tannins left on the gums are attractive. ***(*) Now – 2022.
This past week saw Jenn and I drink three different wines from California. Lou gave us the bottle of 2014 World’s End, Rebel Rebel, Chardonnay Reserve, Napa Valley. This wine is produced by Jonathan Maltus of Chateau Teyssier and Le Dome background using fruit sourced from a Beckstoffer vineyard. It is flavorful and generous in mouthfeel yet does not push the richness too far. I found it drank great over two nights. Andy, over at MacArthur Beverages, pointed out a pair of Californian wines with a wee bit of age. I have already drunk two bottles of the NV Sean H. Thackery, Pleiades XVIII Old Vines. This is a hard to describe wine that blends red fruit, orange, tea, and floral components. The first bottle had a marked earthy component which I adored whereas the second bottle was more fruity and suggestive of its individual components. I suspect it is a good time to drink these up. Finally, the 1997 Judd’s Hill, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley opens after a short double-decanting. This is a tasty, dry and still somewhat structured wine with a flavorful balance of black fruit, wood box, and leather. You may drink it now or over the next several years. Fun stuff all around!
2014 World’s End, Rebel Rebel, Chardonnay Reserve, Napa Valley
Alcohol 14.5%. The nose sets you up for a Californian experience with rich white fruit and white nut aromas. In the mouth is an almost focused start of founded, somewhat dense, ripe white fruit followed by a subtle toast note. The generous mouthfeel is enlivened by some salivating acidity which goes all the way to the back of the throat. Drinking generously right now. ***(*) Now.
NV Sean H. Thackery, Pleiades XVIII Old Vines
Bottled December 2010. This is a blend of Sangiovese, Mourvedre, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon and more! Alcohol 14.8%. The has an earthy hint at first. The flavors are mouth filling and supported by acidity from the very start. There is a sweet concentration of fruit with flavors of orange, wet tea, floral notes, and an underlying menthol freshness. ***(*) Now – 2020.
1997 Judd’s Hill, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Alcohol 13.5%. The nose is deep fruited with a slight menthol note. In the mouth are bright flavors of black fruit with watering acidity then a building volume of black fruit, stone, leather, and wood box. There is a long aftertaste. With air the black fruit continues to fill the mouth but the flavors become dry with a drying vein of structure developing throughout. Happily the wood box note becomes amplified. Tasty. ***(*) Now – 2023.
A couple weeks ago we tried the trio of wines featured in today’s post. The 2015 Ghost Block, Sauvignon Blanc, Morgan Lee Vineyard, Napa Valley is an attractive, sur lie aged Sauvignon Blanc of substance. While being the opposite of a grassy, acidic wine it is not over done. It is flavorful and you may drink it over several days. The latest 2015 Neyers, Chardonnay 304, Sonoma County is a bit of a step down from previous vintages. The Neyers Chardonnay 304 is a staple in our household. I find this new vintage a bit too rich and missing some liveliness. I will try another bottle in case something went wonky. Finally, the 2014 Halcon Vineyards, Tierra, Yorkville Highlands tempers Petit Sirah to be a flavorful, mouthfilling wine capable of aging yet without bracing tannins. If black fruit, baking spices, sage, and oregano sound interesting to you then you will certainly enjoy this wine for many years to come. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Ghost Block, Sauvignon Blanc, Morgan Lee Vineyard, Napa Valley
This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc aged sue lie. Alcohol 13.8%. This bright, mineral wine is full of white and yellow fruit. It drinks well over several days maintaining a rounded start and an increasing amount of lemon flavors that fill the mouth. A substantial wine. *** Now – 2017.
2015 Neyers, Chardonnay 304, Sonoma County – $22
This wine is 100% Chardonnay that was fermented and raised in a combination of stainless steel and cement. Alcohol 14.1%. The oak upbringing is still obvious on the nose. In the mouth this wine is almost rich and certainly broad shouldered with tropical, white flora, fruit flavors. There are fine toast and sage notes. It could stand more acidity. ** Now.
2014 Halcon Vineyards, Tierra, Yorkville Highlands – $26
This wine is 100% Petit Sirah that was aged in 25% new oak. Alcohol 14.6%. This wine is very forward, immediately conveying savory and mouthfilling flavors of black fruit, cinnamon, and other baking spices. It sports a dry texture and a rather interesting finish that mixes sage and oregano notes. ***(*) Now – 2031.
The 2015 Daniel Bouland Brouilly and Morgon are big hits. After extensive breathing the 2015 Daniel Bouland, Chatenay, Chiroubles proves to be no slouch either. I tasted it alongside another bottle of 2015 Daniel Bouland, Vieilles Vignes Corcelette, Morgon which is clearly the more forward wine of the pair. The Chiroubles is a bit backward at this point and is best left to age a few years before trying again. It does have the potential to improve. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.
2015 Daniel Bouland, Chatenay, Chiroubles – $25
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from 40 year old vines on sandstone soils. Alcohol 13.5%. The bright, red fruit is initially tart but develops an attractive ripe texture. The wine takes a few hours to open up, ultimately becoming a significantly textured wine. Promising flavors do come out but the sense of tightness and structure could stand some time. *** 2018-2024.