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A Worthy Cru Beaujolais for Drinking Today

After opening five bottles, David Bloch finds success with the sixth.

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2009 Domaine du Vissoux / Pierre-Marie Chermette, Fleurie Les Garants
I bought six bottles of this wine from the local retail shop of the importer.   Four bottles went down the drain.  A fifth was drinkable, at best.  All five suffering from TCA.  With little hope, tonight I drank bottle #6.  Well, at least 16% of my purchases performed as expected from this highly regarded producer in a heralded vintage.  A very compact nose.  In the mouth, notes of blackberries, tree bark and salty beef broth.  A really long finish that has a lot of attractive bitterness and minerality.  I wish the other five bottles performed as well.   A fine Beaujolais that is drinking really well today.

I find creamy, fruity flavors in Richard Rottiers’ 2014 Moulin a Vent

Richard Rottiers is a relative newcomer to Moulin a Vent but not to winemaking.  After stints all over the world and more locally at Chateau Thivin, he started his own domaine in 2007, producing wine from 3 hectares of vines aged 40 to 80 years.  Today he has expanded to 5 hectares. His 2014 Domaine Richard Rottiers, Moulin a Vent was vinified traditionally with upbringing in wood.  It offers lovely, creamy flavors of various fruits which become a literal fruit punch.  This zippy wine will age for a few years but it is hard to resists its current youthful state.  This is a top-notch wine at a great price. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2014 Domaine Richard Rottiers, Moulin a Vent – $22
Imported by Constantine Wines.  This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from vines up to 80 years old .  It was aged 6 to 10 months in wooden vats and barrels.  Alcohol 13%.  There are attractive hints of greenhouse in the round, almost creamy varietal flavors of red fruit, cranberry, and tart blue fruit.  The fine, drying tannins are present before the flavors morph towards fruit punch.  Things wrap up with a fresh and zippy aftertaste of citric pith.  Will age but the baby fat is great right now.  *** Now – 2019.

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As thick as a phone book: my first trip to Bern’s Steak House

April 20, 2016 2 comments

The TSA officer at the airport asked if I was escaping the Washington, DC rain for the warmth of Florida.  No, I replied, I am going down to drink wine with my friend.  With the officer perplexed I explained that Bern’s Steak House was my destination.  A woman in the security line chimed up, Bern’s is my favorite place in the world.

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Bern’s  Steak House in Tampa, Florida is legendary amongst wine lovers due to the half-million bottle wine cellar that contains table wines dating back to the 19th century and a few fortified wines which are even older.  Founded in the 1950s by Bern Laxer and his wife Gert, wine has always played a major role at the Steak House.  Decades worth of purchasing ensured that there are still ample supplies of wines from the 1960s and later which were bought on release.  Coupled with nearly obsessive backfilling of ancient vintages, particularly for Bordeaux, there is also unparalleled depth.  Many of these bottles were imported specifically for Bern’s.   Fortunately, the prices for most of these wines appear frozen in time.

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Most tables at Bern’s do not test the depth of the wine list.  This fact combined with the sheer size of the wine cellar means there is still an impressive supply of old wine at all price points.  Many wine-loving groups make regular trips to plunder the cellar.  During the rise of the wine bulletin boards, Bern’s largely remained a place you did not post about or if you did, you certainly did not mention the Bern’s name.  I suspect some posters did not mention all of the wines they drank for fear of the cherry pickers finishing off such satisfying gems as bottles of 1970s Crozes-Hermitage at $30 per bottle.  Hence the unwritten rule of those who plunder Bern’s wine cellar, don’t mention it.

This silence was not always the case.  The Bern’s wine cellar was mentioned in major newspapers over the decades and the wine list, available for $35 in the late 1980s, was even recommended as a Christmas gift.  In 1978, Frank Prial began to include mention of Bern’s Steak House in his New York Times articles.  Described as “[o]ne of the most unusual lists anywhere to be found” he describes the book of a wine list as being “chained to the table to keep from disappearing.”  For $15 one could pay for a copy instead.  Also in the New York Times, Florence Fabricant mentioned the inclusion of Bern’s in The Wine Spectator very first Grand Awards in 1981.  Three years later Fred Ferretti focused in on Bern’s in the article “Wine List Thick as Tampa Phone Book.”  Later that year Frank Prial wrote the list was “bigger than most telephone books.”

The wine list was still chained to the tables when James Conaway wrote about Bern’s for The Washington Post in 1987.  It was actually a marble fixture to which the list was attached.  Apparently this did not stop people from stealing the wine list for a woman was once employed to ferret out lists hidden under furs and shirts.  Despite the wine list shrinking to the size of the Washington, DC, phone book, a cool $1 million Dollars of wine were sold each year.  Frank Prial still wrote about the Bern’s wine list some two decades after he first mentioned it.  He noted that even Bern Laxer called the immense book “absurd.”

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My friend Lou first visited Bern’s nearly a decade ago and he has been sharing stories about his adventures ever since.  It was to join Lou at Bern’s that caused me to flew down to Tampa.  Lou was there the evening before my arrival so it was with delight that I looked at texted pictures of 1964 Domaine Edmond Valby, Morey-Saint-Denise, “Dried cherries, herbs and a little tar” and 1961 Pierre Ponnelle, Chateauneuf du Pape, “[V]ery different. More earth and animale.”  For our dinner together, we were joined by two of Lou’s colleagues. Though they know little about wine, they are curious to try any old wine.

Lou and I found ourselves at Bern’s ahead of the other couple.  We sat ourselves in the bar to flip through the wine list.  After confirming the relative quality of the 1973 vintage in Germany, Lou somewhat randomly picked a bottle of 1973 Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern, Hattenheimer Nussbrunen Riesling Kabinett, Rheingau.  Drunk over one hour, the nose remained rather shy but the fruit flavors picked up definition and weight.  While it was not the most complex wine, it offered a pleasing combination of freshness and maturity.

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1973 Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern, Hattenheimer Nussbrunen Riesling Kabinett, Rheingau
Imported by Frank Schoonmaker Selections.  The color is a youthful light, vibrant amber gold.  The light nose bears some petrol aromas and is generally subtle yet very fresh.  The tart, yellow fruit mixes with good acidity and some textured tannin before picking up mid body weight.  With air the flavors become sweeter with better definition of fruit and some ripeness in the aftertaste.  *** Now.

Once seated at the dinning table we began our succession of red wines with the help of Senior Sommelier Brad Dixon.  Brad was excited about a mature Beaujolais, something that Lou has long mentioned, so he soon returned with a decanted bottle of 1983 Heritiers Finaz Devillaine, Moulin-a-Vent. Alexis Lichine described Moulin-a-Vent as the “king of Beaujolais”, capable of slow development in great vintages such as 1983.  Likely produced by a de Villaine relative, think Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, this bottle is a lively, compelling wine of tart red fruit, minerals, and wood notes.  I would not compare this particular example to Burgundy, as some old Beaujolais is compared to, rather it is its own unique wine.  Clearly great vintage and great storage.

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1983 Heritiers Finaz Devillaine, Moulin-a-Vent
Imported by B Strauss Selections.  Alcohol 12.5%. The wine is a relatively dark, young color.  The nose is of cranberries back by a wood note.  In the mouth is a bitter red fruit start before black, mineral hints come out.  This lively wine is compelling to drink.  The drying tannins and wood note before the tart finish lend to the impression of perfect storage.  *** Now but will last.

A balance was struck between less expensive and more expensive wines.  The pair of of Northern Rhone reds represented low priced wines from negociants. John Livingstone-Learmonth and Melvyn C. H. Master wrote that Leon Revol sold wines “which are consistent without being spectacular.”  The Revol house was founded in the early 20th century. They own no vineyards, instead fruit was purchased from all over the Cotes du Rhone.  The negociant Maison Brotte sold wine under the Pere Anselme label and become associated with their Chateauneuf du Pape.  No amount of proper storage could change the fact that the 1979 Leon Revol, Cornas, from a superior vintage, was more engaging than the 1980 Pere Anselme, Cote Rotie.  The Revol offered more interesting and complete flavors.  The Anselme did have a bit of attractive meat flavor but was simpler and perhaps, a touch old.

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1979 Leon Revol, Cornas
Imported by Bay Distributors.  Alcohol 12%.  There are fresh, red fruit and greenhouse aromas.  In the mouth, the tart red fruit takes on some lipstick, a wood note, and a tart, citric pithe finish.  *** Now.

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1980 Pere Anselme, Cote Rotie
Imported by Bay Distributors.  Alcohol 12.5%.  This nose reveals buttery, tart red fruit.  In the mouth the slightly meaty red fruit plays it tight with good structure of old wood and a hint of roast.  ** Now.

The Californian flight proved to be the best of the night both in terms of the wines and history.  Mike Grgich came to California in 1958. He first worked for Lee Stewart at the original Souverain Cellars then went on to Beaulieu Vineyard, Robert Mondavi Winery, and Chateau Montelena.  Grgich Hills Cellar lead off with the 1977 vintage so our bottle of 1979 Grgich Hills Cellar, Zinfandel, Alexander Valley stems from the very early days.  It is an outstanding wine.  With a youthful color it was fruity on the nose followed by deep, chewy flavors backed by lively acidity and the right amount of cedar notes.  It was the favorite wine of the evening.  Clearly at full maturity.  The half bottle of 1970 Souverain Cellars, Mountain Zinfandel, Napa Valley came from the year Lee Stewart sold the winery to a group of investors.  There was then, for a time, a Souverain of Rutherford in Napa Valley  and a Souverain of Alexander Valley in Sonoma.  The later eventually became Chateau Souverain.  Our half bottle bears the original Lee Stewart label.  There are other bottles of 1970 “Souverain of Rutherford” Cabernet Sauvignon bearing post-sale labels.  This wine is classically structured with fresh flavors of tart black fruit.  I would almost venture it is not yet ready to drink.  At least from the Bern’s cellar!

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1979 Grgich Hills Cellar, Zinfandel, Alexander Valley
Alcohol 13.7%.  The deep, youthful color is easily matched by the deep berry fruit on the nose.  In the mouth are beautiful fruit flavors that range from blue to tart red by the middle.  The lively acidity, cedar note, and slightly chewy aspect continue to delight through the aftertaste.  Drinking so very well.  **** Now.

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1970 Souverain Cellars, Mountain Zinfandel, Napa Valley
Alcohol 13%.  This fresh wine is infused with cedar that supports the fresh, focused, and tart black fruit.  This classic wine sports a lively personality and great structure.  It leaves a menthol freshness in the aftertaste.  ***(*) Now – 2025.

After dinner we moved up to the Harry Waugh dessert room with its mini barrel shaped rooms.  We all opted to drink various dessert wines by the glass.  Two of the glass of Port were particularly good.  The 1965 Taylor Fladgate, Crusted Port leans towards the sweet, marshmallow spectrum but the addition of baking spices and expansive flavors make it a hands-down solid drink.  However, it was 1978 Quinta do Noval, Vintage Port from a modest vintage, that was the Port of the night.  It was complex, inky, and poised for further development.  To add to the surprise, it is one of the cheapest Ports by the glass.  In the end, that is what Bern’s is all about.  You walk in with a general plan about what you want to drink but in the end you taste other wines you never expected to be so interesting.

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1977 Barbosa, Vintage Port
The round berries and youthful flavors become super expansive and drier by the finish.  Unfortunately there is some heat at the end.  ** Now.

1965 Taylor Fladgate, Crusted Port
This fruity wine offers up a touch of marshmallow, subtle ripe baking spices, and other sweet notes.  The finish is quite expansive.  *** Now – 2025.

1970 Delaforce, Vintage Port
Musty, tastes of old red fruit. Not Rated.

1978 Quinta do Noval, Vintage Port
The deep ruby color speaks of promise.  There is a lot going on in the mouth.  The fruit is wound around a core of complementary wood.  The fruit mixes with bakings spices, ink, and other complexities.  Simply a really nice vintage Port.  ***(*) Now.

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On the fence about the 2013 Metras, Beaujolais

November 17, 2015 Leave a comment

I was patient with the 2013 Yvon Metras, Beaujolais but in the end this wine drove me nuts.  The nose is great and clearly evocative of an interesting Beaujolais but it is the flavors that distract me.  In both the 2012 and 2013 vintages I picked up flavors of yeasty beer and popcorn.  These flavors persist through the aftertaste which makes me forget what I enjoyed about the wine in the start. This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2013 Yvon Metras, Beaujolais – $30
Imported by MacArthur Beverages.  Alcohol 11%.  The complex nose engages with bright floral, potpourri aromas which overlay red fruit.  The flavors follow the nose with expected brightness quickly accompanied by a dry structure and minerals.  Soon yeasty flavors of Pilsner beer and popcorn come out.  The popcorn flavor lasts through the long aftertaste and quite frankly, distracts me.  ** Now but will last.

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The seductive and serious 2012 Thibault Liger-Belair, Vieilles Vignes, Moulin-à-Vent

November 13, 2015 2 comments

The 2012 Thibault Liger-Belair, Vieilles Vignes, Moulin-à-Vent is a seriously good wine.  A quick sniff and taste reveal such a seductive and concentrated wine, that you might think you accidentally opened one of their Burgundy bottles.  Instead this is pure old-vine Gamay sourced from the Moulin-à-Vent cru in Beaujolais. These wines are known to be meaty and capable of aging.  This is bottle is certainly a great example.  I recommend you drink it by the fire after your Thanksgiving meal.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2012 Thibault Liger-Belair, Vieilles Vignes, Moulin-à-Vent – $30
Imported by Vineyard Brands.  This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from seven parcels spanning 65 to 85 years of age.  Alcohol 13%.  The dark aromas suggest the concentration found in the flavors of raspberry.  This textured wine sports balanced acidity and tannins on the gums, which together make this poised for continued development. With air, a creamy nature comes out as well as orange citrus and pencil lead.  Serious stuff!  ***(*) Now -2020.

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An excellent trio of cru Beaujolais

September 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Phil recently stocked the shelves with a wide range of wines, including the three bottles of Gamay featured in this post.  Given previous experience it is no surprise that I really enjoyed the 2014 D. Coquelet, Chiroubles.  This is a pure, captivating wine that should continue to improve through the winter.  As a completely different example of Chiroubles, the 2013 Fabien Collonge, L’Aurore des Cotes, Chiroubles is blacker and deeper in fruit with more obvious structure. This could be a good gateway wine for those who prefer riper wines.  Moving to Chenas, the 2013 Pascal Aufranc, Vignes de 1939, Chenas is produced from rather old vines. I recommend you let this develop into the winter or longer but right now the orange-citrus backed red fruit is really cool!  Try them all!  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2014 D. Coquelet, Chiroubles – $20
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is 100% Gamay.  Alcohol 11%.  The varietal Gamay nose was pure and articulate becoming even more perfumed with air.  In the mouth, the slightly tart red and black fruit was lighter; framed by structure and enlivened by watering acidity.  With extended air the lovely balance was captivating, showing off the perfumed flavor throughout.  The mineral flavored middle mad way to a satisfying, textured finish, and the slightest yeast hint in the aftertaste.  *** Now – 2018.

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2013 Fabien Collonge, L’Aurore des Cotes, Chiroubles – $17
Imported by Constantine Wine. This wine is 100% Gamay.  Alcohol 13%. The nose bore black fruit that was almost plummy and certainly deeper in aroma.  The nose was matched by almost-round, mouth filling Gamay flavors that began light but moved to a ripe middle and dry finish.  There was acidity on the tongue from the start and eventually perfume.  The bit of structured, dry tannins suggest this will develop over the short-term.  *** Now – 2020.

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2013 Pascal Aufranc, Vignes de 1939, Chenas – $17
Imported by Constantine Wine.  This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from a vineyard planted in 1939.  Alcohol 12.5%. The nose remained subtle with dark aromas.  In the mouth were tart red fruit flavors backed by some orange citrus and a little bit of weight.  It eventually took on some cranberry-grape flavors and exhibited the potential for very short-term development.  **(*) 2016-2019.

A trio of recent French wines

December 12, 2014 Leave a comment

The wines of Marcel Lapierre need no introduction for any fan of Beaujolais.  For those who do not know his wines, simply put the 2013 Marcel Lapierre, Morgon  is a wine that you will want to drink glass after glass right away.  This is a great wine to drink on all of the upcoming holiday afternoons grab a few bottles.  Michel Chapoutier recently teamed up with Michelin starred chef Yannick Alléno to produce wine from two vineyards in the northern Rhone.  The bottle of 2012 Yannick Alléno & Michel Chapoutier, Crozes Hermitage represents their second released vintage.  The nose is gorgeous right now with its meaty red fruit.  The flavors in the mouth are setup to benefit from short-term aging.  You cannot do any harm by trying a bottle right now but be sure to leave a few more in the cellar or fridge.  The 2010 Domaine de Magalanne, Cuvee Lou Biou, Cotes du Rhone Villages Signargues left me somewhat confused.  There seemed to be a disjoint between the maturity of the aromas and flavors with the toast aromas and obvious structure.  Maybe wait until next year for the structure to calm down?  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2013 Marcel Lapierre, Morgon – $32
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from 60% year old vines on granitic soils that was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged in old Burgundy barrels.  Alcohol 12%.  There were flavors of cranberry and tart cherry in one seamless, slightly dense wine.  The flavors became somewhat tart by the finish with citrus notes and low-lying ripe tannins in the aftertaste.  This wine was so easy to drink.  *** Now-2019.

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2012 Yannick Alléno & Michel Chapoutier, Crozes Hermitage – $25
Imported by Classic Wines.  This wine is 100% Syrah that was aged 12-15 months in vats. Alcohol 13%.  The nose echoed the meaty red fruit in the mouth.   With air the fruit brightened up taking on floral notes and a more stand-up nature.  There was plenty of acidity in the middle along with a more mineral quality towards the finish.  The wine had a rounded edge and was a touch juicy.  Tastes like it is made from the younger vines.  **(*) Now-2020.

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2010 Domaine de Magalanne, Cuvee Lou Biou, Cotes du Rhone Villages Signargues – $20
Imported by Classic Wines.  This wine is an approximate blend of 60% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, and 10% Grenache.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose revealed two personalities with both mature aromas and toast.  In the mouth were slightly tart flavors of black fruit and dry, giving a not quite hollow effect.  The structure was spiced and left drying tannins on the gums.  The wine needs a little air to show a mature, refreshing aftertaste.  ** Now-2018.

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2013 Rosé and Rouge from Chateau Thivin

September 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Chateau Thivin‘s red Côtes des Brouilly has consistently appeared on this blog for several vintages.  What has never appeared is the Beaujolais Villages Rosé before.  This is a somewhat unique post in that the latest release of the Beaujolais Villages Rosé  and Côtes de Brouilly are both from the 2013 vintage!  This vintage follows the massively hail-damaged 2012 vintage.  Over in Bristol, Avery’s found the 2013 vintage also being tricky and small but found there was “lovely richness of fruit and balance.”  If I summed up both of these wines it too would be good fruit and impeccable balance.  Why not try both this weekend? These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2013 Chateau Thivin, Rosé, Beaujolais Villages – $18
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Gamay Noir.  Alcohol 12%.  The color was of light copper and dried rose.  The nose was delicately textured with aromas of fresh, red fruit.  The wine made a tart start followed by gently ripe flavors that took on some weight.  With air and warmth the ripe strawberry and cherry flavors took form, lying on the tongue until the tart and lemon-infused finish came out.  *** Now.

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2013 Chateau Thivin, Côtes de Brouilly – $23
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from vines averaging 50 years of age.  Alcohol 13%.  There was a nose of red fruit with fresh, red cranberries.  In the mouth this bright red wine had seamless acidity that was slightly outgoing.  There was a lovely blend of components from orange-zest, some tartness, a wood note, and a moderate tannic structure.  Overall this wine appears best for the short-term which means you should enjoy it right now.  *** Now-2017.

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A Bounty of Great Beaujolais

February 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Vines of the Beaujolais. Image from John Louis William Thudichum, “A Treatise on the Origin, Nature, and Varieties of Wine”.

Jenn and I have been fortunate to have drunk some top-notch Beaujolais this month.  My attitude is shifting from curiosity about what is in the bottle to anticipation of drinking the wine.  I must also admit I enjoy the lower alcohol levels.  The selection of five wines featured in this post begins with the outstanding 2012 Damien Coquelet, Chiroubles.  It was so expressive on the nose and in the mouth that I recommend you pick up all you can.  Just be sure to open one as soon as you get home.  The 2011 Daniel Bouland, Vieilles Vignes Corcelette is more of a dark horse in comparison.  There were no hard edges to this wine but its best to cellar this for a few years before trying again.  It should develop quite well.  Another distinct wine is the 2011 Pierre-Marie Chermette, Domaine du Vissoux, Coeur de Vendanges, Vignes Centenaires which maintained attractive, meaty aromas and flavors.  The 2010 Domaine Calot, Vieilles Vignes, Morgon shows dark red bramble fruit and in a subtle manner assures that it will slumber in the cellar.  Finally, the 2010 Bruno Debize, Morgon was drinking well with an engaging, exotic nose and earthy flavors in the mouth.  It is drinking well right now but may be cellared. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2012 Damien Coquelet, Chiroubles – $20
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  Alcohol 12%.  The aromatic nose was fresh and floral, revealing depth until finish.  There was good ripeness in the mouth with a core of red-cranberry fruit.  This expressive wine had lovely acidity, citric red fruit, and took on some chewy fruit weight.  There was a hint of an evergreen note as the juicy finish of black and ripe red fruit made way to an aftertaste of good length.  **** Now-2019.

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2011 Daniel Bouland, Vieilles Vignes Corcelette, Morgon – $22
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from the vines of Corcelette which were planted in 1925 on soils of sandy granite.  Alcohol 13%.  The light nose revealed dense blue fruit with hints of earth.  In the mouth were tighter flavors of red-black fruit, tightly woven with stones.  There was an appropriate level of structure with some tannins poking through the seamless not-quite-round flavors.  There was lurking depth and black fruit in the aftertaste.  Will be long-lived.  ***(*) Now-2024.

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2011 Pierre-Marie Chermette, Domaine du Vissoux, Coeur de Vendanges, Vignes Centenaires, Beaujolais – $18
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from two 100-year old parcels of vines on granite soils.  Alcohol 12.5%.  There was a subtle, meaty nose.  In the mouth there was a touch of bright red fruit at first then ripe and meaty flavors came out.  The acidity was present but integrated.  After one to two hours the wine opened to turn red and black in fruit with a firm stone note.  Good personality.  *** Now-2020.

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2010 Domaine Calot, Vieilles Vignes, Morgon – $18
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is 100% Gamay sourced from four plots that are 60-100 years of age.  Alcohol 13%.  There was a nose of macerated raspberries with darker red fruit hints.  In the mouth there was some bramble with good fruit leaning towards the dark red spectrum.  This was firmer with a present structure that is moderate.  The finish left an old wood hint.  *** Now-2020+.

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2010 Bruno Debize, Morgon – $25
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  Alcohol 12.2%.  The nose was engaging with vintage perfume and exotic incense.  In the mouth were light, ripe red fruit flavors that a citrus hint and earthy bit.  The acidity stood out more but not over done as there was some concentration to the fruit.  There were graphite like minerals in the finish.  There is enough structure for short-term development.  *** Now – 2020.

Tasting Champagne and Beaujolais with Charles Gendrot of Williams Corner Wine

January 13, 2014 Leave a comment

A little over two months ago Charles Gendrot of Williams Corner Wine brought a selection of Champagne and Beaujolais to taste at MacArthur Beverages.  Charles always brings interesting wines to taste and through the years I have come to purchase any bottle with Williams Corner on the label.  I must admit the Champagne of Larmandier-Bernier were top-notch!   Last week I drank a bottle of the 2010 Bruno Debize, Morgon so I will follow up this post with a specific tasting note.

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NV Francois Diligent, Brut, Champagne
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir.  There was riper white fruit on the nose with hints of fresh apple and a little spice.  In the mouth were ripe ripe yellow fruit, spices, and more fruit.  There were soft, fresh bubbles which became a nicely spiced mousse.  Good grip, nice.

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NV Charles Dufour, Bulles de Comptoir, Extra Brut #2, Champagne
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  This wine is a blend of 55% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Blanc primarily from the 2007 and 2008 vintages.  Sulphur free and low-dosage.  The aromas of apple-like fruit stepped out of the glass.  In the mouth were fine, more aggressive bubbles.  The flavors were a little tangy, acidity driven, with some yeasty old-school notes.  It finishes with tangy apple flavors and was rather dry.

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NV Laherte Freres, Ultradition, Grand Brut, Champagne
Imported by Williams Corner Wines. Alcohol 12%.  This wine is a blend of 60% Pinot Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Noir blended from two or three vintages  making it 40% reserve.  The nose was yeasty and meaty.  In the mouth were aggressively bursting soft bubbles which immediately turned into a nice mousse.  There was good acidity which mixed with the creamy mousse.  Easy to drink.

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NV Laherte Freres, Ultradition, Rose, Champagne
Imported by Williams Corner Wines. Alcohol 12%.  This wine is a blend of 50% Pinot Meunier, 30% Pinot Noir, and 10% Chardonnay added to 12-5% of red wine from Pinot Meunier.  The nose was a little yeasty with red fruit.  The flavors were forward with strength and moderate bubbles.  The good flavors were a little mature with an earthy component.

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NV Laherte Freres, Blanc de Blancs Brut, Le Pierre de la Justice, Premier Cru, Champagne
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay.  Alcohol 12%.  The nose mixed aromas of yeast and apples.  In the mouth was an intense mouthful of mousse and fruit.  The bubbles dissipated immediately to reveal fresh and haunting flavors of yeast balanced by acidity in the end.

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2005 Laherte Freres, Millesime, Extra Brut, Champagne
Imported by Williams Corner Wine. Alcohol 12%.  This wine is 85% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier.  The nose was winey and scented at first with honey.  In the mouth were ripe, concentrated fruit, followed by apples in the drying finish.  This was more like a wine with its very fine mousse.  It was amongst the driest.

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NV Larmandier-Bernier, Longitude, Premier Cru, Champagne
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay which is a blend of the 2007 and 2008 vintages.  There were serious flavors of ripe fruit and a perfumed middle.  There was a firm mousse and a firmer finish with spices.  The aftertaste was tangy.  A serious wine, young, but very good.

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2008 Larmandier-Bernier, Terre de Vertus, Premier Cru, Champagne
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay from the parcels Les Barilles and Les Faucherets.   was disgorged in June 2013.   There was serious grip from the start with drying fruit and acidity on the lips.  The acidity became piercing with chalky texture on the gums.

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2006 Larmandier-Bernier, Vieille Vigne de Cramant, Grand Cru, Champagne
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from vines 48-75+ years of age.  The apple-like nose made wine to a fine balance all around.  There were good bubbles and mousse, good texture, and an attractive personality.  Nice wine.

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2010 Bruno Debize, Au Bal Jean-Paul, Beaujolais
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  There was earthy, cherry fruit revealed by the attractive nose.  There was a juicy start with some old-school perfume.  There light fruit was matched by watering acidity then cool, black fruit in the finish.  It was a little tart.

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2011 Bruno Debize, L’Homme a la Veste, Beaujolais
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  There were dark cherries, grandma perfume, and earthy aromas.  In the mouth were perfumed flavors of cherry which were outgoing.  Everything was integrated.  The finish was drier.

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2010 Bruno Debize, Les Combertiers, Beaujolais
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  This nose was more berry-licious.  There was good fruit in the mouth, red, black, and cherry.  There was some dryness, slight weight, firm stones, and acidity.  Needs a few months of age.

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2010 Bruno Debize, Morgon
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  The nose was subtle with mixed berries.  In the mouth were perfumed fruit flavors which were serious and darker.  This will clearly age with its moderate drying structure.  Nice.