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A bargain in mature Pinot: 2015 Hippolyte Reverdy, Sancerre rouge

I went through three bottles of 2015 Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy, Sancerre rouge before  I took a note because I simply wanted to drink the wine.  With air, it shows a compelling mixture of deeper red fruit, mature flavors, and stones.  This is my first time drinking the Hippolyte Reverdy’s Sancerre rouge so I was delighted to find this Pinot Noir with such personality at this price.  It is a must-try wine which you can find on the shelves at MacArthur Beverages.

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2015 Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy, Sancerre rouge – $23
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir aged for over a year in oak barrels.  Alcohol 11%-14%.  A bloody then beautiful nose full of floral aromas.  There are deeper flavors of red fruit with both good ripeness and weight.  The wine is taking on bottle age flavors which complement the mineral, gravelly nature.  Fresh acidity carries the flavors through the long finish of complex bitters and even more minerals. It is of substance but I would drink it within several years. **** Now – 2024.

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Early Candidates for WOTY Whites!

David Bloch describes an incredible pair of white wines.

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2007 Vincent Dauvissat, Chablis 1er Cru Le Forest
A remarkably great bottle of wine.  White Burgundy (and I do include Chablis as it too has suffered from the various ills of the bottles from that region) can be very hit or miss.  This was a direct hit.  A wine that transcends the vintage and is “just” a Premier Cru.  This is a wine with a hugely powerful nose of tidal pool; that ocean/sea water that gives away place.  The wine is silky and exhibits notes of saline and citrus in the mouth, along with some bracing acidity and a mineral spine carrying through the mid-palate.  Very long and complete.  A great perkiness and tang linger in the mouth long after the last sip is gone.

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2013 Domaine Vacheron, Sancerre
This is one of the best wines I’ve had in 2016.  Salty rocks.  Flint.  Crushed stones.  Minerals galore.  Then a heavy dose of various citrus flavors and aromas.  Virtually no resemblance to the Sauvignon Blanc grape that one expects from the Loire.  Long, long, long.  This wine is so unique, so captivating.  The empty glass smells great well after the bottle is emptied.  I would love to see the vineyard where these grapes grow.  It must resemble a rock quarry!  This could pass for a top-flight bone dry German Kabinett.  Go figure.  But buy as much as you can.  A most unique and pleasurable rendition of a so-called Sancerre.

Pinot Noir from Sancerre and Baden

September 10, 2014 Leave a comment

The two wines featured in this post are made from Pinot Noir located in regions where you might not expect to find it, Sancerre and Baden.  In the 19th century Sancerre was mostly planted with Pinot Noir and Gamay but this proportion changed with the phylloxera.  Today some 20% of the production is based on Pinot Noir.   It may seem incredible but Germany contains the third-largest plantings of Spatburgunder or Pinot Noir in the world.  One of the young, formally trained efforts are those of Shelter Winery.  This is the product of Hans-Bert Espe and Silke Wolf.  After attending Geisenheim wine university, they worked in Oregon then began making wine in a former Canadian Air Force bunker.  It was just over a decade ago that this beginning inspired the winery name.

The 2011 Shelter Winery, Lovely Lilly, Pinot Noir, Baden drank well over two nights.  On the first night there was a vibrancy that reminded me of German wines.  It showed a good balance of fruit, minerals, acidity, and mouth feel such that I suspect it will improve over the winter.  The price is attractive as well.  The 2012 Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy, Cuvee Terre  de Maimbray, Sancerre Rouge remained gentle and refused to give up hints of its future.  It remained a solid effort so perhaps its best to try again after the winter.  The Reverdy was purchased at Weygandt-Wines and the Shelter Winery at MacArthur Beverages.

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2011 Shelter Winery, Lovely Lilly, Pinot Noir, Baden – $19
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There were greenhouse-infused aromas of clean red and black fruit with just hints of modern Pinot Noir aromas.  In the mouth the flavors turned black with minerals, all of which overlay strawberry notes.  The wine was vibrant the first night.  With air the acidity remained noticeable at first then the flavors rounded out in the middle before the youthful and robust finish.  This modern wine had salivating acidity, and a tangy aftertaste.  **(*) 2015-2019.

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2012 Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy, Cuvee Terre  de Maimbray, Sancerre Rouge – $30
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir soils from soils of clay and chalk.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose revealed red fruit that was slightly buttery.  In the mouth there were gentle flavors of strawberry and cherry with just hints of ripeness.  This was supported by a gentle and moderate structure.  A touch of fresh orange peel and minerality developed with air.  ** 2015-2018.

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Rose for the Heat Wave

Very hot weather is about to settle in Washington, DC.  With temperatures forecast to reach 97-99F I thought I would post about three roses we have recently tasted.  When it is hot and humid I prefer to start with a glass of rose instead of white wine.  For this extreme heat I would recommend the Chateau Pigoudet for it is refreshing but does not require much thought.  We preferred the Domaine Jean Reverdy, its unique profile attracts ones attention.  However it is robust so I would buy a few bottles to drink at the end of the summer.  The Chateau Pibarnon, last year’s vintage, was interesting for its nuts and wood but they have overtaken the fruit.  Its high-price is hard to swallow so I would pass on this wine. These wines were all purchased from MacArthur Beverages.

2011 Chateau Pigoudet, Le Chateau Rose, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence – $13
Imported by Oslo Enterprise.  This wine is a blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 10% Syrah sourced from soils of clay and chalk with gravel.  In the glass this was an ultra-light rose color.  The light, floral nose had a hint of sweetness.  In the mouth it was very focused, crisp on the tongue, before some texture and weight developed.  The tart fruit made way to a dry finish with a gentle ripeness in the aftertaste.  ** Now.

2011 Jean Reverdy et Fils, Rose, Les Villots, Sancerre – $18
Imported by Kysela Pere et Fils.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir of which 90% is pressed and 10% saignee.  This was a very light pink rose and salmon color.  The light nose revealed some dried herbs and an asparagus note (in a good sense).  The flavors filled the mouth with stones, dry fruit, green veggies and old-perfume.  This was more robust with plenty of acidity that left a tang on the sides of the tongue.  It finished with dried herbs.  I would give it another six months to loosen up. ** Now-2015.

2010 Chateau de Pibarnon, Rose, Bandol – $35
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is a blend of 50% Mourvedre and 50% Cinsault.  The color was of salmon and dried roses.  The nose started off with some wet dog before moving on to a light nose of fruit.  In the mouth the flavors were tart and light with a bit of acidity at the front of the mouth.  Then a vein of mildly sweet and textured flavor carried through, taking on a lightly creamy mouthfeel.  There were flavors of nuts or perhaps wood in the finish as juicy acidity came out leaving an aftertaste with wood notes.  ** Now-2013.

Brown Bags at Weygandt Wines

December 15, 2011 2 comments

Just Some of the Brown-Bagged Wines

Last night I stopped by at Weygandt Wines for the monthly Food and Wine Bloggers night.  Hosted by Tim O’Rourke with invitations sent out by Joon Song of Vinicultured, the event was attended by several bloggers, people in the business, and many wine lovers.  The theme was a blind tasting and in the end there were 14 bottles of wine sourced from both the store and other places.  I suspect two dozen people rotated through.  To some degree everyone attempted to guess what they were drinking but that did not distract from social, talkative, enjoyment.

I enjoyed the range of wines with the Jean Francois Ganevat, Poulsard being the most unusual experience.  Of the whites I enjoyed the 2010 Gerard & Pierre Morin, Sancerre along with the 2008 Heitz, Sauvignon Blanc.  In terms of the red wines the  2010 Domaine Collotte is of good value, the 2002 Olga Raffault interesting, the 2007 Domaine Dugat-Py, Gevrey Chambertin was very drinkable, the 2009 Domaine les Aphillanthes needs to be revisited, and the 1995 Thunder Mountain was surprisingly good.

I have included my casual tasting notes.  They are presented in the order in which the bottles were numbered but not necessarily tasted.

#1 – 2010 Gerard & Pierre Morin, Vieilles Vignes, Sancerre
This is imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This had a very light color.  There was a light nose, grassy, and textured.  In the mouth there were expansive flavors midpalate, note of stone, and acidity in the back of the mouth.  Attractive. Not Rated.

#2 – 2010 Domaine Collotte, Cuvee de Noble Souche, Burgundy
This is imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  A young color of ruby with purple tinge.  I thought this was Gamay!  The nose had notes of pepper and with time developed a good perfume.  There were some gravelly flavors and fine tannins. Not Rated.

#3 – Jean Francois Ganevat, Poulsard, Cuvee de l’enfant terrible, Cotes du Jura
This is a Jeffrey Alpert Selection.  This was a garnet-orange color.  Fizzy when poured it sported a foxy nose.  Quite unique with piercingly high acidity and citrus notes.  Interesting but not my preference, probably better with food. Not Rated.

#4 – 2002 Olga Raffault, Les Picasses, Chinon
This is imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  It is made from Cabernet Franc grown on soils of limestone and clay.  A garnet color showing some age.  A perfumed nose, good red fruit, some stemmy forest wood flavors. Not Rated.

#5 – 2010 Chateau de la Bonneliere, Rive Gauche, Chinon
This is imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  A grapey color.  Young Cabernet Franc flavors with plenty of supporting acidity. Not Rated.

#6 – 2007 Domaine Dugat-Py, Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin
This is imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  A garnet color.  The slightly earthy nose is richer.  But the body was slight with precise, elegant flavors, tannins, and lots of acidity. Not Rated.

#7 – 2009 Domaine les Aphillanthes, 1921, Cotes du Rhone Villages Rasteau
This is imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is mostly Grenache sourced from a parcel planted in 1921.  A nose of black fruit and some pencil lead.  Very ripe, powdery fruit, a little spice, grapey tannins in finish.  Quite different from the other reds, powerful, I found this overbearing at first but when I revisited it later the wine had shaken off the baby fat and showed structure. Not Rated.

#8 – 2003 Edmunds St. John, Rocks and Gravel
This blend is roughly 35% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 30% Mourvedre.  The nose was quite sweet like a rich vanilla-cake with a dash of spice.  The nose was quite different from the body which was quite restrained. Not Rated.

#9 – 2008 Heitz Cellars, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley
This was enjoyable and drinkable with citrus flavors, decent body, and some concentration. Not Rated.

#10 – 1995 Thunder Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bates Ranch, Santa Cruz Mountains
This was an aged garnet color.  A very pretty nose, lifted and complex with mature aromas but it ended with a vegetal note.  In the mouth it was crisp, precise, and had an enjoyable texture.  I thought it was Austrian! Not Rated.

#11 – 2004 Chateau de Valcombe, Prestige, Costieres de Nimes
This is imported by Robert Kacher.  The wine is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache.  I found a nose of old ladies perfume with flavors of wet cardboard and very fine tannins.  I did not like this. Not Rated.

#12 – 2010 Domaine Croix des Marchands, Fraicheur Perlee, Gaillac
This is imported by First Vine.  The wine is a blend of 34% Mauzac, 33% Muscadelle, and 33% Loin de l’Oeil sourced from 30-year-old vines.  Unfortunately, I did not taste this bottle. Not Rated.

#13 – 2004 James Judd & Sons Vineyards, Malbec Verdot, Paso Robles
This is a blend of 75% Malbec and 25% Petite Verdot.  The 2005 was aged for 22 months in American, French, and Hungarian oak barrels.  I found this overblown and hot, not my style. Not Rated.

#14 – 2008 Blenheim Vineyards, Blenheim Farm Petit Verdot, Monticello
This smelled like bleach in my glass.  After I dumped it the glass took on aromas of tobacco and dried herbs. Not Rated.

Joon and Aaron

Sancerre and Sudburgenland from Weygandt Wines

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

These two wines are imported by Peter Weygandt and available for purchase at Weygandt Wines.  The Gerard & Pierre Morin cost $25 and the Uwe Schiefer cost $23.  Of these two wines I preferred the Schiefer.  It is an interesting and well-made wine that I recommend you try.

Eisenberg Vineyards, Imgae from gerri_wien7 (flickr)

The fruit for Uwe Schiefer’s wine is sourced from the Einsenberg  vineyards.  Located halfway down the eastern portion of Sudburgenland, these vineyards are located on bedrock that rises over 400 meters in elevation.  The soils are generally schiste and slate with the upper vineyards containing more limestone and the lower vineyards more sand.  This area has a long history of prestigious vineyards dating back to the 14th century.

2009 Uwe Schiefer, Blaufrankisch, Eisenberg, Sudburgenland
This wine is made from Blaufrankisch that was sourced from 5 hectares of vineyards worked by Uwe.  He is changing all of his vineyards to biodynamic. This wine has a nose of red candy with ample amounts of white pepper.  In the mouth it starts with leaner red fruit and ample acidity which is followed by whiter pepper and an aftertaste with spice.  Jenn found “raspberry candy” flavors that were very pure and “overt.”  There was also notes of enjoyable red grapefruit. *** Now-2015.

2009 Gerard & Pierre Morin, Sancerre
In the mouth the cherry fruit is fresh with lively acidity that moves from the sides of the mouth to the tip of the tongue before one salivates.  This light to medium bodied wine has firm tannins, hints of tobacco, and a steely personality.  It takes like a cooler climate with, perhaps, a touch of greenness. * Now.

A Tasting at MacArthurs with Fran Kysela

September 16, 2011 2 comments

This past Saturday I managed to arrive at MacArthur’s in time for their afternoon tasting with Fran Kysela.  He was recently nominated by The Wine Enthusiast magazine for Wine Importer of the year.  Coupled with the fact that Jenn and I drink a lot of the wine he imports, I was particularly excited to attend.  Both Fran and Jeremy Sutton poured wine and chatted about the eclectic range of wine on offer from France, Germany, Australia, and South Africa.  The 11 wines ranged in prices from $11 to $32.  With such diversity there were surely favorites for all who attended.

The Lineup

I spent most of my time chatting with Jeremy, Phil, and eventually meeting Fran.  I was rather enjoying their company, myself, and the wine so I did not bother to take any formal notes.  I should hope that I get to taste wine with them again as they both amiable and there is much I could learn from Fran.  I have already posted notes on two of the selections, tasted at home from full bottles, and will eventually get notes up on some of the other selections.  My overall impression was one of good, fresh aromatics followed by clean, pure fruit flavors.  You may read about my individual impressions below.  I rather liked the Sancerre, went back for more of both Mordoree Liracs, felt the Thorn Clarke Quartage is a great bargain, and would like to restaste the Mullineux again in the near future.

2010 Jean Reverdy, La Reine Blanche, Sancerre
This was enjoyable with its aromatic floral nose and core of sweet fruit.  Not Rated.

2009 Gaudrelle, Clos de Vigneau, Vouvray
This is dry with hints of residual sugar with smooth flavors of stone fruits.  Not Rated.

2010 Bastgen, Riesling, Qba Blauschlefer, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
This was clean, fresh, leaning towards citrus flavors and some minerals.  I only had a tiny sip but this seemed like a solid wine for the price, if not exciting.  Not Rated.

2010 Mordoree, Rose, La Dame Rousse, Tavel
This sports ripe red fruit and has a lovely mouthing coating aftertaste.  Not Rated.

2009 Mordoree, La Dame Rousse, Lirac
This had been open for some time and was showing quite well.  You may read my impression of a bottle drunk in May hereNot Rated.

2009 Segries, Clos de l’Hermitage, Cotes du Rhone
This was consistent with an earlier impression of rich blue fruits, youthful tannins, and a contemporary profile.  Earlier this month we drank a bottle and I published a note hereNot Rated.

2009 Cave de Tain, Crozes-Hermitage
The weakest of the reds, reminded me of a light Crozes.  Available for $25 I would spend $3 to purchase the outstanding 2009 Colombier, Cuvee GabyNot Rated.

2009 Mordoree, La Reine des Bois, Lirac
This was lovely and quite approachable.  Richer than La Dame Rousse but with primary red fruit, a creamier texture, and balance.  This will age for some time.  Not Rated.

2008 Thorn Clarke, Shotfire, Quartage, Barossa Valley
This was soft, savory, subtle with dark fruits.  Strong value.  We recently drank a bottle and I will post a note soon.  Not Rated.

2009 Thorn Clarke, Shotfire, Shiraz, Barossa Valley
This showed black fruit, youthful flavors, richer than the Quartage but less evolved.  I preferred the Quartage.  Not Rated.

2008 Mullineux,  Syrah, Swartland
This showed dark fruit, some herbs, plenty of acidity, structure from oak but in a balanced manner.  I was rather surprised and pleased.  Tasted blind I would not have guessed South Africa.  Not Rated.