Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Auguste Clape “Le Vin des Amis” Rhone Red. (Syrah)
This amazing 100% Syrah cuvee is one of the best drinking wines at this price I’ve tried in 2010, and for such a young wine it is remarkably balanced and stylish. Frankly it puts most Syrahs to shame, showing wonderful pure flavors and depth that some wine would only dream of having, even wines that sell for three times the price! The nose has all you’d expect from a Northern Rhone Syrah, be it Cornas, Hermitage or Cote-Rotie, with a mixed of violets, creme de cassis, gamey bacon, minerals and back olives, before a vibrant palate of blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry and cherry fruits with smoke, meaty essence, truffle, mocha, cassis and melted licorice. The finish is crisp and lavender laced with lingering smoke and plumy fruit. The “Le Vin des Amis” 2009 is a top contender for best wine under $25 of the year in my best of 2010 list! ($25 Est.)

92+ Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com $24.95

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Specal Review

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Jean Foillard Morgon “Cuvee Corcelette” Cru Beaujolais.
If you’ve never tried a Foillard Morgon, and or are a Burgundy lover, it is time to rush out and find one, especially this beauty! Jean Foillard does a few special cuvees as well as his wonderful Cote du Py, and this was my first chance to try the “Cuvee Corcelette” with its grey label and heavy bottle it certainly looks the part of a serious wine, and while that is impressive, it is the wine inside that makes the most impact. We know the 2009 vintage was the year to rise Gamay Noir to the world stage, but honestly wines like this Foillard even blow away the high expectations! This wonderful and complex Cru Beaujolais is really in another class all together, it certainly has pure Gamay character, but with such depth and texture it rivals many a top Burgundy, in fact it might even better some Grand Cru. He nose has floral notes behind blackberry, truffle and walnuts leading to a hedonistic palate of black currants, cherry and intense strawberry. This is a very sexy wine with layers of pleasure filling the mouth, but still has brisk acidity, tannin and earthy spices and sweet herbs in the background making everything more interesting and vivid. This wine with its sublime structure and class should age well for a decade, and should be at its best in another few years, though I doubt I could keep my hands of it and I love it now.
($36 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

available by special request at www.sfwtc.com (800) 681-WINE

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Charly Thevenet Regnie “Grain & Granit” Cru Beaujolais.
The son of famed Morgon producer Jean-Paul Thevenet, Charly has made a name for himself on the strength of the last few vintages and almost has a cult like following already. Kermit Lynch, the savvy importer has brought this wine over and is blowing through it faster than I can write about it. Made in the family style this intense Gamay shows inky purple color, richly developed fruit and lengthy finish with lovely balance and complexity. This Regnie is like none other that I’ve experienced and I would almost more like to compare it to a fine Burgundy, though it might even be more enjoyable if the truth were told, this is an amazing wine. The nose is fresh and floral, but with hints of mineral and wild strawberries, before a full palate of blackberry, plum, strawberry and walnut oil. There is an herbal note, some cassis, a little spice and a touch of cedar too. This Beaujolais will entice and seduce even the most boorish wine snob, and make anyone a believer. Not as exotic as Lapierre Morgon, but certainly a fine and wonderful that will age with grace and style no question. I’ll be stocking up on this beauty myself without a doubt. ($32-35 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com

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Grapelive Latest

New Release Review

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 August West Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands.
Another star offering from Gary Franscioni and winemaker Ed Kurtzman, the early release Santa Lucia Highlands 2009 shows rich and vibrant flavors and creamy texture. This vintage is from 100% Rosella’s Vineyard, Roar’s home estate vines, and done in mostly 1 year used French barrels that still have plenty of toasty char to soften and give that vanilla and smoky note. While this wine will really gain with another year in bottle, it is remarkably easy to love and enjoy now with the big youthful flavors standing out. The nose is fresh berries, baking spices, mixed flowers and very seductive, before racing into the palate with plum, cherry, strawberry jam, mountain wild berry and red currant layers. Toasty oak and unfiltered, slightly cloudy depth show up in your face, but given time everything should settle nicely and the lengthy finish is heaven. This is a wine that is fun and a super value so stock up, 2009 looks set to be another awesome vintage for the Santa Lucia Highlands! ($30 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive


*Coming out soon.

www.sfwtc.com

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Grapelive Latest

Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2002 Dom Perignon “Andy Warhol Edition” Brut Champagne, Epernay (Moet et Chandon)
This is a sublime vintage and wonderful Dom, there is nothing not to love here, except that it is still very young and tight, though that is no fault what so ever. If you wanted to get some Dom to lay down, this is your wine, priced right and available, time to do it, as by next year it should prove scarce and pricy! The colorful Andy Warhol label edition means nothing to the Champagne fan, but may have some collector interest at some point. The nose is still shy, but the vigor and bracing power show up on the palate with edgy acid and citrus notes, but given air it rounds out and shows apple, white peach, fig, hazelnut and brioche. There is a tiny hint of chalk and mineral that adds complexity too. Words are not enough, you should at east try this Champagne, it would set the bar for your own palate! Dom Perignon went through a period of not being fashionable, but from my latest experience and tastings, it is again reaching the highest levels of quality, especially the Enoteque versions, I am still smitten with the fantastic 1993 Dom Perignon Enoteque, it has to be one of the best Dom’s I’ve tried, right up there with the 1990!

Side note: I pour a bit into a full size wine glass and swirled, and a wonderful toasty, smoke side came alive in the Dom Perignon, and the Champagne gained a white Burgundy quality, I think it would make a fine still wine! This vintage Dom does need some cellar time, I only wish I could afford to collect some.
($149.95-165 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive


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Available at www.sfwtc.com

Grapelive Champagne Report

Grapelive: Champagne Quick Report

By Kerry Winslow


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N.V. Louis Roederer, Brut Champagne Reims.
A bright and easy sparkler with good vigor and style, and quite a good value for the quality. The nose is citrus, bread and white currant, with a zingy palate of lemon and green apple. The finish is crisp and short with a touch of crabapple. Not a bad choice for a celebration or Sunday brunch.
($39.95 Est.) 88 Points, grapelive

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N.V. Taittinger, Brut Champagne, La Francaise Reims.
This s a fruity and easy Champagne that has lots of lemon and white peach fruit and is very tangy, very Veuve in style, more fresh than past cuvee’s, I was almost disappointed, but it still is fun and joyful. Not much depth or texture, but well made with hints of apple and pear in the background.
($41.95 Est.) 87 Points, grapelive

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N.V. J. Lassalle, Brut Champagne, Cachet d’Or 1er Cru Chigny-Les-Roses.
This earthy and brightly flavored Champagne is a great other choice in bubbly, rather than name brands. The nose has more depth and yeasty notes than the Grand Marques, with a more earthy tone on the palate with hints of truffle, apple skin and brioche to go with the vibrant citrus core. This cuvee is less mature than past bottling, but should age even better. Drinks well and gets more rich with air.
($41.95 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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N.V. Marc Hebrart, Brut Champagne, Selection 1er Cru Mareuil-sur-Ay.

Jean-Paul Hebrart’s Domaine makes the best Champagne for the money period, at least this year, and is a real star! This bottling has it all, great in everyday, nose, palate and finish, amazingly exciting and complex for a N.V. and lovely bubbles! Smooth yeasty brioche, lemon tart, apple and baking spices that almost give a caramel feeling. This Champagne is rich and full of life, don’t miss out, get this one if you can find it, as it it is from a very small grower producer. The Chardonnay is 100% Grand Cru and the Pinot is on limestone soils, all of which add up to pure quality.
($54.95 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

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N.V. Pierre Moncuit-Delos, Brut Rose Champagne, Grand Cru Le Mesnil.
Nichole and Yves Moncuit have guided this excellent domain since they took over from their father Pierre in 1977. Always a steal for Grand Cru, even better still is that is comes from Le Mesnil, one of the great vineyards of the world. This Grand Cru Rose is bright and tangy, very dry, but with lush fruit essence, there is strawberry, cherry and loads of citrus. There is some depth and the finish gets good and long after some air, making for a suburb wine, and great with food.($44.95 Est.) 92-93 Points, grapelive

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2002 Dom Perignon “Andy Warhol Edition” Brut Champagne, Epernay (Moet et Chandon)
This is a sublime vintage and wonderful Dom, there is nothing not to love here, except that it is still very young and tight, though that is no fault what so ever. If you wanted to get some Dom to lay down, this is your wine, priced right and available, time to do it, as by next year it should prove scarce and pricy! The colorful Andy Warhol label edition means nothing to the Champagne fan, but may have some collector interest at some point. The nose is still shy, but the vigor and bracing power show up on the palate with edgy acid and citrus notes, but given air it rounds out and shows apple, white peach, fig, hazelnut and brioche. There is a tiny hint of chalk and mineral that adds complexity too. Words are not enough, you should at east try this Champagne, it would set the bar for your own palate!
($149.95-165 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive

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Available at www.sfwtc.com