Grapelive Latest

Wine of the Weekend

By Kerry Winslow

***

2009 Frederic Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin “Clos Prieur” Red Burgundy, France.
It has been a long time since having Frederic Esmonin Burgundy, but I will not let another 5 to 6 vintages slide by again after tasting their lovely 2009 Gevrey! This wine is a steal! Even with the Euro exchange it is insanely low priced considering the vintage and quality here, you’d be hard pressed to find a cheap Bourgogne at under $40 these days, and this is a Cru class wine, a Gevrey-Chambertin! The nose is classic rose petals, tangy cherry and mineral spiced with an elegant, rather delicate palate of wild strawberries, cherries and crisp plums, with subtle truffle, a whiff of vanilla and tea and dried flower spices. This is a pretty Pinot Noir, a true and pure Burgundy that brightens the emotions and gives plenty of joy, it is not a blockbuster fruit bomb, but then it is better for it, being a very fine wine and an excellent example of the grape. As with all good things it is a limited release in the States, so find it if you can as it will go fast! By the way, it should develop and fill out over the next few years, drink now and for the next five.
($39 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($36.95)
***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

***

2008 Native 9 Pinot Noir “Rancho Ontiveros Vineyards” Santa Maria/Santa Barbara County.
This ultra Pinot is a stunning wine that just might rate as best of vintage for 2008, and is a beautiful and pure Pinot Noir that should not be missed! Native 9’s winemaker used to be the assistant winemaker at Alban and his also makes a fine Syrah as well, but this Pinot is a real star. The nose is deep and perfumed, as it unfolds you get violets, crushed berries, mineral spice and sweet smoky notes. The palate is filling and vibrant with blueberry, cherry and plum leading the way along with exotic spices, vanilla and a lingering berry finish. The balance is suburb and the depth and length are more than impressive. ($45 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

***

2008 Meo-Camuzet Bourgogne Rouge (Red Burgundy-Pinot Noir) France.
Domaine Meo-Camuzet is one of the top Domaines and produces only tiny amounts of select Burgundies, and an even more small slice gets imported to the US, through Kermit Lynch. So it is a remarkable pleasure that any of this amazing value priced bottling was available to sample, as very little ever makes it to the shelves of fine wine merchants or restaurants. The winery says this cuvee is a blend of vineyard plots in Nuits-St.-Georges and Chambolle-Musigny and you can taste the class and quality in the glass. I am a firm fan of Meo-Camuzet and adore the Marsannay, which I try to get my hands on every year if possible and this year is no exception, but I have found this 2008 Bourgogne to be even more structured and more classic in style with clear focus and depth. The nose is a bit shy at the moment with very little given away before a tangy and tight palate of bright cherry, plum and currants, white firm tannins and acidity hold things in place. There is subtle oak, earth and mineral tones that play well with the red fruits, though I think it would be best to give this wine and bit more time to fill out. It gets savory and spicy on the finish and is super with food, plus it has a great price at under $35!
($32-34 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($31.95)
***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

***


2009 Beaux Freres Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, Oregon.

This new release is a high percentage of Shea Vineyards fruit and other top sites that Mike Etzel, winemaker thinks add depth and character to this cuvee. I love this vintage, it has all the delicate class of a fine Burgundy with unique Oregon charms and terroir. The 2009 Willamette is more subtle than the 2008, but richer and more complex than 2007, both of which I adored as well. The nose is dried flowers and smoky toast with hints of violets and red fruits leading to a palate of cherry, plum and tangy mountain berries, while a spicy mineral almost flinty note plays in the background with Asian tea spice and savory currant notes. This wine is unfiltered and unfined and has all the earthy and pure Pinot character you have come to expect from this great Domaine.
($50-55 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Update

Brewer-Clifton Strikes Again!

By Kerry Winslow

***


2009 Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir “Mount Carmel” Sta. Rita Hills.

This Pinot is a monopole for Brewer-Clifton and for me is their signature wine and one of the true greats of California, like the central coast’s “La Tache”! If you were going to pick out the top 5 Pinots in California, the Brewer-Clifton “Mount Carmel” would have to be a contender every vintage, along with Pisoni and other Grand Cru class wines. The 2009 vintage looks set to be a real classic, maybe the best yet? I think Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton have reached a new level with this vintage and the “Mount Carmel” is a stunning Pinot Noir of great depth, charm and balance. The nose has roses, grenadine, mineral spice and wild strawberry before a round and vibrant palate of black cherry, plum, strawberry, pomegranate and raspberry with liquid minerals, subtle oak, tea and Asian spices. A kiss of vanilla and sweet smoke linger on the finish and the fresh acidity keeps everything in check. This is a seductive and sexy Pinot Noir that will only gain with with some cellar time, though stellar already!
($57 Est.) 95-96 Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow
***

2010 Grey Stack Sauvignon Blanc “Rosemary’s Block” Dry Stack Vineyard, Bennett Valley, Sonoma County.
One of the best white wines of California, and maybe the best Sauvignon Blanc period! This is an amazing wine with life, texture and complexity with bright tangy flavors and wild vibrancy. The nose is leesy, and fresh with citrus and sweet herbs before a round full palate of lemon/lime, tropical fruits, melon and peach layers. The zingy acidity and mineral notes add to the whole and the unfiltered richness makes this Sauvignon Blanc stand out. The slight wood notes are subtle and give extra depth, this wine is pure class and a total pleasure. Don’t miss out on this gem, it already has a cult following and it sells out quick! I loved the last 3 vintages, but this seems to be the best yet! Fantastic Sauvignon and a great summer wine, Bravo to all involved.
($30 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($28.95)

***