Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Domaine Pierre Guillemot “Savigny Aux Serpentieres” Premier Cru, Savigny-Les-Beaune, Red Burgundy.

Seriously, this wine is a freaking steal, and remarkably wonderful already, even if it begs for some short term cellaring. The most open of Guillemot’s fantastic collection of 2009 Burgundy, the Serpentieres is a lovely and joyous Pinot Noir with a nose of violets and rose oil and a palate of wild strawberries and blackcherries, and of course like all of Guillemot’s wines there is hints of earth, game and spices along with mineral and subtle oak. Bright tannins and acidity hint to the long life ahead of this stylish Burgundy and it would be a good idea to grab as many of these as you can, this is a special wine and those that act will reap a lasting benefit. This is a wine of class, delicate details and depth of charms, a wonderful Burgundy and it showcases both vintage and terroir to perfection!

($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive


Available at www.sfwtc.com

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Maxime Francois Laurent “Pourpre” Cotes-du-Rhone, Grenache, France.
With the outrage and buzz dies down about 2010 Bordeaux prices, people are starting to notice Southern France and Spain, where 2010 has delivered amazing Grenache wines, in fact these wines are so pure and vibrant they may eclipse the 2007 and 2009 wines from these regions. The balance and lift is fantastic, and there seems to be huge potential for development and longterm aging, even though it would be very difficult not to drink some of these wines as fast as possible. Maxime Francois Laurent’s wines, made at Domaine Gramenon, are delightful and deeply textured with stunningly purity. The 2010 Cotes-du-Rhones all have amazing fruit and color, making Laurent’s lineup one of the most intriguing and joyful to date. Made from small yields and organic farming, Laurent’s 2010 “Pourpre” is bursting with boysenberry, plum, blueberry and pomegranate fruits, lavender and cracked pepper notes plus tangy fresh acidity. Wild strawberry and mineral flashes come out with air and the nose is fragrant with violets, herbs and hints of fennel and a whiff of game. Both Gramenon and Laurent are imported by Kermit Lynch and have started to become stars of the new generation with a growing fan base here in the States, and while not cheap, these wines do offer a lot for the money once you get past their meager Cotes-du-Rhone labeling, especially these 2010 wines which are by far the best I’ve tried from both Gramenon and Maxine Francois Laurent, check them out when you see them, they are really impressive.
($32 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Alexana Riesling “Revana Vineyard” Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Alexana is Revana’s Oregon label, made by the famed Lynn Penner-Ash, and better known for their outstanding Pinot Noir, and of course Revana’s “cult” Napa Cabernet, which was made by Heidi Barrett, though will now be made by rising star Thomas Brown (Schader, Jones Family and Outpost) starting from the 2010 vintage, but it was this Riesling that struck me! The 2010 Alexana Riesling is succulent and bright with beautiful tropical fruits, light mineral tones and hints of honey. The nose has fresh citrus flowers, passion fruit and rose petals before a tangy palate of fresh citrus, candied pineapple, green apple and hints of stone fruit, white peach and red mineral spices. The acidity keeps things lively and zesty too, which makes a huge difference here and lifts this Riesling to a higher level. It should prove a winner for at least 3 to 5 years, though being from younger vines, it would be better to enjoy it now. This is a very fine effort from a very passionate producer that is committed to quality, check this one out and also look for their 2008 and 2009 Pinots, they are stunning as well.
($27 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Domaine Gramenon “Sierra du Sud” Cotes-du-Rhone, Syrah, France. (Biodynamic-Demeter)
It is hard to call this Domaine’s wines simply Cotes-du-Rhones, it just doesn’t fit, as their offerings are unique and terroir driven. Maybe it is the distinct location, or the biodynamic farming that give these wines there own character, but regardless these hand-crafted bottlings are loaded with fruit, intensity and depth that goes way beyond their merger classification, and it is especially true of this vintage of “Sierra du Sud from Gramenon. This Syrah cuvee is more Hermitage or Cornas in style than you’d imagine and it shows a depth and class that would easily fool anything into believing it came from those higher rent areas! While Gramenon is not cheap by any means, it is a steal when compared to others in it’s quality for the buck level, and with the 2010 vintage they have reacher even higher levels of substance. The 2010 Sierra du Sud has a nose full of spring flowers, mineral, wild game and spices as well as a pure black fruit tone, the palate is vibrant and expansive with blueberry, boysenberry, cherry liqueur, licorice, meaty essence and peppery spice. There is a hint of dark chocolate, lavender and tangy plums as well, and everything is held together nicely by smooth tannins and bright acidity, this wine gets fuller and deeper with air, make sure to give it a good decanting while young and look for it to age well for another 3 to 5 years, though I will enjoy a few well before that!
($34 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2008 Kobalt Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.
This is my favorite Kobalt to date, and I think it will even get better over the next few years, even though it is lavishly enjoyable now. Over the last five years this tiny label has secured a fast following that feverishly gobble up every last bottle and this 2008 is a great example why they do. With top Cab consultant Mark Herold (Merus and Kamen) giving advice, Kevin Carriker has taken this micro winery to the next level. I think Kobalt is almost on par with the likes of Hundred Acre and others that make lush, ripe modern styles of Cabernet. That said, the 2008 is a balanced and complex wine that doesn’t get raisiny or feel too alcoholic, as some bigger wines can get. There is a sense of finesse and it is not overtly sweet or port like, it has classic Cabernet flavors and firm tannins. The nose has smoke, vanilla, graphite, acacia flowers and boysenberry leading to a big mouthful of currant, plum, blackberry, cassis and bitter chocolate with licorice, tobacco spice and cedar notes. While done in a bold blockbuster style the 2008 Kobalt still drinks with lots of charm, bravo!
($90 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Weingut Spreitzer Riesling “Winkeler Jusuitengarten” Spatlese, Rheingau, Germany.*
Andreas Spreitzer is a rising star in the world of Riesling and after trying through his range of 2009 and 2010 vintages it is easy to see why. Spreitzer’s wines are crystal clear, focused and razor sharp in structure with pureness of fruit that is almost magical, and not in the least bit sterile or cold, these wines show terroir, depth and elegance. The 2009’s are full and round with extra dimension that the year provided, it was truly a nature’s vintage, while the 2010 was a winemaker’s time to shine and Andrea’s got it perfect with wines of extract and complexities, but with extremely vibrant acidities that give intensity and verve. Spreitzer’s Winkeler Jusuitengarden is a wonderful bold Riesling with fullness, grip and lovely fruit, it feels like a trocken Spatlese, but it does retain a certain sweetness and I imagine the must weight could have reached Auslese levels. The nose has bright citrus, white flowers and ginger leading to a round, but firm palate of white peach, apricot, green apple and passion fruit while lime, lychee and pineapple play in the honeyed background all wrapped in zesty fresh acidity. Look for this fantastic wine to gain in every way over the next decade, this is only the beginning of the pleasures to come. I can see lots of mineral, petrol, rose oil and honeycomb showing up in the next few years, again this is an impressive Riesling that should stand the test of time, giving much joy along the way. Also, check out his QbA, Kabinett and Spatlese 2009’s they are a steal and are available now!

*Coming late summer/fall of 2011
($36 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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Happy Bastille Day!

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Domaine Auchere Sancerre Rouge, Loire Valley, France. (Pinot Noir)
This fantastic and elegant Pinot Noir from Domaine Auchere shows the best of cool climate Pinot character and charm with detailed fruit, silky texture and spicy mineral notes. The nose is pure with raspberry, fresh cut flowers, dried rose petals and baking spices before a stylish palate of cherry, plum and wild strawberry. There is  saline, earth and subtle truffle elements along with hints of pepper and crushed stones. Everything flows smoothly and the fruit is always first in your thoughts, this is an impressive Sancerre Rouge, and frankly this wine is a steal and rivals any Pinot Noir in it’s price class. It should hold up nicely too with good acidity and low alcohol it will fill out some and gain over the next 2-3 years. This is a wine to enjoy now and savor it’s pretty layers, while not a Burgundy or as intense, it is a fine example of Loire Pinot and a beautiful wine.
($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

Coming Soon to SFWTC-1-800-681-WINE

www.sfwtc.com

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day, Value of the Year! Viva Espana!

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Bodegas Sigilata “Filon” Garnacha, Aragón, Calatayud, Spanish Red.
This intense pure Grenache is a marvel, an exceptional wine of deep and complex flavors, not to mention a ridiculously cheap treasure! The nose is full of fresh spring flowers, bacon, pepper and lavender and the palate goes the same way with added joys of cassis, strawberry, black cherry and bramble berry layers, plus a touch of licorice. Vibrant spice and acidity balance the fruit to perfection and there is a earthy/gamey essence that is both subtle and intriguing making this wine stand out, not just in it’s price class, but in any class. The balance of sweet and savory in this young red couldn’t be better, this is a very sexy wine that is mind-blowing for the price, enjoy now and or for the next 2 to 3 years easy.
($12 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Tribute to “Summer of Riesling 2011”

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Weingut Selbach-Oster Riesling “Rotlay” Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Mosel, Germany.
Johannes Selbach explained to me the craziness of the 2010 vintage and the super high levels of acidity, and the extreme power of the wines, that will show up in time. While the 2009 vintage was near perfect on all levels, almost easy for the winemakers and great for customers, the 2010 will be more intense and especially dry feeling while young, but watch out the higher must weight wines, spatlese and aisles, plus the TBA and Eiswein, will be killers! This maybe the best sweet wine year in many vintages will long lived and balanced wines. Selbach makes a few special cuvees, and the “Rotlay” is one of them, it is an amazingly deep and polished wine, though still firmly framed and ridged at this young stage, with layers of complexity and lush flavors. Sweetly rich, but with bracing acidity giving stunning balance and lift the “Rotlay” shows tropical fruits, green apple, white stone fruit and candied pineapple with crystalline mineral essence and citrus flowers. I love this wine now, and would pair it with Thai or Indian curries or spicy dishes in its youth, but rewards will come to those that cellar this beauty for 5 to 10 years when it really fills out and blossoms, look for slate, petrol fumes and rose oil to slowly unfold and a honey tone to show up over time. This wine has a future that is sure and I should wager a large sum that it will become a classic standing up to some of the best white wines of the world, this is a remarkable Riesling.
($61 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Weingut Johannes Leitz Riesling “Rudesheimer Berg Roseneck” Rheingau, Germany.
This stellar Riesling is all about terroir and relates its soils to the glass in stunning fashion with bright mineral and intense bracing acidity along with huge dry extract and depth of fruit. Still massively young, but wonderful in flavor and richness with white peach, fresh apricot, green apple and hints of honeyed lime. Johannes Leitz and Eva Fricke are making some of the most important wines of the Rheingau, highlighting the different soils and exposures near Rudesheim above the Rhein, exploiting brown and grey slate, red schist and ancient sea bed soils to amazing effect. This wine is full, Auslese must weight, zinging with powerful acidity and has complex aromas, flavors and a long finish, a true Grand Cru white. Still lots to develop here, so make sure to put a few away in the cellar for as long as a decade if you can! Sweet and tangy with subtle smoke, pineapple, flinty slate essence linger on almost a minute after the last sip. Look for great things from Leitz in the 2010 vintage, and “Rosie” here  is one of them.
($49 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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