Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Domaine Piaugier Cotes du Rhone “La Grange de Piaugier” France.
This wildly good red shows amazing quality and beautiful fruit from start to finish. Piaugier makes many wonderful wines and any savvy wine buyer should check this Domaine for quality and value. The 2010 vintage just is plain awesome for the Rhone Valley, and this little gem is a lovely red Cotes du Rhone with chewy fruit, spice and elegant minerallity. The 2010 La Grange de Piaugier starts with hints of wildflowers, crushed rocks and fresh berries before a nice rich palate of boysenberry, spiced plums and cherry fruit with hints of pepper, licorice and lavender. This flat out is a serious clean and nice wine that is a steal, especially when you can get it for just about ten bucks in most places. Thanks again for Charles Neal Selections for importing this fun red.
($14 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive


available at: www.sfwtc.com ($9.95)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2008 Brovia Nebbiolo D’ Alba “Valmaggione” Piedmonte, Italy.
This fresh and vibrant Nebbiolo shows wild sweet strawberry and mountains herbs with an earthy perfume and hints of truffle. Brovia, an elegant and classic style always, makes a lovely and smooth textured wine and this baby Barolo is very much true to form. The 2008 Brovia Nebbiolo takes a while to really get going, so be sure to have patience and let this wine breathe, as air brings out the fullness and real nature of this subtle red. The opened wine shows mineral, tar and licorice accents to go along with the cherry and raspberry fruit core making it drink more like a rich Burgundy rather than a tough and tannic Barolo. I can honestly say, I have yet to try or taste a Brovia wine that I didn’t enjoy, these are wines that are full of life and give lots of pleasure. I love all their Baroli and I am especially found of their Barbera, and now I’m smitten on this Nebbiolo, and the house style and the fact that almost no oak shows in the wines keeps me coming back. If you want pretty, terroir driven and quality made Piedmonte wines, you must explore these wines of Brovia.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Piaugier “La Grange de Piaugier” Cotes-du-Rhone, Red France.
The 2010 Rhone wines are stunning, what a vintage, it has it all, color, intensity, vibrancy and balancing acidity, and this Piaugier Cotes-du-Rhone is a great example showing vintage and terroir. Charles Neal Selections is importing this wine and I must give kudos to him for holding the price down on what is already a killer deal, and with the class and depth of this wine it could easily sell for almost twice the price and make people happy. The 2010 La Grange de Piaugier shows floral, mineral and earthy spices on the nose with dark plum, boysenberry, kirsch and licorice on the palate with crushed hot stones, pepper and lavender oil all playing roles as the layers unfold. The Piaugier stays focused with tangy acidity and while there is a sweet element to the ripe fruit it always remains lively and fresh.
($12 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($10.95)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2007 Clos Marie “L’Olivette” Pic Saint Loup, Coteaux du Languedoc, French Red.
Tasted recently, this wonderful blend of 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache tastes fresh and lively with rich and intense flavors and spice. Clos Marie has long been making wines at upper echelon levels at terrific prices, in fact this wine compares well against wines three times its price, and especial this 2007, which tastes like a fine Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The nose s minerally and perfumed with wild flowers and crushed stones leading to a full palate of blackberry, boysenberry, cassis, plum and cherry fruits with pepper, fennel and lavender all adding to the glorious mix. This is a rich and smooth expression of the region and terroir with a long savory and sweet finish.
($25 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($14.95 Sale)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Moris Farms Morellino di Scansano, Tuscan Red, Italy.
This small estate in the southwest coastal area of Tuscany makes some of the finest wines in the regions that are pure in essence and easy on the wallet, like this beautiful Morellino di Scansano that shines with terroir and vibrant flavors. Moris Farms makes this gem from 90% Sangiovese and the remaining 10% is from Merlot and Syrah and it is fermented and aged in cement which highlights the fruit and showcases the Sangiovese perfectly. The nose is floral and the color is very dark and lovely leading to a full palate of blackberry, strawberry, chalky minerals, tobacco leaf, licorice and truffle notes. This juicy and fresh wine deserves all the attention is gets and at under $25 is a great way to enjoy Sangiovese when you want something a bit different from the normal Chianti or Rosso di Montalcino. Enjoy with food or with cheeses, this is a really a super wine.
($24 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($21.95)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Julien Labet “en billat” Poulsard, Jura Red, France.
This Poulsard is like a lovers soft kiss to your neck, silky and lingering with a hint of electricity. Julien Labet is making some exciting wines from the Jura and is following the natural wine movement, or maybe he is pushing it forward. Poulsard is delicate and thin skinned, making it less likely as a main component in the reds of the region, it usually gets blended with Pinot Noir and or Trousseau Noir, but it still remains the second most planted grape in the Jura, even if is used mainly in roses and even sparkling, as well in the blends. Poulsard has been a staple in the Jura since the 1500’s, and it is also found in Begay where it is blended with Gamay. There is now even a totally white skinned Poulsard that makes light aromatic wines. While that may be interesting, it is this 2009 Julien Labet Poulsard that steals the show, and elevates Poulsard to new heights with pretty color, texture and lovely perfume. I must say, I am becoming a big fan of Labet, and as mentioned in an earlier review, his 2010 Metis is an amazing wine, I just might be hooked on Jura! This 2009 “en billet” starts with dried flowers and rose petals with some earth, red spices and minerals on the nose before a palate of strawberry and plum fruits. I must say, if tasted blind I would guess this was a Cru Beaujolais, most like a Fleurie I think with fine Gamay like character with violets, a hint of blue fruits and walnut. Pretty Pinot like round and smooth texture and finesse all still vibrant and lively. I went back to this bottle 24 hours later and found it even better with bright flavors and a longer finish, without any hint of degradation at all, a very impressive wine and elegant winemaking to be sure. Imported by Charles Neal Selections.
($30 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($27.95)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Cazar Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast (by Hunter Wines-Chasseur)

Cazar is the second label to the well known and prized Chasseur label and offers amazing quality for the money, especially this beautiful and textured Pinot Noir from great vineyard sources around the Russian River and Sonoma Coast regions. The 2010 vintage shows the lighter touch the year gave, but it is not far off the depth of 2009 and makes for a more balanced and vibrant wine with balance and focus, really this Pinot is a steal. The nose shows dark fruit, subtle oak toast, roses and violets leading to a core of cherry and raspberry fruit layers with some plum and baking spices. There is good grip and zesty acidity keeping things in check, but overall this wine is silky and refined with a long finish. While the Chasseur label continues to impress at the higher end, the Cazar gives great fun, enjoyment and value, I highly recommend grabbing some of this very good Pinot Noir while it lasts.
($20-22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($18.95)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Domaine Francine et Olivier Savary Chablis Vieilles Vignes, White Burgundy, France.
This brilliant and fresh old vine Chardonnay is pure and terroir driven, it could be nothing other than Chablis with lime flower, citrus and green apple with chalky minerals and river stones. I’m a huge fan of Savary and this V.V. bottling, sometimes it outshines the Premier Crus and I even gushed that I thought the 2007 was Raveneau like. This 2010 may not quite rival the 2007, but surely it gets close and I think with a bit of time in the bottle it will get better still. The nose is steely with liquid minerals and orange blossom leading to the brisk citrus laced palate that leans to the lime side of the spectrum with a touch of lemon and hazelnut before filling out with green apple notes. This very vibrant and tangy Chablis ends with lots of vigor and zing, and mouth coating minerallity. This is a wonderfully crisp Chardonnay that dazzles with acidity and charm, making for a dynamic wine of style and verve. Look for this wine to hit the shelves soon, but don’t wait long as like all Kermit Lynch Burgundy, they go fast!
($28 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Domaine Philipppe Pacalet Pommard, Red Burgundy.
This is one of the prettiest Pommard wines I’ve ever had if not the prettiest, with delicate detail and elegance not often seen in this area of Burgundy. Pacalet works with special plots and has his vines tended mostly, completely organic and he is very gentle in his winemaking and uses native and natural yeast, all of which shines through in his lovely village wines. I tasted through most of his 2009 bottlings, and found all of his wines interesting and soulful with clean vibrant flavors and smooth textures. The 2009 Pacalet Pommard is soft and beautiful with perfume, minerals and bright red fruits flowing across the palate, while the nose has rose petals, truffle and exotic spices. There is only a whisper of smoke and sweet oak shadings that is very subtle and frames the fruit perfectly.  I have learned that Pacalet stirs (or rolls) the wine on the lees to produce creamy round wines, even though he uses stem inclusion for structure, in fact he reportedly used 100% stems in all of his 2009 reds. These are wonderful wines and this Pommard is a fine effort that is intriguing and seductive from start to finish.
($85 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($84.95)

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