Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 M. Lapierre, Morgon Cru Beaujolais, French Red.
The 2010 vintage of Lapierre shows a more subtle and delicate nature with zesty vibrant verve and energy that the last two vintages did not have, even if the 2010 seems lighter at this stage. The nose is bright with lilac, red citrus and iodine along with red fruits and a whiff of forest floor earthiness before a fresh palate of cherry, strawberry and juicy plums. With hints of straw bales, walnut shells and fig this wine has plenty of charm to seduce. This cuvee is produced without added sulfur and needs to be kept carefully or drunk young, either way this is a rewarding wine and I think it should evolve nicely for 4-6 years.
($25 Est.) 91+ Points, grapelive

Available now at: www.sfwtc.com $24.95

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Jean Foillard, Morgon “Cote du Py” Cru Beaujolais, French Red.
This a classic Foillard vintage with sublime balance and texture, much like a wonderful Cru Burgundy in class and style, there is no question Faillard is a great artist and his wines masterpieces all. The 2010 shows strawberry, black currants, walnut and bing cherry with hints of briny truffle, fig paste and mineral tones all in a lively mid weight palate. The finish is sublime and long lasting with a refreshing crispness and focus. While not as heady as the 2009, this a prettier and more complex wine that should age extremely well.
($37 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2008 Weingut Willi Brundlmayer, Pinot Noir “Cecile” Kamptal, Austria.
This elegant Pinot Noir is really a gem with crushed rose petals, spicy minerals, red berries and subtle earthy essence. Brundlmayer is one of the top estates in the Wachau region of Austria and is based in Kamptal with lovely terraced vineyards near the Danube. This fantastic winery makes a stunning selection of top quality wines from a Champagne class or better sparkling wines to sublime Rieslings and Gruner Veltliners, but they also make one of the finest Pinot Noirs in the country, and it can often rival the more well known Burgundy domaines and German Spatburgunders. Without question, I think the 2008 “Cecile” is the best yet with such silky texture, life and complexity it just sings and does so with massive sex appeal. The palate is round and filling with soft cherry, raspberry and plum fruits, mineral rocky tones, truffle notes and lively acidity with a sublime finish that goes on for minutes. Truly world class and beautiful, if you can find some you’ll be thrilled.
($58 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2008 Casale del Giglio, Shiraz (Syrah) Lazio IGT Rosso, Italy.
This big and fruit driven Syrah comes from the western edge of Lazio, north of Rome and gains from the coastal influence that this unique terroir gets and gives it nice acidity to balance the bold flavors. Casale planted many international varietals here with Syrah and Petit Verdot doing exceptionally well, along with Chardonnay and Viognier, plus Merlot and Cabernet, they do have Sangivese and other Italian grapes as well, but it is the transplants that seems just that bit more remarkable. Casale regularly gets high praise for the quality of their wines, and I have not had a single wine from this winery that did not impress, but the Syrah based wines just have that something extra, like this fine and rich Shiraz. The nose is earthy and spice laced with a touch of perfumey violets and blackberry jam, leading to a palate that delivers the promise of the nose and gives deep dark fruits and a heady thick texture. There are layers of boysenberry, cassis, bitter chocolate, intense melted licorice, warm stones and a hint of game. While this is no question a modern and ripe wine, it still has many old world charms and it is a steal at this price.
($20 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 August West Pinot Noir “Rosella’s Vineyard” Santa Lucia Highlands.

This new release from Ed Kurtzman & Gary Franscioni is round, lush and dark with pretty cherry, cassis, truffle and mocha. It looks like Rosella’s is knockout for the vintage, and this wine changes in glass becoming more complex by the minute and it opens to a more classic cherry and mineral laced Pinot with air, though many will enjoy it as it is with the bold black fruits and creamy texture. August West is the sister label to Roar and while Ed makes both wines, the August West wines see less oak and this vintage seems a bit more subtle then past efforts. I love all the wines in the lineup, the Graham Vineyard from the Russian River Valley and the new Franscioni Vineyard Sierra Mar, but maybe the Rosella’s just has that little extra and I find it a touch more complete and sexy. The rich and plummy fruit shows the youth at this early stage, but I think it should age well with the balanced acidity and structured tannins. The normal earthy tones are way in the background and the light smoky sweet French oak shadings give only a light kiss of vanilla spice. The Sierra Mar is also a very impressive wine, but it needs more time to evolve, maybe because the vines are so young? I hope to revisit these again and see what happens, though I am sure the Rosella’s is a star.
($45 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 La Bastide Saint Dominique, Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc, France.
This wonderful blend of Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Clairette is bright and cusp, but has a good expansion on the palate and a creamy roundness plus nice mineral tones. The nose is full of crushed stones and honeysuckle with a hints of citrus and spice before a vibrant palate of stone fruits, white peach and apricot lead the way, but there is tangerine and tropical notes too. Tangy acidity adds a clear focus and balance, making this vintage rather special and gives lots of life to the wine.
($15 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Moric Blau Fränkisch, Burgenland, Austrian Red.
In a rare moment, I couldn’t help myself and ordered a full bottle off the wine list on a whim, and surprise surprise it was a complete gem and even if it was a bit much for one person, it was enjoyed to the last drop, and that bottle was this 2009 Moric Blau Frankisch from Austria. While Austria is know for their fantastic whites, Gruner Veltliner and dry Rieslings, their reds have been gaining in popularity in recent years with people enjoying the refined style and ease of use in wines made from Zweigelt and St. Laurent, but it is Blau Frankisch that is really turning heads. Blau Frankisch, know as the “Pinot of the East” because of it’s charms and elegance when done correct, it is also called Lemberger in Germany and is grown across eastern Europe, but to date it is the Austrian versions that rise to the top. The best areas seem to be Carnuntum and the greater Burgenland region of Austria where the weather allows a longer ripening period and where the wine shows intense color and complexities. The 2009 Moric Blau Frankisch shows a deep blue/red hue and is silky rich with ripe tannins and superb length on the finish. The nose has spicy notes accenting the floral perfume and the palate is full of vigor refined and round with black cherry, plum, cranberry and lush red currant fruit with mineral notes, subtle bell pepper and fig paste. I found myself comparing it in my mind to a Loire Valley Cabernet France meets a Alto Adige Lagrein, even though it is very much it’s own wine with uniques qualities.
($32 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Delas Freres Saint-Joseph “Cuvee Francois de Tournon” Rhone Red, France.
This polished and fruit driven Syrah has lots of Cotie-Rotie like character and is a wonderful Saint-Joseph with gobs of black fruit, blueberry compote and sweet tannins with just a touch of volatile acidity. There is a nice seaweed, saline and spicy edge to go with the rich boysenberry, blackberry and cassis layers making for a balanced wine, even if I was looking for a bit more mineral and maybe a touch of violets, this is a really good wine and one that has plenty of time to find itself and develop more complexities. Touches of black pepper and bitter chocolate come through with some air and everything settles into where it should be. Don’t let my personal impatience stand your way as this wine is a steal for its quality and focus, and I can admit I’ll be getting a few more bottles myself if I can find them! With Parker’s huge ratings for 2009 Northern Rhone wines has started a craze for Delas and many others wines like this one are going to be harder to find, so get them while you can. Delas Freres also makes some fantastic entry level reds, especially their Cotes Du Ventoux which I have been buying for more than 10 years, and a fine basic Cotes du Rhone Rouge, plus they made tasty whites too.
($32-40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

Avail. at www.sfwtc.com

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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1996 Domaine Des Lambrays “Clos Des Lambrays” Grand Cru Red Burgundy, France.
Thinking that some people have this gem in their cellars makes me very jealous indeed, it is an often overlooked wine and one that can really blow some minds, like this fantastic vintage. I am green with envy after seeing a whole unopened case of this wine come out of a acquaintances wine storage thinking I would love to try that, then lo-and-behold he offers to open a bottle to see how it was tasting and presto I’m lifted to the sky in a heavenly Burgundy induced dream! This is why we drink wine, to have these moments and this 1996 Clos Des Lambrays is everything you could hope or ask for with pure Grand Cru character and charm. This silky Pinot has length, minerallity, earthiness and racy sex appeal with a touch of game and truffle on the nose, very old school Burg, and rose petals, violets and cherry fruit coming through on the palate. The complexities change with every sip, re-seducing you and tempting you back again and again. There is a hay and woody note that comes and goes, as well as a balsamic and baked strawberry side that fades in and out too. The color is what it should be at this stage with a slight amber edge to the garnet middle, but still there is plenty of life to come, even if I would suggest opening some now if you have them, as it is beautiful and textured right now, a very good point, close to peaking I think. Then there is essences of Asian spice, animal and tangy plum fruit that add to the mix making for a very intriguing wine that delivers on goods, highlighting a sublime vintage and a unique terroir. I’m very grateful to a very generous person that allowed me to sample such a treat, somedays just are a bit more rewarding than others and for that I give thanks. The Clos des Lambrays is one of the rare Monopole Grand Cru vineyards and is worth searching out as it is a real bargain compared to other Grand Crus!
($129 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2007 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.
It has been decades since this Napa Cabernet has put in a showing this good, and I found myself really enjoying it much more than I could ever imagine and it made me recall some wonderful times I had drinking 1991, 1992 and 1994 vintages of this wine. For way too long Silver Oak has under-achieved and has been almost been forgotten by serious wine drinkers, well, I can honestly say they have re-found the magic and made a stunning wine. The last few Napa’s have been rathe weak efforts with lean flavors and bitter herbalness that I have found very unpleasing, even if few complain aloud, but behold the 2007 Napa and you’ll be a believers again, this is that much better, it will transform even the most hardened critic as it did me. The depth, length and solid structure all make this wine a thing of beauty and will allow further development and I think this might age just as well as those lovely early nineties wine did and have. The nose is full of dark essences, cassis, floral tones and bitter chocolate before a full palate of currants, blackberry and plum fruits with hints of tobacco, smoky vanilla, melted black licorice and cedar woodiness. A graphite element gives a touch of Bordeaux class, and while no one would confuse the terroirs it does have a firm tannic nature holding it together, like a fine Pauillac. This is a very well made Cabernet that gives every impression of being a classic Silver Oak and it left me wanting more and very impressed indeed, Daniel Barron and his team can be proud of this effort no question.
($100 Est. Due out Feb 2012) 94 Points, grapelive

Avail. at www.sfwtc.com 1-800-731-6222 (Pre Sale Pricing)

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