Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

***

2009 Chateau Soucherie, Anjou Rouge, Loire Valley, France.
This is a single-vineyard cuvée from an old vines parcel that fronts the Château. with the soils a mix of limestone, sand and clay Soucherie’s Cabernet Franc is a marvel of balance, complexity and richness. The grapes for this cuvee are destemmed, then they are fermented in cuve giving the wine a pureness and chalky mineral essence that makes it stand out. Unfined and unfiltered the wine was bottled after 24 months in barrel, but there is not a trance of overt wood and nothing but the graceful highlights ever comes out. This wine is a stunning example of Cabernet Franc at it’s best with dark floral perfume, a hint of game and spice and lush red and black fruits with lots of life and minerally goodness. Chateau Soucherie’s 2009 Anjou Rouge is utterly fantastic and a nearly perfect wine of terroir and focus with vibrant and seamless layers, it is a must find for and Franc lovers and a great wine to introduce one’s self to this beautiful grape and region.
($18 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Latest

Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

***

2010 Weingut Donnhoff, Riesling Estate QbA, Nahe, Germany.
In my mind, it is hard to get a better $25 wine than this one, really Donnhoff makes some fantastic wines and this dry QbA Riesling is a super wine and a great value. The 2010 vintage is full of extract and vibrant bracing acidity and this wine starts out with lots of zingy tangy flavors, like lemon/lime, tangerine and apricot with lots of stoney mineral and peach pit. Given air and time in the glass the body becomes fuller and a touch of sweetness comes forward with a touch of candied pineapple and green apples while a subtle whiff of petrol also lingers in the background. With the structure and extract this Riesling has lots of staying power and should age nicely for 10 or so years, I just might a few away myself, even though I adore it now. I had tasted this wine last June and was unsure how things would develop, well, now I am more than convinced, this is a sublime example of quality Riesling at a bargain price.
($26 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($23.95)

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

***

2006 Carlo Giacosa, Barbaresco “Montefico” Alba, Piedmonte, Italy.
This tiny estate in the heart of the famed Barbaresco region only makes two wines from estate own Cru plots, and the output is unbelievably small, but very tasty indeed, especially this Montefico. Carlo Giacosa is ultra traditional and this 2006 Barbaresco “Montefico” is classic in style and structure with pure Nebbiolo charm and class. The color is more like aged Burgundy, a throw back to the old school wines of the 80’s and 90’s with touches of amber and brick, but with nice ruby hues and the palate plays a delicate balance of floral and earthy essences and with tannin and acidity not overshadowing the fruit, but always there. A lovely rose petal and cherry start on the mouth gives way to licorice, tar, black tea and strawberry on the mid palate, then all folding together nicely on the fresh and lengthy finish.
($60 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Special Report

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

***

2010 Domaine Armand Rousseau, Chambertin Grand Cru Red Burgundy.
Though this beauty won’t be released for almost two years, it is worth noting that it is one to wait for and pre order if you get the chance, it certainly looks like it will be a classic, if not an all time great Burgundy to covet. A huge thank you to the people at Fredrick Wildman for allowing me a taste of this amazing barrel sample, I can tell you everyone here in San Francisco that was at this tasting are a grateful lot! After reading many reports about the 2010 vintage and glowing reviews by the likes of Jancis Robinson I was really excited to see for myself what all the hype was about, and while I’m convinced the top end wines are as good as they can get in the reds, it may prove to be an even better vintage for the whites across the board from cheap village wines to Grand Cru, where as the reds seem to really jump dramatically in quality once you hit the Premier Crus, and then another jump up in the Grand Crus, like this ultra fantastic 2010 Chambertin from Eric Rousseau, who is taking over from his father Charles, at Domaine Armand Rousseau. I understand he may add stems in small amounts and uses mostly new wood on the grand Crus, but both seem subtle in this very pure and primal Pinot Noir, and while no where near complete yet, it shows plenty and without doubt become a legend. The nose has fresh red and black fruits, violets and a touch of smoke before a palate of currant, cherry and strawberry fruits that coat the mouth and even at this stage linger on and on. There is silky tannins and firm acidity holding things together even though this baby shows a lush texture, most likely it will tighten up a ton in bottle, so be sure to keep your hands off for another few years after release, even though that means not tasting until at least 2016 or later! As with Rousseau, lots of terroir and mineral spices will come with age, so again rewards to those that are patient. I have a soft spot for Clos de la Roche, and Rousseau’s is also sublime in 2010 as are the Gevrey and Charmes, keep your eyes open for them when the come!
($400 Est.) 96-98 Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

***

2006 Conti Sertoli Salis “Grumello” Valtellina Superiore DOCG, Italian Red.
I just love these mountain Nebbiolo wines, and this pretty Grumello is just a sexy and intriguing wine with delightful life and vibrancy. Only a tiny handful of producers make these rare wines from steep terraced vineyards in extreme mountainous Alp terroirs in the very north of Italy, so it is always a deep pleasure to get a chance to try one. Many of these growers also do small lots of Amarone like versions made from late picked and dried Nebbiolo grapes, and I adore them and find them better than most of the real Veneto Amarones on occasion. This wine is not from dried grapes, but it does have an exotic and sweet herb layer that you don’t find anywhere else with blue and red fruits and a savory earth and spice element. This Conti Salis Valtellina was new to me and I love it and can’t wait to try it again and the other wines from this small artisan producer. The nose starts with dried flowers, sweet herbs and lavender spice with hints of rose petals and fennel along with a tangy plum note which lead to a mid weight palate that shows cherry, plum and wild strawberry fruits plus mineral, truffle, licorice and a touch of tar with acidity and supple tannins. This is a totally unique Nebbiolo that only hints at it’s more famous cousins in Barolo and Barbaresco, but is almost as enjoyable.
($36 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

***