Monthly Archives: May 2014

Wine of the Day May 31, 2014

2013Luberri2013 Luberri-Familia Monje Amestoy, Orlegi, Rioja Joven, Spain.
Florentino Monje’s Luberri Orlegi is a vibrant and fresh style red, it is more like a Cotes du Rhone than a classic Rioja, with no wood and bright spicy fruit that is wonderfully flavorful and pleasing. This hard to beat value is a red made from mostly Tempranillo but surely has some Garnacha and maybe some Graciano in the mix, but is so vibrant and joyous you needed bother with the techniques or make up, it is just a fun and easy to love wine that would be perfect for parties, picnics or Tuesday pizza night. The 2013 Orlegi Joven is filled with crushed berry, grapey plum and fresh picked cherry along with cracked pepper, chalky stones and hints of red peach and strawberry, it is controlled by soft tannins and tangy acidity. There is lots to love here, in fact it should be bottled in a bigger bottle it is good and easy, you’ll want more, I’d suggest serving slightly chilled and in pitchers at the table with friends, it is a happy wine that will bring laughter, smiles and dancing. This simple red from Spain’s famous Rioja region is a great drink now choice and is perfect for summer, and would be great as a base for top drawer Sangria, Ole Ole!
($13 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day May 30, 2014

2013LaSpinettaRose2013 La Spinetta, Il Rose di Casanova Della Spinetta, Tuscany, Italy.
Giorgio Rivetti’s La Spinetta is one of Italty’s great wineries, his Cru Barbaresci are magical, and his Tuscan project is now reaching new heights as well, and for the last few vintages he has made one of the regions finest roses too. The Il Rose di Casanova Della Spinetta is a wonderfully crafted pink wine, made from local varietals though mostly Sangiovese, with dry austere character and shows vibrant freshness and delicacy with lots of spice, herb and mineral to go with citrus and melon fruits on the palate. This brisk and cool rose has hints of rose petal, basil, sour cherry, strawberry, steely minerals, grapefruit, peach and strawberry lifted by tangy acidity and is just perfect for a lunch outdoor lunch or pre dinner sipper. This golden orange/pinkish Tuscan rose from La Spinetta is a joyous and vivid wine with lots of restraint and class, each year it gets more and more stylish and refined, it certainly feels lively and has a more French tone than most roses from Italy which can be much bolder and heavy, but the Il Rose di Casanova Della Spinetta is in a class of it’s own, drink through the fall of 2014.
($20 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day May 29, 2014

2011TilleulsPN2011 Fabienne Cottagnoud Cave des Tilleuls, Pinot Noir de Vetroz, Valais AOC, Switzerland.
This is truly a stunning Swiss wine, I almost tried to ignore it, but I was instantly drawn to it’s charms during a recent Burgundy tasting where someone slipped this Pinot Noir in the lineup, and honestly it was better than a lot of fine Premier Cru Burgs. I had tasted this wine prior and liked it, though in context, the second bottle was tremendous and thoroughly enjoyable, if you want to blow a few minds you should search this beautiful Pinot Noir out, it is imported by Rosenthal and it is worth the effort, no question. This unique mountain Pinot Noir coming from the Valais region of Switzerland is hand crafted by Fabienne and her husband Marc-Henri who tends the organic vineyards, these are wines that showcase terroir with dramatic mineralite from the combination of schist, gneiss and granite soils. The 2011 Cave des Tilleuls Pinot Noir de Vetroz is sexy, vibrant, richly flavored, textural and transparent with a brilliant ruby hue, soft floral perfume and delicate, but expressive layers of black cherry, attractive red currants, framboise, strawberry and wild plum along with red spices, crushed stones, flint, smoke and saline notes with hints of cured meat, savory elements, subtle wood and crushed roses. The fruit gathers intensity in the mouth and lingers on the sublime finish, and the cool racy acidity keeps everything precise and focused, drink over the next 3 to 5 years, very impressive!
($36-45 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day May 28, 2014

2013Trinquevedel2013 Chateau de Trinquevedel, Tavel Rose, Rhone Valley, France.
Having thought I knew a thing or two, I was surprised to learn that Tavel can only be made up of a maximum of 60% Grenache! I had always believed it was much higher if not 100% Grenache, when then now I know better, and that Tavel is one of the great areas for rose is the only regional AC to be 100% pink. Chateau de Trinquedel, founded in 1936, is one of the top estates here, very close to the famed city of Nimes, and their cepage mix in this Tavel is 56% Grenache Noir, 20% Cinsault, 10% Clairette, 4% Syrah, 4% Bourbelenc, 3% Mourvèdre, 3% Grenache Blanc grown on a terroir that includes loam, clay, limestone, sand, marl and quartz soils. The 2013 Trinquevedel is vivid and brilliant with a gorgeous full pink/orange hue, a rich palate and tangy acidity with mineral tones and a spicy kick to go with pretty watermelon, grapefruit, sour cherry and strawberry fruits. There is hints of steely elements, chalk, cracked pepper and garrigue leaving a whiff of almost a lavender essence and finishes bright, fresh and crisp, but lingers with a long pleasing aftertaste, this is glorious and refreshing summer wine, drink over the next 6 to 8 months.
($18 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day May 27, 2014

2012GuillemotSerp2012 Domaine Pierre Guiiemot, Savigny Aux Serpentieres, Premier Cru Red Burgundy.
Domaine Pierre Guillemot makes flavorful, fresh and slightly rustic Burgundy with old world character and charm, and while finely made and easy they are not wines that have pretensions or are they in the need of many uncertain years in the cellar. The Guillemot wines are true Cote de Beaune expressions and show the nature of the place very well with red fruits, spice and earthy tones, and their 2012’s are no different, these are solid and focused efforts with slightly better energy, density and length than the last three or four vintages. The 2012 wines will be much rarer, as yields were down by as much as 60% in the region, but admirably Domaine Pierre Guillemot has kept pricing much the same, so if you are a fan of this producer this will be a good year to stock up earthy. Guillemot is one of many traditional producers in Kermit Lynch’s import portfolio, and has been rising up the ranks recently with cleaner winemaking and much better consistency across the lineup which includes a white Savigny and three main red core wines, along with a Corton Grand Cru, but of the main wines I always gravitate to their Savigny-Les-Beaune Rouge offering the Sauvigny Aux Serpentieres Premier Cru, and this latest is no exception, it is my favorite by a mile. The 2012 Guillmot Savigny Aux Serpentieres is richly layered, brilliantly detailed and very entertaining with bing cherry, plum and tangy raspberry with hints of cracked peppercorn, briar, cinnamon and crushed flowers. The medium ruby hue leads the way into the glass and this Burgundy flows with transparency, lively acidity gives plenty of life and vigor along with hints of earth, wild herbs, anise, mineral/chalky tones and pleasing saline. This is a wine that should gain with short term cellaring, but can without question be enjoyed young, I would advise drinking between 2014 and 2020, this might be Guillemot’s best to date and is hard to beat value-wise!
($45 Est.) 92-93 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day May 26, 2014

2012LavantureauxFourchaume2012 Domaine Roland Lavantureaux, Chablis “Fourchaume” Premier Cru White Burgundy, France.
Wow, I am thrilled by the Lavantureaux 2012’s, I have always admired the quality of this Chablis house, especially their Petite Chablis, but these 2012 wines are spectacular and utterly delicious with verve and depth. Kermit Lynch has been the long time importer of Domaine Roland Lavantureaux and they have been a steady performer for decades making a solid and correct lineup of Chardonnay with pure regional character, but this 2012 Fourchaume Premier Cru is something far beyond the normal fare, this is on another level entirely, this is a sleeper and I highly recommend rushing down to your local wine merchant and getting yours reserved as soon as possible, it should be in stock now or very shortly. The 2012 Domaine Roland Lavantureaux Chablis Fourchaume Premier Cru starts with a hue of green/yellow and a nose of wet stones, citrus blossoms and lime leading to a surprisingly full palate of citrus/lime essence, green apple, white peach and has a steely core with chalky mineral, clove spice, hazelnut and lemon oil. This wine is balanced, harmonious and vibrant with wonderful intensity/tension throughout, this is a stunning Chablis, by far the best wine from Lavantureaux I’ve had, if you are looking for a top Chablis at a super fair price this is it, no question, drink from 2015 to 2020, absolutely gorgeous.
($37 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day May 25, 2014

2013SheldonGrenacheBlanc2013 Sheldon, Grenache Blanc, Sonoma Coast.
The last white from Sheldon Wines is their bright and tangy Grenache Blanc, this vintage is 100% Grenache Blanc, no Roussanne this time, and it is a stylish summer sipper all ready, though look for this white to age well and gain complexity over the next 2 to 3 years. This is exciting juice with unique white Rhone character and underlying elements, with vibrant flavors and plenty of crisp acidity. I tasted from barrel and now from finished bottle and really love this edition, it just feels complete, and it seems to be the wine they were always striving to make, it is lifting and elegant with plenty of panache. The 2013 Sheldon Grenache Blanc is pale with hints of gold and green hues, a touch of white flowers and briny notes along with citrus leading to a palate of fresh peach, honeydew, lemon and nectarine fruit with apricot flesh and stone/pit, almond oil and crunchy apple skin. The is mouth watering acidity, saline and savory notes along with a touch of river stones and this wine is tangy/brisk finishing with a slight bitter edge in it’s youth, making it super refreshing and vivid now, though it should gain with bottle age, it looks to need some time to fill out, and I think it should find a real happy place in another year or so that might show a improved roundness, and creamy texture that it only hints at now, even though I enjoy it as is and certainly admire it’s austere and zesty nature now, again it is a super wine and would go great with warm days and add benefits to summer cuisine, this is lovely hand crafted stuff.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day May 24, 2014

2013Lascaux Rose2013 Chateau de Lascaux, Rose, Languedoc, France.
This fresh and bright rose from near Pic St. Loup is delightfully tangy and mineral edged with zesty red citrus, watermelon, succulent sour cherry and earthy strawberry fruits along with crushed stones, saline and a steely element. This is shaping up to be a summer time favorite and should be a staple for long hot days, perfect for brunch, picnics and warm evening sipping, this a great example of southern French dry rose. A hint of chalkiness and mouth watering acidity add to it’s stylish charms, for sure Chateau de Lascaux has their rose figured out and 2013 is one of their best effects to date, importer Kermit Lynch will not have a problem selling this pert pink wine out, so best not to wait and stock up while you can. This years cepage (mix of grapes) is made up of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, drink over the next 12 to 18 months.
($17 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive


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Wine of the Day May 23, 2014

2013JamainPG2013 Denis Jamain Domaine de Reuilly, Reuilly, Pinot Gris, Loire Valley, France.
This slightly pink Gris is sizzling with fresh intensity and loaded with mineral essence, making a dynamic semi white semi rose wine that is perfect for summer. This seriously charged wine from Denis Jamain’s Domaine de Reuilly has just a few short hours of skin contact and takes it’s cues from the unique soils and terroir from this cool and ocean influenced region of the Loire. All of Jamain’s wines are full of driving acidity, mineral and are remarkably poised in presentation, and are especially good with seafood, with oysters and summer fare, these are vibrant, vivid and delicately flavored wines that are refreshing and pleasing in every way. The 2013 Domaine de Reuilly Pinot Gris, as mentioned has a slight pinkish tint with salmon hued edges leading to a palate of red citrus, grapefruit, green apple and faint hints of wild peach, melon and has a steely core, along with a bit of saline, spice and an impression of cherry/strawberry. This stony off white is strikingly dry, crisp and bracing, but not severe or harsh, it just begs for another sip and is mouth wateringly good and joyous.
($19 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

Grapelive Special Report-Three Old World Red Charmers

Three Old World Reds That You Should Look For

By Kerry Winslow


These three wines, one each from France, Spain and Italy are wonderful examples of richly flavored wines from the old world, each unique and remarkably pleasing and under $50 on the shelf, if you are looking for good value and class, these stylish wines are certainly worth exploring, they all drink great now and would be nice mid term cellar wines as well!

2010BellesGraves2010 Château Belles-Graves, Lalande de Pomerol, Red Bordeaux, France.
Belles-Graves dates back to the 16th century, this pre French Revolution has changed hands a few times in it’s lifetime, but now remains in the heirs of Hermine Theallet since 1938 with Xavier Piton, a relative of the famed under sea explorer Jacques Cousteau, in charge today. This secluded and idyllic Chateau is surrounded by mostly Merlot vines, though there is a good plot of Cabernet Franc that adds complexity to this classic Lalande de Pomerol with the Grand Vin made up of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. With a great vintage, like 2010, it is hard to wrong and certainly Chateau Belles-Graves got it right, making a stylish and full bodied Claret that is not only lush and delicious now, it can age gracefully for another 5 to 10 years easy. The nose is full of acacia and dark floral tones along with creme de cassis and with a hint of mineral/pencil lead, leading to a plush mouth filling palate of blackberry coulis, red currants, cherry and framboise plus hints of vanilla, graphite, char, briar and cedar. Good drive and polished tannins keep the vigor in this Bordeaux along with a lift of gentle acidity and the long fruit filled aftertaste. This is one of jewels in Kermit Lynch’s Bordeaux portfolio, if you are looking for a super drinking Bordeaux and don’t want to break the bank this would be an excellent choice!
($35 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

2009Remelluri2009 Remelluri, Rioja, Reserva, Spain.
Telmo Rodriguez returned to his family estate in 2010, but had plenty of time in the cellar to separate lots and refine the blend in this sublime Rioja that for the first time in modern history was all estate grown, with the purchased old vine fruit going into the Lindes de Remelluri bottling. Telmo has great plans for this glorious estate wine, and his estate white, the Remelluri Blanco is already seeing his vision come into focus, he plans to model the red along the same lines, he will add more varietals each year until he has up to 9 or 10 different grapes to the classic mix of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano, his idea is craft a unique field blend that is proprietary to Remelluri a more complex and exotic wine. I can see why, as his Blanco proves he’s on to something special here, the terroir is ideal for this too with slopes and high elevation Remelluri has it’s own sense of place, quite different to other properties in Rioja, Remelluri is literally on the edge with a mix of soils and it’s own micro-climate in Rioja Alavesa. 2009 was a warm and generous vintage, and the Remelluri is full of richness and texture with ripe tannins and wonderful length, Telmo’s masterful touch in blending gave this wine a graceful almost Burgundy like feel, it is rich without being heavy, no mean feat in this vintage. Pretty red fruits, earth, spice and subtle wood notes all play important roles here with raspberry, cherry and dark plum. There is texture and layers here, with hints of game, exotic spice, truffles, anise, cedar and warm stones, this is an interesting wine and it sets the senses alight, drink now and through 2019. Be sure to keep an eye out for future releases of Remelluri, and don’t miss the Blanco, the 2011 is stunning!
($45 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

2012Cirelli2012 Agricola Cirelli La Collina Biologica, Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo DOC, Italy.
Francesco Cirelli has an organic farm in this hills of the Astri Abruzzi zone, his estate produces a fine selection of organic products from olive oil to ice cream, but it is his wine that are really grabbing the headlines, with red (Montepulciano), white (Trebbiano) and rose (Cerasuolo) on offer. These sandy and chalky hillsides, sandwiched by the Adriatic and beautiful National Parks are the perfect home for the native Montepulciano, a very dark skinned varietal (believed to be a long lost family member of Sangovese, though now considered very much it’s own grape) that is rich in color and can be age-worthy. Cirelli’s latest offering is a special Amphora raised version of Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo that has almost nine months on the skins, this adds up to a exotic example and a very unique expression of this varietal and terroir, making for a rich and flavorful red. The nose is grapey and there is some spice, crushed flowers and loads of mineral essence leading to a grippy palate of wild plum, blackberry, cherry and dark currants along with anise, touches of earth, blueberry skin and saline/savory notes. This purple/ruby hued red is very intriguing and compelling with a rich character, but with brightness and fine grained tannins, it finishes with class and pleasing length, drink from 2014 to 2016.
($40 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive


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