Grapelive Latest

Grapelive New Producer Review

By Kerry Winslow

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2007 Dauvergne Ranvier Gigondas “Vin Rare” Rhone Red, France.
This new domaine is a future star, and this 2007 Gigondas is a stellar effort, and by all accounts a sublime wine. I would be hard pressed to find anything wrong with this gem and it certainly outshines many Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines at three times the price! I think this is all that and more, I hope to have a few more bottles soon, as it is already a joy to drink and it should go another 10 years easy. This full and rich Rhone is a classic in the making, with loads of spicy dark fruits, crushed stone minerals, pepper, and gobs of extract, texture plus a super long finish. Blackberry, cassis, strawberry and fennel flow across the palate in waves of thick layers. There is savory earth, dried flowers and trufflely game notes adding to the complexity, but everything is balanced and easy to love. Watch these talented winemakers, they are making some fantastic wines and are crafting everything from the vines to bottle with care and artistry!
($42 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir “Clos Pepe” Sta. Rita Hills.
One of the stars of the vintage has to be Brewer-Clifton’s remarkable “Clos Pepe” Pinot Noir, it has it all, class and complexity with pureness of fruit. This pleasing gem is open already with perfume, richness and great length making it one of the best drink young joys of the bunch of the fantastic Pinots that Steve Clifton and Greg Brewer made in 2009. While I’ll admit to having a soft spot for the Brewer-Clifton “Mount Carmel and “Melville” wines, this “Clos Pepe” rivals them at this stage and is the sleeper in the line up, and one to grab if you can find it. The classic nose of rose petal and violets comes through with hints of mineral and fresh berries before a full and lush palate of black cherry, currant, plum and pomegranate fruits, while mineral notes and tea spices flow in the background. The subtle oak is well hidden, but gives a smooth texture with just a faint whiff of smoke and vanilla, and there is lots of clean acidity to keep things defined and vivid.
($53-57 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive


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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2008 Samsara Syrah “Melville” Sta. Rita Hills.
This stunning Syrah is even better than the great reviews it has received already, and is really coming together well, filling out and getting more layered and complex. The nose has it all, perfume of violets, gamey earth and bacon, mineral notes, brown spices and black fruits. The palate is lush, but vibrant with blueberry, cherry, plum and boysenberry fruits leading the way with truffle, pepper, smoke and lingering cassis. Touches of bitter chocolate and fennel add to the whole and I would guess this amazing Syrah will just get better over the next 3 to 5 years, but I would be hard pressed to save any that long! Bravo to Chad Melville, he is really hitting his stride now and making fantastic terroir driven artisan wines in tiny amounts at extremely fair prices.
($40 Est.) 95+ Points, grapelive

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