Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Jean-Marc Vincent Santenay “Gravieres” Premier Cru, Red Burgundy.
This stunningly seamless and pretty Santenay is one of the best finds on the vintage from the Cote de Beaune and truly marks the arrival of this Domaine, which is yet another Kermit Lynch treasure. With rose infused cherry fruit and subtle red earth and game this 2009 Jean;Marc Vincent Santenay “Gravieres is a class act throughout, this is the real deal for true Burgundy freaks, like me, and the price is more than fair for what you get in return. This Burgundy shows silky depths and lingers like a beautiful woman’s kiss stays with you, this is a Pinot to remember. Red fruits flow across the palate, raspberry, plum and bright cherry before mineral, truffle, soft wood and lavender emerge while tea spices and apple skin hint at the fine tannins and balanced acidity. Tasted three time, with nothing but Burgundy magic showing on each sip of this pure and joyful Santenay.
($50 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($47.95)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2008 Riofavara Spaccaforno “Eloro” Sicilian Red, Italy.
This rich and lovely Nero D’ Avola is rocking right now and makes for a stunning red that showcases this Sicilian grape in all it’s glory. Riofavara, imported by Kermit Lynch, is a small family estate on the island and so far everything I’ve tried from them has been fantastic, these are terroir driven wines of great quality and texture. While Arianna Occhipinti brings huge attention to the region with her exotic and natural wines, Riofavara has quietly added some equally beautiful wines to the list of top Sicilian vino. This Nero shows layered finesse and earthy spicy complexities with bright and lush plum, blueberry and wild strawberry fruit, red pepper, silky tannins and hints of anise and lavender. Certainly, the pure pleasure of this wine will win new fans, both “Old World” and “New World” admirers alike, and the price is scary good, don’t miss this wine it is a gem. If you are looking for something different and want a focused and balanced wine, no question this Riofavara will do the trick.
($18 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2006 Vilmart & Cie. “Grand Cellier d’ Or” Premier Cru, Brut Champagne, Rilly-la-Montagne, France.
Thanks to Terry Theiese and Hiram Simon (Winewise/Vienna Wine Company) I have through the years had a chance to try these fantastic Champagnes from Laurent Champs and the Vilmart Champagne House, it is always a great highlight in my yearly tastings and this year was no exception with the whole lineup of Vilmart Champagnes showing amazing. Vilmart is a small grower/producer in the Champagne hamlet of Rilly-la-Motagne and they craft some of the most exotic and sublime wines in the region, and they are often compared to Krug because of the depth and complexity found it their cuveees and that they use oak barrels and have extended time on the lees. The artisan practices here make for wonderfully rich and deep Champagnes. Last year I completely lost my mind over the 2004 Rose that smelled like a field of violets and the famed Grand Cru of Burgundy “Musigny” and while that still ranks as an all time favorite bubbly, the new 2006 “Grand Cellier d’ Or” is a stellar Champagne of great detail and heavenly character. To be honest all the Vilmart Champagnes are utterly mind blowing, and it would hard to ever pick a favorite, and it might change day to day, if I was lucky enough to try them daily! The 2006 “Grand Cellier d’ Or” impresses with an intense nose of tropical fruits, brioche, mineral and citrus flowers before a nervy palate of bread dough, yeasty toast, green apples, lemon curd, banana peel and figs with smooth bubbles and vigorous acidity giving life and structure to this wonderful Champagne. While coming together nicely, it would be best in 3-5 years, so get some and be patient, oh yeah, the rewards with be worth the wait. Also, the 2005 is almost as good, may just be drinking better and I rated it 94, and still can be found, a bit less expensive too…
($102 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2007 Mario Marengo Barolo “Brunate” Piedmonte, Italy.
While this wine is tightly wound and firmly tannic, it still shines as a great example of the brilliance of these wines to be both extremely powerful and yet intriguingly elegant. This 2007 Marengo is a world class Barolo that is just staring to show itself and while it should be given a few more years in bottle to really come together it can be enjoyed now if decanted for a lengthly bit of time, more than a few hours if possible and with food. That said, I really enjoyed the intensity and tension that drives this wine and after some time in air it blossoms into a fantastic and detailed wine with all the classic terroir bursting from the glass. The nose has sweet herbs, licorice, tar, mushroom, smoke, mineral and round cherry fruit all of which dance on throughout, with the lively palate showing tangy plums, lavender, menthol, citrus rind and sweet wild strawberries. High levels of tannin and vibrant acidity give way over time to a round and elegant mouth feel and the finish is clear and lengthly. Look for this Barolo to really gain depth and fullness over the next year or so, and drink well for a decade at least, this wine merits some mid term investment, it is priced right and a few bottles in the cellars will reward the brave.
($60 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com
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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Domaine Roulot Monthelie Red Burgundy, France.
I must admit I had never known or seen a Roulot red before this wine, and while Domaine Roulot is legendary for Meursault and is most often talked when being compared to Coche-Dury or Lafon, so I had to acquire a bottle to see if they could do with red what they do with white. Well, I do like Roulot whites, but WOW, this Monthelie is amazing, I could have easily miskaten this beauty for a Premier Cru Vosne-Romanee or Chambolle, in fact it almost has the stuff to be better than most! This is a lovely wine with perfume, grace, balance, charm and complexity, everything you want and desire in a fine Burgundy. My heart would even rate this Monthelie a few points higher, as a magic Burgundy has a way beguiling your emotions, and this Roulot certainly does. The nose starts out with earthly and smoky, mineral laced red fruits before violets and blueberries emerge creating a lovely complex perfume that leads to a sublime palate. Everything unfolds smoothly and with great pleasure flowing cherry, raspberry, plum and blueberry fruit layers that feel like pure silk in the mouth. The earthy notes that hint at game and truffle play perfectly off the toasty sweet oak, spicy accents and lifting acidity all of which frame the fruit and minerallity in remarkable fashion. Sadly, only a tiny amount of this wine exists and it will be extremely difficult to find, even so, I am grateful to Kermit Lynch for importing this stunner, I only hope I can grab a few more bottles!
($56 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

(A few bottle available at San Francisco Wine Trading Company 1-800-681-WINE)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Evening Land Vineyards Bourgogne Blanc (Chardonnay) France.
This year’s Bourgogne Blanc is in my opinion light years better and fresher than the prior vintage and much more interesting with bright flavors and cool mineral tones that ooze elegance and life. I would also say the wine doesn’t show the sulphur notes the 2009 did and the use of neutral wood allows the Chardonnay to shine more fully in the 2010 version giving an almost Chablis like charm, but with true Beaune depth. This is a darn good White Burgundy with citrus, green apple, pear and yellow peach layers, wet stones, golden fig and hints of tropical essences. The full malo gives body, but crisp and tangy acidity lifts this pretty Chardonnay and everything is balanced and as it should be. I guess now I’m a believer and I recommend this wine whole-heartedly!

Evening Land Vineyards and the talented Christophe Vial, the long time winemaker at Domaine des Comtes Lafon with the famed Dominique Lafon have crafted three little beauties that have just been released here in the States from the 2010 vintage. These Burgundies (Bourgogne Blanc, Rouge and Etoile-Pouilly-Fuisse) offer generous fruit, class and vibrancy while the price could hardly be more fair, making these wines stunning values. While the great talents and personalities of Evening Land Vineyards continue to impress the wine world with the likes of Dominque Lafon, Larry Stone, Raj Parr, Sashi Moorman and Isabelle Meunier, it is great to see the product get better with each year!
($30 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Sheldon Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley.
This almost Loire inspired Cabernet is a throwback to the 70’s and early 80’s style California Cabs with modest alcohol, spice, crisp acid and tannin balance that take equal status with the fruit core. This easy to drink Cabernet is a wonderful food wine and shows a clean and refined palate with blackberry, cedar, peppery spices, sage, tobacco and subtle oak shadings. The nose hints at black olives, pepper, cherry fruit and mineral notes before a plummy mouth that feels vibrant and med weight throughout, though look for this wine to build in body as it ages. This wine continues to grow on me and it has grown into a beautiful Cabernet since I first tried it in barrel last year. If you enjoy old California cabs, Loire Cab Franc or a nice Claret then you will love this wine. The Sheldon’s were looking for a new and more refreshing Cabernet, and they nailed it with this subtle and elegant wine from a tiny vineyard in the Dry Creek that has a truly interesting terroir.
($TBD) 93+ Points, grapelive

www.sheldonwines.com

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Sheldon Pinot Noir “Roma’s Vineyard” Anderson Valley.
This wine, a early bottle sample is one of the most beautiful and detailed young Pinots I’ve tried in many years! Everything was stacked against it, the vintage was tough, it is from an extreme site that saw storms and rain right at harvest, and I have just come off a Burgundy binder where I was drinking some amazing wines, including single vineyard Meo-Camuzet, so it was against all odds to find this wine the match of those wines, but it is and I was blown away… Dylan and Tobe Sheldon know they have created a special wine with this 2010 Sheldon Pinot Noir “Roma’s Vineyard” Anderson Valley and they should be very proud of this stunning wine. They have allowed this balanced and delicate Pinot Noir to show the most feminine and perfumed qualities it could and timed the bottling to perfection, not letting oak or time take away any of the subtleties or pretty nature. This wine that Dylan likens to a Sauvigny Les Beaune is not a blockbuster or intense, but it is glorious and layered with bright and sexy fruit, floral tones, soft minerallity and lingers on the finish like a first kiss. The nose shows violets, roses and fresh raspberries with hints of briar and white pepper leading to a round silky palate of bing cherry, plum and almost a nectarine hint. This gentle wine is all you love in Burgundy and can find in cooler climate Pinots here in California and Oregon, and if you want beauty than this wine will charm you and intrigue you. I was completely and utterly shocked at the poise and grace in this young and truly remarkable wine, without question this little darling is world class juice, and it should gain with a bit of cellar time, though for me it would be too hard not to drink sooner vs later. This wine is a little bit of magic, and I’m totally smitten, I would beg, cheat and steal to have more!
($35-40 Est.-TBD) 94 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2010 Sheldon “Vinolocity Blanc” Sonoma Coast (Viognier, Roussanne & Grenache Blanc)
I was granted a sneaky peak to this new wine from the Sheldon’s, along with their wine club, and I must say, this is a must get at all costs wine that is dynamic and full of potential! This wine, inspired by Chateauneuf-du-Pape whites and Dylan and Tobe Sheldon have nailed it and then some with their 2010 Vinolocity Blanc. In a week when I had tasted many a glorious Burgundy and other greats, I found myself even more impressed by the new lineup at Sheldon Wines, even though I consider myself a friend and fan of their wines, these pre release samples on show were stunning in pleasure, freshness and complexity. With out any question, the direction and winemaking at Sheldon has stepped up a few notches and these are the best set of wines yet made by Dylan and Tobe. The 2010 Sheldon “Vinolocity Blanc” is a Sonoma Coast gem, made with about 50% Viognier (early picked) 25% Roussanne and 25% Grenache Blanc and left on skins and stems for a bit to add complexity, spice and grip, while the earlier picked Viognier give subtle perfume and a touch more crisp acidity, making for a vibrant and intense wine. The nose has just a whiff of jasmine, honeysuckle and white flowers, but the stony minerals and nectarine shine brighter, leading to a round and deep palate of yellow citrus, peach and white stone fruits with hints of exotic tropical fruit, smoke and clarified cream/butter, and the finish has pepper, Indian spices and candied hot ginger notes. Old and New Worlds collide in near perfect order here to create something remarkable and special. This is a fantastic and sexy wine, get on the Sheldon’s list to get this beauty, you’ll be very happy.
($32 Est.-TBD-Pre Release) 94 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Weekend Treat

By Kerry Winslow

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2007 Remelluri Rioja, Spain.
This beautiful and seductive Rioja is everything you could ask for in a wine, everything is balanced and graceful, but with life and vigor as well. Close to 90% Tempranillo the Remelluri has a touch of Graciano and Garnacha that give perfume and spice, really they help frame the rich and complex old vine Tempranillo that shows creamy cherry and blackberry fruit on the palate and the long lingering finish. The 2007 vintage was a tough year and the selection for the perfectionist styled Remelluri was severe and it shows in this amazing wine. The nose has lovely floral notes and smoky sweetness along with bramble berry and briar spices leading to a mouthful of sexy fruit. Hints of lavender, pepper, vanilla and soft mineral tones add complexity to the full bodied texture that feels plummy and round. Always a class act, this Remelluri really stands out in a crowd of impressive Spanish wines that are hitting the stores. Drink now and for the next 3 to 5 years, this is an outstanding wine.
($41 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

Avail. at www.sfwtc.com ($39.95)

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