Grapelive Wine of the Day

2009 Domaine de Montille, Bourgogne Rouge (Pinot Noir) Red Burgundy, France.
This entry level Burgundy from Domaine de Montille comes from mostly Premier Cru sites in the Beaune area and 100% de-stemmed giving just the purest of fruit essences and makes for a wonderfully fresh Pinot that still has length, depth and grip to age as well. While lots of people have gone back and forth on the 2009 vintage and worried about the lack of life and acidity, there is no question it is a great vintage to buy to drink short term and this lovely wine is plenty serious to turn on any Burgundy lover. The nose is ripe with perfume and almost a gamay fruit tone before settling into a clear and delightful palate of cherry and red currant with tea and baking spices plus subtle mineral notes. There is hints of game, truffle and earth to keep it interesting, but the lush fruit fills the mouth and lingers on the finish. I should imagine this wine should last 10 years it might be more fun to drink over the next 2 to 5 years, and if you want to put something in the cellar you might get one of the Domaine de Montille Premier Crus all of which are crafted to last ages.
($38 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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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

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Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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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)

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Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

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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

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Grapelive Special Report

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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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

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Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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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

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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 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 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 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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