Grapelive Latest: March 27

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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coruin.gif2007 Dominique Cornin Pouilly-Fuisse “Clos Reyssie” White Burgundy, France.
This biodynamic estate in the Maconnais has some amazing old vine Chardonnay, some of which Dominique’s father planted from seed and the wine reflect his respect of place and family, also showing his total commitment to nature and the spirit of unique terroirs. I recently tried his three Pouilly-Fuisse wines and was left speechless, so beautiful were these wines and quite frankly I had just tried a top Corton-Charlemagne and a Batard-Montrachet, Grand Cru Burgundies, and the Cornin Pouilly-Fuisses almost put them to shame quality wise, even though there were respectful differences of course, but it doesn’t take away from the dramatic and sublime flavors, and class of the Dominique Cornin wines. Even the basic Pouilly-Fussie at around $30 was stunning and as good as any Chardonnay can expect to be, but the two single vineyard wines were other worldly, and while I chose to focus on the “Clos Reyssie” the other one, the “Les Chevrieres” from 100 year old vines was just as good and should be looked for by any Burgundy fan, or any wine lover period. The “Clos Reyssie” shows supple and textured fruit, but still has intensity and a vibrant nature with lots of mineral and stone as well. The nose has white flowers and hazelnuts with a hint of earthy river rocks, leading to a palate of lemon, green apple, white peach and a touch of fig then ending with subtle wood, clove spice and a nutty smoke note. ($38-40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: March 26

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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kenwright08carter.gif2008 Ken Wright Pinot Noir “Carter Vineyard” Willamette Valley, Oregon. *New release.
Ken Wright and Beaux Freres are the small iconic estates in the Willamette Valley that wine lovers and collectors can’t seem to get enough of. Ken Wright’s Pinots are elegant, balanced and show terroir very well and clearly, especially as he sources from many unique sites and many different AVA’s in the region. His classic sites for me are Shea and now this wine from the Carter Vineyard. After a lean year in 2007, the 2008 vintage is classic Oregon and shows all that is great about the region and its Burgundy like character, the Carter Vineyard is like Shea, with complex rich flavors and terroir, and it should fill out nicely for the next few years and even drinks great now. The nose is bright and fresh with a bouquet of roses and minerally red fruits and asian spices, before a rich and round palate of black cherry, bramble berry, plum and tangy red berry, with hints of sweet oak, smoke, earth and vanilla.($55-60 Est.) 93-94 Points, grapelive

Grapelive Latest: March 24

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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bravante06.gif2006 Bravante Vineyards “Trio” Red Wine, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley. (Bordeaux Blend)
The Bravante’s; George and Nancy started this small winery on Howell Mountain with the mission to create world class wines and follow in the footsteps of legends like Randy Dunn and make an impact on the Napa scene from this fabled area, home to some of the best and most sought after grapes there are. They have produced fantastic wines since the nineties and I have followed them with a keen interest myself after trying their first releases. This wine though was new to me, as I had only had their Cabernet and Merlot before, and I was instantly intrigued by the perfume and color as well as the elegant, though solid nature of this Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The nose has raspberry, blueberry, wildflowers and spicy sweet wood notes. The palate is full and intense with lots of dark fruit, tannin and subtle oak notes all playing big roles until it gets some air, after which, it really picks up blackberry, currant, plum, cedar and tobacco leaf flavors. The wine is remarkable, layered and complex, while still being enjoyable and refined, very much like a Pessac-Leognan Bordeaux, somewhere between Chateau Haut-Bailly and the famed Chateau Haut-Brion in Character. Should get smoother and more interesting in the follow few years. ($42 Est.) 92-94 Points, grapelive

*Available via The Wine Spies at a special price for 24 hours only on Saturday March 27th 2010!
www.thewinespies.com

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Grapelive Latest: March 23

Grapelive Daily Pick
By Kerry Winslow

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pio07.gif2007 Pio Cesare Barbera D’ Abla Piedmonte, Italy.
Pio Cesare, one of the names in Piedmonte along with Gaja, La Spinetta, Giacosa and Ceretto, makes some world class and great wines from his amazing plots in Barolo, like the Ornato, but they also make some fine Barbera that show the region and a class of the winemaking in a value wine. It is hard not to love this 2007 Babera with its dark purple/red hue and zesty fruity palate. Barbera has become a much more serious wine over the last decade and this wine is a fine example of just how good the grape is and how enjoyable it can be anytime. I love the freshness and bright flavors that it offers up, with wildflowers, grapey red and black fruits, hints of tangy spices and cranberry like acidity. The palate has blackberry, plum and apple skin, with smooth tannins and lots of vibrant zestiness! Just enjoy, drink now. ($22-28 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Lastest: Weekend Review

Grapelive Weekend Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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melkagoat.gif2007 Melka Metisse Cabernet Sauvignon “Jumping Goat Vineyard” Napa Valley.
This wine is the Melka Metisse Classic and is the flagship wine of the family of Metisse label, and you’ll see why after the first sniff, as this wine has an amazing deep and exotic perfume that seduces you almost instantly! There is about 375 Cases of the 2007 available, though most of it will go to the mailing list, still, this is a wine that somehow seems to be more easy to find, for that we enthusiasts are very lucky, so be sure to grab some when you see it, as it might be the best vintage yet! The nose is just the start, and the palate is just as good with layers of near perfect fruit and smooth tannins, making for a sublime and balanced wine, in other words, it is almost as good as it gets for Napa Cabernet. The mouth flows with blackberry, cherry, currant, plum and crème de cassis in thick layers with mineral, graphite, coca powder and lots of creamy vanilla and hints of smoke. This Cabernet is all ready drinking fantastic, though I’m dead sure it will fill out further and develop a deeper core and added complexity with some time in the cellar. I am torn, because I love the perfume now, though I am very interested to see what will come later… ($125 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

www.750wines.com and www.melkawines.com

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Grapelive Special Report

Grapelive Special Tasting Report: A Quick Look at Melka Wines
By Kerry Winslow

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kwmelka.jpgSome people have charmed lives; Philippe Melka is one of those people, no question. Melka a Bordeaux native, son of a doctor, a geologist with no wine background or any in his family with any, would have never dreamed he’d end up a winemaker, let alone one of Napa Valley’s hottest winemakers and consultant. With top wineries almost begging him for his time Philippe has a select group he oversees, and his resume is stellar with Bryant, Dana Estate, Seavey, Quintessa, Constant Diamond Mountain, Hundred Acre and Vineyard 29 being just few of former and current clients, and he just signed on with rising star Cliff Lede in Stags’ Leap too. Philippe started in California, when he was a geologist fresh out of University, for the Moueix family, of Chateau Petrus fame, at Dominus Estate under Daniel Barron (Now the head of Silver Oak) checking out the soil at Ridge Vineyards at the legendary Monte Bello Vineyard, not before Daniel Barron took him surfing in Santa Cruz first, of course. It was at Monte Bello and while visiting Paul Draper that he even met his future wife Cherie, all on his first assignment!

Like I said, this guy has a charmed life, and he still hadn’t ever made a wine, he was studying soils. He had done some intern work in France at Chateau Haut-Brion in 1990, and a bit of time checking out his employers Chateau in Pomerol, but his first wines, with himself as winemaker, were here in California in 1995, when he made the 1995 vintage for Seavey, Constant and Lail, two of which he still does today, showing that he was the real deal.

The Melka's, Philippe  & CherieCherie and Philippe started their own label (Melka Wines) and wines with the 1996 vintage, the CJ named after the couple’s children Chloe and Jeremy, and the now sought after Metisse, both of which were Cabernet Sauvignon from select vineyards in Napa Valley. It was long until Melka was discovered, and his wines have caught the fancy of top wine critics from around the world, but of course it was the attention of Robert Parker that most people took notice of, and Parker is a fan of Philippe’s wines today, often getting 95 point or better ratings, for both his own and his clients wines. That being said, both Philippe and Cherie are trying to get the word out about the Melka brand and show it is a very serious project and not just something they do in their spare time for fun. This year they have repackaged their label and line up of wines to reflect the more focus they have put into the product. The flowery and bright colored labels of the past are gone and a more intense and eye catching label is being used, even though their will continue to ticker with it and refine it, it does look to be a step in the right direction to give the brand the respect it deserves. As for what is inside, well, there was never any doubt about the quality and style pouring from the bottle, and I can tell you these are wonderful and intriguing wines of which have got and will get high praise.

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Sitting down and tasting through the Melka wines was exciting and a real pleasure, and it became clear that Philippe really believes in the vineyard site(s) and works at getting the best out of it, with the goal being to make the wine reflect that. Also, it is clear he wants to please his clients and cater to their style, and make wines that show their personality as well, because you can see a vast difference in his projects, ranging from the almost Port like Hundred Acre to the more subtle wine that he makes under his own label Metisse. I consider myself lucky to have tasted so many of his wines, past and present, and have always found them remarkable.

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metisseold.jpgThe new line up of Melka wines include only red Bordeaux grapes, two based on Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and two that feature the combination of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, think Chateau Cheval Blanc and Angelus, I did! The CJ is his entry level wine, a Cabernet that has a splash of Petit Verdot and offers a great value as well at under $50 a bottle, with ripe and vibrant fruit and plenty of stuffing to make everyone happy. Then the real Bordeaux, the Metisse “La Chatelet Vineyard” a lovely and seductive Saint-Emilion Grand Cru that Philippe sources from La Chatelet, a former Grand Cru Classe Chateau that is on the rise and is close to both Cheval Blanc and Angelus. Melka has done two vintages of this import from his native Bordeaux, and I was impressed with the beauty and elegance the 2007 showed, in fact I recently help put on a 2000 vintage Bordeaux seminar where we featured the 96 Point Chateau L’ Angelus, a classic Saint-Emilion, and Melka’s was right on par with it, with lush racy fruit it is a sexy wine. He ferments it in wood and only makes about 8 barrels of this Bordeaux which in the 2007 vintage was made up of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, though he plans to up the Cabernet Franc from now on. After the Bordeaux comes his newest wine, a bold and powerful version of the same grapes, under the Metisse label, but from the upper end of the Napa area, and from Knights Valley and a small estate he controls that looks down on Peter Michael, the La Mekkera Vineyard. I can see why he loves this site and will also say that this is the most forceful and powerful Melka wine, with deep color and flavors that give more grip than his Cabernet Sauvignons! Then there is the top Melka Metisse wine, the Metisse classic if you will, the main wine of which he has made since that 1996 vintage, the Melka Matisse Cabernet Sauvignon “Jumping Goat Vineyard” Napa Valley. This wine features the vineyard name now to make it easier to understand in his line up and comes from a tiny vineyard near St. Helena in Napa’s western side and from a site that was originally planted by the famous vineyard manager David Abreu (Screaming Eagle & Cliff Lede) and is now overseen by Melka and owners the Gamble family. With 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot the 2007 is a blockbuster Napa Cab with intense perfume and wonderfully layered flavors. I just kept smelling this wine, so lovely was the dark flower scents and crème de cassis notes on the nose, and the palate was just as good! So recapping the line up of Melka wines, there are as follows; the Melka CJ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, the Melka Metisse “La Chatelet Vineyard” Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Bordeaux, French Red, the Melka Metisse “La Mekkera Vineyard” Knights Valley (Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend) and the Melka Metisse Cabernet Sauvignon “Jumping Goat Vineyard” Napa Valley.

v29lineup.gifI recently tasted the Vineyard 29 wines, made by Philippe Melka and where most of his wines are made, and I was amazed at how good they were, they were some of the best wines I’ve ever had from Napa Valley ever and rate right up there with First Growths, and the equal of the Harlan Estate wine, of which was my favorite ever after having the 2001 vintage. So, I was grateful for the chance to taste his latest wines, and I left a bigger fan of his wines and with a great respect for both he and his wife Cherie as people, they are hardworking and loving parents that also make some fantastic wine. Also, I must mention again the super duo behind 750 Wines in St. Helena, who again opened their arms to this little known wine writer and blogger and showed once again their passion for wine and real energy, so thanks again Monica and David Stevens, you deserve all your success. Plus, if you are in the wine country or want to taste these wines and or are free to travel here to taste these wines you can, Melka is hosting a release party and tasting at:

750 Wines in St. Helena, at 1224 Adams Street, Saturday March 27th, between 1-3pm.

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The Melka Wines

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melkacj.gif2007 Melka CJ Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley.
This ripe and enjoyable Cabernet by Philippe Melka is a 1,300 cases production wine, and the wine that he hopes to put his kids through college. The grapes come from selected vineyards in the Napa Valley, mostly from the Combsville area near the Caldwell Vineyard, though there is also a dash of Petit Verdot added from the upper valley. Named CJ for the Melka kids, Chloe and Jeremy, this fun Cabernet is the playful wine in the line up, but it is also well-made and focused with lots of fruit and good depth. The CJ has some youthful tannins and takes a bit of air to really get going, but once it opens it shows big ripe flavors with black and red berries, cassis, cedary spices, tobacco leaf and sweet French oak shadings. There is lots to like in this wine and it does offer a good value, so you should consider this wine if you are looking for a solid under $50 Napa Cab. I noticed a golden raisin note and a lingering sweetness of fruit on the finish, and maybe it won’t suit everyone, though it will have lots of fans, and I would drink it now and for the next 2 years. ($48 Est.) 90-92 Points, grapelive

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melkabord.gif2007 Melka Metisse “La Chatelet Vineyard” Saint-Emilion, Grand Cru, Red Bordeaux, France.
Being a native of Bordeaux, and being a fan of the right bank wines, it was only natural that Philippe Melka got back to his roots and made a classic Bordeaux, and he did. This is the second release of his “La Chatelet” a pure Saint-Emilion wine that delivers racy flavors and elegant style. This 2007, from what was a weak year for lots of Bordeaux vintners, is a lovely wine, made from 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, giving rich and complex layers with soft tannins and ripe fruit. The Merlot comes from two different soils, one from a plot of the vineyard that has limestone and another that has mostly clay, both of which add to the depth and complexity, while the Cabernet Franc gives grip, earth, mineral and lift to the wine. I must say I am very impressed, and I really enjoyed this wine, which compares well to Chateau L’ Angelus, in my humble opinion of course, but it is without question a very fine Bordeaux. The nose is subtle with hints of roses, smoke, fresh berries and gunpowder, while the palate shows cherry and plum fruits, mocha, crème de cassis, pencil lead, mineral spice and vanilla. I can’t wait for the 2009 vintage, as it might be the greatest deal on world class Bordeaux to come our way, make a mental note to check back in three years, but until then this wine will be a good choice. Melka says he’ll tweak the blend, as the vintages allow, to a much higher percentage of Cabernet Franc, and that too will be interesting to see. ($125 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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melkaknights.gif2007 Melka Metisse “La Mekkera Vineyard” Knights Valley.
This is the American version of his (Melka’s) blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc to go along with his Saint-Emilion Bordeaux, and Philippe’s newest self project. This wine, a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc, comes from a hillside vineyard overlooking Peter Michael in Knights Valley. This wine is the most powerful wine in the Metisse line with a full body and intense fruit that is very forceful on the palate and the tannins are strong, making for a very serious wine and one that would gain from some cellar time. The nose is subtle, but has fruit and nice oak notes, before a mouth of black and red berry fruit, some chocolate, cassis, plum, cedar and smoky sweet barrel. This wine needs air and time to develop even after decanting, but it does really gain depth and richness as it opens, so I hope to get a chance to see what some cellar age brings, as I firmly believe it will only get better and better for the next ten years! If you are lucky enough to be on the Melka list, be patient with this beautiful, but youthful wine and you’ll be rewarded, I’m sure. Only about 125 cases were made from this great vintage, and like the real Bordeaux, Melka plans to make the percentage of Cabernet Franc higher in this wine as well. ($125 Est.) 94-95 Points, grapelive

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melkagoat.gif2007 Melka Metisse Cabernet Sauvignon “Jumping Goat Vineyard” Napa Valley.
This wine is the Melka Metisse Classic and is the flagship wine of the family of Metisse label, and you’ll see why after the first sniff, as this wine has an amazing deep and exotic perfume that seduces you almost instantly! There is about 375 Cases of the 2007 available, though most of it will go to the mailing list, still, this is a wine that somehow seems to be more easy to find, for that we enthusiasts are very lucky, so be sure to grab some when you see it, as it might be the best vintage yet! The nose is just the start, and the palate is just as good with layers of near perfect fruit and smooth tannins, making for a sublime and balanced wine, in other words, it is almost as good as it gets for Napa Cabernet. The mouth flows with blackberry, cherry, currant, plum and crème de cassis in thick layers with mineral, graphite, coca powder and lots of creamy vanilla and hints of smoke. This Cabernet is all ready drinking fantastic, though I’m dead sure it will fill out further and develop a deeper core and added complexity with some time in the cellar. I am torn, because I love the perfume now, though I am very interested to see what will come later… ($125 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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750 Wines

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Melka Wines

Grapelive Latest: March 18

Grapelive Daily Pick

By Kerry Winslow

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niepoortcharme07.gif2007 Niepoort Charme Tinto, Douro, Portugal. (Red Wine)
I must admit, I have always wondered if Portugal could produce world class still wines and if they would, well, I am humbled at my thoughts now, after tasting the line up of both red and white still wines from Dirk Niepoort and his famous Porto winery Niepoort. I was blown away, the freshness and textures were amazing, and I am a huge fan of the Niepoort Port wines all ready, so this came as a much bigger surprise than I could have imagined. I love almost every wine in the line up and they all showed their own character, but it was this wine the 2007 Niepoort Charme, Douro Red that really caught my attention, as it was as pure and elegant as Grand Cru Burgundy, it is a wine of subtle beauty and silky textures, while also being full of flavors and vibrant life with a nose of wild flowers, red fruits and smoky sweet spices before a palate of pretty layers of red fruits, cherry, raspberry, plums and currant with a background of mineral, mountain herbs, mocha and nice French oak spice and vanilla. This wine will impress anyone, it certainly left a mark on me and hope to enjoy it again soon, just wish the price wasn’t so Burgundy like! ($105 Est.) 94-95 Points, grapelive

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Grapelive Latest: Special Review

Grapelive Special Review

By Kerry Winslow

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doslagos07.gif2007 Dos Lagos Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The 2007 Dos Lagos is a deep and thickly concentrated Cab with solid structure and fruit intensity with a black/purple hue that coats the glass. The palate is ripe, but focused showing massive black fruits and pure Cabernet character, leading with blackberry, dark currant, plum and blueberries before array of background flavors unfold. Interesting crème de cassis, mocha, cedar spice, cigar tobacco and violet like perfume all come across in layer after layer with powerful tannins holding things together, though thankfully they are not harsh or distracting from the wine and I’m sure as it is still a very young wine will fade in time to allow much pleasure over the following 5-10 years. Bob Foley, ex Pride, and maker of top Napa Cabernet like his own Claret, Switchback Ridge and Hourglass seems to have fallen in love with the terroir at this rugged Atlas Peak location, and after tasting this vintage, I think he is on to something big here.($125 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

*Available Direct Dos Lagos Vineyards at:

www.doslagosvineyards.com

or at 750 Wines at:

www.750wines.com

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Grapelive Special Report

Dos Lagos Vineyards
By Kerry Winslow

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doslagospressday.gif

Tom and Marcie Dinkel have released their first vintage of Dos Lagos Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, with only 120 cases of this wine being made and with star winemaker Robert Foley fully involved in the project, as he also has the main contract for grapes at this tiny four acre estate for his own wine. From my tasting notes; The 2007 Dos Lagos is a deep and thickly concentrated Cab with solid structure and fruit intensity with a black/purple hue that coats the glass. The palate is ripe, but focused showing massive black fruits and pure Cabernet character, leading with blackberry, dark currant, plum and blueberries before array of background flavors unfold. Interesting crème de cassis, mocha, cedar spice, cigar tobacco and violet like perfume all come across in layer after layer with powerful tannins holding things together, though thankfully they are not harsh or distracting from the wine and I’m sure as it is still a very young wine will fade in time to allow much pleasure over the following 5-10 years.

Bob Foley, ex Pride, and maker of top Napa Cabernet like his own Claret, Switchback Ridge and Hourglass seems to have fallen in love with the terroir at this rugged Atlas Peak location, and after tasting this vintage, I think he is on to something big here.

Tom and Marcie Dinkel took a huge leap of faith taking on this vineyard planted in the 90’s and looks to be rewarded in the best way possible, with a blockbuster wine right out of the gate and an instant success, after following their passions. Tom an ex Honeywell sales manger, and now start up manager in a solar technology company has turned a dream into reality along with his wife Marcie who is a budding artist and will have her paintings grace the label each vintage. This interesting and down to earth pair, may seem like an unlikely duo to make a small high-end Cabernet Sauvignon, with little background in wine to speak off and being to humble and excited, but don’t let that fool you, they are serious and have put a lot of heart and soul into this venture. They sought out talent and made believers of everyone that has seen the vineyard and tasted the grapes, and before being able to make their own wine, they sold to Caymus for their Napa Valley Cabernet that has received mid 90’s scores from top critics, even though the Dos Lagos fruit was only a small component it was very well thought of.

In the vineyard itself set in the remote hillsides on Atlas Peak is mostly volcanic soils with less than six inches of topsoil anywhere to be found, making for small yields and small berries that give maximum flavors and power. The Dinkel’s found a experienced vineyard manger, Hector Lopez, that broke his teeth with Caymus and other top sites in the area to coax the best possible fruit from these vines. His neighbor’s wine gave Tom even more faith and helped shape the powerful big his wine has and will be, that neighbor Bialla Vineyards even lent the Dinkel’s their talented winemaker Craig MacLean to help them start their project, before finding that Robert Foley was interested and available. Foley in fact was so convinced; he took the project in house and makes the Dos Lagos at his own winery, a brilliant state of the art facility on Howell Mountain where he makes some of Napa Valley’s finest reds.

The Dinkel’s with eyes wide open, know they picked a very tough time in the wine business to bring out a new wine, let alone a very pricy high-end wine with no track record, but seem to ooze calm pleasure at what lies ahead and are very positive going forward and have so far beaten the odds and are getting a lot of enthusiasm from the wine community and word of mouth buzz, all leading to people searching them out all ready. No question the support and talent of Robert Foley will also pay off and bring excitement as well as customers looking to find the next big thing, which this looks to be. I was left very impressed and look forward to re-trying this wine again as well as seeing what the next vintages bring.

In a side story to this article, I must also mention the amazing St. Helena wine merchant, 750 Wines, they are into finding these secret next big thing wines and people, and they invited a few journalists and wine bloggers to meet the Dinkel’s and taste the wines. This unique format, which was not for the buying public or even their clients was an informal way of interaction between a producer and the press to get marketing feedback and a real critical lens on their wine. David and Monica Stevens of 750 Wines offer many selections of these rare, collectable and new talent labels, and do a great job of promoting them. It was great to see their drive to help the new guys and young talents of the wine world make it. If you are into wine and want to see and taste the future superstars then you need to check 750 Wines out, they are a place where the action is, search them out online or look them up in St. Helena on Adams Street right off Highway 29.

*Full Review of Dos Lagos

Grapelive Reviews

Grapelive Report

A Quick Look at Nicolas Joly Wines
By Kerry Winslow

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220px-coulee_de_serrant_and_clos_de_la_bergerie.jpgOne of the modern pioneers of Biodynamic farming and a natural winemaker, Nicolas Joly, who once was an investment banker in New York and later in London, makes some of the most interesting white wines in the world. He took over his family’s wine estate Château de la Roche aux Moines, located in Savennières back in 1977 and has done for Chenin Blanc and Savennières what Didier Dageuneau did for Sauvignon Blanc and Pouilly-fume. Joly’s Savennières are deep and edgy wines that take time to understand and grow on you, but once you see the light you’ll search them out and marvel at their unique character and funkiness. In the States we see Joly wines rarely and only three cuvees are available anyway, though I have heard that in some vintages there might also be a sweet wine added to the line up.

The top wine is the Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, considered the holy grail of Chenin Blanc, sort of the Montrachet if you will, a wine of intensity, vibrant color, chalky and with eye popping mineral notes, though a core of peach, baked spicy apple and lemon fruit stays with you.

The next wine in Joly’s line is called Clos de la Bergerie, and it is always to me the most different and intriguing of his wines with a slight sherry like note, mature golden color most often and tangy with a touch of dried fruits. This wine has made me a fan for life; even if it is weird and wild at times I always enjoy the nature of it.
To complete the three wines I’ve tried by Joly, there is the Les Clos Sacrés (or the Les Vieux Clos, as it is labeled in Europe) which is the lightest and most freshly clean in style, it is steely and bright with acid, but still gives great flavor and is very savory.

It seems Nicolas is turning over most of the duties of the Estate to his daughter now Virginie Joly, and after tasting the current releases, I am happy to say the wines are as good as ever and I think the place is in good hands! And if you ever get a chance, get some of these beautiful wines and enjoy them on very special occasions or with your most trusted wine geeky friends, Viva La Chenin Blanc!

Check my notes and reviews of Nicolas Joly

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