Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2008 Pavo Syrah Estate, Bennett Valley, Sonoma.
Made by Jordan Kivelstadt, former winemaker at Donum Estate and Stemmler, working with Ken Benards, Ancien and making wines at Copain. A terrific deep small handcrafted Syrah from a small Sonoma Estate in Bennett Valley. (one the super Syrah hot spots) Only 200 Cases made, super dense and opaque purple with violets, blueberry and cassis layers. This is one of the best Syrah’s of the vintage from the North Coast and frankly I could easily mistake it for any of the best in 2007 too, this is a Syrah to look for and enjoy over the next 3-5 years. The nose has it all, crushed flowers, smoke, minerals, game and bitter chocolate along with blackberry and currants. The palate is wide and mouth-filling with dark rich fruit, earthy spices and mocha, plums, mountain berries and lavender oil add interest as does a touch of white pepper and vanilla. This is a stunning artisan wine that delights with power and elegance, bravo! ($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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Available at www.sfwtc.com


Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Selbach-Oster Riesling “Anrecht” Zeltinger Himmelreich, Mosel, Germany.
This single block Riesling is Auslese weight and textured, but is so well balanced it doesn’t feel overly sweet in fact it shows such depth and complexity the sugar level doesn’t matter much. This wine should gain from a few years in the cellar, though so far I haven’t been able to not open the two bottles I’ve bought, this wine is that good. The nose is minerally and citrus blossoms with hints of jasmine and bacon before a lush palate of apple, apricot, peach and loads of tropical fruits. Rocky minerals and tangy acid keeps things focused and balanced, there is slate like spicy notes too. There are background touches of honey, petrol, verbena and rose oil. This beautiful and stellar Riesling stands alone, but it does remind me of a Condrieu for exotic style and of a Grand Cru Burgundy for class, not meaning to take away anything from the greatness of German Riesling, it is just that this wine rises above perception while being true to its terroir.
($35 Est.) 95-96 Points, grapelive


Available at www.sfwtc.com ($29.95)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2007 Jean Foillard Fleurie Cru Beaujolais, France.
Everything about this beautiful and sublime wine says perfection, except maybe the price, but it really is worth it in the end, and I know I’ll be spending some dough on a few more bottles I’m sure. Domaine Jean Foillard are artists with Gamay and this wine, while not even an 09, is stunning and elegant with crushed violets, strawberry, currants, tangy cherry and wild berry, while there is silky texture and touches of pecan shells and walnut oil in the background. This wine starts with a whiff of hay and blackberries and unfolds like a great Burgundy with balance and grace. The color is rich and unfiltered cloudy with purple edges and strawberry jam middle that dances in the light, very pretty. Without question this is an amazing wine that reveals layers of seductive complexities and is the best Fleurie I’ve ever had!
($50 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($47.95)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2008 De Ponte Cellars Pinot Noir “Dundee Hills” Estate, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
I visited the winery back in 2008 and left feeling this was a winery to watch, and this wine proved it to me. I fell in love with their 2006 Estate and had my mind blown by their 2004 Reserve, and now I’m falling all over myself for this vintage! This wine has all the structure and class that makes Burgundy so wonderful and it has Dundee terroir and new world fruit richness all bundled together in perfect harmony. The color is dark, but with a hint of cloudiness, maybe unfiltered with a vibrant strawberry hue under the more garnet core. The nose is still developing with pretty floral and mineral tones coming forward while hints of tea and dried rose petals linger in the background along with subtle smoke and wood notes. The palate is full of vigor and drive, but never is anything but elegant and focused with layers of black cherry, blackberry, plum and tangy currant fruits, leaving touches of truffle, lavender and spice to keep you interested. The wine expands in the mouth with great detail and sublime balance, with a long finish that has just the right amount of creamy vanilla from the French oak. Look for this beauty just to get better for the next 3-5 years and has the right levels of acidity and fruit to go 10 years I should think. This is a fine and textured Pinot Noir that has me hooked, and I am going to be sure I put some away.
($38 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive


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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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1996 Rocche dei Manzoni “Bricco Manzoni” Langhe Rosso, Piedmonte, Italy.
This stunning wine tastes young, fresh and vibrant, can it be really 15 years old? Yes it is and getting better by the minute! Sampling this wine was a pleasure and interesting to see it progress as the evening came and went, it just got better and better with air and still had remarkably pure color, almost showing no signs of age. This was like a classic vintage Barolo, rock hard and tight with earthy leathery edginess to start, then opening into a beautiful and complex wine with grace and elegance gathering strength over the course of an hour or so. Pretty floral notes took a long time to come forward, but did so with style and perfume to go with layers of fruit, sour cherry, blackberry, currant, plum and fig. The background of tea spice, celery root, truffle, minerals and subtle wood all add to the heady mix, making for a very special wine. ($45 Est.) 93-94 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com ($39.95)

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Auguste Clape “Le Vin des Amis” Rhone Red. (Syrah)
This amazing 100% Syrah cuvee is one of the best drinking wines at this price I’ve tried in 2010, and for such a young wine it is remarkably balanced and stylish. Frankly it puts most Syrahs to shame, showing wonderful pure flavors and depth that some wine would only dream of having, even wines that sell for three times the price! The nose has all you’d expect from a Northern Rhone Syrah, be it Cornas, Hermitage or Cote-Rotie, with a mixed of violets, creme de cassis, gamey bacon, minerals and back olives, before a vibrant palate of blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry and cherry fruits with smoke, meaty essence, truffle, mocha, cassis and melted licorice. The finish is crisp and lavender laced with lingering smoke and plumy fruit. The “Le Vin des Amis” 2009 is a top contender for best wine under $25 of the year in my best of 2010 list! ($25 Est.)

92+ Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com $24.95

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Specal Review

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Jean Foillard Morgon “Cuvee Corcelette” Cru Beaujolais.
If you’ve never tried a Foillard Morgon, and or are a Burgundy lover, it is time to rush out and find one, especially this beauty! Jean Foillard does a few special cuvees as well as his wonderful Cote du Py, and this was my first chance to try the “Cuvee Corcelette” with its grey label and heavy bottle it certainly looks the part of a serious wine, and while that is impressive, it is the wine inside that makes the most impact. We know the 2009 vintage was the year to rise Gamay Noir to the world stage, but honestly wines like this Foillard even blow away the high expectations! This wonderful and complex Cru Beaujolais is really in another class all together, it certainly has pure Gamay character, but with such depth and texture it rivals many a top Burgundy, in fact it might even better some Grand Cru. He nose has floral notes behind blackberry, truffle and walnuts leading to a hedonistic palate of black currants, cherry and intense strawberry. This is a very sexy wine with layers of pleasure filling the mouth, but still has brisk acidity, tannin and earthy spices and sweet herbs in the background making everything more interesting and vivid. This wine with its sublime structure and class should age well for a decade, and should be at its best in another few years, though I doubt I could keep my hands of it and I love it now.
($36 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive

available by special request at www.sfwtc.com (800) 681-WINE

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Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 Charly Thevenet Regnie “Grain & Granit” Cru Beaujolais.
The son of famed Morgon producer Jean-Paul Thevenet, Charly has made a name for himself on the strength of the last few vintages and almost has a cult like following already. Kermit Lynch, the savvy importer has brought this wine over and is blowing through it faster than I can write about it. Made in the family style this intense Gamay shows inky purple color, richly developed fruit and lengthy finish with lovely balance and complexity. This Regnie is like none other that I’ve experienced and I would almost more like to compare it to a fine Burgundy, though it might even be more enjoyable if the truth were told, this is an amazing wine. The nose is fresh and floral, but with hints of mineral and wild strawberries, before a full palate of blackberry, plum, strawberry and walnut oil. There is an herbal note, some cassis, a little spice and a touch of cedar too. This Beaujolais will entice and seduce even the most boorish wine snob, and make anyone a believer. Not as exotic as Lapierre Morgon, but certainly a fine and wonderful that will age with grace and style no question. I’ll be stocking up on this beauty myself without a doubt. ($32-35 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

Available at www.sfwtc.com

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Grapelive Latest

New Release Review

By Kerry Winslow

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2009 August West Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands.
Another star offering from Gary Franscioni and winemaker Ed Kurtzman, the early release Santa Lucia Highlands 2009 shows rich and vibrant flavors and creamy texture. This vintage is from 100% Rosella’s Vineyard, Roar’s home estate vines, and done in mostly 1 year used French barrels that still have plenty of toasty char to soften and give that vanilla and smoky note. While this wine will really gain with another year in bottle, it is remarkably easy to love and enjoy now with the big youthful flavors standing out. The nose is fresh berries, baking spices, mixed flowers and very seductive, before racing into the palate with plum, cherry, strawberry jam, mountain wild berry and red currant layers. Toasty oak and unfiltered, slightly cloudy depth show up in your face, but given time everything should settle nicely and the lengthy finish is heaven. This is a wine that is fun and a super value so stock up, 2009 looks set to be another awesome vintage for the Santa Lucia Highlands! ($30 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive


*Coming out soon.

www.sfwtc.com

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Grapelive Latest

Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

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2002 Dom Perignon “Andy Warhol Edition” Brut Champagne, Epernay (Moet et Chandon)
This is a sublime vintage and wonderful Dom, there is nothing not to love here, except that it is still very young and tight, though that is no fault what so ever. If you wanted to get some Dom to lay down, this is your wine, priced right and available, time to do it, as by next year it should prove scarce and pricy! The colorful Andy Warhol label edition means nothing to the Champagne fan, but may have some collector interest at some point. The nose is still shy, but the vigor and bracing power show up on the palate with edgy acid and citrus notes, but given air it rounds out and shows apple, white peach, fig, hazelnut and brioche. There is a tiny hint of chalk and mineral that adds complexity too. Words are not enough, you should at east try this Champagne, it would set the bar for your own palate! Dom Perignon went through a period of not being fashionable, but from my latest experience and tastings, it is again reaching the highest levels of quality, especially the Enoteque versions, I am still smitten with the fantastic 1993 Dom Perignon Enoteque, it has to be one of the best Dom’s I’ve tried, right up there with the 1990!

Side note: I pour a bit into a full size wine glass and swirled, and a wonderful toasty, smoke side came alive in the Dom Perignon, and the Champagne gained a white Burgundy quality, I think it would make a fine still wine! This vintage Dom does need some cellar time, I only wish I could afford to collect some.
($149.95-165 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive


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Available at www.sfwtc.com

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