Wine of the Day September 4, 2013

2012Gandines2012 Domaine des Gandines, Vire-Clesse “Terroir de Classe” White Burgundy, France.
This fresh, young and vibrant white Burgundy from the Maconnais is a fun discovery, imported by Charles Neal Selections, this recent addition to his import portfolio is very impressive. The Maconnais has become a Burgundy hot spot in the last five years with exciting Chardonnay wines coming from Pouilly-Fuisse, Macon and Saint-Veran, as well as Vire-Clesse, there are some great areas and old vines that make for value priced wines of super quality sometimes even rivaling some of their more well known northern cousins in the Cote de Beaune. Domaine des Gandines makes a lovely expression of Vire-Clesse with vivid fruit, mineral and almost Chablis like character with plenty of juicy acidity and no signs of clumsy oak, everything is bright, tangy and pure in the “Terroir de Clesse” and this is seriously good stuff. The nose is loaded with citrus, chalk and white flower essence, leading to a palate of energy filled lime, green apple, white peaches and lemon zest, along with hints of wet river stones, steely minerals and a touch of fresh picked fig. This light to medium Chardonnay is pleasing and easy to enjoy, best to drink in the next 2 to 4 years.
($18 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day September 3, 2013

2011ChasseurPN2011 Chasseur, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley.
The Chassuer wines are some of California’s finest examples of regional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir hand crafted by the talented William Hunter, year after year this label does extraordinary wines of rich detail and character, and this 2011 Russian River Pinot Noir adds greatly to it’s reputation, this is an amazing effort for such a tough vintage, in fact I liked it as much as the 2007 and 2009 wines which also were spectacular. The perfumed nose leads with violets, roses and tea spices along with red berry essence folding into the pure Russian River palate which shows black cherry, plum, raspberry and currant fruits, hints of cinnamon, fig, cola bean and mineral all add to the complexity found in this beautiful and graceful Pinot Noir. There is such glorious texture and soft tannin plus focused lifting acidity giving lift and balance to this well judged and pleasure filled wine, I can only marvel at the sublime touch of the winemaking. Drink now through 2018, this is a great artisan effort, be sure to look for this limited production gem.
($38 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day September 2, 2013

2010BondonioBarbaresco2010 Olek Bondonio, Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmonte, Italy.
The Olek Bondonio wines are all pure and transparent with opulent fruit, spice and mineral notes, his Nebbiolo wines mostly come from the Barbaresco Cru of Roncagliette, which is known also  as Gaja’s Sori Tildin, one of the great sites within Barbaresco and Bondonio’s winemaking is considered organic and natural as he allows native yeast fermentations and adds a minimum amount of sulphur. These are wines of elegant grace and  fantastic detail, especially his 2010 Barbaresco, which I absolutely fell head over heals for, this unfined or filtered cuvee is gorgeous and exceptional in everyday, be sure to look this wine up if you are like me a Nebbiolo lover. The 2010 Bondonio Barbresco is sexy and brilliant, it reminds me of a Giacosa, it is a classic example of this region and grape with a nose of violets, dried roses, fennel, tar and cassis, a rich dark hue, lovely refined tannins and a palate of mineral laced fruit, licorice, truffle and soft cedar spice. The plum, raspberry and strawberry notes add to the core of black cherry fruit that flows from start to finish, held together in near perfection by lifting acidity, this is still a baby and very firm yet glorious and stylish already, drink 2014-2022.
($60 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day September 1, 2013

2011MontesecondoRosso2011 Montesecondo “Rosso del Rospo” Tuscan Red, Italy.
Silvio Messana’s fantastic Montesecondo estate is all organically farmed and the wines are all distinct and reflect the beauty of place and the passion of the people, the vines are all in the Chianti Classico zone, near the village of Cerbaia, only 10 miles or so south of Florence. Silvio practices all biodynamic for his wines and shows a heartwarming love of his land and the nature in his area, he also uses natural practices in the winemaking, trying to preserve and showcase the true soul of his vineyard in his wines. The set of 2011 reds are all stunning and are remarkable values, especially the Rosso del Rospo the blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot that has loads of character and charm in a lively and expressive red from the heart of Tuscany. The 2011 Montesecondo Rosso del Rospo starts with dried flowers, sweet herbs, pepper spice and tangy currants, and cassis leading to a palate of medium weight and good grip, showing black cherry, plum and blackberry fruit, lavender oil, anise and fresh cut cigar tobacco, finishing with dusty raspberry, cedar and refined ripe tannins. This is a steal and should get even better over the next 3 to 5 years, be sure to check out these 2011 Montesecondo reds, these and just lovely wines, bravo.
($25 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive