Posted: February 23, 2012 By Kim Marcus
Posted: February 17, 2012 By Bruce Sanderson
Since my last visit with Pierre Meurgey, director of Maison Champy, and enologist Dimitri Bazas, in June 2007, the firm has expanded its domaine holdings. First, it acquired Domaine Laleure-Piot in 2010, then last year secured three premier cru parcels in Volnay and Pommard from Louis Boillot that will be called Domaine Clos de la Chapelle.
With more than half the wines now under Domaine Champy or Domaine Clos de la Chapelle labels, Meurgey and Bazas showed me all the 2010s from these two properties. Here are my highlights.
Posted: February 15, 2012 By Harvey Steiman
Posted: February 13, 2012 By Thomas Matthews
Posted: February 8, 2012 By Bruce Sanderson
I'm back in Burgundy to taste the 2010 whites and reds. Some have been recently bottled, others are assembled in tank, or still in barrel, waiting to be blended for the bottling. Today I tasted the 2010 lineup from Louis Jadot with winemakers Jacques Lardière and Frédéric Barnier. Here are my notes and ratings on the 2010 Pinot Noirs.
Posted: February 6, 2012 By Bruce Sanderson
I'm back in Burgundy to taste the 2010 whites and reds. Some have been recently bottled, others are assembled in tank, or still in barrel, waiting to be blended for the bottling. Today I tasted the 2010 lineup from Louis Jadot with winemakers Jacques Lardière and Frédéric Barnier. Here are my notes and ratings on the 2010 Chardonnays.
Posted: February 3, 2012 By Bruce Sanderson
I'm back in Burgundy, where winter weather has firmly set in, to taste the 2010 whites and reds. Some have been recently bottled, others are assembled in tank, or still in barrel, waiting to be blended for the bottling. I will cover mostly the Côte d'Or, with a side trip to Chablis and, for the first time, the Côte Chalonnaise. Today I tasted a lineup of 2010s from Tollot-Beaut.
Posted: January 27, 2012 By Alison Napjus
Posted: January 9, 2012 By James Laube
Posted: January 3, 2012 By Dana Nigro
Posted: December 27, 2011 By Dana Nigro
Posted: December 19, 2011 By James Molesworth
Who'd have thought the most interesting white wine I'd tasted all year would come from Bordeaux?
It would have been no surprise if some new white from the Rhône or the Loire, or a Riesling from Germany or the Finger Lakes, lit my fire this past year. Even something off the radar from the Jura would have been more predictably surprising than a white Bordeaux.
Yet there I was earlier this month, working in Bordeaux, blind tasting through 600 wines, focusing on the recently bottled 2009 reds. I started with a small flight of white, a mix of 2009s and '10s, when suddenly something electric hit my palate.
Posted: December 13, 2011 By James Molesworth
A youthful-looking 62, Denis Dubourdieu has a swoosh of dark, wavy hair that shows just a few hints of gray. With his reading glasses hanging around his neck, he has a well-cultivated professorial look, fitting for a man who could easily be called the professor of Bordeaux. Since the 1970s, Dubourdieu has taught at the University of Bordeaux, and during his career, his influential research on white wine vinification and aging helped revolutionize how white Bordeaux is made today. Dubourdieu is also a vigneron in his own right, heading up Denis Dubourdieu Domaines, a family company based at his home property of Château Reynon in the Côtes de Bordeaux town of Beguey and headlined by his flagship estate of Château Doisy-Daëne in Barsac.
Posted: November 30, 2011 By Kim Marcus
Posted: November 28, 2011 By James Molesworth
When I arrived in the Rhône almost two weeks ago, it was just before the Toussaint, a major religious holiday in France that fell on a Tuesday this year, giving France a long weekend through the Monday before. That meant more than a few vignerons weren't available for visits. So after working in the outer-lying appellations for the past few days, I circled back today, finishing up in Châteauneuf-du-Pape at two major estates, Domaine de Beaurenard and Domaine St.-Préfert.
Posted: November 21, 2011 By James Molesworth
Viticulturally speaking, the Rolets' property at La Verrière is the equivalent of the dark side of the moon. Located on the back side of the Dentelles de Montmirail, its vineyards face north. That, combined with 500 meters and more of elevation, makes it one of the coolest, windiest spots for vines in the Southern Rhône. Here, crop yields are naturally low, and exuberant ripeness plays second fiddle to racy acidity.
Despite its proximity to Gigondas (the property's vines border that appellation, as well as the appellations of Séguret and Beaumes de Venise), the Chêne Bleu wines only earn a modest Vin de Pays de Vaucluse designation, but don't let that fool you.
This was my first visit to this remote property, perched on a knife's-edge hill behind the town of Le Crestet. My trusty GPS did its job-as did the final words of caution from Nicole Rolet, the estate's owner, when she gave me directions.
Posted: November 18, 2011
Posted: November 17, 2011 By Alison Napjus
Posted: November 17, 2011
Posted: November 17, 2011 By James Molesworth
Today was a day not to lose faith in the GPS. Sometimes it took me on some squirrelly back roads, cutting through a vineyard on a narrow dirt path, even when there's a main road running parallel just a few hundred yards away.
But to find Domaine Gramenon, located up in the hills in the small hamlet of Montbrison, I knew I would need to keep the faith and stay on target. My GPS has taken me on the scenic route before, but it's always gotten me there.
Of course, I blew past the domaine once before turning around and seeing it as I backtracked. I should've known after all this time, that I was looking for a modest house with blink-and-you'll-miss-it signage. Set amidst vines that have already dropped their leaves when most others are still hanging on to theirs, and with browning weeds just as high running amok in the vine rows, Domaine Gramenon doesn't look like much at first glance. But the wines made here are distinctive, sometimes nebulous or awkward, but never anything less than provoking for their display of unadulterated minerality, smoky, garrigue-infused fruit and long, earth- and ash-laced finishes.
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