Posted: June 10, 2011 By James Laube
Good for Pontet-Canet. They're proving Cinderella stories can come true.
This has long been one of my favorite Bordeauxs. It's a fifth-growth Pauillac that can perform like a first-growth, often offering pure, rich Cabernet fruit that's deeply concentrated. It's one of those wines I look for when dining out and want to drink a great bottle of Bordeaux.
Due to the Bordeaux hierarchy, it has never commanded prices anywhere near those of the first-growths, even as critics increasingly recognize its depth of character. Looking at James Molesworth's barrel reviews of 2010, Château Pontet-Canet is right there with Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Latour, all with projected ratings of 96-99 points.
This week, Pontet-Canet's futures price for its 2010 came out; it's being offered to consumers at a little under $200 a bottle, the highest price its ever asked, and it's still flying out the door.
Posted: June 9, 2011 By James Molesworth
With VinExpo approaching—where the business side of the wine world meets before knocking off for summer vacation—what had been a rather sleepy en primeur campaign for the potentially tremendous 2010 vintage suddenly took on new life this week with the release of prices from a few top estates.
Both Châteaus Pontet-Canet (2010 barrel tasting score: 96-99 points) and Gruaud-Larose (93-96) released their 2010 pricing in what should spark many of their colleagues to follow suit. Château Pontet-Canet released its first tranche at 100 euros, a price owner Alfred Tesseron said he derived from the average of three tranches for his 2009, plus 8.3 percent. Château Gruaud-Larose also opened with its pricing and is now being offering at 61 euros by the trade, up from 50 euros for the 2009. The futures prices to U.S. consumers will increase as the wine moves through the distribution chain, with the exchange rate also playing a big role.
Posted: June 3, 2011
Posted: June 2, 2011
Posted: June 1, 2011
Posted: May 13, 2011 By Kim Marcus
Posted: May 10, 2011 By James Molesworth
After tasting through the 2009s and 2010s at numerous domains during my recent trip through the Northern Rhône Valley, lovers of these wines will have a lot to choose from. Both are excellent years, though markedly different in style. And both are potentially classic. Here are my notes.
Posted: May 6, 2011 By James Molesworth
On my eighth and last day in France's Northern Rhône Valley, I stopped in the heart of the Crozes-Hermitage at two of the area’s most prominent family-run estates, Alain Graillot / Equis and Gilles Robin. Here are my notes on their most recent bottlings.
Posted: May 4, 2011 By James Molesworth
On my eighth day in France's Northern Rhône Valley, I began at one of Hermitage's top domaines. Jean-Louis Chave carries the weight of his family’s generations working the famed hill of Hermitage. He sees his role as caretaker, protector. For Chave, Hermitage is already defined—there is nothing he can do to improve or change it. He can only make sure it expresses itself in his wine, in the best way possible, with each ensuing vintage.
But across the river, in the St.-Joseph appellation, Chave is building, changing, evolving. Following are my notes on his wines from the 2009 and 2010 vintage.
Posted: May 2, 2011 By James Molesworth
This continues my notes on tastings and visits during Day 7 of my current trip through the Northern Rhône. After visiting Alain Voge, Pierre-Henri Morel and Ferraton Père & Fils, I headed to M. Chapoutier to taste the most recent vintages. Here are my notes.
Posted: April 29, 2011 By James Molesworth
On my seventh day in the Rhône Valley I visited Alain Voge, Pierre-Henri Morel and Ferraton Père & Fils to taste the recent wines from Cornas, St.-Joseph, Hermitage and beyond. Below are my notes.
Posted: April 27, 2011 By James Molesworth
On my sixth day in the Rhône Valley I visited three wineries. Afterat visiting E. Guigal, I headed to Jean-Luc Colombo and Nicolas Perrin. Below are my notes.
Posted: April 25, 2011 By James Molesworth
On my sixth day in the Rhône Valley I visited three wineries. I started at the Côte-Rôtie's iconic E. Guigal to taste not just the recent Côte-Rôtie Syrahs but also St.-Josephs, the Châteauneuf and more with Marcel and Philippe Guigal. Here are my notes.
Posted: April 25, 2011 By Tim Fish
Posted: April 21, 2011 By James Molesworth
On my fifth day in the Rhône Valley I settled into my hotel room for a retrospective tasting of 30 Côte-Rôties from 2001. Here are my notes.
Posted: April 20, 2011 By James Molesworth
On my fourth day in the Rhône Valley I visited two young wineries, one belongs to the daughter of Bernard Chave, the other to Stéphane Ogier. I tasted Natacha Chave's 2010 St.-Josephs and Ogier's 2010 Côte-Rôties and more. Here are my notes.
Posted: April 18, 2011 By James Molesworth
One way to learn the quality and style of a new vintage is to taste at a domaine such as Jamet, where a single appellation is broken down to its basic parts. The other way, is to taste a range of wines covering several appellations from within the broader region—such as at Les Vins de Vienne. And then, by using both approaches together, you get both the broad picture and the fine details. Today I tasted the upcoming vintages at Les Vins de Vienne, Yves Cuilleron and François Villard. Here are my notes.
Posted: April 14, 2011 By James Molesworth
Today I made a first-ever visit to one domaine, and a regular stop at a well-know domaine. I visited Domaine Alain Paret and Jean-Paul & Jean-Luc Jamet for tastes of the next vintages of Côte-Rôtie, St.-Joseph, Condrieu and more.Below are my tasting notes
Posted: April 14, 2011 By James Molesworth
I’ve made quite a shift in gears following two weeks in Bordeaux as I’m now in my old stomping grounds in the Rhône Valley. Tastings here are a more casual affair, done usually in the cave, with samples drawn straight from barrel, as opposed to the more formal tasting rooms and pre-prepared samples that are typical at Bordeaux châteaus. I’m getting a good deal of teasing from the local vignerons too, about my new tasting responsibilities.
“Hopefully you’ll give them good marks and they’ll raise prices 40 percent,“ joked one Rhône vigneron. “Then we can raise ours 20 percent and look like a bargain.”Today I visited Georges Vernay, Pierre-Jean Villa, Julien Pilon, Yves Gangloff and Jean-Michel Gerin for tastes of the next vintages of Côte-Rôtie, St.-Joseph, Condrieu and more. Here are my notes.
Posted: April 13, 2011 By James Molesworth
Wine Spectator senior editor James Molesworth is back in France's Northern Rhône Valley for a preview of the 2009 and 2010 vintages.
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