2017, the harvest from Ay, Dizy, Hautvillers (66%) Avize and Oiry (34%). Winter and Spring were exceptionally dry; the beginning of Spring was mild but, in April, destructive frosts ravaged the vineyards, especially in the Côte des Blancs. Temperatures then rose and the weather was good until July. The end of the growing season was hot but very wet. The...
Producer: Bouquin Dupont Fils
A wonderful champagne, 100% Chardonnay of Avize from vineyards more than 60 years old. A base of citrus fruit melted with the scent, and taste, of a custard where there are also two drops of lemon juice. Delicious and enjoyable.
Producer: Jurij Fiore & Figlia
The 2020 Chianti Classico Sonocosì is bright, fresh and light in body, all of which make it a good choice for drinking now and over the next decade or so. This north-facing site at 550 meters in altitude yields a lithe, aromatically expressive Classico loaded with character. Vinification and aging in oak keeps the flavors vibrant.
Producer: Gerard Perseval
An absolutely stellar wine, the 2011 Perseval Zero Dosage offers tremendous richness and pure power. The 2011 is ample and vinous in the glass, with tons of Chardonnay breadth and intensity allied to a sense of verticality that is felt in the wine's distinctly phenolic feel.
Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1989, 75cl
Medium-deep red with an amber edge. Earthy nuances complicate ripe red fruit aromas on the rather woodsy nose. Then fresh and clean on the palate, with a very juicy quality to the ripe red fruit, truffle and scorched earth flavors. Not the most complex or longest Branaire-Ducru ever made, but very nicely balanced and drinking splendidly right now.
- Bordeaux 2eme Grand Cru Classe
- Alcohol vol.
When I tasted the 2018 Pontet-Canet in barrel I described it as a "freak of nature." The 2018 is more than that, it is a freak of nature. Made from yields of just ten hectoliters per hectare, the 2018 possesses off the charts richness, phenomenal balance and head-spinning intensity. Put in another way, if Lalou Bize-Leroy made Bordeaux, it would taste...
Ruby-red color. Dark plum, graphite, minerals and mint on the nose. Offers a subtle sweetness leavened by lively acidity and nicely framed by a firm tannic spine. A wine of modest flesh but considerable suavity. Very well balanced and persistent, with the mineral notes repeating on the back. Very Pauillac.
Producer: St Emilion
A wine of sublime elegance and finesse, the 2017 Cheval Blanc is endowed with tremendous energy, precision and cut. Red fruit, mint, sage, blood orange, star anise and exotic spice notes abound in a mid-weight, finely cut Cheval that dazzles with its energy.
Producer: St Julien
The 2009 Ducru-Beaucaillou has a killer bouquet with wonderful definition: blackberry, wild hedgerow, minerals and touches of pressed flower. This has just lost some of its puppy fat in recent years. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grain tannin, taut and quite linear, lightly spiced with a firm grip but plenty of elegance towards the finish. This is...
Producer: St Julien
A ravishing Saint-Julien, the Léoville-Poyferré is also very clearly one of the wines of the vintage on the Left Bank. Raspberry jam, blood orange, mint, spice and mocha all race out of the glass as this sumptuous, flamboyant wine shows off its exotic personality. With its vertical lift and explosive energy, the 2017 has so much to offer. It has been...
The 1995 Petrus is one of the finest vintages of the decade, a silver medal behind the brilliant 1998. It has a beautiful, focused nose with hints of game and humidor infusing the black fruit. The palate is supremely well balanced, slightly gamey and with impressive grip.
Producer: St Emilion
The 1996 Ausone is a vintage that I have tasted on four or five occasions. This was similar to previous examples with a very floral and outgoing bouquet, those wilted violet petals infusing the boysenberry and blueberry fruit, quite glossy in style, one of the most modern of that decade. It certainly has more intensity than earlier vintages.
The 1996 Mouton-Rothschild is the high point of what in retrospect was an inconsistent decade for this First Growth. It has a very attractive, classic Pauillac bouquet: predominantly black fruit laced with cedar, freshly rolled tobacco and light graphite scents. It is not lavish, but tightly controlled. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins,...
Producer: Pessac Leognan
This is one of the surprise sleeper wines of the vintage which has more successes than many people suspect in spite of all the rain. The tremendous drainage enjoyed by the Haut Brion vineyard worked in its favor during this wet September harvest.
Bright red-ruby. Knockout nose features boysenberry, currant, cedar, graphite and mocha. Suave, gentle and sweet, already displaying ineffable inner-mouth perfume. The 17% merlot component injects a silky component, and the oak element adds a complementary sweetness.