Cottebrune Faugères Blanc 2018

Cottebrune Faugeres White 18

The blend is 1/3rd each Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Vermentino. From Faugères, 60 miles west of the Rhone Valley. Elevation and rocky schist soils make for wines of concentration and dimension here. This wine is mighty fine. Honeysuckle, orange zest and lemon custard on the nose, then taste peach purée, ripe grapefuit and mango, wrapping […]

YVES CUILLERON Viognier Les Vignes d’a Cote 2018

Cuilleron Viognier Vignes d'a Cote

A delightful Viognier from Northern Rhone Valley stalwart Yves Cuilleron. Citrus blossom and honeysuckle aromas complement white peach, ripe lemon and tangerine. In the mouth the wine is fruity, dry, modestly perfumed and medium/light bodied with a smidge of oily texture on the finish. Fermented and aged in 2/3rd neutral-ish barrels…aged on its lees 7 […]

BOUDINAUD Blanc La Rousseline 18

Boudinaud Blanc Rousseline 18

40% Viognier, 40% Marsanne, 20% Roussanne from Boudinaud’s Estate vineyard. All steel tank fermented and aged. Big on the fresh citrus: lime juice & zest, orange slices, grapefruit, honeysuckle, Key lime, fresh pineapple. Medium-light bodied and a refreshing thread of acidity. At under $15/bottle this is definitely case purchase worthy. Imported and sold by Wine […]

MARDON Quincy “Tres Vieilles Vignes” 2017

Mardon Quincy

Look to Quincy for delicious, mineral-driven, Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. And in Quincy, buy Domaine Mardon. Quincy is 50 miles west of Sancerre along the Cher River. 50-80 year old vines, growing in river sand and gravel, make high-toned, zippy, pure Sauvignon Blanc. Quick attack of green apple skins, grapefruit, lemon/lime and river rocks. Ripe, […]

Domaine Alain Cailbourdin Pouilly Fume “Les Cris” 2017

Cailbourdin Pouilly Fume Les Cris

Knowing this wine from multiple prior vintages, I pay the 2017 the best compliments I can give, which are classic and typical. You don’t want too much in an outstanding Loire Valley Sauv Blanc. Rather, you want brightness, intensity and the flavor of the rocky soils from which it comes. And here it is: citrus […]

TRIMBACH Riesling Vin d’Alsace 2015

Trimbach Riesling Alsace

Very impressive how much character, typicity and deliciousness is in this “entry level” Trimbach Riesling, considering the amount made and the reasonable price. Fermented dry, ample stuffing (or mouth-feel), burst of citrus and orchard fruits on the palate and an unmistakable Riesling personality (rocks, petrol, lemon zest, quince, lemongrass, etc). This is a wine I […]

Luc Baudet Cotes du Rhone Blanc Rive Droite 16

Luc Baudet Rive Droite 16

Lip-smacking good Southern Rhone Valley blend of 90% Grenache Blanc and 10% Marsanne. No oak, fresh crisp green fleshed melon and heirloom apple fruits, touch of citrus blossom, green tea and white pepper. No oak, light-bodied, bright acidity. Absolutely perfect for what it’s supposed to be. And is. This is my current house white wine. […]

GUY ROBIN Chablis “Montee de Tonnerre” 2016

Guy Robin Chablis

I love the savory, earth-driven overtones that roll alongside the preserved lemon, apple butter and lemon custard smells and flavors. Satin texture, depth of fruit and  delicious, distinctive flavors of button mushrooms and gravel here. Not super-crisp, rather a Chablis with a strong core of acidity, earth and fruit. I think it’s just about perfect. […]

ROCHE PARADIS Condrieu Veauvigniere 2016

Roche Paradis Condrieu

A particularly fresh, perfumed, intense style of Condrieu that focuses more on the fresh flowers and rocky character than the fruits. Smell and taste lemongrass, lemon verbena, ripe grapefruit, apple blossoms, river rocks, fresh apricots…and everything lifted up by its invigorating acidity. Structured finish, giving an impression of fine tannins. More Information Domaine de la […]

CLOS des CENTENAIRES Roussanne 2016

Clos des Centenaires Roussanne

100% Roussanne from the southernmost part of Costieres de Nimes and The Rhone Valley. Oily, rich, honeyed, luxurious style which comes from the warm Mediterranean climate and the winemaking, including fermenting and aging the wines in neutral barrels. Smell and taste roast peaches, orange zest, honeycomb, white pepper and tarragon. Acid is there, between medium […]

PIERRE GAILLARD Condrieu 2016

Pierre Gaillard Condrieu

Oranges, honeysuckle, honeydew and lemon blossoms express themselves in the 2016 Pierre Gaillard Condrieu. From terraced, south-facing vines planted in decomposed granite. The result, especially in a vintage like 2016, is perfume, intensity and delicacy. This is my favorite style of Viognier in the world and I deny anyone to not like this! Add to […]

VINCENT CLUZEL Condrieu 2016

Vincent Cluzel Condrieu

This is the real deal in Condrieu. Nose of melon, peach, apricot, citrus blossom and honey. Taste keeps that all going with a little lemon tea and fresh green olive in there too. Intriguing, rocky, lemon bitters, sea breeze finish. Freshness and acidity cut through Viognier’s effusive character. I love this wine. Could drink it […]

FRANTZ CHAGNOLEAU Pouilly-Fuisse “Madrigal” 2016

Frantz Chagnoleau Pouilly Fuisse

Single vineyard, rocky, higher altitude vineyard in the Vergisson commune of Pouilly-Fuisse. Very much on the racy and “fit” side of Chardonnay with its rocky/mineral-y and crisp citrus rind & blossom character. That said, I’m very critical of the “thin is in” style, finding most to be too much bones and not enough flesh. The […]

RAIMBAULT Sancerre Apud Sariacum 2017

Raimbault Sancerre

Always a classic, mineral-driven, zippy wine, the Philippe Raimbault Sancerre 2017 is relatively fleshy and fruit-driven. In this vintage, the fresh green applesauce, juicy pears and lemon custard take on the chalky/seashell flavors, expected of Sancerre, in a fight for dominance. It’s up to the taster as to who wins. It’s close, and relative. If this were […]

BUISSON CHARLES Meursault 2015

Buisson Charles Meursault

Impressive how so much aroma and flavor is packed into the 750 ML bottle. Starts smoky and bright with roasted whole lemons, citrus blossoms, sliced white peaches and fresh from the oven biscuits. Taste lemon sorbet, caramel, buttered wheat toast, roast hazelnuts (naturally!) and apple butter. This is super-intense. If the same wine was a […]

MAS GRAND PLAGNIOL Blanc 2016

Mas Grand Plagniol Costieres de Nimes

Southern French white blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier. It’s fresh, aromatic, fruity, fleshy. Get fresh melons, peaches, pears, light floral and tropical. No oak. Medium acidity. Stood up to my squash ravioli in tomato sauce. This is my house white wine, and a Hall of Fame Value! If you’re looking for delicious, great […]

Easy Access Wine #1

Easy Access Wine

Survey feedback from Chuck S (thanks, Chuck): “I would appreciate a few ratings on wines that might be considered to be somewhat mass market wines. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to go to a Safeway and find a really good wine that Dan has recommended.” Great idea! And in response, here’s my inaugural easy-access selection: […]

Maison L’Envoye Bourgogne Blanc 2014

Maison L'Envoye Bourgogne Blanc

There’s an ocean of Chardonnay out there. What to choose of the, oh I don’t know, 50 different Chardonnay labels standing in front of you? Afraid there’s no secret sauce to share with you. I can give tips, however, which leads me to this specific recommendation. Check out a few Bourgogne Blancs when you’re in […]

FONTARECHE Corbieres Rose 2017

Fontareche Corbieres Rose

Ancient wine appellation Corbieres in South Central France continues to make solid, great value wines. Here’s a great example. Grapes are 50% Picpoul Noir, 25% Grenache, 25% Syrah. A darker color and textured mouthfeel makes me think it’s saignee but I don’t know this for sure. Smell and taste fresh strawberries and plums plus tobacco, […]

SARRAZIN Rully “Sans Nom” 2015

Sarrazin Rully Sans Nom

Sarrazin’s “Sans Nom” comes from two estate vineyards that give different qualities to the wine. First impression is ripe and fleshy, too much for some tastes. Melons, citrus custard and pineapple with medium acidity. On the back palate and finish the wine “freshens up” with more fresh, tangy citrus, green applesauce and a mineral kick. […]

OUDART Champagne, Chardonnay 2008

Oudart Champagne

Family vineyard and winery (an RM) in the Côtes des Blancs. By tasting I’m guessing it has spent at least 6 years on its lees, which would explain its round, creamy texture. Get ripe pears, lemon cream, fresh pastry and apple butter in this luxurious-style Champagne. A delight to drink 10 year old, vintage Champagne […]

VINCENT DAMPT Chablis 2015

Vincent Dampt Chablis 2015

Pretty, aromatic nose of lemon blossoms, Meyer lemon, mango and lime precedes flavors of the same plus butter pastry, lemon tea and white chalky earth. Has lively acidity, fresh fruit all over the place and just enough “taste of the land” to make it interesting. Undeniably tasty and versatile: good drinking by itself and particularly […]

VINCENT DAMPT Chablis “Cote de Lechet” 2015

Vincent Dampt Chablis Lechet

I’ve quickly become a big fan of Vincent Dampt’s Chablis wines. His Cote de Lechet, from 55 year old vines growing in limestone and marl (Kimmeridgian soil) is classy, bright, perfectly ripe and earthy (especially on the finish). Get preserved lemons, apple butter, fresh sweat, chalk, lemon thyme and green tea. Round and tingly on […]

SAINT REMY-EHRHART Riesling Vieilles Vignes 2015

Saint Remy Ehrhart Riesling

This dry Riesling captures the honey-textured essence of Alsace. Smell and taste caramel-coved crisp green apples, lemonheads, spring blossoms and tangy pineapple. This is beautiful Riesling that speaks clearly to the quality and value of Alsace.