This is a very generous Champagne in its orchard (pear & apple) and citrus fruits, both nicely ripe giving impressions of sweetness. A smidge of breakfast pastry compliments the fruit. Think pear tart without the sugar. Creamy texture, a very “friendly” Champagne meaning all palates will like it. Not too dry, not too sweet. Just right. The Marc Hebrart Champagne “Cuvee de Reserve” is crafted from 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay in Champagne’s Marne Valley, where the wines generally are both fleshy and particularly complex. 2013 through 2016 vintages in this cuvée. The wine has gone through malo for […]
The Red Burgundy appellation Irancy is closer to Chablis than the Cote d’Or. One of high repute, then out of favor, and in the last 30-40 years on the comeback. The style, as you’d expect from Northern France Pinot Noir, is delicate and “bright.” The Verret is brilliant and bordering on transparent, smells of wild cherries and plums along with white pepper, violets and truffle shavings. A core of ripe wild red fruits harmonizes with the elevated acidity. Super food wine that can go so many directions. Salmon and such fattier fishes, pork and chicken gently seasoned, roast root vegetables […]
Extremely crisp, high acid sparkling wine from this very small San Luis Obispo producer focusing on earth-driven wines. Pinot Noir’s rose petal and raspberry aromas tip-toe in. Tangy citrus, yellow cherry and plum flavors shine in the mouth along with smidge of jasmine or honeysuckle. There’s a suggestion of rocky earthiness on the finish if you’re looking for it. Very dry, very crisp…dryness not designated but stylistically I’d call it an Extra Brut. A unique, cool wine.
Highly regarded winery Lucien Albrecht was a pioneer in the production and sale of Cremant d’Alsace (which is methode traditionalle sparkling, or bubbles-made-in-bottle as I like to say), making it in 1976 when the French AOC for Cremant d’Alsace was established. Made from 100% Pinot Noir. Nicely on the very dry side of Brut, showing bits of plum, cranberry and red melon flavors. It’s austere in a good way. On a personal note, in my house the Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose has usurped our long-beloved Allimant Laugner (also a Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose) as the house bubbles. The […]
I like the ripe, soft cherry smells and flavors and plush/creamy texture of this village-level wine from the Chalonnaise. The very warm, ripe 2015 vintage trumps the limestone soils and usual “feminine” style of Rully. That, and the nod to new-world winemaking practiced by Vincent Dureuil. Warm spices, candied orange zest and caramel peek through from mid-palate to end of the 20 second finish. This is a solid, sexy, drink-me-tonight Red Burgundy. More Information Rully appellation, Cote Chalonnaise, lies a mile from the Cote d’Or. Vincent Dureuil Janthial is here, growing grapes and making out-of-sight white and red Burgundies. Certified […]
Bright, energetic Red Burgundy from a vineyard directly above Nuits-Saint-Georges, on the plateau that designates Hautes-Cotes de Nuits. Feminine style: wild red cherries, cranberry, plums, talc, bay leaf, fresh red roses. Light bodied, intensity (a requirement of good Burgundy), perky acidity, fine tannins. I wish it was a little bit longer on the finish (clocked in at 10 seconds, not bad). There is no doubt you are drinking Burgundy, and a good one at that, with the Gavignet Hautes Cotes de Nuits Huguettes. More Information This is one of the hundreds of quality, well-priced wines (French & Italian) imported by […]
Tiny producer in the Côte des Bars, southern end of Champagne. The Brut Rosé is 90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay. Mid range on dosage for Brut at 10 Grams/Liter R.S. The dosage plus the Pinot Noir extraction makes for a red-berry heavy, fruity, off-dry sensation that is A) delicious and B) not everyone’s first choice of Champagne style. Get wild red cherries, raspberries, cranberry nut bread, blood oranges and then toasted pie crust, nutmeg and black licorice on the end. This soft, fleshy, lush style is quite different than the other Dosnon Champagnes. I love it, and it’s a fantastic […]
Always one of my favorite richer, rounder Champagnes, the Jean Lallement Champagne Brut is 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay from their multiple holdings on the Montagne de Reims. This is mostly 2014 vintage with 2013 making up the rest. Steel tank ferment and aged, full malo, 36 months on its lees after 2nd fermentation. The Lallement is lush, quite creamy and rich. With the richness there’s baked apples and pears, lemon custard, peaches and melons. You truly get the full package here, from fresh fruits to toasty/doughy from winemaking and aging. This is a relative bargain in the Champagne world. […]
Unquestionably one of the best American sparkling wines made. This is 91% Pinot Noir, 9% Chardonnay from their Estate vineyard in Willamette’s Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA. Barrel fermented and aged 8 months before 2nd fermentation in bottle. 2 years on its lees before disgorgement in spring 2017. The Soter Brut Rose comes out of the gate like a lightning bolt with fruit-forwardness (blood orange, wild cherry, raspberries) plus fresh pie crust, roast almonds and chamomile tea. You’ll really notice this wine – shy it is not. And with all its flavor, the acidity is running right alongside. Pour this next to […]
I really like the delineation of flavors and richness of the Besson Givry Petit Pretans 2016. From a 30+ year old, Premier Cru vineyard in the Cote Chalonnaise, south of the Cote d’Or, in clay/limestone soil. Sports a deep, dark red, faint liqueur and plum sauce smell and flavor plus tarragon, truffle and black tea. This has plenty of structure and, more importantly, more stuffing than most Givry, especially from an ethereal vintage like 2016. Really nice now, but best drinking won’t start until 2022 I estimate. Here are all my Red Burgundy reviews (Red, White & Sparkling)
Subtle red fruit scents of raspberries, strawberries and cherries with violets and apricot sneaking in. The low dosage (about 5 Grams/Liter residual sugar, which is low) and earth-driven base wines make for an athletic Champagne with power and intensity. The Dosnon Champagne Recolte Noire is less fruity and more earthy than most Blanc de Noirs for sure. More Information This up-and-coming Grower-Producer in the Cote des Bar, southern Champagne, makes dynamite wine, and his prices are extremely fair. This is all Pinot Noir, barrel-fermented and aged (in Puligny-Montrachet barrels) then aged in bottle for 2-3 years (average length of time) […]
A “friendly” young Gevrey Chambertin. From nose to the end of its 25 second finish get dark ripe cherries (griottes!), more ripe berries, plums and pomegranate, ripe tannins, a little cocoa and dry aged beef. Very accessible for such a young one. You could drink this tonight without guilt. More Information Owner/winemaker Arnaud Mortet is the winemaker and co-owner (with family) of Domaine Denis Mortet. These wines are made side by side, by Arnaud, with the Denis Mortet wines. This Gevrey is the first I’ve had of the Arnaud Mortet wines. I look forward to having more, and future vintages! […]
A house favorite, and a Napa Valley favorite, the Allimant Laugner Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose is 100% Pinot Noir, methode traditionelle (in line with the French appellation laws of Cremant. This is a delicious $20 or under sparkling. Medium dosage for Brut, meaning you can pick up a twinge of sweetness. Strawberry, blood orange, rose petal, medium acidity for bubbles. It’s all nicely balanced, perky and clean. This is a big time crown pleaser. On that note, look for Magnums – if your wine shop has the 750s, they can probably get the magnums. Price should be just double the […]
I know this Champagne well. It’s as good as ever. In the broad-shoulders category of Champagne because of it’s blend (80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay) and the region (Bouzy, Montagne de Reims – clay-rich soils). Smell and taste baked red apples, red currants, raspberry, pink roses and tellicherry peppercorns. Mouth-filling, moderately creamy, roasted almond/roasted lemon finish. This is a solid bottle of bubbles from a tiny, family-run Champagne house!
Deep, rich Burgundy-red color. Smell and taste kirsch & framboise, fresh violets, warm buttered toast, pomegranate juice. Texturally, this is powerful, offering structure, fine tannins, delicious fruit and underpinnings of soil and Burgundy spice. This is a winner. Can’t wait to try some of his 1er Cru Red Burgs. More Information Rully appellation, Cote Chalonnaise, lies a mile from the Cote d’Or. Vincent Dureuil Janthial is here, growing grapes and making out-of-sight white and red Burgundies. The 2015 “En Guesnes,” a village-level vineyard, is my introduction to this winery and winemaker who has not yet reached 40 years of age. […]
A deep red, wild cherry nose with freshly-turned earth, allspice berries and black tea moves to a strong red berry/cherry flavor with savory spice and soil support. Good structure, fine and firm tannins, bright/bold fruit and a definitive character of Burgundy make this a screaming-good value in this category. Buy this while you can and enjoy it as your weekend-at-home Red Burg over the next 5 years. Gavignet is a winery/winemaker in Nuits Saint Georges making a handful of Premier Cru and Villages level NSGs. This Hautes Cotes de Nuits comes from a vineyard overlooking the village. Mature vines (20 […]
100% Pinot Noir from the heart of Russian River Valley used for this microscopic 46 case production Rosé. Deep watermelon and wild red cherry nose with a little talc and fresh red rose sneaking in there too. In the mouth, a jolt of acidity hits the palate with more melon/red berry fruit, white pepper and pink roses. I really like the creamy texture and how it interacts with the tanginess. It’s not easy to have acidity and texture both make you happy in a Rosé, but this one does it. With all the good $20 and under Rosé out there, […]
80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay from the Mâconnais. This is one of the most friendly, fuller-bodied, fruit-driven Crèmants I’ve had. The fruit and richness could be explained by the high amount of Pinot Noir as well as the 10% Reserve wine added to the cuvée. Friendly, forward fruit quality. Cherry and cranberry as expected + some lemon/lime, crisp green apple and crunch pear. Yes, it’s nice and fruity!
A juicy red cherry and plum nose with a smidge of fresh red rose and talc. The taste is all reds with thumbs-up acidity for Bourgogne and a veil of tannins on the gums at the end. 2016 is a good Red Burgundy vintage overall, especially for “lowly” Bourgogne Rouge. Ripe, but not too much so. I’ve had a lot of classic, honest Burgundies from Agnes Paquet, including a delicious Crèmant. Located in the Cote de Beaune, so I’m assuming the fruit for this Bourgogne comes from here. That’s not too terribly important – what is important is the quality […]
Toni Jost, a well-known Mittelrhein Riesling producer, makes Rheingau Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) too. It’s warmer on the Rheingau overall, making Spat more successful. Light color, and full of spice, dry herbs and earth. That said, this wine also delivers the fruit: maraschino cherry, plum sauce and cranberry sauce (I’m guessing it took a few years for the fruit to “come around.”). A cool-climate, dried citrus and flower “tang” hits you at the end. Unique and tasty for those initiated in Spatburgunder. And you can’t argue with the price!
Dark yet bright red cherries and berries, dried violets and red rose petals, pomegranate, sandalwood, dry-aged beef and wheat toast smells and flavors play nicely together in this classic, delicious Red Burgundy. I like its ripeness without suggestions of over-ripe (a possibility for 2015 Red Burgs). Showing intensity, tension, a fine grip of acid & tannins and generosity of flavor. This is a wonderful value and a great buy for Burgundy fans. The Maranges appellation, the southern tip of Burgundy’s Cote d’Or, is a great source for value-driven Red Burgundies. I find the really good ones, like this, have […]
Tiny, family run winery outside of Puligny-Montrachet owns and farms over 20 acres in the Cote de Beaune. Their Haute-Cotes is a pure, concise, honest expression of quality Red Burgundy that’s ready to enjoy anytime. Get sweet juicy plums, wild red cherries, pink rose petals, freshly-turned soil. Ideal wine for a Burgundy “experience” on the cheap.
Floral, bright red fruits from nose to finish distinguish this exceptional under $40 Cote de Beaune Bed Burgundy. The ripe 2015 vintage in Burgundy greatly benefits regions like Auxey-Duresses (which is above Meursault, up against the hill), which can struggle to ripen Pinot Noir perfectly. Medium body, a fine intensity and wonderfully aromatic, this slender but not gaunt beauty is very good now with ideal drinking starting in 2019 I’m guessing.
Tiny Red Burgundy producer from the Côte Chalonnaise, south of the Côte d’Or. Seek and you shall find delicious, classic Red Burgundies for reasonable prices. If you know where to seek! Here you’ll get dark cranberries, roasted herbs de Provence, Indian spices, wild cherries. Medium acidity, excellent concentration for Chalonnaise Red Burg (2015 is a ripe vintage in Burgundy – good for drinking young). Enjoy this any time you’d like.