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Staff Favorites - Jim Chanteloup
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2011 Oakridge Local Vineyard Series "Barkala Ridge Vineyard" Chardonnay, Yarra Valley
Review Date: 7-31-2013
If you like Chablis, then this wine is for you. The nose shows flint and matchstick along with a crushed rock minerality complimented by green apple and lemon/lime citrus with a slight nutty accent. On the palate it has great tension and drive with fine balancing acidity and a long persistent finish.
2011 Oakridge Local Vineyard Series "Denton Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley
Review Date: 7-25-2013
The wines we have just brought in from Oakridge have shown across the board to be truely exceptional. The "Denton" Pinot Noir has aromas of bright, crunchy raspberry and cherry fruit with a light floral rose petalnote and spicy clove and sandlewood accents. On the palate, the wine is elegant with a lacy, ethereal texture and seamless balance. This is a wine with purity,clarity and definition that rewards with a persistent long finish.
2009 Pyramid Valley Vineyards "Howell Family" Cabernet Franc Hawkes Bay New Zealand
Review Date: 5-8-2013
Loir Valley comes to New Zealand? Although a bit riper and more generous in body, the PVV "Howell" vineyard Cabernet Franc shows notes of iron, sweet beets, dark red fruits, and a hint of bell pepper that is classic to many a Loir Valley Cabernet Franc. On the palate there is good structure with supporting acidity and very good length. Tradition meets the modern world.
2012 Te Mata Gamay Noir Hawkes Bay New Zealand
Review Date: 4-24-2013
New Zealand has become well known for world class Pinot Noir, so why not the other red grape of Burgundy, Gamay. This wine is made in the traditional style with 66% of the grapes starting fermentation with the technique of carbonic maceration to emphasize fruit and floral character. The bouquet shows dark plum, cranberry, earth, a floral lift and a hint of white pepper spice.On the palate the wine is fresh and vibrant with supple tannins and good length.
2012 A.A. Badenhorst "Secateurs" Chenin Blanc Swartland
Review Date: 4-15-2013
This is a great value, and a wonderful introduction to South African Chenin Blanc.The fruit comes from bushvines planted in the 1960's and a some amount sees a little time in neutral oak for texture. The nose has notes of jasmine flower, honeysuckle, apricot, kumquat and honey. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with a round creamy texture and moderate "lemony" acidity that has a persistent finsih.
2010 Pyramid Valley Vineyards "Earth Smoke" Pinot Noir North Canterbury New Zealand
Review Date: 3-26-2013
Only 250 cases were made of this wine from the PVV home blocks and cropped at an incredible 1.4 ton to the acre.The bouquet offers black raspberry, dark plum, light Earl Grey tea, dried orange peel and in general, a darker edge to the fruit along with more earth tones than its sibling, the Angel Flower. On the palate the wine is concentrated with energy and drive with good texture that is balanced with a fine persistent finish. 13.2ABV.
2009 Leeuwin "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 2-13-2013
Leeuwin was one the pioneers in the Margaret River region in Western Australia and has remained one of the top producers ever since with their Chardonnay considered an icon of Australian wines. These are wines that are built to reward time in the cellar as evidenced by the fact that they converted two decades of library wines to the stelvin closure to avoid cork taint issues. The 2009 is focused, tightly coiled and more linear at this point in its life. The bouquet shows notes of pear,peach, jasmine, ginger, honeysuckle and a light nutty character. On the palate the wine has fine structure with tangy crisp acidity that adds a nice tension leading to a long persistant finish.
2010 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 12-12-2012
Without a doubt, John Duval is making some of the most exciting wines in the Barossa Valley. That said, it's not much of a suprise when you consider he made 16 vintages of Penfolds Grange, THE iconic wine of Australia. He also is part of the Long Shadows project in Washigton where they choose a winemaker from anywhere in the world to make the best expression of a particular varietal (in his case, Shiraz) joining Randy Dunn (Cabernet Sauvignon) and Michel Rolland (Merlot) among others as a "tip of the hat" to their international respect. So, his 30 years in Barossa have given tremendous insight into the terroir in the valley (including the cooler Eden Valley) and use those components to compose a classic but elegantly styled Barossa wine. Aromas of blackberry, blueberry, spice, new leather and a hint of roasted coffee abound on the nose. On the palate, these elements come together with good acidity and a cloak of fine tannins that add a nice structure to the wine with very fine length.
2007 Kumeu River "Estate" Chardonnay Kumeu New Zealand
Review Date: 12-12-2012
Flat out, Mike Brajkovich makes some of the best Chardonnay in the world. In blind tasting, his wines are consistently thought to be Premier Cru White Burgundy, at least, if not Grand Cru.They have been awarded top scores from the Wine Spectataor for years, making The Top 100 five times. Everything is done meticulously with the vines on a "Lyre" trellis system to optimise exposure to light for ripeness, yields that are kept low, they harvest by hand, and all whole bunch pressed. Only indigenous yeast is used for the wine and is 100% barrel fermented and goes through 100% malolactic fermentation. The nose offers notes of pear, quince, green apple, lemon blossom, flint, minerals, honey and spice. On the palate there is superb balance with incredibly precise, pure flavors that have a Puligny laser-like beam shining through to a long finish. The wine now with a little bottle age is drinking superbly and a great example of what a little patience can do, and all for $20!
Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle" Sparkling Wine Brut Central Otago
Review Date: 12-7-2012
When winemaker Rudi Bauer was looking at the site for his own winery in the Bendigo sub-region after working at Rippon in Central Otago they had to consider the question, "what if the Pinot Noir might not ripen?" So, the thought of Sparkling wine was born. Clotilde Chauvet with family ties to Champagne followed Rudi as winemaker at Rippon and was one of the original shaeholders in Quartz Reef. Workshops with Jacques Peters from Veuve Cliquot followed with visits to Champagne helped Quartz Reef to become a specialist in Sparkling wine from New Zealand. Made from a blend of 58% Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay the wine is still hand riddled and disgorged and aged for a minimun of two years on the lees. Pear, apple, lime and brioche abound in the aromatics with a fine bead and texture that add up to a wine of real finesse and tremendous length.
2011 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir Cheviot Hills New Zealand
Review Date: 7-11-2012
This is a new addition to our growing Kiwi portfolio and without a doubt, one you should try. The nose shows raspberry, dark cherry, plum, earth, Asian spices, forest floor and dried orange peel. On the palate these flavors combine with juicy acidity and fine silky tannins that form one lovely Pinot Noir with superb balance and length.
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