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Staff Favorites - Jim Chanteloup

Jim Chanteloup

Reviews

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-21-2015
We just tasted through the line of wines from Baron Fuente, and I must say, they a s good as I can ever remember. The Grand Reserve is a no-brainer for the money as is '06 vintage for $30! But, I really was impressed with the "Esprit" with 7 years on the lees for $35. Made from a blend of equal parts Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, the Esprit offers a light smoky, toasty note with nutty accents on a rich frame with honey, pear and lemon zest. Wonderful acidity and minerals complement on the palate with grace and fine persistence.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 92 WE 91

2012 Yalumba "The Signature" Cabernet-Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 09-15-2015
I've spoke before about how Australia's Cabernet-Shiraz blend is akin to the great blends from Bordeaux. The fact that Shiraz is blended with Cabernet is NOT their way of cheating you! Merlot doesn't work so well in the Barossa Valley. This is a wine that has been made for over 5 count them 5 decades at Yalumba, the oldest family run winery in Australia. Besides being one of their top wines, 'The Signature" has always been a chance to recognize the importance that someone in the organization has brought to the table. This year, they have chosen Robert Hill Smith, 5th generation of the family and the man at the helm of guiding this iconic Aussie winery. So, what kind of vintage would YOU pick to honor your boss? Well, if you're smart and enjoy your job, a stunning one, which is what we have here. The wine is simply gorgeous with a lifted bouquet of cassis, blueberry, blackberry, dark cherry, currant, bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee, earth, cumin and a clove/pepper spice. The palate delivers seamless balance with a supple texture that is all the while supported by a fine cloak of tannins that ensure a very long life which I wish for RHS! I was lucky enough to taste the '66 a few years ago with him that was still stunning, and I put this in that league if not one of its own. This is a legendary "Signature".

2012 Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Review Date: 06-17-2015
Wow, this is some delicious Pinot Noir and certainly one of their best in many years that brings balance, character and nuance with a nod to Burgundy. The bouquet soars with rose petal, cherry, raspberry, cinnamon, clove dried tangerine peel, earth and a bit of forest floor. On the palate there is a good acid line with fine tuned supple tannins to ensure secondary development with time in the cellar, even though it's darn tasty right now. Fermentation was done with indigenous yeast and spent 18 months in French oak barriques for maturation. Besides Central Otago being the new darling and Martinborough the early poster boy/girl for New Zealand Pinot Noir, Waipara/Canterbury has been bringing some serious game to the table. Don’t think about it, buy it.

Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-07-2014
The Bruno Michel wines always deliver, but the "Blanche" with 6 years on the lees will surely please. The bouquet shows toasty baked apple with hints of nutmeg spice and ginger. On the palate the wine has a rich and creamy mid-palate with refreshing acidity and a persistent, long finish. Great bubbles, with that kind of lees age, for $35? Yeah, buddy!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 11-13-2013
The 2010 “La Strada” Pinot Noir which scored 94-95 points from James Suckling, was a runaway success earlier this year with nearly 3,000 bottles sold. The 2011 though not yet rated, is a more than worthy follow up from this certified organic winery that is one of the top producers in Marlborough if not all New Zealand. The wine has a bouquet that is bright and lifted with raspberry, cherry, white pepper, clove, dried tangerine peel, and a subtle use of integrated oak. On the palate, ripe plum notes are added to the great purity of fruit which is supported by good acidity and a fine grained tannin structure that leads to a long persistent finish. While very drinkable now, you can put some away and be quite happy that you did for a modest price.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 RC 91

Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle" Brut Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 12-07-2012
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.