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Staff Favorites - Keith Mabry

Keith Mabry

Reviews

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2013 Famille Perrin "Les Cornuds" Vinsobres
Review Date: 12-12-2017
Vinsobres is one of those Cru appellations that is still earning its bones much like Gigondas or Vacqueyras were 10 years ago. Once a Cotes du Rhone Village it was elevated to Cru status because of its beautiful terroir and exposition. Sitting towards the north end of the Southern Rhone, this is a much cooler climate compared to Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas. Also, Syrah plays a much more important role in the blends here. What you get are more aromatic and perfumed Rhones that have higher spice notes and more supple fruit. The Perrin family has such an amazing eye for detail as well and they would be the ideal candidate to suss out the best that this region has to offer. They are of course the family behind Chateau de Beaucastel, probably the most iconic of all the Chateuneufs. All fruit is farmed organically, all winemaking is top-notch and it all shows in the finished product. The 2013 vintage was challenging to say the least. Grenache was afflicted with collioure, where flowering doesn't occur properly and you are left with bunches of berries with lots of fruit missing. This means lower yields overall but not bad fruit. In fact quite good fruit. Not as concentrated as in vintages like 2010 or 2012 but definitely classically styled flavors. To finish the story, the supplier was a little long on the 2013 vintage, so of course they made us an offer and we made a counter-offer and we were able to land this normally $20+ wine for $13. A Cru wine for a Village price! So what about the wine? Beautiful drinking for certain. It is perfumed and harmonious with lovely currant and cherry notes. Lots of potpourri and baking spices develop in the glass. This has quickly arrived as one of my favorite go-to Rhones in the stores right now. Ideal drinking now and for another 5 years or more.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
VN 90 W&S 90

2014 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae - Old Vines” Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 12-12-2017
Shouting it from the rooftops - "Jean-Marc Lafage produces southern France's greatest values." Critical press aside, Jean-Marc's wines pinch the nerve that get people to buy and rebuy his wines over and over. The Bastide Miraflors was one of our greatest success stories this year and it's not just all press. You (and we) as consumers just love drinking these wines. There is a hedonistic pleasure in all of them and I think this overlooked gem is the perfect representation of that notion. The "Old Vines" is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre but it is at once greater than its parts. Rich red fruit flavors of candied strawberry and red cherry are surrounded by supple tannins and ripe long finish. It is pure pleasure in a glass. Since the supplier is ready to move onto a new vintage we have an outstanding price on this. This wine is sure to please all comers from holiday gift giving to Christmas parties and of course your everyday drinking needs.
Price: $7.98 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Château Saint Roch "Kerbuccio" Maury Sec
Review Date: 12-12-2017
Maury is the deep dark flip side to Spain's Priorat. The regions are part of what used to be (any may one day be again) Catalon. They sit on opposite sides of the Pyranees (Priorat in Spain, Maury in France) with a shared cultural heritage which is where the joint characteristics begin. Each region sits on the desirable black-brown slate/schist soils which make the terroir special, both revere the grapes Grenache and Syrah and both regions produce deeply concentrated wines of power and depth. The big distinction though is many of the Priorat wines have reached price points higher than the elevations of their vineyards. Not so much in Maury though. Longer known more for dessert wine production, Maury is still establishing its footing with regards to pricing which has kept costs depressed. That's to our benefit as consumers though because we get so many incredible dry wines for less than $30. Now, throw Jean-Marc Lafage into the mix, who has established himself as one of the great value producers in the whole south of France and you have one of the most exceptional Catalonian buys this year. The Saint Roch property really allows Mr. Lafage the freedom to let his vineyards fully express themselves. The "Kerbuccio" is supple, rich and full of blackberry, currants and fig flavors. The palate is sweet with fruit but has underlying slate notes and structure. There is also an intriguing garrigue (coastal herbs surrounding the vineyards) note that really adds that next layer of depth which makes me think of one other great region - Priorat. You would pay 2-3 times this much for a wine from the Spanish side at this quality (and with this kind of review). This has as much to offer in terms of flavor, style and longevity but at a price that doesn't quite feel so hard on the pocket book.

2000 Pierres Jacques Druet "Vaumoreau" Bourgueil
Review Date: 11-29-2017
The Vaumoreau offers up lively notes of raspberry and fresh tilled earth with plenty of potpourri on the nose. It is supple and medium bodied showing all of its Cab Francy goodness while still holding onto that oh so supple and sweet fruit. A pure pleasure to drink now, but still plenty of stuffing to drink for years to come.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Petroni Corse Rouge (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-28-2017
I visited this property a few years ago on a brief but meaningful trip to Corsica. Petroni's vineyards sit on the hills surrounding Lake Diane, a renowned source for oysters and mussels on the island. While wandering through the vineyards, you can see the Mediterranean sitting to the east just past the lake and when you turn to the west, you see the mountains of Corsica erupting high into the air. It reminds you what an onerous, inaccessible place this island can be. To their credit, Corsica is famously known as the island often invaded but never conquered. It is a scene that illustrates the rugged intensity of the people, their wines and the fascinating flavor profiles those wines deliver. Petroni is a small family estate making their wines at the local cooperative. This gives it the advantage of access to top flight facilities and some of the best wine consultants on the island. Another advantage - without the added cost of the facility, it keeps the cost more affordable! Corsica has gained a bit of a reputation for making great wines but the pricing can be as daunting as conquering the island. The primary grape in the "Rouge blend" is the local grape called Niellucciu, thought to be a lost clone of Sangiovese. The grape offers up the kind of bright acidity, red fruit and savory notes that you usually find in coastal Sangiovese reds. The rest of the blend is made up of Syrah and Grenache, which amplify the weight and density of the wine while adding layers of roasted black plum, crushed black pepper and Asian spices. Delicious medium bodied texture with supple tannins and a mild spicy undertone that gives it the lift to make it a great food pairing. Perfect with the classically grilled meats of the island or hearty fish stews. This is a wonderfully complex red that reflects the quality and character of the people of the island.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2015 Château de L'Ou "Secret de Schistes" Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 11-21-2017
I recently had the chance to revisit the "Secret de Schistes" and what a rockstar this wine is! I was with friends and we did a mixed grill of ribeyes and pork chops plus some roasted sunchokes and kabocha squash. The wine unfolds immediately, dripping with rich black fruit and copious spices. Throughout the evening, I kept checking in and tasted as the tannins mellowed and the flavors expanded into savory, smoky and layered fruit. By the end, it was a dead ringer for a Cote-Rotie worthy of three times the price. With stellar reviews, this wine overwhelmed our fulfillment center with pre-arrival requests well before it arrived in the US. The wine is here and it has more than delivered on its promise of greatness. All the wines from Chateau de L'Ou are organic, artfully made and delicious. The "Schistes" is the top expression of the property's brown schist vineyard site. Because we are the importer of record, we have and continue to have the best price in the market. After my dinner, it was not a difficult decision to add a half dozen more of these to my wine cellar (I already had a half dozen there). With so much going for it, it will continue to please for years and maybe even decades to come.
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
JD 96 RP 96

2014 Domaine Les Pins "Le Clos les Pins" Bourgueil
Review Date: 10-24-2017
Loire Valley's Cabernet Franc based wines have been my favorite go to reds for everyday drinking for the past few years. I love the bold black cherry, herbs and spices. The medium bodied texture of most of the wines whether they come from Saumur, Anjou, Chinon or in this case Bourgueil is always appealing and food ready. Plus alcohol levels are restrained. I never feel like I'm shorting myself on flavor over extract because flavor is always there. Now, this particular Bourgueil comes from a single parcel of some of the the best vines from Domaine Les Pins. This wine has all of the above but with a measured depth that makes it transcend. Any doubt this will age is removed if you happen to try the exceptional 2004, which is also available. But 2014 is probably the superior vintage in the long run. Ample structure but still finesse, I can see this becoming one of my favorite holiday reds. It will cozy up to all things fowl (especially duck or smoked turkey) and especially that rib roast I've been craving as of late. There is little that this versatile wine won't match up with whether it be now or a few years hence. A really special wine regardless of price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

2014 Domaine Tourbillon "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 10-24-2017
Tourbillon was introduced to us by our friend Cecile Chassagne, a very talented winemaker in her own right. Cecile is based in the village of Sablet and has a handful of small parcels in Gigondas just to the south. We love to rely on the recommendations of our friends and when Cecile introduced us to Tourbillon, there was no surprise that we were enchanted by the wine. This Chateauneuf is pure pleasure in a glass showing the charm of the 2014 vintage with its near-term drinkability. Aromas of cherry and wild strawberry erupt from the glass followed by whispers of brushy garrigue. On the palate the wine has a medium-full weight with flavors of berry compote, oolong tea and potpourri. The wine will drink beautifully for years to come but is so accessible now, it would be a shame to resist. Factor in the price of $25 and you have one of the great Rhone buys of the year.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 - 93

2012 Château Bouscassé Madiran
Review Date: 10-17-2017
Proprietor Alain Brumont has truly revolutionized the region of Madiran so much for the better. Madiran, a region best known for producing wines with jaw-breaking tannic structure, Brumont has perfected the accessibility of the Tannat grape through his strict selection of fruit and winemaking practices. His Chateau Bouscasse property is his original property and it shows all the classic nature of the region with its flavors of melted licorice, menthol, black currants, roasted plums and cocoa husks. It also captures the essential velvety structure of the wines which usually requires years of bottle age to obtain. An amazing follow-up to the past vintages we have carried, the 2012, much like a teenager, is still a little brooding in its youth. Unlike said teenager, the underlying richness and fruit unfold given a little time and air. The palate unfolds with ripe aromatics and the velvety tannins one associates with Tannat and Brumont's particular winemaking style. For certain, you could cellar this for a decade but as we approach the cooler seasons, this would make quite the foil for decadently rich braises and stews.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2014 Domaine du Vieil Orme Malbec-Cabernet Franc Touraine Rouge
Review Date: 10-01-2017
Composed of equal parts Malbec (known locally as Cot) and Cabernet Franc, the wine is aged in stainless steel, keeping the fruit in its most vibrant state. It is loaded with flavors of sweet black cherry and blueberry jam, crushed thyme and savory spices. It is open, forward and delicious. This wonderful red will pair beautifully with braised pork dishes, creamy cheeses and herb roasted chicken.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$9.99

2016 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre (1.5L)
Review Date: 10-01-2017
This wine goes through all stainless steel tanks during its fermentation, preserving freshness and vibrancy. It is a gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of pomelo, grapefruit peel and lemongrass. This delightful white will pair beautifully with some smoked trout or grilled sea bass over a bed of greens and citrus.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 WS 90

2016 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre (375ml)
Review Date: 10-01-2017
This wine goes through all stainless steel tanks during its fermentation, preserving freshness and vibrancy. It is a gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of pomelo, grapefruit peel and lemongrass. This delightful white will pair beautifully with some smoked trout or grilled sea bass over a bed of greens and citrus.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 WS 90

2016 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre
Review Date: 10-01-2017
This wine goes through all stainless steel tanks during its fermentation, preserving freshness and vibrancy. It is a gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of pomelo, grapefruit peel and lemongrass. This delightful white will pair beautifully with some smoked trout or grilled sea bass over a bed of greens and citrus.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99
WS 90

2015 Clos Saint-Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 09-27-2017
Recently I had two of the most tremendous Chateauneufs at a dinner party and they affirmed why I fell in love with the wines from this region so long ago. They were both served at a dinner party where the staple was multiple courses of beef cooked over Japanese charcoal. The first was a 1995 Marcoux Vieilles Vignes that was seamless and I would put it easily in my top five CDPs of all time. The second was a 2004 Clos Saint Jean Deux Ex Machina. Not what the critics would qualify as a great vintage but easily one of the best wines I have ever tasted from Saint-Jean. The wine was deep rich and showed more of the modern qualities of Chateauneuf. The beauty was how it unfolded in waves of flavors and not one big chunk of balmy fruit. It was gorgeous and went beautifully with the fattier cuts of meat. So what about this 2015? Well after tasting an retasting - I found qualities from both of those great wines in what is surely the most harmonious Vieilles Vignes I have yet tasted. A beautiful panoply of spices unfolds followed by layers of rich but not over-ripe fruit leading to a long and lingering finish. Like I've been saying, 2015 has produced wines that scale back the opulence but bring out the layers. The Clos Saint Jean VV is a worthy addition to any collector's cellar and it will surely be a part of mine.

2015 Moulin de la Gardette "Cuvée Ventabren" Gigondas
Review Date: 09-27-2017
Once again, Jean-Baptiste Meunier over-delivers! We have long been champions of his wines and from difficult vintage to great vintage his cuvees are some of our best and brightest from the Rhone category. So of course in a great vintage like 2015 he delivers one of his most serious and expressive wines to date. A full spectrum of aromas erupt from the glass with aromas of dates, blackberries and every bush in the surrounding forest all gather to perfume this exotic and scintillating nose. The texture in the mouth shows a little firmness but a ripe core of fruit extract keeps the tannins in check. Promising in its youth with a little air but will deliver so much more as it unfolds over the years. A truly tremendous wine!

2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Velours Noir" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Derived from 100% Syrah, this wine is aged in barrel and has a beautiful, dense texture. This is reminiscent of the great wines of the Northern Rhône, and you would be hard-pressed not to think of producers like Chapoutier or Guigal while drinking it.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 94

2015 Château de L'Ou "Ipso Facto" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Their benchmark wine to be sure is the 2015 Ipso Facto. A blend of the best lots from all three soils—alluvial, black schist and brown schist—the depth on this wine is almost inconceivable. Approaching perfection, this wine moves the needle on what we think about wines from the Roussillon. With organic principles, insightful winemaking and passion for their project, Château de L’Ou has done something truly amazing by changing the perception of what a region is and what can be accomplished there.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart
JD 97 RP 97

2015 La Source du Ruault Saumur-Champigny Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
This represents all that is good and delicious about the wines of the region. Planted in the sandy and gravelly soils over the tuffeau, this powerhouse Cabernet Franc is rich, representing the depth of fruit from the 2015 vintage, but it is also full of finesse. The tannins are quite fine and the finish is long on black fruit, cedary spice and black pepper.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 La Source du Ruault Saumur-Champigny Rouge (375ml)
Review Date: 09-25-2017
This represents all that is good and delicious about the wines of the region. Planted in the sandy and gravelly soils over the tuffeau, this powerhouse Cabernet Franc is rich, representing the depth of fruit from the 2015 vintage, but it is also full of finesse. The tannins are quite fine and the finish is long on black fruit, cedary spice and black pepper.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2014 La Source du Ruault "Sensei" Saumur-Champigny Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
A sensei is a teacher (Jean-Noël practices martial arts in his spare time) and there is no better wine to teach you about the quality of Saumur fruit. More strikingly powerful, this is parcel-selected fruit that sees some time in barrel, giving it a long-lingering quality that will persist for years to come.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 La Source du Ruault "La Coulee d'Aunis" Saumur Blanc
Review Date: 09-25-2017
One of the most serious contenders for my white wine of the year, this 100% Chenin Blanc, barrel-fermented wine delivers all the roasted apple and quince paste fruit of Chenin with just a note of marzipan. It has a fleshy Burgundian finesse that brings to mind Premier Cru Meursault. But at one-third the price, this is a worthy additon to your collection. Jean-Noël is a vigneron to watch, as we continue with his gorgeous and complex wines for years to come.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine du Petit Coteau Vouvray Moelleux
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Just on the sweet side of things, drinking like a fine Auslese from Germany, this is unctuous and long on the ripe apple and caramelized pear flavors. You could treat this as more of an after-dinner wine, pairing with creamy goat cheeses, or get a little bold and serve it with rich curries or spicy Thai food.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine du Petit Coteau Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 09-25-2017
The dry wine, with its lush mineral components, apple flavors, sweet fig notes and rounded acidity, this is a perfect foil for complex foods ranging from savory to spicy. Methinks a little duck confit with a salad of bitter greens would complement quite nicely.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Les Vignerons de Fontès "Prieuré Saint-Hippolyte" Languedoc Rosé (1.5L)
Review Date: 09-24-2017
One of our longest-standing and most successful relationships from the Languedoc is with Corinne Pastourel, the oenologist and director of the Les Vignerons de Fontès cooperative in the mountaine town of Fontès near Pezenas. Corinne's vibrant personality is immediately intoxicating much like the wines she oversees. We have always been drawn to the "Prieure Saint Hippolyte" bottlings as they represent the freshness and vibrancy of the fruit from the local growers. The rosé is charming on first glance with its nose of strawberry, white flowers and red plums. The palate is mouthfilling and not too delicate. There is an almost serious weight to it but it finishes dry and refreshing, getting you ready for another sip. The Hippolyte is still our best-selling rosé and still under $10 (and under $20 for the 1.5L) making this your year-round pink drink!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Domaine du Petit Coteau Vouvray Brut
Review Date: 09-20-2017
This is a straight-up delicious sparkling wine with notes of pear cider and toasted apples. Take note of this engaging bubbly to enjoy as we begin to enter the fall season.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2004 Domaine Les Pins "Le Clos les Pins" Bourgueil
Review Date: 09-20-2017
The 2004 “Le Clos les Pins” was brimming with notes of tobacco, leather and spices. The fruit has mellowed but is ever-present, showing the classic style of the sandy and gravelly soils. This still has a long way to go.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Begude "Terroir 11300" Chardonnay Haute Vallée de l'Aude
Review Date: 09-20-2017
The wonderful Kinglake family always over delivers on value when it comes to varietal wines from the south of France. Located in the hills near the village of Limoux, they produce Pinot Noir, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and often their most compelling wine - Chardonnay. The Terroir 11300 (the number refers to the zipcode of Limoux) is an all organically farmed, tank fermented Chardonnay that captures the essence of the grape without the suffusion of oak. About 15% of the wine does go through large used barrel adding some dimension and palate weight but minimal woodsy tones. Pure and clean, there is classic apple fruit with a slightly tropical finish. It is a pristine example that has a lovely nose and refreshing acidity. This wine is an absolute delight and is perfect for those wanting to depart from more oak laden styles without sacrificing fruit quality.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2004 Domaine Les Pins "Vieilles Vignes" Bourgueil
Review Date: 09-19-2017
We’ve been working with Domaine les Pins in Bourgueil for several years now and the wines continually over-deliver for the money. On our recent visit, vignerons Philippe and Christophe Pitault-Landry were kind enough to dig some older bottles out of the cellar to show us how the wines evolve. I immediately homed in on their two 2004s—the Les Clos des Pins and Vieilles Vignes. After a little negotiating we were able to convince them to sell us a small parcel of each. The 2004 “Vieilles Vignes” Bourgueil was remarkably persistent on the palate, showing flavors of strawberries, clove and truffle nuances. It is still quite powerful in the mouth and loaded with body and texture. This could easily withstand another decade of evolution. Both are tremendous successes and demonstrate the ageability of Cabernet Franc, even from a modestly priced producer such as this.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Franck Millet Sancerre Blanc (375ml)
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Our visit to the Loire Valley would not have been complete if we hadn't visited our dear friends Franck and Betty Millet. Clyde, myself and a friend were traveling through the region and arrived a day early to have a relaxing meal in the village of Sancerre. We actually surprised the Millets by popping in to see their new house which sits on the hill of the village overlooking the valley of Sancerre and its vineyards. We had an appointment to visit them the next morning but they were so gracious even with our surprise visit, they began pulling out bottles of wine for us to try, offering us food and a tour of their recently finished house. I often point to these kinds of occasions when trying to illustrate why we try to develop strong relationships with our Direct Import producers. Even though we were just stopping by to say "hello" they went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and a part of their family. And that's why the Millets are part of our K&L family. When we finally did arrive at the winery for our scheduled appointment we retasted all the wines as well as some of the new tank samples for the 2016 Insolite. They had fresh cheeses and bread all laid out for us because they knew we were going to be traveling a couple of hours to our next destination. We discussed the difficulty of the 2016 vintage due to the early frost but thankfully they were not largely affected by the staggering crop losses that others felt. The quality of the 2016 was outstanding as usual, classic grapefruit and lemongrass tones, chalky minerality and a long citrusy finish with a whisper of wild thyme at the end. Clyde's specific comments were "better than the 2015" and "more my style, racy and classic." When Clyde saw some magnums, we immediately explored the notion (Clyde's a sucker for large formats) of adding that to our inventory set. I of course love the little half bottles which are new as well. So, in whatever format you choose, halves, mags or standard bottles, you'll hopefully share in the sense of gazing out over the vineyards of Sancerre and sipping wine with our dear friends Franck and Betty Millet.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2016 Franck Millet Sancerre Blanc (1.5L)
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Our visit to the Loire Valley would not have been complete if we hadn't visited our dear friends Franck and Betty Millet. Clyde, myself and a friend were traveling through the region and arrived a day early to have a relaxing meal in the village of Sancerre. We actually surprised the Millets by popping in to see their new house which sits on the hill of the village overlooking the valley of Sancerre and its vineyards. We had an appointment to visit them the next morning but they were so gracious even with our surprise visit, they began pulling out bottles of wine for us to try, offering us food and a tour of their recently finished house. I often point to these kinds of occasions when trying to illustrate why we try to develop strong relationships with our Direct Import producers. Even though we were just stopping by to say "hello" they went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and a part of their family. And that's why the Millets are part of our K&L family. When we finally did arrive at the winery for our scheduled appointment we retasted all the wines as well as some of the new tank samples for the 2016 Insolite. They had fresh cheeses and bread all laid out for us because they knew we were going to be traveling a couple of hours to our next destination. We discussed the difficulty of the 2016 vintage due to the early frost but thankfully they were not largely affected by the staggering crop losses that others felt. The quality of the 2016 was outstanding as usual, classic grapefruit and lemongrass tones, chalky minerality and a long citrusy finish with a whisper of wild thyme at the end. Clyde's specific comments were "better than the 2015" and "more my style, racy and classic." When Clyde saw some magnums, we immediately explored the notion (Clyde's a sucker for large formats) of adding that to our inventory set. I of course love the little half bottles which are new as well. So, in whatever format you choose, halves, mags or standard bottles, you'll hopefully share in the sense of gazing out over the vineyards of Sancerre and sipping wine with our dear friends Franck and Betty Millet.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Some of our best new relationships often come through referrals from other producers with whom we have already long established relationships. Our sparkling wine producer from Limoux, Françoise Antech, has made many great recommendations over the last few years through her association with the Vinifilles, a group of women wine growers that work together to share information, work events together and co-market their wines. Some of these referrals have included Domaine de la Reserve d’O and Clos de l’Anhel, both of which have been great successes with our staff and customers. When Francoise said, “you must try my friend Séverine Bourrier’s wines from Château de L’Ou,” we listened. I first tasted the wines at a Vinifilles event in Montpellier (the same event at which I met Marie Chauffray of Reserve d'O). There was a food and wine pairing of 2011 Secret des Schistes and a partridge galantine wrapped in cabbage. The cabbage made for a tricky pairing but in my notes, I declared it one of the two best pairing of the night. (The other was the Reserve d'O with a boudin noir (blood pudding)). Each element from the wine to the food ingredients elevated the combination to something quite remarkable. Though this event was a couple of years ago, the wines were always in the back of my mind. When you're establishing a new program in a category like our French Regional, you sometimes need to crawl before you run. Tasting the wines a few more times over the years and knowing we needed to establish a place for them, it wasn't until earlier this year when Jeb Dunnuck's insightful reviews of this estate compelled us to take the plunge. And plunge we did, picking up almost every wine they make. When you start tasting through all the different wines like we did you see such a distinct thread of quality and specificity. The basic wines are compelling but of course, it is the single-terroir Syrahs that will capture everyone's fancy. If you love wines from Hermitage or Cote-Rotie, adore the Shiraz of Barrossa or Syrahs of California, we have a new benchmark for you. These are truly wines of place (that place being Roussillon) and the Infiniment is just as good a place to start as it comes from the alluvial marl soils surrounding the estate. Full of lush boisterous fruit, it holds overtness at bay and its rich palate lays a foundation with layer upon layer of black fruit and spice. Severine's style of winemaking susses out the extraction but keeps the balance in check. There will be more to say when we look at the other two sites - the Velour Noir and Secret de Schistes - but right now, picking up some bottles of the Infiniment will give you the best access to this extraordinary and compelling property.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 94

2015 Domaine de la Janasse "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-19-2017
The VV is never a shy wine and in 2015 it has the liqueur-like consistency. A bit more oak shows through with sweet baking spices layered over the wild berry compote. This will sit in the hall of fame along with other greats like Clos des Papes, Caillou Reserve and Marcoux's Vieilles Vignes. Just give it a little time.

2015 Domaine de la Janasse "Chaupin" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Admittedly, my notes from barrel tasting were a tad ridiculous but still appropriate - "let's talk about fresh baby, let's talk about CDP." From 100% Grenache, this is where the rubber meets the road when we say fresh fruited styles. Such vibrant quality, it is loaded with so much flavor and could be one of the great sleepers of the vintage.

2015 Domaine de la Janasse "Tradition" Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Never shy on the fruit side, the 2015 shows remarkable restraint, pushing more towards a beautifully balanced style. Fruit is still quite present but it is of the freshest variety, the ripest you find at your local farmer's market but not pushing sur-maturity. Harmonious tannins on the finish make this appealing now but great for short term cellaring.

2015 Domaine de la Ganse Vacqueyras
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Winemaker Coralie Onde over-delivers with this sexy but supple Vacqueyras. Loads of juicy berry flavors of cherry, roasted plum and dried blueberry are layered on the palate followed by garrigue-y spice that leads to a palate that is full yet deftly balanced. This wine is as charming and exciting as its producer and we can't get enough of it.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
VN 89 - 91

2015 Chateau de Vaudieu "Amiral G" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Very rich and concentrated nose. The palate affirms. This is deep and luscious with flavors of kirsch and strawberry compote. Some oak aging adds dimension. A few years down should deliver a pretty outstanding wine.

2015 Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-19-2017
Generous and ripe fruit but maintains balance. This is not too showy and has great structure. Should age gracefully into something even more special.

2015 Domaine Giraud "Tradition" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
Giraud shows the riper side of Chateauneuf du Pape. Plush polished fruit with notes of Chambord and cherry compote. Rounded out with light herbal/garrigue tones. This is a lot of wine for those seeking the richer side of CDP. Decadent yet satisfying.

2015 Roger Sabon "Secret de Sabon" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
The tête de cuvée is no “secret.” Made from 100% Grenache, it was a little tight on the nose but delivered copious, fleshy fruits. Layers of kirsch, Chambord and spices abound. The finish was long, almost endless.

2015 Roger Sabon "Prestige" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
The “Prestige” is actually a single plot co-planted with their oldest Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre vines plus a handful of the old heirloom grapes from the region. The smallest production cuvée, it rapidly approaches “next level” with its incense, brambly fruit and dynamic palate. This represents high-order, terroir-driven CdP and at a comparatively reasonable price.

2015 Roger Sabon "Réserve" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
The Réserve shows much more of the mineral qualities of Châteauneuf, with savory black fruit and graphite. Aged primarily in foudre and larger oak tanks, this should evolve gracefully to unleash more of the exotic floral and dusty spice notes. From the La Crau and La Grenade lieux-dits.

2015 Roger Sabon "Les Olivets" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
A more classically rustic yet charming style. Notes of red and black fruit macerated together with a beautiful sandalwood edge. One of the great values of the vintage.

2015 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 09-08-2017
One of, if not my wine of the vintage. When I tasted this in 2016 from the oak tank, it was one of the most exotic and perfumed young CdPs I had ever tasted. When tasted earlier this year, it was again revelatory. Concentrated yet refreshing, with so much gorgeous fruit and spice, the wine is beginning to firm up around the edges. I would not say the wine will shut down, but there are signs that 5–10 years in bottle will reward those who cellar it with a truly exceptional wine.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
VN 96 - 98 JD 96 RP 95
DC 94
Limit of 12 per customer

2015 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-08-2017
Marcoux ranks as one of my top Chateauneuf producers. The sisters, Armenier have been great stewards of the land being one of the first biodynamically certified estates in the appellation. Under the watchful eye of winemaker Sophie Armenier, comes one of the great appellation wines of this vintage to my mind. I first tasted this wine, with Sophie in 2016, when it was still in its component parts. It was a scribble of notes describing a range of strawberries, spices, minerals, lavender and swirling dust. Now fully assembled, the wine is redolent of strawberry preserves, potpourri and minerals. It is long and full of finesse, and a couple of years in the cellar will be well rewarded.

2014 Valderiz Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 08-22-2017
I briefly visited Ribera del Duero a few years ago and along with the remarkable wines of the region the food really stood out as well. There was one dish in particular that brings me back and that is Morcilla. Probably the best I have ever had, with its savory blood sausage notes, cumin spices and rich texture. And that brings me to the Valderiz. Sun parched Ribera produces bold and intense Tempranillo but the foods are perfectly fashioned to cope with these textured wines. The Valderiz has beautiful roasted plum and currant flavors accented by chocolatey tones and dusty spices. It is long and deeply intense and makes me really crave that unforgettable meal.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WS 94

2014 Domaine L'Ostal Cazes "Grand Vin" Minervois La Livinière
Review Date: 08-11-2017
My first trip to Minervois included a visit to the L'Ostal Cazes property. Situated in the Cru appellation of Minervois La Liviniere, the property sits below the foothills of the Montagne Noire in a region surrounded by the classic garrigue forests of the south of France. Old classical buildings make up the exterior of the estate but since this is a Jean-Michel Cazes property, the interiors are beautifully redesigned with the idea of delivering the purest and most expressive version of the fruit the vines yield. After a brief tour of the winery, my group was treated to a little ride through the property. We did some serious off-roading driving over hills and through creek beds (some full of water from the spring rains) more than once nearly driving off a cliff into one of the surrounding gullies. When we reached a plateau that overlooked the greater part of Minervois, what makes La Liviniere special was revealed. This plateau is made up of deep limestone and marl soils that lift it above the rest of the region. This translates beautifully into the wines. These calcareous soils help preserve the acidity in the grapes for a region that gets a lot of sun intensity and very little rainfall during the growing season. Deliciously ripe but not overwhelmingly so, the "Grand Vin" also picks up the classic garrigue notes of lavendar, thyme and chaparral. Supple black fruit, wild fennel and Mexican chocolate permeate the palate and sweet tannins lead to a long finish. All throughout, acidity provides a spine to the wine keeping it on the fresher side. JM Cazes has given us one of our most pristine examples of a Languedoc red but I expect no less since he is responsible for making Lynch Bages one of the most successful and iconic wines of Pauillac. Expect to hear more great things about his property in the south.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2016 Domaine de Verquière Côtes-du-Rhône
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Each year this organically farmed property continues to over-deliver on the QPR ratio. The 2016 much like the 2015 has vibrant fresh fruit flavors of red cherry, spicebox and fennel seeds. The '16 is a touch more charming than the 2015 having more lift and fresh acidity. Based on the quality of even this basic Cotes du Rhone, you can expect even more deliciousness from their Villages level releases.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2016 Les Vignerons de Fontès "Prieuré Saint-Hippolyte" Languedoc Rosé
Review Date: 08-03-2017
One of our longest standing and most successful relationships from the Languedoc is with Corinne Pastourel, the oenologist and director of the Les Vignerons de Fontès cooperative in the mountaine town of Fontès near Pezenas. Corinne's vibrant personality is immediately intoxicating much like the wines she oversees. Making a variety of wines, we have always been drawn to the "Prieure Saint Hippolyte" bottlings as they represent the freshness and vibrancy of the fruit from the local growers. The rose is charming on first glance with its nose of strawberry, white flowers and red plums. The palate is mouthfilling and not too delicate. There is an almost serious weight to it but it finishes dry and refreshing, getting you ready for another sip. The Hippolyte is still our best selling rose and still under $10 making this your year round pink drink!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Réserve d'O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 08-02-2017
I still rank my meeting with Marie and Fred Chauffray as one of the great "gets" in my career as a wine buyer for K&L. We were introduced to each other through our mutual friend Francoise Antech-Gazeau of Maison Antech, one of our sparkling wine producers from the south of France. The Chauffray's and Francoise are a part of an association of growers known as the Vinifilles, or wine women. When I first tasted their wine at a Vinifilles event, I had to meet them. So a couple of years later and a few hundred cases now sold, we have just landed the 2015 vintage, one of the most eagerly anticipated yet. The wine begins as its normal charming self filled with a savory nose of roasted plum, black cherries, allspice and clove. It has an almost Cote Rotie expressiveness. On the palate, the wine carries tremendous weight but no heaviness. Like most of the 2015s of the south, it is a little riper and a little more polished than previous vintages. Even though its more concentrated, the wine holds it balance beautifully and I would begin drinking with aplomb, but that concentration will yield some longevity and I only see years of development and complexity to come. So, adding to my collection of Reserve d'O wines, I will happily drink half my case now and watch the rest evolve gracefully for many more years to come. Bravo Marie and Fred! I am still so grateful our paths crossed.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 08-02-2017
The 2015 vintage is so generous, this is one of Sophie's best out of the gate drinking reds. Loaded with raspberry fruit, light brush garrigue and vibrant floral tones that are the hallmark of her Carignan based wines, with WAY overdelivers for the price. A serious wine but seriously fun as well!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

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