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Staff Favorites - Jim Chanteloup
2013 Petit Clos (Henri Bourgeois) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 01-15-2015
Made by esteemed Sancerre producer, Henri Bourgois, it's no surprise that this wine has some of that character. Lemon and lime blossom aromas mix with notes of grapefruit, passion fruit, a hint of tarragon and a flinty mineral note. On the palate there is good texture due to some time on the lees supported by zesty acidity that leads to a long finish.
2013 Guy Saget "Marie de Beauregard" Vouvray
Review Date: 11-26-2014
This is a really lovely off-dry Vouvray that has a bouquet of dried apricot, lemon blossom, honey and wet stone. On the palate, the wine is rich with mouth-watering acidity and a fine persistent finish. One sip just brings you back for another, and for this price a whole lot of wine.
2013 Savage "White" Western Cape
Review Date: 11-25-2014
As I said in the Savage Red review, Duncan Savage is making stunning Sauvignon Blanc at Cape Point Vineyards and this wine is singing! Made from a barrel fermented blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon, the bouquet offers notes of lanolin, honeysuckle, kumquat, a hint of tangerine peel and a light nutty character. On the palate, the wine is rich yet with a fine citric acid line and mineral accents that lead to a long finish. Gorgeous stuff...Bravo!
2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
Review Date: 11-20-2014
The 2010 Ostler shows a darker edge and more body than any other Pinot in this cool, limestone laced Northern region of Otago that I have ever had. The nose is lifted with notes of violets , herbs, dark plum, black cherry and a mineral note. On the palate the wine is rich with medium to full bodied weight supported by good acidity and structure with a rewarding long finish. Yet another reason the Pinot Noirs from Otago are gaining deserved recognition.
2012 Greywacke Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 11-12-2014
Former Cloudy Bay winemaker Kevin Judd has knocked it out of the park with his 2012 Greywacke Pinot Noir. The bouquet opens with ripe raspberry, cherry, earth, clove, forrest floor and dried orange peel that is framed by light toasted oak that is perfectly integrated. On the palate there is good acidity giving a juicy mid-palate that is supported by dusty fine supple tannins and a long finish. Delicious.
2012 Elderton "Estate" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 10-28-2014
I been visiting this property and the Ashmeads for well over a decade and before winemaker Richard Langford joined in 2003. In fact meeting Richard was an uplifting experience...literally. I was having dinner with John Duval (name drop)at the Vintner's Bar and Grill and expressively waving my hands in conversation, when I was lifted out of my seat by my forearms. Now I'm 5'8" on a good day, and Richard is about 6'6", so I remember it well, and we met the next day to barrel sample and have a more "grounded” experience. His hand has been evident over the years with better balance and integration of wood being a focal point. The 2012 Shiraz which comes from some 100+ year old material that is matured in 600lt puncheons that shows a purity of brambly dark cherry and blackberry fruit. That is coupled with some bittersweet chocolate notes and a hint of winter mint on the back end of the palate. This is a pure and fine tuned Barossa Shiraz that is sure to please.
2012 Ad Lib (Larry Cherubino) "Hen & Chicken" Chardonnay Western Australia
Review Date: 10-27-2014
There's a lot of "bells and whistles" with this wine that defies the price point. All Mendoza clones, wild yeast fermentation and French oak. This is a Chardonnay that shows balance and restraint, with light toast, pear, stone fruit, mineral and a hint of cinnamon spice. Good acidity and structure keep the wine refreshing and each sip coming back for more.
2012 Ad Lib (Larry Cherubino) "Avant Gardening" Malbec / Cabernet Western Australia
Review Date: 10-27-2014
Okay, there's a wee bit Cabernet Sauvignon in here. but Malbec is driving the train. The wine is soft and supple with ripe plum and new leather notes that combine with a fine tannin structure make this a steal for a every day house red wine. Both of the Ad Lib wines offer tremendous value for the money.
2009 Il Valentiano "Campo di Marzo" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 10-01-2014
So often when tasting Brunello I'll find myself loving the wine, but also wondering when would I drink this to appreciate all that it has to offer. Well, this is your chance to enjoy a fine Brunello NOW. Sure, you can hang on to it, but it already shows multiple dimensions with tart dried cherry, cedar, a hint of tobacco, earth, spice and a whiff of tar. On the palate there is a supple fine tannin structure with balanced acidity supporting a long finish. I wish I had this last night with my grilled pork tenderloin. Okay Greg sue me...I had the '12 Baricci Rosso di Montalcino instead!
2013 Spring Vale Estate "Melrose Vineyard" Pinot Noir Tasmania
Review Date: 09-17-2014
From the cool region of Tasmania, the Spring Vale Pinot delivers a classic pretty, elegant Pinot Noir. The bouquet has lifted notes of plum, raspberry, strawberry and spice. This all sits on a delicate frame of a medium-bodied wine that offers the more feminine side of Pinot if not a version of a Fleurie or St. Amour from Beaujolais. Enjoy this with a favorite chicken or salmon dish, and even with a slight chill for an afternoon picnic.
2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Oakridge/Whitsend Vineyard" Shiraz Yarra Valley
Review Date: 09-15-2014
This wine shows the beautiful character of cooler climate Shiraz. The nose offers notes of white pepper, meats, camphor, and a mix of red and black fruits with plum and boysenberry in the mix. On the palate, there is good structure with ripe fine-grained tannins and very good length.
2013 Riposte "The Dagger" Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 09-02-2014
The "Dagger" is a good name for this wine as it has good cut and gets to the point! The bouquet is bright and lifted with raspberry, ripe cherry, earth and a white pepper spice note. On the palate there is fine definition and focus with a fleshy mid-palate and juicy acidity that leads to a long persistent finish. This is a delicious Pinot from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia and great value.
2010 Sittella Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 09-02-2014
Margaret River Cabernet for $20? Wow, this wine surely punches above its weight! The nose is expressive with black currant, blueberry, cassis, violets, light sage and a chocolate note. There are just enough supple silky tannins on the palate to give a more serious edge to the wine which is beautifully balanced and delivers a long finish. Bravo!
2013 Mount Trio Sauvignon Blanc Great Southern Western Australia
Review Date: 09-02-2014
Usually you expect to find Semillon added to Sauvignon Blanc in Western Australia, but not so here. The nose offers notes of lemon-lime pith, crunchy pear and a hint of tarragon. On the palate there are more tropical accents of melon and mango with a fleshy texture. This is all supported by good acidity leading to a long finish. Drink this wine chilled, but not too cold or you'll lose complexity.
2013 Muddy Water Sauvignon Blanc Waipara Valley
Review Date: 09-02-2014
This is NOT your average Kiwi SB. First, it's not from Marlborough. Second, it's farmed organically and uses native yeast for fermentation. And third, it's 90% barrel fermented with more neutral than new oak. The bouquet opens with a flinty and leesy note along with more stone fruit character of white peach and nectarine. On the palate there is good weight, with a figgy richness and creamy texture. Good acidity keeps it juicy and long on the finish.
2012 Pisa Range Estate "Black Poplar Block" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 08-25-2014
This is another top flight Pinot from Central Otago, and a new one in our portfolio as well. In fact, I was drinking this wine in downtown Napa five hours before the quake hit. So, it could have been the last wine I was to have drank in my glorious and wine-filled life. And that would have been just fine and without any regrets! The nose shows purity of fruit with dark plum and black cherry abundantly displayed with notes of earth and dried orange peel. On the palate, the wine is juicy, with good drive, structure and fine, supple tannins that lead to a long finish. Truly a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir.
2010 Mount Langi Ghiran "Billi Billi" Shiraz Grampians Victoria
Review Date: 08-12-2014
The Billi Billi is a screaming deal for $10! The bouquet is packed with dark plum, blackberry, blueberry, violets and a hint of chocolate. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with good balancing acidity keeping it bright, fresh and juicy. The perfect house red to keep on hand. Buy a case!
2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 07-16-2014
The wines from Te Whare Ra have been turning heads since we've brought them into our New Zealand category, and the 2013s may be the best to date. The Pinot shows lovely dark plum, strawberry, cherry, light toasty oak, earth/clay notes, a hint of rose petal, tea bag and spice. On the palate, the wine has soft supple tannins that are balanced and harmonious with a long, persistent finish.
2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 07-16-2014
The TWR savvy is bright with aromas of white grapefruit, passion fruit, gooseberry and a hint of tarragon. On the palate there is good texture and vibrant acidity that lead to a snappy, zesty finish with fine length. As good as it gets in a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
2012 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-07-2014
Beringer, which is located in Napa Valley, has been producing this wine from Sonoma County's Knights Valley appellation for some time now, and it has always remained a consistent value in California Cabernet. The vineyard lies at a higher elevation than Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, and manages to combine the suppleness of that AVA with the fine tannin structure of Knights Valley. The bouquet offers black cherry, dark plum, cassis, earth and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. On the palate, there is the previously mentioned supple tannins blended with a fine dusting of cocoa powder, bringing the finer-grained, firmer tannin structure. It's all framed by lightly toasted oak that is well-integrated, with good length.
2013 Grey's Peak (Greystone) Sauvignon Blanc Waipara Valley
Review Date: 05-21-2014
The Grey's Peak Savvy from Waipara shows a different side to this country's famous wines from Marlborough. The nose shows more citrus and a floral powdery note. On the palate the wine is richer and more round yet still has great supporting acidity and texture with a long, refreshing finish. You'll want to spend some time this summer with this baby!
2012 Penfolds "Bin 138" Old Vine Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro Barossa Valley
Review Date: 04-22-2014
The Bin 138 is a blend of 66% Shiraz, 23% Grenache and 11% Mataro (Mourvedre)that belongs in the hands of anyone whois a fan of these classic Aussie blends or wines from the Southern Rhone Valley. The nose is lifted with blueberry, black raspberry,pepper, leather, roasted grains, damp earth, bittersweet chocolate and a light pencil lead/graphite note. On the palate the wine is polished and refined with fine grained tanninns, good structure and a long persistent finish. A few years in the cellar will only reward or decant for an hour or two in the near term.
2011 Te Mata "Awatea" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay
Review Date: 04-10-2014
Here's the "little brother" to the Coleraine and one that you can enjoy on the earlier side. Showing a similar core of fruit with plum, cherry and minerals, it is more medium bodied with a hint of savoury herbs as well. There is still fine grained tannins, but with a softer edge to the structure.
2010 Wiston Estate "South Downs Cuvée" Brut West Sussex England
Review Date: 02-21-2014
The Wiston "South Downs Cuvee" compared to the Gusbourne shows a more linear chiseled feel with a bouquet that offers mineral, Fuji/green apple, light toast and lemony yeasty notes. On the palate, the wine is fresh, bright and crisp with fine acidity supporting the long, persistent, zesty finish. This would reward some cellar time as well. If Jim Barr can give a wine wags of his dogs tail for a rating, I'm giving this Five Queen's wave of the hand!
2008 Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve, Kent, England
Review Date: 02-19-2014
The Gusbourne has a detailed fine bead and a nose that shows a nutty almond and yeasty note along with hints of honey, poached pear, brioche and dried tangerine peel. On the palate there is a lovely texture and richness from spending 3 1/2 years on the lees, that all comes together with excellent balance and length.
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.