Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wine of the Week - Domaine de la Solitude Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Réserve Secrète"

With the holiday season in full swing and the temperature dropping, we find ourselves reaching for richer fuller wines that can surprise and impress even the most wine savvy party host or dinner guest. Domaine de la Solitude, one of the region's oldest estates, does just that with their 2010 vintage Châteauneuf-du-Pape "Réserve Secrète". With 65% Grenache and 35% small barrel-aged Syrah, this classic Rhône blend has an unexpectedly modern feel. Receiving 93 points from Wine Advocate, the 2010 has "extravagant vanillin, toasty oak, blackberry and cassis fruit, huge aromatics and full-bodied, powerful, inky richness". A wine well worth seeking out before the year is done!



Châteauneuf-du-Pape translates to “new house of the Pope” and refers to the relocation of the papal court to Avignon in the 14th century. Many Italian nobles moved to the area as well, and, thus the Lançon family members (owners of Domaine de la Solitude) are direct descendants of the Barberini family of Rome, still a prominent family in Italy to this day. Generations of winemakers at Domaine de la Solitude have worked hard to consistently improve the quality of their wines. Current vignerons Michel and Jean Lançon are taking seriously the future of Domaine de la Solitude, focusing attention on the vineyards. Fertilizers have not been used at Solitude for the past ten years. The Estate is a contiguous 100 acres, planted to 86 acres of red grapes and 14.8 acres of white grapes, with vines averaging 50 years of age.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wine of the Week - Les Chais du Vieux Bourg "Le Micmacvin" Macvin du Jura

Just in time for Thanksgiving, try this fortified wine from Jura. The Les Chais du Vieux Bourg "Le Micmacvin" Macvan du Jura is made from equal parts late harvested Savignin and Chardonnay. The grapes are fortified with Marc du Jura, which stops fermentation and results in a naturally sweet wine. Wine Spectator magazine says of the 2010 vintage: "Aromas of pear and peach eau-de-vie give way to a bouncy, frankly sweet core of lemon sherbet, peach cobbler and tinned apricot."


The Jura is a small, mountainous winegrowing region located between Burgundy and Switzerland in the far east of France. The region is fairly isolated and has retained a strong sense of tradition, marked by unique grapes and unusual wine styles. The owners of Les Chais du Vieus Bourg (which translates to “the cellars of the old town”), Ludwig Bindernagel and Nathalie Eigenschenck, purchased the Domaine in 2000. Their first vintage came shortly after in 2002. Their motto of “the wine is made in the vineyard” is exemplified by the fact Ludwig works with the vines every day. The strict attention to detail and quality helps create very complex wines with depth and layers that reflect the individuality of Jura.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Wine of the Week - Domaine Comte Senard Aloxe-Corton

From the village of Aloxe-Corton in Burgundy, this classically styled Pinot Noir is an elegant choice for entertaining any time of the year, but is particularly suited to the Thanksgiving table.


Blended from the climats of Les Caillettes, Les Morais, Les Bruyères and Les Boutières, this wine is a deep red, with fragrant red berry aromas and light earthiness. Domaine Comte Senard was founded in 1857 and is currently under the management of Lorraine Senard, one of a small but growing number of female vignerons in the Côte d’Or. To maintain the clay and marly limestone soil, the Domaine utilizes a sustainable-organic approach and avoids the use of herbicides and insecticides. Harvesting is done by hand and the fruit is sorted twice to ensure quality. In the cellar, the grapes undergo a 5-12 day cold soak, gentle pressing, and temperature controlled fermentation. The wines are aged in the Domaine’s cellars, which were built in the 14th Century by Benedictine monks from the Abbaye de Sainte Margurite.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wine of the Week - Samuel Billaud Chablis 1er Cru "Séchet"

Our Wine of the Week comes from Domaine Samuel Billaud. A small plot within the larger 1er Cru of Vaillons, the Samuel Billaud Chablis 1er Cru "Séchet" was at one point owned by Billaud's grandmother. In 2014, he was able to purchase the plot and now creates estate Chablis from 60-70 year old vines.

Neal Martin of The Wine Advocate praises the 2014 vintage, giving the wine 92 points and saying:

"The 2014 Chablis 1er Cru Sechet has a very pure bouquet, one of the best from the domaine this year, with gorgeous white peach, fresh pear and gooseberry combined with subtle white flower scents that emerge with time in the glass. The palate is very well balanced with a crisp line of acidity. Tensile and saline, it closes in towards the finish, offloads some of the weight you might have expected to obtain more nervosité and mineralité. This discrete Chablis will blossom as its matures."

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Big Basin Receives High Marks from Wine Advocate

Wine Advocate's Jeb Dunnuck discusses his recent visit to Big Basin and his thoughts on the 2013 and 2014 vintages. While the impressive regions in California for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are abundant, Dunnuck highlights the coastal Santa Cruz mountain terroirs has "making some of the most age-worthy wines in California". 


With cool-climate, ocean-influenced, mountain vineyards throughout the AVA, the owner and winemaker Bradley Brown at Big Basin strives to showcase location and terroir, forgoing manipulation and intervention whenever possible. The steep hillsides, cooling ocean breezes, fog, and mountain soils of their vineyard locations promote the development of deep color and complex flavors. By keeping the yields very low and harvesting small sections of the vineyard at perfect ripeness, Big Basin strives to achieve the most important part of winemaking – great fruit. The winemaking then becomes the art of gently extracting what the fruit has to offer, utilizing a minimalist approach in the cellar, with hand sorting, gentle pressing, the use of ambient yeasts, and indigenous malolactic fermentation.

#Blog #WineAdvocate #BigBasin #Reviews #LangdonShiverick

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wine of the Week - Last Light "Derbyshire Vineyard" Pinot Noir

We chose Last Light's Pinot Noir from their Derbyshire Vineyard in San Luis Obispo to highlight this week. Produced with non-interventionist and traditional techniques, this elegant yet impressive Pinot Noir has redefined what can be produced in even the most extreme coastal climates.      


Last Light’s name is a nod to the coastal vineyard sites from which they source their grapes, both of which see the last light of the sun on the west coast as it sets over the ocean. Currently making Pinot Noir exclusively from the Derbyshire Vineyard in San Simeon and Chardonnay from the Spanish Springs Vineyard in the Edna Valley AVA, these locations represent the ultimate in cool climate viticulture. For founders Jared Lee and David Sartain, this project is truly driven by passion. They don’t make wine with mass market appeal in mind, instead focusing on producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay they want to drink and put their names on. With such unique vineyard sites, they focus solely on making wine that reflects these amazing coastal locations.

#blog #LastLight #PinotNoir #SanLuisObispo #CoolClimate