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WE 90

This blend of Petit Manseng and Petit Courbu is dry, although the Petit Manseng gives its characteristic hints of honey even here. It is floral, fragrant, rich and balanced. Acidity cuts through the richness to give shape and allow the texture to fill out. The wine is ready to drink.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (March, 2015)
WE 93, WS 91

The wine is impressive and packed with dense dark fruits. It comes from the showpiece estate of Madiran that was created by the iconic producer of the region, Alain Brumont

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (June, 2016)
WA 91

From gravel planted with Riesling, Muscat, and assorted Pinots, Deiss’s 2011 Engelgarten is dominated by kumquat, nut oils and apple blossom, its faintly oily palate presence entirely compatible with refreshing juiciness, and its finish incorporating ripe peach and a hint of underlying stoniness. This ought to delight and intrigue through at least 2018.

- David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2014)
V 91-93, WA 90

Strawberries, raspberries, flowers and mint all emerge from the medium-bodied 2014 Gigondas les Souteyrades, and this beautiful, forward 2014 has no hard edges, tons of charm, fine tannin and a good finish. It plays in the style of the vintage and is an early drinker, but it has loads to love.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WE 92, WS 90

Bright and racy, with red currant and plum fruit lined with a lively tang of iron that streaks through the finish. A touch taut, but should unwind nicely with modest cellaring. Best from 2018 through 2024.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2017)
WE 92

This wine manages to capture the essence of the southern Rhône in its fine scents of garrigue and sun-baked cherries. Despite a certain warmth, it remains fresh, supple and detailed, offering intricate nuances of licorice, sage and thyme on the long finish.

- Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2013)
For many years, all the fruit from the Pascal family vines were sold to Domaine Ott and Château de Pibarnon, with a small amount being kept and bottled for family consumption. To honor his father’s passing in 1997, Alain Pascal started Gros ‘Noré, which has brought considerable attention and respect from peers throughout Bandol, dubbed the grand cru village of Provence. The domaine bottles a rosé and a blanc but the blend of the rouge offering is 80% Mourvèdre, 15% Grenache, and 5% Cinsault, all of which come from vines between 40 and 60 years of age. The grapes are partially de-stemmed with percentages dependent on the vintage, and fermentation kicks in naturally via indigenous yeasts. Never fined or filtered before bottling.
JS 93, WS 92

A finely knit Champagne, this is driven by smoky minerality and layered with a subtle mix of lemon curd, biscuit, Acacia blossom and white peach puree. Long and vibrant on the spiced finish. Drink now through 2020.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2016)
WS 89

Solidly built, with a frame of chestnut and tobacco leaf notes around a core of lightly dried cherry and plum fruit flavors, giving way to sandalwood and garrigue accents through the finish. Best from 2017 through 2022.

- James Moleworth, Wine Spectator (2016)
A fruity, complex nose leads on to a lively palate with finely balanced acidity. A mid-palate of cherry and redcurrant fruits gives way to a smooth, persistent finish.
WA 93, WE 93, WS 92

Tasted as part of a vertical held at the chateau. It is clear that the aromatics on the 2008 are a little simpler and more straightforward than the 2007 with honeysuckle, jasmine and mango scents emerging with time. The palate is ripe and precise on the entry with well-integrated oak that is in sync with the lemon curd and apricot fruit. There is a lovely sweetness on the finish with a hint of spice lingering in the mouth. As I wrote last year – sublime. Drink 2017-2030+

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
WE 95

Spice from wood aging gives this rich wine its great character. It is supported by the tropical and white fruits. It is developing into a ripe full wine, delicious with its acidity and with its tangy aftertaste. Drink from 2022.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2017)
WA 92

A smoky, sweet, reductive machine oil note marks the nose of Deiss’s Pinot-dominated 2010 Schoffweg, mingling with musky and bittersweet evocations of narcissus and iris as well as lanolin and resin from barrel. Suggestions of red raspberry and its distilled essence inflect the juicy apple-like fruit here along with liquefied expressions of the aforementioned floral elements. Fine-grained and saturated with flavor, the subtly oily, glycerol-rich yet vivacious palate here is not in any awkward way marked by the presence of oak. Chalk and salt add interest and saliva-inducement to a long, brightly juicy, energetic finish, whose citrus rind impingements generate real sizzle. Something must have changed (and I don’t think it’s me) in the barrels or how they are used for this bottling because I find both this and its 2011 successor far superior to the corresponding, slightly wood-challenged 2009 and 2008.

- David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2014)
WS 92

A sleek, stony version, this white exhibits lime blossom, apple, mineral and subtle spice flavors. Energetic, resonating on the long, citrus- and mineral-infused aftertaste. Drink now through 2024.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Sept, 2017)
WA 90, WE 90, JS 90

A sensational wine from this Pessac-Leognan estate, the 2009 possesses notes of charcoal, graphite, roasted herbs, truffles, spice box, and luxurious quantities of black currant and black cherry fruit. Full-bodied, impressively endowed. and well under the radar for most consumers, this outstanding wine is a sleeper of the vintage and well worth buying. It should drink well for 15 or more years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2012)
WE 89-91

Barrel Sample. Attractive fruits are balanced by some dusty tannins, as well as hints of new wood and spice. There is a smoky character that gives a textured character to the bright palate, boasting lively acidity.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2016)
WS 93, JS 93

A pure note of wild strawberry rides the fine and creamy mousse of this mouthwatering rosé. Expressive, with flavors of ripe berry, candied ginger, pink grapefruit zest, marzipan and smoky mineral. Elegant overall. Drink now through 2020.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2016)
WA 89

A more rounded, complete wine is the 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape Domaine Du Père Pape (60% Grenache, 25% Syrah and the rest Mourvèdre and Cinsault). It is expansive and layered, with medium-bodied notes of black cherries, licorice and hints of roasted herbs. Drink this supple, elegant Châteauneuf du Pape through 2023.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2016)
WE 92-94

Barrel sample. Solid and concentrated, this wine certainly shows great dryness as well as fruit. It has power and density, and a texture that balances new wood as well as the fruitiness.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2013)
WA 93

The 2014 Grand-Mayne has a fragrant bouquet, perhaps more refined than in recent years with dried rose petals and incense fusing with the red berry fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, crisp acidity and a gentle build towards a vivid, lightly spiced finish that maintains impressive delineation, perhaps less extracted and more precise than wines of the past. This is a superb Grand-Mayne that represents a subtle change in tack for the estate—one that this writer approves of. Tasted on three occasions and consistent every time.

- Neal, Wine Advocate (June, 2015)
WA 90

Offering up lovely notes of framboise, wild strawberries, candied violets and licorice, the 2014 Chateauneuf du Pape is medium-bodied, forward and elegant, with sweet tannin and a clean finish.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WE 93, JS 93, WS 92

Though the aromas and flavors of dried apricot, papaya and orange peel are rich and ripe in character, this broad white is dry and lip-smacking overall, focused by intense acidity. The pronounced minerality echoes smoke and saline notes, with almond skin and paraffin hints lingering on the finish. Drink now through 2027.

- Allison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Sept, 2016)
WS 93

Ripe and tightly focused, with racy cassis, blackberry and plum fruit that stretches out through a lengthy, mineral-driven finish. Mouthwatering bay and rosemary accents streak through, giving this great cut. Best from 2018 through 2029.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2016)
WA 95

About as polished and elegant as they come from the appellation, Michel’s 2012 Cornas offers rocking crème de cassis, raspberry, spice, toasted bread and licorice to go with an elegant, medium to full-bodied profile. Possessing no hard edges and slightly hidden, sweet tannin, this is an awesome wine that will have 15+ years of sexy drinking.

Johann Michel continues to produce brilliant wines from the steep, granite infused slopes of Cornas. Both his 2012s, which I raved about last year, and his 2013s are some of the most successful in appellation.


- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
WS 90

Firm and smoky, with a chalky texture, this balanced rosé shows more mineral character than it does hints of mulberry, dried herb and toasted raisin bread.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (2015)
WS 94, WE 93-95, WA 91-93

Still youthfully rambunctious, this is packed with pineapple, ginger, bitter almond and apricot flavors. Despite the heft and weight, this has a glistening acidity and a long bitter orange and maple finish, and should unwind slowly in the cellar. Best from 2018 through 2035.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2016)
WA 90

Looking first at his whites, the 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc is an outstanding, medium-bodied, refreshing and classic white that would be a terrific case purchase for Southern Rhône white lovers. Made from 40% Clairette and 30% each of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, aged in a mix of new and old barrels, and stainless steel, it gives up notes of citrus blossom, honeysuckle, white flowers and maybe a touch of white peach in a balanced, layered, fresh and rich package. Drink it anytime over the coming decade or more.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2016)
WE 91

From one of those rare properties in Pauillac that are not classified growths, this wine is ripe, dark, still smoky and very structured. It has some of the weight of the vintage although in a restrained way, giving juicy black currant fruits behind the tannic structure. Drink from 2017.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Sept, 2016)
WS 91, IWC 91

A ripe, fleshy style, with plum sauce, blackberry paste and raspberry ganache notes that stay driven and fresh, thanks to a racy graphite spine and a lingering black licorice accent. Very solid. Drink now through 2021.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (July, 2014)
IWC 93, WA 91, WS 91

Looking at the reds and perfumed and beautifully Provencal, the 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape has rocking aromatics of kirsch liqueur, lavender, garrigue, licorice and saddle leather to go with a medium-bodied, supple and nicely textured profile. I-d like to see more mid-palate here, but this is all about up-front fruit. Filling in nicely with air (tasted twice from multiple bottles), it should be enjoyed over the coming 7-8 years. Drink now-2021.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct 2013)
JS 93, WA 92, WS 91

The 2010 La Fleur du Bouard (80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon) is bottled unfined and unfiltered and hit 14.5% natural alcohol. The wine offers up notes of black raspberry and blueberry pie intermixed with incense, lead pencil shavings and plenty of underlying floral notes. Some background oak is also present. The wine is medium to full-bodied, beautifully pure, voluptuously textured, rich, long and hedonistic and satisfying. Drink it over the next 10+ years. The other cuvee, a limited production wine, can be absolutely magnificent with some bottle age, as the 2000 is certainly proving to be.

The standard of excellence for Lalande de Pomerol is Hubert de Bouard’s 50-acre property, over half of it located on the highly prized Neac plateau, which consists of clay, sand and gravel sub-soils.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2013)
WE 93, WA 91, JS 91

One of the most successful wines of the vintage, this blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot achieved 13.5% natural alcohol. It exhibits a deep ruby/purple color along with sweet notes of creosote, graphite, lead pencil shavings, black currants, plums and licorice. Medium to full-bodied and silky with good underlying acidity, it is a juicy, savory, quintessentially elegant wine that will benefit from several years of cellaring and last for 15+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (May, 2011)
WE 92, JS 91-92, WA 90-92

A sleeper of the vintage, it exhibits a healthy dark ruby/purple color and the bouquet offers lots of mocha, raspberry, black cherry, incense, lavender and background oak aromas. Medium to full-bodied, plump, rich, dense, pure and well-balanced, it can be drunk over the next 10-12+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (April, 2013)
WS 91

Smoky, with roasted nut and charred brioche notes, this rich Champagne is balanced by juicy acidity and flavors of baked plum and cherry fruit, honey, graphite and spice that ride the soft, creamy bead. Disgorged January 9, 2014. Drink now through 2022.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2014)

WE 93, JS 92, WS 91

From a 30-acre property next to Château Chasse-Spleen, this 2010 is solid, dark and rich, typical of the vintage. There is a veneer of smooth new wood that opens to reveal firm, solid tannins. This is big, structured and ready for long-term aging.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2013)
WA 93+, WE 93

The Trie Spéciale is a famous Chenin made from the very best selected grapes and produced only in finest vintages. However, you should not drink it as soon as the bottle has been uncorked because you would give too much away and could be disappointed as well. The first day the straw yellow 2010 Savennieres Trie Speciale reveals yeasty/nutty flavors and lacks the brilliance and fruit expression of the generic Savennières or the Clos du Papillon. However it is a very rich, almost oily textured, very elegant, salty and persistent wine with finesse and expression. Somewhat bitter in the finish at the moment it needs another five years to develop. When I consulted the bottle again the next day it had open up a little bit and offered baked apple, raisin, and fresh citrus flavors on the nose and more vibrancy, salinity and citric freshness on the palate, whereas the long, caramel finish had energy, vibrancy and length. I retested the wine from the same bottle a month later (!) but the findings are quite similar. I found some candy flavors (which I do not like in wine) and walnut aromas on the nose, whereas the palate was very powerful, firmly structured and well balanced. This is both an impressive and expressive wine but I won’t drink a bottle on my own (except over several weeks – which seems to be possible), because it is so terribly rich and powerful. This wine is on a long trip and we can only estimate its true potential.

- Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate, (Oct, 2014)
WE 91, WA 91

Performing much better from bottle than barrel, this is a super effort from Prieuré Lichine. This inky purple-colored wine displays beautiful floral-infused blueberry and blackberry fruit as well as cassis. It is medium to full-bodied, stunningly pure, gorgeously textured, and quite long and impressive. This is a top success in the vintage, capable of lasting 20 or more years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (April, 2015)
V 90, WS 90, WA 90

The 2014 Chablis 1Er Cru Vaillons Vieilles Vignes has a gentle bouquet with hints of popcorn at first, though soon replaced by ripe Satsuma and slightly smoky scents. The palate is fresh on the entry with crisp acidity, modest weight, but with a pleasant salinity that fans out towards the finish. This is a typical Vaillons, but one that is holding itself back for now, so afford this a couple of years in the cellar to get the most from it.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2016)
WS 93, WA 92

A terrific white that delivers on all accounts, Brunel’s 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc is a Roussanne-dominated blend that includes 20% Grenache Blanc. It comes all from the southern part of the appellation, in the lieu-dit of Les Serres. Aged in concrete tanks, it has a ripe, rounded, beautifully textured style to go with lots of ripe peach and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. I love its texture and it has first rate purity, as well. This is a classic Châteauneuf du Pape white that will shine on the dinner table over the coming 2-4 years.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2016)
WA 90

Ferocious tannins are not unusual for Sociando Mallet, but I was surprised that in a vintage that produced exceptionally tannic, but ripe wines, the Sociando Mallet tannins were atypically austere. Nevertheless, the wine boasts huge concentration along with an inky/purple color, a full-bodied, powerful palate, and a long finish. Excellent purity, density, and minerality are present in this cuvee, and it is capable of lasting 30-40 years. This estate is situated on some of the finest terroir of the Haut-Medoc, near Calon-Segur in St.-Estephe. (Tasted two times.)

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (April, 2010)
The Cuvee Classique blend combines grapes from the estate’s different terroirs. In the area known as ‘Le Petit Moulin de la Cadiere’, named after its windmill, the vines grow on south-facing terraces stretching out over hilly terrain. The soil in this part of the vineyard is characterised by the presence of fossilised seashells (85 million year old bivalve molluscs). Clay is found to varying depths throughout the estate’s soil and, although the clay is quite dense, alluvial layers comprised of silt-sand sediment deposits are also present. One might think these looser layers in the soil would have little influence on the wine, but in fact they provide excellent drainage which helps to produce very refined wines.
WE 91

If it’s possible for a Châteauneuf-du-Pape to have Burgundian style, this would be a candidate. The cherries are delicate and herbal, with crisp acids and silky tannins that provide a wiry, peppery framework for the elegant fruit. Drink now–2020.

- Joe Czerwinski, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2015)
WE 88

Solid, with a racy core of damson plum and bitter cherry fruit backed by lively tobacco leaf and olive notes. The fresh finish lets a savory edge chime in, leaving a mouthwatering echo. Drink now through 2015. 330 cases imported.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2016)
WS 92

Finely honed acidity structures the well-spiced flavors of blackberry financier, rose hip, crystallized honey and lemon curd. Bright and harmonious, and persistent on the satiny palate. Drink now through 2027.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2014)

WS 93

Bright, finely cut acidity provides a crystalline frame for this toasty version, with the creamy bead carrying flavors of roasted hazelnut, charred toast, crème de cassis, creamed apple and clover honey. Smoke and spice notes linger on the finish. Drink now through 2025. 320 cases imported.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2013)

WS 93, WA 93, IWC 92

Autard’s quasi-modern-styled offering is the dense plum/purple-colored 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee La Cote Ronde, a blend of equal parts Grenache and Syrah from relatively old vines (60 plus years) that sees some new oak barrels. However, the 2009 shows only subtle evidence of vanillin and toast. It is a seductive, full-bodied, opulent effort displaying notes of caramelized red and black fruits, herbs, licorice and a hint of ink. This full-bodied, rich 2009 is ideal for drinking over the next 12+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2011)
WS 93

Not shy, with hefty fig paste and blackberry pâte de fruit notes backed by a rumble of bramble, ganache and licorice snap. Underneath roils a base layer of tobacco and graphite that should slowly surface with time. May have pushed the extraction envelope ever so slightly, but this keeps it together in the end. Best from 2022 through 2032.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2017)
WS 92, WE 92

An expressive version, with hints of toasted brioche and roasted almond imparting a rich and smoky character to the creamy palate of apple tarte Tatin, lemon curd, blackberry and spice flavors. Sleek acidity keeps this fresh and focused through to the lasting finish. Drink now through 2027.

- Allison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2014)
WE 91

A blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, this is the top wine from Vollereaux. It is dry and crisp, although with ripe fruits in the background. Just becoming mature, this is a wine to hold for another couple of years and drink from 2018.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2016)
Moët Ice Impérial's crisp freshness and powerful tropical fruit aromas are the embodiment of summer, an instant escape to warm and exotic locales around the world. Moët Ice Impérial is served in large cabernet-style glasses with ice cubes that enhance the freshness experience, and can be personalized according to taste preferences with garnishes including mint leaves, a slice of cucumber, or white grapefruit zest. Packaged in luxurious white lacquered bottles with a black tie, gold label and silver design that revamp industry conventions, Moët Ice Impérial exemplifies the House's elegance and pioneering nature.
Deep and gourmand nose, melting lemony and mint touch to mineral notes. Ample attack on freshness that evolves on richer and full-bodied mouth.
WE 94

Blood orange and peach snatch your senses at the very first whiff. The aromatics are disarming but no longer heady: this has matured into a sober pleasure that's full of peaches scented with passion fruit and barley sugar. The flavors swirl and soar, the luscious sweetness anchors them deftly. This is what a combination of time, fruit and a sugar can do. This is a very sweet late harvest style, suited to fruity desserts.

- Anne Krebiehl, Wine Enthusiast (Aug, 2017)

WE 90

The wine is soft, developing well with its ripe yellow fruits and accompanying acidity. It has a fine citrus streak of crispness along with the hints of wood aging. The wine will age well over the medium term and will be ready to drink from 2018.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2016)
WE 92, WA 91+, WS 91

Readers looking for the more ethereal, elegant side of Bordeaux need search no further than Cantemerle, one of the estates in the very southern end of the Medoc. Dense ruby/purple (nearly opaque), this wine offers up notes of lead pencil shavings, spring flowers, raspberries and black cherries. The wine is ethereal, medium-bodied, and by no means a blockbuster, but long and intellectual. However, the tannins are present, and the wine is certainly capable of putting on weight with time in the bottle. Give it 3-4 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 25+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, (Dec, 2011)
WE 93

The second wine of Cos d'Estournel is powerfully packed with tannins and dark ripe fruit. It is enormously rich and intense while keeping a fine smooth texture. There is a dark core that is going to allow the wine to develop over many years. Drink from 2024.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2017)
WS 95, JS 94

Peach and apricot-pie character that's very showy and very much within the sweet-pastry spectrum. There's also some spicy appeal to complement notes of cumquat rind. Pithy and focused. The palate has an exotic, tropical thread of mangoes, peaches and cantaloupe melon. Very hedonistic and regal — full of fat and very convincing viognier. A great vintage. Drink young whilst exuberant!

- James Suckling (Oct, 2016)
WS 90

An elegant version, offering streamlined acidity for balance, with a smoky undertow. This is rich with flavors of dried apricot, crystallized honey, beeswax, candied orange peel and almond financier, leading to a finish of moderate length. Drink now through 2017.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (May, 2013)
WS 96, WE 93-95

This gorgeous Sauternes is still really tight, with racy floral and green plum edges along the core flavors of white peach, mirabelle plum, melon and green fig, but there's stunning length, with a rapier of minerality that matches the sweetness step for step on the long, quinine-infused finish. Built for the long haul. Best from 2018 through 2038.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2016)
JS 93, WS 92

Rather dark and reticent, with bittersweet cocoa and licorice snap notes blocking off the core of ripe plum and boysenberry fruit, while the tarry undertow emerges more on the finish. A powerfully rendered 2009 Pomerol that will need cellaring to assimilate. Best from 2014 through 2027.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2012)
WS 92

This Champagne offers an array of flavor, including toasted brioche, Gala apple, lemon zest, graphite and ginger, with a touch of honey. Elegant, but with good intensity and a moderate, nut-tinged finish. Drink now through 2018.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (June, 2011)
WS 90

This rich white borders on creamy, boasting apple, honey, butterscotch and baking spice flavors, balanced by a juicy texture. Finishes long. Drink now through 2021. 280 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Aug, 2017)
WS 93, IWC 91

This is rock-solid, with crushed raspberry, kirsch, juniper and smoked apple wood notes, backed by a broad, plush, spice- and anise-filled finish. Nicely rounded and integrated for the vintage. Drink now through 2021.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2010)
WE 96, WA 94

Tasted as part of a vertical held at the chateau. Like one or two other 2007s, the aromatics on the Guiraud ’07 are rather subdued at the moment and they demand coaxing to offer honey, lemon curd and orange blossom. The palate is well-balanced with finer tannins than the 2006. Here, the quality of the vintage finally shows through with impressive precision and focus, building toward the fresh, feminine apricot and dried peach finish that lingers long in the mouth. This is an outstanding Guiraud, but it will reward those with patience. Drink 2017-2035.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
WE 93, WS 93

This has power in reserve, but stays remarkably restrained for now, with a torrent of boysenberry, fig and raspberry fruit held in check by charcoal-studded grip and well-embedded acidity. The long, dense smoked apple wood finish should let this cruise nicely in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2030.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2013)
WA 94

The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee Chaupin, which I was able to taste (and drink) from multiple bottles, is a beautiful Grenache that comes from the cooler, northeastern edge of the appellation. Coming almost all from the Chapouin lieu-dit (it gets a small bit from La Janasse), it gives up the classic notes of black berries, spring flowers, violets, and licorice that I always seem to find in this cuvee. Building nicely on the palate, it is medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured, has tons of sweet fruit and solid, if not firm, tannin that come out on the finish. It will be better in another couple of years and have 15+ years of overall longevity.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2014)
WA 94

Showing similar to last year, the 2012 Hermitage Blanc (which doesn’t include the grapes that went into the Ex Voto) is a fabulous white that gives up classical notes of acacia flowers, buttered citrus, wood smoke and crushed rock. Medium to full-bodied, rich, textured and layered, it will have another decade of thrilling drinking.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WA 91, IWC 91

The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Barberini is virtually two-thirds tank-aged Grenache with the balance Syrah and a little (about 10%) Mourvedre, the latter aged in small oak barrels. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple color and a more modern style than the traditional cuvee or the 100% Grenache cuvee Cornelia Constanza reviewed below. Despite its so-called -modern leanings,- which some people deplore, this is a beauty. Dense purple, with elegant blueberry and blackberry fruit as well as hints of garrigue, vanillin and spice box, it is dense, full-bodied, yet wonderfully precise and fresh, given the vintage's liveliness and vibrancy. In light of some noticeable tannins, give it 2-3 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 15-20+ years.

One of the most significant estates in Chateauneuf du Pape and one of the earliest to estate-bottle, the Lancon family has been producing these wines for many, many decades. They have 75 acres, with most of it situated in the widely renowned rocky plateau in the eastern part of the sector know as La Crau, the hottest, earliest-maturing sector of the appellation. The Lancons don't believe in showing barrel or tank samples, so everything I tasted was already in bottle, and no 2011 reds were tasted. The 2010 vintage is another strong one for them, keeping their track record of hitting home runs for much of the last decade intact.


- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2012)
WA 93

Moving to the 2014 whites, these all show the more elegant, streamlined style of the vintage, yet also pack plenty of fruit and texture. Fresh, lively, juicy and incredibly pure, with fabulous notes of tangerines, white flowers and orange blossom, the 2014 Condrieu La Galopine is medium-bodied, perfectly balanced and focused on the palate. This is about as classic as they come and strikes a perfect balance between freshness and richness.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
JS 91, WA 90

This property has been making excellent wines under the administration of Caroline Frey, and 2012 continues their recent success. With a deep ruby/purple color, notes of new saddle leather, graphite, blackcurrants and black cherries, a supple texture, medium to full body and beautiful purity, this is an outstanding 2012 to drink over the next 20 years. In general, the blend tends to be approximately 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance 25% Merlot followed by 15% Petit Verdot.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (April, 2015)
JS 93, WS 92, WE 92

The best wine from Phélan Ségur for several years, this shows less of the often-intrusive new wood and more of the fruit that had been missing in past vintages. It shows a subtle level of toast and a black currant flavor, plus great acidity and freshness on the finish.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2013)
IWC 90-91

Very pure aromas of white peach, citrus zest and white flowers. Then silky and pliant on the palate, with sweet citrus fruit flavors showing good grip but no bitterness. Finishes with lovely lemony persistence. Very nicely balanced village Meursault. There's nothing extreme about this set of 2015s.

- Stpehen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (Sept, 2016)
WE 95, WA 92

This is a complete wine, full of both tannins and great swathes of ripe fruit. It has a serious side as well in its solid structure and concentration. The juicy blackberry fruits are beginning to calm down and meld into a fine dense wine that will age very well. Drink from 2025.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2017)
WA 92

From the famous château estate of the Castéja family, the 2012 Batailley is a very strong effort. This is a big-time sleeper of the vintage. A dense purple wine with loads of crème de cassis, blueberry notes, background forest floor and cedar, this is a strong effort from Batailley and may well usher in a new era for this fifth-growth chateau that is capable of producing great wine. The tannins are sweet and the wine has an opulence and richness that is rare for a Médoc in 2012. Drink it over the next 25 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (April, 2015)
WS 92

Notes of singed alder, graphite and charcoal wrap around the core of intense blackberry paste, warm plum sauce and currant preserves. Turns sleek and racy on the well-knit finish despite the notable grip. Best from 2015 through 2030.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2013)
JS 94, WE 93, WA 92

Dense purple, with loads of blueberry and blackberry fruit as well as hints of smoke and subtle charred wood, this wine is expansive, round, generous, lush and multi-dimensional. This beauty can be drunk now or cellared for 15-20 years.

A beautiful example of wine from this estate, which is using well-known consultant Stephane Derenoncourt, finished 2010 at 14.5% natural alcohol, and seems to be one of the sexier, more developed and evolved styles of the vintage.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2013)
WE 92, WS 92

Clos Windsbuhl in Hunawihr is the northernmost of Zind-Humbrecht’s collection of vineyards. In 2012, it has produced an impressive wine that has all the right spice of Pinot Gris along with acidity and a fresh edge. That gives this rich wine a great lift, with a waft of pear to go with the yellow-fruit flavors. Drink from 2016.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2015)
JS 96

Amazing complexity and beauty with plums, tangerines and walnuts. Full body and extremely silky textured tannins with gorgeous balanced and beauty. Goes on for minutes. Superb wine. Best Nenin since the 1950s.

- James Suckling
WE 93, WS 91

Smoky aromas add to the red fruits and manifest themselves on the palate as the spicy, toasty wood aging. The fruits are still developing, a series of rich berries and currants that will be ripe and generous. For the moment, the dry tannins dominate, so give this wine until 2018.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2014)
WA 94

A spectacular effort, especially for this challenging vintage, Olivier Bernard’s 2011 Domaine de Chevalier boasts a dense ruby/purple color as well as a big, sweet bouquet of subtle charcoal, graphite, black currants and black cherries. Rich and full-bodied with a multilayered mouthfeel and a long, complex, stunning finish, this is a profound example of a 2011 from a great terroir. Consume it over the next 20 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (April, 2014)
WS 91, WA 91

The Reiffers family has turned out a seductive 2005 offering notes of blueberries and raspberries interwoven with notions of crushed rocks and spring flowers. With medium body, sweet tannin, and outstanding purity, density, and ripeness, it is relatively approachable for a 2005. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2023.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (April, 2008)
WA 92

Quince jelly; kiwi; honeydew melon and herbal liqueur; along with a hint of aromatic woods scent the Deiss 2009 Schoenenbourg, then saturate the palate with oily glyceral-richness, honeyed ennoblement, and sweet yet lip-smacking persistence. For all of its sweetness and alcohol, this also evinces a sense of buoyancy. I would expect it to be worth following for 15-20 years.

- David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate (May, 2011)
WE 91, WS 90

With some wood fermentation, this is a particularly rich wine. The wood gives roundness and extra richness that is balanced by the mineral and taut texture. The fruit is less important than the texture, a background of crisp apples and tight acidity. This bottling is ready to drink.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2015)
WS 96, WA 93

Tasted as part of a vertical held at the chateau. The 2001 Guiraud is armed with an intense, vigorous bouquet with scents of marmalade, lanolin, brown sugar and peach that blossom in the glass, the latter becoming exaggerated with continued aeration. The palate is well-balanced with citrus-fresh apricot and orange zest on the entry. It is precise and vigorous with dried mango emerging toward the tightly wound finish that suggests the ’01 would benefit from several more years ageing. This is a great success. Drink 2014-2030+

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
WE 94

The epitome of Grand Cru Chablis, this is mineral and fruit driven—impressive both from its richness and its tense structure. The power comes from the depth of flavor that brings the texture right through the wine. Age for 5–7 years.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Nov, 2012)
WS 93

Seamlessly knit, with vibrant, citrusy acidity and a satiny, creamy mousse layered with poached peach, pastry cream, mineral and crushed hazelnut flavors that expand through the midpalate and the zesty, spiced finish. Drink now through 2030. 500 cases imported.

- Alison, Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2015)
WA 94, IWC 92

Another great success from proprietress Caroline Frey, the 2010 La Lagune provides an essential drinking experience, with notes of Asian plum sauce, mulberries, kirsch liqueur and black currants. The wine also exhibits a savory, rich smokiness and subtle lead pencil shaving notes. Full-bodied and pure, combining both elegance and power, this is a brilliant, very approachable effort that should hit its stride in 5-7 years and last for at least two decades. Think of it as a hypothetical blend of the 2005 and 2009. Kudos!

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2013)
WS 92

The initial impact of animal and earth aromas gives way to cherry, raspberry, earth and spice flavors. Solidly structured and long, with an aftertaste of blackberry and tar. Best from 2019 through 2033. 240 cases imported.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (July, 2016)
JS 95

A superb vintage rosé dedicated to the 2008 harvest, this has an impressively composed style. It's really smooth and supple building excellently and delivering a seamlessly composed impression. The aromas are of fragrant red cherries but in bright, fresh and gently spicy mode. The palate's precisely cut and has supple, tangy acidity underpinning some very pliable fruit flesh, a silky texture and a velvety finish. Impressive length and carefully delivered power here!

- James Suckling (2016)

JS 99, WS 97 (Top 100: 2014, Rank:12)

A large-scale version, with seamlessly layered notes of almond cream, apricot, ginger, mango, piecrust, papaya and toasted hazelnut. The long, spice-infused finish shows ample depth, echoing with an enticing tarte Tatin note. Best from 2016 through 2035.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2014)
V 92-94

Youthful violet. Vibrant, spice- and mineral-laced black and blue fruit scents show excellent focus and pick up suggestions of cola and violet with air. Sappy, concentrated and pure, offering juicy blueberry and boysenberry flavors firmed by a spine of tangy acidity. Blends power and vivacity with a deft hand and finishes very long and minerally, with supple tannins building steadily and in harmony with the wine's fruit. All of the fruit from Rostaing's Côte Blonde and La Landonne holdings are in this bottling this vintage.

- Josh Raynolds, Vinous
WA 97, WS 96

Now in bottle it has become a contender for the finest Sauternes of the vintage. It is blessed with a pure and lifted bouquet with ripe peach, nectarine and honey, hints of shaved ginger poke their head above the surface with aeration. It is very subtle. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, perfectly judged acidity and convincing harmony. This is a sophisticated Sauternes with superb mineralite and outstanding persistency. I will confess that I pinned this as “Yquem” and was both shocked and pleased when its identity was revealed. Go buy. Drink 2016-2035.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Jan, 2017)
WE 95, WA 94+

The greatest Cantenac Brown I have ever tasted, the 2010 is one for the ages. Dense purple, with an extraordinary nose of sweet forest floor, blackberry jam, pen ink and graphite, this wine soars from the glass, giving it an aromatic dimension and intensity I have never seen from this estate. The tannins are present, as they are in most Cantenac Browns, but the wine’s sweetness, broad, skyscraper-like mouthfeel, dense, purple color and spectacular length (close to a minute) make this a giant classic and a fabulous sleeper of the vintage that still remains under-priced, considering how great its potential may be. This is a wine for those with cold cellars and youthful DNA. It is going to need at least a decade of cellaring and should last for 20-40 years. A classic!

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2013)
WS 92

Boasting peach, yellow plum, floral and mineral flavors, this rich, open style is powerful, with a lingering essence of stone. Fine balance and length, leaving a mouthwatering impression. Drink now through 2023. 55 cases imported.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Sept, 2017)
WS 92

Rich and ripe flavors of glazed apricot and spiced plum are layered with pastry dough, graphite and spice notes in this balanced version, with a lively bead. Accessible, presenting juicy acidity through to the clean-cut finish. Disgorged April 2015. Drink now through 2024. 80 cases imported.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Sept, 2016)

WS 92

Silky in feel and very long, with lovely raspberry and boysenberry coulis flavors that glide through, flecked with anise, rooibos tea and well-roasted sandalwood notes. The long finish lets everything drape gracefully. Very suave. Drink now through 2027.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Web, 2016)
WA 95

Much more southern Rhone-like in style, the 2009 Abelard is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that spent 18 months in barrel. Big, ripe, layered and hedonistic, with tons of sweet Grenache blackberry and black cherry fruits, melted licorice and roasted herb aromas and flavors, this sensational Grenache has full-bodied richness, polished, sweet tannin, no hard edges and a great finish. While 2009 delivers lots of perfumed, upfront and slightly rustic wines due to the heat, this is silky, polished and incredibly pure. Drink this killer 2009 over the coming 7-8 y

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)
WE 90

This is a ripe, wood-aged wine that shows the richer side of Meursault. It's generous with ripe yellow fruits, but balanced and complemented by crisp acidity and hints of toastiness. A fine wine with impeccable structure, it will age well, so drink from 2015.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2013)
WA 91-93

The 2014 Chablis Grand Cru Bougros, is vinified 60% in used wood where it matured for six months before being transferred to stainless steel. It has a showy, generous bouquet with dewy Granny Smith apple, freshly sliced pear and chalk-scented nose. There is no holding back here. The palate is fresh and crisp, very harmonious, not powerful as such, but displaying admirable precision on the finish. I would agree with Didier Ségieur in that this forms one of the more approachable, less-challenging Grand Crus.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (July, 2015)
WS 94, WA 91-93

Solid, with an alluring core of lightly steeped plum, anise, blackberry and boysenberry flavors that rolls through, picking up dark tea and warm fruitcake hints along the way. Shows a light echo of apple wood on the finish. Drink now through 2027.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Sept, 2017)

WS 95, WA 94, WE 94

The 2014 Clos Fourtet has developed a very perfumed bouquet with pure black cherry, raspberry and mineral aromas that seem very precise and relatively sophisticated compared to its Saint Emilion peers. The palate is medium-bodied with supple red cherry and cranberry fruit, the tannins both fine but firm. This is a supremely well-focused Clos Fourtet, perhaps one that shows more restraint than previous vintages, yet there is genuine focus and intensity towards the almost piercing finish with vivid black, mineral-soaked fruit. This is a superb Clos Fourtet that transcends the promise from barrel.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (March, 2017)
WS 93, WE 93, WA 93

Lovely balance and harmony provides the focal point for the lemon cake, apple, lanolin and stone flavors. Clean and precise, with a long, lemon- and mineral-tinged aftertaste. Drink now through 2020.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2015)
IWC 91, WS 90

Subtle notes of patisserie pear, lemon confit, pastry cream and blanched almond play on the fine and creamy mousse of this fresh version. Not a powerhouse, but well-balanced and appealing. Drink now through 2018. 200 cases imported.

- Allison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2014)
IWC 91

Bright orange-pink. Smoky, lees-tinged aromas of ripe red berries, orange zest and honey, with a hint of chamomile in the background. Juicy, penetrating redcurrant and tangerine flavors are braced and lifted by juicy acidity. Stretches out and gains flesh on the finish, which leaves suave floral pastille and berry skin notes behind. The marriage of richness and tension here will make this Champagne very flexible with food.

- Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar (Jan, 2015)
The color is pale gold with green tints. The nose is delicate with ripe fruit such as pear and white peach. It also has complex notes of beeswax, vanilla and flint. The mouth has a fresh fruity beginning, is fleshy and robust, and has good structure. It is balanced between a fruity roundness and mineral firmness. A very long finish.
Scents of lemon, lime, and more exotic citrus mingle with musk, white truffle, lightly toasted hazelnut and intimations of ocean breeze in an arrestingly diverse and intriguing aromatic display. The maritime and citrus allusions are realized in spades on this wine’s dense, lush palate, with pungent citrus oils and piquancy of pips spiking an amalgam of oyster liqueur and lemon juice, leading to a finish of nearly eye-watering and certainly salivary gland-milking intensity – brine, chalk, iodine, and myriad ineffable mineral elements leaving a near-indelible impression. This youthfully brash yet rich Preuses is almost sure to reveal more of the site’s alluring exoticism and continue to dazzle through at least 2025.
WE 95, JS 95, WA 94

The finest Giscours in my professional career (I said the same thing from barrel), this dense purple wine has a stunning nose of burning embers, charcoal, creme de cassis, new saddle leather and damp, forest floor notes. It is full-bodied, with exceptionally sweet, well-integrated tannins and a multi-dimensional, almost skyscraper-like mid-palate and finish. With its low acidity and remarkable substance and depth, this gorgeous wine should age beautifully for 20-30 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2012)
JS 96, WE 95, WA 95

This is one of my all-time favorite wines from Domaine de Chevalier, a silky, rather classic Pessac-Leognan with notes of scorched earth, tobacco leaf and black and red currants, but no hard edges. Fragrant, complex aromatics are followed by a savory, expansively flavored wine made from a final blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine hit 13.5% natural alcohol, which must certainly be among the highest they have ever achieved, even eclipsing the 2009. An opulent, precocious style of wine that seems much more developed, complex and delicious than I thought from barrel, this beauty can be drunk in 5-6 years or cellared for 20 or more.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2013)
WA 89-91

From a 0.12-hectare parcel, the 2013 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Champs Gain represents the smallest cuvee of the domaine. It has a stony, more reticent bouquet compared to the Maltroie ’13 at the moment. The palate is crisp and fresh with a keen line of acidity, vibrant citrus fruit and an almost effervescent finish that lingers nicely, yet it does not quite have the bravura of the Vergers of the Maltroie. Still, this is a well-crafted Chassagne that should age nicely over the next decade.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
WE 94, WS 94

There's a great dark color to this, with intense aromas of cedar, wood, new leather and crushed blackberry. Full-bodied, with loads of fruit and a firm, powerful palate. Long and mouthpuckering. A muscular baby. Best after 2015.

- James Suckling, Wine Spectator (March, 2009)
WE 95

This is a blend from several Grand Crus on the Corton hill. It is rich and spicy, with great black fruits and solid tannins. A powerful wine, it's shot through with acidity and black-plum fruits throughout the structure. Drink from 2023.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Oct, 2016)
WA 99

Easily one of the greatest Condrieu I’ve ever tasted is the 2015 Condrieu La Doriane. A wine that needs to be tasted to be believed, it possesses a huge nose of toasted brioche, liquid rocks, apricot, flower oil and salty minerality. Unctuous, full-bodied, massively rich, yet also elegant and graceful, with beautiful freshness, enjoy this tour de force over the coming 5-6 years.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)

JS 92, WE 92, WS 92

Finely knit and elegant overall, this vivacious Champagne is creamy and satiny in texture, with layers of yellow plum, chalk, toast, glazed apricot and lemon curd. Offers a lingering, smoke-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020.

- Allison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2015)
WA 95-96, WS 95

A wine that will be in bottle by the time you read this, the 2012 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis (it always incorporates 7% Viognier) will check in behind the sensational 2009 and 2010, but should be on par with the 2005 and 2003. Cassis, licorice, smoked meats, graphite and peppery spice all emerge from this beautifully concentrated, full-bodied, seamless Cote Rotie that has building, ripe tannin, terrific purity and a blockbuster finish. It will have 20-25 years of longevity.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WS 95, WA 94+

Tasted as a final blend and scheduled to be bottled just after my visit, the 2013 Côte Rôtie Chateau d’Ampuis is a smokin’ good wine in the vintage. Deep, concentrated and structured, with classic and masculine notes of graphite, smoked black fruits and crushed rocks, this full-bodied beauty has bright acidity, ripe tannin and beautiful length. It needs 7-8 years of cellaring to hit maturity and will have two to three decades of overall longevity.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WS 96

A big, broad, powerful style, with piecrust, roasted almond and hazelnut cream notes framing the core of apricot, creamed peach and dried mango. Picks up extra fig and pear details through the toasty finish. Needs a bit of time to finish sorting itself out. Best from 2017 through 2030.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2014)
WE 91, WS 90

The second wine of Château Palmer is a rich, floral, smooth and perfumed wine. It has layers of dark plums and almost sweet acidity, with tannins that are buried in the voluptuous palate. The finish shows intense black currant acidity.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (May, 2013)
JS 93

A beautiful and complex red with flowers, dark fruits, citrus and spice character. Full body, firm tannins and a bright finish. Tight and dense. Seamless and very pretty. A nice blend of different vineyards of Corton.

- James Suckling (June, 2015)
WS 92

Though rich and opulent in profile, this white is also packed with apple tart, lemon, honey and baking spice flavors. Long, leaving a tangy impression on the finish. Drink now through 2023. 250 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Aug, 2017)
WA 94, JS 94, WS 94, WE 94

One the finest Clerc Milons I have ever tasted, and showing better from bottle than from barrel, this blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc and the rest a tiny bit of Carmenere and Petit Verdot has a complex nose of cedar wood, red and black fruits, white chocolate and creme de cassis. A very powerful wine at 14.5% natural alcohol (quite high for a Medoc), this wine has impressive purity and texture, a full-bodied mouthfeel, relatively sweet tannin, but an already endearing complexity, length and richness that are hard to ignore. This is a superb effort and one of the wines that is usually reasonably priced among the classified growths.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2013)
WA 95+

With a gorgeously evolved, extremely complex bouquet of forest floor, spring flowers, lead pencil shavings and red and black currants, this full-bodied, dense, ruby/plum/purple-colored wine hits the palate with an opulent, fleshy, full-bodied richness, silky tannins, and a very layered, profoundly concentrated style that is, at the same time, both powerful and sublime. This gorgeous wine from proprietor Henri Lurton will benefit from 3-5 years of cellaring and evolve for 25-30 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2013)
WA 93, WE 93

The 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape is a beauty and has a rare level of concentration and depth in the vintage. Blueberry, crushed flowers, pepper, and violet aromas and flavors flow nicely to a medium to full-bodied, structured and tannic Beaucastel that has impressive purity and plenty of length. It’s not massive, but still needs 4-5 years of cellaring and will keep for a decade after that.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
WS 92

Pure, boasting kirsch, raspberry, floral and mineral flavors, all etched into a lean frame. A solid structure provides support, but overall this is elegant and racy. Best from 2019 through 2029. 150 cases imported.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (2016)
WE 96, WS 93

This wine has weight, structure and richness. Spice comes from wood aging while the texture is concentrated and dense. It's powerful, full of apple and crisp pear flavors that are tight and firm. There is a dusty, almost tannic character to this powerful wine that is still young. Drink from 2018.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Oct, 2015)
WS 90

There's a smoky underpinning to this firm rosé, with the lively bead carrying delicate flavors of white raspberry, toast, orange peel and ground ginger. Drink now through 2019.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2016)
WA 95, WS 93

As one might expect, the 2010 Clos de Beauvenir blanc is luxurious, with super-intense fruit, a full-bodied, multi-dimensional mouthfeel with hints of dried apricot, honeysuckle, peach jam, rose water and a touch of almond paste all present in this lavishly rich, expansive and full-throttle dry white. Drink it over the next 10+ years, as it is nearly impossible to predict how these white Rhones age.

Readers should realize that neither the luxury cuvee, the white Chateauneuf du Pape, La Nerthe Clos de Beauvenir, not the sensational top red cuvee called Cuvee des Cadettes were produced in 2011. The seriousness of La Nerthe is evidenced by the introduction of a second wine in order to preserve the integrity and exquisite quality of their top cuvees. Their new red, the Chateauneuf du Pape Les Granieres, is primarily a blend of nearly 50% Grenache and almost equal portions of Mourvedre and Syrah, with a touch of Cinsault, aged largely in old wood foudres, but with some of the Syrah and Mourvedre components in small barrels.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2012)
WA 95

The top wine is the 2014 IGP Cotes Catalanes Pharaon, and it’s a barrel selection that ended up being an even split of Grenache and Syrah that was aged in 75% new French oak. While the cooler, late vintage didn’t favor Grenache, Richard commented that Syrah excelled, hence the larger portion of Syrah in the blend than normal. About as sexy and textured as they come in the vintage, this beautiful 2014 offers lots of crème de cassis, black raspberry, chocolate and peppery nuances to go with a full-bodied, luxuriously textured, hedonistic slant on the palate. Despite the ripeness level, it stays fresh and lively, with notable underlying structure. Hats off to the team here. This beauty will cruise for another decade.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (April, 2016)
WA 94, WS 93, V 93-95

On another level, the 2014 Côte Rôtie La Mordorée is a perfumed, incredibly layered and even sexy 2014 that has lots of black raspberry fruits, flowers, potpourri, and spice aromas and flavors. It’s a deeper, richer wine than the Les Bécasses, has solid mid-palate depth and sweet tannin. It will drink well for at least a decade.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 97

Tasted blind at the annual "Burgfest" tasting in Beaune. The 2012 Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru from Faiveley has a beguiling nose with brambly red berry fruit, damp earth, cold flagstone and just a faint smear of marmalade. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, supple tannin matched with assiduous acidity that lends tension and poise. It is quite backward, even compared to other grand cru 2012s, but there is the substance and the breeding here to suggest a seriously long and pleasurable evolution. This is one of the standouts of the Côte de Nuits.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
WS 90

This muscular red has a meaty undertone supporting ripe flavors of roasted plum and raspberry compote. With a solid acidity, this shows peppery spice, black olive and mocha accents on the hot stone–tinged finish. Drink now through 2020.

- Gillian Sciaretta, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2016)
WA 94+

Closed, tight and backwards, the 2013 Hermitage les Bessards is a big, full-bodied, burly wine that offers first rate purity in its black raspberry, ozone, liquid rock, and creosote-like bouquet. It has plenty of material and density, but will need 7-8 years of bottle age to become approachable. As normal, it comes all from the “Bas de Coteau” portion of the Bessards lieu-dit, was completely destemmed and saw 18 months in 30% new French oak.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WS 97, WA 97

Ripe and enticing, with lemon curd, apricot gelée and nectarine flavors bursting forth, backed by light citrus oil, blanched almond and salted butter notes. Shows a flash of green tea through the finish. Exotic in range, refined and detailed in feel. Drink now through 2027.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2017)

WS 94

An intense, minerally style, lean and racy, with cherry, raspberry, tobacco and kirsch flavors. Saturated, tannic and balanced, with a long, palate-staining finish. Best from 2020 through 2035. 95 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (June, 2015)
WA 98-100, IWC 95-98

There are probably around seven casks of the 2009 L’Extravagant de Doisy-Daene, although that may decrease a little after racking. An equal blend of Semillon and Sauvignon, it delivers a record 220gms residual sugar and yet still exudes astounding minerality and precision, with touches of clear honey, frangipane and cold wet stones. The palate is full-bodied with a mellifluous texture, perfect acidity to slice through that rich botrytized fruit, stunning balance, citrus peel, apricot, Clementine, lemon curd and a hint of ginger. With awesome length, leaving that tingling sensation akin to Szechuan pepper, this wine truly lives up to its name.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (April, 2010)
WA 89-91+

The 2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru is more serious and introverted than the Village Cru at the moment, the fruit veering darker. The palate has a pastille-like purity, very well balanced, but already showing more density than the Village Cru with plenty of substance on the finish. This is yet to show character but all the constituent parts are here. It may merit a higher appraisal post-bottling.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
WA 94

Both of the Côte Rôtie releases are excellent wines. One of the most structured wines in the vintage, the 2014 Côte Rôtie La Landonne (100% Syrah aged in 40% new barrels) gives up terrific notes of black raspberry, cassis, toasted spice, graphite and crushed rocks. Possessing full-bodied richness and a concentrated and beautifully-textured style, with building tannin, it should be given 3-4 years of cellaring and enjoyed over the following 10-15 years.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 97, WS 95, V 93-95

Similar in style to the hedonistically-styled Cuvee de l’Orée (especially when compared to the structured, mineral-laced l’Ermite), the 2014 Ermitage le Méal Blanc (aged in 10% new demi-muids) offers layers of celery seed, brioche, caramelized pineapple and citrus oil on the nose. Thick, rich, voluptuous and full bodied with a massive finish, drink this sensational white anytime over the coming two to three decades.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WA 90-92

The 2014 Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St Jacques has an elegant, mineral-driven and rather introspective bouquet that takes time to unfold from the glass. The palate is vibrant with lovely, pure blackberry and raspberry fruit, fine tension with impressive weight on the linear finish. This is a stylish Lavaux that should give 10-15 years of pleasure.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WE 95

This wine is ripe and structured, dense with both acidity and minerality. It is rich with yellow and tropical fruits but always cut with lively acidity, making it opulent while fresh. Drink from 2022.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Oct, 2016)
WS 94

This is tight and reticent, featuring black cherry and blackberry fruit locked up by dense, burly tannins, with spice and mineral notes adding depth. Finishes with balance and sweet fruit. Just needs time. Best from 2019 through 2035. 60 cases imported.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (May, 2015)
IWC 92-95

Cloudy pale-medium yellow. Exhilarating aromas of white peach, lime, stone and menthol ("a cousin of Chevalier-Montrachet," notes Hervet). Juicy, saline and precise; in a rather gentle style for young grand cru but with lovely focus and lingering perfume. This indeed shows the grain and class of a Chevalier-Montrachet. Impeccably balanced wine with a long finish showcasing juicy, salty minerality.

- Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (Oct, 2013)
WS 97, WA 94-97

This is intense, as dense ganache, espresso, roasted juniper and alder notes form an impressive frame around an equally ornate core of steeped fig, blackberry and black currant fruit flavors, all while maintaining terrific cut and drive despite the heft. A mouthwatering iron accent at the very end seals the deal. Best from 2020 through 2040. 30 cases imported.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2017)

WA 96, WS 96

While I loved Michel's 2012 Cote Rotie la Mordoree from barrel, it blew me away from bottle, and I think bares more than a passing resemblance to his 1991. About as elegant and seamless as they come, it exhibits incredible notes of violets, peppery spice, spring flowers, rose petal and darker berry fruit. This is followed by a full-bodied, sweetly fruited, expansive Cote Rotie that's perfectly balanced, has beautiful mid-palate density, and ultra-fine tannin that emerge on the finish. It's a blockbuster effort to drink over the coming two decades.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
WA 96, WS 95, V 94-96

The 2014 Ermitage le Pavillon is another wine from this team that defies the vintage. Full-bodied, concentrated, impeccably balanced and seamless, with classic notes of crushed rocks, graphite, cassis and blackcurrants, it hits the palate with no hard edges, has a great mid-palate and possesses sweet tannin. Michel commented that this wine reminded him of the 1982, and while it offers pleasure even today, it won’t hit maturity for another decade.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 94+, WS 93

Dense and fleshy in feel, with twinges of espresso and baker's chocolate running amid the core of dark plum, steeped currant and blackberry compote. The finish has a dark tobacco note lurking. This will need some time to settle in. Best from 2017 through 2024. 65 cases imported.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2016)
WS 91

Dense and concentrated, this bubbly delivers its flavors on a racy profile, with plenty of intensity. Picks up a ginger note toward the finish.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2002)
WA 94+, WS 93

Very solid, with a loamy edge that melds slowly into the core of steeped plum and blackberry fruit, while smoldering alder, bay leaf and dark olive notes flitter throughout. Cellar for maximum effect. Best from 2018 through 2024. 35 cases imported.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2016)
WA 93-95

The 2014 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru has a well-defined bouquet, the oak here nicely integrated with the fruit that consists of blackberry and wild strawberry, underneath mineral scents joined by rose petals that unfurl with time. The palate is medium-bodied and silky smooth in texture, opening nicely in the glass with its refined and very pure, very Charmes-like finish. Whereas the entry-level wines left me wanting more, this Grand Cru pushes all the right buttons.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WS 94

Bright, sleek and elegant, with mouthwatering acidity, this is soft and creamy in texture, offering hints of smoked almond and whole-grain toast, accented by dried apple, crème brûlée and dried herb notes. Rich details of grilled nut and oyster shell linger on the persistent finish. Drink now through 2024.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2014)
WS 95

Rich and creamy, this is aging gracefully. The finely tuned acidity and lightly beaded texture provide an elegant frame for the layers of coffee liqueur, toasted almond, cherry bonbon, iodine and orange peel flavors. The long finish is tinged subtly with smoky mineral. Disgorged October 2008. Drink now through 2022.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2012)
WA 95

The 2015 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru is really blossoming now that the wine is safely in bottle. It has a gorgeous, floral bouquet with scents of blueberry, blackberry and briary, wonderful mineral expression here with a palpable sense of energy and precision. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, what you might call a "cool" Bonnes Mares, sleek and sensual with very fine tension towards the red cherry and kirsch tinged finish. What a gorgeous Bonnes-Mares, though I would be inclined to afford it several years in bottle. Tasted November 2016.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (June, 2017)
WA 95, WE 95, WS 94

Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon calls Cristal "the first terroir cuvée of the Champagne." He furthers, "It’s not just Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, but the chalk that brings the ultimate finesse, length and precision of Cristal." Forty-five blocks with averaging age of 43-years-old, low-yielding vines form the base of Cristal, which is usually made of approximately 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Due to an early bud break (end of March) and the wet summer, the 2007 was picked at the end of August, so almost 100 days after the flowering instead of the normal 93-95 days. There is a bit less Pinot Noir than usual (57%) and accordingly, more Chardonnay (43%) in the 2007 Cristal. This Champagne comes along in a golden color and with a deep and matured, yet well-defined bouquet of ripe yellow fruits and honey notes. Full-bodied, round and very complex, the generous 2007 is a perfect mix of ripe fruit and precise minerality. It is a silky textured, pure and precise, as well as powerful and expressive Champagne. It has great tension and grip in the very long and persistent finish. Great expression of chalk. The 2007 was disgorged in 2015.

- Stephen Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (June, 2016)
WA 94-96, V 93-96

The 2014 Musigny Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru had to be warmed up in my warm hands, since the wine had closed down a little in recent days. It has a very composed and quite dense bouquet with wild strawberry and blueberry scents, more opulence coming through with time, red rose. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a subtle marine influence flowing under the surface of red cherry and wild strawberry notes, an almost confit-like finish that feels dense and with plenty of substance. This is a sophisticated, almost saturnine Musigny -- a Pandora's Box of secrets that will only be revealed with age.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WA 95-97

The 2013 Clos de la Roche Cuvée Vieilles Vignes, from vines planted in 1905, has an inviting, delineated bouquet with vibrant wild strawberry, raspberry preserve and mineral notes. The palate has great tension – so suave and poised with superb symmetry and an effortless finish that I don’t think the Clos Saint Denis has at the moment. Laurent Ponsot did not disguise his enthusiasm for this Grand Cru and I could understand why.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
WA 92-94, IWC 92-94

The 2012 Montrachet Grand Cru comes from their 0.5863-hectares (to be exact) of vine, one plot located in the middle of the vineyard and one above located on the terrace. The bouquet takes a little while to start motoring, eventually unfolding to reveal scents of fresh lime, green apple, wet limestone and sea spray. The palate is well balanced with a slight viscous texture on the spicy, rich opening. There is plenty of depth here, with lightly honeyed fruit and that spicy leitmotif becoming more pronounced towards the finish. I can appreciate the persistency and a long saline aftertaste – superb.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2013)
JS 96

This has plenty of dried roses, rose hip and other very gently seductive perfumes on offer here such as wild cherries, some pepper, plenty of spices and pink, musky marshmallows. The autolysis is still very discreet, although the fruits have changed to another phase of more savory characters and are really delicate. This is undoubtedly a restrained Champagne on a very slow path of evolution. The palate's smoothly layered with the phenolics shaping it in the first phase of the palate, casting a long tube-like form. The core is composed of dried strawberries, some spiced cherries, some dried peaches and pink grapefruit to boot. It then gives way to fresh acidity as it delivers a really thrilling and mouth-watering finish with some toasty hazelnuts and flamed orange zest to close. Superb focus, and the vintage character of the acidity and length is stunning. Beautifully preserved in the cellars for some twenty-odd years. What a treat! Drink now and for another decade or more. This will age on cork very nicely. Truly a superb expression of Dom Perignon Rosé.

- James Suckling (Oct, 2016)
18.5/20 Jancis Robinson

This is released, in tiny quantities like all P2 rosés – for the moment anyway. Although I suppose this could change if the house decides to increase the production of Dom Pérignon rosé. The color is pale rose pink with just a hint of blue – in fact it almost looks younger than the 2004 first release tasted alongside it. Still reasonably vigorous bead. Haunting, warm nose - super-complex with rose petals and a hint of dill pickle - that gives way to a rather coy, super-fruity palate that ends bone dry. Smells of warm vegetables - tomatoes?! Masses of appetizing development. Great, throat-warming finish. Delicate. Lacy texture. Very fine, though so delicate that it would need careful food matching. Very pretty and complex with strawberry notes. Textured and intellectual.

- Jancis Robinson (April, 2015)
WA 98+, WS 96, V 96

The star of the show in 2013 is the 2013 Ermitage le Pavillon. Coming from the west and eastern edges of the Bessards lieu-dit and aged in 30% new French oak, its sensational black/blue color is followed by the awesome bouquet of cassis, smoked earth, graphite and caramelized meats that could come from no other terroir in the world. Full-bodied, massive, dense, sexy and with a liquid rock-like character that comes out with time in the glass, it has sweet tannin and a blockbuster finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. It needs 5-6 years of cellaring and will have 30-40 years of more of ultimate longevity.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2015)
WS 90

Bright and lightly toasty, this elegant Champagne layers flavors of cassis, crushed hazelnut and lemon meringue pie on the creamy bead. Drink now through 2019.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2016)
WA 100, JS 100

What a blockbuster effort! Atypically powerful, one day, the 2009 Haut-Brion may be considered to be the 21st century version of the 1959. It is an extraordinarily complex, concentrated effort made from a blend of 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Cabernet Franc with the highest alcohol ever achieved at this estate, 14.3%. Even richer than the perfect 1989, with similar technical numbers although slightly higher extract and alcohol, it offers up a sensational perfume of subtle burning embers, unsmoked cigar tobacco, charcoal, black raspberries, wet gravel, plums, figs and blueberries. There is so much going on in the aromatics that one almost hesitates to stop smelling it. However, when it hits the palate, it is hardly a letdown. This unctuously textured, full-bodied 2009 possesses low acidity along with stunning extract and remarkable clarity for a wine with a pH close to 4.0. The good news is that there are 10,500 cases of the 2009, one of the most compelling examples of Haut-Brion ever made. It requires a decade of cellaring and should last a half century or more. Readers who have loved the complexity of Haut-Brion should be prepared for a bigger, richer, more massive wine, but one that does not lose any of its prodigious aromatic attractions.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2012)
Chateau Margaux 2009 (750 ml)
Our Price: $1,094.99
WS 94

Bright, sleek and elegant, with mouthwatering acidity, this is soft and creamy in texture, offering hints of smoked almond and whole-grain toast, accented by dried apple, crème brûlée and dried herb notes. Rich details of grilled nut and oyster shell linger on the persistent finish. Drink now through 2024.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2014)
WS 90

Bright and lightly toasty, this elegant Champagne layers flavors of cassis, crushed hazelnut and lemon meringue pie on the creamy bead. Drink now through 2019.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2016)
WA 99, WE 99, WS 97

A brilliant offering from the Mentzelopoulos family, once again their gifted manager, Paul Pontallier, has produced an uncommonly concentrated, powerful 2009 Chateau Margaux made from 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest primarily Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. As with most Medocs, the alcohol here is actually lower (a modest 13.3%) than most of its siblings-. Abundant blueberry, cassis and acacia flower as well as hints of charcoal and forest floor aromas that are almost Burgundian in their complexity are followed by a wine displaying sweet, well-integrated tannins as well as a certain ethereal lightness despite the wine's overall size. Rich, round, generous and unusually approachable for such a young Margaux, this 2009 should drink well for 30-35+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2011)
Library Pack Contains Two Bottles Of Each Vintage Below

1999: WA 98
One of the finest Champagnes I have ever brought to my lips, the 1999 Cristal bursts from the glass with fresh hazelnut and apple scents. Elegant, deep, and silky-textured, this medium to full-bodied beauty is immensely concentrated, pure, packed with apple flavors, and astoundingly long in the finish.

- Pierre Rovani, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2005)


2000: WE 92, IWC 92
This is a lightweight Cristal, floating and fresh, without the punch this great wine can have from Pinot Noir. It is also way too young. To taste, there is good balance, but the persistent grapefruit flavor shows the wine’s youth.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2007)

2004: WA 97, WE 97
The 2004 Brut Cristal has put on quite a bit of weight since I first tasted it earlier this year. It is a powerful, structured Cristal layered with considerable fruit. Chardonnay seems to play the leading role in 2004, at least today. Cristal is often accessible young, but that is far from the case here. This is a serious, painfully young Cristal that will require considerable patience. Readers who are willing to spend some time with the wine today will find a super-impressive, complete Cristal. The 2004 Cristal is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. This is Lot L033331E100008, disgorged January, 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2034.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2010)
WA 100, JS 100, WS 99, WE 99

A blend of 91.3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8.7% Merlot with just under 14% natural alcohol, the 2009 Latour is basically a clone of the super 2003, only more structured and potentially more massive and long lived. An elixir of momentous proportions, it boasts a dense purple color as well as an extraordinarily flamboyant bouquet of black fruits, graphite, crushed rocks, subtle oak and a notion of wet steel. It hits the palate with a thundering concoction of thick, juicy blue and black fruits, lead pencil shavings and a chalky minerality. Full-bodied, but very fresh with a finish that lasts over a minute, this is one of the most remarkable young wines I have ever tasted. Will it last one-hundred years? No doubt about it. Can it be drunk in a decade? For sure. Proprietor Francois Pinault and his director, Frederic Engerer, have pulled out all the stops to produce one of the most monumental Latour’s ever made.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2011)

V 97, JS 97, IWC 95, WE 95, WS 95

This elegant version shows beautiful texture and a sense of finesse despite the underlying power of vibrant acidity and smoky minerality. The palate offers a finely layered mesh of blackberry, poached pear, almond pastry, lemon zest and pickled ginger flavors. Drink now through 2028.

- Allison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2013)
Each vintage entirely comes from a single harvest and distillation year. Each vintage clearly expresses its age, which is a specificity of Armagnac and the signature of the house. More than 80 different vintages matured in Château de Laubade’s cellars. Currently, the oldest vintage is from 1888. Each Vintage tells a particular story. A story dealing with the ongoing climate changes, with the unique Cellar Masters’ know-how that has followed one another, along the generations. The casks’ quality and the cellars’ temperature participate to the vintage special identity as well. Finally, each vintage is a particular chapter of the estate and draws on its long history, rich know-how and dedication to quality from several generations of men and women’s high involvement.

Château de Laubade only releases its vintages after a minimum of 15 years of ageing in oak casks from Gascony.