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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)
Chateau Notton is made in the spirit of a "grand vin.” It is assembled from selected batches that yield a round and supple wine that is ready for drinking on release. Chateau Notton is a classic Margaux, combining rich flavors and great finesse. Complex notes of ripe dark cherries, roses, licorice and oak are highly satisfying.
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, WS 91

Leading off the 2012s, the Saint Joseph les Coteaux is a solid value that offers classic saddle leather, ground herbs, pepper and sweet blackberry and raspberry fruit. It’s medium-bodied, supple and elegant, with plenty of fruit. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years. Another brilliantly run estate in the Northern Rhône, Eric and Joel Durand have made rich, concentrated and textured 2012s that show the vintage nicely.

These should drink nicely on release yet evolve gracefully. Their 2013s follow suit, with their top cuvee, the Cornas Confidence, being the only wine that will really require cellaring to become approachable. The style here is quasi-modern, with plenty of destemming and moderate new oak, but the wines all hold onto plenty of Cornas character. They're highly recommended.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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)
JS 92, WS 90

70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. A wine with beautiful purity of fruit and a mineral, chalky undertone. Full-bodied with firm tannins and a fresh finish. Bright and delicious.

- James Suckling
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)
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 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 89-92

An impressive barrel sample, the 2014 Bandol Cuvee Classique shows surprising depth and concentration in the vintage. Notes of dark fruits, mineral and peppery, Provencal herbs all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, beautifully pure, elegant 2014 that should drink reasonably well on release.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (June, 2016)
WA 92, WS 91

More classic, focused and edgy, the 2012 Cornas Empreintes has bright acidity in its medium to full-bodied flavors of smoked herbs, beef blood, licorice and assorted dark fruits. The largest production cuvee, give it 2-3 years and drink it through 2022.

Another brilliantly run estate in the Northern Rhône, Eric and Joel Durand have made rich, concentrated and textured 2012s that show the vintage nicely. These should drink nicely on release yet evolve gracefully. Their 2013s follow suit, with their top cuvee, the Cornas Confidence, being the only wine that will really require cellaring to become approachable. The style here is quasi-modern, with plenty of destemming and moderate new oak, but the wines all hold onto plenty of Cornas character. They're highly recommended.

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

I always love the whites from this estate, and the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc doesn’t disappoint. Medium-bodied, pure, layered and fruit-forward, it dishes up fabulous white peach, tangerine and hints of flowers on the nose. I don’t think it will make old bones, so plan on drinking this over the coming couple of years.

Covering over 80 acres of prime real estate, all of which is in the la Solitude lieu-dit, Domaine de la Solitude is one of the oldest estates in Châteauneuf du Pape. Today it’s run by the Lancon family, who are the direct descendants of the Barberini family who came from Italy and created the estate in 1450. They produce up to four reds and two white Châteauneuf du Papes in any vintage. While they’re most widely known for the Châteauneuf du Papes, don’t miss their Côtes du Rhône, both the red and white are fabulous drinkers and represent value.


- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
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)
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)
WA 92

The dense purple-hued 2009 exhibits a beautiful nose of blueberry liqueur, acacia flowers, licorice, graphite and wood smoke. Flowery and elegant as well as exceptionally pure, medium to full-bodied, admirably concentrated and rich, it is a big Margaux, but does not lose any of the typicity one expects of wines from this area, which tend to be slightly more elegant and less muscular than the St.-Juliens, Pauillacs and St.-Estephes made further north. Given its tannin profile, the 2009 Boyd-Cantenac requires 5-8 years of cellaring and should last for three decades.

This property merits far more attention than it normally receives. While the production at Boyd-Cantenac does not match that of Margaux’s larger estates, this estate consistently over-achieves.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2012)
WE 90-92

Barrel sample. Fruity, attractively balanced wine, the spice and caramel wood flavors fitting well into the sweet, berry fruits.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2012)
WE 93, WA 92, WS 92

The alcohol is more modest at 14% than many other St.-Emilions, but the wine displays a sumptuous personality, with loamy, sandy soil notes interwoven with black currant, blueberry and sweet cherry, some floral nuances and a touch of toasty oak. It is a rich, full-bodied wine with moderate tannin. Give it several years of cellaring and drink it over the following 15 or more years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 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.
WS 93, WA 92

There's a nice charcoal note driving this from the start, while the dark plum, blackberry and black currant fruit waits in reserve. Ganache, licorice snap and tobacco fill in the finish and give this added range, while a singed alder wood note runs underneath for added texture and length. Impressive. Best from 2015 through 2030.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2013)
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)
WE 92

Named after the Chinese facade of this most extraordinary of wineries, this wine is ripe and smooth in a style that brings out richness and a round character. It's already totally integrated, solid while also very generous.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (May, 2015)
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)
JS 93, WS 92, WA 90

This wine has turned out well and is one of the strongest efforts from this estate in many a year. Three-fourths Merlot and the rest mostly Cabernet Franc, the wine offers up oodles of sweet black raspberry, camphor and black currant along with some forest floor and roasted herbs. Super-fruity, opaque ruby/purple, medium to full-bodied, hedonistic and lush, it should drink nicely for at least 10-12+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2013)
Saint-Aubin, in the hills behind Puligny-Montrachet, is the Roux family’s home village. With this white, they have brought out the softness as well as the richness of the village’s wines. A lemon flower aroma is followed by notes of citrus and white fruit, with a touch of spice.
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 93

A horse of a different color, with savory and sage notes streaking past the well-endowed core of glistening plum, blackberry and boysenberry fruit. A polished mesquite edge frames all the elements, while the finish glides on. Best from 2017 through 2027.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2015)
WA 90-92

From a slightly higher elevation site, the 2014 Bandol La Migoua is an elegant, complex 2014 that offers bright acidity, lots of black cherry and black raspberry fruits, medium-bodied richness and fine, sweet tannin. The acidity would give me pause, yet it has terrific mid-palate depth and surprising concentration, all of which suggest short-term cellaring.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (June, 2016)
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)
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)
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 91

A beautiful offering from proprietor Philippe Cuvelier and his estate manager, Tony Balu, the 2007 Clos Fourtet was fashioned from yields of 36 hectoliters per hectare. It exhibits a dense blue/purple color along with lovely aromas of charcoal, graphite, black raspberries, and blueberries. Dense, rich, and surprisingly full-bodied for a 2007, with good glycerin, a layered mouthfeel, sweet tannin, and low acidity, it should drink well for 10-12+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (April, 2010)
WE 93, JS 92

Treated now as a separate wine, rather than a second wine, with its own vineyard, Clos du Marquis has developed a dense, concentrated style. It is firm, chewy, the tannins in suspension in the rich fruit. Good aging potential.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2011)
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)
WS 94

A firm, taut, minerally style, with lots of iron-edged grip striding from start to finish, while red currant and damson plum fruit push out from the core. White pepper and singed juniper details fill in the background. This will need some time to stretch out fully. Best from 2019 through 2030.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Sept, 2016)
WS 92, WA 91-93

The 2012 Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde has a complex, pure, medium to full-bodied feel in its cassis, black raspberry, olive and spice-laced bouquet. Possessing sweet tannin, plenty of fruit and a great finish, it has plenty of similarities to the 2011 and is joy to drink. Enjoy this pleasure-bent effort over the coming decade.

- Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate (Dec, 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 94, JS 93, WA 92+, WS 92

Probably the best wine that has come from this estate, along with their 2005, the final blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot boasts Michel Rolland as the consulting oenologist. This organically farmed vineyard has turned out a deeply layered wine with a striking perfume of graphite, wet stones, red and black currants, tobacco leaf and underbrush. The compelling aromatics are followed by a medium-bodied but intensely concentrated wine with loads of ripe fruit, plenty of glycerin (14% natural alcohol) and a long, nuanced, impressively endowed finish. Accessible already, this wine should continue to drink well for 15 or more years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2012)
WA 90-92

Since there might not be an Ex Voto release in the vintage, the 2012 Hermitage should get all of the top parcels/grapes that would normally go into that cuvée. Still aging in equal parts new and once used barrels (it will see a full 38 months in barrel), it has lots of graphite, chocolate and floral notes to go with a solid core of ripe Syrah fruit. Medium plus-bodied, forward, nicely textured, with ripe tannin and integrated acidity, it should be drinkable on release and evolve gracefully for over a decade. Like a lot of this estate’s wines, it continues to show better every year I taste it.

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

A terrific wine and probably a great value given the pricing for this vintage, Malescot Saint-Exupery’s 2002 exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, notes of anise-infused plum, blackberries, and cherries, broad, full-bodied flavors, wonderful density, yet tremendous purity and elegance. A noble wine that exudes gravitas, give it 2-3 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 15-16 years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (April, 2005)
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)
Maison Albert Bichot is a passionate family business that is run by the 6th generation Alberic Bichot. Their hands on approach in the vineyard and the use of traditional Burgundian winemaking methods has resulted in wonderfully crafted quality wines. The 2013 Domaine du Pavillon Meursault 1er Cru "Les Charmes has a beautiful golden robe worthy of the very best. Generous and flattering with powerful, well-balanced and dense flavors. "This is both more elegant and more complex with its expressive nose of hazelnut, dried apricot, white peach and acacia blossom aromas that evidence only a discreet hint of wood toast. There is good vibrancy and very good detail to the medium-bodied flavors that possess a seductive mouth feel before culminating in a saline-inflected, balanced and utterly delicious finish. I like the balance and this should both drink well young and reward medium-term cellaring if desired.
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)
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)
WE 93, WS 92

This is perfumy and very pure, with lovely lilac and blackberry aromas followed by plum, cassis and black cherry fruit. The supple finish is caressed with toast that leaves a lingering, perfumy feel. Best from 2013 through 2023.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2012)
WA 93, WS 91

The soft, sexy 2009 exhibits a dense plum/purple color along with a big, sweet bouquet of raspberries, black cherries, black currants, smoke and forest floor. Opulent and round with an attractive viscosity as well as outstanding purity, depth and length, it should drink well for two decades. While not one of the longest lived wines of the vintage, it is among the most precocious, flattering and charming at present.

Prieure-Lichine’s beautiful, seductive 2009 is one of the finest efforts yet made at this property that was rejuvenated under the late Alexis Lichine. Quality began improving dramatically about fifteen years ago and with the hiring of wine consultant Stephane Derenoncourt things have improved even further.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2011)
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
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)
WE 95, JS 94, WA 94, IWC 94, WS 94

This wine is more backward than I would have normally expected, but nevertheless, it is very impressive. The 2010 Branaire-Ducru displays an inky bluish purple color and loads of mulberry, raspberry, black currant, graphite and floral notes in its intense aromatics. Medium to full-bodied , with sensational ripeness, purity, texture and length, the tannins are slightly more prominent than I remember from barrel, but they are sweet and ripe (as opposed to astringent and bitter). This beautiful wine needs 4-6 years of cellaring and should keep 25-30 years.

Producer Patrick Maroteaux continues to fine-tune and turn out a succession of brilliant wines from this chateau, which sits across the famous Medoc Route du Vin from Beychevelle.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2013)
V 90-92

Cool aromas of lime, crushed herbs, pepper and mint. Densely packed but light on its feet, conveying moderate richness to its lime, mint and pepper flavors.

- Stephan Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (Aug, 2015)
WA 92, WS 91

This is a beautiful wine and certainly one of the great sleepers of the vintage. I originally predicted that this wine would be at full maturity between 2007 and 2028, but I would push that back by a good 4-5 years. Still inky/purple, with notes of acacia flowers intermixed with wet rocks, black currants, and blueberries, the wine is full-bodied, displays no real evidence of any oak, and offers up terrific concentration, texture, and length. For those who bought this beauty at $30-35 when it was available, this was a terrific buy, and it should continue to evolve for 20+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (June, 2010)
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)
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)
WE 91, WS 90

Smoky aromas emerge and the palate follows with black currant and an initial edge of bitterness. There’s intense acidity on this balanced, medium-term aging wine.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2011)
JS 95, WA 94

A brilliant effort from well-known oenologists Dany and Michel Rolland, the 2009 Bon Pasteur is dominated by Merlot, with a touch of Cabernet Franc included in the blend. It reveals textbook notes of mocha, tobacco leaf, blackberries, black cherries, roasted coffee and wood smoke. Full-bodied and luscious with a succulent, beautifully textured, multidimensional mouthfeel, low acidity and sweet but noticeable tannin, it is reminiscent of the 1982 Bon Pasteur, which continued to put on weight for a decade or more. If the 2009 does the same, it will come close to equaling that legendary vintage. Drink it over the next 20+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2012)
WA 91-93

The 2014 Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses comes from two parcels, one steep and east facing and the other southwest-facing on the flatter part. This is quite reserved at the moment, austere and backward, sultry even with light granitic/flint scents that emerge with time. The palate is more generous, you might argue more "Preuses" with dried apricot and orange zest, good weight on the finish but without the pizzazz of the nascent Vaudésir at the moment.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (July, 2015)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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+

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)
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)
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)
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)
WA 95, WE 94, JS 93

A spectacular effort from this estate rivaling their 2005, but more flashy/flamboyant, this dark ruby/purple wine has a strikingly intense nose of licorice, flowers, plums and dark berries. Medium to full-bodied, very approachable and silky, this suave, very sexy wine can be drunk early on as well as aged for 20+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2012)
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 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)
WE 93, WA 93, WS 93

A beguiling tobacco leaf note weaves up and away from the core of steeped plum and mulled currant fruit, while a sleek iron accent forms the spine and a loamy element creates the backdrop. Shows some pleasant latent grip while the currant detail echoes. Best from 2018 through 2027.

- James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (March, 2015)
WA 91-93

The 2012 Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru Clos des Reas, Michel Gros’s famous monopole to the south of Vosne-Romanee village, has a complex, mineral driven bouquet with black rather than red fruit, touches of gingerbread and marmalade loitering with intent in the background. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, fine tannins and good purity of fruit. It is harmonious and focused with a gentle build to what feels like a structured, saline finish reminiscent of the sea. This is a very fine Clos des Reas: one of the finest and perhaps overlooked premier crus of the appellation.

- Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2013)
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)
Only 36 bottles due to arrive in the United States.

Vineyard situated in the upper part of the clos. Same soil as Les Echezeaux with heavier earth containing iron.Robust and powerful wine, with black fruit aromas. After 10 to 15 years of maturing made possible by a good tannic structure, aromas of candied fruits and liquorice stand out.

Soil: Limestone with fossils from the Bajocian (Middle-Jurassic) Era mixed with dark-red clay and flat stones (lava). This is heavy, iron-rich soil.

Details: The grapes are completely hand harvested. The fermentation takes place naturally, in open tank, without the addition of any yeasts. This continues for almost 15 days after harvest at a controlled temperature not exceeding 30 degrees Celsius with twice-daily punch-downs. Each barrel was matured for 14-15 months, with a malolactic fermentation and light filtration before bottling.
Only 30 bottles due to arrive in the United States.

A rich and well balanced wine with great character, and with black fruits and flowers aromas. Both powerful and elegant.

Soil: Limestone with fossils from the Bajocian (Middle-Jurassic) Era mixed with dark-red clay and flat stones (lava)
Details: Handpicked, entirely by hand. Crop is entirely destalked. Vat maturation for a 12 day period. Cap is punched twice daily, with one ‘pumping over’, whilst the temperature of fermentation is between 15 and 20°C. 10% matured in new oak, whilst the remainder matures in old oak.
WE 92, WA 90

This château is progressing well in raising its quality as this big, chunky wine shows. The fruit has a solid texture, with great black swirls of dark berry and smoky flavors in a tannic cloak.

- Roger Voss, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2011)
Only 30 bottles due to arrive in the United States.

Soil from the Later Bathonian era, white marls and limestone. Wine with white flower fragrance (acacia, honeysuckle), with aromas of honey and smoke guaranteed to stand up to bottle ageing thanks to its structure and balance.

The wine is sourced from one parcel in Pernand and one parcel in Corton Pouget. The fermentation (using only the native yeasts) ends in barrel with a controlled temperature of between 18-22 degrees Celsius to ensure that aromatic freshness is maintained. The wine remains in cask a little over 10 months, never using more than 10% new oak.
JS 94, WE 94, WA 93

One of the fabulous sleepers of the vintage and a wine for serious Bordeaux afficionados to consider buying, the 2008 is a blend of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 9% Petit Verdot that achieved 13.5% natural alcohol. Surprisingly backward for a 2008, it is medium to full-bodied with moderate tannins, lots of purity and abundant charcoal, black currant and floral notes. The sweetness of the fruit, depth of flavor and textured, lush mouthfeel in this medium to full-bodied, ageworthy 2008 are impressive. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades. I would not be surprised if it turns out to be as impressive as the 2010.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (May, 2011)
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)
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)
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 92

Leads off with honey, citronella and toast flavors, with an undercurrent of lemon and apple notes. Balanced, needing time for the refined structure to integrate. Subtle intensity and length build to a lingering aftertaste. Best from 2014 through 2022. 210 cases imported.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (2013)
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)
JS 98

The purity to this is so compelling. It's like glacier mountain water on the nose and palate. Full-bodied yet agile and bright with incredible depth and style. It goes on for minutes. Like drinking the purist water. A loss for words.

- James Suckling (June, 2015)
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)
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)
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)
WE 95, JS 95, IWC 94, WA 93, WS 93

The 2008 Cheval Blanc (55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc) is a winner from this underrated, classic vintage. Notes of forest floor, Asian plum sauce, black currants, sweet cherries and spice are followed by a medium to full-bodied wine with deep fruit, admirable purity, and a long, textured finish. There is not a hard edge to this wine, and in all likelihood, it can be drunk now or cellared for two decades.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2011)
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 97, IWC 95

The 2005 Mouton Rothschild (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc) has a sensational nose of crème de cassis and incense as well as a touch of lead pencil shavings and forest floor. Dense purple, this is one of the biggest, richest wines I tasted from the Médoc. It is full-bodied, pure, and impressively endowed. Certainly the selection process and the vineyard have come through in admirable form. This wine has a certain accessibility due to the sweetness of the tannin, but it is multidimensional, with a majestic mouthfeel and length. Drink it over the next 30+ years.

- Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (June, 2015)
JS 95, IWC 92-95

A dense and tight white with a compressed palate and super refined texture. Full body plus bright apple and pear with hints of vanilla cream. Goes on for a long, long time. Tiny production, about half of normal. Better in 2017.

- James Suckling (June, 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)
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)
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. Louis Roederer does not display a disgorgement date or consumer friendly lot number on its non-vintage Brut. This is regrettable as it has consistently been one of the finer bottlings in this category.

- 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)
WE 90-95

The bouquet offers scents of thyme, tarmac and pepper. The palate entry is luscious and bittersweet; the midpalate stage is chock full of nougat, honey and dark chocolate tastes. Concludes sweet, medium-bodied, Sherried and honeyed. A true pleasure.

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.
WA 97

The 1998 Dom Pérignon has an intense white-golden color and is beautifully clear and fine on the nose, which indicates a lovely maturity and displays grey bread, almond cake and iodine flavors, along with lemon and orange aromas. This clarity and mineral freshness proceeds on the highly elegant, finesse-full and silky textured palate, and the complexly flavored, very distinguished finish is dry and mineral, revealing a stimulating salinity and tension. The 1998 seems young still, but is certainly a great pleasure to drink and will be for many years. During a visit at Dom Pérignon in Hautvillers in March this year, I tasted the three recent vintages of the prestige cuvée plus the often-underrated 1998. Along with the Dom Pérignon Rosé 2004, it was the most fascinating cuvée of the tasting that was as spiritual as it was adequate with regards to the history of the human Dom Pérignon.

- Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)