Tag Archives: chateauneuf du pape wine

2010 Pesquie: A 94 Point Cotes du Rhone As Rich As Chateauneuf.

Alexandre & Frederic Chaudiere of chateau PesquieYou can see Mt. Ventoux, that giant mountain northeast of Chateauneuf, from all over Provence. Yet only a few people realize it is a great part of the Rhone climbing back to fame. But I know and so does anyone who has opened a bottle of the lush and spicy Chateau Pesquie’s Terrasses. Including Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson. The Bastide family started the domaine 30 years ago and in recent years has been nailing good reviews for years (90, 91, 92 points), but never as high the 2010, a great vintage in the Rhone and exceptional for Pesquie: 94 points and “absolutely stunning” according to the Wine Advocate. A blockbuster, so rich and complex you’d swear it was a top Chateauneuf du Pape, blackberries, raspberries and everything else in the Rhone kitchen, licorice, tea, spice and pepper. One explanation is that the vineyards are in the promising AOC on the clay and limestone slopes of Ventoux where the Mediterranean weather hits the Alps. Another explanation is that this wine is a custom blend of our friend, the brilliant Rhoniac Eric Solomon. Right now Pesquie is our little secret and I can let you have some at our lowest price ever.  You hafta get in on this before everyone else finds out.

2010 Chateau Pesquie Terrasses, Côtes du Ventoux2010 Chateau Pesquie Terrasses, Côtes du Ventoux

…stunning dense bluish/purple color offers up notes of sweet blueberries, black cherry liqueur, licorice, incense, and a hint of hot rocks … hits the palate with amazing texture, succulence, fabulous fruit intensity, vivid purity and a vigorous, long, fresh finish…94 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

URGENT: ’09 Vieux Telegraphe Has Landed. 94 WA. Wow!

2009 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape, Chateauneuf-du-Pape (750ml)What a year for Chateauneuf. The hits just keep coming. I’ve told you that the 2009 vintage was one of the best in memory, and it shows all through the Southern Rhone. In the great properties like Vieux Telegraphe the quality of the ’09 harvest shines brilliantly to me. All the grapes come from the high stony plateau called la Crau, where the telegraph relay station once stood (a semaphore telegraph, not electric). VT is testament to the Brunier family’s commitment to the terroir of Chateauneuf. Its plummy thickness and spicy core partly the result of importer Kermit Lynch’s urging that the wine not be filtered. That depth of trust between the winemaker and importer has translated into a lengendary wine, one that has influenced palates for years and will for many more to come. Anyone having drunk one of these jewels at 15 yrs. of age will remember the experience, and here is another one to put away to open another day. I bought it up in all formats from half-bottles to double magnum to satisfy a party of as many close friends as you wish. You’re gonna want that.
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“This is crammed with fruit, spice and structure, as braised fig, plum skin, cassis and anise notes wrestle with roasted apple wood, melted red licorice and tar for now. The embedded grip should carry the finish until this assimilates fully…”  94 Points, Wine Spectator

Pesquie Prize Pack: 94 Point Wine

Never seen it before either yet it’s true. When you taste the 2010 Terrasses from Pesquie, you’ll be a believer too. Pesquie is a favorite estate of Parker and in 2010 it has made a blockbuster. Old vine Grenache and Syrah so rich you’d swear it was a top Chateauneuf-du-Pape, with blackberries, raspberries and everything else in the Rhone kitchen, licorice, tea, spice and pepper. One secret is that the vineyards are in the promising AOC on the slopes of Mont Ventoux, that beautiful chunk of Provence in the last stages of the Tour de France. The other is that the wine is a custom blend of our friend, the brilliant Eric Solomon. You won’t be satisfied with just one bottle at this price and I can’t let you take it all, so I’ve put together a phenomenal case deal. You get nine bottles of the 2010 Terrasses (94WA) and I’ll throw in three more Pesquies you must try. These are a true bonus, the vivacious Viognier from 2010  and Pesquie’s two top dollar cuvees, the sleek Syrah-based 2009 Quintessence (93WA) and the great big super cuvee Artemia from 2005. That makes a case of Provence at its best for a remarkable bottle average. You’re gonna want that.

Pesquie Prize Sampler Pack

Pesquie Prize Pack

9 Bottles: 2010 Terrasses (94WA)

1 Bottle: 2010 Viognier

1 Bottle: 2005 Artemia

1 Bottle: 2009 Quintessence (93WA)

When Beaucastel came to Clearwater, oh my.

Chris Ponte

Tampa Bay's best French-trained chef Chris Ponte.

Beaucastel When we heard a couple of months ago that Cesar Perrin, a bright young son of the Beaucastel family, was coming to town we decided to pair the great name of Chateauneuf du Pape with our Tampa Bay’s best French-trained chef Chris Ponte.  We knew Perrin would bring great wines from the terrific 2009 vintage, we didn’t know he would bring a 100-pointer! Neither did he. The day before the dinner, Robert Parker gave a perfect score to the old vine cuvee of the CdP blanc, the loveliest wine anyone makes from marsanne, and 96 points to almost everything else.

To be honest, Cesar seemed shell-shocked but happily so. He had managed to bring two bottles each of the VV blanc and the CdP rouge, just enough for everyone to taste an ounce or so. A stunning sip that brought superlatives at every table, remarkable wine that demonstrated that 2009 was superb in the souther Rhone — and that white Cdp was extravagantly so.

The food matched beautifully with all of Ponte’s style from Cordon Bleu, Taillevent and Payard, We started with hors d’ouevres of soft quail eggs in the shell and house made gravlax, and went on through duck breast with fig butter and sweet potato frites to a duo of lamb,  lamb saddle with apricots and a small dish of a Moroccan lamb stew. Subtle but exotic spices that matched all the Rhone’s warm, intriguing flavors. Yet the biggest reds, like the 2007 CdP rouge, shifted happily into cheese-worthy mode
against Camembert and then settled down with a final taste of chocolate and candied fruit.

Beaucastel and Cafe Ponte, great pair and great pairings.  We’ll be back for sure.

 

The Rhones Parker Loves: 98, 96 pt Chateauneufs of 2009

2007 Sabon Cuvee Prestige, Chateauneuf-du-PapeI’m more in love with Chateauneuf du Pape than ever after our trip through the southern Rhone this spring. While the big-shots were fighting over the ’09 first growths in Bordeaux, we Rhone lovers found 2009 ripe and juicy, bottom to top. And the top was near perfection in premium cuvée at Janasse and Sabon, two of my long-time favorites. I agree with Parker on both of these. Few wines merit a 95, let alone a 98, a 96 or a 99, but Parker found 2009 full of them in CdP and around the Cotes as well. I did too and bought big in this vintage so I can offer them to you at prices and ESAVE deals that will make your holiday bright. A secret, the 2010′s are as rich, but there’s no need to wait, the 2009 Janasse and Sabon and the rest of the vintages at all sizes and prices are super star feasts right now. You’re gonna want that.

2009 Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Prestige

“Moreover, once it hits the palate, the high glycerin, silky tannins, low acidity and luxurious concentration provide a compelling drinking experience. This spectacular Chateauneuf du Pape is one of the wines of the vintage…”  96 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2009 Domaine de la Janasse Cuvee Chaupin, Chateauneuf-du-Pape2009 Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Chaupin

“…this wine has really put on richness and intensity since I tasted it last year. An absolutely magnificent wine, it scored a good four points higher this year…”  98 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

My best new Rhone guy, Romain Roche, is back. Parker loves him too! (93 points)

2009 Domaine Roche Cotes du Rhone Villages BousquetteYou probably remember how thrilled we were after meeting Romain when Team B-21 was in Cairanne this winter. The commune is one of those small communes that count as CdR Villages and I bet will be the next Vacqueyras. The senior Roches had sold their grapes to the co-op for years, but young Romain had been abroad and about the wine world and knew their knotty gnarled Grenache vines had the stuff for a better future. He got advice from Philippe “The Wise” Cambie and set to work happily in a no-name barn next to the vineyards full of red concrete vats. With that gorgeous 2009 vintage, the proof was in Bousquette, his best cuvée, deep intense plummy and spicy, as rich as anything outside of Chateauneuf (and better than many). You loved it so much we ran out, but I’ve lined up a bit more, the last of that juicy vintage. You’re gonna want that.

2009 Domaine Roche Cairanne La Bousquette

“…stunning roasted herbs, garrigue, lavender, black cherry and raspberry with some pepper and loamy soil notes. The complex aromatics are followed by a broad, expansive, full-bodied wine with fabulous density, sweet tannin and a long finish. This is
absolutely amazing wine…” 93 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

 

100 Point Clos St. Jean: Superstar ’09s At Last

Clos Saint Jean I should have known how much you’d love the Chateauneufs from Clos Saint Jean. At 94, 97, 98, 100 points, how could you not? We couldn’t keep up with demand when we first offered them a few weeks ago. But we are once again ready with these heavenly CdPs from our friends the Maurel brothers and their genius adviser Philippe Cambie. We were knocked over tasting the wines in Chateauneuf this winter, inky, meaty and still creamy. You all got a kick when we invited them and their wines to Tarpon Springs. Heavenly flavors they call out of that rocky terroir and ancient vines: licorice, blackberry, tar, smoke, and spice. You know that, the point is I have a good supply coming in from the Vieille Vignes to the brilliant “Deus Ex Machina”, magnums and double mags for the lucky. The Vieilles Vignes is a steal! Don’t be a fool and miss out. Get your orders in now to claim your share of the best wines the southern Rhone has produced. You’re gonna want that.

2009 Clos Saint Jean Blanc, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

“It exhibits copious notes of rose water, honeysuckle, marmalade, poached pears and lemon blossom in a medium to full-bodied style.”  91 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2009 Clos Saint Jean VV,Chateauneuf-du-Pape

“…its deep ruby/purple hue is followed by sweet aromas of black raspberries, blackberries, tar, licorice, truffles and graphite.”  92-94 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2009 Clos Saint Jean la Combe des Fous, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

“…reveals glorious aromas of spring flowers, raspberries, blackberries, white chocolate, truffles and garrigue.”  95-97 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

Sexy ’07 Chateauneuf du Pape is Eddie Feraud’s best: 93 pts!

2007 Eddie Feraud CdPAnd his best is getting better. Just opened another bottle of ’07 the other night and it was moving on up gorgeously. For me 2007 in the Rhone was exceptional but even better in wines like the sumptuous CdP of Domaine Eddie Feraud. Eddie Feraud is a special favorite of mine. This is classic old-vine Chateauneuf. You get an amazing spectrum of flavors, juicy fruits from cherry to blackberry, plus meaty, smoky tastes, herbs and pepper spice. Together, the Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre are velvety on the tongue, strong of backbone and long finishing. To make sure you try it, I have knocked the price down to $34.99, a luscious bottle at a steal. You’re gonna want that.

2007 Eddie Feraud, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

“Bright ruby. Lively raspberry, cherry and rose aromas are complemented by notes of star anise, candied flowers and white pepper.”  93 Points,Stephen Tanzer, IWC

Secret Sabon, Serious Sale: ’07 Chateauneuf, 97+WA!

Roger Sabon CdPThe Sabons have been in Chateauneuf for centuries. Very traditional, very discreet. Won’t say exactly what’s in their top Secret de Sabon. Nothing quiet about the wine or the critics, ever since they started making this cuvee in ’98, the wine and the critics have been racing for 100 perfection and yelling from the rooftops. There’s not much of it, but I’ve got the 2007 here and at way under $200, far less than what collectors usually pay. And I’ve corralled all the Sabon Chateauneufs of the 2007 vintage, from Les Olivets through the Reserve and Prestige in equally tempting deals. You get the same Sabon style and intense sense of place, lavender fields, and stony hillsides of gorse and herbes de Provence. I know you’re going to want Sabon on your private CDP list. Every one is full of berries and spice and a bolt of kirsch, whatever the price. Your cellar should have a well guarded Secret or two. You’re gonna want that.

2007 Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape Olivets

“This sexy, full-bodied wine possesses a dark plum/purple color, abundant aromas of pepper, lavender, forest floor, and roast beef, a lush, layered style…”  90 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2007 Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Réserve

“The full-bodied 2007 exhibits plenty of glycerin, a multilayered texture, and a sensational combination of rich black currant and kirsch fruit intermixed with licorice, roasted herb, and forest floor notes.”  92 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2007 Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Prestige

“The wine possesses terrific depth, a blockbuster, opulent, multilayered texture, and a finish that lasts nearly 50 seconds.”  95 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2007 Sabon Chateauneuf du Pape Le Secret des Sabon

“..it possesses a dense plum/purple color to the rim as well as an extraordinary perfume of cedarwood, tobacco leaf, creosote, licorice, black fruits, smoke…”  97+ Points, Robert Parker’s WA

 

My Best Buy in 2009 Chateauneuf: Don’t Miss Domaine Giraud (93, 94)!

2009 Domine Giraud TraditionMarie and Francois, the young siblings who now run Giraud are some of my favorite folks. They’re among the smartest of the new CDP generation and just lovely people. Team B-21′s still talking about the 2 hour lunch with Marie (at Restaurant Gerard Alonso in Sorgues, one menu, his choice, exquisite. Tell him I sent you). All of you raved when we opened the Gallimardes at the Eric Solomon container sale this spring. The 2009 wines are intense and full of their passion, dark fruit with a kiss of kirsch and licorice, especially from 100 year-old Grenache in the stony Gallimardes vineyard (the large round pebbles that warm the vines in the evening). Be sure to try the Gallimardes blanc, the best white Chateauneuf I’ve had in a long time, richer than a lot of red CDP’s! And at $10 off you’d be a fool to pass it up. All the Giraud wines, red and white, are top value in the AOC, superstars of a great vintage and at real-people prices. You’re gonna want that.

2009 Domaine Giraud Tradition, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

“Dense but stylish, with a silky texture to the cassis, macerated cherry and linzer torte flavors, followed by ample spice, pepper, warm ganache and black tea…” 93 Points, Wine Spectator

2009 Domaine Giraud Chateauneuf du Pape Gallimardes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

“Red rounded and fleshy, with a very juicy core of kirsch, black currant and plum fruit layered with mouthwatering notes of sweet spice and tobacco…”  94 Points, Wine Spectator

2009 Domaine Giraud ‘Gallimardes’ Blanc, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

“Very ripe and lush, with gorgeous white peach, persimmon, creamed pear, spring ginger and salted butter flavors that all glide seamlessly together through the lengthy, pure finish.”  93 Points, Wine Spectator

The Telegraphe you waited for: Order terrific 2009 now and save big!

Timing is everything in the vineyard and in the trade. Of course the 2009 Rhone vintage is a doozy judging by what we tasted from the barrel in Chateauneuf this winter. The legendary importer Kermit Lynch says it’s majestic and I trust him. Earlier this year I tasted the 2006 (from magnum) with Kermit, and what a dinner that was! In some ways I prefer the ’06 over the famous 2007. But then VT has been a winner since we started offering 30+ years ago. Fortunately the euro offered some relief in the last few weeks so the savings is all yours. Vieux Telegraphe has been great for decades but rarely such a deal. And I’ve got half bottles for only $35 if you just want a sip of this exquisite wine. You’re gonna want that.

“The 2009 reminds me of their awesome 1983 because of its wild, animal side, its2009 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape density and rusticity. You’ve tasted noble rot – here is noble rusticity. Yet it also has a lot of charm, somehow – black fruits, chocolate, and a kirsch-like note. That firm backbone in the depths of the wine is a gift of their stony vineyard, La Crau. The big tannic presence doesn’t dry one’s palate at all-no, it is sumptuous-the tannin just seems to sink in. There is majesty to it – it is imposing.” - Kermit Lynch

2009 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape

“This is crammed with fruit, spice and structure, as braised fig, plum skin, cassis and anise notes wrestle with roasted apple wood, melted red licorice and tar for now. The embedded grip should carry the finish until this assimilates fully. Best from
2014 through 2024.”  94 Points, Wine Spectator

Feasting on La Nerthe at Mise, rare vintage CdP dinner Oct.5

Make reservations for La Nerthe DinnerWe’ve got a whale of a wine dinner next week for anyone who takes their elegance with a whiff of spice, which means people like me, a Rhone lover and a Marty Blitz fan.  Chateau La Nerthe, the legendary Chateauneuf du Pape estate has chosen Tampa Bay as one of the three U.S. cities for a private tasting and sale of the best vintages of the last 20 years. You know CdP’s are at their best in infancy, go dormant, and come roaring back in four or five years. How about 1989 or 2000?  You’ll get your chance Wednesday Oct. 5.

What to serve with the lusty fruit and rich spices of La Nerthe? We nominated the wide ranging tasted of Mise en Place, now in its 25th year as Tampa’s most imaginative fine dining.  The cost is $89 all inclusive. But I bet you’ll want some for your cellar too. You don;t want to miss this one.

100 Point Clos St. Jean Superstar ’09s At Last

Vincent Maurel, Gerard Bru, Phillippe Cambie and Michel GassierI should have known how much you’d love the Chateauneufs from Clos Saint Jean. At 94, 97, 98, 100 points, how could you not? We couldn’t keep up with demand when we first offered them a few weeks ago. But we are once again ready with these heavenly CdPs from our friends the Maurel brothers and their genius adviser Philippe Cambie. We were knocked over tasting the wines in Chateauneuf this winter, inky, meaty and still creamy. You all got a kick when we invited them and their wines to Tarpon Springs. Heavenly what flavors they call out of that rocky terroir and ancient vines: licorice, blackberry, tar, smoke, and spice. You know that, the point is I have a good supply coming in from the Vieille Vignes to the brilliant “Deus ex Machina”, magnums and double mags for the lucky. The Vieilles Vignes is a steal! Don’t be a fou and miss out. Get your orders in now to claim your share of the best wines the southern Rhone has produced. You’re gonna want that.

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2009 Clos Saint Jean CdP Blanc

“A small amount of white wine is made from one hectare of vines… It exhibits copious notes of rose water, honeysuckle, marmalade, poached pears and lemon blossom in a medium to full-bodied style.” 91 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2009 Clos Saint Jean CdP Vieilles Vignes

“…Sweet aromas of black raspberries, blackberries, tar, licorice, truffles and graphite. It is a full-bodied, impressive example of a Chateauneuf du Pape that seems to brilliantly represent both the traditional and modern schools of winemaking without losing any typicity.” 92-94 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2009 Clos Saint Jean CdP La Combe des Fous

“…It is more in the style of the virtually perfect 2005… reveals glorious aromas of spring flowers, raspberries, blackberries, white chocolate, truffles and garrigue. The extraordinary perfume is followed by a sensationally concentrated, full-bodied wine with magnificent texture, structure, purity and equilibrium…”  95-97 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2009 Clos Saint Jean CdP Deus Ex Machina

“…notes of tree bark, roasted porcini mushrooms, beef blood, grilled Provencal herbs, steak tartare, licorice, blackberries and kirsch. The perfume nearly overloads the olfactory senses. In the mouth, this modern day legend in the making is massive, backward and full-bodied… This is one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted in my life… from anywhere!”  96-98+ Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2009 Clos Saint Jean CdP Sanctus Sanctorum 1.5L

“…amazing kirsch liqueur intermixed with lavender, spice box and roasted herbs as well as a phenomenal purity and unctuosity that lead to a voluptuous texture and a finish that goes on well past a minute. This is an other-worldly wine. An absolutely monumental effort, it is only bottled in magnums (200 or so produced), so the number of people who will ever be able to taste it is, sadly, very limited…”  95-100 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

Blindfolded at Bern’s: Best wine of the night was… Guigal!

Marcel and Philippe Guigal at B-21It’s a great game we get to play at Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa. My buddy, Brad the Sommelier, prepares a selection from an enormous cache of older wine for us, and serves each wine blind. Several weeks ago we were in the final quarter with the most luscious wine of the night – and the last of the Chateaubriand. It had that true Rhone spice signature inside a deep rich elegance. Others thought the wine was a 1985 Chateauneuf du Pape. I was certain. Brad revealed the label: 1989 Guigal Cotes du Rhone. Probably sold for $7 twenty years ago! That’s the sign of a truly great house: Guigal shows clear style and high quality from the lowest rungs all the way to the single vineyard Cote-Rotie. See for yourself with the 2007 CdRs, red or white, simple yet complex enough to get 90 points from Parker. No longer $7, but I’ve marked down B-21′s price for you. Or move up to Gigondas, one of my favorite AOC’s; Guigal’s 2007 scored 92-94, and top it off with a killer deal on Guigal’s CdP from 2005, one of the great vintages of the decade. Have them all and you will have the right answer for any question: Guigal. You’re gonna want that!

 

2007 Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge2007 Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rouge

“Intriguing, highly perfumed aromas of red- and blackcurrant, cherry, dried flowers and tobacco, with powerful spice and black olive accents; the Syrah is center stage today.  Graceful and focused, with sweet dark fruit and floral pastille flavors that coat the palate…”  90 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2009 Guigal CdR Blanc2009 Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc

“50% Viognier and the rest a blend of Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette and Bourboulenc aged in tank, is just lovely. Fresh honeyed notes with some tropical fruits and other assorted citrus all jump from the glass of this medium-bodied, crisp, fresh wine, which over-delivers in personality, flavor and complexity…”  89 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2007 Guigal Gigondas2007 Guigal Gigondas

“The best Gigondas from Guigal that I have ever tasted will certainly be the 2007… This remarkable Gigondas is scheduled to be bottled within the next several months. Dense plum/purple, with notes of garrigue, crushed rock, blueberry, and black raspberries, the wine is full-bodied, with stunning purity, a multi-layered texture, and a long finish…”  92-94 Points, Robert Parker’s WA

2005 Guigal Rouge Chateauneuf-du-Pape2005 Guigal CdP

“This is a deep, rich, concentrated wine that will probably spend as much time in foudre and tank as the famed Henri Bonneau’s top cuvee of Chateauneuf du Pape….”  92 Points, Robert Parker’s WA, 96 points, Wine & Spirits Magazine