Lustau Palo Cortado, Sherry

Palo Cortado Lustau

The rarest and most mysterious style of Sherry, this Palo Cortado from the esteemed Bodega Lustau weds the elegance and dryness of a Fino with the beautiful salted caramel aromatics and viscous mouthfeel of an Oloroso. 19%abv and bone dry; pale amber fading to gold with bright reflections in the glass. Fig, dried apricot, cola, and toasted almond on the nose. Mouth-filling and dry with a fresh acidity and a long, salted nut finish. Disclaimer: This is NOT a dessert wine, unless (like this taster) your favorite dessert is cheese. Insanely versatile. In the past week I’ve paired this wine with everything from chicken liver mousse crostini with fig jam, to roasted chicken with stringbeans almondine and garlic potatoes, even a light meal of miso soup with edamame. #fortifiedtilidie  W.M

Chablis Villes Vignes 2016, Domaine George

The Estate’s Petit Chablis is made from a plot with Portlandian soil of aged limestone that lies in the shadow of the great Montmain vineyard. The Chablis, Vieilles Vignes and Montmains ‘Butteaux’ wines are grown in Kimmeridgian soils comprised of limestone, clay and marine fossils (from the area’s history as a sea floor). 
VARIETAL: 100% Chardonnay
VINEYARD: 50 year old vines; in Courgis, considered one of the most mineral areas of Chablis, with Kimmeridgian soil (Jurassic period)
WINEMAKING: Traditional fermentation with native yeast in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks
AGING: 12-18 months in stainless steel
TASTING NOTES: Pale yellow color with green reflections. Clear and pure nose that develops as the wine ages. The mouth is well balanced with the typical minerality of Chablis well represented. 

Groth Sauvignon Blanc 2017

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Valley Floor Sauvignon Blanc from one of Oakville’s top grower/producers. Medium straw and star-bright. Mandarin, lime and grapefuit aromatics intermingle with tropical fruit, grass, wet stone and asparagus. Very energetic on the palate. Full-throttle citrus attack, followed by a seemingly soft midpalate leading to a crisp, herbaceous and bitter finish. Lipsmackingly fresh and DYING for food. Think goat cheese, halibut and beef stroganoff. W.M.

L’Ermitage Brut 1997

Top bottling from Roederer Estate’s Mendocino property in the Anderson Valley. 50/50 Pinot/Chard topped with a “reserve dosage” aged at least 5yrs in French oak before an additional five months of bottle ageing before release. A gentle layer of fine bubbles appear upon pouring but quickly dissipate, revealing a medium-concentrated gold wine showing its maturity with rather dull reflections. True to the hot ’97 growing season, ripe, even baked bartlett pear and golden apple abound on the nose, along with hazelnut, brioche, butterscotch and toffee. Rich, full and broad on the attack, but cut nicely with a brilliant acidity that makes for quite an energetic finish for such a seemingly developed wine. Surprisingly complex, definitely enjoy this sparkler with rich dishes. Entrées, ideally. W.M

The Mendocino Ridge AVA is coastal with cool climate and high altitude located in the Mendocino County. It goes from the Pacific Ocean inland to the Anderson Valley.

Chateau Haut Brion 2003

The Bordeaux wine region is located in the southwest of France, with the city of Bordeaux as its business center. The success of Bordeaux are its geological foundation of limestone with a lot of calcium, the soil is composed of Gravel (left bank), sandy stone and clay (right bank) and the affluence of the Gironde river and its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers bringing with their waters an Oceanic influence.

These rivers define the areas where Bordeaux is made:

  • The Right Bank: is located right of the Dordogne river close to the city of Libourne. The main grape here is Merlot and the most famous communes are St.Emilion and  Pomerol.
  • Entre-Deux-Mers: between two seas (meaning the rivers).
  • The Left Bank: located on the left of the Garonne river and south of Bordeaux can be divided into 2 sub-regions: Graves and Medoc, the main grape is Cabernet Sauvignon and the most famous communes that produce First Growth Chateauxfrom the 1855 Classification are: Margaux, Paulliac, St. Estephe, St. Julien, Haut-Medoc and Pessac-Leognan the latter producing some quality Sauvignon Blanc blended with Semillon. South of Pessac-Leognan is Sauternes, famous for the botrytise wines made with Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscatelle
Haut Brion
This historic first growth Bordeaux (Thomas Jefferson’s favorite) is developing quite nicely, reaching its prime. The wine is nearly black and turbid in appearance. Very musky aromatics; picture drying black fruits being rolled down a dusty gravel road. Surprisingly round and lifted on the palate as the tannins feel mature and considerably soft; dark, brooding midpalate comes to a finish dominated by bitter, damp earth minerality. Probably best to enjoy with a ribeye steak within the next five years.W.M

Beringer Chardonnay 2016, Oak Knoll District

The ‘terroir‘ and climate in California varies a lot, the Pacific Ocean brings cold winds that generates a temperate climate and fog nearby, while mountain barriers like in Sonoma and Napa keeps the weather warm. There are more then 100 AVAs in California among which the famous Napa, Russian River Valley, Rutherford and Sonoma. The largest wine region is the Central Valley.

 

A fairly new project from one of California’s oldest wineries. This valley floor Chardonnay is nothing short of classic: bright moderate-lemon in color with complex aromatics of meyer lemon, dried pineapple, bread, cream and subtle hints of hazelnut. The palate is full of energy; ripe and round on the attack but the balanced acidity is definitely present on the mid-palate and finish. Drink now or cellar for a more toasty, honeyed style in 8-10 years. W.M

 

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Domaine Henry Boillot, 1er Cru Les Fremiets 2005

Burgundy’s prized vineyards stretch from the city of Auxerre in the north down to the city of Macon in the south. In Auxerre we find the wines of Chablis, made with the Chardonnaygrapes, moving south we traverse Irancy and its red wines and Saint Bris with Sauvignon Blancs.

While moving south we reach the place where the most sought-after and expensive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay based wines are made, the Cote D’Or, where in fact all of Burgundy Grand Cru vineyards except for Chablis Grand Cru are.

The Cote D’Or is divided in two main sub-regions, Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaunethat stretch south for about 70 kilometers from Dijon to Dezize-le-Maranges. This is where we find “Village” wine in the lower part of the slopes and “Premier Cru” to “Grand Cru” as we move higher. The Cote de Nuits contains 24 of the 25 red (Pinot Noir) Grand Crus, while the Cote de Beaune has all of the white (Chardonnay) Grand Crus.

Volnay 2005 Henry Boillot

Cooked red fruit, rose petal and rosemary all stand out on the subtly complex nose. Viscous and rounded on the palate with a nice undercurrent of minerality. Some savory bitterness on the finish. The weight and ripeness of fruit here call for a rich mushroom risotto. W.M

Dr.Heger, Pinot Noir, Vorderer Winklerberg, Ihringen, 2014

German wines fall into a classification depending on their quality, from Tafelwein, Landwein, Qualitatswein Bestimmter Anbaugebeite (QbA) to Pradikatswein. QbA and Pradikatswein are then subdivided in Anbaugebiet (wine region), Bereich ( a small area inside the wine region “Anbaugebiet“), Grosslage ( vineyards inside the small area “Bereich“), and finally the Einzellage ( single vineyard, situated inside the “Grosslage”).

Of the 13 major wine regions (Anbaugebiete) the most important that produce most quality wines are: Mosel, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Nahe, Ahr. These 13 wine regions (Anbaugebiete) are divided into 39 districts (Bereiche) which are also divided into vineyard sites (Großlagen).

Pinot Noir 2014 Dr.Heger

Grosses Gewachs wine of the Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) grape from volcanic soils in Germany’s Baden region. Serious intensity on the nose, remeniscent of red cherries and smoked meat. Rounded, smooth palate is dominated by a mineral undercurrent. This is a real wine of “terroir;” super earthy, persistent and very versatile at the table. W.M