Lafon-Rochet 2012, Bordeaux

Bordeaux “second wines” are great for inspired sipping at an “everyday” price point. Beautifully ripe cassis fruit mingles with dusty mineral earth and anise on the nose. Intensely aromatic. Bold and structured; core of black fruit and bitter herbs; long, drying finish. In its early prime, will be delicious with grilled meats for years to come. W.M.

Barbaresco Moccagatta 2011

Medium-concentrated garnet color with long, slow-forming legs. This is as “modern” as it gets in stately Barbaresco. Intense aromatics, dominated by sweet oak, coffee and cedar, but also showcasing raspberry jam, morello cherry, anise and moss. Big, rich and mouth-coating, with grainy tannins and a long warming finish remeniscent of mint and bitter herbs. This is wine meant for slow-roasted meats and cream sauce pasta. This definitely puts the lie to the myth that Barolo is always the bolder of the two famous Piedmont Nebbiolo appellations. W.M

Tablas Creek Esprit 2012

Tablas creek, esprit 2012Elegant estate bottled Rhône blend by the Perrin family (of CDP’s Château de Beaucastel) from their Paso Robles property. Pale ruby with aromatics reminiscent of ripe raspberries, morello cherries and savory herbs. Concentrated and juicy at once with a silky mid palate and spicy finish.

William M. Sommelier and Editor @ sipnotes.org