Château Lilian Ladouys (Saint-Estèphe 2014)
Special 6-pack price: $146 (~$24/bottle)
There are few places in France where the complex truths of terroir are explored with subtler articulacy than the “Left Bank” of Bordeaux. Although each of the top appellations share a similar climate and vineyards planted on the well-drained gravel banks set back from the marshy lowlands, it is perhaps what is unseen that counts most. Most wine pundits will tell you that, of all the significant appellations, it is Saint-Estèphe that is the most stern and stony of the bunch, possibly due to a mixture of iron in the appellation’s gravel base.
This might explain why the historic estate of Château Lilian Ladouys has released their Classified Cru Bourgeois 2014 vintage with Merlot as the base of the blend, allowing for a bit more richness and softness earlier in the wine’s developmental arc. Indeed, this blend of 56% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot from low yielding vines is a bit more approachable than your typical newly released Saint-Estèphe wine. But this doesn’t make it a jammy fruit bomb. The wine is finely structured with muscular tannins and tight acidity. Although clearly Merlot-based, the significant amount of Cabernet Sauvignon truly brings out a black-currant fruitiness.
The current owners, Jacky and Françoise Lorenzetti, acquired the estate in 2008. They quickly launched a vast re-parceling program and constructed a new semi-underground vat house to allow for gravity-fed production, promptly improving the quality of the wines. The couple are no strangers to Bordeaux winemaking, also owning “Fifth-Growth” Château Pédesclaux in Pauillac and half of the “Third-Growth” Château d’Issan in Margaux.
There are plenty more fantastic 2014 Saint-Estèphe wines to choose from here at the shop, from Cru Bourgeois to “Second-Growth.” All prices based on the purchase of six or more bottles (mix-and-match).
~$34 Château Meyney
With the consultation of Hubert de Boüard of Château Angélus the 2014 vintage of Chateau Meyney is quite possibly the best wine produced in the history of the estate.
~$44 Château Lafon-Rochet
Since purchase in the late 1950s by the Tesseron family, this classified “Fourth-Growth” estate has continually improved. Today, it’s Basile Tesseron continuing the focus on quality.
~$46 Château Phélan Ségur
One of nine “Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels” as classified in 2003. In 2011 the estate finished extensive renovations in their wine making facilities and cellars, shifting to smaller stainless steel fermentation vats that allow for more precise vinification on a parcel by parcel basis.
$126 Château Calon-Ségur
Classified “Third-Growth” estate. Very recent renovations allowing vinification on a parcel by parcel basis and a completely new, 100% gravity-fed vat room illustrate the commitment to quality at Calon-Ségur.
~$52 Les Pagodes de Cos (second wine of Château Cos d’Estournel)
$162 Château Cos d’Estournel
Classified “Second-Growth” estate. Cos d’Estournel’s recently renovated world-class cellars are operated entirely by gravity to allow for pure and complete expression of their extraordinary terroir adjacent to Château Lafite-Rothschild.
$198 Château Montrose
Classified “Second-Growth” estate. One of the leading properties of St. Estéphe that produces some of the longest-lived wines in the Médoc. Recent multi-million dollar renovations make Château Montrose not only one of the most modern estates in the world but also one of the most sustainable.
Domaine Saint Sylvestre Red (Terrasses du Larzac 2014)
Special 6-Pack Price: $216 ($36/bottle)
It seems absurd to think that a winemaking region as old and storied as the Languedoc in southern France would have sub-regions to “discover” but the truth is, historically speaking, the Languedoc is better known for vats of uninteresting co-op wines harvested mechanically from the flat lands of the Languedoc plains. Times they are a-changing. In the past few decades production of regional wines has decreased by half and appellation wine production has increased fivefold. While quality-focused producers in the established appellations are the major part of this pivot to a higher standard, there is also a new breed of young winemakers staking their claims in sub-regions that have only recently come to prominence.
There’s no better example of this new breed of Languedoc winemaker than Vincent Guizard of Domaine Saint Sylvestre in the newly minted appellation of Terrasses du Larzac. Together with his wife Sophie, Vincent is cultivating less than 20 acres of prime vineyards in this appellation known for its unique climate that benefits from both the warm Mediterranean sea and the cool air that blows down from the Larzac plateau on summer nights, creating wines that are fresh, yet delicate, with silky tannins and the earthy garrigue aromas characteristic of the Languedoc.
Vincent was raised working in the vines with his grandfather. In the late 90’s, he worked a couple of vintages with the renowned Olivier Jullien at Mas Jullien in Montpeyroux. From 2003 to 2010, he was part owner, in association with Frédéric Pourtalié, of Domaine de Montcalmès. It was 2010 that Vincent decided to break away from Montcalmès, taking 17 acres of vines with him, and creating Domaine Saint-Sylvestre with it’s first vintage release in 2011.
Vincent and Sophie employ a sustainable approach to viticulture, along the lines of “lutte raisonnée” (the reasoned struggle) and use no synthetic fertilizers or herbicides in the vineyards. Fermentation is completed using only indigenous wild yeasts. Domaine Saint Sylvestre Terrasses du Larzac Red is a blend of 70% Syrah, 20% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre aged for two years in used barrels before blending and bottling. It exudes a heady nose of blackberry, garrigue, and smoke before a sappy yet balanced sip. While drinking well now, this wine will reward a few years of patience stored in a proper cellar.
Domaine Saint Sylvestre White (Languedoc 2015)
Special 6-Pack Price: ~$225 (~$38/bottle)
Exclusive to Elie Wine Co., Domaine Saint Sylvestre white is under the Languedoc appellation mainly because Terrasses du Larzac is presently only admitted for red wines. A blend of 45% Marsanne, 45% Rousanne, and 10% Viognier aged in used barrel for one year, the aromatic bouquet is incredibly complex with notes of flowers, spices, and orchard fruits. This is a superbly balanced white wine with just enough bracing minerality on the finish to match its gloriously ripe fruit.
With significant vineyard holdings in the commune of Puligny-Montrachet, and an adherence to traditional winemaking that focuses on wines that speak of place, Domaine Paul Pernot is considered one of the top producers in the appellation.
Join us this Saturday to taste several wines from Domaine Paul Pernot and the 2015 vintage. Not all the wines have arrived at the shop yet so we are offering a Pre-Arrival sale with significant discounts on six bottles or more.
Pundits are deeming 2015 an “extraordinary” vintage throughout the Côte d’Or. Typical of warm, sunny years the 2015 whites are clean, pure and rich, favoring ripe orchard and soft citrus fruits over bracing minerality. These are wines that don’t necessarily need time in the cellar to show their full expression.
Paul Pernot began the domaine that carries his name in 1959. He started with about 25 acres of vines, most of which had been in the family for nearly 200 years. Today it is Paul’s sons, Paul and Michel, who manage the estate. Over the years the two sons have expanded holdings and now farm over 50 acres of vines, most within the commune of Puligny-Montrachet, including two Grands Crus – Bâtard-Montrachet and Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet, as well as four other top Premiers Crus: Les Champs-Canet, Les Folatières, Clos de La Garenne, and Les Pucelles.
The wines are meticulously made, with minimal batonnage to keep them pure. The regional wines are fermented in tank but all of the higher appellation wines are fermented in barrel. No new oak is used for the regional and village wines. Premiers Crus get about 30% new oak, and the grand crus between 40-50%, depending on the vintage. At present, 80% of the wines produced by Domaine Paul Pernot are sold to négociants in Beaune under contract. But the 20% that the estate retains and bottles themselves are some of the finest representations of Puligny-Montrachet in existence.
~$64 Puligny-Montrachet (2015)
Vinified from four different separate lieux-dits within Puligny-Montrachet and Blagny with vines that average 50 years of age.
~$93 “Les Folatières” (Puligny-Montrachet, Premier Cru 2015)
Vinified from a 7.6 acre parcel of 45+ year old vines.
~$22 Bourgogne Aligoté (2015)
Aligoté is the other white grape of Burgundy. Light, crisp, and refreshing.
~$26 Bourgogne Blanc (2015)
Vinified in stainless steel from Puligny-Montrachet vines on the border of Meursault.
~$81 “La Pièce sous le Bois” (Meursault, Premier Cru 2015)
Vinified from a 1.6 acre Premier Cru parcel bordering Puligny-Montrachet.
~$93 “Clos de la Garenne” (Puligny-Montrachet, Premier Cru 2015)
Vinified from a 1.7 acre parcel that was purchased by Paul Pernot’s great-grandfather and that was replanted in 1957.
~$93 “Champ Canet – Clos de la Jacquelotte” (Puligny-Montrachet, Premier Cru 2015)
Clos de la Jacquelotte is a climat within Champ Canet. There is only one other owner of vines in this clos besides Pernot.
~$136 “Les Pucelles” (Puligny-Montrachet, Premier Cru 2015)
One of the top Premier Cru in all of Burgundy “Les Pucelles” is basically an extension of the Grand Cru of Montrachet. Vinified from less than an acre parcel of 35+ year old vines.
~$246 Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet (Grand Cru 2015)
One of the finest expressions of Chardonnay in the world. Vinified from two parcels of vines totaling less than an acre.
~$280 Bâtard-Montrachet (Grand Cru 2015)
One of the finest expressions of Chardonnay in the world. Vinified from three parcels of vines totaling close to 1.5 acres.
~$47 “Clos du Dessus des Marconnets” (Beaune 2015)
A monopole of the domaine upslope from the Premier Cru “Les Marconnets” and bordering the commune of Savigny-lès-Beaune.
~$55 “Les Teurons” (Beaune, Premier Cru 2015)
Vinified from a tiny Premier Cru parcel just over half of an acre in the center of Beaune.
~$59 “Carelle sous la Chapelle” (Volnay, Premier Cru 2015)
Vinified from old vines of an indeterminate age from a tiny Premier Cru parcel just over half of an acre and downslope from the village of Volnay.
Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial (Rioja 2007)
Stop by this Saturday to taste one of the world’s great wines and enjoy serious discount prices.
A checklist of the great wineries of Rioja will always include the historic estate of Marqués de Murrieta and a checklist of great wines of Rioja will always include their Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial. There are few Rioja wines that can match the elegance and power of Marqués de Murrieta’s most venerated label only made in the best vintages. Although 2007 was a difficult year due to a mildew attack that destroyed a large percentage of the fruit there is no loss of concentration. Aromas of cherry and plum eventually turn into a leather satchel full of spices. A mouthful is full and rich but not heavy, with a superbly incorporated structure of acid and tannin. There is vitality and also a whisper of ancient things. Compared with the 2005 vintage perhaps there is even more of a freshness that balances all the ripe fruit.
2007 Castillo Ygay is a blend of 86% Tempranillo and 14% Mazuelo (aka Carignan) from “La Plana,” their finest single vineyard site at 485 meters elevation. The wine was aged for 28 months in 225 liter oak barrels, with the first 10 months in new oak (French oak for the Mazuelo, American oak for the Tempranillo). Before bottling and just after the final blending, the wine settled in concrete vessels and then spent three years in bottle before release. While drinking fantastically 10 years after vintage, Castillo Ygay is a true “vin de garde” that will develop in a proper cellar over decades.
The Marqués de Murrieta bodega is located east of the city of Logroño in the western subzone of Rioja Alta, just south of the poplar-lined River Ebro. The immense wall of the rocky Sierra de Cantabria to the north holds the Atlantic winds at bay. Where the grand hillsides aren’t covered in vines there are handsome pastures for cattle and sheep. Scattered about are thickets of juniper, boxwood and holly. Oak, beech and pine grow in the highlands.
Besides its role as the capital of La Rioja, the city of Logroño is the center of the wine trade there. It’s also diverse with shopping, nightlife and, of course, food. It seems every sit-down restaurant there offers roasted lamb scented with dried vine shoots that are periodically thrown onto the fire. We figure the wine pairing is obvious.
Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Blanco Gran Reserva Especial (Rioja 1986)
One of the greatest white wines ever produced in Spain is now available in tiny quantities. Although the 1986 vintage of Castillo Ygay Blanco had a limited early release bottled in 1992, most of it remained unbottled and was kept at the winery, where it rested in oak for 21 years, followed by six years in cement vats. You might think a white wine that has aged over 30 years past its harvest might taste a little old. It’s actually quite the opposite. This wine is still in its youth. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate writer Luis Gutiérrez (who awarded the wine 100 points) claims this wine likely has another 50 years of prime drinking, if not longer.
The wine was produced mostly with Viura grapes and a touch of Malvasía Riojana. It’s a challenge to convey the character of this wine through words. It’s powerful, there is no doubt, yet it also possesses an elegance that could only come with age. The flavors and aromatics are like a harvest season grocery cart filled with orchard fruits, lemon curd, honey, hard-shelled nuts, flowers, mushrooms, we could go on, and the wine does go on, with an epic, mineral, salty finish that lingers long into the sunset.
Elisabetta Foradori “Morei” Teroldego (Vigneti delle Dolomiti 2015)
Special Price: ~$43/bottle
Since she took over her family’s Trentino estate at the tender age of 20 after her father’s sudden death, Elisabetta Foradori has made elevating the native Teroldego grape her life’s work. Teroldego is an ancient variety that thrives in the high, sunny foothills and plateaus below the Dolomite peaks and has close relations to Syrah. For most of its modern existence, Teroldego wines were made in bulk using nursery clones for easier ripening and higher yields that resulted in vapid, uninteresting wines.
Elisabetta plunged into her first harvest in 1984 after graduating from oenology school. Although winemaking wasn’t necessarily her immediate passion she nevertheless began refining the vineyards to emphasize quality over quantity. Over the years she has replaced the pergola-trained clones with massale cuttings from the oldest, best Foradori vines. She also began harvesting by hand, pruning rigorously, and converting the farming to organic and eventually biodynamic farming methods.
This dedication over the last 30 years of restoration of teroldego’s genetic diversity so that the wines would be deeper, purer and more complex has resulted in Elisabetta Foradori becoming recognized as the top producer of Teroldego in the region. The combination of unwavering attention to the vines and low-intervention vinification has created a vibrant and elegant style of Teroldego that is as unique as the place it’s from.
The Foradori estate consists of close to 70 acres of vines, of which 75% are planted to Teroldego. The vineyards are high in altitude and surrounded by mountains yet receive plenty of sunlight to ensure ripeness. “Morei” comes from a six acre parcel of limestone and granite rich soils of the Campo Rotaliano plateau. The vines average 30 years old. The wine spends eight months on its skins in clay amphorae, untouched until blending and resting in cement before bottling. Certified-biodynamic farming, hand-harvesting, fermentation with indigenous yeasts and minimal sulfur use all work to create a sappy wine bursting with a bouquet of roses and violets over cherry licorice and smoldering clay. At first sip the fruit is primary but swiftly fills the mouth with layers of ripe, brambly forest berries and the long, electric finish you expect from Alpine wine. This is a wine that will flesh out over the next decade in a cellar if you can keep your hands off it. Only about 800 cases produced.
“Sgarzon” Teroldego (Vigneti delle Dolomiti 2015)
Special Price: ~$43/bottle
We have just a handful of bottles of this cuvée that is sourced from the cooler “Sgarzon” vineyard on sandy soil and tends to be more delicate than the stonier-soiled “Morei” bottling. Like “Morei” the “Sgarzon” spends 8 months on its skins in clay amphorae. Only about 800 cases produced.
Teroldego (Vigneti delle Dolomiti 2014)
Special Price: ~$25/bottle
The entry-level and flagship wine of Foradori from mostly sandier parcels of vines planted from 1956 to 2005 totaling around 25 acres. Fermented in cement–with up to 20% whole-cluster depending on the vintage–and aged for one year in cement and wooden foudres. About 7,500 cases produced.