Wine Offerings

2014 Bordeaux PART VII, Pauillac & Haut-Médoc

This Saturday we will be continuing our tasting series of the excellent 2014 vintage in Bordeaux. Our seventh and last shipment takes us to possibly the most famous of the great “Left Bank” appellations, Pauillac. Touting three of the five “First-Growth” wines, Pauillac is considered by many to be the benchmark for classic Bordeaux elegance.

Because of the warm autumn in the 2014 vintage there have been claims that declare it a Left Bank vintage, thanks to the later ripening qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon versus the earlier ripening Merlot. Taste for yourself, we’ll have an assortment of these wines open to taste this Saturday. All prices are based on the purchase of six or more bottles.

Although Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate ratings don’t factor into how we select the wines we carry, we do understand that many drinkers find them useful. You’ll see the ratings for the 2014 vintage of each wine following the text.


Haut-Médoc

~$15 Château Larrivaux
Historic estate located near the border of Saint-Estèphe, and managed by Bérengère Tesseron since 2005. Larrivaux is one of the few “Left Bank” wines predominately made with Merlot. (89)

~$53 Château La Lagune
Classified “Third-Growth” estate currently family-owned and managed by Caroline Frey, who also manages the legendary estate of Jaboulet in Northern Rhône. (92)


Pauillac

~$42 Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse
Classified “Fifth-Growth” estate consulted by Hubert de Boüard of Château Angélus. Grand-Puy-Ducasse has continued improving their wines through vineyard management and technological innovation. (88)

~$45 Château Pédesclaux
Classified “Fifth-Growth” estate that saw a complete modernization in 2007 and new vineyard parcels purchased adjacent to Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Mouton Rothschild. (92)

~$45 Château Haut-Bages-Libéral
Classified “Fifth Growth” estate. With recent modernization of the winemaking facilities and a shift toward biodynamic farming, Château Haut-Bages-Libéral represents some of the best value classed-growth Bordeaux. (88)

~$77 Château Duhart-Milon
Classified “Fourth Growth” estate owned by the Rothschild family and adjacent to the vineyards of Château Lafite Rothschild. (89)

$102 Château Clerc Milon
Classified “Fifth Growth” estate purchased by Baron Philippe de Rothschild in 1970. Newly constructed wine making facilities were completed in 2007 with an entirely gravity fed vat house. (92)

$119 Château Pontet-Canet
Classified “Fifth Growth” estate. Since Alfred Tesseron took over the estate in 1994, the property has continued to improve year after year and is presently producing wines at the level of the best “Second Growths.” (94)

$136 Château Lynch-Bages
This classified “Fifth Growth” estate is one of the most recognized producers in the world. Since 1973 it has been owned by Jean-Michel Cazes and is now run by his son, Jean-Charles. (92)

~$47 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron (Second Wine) (91)
$136 Château Pichon Longueville Baron
Classified “Second Growth” estate currently managed by Christian Seely, in 1987 it was purchased by the group which also own the Châteaus Cantenac-Brown, Petit-Village, and Suduiraut. (94)

~$42 Réserve de la Comtesse (Second Wine) (91)
$153 Château Pichon Comtesse de Lalande
Classified “Second Growth” estate. A complete renovation in 2008 and vineyards adjacent to Château Latour help make this one of the top estates in Bordeaux. (93)

$586 Château Mouton Rothschild
Little needs to be said about this legendary “First Growth” known throughout the world not only for the superlative quality of wine but also the changing label image produced by some of the most celebrated artists of their day. (95)

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Posted on 2017.07.19 in Bordeaux, France, Saturday Sips  |  Read more...

 

2014 Bordeaux PART VI, Saint-Julien & Haut-Médoc

This Saturday we will be continuing our tasting series of the excellent 2014 vintage in Bordeaux. Our sixth shipment takes us to the smallest of the great “Left Bank” appellations, Saint-Julien. These are the classic Cabernet Sauvignon-based blends that put Bordeaux on the map centuries ago, all classified “Second,” “Third,” and “Fourth-Growth” wines.

Because of the warm autumn in the 2014 vintage there have been claims that declare it a Left Bank vintage, thanks to the later ripening qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon versus the earlier ripening Merlot. Taste for yourself, we’ll have an assortment of these wines open to sample this Saturday. All prices are based on the purchase of six or more bottles.

Although Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate ratings don’t factor into how we select the wines we carry, we do understand that many drinkers find them useful. You’ll see the ratings for the 2014 vintage of each wine following the text.


Haut-Médoc

~$19 Château Citran
Managed by Céline Villars and owned by the Merlaut family, who also own several properties in the region, including Château Ferrière, Château Gruaud-Larose, Château Chasse-Spleen and Château Haut-Bages-Liberal. (89)

~$35 Château Sociando-Mallet
Sociando-Mallet was a forgotten and derelict property by the time it was bought by Jean Gautreau in 1969. The estate has since seen considerable expansion and modernization, and subsequently a reputation for quality. (92)


Saint-Julien

~$50 Château Lagrange
Classified “Third-Growth” estate. With recent extensive renovations including modernization of their entire wine making facilities, Château Lagrange has risen to become a model estate in Bordeaux. (92)

~$54 Château Branaire-Ducru
Classified “Fourth-Growth” estate. Patrick Maroteaux has owned this property since 1988 and has invested heavily in new plantings as well as modernizing the cellars. He was one of the first “Left Bank” producers to begin filling his tanks entirely by gravity. (89)

~$57 Château Talbot
Classified “Fourth-Growth” estate. Completely renovated wine making facilities, vat rooms and barrel cellars along with increased levels of sorting and reduced yields make today’s Château Talbot wines the highest quality. (90+)

~$58 Château Saint-Pierre
Classified “Fourth-Growth” estate owned and operated by Jean-Louis Triaud who also runs Château Gloria. Château Saint-Pierre was one of the first estates in the Médoc to embrace the use of satellite imagery to help identify which vineyard parcels are ready to pick. (92)

~$75 Château Gruaud-Larose
Classified “Second-Growth” estate owned by Jacques Merlaut who also owns Château Chasse-Spleen, Château Haut-Bages Libéral, and Château Citran. (90)

~$82 Château Léoville-Poyferré
Classified “Second-Growth” estate. One of the most exciting properties in Saint-Julien thanks to owner Didier Cuvelier and his extensive commitment to vineyard improvement. (93+)

~$93 Château Léoville Barton
Classified “Second-Growth” estate. Since Anthony Barton took over the reins from his Uncle Ronald in the mid 80s, quality has soared at Léoville Barton and the wine has become one of the most exhilarating in the Médoc. (94)

~$45 Croix de Ducru-Beaucaillou (second wine of Ducru-Beaucaillou) (92)
$153 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou

Classified “Second-Growth” estate. Owned by the Borie family since 1941 and led by Bruno Borie since 2003, Château Ducru-Beaucaillou is presently producing the best wines in their long, illustrious history. (96)

~$54 Clos du Marquis (distinct cuvée from Léoville-Las Cases ) (92)
$187 Château Léoville-Las Cases

Classified “Second-Growth” estate. Owned and operated by the Delon family since 1902, Château Léoville-Las Cases is one of the oldest classified growths in the Médoc and the leading estate in Saint-Julien. (96)

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Posted on 2017.07.12 in Bordeaux, France, Saturday Sips  |  Read more...

 

First Shipment of the “Extraordinary” 2015 Vintage White Burgundy

Join us this Saturday to taste several wines from what the pundits are deeming an “extraordinary” 2015 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.

The husband and wife team of Nathalie and Sylvain Langoureau farm about 24 acres of prime vineyards in Saint-Aubin, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. This is a heart and soul garagiste operation based in the tiny hamlet of Gamay, nestled between Puligny-Montrachet and Saint-Aubin. Sylvain vinifies his wines with ambient yeast and small percentages of new oak. The finished wines are elegant, focused gems produced in very limited quantities.

Sylvain describes 2015 as a vintage of maturity, “…the fruit was super-clean and quite ripe…(the wines) are very rich with fine complexity and just enough supporting acidity to maintain the proper balance. They should drink well young and age over the short to perhaps mid-term and as such should be ideal for those who like their whites on the younger side.”

Because the wines were directly sourced from the Domaine the prices are already quite low for wines of this pedigree, but with a 15% discount on the purchase of six or more, you might want to stock up.

All prices are based on the purchase of six or more bottles.


The 2015 Whites of Domaine Sylvain Langoureau

~$33 Saint-Aubin
High up on the back slope of the Côte d’Or behind the Grand Cru of Montrachet, the commune of Saint-Aubin is known for refined white wines and excellent value.

~$42 Saint-Aubin “Les Frionnes” (Premier Cru)
Steep slopes located between the villages of Saint-Aubin and Gamay, where the soil is nearly pure limestone.

~$42 Saint-Aubin “Bas de Vermarain à l’Est” (Premier Cru)
A stone’s throw from “Les Frionnes” on the same steep limestone slopes.

~$50 Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Houillères”
Single vineyard on the border between Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet just below the Grand Cru of Montrachet.

~$67 Meursault “La Pièce Sous le Bois” (Premier Cru)
Located just above the plot “Sous le Dos d’Âne.” “La Pièce” designates a patch or a plot of vines, situated in this case, below the wood “Sous le Bois” of Blagny.

~$67 Puligny-Montrachet “La Garenne” (Premier Cru)
From vines planted in 1954 on one of the highest Premier Cru slopes in Puligny-Montrachet.

~$67 Puligny-Montrachet “Les Chalumeaux” (Premier Cru)
Premier Cru vineyard bordering Meursault and the vineyards of “Sous le Dos d’Âne” and “La Pièce Sous le Bois.


The 2015 Reds of Domaine Sylvain Langoureau

~$21 Bourgogne-Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune “Clos Marc”
From a tiny walled vineyard above Saint-Aubin, easy drinking patio party Burgundy.

~$30 Chassagne Montrachet “Les Voillenots Dessous”
Although Chassagne-Montrachet is renowned for its white wines the commune produces just as much red wine. A superb value from a parcel located below the village of Chassagne-Montrachet.

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Posted on 2017.07.05 in Saturday Sips  |  Read more...

 

Spanish Wine Sale

Stop by this Saturday to taste a few fantastic Spanish wines and enjoy discounts on any Spanish wine in the shop – 15% off on six or more bottles. It will be an ideal time to replenish the cellar, grab yourself a special bottle that has developed with some age, or just stock up on everyday wines for the holiday weekend.

John Radford, author of The New Spain, makes the claim that Spanish wine is more vibrant, happening, and fascinating than it has ever been. We could not agree more.

Although Elie Wine Co. is first and foremost a French wine shop, we are fiercely proud of our thoughtful selection of Spanish wines that include everything from inexpensive, easy-drinking wines to cellar-worthy, world-class wines. It’s a selection with an emphasis on small producers that control the winemaking process from vineyard to bottle.

Like husband and wife team, Irene Alemany and Laurent Corrio, true garagistes producing a range of world-class wines in the Alt Penedès, the most inland and mountainous subzone of the Penedès wine region of Catalunya. The two are recognized as being among the top winemakers in all of Spain. All of their wines show classic French techniques expertly executed with a Mediterranean soul. With plenty of big fruit up front, a deep structure, and long finish, their cuvée, “Pas Curtei” (~$24), is much like a Grand Cru from Saint-Émilion. It is a small production blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Carinyena, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Like brothers Carlos and Juan Rodríguez, along with star winemaker Fredi Torres, who started Sílice Viticultores to harness the soaring slopes of the Ribeira Sacra appellation for the purpose of making great wines. Production is tiny, only 1,020 cases of their cuvée “Sílice” (~$25) were made in the 2015 vintage. It’s a blend of 80% Mencía, 5% Garnacha Tintorera, 5% Albarello, 5% Merenzao, and 5% Godello. The grapes are hand-harvested (there is no alternative in these vertical vineyards) and vinified using indigenous yeasts. The wine is matured in a 17-year-old, 4,000-liter oak foudre they purchased in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The result is a wine of ripeness, concentration, and balance, with aromas of juicy wild forest berries, sweet cherries, wanton flowers, smoked tea, and loamy earth.

Like visionary winemaker Raimon Badell of Masia Can Tutusaus who makes more than his award winning Cava from the mountainous Penedès sub-zone of the Massís del Garraf, where soil and microclimate yield fruit with superb concentration and balance. The native Xarel-lo grape is considered the backbone of Cava’s unique character, Raimon extracts all the intense aromatics, yellow fleshy fruit, and freshness that the variety has to offer for “Ona Penedès White” (~$14) a still wine. For “Ona Penedès Red” (~$14) Marselan, a rare grape variety created by crossbreeding Cabernet Sauvignon with Garnacha is used. The wine shows both the exuberant red fruit ripeness of Garnacha and the elegant structure of Cabernet Sauvignon, its vibrancy and freshness illustrating why a new breed of winemakers have begun planting this variety across the Mediterranean, although it is in the higher altitude, cooler regions like Massís del Garraf where it shines.

And many, many more.

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Posted on 2017.06.28 in Penedes, Ribeira Sacra, Saturday Sips, Spain DO  |  Read more...

 

Seriously Drinkable Cru Beaujolais

We’re taking a couple weeks off from our epic 2014 Bordeaux tasting adventures to feature a few wines appropriate for patios and 4th of July parties.

In a marriage of grapes and ground that the French regard as mystical, it’s in the sandy clay soils over granite of Beaujolais that the Gamay grape finds its truest expression, in the right hands producing red wines that are fresh, vivid, light and fruity, yet possessing a soulful depth and sense of place. It is a wine that is somehow simultaneously uncomplicated and consequential.

Guy Breton makes his wines as a reflection of his character – honest, affable, and down-to-earth. He took over the tiny family domaine of just over seven acres from his grandfather in 1986. Until that point, they were selling their fruit to the large cooperative wineries which dominated the region. Following the example of traditionalist Jules Chauvet, Guy Breton returned to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: never using synthetic herbicides or pesticides, harvesting late, rigorously sorting to remove all but the healthiest grapes, adding minimal doses of sulfur dioxide or none at all, and refusing both chaptalization and filtration. He produces a scant 3,000 cases annually.

All prices are based on the purchase of six or more bottles.

$27 Guy Breton Morgon “Vieilles Vignes” 2014

Guy Breton’s principal wine, the Morgon “Vieilles Vignes” is sourced from 2.5 acres of 80 year old vines in the Saint Joseph and Grand Cras subzones of the appellation, which give fine, stony wines. A high-lying sandy parcel contributes more complexity, structure, and acidity to the blend. After fermentation, the wine is aged on fine lees in Burgundian barrels (of at least the third passage).

~$23 Guy Breton Régnié 2013

Guy Breton’s Régnié is sourced from the hills between the Côte de Brouilly and the Côte du Py of Morgon, around the village of Régnié-Durette. Guy’s grandfather handed down the two parcels that go into this wine: one with 100-year-old and the other with 35-year-old vines. The shallow soil of sand and decomposing stones gives the vines easy access to the bedrock, creating firm wines with more grip and acidity than in Morgon.


Juicy Beaujolais Rosé

~$16 Château Thivin Beaujolais Villages Rosé 2016

The benchmark domaine in the Côte de Brouilly. The Geoffray family has been farming their steep, south-facing slopes of decomposed pink granite for over a century. The fruit for Château Thivin Beaujolais Villages Rosé is sourced from a 2.5 acre plot of 50 year old vines. It is produced by direct pressing the grapes and allowing the skins to macerate with the juice for one day before vinification in cool, temperature-controlled stainless-steel cuves. The result is a rosé with delicate fresh fruit aromas and juicy flavors ideal for pairing with light summer al fresco meals. A crowd-pleaser for certain, this is always one of our top selling rosé wines.

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Posted on 2017.06.21 in Beaujolais, France, Saturday Sips  |  Read more...

 


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