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Loire Valley

Domaine Perrault-Jadaud Vouvray Pétillant Haut Les Choeurs 2014

Domaine Perrault-Jadaud Vouvray Pétillant Haut Les Choeurs 2014

A charming and expansive nose of baked apple, brioche, white flowers, and acacia honey graces this lemon-yellow Vouvray. Full and voluptuous on the palate, with a laser thin beam of acidity cuts a wide swath through orchard fruit, fine lees, and dried honeycomb. It’s slightly sweet, but well balanced. Overall a delight on a brisk December evening. 12.5% ABV | Sample 9.1 Points...

Domaine Guion Cuvée Domaine Bourgueil 2015

Domaine Guion Cuvée Domaine Bourgueil 2015

Sporting classic Bourgueil notes of red berries, underbrush, orange pomander ball, and an ethereal top note of delicate florality. The 2015 Domaine Guion Cuvée Domaine Bourgueil is angular and tight with high-toned acidity, like crushed raw cranberry—it has a definite edge and considerable tartness, with tannins perched on the fore-palate. An earthy, mineral note emerges at the close. Best enjoyed with food, I don't see this improving with additional cellaring. Domaine Guion 8.9 Points...

Blason-Louis Sancerre 2012 (Flacon)

Blason-Louis Sancerre 2012 (Flacon)

A new and novel offering from Blason Lewis—these flacons are the equivalent of a 3.5 oz glass. Robed in bright translucent ruby, the 2012 Blason Lewis Sancerre is fresh and vibrant, boasting aromas of red currants, raspberries, pie cherries, and damp earth. In the mouth, fine tannins and bright acidity add lift and structure to this charming Pinot Noir that unfurls to reveal a mineral-tipped vein of nimble acidity at the close. 13.0% ABV | Sample Blason-Louis 8.9 Points...

Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Silex 2007

Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Silex 2007

The best Pouilly-Fumé I've tasted in a long while—the 2007 Silex was indeed a special bottle, the last vintage Dagueneau crafted before a crash in an ultralight plane cut his life and career short. Full and nuanced without being weighty, ever changing and evolving in the glass. Lemon curd, apple blossom, dried honey, and dried apricots. In the mouth the profile is reminiscent of a still Champagne, with toast and and lees co-mingling with candied pink grapefruit, dried thyme and a flourish of smoky minerality on the finish. 12.5% ABV Domaine Didier Dagueneau 9.4 Points ...

Domaine Vacheron Sancerre 2014

Domaine Vacheron Sancerre 2014

Stunning and vivid, Domaine Vacheron's 2014 Sancerre is golden-robed and inlaid with lemongrass, lemon blossom, kaffir lime, banana creme pie, lychee, smoke and a nuanced herbal edge. Texturally round and lush on the palate, gloriously disrupted by a piercing vein of white grapefruit and chalky minerality that carries from the attack to a meandering, mouthwatering finish. Delicious with grilled oysters. 9.1 Points...

Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Clos De l'Echelier Saumur Blanc 2014

Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Clos De l’Echelier Saumur Blanc 2014

Sourced from a small horse-plowed, biodynamically farmed two-hectare site, Clos de L'Echelier is blended from just two oval casks. The vines are seated in Turonian limestone, which gives Saumur Chenin's their characteristic minerality, which this bottle certainly has, though less pronounced than some I've tasted. The nose is endowed with expressive aromas of ripe pear, quince, and honeysuckle. On the palate, orchard fruit and subtle creaminess are bolstered by a singular, lithe and linear burst of acidity, which serves to add both freshness and lift. Domaine des Roches Neuves 9.1 Points...

Domaine Olga Raffault 'Les Picasses' Chinon 1989

Domaine Olga Raffault ‘Les Picasses’ Chinon 1989

'Les Picasses' lies along a riverbank on a fairly steep slope that is primarily alluvial clay overlaying chalk and limestone. The vines are over 50 years old and the site is known to produce wines with fabulous purity and minerality. As such, the Olga Raffault 'Les Picasses' Chinon 1989 has had time to mellow, and the aromas are quite lovely—lavender, game, worn leather, a touch of barnyard, and cellar dust. There is a throaty, sensual wildness to this wine, punctuated by a vein of bright acidity and minerals. It has just about everything I love in Loire Valley Cab Franc. Domaine Olga Raffault 9.2 Points ...

Château d'Epire Savennières Cuvée Spéciale 2012

Château d’Epire Savennières Cuvée Spéciale 2012

Château d'Epire's Chenin Blanc vines are seated atop the highest hill in the Savennières appellation. There the vines benefit from added sunlight due to a southeasterly orientation, in addition to phtanit-rich soils. The Cuvée Spéciale 2012 offers up permeating aromas of poached apples and pears, white flowers, baked apples, caramel and baking spice. Given the nose, it's quite a leaner than expected on the palate with a racy minerally vein that neatly intersects green apple skins, lime zest and spice. Château d'Epire 9.0 Points...

Claude Riffault Les Boucauds Sancerre 2013

Claude Riffault Les Boucauds Sancerre 2013

Claude Riffault's Sancerre Les Boucauds 2013 is sourced from old vines grown in clay and limestone rich soil. Half of the wine is vinified in stainless steel, the other half in oak, and the results are rather spectacular. Les Boucauds is one of the more intense Sancerre's I've tasted of late, the nose fairly explodes with star fruit, guava, mango, and ripe nectarine. Lean and racy on the palate, with sleek tension, staggering acidity and length accompanied by a full range of complex fruit notes and chalk. Oh my! Domaine Claude Riffault 9.0 Points...