E. Guigal Château d'Ampuis Côte-Rôtie 2012

E. Guigal Château d’Ampuis Côte-Rôtie 2012

Seductive aromas of sous bois, mushroom, brambly forest fruit, cloves, cardamom, and violets, or perhaps an elusive note of heliotrope flow from the glass. Of note, Guigal's 2012 Château d'Ampuis is slightly lighter in body than the typical Cote-Rotie, but the intensity and palate tension is there—a framework of fine tannins and taught acidity that seamlessly knits together this soulful blend of 93% Syrah and 7% Viognier. The finish is one of subtle smoke and spice. 13.5% ABV | Sample E. Guigal 93 Points...

Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde 1998

Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde 1998

The epitome of old-school Côte-Rôtie, the 1998 Rostaing offers up an ever-evolving kaleidoscope of aromas: smokey bacon fat and animal notes at first, followed by sweet violets and steeped blackberries. It's quite lean on the palate, with ultra-fine, well integrated tannins—a mark of maturity—underpinned by high acidity and gamey-green notes of dill and green peppercorn, olives, and cold, compost-laden springtime soils. Domaine Rostaing 9.3 Points ...

Four La La's: La Landonne, La Mouline & La Turque at La Balena

Four La La’s: La Landonne, La Mouline & La Turque at La Balena

I have, in recent past, promoted and sold Guigal’s single-vineyard Côte-Rôties, La Landonne, La Mouline and La Turque (affectionately known as the La La’s) to fans and collectors all over the United States. An invitation to taste these wines is not something to pass up, an event made even more special considering the vintage—all three from 1999, and all three having received a perfect 100 points from Robert Parker. I have mixed feelings about Parker’s perfect 100s, but I’ll confine this post to discussing the La La’s. Certainly, I wanted to experience Guigal’s most sought after wines first hand. Invited by my generous friend and fellow wine lover John Bradford, the wines were lovingly uncorked at La Balena in downtown Carmel. We were joined by winemaker Morgan Clendenen of Cold Heaven Cellars and a young winemaker from Santa Ynez, Blake Sillex. You will find my tasting notes for Blake’s wine here: Vivino Together, we shared antipasti over a bottle of 1999 Domaine Leroy Pommard Les Vignots, which in and of itself, deserves mention. My first introduction to Leroy, managed by Dame Lalou Bize-Leroy was in watching A Year In Burgundy, if you have not seen the documentary, watch it. One gets a sense of Lalou’s person, her strength...