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Sustainable, Organic or Biodynamic

Juvé & Camps Reserva Essential Xarello Brut 2014

Juvé & Camps Reserva Essential Xarello Brut 2014

The winemaker at Juvé & Camps attributes this Cava's round, rich mouthfeel to the presence of polysaccharides released during fermentation, as well as during the process of maturation on the lees. Indeed, all of the wines in this lineup display autolytic features to a greater or lesser degree. The 2014 Reserva Essential Xarello Brut also has a compelling herbal profile. Asian pear aromas. In the mouth, dry mint, fennel, and smoke swirl around a deliciously creamy mid-palate. 12.0% ABV | sample Juvé & Camps 9.0 Points...

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2012

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2012

The color of onion skin, Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut 2012 unfurls at a leisurely pace. Smoky, autolytic notes rise above decadently layered aromas of dried fruit, molasses, baked apple, forest honey, and almond skins. As fine, cascading bubbles dart to and fro, springing forth from a core that is softly textured and clean, endowed with stone fruit and citrus. That beguiling smoky note reemerges at the close. 7 g/l RS, 12.0% ABV | Sample Juvé & Camps 9.0 Points...

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature Reserva de la Familia 2012

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature Reserva de la Familia 2013

Another Cava from my visit to the region last year—according to the winemaker, 2013 was a cooler, wetter vintage in the region—in the lineup we tasted, this bottle, the Reserva Brut Nature Reserva de la Familia 2013 was appreciably leaner, but also fresher in its comportment. Fennel, white peach, lime, and grapefruit pith dominate the profile, rendered more complex by toast, puff pastry and smoke, amid a torrent of bubbles. 12.0% ABV | Sample Juvé & Camps 9.1 Points...

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva La Capella 2006

Juvé & Camps Cava Gran Reserva La Capella 2006

My visit to Catalonia last spring proved to be an eye-opening experience. There, I would learn that some Cavas, with this monovarietal Xarel·lo, have the potential to age. The Cava Gran Reserva The Capella Brut Nature 2006 matured on its lees for 108 months, gracing it with enormous complexity and depth, as only the passage of time can do. Baked apple, walnut skins, and exotic curry powder round out the nose. A fine, creamy mousse fades into honeyed pastry-a sharp contrast to the pleasantly bitter, seductively earthy tones of celery root, lime zest, white grapefruit, and fleur de sel that emerge on the finish. 12.0% ABV | sample Juvé & Camps 9.3 Points...

Château de Monbazan Grand Vin de Graves 2015

Château de Monbazan Grand Vin de Graves 2015

From Garagiste, a classic blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec—in this case from a biodynamic producer (something of a rarity in Bordeaux), the 2015 Château de Monbazan Graves Rouge is plush on the nose and palate. The first impression is one of cherry pie, followed by vanilla, baking spices, and the merest suggestion of violets. It's easy going on the palate, with no hard edges. And while it lacks the earthy, leathery soulfulness that Graves is known for, it has charm. Drink now. 13.5% ABV Château de Monbazan 8.8 Points...

Troon Riesling Whole Grape Ferment 2016

Troon Riesling Whole Grape Ferment 2016

Southern Oregon wines never fail to surprise me, such is the case with Troon's 2016 Whole Grape Ferment Riesling from Applegate Valley. Burnished gold in the glass, with oxidized notes—baked apple, lemon oil, grilled pineapple, almond skin, and yellow flowers. On the palate, texturally speaking skin contact is quite evident, as is the case in most orange wines. The medium-length finish is slightly herbaceous too. Crushed herbs and lemon pith. 12.0% ABV | Sample Troon Vineyard 9.1 Points ...

Herdade do Esporão Esporão Reserva Tinto 2014

Herdade do Esporão Esporão Reserva Tinto 2014

Another excellent vintage from Esporão, the 2014 Reserva Tinto is a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French and American oak for 12 months. The nose is poetic: anise, violets, cigarette pack foil (a very specific aroma, my mother was a heavy smoker) black raspberry, and black cherry. And while there's no suggestion of the gamey-savory note on the nose that explodes on the palate like a caged tiger, it has lovely sueded tannins and a white pepper finish. 14.5% ABV | Sample Herdade do Esporão 9.0 Points ...

Stoller Family Estate Dundee Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2015

Stoller Family Estate Dundee Hills Reserve Chardonnay 2015

Stoller's 2015 Dundee Hills Reserve Chardonnay is awash in Asian pear, lemon curd, granulated honey, and white flowers. The palate is delicate, with French oak so well integrated, it almost feels like a stainless ferment. Almost. Extended lees contact has graced this sustainably-grown Chardonnay with a silky, seamless texture that is as complex as it is lean and bright. Lots of mineral verve and palate tension that glides through to a mouthwatering finish of lemon zest and wet shell. 13.8% ABV | Sample Stoller Family Estate 9.2 Points...

Golan Heights Winery Mount Hermon White 2016

Golan Heights Winery Mount Hermon White 2016

Breezy notes of orange blossom, white peach, and Opal apples. It's crisp and fresh on the palate, with a burst of lemon-tinged acidity that promises springtime as it gracefully unwinds to a leisurely finish. Lots of drinking pleasure in this modestly-priced white blend of Muscat Canelli, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier from Galilee. 13.5% ABV | Sample Golan Heights Winery 8.8 Points...

Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Longitude Premier Cru NV

Larmandier-Bernier Champagne Longitude Premier Cru NV

Pierre Larmandier's wines are pure and terroir-driven. This superb bottling of the Longitude Premier Cru Extra Brut is composed of 100% Chardonnay sourced from Vertus, Oger, Avize, and Cramant, with 40% of the blend coming from 2010 reserve. Poached pear, baked apple, lemon sorbet, and chalk are slowly released by a clinquant mousse. In the mouth—buoyant shards of fractal light—it's very subtle, with length held in suspension by limestone, seafoam, earth, and nuanced pear. Sample Champagne Larmandier-Bernier 9.1 Points ...