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Mont Gravet Pays d'Oc Rosé 2016

Mont Gravet Pays d’Oc Rosé 2016

Limpid salmon in the glass, 100% Pays d'Oc Counoise offers fresh, lilting aromas of crushed raspberry, white peach, and line-dried linen. In the mouth, limestone minerality shines through, lending texture and continuity, a single suspended note that starts and ends softly, unobtrusively. Mont Gravet has elements in it that are suggestive of a more expensive, complex Provençal rosé, certainly it can be enjoyed for what it is, at the humble price of $9 USD. 11.5% ABV | Sample Mont Gavet 87 Points...

Alain Jaume & Fils Rasteau Les Valats 2015

Alain Jaume & Fils Rasteau Les Valats 2015

Soft, plummy and plush, the 2015 Alain Jaume & Fils Rasteau Les Valats offers ample drinking pleasure. On opening, black cherries, ripe Damson plums, cedar, sweet tobacco and menthol. The palate takes its cues from the nose, with a uniform profile—juicy black fruit cozened in velvety, ripe tannins and tempered acidity. This is a wine I would, and am, happy to enjoy it on its own. 13.5% ABV | Sample Alain Jaume & Fils 89 Points...

Château des Fougères Graves Clos Montesquieu 2014

Château des Fougères Graves Clos Montesquieu 2014

An excellent Bordeaux value that will offer drinking pleasure over the next decade or so—this opaque beauty, the 2014 Château des Fougères Graves Clos Montesquieu, is richly perfumed with blackcurrants, blackberry jelly, cedar, juniper berry, crushed lavender, and dried mint. Grippy tannins gather at the fore-palate like storm clouds on the horizon, then dissipate, neatly segueing into an earthy undercurrent that terminates in a dusting of mineral splendor and bay leaf. Better with decanting. Château des Fougères 91 Points...

Domaine Amido Lirac 2014

Domaine Amido Lirac 2014

A splendidly perfumed nose that is so classic of Grenache: raspberry pastis, market strawberries, forest floor, black licorice candy, violets, and warm spice. The 2014 Domaine Amido Lirac is fresh and vibrant on the palate, with a sweet-fruited raspberry turnover core supported by ultra-fine tannins. The finish, while not lengthy, offers bay leaf and spice. I poured myself another glass without giving it a second thought, something I rarely do with samples. 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 20% Syrah | 13.0% ABV Domaine Amido 91 Points...

Alain Voge Les Vieilles Vignes Cornas 2014

Alain Voge Les Vieilles Vignes Cornas 2014

Crafted from 60 year-old biodynamically farmed Syrah, Alain Vogue's Les Vieilles Vignes Cornas 2014 is expressive, yet restrained. Blueberries and blackberries wind 'round earth, black olive, and pink peppercorn. As its opens, secondary aromas emerge: clove, cinnamon bark, cardamom, lanolin, spice, violets, incense. It’s poised, with all of the power Syrah commands, but there is freshness too. It ends on a decidedly mineral note, an arc of volcanic granite, long since decomposed. 13.5% ABV | Sample Alain Voge 91 Points...

M. Chapoutier Saint-Joseph Les Granits Blanc 2015

M. Chapoutier Saint-Joseph Les Granits Blanc 2015

M. Chapoutier's Saint-Joseph Les Granits Blanc 2015 opens with a smoky undertow that burns off like morning fog to reveal denser aromas of mandarin orange, lemon curd, poached pear, and a base note of grilled pineapple. In the mouth, this 100% Marsanne is round, silky, and wonderfully expressive—orchard fruit and orange pastille are enlivened by sonorous chords of pleasantly bitter pink grapefruit pith, baking spice, and crushed quartz. Incredible length. 13.5% ABV | Sample Maison M. Chapoutier 95 Points...

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...

Château Pavie Arômes de Pavie Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2009

Château Pavie Arômes de Pavie Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2009

Arômes de Pavie is the second label of Château Pavie, and is a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009—a warm, ripe vintage is drinking beautifully now. Tight on opening, but after three hours aromas of earth and dust, and freshly turned soil emerge and subside, followed by Damson plums, mulberries, camphor, and Tandoori spice. Fine, supple tannins lend structure and finesse to this wine's well-balanced acidity and focus, as it glides to a lingering finish of spice and pu-erh tea. Château Pavie 91 Points...

Blason-Louis Bandol Rosé 2015 (Flacon)

Blason-Louis Bandol Rosé 2015 (Flacon)

Blason Louis offers these novel glass flacons for by-the-glass tasting as part of their wine club, though really, polishing off a bottle of rosé has never been a problem in this household. Their 2015 Bandol Rosé is salmon-hued with aromas of iced coffee, fleshy melon, mandarin orange, and pie cherry. It's surprisingly full-bodied with lots of roundness at the center, leaving the impression that the acidity has to work to hold up the weight of this wine. A pleasant streak of minerality at the close. Sample Blason-Louis 8.8 Points...

Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut

Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut NV

Pale lemon yellow, Laurent-Perrier's classically-styled non-vintage brut opens with a cheerful torrent of cascading, brisk bubbles. It’s a clean champagne, full of luscious pear, baked apple, whipped butter, and dusted in granulated honey. Palate cleansing without too much sapidity from the dosage, it closes with a slight mineral edge, and a touch of chamomile flower. Sample Champagne Laurent-Perrier 8.9 Points ...