The 2018 Vintage from Jérôme and Lyse Chezeaux

Posted on Posted in Domaine Jerome Chezeaux, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

A source of pure, chiseled red Burgundy for us for over 25 years now, Domaine Jérôme Chezeaux is undergoing a particularly exciting phase. While the wines have always been honest and delicious, the last few vintages show a level of finesse and precision which places them squarely into the top ranks of the Côte d’Or’s elite. Read More

DOMAINE SYLVAIN MOREY Chassagne-Montrachet Rouge 2017

Posted on Posted in Domaine Sylvain Morey, Honors, Reviews, Wine Press

August 27, 2021 KAREN MACNEIL (Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy, France) $75 Every now and then, every wine drinker deserves a good red Burgundy for the sublime beauty and silkiness that such wines possess. The small village of Chassagne-Montrachet in the Côte de Beaune is best known for its Chardonnays, but Pinot Noir makes up about a third

Domaine Overnoy-Crinquand

Posted on Posted in Domaine Overnoy-Crinquand, Jura Series

No domaine with whom we work embodies the Jura’s pre-technological agrarian past as wholeheartedly as Overnoy-Crinquand, headed today by the warm and energetic Mickael Crinquand. Although the family still derives twice as much income from their Comté cows as their wines, Mickael’s 5.5 hectares in the prized hills of Pupillin yield wines of tremendous character and staggering authenticity—wines that could be produced absolutely nowhere else but the Jura. Mickael’s forebears were never seduced by the labor-saving chemicals being flouted several decades back, and so the family’s vineyards have always been worked organically (certified as such since 1999). The stark, bare-bones cellar, located beneath their modest home, houses huge barrels of 50 to 100 years of age within which their completely egoless wines gradually take form. If these wines are perhaps less chiseled and fleet-footed than Montbourgeau’s, or less full-throttle than Les Matheny’s, they more than compensate with their sense of timeless calm and inimitable local flavor.

Crémant du Jura Blanc
Mickael’s Crémant Blanc is pure Chardonnay with 30 months of lees contact and a mere 0.5 grams per liter dosage. Produced exclusively from the 2017 vintage, this disgorgement offers greater textural plushness and breadth than the beloved Montbourgeau Crémant above, with iron-tinged minerality and a gently honeyed character.

2019 Arbois-Pupillin Ploussard
Overnoy-Crinquand’s Ploussard, from 25- to 60-year-old vines in Pupillin, pours a pale-orange-tinged ruby, but offers surprisingly meaty depth and firm minerality. Large, ancient barrels preserve the wine’s freshness and allow for an extremely conservative application of sulfur, and this 2019 is a richer and more palate-coating example than certain vintages, owing to the growing season’s solar character. Still, this is a wine driven by spice, and it remains a beguiling combination of delicacy and earthy funk.

2019 Arbois-Pupillin Trousseau
Although it is more ethereal than the versions from Les Matheny and Joseph Dorbon owing to Pupillin’s elegance-enhancing terroir, Mickael’s Trousseau—aged in similar fashion to the Ploussard above—offers plenty of ripe, controlled red fruits, with a twist of licorice and dusty spices, and anchored by mellow but present acidity. It is slightly richer and more concentrated than the Ploussard, but, as is often the case here, the two are closer in body and personality than at many domaines.

2018 Arbois-Pupillin Chardonnay “La Bidode”
Crinquand’s “La Bidode” is produced from 40-year-old Chardonnay planted in the vineyard of the same name, on a steep slope just behind the family house in Pupillin. While it is not topped up during its two-year elevage, this shows significantly less oxidative character than those from our other growers in the region, due partly to the size and age of the barrels—25-hectoliter foudres whose many years of usage have greatly reduced porosity—and partly to Pupillin’s terroir. Floral, fine, and sprightly, this offers excellent precision and lift.

2016 Arbois-Pupillin Chardonnay “Vieilles Vignes”
A unique and arresting wine, Mickael’s old-vines bottling of Chardonnay is picked three weeks later than the “La Bidode” above, with frequent occurrences of botrytis among the bunches. Fermented and aged three full years in well-used 600-liter barrels, the 2016 harnesses the full capacity of its 70-year-old vines, offering a gripping, powerful palate whose dense, apricot-dominated fruit threatens to outmuscle the wine’s voile-derived saline thrust.

Introducing Cascina Luisin

Posted on Posted in Cascina Luisin, New Growers and Producers

It is a particular privilege to commence a relationship with one of Barbaresco’s oldest and most iconic producers: Cascina Luisin. Nebbiolo from Piedmont’s great terroirs, after all, has been a cornerstone of our portfolio since the very beginning, when Neal began importing the singular Carema from Luigi Ferrando and the lovely traditional Barbaresco from the Anfosso family at DeForville. Cascina Luisin’s wines hail from some of the zone’s greatest vineyard sites…Read More

Les Matheny

Posted on Posted in Jura Series, Les Matheny

Few in the Jura are as talented as Emeric Foléat of the tiny Les Matheny domaine in Mathenay, Arbois. Emeric worked for eight years under the legendary Jacques Puffeney, who taught him the ultimate value in embracing risk and trusting the quality of his fruit to do its thing in the cellar without coercion. Emeric farms his three hectares in Arbois without the use of synthetic chemicals, and he raises his wines in a small cinderblock shed devoid of modern gadgetry. Minute additions of sulfur, and even then only sometimes, are the only adjustments he makes to these bold, assertive, deeply personal creations—wines that embody the exhilarating freedom Jura growers enjoy compared to many of their peers in more buttoned-up regions.

2018 Arbois Pinot-Trousseau
Emeric owns so little Pinot Noir that he ends up having to blend it with other varieties—Poulsard in some years, and Trousseau in others, as he sees fit—following the model of his old employer Puffeney who produced the stunning “Vieilles Vignes” cuvée through the 2005 vintage using all three cépages. Aged for two years in a single decades-old small foudre, this 2018 Pinot-Trousseau is built around 45-year-old Trousseau from the village of Aiglepierre, and the roughly one-quarter Pinot Noir serves to moderate the Trousseau’s scrappy wildness with a touch of silk.

2017 Arbois Chardonnay
Rather than topping up religiously or allowing wine to evaporate and voile to develop by rote, Emeric treats each Chardonnay barrel individually, aiming for a final blend that sizzles with acidity and bursts with fruit yet speaks an unmistakably Jurassien patois. Consequently, the dynamic range on a Les Matheny Chardonnay is staggering, with notes of marzipan vying with bare-knuckled minerality and a soaring acidity that speaks both to the character of the local marne soils and to Emeric’s refusal to control fermentation temperature.

2012 Arbois Vin Jaune
Emeric’s Vin Jaune, bottled a full seven years after harvest, is a focused effort of remarkable complexity. Exuberant but controlled on the nose, it laser-beams preserved lemons, freshly tanned leather, and marzipan at the taster, ratcheting up the intensity with its agile, built-for-speed palate. It is a wine both weighty and brisk, with decades of upside potential, and its combination of power and balance clearly evokes his legendary former mentor’s wines.

Joseph Dorbon

Posted on Posted in Domaine Joseph Dorbon, Jura Series

Joseph Dorbon’s setup is simple: three hectares of organically tended vines on prime south-facing slopes above his home village of Vadans; a horse to help him plow; and a subterranean 16th-century cellar in which his soulful wines slowly take shape. We met Joseph through Michel Gahier, and indeed the two men share a certain combination of dyed-in-the-wool Jurassien spirit and boundary-pushing thoughtfulness. Vadans, a sleepy little village even for the Jura, contains soils of yellow marl, which tend to produce reds of great finesse and whites of chiseled complexity, and Dorbon’s wines follow suit; yet, like the greatest wines in the region, they are both deeply evocative of place and distinctly Joseph’s own. He works his land without chemicals, plows by horse—a difficult and little-encountered practice which he learned from his uncle—and harvests by hand. His cellar practices are minimal and steeped in Jura tradition: spontaneous fermentations without temperature regulation; aging sous-voile for his white wines; minimal (and sometimes no) additions of sulfur; and bottling of the white wines only after significant time in cask. Joseph’s evocative wines have garnered deserved attention since we first began our partnership six years ago, and their preciousness grows as he approaches retirement within the next few years.

2017 Arbois Rouge “Les Bernardines – Vieilles Vignes”
“Les Bernardines” is a vineyard in Vadans named after the Bernardine order of Cistercian monks who stewarded the land during the Middle Ages, and Joseph owns Poulsard and Pinot Noir vines within its confines. This cuvée, comprising around 80% Poulsard and 20% Pinot Noir, is co-fermented in stainless steel without temperature stabilization, and aged two full years in old Burgundy barrels. Fresh and lithe, “Les Bernardines” leads with Poulsard’s sappy red-cherry fruit, with the Pinot Noir contributing a certain suaveness of texture. The palate sees an extra boost of concentration from the 60+ year old vines, and the wine combines gentle structure with vivacious drinkability in harmonious fashion.

2019 Arbois Trousseau
Trousseau reigns supreme in Montigny-les-Arsures, the home village of Michel Gahier and Jacques Puffeney, where it produces wines of power and structure from the village’s grey-marl soils; by contrast, Vadans’ yellow-marl soils produce a more easygoing version of the variety, and Dorbon thusly treats it more breezily in the cellar than he does his Poulsard, aging it in stainless steel for just one year and adding no sulfur at all. With its clean, ringing black-cherry fruit and its varietally true spice character, Joseph’s Trousseau dazzles with its purity and drive, with only a wisp of tannins evident on the refreshing finish.

2016 Arbois Blanc “Cuvée des Moyne – Vieilles Vignes”
“Cuvée des Moyne”—moyne being the Middle French spelling of moine, or “monk”—comprises 80% Chardonnay and 20% Savagnin from vines between 40 and 70 years of age in Vadans. The varieties are interplanted, and Joseph harvests and ferments them together, aging them for three years in neutral 228-liter Burgundy casks with no topping up. This wine illustrates clearly how veil-derived characteristics—marzipan, curry, green walnuts—can coexist comfortably alongside fresh-fruit elements and vigorous acidity in a well-crafted sous-voile white wine. “Cuvée des Moyne” is downright chiseled in its minerality, with bright, direct yellow fruits framed by, rather than overwhelmed by, the saline thrust of the veil.

2010 Arbois Savagnin
Joseph purposely bottles very little of his Savagnin as Vin Jaune, and his “basic” Savagnin spends longer in barrel than is required of an actual Vin Jaune by law—in the case of this 2010, seven full years sous-voile. The resulting wine, though deeply marked by the mysterious and wildly complex aromatic and flavor spectrum of the veil, remains fresh and vinous, with stunning acidity and a saliva-prompting, bone-dry finish of incredible length.

2009 Arbois Vin Jaune
According to appellation restrictions, Vin Jaune must spend a full five years in barrel sous-voile, and it may not be released until six years and three months after the harvest; Dorbon doubles the formula, giving the rare barrels he deems worthy of being bottled as Vin Jaune a full decade in cask. The result is an oceanic wine of Herculean power, with raging acidity wed to luscious, salt-caked yellow fruits, and given additional complexity by a raw-almond character that stops short of overt oxidation. This makes most Vin Jaune taste tame by comparison, but it nonetheless retains a stunning sense of equilibrium and fine-grained minerality.

Introducing Aldo Viola: a Sicilian Iconoclast

Posted on Posted in Aldo Viola, New Growers and Producers

Aldo Viola cuts a memorable figure: tall and wiry, with long low-intervention locks, scruffy facial hair, and skin that clearly sees plenty of strong Sicilan sunshine. Aldo is a man in motion, literally and figuratively—constantly moving, gesturing, smiling, and exclaiming, and always searching for ways to coax greater expressiveness from his inspiringly personal wines. Born in the late 1960s…Read More

From Savoie, White Wines That Refresh Like Mountain Air

Posted on Posted in Domaine Louis Magnin, Romain Chamiot, Wine Press

This Alpine region in eastern France was little known until recently. Its gorgeous wines are distinctive and immediately appealing. By Eric Asimov July 8, 2021 Places like Savoie exist all over historic wine areas, little-known cul-de-sacs that are suddenly embraced by the outside world, though the residents have been making wine there for centuries. Then

Exciting Skin Contact Wines in the RWM Portfolio

Posted on Posted in Domaine Bechtold, Gravner, San Fereolo, Vodopivec

Macerated Whites from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Alsace, and Piedmont Joško Gravner, like many of the greatest vintners in the RWM portfolio, is a revolutionary. Never satisfied with the status quo, he has completely transformed his vines, tanks, barrels, and wines throughout his career, always striving to more clearly communicate the historically renowned terroir of his home

Introducing Lamé-Delisle-Boucard: Six Generations of Bourgueil Classicism

Posted on Posted in Lamé Delisle Boucard, New Growers and Producers

Beneath the towns that flank the central Loire lies another world. It is a world of caves, dug into limestone by prior generations—folks who knew that the ideal place to nurture a bottle of wine is deep within the same earth that nourishes the vines from which it came. Given the extensive German occupation they endured in World War II Read More

This Summer, Make It Chianti Classico

Posted on Posted in Montevertine, Podere le Boncie, Wine Press

Even in warmer weather, some occasions cry out for a red. This Tuscan wine is a gorgeous expression of sangiovese, with many excellent producers.

Here’s my wine for the summer: Chianti Classico.

I know, it’s not what people usually imagine as a summer wine. It’s red, for one thing. Sunny days, sweaty nights and poolside tables are the regular haunts of rosés and whites.

I’ve always resisted the notion that seasons alone dictate what’s best to drink. It’s the food at least as much as the weather.

Read More

New Releases from Château Le Puy: 2017 “Emilien” and 2019 Duc des Nauves

Posted on Posted in Le Puy, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

For us here at Rosenthal Wine Merchant, as well as for countless drinkers across the country, Château Le Puy has greatly expanded our notion of what Bordeaux can be—aesthetically, philosophically, and historically. In a region teeming with commercially minded product and still suffering from the excesses of an era during which power was seemingly prized over grace, Le Puy is a beacon Read More

Mas Jullien and Mas Cal Demoura: Heretical Masterworks

Posted on Posted in Insights, Mas Cal Demoura, Mas Julien

  My first trip to the Languedoc did not go as I expected.  Rather than piercing deep into an unknown, unexplored realm, I instead felt a strange, through-the-looking-glass sense of homecoming.  The Languedoc’s craggy hills and wild friche, while a world away from the climate of Vouvray or Chablis, resembled uncannily the scattered Chaparral that

Dark Gravity: The Singular Rhône Wines of Philippe Viret

Posted on Posted in Domaine Viret, New Growers and Producers

Atop a hill in Saint-Maurice-sur-Eygues, in the southern Côtes-du-Rhône, a structure looms at once imposing and beautiful. Constructed of rectangular earthen-yellow stones broader than a human’s wingspan, it is flanked on the entirety of its left side by an Ionic-columned portico, and punctuated on its upper level by three large circle-top windows. Read More

The Non-Sparkling Soul of the Penedés Singular Still Wines from Recaredo’s Celler Credo

Posted on Posted in Cava Recaredo, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

The Recaredo estate in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is justly regarded as the greatest producer of sparkling wine in the Penedès. Their long-lees-aged, zero-dosage, single-vintage, hand-disgorged wines are ubiquitous on the greatest wine lists in Catalunya and in Spain in general, and we at RWM have greatly relished building their reputation here in the United States over the past dozen years of our partnership. Read More

Pushing Sancerre’s Boundaries: Domaine du Nozay New Releases, Including Two New Single-Parcel Wines

Posted on Posted in Nozay, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

Sancerre is not exactly a hotbed of experimentation. Knowing that it can generally be sold on name alone, its growers hew toward conservatism, and it requires a particularly driven vigneron to veer from the citrus-and-chalk orthodoxy the market has come to expect from the appellation. Read More

Domaine du Bagnol’s 2019 Cassis Blanc “Caganis” A Very New Wine from Very Old Vines

Posted on Posted in Domaine du Bagnol, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

With only 11 domaines and 220 cultivated hectares of vines, the gorgeous seaside appellation of Cassis produces distinctive wines of sun-soaked Mediterranean generosity and marked salinity, the vast majority of which are consumed locally. We have worked with the Domaine du Bagnol since the early 1980s, first with former owner Claire Lefevre, and since the early 2000s with the magnetic Genovesi family, proudly representing among the very few examples of this historic appellation to be found in the American market. Read More

The Greatest Impact Of Climate Change On The Wine Sector

Posted on Posted in Domaine Ghislaine Barthod, Occasional Thoughts

The frost damage of this past week that affected large swaths of the European vineyards has become depressingly familiar as a storyline. Although there is much discussion of the frequently excessively hot summers that have occurred in Europe, the greatest impact of climate change on the wine sector is the mild nature of the winter

The Magic of the “Hautes-Côtes-du-Rhône”: New Releases from Sylvain Morey’s Bastide du Claux

Posted on Posted in Bastide du Claux, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

Few American drinkers are well acquainted with the Luberon, the picturesque interzone between the southern Rhône and the
northern part of Provence, as its production for many years has been geared toward simple bulk wine. However, our good friend Sylvain Morey—the youngest in a 400-year line of Moreys in Chassagne-Montrachet—is deeply engaged in unlocking the potential of the region, Read More

New Releases from Bitouzet-Prieur

Posted on Posted in Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

One of the oldest partnerships in our entire family of winegrowers is with this enviably landed domaine, with their staggering collection of holdings throughout Meursault and Volnay. We began our work here first with the hugely talented classicist Vincent Bitouzet—from the 1978 vintage through the 2009 vintage—and, under his son Francois’s stewardship from 2010 on, the wines have gained even greater precision and complexity. Read More

Grenache, or Garnacha: Same Grape, 3 Ways

Posted on Posted in Domaine du Gour de Chaulé, Wine Press

If you take a single variety and make wine in three distinct regions, how different will the wines be?

By Eric Asimov
Feb. 22, 2021

How important is the choice of grape in determining the character of a wine?

Extremely important, obviously. But it is far from the sole factor. Soil and bedrock, climate, farming methods, altitude and inclination, intent of the winemaker — all the elements of terroir can be just as important. Read More

The 2018 Vintage from Regis Forey

Posted on Posted in Domaine Forey Pere & Fils, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

With over thirty harvests under his belt, Regis Forey exudes the calm, warm confidence of a seasoned Burgundian vigneron operating at the apex of his powers. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Regis crafted robust, dense wines from his family’s enviable holdings in the Côte de Nuits—impressive wines which have aged superbly, but which do occasionally bear traces of a certain youthful striving. In recent years, however, he has honed a style that prioritizes subtlety in numerous ways:…Read More

20 Wines Under $20: Postcards From Around the World

Posted on Posted in Grosjean Freres, Wine Press

In a pandemic era, when traveling is largely out of the question, these wines, good values all, can take you on a trip around the globe.


Good wine has the power to transport. As we now approach a full year locked in pandemic freeze-frame, with many people largely confined within their national borders, wine still provides an opportunity to taste the world.

I’m always intrigued by the wines of the Vallée d’Aoste, a hilly, Alpine region that sits on the border of Italy and France. I especially like those from Grosjean…

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Domaine Lionnet – Josh Raynolds (Vinous)

Posted on Posted in Domaine Lionnet, Honors

2019 Domaine Lionnet Saint-Joseph Blanc Pierre Blanche Incisive aromas of fresh nectarine, orange zest and succulent flowers carry a chalky mineral overtone. Sappy, concentrated citrus and orchard fruit flavors show excellent clarity and stain the palate, picking up a touch of fennel and delivering powerful back-end lift. The mineral and floral qualities repeat strongly on

Domaine Hubert Lignier – Neal Martin (Vinous)

Posted on Posted in Domaine Hubert Lignier, Honors

2018 Domaine Hubert Lignier Clos-de-la-Roche Grand Cru The 2018 Clos de la Roche Cuvée MCMLV comes from a 0.25-hectare parcel that Laurent’s grandmother said never frosted over. It has a crystalline bouquet of vibrant red cherry and wild strawberry fruit laced with crushed limestone. The palate is silky-smooth on the entry, with perfect acidity and

Jean-Marie Fourrier – Neal Martin (Vinous)

Posted on Posted in Domaine Fourrier, Honors

2018 Jean-Marie Fourrier Chambertin Grand Cru The 2018 Chambertin Grand Cru has a finely detailed bouquet of blackberry, briar, crushed stone and a touch of iris petal; good focus and detail here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, taut and precise. The vibrant, shimmering finish is seductive. Excellent. (94-96) 2023 – 2050 Jan 2020

Domaine Philippe Foreau (Clos Naudin) – Jason Wilson (Vinous)

Posted on Posted in Honors, Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin

2018 Domaine Philippe Foreau (Clos Naudin) Vouvray Moelleux Réserve A fruit basket of baked pear, guava, banana, and notes of rosewater and orange blossom. Right now, the sugar dominates a bit. This is a rich and unctuous sweetie, but give it some time. 130 grams per liter residual sugar. 90 2022 – 2032 Jul 2020

Yves Cuilleron – Josh Raynolds (Vinous)

Posted on Posted in Honors, Yves Cuilleron

2018 Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Lieu-Dit Vernon Diaphanous yellow-gold. Mineral- and spice-accented orchard, pit fruits and a hint of violet on the deeply perfumed nose. Densely packed yet lively as well, offering palate-staining nectarine, pear liqueur and Meyer lemon flavors that show outstanding clarity and solid back-end thrust. The floral and mineral notes build emphatically on

Domaine du Gour de Chaulé – Josh Raynolds (Vinous)

Posted on Posted in Domaine du Gour de Chaulé, Honors

2018 Domaine du Gour de Chaulé Rosé Gigondas Amour de Rose Limpid pink. Potent raspberry and tangerine aromas are complemented by floral and mineral accents that expand in the glass. Juicy and well-concentrated, offering lively red berry, citrus fruit and lavender flavors that tighten up steadily on the back half. The mineral and floral notes

Domaine Jean-Jacques Carillon – Neal Martin (Vinous)

Posted on Posted in Domaine Jacques Carillon, Honors

2018 Domaine Jean-Jacques Carillon Bienvenue-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru The 2018 Bienvenue-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru amounts to two-and-a-half barrels this year (one barrel new.) It has a beautifully defined bouquet of Granny Smith apples, crushed limestone and a touch of sea spray that gains intensity in the glass. The palate is beautifully balanced with touches of white peach,

Domaine Ghislaine-Barthod – Neal Martin (Vinous)

Posted on Posted in Domaine Ghislaine Barthod, Honors

2018 Domaine Ghislaine-Barthod Chambolle-Musigny Aux Beaux Bruns 1er Cru The 2018 Chambolle-Musigny Aux Beaux Bruns 1er Cru has one of the most elegant bouquets from Ghislaine Barthod, offering beautiful, seductive red currant, crushed strawberry and crushed rose petal aromas. The palate is very well defined, with strict tannins framing dark berry fruit laced with soy

Antonio Galloni Vinous on NOAH

Posted on Posted in Honors, Noah, Reviews

Antonio Galloni (Vinous) recently published his tasting notes on NOAH from the Alto Piemonte.

2018 Rosso Noah
The 2018 Rosso, a blend of Nebbiolo, Croatina and Vespolina, is a total knock-out and also a fabulous introduction to these wines. Sweet red cherry, blood orange, mint, spice and star anise are all beautifully lifted. Translucent and exotic, this deceptively mid-weight red blend packs quite a bit of punch. The 2018 is a wine that captures all the sensuality and allure that make Alto Piemonte wines so compelling.

Grape//Blend
50% Nebbiolo, 40% Croatina, 10% Vespolina

93pts Drinking window 2023 – 2038
Antonio Galloni Tasting date: Sep 2020

2015 Noah Lessona
The 2015 Lessona is all finesse. Dried flowers, mint, herbs, sweet dried cherry and mineral overtones all grace this sublime, ethereal red. The Lessona is much lighter than the Bramaterra, but its depth and energy are there, they are just expressed in a more understated manner. A whole range of bracing mineral and citrus notes drive the red berry flavors in an utterly beguiling, polished red. What a wine!
Grape//Blend
Nebbiolo

95pts Drinking window 2023 – 2040
Antonio Galloni Tasting date: Sep 2020

2015 Noah Bramaterra
The 2015 Bramaterra is rich and explosive in the glass. Blood orange, chalk, mint, white pepper and macerated cherry are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop in the glass. There is something incredibly wild and untamed about the 2015 that is so incredibly enticing. In the glass, the 2015 is deep, powerful and built for the long-haul. It is a wine of tremendous character and breeding.
Grape//Blend
80% Nebbiolo, 10% Croatina, 10% Vespolina

95pts Drinking window 2023 – 2040
Antonio Galloni Tasting date: Sep 2020

The Peerless Pinot Noir of Philippe Gilbert

Posted on Posted in Domaine Philippe Gilbert, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

Introducing Two Spectacular New Cuvées of Menetou-Salon Rouge

Philippe Gilbert produces Pinot Noir as one who understands the variety to its core—its charms, its challenges, and its ability to display utmost finesse. Some eastern Loire Pinot Noir suffers from a “Burgundy inferiority complex,” with extraction and oak employed to compensate for the terroir’s tendency toward leanness; other examples display the opposite, with a simple, curt elevage overstating Pinot’s relative simplicity in these zones vis-à-vis the Côte d’Or. Philippe, on the other hand…

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New Releases from Joseph Dorbon

Posted on Posted in Domaine Joseph Dorbon, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

Joseph Dorbon’s setup is simple: three hectares of organically tended vines on prime south-facing slopes above his home village of Vadans; a horse to help him plow; and a subterranean 16th-century cellar in which his soulful wines slowly take shape. We met Joseph through Michel Gahier, and indeed the two men share a certain combination of…

Read More

Sparkling Wines, Even if 2020 Hasn’t Earned Them

Posted on Posted in Cava Recaredo, Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin, Wine Press

By Eric Asimov
Nov. 12, 2020

The end of 2020 is mercifully in sight.

Ordinarily, November and December would be the time for gatherings, parties and celebrations. These are the months when the merchants of sparkling wine earn their keep.

This year? Sigh, and cue the shrug emoji.

We will find ways of commemorating the surreal nature of this year. But give up on sparkling wine? That’s just knuckling under to the forces of darkness.

Sparkling wine is made in just about every winemaking region of the world, in a multitude of styles and from almost any conceivable grape.

In recent decades, we’ve come to accept that sparkling wine can be appropriate for any occasion, not just christenings and ceremonies. All the same, nothing suggests a festive mood better than sparkling wine, even if the parties will be more subdued than usual.

This month we will look at several different sparkling wines, each from a different place and made with different grapes. Here are the three I suggest:

Ferrari Trento Brut Metodo Classico NV (Taub Family Selections, Boca Raton, Fla.) $25

Domaine Huet Vouvray Pétillant Brut 2014 (The Rare Wine Company, Brisbane, Calif.) $32

Recaredo Corpinnat Terrers Brut Nature 2014 (Rosenthal Wine Merchant, New York) $33

The Ferrari is produced in northern Italy using the same method as Champagne. It even uses a Champagne grape, chardonnay.

The Recaredo is a cava, though it isn’t called that. Recaredo is like a number of leading Catalonian producers that feel the term “cava” has been diminished by the millions of low-quality bottles turned out every year. It, too, is made using the Champagne method, but with local grapes — xarello, parellada and macabeu, grown in the Penedès.

The Huet comes from the Vouvray region of the Loire Valley and is made of chenin blanc, though not by the Champagne method. Instead, Huet employs the methode ancestrale, like a pétillant naturel. Huet does not use that term, although it calls the wine pétillant in another sense of the word, which indicates that the carbonation is gentler than would be typical in a Champagne-style wine.

If you can’t find these wines, plenty of other choices are available. Other good cava-style wine producers include Gramona, Raventós i Blanc, Mestres, Bohigas, AT Roca, Loxarel and Parés Baltà.

Likewise, if you can’t find the Huet, other good chenin blanc sparklers include François Pinon, Jacky Blot, François Chidaine, Arnaud Lambert and Foreau.

The Ferrari should not be hard to find, but if you can’t for some reason, a lot of other Champagne facsimiles are out there, including Franciacorta in Italy or any number of California sparklers. You could always try a Champagne, too, or go further afield, as with a sekt from Germany or Portuguese sparkling wines.

Drink it with fried chicken, or with pizza. Try it with jamón Ibérico with nuts, or really anything you like. I don’t much like Champagne with caviar — that’s vodka’s reason for being — but if you like, why not? Or just drink it with ceremony.

As for 2020, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

New Releases from the Inimitable San Fereolo

Posted on Posted in Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor, San Fereolo

Langhe maverick Nicoletta Bocca, in her “Valdibà” and “Vigna Dolci” cuvées, issues forth among the finest examples of young-bottled Dolcetto in the entire region. It is with her ultra-long-aged wines, however, that Nicoletta establishes herself as a true visionary: one who pushes Dolcetto and Barbera into little-explored realms—into spaces usually reserved for the haughtier Nebbiolo (on the rare occasions it even reaches such heights). With her beloved “Austri”…

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The Elegant Traditionalism of Bois de Boursan

Posted on Posted in Domaine Bois de Boursan, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

Some wine lovers will run for the hills at the mere mention of Châteauneuf-du-Pape—a bogeyman whose alcohol-driven wallop of overripe fruit threatens to bully the palate and dull the senses. The appellation has certainly seen its share of gloppy, overbearing wines through the years, particularly as global warming and the predilections of a certain prominent palate took sway over the past couple of decades. Indeed, trying to drink wines like these is like trying to dance with a bag of bowling balls.

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The Glories of Sweetness

Posted on Posted in Articles, Chateau La Rame, Chateau Soucherie, Clos de la Meslerie, Cru d’Arche Pugneau, Domaine de Fenouillet, Domaine de Montbourgeau, Domaine Lucien Crochet, Domaine Pecheur, Luigi Ferrando, Paolo Bea, Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin, Villa Sant’Anna, Yves Cuilleron

Long ago, sweetness in any form was far rarer than today, and it was prized thusly. In our era of ubiquitous corn syrup, junk food, and soda, it is difficult to imagine a world in which sugar was special, and the overall difficulty in selling sweet wines across all markets testifies to that. Still, sweetness in wine—real wine whose sweetness has not been coerced—remains one of nature’s rare gifts. Producing sweet wines requires a grower to be courageous, as she must wait to harvest and risk late-season vagaries of weather, or, in passito-style wines, assume the risk of air-drying fruit for upwards of half a year in her cellar. Sweet wine production requires prodigious effort for feeble yields, which generally then take longer to produce and longer to sell than their dry counterparts.

Sandrine Caloz: A Beacon of the Valais

Posted on Posted in Cave Caloz, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

At a time in which American wine drinkers are spoiled for choice, Swiss wine—which traces its origins back at least to Roman times—remains an enigma. Switzerland’s self-sufficient and insular nature accounts for this in part, as locals consume nearly 99% of the country’s 15,000 hectares worth of production each year. Price has traditionally presented another hurdle, as Switzerland’s relative wealth, combined with the labor-intensive nature of its Alpine viticulture…

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An Ode to Vin Jaune

Posted on Posted in Domaine de Montbourgeau, Domaine Joseph Dorbon, Domaine Overnoy-Crinquand, Domaine Pecheur, Les Matheny, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

… A hunched figure, barely visible in the twilight, barred the great subterranean cellar’s modest entrance. Ragged and weary from their journey, the five sommeliers looked at one another with surprise; the old book had mentioned nothing of a gatekeeper. They had followed the map with great care, the promise of long-buried vinous spoils, theirs for the taking, having sustained them through the endless Krug-less days—but it seemed a final challenge awaited. The sentinel scowled at them from beneath his large hood.

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How to Read a Wine Label, in 12 Easy Lessons

Posted on Posted in Chateau Simone, Domaine Ghislaine Barthod, Paolo Bea, Wine Press

The wine shop can be intimidating, with so many different styles of labeling. Here’s help in decoding a dozen basic types.

Buying wine can be a paralyzing challenge. Facing a wall of unfamiliar bottles can frustrate even the most worldly consumer.

Those bottles have labels, of course, often with loads of information about the character and nature of the wine within. But the more detail they offer to knowledgeable wine consumers, the more baffling they seem to the uninitiated.

To cut through the confusion, some wineries simply furnish fewer facts. These wines — often hugely popular ones like Yellow Tail, Barefoot and 19 Crimes — rely on brand names and marketing to build an audience. For dedicated wine lovers, though, the facts are crucial, even if it takes some education to decode a label.

Beyond Cava: Recaredo’s Current Releases

Posted on Posted in Cava Recaredo, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

Long before Cava became a brand, a category, a marketing term, a beverage sourced from disparate lands across all of Spain, it was an experimental artisanal wine produced by a handful of visionaries in the Alt Penèdes—the gorgeous rolling hills west of Barcelona in the long shadows of Montserrat, within striking distance of the Mediterranean Sea. The dictates of rapid industrialization transformed Cava from a local Catalan curiosity into a highly marketed juggernaut, with power and influence concentrating in the hands of several enormous bulk producers; but a few holdouts…

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New Releases from Sébastien Dauvissat

Posted on Posted in Jean & Sebastien Dauvissat, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

Though technically part of Burgundy, Chablis is adamantly its own place, not only for its colder, grimmer climate, or its entirely different geological origins, but for its distinct traditions of élevage. Chablis oaked like a Chassagne-Montrachet loses the ability to articulate its Kimmeridgian intricacies, while a stint in thermoregulated stainless steel often sacrifices texture, resulting in Chablis that feels more like Sancerre—just with slightly different aromatic and flavor signifiers.

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New Arrivals from the Jura: September 2020

Posted on Posted in Domaine de Montbourgeau, Domaine Overnoy-Crinquand, Les Matheny, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

The Jura’s meteoric rise among American wine drinkers over the past decade has been well documented, but the wines from the tiny appellation of L’Étoile remain somewhat less known. Perhaps that’s due to its comparatively diminutive size, or perhaps to its lack of appellation-status red wines—much initial fervor over the Jura in the US was driven by the region’s light…

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A Study in the Subtleties of Northern Rhône Terroirs

Posted on Posted in Domaine Guillaume Gilles, Domaine Lionnet, Wine Press

By Eric Asimov
Sept. 3, 2020

This month we’re going to try something a little different.

Ordinarily, I suggest three bottles of the same type of wine. Instead, I want to compare three wines that are closely related but come from different appellations within a larger region, the Northern Rhône Valley of France.

Each is made with the syrah grape. But what if anything distinguishes one from the others? That’s what we are going to examine.

The French appellation system suggests that each place will have its own distinctive characteristics. It’s one thing, say, to compare a Chambolle-Musigny from Burgundy with a Chinon from the Loire Valley. One is made from pinot noir, the other with cabernet franc. You would expect that they would differ for that reason alone.

But if wines are made with the same grape, other factors come into play. In the case of the Northern Rhône, the French authorities concluded long ago that the wines made in St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage and Cornas were all sufficiently distinctive to warrant separate appellations….

We have not covered Cornas previously, so if you cannot find the Granit 30, please consider bottles from Franck Balthazar, Alain Voge, Guillaume Gilles, Mickaël Bourg, Domaine Lionnet and Jean-Baptiste Souillard. I’m not suggesting legendary producers like Thierry Allemand and Auguste Clape, but if you have a spare bottle, by all means go ahead and drink it.

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Champagne Roger Coulon’s Scarce and Singular “Rosélie”

Posted on Posted in Champagne Roger Coulon, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

Edgar Coulon is a rare talent. At just 26 years of age, he is quickly becoming the guiding force of his family’s 215-year-old winery in Vrigny, in the heart of the Montagne de Reims in Champagne. Working in tandem with his tireless and supremely talented father Eric, ninth-generation Edgar has worked to steer the estate’s production toward ever-more uncompromising terroir expressivity…Read More

Inside-Outside: Sylvain Morey’s Remarkable 2017s

Posted on Posted in Domaine Sylvain Morey, Jean-Marc Morey, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

Sylvain Morey’s career path is a far cry from that of a typical Burgundian vigneron. As a boy, he worked among the vines with his larger-than-life father Jean-Marc and his grandfather Albert—two dyed-in-the-wool old-schoolers with whom we at Rosenthal partnered joyously for many years. In the early 2000s…Read More

The Landmark 2016 Vintage at Brovia

Posted on Posted in Brovia, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

While Barolo’s style pendulum continues to swing away from the excesses of a few decades back, it is a true reward to work with an estate who never succumbed to modern technology’s seductive promises. The Brovia family established themselves as winegrowers in the hamlet of Castiglione Falletto in 1863, amassing over time an enviable collection of vineyards in some of the zone’s greatest crus…Read More

2016 Ferrando Carema: A Return to Classicism

Posted on Posted in Luigi Ferrando, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

The histories of Rosenthal Wine Merchant and the village of Carema have been intertwined since January of 1980, when Neal purchased a small lot of wine from Luigi Ferrando—the very first wine he ever imported. Over the ensuing decades, Ferrando’s Carema has gone from a wine virtually unknown outside of its immediate vicinity to one of the most iconic wines in our portfolio, revered by enthusiasts across the United States and well beyond, and allocated down to the bottle. Read More

12 Summer Sparkling Wines, Because Who Needs a Reason

Posted on Posted in Domaine de Montbourgeau, Luigi Ferrando, Wine Press

Beyond Champagne, excellent bubbly now comes from all over in a diversity of styles. You don’t require a special occasion to enjoy them.

Domaine de Montbourgeau Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro NV $26.99

The Jura region of France is a reliable source of Champagne-style sparkling wines that are subtly different from Champagne. This one, from the excellent Domaine de Montbourgeau, is a fine example. It’s rich and creamy, yet precise — bone dry and still rounded and lush. In most Champagne-style wines, producers add a dose of sweetness just before sealing the bottle to balance the often searing acidity. But if the wine is balanced without the dosage, as this one is, it can be omitted. Hence the designation, Brut Zéro. (Rosenthal Wine Merchant, New York)

From Good Wine, a Direct Path to the Wonders of Nature

Posted on Posted in Domaine du Jaugaret, Wine Press

Last year a friend asked me a question I had never considered before: Over the many years I had been writing about wine, what was the greatest thing this job had given me?

I answered almost reflexively. As a New Yorker who has spent most of my life living in Manhattan, wine had provided me a connection to nature that I most likely would never have experienced otherwise.

I’ve thought about this a lot over the last few weeks, as the pandemic has now been with us for more than four months. Most of that time, I’ve been in my apartment, far away from vineyards, much less anything that might reasonably be construed as wild and natural, like a forest or ocean. I feel the difference, physically and emotionally.

My friend professed surprise at my answer. He’d assumed that I would cite the wonderful, otherwise inaccessible wines I had been able to drink, or maybe the many intriguing personalities in the wine world with whom I’ve spent time.

These, of course, have been wonderful benefits as well. If I were not representing readers of The New York Times, I would never have had an opportunity, to drink, say, great old wine made from grapes harvested in 1846, or to try 16 vintages of Château Lafite-Rothschild going all the way back to 1868.

I also know that my understanding of wine would not be nearly as rich without having had the opportunity to spend time with people as diverse as Jean-François Fillastre

Sancerre Sans Straitjacket: Domaine du Nozay

Posted on Posted in Nozay, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

Few French appellations have the brand power of Sancerre. Zippy, citrusy Sancerre coats the throats of millions of drinkers per year, many of whom don’t know that it’s a place, not a grape variety. And, as with other appellations that become household names—Chablis, Champagne, and Bordeaux, for starters—its inherent marketability disincentivizes growers to go the extra mile. Read More

The 2017 Vintage from Ghislaine Barthod

Posted on Posted in Domaine Ghislaine Barthod, Rosenthal Wine Merchant News, RWM Contributor

The release of a new vintage from Ghislaine Barthod is always an eagerly anticipated and joyous occasion. There is perhaps no grower with a wider range of great vineyard holdings in Chambolle-Musigny, and Barthod’s lofty status in the pantheon of top Burgundy estates is firmly established and beyond well-deserved. Read More

The Polarizing Power of Orange Wine

Posted on Posted in Gravner, Paolo Bea, Wine Press

THE POUR
By Eric Asimov

The best examples of these white wines, made with red techniques, are striking and wonderful. Still some dismiss this ancient wine, now trendy once more.

From a distance, what divides white wines from reds seems pretty clear. Yes, the color is obvious, but it’s also the methods of production.

To make red wine, the producer begins by macerating the juice of the grapes with the pigment-bearing skins. This adds not only color to the juice but also tannins, which contribute texture and structure to the darkening wine. When the fermentation is complete and the winemaker is satisfied, the wine is drawn off the skins to begin the aging process.

“Wines like those from Josko Gravner…”

“Farther south, in Umbria, Paolo Bea produces Arboreus, a waxy, bright and juicy wine made of trebbiano spoletino.”

The 25 Best Rosé Wines of 2020

Posted on Posted in Articles, Commanderie de Peyrassol, Wine Press

Even a global pandemic can’t dampen interest in the pink wine juggernaut. According to VinePair’s internal data, rosé is off to an earlier than usual start to its strongest seasonal period, with a 19 percent increase in reader interest this March compared to 2019.

That interest comes off the back of four years of solid growth. According to Nielsen data, off-premise sales of pink wine increased almost 300 percent between January 2016 and January 2020, starting the decade with a value of over $576 million. It’s a remarkable success story, and one that looks set to continue based on the increasing diversity and elevated quality of wines VinePair recently tasted for our annual rosé ranking.

This year’s list encompasses bottles from mainstay regions like Provence and southern Italy, with fresh additions from throughout the Mediterranean, including Spain and Greece. There’s also a strong selection of domestic offerings, many of which can be purchased and shipped right from the wineries. Winery-direct sales are particularly resonant right now, as much of the country is sheltering in place; it’s a sales channel we expect to see grow in importance moving forward in the new normal.

The number of bottles tasted for this year’s list surpassed 100 labels. With a staff panel of tasters, we hotly debated our selections and rankings based on drinkability, mass appeal, quality, and value for money, with prices taken from wine-searcher.com or the winery itself, in the case of direct-to-consumer (DTC) offerings.

On the topic of price, the top 25 bottles of 2020 offer further proof of the value offered by the rosé category: More than half of the bottles on this year’s list deliver change from a crisp $20 bill. At least 10 come in at $15 or less.

1. CHÂTEAU PEYRASSOL

Château Peyrassol is one of the top 25 rosés of 2020. A delightful reminder of what makes Provence rosé so popular, this wine ticks all the boxes. The nose is delicate but serves layers of white flowers, red fruit, and a sprinkle of savory spices. The palate is both bold and refreshing, with tangy fruit cut by a piercing jolt of acidity. Add a hint of wet rocks and a dusting of white pepper to the equation, and you’ve got yourself the best rosé of 2019. If you can’t find this exact bottle, the producer’s entire range is equally impressive and should be sought out. Average price: $35.