Continuing with our theme of affordable wines from the 2009 vintage, we have discovered some great red and white wines, including more Beaujolais and Rosé. There is something here for everyone!
A Terrific Torrontés from Argentina
Yet another terrific 2009 Torrontés, this one is really exotic. The Noble 2009 Torrontés Mendoza, pale yellow in color, has a gorgeous perfume with exotic fruit and spice and floral nuances. It is rounded and lush on the palate with exotic fruit and floral, spice and citrus undertones. This is a very flavorful wine – Outstanding. Lexington Import Group, Buffalo Grove, IL $13.99
An Outstanding Wine from Alsace
Felix Meyer owns vineyards in Katzenthal in Alsace. He is a disciple of Zind Humbrecht and a gifted winemaker. The Meyer-Fonné 2009 Gentil d’Alsace Blanc is a blend of noble Alsatian varieties and is unique and very attractive. Light yellow gold in color, the wine has a gorgeous floral, apricot, spice, citrus and exotic fruit perfume. It has great fruit with spicy, floral and exotic fruit nuances and a long, crisp finish. This would be great with Asian stir-frys, grilled vegetables, chicken sausage, and a wide variety of spicy foods – Outstanding. $16.00 Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA Best Buy
Ten Lovely Beaujolais Wines
Daniel Bouland is a protégé of Marcel Lapierre and fellow grower in Villié-Morgon. He has very old vines. The wines are aged in large old foudres and can be very long lived. These 2009s are simply stunning.
The Daniel Bouland 2009 Chiroubles is dark in color and has a gorgeous perfume of black cherries and an underlying floral, spicy note. It is rich, soft and supple on the palate with lots of black cherry fruit and is beautifully balanced. This is a really delicious Beaujolais – Outstanding Plus. Weygandt Metzler, Unionville, PA $24.99
The Daniel Bouland 2009 Morgon Corcelette Vieilles Vignes comes from a small parcel of old vines near the winery. It is dark in color and shows a deep blackberry perfume tinged with spice. On the palate, it has heaps of blackberry fruit, intermingled with spice and is rich and full with great structure and depth. This is a terrific Beaujolais that can be enjoyed now or laid away for many years – Outstanding Plus. Weygandt Metzler, Unionville, PA $25.99
The Christian Vergiers 2009 Morgon Cuvée Tour de Janay is a really precocious Morgon with great early charm. It is dark in color with a gorgeous olalliberry perfume. It is rounded, lush and supple with heaps of olalliberry fruit on the palate. If you can resist, it will be interesting to see how this wine will age – Outstanding. Jeff Welburn Selections Wine Agencies, Ltd., Van Nuys, CA $16.99 Best Buy
Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils
Ghislaine Dupeuble of Domaine Dupeuble is a quality conscious producer utilizing organic methods. The Domaine Dupeuble 2009 Beaujolais is a delicious wine for early consumption and a great value. Deep in color, it has a lovely perfume of raspberry and boysenberry fruit. Brimming with a cornucopia of fruit, this is a lip-smacking good Beaujolais! Outstanding. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $13.45 Best Buy
Since 1888 the Fessy family has been based in the heart of the Brouilly appellation. The estate consists of some 150 acres including most of the 10 crus and Beaujolais-Villages appellations. In 2008 it was sold to Maison Louis Latour.
The Henry Fessy 2009 Fleurie has a deep color and a lovely perfume of boysenberry with a faintly floral nuance. It has lovely fruit and is elegant, supple and very tasty with early appeal – Highly Recommended. K & L Wine Merchants, Redwood City, CA $16.99
The Henry Fessy 2009 Moulin-á-Vent shows a lovely blackberry perfume and lots of blackberry fruit on the palate. It is soft and supple with early appeal – Highly Recommended. K & L Wine Merchants, Redwood City, CA $16.99
This domaine was founded in 1870. It consists of 13 acres of vineyards, of which 12 acres are in Morgon and one acre in the Beaujolais appellation. Jean-Paul Thévenet is a member of the Morgon Gang of Four along with the late Marcel Lapierre, Guy Breton and Jean Foillard. They retrenched to more traditional Burgundian grapegrowing and winemaking methods, making small quantities of top quality Beaujolais. Thévenet makes two cuvees of Morgon: Tradition and Vieilles Vignes. The Vieilles Vignes, which comes from vines at least 70 years old, is consistently superb and the 2009 is off the charts great!
The Jean-Paul Thévenet 2009 Morgon Vieilles Vignes is deep in color and has a complex perfume of boysenberry fruit with faintly smoky, spicy nuances. Already showing an incredible Burgundian flavor profile, it is exquisitely balanced with berry/cherry fruit and a faintly smoky, spicy undertone. Soft and elegant, it is supple and complex, with a long finish. Absolutely stunning now, but this great Morgon and seems destined for many years of evolution – Extraordinary. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $27.00
Maison Louis Tête
One of the better negociants in Beaujolais, the family has been winegrowers since the beginning of the 19th Century in Les Depots, a few miles from Beaujeu, the historic capital of Beaujolais. Formerly Les Depots was an important staging port for the carriage of wines to Paris. Its great vaulted cellars are still intact and used for the maturation of wines. Louis and Jean Tête own 16 ha of a number of vineyards in St. Didier sur Beaujeau. The Louis Tête 2009 Moulin-á-Vent, dark in color, is an intensely fruity wine. It has a deep blackberry perfume and lots of rich blackberry fruit with tinges of cassis. Flavorful and very tasty, a bit of bottle age should be beneficial – Highly Recommended. Frank-Lin International, San Jose, CA $16.99
The late Marcel Lapierre was one of the Gang of Four in Morgon. This wine was made from Gamay harvested from young vines of Morgon. The Marcel LaPierre 2009 Vin de France, with a very nice color, has a perfumed nose of raspberry and boysenberry. It is very crisp and very fruity with a nice raspberry zestiness. This is tasty stuff at an attractive price. It is made for early consumption. Chill and swill. Don’t try to out think it. Just drink it! – Highly Recommended. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $12.55 Best Buy
The Henriot family, owners of Bouchard Pere et Fils and William Fevre in Chablis bought Chateau Poncié in 2008, renaming it Villa Ponciago. Interestingly, this Villa Ponciago 2009 Fleurie La Réserve is quite restrained and tight. The nose shows a smoky, earthy quality and the flavors have a straightforward restrained fruitiness. Henriot, Inc., NY, NY $19.99
Two Gorgeous Corsican Rosés
Domaine Antoine Arena is located in Corsica’s 500 ha. Patrimonio wine appellation, on Cap Corse, a peninsula that juts out northward from the island. Antoine, along with his wife Maria and their two sons, Jean Baptiste and Antoine Maria, turned the 3 ha. domaine of Antoine’s father into one of the island’s leading vineyards, now a biodynamic, 14 ha. estate. The family grows Niellucciu and Vermentinu, with some of the vines being 80 years old. Since the mid 90s, Arena has been leading the resurgence of the local grape Biancu Gentile, used in the production of a white vin de pays.
The Antoine Arena 2009 Rosé Patrimonio, pale salmon-pink in color, with a faint golden edge, is a great Rosé of unique style and complexity. The perfumed nose has a nuance of peach and berry fruit with hints of almond and spice and a faint smokiness. On the palate, this wine is finesseful but with a very good grip and backbone. Complex, with flavors of cherries, peach and citrus and a faint, underlying stoniness, this is a real smorgasbord of flavors and textures that combine to make a very great Rosé. Bravo! Exceptional. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $26.10 Best Buy
Domaine de Gioielli is also on Cap Corse. Ange-Louis Angeli established the domaine in 1952. Now, his son Michel Angeli operates the property which contains 15 ha., with 10 ha. under vine. Grapes grown include Muscat, Vermentinu, Niellucciu, Codiverta, and Aleatico (a grape from the island of Elba). Michel and his daughter also produce a wine that is a blend of Muscat and Grenache. The Domaine de Gioielli 2009 Rosé Vin de Pays de l’Ile de Beauté, pale salmon in color, with a faint golden hue and edge, has a lovely perfume with hints of peach, citrus, mineral and spice. Soft and finesseful yet crisp with complex flavors of peach, citrus and a very faint floral and mineral nuance, this is another really delicious Rosé – Outstanding Plus. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $25.20 Best Buy
A Don’t Miss Wine from the Languedoc
Cyriaque Rozier owns this estate in Pic St Loup in Coteaux du Languedoc, founded in 2004. He is also the winemaker for Chateau La Roque which is also in the Languedoc.
Wow! The 2009 Château Fontanès 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc Rouge is a real stunner and a great bargain. From the region of Coteaux du Languedoc near the Pic St. Loup, this is a wine with intensity and complexity, but it still retains a certain elegance. It is deep in color with a faintly spicy, smoky nose and hints of plum and raspberry. Supple, rounded and soft on the palate, it is plummy and fruity with a hint of spice and vanilla and a very soft, underlying tannin. This is a gorgeous wine! Don’t miss it! Outstanding. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant $12.95 Best Buy
Three Very Attractive Sancerres and an Unusual
Red Wine from the Loire Valley
Sancerre is one of my favorite wines. I buy it every year from numerous producers. Some years they are leaner with more citrus and mineral. Some years they are more rounded, yet with great restraint. They are a great match with fish, particularly more delicately flavored ones such as simply prepared sole or halibut.
The 2009 Sancerres promise to be more supple than the more restrained 2008s. Both have their appeal, but it is hard to resist the early charms of the 2009s. Here are notes on three and more notes on 2009 Sancerres will follow in a future article.
Domaine Daniel Chotard
Daniel Chotard’s vineyard lies on slopes surrounding the small commune of Crezancy-en-Sancerre, which is close to the town of Sancerre. The slopes of ancient chalky and white soils lends a mineral quality to his wines. Winemaking in the Chotard family goes back for several generations. The Daniel Chotard 2009 Sancerre, pale yellow in color, has a gorgeous perfume of grapefruit and melon, with a tinge of coconut. It has great fruit and is balanced, with flavor and finesse. Rounded, with a nice underlying crispness, the flavors are complex, with subtle hints of melon, grapefruit, coconut and mineral. This is a really delicious Sancerre – Outstanding Plus. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA $20.25 Best Buy
Philippe Raimbault is a tiny producer who makes only a small amount of wine. Apud Sariacum is the ancient name of the village of Sury-en-Vaux. The fossil on the label reflects the soil of the vineyard which dates to the Jurassic period leaving fossilized stones of ancient sea creatures scattered throughout the property. The two wines are shipped by Jean-Marie de Champs, Beaune, FR and imported by Wine House Limited, San Francisco.
The Philippe Raimbault 2009 Sancerre Apud Sariacum, pale yellow in color, shows a lovely perfume with a touch of melon, grapefruit and a faint citrus nuance. Flavorful and round, with subtle flavors of melon and grapefruit, the wine finishes crisp with a nice zestiness – outstanding. $19.99 Best Buy
The Philippe Raimbault 2009 Sancerre Les Godons is a pale yellow color and quite subdued on the nose. It has lovely fruit on the palate and is round and balanced by a nice citrus, with a mineral tinge. This is a really lovely Sancerre – Highly Recommended Plus. $21.24
Domaine Philippe Tessier
Philippe started working with his father in 1981, then took over in 1988 when his father, who founded the domaine in 1960, retired. The property was certified as an organic vineyard in 2004. Tessier has 20 ha of vineyards in the heart of Cheverny. The wine is a blend of Gamay, Pinot Noir and Malbec.
The Philippe Tessier 2009 Cheverny Rouge has a nice color and a faint perfume. It is light, crisp and fruity with a peppery, faintly herbal accent. Premier Wine Imports, Richmond, CA $14.99
Azienda Agricola Tintero Elvio
This estate has steep vineyards in the Langhe region of Piemonte and are in the village of Mango on a hilltop. The Arneis grape is rarely planted in this part of Piemonte. Arneis means “rascal” in some translations and “stubborn or different” in other others. The basis of the name is that the grapes do not grow very well in most areas outside of Ruero. Well, this wine is anything but a rascal or stubborn! It is, in fact, delicious and at a great bargain to boot!
The Tintero 2009 Arneis Langhe, pale yellow in color, has a lovely perfume that is floral with a hint of almond and a faintly spicy undertone. Soft and round with lovely fruit, there is a floral nuance with a hint of almond. Balanced and finesseful, this is a gorgeous wine – Outstanding. K & L Wine Merchants, Redwood City, CA $11.25 Best Buy
The Tintero 2009 Rosso is made with an unusual blend of Barbera, Nebbiolo, Merlot and Dolcetto. When is the last time you have had a wine made with this blend of grapes? Probably never, but here’s your chance. The wine has a very nice color and a lovely perfume that is faintly spicy and cedary with berry fruit underneath. It has very nice fruit and is clean and crisp with a tinge of vanilla, cedar and spice. Priced at $8.95, this is easy on the wallet and easy on the palate – Highly Recommended. K & L Wine Merchants, Redwood City, CA $8.95 Best Buy
Giusy Albano has 8 ha of vineyards and olive orchards with a deep underground wine cellar on an estate in Puglia which has a manor farm built in the 18th century. The Fujanera 2009 Rosato Re Del Cuore Puglia is a lovely fruity Rosé with a light reddish-pink color and a lovely, floral cherry-tinged perfume. It is round and supple with gorgeous fruit and a floral nuance. Really lovely and deliciously fruity, this is a wine for immediate enjoyment – Highly Recommended. K & L Wine Merchants, Redwood City, CA and Imported by Premier Wine Company, Richmond, CA $10.99 Best Buy
I Stefanini Winery
The Tessari family have engaged in agriculture and vine growing in the heart of Soave since the 1800s. The Stefanini 2009 Soave Il Selese is light golden in color with a nice steely, floral perfume showing just a hint of almond. Rounded and lush with a hint of apricot and faint citrus and spice nuances, the wine has complexity and a nice, crisp finish. This is lovely – Highly Recommended. Premier Wine Company, Richmond, CA $8.99 Best Buy
Sitios de Bodega
For six generations, the Sanz family has been making wines in Rueda, located in northwest Spain. In 2005 Ricardo Sanz started producing wines under the new Sitios de Bodega label. There are some 120 acres of vineyards planted mostly to Verdejo which appeared here as a wild grape variety in the 10th Century. The Sitios de Bodega 2009 Rueda La Casa is a blend of 60% Verdejo, 25% Viura and 15% Sauvignon Blanc. It is pale yellow in color, with a lovely perfume that is faintly herbal and citrus tinged. The wine is light with lovely fruit, showing herbal and citrus nuances and a nice crisp, clean finish – Recommended. Eric Solomon/European Selections, European Cellars, LLC, Charlotte, NC $9.99
Luis Ilarza established the winery in Logrono in La Rioja. The Darien 2009 Tempranillo Rioja is a dark-colored wine with deep berry and cedar tinged perfume. It has lovely blackberry fruit touched with spice and is elegant and very tasty, yet crisp on the finish. The wine has great early appeal and is a great bargain – Highly Recommended. Signature Imports, Mansfield, MA $5.99 Best Buy