France: Wine, French Wine Regions, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, & More Profiled

2008 Dom Pérignon Champagne (regular label)

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$180.00USD

This is the luxury cuvee of Moet & Chandon.  It might be the most well known of all of the luxury cuvees.  The amazing thing is that they make 5 million bottles of this wine every time they produce it.  Of course, it is not produced in every vintage.  They have made a 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009 and now this 2008.  So, it is made almost every year.  The 2008 is special though.  it is probably the best vintage since 1996.  It is expensive, but for a top notch luxury Champagne it is reasonable.  If you do open a bottle, pay attention.  Don't just open to start a night and let the f

2016 Château d'Epiré Savennières Le Hu Boyau, France, Loire, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

I love Chenin Blanc and some of my favorites come from the Loire Valley in France.  This is an excellent wine.  It was $35 on release.  Golden in color.  The nose is mostly about minerality although there is a touch or orange peel.  Very clean.  On the palate, this has a light sweetness to it.  Lots of minerality with good acidity.  It has a lot of complexity even at this young age.  Quite concentrated.  Consumed over three nights, it was best on night three.  This should easily last a couple more decades.  It will go well with lighter foods or foul and also consider Thai or similar cuisine

2014 Domaine Pascal Cotat Sancerre Les Monts Damnés, France, Loire Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Both Francis and Pascal Cotat wineries make some of the best Sauvignon Blancs in the world.  These are age worthy white wines that are truly unique expressions.  This one, while still young, was singing with a bit of air.  Light golden in color with some green hues.  The nose has chalk, gun powder, and pear notes.  Just a hint of caramel.  On the palate, this has a whiff of sweetness; just ever so slightly off dry.  The pears carry thru and the gun powder turns more smoky.  This is deep and complex.  It went quite well with a creamy tomato soup.  This likely will continue to improve for ano

2015 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Brand, France, Alsace, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

One of my favorite Alsatian wineries and my favorite bottling of theirs.  This vintage is no exception.  Light yellow god in color, but also quite intense.  On the nose, this is pretty with peaches, baking spice and a nice minerality.  On the palate, this is just slightly sweet.  A bit viscous.  The peaches carry thru but also also a steely quality.  Consumed over two nights, it was better on the second night.  More complex and deep, but still very lively and little oxidation.  Long finish.  This should continue to improve for the next seven to ten years and be good for ten to fifteen after

2016 Sebastien Dampt Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

From an excellent producer who is still affordable in Chablis.  These are not what I think of as "traditional" wines, but they are quite good and certainly not "modern" if that would be the opposite of traditional.  Light golden in color.  The nose has some green apples more of a lemony quality.  There is a slight chalkiness to it, but more spice.  Good not great acidity.  On the palate, this is more about lemons with some underlying spice.  Nice finish.  Still young, this may yet improve a bit more.  Presuming no oxidation issues (and I have not run into any with this producer), this shoul

2005 Château Clos de Sarpe, France, Bordeaux, St. Emilion, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

This was opened and poured and enjoyed over six hours.  It is still young and really hit its stride after around four hours though the last glass was the best.  A wonderfully delicious wine.  Deep purple in color; shiny, bright and opaque.  The nose is great with black cherries, dark chocolate, slight soy, plum and char.  On the palate, this still has firm tannins though they are not overwhelming.  Lots of black cherry fruit with some underlying gravel and also some chocolate.  This is not a baby at age 15, but still needs about ten years until peak.  The finish is long, smooth and has a ni

2016 Saint-Cosme Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a producer who first got recognition for their fantastic Gigondas wines.  They have since expanded their releases all over the southern and northern Rhone.  Their Chateauneuf is also stellar.  It is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and 10% each of Syrah and Cinsault.  Deep ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose is tight upon opening.  With air, raspberries, black raspberries and mineral/gravel emerge.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lots of black cherry fruit with some raspberries.  Medium tannins.  Bright acidity.  This will work well with roasts and casseroles.  I

2005 Frédéric Magnien Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos Baulet, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This was purchased on release and properly cellared.  Overall, the bottle took an hour or so to open up and then was drinking fine.  It never took that final step to being a top bottle, but it was outstanding nevertheless.  Light ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has a slight earthy funk to it and cherries.  On the palate, this has a soft texture.  Elegant cherries with light tannins twisted around a bit of damp earthy farmyard.  Long finish.  This will go well with roasted fowl or braised beef dishes.  It probably doesn't get better than this but no hurry, it should be at t

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