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

2017 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Pucelles, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$375.00USD

Quite the treat!  Served to me by friends!  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose takes some time to open, and then orange/tangerine, peach, slight almond flour and a bit of a floral note.  Medium bodied with a slightly oily (in a good way) texture.  On the palate, this takes some time to open and then shows peach, tangerine, and stony minerality.  Delicious.  Long finish.  This is young and will undoubtedly improve over the next seven to ten years.  It should drink well for another ten to twelve after that.  That said, it offers up so much energy and intensity now, it would be

1991 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc De L'Orée, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1992
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

White Rhone wines are certainly unique and this one, at age 30, is no exception.  I quite enjoyed it for what it offered.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is interesting with pears, Crème Brûlée, honey countered by a bit of oxidation and minerality.  Full bodied and quite rich.  On the palate, it has a deep complexity.  Some fruit; baked pears with layers of minerals and some oxidized apples (not in a bad way).  Long finish.  This was served with a Gazpacho and it worked well enough for a difficult pairing.  It seems like it will be at this level for a while longer, but it shou

1996 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1996
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$550.00USD

Not much more to say about one of the greatest wines on the planet from a great vintage.  This bottle was bought on release and cellared well.  Light golden in color with a lot of small bubbles.  The nose is concentrated with baked apples, some spice, slight lemon and a brioche/oxidized note that is classic Krug.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this is still youthful.  Great acidity.  A bit of baked apple, spice and slight cider note.  Long finish.  This is still youthful and should easily go another ten to fifteen years at this level if well stored.  It will pair with virtually any

2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

Great showing for this top Châteauneuf-du Pape! Served side by side with Hommage a Perrin, it held its own.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is clean with plums, black cherries, slight balsamic, some spice and slight meatiness.  Medium to full bodied.  Great texture.  On the palate, this is fresh and vibrant but pretty much at peak although with years left.  This release as some variability, but well stored bottles should easily go another decade or more.  It drinks great on its own, this worked very well with Indian food.  

1982 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru), France, Bordeaux, Saint Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1982
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Spectacular showing for this wine.  Opened, allowed to breathe for ten minutes then decanted for sediment and allowed to breath for another twenty minutes.  Totally exceeded expectations.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is everything one could want from aged Bordeaux.  Cassis, black cherries, tobacco, slight leather, hints of funk and spice.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this is complex, layered and contemplative.  Layers of cassis, black cherries, funk and earth.  Great balance.  Long finish.  More elegant than a powerhouse, but it can hold its own as well.  This bottle seemed at

1983 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru), France, Bordeaux, Saint Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1983
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

What a treat.  The cork was popped, waited ten minutes and decanted for sediment.  This is classic old Bordeaux.  Deep ruby in color with some bricking at the rim.  The nose is great with cassis, cherries, tobacco, some funk and dried cherries.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this is complex and delicious.  Most likely past prime but not a whole lot.  This bottle had been purchased on release and properly cellared.  Flavors of cassis and cherries layered with dry earth and funk.  Great balance.  Nice finish.  Drink now if you own any.  A bottle like this will work with dinner but it

2005 Château Branaire-Ducru, France, Bordeaux, Saint Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This was popped and allowed to breathe for 20 minutes.  Certainly way too early but it was quite enjoyable nevertheless.  Consumed next to the 82, 83 and 09, for my tastes, this was the least great showing, but in time, will be the best wine.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, spice and freshly turned earth.  Powerful as it opens in the glass.  Wonderful texture.  On the palate, this is delicious if tight.  Cassis, slight black cherry with a hint of minerality.  Long finish.  This needs another ten to twelve years and should drink well for 30 after th

1961 Château Gruaud Larose, France, Bordeaux, Saint Julien, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1961
Grade: 

This has a different shaped ullage so saying low-shoulder fill is quite accurate.  The fill was about four inches down from the top of the cork.  The cork was removed and the bottle blew off stink for a bit and then we tried it.  It did get a bit better over the subsequent 20 minutes before dying a quick death.  Garnet in color, mostly clear and a bit flat.  On the nose there is dust, saddle leather, dusty attic and just a hint of dried cranberries.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there is just a hint of cherries with leather and earth.  A bit tart.  Clipped finish.  There are surely people

1981 Domaine Ponsot Morey St. Denis 1er Cru Clos des Monts Luisants Blanc, France, Burgundy, Cotes de Nuits, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1981
Grade: 

The neck tag on this said 1978 but the label said 1981 so...  A bit of research seems to suggest this is 60% Aligote, 25% Chardonnay, and 15% Pinot Gouges.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has a lot of mushrooms along with a bit of citrus and a burnt almond quality.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, the citrus and burnt almond quality come out.  There is some life here but not a lot.  Still an interesting wine to try.  Drink up if you have any.  Giving it the respect it deserves, share this wine with friends without food and have a back up bottle.  It doesn't seem fair to

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