1988 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1988
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$600.00USD

Beautiful showing for this thirty-one year old wine.  While I don't think it will get better, it still has plenty of life left.  Garnet in color, clear and bright.  The nose is earthy with cherries, slight funk and a bit of dried fruits.  On the palate, layers of black raspberry fruit, earth and slight funk.  Deep and complex.  Enough youth and acidity to keep things interesting.  This is at peak.  It will work better with food at this point.  Roasted meats and vegetables, stews but also Indian food would be great.  Should easily last another ten years if well stored.  

2007 Louis Boillot Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Chapelle, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is drinking about at peak right now.  It is a very pretty wine.  Light ruby/orange in color, clear and bright but very light.  The nose is earthy with macerated cherries and a bit of funk.  Just a bit of mint on the end of the nose.  On the palate, this is very soft with light tannins still present.  Cherries and cherry juice.  A bit of forest floor underneath.  Long finish.  A very pretty Burgundy that is everything one could have hoped for on release.  It will work with a wide variety of foods.  

2014 J.L. Chave Sélection Hermitage Farconnet, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

OK, this one surprised me and exceeded my expectations.  This is again what Chave calls their negociant line but they do own the vineyards.  It is about one fifth the price of the Estate Hermitage.  I am not sure what I was expecting but those expectations were low considering the above and that 2014 was not a great year in the Northern Rhone.  Well, this wine was delightful.  It may not make three decades, but for the next decade, this is an awesome Syrah.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, violets, black pepper and slight barnyard.  Medium tannins.  On the palate

2016 Martin Clerc Côte-Rôtie, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

Another wine from this relatively new producer.  This is a very interesting style of Côte-Rôtie and is what I assume is traditional.  It is a much lighter style of wine and for those looking for a low alcohol, low oak alternative for Syrah in general and Côte-Rôtie in particular, this fits the bill.  Deep garnet in color.  The nose has cherries and a bit of brown sugar.  Almost candied.  On the palate, this is very soft.  Notes of cherries and iced tea.  No tannins.  Slight black licorice on the finish.  This clocks in at 13% Abv.  It really is a food wine and will do better on the dinner t

2016 Domaine Font de Vent Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This producer used to be known as Font de Michelle but has re-branded using this name.  It is a very traditional CdP with about 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre according to the back label.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherry and spice and a bit of a liqueur note.  Very nice chewy mouth feel.  Black cherries, a bit floral and cherries along with some alcohol on the palate.  Long finish.  This should pair well with stews, charcuterie and roasts.  Both 2015 and 2016 are great vintages in CdP.  This one easily has a decade or more left to enjoy.  

2016 Laurent Martray Brouilly "Combiaty" Vieilles Vignes. France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

A really lovely wine for $20.  This is a Cru Beaujolais that is drinking great now and should be good for another 7 to 10 years!  Deep garnet in color.  Clear and bright.  The nose has cherries and slight cherry powdered drink mix.  On the palate, tart bing cherries with slight tannins.  Slightly sour (in a good way) on the finish.  In ten years, this should drink like a Pinot of comparable age.  It is very food friendly with good acidity.  Think anything from Salmon to mushroom dishes to poultry.

2017 Martin Clerc Condrieu, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is a relatively new producer of Rhone wines.  The estate began back in the early 90's but Martin took over in 2013 after completing wine school.  Medium gold in color.  The nose is perfumed with floral notes, minerals and wax.  With air, some apricots emerge.  On the palate, this has a slightly oily texture.  Flavors of hay and citrus on the palate.  Light acidity.  This should go well with sea foods and vegetarian dishes.  It went quite well with a Mushroom pasta.  I don't think it will make old bones and would recommend drinking up in the next few years at most.  The freshness and th

2015 J.L. Chave Sélection Hermitage Blanche, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

2015 was a wionderful vintage in the Rhone.  Also from his Negociant line of wines (although Chave owns the vineyards for these too).  Great showing for this wine, it will undoubtedly open and close often over the next twenty or so years, but beautiful at the moment.  Light golden in color.  The nose shows vanilla, slight peach and white floral notes.  This is a big full bodied wine.  On the palate showing slightly bitter (in a good way) earthiness, apricots, slight lemons and white pepper.  Nice acidity (for Marsanne).  Long finish.  This wine is mostly Marsanne.  This wine has a nice dept

2017 J.L. Chave Sélection St. Joseph Circa, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is the "Negociant" line of wines although the vineyards are in fact, owned by Chave.  It is what used to be labelled as Celeste.  There are two big differences between this and the Hermitage.  First, this is 100% Roussanne while those are all or mostly Marsanne.  Second, this is grown on granite soils as opposed to limestone and schist giving this wine more minerality.  Yellow gold in color.  The nose is very nice.  Minerals for sure but also a bit of was and vanilla with an earthiness that is intriguing.  On the palate, this has a lovely creamy texture.  Slightly lemon with vanilla an

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