Wine Journal

  1. Château Calon Ségur - A Gift for Wine Lovers

    Not sure what to gift the wine lover in your life this Valentine's Day? Consider Château Calon Ségur.

    A hundred years before the modern-day era of 1855 Bordeaux Classification, there lived a famous winemaker in Bordeaux.  He was the Marquis Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur (1696 - 1755),  who was given the nickname “The Prince of Vines” by Louis XV following a glowing introduction to the royal court.  During his time, the Marquis de Ségur was considered the consummate winemaker with the magic touch in the whole

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  2. Wine of the Month - January 2021

    This month's selection:

    La Dame de Montrose 2015, Saint-Estèphe, rated 88-90 (Neal Martin).  La Dame de Montrose is the second wine of Château Montrose,  a heavy weight from Saint-Estèphe, just north of Pauillac.

    Château La Dauphine 2015, Fronsac, rated 91-93 (Neal Martin).  For modern day wine drinkers, Fronsac is not a household name as Pauillac, Margaux, Saint-Julien, or Saint-Emilion that define Bordeaux.  But, once upon a time, Fronsac's vineyards were among the best in the Bordeaux area.  In the 18th century, Fronsac’s wines enjoyed the best reputation in the Libourne area (i.e., the Right Bank of the Dordogne River), and sold at higher prices than those of Saint Emilion and Pomerol.

    As the single largest property in Fronsac, Château de La Dauphine is mounting a major come-back, evoking its ties to Charlemagne (who built a fortress in Fronsac), Cardinal de Richelieu (who acquired the land and made its wine famous among the nobles), and its namesake title resulting from the visit of Louis XVI's mother, Mary Josepha of Saxany, who was known as La Dauphine (the French word for "The Princess").  She never became the French queen as her husband died from illness before being crowned.  Her son married Marie Antoinette and ascended the throne as the last French king before the French Revolution.  La Dauphine, Mary Josepha of Saxany, was hence the mother-in-law of the more famous Marie Antoinette, an ill-fated Austrian princess who was swept up in the tidal waves of the revolution.

    Château Feytit-Clinet 2010, Pomerol, rated 95 (Robert Parker Jr).  This month's top-rated wine, a Pomerol having aged for 10 years in the bottle, speaks for itself in the glass.  Chateau Feytit Clinet is located on the famous plateau of Pomerol, close to Chateau Clinet, Latour Pomerol and Clos L'Eglise.

    Château Mangot 2018, Saint-Emilion, rated 93-95 (Lisa Perrotti-Brown).  Château Mangot proves itself time and again to be one of the best values in St-Émilion.  Under the new ownership of Karl and Yann Todeschini, many innovations have been made at the estate.  From Organic viticultural practices to the addition of a new Rosé, it appears Château Mangot is experiencing a renaissance.

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  3. Mouton Rothschild 2018 Label Released

    Among the top Bordeaux chateaux, Mouton Rothschild has a unique tradition.  Every year, it releases a newly commissioned artwork as its label for the vintage.  Part of this traces to the love of art by the owners of this prestigious property, part of it is attributed

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  4. Top 4 Vintages of Figeac

    "A wine that genuinely belongs among the elite Saint-Émilions", thus wrote Neal Martin when he awarded Château Figeac 2016 the top score - 100 points.

    Over the past decade, 4 vintages are on the short list of Bordeaux collectors' must-buys: 2009, 2010, 2015 & 2016. 

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  5. The iconic Château d'Yquem

    The iconic Château d'Yquem

    Château d’Yquem was almost English. During the Middle Ages, in fact, the estate belonged to the King of England, who was also Duke of Aquitaine at the time. In 1453, southwest France was once again brought under the dominion of the French crown by Charles VII and has stayed French ever since. A century and a half later, in 1593, a descendent of a local noble family, Jacques Sauvage, was given feudal tenure over Yquem. The Gironde department archives, as well as those of the château, show that special winegrowing practices and late harvesting already existed at this time. A few years later, the Sauvage family built the château and patiently set about constituting the present-day vineyard, plot by plot. The family became full owners of Yquem in 1711, during the reign of Louis XIV (by which time they had received noble status). In 1785, Françoise Joséphine de Sauvage d’Yquem married Count Louis Amédée de Lur-Saluces. Three years later, in 1788, the count died after a riding accident. His young widow thus became the head of the family and showed extraordinary acumen in managing the estate. The wine was already much appreciated by famous connoisseurs of the period, such as Thomas Jefferson. A staunch opponent of the excesses of the French Revolution who was thrown into prison on two occasions, Françoise Joséphine managed to hold on to the family property and make Yquem prosper. She built a new wine cellar in 1826 with her steward Garos – an audacious step at the time – transforming the estate into a true business and developing its international reputation. It was during her time as head of Yquem that the method of picking in several passes was perfected.

    Today, Château d'Yquem released its 2018 vintage.  It also released its 2019 Y (Ygreac), a dry white wine made from the same outstanding terroir and the same vines as Château d'Yquem. Although work in the vineyard is every bit as meticulous, the grapes are picked and the wine made in a different way.

    Y was formerly made at the end of the harvest, with the last bunches left on the vines. These grapes, affected to varying degrees by Botrytis cinerea, but never with more than 15% potential alcohol, resulted in a very unusual wine. This explains why it has always been produced in small quantities and on an irregular basis since 1959. Y changed starting in 1996, but without compromising its unique character, to be more in tune with the times by displaying the qualities of freshness and crispness – essential for a modern great white wine. It was decided in 2004 to make Y every year. It is thus by deliberate choice that we now harvest certain plots of Sauvignon Blanc

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  6. Solaia 2017

    Tuscan Sun

    Who doesn't fall in love with the Tuscan sun? When you are far from Tuscany, a Super Tuscan is the next best thing to savor over the memory you may have.

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