Wine Journal

  1. A Future Iconic Wine From Shangri-La

    A Future Iconic Wine From Shangri-La

    Here's the latest release from LVMH, the holding company that brings us such amazing wines like Château d'Yquem and Château Cheval Blanc: Ao Yun, a wine produced at the foothills of the Himalayas by the team from Moët Hennessy (the MH in LVMH).

    Ao Yun is an ambitious project by LVMH to create a unique, world-class wine estate in an ideal but new environment.  The famed Australian winemaker, Dr. Tony Jordan, was commissioned to find such a place.  He found his way to the foothills of the Himalayas in Yunnan, near the legendary and remote villages of Shangri-La.  There he found not only conditions that reminded him of Bordeaux but also the remnants of a wholly forgotten series of vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc which had been introduced by French missionaries in the 1800s.  The weather station he implemented locally in 2010 has provided 12 years of weather data to show the Shangri-La climate is a hybrid one between Bo

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  2. Château Angélus Exits Saint-Emilion AOC

    This morning, we woke up to the jaw-dropping news that Château Angélus just announced it had withdrawn from the Saint-Emilion classification, to save itself from the unjust legal attacks for over a decade.

    The legal case culminated in a recent court ruling against the former head of Angélus, Hubert de Bôuard.  He was found guilty of "undue influence" while serving on the government appointed body which set the rules on promoting Saint-Emilion producers to various ranks.  Under these rules, Château Angélus was promoted into the top rank - Premier Grand Cru Classé A of Saint-Emilion.

    Until Château Angélus and Château Pavie were promoted in 2012, only Château Ausone and Château Cheval Blanc were recognized as Premier Grand Cru Classé A of Saint-Emilion.  Unlike the Left Bank that has stuck with the original 1855 Classif

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  3. Drink Less But Better In The New Year

    It's the season of New Year resolutions again.  We support our clients' drive for better health.  If necessary, January can be a drier month.  Who needs the Prohibition if one can exercise self discipline?  For those of us who only need a glass of wine on the weekend, here's our selection for January 2022:

    • La Dame de Montrose 2018, Saint-Estèphe, rated 90-92 (Neal Martin).  Made to the same rigorous standards as the First Wine, from grapes grown in the same vineyard, La Dame de Montrose is the second wine of Château Montrose,  a heavy weight from Saint-Estèphe, just north of Pauillac.  Supple and silky Merlot generally predominates in the varietal mix. Its very pronounced red fruit aromas and flavours reflect another expression of the terroir in a distinctive style which is less elaborately complex than
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  4. Château Siran 2018 - #1 of Wine Enthusiast 100 of 2021

    We have carried Château Siran year after year, believing our customers will be won over once they taste this unpretentious but well-made wine.  It took a #1 ranking by a popular magazine to convince the buyers we haven't served before to clean out our cellar.  By popular demand, we have restocked this wine in Bordeaux and will be shipping it into the states next spring.  Pre-order yours now if you are curious what kind of top-ranked Bordeaux $45 can buy.

    To the insiders, Château Siran has been a hidden gem for quite some time.  As Bloomberg wine columnist Erin McCoy and Decanter Magazine previously reported, the 1955 vintage of Château Siran was used by convicted wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan as a primary ingredient in the blend to fake old vintages of Château Lafite and Château Margaux.  Even some of the auction house critics were fooled.  Is that reason enough to cellar some Siran 2018 to taste

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  5. Quatuor by Château Pichon Baron

    Sometimes, the best laid plan needs a rescue.  In November, Château Pichon Baron released a limited edition of a custom-designed Collector's Case.  Many of our customers bought it as a gift idea.  Unfortunately, the chateau's production schedule did not allow enough time for these cases to be shipped into the US in time for this Christmas.

    The rescue? Earlier in the year, Château Pichon Baron introduced Quatuor - a vertical tasting case of its second wine: Les Tourelles de Longueville from 2015 to 2018.  Les Tourelles is made from a Merlot dominant plot at the estate, which allows the wine to be more approachable earlier than the grand vin.  While we wait for the arrival of the vertical case of Pichon Baron, these second wines can be enjoyed this Christmas.

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  6. Wine of the Month - December 2021

    Laguna Cellar Wine of the Month Selection for December 2021  

    • Champagne Barons de Rothschild 2010, Champagne, Rated 94 (James Suckling) - It was in 2005 that five members of the Rothschild family, from Châteaux Mouton Rothschild, Clarke and Lafite Rothschild, started a project in Champagne. They purchased an established Champagne house, Maison Prieur in Vertus, and had their first harvest that year. They made their first Blanc de Blancs vintage in 2006 and set up shop in Reims in 2007. Their aim? To make an “exceptional Champagne bearing the hallmark of a great vintage, on a par with the wines produced by the family in its celebrated châteaux.”  Frédéric Mairesse, the family’s representative in Reims, says: “This project is a kind of magical idea from the Rothschild family. It’s the first time that the three branches of the family come together and associate their know-how to g
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  7. Wine Of The Month - October 2021

    Our selections for October 2021 are:

    Le Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc 2018, Pessac-Léognan, Rated: 93 (Jeb Dunnuck) - Le Petit Haut Lafitte Blanc 2018 is the perfect choice for any oenophile in search of a crisp, honeyed expression of white Bordeaux.  This thrilling mixture of Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris and Semillon is from the top-rated Grand Crus Classé, Château Smith Haut Lafitte. The estate is currently owned by the Cathiard family, who made a series of sweeping changes to the vineyards and the vat room, placing it on the trajectory of one of the sought after properties within the Pessac-Léognan appellation.  The talented Michel Rolland and Stephane Derenoncourt consult at Château Smith Haut Lafitte, ensuring that the final blend is nothing

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  8. Metamorphosis - Rieussec Relaunched

    What's common between oysters and uni?

    Both can be eaten raw - some say both are best eaten raw.  Both are acquired taste, not easy to swallow for the uninitiated.  Starting today, one can also say both can be paired with Rieussec, the Sauternes relaunched.

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  9. A Masterpiece by Château Angélus

    A Masterpiece by Château Angélus

    It's not an everyday event that a new wine is introduced by a major Bordeaux producer.  Last Friday, Château Angélus unveiled its new creation: Hommage à Elisabeth Bouchet (A Tribute to Elisabeth Bouchet) 2016.  Behind the wine is a rather beautiful love story in the family.

    Elisabeth Bouchet was the great-grandmother of Stéphanie de Boüard-Rivoal, current CEO of Chateau Angélus, co-owner of the property with her father Hubert de Boüard de Laforest.  Stephanie’s great-grandfather, Maurice de Boüard de Laforest, planted Cabernet Franc grapes extensively on his property in honor of his beloved Elisabeth Bouchet.  Bouchet, as it turns out, is well-known on the Right Bank as the other name used to call Cabernet Franc, a well planted grape varietal in Saint-Émilion and Pomerol.  It is the Right Bank's equivalent of the Left Bank's Cabernet Sauvignon,

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  10. Wine Of The Month - September 2021

    Our selections for September 2021 are:

    R de Rieussec 2016, Sauternes Rated 88-90 (Lisa Perotti-Brown) - R de Rieussec is a dry white from the portfolio of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) you may have never heard of!  This stunning, crystalline expression of dry white wine from one of the world’s leading Sauternes producers, Château Rieussec, is an exceedingly rare find.  Though the world may be more familiar with the golden, honeyed Sauternes this Premier Cru Classé produces, R de Rieussec is a treasure in its own right.  For those who appreciate beautifully made dry white Bordeaux, R de Rieussec is a hidden gem of a wine, with very few bottles imported into the United States.  

    Clos du Clocher 2016, Pomerol, Rated: 94 (Lisa Perotti-Brown) - Clos du Clocher is one of the

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