Laguna Cellar Wine of the Month - November 2022

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Wine Ideas for Thanksgiving

What is the best wine for pairing with food served at Thanksgiving dinner?  Every year, we get asked this question.  Our go-to wine selection is always pinot noir, preferably one from Burgundy.  As wine professionals and enthusiasist know, pinot noir is a food-friendly wine that often shows classic fall flavors: cranberry, red apple skin, dried leaves, and allspice.  Our favoriate pinor noir from Burgundy is Chambolle-Musigny, a tiny village sandwiched between Echezeaux/Vougeot and Morey-Saint-Denis.  Here is a detailed map of the small area called Chambolle-Musigny.  The wine we present in this month's selection comes from Les Groseilles, a lieu-dit bearing its own name.  Once named, lieu-dit usually refers to the characteristics of the plot of land, a step deeper into the concept of terroir.



Mazzei Concerto di Fonterutoli is one of the most influential Italian wines that shaped the Super Tuscan movement and created a global phenomenon in the 1980s.  From one of the premier families of the Chianti district, the Mazzei family, this stunning blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon is sure to captivate and impress with its perfect blend of power, finesse, and elegance.  Concerto di Fonterutoli was one of the leading wines to spearhead the Super Tuscan movement, influencing the quality of wine from the once maligned Chianti region and crowning it a leader on a global scale.

Château Olivier received its Grand Cru Classé classification in the official 1953 Classification of Graves wine.  It is a very old seigniory, dating back to the Middle Ages. It is said that the Black Prince enjoyed coming here to hunt, as the surrounding forests were so well-stocked in game.  Since the 19th century, the estate has belonged to an old Bordeaux family: the Bethmanns.

Château Fleur Cardinale is a Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé that has been on the rise since the mid 2000s.  The property was purchased in May 2001 by Dominique and Florence Decoster to fulfil their dream of becoming vignerons.  The former business owners who made a name for themselves in the porcelain industry were strangers to the Bordeaux wine scene, but that wasn’t going to deter them from making the best wine possible.  For the Decoster family, owning a property like Château Fleur Cardinale is a serious commitment that they devote themselves to in its entirety.  The results speak for themselves, and the wine of this estate is dynamic, expressive and richly concentrated. 

Tasting Notes

Henri de Villamont Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Groseilles 2014 - While not rated by wine critics, this Chambolle-Musigny from the center of the village is classified as Premier Cru.  In the hierarchy of Burgundian wines, Premier Cru is just one notch below the Grand Cru (essentially the crème de la crème), and above the Village and Regional classifications.  Here is what the Bourgogne Wine Board has to say about this village: "Chambolle-Musigny is a red wine, often regarded as the most "feminine" wine of the Côte de Nuits; its intensity and delicacy express themselves with elegance and subtlety.  To the eye, it presents a bright ruby hue with luminous highlights.  It may darken a little over time but with no loss of impact.  Its bouquet, easily recognizable, is composed of violet and small red fruits (raspberry, strawberry).  With further aging it tends towards spiced ripe fruits and prune, or towards truffle, underbrush and animal notes.  Rich, fragrant and complex, it lines the palate with silk and lace.  Its delicate but fleshy texture in no way detracts from its solid and durable structure.  On the sweet side with little trace of acidity, its tannins remain silky smooth."

Mazzei Concerto di Fonterutoli 2019 - "Such a fragrant and appealing burst of aromas here with milk chocolate, blackcurrants, dried herbs and flowers. A blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, this has a core of cherries and raspberries alongside savoury olive and oak elements with round, just-there tannins that give support to the fresh and lively fruit. Great power, depth and concentration. The wine is aged for 18 months in small French 225l oak barrels, 70% new, before moving to concrete tanks for four months." Georgina Hindle, Decanter, Rating: 96, Drink: 2024-2034

Château Olivier 2015 - "The 2015 Château Olivier offers vivacious red cherry and crisp strawberry fruit on the nose, biding its time, gently unfolding in the glass until it takes full flight. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and smooth wild strawberry and raspberry fruit, laced with cedar and a pleasant saltiness. This is one of the best Château Olivier reds in recent years. This is one of the best wines from Château Olivier in recent years, thanks to its greater depth and harmony. Laurent Lebrun has done a great job here." -Neal Martin,  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Ratings: 91-92, Drink: 2021-2045

Château Fleur Cardinale 2005 - "A stunning sleeper of the vintage, quality at this property has soared under the relatively new owners, Dominique and Florence Decosters. The 2005, a blend of 70% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, was fashioned from yields of 33 hectoliters per hectare. This concentrated wine possesses a gorgeous bouquet of smoke, black currant liqueur, lead pencil shavings, cedar, and Asian spices. In the mouth, it displays a chocolaty richness, a beautiful texture, an expansive, multilayered mouthfeel, and a 45-second finish. A fabulous effort, it will be drinkable in 4-5 years, and should last for over two decades." - Robert Parker Jr, The Wine Advocate (4/29/2008, Issue 176), Rating: 95, Drink from: 2015-2030

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Brand Laguna Cellar
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Notes on sale of Futures, Pre-Arrivals, and potential US Tariffs: 

1. As of June 15, 2021, the US and the EU agreed to suspend tariffs resulting from the Boeing-Airbus aircraft trade disputes. Accordingly, such tariffs are now suspended for the next five years.

2. Futures are expected to be available for delivery two years after the sales (e.g., the 2022 vintage, sold in 2023, will be delivered in 2025 mostly, or 2026 if the producer ages the wine longer).

3. Pre-Arrivals are items currently stored in our Bordeaux cellar or transit from France to the US. It usually takes 1-6 months for Pre-Arrivals to become available for delivery, depending on the stage of the import process.

4. Regarding futures and pre-arrivals, we cannot guarantee specific delivery dates, which factors beyond our control may impact. However, we will notify you once your wine arrives in our cellar.

5. While a buyer of Bordeaux wine futures locks in an allocation of the specified items, the final delivery of the purchased items from France to the US may be impacted by intervening and unforeseeable events. Despite our due diligence, additional costs or delays may be caused by such intervening and unforeseen events and "an irresistible, superhuman cause, or by the act of public enemies of the state of California or the United States."  In such events, if a buyer does not accept unforeseeable costs or delays, the sole and exclusive remedy is a cancellation of the futures order concerned and a refund of the original purchase price. We are NOT liable for any lost profits on a canceled order.

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