Wild fire is raging again in California, threatening Napa and Sonoma wine country. As we sympathize with folks stateside, many of our partners in France are also suffering under the burden of the tariffs. Looking for ways to consider the glass half full, literally, in the scorching heat, we fall back on the fresh fruity chardonnay our friends in Burgundy produce. Our everyday favorite is Henri de Villamont's regional label, Prestige. This refreshing chardonnay is not living in the shadows of the smoky oak barrels. Instead, the winemaker eschews oak in favor of the natural taste of the fruit. This light-touch approach makes it a perfect fit for the summer!
This month, we also present 3 unique red wines, each worthy of its own story.
- Château L'Arrosée 2010 is no longer produced as an independent label. Having been acquired by Domaine Clarence Dillon, the family company that also owns Château Haut-Brion, L'Arrosée has been rolled into a new production known as Château Quintus today. If you ever wonder what caught the fancy of the owner of Haut-Brion, here is a chance to taste the wine from 2010 - one of the best vintages of Bordeaux in the last 20 years.
- Clos du Marquis is produced by Domaines Delon, the owner of the well-known Second Growth wine Château Léoville Las Cases. This label was first released in 1902 as an inspiration drawn from the Petit Clos adjacent to the Château de Léoville, residence of the Marquis de Las Cases.
- Not many Bordeaux fans have heard of Château Siaurac, even fewer would know it has been co-managed by Château Latour since 2014 and is now wholely owned by the venerable First Growth estate. Staring from day one, Château Latour has invested in Siaurac through appointing its winemakers to take charge of the promising property. Hailing from the small but vibrant Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation, Château Siaurac practices organic and biodynamic winemaking.
This month's selection:
Clos du Marquis 2012 -"The wine is pure with lots of creme de cassis, crushed rock and vanillin characteristics in its long, medium to full-bodied personality. Given the fact that this vineyard was once part of the larger Leoville Las Cases estate, it is no surprise that it is similar to its more famous as well as more expensive cousin. A strong effort in this vintage, it should drink well for 15-20 years.
A brilliant effort from Jean-Hubert Delon, Clos du Marquis is now an entirely separate estate from Leoville Las Cases and its second wine, Le Petit Lion. The outstanding 2012 Clos du Marquis is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc and came in at 13.5% natural alcohol. About 50% new oak is used." - Robert Parker Jr, The Wine Advocate, (4/24/2013, Issue 206), Rating: 91-93, Drink: 2013-2033
Château L'Arrosée 2010 - "The dense ruby/purple-hued 2010 possesses copious notes of graphite, blueberries and black raspberry liqueur intermixed with subtle smoky oak. A more structured effort than other recent vintages, deep, pure, full-bodied and impressive, this property has regained its momentum over the last 4-5 years, and their 2010 is another powerful yet elegant effort that admirably translates its terroir. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades." - Robert Parker Jr, The Wine Advocate (5/1/2011, Issue 194), Ratings: 91-94, Drink: 2015-2035
Château Siaurac 2015 - "The 2015 Siaurac has long been making some "nifty" Lalande-de-Pomerol and this is well worth investigating. It has a sensual, fruit-forward bouquet with plenty of black cherry and cassis fruit that does not overpower. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin. There is a couple of layers of new oak to be absorbed, but there is sufficient fruit to do that and it finished with attractive truffle and white pepper notes that offer fine salinity." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Rating: 90-92