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In December, we drink Champagne at closing at K&L- and we prefer to drink it out of magnum when possible. The highlight this year was the Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (1.5L) magnum ($74.99) that we had on Christmas eve. This single vineyard beauty comes from the Gouttes d’Or, a very steep east facing parcel in the little village of Brouillet. It was creamy, delicate and perfectly refreshing! We all say to cheers to you, and hope your holiday is filled with fun and friends!

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Thursday
Feb162006

2003 Patrice Rion Reds

The extremely ripe 2003 vintage lead to lot of variability in the wines. However, there were a few domaines whose wine struck me as outstanding. One of these was Patrice Rion, in Nuits-St.-Georges. Somehow, Patrice’s wines, both domaine bottles and negociant, retained a clear sense of place as well as grace and balance, which only a handful of producers managed, in my opinion. This is so extraordinary a range that I visited Patrice directly to be certain I could get the wines! The 2003 Patrice Rion Gevrey Chambertin ($34.99) is meaty and rich, while the 2003 Patrice Rion Chambolle Musigny ($34.99) shows delicate red fruits and transparency of fruit. The 2003 Patrice Rion Nuits-St-Georges , V.V. ($34.99) is so poised that Allen Meadows writes: “It’s rare to find a Nuits villages with this degree of style and grace.” The 2003 Domaine Patrice Rion Chambolle Musigny, Les Cras ($36.99) is from Patrice’s own vineyard and is a complete standout for its Chambolle charm and lovely red fruits. The 2003 Patrice Rion Nuits-St.-Georges 1er Cru “Les Cailles” ($49.99) is another Burghound Key Buy, with punch and muscularity. The 2003 Domaine Patrice Rion Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru “Clos des Argillieres” ($51.99) is muscular and taut with power, minerality and elegance. Finally, the piéce de resistance, his 2003 Patrice Rion Chambolle Musigny, 1er Cru “Les Charmes” ($59.99) is so full of sweet, pure pinot fruit that it is just irresistible. Á Santé. —Keith Wollenberg

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