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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it too.

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Tuesday
Feb072006

2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The Angeles Wine Agency tasting on January 24th 2006 A couple weeks ago I had the great opportunity to attend the 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape tasting put on by the Angeles Wine Agency. Over the course of three hours I tasted and took very inspired notes on over 40 CNP’s from the 2004 vintage. What can I say a this point other than, holy smokes!? I am just getting to know this vintage, and I am already head over heals in love. The vintage, at this point displays fantastic potential. Fruit, richness, acidity and length..these CNP’s have got it all. What is going to make a vintage like this difficult is deciding which one’s you like the most. The following wines were, in my estimation, real standouts. The ETA on these wines will be some time in the late spring/mid summer. If one, or two or all of these CNP’s strike your fancy lemme know, and I will keep you posted as they become available. Please excuse all of the non-sequitors. 2004 Domaine Moulin-Tacussel CNP (80% Grenache, 10% syrah, 7 % mourvèdre, 3% cinsault) Rich and forward but in a more traditional sense. Beautiful concentration of blackcurrant and deep cherry fruit, followed by just the slightest hint of roasted herbs, thyme, and stone. The structure is taught and tannins are fine, not coarse. This represents one of the best values in the lineup. 2004 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Cuvee Tradition ( 90% grenache, 5% mourvèdre, 5% cinsault) Spicy, spicy spicy red fruits and star anise on this puppy. Notes of red plum and dark chocolate. Reminds me of the Dagoba chocolate bar with tiny flecks of chipolte.. Yowzah! 2004 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Cuvee Cuvee de Mon Aieul (100% grenache) Châteauneuf-du-Pape in a long blood red velvet gown. Buxom, fleshy and ripe..but always classy. Hey get your mind out of the gutter.. I’m talking about wine! 2004 Le Vieux Donjon Rouge (70% grenache, 20% syrah, 10% mourvèdre & cinsault) One of my favorite Châteauneufs..always. More on the classy side with dark, purple fruits, a touch of bramble and nicoise olives. Lovely.. 2004 Mas de Boislauzon Cuvee de Quet (65% grenache, 35% mourvèdre) I don’t know if Parker has rated this one, but I bet it will be high. One of the most dense and concentrated of the bunch with an emphasis on black fruits and tea…orange pekoe and lavender. ..shows a lot of class and sophistication despite its big, bad ass proportions. 2004 Cuvee du Vatican Cuvee Tradition (70% grenache, 15% mourvèdre, 15% syrah) Sappy, honeyed nose, with red currant spice box, hibiscus. Lovely balance and concentration and just a hint of earth. Another excellent value for the vintage. 2004 Cuvee du Vatican Reserve Sixtine (50% grenache, 30% syrah, 10% mourvèdre, 10% other..) My favorite super cuvee. Mon Dieu! AWESOME POWER AND GRACE. This cuvee straddles the line between new world seductiveness and old world sophistication. I predict that this one will age as well as Sophia Loren, however the scary thing is that something this intense and breathtaking tastes good NOW! That’s all I can say about this one. Talk amongst yourselves. 2004 Bosquet des Papes Cuvee Tradition (75% grenache, 11% mourvèdre, 9% syrah, 5% cinsault, counoise and vaccarese) Along with Vieux Donjon, Bosquet is always one of my faves. The 2004 Tradition definitely “represents”. Red currents, roses and hibiscus come through on this one. More feminine and elegant rather than big, thick or muscular.. This is no wimpy wine… do not overlook.. 2004 Bosquet des Papes Cuvee Chante le Merle (70% grenache, 10% syrah, 15% cinsault, 5% mourvèdre) Bosquets super cuvee. Big, bold but not bad ass. Try this one with the Boislauzon Cuvee de Quet and see who wins. 2004 Domaine des Relagnes Cuvee Tradition (80% grenache, 10% syrah, 10% mourvèdre & cinsault) If you are into purity of fruit, ethereal beauty, wine that dances on your palate, flirts, no teases you with its charm and delicacy (note: I am not saying thin) then you must try these wines. As far as being the “package” in terms of price, quality, and accessibility Domaine des Relagnes over delivers. Cinnamon stick, red fruits, blackcurrant tea.. 2004 Domaine des Relagnes Cuvee Vigneronne (65% grenache, 20% syrah, 5% each mourvèdre, cinsault and other..) Black cherry, rosehips with a bit more depth than the tradition. Very subtle notes of stone and that “tar” thing. 2004 Domaine des Relagnes “Les Petit Pieds d’Armand” (90% grenache 10% syrah) Relagne’s super cuvee. Up there with the Chante le Merle in terms of depth, concentration and elegance. Definitely age-worthy but showing beautifully right now, with fine tannins and a silky texture. A few of these will definitely find their way into my cellar/closet! —Mulan Chan

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