2004 is an excellent vintage for white Burgundy. The more I taste, the better I like it. This month the 2004 Vincent Girardin wines have arrived. Vincent is a 5th generation grower in Santenay but has also established a thriving negociant business, known for his excellent whites. The 2004 Girardin St-Aubin Murgers “Dent de Chien,” 1er Cru ($29.99) is from the vineyard next to Puligny-Montrachet “Champ Gain,” 1er Cru and has minerality, focus and length. The 2004 Girardin Meursault “Les Tillets” ($36.99) comes from one of my favorite village vineyards in Meursault, which shows a pretty citric note and classic Meursault richness. The 2004 Girardin Puligny-Montrachet “Les Enseignères” ($46.99) is from the vineyard directly below Bâtard and shares the topsoil of that Grand Cru, so it is very rich and concentrated. The 2004 Girardin Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Truffieres,” 1er Cru ($49.99) has lime notes and a bright quality that is very appealing. The 2004 Girardin Puligny-Montrachet “Les Pucelles,” 1er Cru ($79.99) is always a favorite, located next to Bâtard and Bienvenues-Bâtard, but selling for much less. Similarly well situated is the next vineyard up the hill, which makes the 2004 Girardin Puligny-Montrachet “Les Caillerets,” 1er Cru ($81.99) alongside Montrachet itself, and generally acknowledged as the best of the Puligny 1er Crus. We also have tiny quantities of the 2004 Girardin Corton-Charlemagne ($83.99), 2004 Girardin Chevalier-Montrachet ($179.95) and 2004 Girardin Montrachet ($330.00). Á Santé. —Keith Wollenberg
March 25 we will be hosting an event in S.F. featuring at least ten artisan growers from France, all from under the loving umbrella that is Louis/Dressner Selections. Confirmed so far are Marc Ollivier from Pépière, Cathérine Roussell from Clos Roche Blanche, François Pinon, Isaure de Pontbriand of Domaine Closel, Eric Nicolas of Bellivière, Jean-Paul Brun from Beaujolais, Claude Maréchal from Burgundy, Franck Peillot of the Jura, André Iché of Chateau Oupia in the South and more. For info go to www.klwines.com. Now on to the wines… Recent arrivals include a much better supply of the wildly popular Sancerre of Gerard Boulay in Chavignol. The 2004 Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol ($18.99), a hand-harvested, tank-fermented stunner that is brilliant and racy with intensity and length to match,. The flavors unfold like improvisational Jazz. There are small amounts of 2004 Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol Rouge ($18.99), which is luscious, supple and, dare I say, a great find for pinot noir. There are also limited quantities of 2004 Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol Clos du Beaujeu ($24.99), the old-vine cuvee, vinified in neutral wood, and to me one of the great wines of the region. If you tasted or bought the 2002 you will know what I mean. Then, and please act fast if you want them, we have direct from the domaine some Clos du Beaujeu ’96, ’97, ’99 and a bit more 2002. I asked for these specifically to show to you how this wine improves with age, so please only a bottle or two per person so we can all enjoy these gems. Also, finally in stock again is the 2004 La Tour St. Martin Menetou Salon Blanc ($14.99), which is fresh, vibrant and bright with great cut and minerality and a zesty tanginess that invites another sip. There is hardly a better sauvignon in the store right now for this price. The 2004 La Tour St. Martin Menetou Salon Rouge ($14.99) is elegant with delicate flavors of earth and tea leaves, hints of sweet plums and woodruff. Drink over the next 7-8 years. Live in the Light! —Jeff Vierra
While you are looking for the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day, consider the following two Champagnes for enjoying a romantic dinner or for presenting as a memorable gift. For those of you on a budget (hey, you’re giving diamonds as well), the Launois “Cuvee Reserve” Brut Blanc de Blancs ($25.99) is a perfect choice. This bubbly comes from Mesnil, the home of Krug’s Clos de Mesnil and the world-renowned house of Salon. So, obviously, quality is the trademark of this southernmost Grand Cru village. The Launois is made entirely of chardonnay with 90% of the juice from the 2000 vintage and 10% from the 1998 reserve. Stainless steel vinification makes for clean fruit with a hint of minerality. A nose of pastry dough and wet stones. Rich pear fruit with a touch of key lime are the principal flavors with a finish of crème brulee and toasted almonds. Four years ageing on the lees brings richness and length. The Franck Bonville Cuvee Les Belles Voyes ($59.99) is a top of the line bubbly from Olivier Bonville. The Belles Voyes vineyard is in Oger and is miniscule, at 1 3/4 acres. Like the Launois, this wine is all chardonnay (in this case, from the 1997 harvest). All fermentation and ageing is done in old oak casks. A wonderful nose of vanilla and subtle yeast. Flavors of golden pears, cream, brioche and pine nuts. Creamy and full-bodied with a slight, elegant hint of toasted oak on the finish. One of the most lush and rich Champagnes that we currently have in stock A great effort of winemaking, and tough competition for wines selling at three times the price! —Scott Beckerley
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