2004 Château St. Jean des Graves, Blanc ($10.99) 90% sauvignon blanc makes this wine steely and clean. There is no oak to obscure the flavors of grapefruit, citrus and fresh melon, which are bright and racy. This is zippy, lively white Bordeaux at its best! Great with shellfish or goat cheese. 2004 Château Roquefort, Bordeaux Blanc ($9.99) This 85% sauvignon blanc wine is a bit rounder (due to 15% semillon) and more herbaceous than the St. Jean but still has plenty of lively acidity. Here we have a somewhat richer more nuanced blend that could stand up to stronger cheeses or even fish in a sauce but still retains a juicy by-the-glass appeal. Easy to drink and easy to buy! 2000 Château La Cardonne, Médoc ($14.99) From Bordeaux’s greatest vintage ever comes a great bargain. This starts with lusty aromas of toast, coffee and herb that leap out of the glass. The palate is clean, fresh and firm showing lots of dark fruit and a touch of spice on the substantial finish. This is food friendly, affordable and got 89 points from the Wine Spectator. 2003 Les Gravettes, Côtes de Bourg ($12.99) The satellite region of Côtes de Bourg is home to many tasty, bargain-priced wines, and this lush beauty is a perfect example. Ripe berries gush from this merlot-based gem with juicy cherries rounded out by a chocolaty finish showing very mild tannin. This is a traditionally made wine done in a more modern style for early drink ability. —Steve Bearden
The wine world as it exists today in 2006 is just bursting with a phenomenal amount of great quality wines, from every corner of the world and in every style imaginable. For the wine lover it is a dream-like marketplace. The commune of Margaux in Bordeaux is where two of France’s six great rivers meet, the Garrone and the Dordogne to form the Gironde. The glacial deposits over thousands of years, has always created great diversity in the style and quality of wines produced here. Not so very long ago, the perception of style and quality was real easy; there was good and there was bad. A typical work day was to taste at Ch. Margaux, Palmer, maybe Rauzan-Segla and then head north to St-Julien. There were so many underachievers with famous names that it was shame; but even in those days we would stop and taste the wines of Ch. d’Angludet. Now it is a whole different story, and Margaux is a perfect reflection of our wine world today. A vast selection of fine wine made throughout the entire commune, in different styles and price ranges. Wonderful re-emergence of estates like Ch. Lascombes, Giscours, du Tertre and Cantenac Brown that feature new the world style of abundantly forward ripe fruit and oak, Ch. Malescot St. Exupéry with its bold and rich feel, the same can be said for Ch. d’Issan. Brane-Cantenac is once again the epitome of elegance and purity, owning up to its reputation and 2nd growth status, very similar to Ch. Kirwan and the outstanding smallest classified growth, Ch. Ferriere. Top to bottom this large commune finally has got it all. Clyde and I have always loved the quiet estate and classically styled wine produced at Ch. d’Angludet in Margaux. We sold many vintages in the early years of K&L, 1978, ’79, ’80, ’81, ’82, ’83 and ’85, and we continue today with this consistent performer with a fine track record and aging potential. In fact I’ve bought many, and they are great with age. We taste every year at the chateau with the co-owner James Sichel, the son of the late Peter Sichel who was a great ambassador of Bordeaux wine. The wines of d’Angludet are firm and focused. They feature flavors of deep blackberry/black cherry fruit with a solid core of tannin and lots of mineral tones. Ch. d’Angludet is a K&L favorite and also a favorite of the great Master of Wine, Michael Broadbent from the UK. This trio of vintages we’ve just received are perfect examples of each vintage. The 1999 d’Angludet ($34.99) shows the supple roundness for early drink ability with an hour decant-ing. The 2001 d’Angludet ($34.99) is lively, bright and fresh as well as perfectly balanced and it will drink very well for numerous years. The 2000 d’Angludet ($39.99) shows you the brooding power of this vintage. Broad, dark and deep, this wine is the one for extended aging in the cellar. I’m sure you will enjoy all of them as they are well made wines for the purist. Warm New Year’s wishes to everyone, and please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or advice on the wines of Bordeaux at ex # 2723 or Ralph@klwines.com. Toujours Bordeaux! —Ralph Sands
Just before I started working for K&L, I went to Vinitaly with Greg, and we did a little wine tour through Austria, the Alto Adige and then to Friuli where we stayed at Volpe Pasini. There are seven rooms inside this 17th century villa. You can go to their website for room rates and availably (www.volpepasini.net). One warning though: There’s a church across the street, and at 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. the bell tower goes off!! Not just six or nine bongs, either. A full fifteen minutes of CLANGING and BONGING with no tune or rhythm. Not enjoyable. We did, however, enjoy their wines. Years later we are still enjoying them! 2004 Volpe Pasini Chardonnay ($12.99) This medium-bodied Chardonnay will take you away from the winter blues. Crisp with lots of green apple and minerals, you will also find some tropical fruits on the finish along with high acidity. Try this wine as an aperitif or with mushroom risotto. 2004 Volpe Pasini Sauvignon Zuc di Volpe ($21.99) 100% stainless steel, this Sauvignon on the nose will make you think Bordeaux and New Zealand with classic cut grass and grapefruit. On the palate you will find gooseberry, lime zest, slate with nice length to this dry white. Think tomato and basil salad or shellfish. 2004 Volpe Pasini Ribolla Gialla ($18.99) Ribolla is an indigenous grape, it distinguishes itself for its great liveliness and elegant balance, restrained flavors of golden delicious apples and cantaloupes with good complexity and a long finish. Serve with prosciutto and aged cheeses or white meat dishes. 90 points Wine Spectator. Salute! —Mike Parres
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