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2000 Labégorce, Margaux $39.99

A great value in Bordeaux! This bottle is mature enough to drink now, but has time in hand if you want to keep it in the cellar for the future. We love it for its laid back elegance and classic balance. A must try for your next nice steak dinner.

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Entries in Margaux (7)

Tuesday
Jul032012

Monthly Wine News [July 2012] Monthly Newsletter & Highlighted Recommendations

We've posted the latest electronic copy of our printed newsletter in PDF format online at http://www.klwines.com/pdf-news.asp -- here are some of our highlighted recommendations this month: 2009 Bodegas Vinae Mureri

2009 Bodegas Vinae Mureri "Xiloca" Garnacha Vino de la tierra Ribera del Jiloca ($9.99)

K&L Notes: Located just outside of the Calatayud D.O. (famous for Las Rocas, amongst other inexpensive Garnachas), Xiloca actually reminds me of the incredible value these wines presented about 10 or so years ago: big, juicy, spicy, plump berry fruit, without the sense of overt fruitiness nor dumbed down to simplicity, which unfortunately has become very common in many Spanish (and French) Garnachas of late. Produced from vines averaging 80 years, yielding only 1/3 ton per acre (!), in arguably one of the world's best suited terroirs for Garnacha, this wine offers a whole lot for the money. Highly recommended. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2009 Xiloca is 100% Garnacha with a very fragrant perfume of earthy minerality and black cherries. This tasty, friendly, value-priced offering has ample fruit as well as a sense of elegance. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. Bodegas Vinae Mureri is located just a few miles outside of the demarcation line of the more prestigious DO of Calatayud in the province of Aragon, hence the Vino de la Tierra designation. Like Calatayud, the region is known for its high altitude, old-vine, low-yielding Garnacha vines." (06/2011)

2009 D'Alessandro Cortona Syrah (Elsewhere $16)2009 D'Alessandro Cortona Syrah (Elsewhere $16) ($11.99)

K&L Notes: The climate and soils in Cortona are unlike better known parts of Tuscany, such as Chianti to the northwest and Montepulciano and Montalcino to the southwest. So when Massimo d'Alessandro decided he wanted to make serious wine from his family's land in the 1980s, he planted 12 acres of vineyards to different varietals. What seemed most suited to his vineyards wasn't Sangiovese but Syrah, which now makes up 90% of the plantings. This comes from the vineyard's younger vines and is prized for its freshness and immediate drinkability. And in the hands of winemaker Luca Currado (Vietti), you know it's going to be good. 

90 points James Suckling: "This is very good value in Syrah. Interesting aromas of raspberries, pepper and dried meats, follow through to a full body, and silky tannins with a fresh finish. Polished and pretty. Made from Syrah. Best after 2012." (09/2011)

2009 Bouchard Ainé & Fils Bourgogne Rouge2009 Bouchard Ainé & Fils Bourgogne Rouge ($13.99)

K&L Notes: This delicious Pinot Noir comes the negociant firm of Bouchard Ainé, established in 1750 and now owned by Boisset, but run independently. It is evidence of the quality of the 2009 vintage. In the glass the wine is rich and complex, with a lovely note of rose petals on the nose and a satisfying mid-palate. This is a remarkable amount of wine for the money! As the British would say, it's more-ish, as in "More Please!". And the good news is that you can afford more given our attractive price. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer)

2010 Ceretto Arneis 2010 Ceretto Arneis "Blangè" ($14.99)

K&L Notes: Forget for a moment that Piedmont is the home of one of the world's most noble grapes, Nebbiolo, and imagine a warm summer's day, sitting under magnificent trees and eating simple egg pappardelle with sage and butter. You don't really want a heavy red wine with your meal, you want something white and clean, so as not to bury the simple deliciousness of it. Enter Piedmont's white wine--Arneis--and this version from one of its most respected producers, Ceretto. Fruit-filled, with notes of pear and apple that would perfectly complement the sage in your pasta, it's made in a vivace style, with just a slight spritz that leaves it dancing on your palate, whisking away the buttery richness.

93 points Wine & Spirits: "Fresh scents of apple blossom honey and beeswax add to the almond richness of this arneis. It’s as smooth as a round riverstone, clean and fragrant. The finish is distinctly Piedmontese in its earthiness; to match braised chicken or a rich fish stew. " (12/2011)

2010 Morgan  

2010 Morgan "Twelve Clones" Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($25.99)

K&L Notes: Morgan's 'Twelve Clones' Pinot is composed of fruit from some of the Santa Lucia Highlands best sites, including Tondre Grapefield, Lucia Highlands, Garys', and Morgan's own organically farmed Double L Estate vineyard (55% of the final cuvée). The cool, long, and wetter than average 2010 growing season yielded fine results across the board, enabling Morgan to render craft an exceptional cuvee that shows off the lush fruit character of the region while maintaining balanced natural acidity and a moderate 13.9% alcohol. Aged for ten months 36% new French oak, this Pinot exhibits black raspberry, black cherry, plum, and hibiscus tea aromas and flavors, with accents of vanilla and clove. On the palate, hints of savory herbs fold into the baking spices and fruit flavors, for a complex, layered Pinot that can pair with a variety of foods. Try it with grilled salmon, smoked duck breast, or roast leg of lamb.

92 points Wine Spectator: "Well-crafted, tight and structured, with firm, gripping tannins keeping the zesty, tart wild berry, blackberry and date-nut bread flavors in check. Drink now through 2020." (06/2012)

 

2007 Bennett Lane

2007 Bennett Lane "Maximus" Napa Valley Red Blend ($29.99)

 94 points Wine Enthusiast: "Tastes dramatic and youthfully vital, with fat, fleshy flavors of blackberries, cassis, mocha and sweet cedar, as well as a mineral tang that grounds them. Very upscale and refined, a pure product of superior terroir and winemaking." (05/2011)

92 points Wine Spectator: "Enticingly complex, rich and layered, showing fresh, vibrant blackberry, wild berry, cedar and spice flavors, with a texture that's both supple and firm. Full-bodied, with a long, lingering finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2020." (07/2012)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Maximus Red Feasting Wine (65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 6% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc) exhibits a dark ruby/purple color along with notions of cedar, licorice, black currants, chocolate and coffee. This medium to full-bodied 2007 should drink nicely for a decade or more. " (12/2010)

 

2007 Tenuta Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino  2007 Tenuta Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino "Tradizione" ($29.99)

 93 points James Suckling: "Rose petals and plums on the nose. Full body, with round and chewy tannins and a ripe finish. Tannic, yet polished texture. Give it two to three years of bottle age. This wine is clearly better in 2007 than 2006." (01/2012)

93 points Wine Enthusiast: "Thick and dark, with generous fruit, spice, leather and tobacco. This is a wine that does not hold back from an aromatic point of view. Mouthfeel is tight, firm and ends with polished tannins." (05/2012)

92 points Wine Spectator: "A sinewy, muscular red, hinting at mint and licorice, with a core of cherry and plum flavors. Stiff tannins corral everything on the moderately long finish. Best from 2014 through 2026. B.S." (06/2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Tradizione saturates the palate with layers of dark red cherries, rose petals, spices and licorice. It shows gorgeous mid-palate pliancy and depth all the way through to the finish. The Vitanza wines always have an element of rusticity, but the 2007 Brunello is especially polished. This will always be a fairly full-bodied wine marked by firm, incisive tannins. The 2007 spent 36 months in Slavonian oak. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025." (04/2012)

 

 >> See All Recently Recommended Wines

 

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Want to see which wines are most popular with our customers? We constantly update our lists of bestselling wines, online at: http://www.klwines.com/bestsellers.asp

Tuesday
Apr192011

Back from the Road: 2010 Bordeaux En Primeur

The cellars at Pontet-Canet.“I’ve always read that young Cabernet Sauvignon is easier to taste than younger Merlot. Now I get it”

–Ralph Sands

I’m sitting at my desk in Los Angeles, having just returned from the Bordeaux En Primeur tastings a couple days ago. I wanted to write at least three other posts while in Bordeaux, but the pace of our trip didn’t allow the time to write daily blogs. Over the course of eight days we tasted about 600 wines from the petite châteaux to the First Growths. This complete immersion provided a solid glimpse into the 2010 vintage. The first thing I took away from the trip was that we are seeing the quality of the wines across the region increase, from basic Bordeaux to the Classified Growths. There are wines in every price range that are good to very good. We are still sifting through our notes for the June newsletter and preparing our Vintage Report, but here are some quick observations.

Margaux is the most consistent of the communes.

Many Margaux châteaux are stepping up their attention to proper vineyard management. Kirwan has a new(ish) director Phillipe Delfaut, he started in 2007, who came from the acclaimed Château Palmer, where he worked from 1996-2006. The first thing he did at Kirwan was map the make-up of the soils in the vineyard’s different sub-plots. There were 29 different kinds of soils, which he is now harvesting and vinifying separately. He also made the decision to pick before the grapes were over-ripe in 2010, to ensure the freshness of the fruit was maintained. Better viticulture extends beyond Margaux's borders, though. For example, Pontet-Canet in Pauillac is certified organic/biodynamic in 2010. They are using a horse to plow a portion of the vineyard (59 acres), and they plan on adding a horse each year.

This was the year of Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Cabernet grapes achieved perfect ripeness, with high acidity lending freshness to the wines.

Cabernet Franc seems to be falling out of favor on the Left Bank. Old vine Cabernet Franc is still being used in blends, but as the vines get older the owners aren’t replanting them, saying they don’t like the fruit produced by the young vine Cabernet Franc. Instead they are planting those parcels over to Cabernet Sauvignon. 

The 2010 vintage showed how important skilled winemakers with knowledge of how to deal with the Merlot in the vineyard are. If a winemaker followed the same “formula” they use every year, then the Merlot turned out alcoholic and overextracted, with high tannins from both the oak and grapes. But if the winemaker did his work in the vineyard and saw that the grapes were already high in sugar, tannins and acid, and were careful not to overmacerate and overextract, then the wines came out fantastic. 

Big bucks for the top growths.

The rapidly growing Chinese market was the topic at every château we visited. Will the American market be able to afford the wines with the Chinese desire for Bordeaux driving prices? It seems likely that the Chinese market will push prices to a level that US consumers, and others, won’t be willing to pay. One négoicant commented that circumstances were much like the ’96 Bordeaux campaign, when the US market’s desire for the top wines priced British consumers out. That is why it is so important for us to travel to Bordeaux, and for us to try 600 wines. We can obtain the overall view of the vintage, realize the regional highlights and discover the hidden gems that any wine connoisseur can afford.

Steve Greer

Tuesday
Apr062010

Trey's Blog: Day Six in Bordeaux

Wednesday, March 31st

9 a.m. – Château d’Angludet

An early start this morning. We meet James Sichel to taste through about 25 samples before the d’Angludet wines. We tasted 2003 through 2006 as well as the 2009. All of the wines showed well, but the 2009 really showed the quality of the vintage. Its flavors were similar to the older vintages, but the fruit was ripe, clean and fresh. Like many 2009s the purity of fruit and balance was on another level.

The 2009 Malescot-St-Exupery

10 a.m. – Châteaux Malescot-St-Exupéry

We had already heard the buzz about this wine before we arrived. The Wine Spectator scored it very high, and many others have mentioned this wine as an outstanding effort. For us, the 2009 lived up to the hype. It is a blend of 55% Cabernet, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot. It showed a plush, rich, velvety texture, was thick and rich in the mouth and balanced by racy acidity, ripe ultra sweet-tannins and a spicy mineral driven finish. Killer wine!

10:30 a.m. – UGC Margaux

Here we tasted about 25 or so wines from the appellation. There were some outstanding wines, and then there were some wines that were just good. Overall the quality was high. We had our doubts as we heard from many that the Cabernet did better than the Merlot in 2009. But it seems that the wines from Margaux, even with high percentages of Merlot, showed great. Our favorites included the Cantenac Brown, Dufort-Vivens, Lascombes, Marquis de Terme and Rauzan-Segla. 

Noon – Camensac tasting and lunch

Along with the 2009 Camensac and the 2009 Chasse-Spleen, we tasted a vertical of Camensac starting with the 1999 and finishing with the 2008. The tasting was very interesting. For me, the best wines were the 2009, 2005 and the 2000, but that is probably obvious. The surprises were that the 1999 and the 2001 were both drinking very well. The 1999 had the most developed flavors and aromas. While the ’01 is probably a better wine, the 1999 would be the wine I would choose to drink now.

At lunch we were served the 2001 Camensac again. It was served blind and none of our wine professionals guessed it. The difference was that this bottle was decanted for about an hour beforehand. It was delicious and showed way more fruit than the earlier bottle. The next blind wine turned out to be the 1989 Chasse-Spleen. Both Ralph and Alex got this wine. It was very mature in the nose and showed very ripe, sweet fruit with hints of leather and tar. It was definitely from a hot vintage. The last wine served blind was not guessed by anyone. It was 1971 Chasse-Spleen. It was the third 1971 we tasted this trip—a new record! It was still alive and showed surprisingly well.

3 p.m. – UGC Graves/Pessac

It was a long drive from Camensac down to Pessac, and both the drive and the tasting proved to be among the toughest. The wines in this region showed more rough tannins than in the Médoc. That said, the weather was not good, and many people said that the low pressure was firming up the wines, which are very sensitive when they are this young. There were however a few wines that shined! These included the Smith Haut Lafitte (it may be their best wine ever), Marlartic-Lagravière, Carbonnieux and Haut-Bailly.

5 p.m. – Tasting at a négociants office

7 p.m. Dinner and tasting at Château Lascombes

We finally hit the wall! We were definitely on the quiet side at this dinner. Not even the the 1959 Lascombes out of Magnum could liven us up. We went back to our hotel early (10:30 p.m.). We’ve got the Right Bank tomorrow!

Trey Beffa