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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 Marsannay (2)

Thursday
Aug082013

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: Ballorin - New Arrival from Burgundy!

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer

Gilles BallorinHello Burgundy Lovers,

As you know I am always scouting the back roads and alleys of Burgundy for unknown growers, making terrific wine.  Our latest discovery has just arrived. To my pleasure, Allen Meadows also found this grower, so we even have some reviews on a few of his wines, besides out own.

Gilles Ballorin is an iconoclastic guy, who grew up in Dijon, and worked harvest in Corgoloin for many years.  He later went to work for the cooperative in Igé, and then for Antonin Rodet.  But he got bored and wanted to try something new, so off he went to wine school, and he and his wife Fabienne became wine-growers, starting a few years ago with 0.2 Ha (1/2 an acre!), in Chenove, north of Marsannay, while he was still in school.  He then rented the neighboring 04Ha, and started with a whopping 1.5 acres in his first vintage  He has gradually acquired more vineyards, with the help of some investors content to take their share in wine, and now farms about 6 Hectares, he tells me.   These vineyards are scattered from north of Marsannay to south of the Clos de Maréchale in Comblanchien. He does much of his work by hand, since it takes him almost a half-day to drive his tractor from his northernmost vines to his southernmost!

By 2006, he was Demeter certified as biodynamic. He presses his grapes with an old-fashioned plate press, which we prefers, not a more modern pneumatic press.  He believes in a cold soak, using dry ice to retard the fermentation, which is always by native yeasts.  He refuse to pump his wine, but likes to minimize the amount of punching down to ensure gentle extraction.  He solution was to do his remontage (usually translated as pumping over) by hand, with a bucket.  He will draw wine from the bottom of the cuve, and pour it over the cap, as needed. 

He manages to extract a clear sense of terroir from each wine, with little in the way of a house signature.  The aim always to let his careful vineyard work express itself in the finished wine.  As he puts it: “My style is to not have a style.”  In 2011 he harvested later than many, only commencing on September 15th, in order to get riper phenolics, as he felt acidity levels were  good in the vintage.

They say that wines reflect their winemaker.  In this case that expresses itself by almost an excess of enthusiasm and boundless energy, and a restlessness combined with a positively Pablo Neruda like sensuality and intimate connection with the earth.  Try Gilles’s wines, and you will see why I am excited.

 

The Wines:

 

2011 Domaine Ballorin & F Bourgogne "Passetoutgrains" $18.99

Allen Meadows - Burghound

Fabiènne and Gilles Ballorin are behind this new and 100% biodynamically-farmed domaine that was started with the 2005 vintage. 2012 was my fourth visit and the domaine clearly continues to fashion impressive quality emanating from relatively modest appellations. The goal is to craft wine in a minimalist style from their 5 ha of vines that they have put together piece meal with various private investors who want only wine from their investments. Or, as Ballorin so eloquently and aptly puts it: 'My style is to not have a style.' In 2011, Ballorin noted that he was one of the very last to pick as he didn't start until the 15th of September. While he was very happy with the quality of the raw materials, he lamented that he averaged no more than 25 hl/ha, not much in the context of his appellations

K&L Notes  

An unusual AOC, Bourgogne Passetoutgrains may contain both Pinot Noir and Gamay, but must contain at least 1/3 Pinot noir. Unusually, this is 90% Pinot Noir!, since as the vineyard was replanted, it was to hat varietal. the average vine age is 55 years. This is both Organically and Biodynamically grown, and certified as such. The grapes are grown in a vineyard known as "En Bollery". It is just across the RN74 form the Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru. The wine is open and bright with a very pretty , spicy character, but not a ton of mid-palate. Nice Pinot Noir mouthfeel. Tasty! (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/2013)

 

2011 Domaine Ballorin & F Bourgogne Rouge "Le Bon"   $24.99

Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A fresh and bright nose features notes of red pinot fruit with hints of earth that complement the moderately earthy, supple and very round flavors that possess a lovely mouth feel. This delicious effort is already drinking well." (1/2013)   K&L Notes: Named after Philip III, the best of the Dukes of Burgundy, also known as Philip the Good (Le Bon). And, Gilles says with a wink, this is good Burgundy. Fresh and bright, with focus, acidity and a nice mid-palate richness, this is most satisfying. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03 and 08/2013) 

2011 Domaine Ballorin & F Côte de Nuits Villages « Le Village » $29.95

Allen Meadows - Burghound

Pungently earthy aromas of both red and dark pinot fruit lead to attractively textured, delicious and sappy flavors that are quite forward and like the Bourgogne should drink well immediately. (1/ 2013)  K&L Notes: This vineyard was planted just after the war, in 1946. it is below the RN74, just a hop and a skip from Clos de Maréchale, He makes 5 barrels of this wine, with one being new. It is concentrated and spicy on the palate, with a pronounced spine. It is medium in weight, with good charm. The fruit, behind the spine of concentration, is bright and pretty, with a bit of delicacy in character. When tasted in March, it was feminine and lovely. Tasted after arrival, it show more structure and needs some cellar time, as you would expect from a wine next to Nuits-St-Georges. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03 and 08/2013)

 

2011 Domaine Ballorin & F Marsannay "Les Echezots" , $36.99

Allen Meadows - Burghound

A perfumed and very pretty nose offers up notes of cherry, black raspberry and a hint of wood influence. There is good richness to the delicious and refreshingly vibrant flavors that possess good volume on the tangy but ripe finish. (1/ 2013)  K&L Notes: Here, the soil is composed of fossilized oyster shells, which results in more red fruit notes, interesting layering and a fruit profile that is both complex and pretty. His holding is relatively high in the small valley that contains this vineyard, so it is a cooler site, resulting in a wine that is sensuous, earthy and very expressive in a most charming fashion,. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/2013)

 

2011 Domaine Ballorin & F Marsannay "Clos du Roi",  $39.95

Gilles feels that the Marsannay Clos du Roy vineyard is his best site. It is also one of the sites suggested for promotion to Premier Cru, although there is a lot of opposition to this move among some other villages. The soil is a substance called Grèzes Litée. This is type of soil composed of a sandy and gravelly mixture of decomposed limestone bedded in on a slope. This is the same type of soil as is found in the lower portion of Charmes Chambertin, Gilles pointed out to me. This has extremely lovely fruit, and is both rich and expressive. This wine is what the French call Aérienne, "Of the Air", rather than earthy in character. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/2013)

 

2011 Domaine Ballorin & F. Fixin "Les Chènevrières"  $46.99

89 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

A ripe, pure, cool and unusually elegant nose of essence of red pinot fruit and soft earth aromas give way to rich, delicious and velvet-textured flavors that display a discreet minerality on the mildly austere finish. This is sufficiently ripe and forward that it could be enjoyed now but I would advise waiting for a few years first. Recommended. (1/ 2013)

K&L Notes:

Here, the vineyard name comes from the Old French word for Cotton Fields, to which once, centuries ago, this low-lying vineyard may have been planted. It The soil here is a mixture of soil and gravel, and the character of fruit tends towards that harder character Fixin has been known to. Highly aware of this fact, Gilles tends to treat this cuvee particularly gently, as well as using canopy management and careful control of temperature at fermentation to ensure a gentler extraction. It is more structured that the Marsannays, with bright minerality following on the heels of the rich entry, with rounder fruit from the heavier clays in this soil. The profile of this wine is so pretty and so seamless that I am confident a bit of time in the cellar will richly reward you. (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/2013)

 

2011 Domaine Ballorin & F. Nuits-St-Georges "Les Damodes"  $57.99

       The view from Nuits Damodes, looking down to the plain below.

This comes from high on the hill near the Vosne Romanée border. The shallow topsoil overlays a hard white limestone. The result is a much lower vigour for the wines here. In response, Gilles works them entirely by hand and with a horse, doing no hedging or cutting of the wines, merely training the shoots back on to the wire, instead. This is an extremely lovely effort, with a very Vosne-like mid-palate and very attractive floral notes. The fruit here is so gorgeous, it is hard to believe this could be village Nuits! (Keith Wollenberg, K&L Burgundy Buyer, 03/2013)

 

A santé,

-Keith

 

Mr. Keith WOLLENBERG

Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

K&L Wine Merchants

http://www.klwines.com

+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line

Keithw@klwines.com

Friday
Apr052013

Keith's Burgundy Hotline: 2010 Domaine Joseph Roty wines arrive

By: Keith Wollenberg | K&L Burgundy Buyer

Hello Burgundy Lovers,

The extremely well-regarded wines from Philippe Roty of Domaine Joseph Roty have arrived, and are spectacularly good.

They are already here, ON THE WEB, and available at 1-800-247-5987, so I wanted to let you all know as soon as possible, since it was a somewhat short crop and I am unlikely to be able to get more of the top wines.

The Wines:

2010 Domaine J. Roty Bourgogne Rouge      $26.99

The winter frost of December 2009 was severe as temperatures descended to -20°C. We lost around 3,000 vines but that needs to be viewed against our normal loss rate of between 1,800 and 2,000 annually. So while we definitely lost more than I would like I don't think you can call it a catastrophe. The poor flowering and rampant incidence of shot berries however were much more significant in terms of yield. We were down between 30 and 40% relative to a normal crop. We began picking on the 25th of September and there was some sorting work necessary but not ... Read More » 


2010 Domaine J. Roty Bourgogne Rouge "Pressoniers"   $27.99

Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Outstanding Top value! A gentle touch of wood sets off ripe and very fresh aromas of red berry fruit, earth and cassis. There is good richness and volume to the vibrant and textured middle weight flavors that are shaped by phenolically mature tannins and fine length where a trace of oak resurfaces. This is a serious Bourgogne that will age. Recommended." (1/2013)   K&L Notes: This comes from a parcel that was classified as Gevrey Chambertin, until 1994, and from vines of more than 40 years of age. 


2010 Domaine J. Roty Marsannay         $37.99

89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good bright red. Sappy aromas of red and black fruits. Juicy and precise, with bright acidity giving cut to the black cherry and spice flavors. Finishes long and perfumed. An excellent basic Marsannay bottling." (3/2013)  Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Moderate wood still allows the ripe aromas of black cherry, cassis and a hint of underbrush to show through. There is a lovely vibrancy to the cool and delicious flavors that possess solid depth and length in the context of the appellation. This should drink well early on if desired yet reward mid-term cellaring as well." (1/2013)   


2010 Domaine J. Roty Marsannay "Les Ouzeloy"    $41.99

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good deep red. Black cherry, licorice and menthol on the nose and palate, lifted by a note of violet. Bright, minerally and gripping, with firm tannins that coat the teeth. Finishes with intriguing saline minerality and the structure to age. 90(+?) points" (3/2013)  89 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Here the wood treatment is more discreet if not invisible as it outlines the otherwise ripe, pure and fresh aromas of red cherry liqueur and wet stone nuances. There is good volume to the very rich and concentrated flavors that possess plenty of extract that coats the mouth on the vibrant and  ... Read More » 


2010 Domaine J. Roty Marsannay "Boivin" 43.99

90 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Outstanding! Again moderate oak surrounds bright and fresh red pinot fruit liqueur aromas that merge seamlessly into dense and serious medium weight flavors that culminate in a dusty, complex, balanced and long finish. This doesn't have the same sappy mouth feel of the Ouzeloy but there is more overall depth here." (1/2013)  90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(13.8% natural alcohol; Philippe Roty told me that he uses about 20% new oak to age his Marsannays): Good deep red. Reticent but pure and very fresh aromas of blackberry and menthol. Penetrating acidity intensifies the black fruit an  ... Read More » 


2010 Domaine J. Roty Gevrey-Chambertin "La Brunelle"  $68.99

91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good deep red. Sexy aromas of black cherry, smoked meat, flowers and minerals. Concentrated, lush and deep; really spreads out to coat the palate with redcurrant and spice flavors. Nicely pliant for the vintage, showing no hard edges. Finishes with sophisticated tannins and excellent length." (3/2013)  90 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Outstanding! A notably ripe nose primarily evidences red cherry liqueur and warm earth aromas that are trimmed in enough wood to be noticeable without actually being invasive. The rich, round and agreeably textured medium weight flavors possess a slightly  ... Read More » 


2010 Domaine P. Roty Gevrey-Chambertin "Champs Chenys" Vieilles Vignes  $69.95

89 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Outstanding! A similar if somewhat more deeply pitched and riper nose complements the rich, full-bodied and tautly muscular flavors that are blessed with an abundance of palate coating dry extract before culminating in a tension-filled finish. There is a backend touch of wood that surfaces but there is sufficient concentration present that this should have no problem integrating it quickly. A very impressive villages that is well worth considering." (1/2013)  89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Medium red. Redcurrant, violet and a whiff of smoke on the nose. Supple on entry, then tight in   ... Read More » 


2010 Domaine J. Roty Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru  $315.00  Limit of 1 per customer

93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "Moderate wood encloses a distinctly sauvage nose of spice, earth, underbrush and humus that add plenty of depth to the fresh and ripe wild red berry fruit aromas. There is both excellent volume and superb richness to the impressively concentrated and opulent yet very firm full-bodied flavors that possess outstanding length where an echo of the wood treatment from the nose arrives as well." (1/2013)  93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "(Roty's three grand crus were aged in 90% new oak): Deep red-ruby, the darkest 2010 to this point. Superripe, almost decadent aromas of kirsch and smoke accen  ... Read More » 


2010 Domaine J. Roty Griottes-Chambertin Grand Cru  $365.00 Limit of 1 per customer

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Full ruby-red color. High-pitched aromas of cherry, flowers and smoky oak. Powerful and vibrant in the mouth, offering exceptional energy to its dark raspberry and flinty mineral flavors. Gripping, sharply delineated Griottes with an explosively perfumed, brisk, palate-staining finish. I would not be surprised if this shut down soon for a long sleep. 95(+?) points" (3/2013)  93 points Allen Meadows - Burghound: "A wonderfully layered and ripe nose offers up notes of cassis, red currant and black cherry liqueur that precede the rich, generous and quite concentrated medium to full-bodied flav  ... Read More » 


2010 Domaine J. Roty Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru "Très Vielles Vignes" : $399.95  Limit of 1 per customer

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Full, saturated medium ruby. Superb nuance and lift to the aromas of kirsch, violet, licorice pastille and crushed stone. Wonderfully sappy and alive in the mouth, with outstanding energy and tension to its dark fruit, floral and minerals flavors. Conveys a powerful impression of dry extract, not to mention an exhilarating balance of sweetness and acidity. Noble tannins coat every square millimeter of the palate on the building, vibrant aftertaste. A great vintage for this consistently outstanding bottling: this may yet merit an even higher score 12 or 15 years down the road. 96(+?) points (3/ 2013)

95 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

There is just enough wood to be visible but it should be absorbed in short order. Interestingly, the aromatic profile is relatively similar to that of the Griotte, though this has significantly more depth and concentration to the full-bodied, powerful and explosive flavors that benefit greatly from the exceptional depth of material before culminating in a massively long and impeccably well-balanced finish. Sometimes the Roty Charmes displays its wood for years but the 2010 version appears as though it will eat it sooner than usual. In short, this is a stunner of a wine that clearly outclasses its two grands crus stable mates so if you can find it buy it. (1/ 2013)


 

 

Mr. Keith WOLLENBERG

Directeur Commercial Bourgogne

K&L Wine Merchants

http://www.klwines.com

+1-650-556-2724 Direct Line

Keithw@klwines.com