THIS MONTH WE DECIDED TO HIGHLIGHT THREE DOMAINES WE FELL IN LOVE WITH.
Champagne Jacquesson - Champagne
TOP 6 best Champagne maker
This 20 years old house has been owned by the Chiquet family since 1974, and while they had already gained a devoted following for their richly complex champagnes, vinified in large oak barrels, they have recently chosen to completely renovate the house's portfolio. Today, Jean Herve and Laurent Chiquet adhere to traditionnal methods to create only one blended champagne, which replaces the non-vintage Perfection Brut, Rather than aiming for consistency from year to year, it's intended to represent the best blend possible. Jacquesson's other four wines are all single-vineyard, vintage-dated champgnes, challenging the notion that great champagne must always be a blended wine,
Cuvée n° 739
♦ 2011. Winter was freezing and wet, spring was very hot and dry although there were occasional frosts, a gloomy start to summer but the growing season finished with much better weather. The wines produced were fine, harmonious and balanced. The blend consists of 57% Chardonnay, 21% Pinot Noir and 22% Pinot Meunier, with reserve wines of 31%. ◇ 264,292 bottles, 10,250 magnums et 304 jeroboams.
OUT PICK Champagne Jacquesson cuvee
A skein of ground spice unravels through this mouthwatering Champagne, while a firm frame of acidity and a tight, refined bead supports flavors of crunchy pear, ripe white raspberry, pastry dough, smoked almond and lemon confit
Domaine Tardieu Laurent
Tardieu Laurent takes its name from the two original, founding partners, Michel Tardieu and Dominique Laurent. Prior to the entering the wine business, Laurent very different career. He was working as a pastry chef. Michel Tardieu became interested in the wine business at an early age. When he began their partnership, Michel Tardieu was already an experienced negociant. Michel Tardieu and Dominique Laurent ended their partnership in the wine business. Today, the company is managed solely by Michel Tardieu.
Tardieu Laurent is one of the top Rhone wine negociant firms. They produce wines from Burgundy as well as from a myriad of Rhone appellations including; Condrieu, Cornas, Crozes Hermitage, St. Joseph, St. Peray, Languedoc, Cotes du Rhone, Hermitage, Cote Rotie and Chateauneuf du Pape. They have interests in the Right Bank of Bordeaux as well.
Tardieu Laurent is not shy about using new oak, or modern wine making techniques. Oak is not as much of a problem with Syrah, but its modern style with the Grenache based wines from the Southern Rhone Valley is not for everyone.
Tardieu Laurent was one of the first domaine’s that strived to use biodynamic farming techniques. As they make wine from purchased fruit, they focus on obtaining the best sources possible with old vines from growers that seek low yields. Tardieu Laurent does not participate in the vinification process of the wines. They send the barrels they want the wine raised in to the growers. Once the wines have finished fermentation, the barrels are transferred to the cellars of Tardieu Laurent. Once the wine has finished fermentation, the barrels are moved to the Tardieu-Laurent cellars for aging before bottling.
Domaine de la Janasse - Chateauneuf du pape
Over the last quarter century, Domaine de la Janasse has become one of the most highly-regarded estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Led by siblings Christophe and Isabelle Sabon, the estate combines the best of both traditional and modern techniques to craft a collection of truly riveting wines from “simple” value-priced VDP’s to their benchmark Châteauneufs.
Their rating reflect the true quality of the wine they produce.
Vielle vigne 2012 rated 96/100 by Wine Spectator
Jancis Robinson rated 16/20
Cuvee Chapuin rated 17/20
OUR PICK Janasse Chaupin
The quintessential grenache in its most beautiful expression on his cradle Châteauneuf. Between notes of black fruit and violets, this wine evoluates with very soft tannins already melted. A beautiful bottle, archetype of the appellation, to marry a deer stew today and within the next twenty-five years.
Domaine des Bosquets - GIGONDAS
Like many young winemakers, Julien Brechet has explored ways ofachieving more finesse and less tannic thrust in his Gigondas. At Domaine des Bosquets, an estate whoes history can be traced back to 1644, this is especially important because some vines are planted on the famous blue clay that, though highly prized, delivers powerful muscular wines. His efforts have paid off handsomely.Recent vintages have seen wines that are plump, velvety, and moreish. Quality sinces through everywhere, from the gleaming winery to the Syrah vineyard planted with cuttings from posh Chateau Rayas-owned estate Fonsalette.....rising star!!!!! <3
Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, Montlouis
Until 1989, when Jacky blot started making wine in Montlouis-sur-loire, its reputation was humdrum compared with Vouvray over the riverIN appellations, dry wines were often made by default, the product of a poor vintage, Through painstaking grape selection, for dry and sweet wines alike, Blot has put bright apples, pears and quinceto the fore at Le Domaine de la Taille aux Loups, and enhanced structure and complexity with subtile oak. Regal top cuvees Remus (dry) and Romulus (sweet) show immense concentration and finesse and, in exceptional years, are suffixed "plus".
Clos des Fees, Roussillon
Clos des Fees was set up in 1999 by former sommelier, retaurateur and journalist Herve Bizeul. Over the years, Bizeul has built up the estate from the original 18.5 acres (7.5 ha), buying parcel after parcel to arrive to nearly 74 acrss (30 ha). The vines divided into 26 plots in a number of areas - vingrau, tautavel, Belesta and Calce, up to 30 km appart. The wines are rich and generous in style, if a little expensive, and include Grenache- and Carignan - based Les Sorcieres: oak aged Vieilles Vignes: barrel-fermented and aged Le Clos des Fees and the rare Petite Siberie - a tiny slection from an ancient parcel of Grenache vines at high altitude, so called because of the strong, cold winter winds there.
Chateau Mourgues du Gres, Costieres de Nimes
The motto sine sole nihil (without the sun, nothing) was carved on the front of mourgues du gres centuries ago when it was a convent farm. For Francois and Anne Collard, who have made their large estate the most widely acclaimed in the costieres de Nimes, it still applies. Across a wide portfolio, their wines unleash the exuberant flavours of perfect, sun-ripened grapes underscored by the minerality of great terroir. Peachy whites, vibrant roses, finely structured reds...everything is juicily appealing. Grenache-rich Terre de feu ages well for up to a decade.
Le Domaine de la Butte, Bourgueil
In 2002, Montlouis-sur -loire maestro Jacky Blot acquired a stunning 37 acre vineyard in Bourgueil. Most vineyards are flat, but Blot had greater ambition for his Cabernet franc. La Butte's steep, sunny, south-facing slope naturally produces low yields of ripe, concentrated fruit, making for sensual but structured wines. A terroir-driven approach accounts for subtle differences between Le haut (the highest point and flintiest soils), Mi-pente (mid-slope with limestone soils), La Pied (at the bottom, with richer clay-limestone soils), and les Perrieres. RISING STAR