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Region Vintage Name Qty Type Case Size Format Price Note Rating
Rhone 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape


4 Case 12 75cl £650
  • The 2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape is reminiscent of their brilliant 1985. It will be one of the rare Beaucastels that is drinkable upon release. Made from this estate's classic blend, it possesses soft tannins as well as a silky, open-knit seductiveness, a dense plum/purple color and a beautiful perfume of smoky Provencal herbs intermixed with grilled steak juices, garrigue, kirsch and blue as well as black fruits. The wine is full-bodied, unctuously textured, and silky smooth (the latter characteristic being somewhat atypical for a young Beaucastel). If it performs like the 1985, it will drink well young and continue to do so for 25 or more years.

    Score: 94 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (197), October 2011

    The 2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape (30% Grenache, 30% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and the balance other permitted varietals) exhibits an opaque purple color as well as sweet aromas of camphor, truffles, black cherries, black currants, licorice, pepper and forest floor. The wine is full-bodied, rich, intense and powerful. Moreover, there is a lot more of the 2009 than there is of the 2008 (after the strict selection, only 50% of the normal production was achieved). Because of the significant tannins, the 2009 requires 3-5 years of bottle age and should evolve for 25-30 years.

    Score: 92/95 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (191), October 2010

    This is not the bottled final blend but it's very close to it. 13 varieties including 30% Mourvèdre, 30% Grenache and 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise, 5% Cinsault. Held back but there is so much waiting to escape. You can feel all those components coming together (I had just tasted the varieties Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise and Cinsault as separate - non-commerical - bottlings). The brightness of the Grenache, that dry, firm framework and length from the Mourvèdre and the completeness of the blend. Dry, fresh, long and impressive in its embryonic state. Power and finesse. Great length. 14%

    Score: 18 Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, November 2010

Tasting Notes
Red Burgundy 2017 Clos Saint Jacques Vieille Vigne


2 Case 3 75cl £1,295
  • Domaine Fourrier
    Gevrey-Chambertin "Clos St. Jacques"  ♥
    1er Cru Red barrel
    Score: 91-94
    Tasted: Jan 10, 2019
    Drink: 2029+
    Issue: 73
    Sweet spot Outstanding
    Note: from .89 ha parcel
    Producer note: Jean-Marie Fourrier told me that 2017 was "so much easier from a growing season perspective compared to 2016 even though we were luckier than most as we had less frost damage. The real challenge in 2017 was to control your yields, which was harder than it might otherwise sound for the simple reason that vines that suffered frost damage were very productive. We had an easier time doing this because of the very high percentage of old vines that our vineyards have. I chose to begin picking on the 7th of September and the fruit was largely spotless. Even so we did a careful sorting to eliminate any berries that weren't fully mature. Yields were reasonable and the fruit had homogenous ripening as potential alcohol only varied between 12.7 and 13.2%, which is perfect for the style of wine I want to produce. As to the wines, I would describe them as a happy surprise as I honestly did not expect them to be so good. Initially I thought that they would be on the lighter side as the skins weren't especially thick but as the élevage has progressed they had fleshed out and added weight. Moreover they have a kind of energy that makes them so refreshing that it just makes you feel like drinking them." I have long been an admirer of the Fourrier wines and particularly so for their purity of expression and overall quality. As the scores and commentaries will confirm, 2017 will do nothing to change my point of view. See also the Jean-Marie Fourrier négociant wines immediately below. (Rosenthal Wine Merchant, www.madrose.com, NY, USA; there are many sources in the UK including A&B Vintners, www.abvintners.co.uk, John Armit Wines, www.armit.co.uk, Goedhuis & Co., www.goedhuis.com, Howard Ripley, www.howardripley.com, Uncorked Ltd, www.uncorked.co.uk, and Seckford Wines, www.seckfordwines.co.uk; Pearl of Burgundy, www.pearlofburgundy.com, Hong Kong and Macau).
    Tasting note: A more elegant and spicier nose consists of red and dark currant aromas laced with a plenitude of spice and floral whiffs. The super-sleek, intense and gorgeously textured medium weight flavors that are penetratingly mineral-driven display excellent depth and persistence. With all of those attributes duly noted, at this stage at least this is not necessarily more interesting than the Combe aux Moines though that of course could well change by the time these both arrive at their full maturities.

Tasting Notes
Red Burgundy 2008 Richebourg

Gros Frere & Soeur

3 Case 6 75cl £2,200
  • Domaine Gros Frère et Soeur
    Grand Cru Red 750 ml
    Score: 93
    Tasted: Jan 01, 2011
    Drink: 2023+
    Issue: 41
    Note: from a .7 ha parcel that was partially replanted in 1985 and the remainder in 1989
    Producer note: Bernard Gros calls 2009 a "very, very good vintage. Mother Nature spoiled us with very ripe and impeccably clean fruit. I began picking on the 10th of September and brought in a crop that averaged between 13 and 14% potential alcohols. With the clones that my vineyards were planted with in the 1980s, they ripen almost one week earlier than traditionally planted vineyards. I concentrated many of the wines about 5%. Otherwise, the vinification was straightforward as everything was perfectly ripe. I think 2009 is going to be a very popular vintage as there is nothing not to like." As to the Gros in-bottle '08s, they have turned out about where my predicted ranges suggested that they would. (Atherton Wine Imports, www.awiwine.com, Atherton, CA; Metro Wine, NY and Stacole Wines, www.stacolewines.com, FL; no sanctioned UK importers).
    Tasting note: The most elegant nose in the range displays almost invisible wood and superbly complex blue and black pinot fruit liberally laced with notes of hoisin, soy, clove and anise, all of which also appear on the suave, round and opulent well-muscled flavors that are extremely seductive, even velvety on the mouth coating, focused, linear and palate staining finish. The tannins are not as refined as the nose is but overall, this appears to offer excellent potential in a more forward though age-worthy style.

Tasting Notes