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(Vouvray “la Goutte d’Or”- Domaine François Pinon) I had never previously tasted the 1990 Vouvray “la Goutte d’Or” from Domaine François Pinon and this has to be one of my absolutely favorite wines from the vintage! This is not as heavily botrytized as say, the 1990 la Goutte d’Or from Domaine Foreau, but it is so deep, intensely flavored and precise that it has to be ranked at that same exalted level, despite it not being as rich and powerful. In fact, this has more of a 1989 character than a 1990 one, which is as high a praise as I can come up with for Vouvray, as 1989 is unequivocally my favorite vintage in the Touraine in the last forty years! The wine offers up a stunningly beautiful and vibrant bouquet of apricot, tangerine, tea leaves, salty soil tones, barley sugar and a topnote of orange peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and laser-like in its focus, with a great core, bright, zesty acids and stunning complexity and balance on the refined and endless finish. Sheer brilliance! (Drink between 2019-2070)John Gilman | 97 JG
From 45-year-old vines, macerated for 30-35 days ("just infusion, no extraction") and aged in old barrels for 12 months plus six months in tanks, the 2016 Anjou Cabernet Franc is pure and intense on the nose that reveals finely concentrated raspberry, red cherry and tobacco aromas. Pure, intense and fresh on the palate, this is a silky-textured, refined and elegant red with fine tannins and vibrantly mineral acidity. Tart on the finish but full of character. Excellent. Bottled at the end of April 2017.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPWhile this wine has some age, it still shows considerable acidity. A light touch of tannin and plenty of perfumed fruitiness give a wine that has structure and that will age. Drink from 2021.Wine Enthusiast | 91 WEA very charming version, with tobacco leaf and oregano notes framing the core of dark cherry and mulberry, while spice details glide along the edges. Well-integrated tannins provide support, creating good balance overall. Drink now through 2024. 1,250 cases made, 250 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 90 WS
Harvested from a small parcel, less than four acres, this wine is in perfect condition. It is balanced, with white fruit and citrus coming together, led by the acidity. It is developing into a full, ripe wine. Wait until 2019.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WE(Pouilly-Fumé “Clos des Chaudoux”- Domaine Serge Dagueneau et Fille) The 2016 Clos des Chaudoux Domaine Serge and Valerie Dagueneau is an outstanding bottle of Pouilly-Fumé. This is unique in the family’s lineup, as these fifty-five year-old sauvignon blanc vines are actually planted on terres blanches limestone, rather than flint. The wine is quite tropical in its fruit complexion in 2016, offering up notes of pineapple, tangerine, just a touch of damp grass, beautiful chalky minerality and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied, focused and complex, with plenty of secondary development already showing, but coupled to a good girdle of acidity and plenty of cut and grip on the long finish. With the frosts of 2016, this wine may be just a touch idiosyncratically styled in this vintage, but it has depth, beaucoups complexity and impressive backend length. I decanted the wine to let it blossom and consume some of its initial aromatic oddities, and I really liked the wine after that. It is never going to make you forget a great vintage of Didier Dagueneau’s Pur Sang, but it is loaded with personality all the same! (Drink between 2019-2030)John Gilman | 91 JG
The 2017 Château Thébaud has spent three and a half years building the mid palate to an elegant yet silken core. It is a quiet wine that is rather meditative and caresses the palate with its delicate yet creamy texture. The finish offers satisfying grip and a fine powdery veil of texture. This is a really gorgeous Muscadet that is precise and draws through to a lengthy finish.Vinous Media | 94 VM
The 2017 Pouilly Fumé Prédilection is from several terraces on Muschelkalk soils and located closer to the Loire, so they benefit from cool afternoon breezes and nights. The wine opens pure and crunchy on the nose when young, with stony aromas intermixed with notes of white fruit but gets more and more floral with bottle age. The palate is powerful, dense and complex, showing serious substance, tannins and length but also elegance and terroir expression. The finish is lush but also pure and salty and structured by very fine tannins. It’s a crystalline, refined and elegant style with a very long finish. Tasted in February 2021.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RPThis wine takes its minerality from the chalk soil in which the vines grow. It has considerable texture as well as perfumed richness and dense white fruits accented by spice. The wine is ready to drink.Wine Enthusiast | 91 WEVery pure and smoky, with a peach, apricot and elderflower fragrance and a fabulously expressive mineral acid undercurrent.Decanter | 90 DEC
The 2018 Anjou Violette is deep, rich and very intense but elegant on the pure and refined nose, with dark fruit, tea and kumquat aromas. Full-bodied, deep and generous on the palate, this is a full-bodied, rich and generous, silky-textured, refined and tensioned Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend that is one of the highlights of the vintage. Fabulous! A must buy! Tasted at the domaine in June 2021.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPSvelte, moderate tannins envelope plum and cassis notes in this medium-bodied red, with details of loamy earth, savory spice, tobacco and forest floor. Complex and harmonious. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2031. 500 cases made, 98 cases imported. Wine Spectator | 92 WSThe 2018 Anjou Cuvée Violette is full-bodied and rounded, offering a soft embrace. True to its name, it does smell of violets as well as wood smoke, spice and dark black fruits. There’s concentration here, no doubt due to the low yields off 70-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines and the 45-year-old Cabernet Franc. The tannins have been well handled and provide a frame of chalky structure. The merest whiff of barnyard meets the florals on the finish, but it’s kept in check.Vinous Media | 91 VM
(Saumur-Champigny- Domaine Filliatreau) Domaine Filliatreau is now all certified organic for its viticulture and its Château Fouquet is about to be certified biodynamic. This bottling is made from forty year-old vines and is aged in tank prior to bottling. The 2019 version is excellent, offering up a superb bouquet of black cherries, dark berries, tobacco leaf, a lovely base of soil, espresso and a hint of tree bark in the upper register. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and juicy at the core, with good soil undertow, well-integrated tannins and a long, nicely balanced and focused finish. This is complex and just starting to blossom properly, but it has the structure to also age for many more years, though like the la Grande Vignolle bottling, this too is sealed with a synthetic cork. (Drink between 2021-2040)John Gilman | 92 JG
The 2019 Vouvray Sec from François and Julien Pinon is a lovely young wine, offering up impressive precision and soil signature on both the nose and palate. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a very refined blend of apple, quince, beeswax, chalky soil tones, lanolin and a topnote of orange peel. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and zesty, with a superb core of fruit, bright acids, lovely focus and grip and a long, nascently complex and beautifully balanced finish. First class juice. (Drink between 2021-2050)John Gilman | 93 JGThe 2019 Sec has delightful clarity and fruit purity, offering fine citrus and floral notes. While it’s round and seamless in shape thanks to clay soils and fermentation in older barrels, it’s light on its feet, which is no mean feat. Excellent concentration of fruit.Vinous Media | 91 VM
The 2020 Muscadet “la Louvetrie” from Jo Landron is crafted mostly from vines that are thirty to forty years of age, with some younger vine fruit also included. The wine delivers a lovely bouquet of breadfruit, lemongrass, briny maritime scents, wet stone minerality and a nice touch of leesiness. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and complex, with a good core and mineral drive, zesty acids and a good long finish that is just a touch pinched today on the backend from its screwcap. Fifteen minutes in decanter unlocks the wine completely on the finish, but the early signs of reduction issues would lead me to drink this wine in the next year or two, rather than tucking it away in the cellar. Once it opens up on the backend, it is very good. (Drink between 2022 - 2024)John Gilman | 92 JG
(Menetou-Salon- Domaine Karine Lauverjat) Karine Lauverjat’s 2020 Menetou-Salon is a lovely wine in the making. It is a tad on the young side, having just landed here in the New York, but it has lovely bones. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a fine combination of lemon, gooseberry, spring flowers, chalky soil tones, citrus zest and a nice topnote of fresh-culled grass. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and tightly-knit today, with a lovely core and soil undertow, bouncy acids and lovely length and grip on the very well-balanced finish. This is tasty already, but will be even better with six months out from its trans-Atlantic voyage. Good juice. (Drink between 2021-2027)John Gilman | 91 JG
Matured 24 months on the lees, the 2020 Clisson from Domaine de la Pépière reveals a complex and mineral bouquet with aromas of licorice, spices, lemon oil and white fruits. Medium-bodied, crystalline and mineral-driven, it’s pure and clean with a delicate texture and an energetic mid-palate, marked on the finish by bright, racy acids that interweave with an impressive bitterness. This is an excellent rendition of the Clisson terroir.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 92 RP
(Quincy “les Grandes Vignes de Villalin”- Domaine de Villalin) This bottling of Quincy hails from the original sector of the appellation, on the right bank of the Cher River and across the water from the vast majority of the expanded appellation. The difference between the two sides is that here, the soils are much more similar to Pouilly-Fumé, with a mix of gravel and silex, whereas across the river, the soils are clay and chalk. The proprietors, Marilyne and Jean-Jacques Smith farm their 7.5 hectares of sauvignon blanc vines organically, harvest by hand, ferment with indigenous yeasts and raise the wine in stainless steel. Their 2021 Quincy “les Grandes Vignes de Villalin” is a really beautiful bottle of sauvignon blanc, offering up a bright and refined bouquet of gooseberry, tart orange, fresh-mown grass, a beautiful base of flinty soil tones, white flowers and a topnote of limepeel. On the palate the wine is vibrant, full-bodied and quite elegant in profile (particularly for Quincy), with a lovely core of fruit, excellent focus and grip, zesty acids and a long, minerally, complex and classy finish. I love the backend energy in this wine! (Drink between 2022-2030)John Gilman | 92 JG
Some buttery notes emerge under the delicate lemony characters, giving depth and seamless balance to the zingy acidity. It should develop additional complexity with more time in bottle. Montée de Bouffant is a parcel on steep slopes at 240m above the village of Chavignol. The grapes are harvested by machine and fermented in a mix of concrete and stainless steel and then aged for six months. The first record of the 35-hectare domaine is from 1510 and Laurent Reverdy, who took over from his father Alain in 2000, is the 14th generation.Decanter | 93 DEC
Light, shimmering orange. Displays mineral-inflected red berry and floral aromas, along with subtle peach and succulent herb flourishes. Shows fine definition and cut on the palate, offering fresh strawberry, cherry and tangerine flavors that deepen through the back half. Closes long and supple, with the floral and red fruit notes strongly repeatingVinous Media | 91 VM
Ripe stone fruit and green apple characters mingle on the nose. Good fruit intensity on the palate, balanced with fresh acidity.Decanter | 93 DEC
Golden flecks with a hint of green, this pithy wine shows rich yellow plum and an opulent, vibrant texture reflecting its flinty terroir. This is a precise wine with a long finish. The 2022 is naturally a little tight at present but has clear potential and should develop further in bottle. Fermented in stainless steel followed by six months on its lees. The Famille Bourgeois took over the small domaine, which is based in Saint-Satur, noted for its flinty soils. Florent Bourgeois has been in charge since 2013. Prior to this Florent had gained wide experience both in France and also in California, Argentina and at Clos Henri, the Bourgeois property in New Zealand.Decanter | 92 DEC
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