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Wine from two Private Collections: France

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Wines from tried-and-true cellars. All guaranteed, as always.

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Colin-Morey, Pierre-Yves 2011 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Chatenieres

Perhaps the greatest Saint Aubin vineyard, Chateniere has very similar soil type to Montrachet, and this wine is a candidate for long term cellaring. The vines are over 40 years old, and the wine is already rich and will become even more round and full with more time.

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  • white
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Colin-Morey, Pierre-Yves 2011 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Creots

This is from a south-facing vineyard overlooking the village of St. Aubin. The vines are just over ten years old. This is the 1er Cru Saint Aubin that will come around before its more reticent siblings.

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Coudert (Clos de la Roilette) 2011 Fleurie Cuvée Tardive

It's hard to follow the sensational 2010 cuvèe Tardive, but Alain has certainly made the best of this quite good vintage. The aromas are high-toned and very pretty, showing good acidity. The palate is quite dense with black fruits, licorice, earth and spice. The finish is very long, with ample acidity. More enjoyable now than the 2010, this should really sing within a few years and age well for ten years and more.  Arrival mid-July. (Note: If you don't have any of the 2010, there seem to be some stores that still have inventory.)

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Dutraive (Domaine de la Grand Cour) 2015 Fleurie Clos de la Grand Cour

Certified organic since 2009, the Dutraive family's Domaine de la Grand Cour produces subtle, traditional wines from their 9 hectares in Fleurie and a small parcel in Brouilly. Harvested by hand, the grapes ferment with wild yeasts in carbonic maceration, without addition of sulfur. The "Clos de la Grand Cour" is aged in a combination of cuve inox, barrels and foudres. The 2015 shows penetrating aromas of ripe strawberry and black cherry with pepper, iris, violet and earth. Elegant blackberry, plum-skin, licorice and earth on the palate, very deep and long, framed in firm acidity and quite powerful at 14.5% alcohol. This will be quite delicious now, served with steak, grilled pork, duck and strong cheeses, but should benefit from a few years of aging, best perhaps 2018 to 2022.

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  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Dutraive (Domaine de la Grand Cour) 2016 Brouilly Cuvée VV

From a small hillside parcel of 50-plus year-old vines in Brouilly, certified organic. Carbonic maceration with no addition of SO2, followed by foot-pressing, gravity fed into large barrels or foudres for aging. Light Garnet/black color. The 2016, at 12.5% alcohol, is back to the style of the lovey 2014, showing pretty aromas of raspberry and red currant with bright citrus notes and  smells of earth and stone. The palate is light but intense with bright raspberry and tart cherry flavors over firm acidity with citrus and earth. The finish is refreshing with lingering citrus and mineral flavors. Serve with charcuterie, fish in sauce, chicken and pork dishes or hold for 5 to 8 years as this should be a very pretty mature wine.  David Lillie

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Baudry 2013 Chinon La Croix Boissée

From young and old vines in a superb south-facing hillside vineyard of thin clay over limestone soils in Cravant. 24 months of aging in 2 to 4 year-old barriques. The difficult vintage of 2013 gave very low yields and less alcohol than usual, but the 2013 Croix Boissée is a superb, elegant Chinon that will age well and resembles a light, old fashioned Burgundy. The aromas are lovely and very floral with raspberry and red currant fruit. The palate is extremely mineral, not fat but with pretty red fruit, spice and earthy flavors over firm acidity. Given the vintage, this is an astonishingly good Chinon, but not exactly a fruit-bomb, that should be superb when mature, perhaps 2025 to 2035, and delicious young for those who appreciate more terroir than fruit in their Chinon.

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  • Organic
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Baudry 2014 Chinon La Croix Boissée

The 2014 Croix Boissée Rouge is a magnificent wine. We have tasted the wine from barrel on three different occasions and it's definitely one of the best wines the Baudrys have ever made ("our best since 2010,"says Matthieu), and one of the very best reds of the Loire Valley in 2014. The wine received a more than two year elevage in young barrels, none were new, and was bottled with only 10mg of SO2. Last tasted in January of 2017, the wine showed superb, pure aromas of black fruits and violets. The palate was dense and chalky, with meaty black fruits with remarkable purity and length and perfect structure for aging. This will obviously open up to become a complex and beautiful mature wine, probably best from 2025 to 2040. We look forward to opening a bottle on arrival for a more detailed description. 3 bottle limit, please. (While one may not think of the Baudrys as "natural" wine producers, their farming is totally organic, their vinifications are without extraction, and without SO2 added until bottling - only 10 mg per liter.  David Lillie

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Breton, Catherine et Pierre 2012 Bourgueil Clos Senechal

The Breton's Bourgueil Clos Sénéchal is always one of my favorite Loire reds. From a great terroir in mid-slope on clay over limestone "tuffeau." The vines are 30 to 45 years old, there is a three-week alcoholic fermentation with wild yeasts, no added SO2. Aging is in old foudres with minimal SO2 added before bottling. The wine is relatively light with subtle aromas and strong chalky acids - remarkably pretty when young, it ages beautifully for ten to twenty years depending on the vintage. The tiny yields in 2012 brought a bit more concentration and color but the wine retains it's light character with superb, complex aromas of ripe blackberry, red-currant, violets, earth, plum-skin and spice. The palate is light but intense with black fruits, very firm citrusy acids and a long finish of ripe berries and saline minerals. Beautiful now, best perhaps between 2019 and 2025-2030. David Lillie.

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