Part One - France

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Two friends have pruned their cellars; one is moving to a smaller home and has conceded that a laundry room takes priority over wine storage (he claims that his concession was gracious, but I have my doubts), and the other sadly has some health concerns that limit how much they can consume. They bought for love of wine and they both express genuine regret because they never thought they’d be selling. Their divestment is your gain – there is a big range of perfectly stored wine here, all bought on release. After part one, we will offer wine from Germany, Italy, and the USA. Jamie Wolff

PS: We expect at least some of these wines to sell quickly. To help avoid the frustration of ordering something that is already sold, please click-through to the website where you can see live inventory (whenever you refresh the page).

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Felettig 2010 Vosne Romanée 1er Cru

This is a very interesting Vosne Romanee 1er Cru. Incredible stuff — small parcels of Petits Monts (.11ha) Aux Reignots (.10ha) and .05 ha. of Les Chaumes)  blended together for their 1er Cru Vosne-Romanée--it is the star of the Felettig's line up. Farmed biodynamically with Louis Michel Liger-Belair, the Vosne-Romanée 1er cru is a mini cuvee shadowing the profiles of the neighboring plots of Richebourgs, La Romanée and La Tache which they border respectively.

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Lafarge, Michel 2004 Volnay 1er Cru Chenes

Smokey and meaty with penetrating black and red fruit; tons of depth on the palate. Be prepared to wait for this wine to come around, but then — what an incredible treat! This more than lives up to its reputation. JW

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Magnien, Stephane 2010 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Aux Petits Noix

From two premier crus, Les Gruenchers and Clos Baulet, mid slope in Morey Saint-Denis, giving a slightly fuller wine than Faconnieres. As with all of Stephane's parcels, there is a high percentage of old vines of "pinot tordu." Elegant dark fruit aromas, the palate is the most dense and round of the 1er crus, with hints of earth, coffee, spice. Fabulous length and depth in this wine that should cellar beautifully. Great juice!

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Magnien, Stephane 2010 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Faconnieres

On very stony soil, just below Clos de la Roche. Beautiful red fruits, raspberry, strawberry, red currant. The palate is dense but not heavy, as with all these wines, with fabulous balance. Lovely length of fruit in the finish with bright acidity, highly recommended!

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Pacalet, Philippe 2007 Chambolle-Musigny

"Light ruby. A fruity yet quite elegant nose that is airy, even wispy reflects red pinot aromas that are in perfect keeping with the minerally, indeed almost chalky and dusty flavors that possess lovely depth and length. This is very Chambolle in character." — Burghound  (Arrives 6/9)

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Rapet, Vincent 2009 Beaune 1er Cru Beaune-Greves

Purchased by the Rapets in 1999 "this old vineyard on a steep slope is slowly giving up it's mysteries." (the vines average 50 years of age) This is the best Beaune Greves that I've tasted from Rapet — it's very structured and earthy with penetrating red currant and strawberry fruit. The palate is quite intense with a beautiful combination of tannin, acidity and dark fruit. This should age beautifully. Really super.

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Rapet, Vincent 2009 Corton Grand Cru

From 50 year-old vines in Perrieres and La Chaume/Voierosse, mid-slope on pebbly iron-rich soil. Rapet's Grand Cru reds seem to have benefitted greatly from the vintage conditions of 2009. They are dense and structured and possess ample fat. The Corton seems a bit tighter and less expressive than the Pougets, but is superbly elegant and long. This should evolve similarly to the superb 1985 tasted last February. Not inexpensive, but well worth the price...

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Baudry 2009 Chinon Le Clos Guillot

The Clos Guillot is a superb parcel on a limestone slope in the commune of Chinon with clay and "tuffeau" soils. Fermentation in wooden cuves with pigeages, 12 months of aging in two to five year-old barriques. A Burgundian style of Chinon, the 2009 has gorgeous red currant, black fruit and kirsch aromas with floral hints. The palate is deep, round, supple and fresh with a lovely finish. This is a superb, elegant bottle of Chinon, perhaps best in 5 to 15 years. "A dynamite wine in the making" says John Gilman in The View from the Cellar, "in perfect balance and only requires some time alone in the cellar to really blossom. A superb wine."

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Baudry 2010 Chinon La Croix Boissée

From a small parcel of clay over limestone on a south-facing slope above Cravant. 20 months of aging in 2 and 3 year-old barriques. This is perhaps the finest example of La Croix Boissee to date. Even as a very young wine the aromas are quite complex and wonderfully elegant. Blackberry, strawberry compote, pepper, briar, earth, chocolate and musk... There is superb concentration of black and red fruits with seemingly perfect structure and acidity and fabulous length. Destined to become a truly great Chinon, this will be best perhaps between 2020 and 2035. I remember Matthieu telling me, back in 2010, that they had finally figured out how to get the best result from this great vineyard, and here it is... (Case price $34.19 per bottle)

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Baudry 2010 Chinon Les Grézeaux

2010 is a great vintage for Les Grezeaux, perhaps even better than the superb 2009. Baudry's two cuvees on predominantly gravel terroirs, Les Granges and Les Grezeaux, seem perfectly balanced in this less-ripe vintage, and the old vines in Les Grezeaux have yielded a beautiful wine. The aromas are complex and lovely with floral red and black fruits, the palate is balanced, earthy and long with ripe strawberry, cherry and black fruits that are persisitant and balanced with a super refreshing finish. Les Grezeaux is a precocious wine, always enjoyable in its youth, and yet there is acidity and structure here that will allow long term aging, as the happy owners of the great 1989 – still drinking beautifully – can attest to. This wine is very highly recommended – it will bring great pleasure for many years and is a beautiful example of the great work being done by Bernard and Matthieu Baudry and family. (Case price $23.39 per bottle)

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Balthazar, Franck 2005 Cornas Chaillot

Mainly from 90 year-old vines in Chaillot, two-week whole bunch fermentation, aged in old 500 liter casks. Franck Balthazar took over from his father René in 2002 and has maintained the old-fashioned ways while converting the estate to organic farming. A traditonal Cornas that is showing well now and will continue to soften nicely over the next ten years.

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Balthazar, Franck 2010 Cornas Chaillot

Here's a great descpription by our favorite Rhône writer, Livingston-Learmonth: "Thick, Cornasien robe, full. Big, oily, saturated bouquet that has a 1990 richness, gives the image of red meat strength – there is packing here. It is a very complex nose, with violet and polished leather involved as well, has a lot to show. The palate has a black berry drive, has acetate in it as well. It shows savoury, meat gravy features, is compact, but extends a long way. The black fruit is squeezy in this Big Beast Cornas, that bears black raisin, some brioche sweetness until the end grain enters – this resembles oak, but isn’t. The palate will need leaving until 2017 or 2018 – it is robust and demanding now, its deep-seated matter leading into a glowing end, which shows the strength of the vintage."

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Gangloff 2004 Côte-Rôtie La Barberine

Has a great nose of cooling blue fruit, olives and some toasty oak. Great concentration and ripeness along with a lightness. Lacey almost after it was given proper aeration. The nose developed some great floral elements too. A joy to drink and really gained in weight and complexity as the night went along. The tannins were ripe, grainy and sweet. LF

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Garon 2010 Côte-Rôtie Les Rochins

From fifteen to twenty year-old vines, planted at 10,000 vines per hectare, in the lieu-dit "les Rochins" a very steep parcel next to La Landonne and Cote Rozier on shist soils with iron and clay, giving dark, full-bodied wines that need time. The wine shows deep, creamy blackberry and black cherry liqueur, with herbs, brown spice and hints of smoked meat and vanillin. The palate is very full, round and deep with creamy berry fruit that coats the mouth. Not hot or forced, at 13% alc, it benefits from the acidity and brightness of the 2010 vintage. There is some oak presence that needs to integrate — perhaps wait five to seven years before drinking.  Says Livingston-Learmonth in DrinkRhône "There is flamboyant fruit on the finish. Great potential, a Grand Vin whose balance is good, has a very good foundation...Proper good wine." Need we mention that other top Côte-Rôties will retail for $150 to $300?

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Garon 2010 Côte-Rôtie Les Triotes

From primarily "shiste blonde" with some granite in the parcels of Triottes, Combard, and Lancement, on mid and upper slopes in the Côte Blonde. A very small percentage of new oak in 2010 with mostly older barrels. A well-structured wine featuring kirsch and blackberry fruits, especially from Combard, which will drink well soon and cellar well for at least twenty years. This from Livingston-Learmonth in DrinkRhône; "Good, thorough red robe. The nose shows blackberry fruit, comes with various layers of depth, the fruit mulled, and mixing up red fruits and vanilla as well, touches of black raisin and white pepper: all in all, an interesting start. This is good, still close-knit wine: it has a smoky outer casing, with good gusto in its red stone fruits, then charcoal from its oak towards the finish. There is a plum fruit, Pinot influence. It has just opened enough to show a sexy promise. The length is fresh, there is plenty of crackle in the wine, and it ends on tang, smoke. Lots of pleasure to come – it will drink well around 2015-16." This is a sensational value in Côte-Rotie from this superb vintage.

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Gonon 2007 Saint-Joseph Rouge

From vines in Tournon, Mauves and St.-Jean-de-Muzols including a two and one-half hectare parcel of old vines from Raymond Trollat. A great vintage for this domaine, which is truly one of the finest in the northern Rhône. While the 2007 somewhat lacks the structure of the 2005 and 2006, there is good acidity here and enough grip to hold this wine nicely for 10 to 15 years. It has gorgeous aromas that float far above the glass, red fruits, blueberry, plum, brown spice, pepper and some good old syrah funk. It's a bit closed now perhaps but with decanting or a night open it's a great wine and a fabulous value. We're honored to be working directly with Jean and Pierre — their organic work in the vineyard and great natural winemaking are inspirational and delicious!

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Gonon 2009 Saint-Joseph Les Oliviers Blanc

From a great site in Saint-Joseph, Les Oliviers, comes this magnificent Rhône white, a blend of Marsanne and Roussanne. The 2009 vintage gave a full, rich wine but with the acidity and strucure to age well. Having recently tasted the 2001 and 1991, I can attest to the beauty of this wine when allowed to mature, which is a problem given how delicious it will be now, if decanted or cellared for a few years at least. Congratulations, again, to Jean and Pierre!

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Gonon 2010 Saint-Joseph Rouge

2010 is a good vintage, according to Jean. "There were two weeks of rain in May and again in June and we began to think of 2008, but then came north winds and generally good weather in July and August, without too much heat. The grapes ripened slowly and we picked under good conditions in late September — a small harvest with thick-skinned grapes, well-balanced, giving wines that will keep." Tasted from bottle end January 2012; Lovely red/black fruit aromas, very pure, the palate is dark and deep but not fat. Very fresh, even a little severe on the palate but wonderfully ripe and fresh at the same time, great balance.

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Levet 2010 Côte-Rôtie La Chavaroche

Deep red/black color. Bright, very perfumed black fruits, violet, musk, citrus and menthol, with great purity and persistence. Ethereal and powerful. The palate is deep and firm with black fruit liqueur, raspberry, violet and saline minerals. Exceptionally long and firm in the finish, quite bright and focused. Enjoyable now for its youthful exuberance, best after 8 to 10 years. DL

"This is a vin de garde, a keeping wine, par excellence — it has the nobility of that. Tannins are well present and offer steel to the wine. From 2018. STGT (terroir) wine — lovely harmony in mid-palate. Drink until 2034-36" DrinkRhone.com

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Texier 2010 Saint Joseph La Croix Vieilles Vignes

Eric's heroes in the Northern Rhône are Trollat, Gentaz-Dervieux, Juge and Verset and he makes his Saint-Joseph very much in their style. From 60-70 year-old "petite serine" vines in the northern part of Saint-Joseph, on decomposed granite. Only 20 — 30% de-stemmed, 15 day maceration with no pigeage or remontage, wild-yeast fermentation and 18 months aging on the lees in one to three year-old barrels, no SO2 until bottling, un-filtered. Production about 1200 bottles. A great vintage in the northern Rhône and perfect for the style of M. Texier — medium-bodied with great structure and acidity, pure red fruit aromas of cherry and raspberry with smoke and roast meats. Drink young or cellar for 7 or 8 years.

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Bosquet des Papes 2005 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Tradition

2005 was a great vintage for the Bosquet des Papes cuvèe Tradition. A big wine that has everything — lovely plum and red fruits with herbs and brown spice, a full silky palate and good length. Fun to drink now, it will easily keep for another 10 to 15 years — why not buy a case and put some away?

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Texier 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes

Our friend Eric Texier continues to produce some of the finest old-school Rhône wines being made today. Eric made superb wines in 2010 and this great Chateauneuf-du-Pape shows that Grenache can be as elegant as Syrah in this lovely vintage. "2010 is a classic vintage without over-ripeness," says Eric. "Harvested the 22nd and 23rd of September on La Crau as usual. 95% Grenache at least, the rest is Mourvedre picked early to add acidity. The vines are tended by Jean Riché with traditional plowing. Whole cluster, 18 days of maceration, native yeast,  no bull**** (tannins, enzymes, grenadine...) 12 months in foudre in Chateauneuf, then 6 months in barrels in Charnay. Minimal SO2 at bottling, no fining, no filtration." Deep aromas of black cherry with violets, herbs of provence, roast meat, very pure and elegant. The palate is superbly balanced (13.5 degrees alcohol) with lovely black and red fruits. Lovely concentration but not at all heavy, with terrific length and cool, lifting acidity. Really a lovely Chateauneuf, best drinking perhaps 2017 to 2030.

 

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Usseglio, Pierre 2007 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

21 hectares of vines. The Chateauneuf is Grenache75%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 6%, Cinsault 5%, and 4% Counoise and Muscardin. Aged 18-24 months in large barrels and bottled unfiltered.

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Centeilles 2004 Minervois La Livinière Clos Centeilles

Patricia Boyer-Domergues at Clos Centeilles is one of the heroes of the quality resurgence in the Languedoc. Her wines remain entirely traditional, with no new oak or over-extraction, just ripe naturally grown fruit that beautifully expresses the terroirs of the slopes of La Liviniere in the Minervois. Grenache is blended with Mourvedre and Syrah giving a rich, complex wine with layers of spicy cherry and plum fruit and aromas of thyme and black cherry with notes of smoke and meat. While this wine will age nicely for another five to eight years it's drinking fabulously now and is an excellent value...

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Bouland, Daniel 2009 Morgon Corcelette Vieilles Vignes

The 2009 Corcelette from Bouland is a big, very dense Morgon with somewhat closed earthy black-fruit aromas and an extremely deep and concentrated palate with a very long finish. I would wait five years before drinking this wine — hopefully the power and depth here will become expressive and open with time, in which case this will be an extraordinary bottle...

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Château des Jacques (Jadot) 2009 Moulin-à-Vent Clos de Rochegrès Château des Jacques

One of the highlights of the CSW company party last January was a magnum of 1985 Chateau des Jacques Moulin-A-Vent that we had acquired in a purchased cellar. The wine was quite lovely, only slightly fading but still possessing distinctive fruit and the secondary aromas of mature Burgundy. We have similar hopes for the 2009 Clos de Rochgres as the Jadot team seems determined to make a wine worthy of long aging, receiving, as David Schildknecht points out "an essentially Burgundian vinification, including gentle pump-overs, (and) aging for up to a year in largely new barriques." The wine has just arrived in New York and will need some time to settle down, but for those who enjoy mature Beaujolais this should be an interesting experience for drinking over the next ten to twenty years. The Clos de Rochgres vineyard is partially in biodynamic farming. ($30.59 per bottle on a case or mixed case)

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Foillard, Jean 2009 Morgon Côte du Py

This highly anticipated wine has finally arrived! Superb natural winemaking from a great vintage. This would be a wonderful gift this holiday season as an introduction to the glories of good Cru Beaujolais, or even better, put a case in your cellar for a few years, you'll be very glad you did... (Check out the recent post about Foillard on wineterroirs.com, with great photos too.)

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Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) 2009 Côte de Brouilly

Jean-Paul has 2 parcels of 50 year-old vines on a steep section of the Cote with a south-east exposition at about 1,000 ft of altitude. (No, I didn't tilt the camera...) The thin soil is almost entirely stones of granite with a high iron content. (A more interesting terroir than the thicker, damper soils of Brouilly.) This is a gorgeous wine! Lovely, ripe black and red fruit aromas with a touch of cocoa and spice. The palate is deep but balanced by refreshing acidity, with a silky, slightly grainy texture. A beautiful Beaujolais for current drinking and over the next few years. Highly recommended! "Contains very little sulfite," says the label "store in a cool place and consume rapidly after uncorking" We haven't noticed any problem keeping this wine, but consuming rapidly after uncorking will be easy... DL

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Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) 2009 Fleurie

From a 5 hectare semi-cirular parcel facing south in the Grille Midi vineyard, near La Madone. The soils are sandy and very poor, over pure granite, and always give low yields. "The nose is deep, stunning and very sappy, as it soars from the glass in a blaze of black cherries, raw cocoa, pomegranate, intense violets, woodsmoke and plenty of fresh thyme. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, plush and very pure, with great depth of fruit at the core, lovely soil tones, modest tannins and simply superb length and grip on the focused and palate-staining finsh." John Gilman "View From the Cellar" It seems he liked it.... Jean-Paul has done extensive work to improve this excellent parcel. A sample of the 2010 vintage showed superb aromatics and balance when tasted last month.

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Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) 2009 Fleurie Grille Midi

This new cuvee, from the oldest vines in the upper part of Grille Midi, is a dense, dark and complex wine showing deep fruits and strong earthy flavors (for more impressive verbiage please see other ads or reviewers...). A very young wine currently showing reduction, this seems structured and balanced enough for long-term cellaring. Not exactly a delicate style, but five to ten years of aging should bring exceptional results. In 2009 Jean-Paul’s Fleurie grapes were so productive that he decided to bottle the grand cru site “Grilles Midi” seperately. The vineyard is a granite ampitheater in the south of the appelation and is bathed in sun. The result is a wine with deep roasted pepper and Asian spice aromatics over a rich fruit core. There is no detectable heat from alcohol, and the label reads 12%.....JR

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Terres Dorées (Jean-Paul Brun) 2009 Moulin-à-Vent

From four hectares in "Maison Neuve" with another hectare soon to be added. The vines are 30 to 45 years old, the soil is "roche pourri" with a high manganese content. There is little vegetation as the sandy topsoil is crammed with stones. Here's John Gilman on the wonderful 2009 Moulin-a-Vent "...may well be the finest wine in his utterly profound portfolio of magical wines from this vintage. The bouquet is deep, pure and classically reserved... the palate is full-bodied, very pure and rock-solid to the core... the finish is very, very long, with ripe, perfectly integrated tannins and stunning grip and balance. Just a glorious young bottle of Moulin-a-Vent!" There was more, but you get the idea....

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Thevenet, Jean-Paul 2009 Morgon Vieilles Vignes

This wine has just arrived, but a very small quantity, so we ask that purchases be limited to 6 bottles. Always one of the greatest Beaujolais.

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Vissoux (Pierre-Marie Chermette) 2009 Fleurie Poncié

Deep blackberry and red fruit aromas. The palate is dense but elegant with dark fruits and hints of spice and cocoa (and a long list of other things if you get imaginative). Good length and structure for aging, not too high in alcohol. Delicious now, we guess it will be even better in a few years and could be very interesting in 2010.

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Colin-Morey 2009 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Creots

Pierre-Yves' wines are a revelation, even in warm vintages such as '09 that don't always add flattering weight to white Burgundy. Undoubtedly part of the reason is that he does very little battonage (lees stirring) during vinification, which keeps the wines focused and precise. "Creots," a relative value for this gentleman's wines, is pleasingly rich but held together by a spine of acid and mineral. The wine's broad, earthy, buttery, and saline flavors make a nice accompaniment to scallops; then again, white Burgundy and scallops is a match made in heaven. -msb

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Colin-Morey 2010 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Ancegnieres

Next to Puligny, bordering Batard Montrachet, this is one of the rare village level Burgundies that borders a Grand Cru. Made from 85 year old vines, the wine is honeyed and rich. It's a full-bodied wine that smells of white flowers, is very complex, and has a long finish. This is one of my favorite wines from this Domaine; it's one of the wines that came from Pierre-Yves' father's properties.

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Colin-Morey 2010 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes

Fuller and richer that the Ancegnieres, Russell says this has a Puligny character and finesse. It is floral and fragrant, has great ripeness, full flavor, and great length. -jbt

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Colin-Morey 2010 Meursault Les Narvaux

Lovely minerality and a scent like toasted bread & toasted hazelnuts, lots of extract,  a very full bodied white wine with bracing acidity. Very nice, very fine, and powerful.  This will age beautifully.  Like many big white burgundies this will benefit from decanting to help it open up. -jbt

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Pernot, Paul 2005 Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru

Very concentrated and maybe a bit softer than the Bienvenues, this is a big wine but still balanced. In June at Pernot's it was very tight — some classic aromas (lemon, dry grass, stony ground) but not showing as much. It should be fantastic. JW

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