A Connoisseur's Cellar (in 8 parts)

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Connoisseur is another much-abused term: it’s no longer much of a taste challenge to admire Monet, or Mouton. As this cellar goes on sale over the next two weeks, the sheer range of both classic and much more adventurous, ground breaking wines (and range of prices), will help you share the impression that our years of acquaintance and friendship has proved: this is one smart wine person, uncompromising and focused on the best, if not always the obvious or well-known. In short, a true connoisseur. Jamie Wolff

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Lafarge 2011 Beaune 1er Cru Grèves

The Beaune-Grèves is more powerful than the Aigrots; it is earthier and has darker fruit. There is a lot of mouth-weight and tannin, and that wonderful 2011 acidity that comes out on the finish. Like most of Lafarge's wines, this could age for a long time. A great effort! JBT

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Colin-Morey, Pierre-Yves 2011 Meursault Les Narvaux

The Narvaux vineyard is located above Genevrieres and Porusots; it is a very rocky hillside vineyard, and some sections of it seem to have been blasted from the bare rock. This is another great and accessible village level wine from PYCM, with very intense fruit aromas, good mouthweight and an intense finish — a fantastic bottle. There are many great producers of Narvaux, notably Domaine D'Avenay and Jean Marc Roulot.  Their Meursault Narvaux cost considerably more than that of Pierre Yves Colin Morey. JBT

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Mugnier, Jacques-Frédéric 2011 Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru Clos de la Maréchale Blanc

 I went to taste the 2012 vintage with Freddy Mugnier on Friday July 12th. After tasting all of the 2012s from barrel he brought out two bottles of 2011 Clos de la Marechale, one red and one white. 2011 Clos de la Marechale blanc smelled like Chardonnay flowers and lilacs, kind of like muscat. some light oak notes, beautiful fruit and a real persistence of flavor.  Very very fine bottle of wine.  Freddy explained that he did two graftings to improve the quality of fruit. He started in 2004 grafting Chardonnay onto the existing Pinot Noir rootstock. He started with some low yielding clones that ripened early and he found the wine a bit heavy and clunky. In 2007 he grafted some high yielding clones that ripen later and he finds that the combination of the two now make a very complex wine that he is finally happy with. The wine has great energy and it is a great terroir.  It is the other side of the wall from the Clos L'Arlot white, which was Fred Mugnier's inspiration for the Clos de la Marechale blanc.  It now comprises 7% of the Clos de la Marechale vineyard. This wine is a rare treat! JBT

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De Montille 2011 Pommard 1er Cru Grands Epenots

This is ripe and full of red fruit with silky tannins and great acidity and intensity and length. A powerful wine, Grands Epenots is one of the greatest of all Pommard 1er Crus, just a step behind the Rugiens-Bas.This was vinified with 33% whole clusters, a decision made based on the ripeness of the stems. JBT    

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Vignes du Maynes 2011 Macon Cruzille Manganite

The Manganite is made with old-vine Gamay from the magnificent Macon-Cruzille vineyard of the Clos des Vignes du Maynes, whose untreated soils produce remarkably subtle and complex wines. Lovely aromas of red currant, strawberry, licorice and earth, the palate is bright with pure berry fruits with graphite and mineral notes, dense but light and balanced and with terrific length. This is a "living" wine made with zero additives that is really unique and delicious! Certified organic and biodynamic. The 2012's are on the way, so we're moving out the delicious 2011 at a deep discount!

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Gouges 2011 Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Clos des Porrets .375 L

Medium ruby, hinting at garnet robe. Strawberry, Morello cherry, iron, salt, cinnamon. Still a bit tannic, good acid, but resolving and pretty generous for the grower. This ain't your father's Gouges! Good length and detail. Pretty delicious now, but I'd like to revisit this in five to eight years. (Tasted 8/2017) John McIlwain

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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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Lafarge 2011 Beaune 1er Cru Les Aigrots

The 1er Cru Les Aigrots is on the mid-to-upper slope on the Pommard side of Beaune, as opposed to the Savigny-les-Beaune side. Aigrots is bordered by Les Clos des Mouches, Les Vignes Franches, Pertuisots, Les Sizies, and Champs Pimont. Domaine Lafarge's vines are about 40 years old and Frederic Lafarge says the vines are very unusual; they are growing in a different way from vine to vine to vine, some are very bushy and some have sparse foliage, which may be because of the great variety of plant material in this vineyard. He said that while some growers removed leaves to promote better air circulation, he likes to leave them on to protect the grapes from the near inevitability of a hailstorm. This wine has great fruit upfront and then tannins and astringency—a big structure and all of the components for a long life. JBT

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Lafarge 2011 Volnay Vendanges Selectionnées

Volnay Vendange Selectionées comes from vines located below the village of Volnay. This wine is powerful and rich, and very similar to the Volnay AC but it is bigger and has more fruit. Medium bodied, red and black fruits, lots of minerality, good tension, and a long finish. JBT

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Tremblay 2011 Morey-Saint-Denis Tres Girard

Cecile Tremblay's Morey Saint Denis Tres Girard is from a vineyard located right by the steps of the Clos des Tart in the village of Morey Saint Denis. Black fruits, mure, very Morey St Denis. It is as different from the Chambolle Musigny as strawberries are from blackberries.

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