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One of my favorite bottles of Bordeaux. This 100% Cabernet Franc is made using zero sulfur, from vines that are tended under strict organic measures. The Dupuy family have been farming the same land since 1934, and have done an amazing job creating terrior-driven reds from their healthy grapes. This 2018 dark purple in the glass. The nose is beautifully plummy, with smashed raspberries, cherry leaves, graphite, all-spice, and violets. Flavors range from of blackberries, cranberries, pine, mint, and espresso. Graced by a dynamic level of clean acidity and formidable tannin. An absolute must for any lover of Cabernet Franc, especially if they enjoy examples from the Loire Valley. David Hatzopoulos
Château Bellegrave's 2015 Pomerol doesn't tip-toe like the shier, more accented 2010. Yes, it takes the same amount of time as the older vintage to come together, but the concentration and strength of the wine is noticeable the instant the cork is popped. At its prime, it has a fantastic nose of dark cherry, woodsy spice, and a rich smell of birch and cinnamon. The palate is equally as powerful, displaying flavors of plum and blackberry, along with spicy flavors of fennel and caraway seeds.The mouthfeel is tannic, but a wash of clean acidity keeps the wine from being gritty or overly chewy. The most stand out quality of this wine was the smell I took before my last sip, which was a pungent smell of Autumn, intense with the scent of maple. A good pairing with roast chicken, but definitely qualifies for heartier, oilier meats, like lamb. This ripe wine is delicious today, but has many years ahead. David Hatzopoulos
"100% Malbec harvested and sorted by hand after destemming, on a small plot of 60 ares, on sand and gravel soils with iron-rich clay with vines over 50 years old. This wine fermented in a small vat for 20 days. It was then aged for 9 months on fine lees in TAVA amphorae, without any added sulfur. Very low dose of volcanic sulfur before bottling." On the nose, this Malbec is breezy, with herbal and floral character. The aromatic profile balances out with a touch of baking spice, dried plums, and dark citrus. The palate is earthy, with more red fruit, with deep cherry. Zippy graphite gives the palate a bright mouthfeel. Good acidity and soft tannin give this Malbec a wonderfully plush texture.
Dark core in the glass, with light red edges. A great nose, plush with floral tones and fresh red fruits. Hints of ginger and cola, adding a spicy but fresh accent to the wine. On the palate, a mineral center tingles the tongue, with red plums, dark strawberry, graphite, and a finish of sweet tobacco before a bitter kick. Structurally, great acidity and wonderfully placed, medium tannin. High-toned Bordeaux for those looking to drink big but to not stuff yourselves. This note was written on the first night... we'll see how this shows tomorrow! I'm expecting something lovely. David Hatzopoulos
Chateau Micalet, with a few hectares in the commune of Lamarque was classified "Cru Artisan" by Feret in 1893. Acquired by the Fedieu family in 1972 the estate was enlarged slightly, never using herbicides, and with a new generation the conversion to organic agriculture was started in 2006. The estate now has 10 hectares on deep beds of gravel, planted at 8,000 pieds/hectare; the normal blend is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot - and 5% Petit Verdot, a grape the Fedieus feel is particularly important. The grapes are harvested by hand and undergo a 3 to 4 week fermentation, the wine ages in barrique, 30% new. The nose on the Haut Medoc has a foundation of stone fruit, with warm plum under a fresher accent of apricot. When the wine opens, more nuanced aromas of red flowers, dried coconut, and dark gravel appear. The palate is edgy, showing lean, driven acidity, with black cherries and tart cranberries. Follow this wine over an evening, the structure will gain weight and the acidity will tone down. David Hatzopoulos
Fruit from the limestone plateau of Sainte-Colombe in Castillon, organic/biodynamic farming under the supervision of Thierry Valette. 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc, vine age 25 years. Some grapes, which are left uncrushed, go through intrapellicular fermentation, resulting in a process similar to carbonic maceration. Ages on the lees for 5 months in stainless vats. On the nose, the wine has wonderfully fresh forest fruits: blackberry, strawberry, cassis and blueberry. There is something very floral and grassy about it too, with the gentle pop of a wine made in this 'semi-carbonic' fashion. On the palate, it's generous and plummy, full of lovely black fruits, and a hint of freshly milled peppercorns. A real mineral crunch centers a structure of medium acidity and integrated, soft tannin. Full of juice, refreshing zip and texture - to me, this is the definition of a "food wine." Whether you enjoy a bottle at your last summer picnic or you pair one with your Thanksgiving dinner in November, the Cuvee Bistrot will do the trick. David Hatzopoulos
A great Bordeaux from a great vintage, here's Neal Martin's 2019 review in "Vinous" - "The 1990 Pichon-Baron is a sensational wine that must have had the First Growth rattled when it was released. At 28 years old, it is still reveling in its precocious growing season. The multidimensional bouquet features blackberry, graphite, cedar and mint flanked by iodine and warm gravel on a summer day. Wow! The palate is medium-bodied, delivering a mixture of red and black fruit, a fine mineral undercurrent and a long, precise finish: blackberry, cedar and graphite remain in the mouth for a good 60 seconds. Still a fabulous Pauillac after all these years."