"Les Charmes" is the flagship bottling of Cave de Lugny, which owns more than 95% of the vineyards in the Mâcon-Lugny appellation. It is made exclusively from old vine Chardonnay from the 195 acre Les Charmes vineyard, the crown jewel of its vast holdings. The voluptuous structure and spicy flavor of Les Charmes is attributed to the rare "Musk clone" Chardonnay, which makes up most of the vineyard. The just-released 2011 Les Charmes is a worthy successor to the excellent 2010. It offers notes of tropical fruit, spicy yellow apple, and honeysuckle, with excellent acidity. Although the wine sees no oak aging, gentle lees stirring provides a creamy richness reminiscent of a more expensive Cote de Beaune. Les Charmes offers significant aging ability of 2 to 4 years.
Whether you are a White Burgundy lover on a budget, or just someone looking for a great house white for everyday imbibing or for parties/weddings/social functions, Cave de Lugny Macon-Villages "La Cote Blanche" is as close to a no-brainer as anything I've ever come across. Despite the absurdly low price, it gives me the sophistication I look for in $25 White Burgundies – nervy, energetic fruit, subtle minerality, and, most elusively of all, the sheer joie de vivre that only well-made White Burgundy can convey. A virtual clone of the 2010 vintage, named Decanter’s #1 Chardonnay under $15, the 2011 "La Cote Blanche" offers up fresh, Chablis-like mineral, yellow fruit and floral notes, followed on the palate, by light, bright, flavors of fresh cut apple, pear, and white flowers. Completely unoaked, it has a sneaky intensity of flavor that persists right through to the energetic finish.-- Ben Giliberti, CW Director of Wine Education
Until the recent investments by leading St.-Emilion estates, Château de Pitray was the standard-bearer for the Côtes de Castillon. I have no doubt that its quality through the years was among the factors that attracted its well–heeled St.-Emilion neighbors. I purchased my first case of 1982 Château de Pitray at Calvert Woodley in 1983, and enjoyed every bottle over the next 5 years. As memorable as the '82 was, the supple, generous, gracefully oaked 2009 is immensely more impressive and delicious.-- Ben Giliberti
The crisp, vibrant style of the cool 2011 vintage plays marvelously into the understated, elegant style of the Sancerre appellation’s namesake château. Bright yellow with gold flashes at the rim, the 2011 Château de Sancerre displays an intense Sauvignon Blanc varietal bouquet of orange flower and wet stone. Vibrant flavors of citrus, melon and stone fruit float above the palate, enlivened by a rush of gentle minerality and crisp acidity toward the finish. A terrific aperitif all by itself, and a match made in heaven with a creamy chevre from our cheese department.