The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape is performing even better from bottle than it did last year. Composed of 47% Grenache, 38% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre, it is surprisingly soft and evolved for La Nerthe, but that actually gives the wine additional appeal. Its dense ruby/purple hue is followed by aromas of blue and black fruits, lavender, licorice, truffles and garrigue. Full-bodied, supple textured, fleshy and succulent, it will provide enjoyment over the next 10-15 years.
Clearly of classified growth quality, Lalande-Borie is produced by the winemaking team of "super second" Château Ducru Beaucaillou. Initially purchased to be incorporated into Ducru, its supple, graceful style was just too good to not warrant its own voice. The 2008 Lalande-Borie is deliciously perfumed with notes of wild violets, rose, red berry and a hint of Provençal herbs; on the palate, though not immense or intense, the flavors are nevertheless strikingly lush, deep, and refined. 14 months of aging in French oak barrels (1/3 new) provides a finishing polish of toasty vanilla oak.
When we tasted the 2009 Langoa Barton with Lilian Barton at her office in St. Julien, we were expecting a well-made, delicious wine, but we couldn't have been more impressed! A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, it was deep purple in the glass with aromas of blueberries, blackberries and a hint of vanilla and pepper. Although it had one of the highest tannin levels in the history of the estate, they were smooth and well-integrated already. It is one of the best Langoa's we've ever tasted from barrel.
We tried this with our friends at Nathaniel Johnston a few years ago and fell in love with it! This 2010 has very complex, black-fruit flavors, especially given its modest price and appellation. It has excellent balance, with fine tannins and a hint of roasted coffee in the long finish.-- CW Wine Staff (April 2011)
This classic Sonoma County Chardonnay displays bright aromas of lemon cream, mango and notes of toasted hazelnut. This wine has a subtle elegance with a lingering finish.