Dubonnet is the nation's top selling aperitif, with a long and storied history that is enjoying renewed popularity as consumers return to classic cocktails. Dubonnet was once the preferred beverage of the French Foreign Legion. Today, Dubonnet is available internationally in both Rouge and Blanc varieties and is a key ingredient in classic drinks such as the Dubonnet Cocktail and the Dubonnet Kiss. In the words of master mixologist Dale DeGroff, with its rich ruby color, spicy aroma and refreshing flavors, Dubonnet embodies the best of the aperitif category.
A lovely Merlot, this is pure, vibrant and elegant. It has classic cherry, red-currant and cedar flavors, and while there's a sweetness at the core, the finish is thoroughly dry. Wonderful to drink now with steak or lamb.
An interesting and complex wine, dry and crisp, and unique among California Sauvignon Blancs. Although there's plenty of citrus fruit, it's marked by other things, such as minerals and herbs, and the sweet, olivaceous taste that the variety's Sauvignon nature contributes in a cool vintage.
?Bright purple. This looks like a much younger wine. Heady aromas of candied black and blue fruits, garrigue and licorice, with a smoky overtone. Rich but lively, offering vibrant cherry and boysenberry flavors that gain energy and sweetness with air. Quite showy, with excellent finishing clarity, soft tannins and lingering sweetness. Demonstrates the best attributes of this ripe vintage.?
The 2010 Condrieu is even more perfumed and intense, boasting stunning minerality in addition to copious notes of honeysuckle, lychee nut and mango. Drink this luscious, medium to full-bodied white over the next 3-5 years. One of the truly profound wines of the appellation is Guigal's Condrieu La Doriane, which comes from estate vineyards located in some of Condrieu's finest terroirs, such as Cote Chatillon, Volnats, Colombier and the Coteaux du Chery. Aged in 100% new oak (although it never shows) and put through malolactic fermentation, these are great Condrieus that age well (I mistakenly pulled a 2001 Condrieu La Doriane out of my cellar thinking it was the 2009, and I was shocked to discover how fresh and lively it was at age ten.). Nevertheless, I still have a strong predilection for drinking them in their exuberant youth, during their first 3-4 years of life.
"As Guigal says, the 2004 Cote Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis is "very Burgundian." Forest floor, herb, underbrush, red currant, and sweet cherry notes dominate the aromatics and flavors of this medium-weight, peppery, slightly herbaceous wine. It has turned out to be outstanding, no easy task in a year with record-setting yields and many overly vegetal northern Rhones. This is a sexy, seductive 2004 to enjoy over the next 7-8 years. "
"The 2009 Gigondas was scheduled to be bottled soon after my visit. Composed of 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre and 15% Syrah aged in foudre, this dense purple-colored 2009 exhibits copious amounts of meaty richness, blueberries, black raspberries, crushed rocks and flowers. Opulent and dense, it is one of the finest examples of Gigondas Guigal has yet produced. I liked it almost as much as their terrific 2007.