Super-negociant Alain Corcia has come up with another remarkable series of single cuvée Châteauneuf-du-Papes in 2009, each named after a different member of his family, including this outstanding bottling, named after daughter Julie. Robert Parker gives it 90-92 points in The Wine Advocate, saying it "… has a more saturated ruby/purple color and a big, sweet kiss of blackberry, boysenberry, black cherry, licorice, and camphor. Full-bodied, with unctuosity and some heady alcohol, it displays impressive purity, texture, and depth and should drink well for at least a decade or more."
This is a terrific bottle of Chardonnay, regardless of whether it hails from Napa Valley or from Burgundy. The style is clearly an amalgamation of the best of both idioms. It doles out plenty of delectably forward, Napa Valley yellow apple fruit, but the richness is checked by brisk acidity and refreshing notes of cool climate minerality imparted by the chilly Carneros microclimate. While oak is present in the wine's structure, the effect is subtle and understated, much as it would be in a top quality white Burgundy. In short, this is one of the most enjoyable Chardonnays I've tasted in a long time, at a ridiculously low price. Highly recommended.-- Ben Giliberti, CW Director of Wine Education
Another impressive offering from proprietor Stephan von Neipperg, this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot displays classic notes of wet gravel as well as jammy, smoky, sweet red and black currants, raspberries and forest floor. A classic Pessac-Leognan with the lush, opulent style of 2009 well-displayed, this is a seductive, full-bodied, fleshy wine to drink over the next 10-12 years.
Although the Loire is best known for white wines, it also makes three zesty reds from Cabernet Franc — Bourgueil, Chinon, and Saumur-Champigny. Bourgueil (pronounced ‘boor-gheel’) occupies an agreeable middle ground, not quite as delicate as Chinon, but not as emphatic as Saumur-Champigny. This Bourgueil takes advantage of the warm 2009 vintage, which gave producer Xavier Barc leave to harvest fully ripe Cabernet Franc grapes, a rarity in the Loire. Made in a fruit-forward, Cru Beaujolais style, with lots of cedar n’ spice Cabernet Franc notes, this offering makes for a snappy and savory summer red. Serve lightly chilled.
A real beauty with graphite, minerality and rich, clean, exciting berry fruit and controlled oak aromas. Very pure and stylish Cabernet Sauvignon with fat but balanced cassis and sweet berry flavors. Big tannins lend structure and framework; young like a baby now; will be better and more evolved come fall, winter and over the next few years.
The 2009 Barbera d?Alba Vignota emerges from the glass with layers of radiant fruit. Dark berries, flowers and sweet spices come together beautifully in this fleshy, engaging Barbera. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014.