When I chatted with winemaker Christophe Jaume at the winery’s introductory tasting earlier this year, he could scarcely contain his enthusiasm for the 2011 vintage in general, and this 2011 Ventoux in particular. His explained that Les Gelinottes vineyard’s ideal exposure was a unique bonus, due to the extra sun received in late August early September. The additional solar energy pumped up the already ripe, juicy fruit, and helped build a fine structure of soft tannins. Made from 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah planted on clay and sandy soils, this wine offer notes of crushed blackberry, baked blueberry and garrigue, with hints of toast and earth rising at the finish. This fresh, medium-bodied Rhone should be enjoyed now, and over the next 18 months.
This intense, full-bodied red is made by the brilliant Châteauneuf du Pape producer Andre Brunel, from family owned vineyards in the village of Tavaillan. The 2011 Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Sabrine, which is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre, has just what it takes to stand up to the rigors of summer BBQ fare. It is loaded with meaty notes of blueberry, blackberry and smoke/tobacco leaf, interlaced with hints of cherry confit, a telltale component of ripe Grenache. With so much forward fruit, it can also be enjoyed lightly chilled on the deck or patio.
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
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.