Although there are subtle differences between the terroir of Menetou-Salon, an up-and-coming region in central Loire, and that of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé to its east, all three regions offer a unique and distinctive take on the expressive Sauvignon Blanc grape variety. In this classic, cool season Loire year, this well-made Assadet Menetou-Salon rings with the freshness and vibrant acidity of the vintage.
Under their negociant line of wines (called Alain Jaume), the 2010 Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue is a classic Vacqueyras with lots of dense, concentrated, black cherry and plum fruit intermixed with hints of garrigue and licorice, a full-bodied mouthfeel. Under their negociant line of wines (called Alain Jaume), the 2010 Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue is a classic Vacqueyras with lots of dense, concentrated, black cherry and plum fruit intermixed with hints of garrigue and licorice, a full-bodied mouthfeel.
Arnoux Père's "White Label" Vacqueyras "Seigneur de Lauris," a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, sees new oak, and offers excellent structure and aging potential.
"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.
Quite stylish, harmonious, and complex, with a generous finishing sheen of new oak that makes it taste considerably more expensive than its modest price would suggest.-- Ben Giliberti
This is one of our first arrivals from the highly regarded 2010 vintage, and if the delectable style of this modestly priced petite château is any indication, wine lovers are going to be arguing for decades over which is the greater vintage, 2010 or 2009. Made from a blend of 50% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 18% Cabernet Franc, this fruit-forward wine, from the northern part of the Entre Deux Mers appellation, is made by Jean Lobre and his two sons, whose family has owned Bellevue Rougier for four generations. Absolutely ready to drink now, this easy-drinking Bordeaux offers oodles of soft, spicy fruit, lightly seasoned by notes of red berries, Provençal herbs, and cedar. Although it has sufficient stuffing to match with main courses of meat or poultry, this wine is also delicious by itself or with light cheeses.