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.
Made from 80% old vine Corvina and Corvina clones (Rizza, Nera and Corvinone), and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and Syrah, this dark ruby wine opens with a fine, floral bouquet of plums, fresh cherries, and a hint of cocoa. On the palate, the notes of pure cherry, plum, smoky chestnut, and black spice are gracefully layered over polished, crisp tannins. Aging in traditional cherry wood ovals further heightens the distinctive cherry-infused notes of Verona's indigenous Corvina grape.
What always astounds me about Banda Azul (an Ernest Hemingway favorite) is the precision with which the flavors of the Tempranillo grape are perfectly set off by the abundant notes of new oak. It's a neat trick, rarely mastered outside of Burgundy or Bordeaux, and it makes Banda Azul something special. You save a ton, but give up almost nothing in terms of polish and sophistication.
Deep ruby-garnet in color, the 2009 Bouchard Beaune du Château opens with discreet aromas of raspberry, violets, and cinnamon/spice. Quick swirls in the glass unlock notes of ripe cherry fruit, well-integrated with subtle hints of oak. On the palate, the fruit is silky, pure, and wonderfully refined, but with a sneaky intensity of flavor that keeps growing as the wine airs. The tannins are well-integrated, supple, and harmonious, but with considerable grip as well. Immensely enjoyable now for its pure, graceful Pinot Noir fruit, this wine offers at least 7 to 10 years of aging potential.