A very reliable Cru Bourgeois property, Château Caronne Ste. Gemme is located in the Haut-Médoc adjacent to St.Julien. Owned by Jean and Francois Nony, the property consists of 45 hectares of vineyards and produces over 20,000 cases a year.
Caronne Ste. Gemme 2012 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel before being transferred for maturation in oak barriques (20% of which are new, the rest being 2nd or 3rd fill) for 12 months.
Ruby red in colour with a touch of brown creeping into the rim, the nose has good red and black fruit with notes of wood, pencil shavings, spice and vanilla. The palate has good depth with black fruit flavours, soft tannins and a good structure and long finish.
This tiny domaine is the source of some of the finest, richest and most concentrated wines in Alsace.
Domaine Bruno Sorg was created in 1965 by Renée and Bruno Sorg in Ingersheim, the village where Renée was born. In 1972, they bought a house with outbuildings in Eguisheim, the village where Bruno was born, and where the business is located today.
In 2004 François, Bruno’s son, built a temperature controlled winery just outside the village. François says he now has time to think instead of climbing up and down ladders and stairs.
Their decision to follow the principles of sustainable farming for the vineyards enables the coexistence of natural, and sometimes rare, species of fauna and flora alongside the vines.
The crémant is made from 50% Pinot Blanc & Pinot Auxerrois, 10% Pinot Gris and 40% Chardonnay and spends three years “sur latte” (on its lees) before being riddled and disgorged.
The wine is pale in appearance with fine, tiny bubbles. The nose is complex, toasty with a hint of citrus and apples. The mousse is rich, with the palate fresh and fruity with a long, clean finish.
Jean-Paul Balland has handed over the running of the domaine to his two daughters – Burgundy-trained oenologist Isabelle makes the wines, and Elise runs an impressively efficient office. They have some 20 hectares with fine plots on Le Grand Chemarin and Le Chêne Marchand.
The wines of Bué are full and rich in style, the Balland wines are a classic example from this village. It is said that Jean-Paul made the best wine in the village: we certainly don’t believe that Isabelle is doing any less well – lovely wines.
100% Sauvignon Blanc, the grapes are pressed in a pneumatic press before fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Only wild yeasts are used. The fermenting wine is regularly stirred (batonnage) to maximise the flavour and character of the wine.
Dry, fresh and very zippy, this is classic Sancerre at its very best.
To the south of Bordeaux city, near Cadillac, Château Ricaud boasts an exceptionally diverse array of soils. Impressed by its quality potential and the architectural splendour of the château, Alain Thiénot (of Champagne fame) bought the property in 1980 and has subsequently put in place a remodelling plan to transform the estate into a benchmark Loupiac and to create a Côtes de Bordeaux worthy of the finest wines.
Loupiac lies across the River Garonne from Sauternes.
Set in a natural amphitheatre and surrounded by three streams, no other spot in the appellation is more affected by the alternating misty and very dry conditions essential to produce the fungus Botrytis Cinerea or “noble rot”.
Given its location, Château de Ricaud is one of the rare estates where this magic is guaranteed to take place and every year, allowing without fail, the incredible transformation to take place, creating wonderfully aromatic golden nectar.
100% Semillon, vinified and then aged in oak (20% of which is new) for 12 months.
Attractive golden appearance. Lovely freshness on the intense bouquet, full of peach and citrus fruit aromas. The aromas are mirrored on the palate, where they combine with lovely mature noble rot character offering typical apricot and orange rind notes. With beautifully balanced acidity and rich sweetness, the wine has a lingering, aromatic and fresh finish.
Gilles and Nathalie Fèvre met at university where they both qualified as oenologists. Gilles’ great grandfather began growing grapes and making wine in and around the village of Fontenay-Près-Chablis over a hundred years ago.
Today, they own 40 hectares of vines – all planted on Kimmeridgian limestone – throughout the region. The vines are mainly aged between 25 and 35 years although some date back to when Gilles’s greatgrandfather ran the domaine.
Gilles is in charge of viticulture. The finest possible grapes are grown with a fastidious, environmentally conscious approach to quality, lower yields and scrupulous selection. Nathalie oversees winemaking, where small, temperature controlled stainless steel tanks are used to vinify each parcel separately.
The wine is aged on its fine lees for 10 months in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.
The resulting wines are beautiful expressions of classic, concentrated, minerally Chablis.
This 16.5ha property is situated near Mercurol. The vineyards are highly fragmented and spread over many sites within the appellation. The grapes are hand picked with careful selection both in the vineyard and on the sorting table in the winery. Low yields give a great concentration of flavour in the wine.
The 2016 vintage in the Rhône Valley is superb. 100% Syrah, the wine is dark and opaque in the glass. The nose is rich with fruit and spice in the background with a full and rounded palate. Strong flavours of blackberries and blackcurrants, hints of pepper and leather over a soft, but well structured, tannin base.
François Raquillet, the 11th generation of grape growers in Mercurey, has 10 hectares of superbly sited, mostly old, vines. He believes in low yields, mature (rather than super-ripe) fruit and a severe selection at the sorting table. The depth, richness and concentration which characterise his wines are a result of this, rather than any over extraction.
The Bourgogne Rouge is from 3 parcels of 60 year old vines aged in old (1-3 year) wood – delicious, juicy and seductive.
Founded in 1995, Calmel & Joseph is a négociant house specializing in Languedoc-Roussillon wines from private wineries from across the region. Over the years, they have built close personal relationships with a large number of growers from all appellations. Convinced of the extraordinary potential of this region, oenologist, Laurent Calmel, and Jerome Joseph work together on the vinification, blending and ageing of wines with the common purpose of demonstrating the little known, yet unique quality of these Mediterranean terroirs.
30% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre ,10% Cinsault, 10% Carignan from 40 year-old, low yielding vines farmed according to biodynamic principles.
The grapes are harvested by hand at optimum ripeness, then transported to the winery. After destemming, 30% of the fruit is crushed, with the remainder used for semi carbonic maceration; grapes are vinified separately by variety and parcel. Fermentation takes place with natural yeasts, with pumping over at the onset of alcoholic fermentation, followed by punching down through to the end of the time in tank (22 days in concrete tanks, at 25°C). Malolactic fermentation took place while the wine was maturing in barrel.
Ageing was for 20 months in 2000-litre wooden casks, with some wine put into smaller barrels for a year. The wine was bottled without filtration.
A highly expressive wine. Notes of spice, eucalpytus, mint and liquorice on the nose, followed by more complex, secondary aromas including juniper. Excellent freshness and balance, with fine tannins, small berry fruit and spice.
Savennières is renowned for making some of the finest dry Chenin Blanc in the world. The wines are noted for their intensity of flavour and nerve and energy.
It is a small appelation (145 hectares) on the north bank of the Loire just to the south west of Anjou.
This estate was created in 2007 when Philippe Fournier amalgamated two existing estate. The vineyards are now certified organic with low yields (25hl/ha), and a purely manual harvest conducted by making several passes through the vineyards.
“La Croix Picot” is from vines grown on a clay/schist soil. The wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels and then for a further 6 months on its fine lees in larger oak vats.
It is a dry, full bodied Chenin Blanc with succulent mouthfeel, intense aromas and extraordinary ageing potential. The wine does not undergo the malolactic fermentation to enhance the freshness and bouquet.
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