Sylvain Bzikot’s grandfather arrived in the village of Puligny from Poland just before the start of WWII with pretty much nothing to his name. Over the years, however, the family has acquired four hectares of vineyards within the Puligny-Montrachet appellation and a further nine hectares of Bourgogne.
Pale straw yellow in appearance, the nose is rich and buttery with plenty of ripe melon notes and a touch of oak. The palate is full and rounded with layered fruit supported by integrated oak, fresh acidity and a good mineral backbone.
Ridge has made the Geyserville as a single-site Zinfandel in every year since 1966. The grapes are grown in three adjoining vineyards on a defined stretch of gravelly soil approximately one-and-a-quarter miles long and a half-mile wide located on the western edge of the Alexander Valley, Sonoma County.
The youngest vines are 10 years old and the oldest over 120 years. 65% of the vines are in excess of 45 years old.
The blend of the 2016 Geyserville is 73% Zinfandel, 17% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, 3% Alicante Bouschet
The sustainably farmed, hand-harvested estate-grown grapes were destemmed and crushed. Fermentation was with native yeasts, followed by full malolactic. Ageing was for 12 months in American oak barrels – 20% new, the balance 1-4 years old.
Winemakers tasting note:
Deep ruby in colour. Plum and black cherry fruit aromas, mint, and gravelly earth. Ripe bramble fruit on entry, balanced acidity, and elegant tannins. Long finish.
In 1972, Ridge made its first Lytton Springs from vines planted on the eastern half of the vineyard at the turn of the century. Both the eastern and western portions of the vineyard were purchased in the early 1990s, and Lytton Springs, in Sonoma County, became part of the Ridge Estate in 1991. The vineyard is planted to Zinfandel and its principal complementary varietals.
The 2016 Lytton Springs is 69% Zinfandel, 23% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignan & 2% Mataró (Mourvèdre).
The sustainably farmed, hand-harvested estate-grown grapes were destemmed and crushed. Fermentation was with native yeasts, followed by full malolactic. Ageing was for 14 months in American oak barrels – 15% new, the balance 1-5 years old.
Winemakers tasting note:
Complex aromas of vanilla, raspberry and black pepper. Full bodied with firm acidity, focused blackberry fruit and an elegant lingering finish.
This fine Morey-St-Denis domaine was created by Joseph Arlaud just after WWII and today extends to some 15 ha. Whilst his son Hervé is still involved he leaves most of the work these days to his children Cyprien and Bertille. The Arlaud family have farmed organically for several years and today they also follow a biodynamic regime in the vineyards and winery.
They always harvest manually and since 2004, under the guidance of Bertille, have used horses to plough the vineyards. Soil compaction can be a real problem and heavy machinery only adds to the problem whereas the horses have a lighter touch. Currently there are two horses working the Domaine, “Nougat” and “Okapi”.
Once harvested, the grapes are carefully sorted and de-stemmed but not crushed. Fermention is carried out using indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled cement tanks. The wines are aged in French oak barrels (15% of which is new wood) for 14 to 16 months before being bottled, unfined and unfiltered, according to the lunar cycle.
Arlaud’s Gevrey-Chambertin is from a 1 hectare vineyard and has a deep ruby / purple colour with a nose full of plum and black fruit aromas with hints of earth and leather. The palate is full and rounded with notes of strawberries and raspberries supported by fine tannins, lovely freshness and elegant acidity.
“Cardenal Mendoza” is one of the few great brandies produced in a time-honoured system, exactly as it was more than 100 years ago. The brandy is named in honour of an eminent figure from Spanish history, Cardenal Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza (1428-1495), who played an important role in promoting the discovery of the Americas.
This unique Spanish brandy is aged, like a sherry, in a solera made from casks that previously held fine Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherries, imparting an incredible richness and complexity to the spirit.
The “Original” V.S.O.P. is made using a combination of eaux-de-vie from grapes from the Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne and Fins Bois regions of Cognac. It has been aged for a minimum of 10 years in cask in Godet’s cellars.
Yves Cuilleron took over the reins as the 4th generation vigneron of this top domaine in 1987. He is based in Chavanay, just south of Condrieu, and has built up a formidable reputation in recent years. He now owns and leases over 75 hectares, 8 of which are in Côte-Rôtie.
The steeply terraced nature of the vineyards is such that all work must be done manually. This is very labour intensive but reflects the Domaine’s policy of ensuring that the vines produce the finest fruit possible.
Careful control of the vines vegetative cycle is exercised to maintain quality; a “green” harvest takes place in August to provide the vines with maximum aeration and reduce the risk of disease. Great respect is paid to the soil balance – no insecticides are used and only organic fertilizer, applied sparingly, is used.
For decades, the estate has focused on traditional and simple winemaking. A manual harvest, a careful sorting of the grapes, an alcoholic fermentation made solely from natural yeasts and ageing in wood are the main ingredients of the Cuilleron method.
Yves Cuilleron‘s approach to winemaking is “Make it as simple as possible”. For his reds he ferments in open vats for 3 weeks with pigeage (punching down the “cap”) and regular pumping over followed by ageing in a mix of new and old wood for 18 months.
This wine is from 4 ha of vineyards facing South / South-East, located in the north of the appellation. “Madinière” comes from the name of the stream located at the bottom of the hill.
100% Syrah. Dark in the glass, the nose is full of spice and pepper with soft wood tannins in the background. The palate is round and fleshy with soft tannins and fresh acidity giving the wines length and elegance.
The origins of this estate date back to the 17th century, but more recently, Bouscaut was acquired in 1979 by Lucien Lurton, a well known Bordeaux winemaker who already owned at least ten other prestigious châteaux throughout Bordeaux. Today the estate is run by Sophie Lurton, Lucien’s daughter and her husband Laurent Cogombles. Laurent is also the present president of the appellation Pessac-Léognan.
There are 47 hectares under vine. The barrel fermented white is a mix of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Sémillon, from 150 year old rootstock grown on clay and gravel soils.
The grapes were picked by hand and carefully sorted in the vineyard before arriving at the winery. Vinification was in oak barrels, 40% of which were new, with regular batonnage (stirring of the lees) to add depth and integration of the wood into the wine. The finished wine was then aged for 12 months in wood – 30% of which was new.
Light golden in colour with a fresh and intense nose with flinty mineral notes, fine oak, roasted nuts, grapefruit, peaches and citrus notes. The palate is fresh and vibrant with juicy fruit and fine balancing minerality in the long finish.
This property was purchased by Valpolicella producer Marilisa Allegrini in 2006. Marilisa has continued to invest heavily in the estate and has brought in winemaker Nicola Biasi to build on Poggio San Polo’s already considerable reputation and impressive levels of quality.
Situated in the eastern part of Montalcino, this estate covers 22 hectares of which 16 are under vine, and produces wines that are classic in style but with a bit more weight than would be found to the north of the zone.
Poggio San Polo`s Brunello vineyards cover approximately nine hectares planted between 1990 and 2000. They are situated at an altitude of 450 metres above sea level, facing south-southwest on chalky, clay soils.
The grapes (100% Sangiovese) were hand picked and after a gentle pressing, fermentation took place in temperature-controlled concrete tanks with temperatures reaching a maximum of 28-30°C, with a long maceration on the skins lasting 20-22 days. The wine was aged in new, medium-toasted, French oak tonneaux (500 litres) for a period of 24 months, followed by extended ageing in bottle before release.
An intense ruby red with garnet hues. The typical aromas of violets and small red berries are followed by hints of vanilla, cedar and coffee. On the palate it is full-bodied and warm with a densely-woven texture and robust tannins, while the finish is persistent and rounded.