Happy New Year! From all of us here at TWH, we hope you had a fantastic holiday season. Okay, now that it’s 2016, what’s up? Plenty. French container on the water should be here around mid-month with Bordeaux, Burgundy, and more! Italian container due to arrive shortly thereafter. David should be off to Burgundy again sometime soon, and I’m headed to LA at the end of the month to taste the newly bottled 2013 vintage at the Union des Grands Crus tasting. Oh yeah, one more IMPORTANT thing: our 38th Anniversary Sale will end at the close of business on Monday, January 4.So, if you’ve had your eye on anything on that list, now is the time to act. For the past 6-8 weeks, we’ve mentioned a few of the great deals that were to be found as part of our sale, and though there are still many, many great deals, just know time is running out. Back in 2015 (okay, last Thursday), a good friend of TWH came in to buy … wait for it … a couple of bottles of Sauternes. Every year he prepares a torchon de foie gras for New Year’s, and this year was no exception. As TWH’s GoldWine Ambassador, I was happy to chat with him about our selections, and after discussing several options, he was very excited about the sale price on the 2006 Château de Fargues, Sauternes. After all, it has pedigree, a famous name, and a sale price that if put into proper perspective, makes it an absolute steal!

 
 
So, foie gras and Sauternes pair well together, this is well-known. The rich, creamy, savory texture and flavorsensations of a bite of foie are sent to another dimension when followed by a taste of rich, layered, complex, botrytised Sauternes (or Barsac); the balancing acidity being the catalyst that frames and holds it all together. (TWH customers and friends know that fois gras is the traditional pairing, but that the wines have so, so much more potential as evidenced by the trio of GoldWine dinners *scroll down this link* we’ve had in the past few years). If one is in northern California and needs a bottle of Sauternes/Barsac, TWH is a logical destination as we have few rivals sporting the breadth of our GoldWine section. I presented our customer with several bottles that offered great value as well as a couple of my favorites. Which then brought us into a discussion about Count Alexandre de Lur Salucesand his involvement with both Château d’Yquem and Château de Fargues. The Lur Saluces have been affiliated with Yquem since 1785 and ran the château until selling it to luxury brands group LVMH in 1999. Alexandre stayed onuntil 2004 before leaving to focus on the family’s long owned Château de Fargues. Alexandre first joined his uncle at de Fargues in 1966 and took over leadership of the chateau after his uncle’s passing in 1968. Throughout the years, the wines from Château de Fargues have rivaled the hoity-toity Yquem in quality, but not in their steep bottle price. Beginning with the 2004, the wines from de Fargues have stepped it up another notch, earning some special praise from Robert Parker and Neal Martin of The Wine Advocate.
 

 

Here’s what Mr. Parker had to say about the 2006 de Fargues after having tasted it from barrel:
 

 

“The refuge of the Lur Saluces family after selling their beloved Yquem, this is an Yquem-like wine that sells for a fraction of the price fetched for the most famous wine of the region. Rich, honeyed citrus along with creme brulee, vanillin, sweet caramelized pineapple and citrus notes are followed by a wine with an unctuously thick, viscous, full-bodied mouthfeel, but with good enough acidity to balance out the wine’s enormous weight, richness, and concentration.”
 
I wished our customer a hearty, “Bonne Année”, and await the report on his experience with his first de Fargues. Funny thing, earlier in the week, a couple of ladies came in to buy some party wines and one of them inquired about Yquem, as she had once tasted it at a New Year’s celebration. I told her the price ($500) and she politely chuckled and said, “No thank you.” I then explained there were plenty of top-notch Sauternes selling for far less, and when I told her the Lur Saluces story, and that she could have Yquem-like quality for $79.95, she happily bought one to continue the Sauternes-as-part-of-the-New-Year-celebration tradition.
 
 
So yes, happy 2016! It’s mid holiday season for me as December 24 is just day number one of 13 days of celebration between late December and late January. Celebratory day #6 is today (Sunday), and I’ve got a bottle of GoldWine for it, because if you’re not celebrating with Sauternes, you’re not really celebrating. It seems this mode of thinking is slowly catching on; on December 30 and 31, we sold more bottles of Sauternes than of the more traditional sparkling wines. Yep. When it comes to celebrating, there are traditions, but there are no rules. Here’s to good health, success, and happiness to all of you in 2016! – Peter Zavialoff
 
Please feel free to email me with any questions about our Anniversary Sale, Sauternes, foie gras, or English Football: peter@wineSF.com

A Bordeax Scouting Find: 2006 Pontet Canet

Sunday, March 13, 2011 8:32 PM

Yes, it’s that time of year again, Happy Daylight Savings Time! That also means that we are only a couple of weeks away from the unveiling of the 2010 vintage for the Red, White and Gold wines of Bordeaux! I will be proudly representing TWH at the Primeurs tastings in France, and based on dinner conversation last evening, will be representing all of you as well.

 

Yes, last night’s dinner was a hoot, filled with great conversation, much hilarity, some great wine, and the banter between the young sons of a very good friend of mine. He had ordered a case of Red Bordeaux that I had recommended to him, and as I was to deliver it, was invited to stay for dinner. It is a common occurrence that whenever we get together, we have some pretty interesting, deep conversation. Let’s just say that the wine that I delivered turned out to be a huge value. Its complexity and suitability to the grilled, bone-in rib eye was impeccable. This spun directly into his expressing his gratitude for my Bordeaux scouting services. Funny that I hadn’t thought about this concept before. But it’s true. I’m a Bordeaux scout. I’m not a critic nor am I an appraiser. I don’t score the wines, I taste them. I represent all of you who choose for me to be your scout. I listen, I observe. I certainly know my buddy’s palate well, and the more experience I have with customers, I get to know what your individual likes and dislikes may be as well.

 

So yes, the inevitable arose; we discussed the high prices of the more famous names of the appellation. There are times when an occasion is special enough for a splurge on a fancy Bordeaux, but what if you just love the wines so much that you can’t wait for a special occasion? That’s when you need a Bordeaux scout! Someone who tastes the wines, AND knows a bit about your own palate to boot. Neither Robert Parker nor James Suckling called my buddy with a heads up on the wine we had last night. Neal Martin didn’t either, in spite of their mutual distaste for the Chelsea Football Club. So leave it to a Blue to drop off a case of Bordeaux that a Gunner will enjoy over the next several years! It’s what I do. It doesn’t stop with him either; it is with great pleasure that I recommend Bordeaux to all y’all.

 

In this day and age where demand from Asia has elevated the First Growths (including their second labels) to commodity status, just know that prices are not coming down. And it’s not just the First Growths anymore. It seems that foresight is sometimes lost when it comes to Bordeaux and prices. It’s NOT inexpensive, but the other day, I uncovered a pretty dang good deal on one of Pauillac’s high flyers.

 

You would be doing yourself a tremendous service building a vertical of Alfred Tesseron’s Pontet Canet. This Pauillac property (which sits across the street from Mouton Rothschild) has been churning out wines that I can only refer to as “trophies” for over 15 years now. I first visited the property in March 2008, one day before they hosted the St. Julien/Pauillac/St. Estephe UGC tasting. Things were electric and exciting, but that didn’t stop Monsieur Tesseron and his niece Melanie from welcoming us to the chateau. While looking over the vineyards from our elevated perch, Melanie pointed out that they were moving in the direction of full Agence Bio organic certification, as evidenced by the horses working the vineyard. I made some wisecrack about not seeing horses unless they had numbers on them, but I understood what it meant for the quality of the finished product. Tesseron’s wines are not shy; they are richly structured, highly aromatic, complex wines that reflect the unique terroir Pontet Canet shares with its vaunted neighbor. The lacking disparity in quality between the two Pauillac heavyweights is not reflected in price. Not yet. It certainly wasn’t in 2006, where Mouton was a candidate for wine of the vintage (and sells for around $600 per bottle). I’ve tasted the 2006 Pontet Canet. It’s a candidate too! It is an aromatic masterpiece. Berries upon berries marry the earthy notes with hints of tea and forest floor. The palate is heavy weight, with a dark purple fruit surfing the waves of the rich, perfect structure. All that can only lead to a lengthy, pleasing finish. This is a wine that will age, yes, but with a little air, can be enjoyed even now. (BTW, Pontet Canet has received their AB certification beginning with the 2010 vintage). I consider 2006 to be a “drinker’s vintage”, meaning that the wines are pretty and expressive, and don’t need to be forgotten about while they collect dust. But that’s just me.

 

So yes, I am full-on embracing the title bestowed upon me last night, Bordeaux scout. I am, hopefully, one confirming email away from having all my appointments lined up for the Primeurs week. And if that comes tomorrow, I will make my return to Pontet Canet on Tuesday morning, April 5 at 9:45. Fingers and toes crossed. Please feel free to hit me up with any questions or requests; you can call me your Bordeaux Scout too! Or BS for short. Okay, maybe not.:) – Peter Zavialoff

peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

2006 Fleur Cardinale Spells Super Bargain!

Monday, February 1, 2010 3:55 PM

The funny thing about epiphanies is that you never know when you’re going to experience one. Sometimes, as was the case with me this week, they can almost be overlooked as we carry on with our daily routines. This past week was a bit of a blur for me, but now that I look back upon it, I’ve come to recognize the driving force that gets me up in the morning, into my car for a seventeen mile commute, and into this frigid warehouse:Bordeaux. Sure, I’ve said it before; sure, my colleagues are all aware of this; sure, my friends very well know this; and no doubt, if you have read my ramblings with any regularity, you all know this too. So I got caught up in my daily routine; running errands, beating deadlines (barely), and took my eye off the ball for a minute. Ah, but a series of recent episodes have (believe it or not, yet another one just occurred as I was writing this) served to remind me that indeed, it is all about Bordeaux!
2006 Chateau Fleur Cardinale Saint Emilion (half bottle)

Red Wine; Merlot; Bordeaux;
SALE$21.98
  Add to Cart
2006 Chateau Fleur Cardinale Saint Emilion

Red Wine; Merlot; Bordeaux;
$35.98
  Add to Cart

 

 

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It was around this time last year that the UGC Bordeaux tasting of newly bottled 2006’s took place here in San Francisco. This year was a little different. Though originally scheduled for January 27, the Union cancelled the event leaving last Wednesday’s tasting in Hollywood the sole west-coast opportunity to taste the newly-bottled 2007’s. On what would normally be my day off, I found myself scrambling to the airport to catch a 10:25 to LAX. Well, it didn’t take off until 12:45 … (grumble, grumble). Once in LA, I was whisked off quickly to Hollywood by our Southern California sales rep, Jennifer (thanks again!). I rolled through the wines excitedly as this was the first vintage I ever tasted out of barrel. I’m drifting off the subject here … Look for my thoughts on the 2007 Bordeaux vintage in the form of an upcoming email and/or blog post.Anyhoo, I found myself turning the lock on the front door of the treehouse at 11 PM, then realizing that it had been a long day. 

I shared my impressions when I came in on Tursday (not a typo, that’s how I say it now), and got back in the Wine House groove. Later in the afternoon, a wine rep called looking for Anya. I told him she would be in on Friday. He then asked me if I was the buyer for Italian wines, I said no. He then asked me which wines I was responsible for buying here. I was once the Port buyer, but then I went to a Port tasting. Our Port section is still indicative of my impressions of that tasting. I then mentioned that I am quite involved with our Bordeaux inventory,as evidenced by my attendance the previous day at the Hollywood tasting. He then asked me my impressions. If you are pressed for time, don’t EVER ask me to talk about Bordeaux, EVER!!! We spoke for around 25 minutes, and as we were hanging up, he thanked me for, his words, “the education”.

Reminder #3 came earlier today as I was writing the intro paragraph to this email. Gary, a very good customer who often makes the mistake of asking me about Bordeaux, popped in. I waved, head down, trying to cling to a faint train of thought when he walked over to my work station and said, “How’s Bordeaux?” I excitedly jumped out of my chair and exclaimed, “That’s it! That’s what I’m on about!” We chatted at length about the Hollywood tasting, wine scores, and Mondays at Restaurant Picco. After he left, my train of thought was no longer needed as I hit the free flow zone, which is the zone in which I want to be if I’m writing something.

Okay, so it’s all about Bordeaux then, you want to tell us about a wine, Pete? Well, as a matter of fact, I do. The thing about Bordeaux, though, is that it’s special. It invigorates me every single time I get to wiggle one of the lengthy corks that proudly displays the Chateau’s name and vintage out of a bottle neck. Soaring prices are making that more and more difficult for me, but check out what I found.I seem to have the best luck with overlooked vintages. Coming on the heels of the much celebrated 2005, the 2006 vintage in Bordeaux received little fanfare, and most buyers had loaded up so much on the ’05’s that they had no room for any 06’s. When the2006 Chateau Fleur Cardinale recently arrived, I thought it a good idea to grab a half bottle to see what’s up with a property that wallops the quality for price paradigm vintage after vintage. Wow, was I happy I did! The 2006 Fleur Cardinale hits the stage like a band that’s been playing together for years. You’ve got earthy mineral on drums; silky, sweet tannins on bass; that spicy verve on lead guitar; and a dark, brambly berry on vocals … how’s that for a lineup? Best thing is this band will play in your living room for a fraction of the cost of a U2 ticket! Not to mention, they’ll play an encore any time you want!

It’s tough to follow Anya’s writeups week after week, especially when she finds a great wine for $15. But this is a whole different ballgame, folks. This is Bordeaux. And dime for dime, especially compared to other St. Emilions, the 2006 Chateau Fleur Cardinale is every bit as much of a bargain as last week’s wine. After all, it IS all about Bordeaux, isn’t it?Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me about the UGC tasting in Hollywood, anything Bordeaux related (at your own risk), Port tastings, or, especially, next Sunday’s showdown between Chelsea and Arsenal: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

Our Top 10 Wines of 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009 3:44 PM

The funniest things happen when we least expect them. I was awoken this morning at 3:46 AM. This happens occasionally, especially when I hit the hay early. It is at this time where one of two things can happen. Either I will fall back asleep immediately, or I’ll toss and turn for hours. When immediate sleep doesn’t happen, I’ve found a way to keep from dragging on too long. I count things. No, not sheep. I don’t know the origin of that one, but it’s dubious at best. This morning I counted my favorite wines that I’ve had this year. Well, I started counting, and all I remember next was waking up at 7:54 AM. Success! So much so, that I thought back as to how I made it back to sleep. Counting wine. How ingenious. While prepping breakfast, I began to think, “We all have had our favorites this year. The Wine House should come up with a list of our favorite 10 wines that passed through here in 2009.” I arrived only to find a 48 foot trailer jockeying for position at our loading dock. David was tied up trying to get that situated properly. Somehow, I got his attention, and said, “I had the greatest middle of the night thought, top 10 list for the year!” We’ve never done that before. He thought it was a great idea, and without further ado, presenting the first annual Wine House Top 10 Wines from 2009:(Please note: Some of these wines have sold out, but have earned the merit to be mentioned here anyway.)

 

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2007 Bourgogne Blanc – Paul Pernot

Okay, well here is a no brainer. Paul Pernot, no doubt, has a penchant for crafting some of the finest Chardonnays, respected the world over. His entry-level Bourgogne Blanc rings all of the bells required to be a super value! We import a great amount of this wine year after year, and it sells out. It’s that good. The 2007 was magnificent, but sadly, it’s gone. The 2008 promises to be yet another steal, and will be available to us in 2010, stay tuned for details. Here’s a link to Anya’s write-up of the 2007.

 

2007 Cotes du Ventoux – Domaine Fondreche

A protege of Rhone-master Andre Brunel, Sebastien Vincenti has been making wine for over 10 vintages! His expression of fruit and terroir have seduced fans of all things Rhone related ever since I started working at The Wine House. His top cuvee, Persia, has always been the darling of customers and critics alike. Think about all you’ve heard about the Rhone and 2007 … simply genius! Here’s a link to one of his, unfortunately, sold out 2007’s. Just know that this is his precious top of the line blend.
2007 Domaine de Fondreche Cotes du Ventoux Rouge Cuvee Persia

Red Wine; Rhone Blend; Rhone;
$28.99
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2008 Bordeaux Blanc – Chateau Couronneau

Okay, you had me at White Bordeaux. Sorry to say, the 2008 Couronneau Blanc has also sold out. It’s okay. We have a very good relationship with Christophe and Benedicte Piat who make some of the most amazing wines from their perch in the eastern chunk of Bordeaux. I, personally, loved this wine from moment one. So much, I put it in writing!

 

2006 Santenay – Chateau de la Maltroye

Okay, let me confess something here. When I started working at TWH, I thought I was well versed on French wine. I knew my Bordeaux, and Rhones … but Burgundy? That was a whole other animal. I now know that I prefer elegant red Burgs that show their terroir as well as those subtle nuances that Pinot Noir is able to express. I was compelled to chime in about it.

2006 Chateau de la Maltroye Santenay Rouge 1er La Comme

Red Wine; Pinot Noir; Burgundy;
$43.99
  Add to Cart

 

2007 Bianco, Arbe Garbe

Sometimes, it is a good thing to leave our schedules open for the serendipitous. Wow! This was one of the coolest California wines to cross our threshold this year. 2007 Bianco, Arbe Garbe.
2004 Arbios Cabernet Sauvignon

Oh my, the hits keep coming! This is, and has been, one of the greatest Cabernet Sauvignons, to come from Alexander Valley for years. Its value (for $25, really) has put it over the top for all of us here at TWH. Tom’s a huge fan! Indulge! Oh yeah, here’s what Anya had to say about that.
2004 Arbios Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

Red Wine; Cabernet Sauvignon; Sonoma;
$24.98
  Add to Cart

 

Sparkling Vouvray

Festive times call for festive wines, right? Sparkling Vouvray, you might ask? Well, it’s not Champagne, but, it’ll stop right there. This fizz will tantalize you with its complexity! Chris will fight you for a bottle! Check it outhere!
NV Domaine d’Orfeuilles Vouvray Brut

Sparkling; Chenin Blanc; Loire;
$16.98
  Add to Cart

 

The Bomb!

Sorry, there will be no Columbia Crest here in OUR top 10! Not taking anything away from them, they make a lot of wine that is long on quality and short on price. If you can get it at your local grocer, we, most likely will choose to go with others, This gem from Espana has everything we all love. As a matter of fact, our staff is in flux as to who gets to put their name on this one! Anya got to it first, so it’s hers. Emily loves it too, and without asking her permission, I believe this could very well be her choice for “Wine Of The Year. Here ya go!
2006 Dehesa de Rubiales Alaia Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon

Red Wine; Red Blend; Other Spain;
$11.98
  Add to Cart

 

Academy Award

Introducing our “Academy Award Wine”. You know how the “top flicks” sneak their way into the calendar year at the end of December? This is what we have here. 2007 needs no intoduction in the southern Rhone. We haven’t had time to write about this one because it, literally, just got here. It’s that good! And more. David was lucky enough to taste this one months ago, he told us about it, but now we know! For those of you who love the wines crafted by Diane Puymorin, this is as good as it gets. This will sell out. If you’ve loved her wines in previous vintages, you MUST check this out …
2007 Chateau d’Or et de Gueules Costieres de Nimes Select

Red Wine; Rhone Blend; Languedoc-Roussillon;
SALE$14.59
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After all, it’s Bordeaux

Yes, I am biased. There will never be a top 10 list that does not include red Bordeaux. It’s that simple. It’s funny, 2006 as a vintage, does not get the proper respect that it deserves. These wines did not get the accolades that their 2005 predecessors did, but, you know what? In many cases, some Chateau were able to make wines of higher distinction in 2006. I have always loved Pichon Lalande, and I have a feeling I always will … a wine for dreams …– Peter Zavialoff
2006 Chateau Pichon Lalande Pauillac

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$119.98
  Add to Cart

 

All of us here at The Wine House wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! We will be here to assist you all with any of your vinous needs, anytime!
The Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux recently stopped here in San Francisco pouring the newly bottled, non-hyped, saved by the sunny September 2006 vintage. Though not all chateaux are members of the Union (most of the high-fliers are not), there were over 120 wines poured.

 The Wine House was represented as Patrick, Peter, and John were all able to taste the wide range of wines presented, and guess what? All three were impressed! The wines showed classic claret character. Despite their youth, most of the wines were approachable, and some were showing ravishing hints of their future development. They’ve got the stuff to last, and will offer great drinking while you’re waiting for those 2005s to shed their baby fat.

We don’t want to leave the impression that 2006 is just a little brother next to their 2005 counterparts. There are certain chateaux, including Lynch Bages, Mouton Rothschild, Giscoursand the recently arrived Pichon Lalande to name a few, where the 2006 bottling is considered to be at least the equivalent of if not better than their 2005 counterpart. With prices less expensive, we suggest that those of you who appreciate classic claret to take a look at the 2006 vintage. Except for a few early arrivals, the wines are being sold on a pre-arrival basis, and are expected in mid to late 2009.

 

 

Patrick’s Impressions:

Well, we tasted separately, and didn’t stop to discuss much along the way (Peter blazed ahead of me; I dawdled a bit at the beginning, thinking I had a chance of taking detailed notes and get to taste as much as I wanted. Not.). However, we shared notes briefly on the following Monday, and found many common favorites, as well as some divergences in opinion. One thing rang true for me, though– these 2006 Bordeaux far exceeded my expectations based on the press. Recognized by the wine pundits as a particularly good vintage for the right bank, especially Saint Emilion (and yes, these were very good), I found a tremendous variety of character and overall high level of quality among left bank wines, as well. I knew it was a well-regarded vintage for the dry whites of Graves and Pessac-Leognan, and each I tasted was compelling, but the reds had much more to offer than I perhaps expected. Of course, these wines on both sides of the Dordogne are overshadowed by the splashy 2005s, but they are classic Bordeaux that offer tremendous pleasure now, but will age gracefully for many years to come. Overall, these 2006s offered a tremendous amount of sheer pleasure, in contrast to the massiveness of 2005s at the moment. Some of my notes below:

 

2006 Chateau Angelus Saint Emilion (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Merlot; Bordeaux;
$199.00

  Add to Cart
Opulent, as one might expect, without going overboard. Velvety texture full of intense dark fruits, but solidly structured.
2006 Chateau Canon Saint Emilion (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Merlot; Bordeaux;
$73.00

  Add to Cart
Again, wonderfully plush texture, but with good energy and high-toned fruit singing above a profound texture.
2006 Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere Saint Emilion (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Merlot; Bordeaux;
$77.00

  Add to Cart
It’s all there–ripe, rich, round, concentrated, elegant texture, blah, blah, blah… Stefan von Neipperg has done it again with this classic Saint Emilion.
2006 Clos Fourtet Saint Emilion (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Merlot; Bordeaux;
$59.00

  Add to Cart
Ripe, well-endowed, concentrated, toast and mocha-inflected fruit.
2006 Chateau Figeac Saint Emilion (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Merlot; Bordeaux;
$94.00

  Add to Cart
Very classy, elegant, with minerality and suavity.
2006 Chateau Giscours Margaux (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$50.00

  Add to Cart
A beauty. Perhaps the wine of the tasting?! Really savory, fresh berries, graceful, suave. I couldn’t spit this one.
2006 Chateau Leoville Poyferre Saint Julien (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$64.50

  Add to Cart
Classic St. Julien– big, but graceful and polished. Usually a Gruaud-Larose man, I preferred this.
2006 Chateau Pontet Canet Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$73.00

  Add to Cart
Distincive, with pretty floral perfume intermingled with savory, rich fruit.
2006 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Leognan (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$55.00

  Add to Cart
Powerful red-fruited nose cloaked in toast, graphite and caramel. Big, richly concentrated dark fruits on the palate, with a now sternly tannic finish.
2006 Chateau Troplong Mondot Saint Emilion (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Merlot; Bordeaux;
$129.00

  Add to Cart
Attractive aromatics, with plenty of licorice-laced fruit, broad texture and powerful, lingering finish.Patrick Mitten

 

Peter’s Notes:

When details and opinions began to circulate regarding the 2006 vintage in Bordeaux, I always had in the back of my mind the thought that this was going to be one of those solid vintages, with modest pricing (okay, well, in many cases, anyway), whose wines will disappear just before the press really sing its praises. 2001 comes to mind immediately in this regard. It’s always good to have wines from great vintages in ye olde cellar, but hey, just like red Burgundy, I seem to enjoy vintages that themainstream wine writers don’t gush over. So when the UGC came to pour Bordeaux 2006, I had an open mind, and would let the wines do the talking. Well, speak they did, some more than others, but for the most part, I was particularly impressed. The dry whites received acclaim, and rightfully so, they deserve it. The reds showed classic claret character without mouth shocking structure, and even though I had to hit the bread and cheese spread twice due to palate fatigue, I was able to get through the whole show tasting everything. (PS If Patrick found me to have blazed ahead, you should try to keep up with John at one of these tastings!) My notes below:

2006 Chateau d’Armailhac Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$35.50

  Add to Cart
Old school funkiness, zippy vibrancy, bright fruit, a quality effort.
2006 Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere Saint Emilion (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Merlot; Bordeaux;
$77.00

  Add to Cart
Stefan von Neipperg poured this for me himself, but I don’t seem to get star struck anymore. Big fruit, extra dimension on the aromatics, wow, rich, alive, will last, one of the ones. I guess I liked that one.
2006 Chateau Clerc Milon Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$44.00

  Add to Cart
Black cherries and mineral nose, toasty spice, medium tannins, and a menthol lift, it finishes of crushed, rocky cherries.
2006 Chateau Climens Barsac (Pre-Arrival)

Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$89.00

  Add to Cart
2006 Chateau Climens Barsac (half bottle) (Pre-Arrival)

Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$46.00

  Add to Cart
I think this one was second to last for me, but my note starts off modestly, but then: Racy, candied fruit aromas, warm, soft, luscious, oily, deep botrytis, WOW! What depth!!!
2006 Chateau Coutet Barsac (Pre-Arrival)

Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$46.50

  Add to Cart
2006 Chateau Coutet Barsac (half bottle) (Pre-Arrival)

Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
$25.00

  Add to Cart
This has been my favorite Sauternes property over the last several vintages as they seem to be doing something very right lately. Rich, harmonious, botrytis, hint of candied pears and mandarin orange, wow.
2006 Chateau Giscours Margaux (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$50.00

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Polished fruit, hint of toasty mocha, like heaven, racy acidity, medium fruit, well integrated oak, harmony, I love this wine. Yep, confirming, this showed best of all.
2006 Chateau Lynch Bages Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$72.00

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Modern style, oaky spice, rich tannins, lively fruit, mellow finish.
2006 Chateau Pichon Lalande Pauillac

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$119.98

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Big extract, rich, powerful, all tied together in delicious harmony. Finishes like a sunset. One for the cellar. IN STOCK!
2006 Chateau Pontet Canet Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$73.00

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Nose: berries upon berries … stewy fruit, high toned, yet in balance, zippy finish.
2006 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Leognan (Pre-Arrival)

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;
$55.00

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Ah, another great effort here. I love these guys. Very unique. Dark fruit, gravel, and gamey, sweet fruit, zippy acid, racy tannins all tied together in harmony. Peter Zavialoff

5 Item(s)