2010 French Rose: Part Deux

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 4:36 PM

I must say, one of the things I miss most about living in the Midwest (aside from being able to say things like “bubbler” without having to explain myself) is summer. A proper summer. With proper summer temperatures. That said, we San Franciscans do a brilliant job of pretending our summers are like those everywhere else.

What’s that? It’s supposed to hit 68° today!? Whoo hoo, heat wave! Windy out!? Not gonna stop MY picnic from happening! Oh darn, there goes my basket…

Ballgames, barbeques, beaches, bikinis… We are nothing if not an optimistic bunch and occasionally Mother Nature rewards us for it. That right, it’s officially warm outside. As such, there is no better time to announce the arrival of:

***Even MORE 2010 French Rosé!!***

Domaine de Fondrèche 2010 “l’instant” Côtes du Ventoux Rosé

Fondrèche Rosé is back and pale as ever! Sebastien Vincenti, a protégé of André Brunel, is l’artiste behind Fondrèche and although he’s probably best known for his deeply concentrated and delicious red wines, his Rosé just might be his best-kept secret. This blend of 50% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, and 20% Syrah is made by a combination of techniques known for creating the best Rosé- pressurage directe for the Cinsault and Syrah, while the Grenache is fermented for a short time and then saigneé, or bled off, and blended in tank. The l’instant is a classic French Rosé with faint hints of freshly-picked strawberries and a crisp, dry mineral-driven finish. Oh, did I mention it also comes in MAGNUM format?! It’s a good thing too because we sold out of our Les Cimels Mags several days ago…. Phew, crisis averted!

Vignoble Boudinaud 2010 Pays D’Oc Rosé

If Fondrèche gets the gold medal in the “pale & pretty” category, Boudinaud’s 100% Syrah Rosé takes the top spot in “dark & deceiving”. All I can say about this wine is do NOT be fooled! When we did our staff tasting, every one of us presumed this one would be high in candied fruit and low in acid or mineral, but we could not have been more incorrect. Whoa, does this baby have zing!And why wouldn’t it? It’s Boudinaud for goodness sake! Why would we have ever doubted the quality… shame on us.

L’Ecuyer 2010 Bordeaux Rosé

I don’t do much card playing outside of solitaire on my phone, but I can say that 50-50 is a winning bet when it comes to 2010 Rosé from Bordeaux. Equal parts Cab Franc and Merlot, L’Ecuyer brings a slightly more herbal, earthy profile to the game while still maintaining the bright fruit and clean finish you expect out of a quality Rosé. It’s also got a cool new label resembling a playing card that’s something of a cross between a joker and a club (don’t you like how I tied that all together? Thanks, I try). Hey, I’m not above aesthetics when the product inside lives up to the hype… and this one does. Truly a winner, inside and out.

Domaine des Corbillieres 2010 Touraine Pinot Noir Rosé

I’m not going to say that I’ve saved the best for last, as I really don’t even know that I could choose a favorite out of our 2010 Rosé selections (believe me, I tried to yesterday when a customer asked and ended up with that “deer in headlights” thing happening on my face- not a good look) but I’m also not going to be shy about professing my love for all things made by Dominique Barbou. This 100% Pinot Noir Rosé went through a 12-hour steeping period (that’s a LONG time!) before being transferred to a settling vat for natural fermentation to take place. The result is a pale wine, slightly spicy, with a vague hint of white pepper laced raspberries and killer acidity. It’s just begging to be paired with food. Any food really, but I’m thinking cedar plank-grilled salmon with lemon, fennel, and capers.

Speaking of lemons, one of the things I love most about living in the Bay Area is how everyone has a lemon tree in their yard. I know they’re not in season right now, but they sure are lovely basking in the sun. Cheers to summer! – Emily Crichton

2005 Bordeaux In Stock: Pierre de Cartier

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 2:26 PM

2005 Chateau Couronneau Cuvee Pierre de Cartier Bordeaux Superieur

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;

  Add to Cart
$17.98 per bottle with 10% full case discount on this normally NET wine.


This vintage is beginning to flow, bringing the excitement of sampling some of the higher tiered wines. It also brings the ability to make generalizations, so let’s get started doing that. It seems that the 2005 Right Bank wines, and the satellites that follow their style, will be known for their jaw dropping intensity. If you thought the Château Couronneau Volte Face was powerful, wait till you try the Premier Vin, the Pierre de Cartier. It is endowed with the adrenaline and sinew to stare down most Bordeaux blends produced in the new world, but it also carries the dark minerality, bitter pencil and leather that we affectionately refer to as ‘old school’. We got an introduction to the power in the regular Couronneau, and the Volte Face brought a level of polish and concentration. This is like a Volte Face that needs 5 years extra bottle age.If you like rough-housing with a wine, in the way that some puppies like to get thrown around, (the exhilaration of going up against something stronger than you) then drink this wine now. And have it with meat. If you don’t eat meat, I’ll be honest: This would annihilate most every vegetarian or fish dish I have ever had. So you can cross over to the dark side, or shoot me an email, and we’ll find something a little lighter. For those who don’t have a young pup palate, put this away and forget about it. It is 2005 Bordeaux after all, and like all the prestige wines, it is stacked and layered upon itself, and it requires patience.

While I have compared the 2005 Couronneau’s to new world wines in terms of ripeness and scale, I must reiterate this tastes like France. Between the meat and pepper and leather, this is not filtered UC Davis wine. Upon opening, you’ll find these “old school Bordeaux” components dominate the aromatics, but as the wine opens in the decanter (or over three days as I like to do) the fruit steps forward and commands the attention. The other components become highlights that make this wine compellingly Bordeaux, while the vintage gives it plenty of crossover appeal.

With good storage this wine should coast easily to its tenth birthday and beyond. At $17.98 per bottle on the full case, this is an intriguing buy. In normal Bordeaux vintages or any Napa vintage you‘d have to pay between $30 and $40 to get this depth and intensity. I keep saying it over and over. As much hype as there is for the famous names in this vintage, there is so much compelling evidence for buying under the radar. And I’m going to keep stashing these types of wines away till the well runs dry. – Ben Jordan

2005 Chateau Couronneau Cuvee Pierre de Cartier Bordeaux Superieur

Red Wine; Bordeaux Blend; Bordeaux;

  Add to Cart
$17.98 per bottle with 10% full case discount on this normally NET wine.



Tasting Notes

If there is a definition of palate presence, this is it. From the flavors, to the body, to the textures that extend the finish, this is intense. We’ve tasted this wine over a number of vintages, and while it is always good, it has never had such an arresting presence. I mentioned the leather and pencil lead, the notes of classic Bordeaux, and they are there. There is also dark red and purple fruit that possesses great sweetness. As I mentioned the wine is stacked. You can chew on the structure. Many of the 2005 Bordeaux will be long lived, and this is one of them.

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2005 Medoc: Potensac

Thursday, January 24, 2008 9:19 PM

Due to the popularity of this offer, we are sold out of our in stock inventory. We do however have more of this wine available (at the same price) on a pre-arrival basis, and it is expected to arrive sometime this year.

I’ve been thinking about how to write about this wine this whole week. I started many an idea and scrapped it. None really conveyed what I’m trying to say, for example: “This is like selling babies. They’re so cute, everybody wants one when they see one, but are we really as patient as we think we’ll be?” If you look closely at this metaphor, it doesn’t really work, plus I am against selling babies. It’s been a busy week, so I’ve settled for a more straightforward approach. For some reason I don’t recommend $23.98 wines that often, but that changes with the 2005 Potensac. Frankly, this is a great deal. So it’s not in that under $15 sweet spot, but it is pure value considering the material. It is serious, very ageable Bordeaux. We’ve sung the praises of the 2005 vintage over and over, and the reason I don’t feel bad about that is because there is so much good wine out there from this vintage, and my goal is to speak up when I taste/drink good wine, kind of like a public service announcement. I’ve admired this Château (owned by Jean-Hubert Delon of Léoville Las Cases) in other vintages for making impressive wines at exceedingly fair prices. This vintage is another story. This has the length and intensity of a classed growth, and it shows us that as much as it sounded like hype when those high prices for Margaux and Latour came out, this really is a stellar vintage for Bordeaux. Whether Latour is worth $10,000 a case is not for me to say, but I will say this is worth every bit of $288. I imagine that as these wines arrive on the market, they’re going to be a thorn in the side of Napa Valley producers. “Normal” Bordeaux vintages are a different animal than the average Napa wine, lighter and less fruited, so there’s no reason for them to worry about quality Bordeaux for less than $30, because the wine is different and attracts a different customer. But when they start treading on your turf, and making wines that take some of what you do best (ripe fruit) along with what they do best (integration, finesse) and selling for half your price … when a wine just over $20 has power, concentration, and the staying power to age along side or better than those $60 (and up) Napa wines, I’d be ready for these 2005s to sell out if I were them. This is not the $10 Bordeaux wines like Mylord which were delicious, but not incredibly serious. (Though that was a controversial wine, as it seems that there was some variation across importers. We had a very high incidence of customer happiness with the Mylord we brought in.) The Potensac has depth and extract, and should be laid away. Otherwise it will need a decanter and lots of patience. For example: This wine was finally opening up and showing its best on the 5th day after I pulled the cork. No gas, lots of oxygen, lots of beating it up. Those first few days it was, deep, dark, and yelling at me, “I’m young wine! Leave me be.” I yelled, “I know, but it’s been a couple days. Please.” Same response, “I told you I’m a young wine. Back off!” All the time there was no degradation or oxidation. When it finally relented its structure on day 5 and the fruit came out, I looked in and said thank you, and the last glass was delicious.

If you love aging wine, and you want a sure thing, this is a perfect example. It’s a great way to see what 2005 Bordeaux does when it really gets going and moves above the entry level into serious, contemplative wine. – Ben Jordan

Due to the popularity of this offer, we are sold out of our in stock inventory. We do however have more of this wine available (at the same price) on a pre-arrival basis, and it is expected to arrive sometime this year.

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