The November 2017 Dirty Dozen

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 5:00 PM

Feel that chill in the air?



Yep.  There's no denying it; November is here - And seeing that the sky is going dark early these days, it's time for our festivities to move indoors!  No problem here, it's a great time of year for hearty dishes accompanied by sturdy red wines.  If it's white wine that tickles your fancy, it's a good time for those too, as crab season and Thanksgiving are just around the corner.  Either way, we've got you covered - The Dirty Dozen is a great way to get both for a great price.  Pick up your November Dirty Dozen today!
November Dirty Dozen Chillable Wines

The Chillables

NV Giavi Prosessco Superiore DOCG $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder                

November and December are certainly the months during which we do the most celebrating and entertaining.  So for those occasions which benefit from sparkling wine, we thought to include our award-winning Prosecco to this month’s mix.  The Giavi Prosecco is expressive and alive in the glass with great balance and a dry finish.  Great, all-purpose fizz!



2015 Viognier, Grange des Rouquette $10.99, $8.79 reorder            

A closer look at the back label tells us that this is 85% Viognier and 15% Marsanne.  The Marsanne gives the wine some body and adds aromatic complexity.  All in all, this VDP d’Oc is big on charm and low in price.  It makes for a great aperitif, though should you save it for the Thanksgiving Day table, you will find it very handy for its versatility. 



2016 Les Cimels Rosé, Château d’Or et de Gueules  $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder Speaking of versatility, Rosé wines top the charts when it comes down to the breadth of cuisine which they pair well with!  TWH pal, Diane de Puymorin crafts her Rosé more in the style of Bandol and/or Provençal Rosé, using Cinsault and Mourvèdre as the primary fruit.  It’s clean, crisp, and dry on the palate with hints of fruity aromas.



2015 Gruner Veltliner “Q”, Petra Unger $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder                       

Petra Unger took the winery over from her parents in 1999. With vineyards planted on either side of the Danube in the Kremstal region of Austria, Petra makes several cuvees of Gruner Veltliner. The “Q” is her most affordable and is all tank-fermented for optimal freshness. Yellow fruit flavors with aromas of white pepper; pair with crostini or bruschetta.



2015 Chardonnay, Benoit Badoz $17.98 net price, $16.18 reorder            

The Jura is a relatively small wine region sandwiched between Burgundy to the west and Switzerland to the east. Here Benoit Badoz, who is a 10th generation vigneron, makes traditional wines. The Chardonnay is delineated and cut. It goes through malolactic fermentation in tank and sees no time in oak. It’s snappy, so give it a try with oysters and mussels.



2015 Valréas, Clos Bellane  $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder                      

The Rhône Valley’s Clos Bellane is a small domaine situated at a high 1300 ft. elevation. The property is farmed organically and the soil is mostly limestone. This sensational white is predominantly Marsanne with Viognier and Roussanne blended in. A distinctively crisp white Rhône wine, pair it with grain-centric main dish salads.






 

November Dirty Dozen Red Wines

The Reds

2011 Tinto, Terraços do Tejo $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder

Portugal offers terrific value for everyday, honest reds. This one is no exception and blends Aragonès (aka Tempranillo), Syrah and Castelão into a spicy, softly fruity wine. The tannins are well integrated, creating a complete taste sensation on the palate. A versatile wine, this can go with hearty fare like beef stew or can satisfy alone while curled up on the sofa.



2016 Rouge, Petit Canet $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder

Delightfully fruity, this Carignane, Syrah and Grenache blend is the perfect antidote for any lack of sunshine. Bursting with berry fruit, this tank-fermented red is easy to get, easy to enjoy. The fruit comes from certified organic grapes from vines ranging in age from 25-45 years old. Working late; too busy to cook? Order pizza in, pop the cork and call it a night!



2015 Zinfandel, A Campo $17.98 net sale price, $16.18 reorder

Winemaker Jim Moore worked two decades at Mondavi in Napa before going out on his own. With over 40 harvests under his belt, Jim continues to produce bright, well-balanced wines. His old vine Lodi Zinfandel is marvelous! Lots of zesty berry fruit, at once generous and lively. This is a no-brainer, full-bodied red pick for the Thanksgiving table.



2015 Gaillac, Château Langlade $9.49, $7.59 reorder

Just north of the Pyrenees, near the city of Toulouse, lie the villages of Fronton and Gaillac.  While the former may be best known for their indigenous grape, Negrette’s inclusion to the local blends, nearby Gaillac has a couple local grapes as well:  Duras and Braucol.  The two are blended with Syrah here and the result is a lightweight, versatile red.

 

2014 Luberon, Tour de l’Isle $15.59, $12.47 reorder

Taking on the role of the negociant, Tour de l’Isle’s Robert Rocchi works with producers in and around the southern Rhône Valley, advising them on everything from vineyard work to what to include in the final blend.  This Luberon, from Y. Rousset-Rouard, is medium-bodied with fruity aromas.  Treat this like a spaghetti-red and you’ll be in business.



2014 Morgon Tradition, Domaine Pierre Savoye $18.49, $14.79 reorder

And what would a November Dirty Dozen be without a CRU Beaujolais?  The autumnal aromas of cedar, tobacco, and forest floor are in harmony with the season; and it is medium-light in body with fresh acidity, perfect for the array of small dishes one finds on the Turkey Day table.  Please join us in our tradition, by serving Savoye’s Morgon at your table!

Bedrock Rocks!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:56 PM


Bedrock Wine Co.


Congratulations Morgan Twain-Peterson!

Morgan Twain-Peterson, proprietor of Bedrock Wine Co., recently became the first winemaker from California to become a Master of Wine. He is one of only 45 MWs from the United States. That is quite an achievement in and of itself, and yet consider the fact that during the time he was working towards becoming a Master of Wine, he was also building Bedrock Wine Co. - Wow!   I jumped on the Bedrock Wine Co. bandwagon from the start. My admiration was instantaneous and The Wine House has been rewarded for our support of Bedrock wines in the way of allocations. We are proud to carry a wide selection of Bedrock wines,from the vineyard-designated reds to the experimental blends. 



What I recognized early on, was Morgan's devotion to the vineyard. Morgan seeks out to use, but also essentially to preserve, old-vine vineyards. I too have a respect and affinity for the unique character of Zinfandel-based field blends.Without advocates like Morgan, these special, historic vineyards would undoubtedly be lost. I understand that what I am about to write is scientifically unprovable, but in 
Morgan's wines, I can taste that, well, love for the vineyard.

 

 Bedrock Vineyard: photo courtesy of BWC website



Their flagship wine (or at least that's how I see it) at Bedrock is The Bedrock Heritage. The Bedrock Vineyard has a long and storied history that can trace its grape growing roots well over a hundred years. It is a sizeable vineyard that sits in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. There are well over 30 different varieties growing at Bedrock Vineyard. In the 2015 Bedrock Heritage there are 19 different varieties (perhaps even more) that go into the wine, dominated by Zinfandel, Carignane, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouchet. A true, classic Californian field blend. Morgan writes that "Bedrock Vineyard is always going to have orange-scented perfume and rooted tannins". It's a full-scale red that is tasty in all its exuberant youth, but can also rest in the cellar. It really is a taste of California's wine history.



Words fail me to describe the emotions felt since fires ravaged Northern California. I am certain that we all know at least someone touched by this catastrophe.Living here in Northern California all my life, I am aware of the dangers of wildfire, but this was like nothing imaginable. As I learned about the losses to wineries and vineyards, I reflected on what I value most about being in the wine business. It comes down to the people and the land. It is indeed, people like Morgan who pursue winemaking, not just as commerce, but as a way of honoring the past and preserving our heritage, that inspires me. There are fewer and fewer of these precious old vines in California. I am grateful to those who champion these agricultural treasures.  Check out our full line-up of Bedrock wines to explore and taste these historic sites. - Anya Balistreri

From the Winery:

"The 2015 is a svelte lumberjack but a true lumberjack—not the soft-handed, urbane, hipster type, nor the Monty Python cross-dresser (though if that is what it wants to be when it grows up, that is just fine with me!).  A wine that is well-built, a little gruff at first, but full of nuance, soft eyes, and a well-hewn heart."

 

From the Winery:

"This wine, a field blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Negrette, Carignan, Grenache, Trousseau Noir and many more, is dark and lovely stuff.  Definitely give it some time- either in the cellar or the decanter as time and/or air will help it to unfold."

A Taste Of Burgundy - October 2017

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:47 PM

A TASTE OF BURGUNDY

OCTOBER 2017

2014 Beaune 1er Cru Pertuisots

Domaine Pernot-Belicard

The 2014 vintage for white Burgundy was a great one, and depending on who you ask, it borders on legendary status.  August was relatively cool, but it was followed by an exceptional September when the sun 2014 Domaine Pernot Belicard Beaune 1er Cru Pertuisots Bottleshone every day but three.  The perfect conditions at harvest assured that there would be some fine wine produced from the vintage.  Philippe Pernot, grandson of Paul Pernot, one of Puligny-Montrachet’s most famous vignerons, made just two barrels of his Beaune Premier Cru Pertuisots.  That’s just 50 cases for the world, and we got half of them!  The 1er Cru Pertuisots vineyard lies south of the village, very near the highly esteemed Clos des Mouches.  Considering the ideal conditions, it’s not surprising that the 2014 is Philippe’s best vintage to date.  The aromas are fresh and distinct — lime, citrus blossom, snappy green apple, and stony mineral.  The palate is concentrated and that stony mineral holds court with the lively fruit.  The finish is crisp and perfectly balanced.  Enjoy from now-2020.

2015 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Faconnières

Domaine Stéphane Magnien

As great as 2014 was for Burgundy’s white wines, the 2015 vintage is equally magnificent for the reds.  Stéphane Magnien represents the fourth generation of winemakers from this branch of the family.  The youthful Magnien has Pinot Noir vines growing in some of the Côtes de Nuits’ most prized vineyards, including about a half a hectare in the Premier Cru Les Faconnières, which is literally a stone’s throw from the famous Grand Cru, Clos de la Roche.  Magnien’s 2015’s are his most fleshy, easy to approach wines since the 2009 vintage, yet they are classically structured, suggesting they will age gracefully.  The bouquet of Stéphane’s 2015 Les Faconnières is wildly expressive with brambly red, blue, and purple berry fruit and spice.  The palate is dense and chewy, yet the tannins are finely integrated, and the finish is harmonious.  If you want to get the most out of this one, we suggest giving it some time in the cellar. Drink from 2020-2035.     

Juicy Rebound

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:41 PM

Juicy Rebound

Douglas Danielak In Vineyard

Cuvée Unique - one white, one red!

Douglas Danielak is a veteran winemaker who has worked primarily for small premium wineries in the Napa Valley. Under the label Juicy Rebound, Douglas makes wines for himself, focusing on Rhône varietals. Towards that end, Douglas makes quintessential California wine through a French lens. Douglas studied winemaking and worked harvest in France before getting his enology degree from UC Davis. In the late 80's, Douglas teamed up with Jim Paras to form Jade Mountain Winery, one of the wineries associated with the Rhone Rangers movement. I still remember (and can almost taste) their Mourvedre and a blend they called La Provençale. Those wines were delicious and affordable - just like Juicy Rebound.





 




The 2016 Juicy Villages Cuvee Unique No. 34 is a blend of Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc. Much of the fruit for this blend was acquired from a very high profile grower who wishes to remain nameless. This is a gorgeous, sumptuous white that teases out all the exotic goodness of these varietals while still keeping the balance of flavors tightly corralled. Surprisingly, no oak was used. Surprisingly – yes, because there is so much texture to the wine. The finish has terrific freshness. Only 100 cases were produced.

 

The 2014 Juicy Villages Cuvee Unique No. 84 is 65% Syrah and 35% Grenache from grapes grown in the Russian River Valley. Juicy is the key word here, as the fruit is supple, open-armed and berry-driven. There are herb-inflected notes lurking in the background that reveal Douglas’ penchant for French wine. Slightly more of the No. 84 is produced than the No. 34, but it is still very limited.


 




These mild pepperoncini came courtesy of a neighbor who knows I love to pickle veggies. I reused brine I had made from a previous batch: a shortcut that made certain I didn't end up throwing these beauties into the compost. For you see, this week was jam packed. Besides normal work/life schedule, my volunteer hours were to capacity. I participated in a Challenge Day activity for 7th graders at my daughter's middle school. I signed up last week and found the experience so rewarding, I went for a second day. My Church and School District's fundraisers all needed baked goods. I am not a baker, but with my daughter's assistance, I gave it my best shot. Let's just say, the kitchen needs a scrubbing from floor to ceiling. When that finally happens (or before), I am going to need a glass of wine to unwind. I will reward myself with Juicy Rebound. Full of ripe fruit goodness and a balanced finished - both the white and red from Juicy Rebound allow entry to a high echelon of quality without having to pay exorbitant prices for the privilege. These wines are really something! - Anya Balistreri

From the winery:

"Light, pale straw-colored and frosty, we dove into the wine noses first.Nectarine, lychee, fresh citrus blossoms and Asian pear gave the wine an exotic nose balanced with fine minerality. The rich, creamy Viognier was perfectly offset by the aromatic Roussanne with its fresh acidity and complex flavors of chamomile tea, honey and spiced pears."

 

From the winery:

"65% Syrah and 35% Grenache. Every August we spend our Sundays picking wild blackberries as we prepare for harvest. This Rhone blend captures that experience. Grenache leads the way with cassis and aromatic herbal notes while Syrah adds juicy blueberry, blackberry flavors, a supple texture and a satisfying richness in the finish."

0 Comment Posted in California

The October 2017 Dirty Dozen

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:30 PM

The October 2017

Dirty Dozen

It's October -

And that means that all over the northern hemisphere, in wine country, it's harvest time.  The cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours have winemakers at the ready to work their magic as the fruit which will someday become 2017 wine comes in from the vines.  While we wait for that magic, how 'bout a smattering of 12 bottles of harvests past, packed in one box, for one crazy, low price?  Swing on by and get your October Dirty Dozen today!

October Dirty Dozen Chillables Bottles

The Chillables

2016 Blanco, Armas de Guerra $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder                

Vinos Guerra is the oldest winery in Spain’s Bierzo region and owns some of its oldest vines. This citrus-laden white is made from local varietals Doña Blanca and Godello which were planted between 1955 and 2008. This wine is focused, chalky and dry, with plenty of fruit. It’s ideal with seafood, be it raw or cooked. Try with a poke bowl or sushi.



2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Old Coach Road $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder                    

This tropical, guava-tinged Sauvignon Blanc comes from Nelson, a wine region at the north end of New Zealand’s South Island. Here, the Tasman Bay provides a moderate climate. Only about 25 wineries exist in this small area just to the west of better known Marlborough. Two vineyards make up the fruit for this wine. Serve with quiche Lorraine.



2015 Chardonnay, Sharecropper’s  $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder                   

Sharecropper’s is a sensational value from the innovative Washington State winery, Owen Roe. Their 2015 Chardonnay is sourced from the DuBrul and Outlook Vineyards. This is fancy fruit and it tastes it! Not a shy Chardonnay, but one with lots of rich, creamy notes and lush, toasty oak flavors. Perfect for wild-caught salmon or veal Saltimbocca.



2016 Touraine Blanc, Domaine des Corbillières $16.59, $13.27 reorder             

We’ve been carrying the wines from Dominique and Véronique Barbou’s Domaine des Corbillières for two decades!  Well, if the quality’s there and the price is right, then, why not?  This Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc has the perfect balance of lively white fruit, citrus blossoms, and stony mineral.  Try it with a caramelized onion tart with goat cheese and thyme.



2015 Côtes de Gascogne Hors Saison, Domaine La Hitaire $14.49, $11.59 reorder

Down in Gascogne, just south of Bordeaux, comes this blend of Sauvignon Blanc (70%) and Sémillon (30%).  The property is owned by Armin and Rémy Grassa, sons of Domaine de Pouy’s Yves Grassa.  It’s all stainless steel tank fermented, so it’s fresh.  The Sémillon tames the Sauvignon Blanc with a round middle and gives it a waxy note.  Think seafood here.



2016 Bordeaux Clairet, Château Armurey $9.99, $7.99 reorder

Is it a red or a rosé?  We’ll let you decide.  Either way, it is chillable!  This Bordeaux Clairet is a throwback to the style of wine shipped from Bordeaux to England in the Middle Ages.  This easy going, unpretentious juice pairs with just about anything.  So keep your bottle well-chilled and pour it with burgers, mac n cheese, pizza, pasta, or a French Dip sando.

October Dirty Dozen Reds Bottles

The Reds



2015 Malbec-Syrah, Tilia $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

Tilia wines are made by Leopoldo Kuschnaroff, winemaker and general manager of Mendoza’s Bodegas Esmeralda. This Argentinian red is a tasty blend of Malbec, which gives off an herbal fruitiness, and Syrah, which adds a dark berry and smoky component. An all-occasion red that can adapt to most cuisines, match it up with stuffed peppers or meatloaf.



2015 Cannonau di Sardegna, Sanguineti $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder

This Italian island red hails from Sardinia where the Cannonau grape makes its home. The grape itself is closely related to Grenache and shares a similar taste profile. Antonio Sanguineti, though Tuscan by birth, has a way with Cannonau. Medium-bodied with strawberry fruit and notes of underbrush, this would be delicious with lamb shanks or Osso Bucco.



2013 Merlot, Praxis $13.95 net sale price, $13.25 reorder

Bill Arbios has been making wine in northern California for over four decades. The man knows his stuff! This pretty little Merlot comes from a single vineyard located behind Jimtown Store in the heart of the Alexander Valley. Aged in American oak for two years, it is a balanced, round tannin red and is a solid option for the Thanksgiving table.



2014 Fronton, Château Coutinel $8.99, $7.19 reorder

Just north of the city of Toulouse lies the appellation of Fronton.  The principal grape grown there is Negrette, and all Frontonais wines must consist of at least 50% of it.  It makes for a light-bodied wine, much like Gamay (of which 20% is blended here), so it is a good pairing partner for those dishes that benefit from a light red – like roast chicken!



2013 Côtes-du-Rhône La Boissière, Domaine Boudinaud $13.49, $10.79 reorder

Thierry Boudinaud is one of our favorite Côtes-du-Rhône producers.  He and his wife Véronique have several labels of wines in and around the Rhône, though their La Boissière is one of their best values.  The blend is Grenache (55%), Syrah (30%), Mourvèdre (10%), and Cinsault (5%), and all together, it’s a great all-purpose red.  Try it with Bragioli.



2014 Chiroubles, Château Raousset $17.99, $14.39 reorder

There’s something about Autumn that just beckons the lover of Gamay-based wines.  Maybe it’s that forest floor aroma which reminds the taster of leaves changing colors and falling.  Maybe it’s that core of bright cherry fruit harmonizing with said forest floor.  This Chiroubles is light in body and versatile with food – give it a spin with Veal Milanese.



2015 Château de Raousset Fleurie "Grille-Midi"

Friday, January 5, 2018 5:54 PM

Chateau de Raousset

Best Vintage Since 1947?

Or so says Georges Duboeuf, so we'll take that with a grain of salt.  Though if you search the interwebs for "2015 Beaujolais Vintage," the superlatives are everywhere! 



My favorite wine writer, Andrew Jefford, had this to say about the 2015 vintage in Beaujolais, "The growing season, growers reported, unfolded according to the script they would have written for themselves – except that quantities were smaller than they would have liked.  The main threat to quality came towards the end of July, when the vines were beginning to show signs of drought stress, but cooler nights and showers in August helped enormously, with most beginning harvest towards the end of that month.  Acidities were fresher and balances livelier than in 2009, while the wines avoided some of the hardness of 2005, with a sweeter and more tender style.  Beaujolais vinifications are so various and sometimes risk-taking in style, however, that it’s still important to buy on recommendation."  That last line there is key.



The good news is that our producer, Château de Raousset, took full advantage of the ideal climatic conditions, and produced a line of wines which we highly recommend!  Maybe I'm biased, maybe I'm swayed by its pretty name, but it seems that vintage after vintage, I find their Fleurie "Grille-Midi" to be ideal for my palate.  The 2015 is stunning!  The aromas are all there, bright red cherry fruit, forest floor, again, maybe it's the name, but there's a hint of something floral going on in there too.  On the palate, the wine seems to float gracefully.  The fruit is perfectly ripe and the structure is seamless.  It comes in at 13% alcohol.  One doesn't hear it often, but this Cru Beaujolais can be cellared and should provide plenty of pleasure from now through 2026, if, as Neal Martin says, "you can resist its charms early on."



I don't want to bum anyone out here, but it is fall, and tomorrow is October 1.  An enthusiastic Rosé-loving customer picked up a case of her favorite earlier today and let it be known she wasn't ready for summer to be over, though she was accepting that very fact.  I always think of Cru Beaujolais as a wine which suits autumn perfectly - that forest floor nuance and all.  I also regularly consume, and happily recommend it be served during the fall's biggest holiday, Thanksgiving.  That's right.  Thanksgiving is next month.  That makes socking away a magnum or two a pretty dang good idea.  We do also have Raousset's Chiroubles, with its lighter profile, and also their Morgon "Douby", which is a bit more structured and even more age-worthy.  Though for me, the Fleurie "Grille-Midi" is just right! - Peter Zavialoff



Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about 2015 Beaujolais, autumn, Thanksgiving wines, or how sweet it is to be rid of the reason I stopped watching my favorite football club for three years:  peter@wineSF.com    
 

2015 Saint-Bris Domaine Verret

Friday, January 5, 2018 5:41 PM

saint-bris-on-patio

If it's Burgundy and it's not Chardonnay, but Sauvignon Blanc - you're drinking Saint-Bris!

What?!! Aligote is not the only "other white grape" of Burgundy? Nope. Saint-Bris is yet another exception to the rule that says white Burgundy must be Chardonnay. Saint-Bris is an appellation in the northwest region of Burgundy, just southwest of Chablis, where the dominant white grape grown is Sauvignon Blanc. This might seem strange at first, but if you look at a map, you'll notice that Saint-Bris is closer to Loire Valley's Sancerre than to Beaune. 



At The Wine House, we've been on the hunt to expand our direct-import Burgundy portfolio, especially from under-represented regions. To this end, we've been scouting out leads, tasting a lot, and in general, doing our homework. Newly arrived Domaine Verret, with the "Imported by: Wine House Limited, San Francisco, CA" sticker (that's us!) on the back label, met our criteria for offering wines of quality, value, and an authentic sense of place. I remember tasting samples of their wines last year and liking the Saint-Bris immediately. I wasn't concerned that this lesser known appellation would be too esoteric for our clientele. I was confident that those who shop with us and enjoy fresh, vivacious Sauvignon Blanc would be drawn to this wine. 



The limestone soils contribute to the zippy minerality, though the texture of the wine is rather round. Super aromatic, on the nose exhibiting more exotic fruits and less cut grass aromas. As you can see from the photo above, I enjoyed a glass of Saint-Bris as an aperitif out on the back deck, enjoying the last of summer's warm rays after work last Saturday. 





A month into the new school year, I've got the carpool arrangements nailed down and the after school activities locked in. Now into Fall, the days are recognizably shorter and the nights significantly cooler. I've been hitting the farmer's market hard, trying to satiate my lust for vine-ripened tomatoes. At home, I've planted my first ever fall/winter vegetable garden. I've already begun harvesting lettuce and kale. Some time soon, I'll be braising greens and serving it with this lovely, evergreen-scented Saint-Bris. It should be a tasty match! -- Anya Balistreri

2015 Château d'Yquem

Friday, January 5, 2018 5:38 PM

2015 Chateau d'Yquem Bottles

The Top Of The Pyramid

Unquestionably, Château d'Yquem is in a league of its own when it comes to quality and notoriety.  Think about it.  If you've tasted any vintage of Château d'Yquem, chances are you remember when, where, and with whom.  If you've had enough Yquem that you've forgotten a few of these occasions, consider yourself lucky!



Here's an opportunity to get in on a legend in the making.  The 2015 vintage in Sauternes was a great one.  The botrytis was profound; the acidity levels healthy.  Here's a short excerpt from what The Wine Advocate's Neal Martin had to say about the 2015 vintage in Sauternes:  "The catalyst was a storm on August 31. The 9 millimeters of rain followed by warm sunny conditions was perfect for botrytis formation, the cool nights locking in the acidity. In some years, harvesters are at the beg and mercy of the capricious weather and hesitant botrytis development; but in 2015, the noble rot was so regular and even, that for once, vineyard managers could almost sashay into the vineyard and pick how they wanted."



Here's Mr. Martin's note from tasting the 2015 Yquem from barrel:

"It has a show-stopping bouquet that is beautifully defined and very complex and exuberant, infused with greater mineralité than recent vintages - intense but not as flamboyant as say the 2009 Yquem at this stage. The palate boasts absolutely stunning balance. This is a Yquem without a hair out of place: fantastically pure, botrytised fruit caressing the mouth. That is as per normal. What distinguishes this Yquem is the sense of electricity that is imbued by that razor-sharp acidity. There is just unbelievably tension here and to be frank, there is little point in me continuing to write this note, because it is simply an astonishing Yquem that will rank alongside the 2001 and 2009." 

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