In the May 2011 issue of Decanter, Richard Baudains singles out the 2004 Sandrone Cannubi Boschis as his top-rated wine from Piedmont, giving it a score of 19.5/20: “Elegant, fresh and complex nose of violets, redcurrants, bay and cinnamon. Great purity and focus on the palate, which starts dry and intense and opens broad and long with powdery tannins and infinite length. Sublime. Drink 2011-2020.”
The Wine Spectator’s Insider Report features top scores for two recent Lucien Le Moine releases:
Lucien Le Moine Nuits-St.-Georges Les Vaucrains 2008
93 points | $110 | 20 cases imported | Red
Exuding ripe, effusive cherry, raspberry and boysenberry aromas and flavors, this is underscored by a vein of mineral. There’s great tension, balance and structure, so give this time to show all its facets. Terrific length. Best from 2013 through 2025. —B.S.
Lucien Le Moine Vosne-Romanée Les Suchots 2008
92 points | $135 | 33 cases imported | Red
A sleek red, full of sweet red cherry, floral and spice aromas and flavors. Firm but bright, this is well-balanced, with a lingering aftertaste of fruit and mineral. Decant if you must drink now. Best from 2014 through 2027. —B.S.
Wine Spectator critic Bruce Sanderson notes that 2008 was a challenging year, marred by a triple threat of mildew, oidium and botrtytis, as well as rain just before harvest. Those producers that harvested carefully still managed to produce excellent wines.
Wine Spectator critic James Molesworth recently published his notes on the 2010 Bordeaux Barrel Tastings, giving several of the best scores on the Right Bank to wines produced and represented by world famous winemaker Christian Moueix. Here are a few of his notes:
The Château La Fleur-Pétrus Pomerol 2010 is creamy and lush, with layers of red, black and purple fruits. It shows muscle on the finish, but the fruit is here in spades, with terrific polish. It’s a great combination of power and freshness and reminds me of the ’98, but with more polish (96-99 points).
The Providence Pomerol 2010 is sleek, with a beautiful beam of red licorice and cassis. Long and supple, with dense structure but thoroughly integrated. It has lots in reserve, with lots of spice too (94-97 points).
The Château La Serre St.-Emilion 2010 is superfresh, with racy red licorice and cassis. It shows bright acidity and a very sleek finish. Sourced from parcels on the limestone plateau above the town, near Trottevieille and Troplong-Mondot, it’s a fine introduction to the minerally side of the appellation (92-95 points).
Moueix’ take on the 2010 vintage vs 2009:
“2010 is a very different year. The acidity is higher. With the dry summer, there was a blockage in maturity and the alcohol and acidity was higher. So the vintage won’t be as charming as ’09 was early on, and they will probably last a little longer. ’09 was so amazing right from the beginning, a blend of ’82, ’89 and ’90. But ’10 is still a bit austere and it will take some time to define itself.”
See more notes on Molesworth’s tasting with Christian Moueix here.
Wine Spectator critic James Molesworth gave Chateau Boutisse 2010 a fantastic preliminary score of 91-94 during his barrel tastings in Bordeaux last month. Molesworth’s initial notes on the wine were:
“Very fresh, showing enticing plum, currant and boysenberry fruit, with lots of mouthwatering minerality and a long, spice-filled finish. Dense but pure. A suave wine in the making.”
While 2009 will undoubtedly be a tough act to follow in Bordeaux, Molesworth says he believes 2010 will give the vintage a run for its money, thanks to a long, dry, warm growing season.
International Wine Cellar’s Stephen Tanzer rated the 2008 Lucien Le Moine Mazis Chambertin 97 points, the highest score he awarded to any red Burgundy in the 2008 vintage.
“Medium-deep red. Wonderfully pure, primary aromas of blackberry, violet, licorice, lavender and smoky minerality. Superconcentrated, sappy and dense as a solid, with outstanding intensity to its blackberry and violet flavors complicated by leather and game nuances. With its firm mineral spine this is like a tightly coiled spring today. Finishes with suave tannins and superb, palate-staining flavor. This wine gained substantially during its final months of elevage.” – ST
Napa Valley Vintners has posted an engaging series of videos featuring interviews with some of Napa’s most esteemed winemakers. The videos reveal how they each got their start in the wine business. See the first of four videos below:
Former journalist and and newspaper columnist Frederic Koeppel recently reviewed six classic Napa Valley Chardonnays on his award-winning blog, ‘Bigger than your Head.’ Koeppel’s definition of classic refers to wineries founded before 1980 that seek to achieve a restrained, elegant style of the grape, with a more discreet oak-aging regimen than is common in California. Chateau Montelena was among the stars of this tasting. Says Koeppel: “The Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2008 is a model of what a Napa Valley chardonnay ought to be, elegant, subtle and perfectly balanced but also juicy, bright, boldly delineated in its pineapple and grapefruit scents and flavors woven with hints of lemon curd, jasmine and cloves. The wine ages 10 months in French oak, of which only 11 percent of the barrels were new, while a small portion stayed in stainless steel tanks, so this chardonnay is notably crisp and vibrant yet sleek, suave and supple, an absolute joy to drink with its fine equilibrium and slightly lush heft and presence…Excellent.”
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