Ruby red in color with purple highlights, the 2014 Tignanello shows an intense nose of red fruit with hints of leather and sweet spice. The wine is ample and enveloping on the palate with supple tannins that respect the character and personality of the Sangiovese grape. The finish and aftertaste are of lovely length and persistence.
**Box is not automatically included with bottle. You must request the box in your order comments.**
**Shipping the box is an extra $10 charge.**
Armand de Brignac is a Prestige Cuvee produced in the traditional, old-world style, from grape to glass. Armand de Brignac Brut Gold (Ace of Spades) is their flagship cuvee, a singular example of French Champagne tradition. Marvelously complex and full-bodied, its bouquet is both fresh and lively, with light floral notes. On the palate, Armand de Brignac has a sumptuous, racy fruit character that is perfectly integrated with the wine’s subtle brioche accents. The Champagne’s texture is deliciously creamy, with great depth paired with a long, silky finish. It is pressed from a perfectly balanced blend containing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier wine.
Bedrock Wine Company takes immense pride in the quality of this wine and wants to reflect how good California’s beloved Zinfandel can be. It is about 88% Zinfandel blended with Petite Sirah, Carignan, Alicante Bouschet and many different interplanted varieties that maintain poise and add complexity and structure. This has plenty of juiciness and should be delightful in the nearer term with a good decant; however, as many have discovered this wine will age gracefully and improve with time in bottle.
A blend of Beringer’s northernmost Chardonnay vineyards – this chardonnay is a mixture of the most expressive lots and blended to create an intensely aromatic and flavorful wine featuring citrus, tropical notes of fresh pineapple and mango, crème brulée, brown spice and butterscotch that come together for a seamlessly long, plush finish. This wine is truly the chardonnay lover’s chardonnay!
The Special Cuvee Brut represents the most straightforward expression of the Bollinger house style. The blend includes up to 10% reserve wines, which may be up to fifteen years old. This gives the special cuvee complexity and structure.
MELBURY originates from a spectacular property on the slopes north of Lake Hennessey, in the hills east of Rutherford.
The name Melbury is in homage to an historic area in London, where the estate owners reside much of the year. Since its debut with the 1999 vintage, the consistent hallmarks of Melbury have been plush red fruits (currants, bing cherries), redolent with spice and the scent of violets. Elegance and a supple texture define the structure of this wine. The particular exposition of this rocky 7-acre hillside vineyard is southerly overlooking Lake Hennessey, allowing the vines to capture the morning sun yet moderating afternoon temperatures.
SOIL: Ancient sedimentary soil with compressed clay.
Eastern and Southeastern Exposure.
QUELLA is the name for the wine from a 9-acre site located in the eastern hills overlooking the heart of the Napa Valley.
Making its debut with the 2006 vintage, the name is derived from the German word for a pristine source or an artesian aquifer. This property is steeply sloped facing southwest. The site is an ancient riverbed composed of cobble and rocks interwoven with pockets of tufa (volcanic ash) that were uplifted during the last volcanic activity in the area. Quella displays an almost ethereal quality of blue fruits, graphite, and a vibrant, subtle finish.
SOIL: Ancient uplifted riverbed covered with Tufa (volcanic ash).
The top-product of the Brancaia brand. The Supertuscan IL BLU proves the performance of Brancaia in terms of elegance, complexity and intensity. As a rule, food with pronounced taste, dark meat such as beef or lamb, roast or braised game, darkfeathered game such as pigeon or pheasant.
The Bettina Bryant Proprietary Red Wine is a gorgeous blend of Bordeaux varietals sourced from three of David Abreu’s own exceptional estate vineyards – Madrona, Thorevilos, and Lucia Howell Mountain. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, and made with the same attention to detail as Bryant, this wine is beautifully layered and complex.
Donald L. Bryant, Jr., is driven by the pursuit excellence and realizing the full potential of his extraordinary Pritchard Hill estate. Investing in his passion for wine, the St. Louis businessman acquired the 13-acre vineyard overlooking Lake Hennessey in the late 1980s and replanted it with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon using modern viticulture practices. The first vintage was released in 1992, and soon after Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon won critical acclaim and became internationally recognized as a world-class wine. Don Bryant’s goal is to celebrate the first-growth vineyard terroir while paying homage to the great winemaking traditions of Bordeaux.
Bryant Family Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon made from a 13-acre estate vineyard atop Pritchard Hill, overlooking Lake Hennessey. This First Growth vineyard is meticulously farmed by David Abreu, with whom Bryant has worked closely for over 12 years. This wine is a beautiful expression of our unique terroir and a testament to the dedication of Bryant's winemaking and vineyard team to produce the finest possible wine from this site.
Intense ruby color. On the nose, aromas of red and black fruit aromas, mingled with hints of mocha and spices. Evolves slowly, revealing layer after layer of elegant fragrances. On the palate, the acidity is refreshing and persistent. Well-balanced tannins contribute to the harmony and smoothness of the palate.
A rich, dense ruby color hints at the dark fruit nose of blackberry and currant that carries through to the palate, interwoven with complex aromas of black licorice, anise and creme de cassis. On the palate, the wine opens up to reveal an earthiness, with brown spice, cigar box and ripe dark fruits that linger throughout the extracted and long finish. The texture is opulent and rich, yet has a velvety quality with supple density. Rich, fine-grained tannins are balanced with ripe fruit, acidity and oak.
"A class effort, the rich and voluptuous 2014 Caymus Vineyards Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent effort from a very good to excellent vintage. This wine exhibits a fine mix of black fruits, sweet oak, and some savory spice notes. Its rich tannins suggest more time in the bottle is needed, yet it is almost too easy to consume now. Give it a decade or more, and it should be even more rewarding." (Tasted: August 23, 2017, San Francisco, CA) - 93pts, Wilfred Wong
The Peter Mondavi Family Generations is a tribute to family tradition and commitment to quality. A selective blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 1% Syrah creates a balanced wine that showcases its strength and elegance. This blend was aged for 23 months in French oak barrels. Aromas of espresso and nutmeg lead to the rich, plush red fruit flavors of black cherry and blueberry jam before finishing with grace and style.
Saint Domingue, another marvel from the same owner as Saint Dominique in Saint-Emilion. Situated next to Cheval Blanc on the edge of the Pomerol. This Saint Emilion village has all the class of a Grand Cru. Deep purple in colour. Intense aromas of stewed black berries and creme de cassis. Soft Oaky tones with hints of roasted coffee, caramel and vanilla. Powerful and rounded on the palate, with a creamy finish.
This bold Cabernet opens with flavors of black cherries and blackberries with a touch of currants and vanilla, complemented by earth and mineral notes. Deep berry flavors lead to a soft tannin cocoa finish.
This wine pairs well with tomato-based sauces such as Bolognese and Puttanesca, intensely and richly flavored foods such as grilled meats, braised lamb shanks or pot roast, and strongly flavored cheeses.
Chile’s 2009 season was quite warm in general, and Puente Alto was no exception, although its proximity to the Andes Mountains and its very cool nights, even in this vintage, produce very well-balanced fruit that enables the wine to maintain the personality of Don Melchor with its tremendous freshness, balance, and ripe tannins.
VARIETY: 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc.
VINEYARD: Puente Alto.
HARVEST: Manual, from April 14 through May 20.
CLIMATE: Semi-Arid Mediterranean.
AGING: 15 months in French oak barrels.
COLOUR: Deep cherry red.
AROMA: Black currants and blackberries with chocolate notes.
PALATE: Well-balanced and fresh, with silky tannins and excellent structure.
Dark intense violet coloring denoting a rich and generous body. Complex bouquet of roasted coffee, liquorice, cherry and hints of leather. Powerful straightforward taste in the mouth with dark fruit (blackcurrant) and spice (black pepper).
The Dominus 2012 exemplifies the finest qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon from an ideal vintage. The intriguing nose offers a depth of aromas including lavender, Asian spices and cedar. Soft, supple tannins buoy layers of dark earth and cocoa. The wine is racy yet refined with a long elegant finish.
Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
Combining lovely structure and alluring appeal, this is a classic expression of Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot. Intense aromas of ripe cherry, plum and black fig rise from the glass, underscored by hints of leather and cedar. On the palate, it is lush and supple, with bright acidity and velvety tannins supporting layers of raspberry and black cherry, as well as hints of coffee and chocolate that carry through on the long finish.
Blend: 88% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
The Rancia vineyard takes its name from the historic Rancia estate, once a Benedictine monastery. Located in Castelnuovo Berardenga at elevations ranging between 400 and 420 metres with a fine southwest-facing exposure, the vineyard covers 6.25 hectares. The more recent plantings utilized genetic material from massal selections gathered from the old Rancia vineyard. The soil is composed of the limestone-derived alberese classic to the Castelnuovo Berardenga area and of galestro marl in some areas. First vintage was 1983.
The 2012 vintage has a ruby red appearance with rich, intense tones. Spicy nose with floral notes and hints of wild berry (red and black), accompanied by mineral impressions and light toasted notes. Spice re-appears on the palate, which displays firm but supple tannins, and the finale is vigorous and taut. Overall, the wine is compelling for its flavor-rich mid-palate and supporting acidity.
Produced only in the best years and in limited quantities, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2003 Vigna Paganelli is made exclusively with Sangiovese grapes sourced from the eponymous vineyard, planted in 1964. An austere, "classic" and aristocratic Brunello, it is a wine that honors the blazon and the image of the wine symbol of Montalcino
Dense ruby red color with garnet hues
The nose is rich of warm tones, red fruit, spices, liquorice
On the palate it is a thoroughbred, with a flavorful weave of silky tannins that are greeted with the freshness and structure that is typical of a great vintage. With a very long and overwhelming finish, it is a wine that will further evolve in the years to come.
The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon showcases classic Cabernet aromas of blackberry and blueberry with hints of baking spices and tobacco followed by layers of dark berries, graphite and cocoa powder on the palate. Full-bodied and dense with beautifully integrated oak and sweet tannins throughout the lingering finish.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards is a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa Valley. In 1999, the Phelps family added 100 acres of vineyard property near the town of Freestone on the Sonoma Coast, where Phelps now grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varietals, Insignia, first produced in 1974. Awarded Wine Spectator's "Wine of the Year" in 2005, Insignia is widely regarded as a qualitative benchmark for California winemaking.
La Marca Prosecco is named for the La Marca Trevigiana zone, located in the heart of Italy's Prosecco region, where its grapes are grown. Founded more than 40 years ago, the La Marca winery joins tradition and innovation, ensuring the highest quality product.
In 2007, the winery was awarded a "Top 100 Wines of the Year" by Wine Spectator1. La Marca is the only Prosecco producer from the Veneto region to be awarded this honor.
Enjoy as apéritif or pair with mild cheeses, light hors d'oevres, salads, seafood linguine in garlic butter sauce, a lighter fish, such as sole, snapper and mahi-mahi.
To open, remove foil, untwist wire cage and loosen the base. With one hand on the base and the other grasping the cork, tilt the bottle to a 45° angle and twist the bottle slowly to loosen the cork.
Always serve La Marca Prosecco chilled between 46-50°F. A versatile Italian Sparkling wine, La Marca Prosecco can be served in sparkling flutes or white wine glasses. A full bottle serves approximately 5-7 glasses. After pouring the first round, seal the opened bottle with a bottle stopper to keep remaining wine fresh and effervescent and keep the wine chilled to 46-50°F. An opened bottle should last about 3-4 hours with the bottle closure.
Lanson has been making rosé champagnes for more than 60 years and their Rose Label is one of the most sought-after around the world. True to Lanson's distinctive house style, this Champagne does not see malolactic fermentation, which results in a rosé of supreme delicacy and purity. The delicate pale salmon colour is produced through the careful addition of a small amount of Coteaux Champenois Bouzy Rouge, a still red wine produced from Pinot Noir grapes. The result is a lightly hued, fragrant and delightful rosé champagne perfect for any occasion.
Aromas of roses and fruit predominate, with discrete notes of red berries.
On the palate, the wine is tender, well-rounded and fresh, with excellent balance and good length on the finish.
Brut non-vintage is always the expression of the House style and, as such, it is the signature champagne. Laurent-Perrier Brut’s style is defined by its very high proportion of Chardonnay which provides a natural purity, freshness and elegance. These essential characteristics, expressed in all our champagnes, are a good introduction to the spirit of Laurent-Perrier.
The Laurent-Perrier Brut also benefits from ideal ageing in the cellars: three years minimum. Its balance and natural freshness are enhanced by a light dosage. After the dosage, the wines are kept in the cellar to rest for several months before shipment.
This wine has a unique balance of approachability and surprising complexity. The blend boasts enticing aromas of golden apple, ripe nectarine and honeydew melon, highlighted by fragrant jasmine blossom and citrusy Meyer lemon with an undertone of vanilla cream. It is fruit forward, with a creamy mid-palate, and clean acidity on the finish. The carefully selected barrels offer an oak presence that elevates the wine without overshadowing its natural character.
Pair this refreshing Chardonnay with grilled herb marinated sea bass with mango chutney.
Courtney Benham acquired the historic Martini & Prati winery in July 2003, which is now Martin Ray Winery and the home of their new Tasting Room. The Tasting Room structure, dating back to the 1900's, used to serve as a stable and bunkhouse where Italian immigrants stayed during harvest and crush. The winery also houses a 1 million gallon production facility that is used not only for wine production, but also as a 'custom crush' facility where over 20 clients crush their grapes and produce their wine.
Established in 1881 as the Twin Fir Winery, the historic site is distinguished as the oldest winery in continuous operation in Sonoma County and one of the oldest wineries in California. The winery was able to stay in operation during prohibition by selling sacramental wines by train to Rabbis through a winery in New York. Originally known as Martini & Prati, which was established in 1902, the winery was run by five generations of the Martini family and associated with the local Italian-American community that still includes the Sebastiani's, the Foppiano's, the Pedroncelli's and the Seghesio's.
Deep ruby color. Intense dark fruit aroma of black currant, followed by wet earth, mushroom, and caramelized sugar. Hints of dried herb and the classic California bay that is a signature of Mt. Veeder round out the nose. Earthy flavors that evoke the mountain, along with dark chocolate, black olive, and sweet bay leaf. The palate is long and rich with classic cassis flavors that linger. The soaring structure and acidity ensure its ageability for years to come.
Mount Veeder Winery is a dramatic estate with three vineyards carved high in the hillsides of the Mayacamas Mountains, overlooking southern Napa Valley. The property totals 121 acres, mostly forest and brush, out of which only 47 are planted to vine.
Vines ranging from 1,000–1,600 feet in elevation cling to rugged, steep slopes that offer cool conditions that lead to slow ripening, which extends the growing season. Mount Veeder is usually the last to harvest in Napa Valley. The result is fruit with highly concentrated flavors - big, bold and brambly - a Cab lover's feast.
Mount Veeder Winery was the first in Napa Valley to plant all five red Bordeaux varieties in the same vineyard. Its expertise with these grapes is manifest in Mount Veeder Winery Reserve, a meritage blend of these noble grapes, which are still grown on the property.
The quintessential cuvee from Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, this extraordinary wine unites fruit, power, balance and pure expressions of the terroir into one delicious Champagne. 20% Chardonnay grape elegance and delicacy.
40% Pinot Noir for roundness and structure.
40% Pinot Meunier for fruitiness.
Blended from 100 to 150 single cru vineyards.
Aged for 3 years even though only 15 months are
required by law.
Pale straw-gold in color, with an abundance of
Floral and fruity with a subtle predominance of white
fruits; pear, apple, quince, fig and hazelnuts.
Perfectly balanced, fruity yet dry.
This wine is an ideal accompaniment for Chicken, Salmon, Shellfish, Sushi, Soft Cheeses, Fruit and Desserts.
The 2014 Opus One exudes subtle aromas of fragrant florals, fresh garden herbs and forest floor that give way to a concentrated blend of red cherry, blackberry and black currant. Fine-grained tannins offer a velvety texture and complex structure that builds to a long, vibrantly fresh finish with a touch of mocha. Enjoyable now, the wine will delight for years to come.
Connoisseurs judge a champagne house by the quality of its non vintage brut wine . It is on its brut, created in the mid-19th century, that Perrier-Jouët has built its reputation.
The House style is distinguished by the extensive use of chardonnay. Perrier-Jouët owns 161 acres of vineyards with an average cru rating of over 99% including 99 acres in the most renowned villages for Chardonnay (Cramant and Avize.) The wines show lightness and sweetness, as well as a rounded and fruity character.
Great balance and a lingering finish mark this zesty, full-flavored brut as something special. Rich in fruit flavor, crisp in balance, with an underlying tangy quality that begs for another sip.
French it may be, but in 1861, Champagne Perrier-Jouët was the favorite of Queen Victoria, and the House became not only the official supplier of the British monarchy, but also of the Swedish royal family and the King of Belgium.
Family owned vineyards in Serraluga d’Alba (Ornato and Colombaro), in Sinio, Diano d'Alba and Grinzane Cavour together with other vineyards belonging to “historical suppliers” who have been selling their grapes to Pio Cesare for generations, working their vineyards according to their directions and strict quality controls.
The Barbera grapes grown in the Barolo area, give full structure, plummy and complex flavour, with spicy and ripe fruit, blackberry aroma and a hint of toasted tobacco. It ages quite well.
The 2009 Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a classic example of Oregon Pinot Noir from a vintage that gave us intense fruit and intense flavors. Initial perfumed aromatics redolent of violets and roses, black currants, blueberries, black raspberries and wild strawberries are joined by suggestions of tobacco leaf, clean earth, dried fruit, smoke and spice as the wine opens. Some whole-cluster fermentation contributes dark fruit, tea and savory aromatic characteristics. The attack is rich with beautifully ripe tannins and flavors of red fruits and the blue fruits which are a hallmark of the vintage. The lithe mid-palate finds additional complexity with a strong, lingering finish that includes minerality, graphite and spices.
This wine has the intensity, structure and concentration to age and become more complex over the next 15 to 20 years.
Saturated ruby color. Intense dark berry fruits, gravel earth, black licorice, mint, and exotic spices. Powerful bramble fruit entry, sensuous, well-defined tannins, great depth of flavor, enjoyable lengthy finish.
70% Zinfandel, 15% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, 3% Alicante Bouschet
Brut Premier characterizes the timeless Louis Roederer style with the combination of fresh, youthful fruitiness and the vinous qualities of a fully matured wine. It is a structured wine with a lively attack and a smooth palate. Beginning in 2010, Brut Premier now comes in antique-colored bottles that filter out nearly 100 percent of light.
The blend is composed of harvests from four different years, including three different years from the Louis Roederer reserve wines cellar. The reserve wines mature in oak casks for an average of two to five years. The percentage of reserve wines included in the Brut Premier blend varies from 6 percent to 10 percent.
The 'liqueur de dosage' is prepared with the greatest of care from a selected blend of eight to 10 of the very best crus from the Louis Roederer vineyard and then left to age in oak casks.
The Roederer Estate Rosé is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. For color, the winemaker prepares a small portion of Pinot Noir with extended maceration and adds about five percent to the blend before secondary fermentation, imparting a subtle salmon hue. Both the 60/40 blend and addition of the small amount of red wine create a charming wine of discreet finesse.
The Roederer Estate Rosé is full and round with smooth flavors and a fine, persistent mousse. The extra measure of Chardonnay contributes elegance and austerity that balance nicely with the delicate fruitiness of the Pinot Noir.
Enticing aromas of ripe apple, bright citrus and melon are layered with creme brulee, baking spices and a touch of butter. Vibrant flavors of tropical fruit, baked apple, citrus and white peach meld with vanilla, baking spices and toasted nuts on the creamy, smooth palate. The finish is juicy with mouth-watering acidity that makes you crave another sip.
"Over the last two decades, Rombauer and Chardonnay have nearly become synonymous. A consistent favorite in all of the wine channels—restaurant, retail and other—this wine often runs out of stock before the next vintage is released. In 2015, the winery simply made a beautiful wine. Full of sun-ripened fruits—apples, peaches, and citrus—this wine is so dinner table ready. Drinks well now. (Tasted: August 22, 2016, San Francisco, CA)" -92 Points, Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
The Rosella’s Vineyard is in the Santa Lucia Highlands Appellation of Monterey County.
It is west of the town of Gonzales and was planted in 1999 to multiple clones of Pinot Noir
(and some Chardonnay and Syrah). The vineyard is owned by Gary and Rose Franscioni.
Siduri has been purchasing grapes and making a Vineyard-Designated Rosella’s Vineyard Pinot
Noir since the innagural 2001 vintage. They purchase 5 different clones of Pinot Noir
from the Rosella’s Vineyard, fermenting them separately and then combining the best
barrels for the final blend.
This rich, medium bodied “Old Vines” Zinfandel reveals abundant aromas of dark red berries, cherry compote and warm spice.Lingering, bright flavors follow, with notes of boysenberry pie, fresh cranberry and a touch of white pepper. The finish is long,smooth and a little spicy.
An excellent companion to aged blue cheese, braised or grilled beef, and roast pork with fruit.
After a cold and wet beginning, the 2005 vintage developed into a wonderfully moderate growing season that had plenty of sun and some decent hot temperatures, but contained no really aggressive heat spikes. This helped the grapes to mature very evenly and deeply with beautifully ripe flavors and rich, round tannins and allowed us to pick the vineyard calmly over several weeks when each block had reached its peak.
This wine jumps from the glass with an animated nose of flowers, black cherries and ripe plums liberally inflected with aromas of cedar shavings, cigar box, wet river rocks and graphite. It cascades across the palate revealing rich layers of black cherries, Crème de cassis and blueberries intermixed with generous hints of black tea and cardamom, leading to a reverberant exit of spiced plums and kola nuts followed by a lengthy mouth coating finish. While drinking well now, it will benefit from and open up more fully with some additional time in bottle and should continue to develop more weight and complexity over the next 10+ years.
Founded in 1985 by Shari, Garen, Brandon and Shannon, Staglin Family Vineyard takes pride in the tradition of family ownership and participation. With an uncompromising commitment to quality, their mission is to produce world-class wines that reflect the distinctive character of this historic Rutherford Bench estate. As stewards of this land, they farm the vineyard organically, tap into their solar fields for power and produce the wines in a state-of-the-art underground production facility. The Staglins are passionate about their business, their land, their philanthropy and for the meaningful relationships they develop with each passing day. They hope this passion is evident when you enjoy their wines.
The Taittinger "brut reserve" is a blend of some 30
chardonnay and pinot crus, respectively 40% and 60% of the
total, from several harvests of perfectly ripened grapes. This
high proportion of chardonnay is very rare in high quality
champagne. It has thus been the privilege of a highly reputed
brand to blend an outstanding non-vintage brut.
Sight: colour is a brilliant golden straw-yellow. It has small,
fine bubbles and the froth is both discreet and persistent.
Smell: the nose is very expressive and developed, full of fruit
and brioche. It includes aromas of peach, white flowers
(hawthorn, acacia) and vanilla pods. Taste: on the palate,
this fresh, lively wine is equally harmonious. It is a delicate
wine with a predominance of fresh fruit and honey. Overall
quality: this wine has highly developed aromatic potential.
After three to four years' cellaring, it has now reached full
Can be drunk as an aperitif or with food, preferably with an evening meal. .
It is a perfect accompaniment for white meat (lamb with chanterelles), crayfish or
A wine of great charm, combining the power of body and the intelligence of spirit.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs was created to commemorate Thibaud IV, Comte de Champagne, who planted the first Chardonnay vines in France in the 13th century. First released in 1957 with the 1952 vintage, it is produced exclusively from the delicate first pressing of costly Chardonnay grapes grown to greatest perfection in the vineyards of the communes of the Côte des Blancs, named for the suitability of its microclimates to that vine variety. Champagne Taittinger's extensive vineyard holdings of 600 acres include several parcels in the 100 percent-rated villages of Avize, Cramant, Chouilly and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger in the Côte des Blancs, and assure the consistent supply from year to year of the most exceptional Chardonnay grapes available.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is elaborated and brought to maturity in the 13th century chalk cellars once the property of the Abbey of Saint Nicaise, where each step of the méthode champenoise is performed traditionally. Following harvest, the grapes are pressed immediately in press houses located among the vineyards, yielding a first pressing, referred to as the "cuvée," which is followed by two more pressings, referred to as the first and second "tailles." The greater part of the juice, and that of the finest quality, is extracted in the "cuvée;" neither of the "tailles" are used in Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. In all, no more than 100 litres (approximately 26 gallons) of juice per 160 kilograms (approximately 350 pounds) of fruit may be extracted from the combined three pressings. The must is then transported to the vinification facility, where a cool fermentation takes place under temperature controlled conditions. Following this, a small portion of the wine, usually approximating five percent, is matured for a few months in small, 225-litre, new oak casks. Blending takes place in the early spring, followed by a slow secondary fermentation at 45 to 50 F in Taittinger's cool cellars from which the wine acquires complexity and the fine, pinpoint bubbles characteristic of its sparkle. Prior to dégorgement, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is aged four to six years, twice the legal minimum for vintage champagne, to fully capture the subtle bouquet, complexity and body of the Chardonnay grape.
This superb Champagne, produced only in years exceptional enough to declare a vintage, is appropriately presented in an antique-style bottle of XVIIIth century design. Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the ultimate expression of the Taittinger style, a Champagne of great refinement, elegance and delicacy. The clean, aristocratic Chardonnay fragrance is offset by warm, toasty nuances, which carry onto a palate of finely- balanced, generous white fruit flavors underscored by a fine, crisp acidity and subtle mineral notes. The refined, toasty finish is lasting and complex.
Expressive and aromatic layers of dark fruit and fennel with notes of lavender greet the nose as a mix of complex and clean flavors of milk chocolate, blackberry and black pepper blanket the palate. The spice filled finish is well structured and leaves a velvety impression in your mouth.
Pair with lamb, beef or the meatier fishes such as tuna or salmon, simply prepared and sauced, create a special pairing with this wine. Thyme, peppercorns and caramelized onions are wonderful complementary flavors.
Built in 1886, John and Janet Trefethen began restoring what is today the Trefethen winery in 1973. A national historic landmark and the only wooden gravity-flow winery in the Napa Valley, Trefethen is also one of Napa's largest estate wineries, with its 600 acres of vineyards surrounding the winery. The Trefethen family creates Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Riesling as well as limited quantities of Library Selection Chardonnay, Library Selection Cabernet Sauvignon and Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
Named for the small amount of wine that evaporates from the oak barrel during maturation, Two Hands Angels Share has a classic aroma of coffee, mocha, cola, chocolate, mulberry and plums with lovely spices backed by peppermint. The round, soft finish has great personality and drive.
Clicquot's signature brut non-vintage is loved the world over for its crisp, full flavors, consistent quality and celebratory yellow label. This classically-styled, dry Champagne is a blend of two-thirds black grapes (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) for body, balanced with one-third Chardonnay for elegance. It has a fine persistent sparkle and golden Champagne color. Its complex nose of apple, citrus and caramel is followed by full flavors with elegance, crispness and a slightly spicy finish.
Aromas of cedary oak, currants, black cherries and ripe plums are rich and concentrated on the palate. The firm tannins underlying the wine's core provide balance, leading to a long, lingering finish. The 2011 vintage is reflected in this wine, favoring balance to overt ripeness.
In this time of multimillion-dollar vineyard estates and celebrity winemaking consultants, when it seems that financial backing has replaced skill as the key to success in enology, it is rare that a simple idea can give birth to wines that stand out for flavor and balance, rather than pedigree alone. A collaboration between veteran winemaker Philip Zorn and longtime wine executive Brent Shortridge, Waterstone Winery was formed in 2000 when the two men were introduced and discovered a shared interest in creating luxury wines at affordable prices. Bringing together their previously established relationships with Napa Valley growers and vintners, the pair set out to develop balanced wines of varietal character through intelligent sourcing. Preferring to focus on the wine itself rather than the accumulation of land and facilities, Zorn and Shortridge own no vineyards themselves, nor do they own the facility where their wines are made. Dedicated winemaking, strong relationships with top growers and long-term grape contracts are the keys to Waterstone’s quality and success.
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