Gueneau, Jerome Sancerre Le Clos Chartier 2012 – 20.57 – We have been big fans of Jerome Gueneau, and were pleased when we found the walled vineyard (Clos) was coming to replace the entry level Sancerre we had been purchasing, at the same cost. Many vintages in, this is still a favorite, now from a little 17 acre parcel on classic flint-clay soils. More richness, elegant, classic citrus tang and smoky mineral. Bright and very pure, with a lovely chiseled edge to the core of straw, lemon meringue, gooseberry and thyme. Straight as an arrow on the finish. Drink now. I put it on the list at Swift’s Attic, as well. East End Wines Top 200 (#39). A hard year with frosts, cold rainy weather into summer, then October storms wreaking havoc in the Loire, but Sancerre & Pouilly-Fumé were able to escape relatively unscathed.
Gérard Tremblay Vieilles Vigne Chablis 2012 – 19.97 – Another consistent performer, with juicy apple and lemon acidity, followed by a light hint of creaminess to counter classic steely / chalky minerality. Unoaked from 10-30yr old vines, a fine wine with a profound mineral nose. East End Wines Top 200 (#188) Balanced and tasty village level wine, for six generations. 80 acres of vines under production, showing typicity, with a gravity fed winery. Vines planted in 1957 by Gérard Tremblay’s father. More concentration and mineral on the palate than the entry level Chablis. Juicy and bright. A lot of ripeness for the 2012 vintage (as things warm up), but able to keep bright acid levels as well. More powerful seeming than 2010, and I think they are a step up from 2011.
Sieur d’Argues Aimery Limoux Rosé – 15.97 – East End Wines Top 200 (#71). Crémant de Limoux Rosé is sourced from the oldest sparkling wine region on earth! Pretty red berry fruit (strawberry & raspberry) gives nice hints about the fun to come with this delicate, salmon pink wine out of the Languedoc. Delicate mousse & balanced acidity. Nice length on the finish. Pretty vigorous selection based on soil / sub-soil of particular vineyard sites. Benedictine nuns from the St. Hilaire Abbey created the first sparkling wine, a century before Dom Perignon, in 1531. (Blanquette de Limoux). This wine is named after a lord of the region, who drank the sparkling wine to celebrate his victories, in the earliest written references to Blanquette de Limoux.
Denis Carré Hautes Cd Beaune Perrieres 2011 – 21.97 – The new vintage. 13 hectares in Meloisey, to the west of Beaune. Good concentration. We (like Master of Wine Clive Coates) find this a great Burgundy for the money, with balance, light, tangy cherry fruit, and a smoky / earthy mineral undertone. Pleasing to find something quite elegant at what is inexpensive pricing for Burgundy. Has enough backbone to go with red meats, but light enough on its feet for a variety of dishes. Medium-Full body, ready to drink, but will improve over the next 3 or 4 years if you have the patience. Goes for $60 on restaurant wine lists in Austin. A bigger and better crop than expected. The cold was concentrated in the early winter when the vines were dormant, and then warm weather into the summer. Heat came when it was needed in August, and rain was brief. Rully got the worst of the hail damage, in July. Seems to be staying in the neighborhood of 2010 pricing for the whites and less expensive reds (this wine did not see a price increase, for example).