The vines from which the 2019 “Les Galets de la Berthaude” draws its grapes are quite old – the average being 60 years old – with many well over one hundred years old. This year’s 2019 “Les Galets de la Berthaude” is made in the style the Nicholas Wines buyers love best; quite simply 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 100% delicious. This is a racy, structured and elegant CdP with the bones to age very nicely for the next decade and a half.
The winery made famous by Brad Pitt and Angelina is more famous in the wine world for their fleet of top Provencal Roses made by none other than superstar winemaker Marc Perrin, who has countless times turned the wine world on its head with his 100-point Chateauneuf du Papes at Chateau de Beaucastel. His 2020 Miraval Rose improves on an already impressive legacy with a beautiful salmon color, juicy notes of macerated cherries, strawberry currants, citrus and a lemon zest. It flashes that refreshing minerality that has become a Provence signature but crafted at 1100 ft above sea level, its crispness and vibrancy is unparalleled.
Steve and Jill Matthiasson are two of the best farmers in Napa Valley though they are as humble and down to Earth as they come. Steve has been nominated six times for the James Beard award for outstanding wine, an amazing feat given he barters his expertise in vineyard management in exchange for grape contracts each year that he uses for his wine. He even committed to donating the proceeds from this year’s Village Cabernet to Covid-19 restaurant relief funds. The wine itself is outstanding. Wonderful, youthful, intricate Cabernet that NYT’s Eric Asimov famously called, “As fresh, lively and alive as the best produce from a farmers’ market.”
90 Points, Vinous
Even I have to admit that today’s Xarel-lo is a discovery even to me. Produced by a four family operation in the heart of Penedes, Vines el Cep, the wines are all certified organic, and all the fruit estate grown, one of the first and only wineries in the region to have that distinction, As Vinous’ Josh Raynolds reported in his 90 point review: “Fresh pear and honeydew melon on the fragrant nose, along with a subtle floral nuance. Silky and open-knit, showing good depth and a touch of waxiness to the ripe orchard and citrus fruit flavors….” That’s pretty dead on in a tasting note for a change. This is a flat out winner, especially for the price.
94 Points, Wine Enthusiast
Foley Estates is an anomaly– their treasured limestone soil in Sta. Rita Hills along with their rising star winemaker Dave Frazier (formerly of Cakebread, Byron & Cambria), have made them a critic darling of sorts in Santa Barbara County over the past decade plus. Their wine is not easy to secure and I can see why. This is a great way to see what Foley does best. Their 2018 Rancho Santa Rosa Pinot Noir is a bright, intricate California Pinot Noir, far more sophisticated than just a fruit bomb, with elegance, spice and a textbook, long fresh finish.
Simply stunning. An incredible effort in arguably the greatest Sancerre vintage since 1947, Dominique’s single vineyard ‘Les Deserts’ is considered the Grand Cru vineyard of Bue. It’s a dead ringer for Premier Cru Chablis; it’s that complex. How when it’s Sauvignon Blanc? Well, the vines of Les Deserts are rooted in Kimmeridgian rock, the same soil you find in the best vineyards of Chablis. It’s full-bodied with a chalky minerality and a beautiful, vibrant intensity. This will forever change the way you view Sancerre. It really is that good.
This is rich, opulent, stunning Pinot Noir with a higher pH and a deeper, richer complexion than their Willamette neighbors. It’s a dead ringer for Russian River Valley. Deep red ruby color to the rim with high-toned red berry fruit soaring right out of the glass. It’s incredibly fresh with tremendous depth backed by fine tannins, bright acidity and amazing purity of fruit on the palate. It’s a finessed and elegant Pinot with just intensity and length. At this price, there’s no better Pinot in the country. That’s a fact.
95 Points (Editors’ Choice), Wine Enthusiast
Though Wine Spectator has yet to chime in, Wine Enthusiast has already equaled last year’s 95-point score for the Barolo and given it the prestigious “Editors’ Choice” tag, calling the wine “an incredible effort”. I’m sure that means they’ll be adding to the winery will be adding to their “Top 100 Wines of the Year” trophy case, but the wine will be long gone by then. But for today, at just $54/btl you can lock in on one of the best Nebbiolos made in the 2017 vintage.