Rarely in the wine industry do you see such a powerful partnership. The legend of Burgundy and President of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Conti, Aubert de Villaine partners with his cousin, Larry Hyde “The King of Carneros“.
For the Belle Cousine project, the two get to really have fun with it and show off their winemaking prowess. Unfortunately for us, this ode to the Left Bank is the great Aubert de Villaine’s swan song bottling at HDV as the former DRC head looks to sail off into the sunset. Luckily for us though, the 2019 is an absolute stunner.
The name Belle Cousine is a reference to Pamela Fairbanks de Villaine, Larry Hyde’s lovely cousin who is the wife of Aubert de Villaine of Burgundy. It is Pamela who brings these visionary viticultural families from Burgundy and the Carneros region of Napa Valley together to make wines that express the character of place, with that rare minerality so dear to the Burgundian palate.
In an outstanding 2019 vintage in Napa, this one rises to the top. Antonio Galloni calls it, “one of the best wines” as well as starting his review by calling the wine “faboulous. Bright and focused.” It’s an age-worthy beauty with the kind of Cabernet Sauvignon backbone needed to help this one enjoy a gorgeous lifespan of at least 25-30 years.
This is a fantastic collectors item any year but given the rave review and it being Aubert de Villaine’s last ever ‘Belle Cousine’ it’s one of the ‘must-have’ bottles. I even got us a special price – the best in the country by a healthy margin!
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95 Points, Antonio Galloni – Vinous
“The 2019 Belle Cousine, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot from Hyde, is fabulous. Bright and forcused, the 2019 bistles with energy. Strong Cabernet inflections give this mid-weight red tons of aromatic presence to match its mid-weight personality. Dark red/blue fruits, mint, blood orange, spice, leather and mocha are some of the notes that emerge over time. Like all the best wines here, the Belle Cousine offers outstanding focus, clarity and freshness.”
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