The Jewel Of Russia

Gaï-Kodzor

Viognier 2019

Sensual, captivating, caressing, stupendous & utterly fresh 100%Viognier aged in inox for 7 months.
Dedicated 4ha plot at at foothills of Caucasian mountains (5km to Black Sea).

Pale lemony, light emerald glitters.
Refined and delicate yet confident nose of saturn peach, mango, white plum pith, wet stones, thyme, apricot, pear, canned pineapple, white currant leaf, white grapefruit, blooming lemon, lily of the valley, with very touch of white pepper.
Crisp and focused palate. Medium body (12.5%), vibrant acidity. Decently mineral of limestone. Sweetie, green apple, white currant, rhubarb, feijoa, carambola, white plum scents.
Persistent and refined finish of white currant peels, pippin apple, pomelo and sea minerals.
Paired Faroe salmon steak.
90/100
— 2 months ago

Julia liked this

Villa Sparina

Gavi Cortese

Refreshing white wine that yields as the crown jewel of northern italy’s Gavi región made of the Cortese grape. Would recommend. — 5 months ago

Château Verdignan

Haut-Médoc Red Bordeaux Blend 2003

David T
9.4

I have mentally thought about doing this post for quite awhile. Opening this 2003 Verdignan brought on the appropriate moment. I am a believer in paying respects and it’s the basis of this post.

We learn to drink certain wines from the regions we live near or from the people we learn & enjoy wine with as we walk the road to understanding what we really enjoy. I started as an exclusive CA Chardonnay drinker for many years before moving on to nearly every varietal and regions offer. Next was Napa Cabernets which, led me to my true love, red Bordeaux. It was a bit of curve getting there but, once I had them with proper aging, I was hooked for life.

While my curiosity got me to Bordeaux wines, there one person that helped shape my Bordeaux palate and I agreed with more than anyone else’s, including every well known wine critics at that time and even today after spending 10 weeks learning from several Master Sommeliers on my way to passing the Court of Master Sommeliers exam and becoming a Sommelier myself. This person is Clyde Beffa Jr., Owner of K&L Wine Merchants.

Clyde has been traveling to Bordeaux for over 40 years and sometimes multiple times in a year. His palate and experience are second to none. Especially, when it comes to Bordeaux.

I owe him a lot. He taught me the importance of letting good Bordeaux’s age 20 years plus. What were the jewel value producers. Brought in Bordeaux wines direct from the Chateaus that had 10 years of bottle age and older. Bordeaux’s that critics did not like young but, he knew something special had taken place over time as he was tasting them much later in their lives and often. I bought and drank a lot of these wines. They also kept temptation at bay in me reaching for my too young and more expensive wines.

He is very kind and kind enough to allow me to travel with him & key staffers to the 2014 En Premier to taste what was a very difficult 2013 Bordeaux vintage. You can go to En Premier and then there is going with Clyde. You have all the key appointments, Chateau accommodations/dinners and taste somewhere around 1500 plus wines in 6 days. He is loved by the Bordelais and for good reason.

So, I dedicate this post to him. He is the one who told me to buy this little known 2003 Verdignan at the same “Affordable Bordeaux Tasting” I mentioned in my Chateau de Candale post on Friday. As of Friday, that was the wine of the tasting. Well…until I coravined this slowly over the weekend. This 2003 was under $25 and it is one of the very best Bordeaux’s I had in some time. As well, perhaps the best QPR in my over 20 years collecting wine. Clyde knew that day just how good it would become. He said, forget about this for 20 years. So, I am a little early here.

Clyde has recommended more great Bordeaux’s to me that most people don’t hear about, let alone try. He told me to buy the poorly reviewed 91 Pichon Lalande when he brought more into the store seven years ago Chateau direct. It was a very difficult vintage with spring frost, hail storm and a difficult growing season. He described as “Heaven in a Bottle” and It most certainly the case. To this day, Pichon Lalande is my favorite steak wine and the 91 is still my favorite vintage. I purchased a 3L from him recently that he brought in direct from the Chateau for my 60th next year. Can’t wait to open that with our good friends and celebrate.

As for the Verignan, the nose reveals; dark brooding & slightly bake fruits of; blackberries, black raspberries, dark cherries, black plum, some poached strawberries & haunting blue fruits. Black tea, forest floor with leaves, anise, limestone, moist clay, dry crushed rocks, dry stones, beautiful, mid intensity dark spice, dry tobacco, graphite, mixed dark berry cola, understated, well layered baking spices; clove, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanilla, dry herbs, mint with candied; dark, red, blue and purple florals.

The body is full, rich, lush, satiny with plenty of well rounded, soften tannins. The tension, structure, length and balance are excellent and will continue to improve. This will last another 15 years and beyond with proper storage. This is a very classic Bordeaux well balance in fruit and earth. It is sheer elegance on the palate. It’s why I love Bordeaux more than Napa and I love Napa Valley Cabernet. Dark brooding & slightly bake, ripe fruits of; blackberries, black raspberries, dark cherries, black plum, boysenberries, some poached strawberries & haunting blue fruits. Black tea, dark chocolate bar, touch of mocha powder, light caramel notes, Expresso notes, forest floor with leaves, anise, limestone, moist clay, dry crushed rocks, dry stones, beautiful, mid intensity dark Asian & Indian spices with just right amount of palate heat, dry tobacco, graphite, dry twigs with a little sap, mixed dark berry cola, understated, well layered baking spices; clove, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanilla, dry herbs/sage, mint with candied; dark, red, blue and purple florals. The acidity is round and nearly perfect. The long finish is, classic, elegant, well balance fruit and earthy Bordeaux that persists softly on the palate for minutes with just the right amount of spice.
This is a heady wine that you really think about as you slowly sip and it affects your whole body. Can’t wait to have another in five years.

Photos of; Chateau Vergignan in Medoc near St. Estephe, their vineyard that reveals where Bordeaux gets its earthiness, Owner Jean Miaihle who acquired the property in 1972 and a wide shot of their vines.
— 6 months ago

Shay, Severn and 38 others liked this
Peter van den Besselaar

Peter van den Besselaar Influencer Badge

👌 Unfortunately younger people hardly learn to appreciate aged wines nowadays...
Dawn E.

Dawn E.

@David T great post!
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Dawn E. Thank you very much. Cheers & stay well. 🍷 @Peter van den Besselaar Yes, it seems to be more of an old school thing more & more. There are guidelines for many things in life that are followed, just not so much wine guidelines anymore. You can’t understand what you miss until you are exposed to a steady stream of it. Cheers & stay well! 🍷

Fattoria dei Barbi (Colombini)

Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese 2015

a ruby jewel ~ loads of red fruits, subtle floral & herbal notes, completed by some baking spices and an almost saline minerality ~ beautifully classic expression of Sangiovese ~ gained weight and intensity on night two — 2 months ago

Severn, Casey and 7 others liked this

Fanagoria

abtoxtoh White Blend

Freshiest vintage indigenous Sibirkovy! Distinctive, refreshing, refined, dangerously quaffable! :)
Control yield. Manual harvest. Gentle processing.

Pale straw yellow, light emerald glitters.
Attack of blooming clover field. Steppe, melliferous flowers, white apple, oregano, unripe pear, lollipop, canned pineapple, linden blossom, white peach, yarrow, sweetie, quince succade.
Vibrant and focused palate. Medium (12.5%) body, crispy acidity. Mineral. Green apple, alycha, rhubarb, white strawberry, green gooseberry, unripe apricot, carambola, sweetie flavors.
Lengthy finish of yellow apple, rhubarb, white plum and elegant minerality.
Paired marlin carpaccio as well as spicy rings of fried squid.
88/100
— 3 months ago

Julia and Vladimir liked this

Château de Candale

St. Émilion Grand Cru Red Bordeaux Blend 2005

David T
9.2

We met & visited a number of Bordeaux producers while 2005 was still in the tank or just into barrel.

In talking with Winemaker-Owners about the 2005 vintage, you could see the twinkle in their eye as they were asked questions. They knew they had Bordeaux magic for the first time in five years.

We tasted this at what was deemed an “Affordable Bordeaux Tasting.” This was on the higher end of that tasting at $35. It is delivering a little better than its young expectation and the jewel to date from that tasting.

With and without protein, the 05 Chateau de Candale moved between 92-93.

The nose reveals; warm alcohol, immersed fruits of; black raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, dark cherries, poached/slightly baked, dark cherries, dark spices, purple fruit, cola mix, sweet tarriness, anise to black licorice, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanilla, dark, rich, candied, forest floor, fresh & dry tobacco, graphite, slight, moist clay, stones, dry, crushed rock chunks, whiff of bay leaf & sage, dry stems, pepper quality with candied, dark, dark red, purple, blue with violets & lavender.

This is a very good first look at this 2005. God willing, I have another look in on bottle two of three in another five years. This 05 has another 15 plus years of good drinking ahead with proper storage.

The body is full, tarry with big, sticky, chewy tannins. Baked/poached, floral fruits of; black raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, dark cherries, black plum, pomegranate, dark spices with a heavy, heated presence, purple fruit, cola mix, sweet tarriness, anise to black licorice, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon & vanilla, dark, rich, candied, forest floor, fresh & dry tobacco, loads of graphite, slight, moist clay, stones, dry, crushed rock chunks, dry top soils, whiff of bay leaf & sage, dry stems, muted eucalyptus, pepper quality with candied, dark, dark red, purple, blue with violets & lavender. The acidity is round & full just holding, for me, the slightly higher ABV in check. The long, heavy, dark, well knitted, more earth/spice dominated finish is showing the quality of the vintage. Yet, it still needs more time to be its best.

Photos of; Chateau de Candale, harvested Merlot fruit, recent buyers of Chateau de Candale - Thibaut Decoster and Magali Decoster and their barrel room.
— 6 months ago

Eric, Daniel and 32 others liked this

Famiglia Carfagna

Ansonica dell'Isola del Giglio Maremma Toscana IGT 2016

Beautiful wine, a little jewel discovered in the middle of the Mediterranean. It's complete, rich, refined. After 6 years it shows with a very bright orange robe, clear. The nose is grand, complex and very mineral. In the mouth it is full, dry and perfectly balanced. A sublime experience. — 2 months ago

Joseph Jewell

Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

This is a wonderful richly deep yet crisp Pinot. Perfect for aged and grilled meats. Notes of plum and dark cherry. One of my favorites from Joseph Jewel. — 3 months ago

Punta Crena

Vigneto Isasco Riviera Ligure di Ponente Rossese

Graceful and quirky, full of fresh and dried flavors alike. Hibiscus, cherry, minerality, underripe apple, prune, encased in a gorgeous jewel-clear light red. It’s fun and energetic, but has fantastic length and depth. Think Hot Chip. — 6 months ago

Josh liked this

Boxwood Winery

10th Anniversary Vintage Reserve Red Blend 2015

This excellently balanced wine was the crown jewel of everything we tasted today. Worth savoring! — 8 months ago