A et P de Villaine Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise La Digoine 2018
Domaine de Villaine is a Burgundy wine producer situated in Bouzeron in the Côte Chalonnaise region. The domaine holds several climats in the communes of Bouzeron, Rully, Mercurey and Santenay that are planted to Aligoté, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The domaine holds multiple Premier Cru vineyard plots including Grésigny in Rully, Les Perrières in Saint-Aubin and Les Passetemps in Santenay. The Rully premier cru wine was first released in 2012. This wine is made from Chardonnay grapes sourced from vines averaging 80 years old planted in one of Grésigny's southwest climats. Les Perrières source Chardonnay in Saint-Aubin, whilst the Santenay premier cru wine is a Pinot Noir that sees one year in oak before being bottled without filtration.
Domaine de Villaine's wine portfolio also includes a range of white wines from Bouzeron, Côte Chalonnaise and Rully, as well as a series of red wines made from Pinot Noir grapes cultivated in Côte Chalonnaise and Mercurey.The estate practices organic agricultural methods in all of its vineyards. Grapes are harvested by hand and vinified naturally. De Villaine ages its wines in tuns, oak casks and tanks, or a mixture of all three depending on the wine and the vintage. The majority of these oak casks are new so as to give a purer expression of each wine.
Wine Advocate 92
The 2010 Almaviva is a Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend complemented with Carmenere, Cabernet Franc, and for the first time in 2010, a small quantity of Petit Verdot. 2010 was a cool vintage, giving the wine an herbaceous character with good freshness and balance. It is still young with some lactic notes and some aromas derived from the elevage (roasted coffee and dark chocolate), with terse black fruit and some beef blood overtones. This vintage seems to be a worthy follower of the 2005, with sweet round tannins, intense flavors, very good balance and the stuffing to live a long life in bottle.
Alphonse Mellot Sancerre Generation XIX Blanc 2016
Wine Advocate 93
Even in a region with such a venerable history as Sancerre, the Mellot family boasts an unusually rich heritage. Alphonse Mellot represents the 19th generation of a wine making dynasty: his ancestor, Cesar Mellot was appointed wine advisor to King Louis XIV in 1698. Great wines are not made by obsessing with the past and this is a domaine which is very much focused on the present, but with an eye to the future. A total of 45 hectares of vineyards are immaculately managed according to biodynamic principles and the wines, particularly the top cuvees, benefit from being sourced from old vines; over 80 years in the case of generation XIX. These wines show precise flavours which combine fruit and minerality with a touch of wood
Straw-yellow in color, the 2016 Sancerre Génération XIX opens with an intense, fresh and pure bouquet of lychees, starfruit, ripe peaches and more tropical fruit aromas. Dense, intense and lush on the palate, this is a full-bodied, tight, fresh and phenolic yet refined and substantial Sancerre with pretty fine tannins and lingering salinity.
Arlaud Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru Aux Cheseaux 2018
Allen Meadow 90
Firm reduction once again flattens the underlying fruit. The delicious, vibrant and beautifully well-delineated flavors possess a plush mid-palate texture that also contrasts with the compact, raspy and moderately short finish. This too is a bit of a question mark as to how it will react to the bottling so please note that my estimated range offers the benefit of the doubt.
Cyprien Arlaud, who directs this domaine which owns 15 ha and farms another 3 ha (see the related wines under Cyprien Arlaud immediately below), described 2018 as a vintage that "had a wet spring followed by a markedly hot and dry growing season where the former provided just enough water reserves to avoid massive amounts of hydric stress though there was some. And this is the reason that the results are heterogeneous. We decided to plow our vines via horse, which is risky because if there isn't any rain, plowing exposes even more soil to the sun's heat. On the other hand, if there is rain and you haven't plowed, the soil is like concrete and runs off too rapidly to be absorbed. We were lucky because even though there wasn't much rain, it was enough to mostly keep the photosynthetic process going. I chose to begin picking on the 3rd of September and brought in very clean fruit yet quantities, while perfectly good, were actually lower than the 38 hl/ha that I realized in 2017. Potential alcohols were again good but not high as I had nothing come in over 14%. I did have a few fermentations that proceeded very slowly and in fact this is the first time in my career where I have had that happen. I used around 30% whole clusters for the grands crus and a few of the 1ers but otherwise there was none. Overall, 2018 is a very good vintage but I wouldn't call it a great one, at least not for us." Arlaud pointed out that none of the wines had been racked since they were barreled down and this explains why some of the wines showed noticeable reduction.
A et P de Villaine Rully Premier Cru Les Margotés 2016
Allen Meadow 91
There is just enough post-bottling reduction to push the underlying fruit to the background but the nose seems notably ripe and this impression is accentuated by the markedly rich, dense and caressing medium-bodied flavors that possess excellent depth and persistence. I particularly like the chiseled and very dry finish that, in contrast to the generosity of the mid-palate, is almost delicate. Lovely stuff.
Aubert de Villaine's nephew Pierre de Benoist succinctly described the 2016 vintage as one that "was very complicated due to both heavy frost losses as well as a severe attack of mildew, indeed perhaps the worst that we have ever seen. The rest of the season was not quite so challenging but nonetheless it was necessary to be constantly vigilant as the conditions were ripe for an attack of rot. In my view, the fruit matured mostly through evaporation rather than through heat. We finally made it to the harvest and while yields were low, and particularly so for the whites, at least the fruit was both ripe and clean. Specifically, volumes for the whites ranged from 15 to 33 hl/ha but they were better for the reds at between 35 and 50 hl/ha. For the reds, I used between 30 and 35% whole clusters. Stylistically, I like 2016 as there is good freshness and concentration in both colors." Note that the single vineyard Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise "Les Clous" in white has been replaced by a multi-parcel wine called Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Les Clous Aimé. Moreover fans of the domaine are not seeing things as there really is a new wine in the form of the St. Aubin 1er "Les Perrières". Readers will notice that several of the reds are not rated and this is due to what appears to be brett precursors. While subtle, it's very hard to predict how prominent these characters will become.
AIX Rose 2019
Located in beautiful Provence (South of France), AIX rosé wines have become a synonym for
the trendy lifestyle of the region. As the number one choice of sommeliers, AIX is enjoyed by
celebrities and lifestyle enthusiasts who cannot escape a seductive rosé.
Whether it is during the legendary Grand Prix of Monaco, or the illustrious St. Tropez Sailing
Regatta, AIX has always been the exclusive rosé of choice.
Crafted with greatest care and awarded Gold Medal for best rosé at the famous wine show
‘Concours Général Agricole’ in Paris, AIX is not only an expression of the unique terroir in the
Provence, but a real taste of summer!
Allegrini La Grola IGT Veronese 2015
Wine Advocate 92+
The 2015 La Grola is a terrific wine, both food friendly and accessible. The blend is 90% Corvina with 10% Oseleta, which adds color and richness to the overall wine, thanks to the grape's small and compact berry size. You get terrific value here in a wine that has the aromatic intensity and textural fiber to stand up to barbecued meats or tri-tip. The fact that the wine's tannins are slightly more contained and soft means La Grola would beautifully match those spicy and smoky flavors.
Alphonse Mellot Cuvee Edmond Sancerre Blanc 2018
Wine Advocate 94+
Even in a region with such a venerable history as Sancerre, the Mellot family boasts an unusually rich heritage. Alphonse Mellot represents the 19th generation of a wine making dynasty: his ancestor, Cesar Mellot was appointed wine advisor to King Louis XIV in 1698. Great wines are not made by obsessing with the past and this is a domaine which is very much focused on the present, but with an eye to the future. A total of 45 hectares of vineyards are immaculately managed according to biodynamic principles and the wines, particularly the top cuvees, benefit from being sourced from old vines; over 80 years in the case of generation XIX. These wines show precise flavours which combine fruit and minerality with a touch of wood.
The white-golden 2016 Sancerre Edmond is clear, fresh and fragrant on the coolish, flinty, pure, concentrated, refreshingly mineral and even iron-scented nose. From about 50- to 90-year-old vines on calcareous marl soils, this is a deep, pure, fresh, refined and elegant Sancerre with a tight mineral structure, yeasty layers, great intensity, almost Riesling-like acidity and finesse and a very long, complex, grippy, lip-smacking finish. This is a powerful and sustainable classic. The 2016 is rich and powerful but full of energy, grip and tension. A Sancerre worth waiting for.
Antoine Pouget 2009
It would be difficult to miss the imposing coat of arm on the label. There is no doubt, Antoine Pouget comes from the vineyard of the prestigious Château Pouget. Its name pays homage to the founder of the vineyard, François-Antoine Pouget, King counsellor during the reign of Louis XV. The Duke de Richelieu is at the origin of the coat of arms and motto of Château Pouget. «L’amour sur ton cœur étendra sa puissance. Ton verbe sera clair comme le chant du Coq. A l’égal du Lion tu ne craindras le choc. Si de cestuy nectar tu te remplis la panse.»
Since 1906, the estate has been in the hands of the Guillemet family. Technical director Lucien Guillemet applies his vast experience into making sure the wine he produces expresses all the beauty of these gravel soils envied the world over. He manages Château Pouget with conviction, but also subtlety.
A well rounded, accessible, gourmet and fruity wine with balance and harmony, Antoine Pouget is a feminine wine. Silky and smooth, this wine possesses the balance and harmony characteristic of the finest Margaux wines.
Armand Rousseau Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Lavaux Saint-Jacques 2012
Allen Meadow 91
Here the moderately expressive nose is both more complex and more deeply pitched with more obvious earth, humus and underbrush tones to the dark currant and soft floral aromas. Here too there is very fine detail and even more minerality present on the medium-bodied flavors that offer fine depth and length on the slightly more firmly structured finale.