Friday Sips

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February 15, 2013

French Wines from Sancerre, Crozes-Hermitage & Burgundy

$21.99 BTL./$251.88 CASE

Upon meeting Laurent Combier for the first time, one wonders just when this energetic dude finds time to sleep. Along with being one of the top producers of Crozes-Hermitage, Laurent is also a partner in a vineyard in Priorat, Spain called Trio Infernal and is totally committed to the vineyards with both projects.

Combier’s wines are expressive, full of smoothness, emphasizing Syrah’s fine fruit character and above all, displaying rock-star aromatics. This particular cuvee is the entry into Laurent’s Crozes-Hermitage world. Smoky, peppery and chock full of cassis, currants and cracked pepper. Lavishly flavored with resounding burst, this is showing beautifully and complete along with and having more persistence and length than usual due to the rigorous and meticulous farming employed by Combier. Enjoy over the next 5 years.

$27.99 BTL./$335.88 CASE

Question: What is the best $30 Pinot Noir that you are working with??? At this moment one answer that instantly jumps to mind is this outstanding over-achiever from one of the benchmark Domaines of Nuits-St-Georges. Interestingly enough, next to Domaine Chauvenet’s Vosne-Romanée, this is the smallest production of the Domaine.

Receiving all of the love that the top Premiers Crus, this wine is one hell of a glass of Pinot!! Refined, yet elusive aromas, quite formidable for just having the mere Bourgogne appellation status. Cherry-pit, cooking herbs, violets give way to a texture that is well-formed with excellent mid-palate depth and

$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

Great Sancerre from apex producers gets us as excited as a Hollywood plastic surgeon during Botox, oops, we mean Oscar Season!! Located in the picturesque village of Chavignol. Domaine Thomas-Labaille is a producer of purity and one who prefers to take the pie higher by highlighting Chavignol even more so than Sancerre on the label. The Monts Damnés (or Damned Mountains) Vineyard which dominates the scenery of Chavignol is a virtual white-out of sorts with the terres blanches soil that prevails and is what makes this vineyard and wine oh so special.

When tasted on this Chavignol last week, it certainly put me in a most excellent mood! Alluring classic, yet genteel Sancerre aromas of peat, pronounced mineral, lime and subtle fennel scents. Smoky and focused in the mouth with plenty of intensity in a restrained package; the finish is expansive and possessing nice drive. Perfect fodder with just about any seafood ranging from freshly shucked oysters to sole bathed in a tarragon-cream sauce.