Friday Sips

Oregon, Yonne & Volnay Represented

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$29.99 BTL./$359.88 CASE

Where and what exactly is Epineuil? Well Francois, it is an appellation located about 14 miles east of the village of Chablis and based around its namesake village. Dedicated to red and rose wine only, lately from good producers such as Domaine Gruhier, delicious Pinot Noir wines are emerging from vineyard sites that have large portions of kimmeridgean soil. This is the same soil type as Chablis but these slopes somehow take to the Pinot Noir grape. Dominique Gruhier may well be at the top of the ladder for this appellation. Combine excellent farming with good equipment, toss in a little global warming and we are seeing very intriguing and tasty Chablisienne Pinot Noirs appearing on to the scene. The most prolific and famous site in Epineuil, Cote-de-Grisey is grown on a 45 degree slope and has very little topsoil before reaching the abundance of Kimmeridgian soil. In olden days, Chardonnay was more prevalent but over time and due to the Langres plateau, protecting the normally chilly, windblown hillside allows Pinot Noir to ripen very well.

Brilliantly detailed, sultry aromas of strawberries, cinnamon smoked earth and late-arriving black raspberry aromas follow through to a texture that is invigorating and exuberant with plenty of depth, sneaky power, enthralling minerality and ample length. One of the main issues with this wine is that bottle tends to be emptied very quickly. No problem to drink numerous bottles and no problem to age for another ten years. Enjoy with roasted chicken and chanterelles, lamb tagine, robust fishes, Langres cheese or a Thai beef stir-fry that is not loaded with incendiary spice.

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$22.99 BTL./$275.88 CASE

It is ludicrous to refer to this wine as 'entry level' simply because the scion material that goes into this blend is quite impressive. Entirely declassified from their single vineyards (Durant, Whistling Ridge, Fir Crest, Lewman & Temperance Hill), this Pinot Noir is a great representation of a Village blend of Eola-Amity, Dundee Hills, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton represented. Always, once this wine is about to sell out and move on to a new vintage, it really starts to unfold and the fabulous 2019 is no exception.

Ample whole cluster fermentation gives this wine nice grip but as always, Marcus produces wines of terrific breed and character. Sensuous, refined aromas of blackberry, strawberry, soft, slightly elusive herbs, spices, and an underlay of earth and red-hot candy pepper tones build and build. Silky and seductive with clarity and exquisite finesse along with ultra-fine depth of fruit and backbone. All of the spices that are on the nose are present on the drawn-out finish. Drink this superb over-achieving Oregon Pinot over the next 8-10 years.

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$49.99 BTL./$599.88 CASE - LIMITED

Chassagne-Montrachet maestro Laurent Pillot’s Volnay may well be the most prolific value in his lineup of all of his 2018 offerings. Two of the five sites are Premier Cru vineyards (Ronceret and Brouillards) and it is not a quality issue. Laurent does not bottle these separately since there is not enough to make for full cuvees so all of the vineyard sites are blended together to make quite an attractive French Pinot Noir.

Pole vaulting perfume! Very exciting from the get-go! Touches of oak up front with cinnamon and clove spiciness. Peppercorn and lacy strawberry fruit abound. Youthful as to be expected. Layered and stacked with Premier Cru depth. Lovely persistence and spreads out impeccably. Here is where the curse words in my notebook of excitement commenced, use your imagination. As tempting as this wine ienjoy now, I would opt to hold this one for another year or two and it will develop exquisitely through 2031+.