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May 2012

Domaine Grisy Bourgogne Rouge 2009

Domaine Grisy is a well made value wine from a slightly overlooked corner of a great wine region.  It's wines like this that punch above their weight (or drink above their price as it were) that Devenish wines is built on and loves to search out. 


Domaine Grisy is a 18th generation family winery at the northern edge of Burgundy and just south of Chablis.  This is Chardonnay territory due to the cooler temps and chalky soil; however Grisy has south facing slopes that get a bit extra sun.  Pinot Noir does well for them, particularly in special vintages such as this: 2009.  Even in normal vintages Grisy makes really nice Pinot that's racy, fresh, and shows of the chalk and limestone in the soil.  2009 was hotter than normal though and the wine is correspondingly riper and more developed.

Aroma: The aroma is a mix heady roses and ripe berries with undertones of cooked cherries and a hint of char/charcoal.  It's very inviting but has a dark concentrated quality lurking.

Taste: I get a lot of dark concentrated berry; cherries, black raspberry, and cranberry jam.  There's a vivid dark raspberry to the finish and just the barest hint of gamy barnyard on the mid palate giving the wine an added dimension.  The acidity is bright and refreshing, but it's behind that lush, supple fruit and isn't immediately apparent. 

This is a really well integrated, supple, red Burgundy for $18 or so.  It's smooth and calm but also bright.  I think this is an excellent hot weather wine thanks to it's deft touch and lighter body.  Throw this in the fridge for half an hour and it'll be perfect!  It's available at the Rosemonts, Whole Foods, The Meat House, and Black Cherry Provisions.

Domaine Chardon Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Domaine Chardon is run by, guess who: the Chardon family!  They're located a ways down the Loire from Sancerre, nearer to Vouvray.  Touraine is a big region with a lot of varitation, but this Sauvignon Blanc is really something special.  It's the first vintage I've had from Chardon so I don't really know what the winery's track record is, but this vintage at least is fantastic. 


I saw their vineyard when I went over and visited the Chardons and it has lots of silex flint and tuffeau white limestone in the soil.  This seems to shine through in the wine in the form of brightly vivid acidity as well as aromas of lemon zest, hints of kiwi, fresh mint, and some pineapple.  The aroma is really engaging and intense; makes me think of a fresh verdant spring garden.

As I drink this I'm impressed by it's depth of flavors that all work together.  It has that really bright, high pitched, vibrant acidity, citrus, and minerality up front.  It's fun and playful tasting.  But behind/underneath it has a deep rich texture that fills your mouth and helps the flavors hang on and linger.  It's a very fun refreshing wine up front, but it has depths that you don't notice at first; it will work well with a lot of food.

This is probably the best Loire Sauvignon Blanc I've had in a few months.  Maybe I'm not drinking enough really high end Sancerre, but regardless, this blows every other Loire Sauv Blanc I've had out of the water.  It's under $15 retail.  you can get it at the Rosemonts, Browne Trading, Aurora Provisions, Freeport Cheese and Wine Shop, Provisions in South Freeport, Bandaloop, Oak Hill Beverage, and the Blue Hill Wine Shop!


Midsummer Cellars Grenache Rose 2011

Well, actually it's a Grenache and Viognier rose; primarily Grenache with maybe 15% Viognier blended in.  This is made by Rollie Heitz out in Napa with fruit from two small family growers.  He made 300 odd cases.  I tasted this the other night with two other wine professionals: Joe Appel and Rodney of St and Co.  It was the surprise of the night.  We agreed that if we were blind tasting we'd peg it as Bandol.  Very good Bandol.  It's that damn good. 


The aroma is pretty strawberry and rhubarb fruit that straddles the line between elegant and powerful.  peaking out behind the fruit is a whiff of caramel and gingerbread baked goods; not in a sweet way, in a rich spice kind of way.

On the palate the wine is a beautifully balanced symphony of ripe strawberry, fresh rhubarb, raw Cinnamon, and a hint of the spice of crystallized ginger.  The wine has good acidity, but plenty of depths underneath.  The finish is quite long and mildly peppery.

I can say with confidence that this is the best rose I've had this year.  It's available at the Honey Exchange, the Rosemont on Brighton and the Rosemont on Munjoy Hill for about or just less than $25

Belland Chassagne Montrachet Rouge 1er Cru "Morgeot Clos Pitois" 2007

It's funny how temperamental red Burgundy can be.  A year ago Brendon Pringle and our friend Jetson opened a bottle of this same wine and found it to be totally closed down and devoid of fruit.  I had a completely different expirience with it the other night.


This Pinot Noir managed to be totally refined, suave, confidant, and supple as well as having a dark animalistic component.  It was a totally seamless, but surprising juxtaposition of flavors. The aroma was intoxicating; I couldn't stop going back to try to pick out more aromas of smoke, roasted nuts, ripe cherries, roses, and roasted meat.  The aroma was extremely seductive and attractive, but also with a bright, wild, volatile quality. 

On the palate the wine was smooth and velvety, flowing over and engulfing my palate and taste buds like a rising tide.  The palate had brightly defined cherry fruit at first, but then descended into darker smokier territory.  This wine tickled every taste bud I had and was almost too smooth and polished to believe.  It's a perfectly balanced and drinkable Red Burgundy.

I'm sorry I'm again writing about a wine that I don't really have for sale but it was so fantastic I couldn't help tempting you all with it.  I had just 4 bottles of this left in my warehouse and since pulling this one it's down to 3.  If the description sounds interesting email me and you might be able to snag one of the remaining.  It will be about $40 retail.

I met Roger down in NY about a month back and was really impressed by his straight forward and honest opinion of wine in general, his own in particular, and wine making broadly.  His wines impressed me a lot too!  Belland's wines are always very cleanly defined and expressive of the place and vintage they come from, echoing his personal straight forwardness. He's a fifth generation wine maker/farmer (when I met him in NY he was clear he got his hands dirty and was a farmer)  He has been farming with out pesticides for over 20 years now. 

This Chassagne Montrachet Rouge comes from a single enclosed vineyard owned completely by Roger Belland.  It is approximately 7 acres planted half and half to Pinot and Chardonnay.