I had the pleasure of meeting Robert “Bobby” Kacher and sampling some of his wines today. After listening to Bobby speak for only a few minutes, his passion for his work is obvious. There was no hard sell, just a practical demonstration that over the years, he has nurtured relationships with farmers to help them move forward to produce honest, quality wines that consistently deliver value at all price levels.
The philosophy behind the Kacher portfolio from top to bottom is less is more in the winery. If you produce high-quality fruit, reduce yields, and gently handle the juice in production, you will produce a high quality wine. Bobby told us that early on, he used his own money to purchase sorting tables for some of the winemakers he worked with. This facilitated the elimination of poor quality fruit and immediately elevated the quality of the wine that was produced.
Our tasting included 16 wines that ranged in price from just under $10 to around $100. ALL of the wines delivered value in their price category.
Below is a list of the wines tasted, with a brief description.
Domaine de Pouy, Cotes de Gascogne 2011 – A blend of Ugni Blanc and Columbard, this wine is fresh, clean and crisp, with ripe citrus and floral qualities. Great for a hot summer afternoon. $8
Domaine de Gournier Rose 2010 – Light, fresh, and crisp. Don’t think about it too much, just enjoy.
Domaine de Gournier Chardonnay 2010 – Made from 30 year-old vines, this chardonnay exhibits a rich mid-palette with tropical overtones. Hard to believe it costs under $10.
Domaine Gournier Merlot 2010 – Not a New-world fruit bomb. This Merlot is balanced wiht a hint of earth and fresh dark fruits with a hint of tannin that give it structure.
Chateau Grande Cassange Greneache-Syrah 2010 – Huge ripe Grenache pop from super-ripe fruit. Syrah is picked earlier to balance the alcohol. Big and fresh.
Domaine Christophe Cordier Macon VV 2009 – Who could know that a “basic” Macon blanc could be so good. Grapes are allowed to hang until they begin to shrivel. This naturally concentrates the must to produce a rich wine that belies the typical thin Macon blanc. At $20, it costs about twice as much as other Macon Blancs, but this wine is in a class by itself.
Cazes Canon Marechal Rouge 2010 – Nice fresh an uncomplicated red at a nice price
Domaine Cazes Canon de Marechal Blanc 2010 – The nose of this wine pops with the floral aromas of Muscat, which dominates the blend. From the nose, you would swear the wine is going to taste sweet, but it give only ripe fruit.
Domaine Andre Brunel CDR “Sommelongue” 2009 – Made from a single parcel of 30 year old vines, this little gem is about 90% Grenache, this wine is . Drinks like a baby Chateauneuf du Pape.
Domaine Andre Brunel “Les Cailloux” Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 2010 – Made from Grenache, Mourvedre, and a dollop of Syrah, this CDP exhibits rich fruit, with a firm but round tannic backbone. A pleasure to drink now, but will develop over the next 10 years.
Domaine Santa Duc Gigondas “Garancieres” 2009 – A classic old-school Rhone that delivers ample chewy dark and red fruits, leather. This is a baby that will age well.
Domaine Font de Michelle Chateauneuf du Pape Elegance de Jeanne 2009 – A modern, extroverted style, with a pronounced fruitcake character. Bobby was almost apologetic about the fact that this wine deviates for from the traditional style of CDP. Judged on its own as “just a wine”, it was pretty damn good.
Maison Ambroise Hautes Cotes de Nuits Blanc 2011 – This is a great White Burgundy for $26!! Medium –bodied with a strong minerality and balanced acidity.
Maison Ambroise Bourgogne Rouge 2010 – $23 Elegant and balanced, moderate acidity, rich without being heavy
Domaine Claude Dugat Gevery Chambertin 2009 – at $94 Dollars, you might consider this expensive by Gevery Chabertin standards…until you taste it. Made from 45-80 year-old vines, this wine is complex, rich and supple with loads of ripe fruit and a slight smokiness. We did not spit this one.
Bobby made a point that he would want to be judged by the quality of his least expensive wines. The great wines are easy. Its much harder to make a great cheap wine. He is successful on both ends of the price spectrum. When you see Robert Kacher on a label, it is nearly a guarantee that what’s in the bottle will satisfy.