100 Point Wines Other than Bordeaux vs. Bordeaux 100 Point Wines – OUCH!

100 Point Wines from Regions other than Bordeaux

100 Point Wines from Regions other than Bordeaux, Click to see a larger image so you can read the text



100 Point Bordeaux. Click to see a larger image so you can read the text

This information was forwarded to me by my Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) Fine Wine Rep.

The price differential between Bordeaux and anywhere not Bordeaux at this level is dramatic.

Stained Fingers, Purple Teeth, and Some Really Good Wines – Specs Liquors Bordeaux Cru Classe Tasting 2010 Vintage

I had an exciting opportunity to taste over 50 2010 Bordeaux at the Specs Liquors Cru Classe tasting last week.  The impressive list of wines included the newly elevated Chateau Angelus, Lynch Bages, Chateau Clinet, Pichon Baron, and Smith Haut Lafite. For the complete list click here.

With so many wines and the social atmosphere at the event, it was impossible to fully contemplate each wine.   When this is the case, I employ the speed dating approach, tasting relatively quickly, making note of wines that stand out from the bunch.

The first wine I tasted was Smith Haut Lafite Blanc.  I immediately thought “This wine is really good.”  This impression held throughout the tasting.  In a sea of red wines with only four whites offered at this tasting, the Smith Haut Lafite would definitely hit my top five list.  Other standouts were Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton, Chateau Angelus, and Chateau Clinet.   Don’t get me wrong.  There were many excellent wines,  This is just a short list of wines that

Early drinking wines would be Clerc Milon, d’Armailhac, Haut Batailley, Clos I’ Oratoire, Cannon la Gaffeliere, along with the sub-$30 wines and most of the seconds.

Based on this sampling, my impression is that the hype for 2010 Bordeaux is justified.  The Bordelais characterize the 2010 vintage as classic Bordeaux.  In comparison, the wines of 2009 are slightly fatter and rounder, and if you must, would be better for early drinking.  The majority of the 10s were understandably tight with plenty of teeth-staining tannin.  Nonetheless,   the wines were sleek, precise, and hinted at the magnificent wines they will become as they integrate and soften a bit.

Like the 2005 and 2009s, 2010 is another vintage that will provide value at the lower price tier.  it is a safe bet to pick a wine at any price point from this vintage and expect to find a relatively nice wine. While the inexpensive 2005s are drinking pretty well at the moment, a 2009 or 2010 could benefit from a year or two of cellaring or an hour in a decanter.

I left the Specs Cru Classe tasting with stained fingers, purple teeth and confirmation that all the hype regarding the 2010 vintage is justified.  It is seldom I taste over 50 wines and don’t find a single dog in the bunch.  This was that type of tasting.

Take a look at the list of available Bordeaux from this tasting.  Pricing is quoted on individual bottles and cases.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


Robert Kacher – Passion and Great Wines


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.