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

 

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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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try a Cotes du Rhone – Crowd Pleasers, Great Values!

 

I was relaxing at the beach with a few fellow wine afficionados listening to “Red Solo Cup” by Toby Keith while sipping on a Red Solo Cup full of Chateau Givaudan CDR (Cotes du Rhone – “coat doo rone”) (My daughter made sure that the cups we brought were actual Red Solo Cups.  I hope Mr. Keith is getting royalties.). I as saw my co-drinkers swirling their cups and taking deep sniffs,  I couldn’t help but feel there was a white elephant in the room. (on the beach, actually) I’m sure everyone was thinking:  If a $15 CDR was this good out of a plastic cup, how good would it be out of a proper glass?  Who forgot the Riedels?

All the fun aside, the Southern Rhone is a region that provides excellent value and consistently outperforms it price. Not to mention, the Southern Rhone has experienced a run of stellar vintages, save for 2008 vintage. Rich red and dark fruits, nutmeg, allspice, pepper, and at times, leather – If any of this sounds intriguing, pick up a bottle of Cote du Rhone, Cote du Rhone Village, or some of the satellites like Ventoux, Luberon, Lirac, and Vacqueyras. If you are slready drinking Garnacha or Monastrell from Spain, or Petite Sirah and other Rhone Rangers from California, Southern Rhone is a no-brainer.  I have found most people that are primed to try these wines return to repeat and further explore the wines of the region. Either way, at $10-15 on average for the basic Cote du Rhone, CDR Village, or satellite appellation wines, there is not a huge outlay for an experiment that holds a high probability of success.

I have compiled a short list of wines to try if you feel like expanding your horizons.

Chateau Givaudan CDR 2010 $15

The “Red Solo Cup”  Wine.  Loads of fruit, nice extraction without being a fruit bomb.  Rich a satisfying.  Have it with a juicy steak, lamb, or medium to strong cheeses.  The alcohol content is certainly understated at 13.5%.

Dauvergne Ranvier CDR 2009 $15

88 points. Ripe and fresh, with a tasty beam of raspberry and blackberry fruit backed by spice and mesquite notes. A hint of anise chimes in on the finish. Grenache and Syrah. Drink now. Wine Spectator, 03/2011

Dauvergne Ranvier Luberon 2009 $10

86 points. Stylish, with elegant cherry and floral notes. There’s a dash of lavender on the breezy finish. Drink now. Wine Spectator, 10/2011

Guigal CDR 2009 $12

Always a solid performer.  Guigal is one of the top producers of the Rhone Valley.  Drinking a 2006 now (2012) Holding up like a champ.  Current release on my shelves is 2009.  Excellent bridge wine.

 

 

Dom Princimelle Gervais CDR Village 2009 $12

You get a big whiff of leather from the Syrah when you first open this wine.  This initial funkiness will blow off after about 30 minutes to reveal red and dark fruits, pepper, and yummy spice.  This wine demonstrates a little more of the earthy side of the Rhone. Really Nice! 88 points PFG (RM)

Domaine Sarcin 2009 $10

This is a lighter, fruity style.  No oak, no tannin, just pure, juicy red and dark berries.  Very Easy Drinking.  85 points PG (RM)

Gonnet Cairraine 2010 $15

 A nice balance between fruit, earth, and structure.  In the end, the fruit wins – bursting with juicy blackberry, blueberry, and candied black cherry.  Drink This! 90 points RFG (RM)

If you want to take it to the next level:

Santa Duc Gigondas 2009 $28

Ugly label, great wine!!  The dark chocolate notes from the Syrah well up through the surface of black cherry spice.  Enough leather and pepper to remind you of its Old-World roots.

Gonnet Gigondas 2009 $24

Forget about the “G”.  This is a smoking bottle of wine for the price.  Unfiltered, chewy.  Ample red and dark fruits, with corriander, nutmeg, pepper and leather.  Quite chewy – I have a Rabbit aerator: this wine always clogs it. Better than it should be at $24.  From the same winemaker as Santa Duc Gigondas above.  A must try, WOW! RFA (RM)

Upper Price Range – Chateauneuf du Pape (Coming Soon)