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CHATEAU MUSAR: LIBRARY STOCK ROSE (YES... ROSE!)


A little over a year ago, the Chateau Musar Rose arrived on US shores

Not the Jeaune, which is the deeply colored $20-ish cinsault-based rose. This is not that. Its own thing. A very rare creature...... dare I call it a unicorn?  I had heard of it, glimpsed images of it in the background of photos, perhaps seen it in dreams.

musar rose library.jpgBut it wasn't until I actually visited the actual cellars of Chateau Musar, and had a very wonderful dinner with my traveling group at the home of the Hochar family, that I actually tasted it. After much begging and pleading, the 2012 (that was the current vintage, even in 2014) finally arrived on US shores.

And last summer, in London, I had a chance to taste the 1995 and 1996.

Yes... 20 year old roses... and they were amazing. If you had a chance to try the Lopez de Heredia Rosado that was the coolest thing going about five years ago, that would be the closest comparison. Like that one, this is not a fruity rose. It was very slightly oxidative, with an almost flor-like note under the ghostly fruit quality. But it's richer, silkier, more densely textured, but without heaviness. There was a hint of savory spice and the whiff of memories forgotten and the magical, mystical quality that always seems to swirl around Chateau Musar.

In practical terms? Those old roses were awesome.

So... while I don't have any of the 1995 and 1996 to sell, I do have some more recent library stock. Less than a case each of 2006, 2004, and 2001. Yes: 2006. 2004. 2001.

Some technical details? It's the same base wine as the whites - made from the mystical old vines of obidah and merwah - with the addition of a bit of cinsault for color and a subtle berry note. Given the extreme ageability of the both Musar reds and whites, it shouldn't be a surprise that this is a rose that can age. So don't be afraid to hide some away.

And don't wait to grab some - I may not be able to get more.

Price List:
2006 - $62.99
2004 - $62.99
2001 - $79.99

To buy, go to our WINES page
Search: MUSAR
Select ROSE on the dropdown menu

 
 
 

Fog Monster: Swartland Meets Amador County


Fog Monster is the California project of Chris and Andrea Mullineux (of the celebrated Swartland winery Mullineux Wines). It’s one way Andrea stays connected to her West Coast homeland while keeping one foot in South Africa, her husband’s native land. Named for great fogbanks that roll through the Sierra Foothills, both Fog Monster cuvées are undeniably influenced by the unique climate of Amador County.

Fog Monster Chenin 2.jpgFog Monster Chenin Blanc Story Vineyard 2012 (Amador County, California):

This wine comes from ungrafted vines of chenin blanc, planted at about 1900 feet above sea level in the Story Vineyard. This is the same vineyard site used by Sandlands winemaker Tegan Passalacqua, but Andrea's using carbonic maceration here, which translates to more skin contact and a very silky, round body. A touch of oxidation adds more richness to this already luxurious wine while white flowers grace the nose. This is Californian chenin blanc at its most debonair.

Price: $52.99
 
 
 

Fog Monster: Swartland Meets Amador County


Fog Monster Grenache.jpgFog Monster Grenache Shake Ridge Vineyard 2012 (Amador County, California):

This cuvee comes from grenache vines planted in the Shake Ridge vineyard at about 1300 feet above sea level. To garner the best possible texture and structure from this cuvee, Andrea uses whole-cluster fermentation. The result is a Grenache that is firm, not flabby or overly fruity, with a round, soft mouth feel and a nose of dusty, perfectly ripe raspberries and early morning fog. If you've tried the Tribute to Grace Shakeridge Grenache, this is an alternative expression of the same site. We you think you should try them both - consider it part of your vinous education.


Price: $52.99
 
 
 

BRING ON THE BUBBLES: The Unforgettable Pink One


George Laval Champagne Premier Cru Cumières Brut Nature Rose NV (Champagne, France):

Laval Rose.jpgIn the world of Champagne rosé, this is a stunning value. It's the Champagne rosé that left a lasting impression: it's developed a nose of ripe, luscious strawberries balanced by pastry crust. Laval's fruit is pristine; organically grown with minimal intervention in the winery. The result is unforgettable and the color is the perfect blushing-bride-after-her-wedding-day shade of pink. (Disgorged 10.31.2013)

Price: $131.99
 
 
 

BRING ON THE BUBBLES: The Delicious Pink One


pouillon rose.jpgR. Pouillon et Fil Champagne Brut Rose de Marceration Premier Cru NV (Champagne, France):

No need to limit your pink drinks to still wine. We have bubbles too! We’re partial to this one, a rose de maceration from R. Pouillon. Its intense pink color comes by way of 12 hours skin contact on the base wine. Most pink champagnes go pink when a bit of red wine is added right before the final cork is added. But when this pink-making method is used (also called saignée, which is a different sort of saignée than the one involved with non-sparkling rose) the results tend to be more intensity, structure… and yes, color. Technical babble aside, this is a delicious wine with notes of wild strawberries, a bit of biscuit and a lip-smacking freshness that makes it very, very easy to finish the bottle.

Price: $54.99

 
 
 

JURA DUTY: The Book Kind


jura wine book.jpgA little over a year ago, we sent out a notice about Wink Lorch’s KickStarter campaign to fund her efforts to publish the first ever English language book on Jura wine. Wink has been visiting and writing about the region since 1999 – long before it had made the radar of even the geekiest wine geek. She was convinced (begged, really) to embark on this book project by those of us eager for more info on the mystical, magical place where the white wines challenge your conception of what a white wine can be, and the reds are shockingly light in color but surprisingly big in flavor.

The project was a huge success and the book is here! Consider it Jura duty of the best kind. You won’t find a better, more definitive guide to the region than her simply titled: Jura Wine

Not to get all infomercially, but at $38, it's less than ½ the price of a bottle of the region’s mythical vin jaune. So if you're a looking to learn more, it's well worth the investment.

What?

You haven’t heard of the Jura??? Unless you happen to shop in a handful of wine shops scattered across the country, that’s pretty much expected. The region is a tiny, obscure part of France tucked over near Switzerland. You've probably never heard of some of the region's most important grapes (Savagnin? Poulsard? Trousseau?) And you probably haven’t had anything like the region’s light, ethereal, sneakinly complex reds. Or its slightly twangy, often oxidative whites. Or its top dog vin jaune that ages practically forever. No, unless you’re a wine geek or hang out with them, you probably haven’t heard of these wines. But there's a good chance you'll like them.

 
 
 

BRING ON THE BUBBLES: The Sneaky Value One


Alexandre Filaine Cuvee Speciale Brut NV
(Champagne, France):

Filaine.jpgUnless you regularly skulk around in the geeky depths of the grower champagne world, you’ve probably never heard of the Fabrice Gass (the winemaker) or Alexandre Filaine (the wine.) But you probably have heard of Bollinger. Well, we’ll let you in on a little secret. Fabrice is involved in both Bolly and Filaine. Not surprisingly, Filaine has a lushness  and opulence that remind us of Bolly. But for a few less bucks. It’s one of those strange miracles of the modern wine world – you can get the tiny production, minimally-messed with bottles for less than the larger production goods. Why? We don’t know. But we’re happy when it works out this way.

Price: $52.99

 
 
 

Summer in the Alps


Caloz Fendant.jpgCave Caloz Les Coteaux de Sierre Fendant La Mourzière 2013 (Valois, Switzerland):

Established in 1960, Cave Caloz has garnered quite the reputation among Swiss wine enthusiasts. Fendant, known to most of us as Chasselas, is a weightier grape with an expression not unlike a chardonnay or grenache gris. It can be a boring grape if the vines are not tended properly, as vines over-produce when left to their own devices. Fendant la Mourziere is round with a hint of alpine flowers, a texturally pleasing mouth feel, and a long, mineral-laden finish.

Price: $33.99
 
 
 

BRING ON THE BUBBLES: The (Not Really) New One


corbon 1995.jpgLet us tell you about one of our favorite new champagne growers. OK, “new” might not but the right word because the family has been growing grapes in Avize since 1912, but the estate is new to us and to the US market, so we’re very excited to introduce the wines. So, on to the details:

Corbon Champagne is a small estate in the Grand Cru village of Avize, located in the Cote de Blancs. As the name implies, this sub-region is known for turning out excellent bubblies made from the chardonnay grape, and the Blanc de Blancs of Corbon prove this point.

The estate is overseen by Agnes Corbon who returned to the family vines in 2004 after a stint working in the European food business as an engineer and buyer. In the 1970s, her father, Claude, worked up the courage (with a little push from the economic downturn) to keep the grapes and make champagne under the family label. Agnes has continued the work he started, experimenting with organics in the vineyard, and turning out wines that we love and are eager to introduce to a wider audience.

We’re lucky enough to have a range of Corbon wines in stock. And recently, we were even luckier to host a wine dinner featuring some library bottles (a.k.a. older and straight from the estate cellar) that prove how well the wines can age.

Corbon Blanc de Blancs Brut 2004 (battonage) – there's also a non-battonage cuvee, but if pressed, we'll admit we prefer this one - it's the richer of the two, showing more biscuit notes and texture. Price: $59.99

Corbon Blanc de Blancs Brut 1995 MAGNUM – absolutely gorgeous. Showing the toffee and rich brioche that comes with age, while maintaining an underlying freshness. Price: $280 (that’s essentially $140/bottle for gorgeously aged bubbles direct from the estate cellar)

To purchase, go to our WINES pages and search on CORBON.

 
 
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