Friday, March 13, 2009

Vins de Garde - New Wines for the Cellar

"Vins de Garde" is an ongoing list of some of the best wines I have recently tasted that are perfect candidates for the well rounded cellar. Updated as needed, many are available at the shop, at least at time of posting, but as with so much of the small grower wines we carry, many are pretty limited in supply. This week focuses on some great value wines that offer the opportunity to stock the cellar with affordable wines that will provide excellent drinking in the 4-10 year period without breaking the bank. Please feel free to comment or contact me with any questions on wine in general, storage, or advice in stocking your cellar! To see if these wines are still available visit us at 56 Degree Wine or click on the link to the wine below. Cheers - Chris

Earlier this year we offered the 2001 Ada Nada Barbaresco Elisa, a lovely wine just beginning to come into its own and display some of the secondary developments in aroma and flavors that only the patient ever get to taste in great Nebbiolo. It sold out immediately, but it provided a great window into what we can expect from the recently released 2004, which is now available.

Ada Nada Barbaresco Elisa 2004 - The winery was founded in 1919 and is now run by the fourth generation Annalisa and her husband Elvio. Located just east of Alba in the Barbaresco hills in Treiso, they also have run a lovely Agritourismo the opened in 1997 after they restored the family farmhouse. Here they craft lovely traditional Barbarescos that are neither too rustic nor too modern. The Elisa vineyard is a sub-section of older vines in the Valeirano vineyard (think La Spinetta, but this is half the price), with its classic clayey, calcareous white marl soils that are of ancient marine origins. The 2004 has lovely dried cherry tones, moderate tannins that are fine grained and ripe, hints of leather, spice and rose with a great long finish. Could be enjoyed now with a decanting and a big fat veal chop on the grill, but best between 2010-2015. Better yet, it's only $42 per bottle.

Chateau Lauriol Cotes de Francs 2005 - This wine wine is the second label of Chateau Puygueraud, the Thienpont family's estate in the Cotes de Francs ( think Pavie Macquin, Puygueraud, Larcis Ducasse, Bellevue in this side of the family, and Le Pin and Vieux Chateu Certan on the other), the smallest of all the Bordeaux Appellations. The vineyards here are mainly clay and have a little limestone too. We have sold this for about 5-6 months now but recently tasted it again with Francoise Thienpont on a recent visit he made to the shop. In the short time since we last had it it has relaxed its rustic grip just enough to be somewhat approachable now, but also giving a glimpse of where this super value price Bordeaux might be headed with five or so years in the bottle. It is lovely old school Bordeaux, cool and structured but not "green" at all. Dark ruby purple, with tea and plum tones and a deep, restrained elegance. Solid, dense, dark fruits, earthy, classic Bordeaux. It is about 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. At only $19.50, it's a steal! Who says age worthy Bordeaux has to be expensive?

Les Chenes de Macquin 2006 Saint Emilion - Second labels have always had a place in my stingy Scottish heart (and cellar) for their ability to deliver 2/3 or more of the character of some of their senior relatives at about 1/2 the price. Also owned by the Thienpont family, this wine (second label of Chateau Pavie Macquin) definately fits the bill. Only made in certain years (none in 2008, 2007, 2004) only about 700cs were made of the 2006 making it a pretty rare find. It is from younger vines and barrels that for what ever reason do not fit the final blend for the Pavie Macquin, it is classic St. Emilion with lovely sweet, red fruits, aromatic, creamy berries and vanilla/oak compliments. Lovely, elegant, juicy, red fruits. Classy, approachable now but a far better bet is to hold it until at least 2012-2016+. About $40 per bottle.

To learn more about these wineries visit the following links:

Chateau Lauriol
Ada Nada
Chateau Pavie Macquin

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