I'm in love with this, a temptress of a Bourgogne, a 2014 outplaying its older sibling from 2010, a vintage more highly touted for reds. You all know I don't score wines, but if I played the game, this would be a 95-96.
Domaine Hubert Lamy, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru, Derrière Chez Edouard, Vieilles Vignes, 2014
A long name for a wine that lives up to every letter in its name and to just about any dream and expectation you might have for a Premier Cru. It conjures a picturesque portrait of an autumnal forest and decaying fungi bolstered by understated power that together are the prime reason Burgundy freaks find the reds so evocative. If you had to choose just one producer in Burgundy for your desert island, Lamy would be a good candidate. His whites are precise, racy and complex, coolly tempting you with their bracing, saline texture and flint-laced aromas. And the same artisanal skill, care and precision are carried on to the reds. It doesn't hurt that Saint-Aubin is such a treasure trove for great vineyards of both colors. This is as complex, deep and filigree as, say, a Volnay Premier Cru, its allure growing stronger as it unfolds, a soft core of mellow red fruit braced by rasping tannins and enveloped by muscular fruit of a ever darker persuasion. (Apr. 14, 2020)
Larmandier-Bernier, Champagne Premier Cru, Rosé de Saignée, Extra Brut, n.v.
(I think 2014 based) Larmandier's wines are always more about the grapes and terroir than the autolysis character of Champagne, so they are sometimes misunderstood and underrated. But, if and when you do fall for them, they'll ruin other Champagnes for you. Anyway, this highlights the varietal character at the base of this pure Pinot Noir - earthy, and autumnal with broad, deep umami flavors - as well as the edgy, chalky character of Vertus. It's detailed and nuanced and paired well with both the salmon and lamb roast. (Apr. 8, 2020)
Tzora, Shoresh, Red, 2008
Mature, but still very vigorous, almost youthful, in fact. It has lost just a bit of sweetness to show an earthy, graphite character at its core, without letting the tannins overwhelm the fruit. Age has gifted it with harmony and purity of expression and has added some nuances to the complexity a young Shoresh already shows - and it only develops more complexity and power with air. Despite the changes and improvements in winery in the ensuing decade plus, it would be very recognizable as Tzora, even Shoresh, at a blind tasting. (Apr. 9, 2020)
Tzora, Shoresh, White, 2016
I used to think you either got tropical fruit in a Sauvignon or the delectable saltiness of the Loire. The Shoresh proves you don't have to settle for just one. (Apr. 14, 2020)
Tzora, Misty Hills, 2014
2014 was a killer vintage for Tzora, the Shoresh red a rock-strewn amalgam of black fruits that were dense and tannic rather than ripe and sweet. The Misty Hills, on the other hand, comes off as smoother and more plush - and finer in the sense that it’s hewn of a finer fabric and more elegant fruit. The ripeness of the fruit and the tannins are well contained, not to say controlled outright, which obscures any sense of undue weight. It's not yet as interesting as the 2014 Shoresh was at a younger age, but it's an extremely promising wine, which, like the Shoresh 2008, displays aromas so typical of the Tzora vineyards that it is, in effect, a textbook example of the character of Judean Hills terroir. (Apr. 15, 2020)
Freeman Winery, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay, Ryu-Fu, 2017
The back label says "Ryu-Fu" is Japanese for cool wind and hopes the drinker will sense the breezes coursing through the vineyards the grapes come from, which are three of the coolest in Russian River. It also calls the wine Burgundian styled. The Ryu-Fu lives up to both claims. If you ever swooned for the precision, focus and racy elegance, the salty backbone and finish, the complex, flint-tinged aromas - of a good Premier Cru in a temperate vintage, this is exactly what you will find here. A vivid wine, full of zest and life, just slightly fatter than its counterparts in the Cote. (Apr. 15, 2020)