Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rare French Wines Left Out Of The Newsletter...Doh!

So I wrote the following article for The Wine Country's newest newsletter, so when we got the early copy, (after it had been sent to the printers...of course) I flipped through the massive thing only to find that this article had been left out. When I brought it to Randy's attention he was all red faced...he had simply forgotten. Such a bummer as the newsletter reaches many more people, but whadda you gonna do?! Anyway, just so the damn thing is not wasted I figured I would just throw it up on the blog.

There are some wines that come in and out so quickly that they never grace the pages of this newsletter, we just get so little of them that there really is no point. That has always bothered me because I know there are a bunch of people that never have the opportunity to buy and taste such thrilling wines due to the simple fact that they were never aware they were in the store, so sad to me! Well, thanks to timing and in some cases a slightly larger allocation, we are able to get a few of these super rare French wines, (and we are talking so rare, that with some there are only a few bottles) in print and hopefully, in the hands of those of you that have been dying to try them. As I mentioned, these wines are extremely rare, and available in tiny quantities, so if you’re “thinking about it” you better stop thinking and get moving, they will not be around long.

Domaine Comte Lafon

The wines from Comte Lafon are released once a year, we get a few bottles of this and a few of that and even his Montrachet, which we get only one bottle of, and sells for over $1,000.00 a bottle, not a case, a bottle, sells out the day it gets in the store. Those that know these wines, have tasted their sheer power and grace, they gobble them up before anyone else can get their hands on them, thankfully we were able to scoop up a little extra this year. Dominique Lafon is not only considered one of the best winemakers in Meursault, or Burgundy, he is regarded as one of the best in the world. Chardonnay in this man’s hands is taken to levels unlike anything I have ever tasted, beyond good Chardonnay, beyond good white wine, these are some of the best wines, period, that I have ever tasted. Because his whites are so sought after, many overlook this reds, big mistake as they are delicious, very age worthy Pinot Noirs made by an amazing winemaker.

Wines available from Domaine Comte Lafon
2006 Comte Lafon Meursault $109.99
2006 Comte Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre $126.99
2006 Comte Lafon Meursault Goutte d’Or 1er Cru $162.99
2006 Comte Lafon Meursault Charmes 1er Cru $194.99
2006 Comte Lafon Volnay $79.99
2006 Comte Lafon Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 1er Cru $132.99

Wines from Les Hertiers du Comte Lafon, (from the more southern region of Maconnais)
2007 Les Heretiers du Comte Lafon Macon-Milly-Lamartine $29.99
2007 Les Heretiers du Comte Lafon Macon-Chardonnday Clos de la Crochette $37.99
2007 Les Heretiers du Comte Lafon Macon-Milly-Lamartine Clos du Four $38.99
2007 Les Herretiers du Comte Lafon Macon-Uchizy Les Maranches $37.99
2007 Les Heretiers du Comte Lafon Macon-Brussieres Le Monsard $38.99

Last year we wrote about the tragic and untimely passing of one of the wine world’s greatest winemakers, know almost as much for his wild look, and calling out his neighbors and their sloppy vineyard practices but he was ultimately known for producing world class wines out of Sauvignon Blanc, in the Loire Valley. That winemaker was Didier Dagueneau, a man that believed and eventually produced wines from Sauvignon Blanc that would rival those of Burgundy’s Cote d’Or, he will be greatly missed. Didier’s son Benjamin had been working with his father, preparing for the day he would take over at the estate, that day sadly came sooner than anyone anticipated, but all reports are that young Benjamin has made a seamless transition and is filling those rather large shoes beautifully. 2007 was the last vintage Didier had a hand in, needless to say, they will not be around long.

2007 Dagueneau Blanc Fume de Pouilly $64.99
2007 Dagueneau Blanc Fume de Pouilly Silex $119.99
2006 Dagueneau Clos du Calvaire $119.99

I still remember the first time I tasted the wines from Christophe Peyrus, it was four years ago when Randy and I had dinner with importer Michael Sullivan of Beaune Imports. Randy brought with him a Spanish wine that he was crazy about, a big opulent Grenache from Campo de Borja, we tasted the wine and talked about the rich dense fruit, deep extraction and deliciousness. Just as we were about to pour another glass, Michael reached into his wine bag, pulled out a bottle and filled our glasses, one sip and we were rendered speechless. Once Randy recovered he asked, “What is this?” to which Michael responded, “that is Grenache done right, that is Clos Marie”. We have been carrying the wines from this famed Languedoc producer ever since. Known as the top estate of the appellation, the wines sell out lightening fast and because this is one of my “crossover” wines, (wines that I recommend to New World wine lovers) they will not be around long.

2007 Clos Marie L’Olivette $20.99
2006 Clos Marie Simon $30.99
2005 Clos Marie Metairies du Clos VV $33.99

“There are two suns. One shines outside for everyone. The second shines in the Foucault’s cellar” a quote from Charles Joguet of the famed Chinon estate, (of the same name) in the Loire Valley. The cellar he was speaking of was that of brothers Nady and Charlie Foucault, owners of Clos Rougeard in Saumur, producers of the most coveted Cabernet Franc on the planet. Every three star restaurant in France begs for a bigger allocation, lucky for us very few in the United States have even heard of them, so we get a good allocation, and by good I am talking 2 cases of each, not really a pile is it? These are some of the most beautiful, complex and long lived wines we have ever tasted, you owe it to yourself, if only just this once, to taste them…you will never forget them. (arriving in September)

2005 Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny $47.99
2005 Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny Les Poyeux $61.99
2005 Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny Le Bourg $94.99
2005 Clos Rougeard Saumur Blanc Breze (Samantha’s sexiest wine ever) $64.99


John M. Kelly said...

Samantha - I have had the great pleasure to know Dominique Lafon over the years, from back in the day when I was the research geek at Sonoma-Cutrer and met him at a symposium there. I have tasted with him in his cellar a couple of times, including once from his ONE barrel of Montrachet. At the time I believe he sold all 25 cases to a single buyer.

Of all his wines though I think that Volnay-Santenots is my perennial favorite. I try to pick up a couple of bottles every year. I'd like to say I have had the willpower to age them. I'd like to...

It is surprising how excellent some of the red Burgundies are from producers more known for their whites. I still recall with great pleasure another Santenots - from Fontaine-Gagnard (though more recent vintages have disappointed) and also Corton from Jean-Claude at Bonneau du Martray (well, I knew their whites before their reds).

Samantha Dugan said...

We have something in common...I too have slurpped from the magic Montrachet barrel, too bad I was so green about Burgundy I had no idea what I was drinking! I did make a note that it was my favorite wine tasted on that trip...der.
Dominique is one cool ass cat and I have been lucky enough to share some far less than "fancy pants" evenings with him, my favorite of which was sneaking out of a wine dinner, to have a cigarette in an alley in Los Angeles. My favorite part of that night, aside from the wines, was Dominique telling me, "This is what you do, you grab a card from the hotel where you are staying, put it in your pocket...that way when the night gets out of control, you can just hand the cab driver the card. You don't have to remember the name of your hotel!" needless to say, man after my own heart.

I'm so with you on the Volnay-Santenots, the wine defies you NOT to take another sip...stunning and as odd as it sounds, massively under-valued.
Samll world, this wine business of ours...freaking love it!

vickibarkley said...

I've got a new shopping list now! How is it, that just when I'm thinking that I need to broaden my horizons, when I'm wondering what deliciousness I haven't experienced yet, you come up with this list! True, I've had some of the Clos Rougard and Dagueneau, and Heretiers, but by no means, all of them.

Samantha Dugan said...


I wish we had a hundered more like you!

Nancy Deprez said...

Great write-up Sam, sorry it was left out!!!! I do love the cartoon about the ship sailing.....damnit the ship has sailed!!!

Samantha Dugan said...

Sucked...and we did miss the boat!