2016 Andre Brunel Chateauneuf du Pape Les Cailloux

                 2016 — Best Yet!

 

Another Gem direct from the soon to be released collection at Park Street Wine Cellars.

Another advantage to purchasing this Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 96 point rockstar Chateauneuf du Pape from us is that we buy direct, saving you some serious coin!

Lowest price on https://www.wine-searcher.com/ ?

$50!

Our price? $44.99!

Buying direct has its advantages.

And that’s not even factoring in the case discounts!!

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2013 Peter Michael Les Pavots – 98+ Points – Up From The Cellar

                              Greatest Ever Bottled?

 

Pulling in a staggering 98+ from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate you can bet I’ve been taking great care of my precious bottles of these.

 

This “up from the cellar” moment is another reminder to go to our website: https://parkstreetwines.com/

 

and sign up for those emails so you know when these treasures are released….

2016 Pichon Lalande – “a Rolls Royce with a purring engine”

My View, Approaching Pichon Lalande in the Spring of 2017

 

During the Spring of 2017, I spent a full week tasting more than 125 barrel samples from the 2016 vintage in Bordeaux.

Hailed as one of that region’s best vintages in a decade, I enjoyed too many great wines to count. My tasting notes – gathered meticulously in my well worn travel note book – reveal so many incredible wines, at ALL price points.

Many of the well priced gems will fill the aisles of our new store, Park Street Wine Cellars (in Alameda, CA) very soon.

Here’s a shot of one of the most famous chateau of all time: Chateau Pichon Lalande. Taken by me just before our tasting here, the wines truly lived up to the grandeur of the place for 2016.

Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape A la Gloire de Mon Grandpere – Drop Dead Gorgeous!

“The finest vintage of this cuvee I’ve tasted… it’s a drop-dead gorgeous 2012…” Wine Advocate

I adore Chateauneuf du Pape. I love the place, the wine, and everything about its history and local quirks – a municipal decree in ’54 banned the overhead flying, landing or taking off of flying saucers. The wines are beyond unique. For those who have spent time studying the world’s finest vinous treasures (I’ve been at it three decades plus) it usually comes down to a choice between Bordeaux, Burgundy and Chateauneuf – in terms of selecting a favorite wine from France. Sure, there are fabulous wines made by a handful of superlative growers sprinkled throughout the Languedoc, Roussillon, Loire Valley, and such, but overwhelming majorities of truly phenomenal wines are most often concentrated in the aforementioned Big 3. Burgundy tugs at my heart, but a glance at my collection clearly indicates my adoration for Chateauneuf.

And when it comes to selecting some of my favorites, consistency across vintages is part of my criteria. Nicolas Boiron and family – Les Bosquet des Papes – immediately come to mind. In this century alone, across all of their various cuvees and vintages, I can think of at least 20 individual bottlings worthy of the “outstanding” descriptor. These are wines of extremely high caliber, wines which scream of their cepage and terroir, and which may be identified from one another across vintages; they are not homogeneous, uniqueness is their calling card.

At the top of the list for me is their pure Grenache cuvee, which honors current winemaker Nicolas Boiron’s predecessor. Grown in the Gardiole lieu-dit (sandy soils; which seem to produce a lot of my top choices) and fermented 50% whole cluster, Nicolas Boiron and family introduced this mind-bending offering in 1998. Parker has consistently lauded the wine, rendering the tiny production all the more difficult to acquire. Moreover, Jeb Dunnuck recently pegged it as a “Best of Chateauneuf” selection in his 2014 report (may not ever find another bottle, now).

Simply put, in the words of Parker,

“Consumers should be looking out for this domaine’s wines as the quality has soared even higher than it already was.”

 

2012 Les Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape A la Gloire de Mon Grandpere

The finest vintage of this cuvee I’ve tasted, the inky 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape a la Gloire de Mon Grandpere comes from old-vine Grenache vines planted in mostly sandy soils of the Gardiole lieu-dit. Aged in a combination of concrete tank and older, larger barrels, it’s a drop-dead gorgeous 2012 that reveals tons of sweet red and black fruits, lavender, pepper, licorice and hints of garrigue. Beautifully concentrated, seamless and textured, with extraordinary elegance and polish to its tannin, it’s up with the top 2-3 wines of the vintage and will have two decades or more of longevity.

97 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

2010 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet – A Showstopper – “Greatest Since 2007”

“Perhaps the greatest Beringer Private Reserve since the 2007, 2005, 2002 and 2001” — RP

 

Back in the 1970s, California Cabernet – indeed the world of wine – was a very different beast. Winemakers were finding their way, vineyards were young, parcels had yet to be identified and professional wine critiquing was seemingly light years away. Even the great Oxford Companion to Wine was two decades from its first release.

But Beringer was there, securing Cabernet vines and experimenting with cuvees that would eventually establish benchmarks for an industry. Beringer’s first purchase from the old Lemmon Ranch in 1977 – a parcel which would eventually become the Chabot Vineyard – was an intense set of grapes by any standard. In the early days of Beringer, the Lemmon Ranch bottlings were 100% Cabernet, beauties in their own right.

In those days Myron Nightingale was still in charge, Ed Sbragia his assistant, and they knew they had something special on their hands. That first batch of Cabernet spent 24 months in French oak barrels and didn’t budge – it was as dark and brooding as ever. By 1981, time in bottle barely tamed it – it floored the judges at the Orange County Fair. They had most likely never encountered anything like it.

That limited batch would become the very first Beringer Private Reserve. By 1986, Beringer’s Private Reserve took the #1 spot in Wine Spectator. A legend was born. For 2010 Beringer once again topped the charts, “Greatest since 2007” according to Parker. And once again I’m very proud to announce this masterpiece and encourage readers to seek it out; the 2010 will make old bones as well as immediate friends.

2010 BeringerCabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve

The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is built from completely different sources. Sixty-six percent came from the St. Helena Home Ranch, 18% from the Chabot Vineyard, and the rest from Beringer’s estates in St. Helena, Rutherford and Coombsville. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that came in at 14.6% natural alcohol with a pH of 3.8. Perhaps the greatest Beringer Private Reserve since the 2007, 2005, 2002 and 2001, the 2010 offers up notes of lead pencil shavings, creme de cassis, subtle smoke, wet rocks and background oak. Full-bodied, rich and impressive, it can be drunk now or cellared for two decades.

Jerome Bressy’s Incredible Rasteau – Gourt de Mautens – So Decadent!

Incredible & Decadent – A True “Must-Have”!

Jerome Bressy is my kind of dude! This guy has pulled out all the stops here in the Southern Rhone towards producing the single greatest wine you’ll ever float across your palate. The rules don’t matter to him – unless they’re HIS rules.

His estate is located in Rasteau; that much we know. At roughly 15 miles NE of Chateauneuf du Pape, Rasteau gained its original AOC for fortified sweet wines back in the 1940s. The dry reds in those days – built on a similar blend as found in neighboring Chateauneuf – were designated as Cotes du Rhone Villages. But the growth of high quality producers ushered in a new status for the wines by the 1990s.

By 1996, the village name – Rasteau – was allowed as an addendum; Cotes-du-Rhone-Village-Rasteau was born. This was about the time Jerome Bressy arrived and took over at Gourt de Mautens. He converted to organics; painstakingly, passionately tending parcels of 90 year old vines. Yields were already low, but under his watch they plummeted: Bressy’s yields produce a mere barrel per acre!

And here’s the final chapter in the Rasteau story. With Bressy now in full control – mastering Gourt de Mautens’ terroir, Cepage, yields and vinification – Rasteau was formally elevated to full appellation status in 2010 (retroactive to 2009). The catch? All producers must adhere to the “Rasteau recipe”.

Bressy calls faute. His will be labeled “IGP Vaucluse” henceforth.

Love this guy!

Do what you can to locate this vintage; it’s SO worth the hunt. But if it’s too difficult to track down, his subsequent vintages (labeled Vaucluse, just as heady) will also reward (the 2012, for example, is another 95 pointer).

2009 Gourt de Mautens Rasteau

Also incredible, the 2009 Rasteau has a similar, decadent feel in its black raspberry, licorice, smoked earth, chocolate and saddle leather. A blend of 70% Grenache and 30% other permitted varieties, aged in a combination of demi-muid, foudre and concrete tank, it has full-bodied power, massive, yet sweet tannin and blockbuster levels of depth and richness. Drink it anytime over the coming decade or more.

96 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Ridge Monte Bello – An American Premier Cru Classé

America’s Premier Cru Classé

 

My times spent tasting with Paul Draper are among the most memorable in a lifetime spent tasting the world’s finest wines. No matter how hectic his schedule, Paul always took the time to personally usher me through his top selections of any given vintage. He was always happy to open verticals of his most profound wines without blinking an eye.

And so it was one warm spring afternoon that I spent a few hours exploring multiple vintages of California’s Premier Cru Classé, the Ridge Monte Bello (unofficially classified to match the great Growths of Bordeaux by practically every professional critic this side of the pond). Beginning with the 1974, we would taste through multiple precious, perfect, unmatched Monte Bello’s, finishing off with the 1992, one of the last vintages Draper produced before a new team joined him in the cellars – as we all know, Draper would finally retire at the age of 80, a few years after this tasting.

There have been countless incredible bottlings from the Monte Bello vineyard, first planted in 1885 by Osea Perrone, a San Francisco doctor, originally from northern Italy. Much like other California Heritage sites, this special location was terraced without the assistance of modern-day machinery, the rugged, jagged Santa Cruz hillsides a formidable foe.

And we all know the famous tale of the Judgement of Paris, where the ’71 Monte Bello toppled all others; California Cabernets and top Cru Classé Bordeaux alike. Those were Draper’s early years – he arrived in 1969 – and the work he performed with this site is historical. Today, Draper’s legacy is in the hands of Winemaker Eric Baugher, Ridge COO since 2016 and Monte Bello winemaker since 2004.

I recently tasted the 2014 and can tell you that if you’re a true, die-hard fan, one taste is all you’ll need – you’ll know immediately why Baugher is in charge. You should seek out this monumental effort if you’re a Monte Bello lover. It’ll make the same old bones as that 1974 and 1992 I enjoyed back on that awesome spring afternoon.