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July 15th, 2009
2007 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape: 97 Pts starting at $102.49
"Absolutely stunning, with a deep well of crème de cassis that’s thoroughly pure and captivating, while black tea, fig cake, hoisin sauce, incense and graphite notes weave throughout. The supervelvety finish lets blackberry, boysenberry and crushed cherry fruit take an encore-as if this needed any more fruit. A fantastic display of precision in a very opulent year."
2007 Paul Autard Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee la Cote Ronde: 95 Pts starting at $43.50
"A stunner, combining the rich currant, fig and boysenberry fruit of the vintage with the region’s characteristic charred apple wood, graphite, aged tobacco and black tea notes. The long, invigorating finish is supported by riveting acidity and well-embedded grip. When power and finesse work together, it’s a beautiful thing."
2007 Domaine Cristia Chateauneuf du Pape Renaissance: 95 Pts> starting at $64.99
"Very plump and ripe, with black cherry, plum and blackberry fruit flavors that verge on jammy before fresh spice, star anise and floral notes add definition and length. Flaunts the showy side of the vintage. Grenache and Mourvèdre."
2007 Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf du Pape: 94 Pts starting at $55.99
"Crackles with an urgency atypical for the vintage, with juniper, cassis bush and tobacco notes that manage to be more prominent than the well of dark plum and currant fruit in reserve. Racy and invigorating, with the fruit’s sappy intensity offset perfectly by the mouthwatering minerality."
Robert Parker - Wine of the Day
July 15th, 2009
2007 Hirsch Gruner Veltliner Heiligenstein: 90 Pts starting at $18.94
"Hirsch’s 2007 Gruner Veltliner Heiligenstein features lentil and green bean with a slightly grassy and floral overtone. Bright and tart, yet silken in texture, cool and soothing on the palate, this well-concentrated Veltliner then finishes with tactile bite of lavender and white pepper. Deep notes of tobacco, nut oils, and wet stone well up as the wine opens, and this should make for fine and versatile drinking over the coming 5-6 years. Johannes Hirsch was already done harvesting in 2007 on October 8 (after starting September 13), not far behind the Nikolaihof. And there is another connection with that venerable estate which may or may not be vital: Hirsch has been passionately pursuing a biodynamic path. I did manage to get a smile out of him when I suggested that he consider replacing the pile of cow horns he had accumulated with much rarer and surely more efficacious antlers of elk (Hirsch). “The clusters were beautifully golden-yellow, perfect,” he relates, so there was no need to wait, which meant missing out on the mid-October rains."
Wall Street Journal
From France, a Refreshing Steal
Muscadet, the Loire Valley white, is a treat with seafood -- and surprisingly affordable
July 10th, 2009
By Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher
Domaine de la Batardière Muscadet starting at $7.99
"Charming and easy, with plenty of fruit—in fact, John thought it was a little too fruity, but Dottie thought it tasted real and true."
Château de la Chesnaie Chéreau-Carré Muscadet starting at $8.95
"Ripe, fresh and clean, with a very tasty roundness. Mouth-popping, with fresh, ripe citrus and tart and fleshy kiwis and lychees. Balanced and very easy to pair with food.
SF Chronicle - Recommends: Summer whites for $15 and less
Sunday, July 12th, 2009 by Lynne Char Bennett
2008 Oyster Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc starting at $10.97
"New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a go-to summer wine, especially to pair with green vegetables. This balanced bottling - a midpoint between the grassy, pungent style and a more fruit-driven approach - holds its own with pricier wines."
2007 Branger Le Fils des Gras Moutons Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur Lie starting at $12.99
"This Loire Valley white was produced from vines that are on average 35 years old. Muscadet - made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape - is generally a good value. Left on lees for at least six months this is almost austere with mineral, lemon and brisk acidity; a perfect wine for oysters."