Heavy Rotations

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Archived Selections

March 2022

2017

Gran Moraine Chardonnay

YAMHILL-CARLTON, WILLAMETTE VALLEY

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Chateau Belgrave

Chateau Belgrave 2009, Located in the northern Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton consists of ancient marine sedimentary-based soils, Mediterranean weather patterns and neatly combed benchlands. Gran Moraine embodies the confluence of these elements, creating a perfect setting to craft classic Burgundian varieties - Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Oregon Wine Country, an extraordinary place sculpted by the floods of the last ice age, is a series of valleys much like Burgundy.

Gran Moraine takes its name from cataclysmic floods that occurred in the northern Willamette Valley of Oregon during the last ice age. As the glaciers receded they released a torrent of water from the once giant Lake Missoula. These famous Missoula Floods traveled across the Columbia basin helping to carve out the Columbia Gorge.

The Willamette Valley became an extremely large temporary lake and was left with huge deposits of silt as well as giant boulders with origins in current British Columbia and Idaho. These are known by geologists as erratic rocks. These erratic rock outcroppings boldly manifest themselves throughout our vineyard. They were once part of the giant glacial dam’s moraine – what we refer to as the "Gran Moraine."


2017

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir “Runway Vineyard”

SANTA MARIA VALLEY, SANTA BARBARA

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Runway Vineyard

This wine of amazing fruit and depth, is from a relatively new vineyard that earned its wings at ABC with the 2013 vintage, the first Runway designated bottling of its own. It has been a success ever since.

Runway Vineyard planted 16 acres of vines in 2008 on a 1,000 acre parcel. It is located about a mile from our winery, essentially next door to Bien Nacido Vineyards. We have watched their development from the beginning. After all, we are very “nosy” neighbors. The vineyard is owned by the 47th lieutenant Governor of California Abel Maldonado. Abel has been doing his own farming for a few years and he knows what is best for his vineyard.

Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir characteristically has a very fragrant, cranberry, rose petal aroma, and firm structure. The fruit from Runway provides that, yet is richer, darker and more intense. We are now making Runway Vineyard Pinot Noir a large part of our single vineyard Pinot program. The soil there is sandy so once the weather warms in the summer, the grapes ripen quickly. Due to our proximity, we can pick the grapes “just right”.

As with all of our single vineyard Pinots, the wine gets all the TLC needed to ensure optimum quality. It was barrel aged for almost 24 months in François Frères barrels, about 30% new oak.

2015

La Rioja Alta "Vina Ardanza" Reserva

RIOJA, SPAIN

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Rioja

Always evolving quality, elegance, innovation, evolution... These are the pillars on which the five founding families erected our winery in 1890 and built a way of living, feeling and producing wines of the highest quality that continue to evolve subtly, perfectly adapting to new tastes. This is how the permanent pursuit of excellence started; a pursuit that continues into the 21st century with identical enthusiasm. We draw the best from our winemaking tradition and wisdom —our own cooperage, manual racking, long ageing periods, etc.— and combine it with the most modern winemaking technology. Today, our wines are an international exemplar of the great wines of Rioja and our brands are present in the best restaurants across all continents.

Rioja wines are typically a blend of fruit from its three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental, although specific sub-region (zonas), village (municipios) and vineyard (viñedo singular) wines can now be labeled. Rioja Alta and Alavesa, at the highest elevations, are considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier, Rioja Oriental, produce wines with deep color, great body and richness.

2009

Chateau Belgrave

HAUT MEDOC GRAND CRU CLASSÉ, BORDEAUX

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Château Belgrave

The great wine of the property is Château Belgrave, classified 5th Grand Cru Classé in 1855. Thanks to the studies carried out on the property to understand the behavior of the vine according to the nature of the subsoil and its water supply, the Château Belgrave team has acquired a perfect knowledge of the vineyard. The viticultural work, associated with reasoned protection, as well as the harvest have been adapted to this cartography.

Stepping back in time, Chateau Belgrave was not always a vineyard. In fact, under King Louis XIV, it was originally used as a hunting lodge, which is paid homage on the label.

It is also next door to Chateau Lagrange, which is in St. Julien. With just a few meters further during the 1855 classification, and it could have been in St. Julien.

Starting in 1990, Chateau Belgrave moved to a cleaner form of vineyard management, with the elimination of all chemical fertilizers and limiting the use of pesticides, along with harvesting riper fruits and seeking lower yields. In 1993, a major renovation of the wine-making facilities and cellars took place.

The wine expresses all the finesse and personality of this great terroir. Dense and deep, it is distinguished by its aging capacity, its aromatic complexity and its very Saint-Julien character. 

February 2022

2020

Domaine Etienne Daulny Sancerre

LOIRE, FRANCE

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Etienne Daulny

Etienne Daulny owns 15 hectares of vines that are divided into about 50 different plots within the Sancerre wine region. Daulny combines diverse plots from varying types of soil, including clay and flint, Portlandian and Kimmeridgian, into his regular cuvée of Sancerre. But Daulny's cuvée normale is far from normal. After all, grapes from some of the appellation’s most revered vineyards make their way into this cuvée, including old vine plantings at Les Monts Damnés, Les Bois Butteux, and La Perriere. Clos de Chaudenay(the hot spot) is a single vineyard cuvée from a gentle slope just above Verdigny. These southwest facing vines average 40 years of age.

A combination of grapes from various plots (including some of the best vineyards in the appellation) and various types of soil, fermented and aged only in stainless steel tanks, this Sancerre is a perfect representation of its AOC. "Made from 40-year-old sauvignon blanc vines, this Sancerre captures the essence of the grape with floral, mineral and ground coffee bean aromas and grapefruit, white peach flavors. A small percentage was aged in older oak but the fruit from this vineyard is powerful enough to absorb it, giving the wine a bit of texture and body. With bright acidity and fruit, this is a great wine to have with a fish dish cooked with fava beans as well as one where the favas are the main event."

2016

Château Potensac

MEDOC, BORDEAUX, FRANCE

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Potensac

The estate has been in the same family since time immemorial and has always been handed down by women. The current owner, Jean-Hubert Delon, inherited the estate from his paternal grandmother, Georgette Liquard. Although close to the river, Potensac is situated on a high point of land in North Medoc. Because of this position, the site has been populated since ancient times. The name "Medoc" in fact comes from "medio aquae" which means "in the middle of the waters."

Planted on the best quality soils in the Ordonnac district, the vineyards now extend over 84 hectares on a terroir where the typical characteristics of each grape variety express themselves very distinctly and give the wine superb aging potential.

One of the most—if not the most—famous red wine regions of the world, the Medoc reaches from the city of Bordeaux northwest along the left bank of the Gironde River almost all the way to the Atlantic. Its vineyards climb along a band of flatlands, sandwiched between the coastal river marshes and the pine forests in the west. The entire region can only claim to be three to eight miles wide (at its widest), but it is about 50 miles long.

While the Medoc encompasses the Haut Medoc, and thus most of the classed-growth villages (Margaux, Moulis, Listrac, St-Julien, Pauillac and St. Estephe) it is really only those wines produced in the Bas-Medoc that use the Medoc appellation name. The ones farther down the river, and on marginally higher ground, are eligible to claim the Haut Medoc appellation, or their village or cru status.

While the region can’t boast a particularly dramatic landscape, impressive chateaux disperse themselves among the magically well-drained gravel soils that define the area. This optimal soil draining capacity is completely necessary and ideal in the Medoc's damp, maritime climate. These gravels also serve well to store heat in cooler years.

2014

Ancient Oak Cellars “Alcasus Reserve” Berger Vineyard

SONOMA MOUNTAIN, SONOMA

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Ancient Oak Cellars

The owners, Ken & Melissa Moholt-Siebert launched their winery in 2006 with grapes from Ken's grandparents' vineyard, which Ken inherited, and opened the tasting room in October, 2012. The very first wine from Ancient Oak Cellars was Siebert Ranch Pinot Noir, made from grapes on Ken & Melissa's family vineyard in the Russian River Valley. They had always read how finicky Pinot Noir is, it being lamented as the heartbreak grape, for how difficult it is to grow and make into good wine. They never knew anything else.

As it happens, it is not so hard to grow Pinot Noir, if you are in the right place. They started with just a couple hundred cases, then the next year made a thousand, adding some Zinfandel from Pagnano Vineyard, and some Russian River Pinot Noir from other growers, and Russian River Chardonnay. In 2012, they added the Cabernet, Cab Franc and Merlot on Sonoma Mountain.

They source fruit from five family vineyards--three they farm themselves and the other two are farmed by the families that first planted them 30 or more years ago.

In 2014 Greg La Follette joined the team. Greg has degrees in Plant Biology and Chemistry and then wrote a master's thesis on the role of native yeast in sur lie aging. He took his passion for listening to wine and working with native yeasts--methods not suited to large-scale, industrial winemaking, but capable of extraordinary results in small lots under the attentive eye of the vigneron, and built the reputation of a number of wineries.

2019

Y. Rousseau Tannat

CLARKSBURG AVA, CA

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Y. Rousseau

Y. Rousseau Wines is a dream that began long ago in the South-West of France and continues to grow and evolve today. Yannick Rousseau, French native, founder and winemaker, followed his heart and passion for winemaking all the way to Napa Valley where he met his Texan-born wife, Susan. The two of them bring their combined entrepreneurial savvy to embrace the ebbs and flows of running a family winery with the legacy of their racines, hospitable style, and discriminating artisanship.

Born in Gascony, France to the son of a butcher, Yannick makes his wines with the heart of a Gascon using the earth, elements and fruit of California. Bringing together these passions of place, time and the elements requires hard work with a gentle hand to produce the alchemy of stand-apart wines. Now, he carries forward his winemaking mission still embracing Colombard, Tannat and other favored varietals and blending them to create revived, and even edge-bending wines. His wines are recognized for their qualities of balanced drinkability and food-worthiness while being sought-after by wine geeks from all over.

Tannat’s roots reach through the same French countryside as Yannick’s. As one of the Sud Ouest's hallmark red beauties, it hails from the Madiran region near the Pyrenées mountains. It was the first red grape variety with which Yannick made wine as an intern winemaker in France.

December 2021

NV

Adrien Renoir Le Terroir Extra Brut

CHAMPAGNE

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Renoir

Four generations of the Renoir family have been involved in wine production in Champagne. Adrien Renoir only just recently took control of the domaine after having the reins passed down to him in 2014 by his father, Vincent Renoir. The two, like many father & son winemakers, have and continue to have quite different views, yet worked together for Adrien’s first two vintages before Adrien took full control in 2016. Although Vincent didn’t agree with Adrien’s push for cleaner farming, noting that it wasn’t achievable so far north in Champagne, he allowed him to make the conversion as long as it was done slowly and cautiously.

The wines now bear the name of the fourth generation on the label, having previously been labeled as Vincent Renoir. At only 29 years old Adrien is already proving to be a force to reckon with in Champagne. He has pretty swiftly adjusted many things at the domaine, including switching to organic farming, adjustments in the cellar primarily increased use of oak for fermentations and aging. Winemaking here is artisanal with ambient yeast fermentations lees stirring and no temperature control. He has also diversified the line-up of bottlings to focus more on the unique parcels and terroirs that his family has cultivated for generations

2019

Bass Phillip "Bin 17K" Pinot Noir

VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

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Bass Phillip

The wines of Bass Phillip are endowed with vibrant fruit and considerable delicacy, and evolve and develop dramatically with aeration in a swirling glass or decent decanting. They are never excessive in tannins or alcohol in their youth, and with age, they blossom gracefully to develop an intensity of flavour in the finish framed by strong minerality and natural acidity. Countless tales vouch for how Bass Phillip Pinot Noirs improve in the cellar, sometimes for well over twenty years.

Drinking an aged Bass Phillip pinot is a transcendental experience a dedicated wine lover must experience to fathom just how special these wines are. Immense, soil driven complexity, deliciousness and seemingly endless ageability are compelling reasons why many Pinot connoisseurs consider them legends.

The three wines at the top of the Bass Phillip hierarchy — the Estate, Premium and Reserve Pinot Noirs — have always come from the same original 1979 main vineyard in Leongatha: a 3.5-hectare block, known as the Estate vineyard. Within this vineyard the same rows of vines and sub-plots are used for each of these wines every year, purely because those vines give the best grapes, year after year.

Bass Phillip’s first Pinot Noir was made in 1984, and the first commercial release, comprising the 1985 to 1989 vintages, took place in 1991. The 1989 vintage was the first in which the Reserve, Premium and Estate Pinot Noirs were separately vinified, following five years’ worth of research into the separate vattings, which involved numerous small-batch fermentation trials.

The “17K” is dedicated to becoming the entry-level wine of Bass, accessible to new generations, but also for those who want to enjoy a glass of Bass Phillip on a Tuesday night without breaking the bank! The selection of the fruits is coming from the deepest soils or younger vineyards. Delicate red fruits with purity, the wine is made to provide drinking pleasure straight away

2017

Weingut Heinrich Blaufrankisch Leithaberg

BURGENLAND, AUSTRIA

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Heinrich

Gernot and Heike Heinrich founded their winery in 1990 with just one hectare and have steadily grown to 90 hectares today. Heinrich was one of the first in the region to transition from simple white wines to high-quality reds in the early 1990s, and became famous for powerful red blends such as Salzberg, Gabarinza, and Pannobile. In recent years, the focus has turned to Blaufränkisch from the nearby Leithaberg DAC, and to “Freyheit,” a line of natural wines produced with minimal intervention in the cellar. Heinrich converted to biodynamics in 2006 and is a member of Respekt, a certifying body for biodynamic viticulture in Austria. Heinrich today is one of Austria’s most innovative wine producers

2014

Mas de Can Blau

Monstant, Spain

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Cellers Can Blau

Cellers Can Blau is located in the D.O. of Montsant. Contrary to its illustrious neighbor, Priorat, in Montsant one may work with many characteristic varieties and each vine is planted in soils of different compositions. The Cariñena and Garnacha vines used for the production of these wines has an approximate age ranging from 25 to 40 years. The vineyards of Garnacha are around 2,000 ft. in altitude in the area of Cornudella de Montsant on slate soils. Cariñena vineyards in the Darmós and Masrig area are on clay soils, and the Syrah vineyards are located on limestone soils.

The project, together with the Gil Family and Victor Rodriguez, is headed in technical aspects by winemaker Nuria López Sarroca.

November 2021

2018

Etienne Sauzet Bourgogne, Hautes-Côtes de Beaune, "Jardin du Calvaire"

BURGUNDY, FR

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Etienne Sauzet

The history of this domaine dates to the beginning of the 20th century, when Etienne Sauzet inherited and bought several plots of vines in the village of Puligny-Montrachet. The vines passed through the family to Jeanine Boillot, Sauzet’s granddaughter. Jeanine and her husband, Gérard Boudot, managed the domaine, making many modernizations including improved vinification techniques and biodynamic farming. Today the domaine has been passed to their daughter Emilie and her husband, Benoît Riffault, who continue to produce white wines that are among the most sought-after in all of Burgundy. Although the winemaking techniques have been modernized, M. Sauzet’s traditions of estate-bottling and of aging the wines on their lees for 10-12 months to “nourish them” are still respected and result in superbly finished, fruity, and full-bodied wines. After four generations, Sauzet is still synonymous with high-quality, elegant, Burgundian Chardonnay.

2019

Bodega Chacra “Barda” Pinot Noir

PATAGONIA, ARGENTINA

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Bodega Chacra

Bodega Chacra is located in the Rio Negro Valley of northern Patagonia. The property's location in the arid central Argentine desert is tempered by the confluence of the Neuquen and Limay Rivers, both of which flow from the Andes and converge in the Rio Negro, which in turn flows into the Atlantic.

The soil of the Rio Negro Valley, an ancient riverbed composed of limestone, sand, and clay, coupled with the Valley's pristine pollution-free air and tremendous luminosity, make for ideal conditions to grow Pinot Noir.

In 2004, Piero Incisa della Rocchetta purchased the first of Bodega Chacra's vineyards, a property with an existing, though abandoned, vineyard planted in 1932. This vineyard of gnarled and ungrafted Pinot Noir vines was later added to a neighboring vineyard of vines planted in 1955. With these old vineyards, ostensibly in the middle of nowhere, Piero has created a winery that exists outside of the usual New World vs. Old World debate and is redefining what is possible with Pinot Noir (and now Chardonnay with the help of Jean-Marc Roulot) in the Southern Hemisphere.

The climate is dry, with a maximum humidity of thirty percent and an average of seven inches of rainfall annually. This aridity, coupled with the natural barrier of the surrounding desert, results in a complete absence of phylloxera and vine diseases.

2020

Yann Bertrand "Les Bambins" Saint Amour

BEAUJOLAIS, FR

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Yann Bertrand

Growing up in Fleurie, Yann Bertrand never thought he would become a winemaker. He briefly enrolled in commerce at a local university, then travelled around the french alps for a few years. When applying for local jobs, he noted that he was the son of a vigneron and soon found himself working at wine bars and wine shops, surrounded by passionate wine geeks and artisan winemakers who often came to deliver wine themselves. Tasting wines in a new way, he began to ask himself some questions, and eventually decided that the metier of a winemaker would be interesting to him if he pursued it with the same passion as the role models he encountered.

Returning to the Beaujolais, Yann began to learn from the incredible circle of producers that he never knew before, including well-known people like jean Foillard and yvon Metras, as well as the behind-the-scenes guru Jacques Neauport (who was the quiet right-hand to the legendary jules Chauvet).

All of the vines are farmed organically and located in a single 7.5 hectare block known as grand pré. The vineyards are 30-110 years old, planted on extremely fine sandy granite soils, and all winemaking is done using cold carbonic whole cluster fermentations that were developed in the Beaujolais, as well as no added so2. Yann's parents had been slowly moving in the direction of organic viticulture since they took over the family domaine in 1992, and in 2013, the entire vineyard was certified organic. Additionally, yann took on 1.5 hectares to farm on his own using biodynamic principles. Thanks to incredible farming and knack for gamay, Yann Bertrand has justifiably become one of the most sought-after producers in the region.