July Newsletter Now Available Online

The July newsletter is now available! Download the PDF by clicking here.

Highlights from this month’s newsletter…

july.orn-12007 Bandol, Domaine Tempier Pre-Arrival

Yes, I  just arrived at my place near Domaine Tempier and immediately visited to re-taste their great 2007s now that they are in bottle. How convenient!

It is a great vintage for Tempier in the sense that the reds have quite a monumental quality, grand wines brimming with flavor, and they will obviously age almost forever. To compare them to something, trying to give you an idea of the vintage style, I’d look to really stunning Bordeaux vintages like 1945 or 1947. I mean, there is one hell of a lot of wine in these wines.

La Migoua and Tourtine show their personalities vividly in 2007. Winemaker Daniel Ravier concurs: “Definitive Migoua, definitive Tourtine.”

La Migoua is fat and sweet and juicy. The nose combines ripe black cherry with dried thyme and other local herbs. Don’t let my use of the word sweet throw you. I couldn’t believe that Migoua 2007 is really dry, but Ravier showed me the analysis. When I once had the luck to taste a 1947 Cheval Blanc, I had the same impression.

Tourtine is the aristocrat—perfectly formed, lean, muscular—and more closed at the beginning of its life than Migoua. The infinite depth is obvious. It shows more dried herbs, a dash of black pepper, and Ravier said it also reminds him of the smell of a good steak on the grill.

Cabassaou is close to being too much. I mean it is unbelievably concentrated and powerful. Pure old-vines Mourvèdre. Great vintage. Extreme Mourvèdre! At this stage of its life—hmm, let’s just say I won’t touch my stash of bottles for a number of years.

2007 Bandol “Classique” $396.00 per case of twelve

2007 Bandol “La Migoua” $298.50 per six bottles

2007 Bandol “La Tourtine” $298.50 per six bottles

2007 Bandol “Cabassaou” $216.75 per three bottles

Inquire about availability in tenths, magnums, and jeroboams.

Pre-arrival terms: Half-payment due with order; balance due upon arrival.


New Arrivals

Italy and the Loire Valley
by Dixon Brooke


The Chiaretto strikes a cheerful chord in me every time I uncork one: it has a great balance, starting with the bass notes of the Bardolino red varietals (Corvina, Rondinella) and a treble in the form of just the right amount of freshness and minerality. This impeccable rosé makes a year-round spirit brightener. And you don’t need to be lakeside in the Veneto to enjoy the Piccolis’ Chiaretto, because it is at home any old place, any old time.

$12.95 per bottle $139.86 per case


The triumvirate of Corte Gardoni wines isn’t complete without their young Bardolino Rosso. Le Fontane is vinified for early drinking pleasure, emphasizing the bright, exuberant fruit for which the appellation is known. Le Fontane is all about carefree quaffing, and it is hard to beat with a slight chill during the summer months. Keep it around as your Old Reliable.

$12.95 per bottle $139.86 per case


The must-be-seen-to-be-believed property of the Sestis is in the Brunello di Montalcino zone on a hilltop graced by a 12th-century castle and an 8th-century chapel. Cypress trees all over the place. Just another day in the Tuscan hills . . . Monteleccio is the Sestis’ early-drinking pure Sangiovese, raised in big oak botti for twelve months. The 2007 is a grand success, intense and bursting with flavor. This is classic, classy Sangiovese, irresistible today, so dive right in!

$18.00 per bottle $194.40 per case


In my opinion, Pietro Arditi’s winery in the Monferrato region of northern Piedmont is one of our most exciting discoveries of the past several years. This is Pietro’s flagship Barbera, for which he has created a lengthy five-year élevage including time in cement, demi-muid, and barrique. The resulting wine is eventually blended with 10% Freisa, another indigenous Piedmontese varietal, for a dose of fresh, bright fruit. The 2001 is truly a gem and is in perfect harmony right now. A tinge of smoky meatiness hints at its age, but the dominant theme is fresh, vibrant Barbera fruit and lots of it. Bravo, Pietro! This is quite a creation, and a superb vintage.

$19.95 per bottle $215.46 per case


An anomaly in the region, Éric’s Chardonnay is planted in sandstone, silex, and quartz next to one of his Muscadet vineyards, and it doesn’t much resemble Chardonnay from anywhere else. It is crisp, clean, flinty, and easy to down. Some folks buy cases at a time.

$12.95 per bottle $139.86 per case


Fié Gris is a local name for Sauvignon Gris, a grey- to rosé-hued relative of the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Mostly abandoned in the Loire Valley and Bordeaux, where it was formerly planted with some regularity, the grape may be in the early stages of a comeback. Éric’s version is solid proof that there is merit to the grape as a mono-cépage—it gives a unique, highly aromatic wine loaded with spicy and even tropical nuances. André Chatenoud of the Château de Bellevue in Lussac-Saint-Emilion has also planted some in order to make a white Bordeaux, while Éric is lucky enough to have a parcel of older vines to work with.

$22.50 per bottle $243.00 per case

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