TNs: Some Recent Wines (FX Pichler, Francois Villard, Anthill, Charlopin, Sojourn, Usseglio, etc)

  • 2008 François Villard Condrieu De Poncins - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu (1/26/2013)
    Very exotic and complex aromas of banana, clove, honey roasted nuts, elderflower, and cinnamon apples. The palate is voluptuously textured but decidedly fresh, showing vividly floral orchard fruits and honeydew melon complicated by dried herbs and honeysuckle . The long finish carries amazing freshness and focus, with watermelon hard candy, lime acidity, hazelnut butter, and tart peach. This is a simply stunning white wine, with complexity that rewards contemplation. R&M92 (92 pts.)
  • 2009 F.X. Pichler Riesling Smaragd Loibner Steinertal - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau (1/26/2013)
    Gorgeous aromas tropical fruit, peach, white flowers, and wet stone. The palate is initially expansive and exotic, with lemon meringue, mango, tangerine citrus. A fantastic spine of granite minerals arises on the mid-palate, driving a progressively tart, but long finish of key lime, orange zest, and perfumed florals. This is delicious now, but should become something truly special in the future. R&M91 (91 pts.)
  • 2010 Domaine Michel Juillot Mercurey 1er Cru Champs Martins - France, Burgundy, Côte Chalonnaise, Mercurey 1er Cru (1/26/2013)
    Sexy nose of tart mixed berry fruit, vivid florals, and underbrush. The palate opens similarly, with styled, cool berry fruit accented by crushed stone, cherry tomato, and fallen leaves. The finish carries wonderfully bright, juicy dark berry acidity, firm tannins, and a herbaceous lift. This is quite angular at the moment, and while it is supremely enjoyable, it will also undoubtedly improve in the cellar. R&M90+ (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Anthill Farms Chardonnay Campbell Ranch Vineyards - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (1/25/2013)
    Rather crisp aromas of tart lemon, herb oil, and fresh hay. Still very young and rather compact on the palate, opening with restrained citrus, dried herbs, and lemongrass. The mid-palate gains momentum with wet slate and honeydew, building to a pleasant finish of riper orchard fruit and fresh vanilla bean. This is exceedingly young and tightly wound, but also should markedly improve over the next few years. R&M87-90 (87 pts.)
  • 2010 Glen Manor Vineyards Cabernet Franc - USA, Virginia, Shenandoah Valley (1/25/2013)
    Aromas of sweet dark fruits, cassis, smoke, and vanilla. This is full bodied, with ripe, pure dark berry fruit accented by notes of cedar and warm brown spices. The medium length finish carries surprising freshness, but later yields to a bit of alcohol bite. This is a very modern styled cab france, and is missing some of the earthen, savory tones that we enjoy. R&M85 (85 pts.)
  • 2010 Domaine Philippe Charlopin-Parizot Fixin Clos de Fixey - France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Fixin (1/21/2013)
    Bright, perfumed nose of spiced red berry fruit, cool slate, dried rose petal, and bramble. Simultaneously high toned and wonderfully textured, this layers cool, crunchy raspberry and strawberry into lavender, savory spice, and crushed gravel. An interplay of sweet/tart red pinot fruit, violet florals, and a stoney freshness drive the lengthy finish. A stunning burgundy for the price, and definitely one for the cellar. R&M92 (92 pts.)
  • 2007 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Girard - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (1/20/2013)
    Fresh aromas of black current, fig paste, black licorice, and topsoil. The palate is nicely restrained, showing wonderful authentic dark berries backed by pepper spice, garrigue, and fallen leaves. The finish is lifted and lively with red meat, dried cranberry, and pine framed by sturdy tannins. Drinking well now, but should also improve in the short term. R&M90 (90 pts.)
  • 2009 Sojourn Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (1/20/2013)
    Quite ripe aromatics of lush red berries, vanilla, cedar, caramel, and baking spice. The palate is similarly styled with sweet raspberry/cherry accented by brown spices and vanilla extract. The finish is perhaps a bit more tart, but shows elements of cola, alcohol, and dried red fruit. This is nicely textured and enjoyable in its pure fruit, but leaves some freshness to be desired. R&M87 (87 pts.)
  • 2010 Ceritas Pinot Noir Annabelle - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (1/19/2013)
    Vivid nose of fresh dark berries, chalk, subtle spice, and bramble. The palate is lifted, boasting focused dark cherry fruit livened by dried flowers. The mid-palate is impressive, later lending weight to finishing elements of tart blackberries, spice box, and wet stone. This is fresh and exceedingly enjoyable, but it is also pushing the QPR boundary at $40. R&M90 (90 pts.)
  • 2010 Breggo Cellars Pinot Noir - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (1/19/2013)
    Ripe aromatics of fresh dark berries, vanilla, spice box. The palate is strikingly similar and medium bodied, with primarily sweet blackberries/strawberries. While it is short in length, the finish somewhat redeems with interesting florals, cedar, and topsoil. Quite drinkable, but modern and standard. R&M86 (86 pts.)
  • 2010 Weingut Heymann-Löwenstein Riesling von blauem Schiefer Reserve - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (1/18/2013)
    Vivid aromatics ripe tangerine citrus, apple cinnamon, white flowers, and green tea. The palate explodes but remains well balanced, boasting a gorgeous melange of tropic fruits buffered by fantastic slate minerals and citric acidity. The finish is particularly exciting, with endlessly changing lemon/lime/tangerine, fresh green herbs, and fresh cut grass. A wonderful young riesling, with plenty of promise in the cellar. R&M92 (92 pts.)
  • 2010 Jean-Paul Thevenet Morgon Vieilles Vignes - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Morgon (1/18/2013)
    Cool, lively aromatics of dark berries, florals, wet stone, and frank brett. The palate is similar, with crunchy blackberry, violets, and dried rose petal. A linear granite minerality arises on the mid-palate, later driving a long finish of sour cranberry, game, and soil. This is expressive and fresh, but unfortunately overshadowed by brett on the nose as well as the palate. Hopefully the remaining bottles will show better. R&M86 (86 pts.)
  • 2011 Ankida Ridge Pinot Noir - USA, Virginia (1/14/2013)
    Sweet blackberry aromas with hints of vanilla spice and crushed chalk. On the palate it was paradoxically light bodied and low in alcohol, while simultaneously feeling extracted/sweet in its dark pinot fruit profile. Semi-firm tannins frame the short-medium finish of tea, gravel, and tart dark berries. While easily drinkable, this is simply generic, therefore falls way below its price point. R&M 80 (80 pts.)

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