October is perhaps the greatest of all wine-drinking months, the period where we transition from the nimble and less serious wines of summer back into the structured but energetic wines that complement the flavors of Fall. Of course November and December are no slouches either and with that in mind, I am giving you another opportunity here to stock up on those lovely October wines for the holiday months ahead by revisiting October's Greatest Hits. In the "A Side," you'll find 4 reds that serve as excellent Fall-into-Winter options (including a great Thanksgiving bottle!). And in the "B Side" you'll find Cavallotto, which I would simply be remiss in not including in an October's Greatest Hits email or any Greatest Hits email while still available, as the Riserva '13s from Cavallotto are destined to be all-time great wines.
Today is Part 2 of our weekend Pinot Noir roundup. Yesterday in Part 1, we explored some New World Pinots from Oregon and California. Today we visit the Old World, with Pinot from Burgundy, the Languedoc-Roussillon, Germany and the obscure Coteaux de Champlitte appellation in France, located between Burgundy and Alsace.
The latest shipment of wines from my man Stefano have arrived, and we're very excited to have them back.
Plus, he's sent us two new items this time - a fantastic Aglianico del Taburno that he calls 'Must' and a fun Pet-Nat of Aspirinio that's aptly named 'Aspritz'.
Of course, the Pallagrello Bianco is here, and showing some nice evolution these days, with a deeper color and nice levels of the savory/cheese-y nuance to go along the volcanic minerality underneath.
And there's more of the Solopaca 2015, the wild, spicy volcanic red that started it all, and has also put on more complexity since last time we had it.
'd been eagerly waiting to taste Cavallotto's Barolo Riserva Vignolo and Riserva San Giuseppe from 2013 ever since the 2013 Bricco Boschis came out a couple of years ago.
I had the 2013 BB a few times after it arrived and it was one of the most firmly structured Briccos I can remember. Now, of course, Cavallotto's Barolo are always fiercely structured, but the dark, meaty, mineral-packed fruit they usually display typically balances out the backbone.
While there was a nice amount of that dark, mineral fruit, the nature of the 2013 vintage was on full display in the way that the fruit was smaller in scale than normal, while the intensity of the structure was a bit more pronounced.
I thought it would certainly be one of the more 'classic' versions of Bricco Boschis that we'd seen in a long while, and it would definitely be one of the longest lived.
So, with that memory in the back of my mind, I was anticipating some rather 'linear' wines when I tasted the 2013 Riservas...and, well...linear indeed.
As I've already said numerous times, the personalities of Diego and Stefano's wines are super bright, and I think the future they have on the 'Piedmont Stage' is even brighter...
The selection of back vintage Cuvée Imperiales that we have here today from Raymond Usseglio wonderfully embody Chateauneuf's exuberant and versatile nature. Produced from Grenache vines that are over 110 years old, the Cuveée Imperiale is the premier bottling in the 55-year old winery's impressive lineup of Southern Rhone beauties. Elegant, perfumed, dark, red-fruited, herbaceous, smoky and earthy with impressive length both on the palate and in the cellar, Stephane Usseglio (Raymond's son) only produces about 250 cases per year of Imperiale and these are always magnificent, first-rate wines even in more challenging vintages.
Domaine de Ferrand first came across our radar just a couple of years ago in the form of their also outstanding Cotes du Rhone. Due to our relatively recent discovery of this wonderful Domaine, the 2017 is only the second vintage we have carried of their Chateuneuf du Pape; we originally offered the 2016 in July and it quickly became one of our bestselling wines of this year. Despite this only being our third newsletter centered around a Domaine de Ferrand wine, I am already running out of superlatives. When discussing the '16, I called it a floral, dark-fruited smoky, herbaceous showstopper and suggested that it actually had the power to slow down time so I didn't leave myself a lot of wiggle room for subsequent vintages. What do I tell you now? That the 2017 can bring world peace? That it has found intelligent life on other planets? How about instead I just skip past all of the colorful language and tell you that it is "undeniably good?"