Holidays are here. tBoW is getting ready for a big Xmas day party. Touring local wineries today. Here is my holiday bling collection courtesy of a Downtown LA vendor. Have to make a shopping stop there next week. Here are the wines bringing holiday cheer.
2005 Fitou Bel Armant Chateau Champ des Souers $15: This may be the third time tBoW has reviewed this wonderful little Languedoc/Corbieres wine from Beck Wasserman. Toffee nose, soft, vanilla, fruity. Balanced well. Blends Grenache, Carignan and Mourv√®dre. Just very pleasant and completely enjoyable. 13.5%
2006 Domaine des Croix Beaune 1er Cru Les Bressandes $39: An perfect example of when it is time to break the U20 barrier. A Becky Wasserman Selection by the winemaker for Camille Giroud, David Croix. Les Bressandes is one of the great under-the-radar Burgundy premier cru vineyards. This wine is made by an under-the-radar young and upcoming winemaker who handles it beautifully. This is his eponymous label. The dopey phrase iron fist in a velvet glove comes to mind although it probably has no application to Burgundy. Having said that [ed. apologies to Larry David but honestly we have been busting over-used and convoluted "phrasing" for decades; consider "unchartered", "there you go", "if you will" and worst of the worst, like nails dragging across a chalkboard - what's that? - "IT IS WHAT IT IS"! As Dotor√® insists, no it isn't.] the wine is focused with a cherry-ish fruit core. Very few feral flavors or aromas, light on tannins, showing polish and skill tBoW picked it off a WHWineCo mailer – and since we bought it blind – this proves the wisdom of having a local wine store you can count on. 13%
2003 Domaine Maxime Chomel Crozes Hermitage Sassenes $23: Hermitage is one of the great vineyards in the Rhone. Crozes is the step-bother, much larger with many wines from the collection of secondary vineyards. This wine has lots to recommend; hand picked, 330 cases, 100% Syrah from old vines. This wine is a bit dirty right away. Is it Bret? Probably not but it is tannic and rustic just the same. Black red color. Syrah bended with Marsanne/Rousanne which gives some sweetness. Raspberries. Quaint. 13.5%
2006 Michel Sarrazin Givry Champs Lalot $20: Strong vanilla on the front palate. Gaminess, creamy flavors. Light to medium weight. Gentlewine for gentle men and women. Givry is one of the lesser appellations in Burgundy, in the the Cote Challonais; a value region for a broker who knows what they want. A North Berkeley Wine pick. They pick the barrels and blend the juice under the producers’ label but it is an NBW wine. Very nice. 13%
2008 Evesham Wood Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $18: This Oregon winery is in the southern end of the Willamette Valley near Salem. We have had some wonderful and some ordinary wines from EW. This is in the latter group. We would have liked to have been impressed but were not. Flavors are nice enough. It is just that we can think of enough other wines we could have for the price point or less (see Fitou and Sarrazin). In fact, price point is an issue generally with Oregon Pinot Noir. Our experience is the best values are between $30 and $40. Of course, you could write the same for Burgundy. 13%