Wednesday, May 4, 2011

TN: Château de la Maltroye 2006 Santenay 1er Cru La Comme

Burgundy is a region I'd like to explore. But it is simply too expensive to spend much time exploring. Except when I can find fair deals on wines like Château de la Maltroye 2006 Santenay 1er Cru La Comme. Primer Cru vineyards are upper echelon vineyards. But Santenay is less well regarded than other Burgundy regions. So perhaps this wine slipped through the cracks for this reason.

No matter, this is Pinot through and through. The elegance and perfume are typical, though the specific expression of the varietal is so varied. This actually does seemed a bit New World in the fruit-forward approach, but the weight and acidity are much more typical Old World traits.
  • 2006 Château de la Maltroye Santenay 1er Cru La Comme - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Santenay 1er Cru

    Classic Pinot. Mid-weight, with floral, truffle and spice aromas. Opens up to red fruit flavors, mainly strawberry. Fruit-forward, but with excellent complexity and not bombastic at all. No heat, clean finish. Good value. Mild tannic structure, medium+ acidity.

    From southern portion of Cote de Beaune, southern exposure, limestone and marl soils.

Monday, May 2, 2011

TN: Clendenen Family Vineyards 2001 Bien Nacido Vineyards Nebbiolo

Now this is wine: Clendenen Family Vineyards 2001 Bien Nacido Vineyards Nebbiolo. I've yet to have a properly aged Barolo or Barbaresco, but surely this wine indicates I should be laying down high quality Nebbiolo. While Santa Barbara County isn't renowned for Nebbiolo, a notoriously finicky grape, this is excellent wine with years of potential development ahead of it. The structure is awesome, and there's enough flesh and complexity to make this wine far more than a rigid backbone. It's a wine I have when relaxing at home during the evening where I can sip it and let it evolve. If only my cellar had more wines like this!

The wine is produced by Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat from Bien Nacido fruit. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir typically come to mind with Clendenen and Bien Nacido. But I guess Clendenen wanted to take on a grape even more challenging than Pinot. While I'm no Nebbiolo expert, I think this was a real success and is better than the Piedmont Nebbiolos I've tasted around this price point.
  • 2001 Clendenen Family Vineyards Nebbiolo Bricco Buon Natale Bien Nacido - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley

    Right up my alley. Firm, but not heavy. Ripe, mature cherry and raspberry. Leather, violet, tar, cedar and spice. Complex, well-balanced. Med-high acid with chalky tannin. Long finish, I could sip this all night. If medium aged CA Nebbiolo can be this good, I should be stocking up on Langhe Nebbs.