WINE WEDNESDAY Part 3: BEDELL CHARDONNAY

“A genius is the one most like himself.” – Thelonious Monk

Clean, crisp, chardonnay BEDELL CHARDONNAY 2013 – North Fork, Long Island –  $19.99

A wonderful wine is a joy to taste, and you know it the moment you do. These are locals making world-class wine just two hours from the greatest city in the world.  Take advantage of it. This isn’t trying to be a California Chard, a Burgundy, a funky riff on an old classic, or anything other than ITSELF. You can taste the terroir; the soil at Bedell is made of sandy gravel and loam, with unique seaside winds from the sound and the ocean.  Bedell have taken great care to select grape clones that grow specifically well in their soils, and the vineyard is sustainably farmed.

Medium bodied with a subtle nose of juicy apple, pear, melon, and sea spray. It’s barrel fermented but finished in stainless steel, so you get a tiny hit of smokiness and cream on the finish which is just enough to bring a lovely complexity.  This is a beautiful wine and one that we think is a perfect representation of how good Long Island wines truly are. The label is currently a minimalist white; it will soon carry an image of a work of art from MOMA (the owner of Bedell is a trustee at the museum). We dig the tabula rasa as it looks now!

The vineyard does some great events during the summer and their tasting room is one of the nicest on the island. On Monday nights they bring in local food trucks for a picnic on the vineyards as well as live music! It’s worth a drive out to Peconic, about 2 hours from Manhattan.

Visit their website for more information: www.bedellcellars.com

WINE WEDNESDAY Part Deux: Informal Snarky Poll

WINE WEDNESDAY 7-16-14 – Part One

Can you believe the year is half over? Can you believe there’s a polar vortex IN JULY? Can you believe we are drinking wine at noon? Of course.  Its 2014, get with the program. 

Welcome to WINE WEDNESDAY at LE DU’S!   The gang is all here today – Jean-Luc, JT, Duncan, Nestor, and myself.  Nothing like starting the day with CHAMPAGNE! The only beverage you can have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and not be considered a lush. Ok, maybe a little bit of a lush.

CHARLES HEIDSIECK Brut Reserve & Brut Rose  

The story of Monseiur Heidsieck is worthy of a movie, and yes, it’s been made into a film!  The Brut is an equal blend of 1/3 Pinot Noir, 1/3 Pinot Meunier, and 1/3 Chardonnay, with at least 40% of that coming from Reserve barrels.  The wine spends 36 months on the lees, and Heidsieck is one of the few houses to put the disgorgement date on the label; which, if you follow champagne, has been the subject of some controversy. (Why this would ever be a bad thing, we have no idea. Isn’t more information better than none at all?) There is a toastiness to the nose with hits of almond, pistachio, and tropical fruit; but not heavy or overwhelming. It’s a supple, smooth, soft champagne that’s surprisingly low in acid. Dosage is about 10/11 grams (varying a bit year to year).

heid roseAs for the Rose, the blend is the same (1/3 -1/3- 1/3), with 20% coming from reserves. In the glass it has a delicate golden-pink hue reminiscent of a sunset. The berry notes are restrained and rhubarb and tart strawberry dominate the nose and front palate. Not nearly as heavy or creamy as say Billecart-Salmon, which we think makes it ideal for food pairings. It’s definitely different, but we like different. Right now we have the Rose in stock ($64.99) and will have the Brut Reserve later in the season. Certainly if you are interested in trying it, we can order it for you.

Here at Le Du’s we have a beautiful Heidsieck champagne travel case on display. We’ve had plenty of offers for it, but since we are not in the furniture business we aren’t permitted to sell it. If you are in the neighborhood come by the store and take a look at it. It’s a beautiful reminder of how far the world of wine has come in just under 200 years.

NEXT UP… A LONG ISLAND CHARDONNAY…..

 

Your Tuesday Night Burgundy from Joseph Roty

There was a time, not so long ago, when Burgundy lovers like me could bring home a bottle from a top producer for a casual Tuesday dinner.  With the rise in demand and interest in high quality Burgundy, those times are all but gone, so it’s a genuine thrill to be able to offer a bottle like this, a beautiful relic from an era nearly gone. 

He's nicer than his father.

Pierre Roty: He’s nicer than his father.

Joseph Roty Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire 2011   $27.99  “This charmingly rustic Pinot Noir is framed by snappy acidity and gentle tannins.  There is a distinct but subtle presence of oak which melds nicely with the dark floral aromas.   The palate is deep and resonant with layers of detailed black cherry and cool spice.  In a word, effortless.  The finish is persistent and pleasantly grippy.   There’s no need to cellar this wine, but it will keep well for another three to five years at the least.”

Domaine Roty is a legend among Burgundy fans not only for the quality and distinctiveness of its wines, but also the unique personality of the domaine’s late owner Joseph (d. 2008).   Clive Coates, MW gives us a snapshot of his last visit:

“Roty never stops talking, he needs to discuss the world’s events with you, show you all his vintage photographs, ask your opinion about this or that grower. He stands in your psychological space, and he chain-smokes Gauloise cigarettes; even in his own cellar when someone is trying to taste. Exasperated, I said to him, at the end of a long, tiring, bitterly cold day [...] ‘Please M. Roty, I’m trying to taste your wine. Will you please shut up, and if you will insist on smoking please go to the other end of the cellar’.  Naturally, I’ve not been allowed back.”

Roty Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire Joseph’s son Philippe has now taken over the winemaking here, but very little has changed about the domaine or its wines. Even from beyond the grave, Joseph Roty’s energy and intensity permeate his wines.  All are made with the same impeccable level of care and attention, down the selection of casks (these were made in-house until the late ’60s).  Aggressive de-stemming, long cold macerations, and frequent punch downs lead to a concentration of color and vivid sense of fruit unparalleled among burgundies.

Roty combines the feminine with the powerful.  His style offers richness without excess.  This is one of the great entry points for Burgundy available today.  It offers the soul, depth, and terroir which makes Burgundy so compelling.

It’s a rare thing, these days, to find such a wine for such a price so get it while you can. To purchase, respond to this e-mail, call 212-924-6999, or click here For our entire selection of Joseph Roty, click here.

Its Hard to Argue With a Damn Good Bordeaux

“One of my favorite Haut-Medocs for value and consistent quality is d’Aurilhac…an under-the-radar Bordeaux in top vintages.  This impressively made Medoc offers a lot of quality for its price.” – Robert Parker

It can be hard to argue with the quality, structure and outright deliciousness of a great Bordeaux — especially one from an excellent vintage. 2009 was just such a year, and we are lucky to have come into a cache of Chateau D’Aurilhac 2009.

You won’t find much argument in the wine world about this fact: 2009 in Bordeaux was a fantastic vintage for every appellation due to warm, consistent temperatures.  Although they didn’t quite achieve the legendary status of the 2010’s, there is no denying the ripeness and charm of the 2009.  Chateau D’Aurilhac is a classic example of how good Bordeaux, even at a “Cru Bourgeois” level, can be.

This is a dense, rich, deep purple wine with a bold, chewy nose of eucalyptus, raspberry jam, and raisin that you can smell from across the room. Ripe, sweet fruit notes attack on the front palate and are followed by an equally impressive long, tannic finish.  Deep, complex acidity that lingers on the palate.

Age does magnificent things to a Bordeaux, and you can taste the bottle age in this wine – and its drinking impressively.  This is not a wine to be argued with.  If you ask us, it’s a classic through and through.  Get this wine on your radar and in your glass. You’ll be glad you did.

CHATEAU D’AURILHAC  2009 CRU BOURGEOIS

$22.99/bottle…. $19.54/bottle if you get 12 or more

WINE WEDNESDAY 7/9 Part Deux: ’93 Kabinett !

Well this is a wine you don’t get a bottle of every day.  Our friend David dropped this one off yesterday and it had us infinitely curious. And after Germany’s trouncing of Brazil yesterday in the World Cup  (I haven’t seen Brazil that depressing since Terry Gilliam was directing), we raised our glasses for an old German treat….

MILZ LAURENTIUSHOF 1993 Trittenheimer Altarchen Kabinett Trocken

It makes you think back to what you were doing in 1993....

It makes you think back to what you were doing in 1993….

 

 

Christian (friend) : “That’s a laser beam Trocken.”
Jean-Luc : “Must’ve been an acidic vintage.”
JT: “This was probably undrinkable at five years old.”
Jen: “Still has a ways to go, actually.”
Duncan: “This is a massive, massive Trocken.” 
JT:  “Impressive. Well, there’s m1993 wine for the day.”

  • Surprisingly pale straw color; not that anyone would fake this wine, but it seemed light for its age. Good bite of lemon upfront which opened to more traditional red apple & tart peaches as the wine got some air behind it.  A racy, bracing acidity dominates this wine and there is no mistaking this for anything but a Mosel Trocken. It certainly was stored well and survived the aging, but unfortunately, it really didn’t turn into anything spectacular because of it.  Alas, it happens.  But as a wine “time machine”, this one was certainly good for a hot summer afternoon.

Happy WINE WEDNESDAY everybody!  — Jean-Luc, JT, Duncan & Jen 

 

 

WINE WEDNESDAY 7/9 : PART 1: Hail, Hail Burgundy

lafarge volnayIt’s WINE WEDNESDAY once again!

If you haven’t been following the news of the second year of devastating hailstorms in Burgundy, you should be. 2014 was shaping up to be a “bumper crop” until a good chunk of the Beaune region was again devastated by hail.

Burgundy drinkers have seen better days, that’s for certain. Prices are going to start going up exponentially as the 2011’s — and soon, ‘12’s — become more and more limited. News of hail destroying much of Minervois and Carcassone was equally disheartening. Although they’re often the “unsung heroes” of French wine, we love our Sud de France cuvees and hope their efforts to popularize their wines in the US won’t get stifled too badly because of the recent hailstorms and loss of grapes.

Climate change is here to stay: winemakers and wine lovers alike are feeling the effects. Frederick Lafarge in Volnay is one of them. He lost 80% of his crop in 2012 and 65% in 2013. No word yet on what this year’s storms have done – but we hope there will be enough great grapes for this wonderful, committed winemaker to turn out more of these fantastic wines. All of these wines will continue to improve over the next five to eight years, and the 2009 is drinking well now. We say enjoy them while you can.

LAFARGE COTE DE BEAUNE VILLAGES 2011  –  $39.99
Jancis Robinson: “Racy and lively. Real zip to this. Light to mid weight with very fine tannins and lots of acidity. But not skinny.”

LAFARGE VOLNAY 2011 – $66.99
Burghound: “Mossy and quite light on the nose. Lightweight and pretty.”

LAFARGE BEAUNE-GREVES 2009 – $100.00
Jancis Robinson: “Light cherry red. Still a light nose, sweet fruit and very charming with a bit of cherry spice. Nice fresh frankness though. Still a bit chewy and inky on the finish.”