Wine of the Month - June 2019

Wine of the Month - June 2019

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For the month of June 2019, we turn our attention to Pauillac, the well-known village which produces three of the five First Growths: Lafite, Mouton, Latour.

Nested among the First Growths are Super Seconds such as Pichon Baron and Pichon Comtesse.  The grands vins of these name brands are too expensive to include in the $200 Wine of the Month selections.  But their second wines (made of grapes from younger vines) are reasonably priced to be everyday drinking wine.  This month, in addition to showcasing the 2012 vintage of Château Grand-Puy Lacoste, we feature 3 second wines: 2015 and 2016 Reserve de La Comtesse, and 2016 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron.

This month's selection:

Tasting Notes

Réserve de La Comtesse 2015 - "The 2015 Reserve de la Comtesse is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. It has a very fine, quite sophisticated and pure bouquet with black cherries, cedar and violet aromas, perfumed and sensual. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, rounded tannin that is cloaked by layers of tobacco-tinged black fruit that segues into a long, lightly spiced finish. This is a delightful, quite serious deuxième vin that I suspect will age much longer than drinkers will afford it. Try to give this five years and you will be rewarded." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/27/2016, Issue 224), Ratings: 90-92, Drink: 2020-2035

Réserve de La Comtesse 2016 - "The 2016 Reserve de Comtesse de Lalande is a blend of 37% Merlot, 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, with a modest alcohol level of 13.1% and a pH of 3.71. It has a tightly wound bouquet that perhaps needed more coaxing than some of its peers, but it was worth persisting, as it unveils some lovely cedar-infused black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with quite firm tannin on the entry, moderate depth, a light marine influence upon the black fruit with a little creaminess on the finish. This is a fine Reserve de Comtesse that is on par with the excellent 2015 last year." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/28/2017, Issue 230), Ratings: 90-92, Drink: 2020-2035

Les Griffons de Pichon Baron 2016 - "The 2016 Les Griffons de Pichon Baron is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Merlot matured in 60% new oak. The harvest was between 26 September and 18 October, and it represents 30% of the total yield. It has a very pure and detailed bouquet with blackberry, briary, cold stone and graphite aromas. This seems to meliorate in glass. The palate is very well balanced with fine tannin, a Griffons that is nimble and agile, the finish very precise with an almost clinical graphite-tinged finish. This is superb." - Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (4/28/2017, Issue 230), Ratings: 93-95, Drink: 2021-2050

Château Grand-Puy Lacoste 2012 - "Always a favorite among consumers, Xavier Borie’s is a fifth-growth Pauillac that consistently performs at a much higher level. The 2012 Grand-Puy-Lacoste has the classic, tell-tale crème de cassis as well as some bluer fruits and floral notes. Medium-bodied, its ripe tannin, beautiful fruit and low acidity give it an up-front appeal. There’s no harm in drinking it now or cellaring it for another 12-15+ years." - Robert Parker Jr, The Wine Advocate (4/29/2015, Issue 218), Ratings: 91

Effective October 18, 2019, the US Trade Representative's Office imposed a new 25% value-added tax (i.e., import tariffs) on a wide range of European products (including French wine, Italian cheese and single malt Scotch whisky) to penalize EU subsidies for Airbus.  EU has made counter-claims agains the US subsidies for Boeing.  A ruling by WTO on EU's counter-claims is expected in the spring of 2020.

For any Futures (en primeur) and Pre-Arrival items, our current prices are shown before taxes and tariffs.  Prior to shipment, we may have to collect any tariffs levied by the US government at the time. Tariffs will be based on the date of importation and the rate of US tariffs in place at the time.  Current rules exempt wines with alcohol content above 14.5% from the newly imposed 25% tariffs. We will offer free storage in our professional wine cellar in Bordeaux in the event of any delay in importation caused by the uncertainties created by tariffs.

If you believe these tariffs are NOT in the best interest of US consumers like yourself, please consider writing to your congressional representatives to let them hear your voice.  You can find out how to contact your representatives here using this directory provided by the US Congress.


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