100 Points - limited
Extremely limited new white from Rhone Valley master Chapoutier.
100 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "One of the most singular wines I’m able to taste each year is unquestionably the l’Ermite Blanc from Chapoutier and it certainly lives up to the billing in 2015. Offering what I can only describe as a liquid rock (a liqueur of rocks?) character intermixed with notes of buttered citrus, pineapple, smoked meats, charcoal and toast, the 2015 Ermitage l’Ermite is full-bodied, decadent and locked and loaded on the palate. It needs 2-3 years of cellaring and I suspect will keep for half a century."
98 Points Wine Spectator: "Bright and pure, with a beautiful core of white peach, heather, yellow apple, star fruit and mirabelle plum notes backed by light citrus oil and verbena threads on the finish. Shows energy and tension throughout, with depth in reserve thanks to a long quinine echo at the end. Really stunning. Drink now through 2040. 204 cases made."
One of California's finest Viogniers from the Master John Alban. Very limited.
93 points Robert Parker: "I continue to think John's Central Coast Viognier is one of the best values out there. The 2018 Viognier has a wonderful, classic perfume: honeysuckle and quince with an intense core of peachy fruit plus accents of honeyed oats, baker’s yeast and citrus peel. The palate is medium-bodied, intensely flavored and extraordinarily fresh, finishing very long. So lovely!"
92 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Pale green-hued yellow. Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of mineral-accented white peach, Anjou pear, melon and orange zest carry a bright floral overtone that gains strength with air. Juicy, fresh and densely packed, displaying a suave interplay of richness and vivacity to the orchard and pit fruit flavors. Shows impressive power and definition on the strikingly long finish, which strongly echoes the peach and floral qualities."
91 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "The Alban Viognier Central Coast and is a serious winner in 2017. Possessing an elegant, medium to full-bodied, ultra-pure profile as well as classic notes of caramelized citrus, white flowers, and hints of orange marmalade, it’s well worth a multi-bottle purchase and will keep for 2-3 years."
John Alban is a pioneering central coast master of Rhône varietals, and his Alban Vineyards label is one of the most sought-out sources for what many consider the pinnacle expressions of these grapes in California. His Viognier wines are routinely hailed as top examples of the varietal, and not just from his neighbors, but from many of the top players in Condrieu as well. From the winery: "We make two Viogniers: A Central Coast bottling that is often more than 75% from our own vineyard, and an Estate bottling. The former showcases the forward heady stone fruit of this variety. It is fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel and bottled early."
One of the best Napa Valley Sauvignon Blancs we've discovered.
The Altamura 2016 Sauvignon Blanc comes from the winery's 4-acre 18-year-old dry-farmed vineyard which sits at an altitude of 850 feet. The wine is fermented and aged in new French oak barrels for 18 months resulting in a wine of great depth and complexity, displaying the flavor and textural profile more like a white Bordeaux than a California Sauvignon Blanc. Very limited production of 500 cases.