2004 Domaine de Ferrand, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
We always love to catch rising stars and Philippe Bravay, of Domaine de Ferrand is considered to be unquestionably an up-and-coming Châteauneuf-du-Pape winemaker to watch. Not a renegade, he is dedicated to preserving Châteauneuf’s traditions on the tiny estate he took over from his parents. He practices organic techniques, limits his yields and uses traditional vinification methods. This one is ready to drink now, or it can be cellared for up to 15 years. It was $55.00 and we have no more, but if you can find any of his wines (he also produces fabulous Côtes du Rhônes) they are, at least for now, excellent Rhône values.
2004 Azienda Agricola Bastianich, Vespa Bianco
First of all, contrary to what you might think, vespa does not mean cute little pastel-colored motor scooter. It is actually Italian for “wasp” (as in the insect). But that’s beside the point. What’s important is this wine from Joe Bastianich, who has an amazing bio, not only because of his many food and wine collaborations with chef Mario Batali, but also for the wines he produces at his wineries in Friuli and Tuscany. His Vespa Bianco, from his Friuli estate, is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and a touch of late harvest Picolit — a white grape from the Friuli region that lends this sumptuous wine an amazing mouth feel. This one was $29.75 but, thanks to its acclaim, we surely won’t be able to get any more. Enjoy it now or over the next five to seven years.