2005 Frederic Magnien, Chablis Valmur Grand Cru
This remarkable village Chablis is essentially a single-vineyard Chardonnay. Frederic Magnien found perfect fruit from “Chapelot,” a vineyard just across from the premier cru “Montée de Tonnerre,” and fermented it 100% in stainless steel tanks to preserve the purity of the fruit. Lemon yogurt, fresh almonds and the chalky crunch of crushed oyster shells show in the wine’s sunny nose, while a full, vibrant mouth of white fruits signals that this is no ordinary village Chablis. A great value at only $62.00, this is all we could get. As in Burgundy, 2005 in Chablis was a vintage that produced some wonderfully big and voluptuous wines and this one could easily be enjoyed on its own, or paired with your next seafood feast.
2003 Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge
Didn’t we just see this label in the club? Yes, every year, the wine world battles over its allocation of the Tempier Rosé we put in the July Specialty Club, but this 2003 red wine shows just as much of the quality of Tempier wines. Intense, concentrated and inky with layers of smoke and Provencal earth, Tempier wines are some of the best expressions of the grape Mourvedre in the world. While 2003 was intensely hot in most of France, in Bandol it was, in the words of importer Kermit Lynch, “nothing more than an unusually beautiful summer.” This classic Tempier, only $35.00, is drinking well now, but there’s no doubt it will keep evolving over another ten years, if your cellar is up to the challenge. It will go well with any meat dish, or you can try it with garlic-rubbed leg of lamb, the favorite dish of proprietor Lucien Peyroud. We might be able to get a little more from the distributor.