2006 Tre Donne, Barolo
Our fans of Small Vineyards’ Italian wines are very familiar with the story of the Lequio sisters, Antonella, Rosanna, and Daniella, who make wine under the Tre Donne label. Since convincing their father to let them take over the winery, their wines have characteristically been pure, focused, and delightful, using pristine fruit, old vines, and transparent techniques that allow them to show off the best varietal characteristics of Nebbiolo. Known particularly for their lovely Barbarescos, this vintage of Barolo is their best yet, at least according to proud papa Alessandro. The wine is aged for three years in barrels and offers expansive cranberry, cedar, and pomegranate aromas. Approachable now, with soft tannins and beautifully bright fruit, it would go well with spicy pork dishes and dark turkey. Since Small Vineyards is ready to bring in the 2007 Barolo, they reduced their price, so we are able to offer a limited amount at $49.75 instead of the usual $60.
2011 Domaine J.M. Boillot, Puligny-Montrachet
Jean-Marc Boillot is one of Burgundy’s top wine-makers, and is famous as one of the leaders of the movement in the 1980’s to make Burgundian wines with clearly delineated flavors, instead of the older, more rustic style. In 1984, after making 13 vintages at his family’s estate, Domaine Henri Boillot, Jean-Marc walked out in protest, intent on producing more concentrated and riper wines. He became the wine-maker for Olivier Leflaive for the next four years, and at the same time produced wines from five acres of vineyards, bottled under his own label. The wines impressed Jean-Marc’s grandfather, Etienne Sauzet, who left half of his exceptional vineyard holdings to Jean-Marc. In the last 25 years, Jean-Marc has gradually expanded his holdings to 21 different villages, from which he makes seductively rich and award-winning wines. This 2011 Puligny-Montrachet is a classic example. It’s complex and beguiling, with lots of citrus fruit, smoky and toasty notes, stony minerality, and a touch of vanilla. It kept getting better over the day that we sampled it, so it could benefit from a bit of decanting or aging. Delightful on its own, it could be paired with seafood (lobster or scallops), chicken, cheese, or any cream-based dish. It is only $63, quite a bit less than his single vineyard bottlings, and available in the usual small but not tiny quantities.