Specialty Club – January 2016

1983 Château de Haute-Serre, Cahors, $70

Winery info: This estate in the Cahors region of southwest France dates back to the Middle Ages. Towards the end of the 19th century, the vines were completely wiped out by phylloxera. In 1970 Georges Vigouroux began to ressurect the vineyards, uncultivated for over a century, bringing them back from neglect and taking the estate into the 20th century.

Winemaker: Georges Vigouroux. (His son, Bertrand-Gabriel, took over from his father in 1989.)

Grapes: Traditionally, their top wine has been all Malbec, although they did plant their first Merlot vineyard in 1983.

Vineyard source: The vineyards for this wine, some of the highest in the appellation, consist of stony, red clay soil with southwest and southeast exposure—perfect for growing Malbec.

Flavor profile: Very dark and intense, with powerful and complex flavors of black fruit and spice.

Availability: This was an amazing find. The distributor still has a few bottles left.

Drinkability: This wine definitely doesn’t need any further aging. Enjoy it soon, but give it plenty of time to open up—you could even save some to enjoy the day after you open it.

Food Pairing: This is a big wine that needs hearty food to stand up to it. Rich meat dishes or aged cheeses.

2011 Domaine Robert-Denogent, St. Véran, Les Pommards, $29.75

Winery info: Jean-Jacques Robert took over five hectares of his grandfather’s vines in the Mâcon region of southern Burgundy in 1988. These small parcels are planted with older vines and are esteemed for their unique soils and microclimates. Greatly influenced by Marcel Lapierre, the highly respected Morgon producer and staunch proponent of the expression of terroir, Jean-Jacques has been taking the wines from his family’s wines to new heights.

Winemaker: Jean-Jacques Robert, along with his son, Nicolas.

Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, from vines over 50 years old, farmed organically and fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in oak. They undergo complete malolactic fermentation.

Vineyard source: Individual parcels on varied soils, including granite, schist, limestone, clay, and gravel.

Flavor profile: Denogent’s wines have been compared to the fabled whites from further north in Burgundy, such as Puligny or Meursault. This one is powerful and complex, with a touch of flintiness and bright, fresh acidity.

Availability: This vintage is gone, and the distributor is now onto the 2012 vintage.

Drinkability: Ready to enjoy anytime over the next few years.

Food Pairing: Perfect for seafood, especially crab or lobster