2001 Bodegas Faustino, Faustino I Rioja Gran Reserva, $47
Winery info: Faustino is one of the oldest and most respected wineries in Rioja. It was founded in 1861 by Eleuterio Martinez Arzok and is still owned by the Martinez family.
Winemaker: The winemaking team is led by Julio Faustino Martinez.
Grapes: 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano (providing richness & color), and 5% Mazuelo (aka Carignan)
Vineyard source: Their estate vineyards in the Rioja Alavesa region. Faustino I is their flagship wine, and is made from their very best grapes.
Flavor profile: When you first open it, the wine is amazingly fresh for a fifteen year old wine. As the air hits it, the tobacco and cedar notes start to come out, balanced by red fruit, jam, spices, and a touch of vanilla.
Production/Availability: This wine was named “Wine of the Year” by Decanter Magazine in 2013, and we recently discovered that the distributor still has ten cases left.
Drinkability: We think it’s at the peak of its development right now; the Decanter writers recommended drinking it between 2013 and 2020.
Food Pairing: Lamb, cheese, bean stews, and other lighter meals.
2014 Jomain Freres, Meursault Les Tillets, $60
Winery info: Jomain Freres consists of the Jomain family: brothers Philippe & Christophe, and sister Catherine. Their father Marc took over the 9 hectares owned by the Moroni family in 1982. When Marc died the next year, the siblings took over the business. Like many Burgundy families, they have holdings in a few communes, including Saint Aubin, Puligny-Montrachet, Auxey-Duresses, Monthelie, and Meursault.
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
Vineyard source: Les Tillets is a south-facing vineyard located at the top of one of the two hills of Meursault. Its name comes from the lime trees that used to border the vineyard. It is immediately adjacent to the famous La Garenne vineyard in the next commune, Puligny-Montrachet. Although not classified as Premier or Grand Cru, it is considered one of the lesser known gems of Meursault.
Flavor profile: Classic Meursault, with citrus aromas, nice acidity, a creamy texture, and a very long, persistent finish.
Availability: Limited but more is available.
Drinkability: Sumptuous now, but it should continue to develop for several more years.
Food Pairing: Delightful on its own, it could be paired with seafood (lobster or scallops), chicken, cheese, or cream-based dishes.