2012 Château Haut-Batailley, Pauillac, $65
Winery info: Château Haut-Batailley is based in the quite northerly Left Bank Pauillac appellation of Bordeaux. It has long been owned by the Borie family who also own the famed Grand-Puy-Lacoste nearby. Haut-Batailley is a Fifth Growth Grand Cru Classé estate, as determined by the 1855 classification. (In the spring of 2017, this estate was purchased by the Cazes family, of Château Lynch-Bages, another Fifth Growth estate.)
Winemaker: François-Xavier Borie
Grapes: The blend tends to be 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc.
Vineyard: Their vineyards are situated on deep gravel over limestone, near the Gironde River.
Flavor Profile: The 2012 is classic in style: full bodied and savory with rich flavors of ripe currant. A very elegant and classy Bordeaux.
Availability: This vintage is no longer available
Drinkability: Enjoy it between 2018 and 2022. Best to decant if drinking it in the near future.
Food Pairing: Rack of lamb, roast duck, or prime rib.
2014 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aîné, “Les Sauvagères” St-Péray, $28
Winery info: Based in the tiny northern Rhône appellation of Saint Péray, with a mere 70 hectares (One of the smallest appellations in the Rhône Valley.) It was begun by Antoine Jaboulet in 1834. It was purchased by the Frey family about ten years ago, who set about to make improvements to this already legendary estate and convert the estate to biodynamic practices.
Winemaker: Oenologist and proprietor Caroline Frey, with winemaking director, Jacques Desvernois.
Grapes: 100% Marsanne. “Les Sauvagères” is the local name for the grape in Saint-Péray. The name refers to the wild tendency of the vines to dig into the steep limestone soil.
Vineyard: Grown on steep hills with limestone soil—rare in the northern Rhône—which tends to give the wines great precision and excellent minerality. Sourced from both estate and purchased fruit.
Flavor Profile: This wine shows the fresh, mineral style of Saint-Péray, with notes of citrus, green apple, and chalk, with a nice touch of earthiness.
Availability: This vintage is gone and we are looking forward to the next one.
Drinkability: Ready to drink now.
Food Pairing: Seafood, shellfish, chicken, veal, or pork. Great with cream sauces or soft cheeses.