2015 Château Fonplégade, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé, $65
Winery info: Grapevines have been cultivated on this exceptional site in the Saint-Émilion district of Bordeaux since the late 1500s. In 2004 the existing winery was purchased by Americans Denise and Stephen Adams, philanthropists and owners of several other wineries in both Bordeaux and California. They spent years restoring and renovating the vineyards, cellar, and château and today it is one of the most beautiful estates in Saint-Émilion. The wines are made by Eloi Jacob and Arnaud Martin, along with world-renowned consulting winemakers, Michel Rolland and Stéphane Derenoncourt.
Grapes: 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, aged 16-20 months in a combination of new and used French oak barrels and egg-shaped concrete vessels.
Vineyard: Their superbly situated estate vineyards in Saint-Émilion. Farmed biodynamically.
Flavor Profile: Critics have said the 2015 vintage is the best wine ever produced from this estate, describing it variously as “absolutely gorgeous,” “a rich, opulent beauty,” and “amazingly elegant.” Aromas of dark currants, herbs, violets, and earth are followed by flavors of dark fruit and toasted spice that continue to evolve in the glass. It is medium-bodied, with well-structured tannins and balancing freshness and focus.
Availability: The distributor has just a small amount of this wine left.
Drinkability: Decant if drinking soon. Otherwise give it a few years to further develop, then enjoy anytime up to 2030.
Food Pairing: Definitely a meat wine. Pair it with grilled beef or lamb, or seared duck breast.
2017 Domaine Cheveau, Pouilly-Fuissé, Les Trois Terroirs, $39.75
Winery info: Domaine Cheveau is located in hamlet of Solutré-Pouilly, in the Mâconnais district of southern Burgundy, in the heart of the of Pouilly-Fuissé appellation. It was established by André Cheveau in1950 and is now run by his grandsons, Nicolas and Julien. The Chardonnays of this region can often rival the much more expensive offerings from Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune district to the north.
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay from vines between 25 and 30 years in age. Aged in a mix of barrel and large foudre for one year.
Vineyard: Sourced from three separate parcels, two in Pouilly and one in Fuissé. The vines are planted in calcium-rich clay/limestone soil.
Flavor Profile: The fruit from the three different vineyard sites produces an elegant wine with the typical richness and power of this appellation. It has lovely texture, gorgeous Chardonnay fruit notes, and balancing, food-friendly minerality.
Availability: About 500 cases of this wine make it to the U.S. market each year. It is in decent supply.
Drinkability: Now, or over the next five to six years.
Food Pairing: Our rep for this wine (and excellent chef) suggests Columbia River sturgeon with a Dijonnaise sauce with shallots, white wine, and tarragon, served with wild mushroom risotto.