2015 Château Mangot, Saint-Émilion Todeschini, Grand Cru, $63
Winery Info: Château Mangot, located in the Right Bank Bordeaux appellation of Saint-Émilion, dates back to the 1500s.
Today it is owned by the Todeschini family and is managed by brothers Yann and Karl Todeschini. They practice low impact, “ecological viticulture,” using no synthetic herbicides or insecticides, and they work hard to promote biodiversity on their property. Their wines are noted for being representative of the power of Saint-Émilion, with a “contemporary elegance and refinement.” Their “Todeschini” cuvée was originally created in 2008 as an exploration of their different terroirs and to showcase their passion for Cabernet fruit, especially Cabernet Franc, a grape that they felt was too often neglected.
Grapes: This atypical wine leads with 40% Cabernet Franc, blended with 30% each Merlot (typically the dominant grape in Right Bank Bordeaux wines) and Cabernet Sauvignon (dominant on the Left Bank), from vines ranging from 34 to 58 years in age. Aged 16 to 18 months in new French oak.
Vineyard: Blended from a careful selection of fruit from five parcels of their estate vineyards, with clay and limestone soils.
Flavor Profile: This wine is powerful, yet elegant and expressive, with dark fruit, herbs, and a touch of spice. Medium bodied and aromatic, with smooth tannins and fresh minerality, it is quite accessible and a unique representation of the Saint-Émilion terroir.
Availability: This vintage is still in good supply.
Drinking Window: Give it around four years, then enjoy over the following five years or so.
Food Pairing: Roasted, braised, or grilled dishes, especially pork, beef, lamb, duck, or chicken.
2018 Domaine Didier Montchovet, Hautes Côtes de Beaune Blanc, $33
Winery Info: Didier Montchovet started his winery in the Hautes Côtes de Beaune appellation of Burgundy in 1984 with a commitment to organic farming practices. He was a proponent of biodynamic viticulture in Burgundy at a time when it was viewed with much skepticism, and he was one of the first in the region to become Demeter certified. Since then his wines have received much admiration for their pure expression of the Hautes Côtes de Beaune terroir. Alas, Didier decided to retire in 2020. But he sold his winery to Boris Champy, formerly of Domaine des Lambrays, who is excited to carry on the tradition of this small, meticulously farmed winery. 2018 is Didier’s last vintage.
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, fermented on lees for 11 to 18 months and aged one year in neutral oak.
Vineyard: An east-facing 3.5-hectare parcel, with clay and limestone soil. Planted from 1970 to 1990.
Flavor Profile: A lovely example of white Burgundy with rich, inviting aromas of stone fruit. It has delicate texture and great balancing acidity and the complex flavors linger long on the finish.
Availability: There is still some of this vintage left, but after that the distributor will move on to the Boris Champy wines.
Drinking Window: Enjoy now or over the next three to four years.
Food Pairing: Didier suggests rich fish dishes, smoked salmon, or Chicken Gaston Gérard.