Saint Hilaire, Brut, Blanquette de Limoux 2010
Clean and fresh, with ripe pome and stone fruits, a supporting vein of slightly tart citrus, and some round mineral notes. Gains depth and roundness as it opens/warms. Not complex, but good quality, and a good value. Drink in the next few years. 2.5 Stars [8/7/13]
Chateau Bel Air, Bordeaux 2009
Dense, ripe black fruits supported by tart red fruits, with chocolatey earth, and as it opens, revealing soft red currant, a hint of flowers, and bell pepper. Medium-full and succulent body, with very good tone balancing its dense richness. Very impressive for such a modest label. Excellent value. Drink now. 3 Stars [8/7/13]
Chapelle-St-Arnoux, Vieilles Vignes, Cotes-du-Rhone 2010
Initially dark and firm, but dense and rich, with excellent tone, and a prominent note of barnyard/manure. As it opens over a couple of days however, it reveals a relatively elegant and quite complex personality, with black cherry, a touch of black olive, dark plum/damson, a hint of blueberry, meaty currants, a hint of flowers, a prominent black licorice note, leather, a hint of tobacco, black soil, cocoa powder, and slightly chalky tannin. Full bodied and rather penetrating. Rather Burgundian. If this is the style of 2010 in the S Rhone, then it appears to the dense ripeness of 2007, but with a more structured tone. I like this a lot. Good value. Drink in the next 5 years. 2.5 Stars [8/8/13]
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)