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Bill Buitenhuys

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WTN: Graillot, Lignier-Michelot, Cheap Barolo, Once oaky Champigny

by Bill Buitenhuys » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:56 am

2004 Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage (N. Rhône) Gorgeously perfumed nose with anise, moss, and blackberries. Over time the nose evolves to smoky bacony yumminess. It's a nicely rich wine with excellent ripe fruit, nicely structured but not overpowering tannins, and very well balanced with plenty of acidity. Entirely enjoyable now but worth giving at least a few years in the cellar. A deal at $19 closeout.

2005 Lignier-Michelot Bourgogne (Burgundy) Nice, clean red fruit and floral nose. Very ripe, very bright red cherry flavors, silky palate, with fairly sharp acidity, good amount of mineral at the core, and dusty tannins. Very good with the acidic Lidia baked roma tomato/crumbs over ravioli dish. It really needs some time to integrate but this is pretty now and is a quality burg for cheap money (well $23 is cheap compared to other '05 Burg prices).

1999 Stefano Farino Barolo (Piedmont) Takes a good 3 hrs in the decanter to open up. No signs of bricking. Soft fragrance of sweet dark fruit and hints of some secondary development (tar, orange peel, dried flowers). Fairly ripe fruit flavors, prominent acidity, and enough tannic structure to make me think this should get better with a few more years of age. It’s certainly not great but it’s more than you might expect from a $24 barolo. Day 2 this completely falls apart,making me rethink whether this will age at all.

2000 Domaine Lavigne La Chesnaie des Moulins Saamur-Champigny (Loire) All signs of oaky vanilla (demi-muids) from its youth (oak in a Champigny? Heresy, you say!) have vanished and what is left is a wonderfully expressive wine with lots of life. The fruit is very ripe yet the palate is light and uplifting with just enough dusty tannins and acidity to make this a very refreshing and tasty summer red. $15 on release.
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Rahsaan

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Re: WTN: Graillot, Lignier-Michelot, Cheap Barolo, Once oaky Champigny

by Rahsaan » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:35 am

Bill Buitenhuys wrote:oak in a Champigny? Heresy, you say!


Tell that to the Foucault brothers.
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Bill Buitenhuys

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Re: WTN: Graillot, Lignier-Michelot, Cheap Barolo, Once oaky Champigny

by Bill Buitenhuys » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:47 am

Tell that to the Foucault brothers.

Are there many others in Saamur than Clos Rougeard that use oak for cab franc?
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Re: WTN: Graillot, Lignier-Michelot, Cheap Barolo, Once oaky Champigny

by Rahsaan » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:57 am

Bill Buitenhuys wrote:Are there many others in Saamur than Clos Rougeard that use oak for cab franc?


CR has the most distinctive oak (and perhaps the most distinctive SC) but I believe most of the luxury cuvees for cabernet franc across the Loire use some form of new or old oak.
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Tim York

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Re: WTN: Graillot, Lignier-Michelot, Cheap Barolo, Once oaky Champigny

by Tim York » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:03 pm

Re: oaky Saumur-Champigny

Thierry Germain's (Domaine des Roches Neuves) Cuvée Marginale was once lavishly oaked but some reports say that he is becoming more sparing, certainly on his chenin Saumur Insolite. I think that Chevallier's (Château de Villeneuve) Grand Clos also sees new oak but it is not very obvious on the palate; his chenin Saumur Cormier definitely sees new oak. My favourite René-Noël Legrand also uses new oak on his top cuvée, Les Rogelins.

In general the use of oak is quite discreet and overt vanilla, etc. flavours do not seem to be sought; cuvée Marginale was an exception.
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