Our Winning Vineyards
Maugaux 2015, vintage of the decade
This is a diverse harvest, today. Three supremely different wines that are ready to enjoy now. Or cellar for years.
We have been advised by customs (finally!) that our reefer stock (inbound from Europe) will be released, probably today. Stock will therefore be delivered to our cellars next week. This will allow us to courier wines to customers late next week.
So, onto todays Domaines:
ZIND HUMBRECHT- ROTENBERG, ALSACE
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht is a highly regarded winery located in Turckheim, Alsace. The family has been producing a range of wines since the 17th century. Domaine Zind Humbrecht today comprises 40 hectares of vines. The Rotenberg is the summit of the hill whose south facing slopes make up the Grand Cru Hengst. The steep slopes of Rotenberg are west facing and look onto the Haut Landsbourg Chateau. The point where the slope turns towards the north is the start of a small lieu-dit called Hinterberg, within the Rotenberg. The first parcels of the Rotenberg were acquired by Emile Zind, however the hill of Rotenberg, literally in the shadows of Hengst, only entered into the history books in the 1950’s and 60’s. These red, iron rich soils were also at one stage exploited by the nearby iron mines. The soil structure is from the substratum of Oligocene limestone and tertiary marl. The steep slopes (30 to 40%) result in a very thin layer of topsoil and shallow limestone bedrock visible in the mid-slope. The soil is very rich in iron which gives it an intense, quite spectacular brick-red colour. Rotenberg can be translated as “the red hill”. The late-ripening climate (due to the aspect but also to the altitude of this growth – over 300 m) means the grapes are harvested later and can lead to the development of noble rot. The scarcity of fertile elements in this soil explains the Rotenberg’s very low yields, increasing the potential and quality of the wines from this vineyard.
The Pinot varieties are very well adapted to this terroir, their early ripening characters matched to the late ripening properties of the terroir which allow for a longer ripening period. The grapes can thus achieve the phenolic maturity necessary for great wines. The Domaine owns 1.7ha of vineyard on these slopes, of which 1.2 ha is planted to Pinot Gris which has been used since 1985 for the Pinot Gris Rotenberg. It is really the soil more than the climate which makes the quality of the Rotenberg wines, the excellent acidities found in these wines strongly linked to the marl-limestone soils and cool microclimate. The Rotenberg wines have finesse and elegance, perfectly balanced acidity and excellent keeping qualities, with the ever-present aromas of white fruits (peach, quince…).Production is very low. The vines show nice vigour but carry a very small number of clusters, which in turn are very small. The consequence, especially in 2019, is that the wines from Rotenberg show a firm structure. Slow to ferment, the wild yeasts eventually managed to ferment this wine absolutely bone dry.
Dr Jamie Goode - Zind-Humbrecht is probably the best producer in Alsace, with a stunning line-up of powerful, rich wines that possess a real sense of place.
A biodynamic estate in Beaujolais owned and managed by the Lafarge family of the now-legendary Domaine in Volnay. In 2014, Frederic and Chantal Lafarge decided to embark on a new adventure in Beaujolais. They first purchased 2.25 hectares and a winemaking facility. For their first vintage in 2014, they produced three cuvées – Chiroubles, Fleurie Bel Air and Fleurie Clos Vernay. Following the Lafarge philosophy, each wine reflects its individual and specific vineyard origin. They also decided to work their vineyards biodynamically from the outset and applying the same attention to detail as they do in their Volnay vineyards. The Domaine’s total surface area increased to 4.1 hectares from the 2015 vintage. This includes the high altitude, old vine plot of Joie du Palais in Fleurie.
William Kelley, The Wine Advocate - Any readers looking for Gamay that will converge with great Pinot Noir should look no further. This fourth vintage of Beaujolais newcomer Domaine Lafarge-Vial is a great success.
DOMAIN DU TUNNEL, CORNAS
Situated in an old steam train tunnel in the charming village of Saint-Péray in the Northern Rhône. This small family Domaine is run by Stéphane Robert and his wife Sandrine. Stéphane began in 1994 when he was just twenty-four years old by renting vines. He now owns ten+ hectares of his own vines. Stéphane’s Cornas is made from 15 parcels of Syrah from several ‘lieu dits’ with some old vine parcels now exceeding 100 years. The blending of parcels gives the wine layers of complexity and character. The wine spends 14 months in old oak barriques for roundness without masking the fruit.
The Wine Advocate - Stéphane Robert has attracted enormous praise from the likes of Decanter, Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate. Their wines have become a Cornas reference point. Stunning complexity, richness, intensity and poise are apparent in every wine.
Today’s 6-pack offer comprises two bottles of each wine listed below. The Zind Alsace Pinot Grigio is legendary. Drinking well young but having the potential to age for 15+ years The Lafarge Fleurie Gamay is starting to show some secondary qualities already; an elegant delight. While the Cornas, at six years on, offers beautiful dark fruit, a real lip-smacking Syrah full of delight. The attached notes offer you the usual comprehensive information.
- Domain Zind Humbrecht, Rotenberg Pinot Grigio. Alsace 2019
James Suckling - This self-confidently atypical pinot gris has astonishing acidity that’s got the intensity of a lightning strike. Tons of pineapple and toast character, but also gigantic, lemony freshness at the exceptionally bright finish. May be too extreme for some, but we find this amazing. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drink or hold. 95/100
- Lafarge-Viall, Fleurie Gamay. Beaujolais 2018
John Gilman - Chantal and Frédéric Lafarge have crafted superb wines across the board in this vintage. The wines include twenty-five percent whole clusters. Their 2018 Fleurie is excellent, offering up a pure and nicely sappy bouquet of red and black cherries, pomegranate, gamebird, vinesmoke, a lovely base of soil and a touch of orange zest in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely soil-driven in personality, with a lovely sense of granitic soil signature, just a touch of backend tannin and a long, tangy and very well-balanced finish. Fine juice. 93/100
- Du Tunnel, Cornas Syrah. North Rhone 2016
Matt Walls, Cornas Tasting Feature, DECANTER - Deeply savoury herbal style. Rounded and freshly fruited, with blackberry and blackcurrant. Saline and bright, with juicy fruit on the finish. This has weight but also well-managed tannins, great lift and freshness on the saline, mineral finish. Lift, power, focus – great Cornas style. 96/100
Special offer terms:
We have just 7 cases on offer today at just R5 300 each. The first 3 cases can be yours for R5 100 each, saving you an easy R200.
Offer subject to confirmation. First come first served. VAT included. Couriered to your door.
Weekend Wines imports a diverse range of European fine wines. Top quality is always the key feature. Yet good value also plays a role. Generally we have around 500 unique and different wines in our SA cellars. Each week we email a ‘Friday Special Offer’ to our customers. This features a 6-bottle case of assorted fine wines, with a focus that may include either region, vintage or simply be an ‘adventure’. Alternately contact Robin with your interests, requests, or for assistance.