Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Stone the Crows: The latest entrant ino the Napa Cabernet sweepstakes suceeds with this flashy wine. is a single vineyard, estate grown wine, produced entirely of fruit from the Three Twins Vineyard. Planted in 2005, the vineyard is the brainchild of Rick Talmadge. Rick, who resides in Bedford, New York, purchased the property, which is located at the 600-foot elevations in the hills above St. Helena on the northern slopes of Lake Hennessy. The vines are pruned to yield no more than three tons per acre

The first public release is the 2010 Stone the Crows Cabernet Sauvignon that received 94 points from the Wine Enthusiast, 92 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and 91 from Steve Tanzer. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, with 5% Petit Verdot, and aged 20 months in 75% new French oak barrels

Josh Clark who is responsible for the development and management of high quality vineyards from one end of the Napa Valley to the other manages the vineyard. The winemaker is Thomas Rivers Brown who began making wine at Turley Vineyards and in 2000, joined the Schrader Cellars team as winemaker and today crafts a brilliant portfolio of classically styled wines. He made history as the youngest winemaker to score not just one, but two perfect "100 point" ratings from Robert M. Parker, The Wine Advocate, for the 2006 Schrader "Old Sparky" and 2006 Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignons. In 2010 he followed that up when Senior Editor James Laube, Wine Spectator, awarded two top “100-point” ratings to the 2007 Schrader "Old Sparky" and 2007 Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignons.

Monday, June 25, 2012



Located in the southern part of the Cote de Beaune, Chassagne Montrachet shares with Puligny the title of the prince of the world’s dry white wines, the divine Montrachet. This fine, broad hillside brings out the very highest expression of the two Burundian grapes - the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay, which grows here side-by side - such, is the complexity of the district's terrors. However when one thinks Chassagne Montrachet the first thing that comes to mind is outstanding white wine although 50 percent of their production is still red. Chassagne has three Grand Crus within it border. Criots-Batard Montrachet and shares with Puligny, its neighbor, the Grand Crus of Le Montrachet and Batard Montrachet. Among the more prominent premier crus are Chenevottes, Clos del Maltroie, Cailleret, Chaumees, and Morgeot (Maltroye, Remi Jobard, and Bernard Moreau).The wine boasts a steely powerfulness and profound minerality when young. Age brings fleshiness and mellowness with notes of honey, ripe pear and a finish that is round and often opulent. This makes Chassagne Montrachet an ideal match for chicken, veal, or pork in a rich white sauce. They will easily age for five to ten years.


Puligny Montrachet lies between Chassagne Montrachet to the south and Meursault to the north. While it shares with Chassagne Montrachet the title of, “prince of the world’s dry white wines, the divine Montrachet,” Puligny surely can clam to have the lion’s share of Burgundy’s great white wines. Four of the six white Grand Cru lie within its borders, Chevalier Montrachet and Bienvenues-Batard Montrachet are entirely in its borders, and it shares with Chassagne Montrachet, its neighbor, the two other Grand Cru. Le Montrachet and Batard Montrachet.

Although not equal quality to the Grand Crus, the premier cru produced in Puligny are among the finest of all white wines. Among the more prominent premier cru are Cailleret, Chalumeau, Clavoillon, Combettes, Folatieres, Mouchere, and Pucelles. Some of the better producers are Maison Champy, Henri Boillot, and Matrot.

These Premier Cru located high on the hills are age-worthy wines with complex, concentrated and an elegant enhance by lively fruit and great minerality. The village wines tend to be softer, more accessible with less oak the than the Premier Cru as well as the wines of the of the other Cote de Beaune villages. Perhaps that is because the water table in the village is so near the surface, there are few cellars in the village available to age the wines more than a year. The Grand and Premier Cru are superb matches for Chicken or Veal especially in a mushroom cream sauce while the village wines do very well with shellfish.


Meursault is the largest commune on the Cote d’or and along with Puligny Montrachet and Chassagne Montrachet makes up the trifecta for the production of outstanding chardonnay.

The vineyards of Meursault continue in an unbroken line into Puligny Montrachet. Although it does not have any Grand Crus within its borders the commune enjoys a wealth of excellent village wines and premier cru. The best of their premier cru, Perrière, Charmes, and Genevriere, are high up on the hill, and lie closest to the border of Puligny Montrachet. They are equal in quality to the pre cru of both Montrachet. Tillets and Navaux, also located high up on the hill, are perhaps the finest village wines produced in the Cote de Beaune. Among the better producers are Remi Jobard, Henri Boillot and Patrick Javillier

The wines tend to be rich, soft and succulent with nutty flavors and a silky finish. The premier crus are long and structured with excellent minerality that will age gracefully for a number of years. The wines do well with white meats or shellfish in rich white sauces.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Romain Lignier left behind his American wife, Kellen and their two small children Lucie and Auguste after he passed away from cancer at the age of 34. It was his dream to create wines with character and style, which should be influenced by the great respect of Burgundy “terroir”.

Romain had taken over the reins of, Domaine Hubert Lignier the family estate, after his father who had established a fine reputation for the Domaine in the early 1980s retired in 1991. Romain was the passionate winemaker who led it into its era of even greater success. Kellen, learned about vineyards and winemaking by working hand in hand along side her husband. After Romain passed away in 2004, she decided to take up the mantle of the “Domaine” and devote her life to her husband’s work, the passion of winemaking. Therefore in 2005 the winery was named after their two children Lucie and Auguste (hoping that one day they will follow their parents footsteps).

Named one “Burgundy’s Young Guns” by the Wine Spectator Kellen’s wine making style is largely influenced by her husband’s philosophy to respect Burgundy’s ”terroir”. There is as little interference as possible in order to allow the fruit to fully express its origins. Starting with the work in the vineyard, minimal treatments of the vines and an active and living soil are essential.

The estate is 8.3 hectares (20 acres) covering vineyards in Morey-St-Denis, Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, and Fixin. The age of the vines range for 40 years for the village and regional wines to 62 for the pre-crus and 46 for the grand crus.