Saturday, February 07, 2009

Russell Herman Selections - New to CT

My portfolio has expanded, and in a very good way. Russell Herman is now providing some of his selections to us.

Russell Herman's portfolio has some fine wines made at small estate, perhaps some of the best that I have come across in quite some time. He specializes in wines from France, exclusively. The items that I had the opportunity to taste and which are now available in this market are stand-outs as genuine examples of their places of origin. I would suggest that if you are looking for top wines from out of the way / quality only winemakers, then here are some definite choices to look for.

Domaine Baron Sauvignon de Touraine, 2007
A “simple” Loire Valley Sauvignon with great complexity and weight as well as pervasive flavors.
Light gold in color, clear & bright
Pervasive nose, quince, lemon and spices
Light-weight on the palate, but quite lively with good acidity that creates a wine which is fresh and (yes) zippy! – Lasts on the palate.
Produced from very old vines.
Finishes almost lush with juicy texture and great length.
Definite winner at $11-12.

Domaine de Chantenoy Menetou-Salon Blanc, 2007
This was almost too good – a wine that makes people angry when it is not available
Light gold, clear & bright
Mineral tones dominate the aromas with chalk and a fresh quality
Medium weight on the palate, lush flavors, very subtle but builds as you get into it more
Mellow & elegant, chalky on the finish, very pretty and quite delicate on the finish
Another bargain at $20, and better than any Sancerre I have had in the price point in a longtime

Domaine Grossot Chablis, 2006
Another wine that builds with intensity the more you get in the glass
Pale gold, bright
Mild, light apple flavors with an expected creaminess
Touch of spice, but mild, clean and fresh – good persistency of flavors – elegant on the palate
A creaminess come through on the finish and extends the flavor length
Very low yields in the vineyards add depth and complexity on the wine
Very good value for the quality of this wine
About $20

Giles Morat Pouilly-Fuisse, 2007
From Vergisson, one of the best places to be coming from if you are a Pouilly-Fuisse
Slightly deeper color than the previous wines, but still bright and clear
50% Barrel Aged, 50% Tank
Creamy aromas with apple and pear
Smooth and glycerous on the palate with medium acidity – creamy, very well integrated oak flavors with a touch of minerals
Quite persistent and delicious
Elegant, again, mild and very tasty
About $20-22

Jean-Maurice Raffault Chinon Les Galuches, 2007
Here is a name that is well known for the quality of wines
Bright red with a dark cherry core
Smokey, ripe berry nose with some tar / briary spices – reminds me of walking through the woods on a hot summer day
Smooth on the palate with a dry attack; medium persistency
Medium-length and feel, quite good
12.5%abv and aged in older barrels
A steal at $15

Chateau Gobert Bordeaux Superior, 2005
Deep red with a black, brick center
Funky nose with herbs and concentrated berries, fennel and smoked meats
Smooth and juicy, youthful
Medium-length, decent, mild finish
Chateau located just north of Fronsac
80% Merlot / 20% CF

Domaine de Chatenoy Menetou-Salon, Rouge, 2006
Pretty, dark cherry red and just a touch of fade to the edges
Sweet notes on the aroma with a bit of cinnamon and mushrooms
Very ripe flavors with decent weight o the palate, good acidity and correct varietal tones
Dry and crisp – good amount of fruit lasts into the finish
Very Euro-styled PN; uses a combination of 1,2,3 year-old wood and shows a bit of extract towards the finish

Domaine Jean Chauvinet Bourgogne Rouge, 2005
Look no further than this listing for an absolutely exceptional bottle of PN / Burgundy
Great color, very vibrant and deep
Big, spicy nose – very intense, youthful – with some wood and licorices
Quite smooth and supple, big, lush and velvety
Very elegant, dry and long; good extraction and grip
More impressive on the front, but elegant and dry on the finish
Quite Good – this is basically all Nuits St Georges and they only make about 8 barrels of this a year – 25 cases for CT - $20-22

Domaine Jean Chauvinet Nuits St-Georges, 2005
This a “basic” Nuits produced from a number of different holdings
Very deep, purple color – solid core of color
Subdued nose; ripe fruit, smoke and berries
Supple and smooooth on the palate, medium- to full-bodied, very rich and mouth coating
Finish builds with a good amount of grip and a chewy style
Very youthful – needs a number of years – I rarely say this but I am going to buy some for myself and see how this wine ages

For more information you can visit Russell's web-site at:

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