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Chardonnay from Burgundy

Chardonnay

Albert Bichot, Domaine du Pavillon, Clos des Mouches, Beaune 1er Cru, 2008

Burgundy, France

Albert Bichot was recently named amongst the “Top 100 wineries in the world” by Wine and Spirits magazine. When Bernard Bichot founded the house back in 1831 it’s doubtful that he would have imagined such success.

This wine comes from a single vineyard called Clos des Mouches, which is one of Burgundy’s gems. It’s located just south of Beaune and many consider the wines to be of Grand Cru status, which is the highest designation.

The color is a brilliant lemon gold. The nose is rich and intense with aromas of hazelnuts, peach and citrus. It’s concentrated on the palate, medium to full bodied, with a refreshing thread of acidity providing backbone and style.

The layers of flavor unravel into a long lingering finish, which is one of the hallmarks of quality.

Food and wine pairing: The perfect complement to chicken dishes, richer fish and pasta in a cream sauce.

First Class Champagne: Krug, Grande Cuvee

Champagne

Krug, Grande Cuvee, Brut

France

In 1843 when Johann-Joseph Krug founded his Champagne House he had one singular goal. He wanted to produce the very finest Champagne in the region. Over 160 years later, connoisseurs agree that Krug is in a league of its own.

The style is unique and distinctive. The wine is powerful and rich, yet with a certain elegance to complement its extravagant complexity. The length of the finish lasts for minutes.

Krug is one of the few houses to ferment the base wines in oak, which gives the wine more structure and power. The richness is enhanced by the extensive use of old reserve wines in the final blend. As the wine matures for a decade before release it develops beautiful complex nuances.

Krug is an experience. It represents the ultimate in craftsmanship and dedication to quality.

Food and wine pairing: Krug is the ultimate aperitif, and a perfect complement to caviar, smoked salmon, lobster and a variety of seafood.

Antica – A Napa Valley Hidden Gem

I take my hat off to Antinori. If I had to choose to be a winery owner then Piero’s my man.

I’ve been fortunate to visit Tignanello and others in Tuscany, icons of the wine world, and with stunning wines to prove it. But I’d never been to his Napa estate until recently.

You drive up Soda Canyon Road, which is just off the Silverado Trail. It twists and turns up the hillside for quite a way, passes a few other wineries, and various relics of Napa from the 1800’s. You then arrive at the end of the road in front of the gates. You need an appointment. Don’t come knocking.

Once through the gate, this beautiful valley of vineyards rolls out before you. It’s immense. Antinori owns a staggering 1,200 acres in Napa, all in 1 block. It’s a sea of vines sitting within a valley high up on the mountainside. Lakes dot the landscape. It’s couldn’t be more beautiful.

Right now, most of the grapes are sold. Only around 7,500 cases of wine are made by Antinori under the Antica label. Obviously, the very best grapes don’t get sold.

As for the wines, I’ll post the reviews soon. But suffice to say they are exceptional. I guess you’d expect that from Antinori.