Yves Cuilleron - Syrah, Les Vignes d'a Cote,
IGP Collines Rhondaniennes, 2020
Yves Cuilleron has become one of the bright shining stars of the northern Rhone” - Robert Parker.
Talk about quality to value! The benchmark producer Yves Cuilleron absolutely stunned us with their entry level everyday Syrah. The wine jumps out of the glass with classic aromas of savory bacon fat, rich black fruit, candied black olives, and dark purple flowers. The palate bursts with smokey dark fruit, firm tannin, and an excellent granitic, mineral finish laden with spice and salinity. Needless to say, we were very impressed! The perfect accoutrement to everything grilled.
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From Field Blend Selections: Cuilleron has been described by the wine press as "the leader of Condrieu's new generation of winemakers” and his wines straddle the divide between traditionalists and the new-wave, in the sense that they retain their sense of place, but express their sites in an approachable, immediate way. From simple VdP wines to the top bottlings in Condrieu, St Peray and St Joseph, the wines of Yves Cuilleron offer purity, precision, grace, and joy.
The Cuilleron estate, located in Verlieu, a hamlet of Chavanay just south of Condrieu, is one of the benchmark producers of the Rhone. Proprietor Yves Cuilleron makes an assortment of wines from multiple appellations, including Condrieu, Saint Péray, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint Joseph, Cote Rotie, and a range of terrific varietally labelled Vin de Pays from the Collines Rhodaniennes. First founded in 1920, Yves Cuilleron’s grandfather began bottling his own wine in 1947. Yves’ uncle Antoine ran the winery from 1960 to 1987 and acquired eight hectares of vineyards in the Condrieu appellation, making them one of the more significant estates in the area. Yves took over the family domaine in 1987, added vineyards, and built a new winery and aging facility.
Most of the vineyards are situated in and around Chavanay, while the holdings in Côte-Rôtie extend north into Ampuis, and those furthest south are in the village of Saint Péray. The majority of the vines are set on terraces which makes most mechanization difficult, if not impossible. Thus, the vineyard work continues to be done by hand. To control yields, Cuilleron does extensive debudding and, when necessary, a green harvest. In the cellar, the manually harvested grapes are fermented using indigenous yeasts. The reds are partially destemmed, and fermentation occurs in open top cuves.
Clos des Lunes - Lune d'Argent, Bordeaux 2019
Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points - Pure white peach, tart pineapple, white flowers, and chalky mineral notes all emerge from the 2019 Clos Des Lunes Lune D'Argent Blanc, a Semillon-dominated, medium-bodied, concentrated, wonderfully textured white. This is well worth your time and money, and I suspect it will have a decade of longevity.
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Easton - Zinfandel, Amador County,
Sierra Foothills, California 2015
2018 Wine Spectator Top 100 Zinfandel from the Finest Terroir in the Sierra Foothills
Wine Spectator - 92 Points - "Epitomizes fine Sierra Foothills Zinfandel, offering vibrant, briary raspberry, smoked pepper and wild sweet anise flavors that stretch out on the zesty finish. Drink now through 2023."
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Alexander Knechel - Certified Sommelier
Wine Sales Manager - Plucky Wines