While quarantined at home, Alder Yarrow reflected on his experience at the Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting event this past fall in San Francisco. He highlighted the 100 most memorable wines he tasted, including VINTUS and VNY producers: Champagne Bollinger R.D. 2004 and Special Cuvee, Guigal Condrieu La Doriane 2017 and Crozes-Hermitage 2015, as well as Cobb Wines’ Doc’s Ranch Chardonnay 2017 and Diane Cobb Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016. Read the full write up and list of wines HERE.
A small revolution in the world of Champagne. In 1967, Bollinger releases R.D. 1952. There is no comparable Champagne on the market at the time. This bold and brilliant Champagne takes the pillars of what makes Champagne Bollinger so unique, and pushes them to their ultimate level. It is, very simply, a masterpiece.
From vineyard to bottling, Special Cuvée sees such an extraordinary level of care and attention, it is difficult to place within the non-vintage or, really, any Champagne category. It is a Champagne that stands apart. Within one bottle, all the complexity of flavor, texture and pleasure that Champagne can offer. Special Cuvée is truly a journey of devotion from Bollinger.
La Doriane is a luxury cuvée of Condrieu that the Guigals have produced since the 1994 vintage. A great success since the first vintage, the wine always seems richly oaked and very fruity when young, transforming in 3-4 years into a seamlessly complex, aromatic and vibrant wine. La Doriane contradicts the accepted wisdom that Condrieu does not age well.
Crozes-Hermitage can be considered the gateway to the red and white wines of the Northern Rhône Valley. The reds, which are the majority of production, have wonderful warm flavors of red and black fruit, and typical Syrah pepper, spice and savory notes.
When Coastlands was first being planted in 1989, very few varieties of pinot noir were available commercially, and fewer still tested under conditions on the edge of the continent. Working with the University of California at Davis, Diane Cobb established a University licensed nursery block at Coastlands that contained over 20 relatively unknown pinot noir varieties. In 1996, Diane doubled the size of the nursery block. For the new plantings she selected a single pinot noir variety she thought was both especially flavorful and well suited for the coastal climate. The Coastlands Vineyard: Diane Cobb Pinot Noir comes exclusively from this block and commemorates Diane’s life at Coastlands from its founding in 1989 until her death in 2006. It is an expression of the love of her family, and of the 1.5 acres of vines she hand-tended, which now yield a lovely, complex and distinctive wine.
Bollinger is one of the rare Grande Marques that’s still family owned. Known for its rich, elegant and polished style of Champagne, their outstanding wines are the result of rigorous attention to detail and incredibly labor-intensive practices that few houses are willing to undertake. Underscoring its excellence, Bollinger has remained British secret agent James Bond's Champagne of choice since 1973.
Sonoma Coast, California
In 1989, David Cobb planted the Coastlands vineyard that became well known through wines made by Hirsch and Williams Selyem. Though the original plan for Coastlands was simply to sell grapes to a few artisan vintners, David's son Ross had a different vision for the exceptional fruit. In 2001, David and Ross crafted 130 cases of Cobb Wines’ inaugural Coastlands Vineyard pinot noir. Since then, Ross has taken the helm and Cobb Wines has evolved to include four other hand-tended, independently owned vineyards on the Sonoma Coast. Though these vineyards share certain essential Sonoma Coast characteristics, they each have individual soil types, subtly different microclimates, and unique combinations of pinot noir selections. Ross's wines have become heralded the country over as benchmarks for elegance and nuance from the Sonoma Coast.
Rhône Valley, France
The more you learn about the Guigal family, the more astounding becomes their story. Their wines are the benchmarks for every Rhone appellation, and over the last thirty years they have become arguably the most lauded producer in the world. Year after year the Guigal family produces wines of exceptional quality that in all classes offer exceptional value.