Mauro Molino’s Awesome Chardonnay 2015

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Mauro Molino’s Chardonnay is as awesome as his Barolo

When drinking Chardonnay, I look for restrained expressions of oak as I believe the reputation of Chardonnay has been bashed up by winemakers that are “oak zealots”- more oak is better- I cringe. Chardonnay fruit possesses one of the most beautifully perfumed aromas that should not be concealed or overwhelmed by oak, I believe that those who say “I don’t drink Chardonnay” need to think again because they are definitely missing the boat!

The latest winemaking trends are about expressing purity of fruit and terroir and being less interventional with winemaking in trying to manipulate and produce a flavour. Don’t get me wrong, oak when used sparingly provides fantastic structure and flavour to wine, but the key is always balance – this is all down to the mastery of the winemaker.

Château Rieussec Sauternes 2001

Produced from a small plot right in front of the winery, Mauro Molino’s Chardonnay is planted in calcerous, sandy soils. When drinking this Chardonnay, one can sense that Mauro is a gambler, deciding to grow Chardonnay in a region known primarily for its Barolo and Barbaresco….well, this is a gamble gone right, because this is a Chardonnay with everything going for it – great mouthfeel and texture with amazing layered complexity and nice acid backbone. I would not consider this a lean Chardonnay but it sure isn’t heavy, just perfectly weighted.

If I were to draw comparisons to a place in Burgundy, then I would say this is Meursault-like, built for the long-haul, the wine has fabulous aging potential but is also ultra enjoyable to drink now; hallmarks of a technically-strong wine.

The wine estate was started by Mauro Molino in 1979, in 2003, his son Matteo joined and in 2009, Martina his daughter also joined the family business. They are making insanely high-quality wines and the market recognition for their efforts are rolling in.

Italy’s best source for wine reviews, the Gambero Rosso, raves about the family-owned and managed Mauro Molino estate: ‘The Molinos again showed why they are among the top Langhe producers. Credit goes in particular to Mauro and his son, Matteo, who is partly responsible for the estate’s enormous critical success”

The FGJ Offer

Mauro Molino Chardonnay 2015

This wine is just so damn good for the price, it has to be one of the best value wines I have drunk over the last 24 months. The wine is unoaked, with a lot of tropical fruits on the nose – I get pineapples and ripe bananas. So much texture from sitting on lees, a heavenly mouthfeel, this is a wine with nice acid backbone to create finesse and balance. What an effort for a Chardonnay coming out of Piedmont, I wouldn’t have picked it but this is fabulous and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a top white under RM100. Stocks are in our store, these are ready to ship immediately. Somehow this wine isn’t rated but on my count, easily 91 points if not more.

RM93/bottle

or…

RM88.35/bottle for 6-11 bottles

or…

RM81.29/bottle for > 12 bottles

Prices are inclusive of GST

FREE DELIVERY ON ANY QUANTITY IN KLANG VALLEY

98 Points Errazuriz Las Pizzaras | Grand Cru Pinot Noir & Chardonnay of South America

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Mind-Blowing 98 Points | Errazuriz Las Pizarras | Grand Cru Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

The Aconcagua valley is particular in Chile as it is much more open to coastal influences than any where else in the country. Errazuriz’s Manzanar estate in Chilhué is the home of the Las Pizarras vineyard. The estate was planted in 2005 and consists of 225 hectares, planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Errazuriz knows how to make great wine, they are responsible for the stunning Sena, which has now cemented itself as a ‘Top Tier’ wine worldwide.

Château Rieussec  Sauternes 2001

Francisco Baettig, head winemaker at Errazuriz, makes the Pizarras range, enthused “This is the most exciting thing I think I’ve ever worked on and the results is the best wine I have ever made“. That’s a BIG, BIG claim.

purist-Burgundian approach to making wine was adopted, not seen before in Chile – this is Chile’s first old world approach to producing wine. Baettig also hired Burgundy’s renowned geologist, Françoise Vannier-Petit to help him ‘map’ the area in the same way she had done for Chambolle-Musigny. 

The chosen site has schist and slate soils that produce linear, precise wines without the abundance of sweet fruit which characterises many Chilean wines. In this approach, he says “I wanted to really identify the quality potential, and examine everything – the soils, the geology, the exposure, in order to find the Grand Cru equivalent”.

The vineyard yields are in the region of 8-10 tonnes per hectarefewer than 300 cases are produced from the Chardonnay, and about 500 cases for Pinot Noir. This is indeed Grand Cru quantity , and quality is out of this world.

 

Las Pizarras Pinot Noir 2014

2014 marks the first vintage release of the Las Pizarras. All fruit (80% de-stemmed, 20% whole cluster) was hand-picked and rigorously hand sorted prior to going directly into small open-top fermenters. Of the estate’s 70 hectares of Pinot Noir under vine, only around 10% is deemed to be of Las Pizarras quality. Aged in 50% new oak. Flinty and smoky on the nose, leading into a palate of supple, bright red cherry, which is luminous and has fine yet quite powerful grippy tannins.

“Fabulous aromas of slate, rust, iron, and dried strawberries. Full body, firm tannins, wonderfully polished. Fine and caressing. Complex flavors too. A wonderful finish. Dusty texture as well. This is a small production wine from the family’s best vineyards of the Manzanar farm with pure slate soils. Full Burgundy treatment. 50% whole cluster pressing. Aged in 50% new oak. Louis Michel Liger-Belair of Burgundy consulted on this wine” – James Suckling 98 Points

Las Pizarras Chardonnay 2014

There are 42 hectares of Chardonnay planted at the estate, 3 or 4 parcels of which are deemed to be of Las Pizarras quality, consisting of around 4 hectares in total. Excellent fruit density on the nose and palate, with some phenolic grip. 13% abv, 3.1 pH. This saw 20% new oak for 12 months.

James Suckling

“This is tight and dense with gun powder, slate, sliced apple, white pineapple and a hint of pie crust. Full body, gorgeous texture and length. It’s so complex and firm. Needs at least five years to come out, but great potential.” – James Suckling 96 Points

“The profile is austere and there is nothing tropical; there’s not a lot of fruit and in fact, there are more aromas of nuts, spices and definitively something earthy, mineral, marine — almost saline — with a low pH, marked acidity and restrained alcohol. The palate is terribly tasty and very dry; it really makes you salivate in a way that made me think of a Chablis (and oysters!). Groundbreaking marine and slate Chardonnay, bravo! I’d love to see this wine in ten years.”  – Wine Advocate 95 Points

The FGJ Offer

I’ve not been so excited to write about a wine in a LONG time, and these single vineyard Las Pizarras wines are blowing my mind. With the exception of labels like Sena, Don Melchor, Almaviva and the like, Chile has not been known for producing world-class wines, instead building a reputation for mass-market, competitively priced wines….until now. No matter what one thinks about ratings and points, NO Chilean wine, let alone a non-Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec has scored over 95 points. Never. Period.

If served blind, 8 of 10 advanced wine drinkers would not be able to distinguish if this is Old World or from somewhere in the New World – yup, it’s that impressive. It is surprising EVEN IF it receives the same care and attention to detail as a Grand Cru Burgundy (Louis Michel Liger-Belair was brought in as consultant) because terroir cannot be replicated.

If what is happening at Errazuriz are a sign of things to come for Pinot and Chard in Chile, then Carmenere better look over its shoulders because it’s going to be knocked right off its pedestal. For wine enthusiasts, this is a wine you have to taste in 2018 and forever put the “I don’t drink South American” demons to rest. Pinot-philes; don’t miss out….this drinks like a Grand Cru minus the Clos de Bèze price tag.

48 bottles of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in stock, ready to ship immediately. If you want your bottles before CNY, please place your orders today.

Las Pizarras Pinot Noir

RM369/bottle

or…

RM345/bottle for 3 or more bottles

Las Pizarras Chardonnay

RM249/bottle

or…

RM235/bottle for 3 or more bottles

Prices are inclusive of GST

FREE DELIVERY ON ANY QUANTITY IN KLANG VALLEY

Old World Chardonnay: Chablis’s Francois La Pierre

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White Burgundy |Old World Chardonnay | Chablis’s Francois La Pierre

Château Rieussec  Sauternes 2001

It is possible to make ‘Bordeaux-inspired-blend’ wines in the Napa Valley and in Margaret River, they are so good that even to experts, they seem indistinguishable from those made in Bordeaux

It is the same with Sauvignon Blanc grown in New Zealand and in Chile, the quality is high and in more serious expressions that are oaked and offer texture and complexity, they are often mistaken for Sancerre from the Loire Valley, which is widely-recognised as the spiritual home of Sauvignon Blanc.

But there is one mystery, why can’t vintners make Chardonnay any where else with that specific sort of chalky, stony, saline, mineral-like quality we associate with Chablis? There are many theories – different clones, different micro-climates, wine-making styles but the most compelling theory of all….seems to be that of the limestone and clay soils that are still scattered with fossilised seashells and marine skeletons. The best Chablis vineyards grow on what was a prehistoric seabed; it’s these prehistoric fossils called Kimmeridgianthat are said (not scientifically proven) to impart the Chablisienne flavour .

What is even more interesting? This special soil layer rises to the surface around Chablis over an area of about 15 square miles before it sinks again, reappearing in Champagne, about a hundred miles north, and again in Britain at the White Cliffs of Dover!

The Chablis Hierachy

Chablis is one of the most famous names in white wine, so famous that from Prohibition up until the 1990s, international wine producers outside of France appropriated the name for their white wines (this practice is now illegal with trademark and brand protection, only Chablis can be labelled Chablis). 

As with all of Burgundy, tradition holds strong and Chablis vineyards are rated hierarchically starting at the bottom – Petit Chablis, then Chablis, Premier Cru and, at the pinnacle, Grand Cru. It is easy to make the monumental mistake of ruling that Petit Chablis is a ‘lesser Chablis’ because it’s not – they follow the high standards by the Chablis Commission, just made in a fresher, lighter, less complex for easy drinking. 

Chablis offers greater complexity, volume in the mouth, structure and persistence over Petit Chablis. Chablis in a nutshell simply has more depth and flavour than Petit Chablis, but both are fermented in steel tank with no oak contact.

On the other hand, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru tend to see oak fermentation after initial fermentation in steel tanks, thereby combining oaked and non-oaked components. These two categories of Chablis are built to age, and select the fruit from the oldest vines from plots with the most sun exposure.

Professional Ratings

Finding a bargain in a region that makes one fiftieth (1/50) of the wines in Bordeaux, is increasingly difficult – prices have increased over 100% in the last 3 years, unprecedented even for Burgundy, a region that boasts some of the world’s most expensive wines. That’s what makes today’s recommendations the more exciting: Francois La Pierre‘s wines are what I categorise as an exceptional VALUE BUY. Francois La Pierre’s wines are made in a classic Chablis style, precise, fresh acidity with lemon peel notes together with aromatics of jasmine intermixed with an ocean breeze. The price point is especially attractive for the quality of the wines; for value-hunters, these set of wines are a must-have for the chiller, massive bang for buck. 

The FGJ Offer

After first dibs of this wine were offered to a privileged few, we have limited quantities remaining. This is not a parcel of wine that you should dismiss, the offer will run until the last bottle goes.

We have worked hard to source this parcel of wine with some hard negotiating and have passed the savings on to you – this is “below market price” Chablis on SALE!

  • Francois La Pierre Bourgogne Blanc 2014 – was RM126, now RM109
  • Francois La Pierre Chablis 2013 – was RM167, now RM145
  • Francois La Pierre Chablis Premier Cru 2014 – was RM184, now RM171
  • Francois La Pierre Grand Cru 2013 – was RM245, now RM213

…….BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…..

We realise everyone loved the RIEDEL Glasses we gave away 2 weeks ago, so in the spirit of the festive cheer, we’re DOING IT AGAIN! We are giving away one RIEDEL CHARDONNAY glass for every three bottles purchased, it can be ANY three – you choose, we deliver.

*FREE Riedel Chardonnay Glass limited to 60 pieces

Festive Gift Wrapping Available, please enquire within

Prices are inclusive of GST

FREE DELIVERY ON ANY QUANTITY IN KLANG VALLEY