• Baden Benchmark: 2020 Enderle & Moll Release

    Baden Benchmark: 2020 Enderle & Moll Release

    Sven Enderle and Florian Moll are lucky to farm some of the oldest Pinot Noir in Baden. If there's one undiscovered Pinot Noir producer that warrants your attention, this would be the duo. Their exacting approach in the vineyard and cellar allows minimal sulfur additions, highlighting the vivid purity of their Pinot Noirs.

    There are two wines from the Buntsandstein Vineyard: The 1954-planted Buntsandstein is deep and powerful, with great length and refinement, and Liaison, planted in 1970, is spicy, mineral-driven, and ethereal. Muschelkalk, sourced from 80-year-old vines on pure limestone soil, is lighter than Buntsandstein with more tension and chalky minerality.

    After working across the globe, Enderle and Moll returned home in 2007 with a clear mission: To work in Baden using organic and biodynamic viticulture. The natural wine crowd and critics alike have championed these wines upon their relatively recent release in the U.S. Most notably, Jancis Robinson went as far as to place them in the "cult" category. This is the new frontier of German Pinot Noir!

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    Photo Credit: Vom Boden
    Posted by Max Kogod
  • André Ostertag: Alsatian Sensation

    André Ostertag: Alsatian Sensation

    Domaine Ostertag has long gone against the grain of Alsatian expectations, crafting dry, disciplined wines that still summon the sunshine that marks the region. His Fronholz and Grand Cru Muenchberg Rieslings especially imbue the transparency and purity of a mountain lake. These wines are a moment of clarity for Alsace!

    Alsace is in the cool northeast pocket of France, and its protection from the Vosges Mountains means it receives the least amount of rainfall of any region. This abundant sunshine has long given Alsatian wines a rounded and golden orchard fruit quality, often with a dollop of residual sugar. However, several elements separate Ostertag from the norm. André studied viticulture in Burgundy and returned home in 1998 to employ organic and biodynamic principles in the vineyard. He also decided to ferment his Rieslings completely dry and age them in stainless steel.

    Today, Alsace is famous for having the highest percentage of organic and biodynamic producers in France. While the quality at harvest couldn't be higher, I still find few producers that execute with the same sense of harmony that Ostertag is adored for.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Burgundy's One & Only: 2020 Domaine Leflaive

    Burgundy's One & Only: 2020 Domaine Leflaive

    Accept no substitutes. It would be challenging to argue there is a more revered white wine domaine in France than Domaine Leflaive. The late Anne-Claude Leflaive was a great champion of organic and biodynamic viticulture. Although she was not the first in Burgundy, she was certainly one of the most high-profile names to lead by example. She took Leflaive to full biodynamic farming in 1997, and her passion for the vines led many other Burgundy greats to follow suit.

    From Bourgogne Blanc to Montrachet, there is simply no estate that captures this golden zone of Puligny-Montrachet quite like Domaine Leflaive. Here, you'll find perfectly executed reduction, dream-like balance, and a penetrating, saline-infused grip with dancing minerality on the palate to close things out.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • The Magic Touch: 2020 Moreau-Naudet Chablis

    The Magic Touch: 2020 Moreau-Naudet Chablis

    The value that's offered in Chablis is seemingly more and more unmatched. While prices for White Burgundy climb in the Côte de Beaune, the artisanal producers in Chablis continually over-deliver, and the small domaine of Moreau-Naudet captures some of the best current affairs.

    Moreau-Naudet falls into a select camp of Chablis producers who are incredibly skilled at pushing ripeness to the maximum, the old-fashioned way, with serious hands-on farming. In the cellar, the non-interventionist approach is focused on two elements: Preserving the distinctive characteristics of each site and maintaining tension and salinity. The style here is supremely textural and deep Chardonnay with an unmistakable Chablisienne oyster-shell mineral component, exemplifying that ultimate ideal of density without weight.

    Stéphane joined his father at the family domaine in 1999 and flipped everything on its head. Today, the regimen is full-organic farming with biodynamic principles, natural yeast ferments, and 100% harvesting by hand. Relentless focus in the vineyard means picking here—in the coldest region in France for still Chardonnay—is pushed as late as possible to ensure maximum ripeness. Moreau-Naudet joins the likes of Thomas Pico and Alice et Olivier de Moor!

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Naturally Margaux: Clos du Jaugueyron

    Naturally Margaux: Clos du Jaugueyron

    Earlier this year, NYT wine critic Eric Asimov published an article that might as well have been a love letter to natural wine, sharing his insight on the joys (and pitfalls) of these stylistic wines that have ignited a worldwide movement. Natural producers span the globe, even in the Old World's most staunchly classic regions like Bordeaux.

    Michel Théron and Stéphanie Destruhaut, owners of Clos du Jagueyron, farm seven hectares in Margaux and neighboring Haut-Médoc. Margaux is known for its gravel-based, well-draining soils, allowing the vines to grow deep and transmit this graphite-laced terroir. Generally, the wines are perfumed, full-bodied yet balanced, and have soft, silky tannins. Current standouts are the 2016 Haut-Médoc and 2014 Margaux Perrain: The Haut-Médoc is the more ready-to-drink wine with mineral-driven and herbaceous notes, while Perrain is more serious and polished, with darker savory notes of cedar and tobacco leaf.

    Clos du Jagueyron began with a single parcel in 1993. They have practiced biodynamic farming since 2008 (Now Demeter certified) and never used chemicals on their vines. In the cellar, these Cabernet-dominant wines spontaneously ferment in cement tanks and age in French barrels with minimal new oak. Apart from our other go-to, Chateau Le Puy, this is the most pleasurable, terroir-driven Bordeaux I've had this year—and without the stuffiness, expensive price tag, or decades of aging demanded by other top châteaux here.

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    Posted by Sydney Love