• Corbières Revealed: 2019 Maxime Magnon

    Corbières Revealed: 2019 Maxime Magnon

    I tread lightly when it comes to France's southwest Languedoc region. When a Burgundian chooses to venture south after training in Morgon, there's bound to be something special at the end of the rainbow. Magnon's influence from Burgundy and Beaujolais is clear the moment you put your nose in the glass!

    Maxime Magnon departs from the Languedoc norm. Neighboring producers often shy away from this style, instead opting for dark extraction and density for the sake of powerful impact. Magnon flips these typical Languedoc sensibilities, relying on transparency and minimal sulfur at bottling to highlight the most natural characteristics of this ancient hillside planting. Here, the reds have a paler hue and deliver the freshness of wild strawberry and more red fruit tones.

    Previously, Maxime worked under Morgon icon, Jean Foillard. He then traversed through the Languedoc, spending time with Faugères' most respected name, Didier Barral. There, he came across an abandoned plot of old Carignan vines in nearby Corbières. He quickly jumped on this unique hillside to embark on a new chapter.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Friuli Fireworks: Vignai da Duline

    Friuli Fireworks: Vignai da Duline

    Vignai da Duline (Doo-Lee-Nay) produces some of the top Northern Italian wines most people have never heard of. Their site, Ronco Pitotti, is one of the oldest hillside vineyards in Friuli—some of these vines were planted in the 1920s! There's a common thread through each bottling that's impossible to miss, with a balance and seamless structure that I more so associate with my favorite French white wines.

    In the late 1990s, Lorenzo Mocchiutti and Federica Magrini inherited a few hectares of old vines from Lorenzo's grandfather. The couple quickly committed to the philosophy of "No trimming shoots" and "No herbicides." They believe the organically grown vines will find their balance through uninterrupted shoot growth, and who's to argue when it truly is the balance of their wines that stands out first and foremost.


    Pinot Grigio comes from less than two hectares planted in 1940 and 1958 on marl-sandstone and limestone flysch. This bottling is a towering example of what Pinot Grigio is capable of!

    Morus Alba comes from two parcels of Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia equaling just 1.4 hectares. The Savignon Blanc and Malvasia vines grow on flych and red soils, respectively. Planted in 1940 and 1979.

    Valori Merlot comes from a 0.32-hectare planted in 1920. Gravner and Radikon receive well-deserved acclaim for their Merlot-based wines, but I'd argue that Duline makes another great case. Only bottled in magnum.

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    Posted by Max Kogod