City Wine Merchant has an amazing team and we have a lot of fun working around wine every day. People are the backbone of our business -- our team, our importers, our producers -- and they help me to be effective every day. We're always looking for great people! While we try to take a little time during the holidays to step back and enjoy some wine and each other, we don't really have a chance to get out to celebrate the year until January. Last week, we finally got the chance. It was a fun night, and two wines in particular stood out from our dinner. My notes are below. Cheers to a happy and successful 2015!
Dagueneau's 2011 Puilly Fume Silex ("flint") has long been one of the world's great Sauvignon Blancs. Didier Dagueneau's often unorthodox approaches helped gain a cult following, but his life was cut short in a 2008 plane crash. Now, his son Louis-Benjamin (whose name now appears on the label) is in charge of the domaine. He worked alongside his father for several years, and the crew here - one person each for the estate's 11 hectares (27 acres) - has shown a commitment to maintaining Didier's ultra-high standards. This is one of my favorite white wines in the world, and tonight the wine was absolutely stunning. Dagueneau has a way of making this wine textured and structured without sacrificing acidity or mineral character. There is so much going on here -- flowers, herbs, lemon and stone -- and it has such a long finish. I wish I could drink this every day, but alas, there isn't much of it around.
We poured 2005 La Couspaude St. Emilion from magnum, and it was so good that we immediately sent out a private client offer for it the next day! I love this because it shows how a fruit-driven modern style can still deliver elegance and balance if made well. The Aubert family has held La Couspaude for over 100 years, and the 300 year-old vineyard has a privileged position on the famous limestone plateau just outside the walled village of St. Emilion. With neighbors like Angelus, Ausone, Pavie and Troplong-Mondot, this is some of the greatest real estate in Bordeaux. The wine is fermented in small, oak vats after a cold maceration, followed by malolactic fermentation in oak barrels, and then aged in 100% new French oak barrels between 18 and 20 months. Currant, cherry and herb are delivered with brilliant freshness and soft texture. A brilliant example of the vintage.