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Reviews for 2017

November 2017 - France

November 2017 - France
This month's Wine feature is French Wines

France Reviews

Chateau Lalande de Gravet 2015  Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
95 points
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate espresso bean, toasted sandalwood and pencil shavings, berry pie crust, and hint of lilac water with a bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a distinctive, very long cinnamon roll, craisin and dried tomato, cedar, and earth finish with well-integrated, chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A remarkably complex, spicy, and satisfying young Saint Emilion with an even brighter future ahead of it.
Chateau Les Vimieres 2014  Haut-Médoc
95 points
$78
Deep purple color. Aromas of cedar, black cassis, plum, sweet violet, and anise with a chewy, lively, dryish full body and an effortless, layered, very long bramble, leather, grilled meats, and black pepper finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. A brooding wine with a breathtaking finish that will continue to improve with time.
Chateau Calvimont 2015  Graves Rouge
94 points
$44
Dusty garnet color. Fruity aromas of cranberry orange scone, candied strawberry, leather, and red cassis with a round, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, nuanced, long chocolate licorice, espresso, sasparilla, ripe cherries, cured pork, and cinnamon finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. A ready-to-drink Graves that will be even more delightful after cellaring.
Enclos de Viaud 2015  Lalande de Pomerol
94 points
$77
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of melted toffee, dark berry compote, and spiced caramelized carrots and yams with a bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a subtle, long plum tartlet with creme Anglaise, nuts, and leafy earth finish with earthy, fine tannins and moderate oak. A supple, sensual red Bordeaux with instant appeal and a long path of pleasure ahead.
Terre du Lion 2015  St. Julien
94 points
$91
Ruby black color. Inviting, mature aromas of tannery, fruit and nut press, dried plums, samoas girl scout cookies., and sautéed mushrooms with a lightly tannic, tangy, fruity full body and a polished, distinctive, medium-long dried cranberries, charred green onions, cassis, and anise finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. Cellar this wine and greatly anticipate the superb expression to come.
Les Parcelles de Stéphane Derenoncourt 2014  Margaux
94 points
$95
Opaque deep purple color. Mature aromas and flavors of grilled plums, ancho chile, cinnamon-sugar tart, raw mushrooms,leather, and carnation with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry full body and a medium-length wet grass finish with earthy, grippy tannins and moderate oak. A serious wine that will blossom with time.
Les Parcelles de Stéphane Derenoncourt 2014  Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
94 points
$95
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of wet clay, chocolate covered berries and orange peels, and spice cake with an bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a refreshing, long ground nuts, roasted root vegetables, and cedar finish with chewy, firm tannins and moderate oak. A wonderfully spicy, oaky, and age-worthy red that’s great now and is built for the long haul.
Chateau Grand Tayac 2015  Margaux
94 points
$130
Deep purple color. Inviting aromas and flavors of butter poached black fruits, smoked ham with fruit sauce, fudge, fine leather, espresso crema, and oven roasted vegetables with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, elaborate, very long brown sugar glaze, bacon wrapped dates with balsamic drizzle, crushed stones, and warm spices finish with earthy tannins. An alluring, knock-out Margaux to impress your guests.
Chateau Haut Gravet 2015 Grand Chemin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
93 points
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of cassis compote, plum tart, chocolate nuts, and herb toast with an bright, dry medium-to-full body and an engaging, medium-long roasted beets and sweet potatoes, loam, and fleur de sel finish with silky, chewy tannins and light oak. A pensive and poised red Saint Emilion with great varietal character and sense of place.
Chateau Ferran 2014 Les Cotes Pessac-Léognan Rouge
93 points
$80
Dark dusty garnet color. Fruity aromas of cranberry, dark cherry skins and pits, orange zest, carob, plum, toffee, and fine fur with a lightly tannic, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a charming, medium-long pomegranate vinaigrette, herbs de Provence, bay leaf, and earth finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. Cellar this Bordeaux to reveal its huge potential.
Chateau Ascension 2015  Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
92 points
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of wax, olive, mocha mousse, and dried cherries with a bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a captivating, medium-long powdered plum tart, nutskin, cedar bark, and beets finish with chewy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A great chewy, savory steak wine that will reward patient aeration and cellaring.
Chateau Hyot 2015 Reserve Côtes de Castillon
92 points
Indigo color. Aromas and flavors of wood smoked meat and lit candle, gherkin, bubbly berry pie crust, and Latin herbs with an bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a stimulating, medium-long craisin, nuts, and birch bark finish with chewy, woody tannins and moderate oak. An intriguingly herbal and smoky French red practically begging smoked and grilled meats.
Chateau Haut Boutisse 2012  Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
92 points
$67
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of caramelized figs and dark berries, pickled root vegetables and Brussels sprouts, floral honeycomb, and beef bouillon with a bright, dryish medium-to-full body and an appealing, long pomegranate tart, almond skin, earth, and roasted tomato finish with dusty, silky tannins and moderate oak. A delightfully savory and table-tuned French red that warrants deep investigation.
Chateau Abelyce 2015  Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
91 points
Deep purple color. Fruity, funky aromas and flavors of vanilla-nougat, freshly grated nutmeg, ripe purple plum, blueberry pie, and berry gelato with a round, lively, fruity medium-full body and a medium-long fine leather finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A Saint Emilion starring luscious purple fruits and pleasant funk.
Chateau de Ribebon 2015 Reserve Bordeaux Supèrieur
91 points
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate espresso bean, berry tart, and hint of bees wax and dried flowers with an bright, dryish medium body and an interesting, long creme brulee, roasted root vegetables and yams, nutskin, and cedar finish with chewy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A substantial Bordeaux Superior with fine harmony of fruit and savory notes.
Chateau de Ribebon 2015  Cabernet Franc
91 points
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of cappuccino, dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and olives with a bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a nuanced, long berry tart a la mode, tomato jam, spiced yams, and cedar finish with chewy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A fun, toasty, creamy Bordeaux red well suited for sipping or roasted meats.
Chateau Bois de Rolland 2015 Vieilles Vignes Bordeaux Supèrieur
91 points
$29
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of roasted sweet potato, sweet nougat, cinnamon horchata, and smoky pork belly with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dryish full body and a smooth, colossal, long blueberry waffles in maple syrup, fine leather, oregano, sweet tobacco, saffron, black licorice, and starfruit fruit leather finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. A fantastically complex Bordeaux with a great future.
Dauprat 2015  Pauillac
91 points
$86
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of beef jerky, blueberry muffin, fine leather shoes, and portabella mushrooms with a tannic, crisp, dry full body and a subtle, medium-long cocoa powder, cinnamon, and orgeat finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. A big boy Bordeaux for cellaring.
Chateau Hyot 2015  Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate toffee bar, vanilla and caramel custard in a clay pot, blueberry pastry, and hint of wood smoke with an bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an appealing, medium-long pomegranate-beet relish, nutskin, and cedar pencil shavings finish with soft, dusty tannins and light oak. A zesty, appetizing French red that earns a place at the table.
Rhône to the Bone 2015 Red Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge
90 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Deep purple color. Fruity aromas of huckleberry, cinnamon apple cider, ripe plum, and pink peppercorn with a satiny, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, engaging, medium-length dark chocolate, rugged leather, tin, and water chestnuts finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. A sturdy Côtes-du-Rhône perfect for the autumn table.
90 points $14.99 Best Buy
Chateau de Janicon 2015  Graves Blanc
90 points
$31
Light gold color. Tropical, elegant aromas of pineapple, honeycomb, dried mixed citrus, apple-chamomile tea, and kiwi with a round, crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long oregano, marjoram, pear puree, flint, and caramel finish with coating tannins and a suggestion of oak. An elegant and weighty white Bordeaux with years of greatness ahead.
Chateau Calvimont 2015  Graves Blanc
90 points
$42
Golden yellow color. Aromas and flavors of apple, citrus, and gooseberry with a bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a charming, medium-length honeyed yellow cherry, nutskin, and limestone finish with fine, dusty, fruit tannins and no oak. A delicious, well balanced white Bordeaux that will be very versatile.
Chateau Haut de la Becade 2007  Pauillac
90 points
$89
Dark brick red color. Aromas of stewed black fruits, vinaigrette, salted almonds, charred coconut, and leather with a lightly tannic, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, relaxed baking chocolate, dried dates, mulling spices, and tar finish with papery tannins and moderate oak. A funky Pauillac with a baked fruit quality for mature wine lovers.
Chateau Messile-Aubert 2015 Reserve Montagne St. Emilion
89 points
Garnet black color. Mature aromas and flavors of cherry soda, fine leather, dried blueberry, sautéed wild mushrooms, and fresh cut grass with a lightly tannic, crisp, dryish medium-full body and a sleek, intricate, medium-long cured meats, granite, cappuccino foam, dried cassis, and blue flowers finish with earthy, firm tannins and moderate oak. A lovely fruit-forward Bordeaux that is ready to drink now or cellar.
Les Parcelles de Stéphane Derenoncourt 2016  Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux
89 points
Violet color. Fruity, oaky aromas of cherry cola, German chocolate cake with coconut frosting, dill relish, butter poached mango, and compressed watermelon with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and a silky, interesting, long chocolate covered espresso bean, caramel, leather, ground black pepper, sweet paprika, and prune finish with cottony tannins and moderate oak. An American oak-influenced Bordeaux with aging potential.
Les Parcelles de Stéphane Derenoncourt 2012  St. Emilion
89 points
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of dried citrus peel, caramelized dried berries, and beet relish with a soft, dry medium body and a medium-length nutskin, earth, and hint of cinnamon finish with dusty tannins and light oak. A nice and even dry French red for the table.
Chateau le Manoir 2015 Cuvée Les Graves Lalande de Pomerol
89 points
$58
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of fig paste and cherry butter, berry taffy and gum, and toffee with an soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-long creme brulee, chocolate orange peel, earth, and bark finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A juicy, appealing Bordeaux red that will be quite versatile.
Chateau La Graviere Grand Poujeaux 2012  Moulis-en-Médoc
89 points
$71
Black garnet color. Aromas of mulling spices, blueberry, prosciutto, soft overripe banana, and leather with a chewy, crisp, dryish full body and a complex, medium-long tar, dusty antique books, dried dates, and toffee finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. A big and powerful Bordeaux for the cellar.
Les Parcelles de Stéphane Derenoncourt 2016  Bordeaux Blanc
88 points
Emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of grapefruit, green apple, and cornichon with a bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a medium-length nuts and earth finish with fine, crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A nice savory, appetizing white white.
Chateau Tour du Moulin 2015 Cuvée Les Terres Rouges Fronsac
88 points
$32
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of dried cherries and tomatoes, braised beef, and nutella on toast with a bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a captivating, medium-long vanilla cream, praline, green olives and earth, and hint of cedar bark finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A nice array of fruity and meaty tones make this lively red a natural choice for bbq.
Chateau de Macard 2015 Reserve Bordeaux Supèrieur
87 points
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of clay, latte, berry and vanilla taffies, and hint of latex with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a medium-length cranberry yogurt and nuts finish with light oak. A spry red for spicy meat dishes.
Rêve de la Mer Rosé 2016 Caves de la Mer VOP Vin de Corse
87 points
$24
Pink coral color. Aromas and flavors of pressed rose and lilac, white strawberry, and praline with a crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a breezy limestone and nutskin finish with dusty, fruit tannins and no oak. A nice dry rose for the table.
Les Parcelles de Stéphane Derenoncourt 2015  Bordeaux Rouge
85 points
Black garnet color. Aromas of pomegranate, root beer, cassis preserve, and fresh mushroom with a round, bright, dry-yet-fruity full body and an even, relaxed leather, ink, red rose, and pressed cherry finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A nice weeknight Bordeaux.
Rhône to the Bone 2016 White Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc
84 points
$14.99
Light gold color. Aromas of fallen apricot, vinaigrette, earthy minerals, and beeswax with a silky, bright, dryish medium body and an effortless, medium-length ground walnut and cream finish with soft tannins and a suggestion of oak. An easy-drinking Cotes du Rhone blanc.
84 points $14.99
Chateau de Janicon 2015  Graves Rouge
84 points
$33
Deep purple color. Meaty aromas of animale, braciole, button mushrooms, kiwi skin, and red apple with a lightly tannic, lively, dry-yet-fruity full body and a medium-length bramble and leather finish with papery, grippy tannins and moderate oak. An ultra-savory, tight Graves; a nice house wine choice.
Lancre 2016 Rose Pays dOc IGP
83 points
$16.99
Salmon orange color. Aromas and flavors of strawberry and cherry compotes and nougat with a soft, dry watery body and a quick wet stone and grass finish with fine, earthy tannins and no oak. A soft, dry rose quaffer; serve with a good chill.
83 points $16.99
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