The 1998 Pavie Macquin was the winning bottle in the November Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. The wine was decanted for 30 minutes and served with a Tri-Tip roast.
Chateau Pavie-Macquin gets its name from Albert Macquin, its 19th century owner. His descendants, the Corre-Macquin family, still own the 37-acre estate, which is in the Right Bank appellation of Saint-Emilion. The estate’s vineyards are on the top of a plateau and are adjacent to the famous vineyards of Troplong Mondot and Pavie. The Winemaker is Nicolas Thienpont. Vineyards are planted to 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Robert Parker has written that “this estate…has become one of the stars of Saint-Emilion.” In the 2006 reclassification of Saint- Emilion Pavie Macquin was promoted to Premier Grand Cru.
Purple in color. 13.5% ABV. As this was poured into the decanter aromas of earth, stone, violets, pencil, leather and cherry literally filled the room. I could have stopped right here and just smelled the wine for the rest of the night. Perfectly balanced, silky, complex and elegant. Plum, cherry, tobacco, currant, and cassis on the palate. Suave and silky tannins on the incredibly long finish. Gorgeous wine right now but I will save my last few bottles to drink over the next 4-6 years. Simply a triumph from a great vintage on the Right Bank.
My rating: 96 points.
Back vintages of Pavie Macquin are worth searching for. The ’98 can be found for around $100 and other vintages like 01, 05, 06 and 08 range in price from $50-$150. The ’09 and ’10 are worthy of your attention as well but will set you back well over $125.
Quilceda Creek Vintners was founded in 1978 by Alex and Jeanette Golitzin. Alex Golitzin is a nephew of André Tchelistcheff, the legendary winemaker who put Beaulieu Vineyard at the forefront of Napa Valley Cabernet in the 1960s and 70s. He credits summer trips to visit his uncle in St. Helena, California with developing his early interest in wine. Alex’s son, Paul Golitzin is now chief winemaker at the winery.
Quilceda Creek Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon has earned some of the highest scores of any wine produced in the United States. The 2002, ’03, ’05 and ’07 vintages all scored 100-point ratings from Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate. The 2003 vintage of Quilceda Creek’s Cabernet Sauvignon was named the No. 2 Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator. Quilceda Creek produces several single vineyard Cabernets, and they also bottled a Merlot through the ’06 vintage.
Purple in color. 14.9% ABV. Candied cherries, violets and vanilla bean on the nose. Maybe a slight hint of volatile acidity (VA). Concentrated and immense. Tons of structure. Currants, cassis, blueberry, chocolate, eucalyptus, spice and mineral on the palate. Plush and exotic. Silky tannins on an exceedingly long finish. I’d have scored this several points higher had the VA not been somewhat distracting.
My rating: 91 points.
Current vintages of the Cabernet Sauvignon can be obtained via the mailing list and at retail and should set you back around $150.
Rochioli is one of the true pioneers in Russian River Valley, with a winemaking history dating back to the the late 1950′s. Although best known for their world class Pinot Noir, Rochioli also produces remarkable Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. I’ve blogged about Rochioli previously in Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings and the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists.
Golden in color. 14.2% ABV. Pear, apple and smoke on the nose. Viscuous, lively and full bodied. Medium acidity. Lemon, peach, citrus and hazlenut on the palate. Gorgeous Chardonnay with a long, lush finish. I think many underestimate how well Rochioli Chardonnay (the single vineyards in particular) can age. Drink this over the next 1-2 years.
My rating: 93 points.
At present time (and for the foreseeable future) buying from Rochioli via the mailing list is not an option. The Estate wines do show up at retail periodically, and the winery’s Russian River Valley tasting room is still open for public tasting. They may only be pouring a couple of wines, but it’s a great opportunity to buy a bottle for a picnic on their lovely patio and a few more to bring home for the cellar.
The current vintage of the South River Vineyard Chardonnay was approximately $72 off the mailing list.
The November installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Bordeaux from the 1998 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published the following week.
If Bordeaux were made up only of Pomerol and St.-Emilion (the Right Bank) the 1998 vintage would be one of the greatest of all time. The Merlot based wines from these two districts in 1998 are some of the best ever made in Bordeaux. The wines have everything including ripe, exotic fruit aromas and flavors to copious and opulent tannins. They are serious wines that will reward those with the patience to properly cellar them. The Left Bank did not fare near as well.
1998 Pavie Macquin – Nearly exaggerated levels of intensity, extract, and richness are apparent in this opaque blue/purple-colored wine. Sumptuous aromas of blueberries, blackberries, and cherries combine with smoke, licorice, vanillin, and truffles to create a compelling aromatic explosion. The wine is fabulously dense, full-bodied, and layered, with multiple dimensions, gorgeous purity, and superbly integrated acidity as well as tannin. One of the most concentrated wines of the vintage, it possesses immense potential, but patience is required. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030. 95 points from the Wine Advocate.
1998 Canon-La-Gaffelière – This saturated purple-colored 1998 offers sumptuous aromas of prunes, blueberries, overripe black cherries, chocolate, coffee, and spicy new oak. Full-bodied, opulent, and expressive, this flamboyant/ostentatious effort is crammed with glycerin and extract. The tannin is sweet in this accessible, multilayered 1998. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2022. 93 points from the Wine Advocate.
1998 Smith Haut Lafitte – Decadent aromas here, with meat, ripe fruit and spices. Full-bodied, with round, soft tannins and lots of spicy, earthy and leafy flavors. Long and rich. Give it a little more bottle age. This has always been excellent. —’88/’98 Bordeaux blind retrospective (2008). Best after 2010. 93 points from the Wine Spectator.
Which 1998 Bordeaux should I open?
1998 Pavie Macquin (45%, 13 Votes)
1998 Smith Haut Lafitte (31%, 9 Votes)
1998 Canon-La-Gaffelière (24%, 7 Votes)
Total Voters: 29
Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the Decmber installment of Pick My Next Bottle.
Carlisle Winery & Vineyards was founded in 1998 by Mike and Kendall Officer. Their passion is clear: Small lots of Zinfandel and Syrah from exceptional, historic vineyards.
Tom Feeney Ranch is situated in the Russian River Valley and was planted in 1926. The wine is 89% Zinfandel and 11% mixed black varieties (Alicante Bouschet, Grand Noir de la Calmette, Petite Sirah).
Crimson in color. 15.9% ABV. Blueberry, loganberry, pepper and licorice on the nose. Rich, ripe and jammy. Full bodied and perfectly balanced. Blackberry, boysenberry, cocoa and white pepper on the palate. Soft tannins. A perfectly aged Zinfandel that is ready to drink now.
My rating: 92 points.
This wine was $40 off the mailing list.
Current vintages of the various Carlisle wines are available via the mailing list, which is exceptionally long. Several retail outlets in California stock Carlisle, but you need to check with them at the time the winery releases their wines in the Spring and Fall.
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery, located in St. Helena, made their first Cabernet Sauvignon with the 1982 vintage and is one of the true iconic Cabernet producers in Napa Valley. They also make an exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, a second Cabernet named Lydenhurst and a Rhone blend known as Field Book.
Light pale in color. 14.1% ABV. The fruit is sourced from both Sonoma County and Napa County. Lemon, pear and flowers on the nose. Medium body and light acidity. Vibrant, exotic, rich and creamy. Cantaloupe, pineapple, lemongrass, lychee fruit and a spice component on the palate. Super wine that would be great with or without food. Drink over the next year or so.
My rating: 91 points.
Spottswoode makes one of the very best Sauvignon Blancs in all of California. The 2012 can be found for right around $40 at retail. I’ve got mine. Go get yours!
Dehlinger Winery is located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County and was founded in 1975 by Tom and Carole Dehlinger. Eva Dehlinger took over winemaking duties in 2007. Known for their Pinot Noir, Dehlinger also makes Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The grapes for Dehlinger Wines are largely grown on the Estate Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. The initial vines were planted in 1975 and followed by subsequent plantings through 1989.
Golden in color. 14.5% ABV. Honeysuckle, lemon zest and flint on the nose. Excellent acidity. Medium bodied, steely and mineral driven. Pear, vitamin, smoke, apple and lemon meringue pie on the palate. A far cry from your typical California Chardonnay. This wine would be a great ringer in a Chablis tasting. Drink over the next year or so. Note to self…buy more Dehlinger Chardonnay.
My rating: 92 points.
Dehlinger Winery has a great reputation among wine connoisseurs. Wine writers have consistently given strong reviews while praising the winery for its uniqueness, quality, consistency and value. About 75% of their wine is sold via the mailing list. Amazing wines that are well worth the search.
Kanzler Vineyards, located in California near Sebasopol, was founded in 1996 by Stephen and Lynda Kanzler. Planted in 1996 in a former apple orchard, the vineyard quickly developed a reputation for producing world class Pinot Noir grapes featured in award winning wines from some of the finest wineries in Northern California, including Kosta Browne, A.P. VIN and Landmark. In 2004, the Kanzlers launched their own label featuring grapes grown exclusively from their vineyard. Alex Kanzler, the son of Stephen and Lynda, is the current winemaker.
Light crimson in color. 14.6% ABV. Red fruits, forest floor and cinnamon on the nose. This wine is elegant with perfect acidity. Cherry, strawberry, baking spice, tea, cola and licorice in spades on the palate. Silky tannins and great mouthfeel. Drink over the next 1-3 years. I really enjoy this wine every time I have it. Well done!
My rating: 94 points.
Current vintages of Kanzler are available exclusively via the mailing list. The 2012 will be released next spring and likely cost right around $55. Highly recommended.
When you think Williams Selyem you think Pinot Noir. With Spottswoode you think Cabernet Sauvignon. Both of these wineries make other wines that I count among my favorites.
The Zinfandel and Chardonnay programs at Williams Selyem are second to none. However, when you receive an offer letter with a dozen different Pinots the one off Chardonnay and Zinfandel can easily get overlooked on the order form. Bob Cabral, the winemaker at Williams Selyem, might be known for his touch with the Pinot Noir grape but he is equally adept at producing world class, single vineyard, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. On the most recent Fall mailer I made sure to include an Allen Vineyard Chardonnay and Bacigalupi Vineyard Zinfandel.
When the Spottswoode mailer arrives every Spring it is hard to read past the description of their newest Cabernet Sauvignon. Rightly so as this is one of the finest in all of Napa Valley. What many overlook is that Spottswoode also makes a Sauvignon Blanc that is delicious, exotic and age worthy. I always include at least a couple bottles to round out my Spottswoode order.
Williams Selyem Winery began when Ed Selyem and Burt Williams started making wine as a hobby in 1979 in Forestville, California. Their first commercial release was in 1981, and in less than two decades they created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Setting a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking, they put Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley at the forefront of the best Pinot Noir regions in the world.
Today, John and Kathe Dyson, who purchased the winery from Burt and Ed in 1998, work with winemaker Bob Cabral to carry on the passion for Pinot Noir without compromise.
The fruit for the ’05 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is primarily from the Drake Estate Vineyard in Guerneville.
Light red. Almost translucent in color. 13.9% ABV. Forest floor, black cherry and flower on the nose. Medium body and perfect acidity. Cherries, baking spice, cinnamon, clove and just a hint of cola on the palate. Slight tannins on the long, exquisite finish. This wine has aged beautifully and truly bodes well for the ’05 Russian River Valley single vineyard wines from Williams Selyem.
My rating: 92 points.
Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended. Current vintages of the Russian River Valley bottling are approximately $50 off the mailing list and at retail.