September, 2015 – “Climats du Couchant” 2013, Chardonnay
A widely planted variety of grape, Chardonnay, has found here in the Russian River Valley region of California an ideal “terroir”, as can also be found under different conditions in Burgundy.
This wine is a brilliant yellow with silvery green reflections, crystal clear and luminous. On opening, the nose shows a lovely, slightly austere restraint, pointing up the citrus notes, like lime, even more, with a strong minerality that imparts an immediate fresh sensation. It is quickly clear that as the wine opens up with light aeration and a higher temperature of 52-54°F (11-12°C) its bouquet will deepen and grow more complex. The wine starts to work its charm with aromas of hazelnuts, fresh butter, toast, and frangipane, with a hint of vanilla coming from careful aging, though not fully integrated just yet.
This is also a bright wine, evoking the brilliant California sunshine, with scents of exotic fruit; pineapple and coconut combined with highly expressive notes of peach and nectarine maintain a lovely harmony without any heaviness.
On the palate, the wine is beautifully lively with a well-controlled balance on attack. The smooth and velvety quality of the chardonnay is just what it should be, without being opulent; it consistently accentuates relief and a certain depth in the drinking. This is a genuine California wine, with its generous finish, a light trace of tannin from the oak, and the lingering toasty, vanilla flavors. To drink now, at a temperature of 52-54°F, accompanied by roasted lobster with salted butter.
September, 2015 – “Climats du Couchant” 2013, Pinot noir
This wine has a pretty, ruby color, clear and light with signs of evolution seen in the orange-tinged gradation on the rim of the glass.
The initial scent is quite delightful, with immediate satisfaction, and the charisma of strong, fruity accents. The wine has notes of strawberry jam and burlat cherry, along with an elegant vegetal touch which adds an enormous amount of freshness. After a few moments of oxygenation, this wine demonstrates a truly surprising complexity! Its richness gives way to a more evolved array of aromas, with elements of potpourri, dried flowers, a lovely minerality, the scent of orange peel and, above all, a great feeling of airy freshness reminiscent of some of Burgundy’s best, most delicate vintages.
The attack on the palate is direct, highly subtle and delicate. This pinot noir is highly enjoyable for its lightness and suppleness while also maintaining an intensity and fine fruity fullness. The hand of the winemaker and aging in French oak barrel, which often seem very strong in the wines of this region, are here setting this wine apart by their great discretion. The wine is voluptuous, refined without being too sweet; with mature, well-integrated tannins leaving a long, bright feeling at the finish which recalls its origin in the sun-drenched Sonoma region. To drink now at a temperature of 16ºC (61°F), with a gourmet dish, such as guinea fowl thigh with mushrooms and foie gras.
Thank you !
We would like to thank Sylvain Nicolas and Guy Savoy for their formidable support and great encouragements to pursue our quest for excellence with continued passion!
Sylvain Nicolas – Best sommelier of France 2013 & 2015
Sylvain Nicolas is the head sommelier of the most famous, 3-star Michelin Guy Savoy restaurant located in the sumptuous, unique historical building "Hotel de la Monnaie" in Paris. "Sylvain Nicolas, is all about discrete and humble knowledge, kindness, advising with ease, and a good sense of empathy, to adjust clients choices to the best, with a smile. He does not let anyone destabilize him, be it French ministers, or industry leaders visiting Guy Savoy ; on the contrary, he will be able to find the untravelled, surprising choice for the adventurous, the well suited classic choice, or noble grand cru for those who want to be comforted and pampered..." Gault & Millau - Winner of the best young sommelier 2015: Sylvain Nicolas.