(2023) From Napa Valley's Oak Knoll district, this is a mighty Bordeaux blend that quite unusually for this region majors on Malbec (52%), plus 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot. It's a plush and hedonistic style, 18 months in barrels, 50% new, adding all the chocolate and cream. As well as the copious black fruit there's a delightful violet lift too, showing the floral side of Malbec, and the palate is as glossy as black silk, the ripe, sweet tannins and generous plummy acidity barely ruffling the surface of the deep pool of smooth black fruit and mocha. It's a wine that some may find too much, but it's also a glorious mouthful of archetypal Napa red.
(2020) This organically-certified Pinot comes from a producer new to me, located between Beaune and Nuits-Saint-Georges, where Jean-Louis is assisted by his sons Frédéric and Laurent. It has quite a deep but not opaque colour, and a charming nose: firm and cherry scented, with briar and a hint of gamy perfume, but there's a ripeness and succulence to the fruit quality too. In the mouth there is good sweetness to the fruit, but it is sappy and lithe, a little spicy, smooth tannins and very nicely balanced juicy acidity, for a lovely glass of Burgundy that will cellar for several years.
(2020) A big and bountiful Californian red blend of 80% Zinfandel, with 10% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petite Sirah, blended and matured for 16 months in American oak. Creamy, spicy and voluptuous on the nose, there's tons of blueberry and plum fruit, before the palate that is sweet-fruited and Christmas-cake spiced, rich and full, but with a fairly firm tannin background and cherry-pit acidity giving more spice and savouriness on the finish. A juicy steak or anything from the chargrill with this one.
(2020) A Sauvignon Blanc that marches to a different beat, fruit is hand-picked, whole bunch pressed and fermented and aged in older French oak barrels for 18 months. Grapefruit and nutty, almondy oak combine, along with a ripe orchard fruit character. In the mouth lovely juiciness and thrust, the pithy, mineral freshness of the acidity, a touch of flint, and squeeze of citrus to finish.
(2012) Attractively pale, Provence colour. Very delicate raspberry and redcurrant aromas, touch of mealiness, touch of briar. The palate has good weight and texture, and a mice creamy edge to the summer fruits, but good, clean, herby acidity.
(2012) Eleven growers contribute premium Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marselan and Merlot. All low yields, from 20hl/ha for the Syrah to 50hl/ha for the Marselan. Lots of cedary, sandalwood oak, deep and vinous, with copious cassis and fleshy plum on nose and palate. There is a juiciness to this, the tannins, char and enough acid to give and edge to the sweet, full and chunky fruit. Slightly too much resinous oak for me, but impressive and layered stuff.