Grape Experiences highlights wines from St. Urbans-Hof and a nod to their Fairn' Green designation!
Cindy Rynning writes about St. Urbans-Hof Estate Dry Riesling 2018 and St. Urbans-Hof Estate Riesling from Old Vines 2018 in her article entitled "Rediscover Riesling with Pours from St. Urbans-Hof Estate by Nik Weis."
Wine Enthusiast gives 89 point rating to Ferraton Père et Fils 2017 Samorëns Côtes du Rhône White
March 2019 issue
Wine Enthusiast features St. Urbans-Hof 2017 Nik Weis Riesling from Old Vines in February 2019 Buying Guide
90 points - Slate and crushed earth tones permeate from start to finish in this racy, intensely mineral Riesling. Just a shade off dry on the palate, it offers concentrated tangerine and lemon-skin flavors offset by a steely tang. This vibrant wine should open and improve through 2022. - A.I.
Wine Spectator gives 88 point rating to Ferraton Père et Fils 2017 Samorëns Côtes du Rhône White
88 points - zingy, with green apple, melon, honeysuckle, verbena and quinine notes streaming through. Fresh finish. Drink now.
- J.M. (Dec. 31, 2018)
Wine Spectator names Il Bastardo Sangiovese 2017 a Top 100 Value Wine
Wine Enthusiast gives 90 point rating to Chateau de Macard Bordeaux Superieur
90 points - This perfumed, fruity wine has mint flavors from the wood aging that point up the ripe berry fruits and attractive tannic structure. The dry core is set to soften into the generous fruitiness. Drink from 2022.
- R. V. (Nov. 14, 2018)
Wine Spectator rates Domaine Michelin wine
Domaine Michelin Les Combes Cachees Minervois Les Hauts de Siran 2016
88 points - This medium-bodied red shows focus, offering pure plum and boysenberry flavors underscored with graphite, earth and dried herb accents. Details of spice and black tea are framed by moderate tannins on the clean finish. Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault. Drink now through 2023.
- Gillian Sciaretta (Nov. 12, 2018)
Wine Spectator gives Fattoria di Basciano Chianti Rufina 2016 a 91 point score!
91 points - A vibrant core of black cherry, black currant, cedar and tobacco flavors is framed by refined, if dusty, tannins in this red. In need of a bit of polishing in the bottle. Shows fine length. Drink now through 2025.
- Bruce Sanderson (Nov. 5, 2018)
James Suckling gives 92 rating to Fattoria di Basciano I Pini 2016
92 points - plenty of sweet cherries here, but there's no hint of overripeness and there's a very convincing harmony of rather polished, dry tannins and fresh acidity. Long finish. Good aging potential. Try in 2019.
James Suckling - October 2018
VoerzioMartini Barolo La Serra 2013 gets 91 Points from Wine Spectator
VoerzioMartini Barolo La Serra 2013 received a score of 91 points in the September 30, 2018 issue of Wine Spectator.
Jeb Dunnuck - 91 points for Ferraton Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc 2017
The 2017 Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc checks in as a mix of Roussanne, Viognier and Clairette brought up in stainless steel. It's fresh, vibrant and crisp, yet has plenty of heft in its peach, tangerine and citrus aromas and flavors. With bright acidity, outstanding balance, and a great finish, drink it over the coming 2-3 years.
Jeb Dunnuck - scores for Ferraton Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Parvis 2016 & 2017
Ferraton Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Parvis 2016 - 90-92 points
The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Parvis is a winner, with upfront, perfumed and spicy aromas and flavors, full body, an elegant weightless texture, and outstanding length. It offers more garrigue and honeysuckle notes with time in the glass as well as building tannins. Drink it on release and over the following 7-8 years.
Ferraton Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Parvis 2017 - 90-93 points
The 2017 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Parvis comes from the northern part of the appelation, which is primarily rolled stone terroirs. A blend of Grenache, Syrach and Mourvedre, its deep purple color is followed by a sweet bouquet of creme de cassis, jammy blackberries, crushed flowers, and hints of minerality. Drink this sexy, medium to full bodied, rounded, pure beauty over the coming decade.
Jeb Dunnuck gives 91-93 points for Ferraton Gigondas Les Murailles 2017
Ferraton Gigondas Les Murailles 2017 - 91-93 points
Pretty red and black fruits, peppery spice and earthy characteristics emerge from the 2017 Gigondas, which is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, that was destemmed and aged in concrete tanks. It's rich, medium to full-bodied, has building tannins, and stays light and graceful on its feet.
- Jeb Dunnuck, 8/28/18
Jeb Dunnuck gives 91-93 points for Ferraton Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu 2017
Ferraton Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu 2017 - 91-93 points
An even split of Grenache and Syrah, the 2017 Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu sports a vibrant purple/ruby color as wel as complex notes of sweet black raspberry and blackberry fruits, spice, incense, and flowers. It's sexy, ripe, and incredibly powerful, which is the MO of the Plan de Dieu region of the Southern Rhone.
The Written Palate suggests Urban Riesling 2017 and Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio 2017
"Summer Wine Suggestions" from Cori Solomon - August 28, 2018
Nik Weis Urban Riesling represents the quality of Riesling that comes from the blue soils of this particular region. With floral aromas especially white flower, this wine is off-dry exhibiting a crispness that features tropical fruits including pineapple.
Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio seems different than most Pinot Grigios from Italy. The wine has more volume than other Italian brands. One finds floral aromas especially white flower as well as ripe pear while flavors of pear are accented by some spices on the finish. Hidden among the spices I found some sweet nuances.
The Written Palate suggests Ferraton Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Rosé 2017
"Enjoying French Rosé Wine" by Cori Solomon - July 4, 2018
Ferraton Père & Fils Côtes Du Rhône Samorëns 2017: Blending 75% Grenache with Syrah and Cinsault the Rosé evokes aromas of fresh strawberries while on the palate one finds red fruit enhanced by a lively minerality and some spice on the finish.
Wine Review Online reviews Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio 2017 and Pinot Noir 2017
Review posted on July 3, 2018
The Written Palate suggests Peter Zemmer Pinot Noir Rolhüt 2017
"Good Pinot Noir for Summer Pleasure" by Cori Solomon - June 27, 2018
Located in the Cortina s.s.d.v. of the Alto Adige – South Tyrol region of Italy, Peter Zimmer Winery finds itself one of the only villages situated in the South Tyrolean Lowlands/’Unterland’. Established in 1928 and now run by the families third generation, the winery utilizes innovation through sustainable practices.
Although Pinot Noir is not an indigenous grape to Italy, Alto Adige is defined as one of the best regions in the country to grow this variety. The Peter Zemmer Rolhut Pinot Noir, Alto Adige DOC, blew me away. This particular Pinot Noir was my first from this region. The wine is seamless and perfect in all aspects. One finds elegance in this wine with a soft velvety quality to its style. The wine is very drinkable, smooth and balanced. I found fruity flavors of red fruit.
Funky from the wild ferment, but it has great white peaches, apricots and cassis fruit behind that. The balance of racy and discrete fruit on the palate is near-perfect, and the long finish is super clean. Drink or hold.
The Written Palate suggests Bila Haut L'Esquerda 2016
"Five Wines to Enhance Father's Day" by Cori Solomon - June 16, 2018
For a full-bodied, well-balanced wine, I suggest Domaine de Bila-Haut L’esquerda 2016 from the Languedoc, Côte du Roussillon region of France. Combining Syrah, Grenache and Carignan one knows that the Syrah is the dominant grape in this wine. I could definitely taste the Syrah. The wine is smooth yet rich with flavors of plum, mocha, thyme and white pepper.
"National Rosé Day: Honoring the Marvels of Rosé" by Cori Solomon - June 9, 2018
Finally, a yearly favorite is the 2017 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Rosé Pays d’Oc. Blending Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault results in a wine exhibits flavors of strawberry, citrus and stone fruit with a spicy finish. The wine is crisp yet maintains a lovely freshness.
Pull that Cork recommends Ferraton Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Rosé 2017
"#NationalRoséDay: A reminder to drink rosé" by Nancy Bourget - June 9, 2018
2017 Ferraton Père & Fils Samorëns Rosé, Côtes du Rhône — lovely color in the glass – a bit deeper than ballet slipper pink. Restrained aromatics initially, eventually yielding aromas and flavors of blackberries, melon, roses, dusty gravel with citrusy acidity. The juicy acidity is noteworthy in this wine as is the dusty minerality behind the fruit flavors. 13.5% abv. Sample. SRP $15
We have tasted the 2015 and 2016 vintages of this delightful rosé and all have been delicious and those prior posts will give you a bit of background on Ferraton Père & Fils.
The Corkscrew Concierge suggests Ferraton Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Rosé 2017 & Bila Haut Rosé 2017
"Get Your Rosé On! - Rosé Wines for Summer" by The Corkscrew Concierge - May 14, 2018
Ferraton Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Rosé 2017
I. Love. This. Wine. Comprised of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, which are classic grapes for Rosé, it was a delight to drink. Beautiful light salmon color in the glass it reminded me of strawberries and cream both on the nose and palate. There was also a hint of pineapple on the nose followed by lush strawberry and cherry on the palate. While it wasn’t heavy or bold by any stretch, the wine just seemed to coat the mouth with a creaminess and offer nice acid all at the same time. A quite enjoyable wine that would appeal to many. Did I mention strawberries and cream?! The only problem is that it went down way too easy! They also made a Syrah that I love.
Bila Haut Rosé 2017
This elegant Rosé is comprised of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault and hails from the Languedoc-Roussillon area in the Mediterranean. Y’all know I do like these Bila-Haut wines (not to mention just about anything by Chapoutier) as they offer such a great QPR. Read about the red here and the white wine here. This one was a beautiful pale rose pink in the glass (I could just gaze at Rosé all day) and offers up white peach, pear, banana, and floral notes on the nose. In the mouth, the wine exhibits a freshness along with nice crisp minerality and acidity, followed by a tart citrus and peach finish. Classic food friendly profile that would pair with fun grilled summer fare including hot dogs and burgers.
New York, NY, April 12, 2018 – HB Wine Merchants is proud to introduce the Piedmont estate Voerzio Martini, the latest addition to its steadily expanding portfolio of top European estates. Now making its 2018 U.S. debut, the family-owned winery in La Morra, a sub-zone of the Barolo DOCG, accounts for 30 acres of vineyards, including just shy of five acres in La Morra’s prized La Serra Grand Cru. In descending order of acreage, plantings of Nebbiolo, Moscato, Arneis, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Freisa result in seven wines and a combined output of around 60,000 bottles annually. U.S. Importer HB Wine Merchants is so convinced of the quality-price ratio represented by the Voerzio Martini wines that it has taken on the entire portfolio — a rarity in the wine business.
Blueberry and black cherry flavors converge in this fruity red. Moderate tannins and a light touch of earth emerge on the finish. Drink now. 60,000 cases made. —Bruce Sanderson
Wine & Spirits - 92 points for 2016 St Urbans Hof Old Vines QbA
Feb. 1, 2018
Year's Best Mosel Rieslings
2016 Mosel Old Vines Riesling QbA (Best Buy)
Nik Weis makes this cuvee from a selection of the oldest vines at St. Urbans-Hof. In 2016, they seemed to draw a special intensity out of their deep roots, turning out a wine that surpasses its price and QbA status. It has the tangy, layered flavor of of heirloom apples and the floral notes of a ripe peach, all wrapped in an earthy richness that gives the wine a meaty breadth. With octaves of flavor and nimble acidity, it's a flexible pairing for anything from fish to roast pork shoulder.
Wine Spectator - 95 points for Ferraton Pere & Fils Ermitage White Le Reverdy 2015
Jan 31, 2018 - Feb 28, 2018 issue
95 points - Ferraton Pere & Fils Ermitage White Le Reverdy 2015 - $106
Rich yet refined, with creamed yellow apple, white peach and melon flavors supported by bright honeysuckle, chamomile and acacia notes. Lush and rounded along the edges, but with an inner freshness that carries this easily through the finish. Marsanne and Rousanne. Drink now through 2022. 130 cases made. - J.M.
Wine Spectator - 95 points for Ferraton Pere & Fils Ermitage Le Meal 2015
Jan 31, 2018 - Feb 28, 2018
95 points - Ferraton Pere & Fils Ermitage Le Meal 2015 - $138
Rich and polished, with alluring raspberry, boysenberry and fig reduction flavors gliding through, seamlessly entwined with smoldering charcoal, warm licorice snap and fruitcake notes. The fruit flows through the finish, showing a lingering anise echo. Best fro 2020 through 2034. 140 cases made. - J.M.
Wine Spectator - 93 points for Ferraton Pere & Fils Ermitage Les Dionnieres 2015
Jan 31, 2018 - Feb 28, 2018 issue
93 points - Ferraton Pere & Fils Ermitage Les Dionnieres 2015 - $106
This is packed with warm fig, boysenberry and blackberry confiture notes, supported by commesurate graphite and warm charcoal accents. Sports a slightly burly roasted apple wood frame through the finish, but there's ample stuffing to wait this out via some cellaring. Best from 2020 through 2032. 200 cases made. - J.M.
Wine Spectator - 93 points for Ferraton Pere & Fils St.-Joseph Leu-Dit St.-Joseph 2015
Jan 31, 2018 - Feb 28, 2018 issue
93 points - Ferraton Pere & Fils St.-Joseph Leu-Dit St.-Joseph 2015 - $72
Lovely cassis, plum sauce and raspberry puree flavors flow through, supported by well-embedded structure that lets the velvet-textured fruit lay out. Anise and fruitcake notes stud the finish. Drink now through 2022. 100 cases made. - J.M.
Wine Spectator - 92 points for Ferraton Pere & Fils St.-Joseph White Les Oliviers 2015
Jan 31, 2018 - Feb 28, 2018
92 points - Ferraton Pere & Fils St.-Joseph White Les Oliviers 2015 - $66
Lovely verbena, creamed yellow apple and white ginger notes glide through seamlessly, with a porcelainlike texture letting them linger effortlessly on the finish. Marsanne and Roussanne. Drink now through 2021. 120 cases made. - J.M.
Wine Spectator - 91 points for Ferraton Pere & Fils Crozes-Ermitage Le Grand Courtil 2015
Jan 31, 2018 - Feb 28, 2018 issue
91 points - Ferraton Pere & Fils Crozes-Ermitage Le Grand Courtil 2015 - $45
Lush blackberry, fig and boysenberry confiture notes stream through, carried by light anise and black tea notes with a graphite edge giving the finish purpose and direction. Rock-solid. Drink now through 2021. 300 cases made. - J.M.
Bila Haut Cotes du Rousillon Villages Rouge 2016 featured by the drunken cyclist
Jan 30, 2018
2016 M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila Haut Côtes du Rousillon Villages: Retail $15. 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 10% Carignan. Really dark in the glass with notes of blackberry, leather, mint, and rosemary. Initially a bit austere on the palate, with chalky fruit but striking tartness. Eventually, the fruit came out to play, and play it did. This is not the immediate crowd-pleaser that is the Côtes-du-Rhône, no this requires more introspection and attention. This will not change the trajectory of your life, but it will possibly cause you to slow down and consider your current course. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
St. Urbans-Hof Kabinett 2015 a great drink with sushi - Philly Voice
January 15, 2018
What to drink when you skip burgers and beer and head out for sushi instead
Riesling, St. Urbans-Hof, Kabinett, 2015--$23
Riesling is remarkably food friendly and very adaptable to exotic flavors. This particular wine is from the Ockfener Bockstein vineyard in the Saar – a region in Germany that imparts a sharp mineral spine to balance the beautiful peach and apple fruit. The wine is very energetic and alive and is bursting with juicy acidity. A lean 8.5 percent alcohol keeps the calories down and its expressive character will make you reach for another piece of sashimi and never miss your mid-week burger binge.
The Wine Buzz reviews Bila Haut Blanc 2016, Rough 2016 and Ferraton ''La Matiniere'' 2015
January 15, 2018
2016 Bila Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages Rouge & Blanc featured by Red Wine Please!
January 9, 2018
2016 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotês-du-Roussillon Rouge – The wine is a dark reddish-purple. A bright nose of fruit highlights black cherry and blackberry. There’s a nice and unusual hint of Dijon mustard as well. This was strange and good. The palate is all about the fruit, although at opening the tannins really make an appearance as well. They mellow a bit with some time, and I would decant this for an hour before serving. Once it opens, it is rich and long, full bodied and not shy at 14.5% alcohol. Good acid keeps it balanced, fresh and vibrant. Excellent quality at an SRP of $15.
2016 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Cotês-du-Roussillon Blanc – This wine has a rich nose of bright fruit, mostly tropical with apricot and pineapple. A touch of anise sneaks in there as well. The wine has nice structure, some body, good acid and really nice length. This is not a simple, easy quaffer. Think Verdejo. Also a great value at $15, and a wine that brings a little more to the party than your average white.
Two wines from a heralded house, they are both worth buying.
2016 Nik Weis Urban Riesling featured by the drunken cyclist
January 4, 2018
2016 Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling Mosel: Retail $15. This is the second label from St. Urbans Hof and winemaker Nik Weis. While the first label uses the estate fruit, Nik makes solid wines out of purchased fruit for this second label. A bit viscous in the glass with lemon, pineapple, and a slight hint of petrol. Tart and lovely on the palate, with bright fruit and just the right amount of sweetness. This is really a wonderful expression, and hits well above its weight. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
Ferraton Samorens Rouge 2015 featured by the drunken cyclist
January 4, 2018
2015 Ferraton Père et Fils Côtes du Rhône Rouge Samorëns: Retail $15. 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Cinsault. There is a sea of wine that falls into the Côtes du Rhône appellation and most of it is, well, meh (and that is being kind). This is not one of those. Ferraton produces some of the wines at the very top of the quality spectrum in the appellation: luscious raspberry fruit couched in chocolate and Christmas spices. This time of year, there is always a scramble to find a singular wine to plop on the table for holiday festivities. Wine geeks like me have been saying for years that just one wine does not exist. Well, this comes close. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2016 Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages Rouge featured by winereviewonline.com
January 2, 2018
Le Vignes de Bila-Haut, Cotes du Roussillon Villages (France) 2016 ($15): The beauty of Roussillon is the rare combination of quality with value. This blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan exhibits exceptional fruit purity, intriguing complexity and exquisite balance at a very modest price. What you taste is what the French in the south call garrigue, meaning the there is an earthy minerality that reflects the soils of Roussillon. On the palate the wine is smooth and fruit-inspired, showing red fruits and black fruits, with an excellent balance between fruit and acidity and nary a hint of oak (the wine is aged in vats). The finish is long and inviting, as in inviting another sip. 89 Robert WhitleyJan 2, 2018
Wine Advocate review of Ferraton La Matiniere 2016 Rouge
Forward and fruity, the 2016 Crozes Hermitage La Matiniere blends cherries with hints of tar and black olive. Medium-bodied, it boasts silky tannins and a long finish. Drink it over the next five years. Rating: 88 points.
Wine Advocate review of Ferraton La Matiniere 2016 Blanc
Waxy notes and hints of melon and marshmallow can be found on the nose of the 2016 Crozes Hermitage La Martiniere Blanc. This 100% Marsanne is medium-bodied, with a plump, round mouthfeel and a vaguely citrusy finish. Drink it over the next year or so. Rating: 87 points.
The Daily Meal features Bila Haut 2016 Rouge
Michel Chapoutier "Les Vignes de Bila-Haut" Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2016 ($15)
Who says that a superb French wine has to cost a small fortune? Acclaimed winemaker Michel Chapoutier has an impressive portfolio of wines at all price points but authenticity, quality, and respect for the environment are always the common denominator. Chapoutier is best known for his Rhône wines but his passion for the terroir of Roussillon led him to purchase an abandoned 190-acre estate there in 1999. Chapoutier passionately states that “Roussillon has the potential to be as great as Bordeaux, Burgundy or the Rhône.” I agree. Just a few months ago I visited this picturesque region in the south of France, between Spain, the Mediterranean Sea, the Pyrenees & the Corbières Mountains; and I was impressed by the quality, diversity, and accessible price points of Roussillon's wines. A blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan, Les Vignes de Bila-Haut is fresh, full, and juicy. Easy-drinking and elegant with a perfect balance of rich plum and berry flavors with sassy dashes of herbs and spices.
Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem: The hidden gem of Languedoc
The Written Palate writes:
Recently I sampled the 2015 Domaine De Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem Côte du Roussillon Villages Latour de France. This Rhone blend combines Syrah, Grenache, and Carignane. One finds a heavier full-bodied wine that is rich yet smooth in texture. Aromas of lavender and violets filled the air. Although earthy, the wine has flavors of blueberries, currants and stewed fruit with hints of pepper and other spices. Although there is less Grenache than Syrah, the taste of Grenache dominates the wine. Think of Ocultum Lapidem as a winter wine.
2015 Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem Red review by The Good Wine Guru
George Perry writes:
My Review: I’ve had Bila-Haut wines in the past and have generally enjoyed them, but I have to say, that the 2015 Occultum Lapidem Red, is maybe my favorite wine of the last few months, and that’s no small praise (I’ve had some good wine of late).
Seven Holiday Wines to Consider this Season - featuring Bila Haut & Ferraton wines
The Written Palate writes:
Another French wine from Bila-Haut is Le Vignes de Bila-Haut Rouge Du Roussillon Villages. I have had this wine in the past, and it is consistently delicious. Find dark fruit, black cherry, and currant on the palate. This Rhone blend of mainly Syrah combined with Grenache and Carignan is a light-medium bodied wine. Please note this wine needs some time to breath.
Two other French wines to consider are the 2015 Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes Du Rhone Samorëns, a wine that would go perfectly with a turkey dinner because the wine has a tart quality and the flavor of cranberries is quite evident. One will also find flavors of blueberries and licorice. The wine blends primarily Grenache with Syrah and Cinsault.
Three wines from Ferraton Père & Fils are featured in the Decanter 2016 Rhône Report. The 2016 Crozes-Hermitage La Matinière Rouge gets 90 points, the 2016 Ermitage Les Dionnières earned 94 points, and the 2016 Ermitage Le Méal got 96 points and was named one of the best Rhône wines. The two wines from Ermitage will be released in December 2018.
Wine Advocate review of 2016 Ferraton Cotes du Rhone Samorens Rouge
Ferraton's 2016 Cotes du Rhone Samorens Rouge is a silky, medium to full bodied blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. Dusty earth and cherries mingle easily on the nose and palate, gliding to an elegant finish. Drink it over the next 4-5 years. Rating: 87 points.
Wine Advocate review of 2016 Ferraton Cotes du Rhone Samorens Blanc
Mainly Clarette, and spending its entire life prior to bottling in stainless steel, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone Samorens Blanc is a neutral, citrusy white that's quite lean and crisp considering its southern origins. It's lively and refreshing, so drink it young while it still has its best attributes. Rating: 87 points.
Wine: 2015 Ferraton Père & Fils Cotes du Rhone “Samorëns”
Tasted By: Neil & Cheri Date: October 2017
Tasting Notes: a dark red wine with some purple highlights, this has an earthy, savory nose filled with dark fruits. There’s a little menthol as well. On the palate a strong herbal quality comes through, as well as the savory notes and a noticeable leather component. It is full bodied, and holds up throughout very well. Medium tannins frame a long finish. Overall this has a bit of a rustic quality, and is a great wine to pair with a grilled steak.
Price Point – $14
Would We Buy It? – Yes. it is a good value at this price point. This is not an elegant and refined wine, but it has a lot of character.
Wine:2015 Ferraton Père & Fils Crozes-Hermitage “La Matiniere”
Winery Location: Northern Rhone Valley, France
Tasted By: Neil & Cheri Date: October 2017
Tasting Notes: also dark purple red, this is 100% Syrah and has a huge nose of dark fruit, with black plum and blackberry. There is spice, a little smoke and some savory notes. A nice, rich entry frames the wine, and this stays full bodied and fleshy. While rich it is still fresh, as there is a good acid component keeping everything balanced. The tannins are firm, build a little at the back, but are very approachable. It finishes very long. After a day on the kitchen counter this was even better. Very high quality and super delicious.
Price Point – $23
Would We Buy It? – absolutely. This is a steal at $23, and drinks like a much more expensive northern Rhone wine. Value List material for certain, and will be added to the consideration for the Top 25 of the year coming out in a few months. This is a good bottle of wine.
"M. Chapoutier Les Vignes de Bila-Haut 2016, Pays d'Oc IGP, France ($15) — This absolutely delicious rose from the Languedoc region in the south of France is from the M. Chapoutier family of wines. Chapoutier is one of the three or four finest producers in the Rhone Valley, but it applies the same care and respect to the wines they make elsewhere. This is a refreshing rose that exhibits aromas of strawberry and orange peel. The finish is bright and crisp, which is largely the appeal of dry rose in the warm summer months. Rating: 90."
Summer Supper: Cool Pasta Salad and Côtes du Rhône Refreshers
I chose to make Pasta with Roasted Vegetables, Tomatoes, and Basil, a recipe found in my copy of Bon Appetit: Outdoor Entertaining. What made this cool pasta salad even more tasty? Two delicious, well-priced wines from Côtes du Rhône: 2016 Ferraton Père & Fils, Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Blanc and 2016 Ferraton Père & Fils, Côtes du Rhône Samorëns Rosé, both sent as samples. The refreshing pairing was just the way I love my summers to be!
"Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Rosé 2016: Every year I look forward to the Rosé from Les Vignes de Bila-Haut. This wine is typical of what is produced in the Pays d’Oc region. A blend of primarily Grenache with Cinsault and Syrah, this wine is bright, fresh with aromas of roses while citrus, stone fruit and some tropical notes the palate give way some spicy undertones on the finish."
Nine Summer Wines to Enjoy this Season (Part Deux)
"Ferraton Père & Fils Côtes du Rhône 2016 Samorëns Blanc: The red label wine focuses on the traditional method of blending from various vineyards in the Rhône. A blend of Roussanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Marsanne makes for a very fresh crisp wine with flavors of stone fruit, honey and hints of spice on the finish. The honey is attributed to the Viognier and although not the largest portion in this blend, its profile is more pronounced. This is a very refreshing wine."
2016 Bila-Haut Pays d'Oc Rosé featured by The WineKnitter
"The 2016 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Pays d’Oc Rosé is a blend of 78% Grenache, 14% Cinsault and 8% Syrah. The color is a rich salmon with aromas of rose, peony and red berries with a whisper of orange. The palate is deliciously layered with juicy notes of strawberry, cherry and a hint of herbs. The finish offers lingering notes of citrus. This is a dry, refreshing, crisp wine that is beautifully balanced. Serve as an aperitif or with seafood, light pastas, cheese and fruit. Great value for the quality of this wine! "
2015 Urban Riesling earns 90 Points from Wine Enthusiast
Wine Enthusiast awarded 2015 Urban Riesling 90 Points and named it a "Best Buy."
"Smoky veins of struck flint and slate lend a savory mineral tone to this refreshingly tonic Riesling. Sweet-tart tangerine and grapefruit flavors are juxtaposed by bracing lime acidity, a racy melange that lingers for a long but invigorating finish."
2010 Agly Brothers gets 91 points from The Tasting Panel Magazine
The "brothers" are Michel Chapoutier and Aussie winemaker Ron Laughton, who collaborate along Roussillon's Agly River. Silky texture and ripe blackberry fruit; balanced and dense with a long finish. 33% Carignan, 33% Syrah, 33% Grenache.
"A fresh and juicy Riesling with an elegant character grown on the mineral rich slate soil in the steep slopes of the Mosel Valley. It is the perfect match with Asian dishes such as Indian curries, mildly spicy fish and poultry."
Topping off a summer of tastings with a rundown of the tops
Peter Zemmer - Pinot Grigio
"Like biting into a perfectly ripe apple, with satisfying fruit flavor, juicy texture and soft acidity. Don't be surprised by the spritzig (delicate bubbles) in the freshest bottles; it's a winemaking technique that lets wine dance across the palate for ultimate refreshment. There are cheaper pinot grigio's, but none better for this price."
Topping off a summer of tastings with a rundown of the tops
Il Bastardo Sangiovese di Toscana
"The funny label may draw you in, but you'll come back for the berry and spice flavor and pleasing tannin of this "Chianti, Junior." In summertime, serve cool to the palate with all al fresco meals, lighter pizza, pasta, poultry and meats. You don't have to be Italian to enjoy this great quality/ value red."
2014 St. Urbans-Hof Estate 'Old Vines' Riesling "100 Best Buys of 2016 - Wine & Spirits"
2014 St. Urbans-Hof Estate 'Old Vines' Riesling QbA is named one of the 100 Best Buys of 2016 in Wine & Spirits upcoming 30th Anniversary Buying Guide. This special edition is due to hit newsstands on October 11th.
"Nice mouthfeel. This wine has a bit of a zing to it. Buttery popcorn in the nose followed by lime on the palate. Definitely not a thin example of the varietal. Peter Zemmer runs the winery, which his grandfather started in 1928 in the 600-person village of Cortina. Tasting notes include this bold line: "This alpine Pinot Grigio offers a totally different experience from the insipid, flatland versions wine lovers are more accustomed to finding in the U.S." Brash, but true. This wine region sits in far northern Italy and is close to Austria and Switzerland."
The Drunken Cyclist gives 2014 Bila-Haut Rouge 89-91 Points
Jeff Kralik aka the Drunken Cyclist writes: "This wine, from the well-known RhÃ´ne producer, is wonderful. Good fruit on the nose and palate, but more in that reserved, old-world way. Fantastic balance and lengthy finish–a solid wine from top to bottom."
"Having a little fun with this wine. Ripe cherries, black raspberries, violets, spices, and pepper with a hint of jamminess to the fruit on the nose. Raspberries on the palate with a touch of ground beef and pepper. A bit tinny on the finish - a lot more tart on the finish than you’d expect from the attack."
Bila-Haut RI 2013 makes Jeb Dunnuck's Guide to the Best of 2015
"The Roussillon had a cool, late year in 2013 and the resulting wines show uncommon elegance and freshness paired with beautiful concentration. And while a relatively small region (well, when compared to the Languedoc anyways), there's incredible diversity in its terroirs. The two blockbuster Grenache releases from Calvet-Thunevin and Department 66 couldn't be more different from the more granite influenced Bila Haut RI Syrah."
Cindy Coe of Cinfully Simple gives a glowing review of Michel Chapoutier's Bila-Haut CÃ´tes du Roussillon Villages Rouge 2014.
"At a lower price point than many French wines (around $15), this deep, sultry smooth red blend with berry notes does not disappoint. With a hint of warm spice, it’s perfect to enjoy by itself sitting by a fire on a cold winter night or pair it with food. Believe it or not, we paired it with Western BBQ Chicken Pizza from Blackjack Pizza featuring KC Masterpeice BBQ Sauce, and it was amazing! That says a lot about a wine. "
''How Millennials Are Changing Wine'' - The Wall Street Journal
Lettie Teague of The Wall Street Journal takes a look at Millennials' taste in wine. One of the the wines tasted in a panel of the 18-34 year-olds, was St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Reben. "Although they liked the 2014 Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Reben ($17) from Mosel, it wasn’t a wine they’d ever think about buying because they didn’t know much about German wines."
Peter Zemmer's Pinot Grigio 2014 named ''Wine of the Day''
Fredric Koeppel, of Bigger Than Your Head, had nothing but kind words for Peter Zemmer's 2014 Pinot Grigio.
"The Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio 2014, Alto Adige-Sudtirol, is more attractive and offers more character than about 90 percent of the pinot grigio wines from northeastern Italy that I receive for review."
Kind words for Bila-Haut Rouge 2014 from A Wine Story.com
Marisa D'Vari at A Wine Story.com had sweet things to say about the 2014 CÃ´tes du Roussillon Villages Rouge from Bila-Haut.
"Happy to say that my perception about the wine matched its excellence – it was a wine with red and black fruit, delicious garrigue and wild herbs, 13.5 well balanced alcohol, racy acidity and tannins that were smooth and rustic at the same time.
It was an incredible wine, especially for the $15 price, and paired very well with steak and roasted salmon."
St. Urbans-Hof Estate Riesling QbA 2014 gets 89 Points from the Wine Enthusiast
"A brisk mineral edge adds elegance to buoyant tropical mango and pineapple flavors in this densely concentrated off-dry Riesling. It's lip-smackingly honeyed, but sharp citrus acidity keeps the palate vivacious and fresh. Effortlessly enjoyable with a long finish."
Urban Riesling 2014 earns 88 Points from Wine Enthusiast
"Blossomy perfume wafts throughout this squeaky fresh off-dry Riesling. Tart tangerine and punchy yellow peach and mango flavors are vibrant and crisp, resonating long on the finish. It's a straightforward yet balanced, fruity wine. Drink now."
2014 Urban Riesling receives praise from Cape Gazette (DE)
Next up Weingut St. Urbans–Hof, Nick Weis selection, Urban Riesling QbA 2014. You may remember, I wrote the 2013 last year. The new release is easy to locate, priced under $11. Weis, who is a minimalist and provides us with a more “natural look” does a great job with all his wine but this entry level 90 pt wine is my choice for table Riesling. Opens to a floral nose with smokey notes. Dry with a hint of sugar they are racy and show the slate/ stony finish, I enjoy. There are other complex offerings from St. Urbans-Hof that better define the “terroir” but they are also more expensive. Newbies to Mosel can’t go wrong starting here.
"This is no Wine Connoisseur Magazine kind of wine review! It’s not even a Reverse Wine Snob (whom I love) kind of review! This was a #RealWine4RealPeople kind of wine tasting/blind taste test with 100% every day people! What else would you expect from the #RealFood4RealPeople, girl?"
The Urban Riesling was declared "Sweet, smooth, yummy, fruity, light, clean, granny smith, great by itself"
Moving to France the next two are from Domaine de Bila-Haut where Rhone winemaker Michel Chapoutier owns this Roussillon Estate. Located very close the border of Spain, this estate sits on the slopes of the Agly Valley in the commune of Latour-de-France. Here the climate from the Mediterranean Sea and the Mistral wind influence the wine along with the soils, which are a mix of schist, gneiss and clay."
Bila-Haut Blanc named Wine Specator's "Daily Wine Pick" under $15
This white has a pretty profile of floral, peach and creamed melon flavors, with underlying spice and mineral elements. Nicely textured, featuring a juicy acidity that lifts the perfumed finish. Drink now. 10,000 cases made. —Gillian Sciaretta
The M. Chapoutier incentive trip for 2015 is well underway and everyone is having a great time. Stay tuned for pictures of this year's trip.
A great review and pairing for Bila-Haut Blanc & Rosé
"2014 Les Vignes de Bila Haut Blanc CÃ´tes du Roussillon — pale yellow in the glass with tart pineapple and melon aromas. On the palate minerals, citrus zest and delicate melon flavors combine with bright acidity and citrus pith on the finish."
D Magazine says Zemmer Pinot Grigio is "What To Drink Now"
"Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio is a spicy, concentrated wine with richness not often found in the variety. Concentrated from low yielding vines, fermented in stainless steel, but then left on the lees for a period of time to add texture to the wine, the result is lush and juicy with bright notes of citrus, orchard and stone fruit, with zesty acidity and a touch of creaminess on the end."
Examiner.com names 2014 Urban Riesling one of "Five wines to start off your summer"
"Looking for something different and unique in wine, the 2014 Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling, Mosel is well worth the discovery. In its 3rd generation St. Urbans-Hof, the second largest family operated and owned winery in the Mosel dating back to 1947 created this wine. This Riesling is considered a non-estate wine. As Nik Weis states, “It is a true Mosel wine that represents the region by being honest, authentic with a true origin.” With it fruity aromas primarily pineapple, one will find a dry wine with hints of sweetness and spice on the finish. The blue slate soils and steep slopes of the Mosel Valley bring out the wine’s minerality. Beautifully crafted the wine is only 9.5 in alcohol."
Wine Advocate gives Cluster M45 Shiraz 2012 a 95+ point rating!
"Medium to deep garnet, the 2012 Cluster M45 Shiraz presents lovely red and black cherry notes, black raspberries and kirsch with hints of menthol, aniseed, pepper and lavender. Medium-bodied, elegant showing very fine tannins, it has just enough acid to lift the rich fruit and good long finish. It should age very well."