Welcome to The Spirit Haus, Amherst's Specialty Beverage Center

Tomorrow, we dip into our cellar to share Pinot Noir from vintage 2010 in Burgundy and California, before finishing with two left bank Bordeaux, one from 2009 and the other from 2015. We will begin in Burgundy with two whites, a Saint Bris Sauvignon Blanc and a Cotes d'Auxerre Chardonnay, from “one of most interesting and exciting growers in Burgundy.” We shift to Pinot Noir with a 2015 “Secret” from Bourgogne. So, eigth wines in all, seven from France given perspective by one from California.

To quote playfully from Neal Martin, now a writer for Vinous, on our first two wines from Guillhem et Jean-Hugues Goisot,

“Let me cut to the chase: I have adored the wines from Goisot since I began visiting several years ago. Sure, the competition within the AOC of St-Bris is not exactly at the same level as Pauillac or Vosne-Romanée, however Goisot is so far ahead of anyone else in St-Bris that it is almost embarrassing. I would go further and state that, in my mind, they are one of the most interesting and exciting growers in Burgundy. They just happen to be located in one of smallest and least-known AOCs at its northernmost boundary...

In St-Bris, they eschew Chardonnay for Sauvignon Blanc, making them more aligned to the Loire than Burgundy. Why Sauvignon Blanc? There are contending theories: as a dependent of Auxerre, which has historical connections with Sancerre, it was natural for Sauvignon Blanc to be cultivated, or it may be that the north/northwest-facing vineyards are more suited to Sauvignon Blanc than Chardonnay. We may never know...

[But I do encourage y'all] to discover the joys of Domaine Goisot not least because they remain an unbeatable value for the money given the effort and passion that goes into the farming and winemaking here...The family traces its roots back to the 14th century... In the 1990s, they began to convert to organic farming...Winemaker Guilhem Goisot has taken the reins from his father Jean-Hugues and has been the driving force in converting all their vineyards to biodynamics. ..”

We taste Goisot's 2017 St-Bris Exogyra Virgula [$22.99] sourced from plots on Kimmeridgian limestone with a high fossil content of its extinct-since-the-Jurassic-period oyster namesake, and their 2015 Bourgogne-Côtes d’Auxerre Corps de Garde Blanc [$24.99], a cool climate chardonnay with echos of nearby Chablis. Here are two reviews:

Guilhem et Jean-Hugues Goisot – St-Bris Exogyra Virgula 2017

Neal Martin, Vinous, May 2018: The 2017 Saint-Bris Exogyra Virgula is matured in stainless steel without any bâtonnage and has the signature jarring, slightly oxidative bouquet that you will either love or hate (I love it). It electrifies the senses with captivating scents of white asparagus, green apple, grilled walnut and smoke. The palate is well balanced, taut and linear, with a fine bead of acidity. The precise black pepper and curry leaf finish leaves the mouth tingling, but you know it will give more with a couple of years in bottle. Drink: 2018 – 2028. 91 points.

Goisot – Bourgogne-Côtes d’Auxerre Corps de Garde Blanc 2015

Neal Martin, Vinous, May 2018: The 2015 Bourgogne-Côtes d’Auxerre Corps de Garde Blanc has a bouquet of light green apple skin and fresh pear; scents of beeswax and jasmine develop in the glass. The palate is well balanced, presenting a smooth, waxy-textured entry and revealing a light sea influence toward the saline and green-asparagus-tinged finish. This is very harmonious and feels very persistent. Recommended. Drink: 2018 – 2026. 90 points.

Next come four Pinot Noir, warming-up with Albert Bichot's nicely authentic 2015 Bougogne “Secret de Famille” [$22.99], before we move to our two Burgundy 1er Cru offerings from 2010: Chandon de Briailles – Savigny-Les-Beaune Les Lavieres 1er Cru 2010 [$59.99] and Darviot-Perrin – Volnay "La Gigotte"1er Cru 2010 [$74.99], and then finally to Calera's 2010 Mt. Harlan Jensen Vineyard [$89.99], one of their top bottlings. Our wager is that the three 2010's have had enough cellar time to begin to display their special excellence as they try to convince you that, despite their prices, they are still good values. To give you an extra incentive, the three expensive Pinots can have special added discounts tomorrow: the Les Lavieres discounts to $50, the Volnay to $62 and the Jensen to $74. Our quantities are limited. Please see the reviews below.

Finally, we turn to Bordeaux, to a Cru Bourgeois from the Medoc, Chateau la Cardonne 2009 [$24.99], and to the “second” wine of classified Margaux growth Chateau Prieure-Lichine, their 2015 Confidences de Prieure-Lichine [$36.99]. Here, we have one that could be opened tonight and then one from an excellent vintage that probably wants some aging, but worthy of judgement now. Here are reviews of the two Bordeaux reds:

La Cardonne 2009

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, Dec 2011: A blend of 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc, this 2009 offers up notes of tobacco leaf, cassis, and loamy soil with underbrush nuances. With excellent texture, impressive purity, and medium to full body, this is a rich, over-achieving cru bourgeois to drink over the next decade. This is a major sleeper of the vintage and the best wine I have ever tasted from La Cardonne, which is in the northern end of the Medoc, near the town of Blaignan. Drink: 2012-2022. 88 points.

Prieuré-Lichine – Confidences de Prieuré-Lichine 2015

Antonio Galloni, Vinous, December 2017: The 2015 Confidences de Prieuré-Lichine is a very pretty second wine. Pliant, supple and inviting, the Confidences is an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next few years. All of the signatures of the Grand Vin come through nicely, but, of course, in miniature. This is a strong showing. Drink: 2018 – 2027. 91 points.

Wine Spectator, March 2018: Lush and alluring, featuring warmed fig, boysenberry and blackberry confiture notes gliding through atop a silky but persistent structure. The long finish lets the fruit play out, with only a modest hint of alder checking in. Drink now through 2027. 11,833 cases made. 90 points.–JM

Accompanying our wines at 2 pm. will be cheese, salumi and a baguette. The paid portion of tomorrow's tasting will be $7.

Thank you all so very much for your time and interest.


Albert Bichot – Bourgogne “Secret de Famille” 2015

Allan Meadows, Burghound Tasting note, June 2018: A pungent nose consists of notes of straw, petrol, white peach and a hint of citrus peel. There is a reasonably good sense of energy to the round, succulent and easy-to-like flavors that offer acceptable depth and length though there is a hint of warmth. This opulent effort is fruity but not simple and moreover, it's unusually powerful for its level. Worth a look. Drink: 2019+. Outstanding. 87 points.

Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, Dec 2016: The 2015 Bourgogne "Secret de Famille" comes from fruit sourced from around the Côtes de Nuits as usual. I have to say, I appreciate the joie-de-vivre on the simple nose that bounds along with black cherry and cranberry aromas. The palate is sweet and ripe on the entry, but there is also good acidity here and a dash of black pepper enlivening the finish. Enjoy this over the next couple of years. Drink: 2016-2020. 86 points.

Albert Bichot, a Burgundy stalwart., is currently producing some really quite excellent wines under head winemaker Alain Serveau.

Wine Spectator, July 2018: Round and fleshy, boasting cherry, spice and earth flavors. Offers some weight and density, firming up on the finish. Drink now through 2024. 4,970 cases made. 89 points. –BS

Chandon de Briailles – Savigny-Les-Beaune Les Lavieres 1er 2010

Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, March 2013: Medium red. Complex, soil-driven aromas of redcurrant, cherry, raspberry, smoked meat, earth and leather. Superrich, tactile and sweet, with intense, elegant red fruit and spice flavors complicated by a saline nuance and rising minerality. Finishes with sweet tannins and lingering saline and fresh herb notes. A superb Savigny bottling. Francois de Nicolay has cut back dramatically on his use of sulfur since the 2008 vintage, and has eliminated the "mid-term" racking, now racking only when the wines go into tank. 91 points.

Alan Meadows, Burghound Tasting note April 2012: This steps up the aromatic refinement while keeping the complexity with its broad nose of red berry fruit that evidence nuances of underbrush, stone and warm earth. There is good richness but also good cut and plenty of underlying tension to the medium-bodied flavors that culminate in a linear, balanced and vibrant finish. Lovely. Outstanding. Drink: 2018+. 90-92 points.

Darviot-Perrin – Volnay "La Gigotte"1er 2010

Alan Meadows, Burghound Tasting note April 2012: (a monopole of the Darviot family, of which Darviot-Perrin farms half) An ultra-pure nose of wet stone, floral notes and a pretty mix of various red berries slides gracefully into racy, intense and wonderfully vibrant flavors that ooze a fine minerality on the linear and again, mildly austere finish. Like several of the wines in the range, this is blessed with exceptionally fine tannins. Drink: 2017+. 89-91 points.


Goisot Sauvignon de Saint Bris Exogyra Virgula 2017

This Sauvignon de Saint Bris shares many attributes with top bottlings of Sancerre from terres blanches soils, and it is generally cropped at lower yields than all but the very best estates in Sancerre.



Domaine Chandon de Briailles Savigny Les Beaune Les Lavieres 2010

ws 91

The wine is very elegant, with a fine and precise structure expressing strong minerality. This gives great aromatic complexity that is enhanced through ageing. In its youth, floral aromas such as violet are found, with a touch of liquorice. Slightly smoky and gun-flinty, it possesses great persistence on the palate.



Darviot-Perrin Volnay La Gigotte 2010

Deep ruby red in color. The nose has notes of wild strawberry jam and hints of violet. Elegant and rich on the palate. Food Pairings: Veal, pork, game (deer, venison), rich fish (salmon, tuna etc), poultry.



Calera Jensen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

we 93 ws 89

An amazing and expansive bouquet of deep plum, boysenberry, bay leaf, ripe blackberry and tarragon lead into a high-toned and layered mouthful of flavors; mineral, French prune, star anise, cassis, violets, sandalwood, dried basil and cinnamon. This 2010 Jensen is rich, savory, concentrated and smooth, with a floral hint, gorgeous balance and tight finish promising a long life ahead.