Wine News
Top 10 Lists
Food & Wine Pairing Shop/Gifts Top 10 Wine Lists Top 10 Wine Bars 1


May 2008

May 5, 2008

Château Lassègue's 2004 Lassègue Saint-Émilion Grand Cru

Château Lassègue
2004 Lassègue Saint-Émilion Grand Cru
Bordeaux, France

Pierre Seillan was born in Gascony in Southwest France to a winemaking family, and spent two decades in Bordeaux as technical director and winemaker to seven different châteaux. He took his expertise and his wife Monique to California in 1997, where he worked with Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke overseeing the creation of Jackson Park (Bennett Valley), a 110-acre estate on Mount Taylor planted exclusively with Merlot, and the creation of Vérité in Sonoma County. Now, the four of them have teamed up back in France on Château Lassègue, a Grand Cru Bordeaux Estate in Saint-Émilion with a distinctive terroir where the vineyards are bathed in sunlight from dawn to dusk. The vines, which are all at least 35 years old, were grown on a hillside through limestone, clay, and white rock for this particular Bordeaux blend of 60 percent Merlot, 35 percent Cabernet Franc, and 5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. After the grapes were handpicked, crushed, and fermented, the juice was aged 15 months in 100 percent French oak barrels, yielding 5,000 cases. The result is a complex, layered, elegant wine that reveals its tannins in its finish, and will continue to improve with age. Serve it with beef, veal, or poultry.

Rating: 15/20
Price: $50

Other Meritage & Bordeaux we have tasted
Check out our guide to France
For more information, visit

May 12, 2008

2007 Lucas & Lewellen Mandolina Dolcetto

Lucas & Lewellen Winery
2007 Mandolina Dolcetto
Santa Barbara County, California

Louis Lucas, a longtime grape grower, grew up in the business and has more than 35 years of experience in viticulture, selling grapes to wineries like Kendall-Jackson and Robert Mondavi. Lucas’s current enterprise began in January 1996, after a lunch with his good friend Royce Lewellen, a retired judge. At the meal, Lewellen offered to buy half-interest in Lucas’s vineyards, with the condition that Lucas did the farming. Ever since the pair agreed to collaborate, their company has grown its holdings and developed special brands, like Mandolina, which focuses on California-grown Italian varietals. The 2007 Mandolina Dolcetto showcases the namesake Dolcetto varietal, a popular wine grape in northern Italy. The varietal’s name means “little sweet one” in Italian, and is only grown on 91 acres in California—3.5 of which are owned by Lucas & Lewellen. This light-bodied vino shows flavorful hints of dried cherry, oolong tea and sage. A note of oak complements smooth tannins and well-balanced acidity, making the 2007 Dolcetto a good companion to pizza, or simply by itself.

Rating: 13.5/20
Price: $

Other Red Blends we have tasted
Check out our guide to California
For more information, visit

May 19, 2008

2005 Domaine Serene Clos du Soleil Vineyard Chardonnay

Domaine Serene Vineyards & Winery
2005 Clos du Soleil Vineyard Chardonnay
Dundee Hills, Oregon

Ken and Grace Evenstad founded Domaine Serene in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 1989, hoping to create premium Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Named after their daughter, Serene, the winery emphasizes quality over quantity, and focuses on creating low yields of highly flavorful grapes through natural viticulture methods. Domaine Serene relies on special vineyard layouts along with natural grasses to control erosion, and avoids the use of irrigation to help encourage deep root development in their vines. To control plant diseases, Domaine Serene only uses natural products and practices hedging, leaf-pulling and disbudding. After harvesting, small lots from each of the vineyards are kept in separate open-top fermentors or French oak barrels. Domaine Serene’s 2005 Clos du Soleil Vineyard Chardonnay, for example, is stored in French oak barrels and aged sur lies for fourteen months. This wine, made from estate-grown Dijon clone Chardonnay grapes, was later aged in a bottle for a year before it was released. Aromas of toasty pear, spiced yellow apple, vanilla, caramel and lemon greet the nose upon opening the bottle. This Chardonnay displays a rich, round palate with flavors of pears, apricots and lemon curd, and pairs well with a meal of grilled striped bass.

Rating: 14/20
Price: $

Other Chardonnay we have tasted
Check out our guide to Oregon
For more information, visit

May 27, 2008

Winter's Hill Vineyard's 2005 Pinot Noir Cuvée du Vigneron

Winter's Hill Vineyard
2005 Pinot Noir Cuvée du Vigneron
Dundee Hills, Oregon

Emily and Peter Gladhart, with their son Russell, planted the first nineteen acres of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris at Winter’s Hill Vineyard in 1990. Named after Emily’s parents, John and Lena Winter, who bought the land in 1961, the estate’s focus is on creating low yields of high-quality, sustainably produced grapes. In 1999, after a three-year trial period that involved site inspections and screenings, the vineyard achieved certification as Sustainable and Salmon Safe by LIVE (Low Input Viticulture & Enology), a program promoting sustainable viticulture through minimizing the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Winter Hill's 2005 Pinot Noir Cuvée du Vigneron was created from five specially selected barrels of their Pinot Noir, which is aged for sixteen months in French oak barrels before being bottled. The dark red exudes a bouquet of intense black currant aromas with notes of blackberry, menthol and vanilla. On the palate, the Pinot Noir displays flavors of blackberry, currants and white pepper with hints of chocolate and eucalyptus. Featuring strong acids and a long, full finish, this vino pairs well with pheasant and marinated pork.

Rating: 15.5/20
Price: $

Other Pinot Noirs we have tasted
Check out our guide to Oregon
For more information, visit



Read about the wine world's most influential critic: Robert Parker, Jr.

News / Tasting Notes / Features / Wine Map / Wine Events / Interviews / Community / Site Map / About Novus Vinum / Contact Us / Advertise

Copyright © 1996-2010 GAYOT ® All Rights Reserved; Privacy Policy; Disclaimer GAYOT (pronounced guy-OH)