In the three decades since Dominique Hauvette founded her domaine at the foot of the Alpilles mountain range in Provence, she has established herself as one of the all-time great Provençal producers. In addition to making delicious, interesting, and age-worthy wines, she has done more than any of her regional peers to push the boundaries of organic and biodynamic farming. Lest you think all reds from Provence are of the same vein, this wine overlaps only slightly with the reds of Bandol, with which you might be more familiar. Where those Mourvèdre-based wines are heavily influenced by their proximity to the coast, this eight-year-old Cornaline comes from a more continental climate and is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The main thread that runs through both the Bandol reds and her Baux de Provence? The unmistakable scent and taste of garrigue that so potently evokes southern France. This wine has just the right balance of sturdy southern grip and country refinement. Strawberries, cassis, leather, and herbs come together in a glass of wine that is ready to drink today and should be even more re ned in five years. Pour it slightly chilled alongside some grilled lamb chops or steak for an epic meal.
The first time I tasted the Barruol/Lynch Hermitage Blanc was several years ago with the KLWM staff after work one night. It was love at first sip—and heartbreak by the last, since we had sold out of our shipment. I’m always happy to revisit this wine and marvel at the impressively delicate profile, yet towering potential for growth. It’s classic Hermitage Marsanne, with lychee, nectarine, white flowers, and a focused minerality that provides a solid backbone. It’s so pretty! One sip of this and you’ll be clearing out space in the cellar for a few cases.
The streak continues! Fantino has produced some of the classiest, most profound, and downright delicious Barolos these past several years. Their old-school character isn’t found in the more polished wines that are now so popular. Notes of dried cherries, balsamic nuances, and savory herbs are held together with firm, yet rounded tannin, making Cascina Dardi a very approachable wine after a bit of time in the decanter or a powerhouse a decade down the road.
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