Patrick robinson blog

Patrick Robinson

Move Over DRC, It's all about DDLC

To receive private client offers, or to request an allocation of Domaine de la Côte, please contact hello@robersonwine.com Move Over DRC, It's all about DDLC For lovers of Pinot Noir the ‘go to’ was always Burgundy, however in recent years the sands have shifted. With a lot of buyers looking to California, and with producers like Domaine de la Côte it is easy to see why. In his recent review Antonio Galloni comments on the Domaine’s wines “some of the most epic, dramatically beautiful Pinots I have ever tasted in the Sta. Rita Hills, or anywhere for that matter”. Not only are these wines exceptional but they are exceptional value for money too! With other producers raising their prices with increased demand, Sashi and Rajat have no interest in following suit. They do not want to make cult wines, they make wine for wine lovers. Here at Roberson we have been banging the drum for the ‘New California Icons’, and it is quite clear that in their short history Domaine de la Côte have cemented themselves as an Icon. The Domaine was born out of the Evening Land Vineyards in Santa Barbara. They sold their estate to Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr, two greats of California winemaking, and they have been building acclaim around their estate ever since. Their Domaine is a collection of five vineyards on the western edge of the Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County. The vineyards are sited on south facing slopes approximately seven miles from the Pacific Ocean. The maritime influence is felt in the vineyards, they make cool climate Pinot Noir of the highest calibre. The vineyards are planted with heritage California clones of Pinot Noir, in their Lompoc winery they make use of the whole cluster, fermentation is spontaneous, and the wines are raised in oak (approximately 20% new). Sashi and Rajat aim to produce wines that give a purity of fruit and a true expression of their terroir. The Domaine farms its vineyards organically and makes its wines with the philosophy of ‘add nothing; take nothing away.’ All the wines are produced and bottled at the winery in the town of Lompoc in Santa Barbara County, three miles from the Domaine. The critics consistently heap praise on the wines of Domaine de la Côte, with Antonio Galloni commenting below on the 2018s. “Sashi Moorman and Rajat Parr made some of the most epic, dramatically beautiful Pinots I have ever tasted in the Sta. Rita Hills, or anywhere for that matter. The wines are rich, potent and full of character. As always, the Pinots are done with a healthy amount of whole clusters. The 2018s were racked into tank before harvest 2019 and bottled in January and February of this year. I was utterly blown away by the 2018s, and you will be too.” Domaine de la Côte’s popularity has grown steadily in recent years and the wines now sell out on release. These wines are snapped up eagerly by those in the know and they rarely see the light of day again. Cellared and savoured by those lucky enough to get hold of the wines. Only in their infancy, this is the 8th release from the Domaine. The best is yet to come, and that is a very exciting prospect indeed. With a particular focus on three site specific wines, the La Côte, Bloom’s Field and Memorious, you can get a thorough picture of the wines produced by Domaine de la Côte. La Côte The flagship wine for the Domaine, from a South East facing slope with heterogeneous soils. The wines from this vineyard are tense in youth and require cellaring to achieve their full potential. Described by Galloni as “an especially brooding, potent style”. Pop in the cellar and forget about for a few years. Bloom's field A South West facing slope with light clay top soils. This is a more approachable style, more vivid and exciting in youth. This is one to drink while you wait for the La Côte to come around. Galloni comments that the Bloom’s Field is “Aromatically intense and finely cut”. Memorious Downslope from Bloom’s Field the soils here are heavier alluvial deposits. The resulting wines are ripe, bright and full in their youth, these can be effortlessly enjoyed young. Galloni comments they are “deep, expansive and positively thrilling”. The 2018s, which are due to be released next week, are a very exciting prospect. These are high scoring wines yet they still represent such exceptional value for money especially when you compare to other US Pinots or indeed their Burgundian counterparts. Their wines are helping to redefine how people think about Californian Pinot Noir. To receive private client offers, or to request an allocation of these wines by the case, please contact private client sales manager Patrick Robinson, or email hello@robersonwine.com

09/10/2020

Patrick robinson blog

Patrick Robinson

Hirsch Vineyards - Winemaking on the Edge

Hirsch Vineyards - Winemaking on the Edge If California had a Burgundian style Cru system then Hirsch Vineyards would sit firmly at the top of the Grand and Premier Cru tiers. David Hirsch established Hirsch Vineyards during the 1980’s in the Fort Ross Seaview AVA, a tiny appellation with challenging terroir and its own unique micro climates. His aim was to produce site specific wines, in a time when California’s style largely rejected this idea. Hirsch’s reputation grew and the likes of Kistler and Littorai were soon buying their fruit, then in 2002 he established the winery and kept the best parcels for himself. Yesterday some of the team at Roberson were treated to a tasting with Jasmine Hirsch, David’s daughter who now runs the business. Over an hour or so we learned about the challenges they have overcome to produce the best wine to come out of the ‘True Sonoma Coast’. Over the 400 hectares owned by Hirsch, only 30 is under vine. The rest of the landscape is unforgiving, owing to its proximity to the San Andreas Fault. The vineyards themselves are set on the ridges and divided into a number of blocks. These have varying soils, clones etc and therein have brought their own challenges. A couple of plots suffer from leaf roll virus and another vineyard is planted on rootstocks that are suffering from Phylloxera. However, due to expert vineyard management, the fruit produced is still incredible. It’s almost miraculous, and the wines that come from these stressed vines are amazing. Jasmine explained that each block is vinified individually. Once the final wine is made it is then blended into the right cuvee. These wines are incredibly site and terroir specific and have their own characters which can still be picked out each vintage. Jasmine described 2016 as “a classic Hirsch vintage, it allowed the individual terroirs to really stand out…Gorgeous wines” Jasmine was not wrong, the purity of fruit, the fine acidity, beautiful tannins, the differing expressions in each cuvee, they really are gorgeous. Please see below a summary of the wines tasted: 2016 'San Andreas Fault' Estate Pinot Noir Their flagship wine, what David calls ‘Hirsch Hirsch’, if you were only to ever try one Hirsch wine make it this one. A true expression of what they do made from a blend of 30 parcels. Lovely ripe red fruit, a fine line of acidity, very approachable. Jasmine likens this to a blend of Premiers Cru. 2016 'Reserve' Estate Pinot Noir A super-charged San Andreas made from a blend from around 10 blocks. Much more structure and ageing potential than the Reserve, very ripe and intense. Jasmine likens this to a blend of Grands Cru. 2016 'West Ridge' Pinot Noir A micro terroir from the western side of the property, a selection of 3 blocks, some vines affected by leaf roll virus. A very elegant refined expression of pinot, with lovely acidity. This is the most delicate of Hirsch’s wines. 2016 'East Ridge' Pinot Noir A selection from the oldest parcels on the east ridge, the warmest site on the property with some vines stressed by Phylloxera. A rich intense offering with superb concentration and structure. 2016 'Raschen Ridge' Pinot Noir From a plot in the middle of the property, this is a minute bottling from vines approximately 20 years old. Great structure, incredible purity of fruit with fine tannins, a very energetic wine. “Hirsch is new world fruit and old world structure” The wonders of Hirsch do not cease to amaze, they are a winemaker who manage to produce Pinots to suit every taste and they come highly recommended. Jasmine mentioned these wines show the Californian sunshine without the heat, the highest abv they produce is around 13.5%. For our Private Clients; if you would like any more information or to place an order, please do contact Private Client sales manager Patrick Robinson: patrick.robinson@robersonwine.com

12/08/2020

Patrick robinson blog

Patrick Robinson

Kongsgaard's Jaw-Dropping Chardonnay

Not long ago we wrote about the New California Icons – a fresh generation of acclaimed west-coast wines. This week saw the 2018 release of one of the most sought-after, the Chardonnay from Kongsgaard. A winery that has been producing truly outstanding wines since 1996. John Kongsgaard defied convention at the time by making wines in a Burgundian style. Uncompromising in his approach he consistently makes some of the best Chardonnay in California, elegant and full bodied with fantastic ageing potential. He only selects the best fruit from low yielding vines, vinifies with indigenous yeasts and ages in French oak, this is truly low intervention approach, as such, very little is made. Kongsgaard Chardonnays are at the forefront of Napa wines, and consistently achieve high praise. Tasting from barrel The Wine Advocate critic Lisa Perroti-Brown awarded 93-95 points to the 2018 commenting: “The palate has electric intensity, with a refreshing line of racy acid cutting through the tightly wound stone fruit and spicy layers“ she goes on referencing the founder of the Wine Advocate, "Robert Parker once called Kongsgaard’s technique 'The Death & The Resurrection.' Clearly, it works—these classically forged Chardonnays are consistently jaw-droppingly incredible.” The wines are normally allocated owing to minute production levels. However, owing to a bumper crop in 2018 there was a little more to go around, yet these wines still remain as rare as hen’s teeth. However, they are still great value especially when you are able to source on release. Kongsgaard’s Chardonnays tick all the boxes when it comes to the different wine buyers, they are amazing wines to drink, exciting to collect owing to their rarity. And they are investable, the 2018 was released at £990 under bond per case (12x75), the previous vintage (2017) is now trading at over £1,200. We at Roberson love these Chardonnays and cannot recommend them highly enough, we do have a few cases available so please do get in touch with Private Client Manager Patrick Robinson if you would like any secured.

17/07/2020

Patrick robinson blog

Patrick Robinson

Bordeaux 2019 En Primeur

Looking to stay up to date with all the releases from the 2019 Bordeaux en primeur campaign? Get in contact with Private Client Sales Manager Patrick Robinson to receive the offers as they happen. 2019 is shaping up to be quite the exciting year for Bordeaux en primeur prospects, with reports indicating a very strong vintage indeed. Critic James Suckling comments: “the wines seem more typical for Bordeaux – which is a good thing – with a balance of alcohol, cool and blue fruits and fine linear tannins that are refined and driven.” Suckling continues: “the few dozen or so winemakers I spoke to or corresponded with seem to agree, comparing 2019 to the great 2010 vintage but without the austerity and intensity. Some say 2019 is close to the excellent 2016 vintage but with perhaps slightly less tannin concentration. They all agree that the quality is very close to 2018, 2016 and 2015.” In normal times the Bordeaux en primeur campaign is surrounded by a buzz of activity before each new release. The market eagerly anticipates which Chateau will be first, how pricing will look and what have the journalists said. This year is rather different. The first of the major releases – fifth growth, Pontet-Canet came out 30% cheaper than 2018. This is an unprecedented move in recent times and may be a sign of what is to come. Owing to the continuing pandemic, very few review scores have been published as many of the Chateaux are unwilling to send samples for fear of them being scored in sub-optimal conditions. Hopefully, this will result in most Chateaux following the pricing lead set by Pontet-Canet. If so, it will certainly be a vintage to stock up on. Roberson recommends (released so far)*: Pauillac: Réserve de la Comtesse - £170/6 IB 92-94 Neal Martin Blanc de Lynch Bages - £180/6 IB Château Grand Puy Lacoste - £270/6 IB95-97 Neal Martin Château Clerc-Milon - £312/6 IB - SOLD OUT92-94+ Lisa Perrotti Brown Château Duhart-Milon - £312/6 IB92-94 Lisa Perrotti Brown Château Lynch Bages - £395/6 IB - SOLD OUT97 Decanter Magazine Château Pichon Comtesse de Lalande - £665/6 IB98-100 Neal Martin Carruades de Lafite - £984/6 IB - SOLD OUT92-94 Lisa Perrotti Brown Château Lafite Rothschild - £2,566/6 IB97-99 Lisa Perrotti Brown, 98-98 Neal Martin Château Mouton Rothschild - £1,794/6 IB - SOLD OUT98-100 Lisa Perrotti Brown Château Pontet-Canet - £366/6 IB - SOLD OUT98-100 Lisa Perrotti Brown Saint Julien: Château Lagrange - £185/6 IB94-96 Neal Martin Château Talbot - £211/6 IB93-95 Neal Martin Château Léoville Barton - £325/6 IB94-96 Neal Martin Château Branaire-Ducru - £395/12 IB - SOLD OUT95-96 James Suckling Château Léoville-Poyferré - £308/6 IB - SOLD OUT Château Léoville-Las Case - £873/6 IB 96-98 Neal Martin St Estephe: Château Cos d'Estournel - £684/6 IB97-99+ Lisa Perrotti Brown, Cos - 96-98 Neal Martin Margaux: Château Palmer - £999/6 IB98 Decanter Magazine Alter Ego de Palmer - £270/6 IB94 Decanter Magazine Pessac-Leognan: Château les Carmes Haut-Brion - £408/6 IB Château Haut Bailly - £420/6 IB 96-98 Neal Martin La Mission Haut Brion - £1,128/6 IB - SOLD OUT 98-100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown Haut Brion - £1,770/6 IB - SOLD OUT 97-99+ Lisa Perrotti-Brown Pomerol: Saint Emilion: Château Troplong Mondot - £380/6 IB95-97 Neal Martin Château Figeac - £756/6 IB - SOLD OUT 98-100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, 97-99 Neal Martin Château Ausone - £1,294/3 IB Château Cheval Blanc - £2,250/6 IB - SOLD OUT Should you wish to receive Bordeaux 2019 en primeur offers please contact Private Client Sales Manager Patrick Robinson. *wines currently in barrel, shipping spring/summer 2022.

02/06/2020

Patrick robinson blog

Patrick Robinson

The New California Icons

California is now home to some of the world's most collectable wines. Private Client Sales Manager Patrick Robinson reviews the new crop of iconic wines from the golden state. California Icons - A New Era When we talk of iconic, investible wines, our thoughts used to be limited to Grand Cru Burgundy and First Growth Bordeaux, think DRC and Chateau Margaux. Now though, the world of fine wine has changed and names like Screaming Eagle and Dominus frequently top that list. The US is producing some of the greatest wines in the world and the market has certainly woken up to this. Their stratospheric rise in popularity has not been by accident. These wines are receiving huge acclaim, yet because of this, prices have gone through the roof. What used to be affordable has now become the preserve of the ultra-wealthy. That being said, there is certainly still value to be had, if you know where to look. Roberson Wine is proud to be pioneering the rise of the New California Icons: fantastic wineries producing amazing wines, often at a fraction of the prices asked by many of their peers. These are producers who remain committed to making wines of elegance and balance in an industry that had been focused on overripe and over-oaked wines for decades. Mayacamas: Critically Acclaimed Cabernet 2015 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon was ranked No.2 in the Wine Spectator Top 100 wines of 2019 - not bad for one of California’s best kept secrets. When compared to similar wines from Napa, Mayacamas is punching well above its weight. Not only is the value for money evident above, 2015 Mayacamas has fantastic cellaring potential. It should drink beautifully well into the 2050s - this really is an iconic wine of the future. Kongsgaard: Power and Elegance California is not just Napa Cabernet. Pinot and Chardonnay are where some of the best value can be had, especially when compared to the region famed for those two varieties, Burgundy John Kongsgaard has been producing some of the most exciting wines in his Napa winery since his inaugural vintage in 1996. Uncompromising in his approach, he bucked the 90s trend for turbo-charged extraction and consistently makes some of the best Chardonnay in California. These are made in the Burgundian style: elegant yet full bodied and concentrated, with great capacity to age. These wines are made in such tiny quantities that they are sold on allocation. However, although rare they remain exceptional value for the quality. Kutch: Ethereal, Yet Rooted in Terroir One producer we can’t help but mention is of course Jamie Kutch. His wines were the very first that we imported from California in 2011, a decision which spearheaded our journey towards becoming an award-winning US wine specialist. Jamie’s wines beautifully represent all that we love about the new wave of California: elegant, balanced and terroir focused. Jamie’s wines seem to become more pure, ethereal, and nuanced every time we taste them. Kutch’s wines would stand toe to toe with many of the greats from Burgundy, but when you see the price point, I know which way I’d lean. We recently offered Kutch Bohan vineyard Pinot Noir at just £425 per case of 12 in bond, that’s under £36 a bottle. Domaine de la Côte / Sandhi: Freshness and Balance For lovers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara is home to some of the most revered vineyards in the whole of California. This is home to Domaine de la Côte and Sandhi Wines, two separate estates focussing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. At Domaine de la Côte, the wines embody the philosophy of Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman (the owners), which centres around freshness, vitality, and balance. Sandhi is dedicated to making wines of finesse, minerality, acidity, structure, and balance. Both of these wineries follow Burgundian ideals and the resulting wines are world class. The New California Icons We have curated a list of producers that are making wines to rival the quality of any of the old icons. As well as the above it also includes names like Corison, Hirsch, Arnot-Roberts, and Mount Eden. These wineries are proving to be genuinely good value for money, often outscoring wines well above them in terms of price. It’s clear that if you look in the right places you can really snap up some bargains, what more could you really want? Well just to stock your cellar chock full of these New California Icons. To receive Roberson Wine's private client offers please contact Patrick Robinson

12/05/2020

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