Tasting Notes March 22th, 2019 

Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau St Veran 2017 — Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau is a small estate run by two talented winemakers, Frantz Chagnoleau and his wife Caroline Gon (winemaker at Heritiers du Comte Lafon).  Frantz has a degree in Oenology and cut his teeth working for Olivier Merlin in the Mâconnais. Caroline holds two degrees in agricultural engineering and oenology; she worked at Newton Vineyards in Napa Valley before returning to France to work with Dominique Lafon as head winemaker for Héritiers du Comte Lafon. 

Since 2013 all of the vineyards have been certified organic. The duo believe in minimal intervention, which includes the use of only indigenous yeast as the best way to express the nuances of each unique terroir. Aging is done in mostly large, used French oak, harvest is done completely by hand on a plot by plot basis, allowing each vine to achieve the appropriate balance of sugar and acidity before being picked.  They farm the old-fashioned way and make micro-quantity, single vineyard White Burgundy from some of the finest Chardonnay terroir in the world. 

Aged in a 50-50 mix of foudres and demi-muids, Prelude is an assemblage of four plots in the communes of Prissé and Chasselas, with vines up to fifty years old. All these are the first to be picked in the domaine. Similar greenish color, more reserved on the nose; a finer, less exuberant style with good acidity and delicacy – not that it lacks power – a lovely classy, mineral-shaded wine. Pure, mineral expression of Chardonnay delivering crushed stones, hints of chalk, and laser cut precision

Regular $32.99 Cooper’s Price $29.99

Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2012 — Established in 1985, Glen Carlou is a relatively young estate which has built an enviable reputation as one of South Africa’s leading producers. Nestled in the heart of the, sought-after, Paarl Valley winelands, and enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate of warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. This, together with an exciting variety of slopes and the richness of soils, creates unique wine-growing conditions.  With vineyards situated at the foothills of the renowned Simonsberg Mountain, the grapes revel in their terroir. 

A solid representation of a fine South African red wine, the 2012 vintage does an excellent job in wrapping Bordeaux varieties into a delicious package. The wine’s dried leather, black fruit, and savory earth pair well with slowly braised meats.

This wine is a unique blend of classic red varietals. 50% Cab Sauv, 20% Malbec, 13% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot and 8% Cab Franc. 18 months maturation in new and second-fill French oak barriques followed by minimal fining has produced a great wine with excellent potential for maturation. 

A complex and elegant wine with a dark reddish-purple, with hints of light plum skin. The nose exhibits cassis and blackberry with hints of cinnamon and spice. Ripe and concentrated briar-y fruit with cherry strawberry and chocolate on the palate. It has a long finish, balanced by fine tannins, a rich texture and subtle acidity.

Regular $19.99 Cooper’s Price $17.99 

Rabbit Hole is the project of Dr. Kaveh Zamanian, MD, a psychologist out of Chicago. His whiskey guy, serving as Master Distiller, is Larry Ebersold, the recently retired Greg Metze’s predecessor as Master Distiller at MGP. Ebersold is also serving as Master Distiller at the northern Kentucky distillery New Riff, which is similar to Rabbit Hole in being a relatively new distillery following the now time-tested path of bottling sourced products while their in-house spirits mature.

Regular $49.99 Cooper’s Price $42.98  — Both Bourbon and Rye

Bourbon — Mashbill – 70% Corn,10% Malted Wheat,10% Honey Malted Barley,10% Malted Barley

This double-malted barley/four grain bourbon has a clear, middling amber coloring in the glass, and absolutely runs with its legs after a swish. The nose is very grain-forward, and in that, decidedly toasty, way that having 30% malted grains in the mash bill tends to produce. The flavor is inside the profile of a spicy, peppery Bourbon, which is very odd considering that there is no rye and the whiskey itself is only about two years old or so. Sweet corn meets with some vanilla and a note of dry grass, but right through the middle is a strong, spicy current. That fades rapidly, leaving the grassiness and sweet vanilla custard on the finish, with some warmth to wind it all down. 

Rye — Mash Bill:95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

The rye has the familiar mashbill of 95% rye, 5% malted barley, and while the whiskey is sourced, it did not come from MGP. It is, instead, produced on contract at New Riff Distillery. The whiskey was put in #3 char Kelvin Cooperage barrels at 110 proof. It’s labeled as a straight whiskey, so we know it is at least two years old, and it was bottled at 95 proof. Kentucky distilled and aged, with a brown sugar nose and spice that jumps on the tongue. Great with a splash of water, but breathtaking in classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned.

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