Single-Vineyard Wines: The Truest Expression of Terroir


Single-Vineyard Wines: The Truest Expression of Terroir

Wine Team New York |

Single-vineyard wines are the absolute expression of terroir, showcasing a particular plot of vines without any other sites as part of the blend. The result is the true personality of the vineyard captured in a bottle with nothing to mask its individual character. These five wines are perfect examples of classic producers with exceptional single-vineyard sites, each bearing the unique fingerprint of its place and vintage, allowing you to transport yourself through time and space. Delicious and captivating, I regularly serve these wines to friends and family at my dinner table and will continue to collect them year after year. 

Guigal: Cote-Rotie 'La Mouline' 2013  

From one of, if not THE most famous producer of Cote-Rotie, the 2013 Guigal “La Mouline” is a showstopper of a wine for those who love deeply aromatic wines with finesse and muscularity. La Mouline, translating to “The Windmill,” is a must-have for any collector of Syrah, showcasing incense, garrigue, smoked meats, blackberries and cracked pepper. With a decade of maturity, it is truly expressing a completeness on the palate, with a finish that indicates decades more of pleasure to be had.  

Croix de Beaucaillou Saint Julien 2010 

Croix de Beaucaillou made its debut in 1995 and has always been made from a separate parcel further inland and from the historic Ducru-Beaucaillou property. Pouring a deep garnet color, the wine exudes nuances of black currant, freshly rolled cigars, exotic spices, graphite, and cedar. On entry, the tannins still have a chewy quality that has been subtly softened with bottle age, pleasantly framing its medium body. Flavors of blackberry compote, wild herbs, and five spice meld harmoniously with a freshness and vibrancy that lingers. Drinking in its prime, it should continue to hold its complexity and balance for the next few years. 

Arietta: H Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 

“Arietta” means “little song” in Italian, a name which was chosen for these wines by the winery’s classical music-loving founders, John and Maggy Kongsgaard and Fritz and Caren Hatton. John made the wines through 2005, after which Andy Erickson (Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, OVID) took the helm. The wines have long been revered by Sommeliers for their expressiveness, balance, and astonishing ability to age.  

The H Block is from Hudson Vineyards in Carneros and is a co-fermented blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, based on the founders' love of Cheval Blanc. Deep ruby in color, with alluring aromas of cassis, cedar, dried herbs, graphite, and rose petals. The palate is perfectly in balance with a fresh acidity, elegant and framing tannins, and a finish that unfolds with layers of elegant dark fruit, sweet spice, and tobacco. Drink now-2040. 

Domaine Christian Moreau Pere et Fils: Chablis Grand Cru 'Les Clos' 2020 

 All seven of the Grand Cru of Chablis are located on one glorious hillside facing the town of Chablis. The Moreau family founded the winery in 1814 and purchased several Premier and Grand Cru sites. In recent years the family has converted all of the farming to organic, and are all hand-harvested.  

The wine showcases a captivating dichotomy of being at once ethereal and also powerful, with a lively acidity and a smooth-as-silk texture on the palate, overlaid with lemon curd, white peach, and creme fraiche. It is drinking beautifully now and will reward you for a decade or more of patience.  

Brigaldara: Amarone della Valpolicella 'Case Vecie' 2013 

From a single vineyard in the commune of Grezzana, the site captures an ideal combination of sun exposure and altitude that allows for slow ripening. Dried plum and stewed blackberry aromas coalesce before a backdrop of exotic spices, dried sage, and a whiff of creosote. Dense and powerfully concentrated, the mouthfeel presents chewy, fruit-leather tannins that support its weighty texture. There is a contrast between the freshness on entry and the Port-like warmth of its finish that belies its maturity in the best possible way, indicating a wine in the early stages of its ideal drinking window. 

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