Tasting Notes
A 10-year-old Savennieres in its Sweet Spot
Early on, future Anjou superstar Thibaud Boudidgnon was the full-time cellarmaster for Beguinot, and while he has long since moved on to fully pursue his own wines, we astonishingly have a handful of cases in our warehouse of a Savennieres Thibaud produced during his stint at Château Soucherie.
An Insider’s View: Neal Rosenthal on Château Pradeaux
At Pradeaux no shortcuts are taken, no compromises made. Mourvèdre, this ornery, late-maturing grape with nearly black skin rife with ferocious tannins, is the king of the Pradeaux domain. 
2022 Rosé Vintage Snapshot – Southern Rhône/Luberon
These regions more or less followed suit with Provence in 2022, experiencing high temperatures and borderline drought conditions, yet producing rosés of greater freshness and lift than in recent years.
2022 Rosé Vintage Snapshot – Provence
In Bandol, Etienne Portalis of Château Pradeaux reported his earliest harvest ever in 2022 (September 7th to September 24th), yet his rosés in ’22 are higher in acidity than either 2020 or 2019. Domaine du Bagnol in Cassis reported a similarly scorching-hot and dry growing season, with only 250 milliliters of rain for all of calendar year 2022, but their rosé ended up fresher and saltier than the 2020 and the 2019.
2023 Rosé Offering
One begins to feel like a broken record describing French growing seasons in this era of climate change. Yet, while the 2022 vintage—which comprises the bulk of our offering this year—was broadly similar weather-wise to recent vintages like 2019 and 2020 (very hot and very dry, with early flowering and an early harvest), the overall character of the 2022 rosés is different: nimbler in feel, less weighty on the palate, and slightly lower in alcohol across the board.
Le Puy’s ’21 “Marie-Cecile”
While reds comprise almost all of the Amoreau family's production, there is a tiny 1.5-hectare planting of Semillon from the 1940s at Le Puy, with 15 or so Ugni Blanc plants mixed in. From these old vines, they produce a mere handful of barrels each year of an enchanting white wine "Marie-Cecile"--named after ancestor Barthelemy's wife, who made the wine and ran the estate in the 1870s when the men were off fighting in the war.
Two New Topped-Up Beauties from Montbourgeau
We may be historical partisans of the Jura's inimitable and classic sous-voile style of white wine, but recent exciting developments at our beloved Domaine Montbourgeau in L'Etoile have left us no choice but to engage with the World of the Topped-Up... 
What Neal’s Drinking at The Ranch
Happy to report to all that we have been drinking well this week. Below are shots of two wines that meet every test for rendering classic versions of terroir with an intensely satisfying level of concentration married to grace.