Saturday, November 19, 2005

New French Container

New French wines are coming to Millesime! They will be here in time to celebrate our 2 year anniversary, and I'm not afraid to say that there are some real winners here - some of the wines are already presold out! There is something to please most everyone.


After superb 2002s, extraordinarily successful 2003s, we are back to form with the more classic 2004s. This team of brothers produces exquisitely racy floral and mineral laden wines.

2004 SANCERRE BLANC - Balanced, fruity, floral and mineral effort. This is easily the best Sancerre Blanc available in Seattle for the price.
2004 POUILLY FUME - Weightier than the Sancerre, this qualifies as a 'screaming deal' - a stunning example priced well below market. ** in the 2006 Guide Hachette with the best qp/r.
2004 SANCERRE ROUGE - Love them or hate them, global warming has been good to Sancerre Rouge. Delicate, but in no way wimpy, hight-toned fruit with great class.


Speaking of a return to the classics, the 2004 Saumurs fit the bill. Lots more acidity than 2003, but still plenty juicy.
I have also procured the last 25 cases of 2003 single-vineyard Saumur Champigny - the "Vignolles".

2004 SAUMUR BLANC RESERVE DES VIGNERONS - More like the 2002, but the trend is to riper and richer
2004 SAUMUR ROUGE RESERVE DES VIGNERONS - This is much more typical than the 2003 which was something of an oddball. Very good color and concentration nevertheless in this medium-bodied example.
2003 SAUMUR-CHAMPIGNY "LES VIGNOLLES" - This wine like the "Poyeux" was reviewed in the WS. The Poyeux got 90, the Vignolles 89, not surprising considering that the Vignolles is more elegant, while remaining plenty rich and juicy. The last of the very desirable 2003 single vineyard Champignys available anywhere.


I 'discovered' this estate back in 2000 at a Bordeaux satellite trade show in France. Bertrands wines are always dark, lush and quite delightful examples. The Chateau's regularity of quality over the years is really quite exceptional.

2003 PREMIERES COTES DE BLAYE ROUGE "TRADITION" - Those of you who enjoyed the 2000 and 2002 will find a lot to like here in this lusty claret, composed of 70% merlot and 30% Cab. Franc. Very deep, with cassis and other dark fruits.


Millesime was the first to bring quality French 'box wine' to Seattle, and we had good success with the 2002 version of this lusty Nimes red.

2003 COSTIERES DE NIMES ROUGE - 70% syrah, 30% grenache this box has an opaque, inky purple color. Rich and intense with suave tannins, this one to always have on hand in the kitchen, for the cook and the guests!


The Vinsobraise Co-op has really made a turnaround. Known in the past for hard, lean, uninteresting wines even by Vinsobres standards, nowadays they are making wines that are standouts among all CDRVs including the most expensive. Earlier this year we offered their Hachette 'coup de coeur' Cuvée des Terroirs 2003.

2004 COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES VINSOBRES ROUGE "MEDAILLE D'OR" - Deep and spicy with very fine tannins and 'gobs' of fruit. This is the kind of bottle that empties fast. The name of the cuvée refers to the medal won at the Concours General de Paris.

Rochegude is the northernmost CDRV, and one of the more obscure. In the days before global warming, it was one of the more difficult Villages in terms of ripeness. This example is exceptional in every way. This wine was first made with the 2003 vintage, an effort that earned **** in the RVF. All of the Quatre Filles wines are certified organic by ECOCERT.

2004 COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES ROCHEGUDE ROUGE - ***(*) in the November 2005 issue of the RVF (RVF PDF), Quatre Filles is leading the way for this Village. Superb color, balance and depth.

Interest was so strong on a couple of these that they are SOLD OUT. More will be coming in Spring, but there are still some cases of this rarity:

2003 RASTEAU VIN DOUX NATUREL ROUGE - 100% "Very old" grenache. Deeply colored, rich and unctuous concoction of fruits chocolate and spices. Finish several miles long.

- Millesime is very proud to be the sole US importer of this amazing estate, with some of the oldest vines and best exposures in Cairanne. Like Escaravailles, Hautes Cances skipped 2002 and offers us now some exceptional 2003s. All of these wines are certified organic by ECOCERT.

2003 COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES ROUGE - Luscious and stuffed everyday drinker that will leave you and your guests looking for more.
2003 COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES CAIRANNE ROUGE "TRADITION" - Those who enjoyed the 2001 will be pleased with this effort, which has plenty of class to go with the concentration.
2001 COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES CAIRANNE ROUGE "COL DU DEBAT" - Those of you familiar withe the 2000 will be seduced by the 2001, which has all of the richness with more balance and complexity. For the last 2 years I've been open, this single vineyard offering has been the very best wine that I carry. While there may be other Cairannes that are as expensive, there are none to my knowledge with this level of class.

Monday, November 14, 2005


From the September 2005 issue of Decanter "VALUE RHONE We rate 99 Côtes du Rhône Villages 2003"

Domaine des Escaravailles :
Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau « La Ponce » 2003 : **** – 18/20 Highly Recommended

La Ponce was one of only two 18/20 wines on the list which includes some very heavy hitters. The Escaravailles Cairanne "Ventabren" was also in the **** Highly Recommended category with a score of 16.75/20. The bad news is the Cairanne was sold out, but the good news is that I managed to secure a quantity of the "Ponce" Rasteau! In addition, I picked up a couple of 2003 Domaine rarities that were not reviewed: a Cotes du Rhone Villages called "Sassira" which as you may have guessed is 90% syrah, and the Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel Rouge. Millesime has easily the best prices in the Western World on these amazing Rhônes. The 2001 was superb, as those of you who succumbed to the charms of the "Bug Wine" with that vintage remember. 2002 was skipped by the winery and sold off in bulk, the 2003s bring on the juice. They are luscious, extracted examples, yet retain their impeccable breed. These wines arrive in about a month, reservations are being accepted as supplies surely won't last long.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Baby Jesus Info

For those curious to know more about The NINO JESUS Winery, here is a link to a .pdf file that is full of useful information about this amazing MILLESIME discovery!

Estecillo PDF

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Baby Jesus for Christmas

Few wines are more appropriate for the impending holidays than “Baby Jesus!” Yes, that includes Thanksgiving! The white is great with turkey and the rosado is one of very few wines that goes well with ham.
S.A.T. Niño Jésus is an agricultural cooperative in the DO Calatayud in the Aragon region. Cherries are their main business, but the stellar wines are gaining notice fast. They have only been ‘estate bottling’ their wines since the 2000 vintage, so we are on the ground floor of a phenomenon here, and apparently I started a trend.

When I started Millesime, there were no Calatayud wines available in Seattle. I contacted the major players in the summer of 2003 (Viñedos de Jalón, San Gregorio) before the big boys did, and for me it was no contest. Jalon was quite good, and San Gregorio's reserva material is really something worth looking at, but for sheer in your face value I had to go with the newcomer, Nino Jesus. I knew that I had really made an amazing discovery here. Anyway, nowadays there are a few Calatayud wineries available in Seattle from other distributors, but only one without a middleman. Taste them together - I have. Nino Jesus is the real thing.

Superlatives are lacking to describe these wines. The white – 100% macabeo, is an oily, nutty, blockbuster. The rosé – 100 garnacha, a vibrant, spicy fruit bomb, with more weight and character than some Tavels. The ‘young red’ – 75% garnacha, 25% tempranillo combines gobs of fruit with oodles of spice. The ‘Legado Old Vines’ – 100% garnacha, is about as much wine as you can pack into a bottle for anything approaching the price. The crianza – 85% garnacha, 15% tempranillo shows off additional complexities!

With the dollar doing well the prices are better than ever, some of the best values I have seen in 15 years in the business.
For the first time ever available, two new wines: a carbonic tempranillo that is a ‘cherry pie in a bottle’, and a grenache syrah blend (Calatayud-du-Rhone if you will). Please call 206.624.1701 to inquire if you are not already a convert.