2013 Muré Gewurztraminer Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepflé 93
There are fewer more highly respected and well-liked estates in France that Muré, one of the Alsace’s best-known domaines that capably unites quality and quantity like few others. Located near Rouffach at the southern edge of the Route des vins in the Haut-Rhin, Muré’s history dates back to 1650, and is currently run by the sibling duo of Véronique and Thomas Muré. The two represent the twelfth generation of the Muré family and have taken over from their father René, who was absolutely instrumental in putting Muré on the world quality wine map. And while the estate has always been known for outstanding Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer wines, it is also remarkably adept at making outstanding wines from Riesling and Sylvaner, not to mention what are Alsace’s best Pinot Noir wines. That the estate has a real touch with red grapes is exemplified by their success with Syrah too. Muré owns roughly 25 hectares of vines, and their most famous holding is the Clos Saint Landelin (named after an Irish saint who settled in the area in the ninth century to preach the gospel and convert the masses), located in the grand cru Vorbourg. But their holdings in the remarkable Zinnkoepflé, one of Alsace’s ten best grand crus, give wines that are just as memorable. The 2013 Muré Gewurztraminer Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepflé is a standout example of what this great cultivar can give in the right terroir. A very warm site but one that is very well ventilated, the soil of mostly Mushelkalk limestone with sandstone inclusions allows for wines of amazing intensity and finesse, lifted by a piercing acidity that nicely extends the flavours on the long back end. Bright golden-yellow in colour, with aromas and flavours of peonies, lemon verbena, smoke, grilled nuts, and crystallized fruits, this beautiful, lively Gewurz coats the taste buds and lingers long on the palate. At once powerful and refined, this is a wonderful wine that will match splendidly to many Sichuan and Hunan dishes, but most citrus-accented and spicy dishes will pair well with it. Drinking window: now-2030
2016 Corino Barolo Giachini 95
The Corino estate (previously known as Giovanni Corino) was founded by Giovanni Corino but traces its roots back to 1952 when Giovanni’s father, Celeste Corino, moved his family to the Annunziata di La Morra hamlet where he worked as a farmhand at various estates. Originally the estate also grew fruit trees, but while it began focusing on vineyards with Giovanni, the grapes grown were mostly sold off. It is only in the 1980s, with Giovanni’s son Giuliano taking over, that estate-bottling became a reality, at a time when many other of today’s famous Barolo producers were also born. Today Corino farms nine hectares in the commune of La Morra, and produces about 50,000 bottles of wine a year; most importantly it makes Barolo from three different crus. As Giuliano Corino treats the grapes from his crus in exactly the same fashion, this is absolutely one of the best Barolo estates of all by which to really understand the terroir of each Barolo cru as it translates the glass. The 2016 Barolo Giachini is simply outstanding, from a vintage that will long be remembered as one of the fifteen-twenty best Barolo vintages of all time. Giachini is the natural continuation of La Morra’s very famous Rocche dell’Annunziata cru; located between 235 and 250 meters above sea level, and fully south-facing, it is characterized by typical Saint Agathe marl soils formed during the Tortonian stage of the Miocene epoch. The wine boasts a beautiful dark red colour and aromas of red cherry, rose petals and sweet spices. Similar flavours follow-through on entry and in the middle, boasting a mineral accent and hint of licorice that linger nicely on the long, suave mouthfeel. Corino is one of Barolo’s best producers, and is renowned for wines of elegance and noteworthy purity. Very well represented in most major markets of the world, he is not yet imported in China, but that is bound to change, given the quality not just of this wine but also of all the other ones in his remarkable portfolio. Drinking window: 2026-2046.