2006 Campo Alla Sughera Arnione
"Beautiful crushed raspberry and blueberry character, with a minty licorice undertone, showing a subtle use of new wood. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a seamless, silky mouthfeel. Very pretty. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best after 2012. 3,500 cases made. -JS" 93 points Wine Spectator
"Deep, moderately saturated ruby. Highly floral nose reminds me strongly of petit verdot, with its aromas of violet, lavender and cassis. Then quite young, even a bit youthfully aggressive, in the mouth, with some oak yet to be resolved among the substantial ripe red and black fruit flavors. The tannins build on the back but are fine-grained and smooth, and a lingering floral note adds interest. This ought to develop nicely with a few more years in the bottle and offer fine drinking for another eight to ten years after that." 90 points - Ian D'Agata - International Wine Cellar
"Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot. Arnione is an ovoid of alabaster found at the heart of high-quality gypsum, and the name alludes to the art of alabaster carving for which their area of Tuscany is renowned. Fermented and macerated in steel tanks, malo in barrels, aged in new French oak for 18 months, then in bottle for 12 months. Blackish ruby. A faint whiff of cedar but quite closed on the nose at the moment. Intense red fruit: fresh and sharp yet with layers of baked fruit underneath. Some tea-leaf notes, sage leaf and fennel seeds. The fruit is sweet but the finish is dry and interesting. Charred edges. Supple but purposeful tannins. Modern and classy. Drink 2010 to 2015. (TC)" 16.5 out of 20 points, Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages
"Campo alla Sughera is Knauf's winegrowing company based in the heart of Bolgheri, the homeland of great Italian wines. It is in this place that Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are able to express their great qualities. This ability to emerge from the 'terroir' of Bolgheri is the basis of the company's products: Arnione (Bolgheri DOC Rosso Superiore), fruit of an accurate selection of Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot, refined for eighteen months in new French oak barrels and matured for a year in the bottle."
"2006 was an exceptional year, one of the company's best. The grapes enjoyed optimum climatic conditions, which are particularly favourable in the period from veraison to ripening, and produced a full harvest with thick skins, rich in desirable elements. On the nose, it is subtle, full and sophisticated. The wine has notes of mature dark fruit (blackberry, plum and cassis), shades of sweet tobacco and spices, all of which blend together perfectly." -Winery
This was rated 87 points by the Wine Advocate.
2009 Montirius Le Clos Vacqueyras
"Up there with the best from the region, the 2009 Montirius Vacqueyras Le Clos (50/50 split of Grenache and Syrah aged all in concrete tank for 18 months) shows a spectacular, intense bouquet of ground pepper, bloody meat, garrigue, and earthy, spicy dark fruits. This leads to a medium to full-bodied wine that possesses serious concentration, impeccable balance, a thrilling texture, and ripe tannin on the finish. I'm a fan and this character filled, age-worthy Vacqueyras should put a smile on any southern Rhone lovers face over the coming 10-12+ years." 93 Points - Jeb Dunnuck - Rhone Report
"The superb 2009 Vacqueyras Les Clos (an equal part blend of concrete-aged Grenache and Syrah) boasts a dense purple color along with notes of cassis, blackberries, charcoal, barbecue smoke and Provencal herbs. This meaty, opulent, full-bodied, powerful wine must tip the scales at 15+% alcohol. However, the alcohol, tannins and acidity are well-integrated in this forward, lush wine. It should drink well for 7-8 years given its level of concentration.
Christine and Eric Saurel run this biodynamically farmed estate with great passion. It is one of the up-and-coming stars of both Gigondas and Vacqueyras." 92 Points - Robert Parker - Wine Advocate
"Dark ruby.Â Aromas of dark berries, olive, violet and woodsmoke, with a spicy topnote.Â Smells a lot like a wine from the northern Rhone.Â Then juicy, sweet and expansive, offering very spicy blackberry and cherry flavors that stain the palate.Â Shows very good intensity on the intensely floral finish, which clings with impressive tenacity." 92 Points - Josh Raynolds - International Wine Cellar
"Blackish crimson. Liquorice, jewelly, very round yet fresh. Medium bodied and a little taut and drying on the end but very well intentioned. Drink 2013 to 2018. (JR)" 16.5 out of 20 points, Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages
"That unique parcel of 8.5 hectares of vines located at the beginning of the Plateau des Garrigues, is a hill raising on the Comtat plain. Each side is covered with 11 hectares of century-old oaks which protect it from other vineyards."
"A particular microclimate where the rain is lower than elsewhere reigns here. The soil is composed of Garrigues soil and a sub-soil of Blue clay and Mormorillonite." -Winery
"Montirius has been a family estate for 5 generations. The slow conversion process from traditional to bio-dynamic vineyard management and wine making of the 133 acres owned by the family was started by Ericâs father Max in 1980. The estate was fully converted in 1996 and in 1999 Montirius became the first winery in the Vacqueyras & Gigondas appellations to be certified Bio-Dynamic. The estate is certified organic by Ecocert and Bio-Dynamic by Biodyvin.
"In March 2002 a new winery was built on the slopes of the âClos Montiriusâ. Intuitively, the site was situated in the middle of century-old oak trees. The winery rises over three levels. So as not to spoil the landscape, and in order to use gravity during the wine making process, the slope was dug to a depth of 10 meters in order to bury part of the construction."
VITICULTURE, VINIFICATION, & BIODYNAMICS:
"In order to make good wine, it is necessary to pick a grape which is at full phenolic maturity. Starting at the beginning of September the acidity, the Ph and the sugar content of the grapes are evaluated daily. However, the tasting of the ripe grape is still the factor which triggers off the start of harvesting. Harvesting is done manually, by professional pickers."
"All 54 hectares of grapes can be brought into the winery at the same time without having to de-vat in order to let each vat evolve at its own pace. During this period, the wines are circulated and pumped over depending on the progress of the fermentation and on the taste of the liquid which is under the marc layer. Only indigenous yeasts are used because they express the different soils.
"The wines are aged in concrete vats using blended wines where they stay for two years. In this way, a natural stabilization of the wine is obtained, and the wines do not have to be fined and filtered before bottling. The dates for bottling are decided upon in relation to the lunar calendar of 'Maria Thun', and are very often done during the 'fruit days'. In effect, we must keep in mind that wine is the expression of a fruit - grapes. It is important to us therefore to give to our wine a last stimulus of 'fruit days' before bottling."