The 2009 Choêphoroi are—is a reprise of a wine that we made for the first time in 2007. In 2007, the fruit was all Maldonado Los Olivos—rich, honeyed, somewhat dirty, or perhaps like porcini nubs made crisp in a skillet with hazelnuts. This year, we have two vineyard sources for the wine—the Maldonados' Los Olivos in Napa, and the Tenbrinks' Jones Ranch Vineyard in Suisun Valley. We exploited some very concentrated barrels of Tenbrink aging under my regime in the cellar to add more structure to the usual opulence of the Maldonado. Just as in 2007, the wine took 2 full years to refement, and required a vigorous restarting a year after harvest. This is somewhat brutal and unwanted, but adds undeniable complexity and sometimes freshness. At a tasting in New York, a dispute erupted between partisans of each vintage. I am very happy to say that the argument was between Meursault on the one hand, and very fancy Chablis (e.g. Raveneau) on the other hand. I am sorry that I am still not quite clear which vintage of Choêphoroi merited which specific honorific comparison.
The wine in hand is softer to me than the 2007 and less confrontational in its complex layers of aciditiy. Instead, it offer a nose that is it is contradictory and charming at once: soft earth, and honeysuckle; and a mouth that is honeyed and mineral, with vein, not waves, of a somehow salty acidity.
248 cases bottled