After the Parker vintage report declared the vintage “EPIC,” describing the top Cabernets of 2010 as “utterly brilliant, with deep colors, precise fruit, ripe tannins and expressive aromatics,” Wine Spectator piled on with a Hall of Fame cover story. The guy on the front page of the November 15th magazine was a big, strong right-hander from Fresno, California. He said he threw in the mid-90s only because he couldn’t paint like Monet. Even in the late innings, he always had another gear, mowing down the likes of Stargell, Bench and Brock. Now a still-youthful-looking Tom Seaver was holding a Riedel glass full of 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon next to a headline that read “2010 California Cabernet: A CLASSIC Vintage for the Cellar.”
The release of the phenomenal 2010s coincided with a spike in prices. With Silicon Valley founders and C-level execs leading the charge, supply far outpaced tiny harvest supply. Robert Parker dropped 97-100-point bombs on FIFTY bottles, each of which was over-allocated on release. WineAccess was almost shut out.
Almost, but not quite.
When we stopped in to see Luc and Jodie Morlet last week, we were loaded for bear. Luc has been on a hot streak, piling up 95-100 point scores from The Wine Advocate. In years past, we were among the first calls Jodie made on release day. Not any more. With Morlet’s star rising to the heights of Peter Michael, Colgin and Bryant Family, the couple’s closely-held mailing list was gobbling up every bottle that could be stuffed in cellars. Hard as it was to hear, Luc’s single-vineyard Chardonnays, Cabernets and Pinot Noirs had become the triple-digit “bargains” of the valley, gracing board rooms from GOOG to FB.
Some of you are now aware that our Highway 29 visit wasn’t for naught. First, we made off with 240 bottles of Luc’s 95-point La Proportion Dorée. Then we made utter pests of ourselves, talking Jodie out of the last 180 bottles of the suitcase-clone Pinot Noir, Côteaux Nobles. But the clear coup of the afternoon would come in the final minutes, when Luc finally relented, earmarking 108 previously allocated bottles of the finest Cabernet ever crafted by the brilliant Champenois.
In Parker’s high-flying 2010 lineup, Screaming Eagle ($3,122/btl) came in at a perfect 100 points. Harlan Estate ($868) was just a tad behind, earning 98+ points. The 2010 Scarecrow ($540) weighed in at hefty 98 points. But one point ahead of both Opus One ($327) and Fred Schrader’s Cabernet Sauvignon off Andy Beckstoffer’s George III Vineyard ($348) was — far and away — the blue-chip bargain of the vintage: M. Morlet’s staggering 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier ($155).
First come the apologies: We spent an afternoon looking for a marketing strategy that would be fair to our most loyal members. For the most part, all the clever ideas seemed too convoluted. So instead of getting fancy, we’re keeping it simple.
108 bottles are up for grabs. $155/bottle. Strict limit of 4 per member. Shipping included on 2.
Great wine, full of character and flavor. Drinking well now and will improve with time. Definitely worth the money. Thanks for introducing me to this amazing winery
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