FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

Due to the strict laws regulating their production, certified single-vintage Cognacs are somewhat elusive. So after Cognac house Camus discovered an especially rare example from Petite Champagne—one with documentation dating back to its barreling in 1964—the nearly 150-year-old distiller decided, in 2008, to bottle every last drop. Though it requires some time in the glass to open up, the Camus 1964 Vintage Cognac delights the senses with a vibrant array of fragrances, including peach, pear, roasted almond, coffee cream, and butterscotch. Many of these notes reappear on the palate, while silky tannins and flavors of jasmine, cedar, and hazelnut round out the finish. Though the distiller offers the rest of its Rarissimes line of single-vintage Cognacs in more abundant quantities, it has released a mere 22 bottles worldwide of this spirit. ($750) www.rarissimesbycamus.com

 

Christopher Miller, the beverage director of Spago Beverly Hills, is certainly not the first sommelier to try his hand at making wine; in fact, his leap from the wine cellar into the winery was inspired by a similar decision on the part of a colleague. When Greg Harrington left his position as beverage director for a large operation in New York City to found Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla, Wash., Miller decided to visit his friend during harvest. Miller was smitten by the Syrah from the region’s Les Collines Vineyards and acceded to Harrington’s entreaties to collaborate in making a wine from that property. When Miller accepted his current position at Spago, he decided to refocus the wines offered under his Meliora label. Working with Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton, one of Santa Barbara County’s most sought-after producers, Miller introduced a 2009 Pinot Noir and, more recently, a Chardonnay. Meliora 2010 Chardonnay Santa Rita Hills is a finely articulated white, whose soft scents of brine and mineral derive from the region’s diatomaceous soil. A light perfume of lemon blossom anticipates the bright citrus flavors on the palate, and the wine’s brilliant acidity carries through its long, precise finish. ($40) meliorawine@gmail.com

Read Next Article >>
Photo by Paul Dimalanta
At the Judgment of Paris in 1976, a bottle of Chardonnay from the Napa Valley’s Chateau Montelena...
As prices for rare Cubans rise, it is getting harder to put a match to the most collectible cigars...
Packshot Factory
Back by popular demand, Supernova is one of the most robust single malts ever produced...
After 22 years of aging, the second installment of the 1992 vintage has reached full maturity…
Now in its 15th year, the wine- and food-filled festival has raised more than $123 million for...
Photo by Cordero Studios
The Arturo Fuente 100th Anniversary Destino Siglo ($416–$520; www.cigar​family.com) is aptly...
Earthy mushrooms, both pungent and delicate, will enhance every sip of these Cabernet Sauvignons,...
HIGHLAND PARK DISTILLERY Highland Park is made today with the same enduring belief and integrity,...
Photo by Cordero Studios
For the longest time, most serious wine drinkers adhered to the notion that California wines did...
The holidays abide very much as a state of mind, sparked by twinkling lights, fragrant aromas, and...