Champagne David Coutelas Brut Cuvée Tradition
8 hectares/under 5,000 cases annually
The Coutelas family has been growing grapes in the Marne Valley since before the French Revolution, but they didn’t start bottling their own Champagne until 1910. The Cuvée Tradition is from the village of Villers-sous-Chatillon and is 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir & 25% Pinot Meunier, fermented in oak (no malolactic) with 9g of residual sugar. It’s a blend of three vintages; the base vintage is 2008. This is a lively champagne with loads of citrus and lemon zest with a touch of almond and apples on the finish. Refreshing from start to finish, it’s the perfect match for fancy brunches and the festive ringing in of the new year.
Domaine Cheveau Macon Fuisse “Les Grandes Bruyeres” 2012
Domaine Cheveau was established in 1950 by André Cheveau; today his two grandsons run the estate, which is situated on 14 hectares around Solutré-Pouilly, and extends into Davayé in the Maconnais and Saint Amour in the Beaujolais. All harvesting is done by hand and the wines are fermented and vinified parcel by parcel. Total estate production is less than 5,000 cases.
Notes from the importer: Approximately 6000 bottles are produced annually from 40 year-old vines in the village of Fuissé. Planted to limestone-clay soils, these vineyards produce a typically generous, rich wine from this village famed for its ideal setting that yields some of the finest wines of the Maconnais. In this instance, after fermentation, the wine is raised in stainless steel but left in contact with the fine lees for one year. Virtually the entire production of this wine is dedicated to the US market.
Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly 2013, Beaujolais
Chateu Thivin, built into the side of an ancient volcano, is the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly, dating back to the 15th century; it has been in the Geoffray family since 1877 and has hosted many famous writers & journalists over time. The writer Richard Olney is responsible for introducing importer Kermit Lynch to the estate, proclaiming it the best producer in all of Beaujolais. Farming here is organic (conversion will be complete by 2020) and the vines are an average of 50 years old, with some over 90.
The Cote de Brouilly comes from 8.5 hectares that sit upon the steep, blue-stone slopes of Mont Brouilly. This wine can be enjoyed in its youth, but can also age for close to a decade. Right now it is fresh and floral, with notes of wild strawberry and black pepper. Have it with terrines & paté, roasted poultry, duck breast and goat cheese.
La Roche Bussiere Flonflons 2012, Cotes du Rhone
Importer notes on the estate: Located northeast of Vaison-La-Romaine in the southern Côtes du Rhone, Antoine and Lawrence Joly work 18 hectare of organic vineyards making some of our favorite wines in the region. They maintain a freshness and lightness in their wines by dedicating themselves to very intense vineyard work that allows them to harvest earlier than several other producers in their area, resulting in less concentrated and lower alcohol wines.
Antoine’s family has run the estate since the early 1970s (his grandfather was a beekeeper in the area and his father Pierre returned to live a more simple life after his involvement in the Parisian student riots of 1968). Pierre was a pioneer of organic viticulture in the Rhone and the vineyards have been certified since the 1980s, although he sold most of the grapes to the local co-op when he started. Antoine and Lawrence took over in 1999 and, since 2003, have vinified 100% of the harvest themselves.
Flonflons is mostly Syrah and Grenache from 2.5 hectares of vines averaging 25 years old. It’s fermented and aged in concrete and bottled unfiltered and unfined with little to no sulfur.