2013 Alexandre Monmousseau Vouvray Sec “Ammonite”
Chateau Gaudrelle was 1st established in 1537. It’s located in the heart of the Loire Valley and the property overlooks the Loire River. Owner and winemaker Alexandre Monmousseau’s family has run the 20 hectare estate since his grandfather purchased it in 1931. Alexandre makes sparkling, dry and sweet wine from the Chenin Blanc grape as well as a sparkling rosé from Grolleau and Cabernet Franc. Most of the vines were planted around the time his family took over the estate. Yields are kept extremely low to concentrate flavor, all the grapes are hand-harvested, fermentation is with inigenous yeast and is long, cold and slow.
Ammonite is named for a type of fossil prevalent in the soils here. The wine itself is really lovely. Delicate notes of pears and honey are punctuated by lively acidity & citrus zest. There’s a lean mineral edge and a raciness to this wine. It will be killer with seafood and shellfish. We’re hungry just thinking about it!
2014 Domaine des Terrisses Rosé, Gaillac
This 40 hectare estate has been in the Cazottes family since 1750. The vineyard is situated along the “Premiere Cotes” of Gaillac, the hillsides facing south-southwest toward the Tarn river. It’s planted almost entirely with the traditional grape varieties of the region: Mauzac and Len de l’oeil for the whites and Braucol and Duras for the reds.
This rosé is 50% Gamay/50% Syrah, and for lack of a better term: it’s super tasty! Deep, spicy, herbal, and with a touch of weight that makes it eminently satisfying.
2013 Chateau Valcombe Ventoux ROuge “Les Hautes de Valcombe”
About 15 years ago, Chateauneuf-du-Pape producer Paul Jeune of Domaine Monpertuis purchased this 28 hectare domaine in the heart of the Ventoux. The region has never been exactly known for producing exceptional wines, but Paul Jeune saw potential, and valued the property for the old vines & the excellent exposure of the vineyards on the lower slopes of Mont Ventoux. Over the next decade he made wines of increasingly excellent quality; as he neared retirement, he trained his successors Luc and Cendrine Guénard, to whom he eventually sold the estate. 2009 was their first vintage and it was clear that they were very good students.
Both red and white grapes are grown here (Syrah, Carignan, Grenache & Cinsault and Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Bourboulenc, respectively). Vines average from 50 years old to some Carignan and Grenache that’s over 75 years old.
The harvest here is exclusively by hand with a strict sorting in the vineyard. The domaine is in the process of gaining organic certification.
The Ventoux rouge is full of deep, dark spicy fruit, blackberries, crushed stone, lively acidity, and straight up deliciousness.
2012 Bovale Bobal, Utiel-Requena, Spain
Utiel Requena, in southeastern Spain, is the coolest (temperature-wise!) of the four Mediterranean provinces of Spain that form what is known as “Levante”, that in turn forms two autonomous regions known as Comunidad Valenciana and Murcia. Bobal is a dark-skinned grape that thrives in the high altitude vineyards of Utiel Requena. The grape tends to retain its acidity better and be lower in alcohol than the popular Monastrell (Mouvedre).
Bovine Bobal is from vines that are 60+ years old, from flat high altitude vineyards. The grapes were hand harvested, fermented in stainless steel, then aged for 6 months in a combination of 70% French oak and 30% American oak barrels. This is a very smooth, friendly, easy going wine. There’s lots of ripe fruit, accented by dried flowers and licorice. There’s a touch of smoke and a little bit of spicy oak to round it all out. This will be quite a nice grilling wine!