Tag Archives: Alsace

Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm – 8pm

Friday, March 3, 2017

Elvio Tintero Vino Rosato
90% Barbera, 5% Moscato, 5% Favorita

Cantine Elvio Tintero was founded in 1900 by Frenchman Pierre Tintero, when he happened upon the small estate while looking for work in Piedmont. The vineyards were already being worked alone by a young widow named Rosina. The two married, had children, and the estate remains in the same family today. The vines are sustainably farmed and all vinification is in stainless steel.

This is a fun, fruity and lively (gentle) frizzante from young vines planted on clay, limestone and tufa. It’s produced and bottled by vintage, (this one is 2016) but because Tintero sources from different parts of Piedmont, there is no specific DOC, and therefore vintage dating is not allowed. This wine is bottled unfiltered.

Les Vins Pirouettes ‘Tutti Frutti de Stéphane’ Binner & Co. 2014, Alsace

Importer notes: Les Vins Pirouettes is a project launched by Christian Binner, that brings affordable natural wines to the table, and at the same time helps organic and biodynamic grape growers in Alsace move away from selling their grapes to cooperatives towards making and bottling natural wines. Each cuvée is made at a young growers winery. They supply the grapes and Christian supplies his 20 years of expertise in making natural wine in Alsace, and of course his marketing and distribution savvy. Each cuvée will feature the name of the grower on the bottle.

Tutti Frutti is a blend of Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc and Muscat grown on limestone silt, from vines about 40 years old. Grapes are hand harvested, de-stemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. The wine stays on its lees for several months before being bottled without sulfur, filtering or fining. Tutti Frutti is all about texture and orchard fruit.

Azienda Agricola Al Di La Del Fiume ‘Fricandò’ Albana, 2015, Emilia-Romagna

We first tasted this wine back in October, and we continue to love it! It just got some bigger love than ours though, with a little shout out in the Feiring Line: “Hate apple cider in your wine? Then pass, but if like me this is a non-issue, you’ll find plenty of enjoyment here. Macerated in anfora for up to three months, there’s a lot of tannin from the thick skins and a lot of complexity. This is a full on lovely wine with a plush crustiness in the texture and blushing apricot.”

“The Farm Beyond the River” is a small, biodynamically farmed, 27 hectare property, 3 of which are planted to Albana and Barbera. Everything here is done by hand & without chemicals or additives.

Fricando is amphora fermented & macerated Albana, a rare, thick-skinned grape indigenous to Bologna. Whole clusters are added to terracotta vessels where it slowly ferments, and then the wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered and unsulfured. As a skin-fermented wine, Fricando pours a deep, brilliant amber. Along with the cidery notes, it’s also umami driven, and pleasantly oxidative. Don’t over chill, a little cool will do.

Poderi Cellario È Rosso, Piedmont

Fausto & Cinzia Cellario are 3rd generation winemakers in the village of Carru` on the western outskirts of the Langhe. They focus on indigenous grapes, farm entirely organically, and only use wild yeasts. Sulfur is avoided, but may be added in tiny quantities at bottling, if at all.

È Rosso is a liter of Barbera grown at high altitude. It’s gluggable and slurpable, full of berries, spice, woodsy earth and subtle tannins – and under crown-cap for easy access!

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm- 8pm

Domaine Maurice Schoech Pinot Auxerrois Vielle Vigne 2014, Alsace

The Schoech family traces its roots in the vineyards of Ammerschwihr back to 1650; The current 11 hectare estate was established by Maurice Schoech in 1971, and is today operated by his sons, Jean-Léon and Sebastien Schoech.

Pinot Auxerrois is a somewhat fuller, less acidic version of Pinot Blanc, widely planted in Alsace, and frequently blended with Pinot Blanc. At Schoech, Pinot Auxerrois accounts for over 10% of the domaine’s production in most vintages and is the first parcel harvested each fall. The older vines, all in excess of 35 years, add structure and depth. This is a good wine to pair with soft cheese, salads, fish, and roasted poultry.

Domaine Fontsainte Gris de Gris 2015, Corbieres, France

Fontsainte Gris de Gris is always one of the first rosés to arrive every year. It’s a true reminder that spring is right around the corner, even if we are about to get walloped with snow!

Yves Laboucarié established Fontsainte in its current incarnation in 1971 – though his family’s links to winemaking in Boutenac date to the 17th century. He inherited vines, bought parcels and became a Corbières pioneer of quality – being among the first to practice carbonic maceration, harvest by hand, and age wines (using 600-litre casks). Fontsainte’s vineyards, just 95m in altitude, benefit from a pristine environment (far from industrial or urban developments) and alternating Mediterranean and oceanic influences.

The Gris de Gris is a blend of 70% Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan, 10% Cinsault. Fresh, ripe red fruit on the nose follows through on the palate. This is a vibrant and zesty rosé, with just a touch of fleshy fruit on the long finish.

Chateau Valcombe Ventoux Rouge “Les Hautes de Valcombe” 2013

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.
Harvest is exclusively by hand with 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.

Domaine Clos de l’Elu Anjou Rouge, Loire, 2013

Domaine de l’Elu is an old 22 hectare property taken over in 2008 by Thomas Carsin and Gregoire du Bouexic. Thomas was a consultant in Champagne and Provence when this domaine became available. He and Gregoire jumped at the chance to purchase it and put their farming and winemaking philosophies into practice. They grow eight different varieties here including Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Pineau d’Aunis, and Grolleau. New plantings are done via selection massale, farming is organic (transitioning to biodynamic), harvest is by hand, only wild yeast is used, and none of the wines are filtered or fined. Sulphur is avoided, and only used in tiny amounts when deemed necessary.

Most of the red wines here are whole cluster fermentations, macerations are long and the wines age in tank, barrel or amphora. This is 100% Cabernet Franc grown on slate and quartz, fermented semi-carbonic, no sulphur added. It’s ripe and bright while retaining the earthy, slightly vegetal, nervy minerality of Cab Franc.

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