Tag Archives: Anjou

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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Wine Tasting in the Shop with Adam Wilson of European Cellars

Friday, Dec. 4th, 5pm-8pm

Françoise Bedel Brut “Dis, Vin Secret” NV

Located in Western Marne Valley in the village of Crouttes-Sur-Marne (as far west as you can go and still be in Champagne), Francoise Bedel is one of Champagne’s biggest proponents of Pinot Meunier and one of the 1st in the region to practice biodynamic viticulture – no non-organic treatments have been used on her vines since 1997. She arrived at her decision to convert to organic, and then biodynamic farming, when her son Vincent was sick for many years as a child and didn’t respond to traditional medicine. Eventually she sought out the help of homeopaths and finally found relief for her son. As she learned more about homeopathic medicine, she implemented more of the practices into her daily life, culminating in her taking the approach in the vineyard and cellar as well. Today, her son Vincent is healthy and has taken over most of the winemaking duties. Their Champagnes are highly sought after examples of Pinot Meunier.

“Dis, Vin Secret” is 96% Pinot Meunier and 4% Chardonnay from younger vines planted on soils of chalk, gravel, clay, and grey schist in some parcels. It’s fermented in tank, aged partially in barrel, and then left to rest for at least five years; even the entry level, non-vintage cuvées don’t leave the cellar until 5 years after harvest. Always zero-dosage, Dis, Vin Secret is a gorgeous example of savory Pinot Meunier minerality, and rich, lees-y depth and complexity. It’s a beautiful wine.

Domaine Clos de l’Elu Anjou Blanc 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.

Anjou Blanc is 100% Chenin Blanc, aged for 12 months in 400L French oak. It’s pure and expressive, with ripe orchard fruit, bright lemony acidity, a touch of salinity and chalky minerality, all wrapped around that gorgeous, full Chenin texture.

Domaine Clos de l’Elu “L’Aiglerie” Anjou Rouge, Loire, 2013

See full note above.
Most of the red wines here are whole cluster fermentations, macerations are long and the wines age in tank, barrel or amphorae. L’Aiglerie is 100% Cabernet Franc, semi-carbonic, no sulphur added. It’s ripe and bright while retaining the earthy, slightly vegetal, nervy minerality of Cab Franc.

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fièfs Vendéens “Reflets” Rouge 2014
60% Pinot Noir, 30% Gamay, 10% Cab Franc

Domaine Saint Nicolas sits at the extreme southern end of the Loire delta, just south of Muscadet. Fièfs Vendéens is a tiny viticultural area right on the Atlantic; the wines of Saint Nicolas are all about the place, in this case, the soil (slate, schist and silex) and the sea. Thierry Michon works old vines of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Groslot, Pinot Noir, Negrette, and Cabernet Franc. He farms biodynamically, and has taken the added step of purchasing parcels of land around his vineyards to work as buffer zones against the non-organic compounds some of his neighbors might use. He is one of the few winemakers in the region to age his wines in barrel. The wines of Saint Nicolas are pure like a new sheet of glass, and evocative of the sea and the mineral laden soils upon which the vines are grown.

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Pop-Up Wine Illustration by Evan Larson, RISD & Campus alum.

Pop-Up Wine Illustration by Evan Larson, RISD & Campus alum.