Tag Archives: Bourgueil

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

Sept. 9th, 2016

teutonic-rieslingTeutonic Crow Valley Vineyard Riesling 2015, Willamette Valley, OR

Last week we tasted Teutonic Jazz Odyssey, a fun, off-dry blend perfect for hot days and spicy food. Tonight we’re tasting this more serious single vineyard Riesling. Just about all of Teutonic’s wines are single vineyard (with the exception of maybe one). They are all dry farmed and made in a precise, Germanic style. Total production is extremely low (only 500 cases) so we are ever so grateful to have such an assortment on our shelves – this is another producer that we tried to get into RI for a few years, so it’s extra special that there’s finally a little bit to share.

Read more about them here.

Crow Valley is a high elevation vineyard in the foothills of the Willamette Valley coastal mountain range. It’s old vines planted at high elevation, where the cold growing conditions allow for a long hang time. This is the Teutonic MO; old vines, cold climate, high elevation, dry farmed, old wood and wild yeast. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s very similar to Mosel winemaking, from whence they draw their inspiration (and they also import wine from Mosel and make wine in Mosel, so the love affair is deep and real!). Teutonic is also a member of the DRC (Deep Roots Coalition), a group that promotes “sustainable and terroir-driven viticulture without irrigation”.

This Riesling shows pure, precise, no-holds-barred, spot on balanced winemaking. The character of the terroir shines through in all the Teutonic wines; do yourself a favor and grab a bottle before they’re all gone!

Cerro La Barca Vegas Altas Eva de los Santos, 2015, Ribera del Guadiana, Spain

Ribera del Guadiana is in Extremadura, a region located in south-western Spain on the border of Portugal. Extramadura has been known as a place for bulk wine production, but some pioneers are finding unique new wines here. Cerro La Barca is the first organic producer in the region. They have 38 hectares of Tempranillo and the nearly extinct Eva de los Santos.

Importer notes: Juan Sojo and Ángel Luis González are like brothers from different mothers. One minute they’re arguing and the next they’re toasting to another harvest. They studied oenology together and ever since have been making wines together. Ángel Luis comes from a background in agriculture while Juan comes from a background in science. Both so different, but yet complement each other so well.

Fermented using indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats where the wines naturally decant without filtration until bottling. The Eva de los Santos is from vines that are up to 80 years old. It’s flowery, fruity and perfumed on the nose, but the palate is a little more intense, with a pronounced crushed stone quality.

cintreLaurent Herlin “Cintré” Sparkling Rosé of Cabernet Franc

Laurent Herlin worked as a computer engineer for 12 years before dropping that career in 2008 and dedicating himself to wine. After taking classes in Beaune and working at various domaines, he purchased 5 hectares in Bourgueil, which he farms biodynamically.

To ensure quality, the grapes are sorted twice; first in the vineyard, and then on the sorting table. Harvest is manual, fermentations are with indigenous yeast, in steel or cask. As a dedicated environmentalist, Laurent only uses recycled glass in his production.

Laurent’s wines are said to “exude happiness” and after tasting Tsoin Tsoin, and now Cintré, we can definitively say that that statement is not hyperbole. Cintré is 100% Cabernet Franc from 25 year old vines and it is a mouthful of fizzy joy. It’s also classic Loire Valley cab franc: violets, raspberries, and pencil shavings dance around luscious strawberry notes and are neatly wrapped up in a long, long finish with just the slightest touch of gamey goodness.

Domaine Jérôme Jouret “Pas a Pas” 2015, Ardèche

Domaine Jérôme Jouret is a 12 hectare, relatively new, family winery in the southern Ardèche, a region on the right bank of the Rhône river, between the northern and southern Rhône valley. Burgundian Louis Latour was a pioneer here, most notably with his Grande Ardéche Chardonnay. Jérome Jouret works minimally, by hand, with extremely low yields and little to nu sulfur. The ancient, organic vines here are planted on steep and stony slopes. The high elevation and cool climate means that the grapes have a longer hang time, which leads to heady aromatics and purity of fruit.

Pas a Pas is a blend of 65% Carignan, 15% Alicante, 20% Grenache from 35 to 55 year old vines planted on clay and limestone. It’s fermented in stainless steel and bottled without filtration. This is a lovely wine, with fresh fruit and brambly notes. Lower alcohol and lively acidity means this one takes a chill quite nicely.

Read this week’s newsletter here. 

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

July 22, 2016

Folk Machine “White Light” 2015, CA

Folk Machine is part of Kenny Likitprakong’s Hobo Wine Company, which he started in 2002, at the age of 26. He grew up in Healdsburg, spending much time at Domaine St. George, the winery owned by his great-uncle Supasit Mahaguna. From the start, Likitprakong set out to make lower sugar, lower alcohol, higher acid, food friendly wines.

White Light is a blend of 50% Tocai Friulano from Mendocino, 30% Riesling from Santa Lucia Highlands, and 20% Verdelho from Suisan Valley. Everything was picked early and fermented in stainless steel without commercial yeast. The final wine is just 11.9% alcohol; it’s light on its feet, a touch salty, and pleasantly aromatic. Pair it with seafood, salads, light summery meals, and Wilco on the stereo.

Les Tètes, “Tete Rosé” 2015, Touraine, France

Les Tètes is a certified organic producer in Touraine, owned and operated by a small group of friends. They describe their wines like this: Les Tètes is about friendship, and wines you drink with friends. We hand-pick the best grapes and keep the vinification completely natural, every step of the way. Fermentation is with wild yeasts only, which allows the purest expression of each varietal. And our wines contain minimal sulfites, for the best flavor and no headaches!

No headaches for The Heads! Rosé Head is 60% Grolleau and 40% Gamay, from vines that average 25 years, grown on clay and limestone. This is an enticing little wine. Low alcohol, sweet fruit, some funky grolleau/gamay antics. Yum.

Domaine du Mortier “Les Pins” 2014, Bourgueil

Domaine du Mortier is a 9 hectare, certified biodynamic property located in Saint Nicolas de Bourgeuil, owned and operated by brothers Fabien and Cyril Boisard. Here the brothers employ the most traditional method of propagating vines: Selection Massale, a labor intensive and time consuming practice of selecting the best vines in a vineyard and propagating through cuttings. They also promote eco-diversity in their vineyards, by planting diverse crops amongst the vines. With this level of discipline and commitment, they always produce top notch wines.

Les Pins is 100$ Cabernet Franc from one parcel of 60 year old vines, grown on clay and chalk. The grapes are hand harvested, and then the whole bunches go into 50 hectoliter oak vats for a traditional fermentation at low temperature (usually lasts about 20 days). They use the lees from the previous vintage to start the fermentation. The bottom of the tank is lined with boxes so that the fresh grapes are not in contact with any of the juice at the bottom. The wine then stays in tank until it’s bottled with only 15mg per liter of sulfur. Les Pins, like all wines here, is bottled unfiltered and unfined.

Bodegas Lecea “Corazon de Lago” Rioja, 2014

Bodegas Lecea is a multi-generational producer in Rioja, Spain. They have 25 hectares of vines that average 25 years old, but the vines for their Crianza and Reserva wines are at least 50 years old.

Corazon de Lago is hand harvested and then made via carbonic maceration, which is unusual in Rioja, but results in a wine that blends bright, clean and fruity characteristics with darker, earthier and spicier tones.

Friday Tasting in the Shop, 5pm – 8pm

Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio Ramato “Gossip” 2014

The Di Lenardo estate produces wines from its four large (150 hectares) family owned vineyards situated in Ontagnano, in the heart of the Friuli region in the foothills of the Alps, as well as from rented vineyards in Aquileia and Manzano. The estate was established in 1878, and has been for many years now under the direction of winemaker Massimo “Max” Di Lenardo. All the fruit here is hand-harvested and the winery is 100% solar powered.

2012 was the first vintage of Di Lenardo Ramato, and only about 1600 cases are made each year. We’ve carried every vintage in the shop, and this 2014 just arrived, so we just have to crack it open!

Ramato is an old-school style of Pinot Grigio, made by allowing the grape skins to stay in the mix with the juice during the maceration. This contact with the skins gives the wine its ramato, or copper-pink hue. Sometimes called a baby orange wine, Ramato-style wines are more compellingly aromatic and texturally interesting than a Pinot Grigio made without skin contact. They’re also quite food friendly, especially with seafood.

Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie 2014

Clos de la Roilette covers nine hectares of one of the best slopes in the Beaujolais Crus. The clos (walled estate, although there’s no wall here…) borders the Moulin-à-Vent appellation and produces wines known both for their youthful beauty and for their ability to age gracefully. Depending on the vintage, the wines here can typically be laid down for 5, 10 years, or more.

Fernando Coudert bought the estate in 1967; since the mid-80s, his son Alain has been making the wines. The terroir (mainly clay and manganese), and the age of their vines (upwards of 40 years) contribute to the richness and depth of their wines. Farming here is by hand and lutte raisonnée (sustainable, or reasoned fight). Vinification is the traditional, semi-carbonic Beaujolais style with indigenous yeast.

The 2014 vintage was a little rough at first but was saved by bright and sunny weather in August and September. This wine is a reflection of the vintage: it’s pure, bright fruit, light on its feet, and balanced. It may not be one to put away for a decade, but it could handle 5 or so years just fine. Or drink it now. Why not?

Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil “Trinch!” 2013, Loire

The Bretons were on the forefront of the natural wine movement in the Loire back in the early 90s. Their organically farmed vineyards are now moving toward biodynamic certification.

Trinch! (“Cheers” in German) is from a 5 hectare plot of 30 year-old Cabernet Franc vines grown on gravel. Hand-harvested, wild yeast, little to no sulphur (like all Breton wines), and vilified in stainless steel, this is the Breton Bourgueil meant for earlier consumption and casual bistro-style meals.

Friday Wine Presentation in the Shop, 5-8PM

We’re opening up these lovely wines this evening, stop in for a sip!

2013 Cellario Langhe Favorita

From Selection Naturel’s website: Fausto and Cinzia Cellario are 3rd generation winemakers in the village of Carru` on the western outskirts of the Langhe. The family only believes in working with local, indigenous Piemontese grape varieties and fiercely defends local winemaking traditions both in the vineyard work and the cellar practices. The Cellario vineyard holdings cover some 30 ha between 5 different vineyard sites covering the southern Langhe. With holdings in Novello and Monforte, the Dogliani plot is arguably the family’s most prestigious land and I would consider them Dolcetto specialists. Vineyard work is organic (soon to be certified) and all the fermentations take place with indigenous yeasts. Sulfur is only added in tiny quantities at bottling if necessary (a practice not common with a winery in this mid-size range).

Favorita is an indigenous grape of Langhe that is genetically the same as Vermentino di Sardegna and Liguria. It thrives in the poor, sandy soils of Langhe. This wine is fresh and aromatic with a bouquet of flowers, hay & rosewater. It’s light & dry and makes a lovely aperitif or seafood pairing.  Try it with sushi, ceviche, and white fish in delicate sauces.

2013 Birichino Malvasia Bianca, Monterey, CA

Malvasia is a white grape that is planted, to one degree or another, in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Croatia. There’s a tiny amount planted in California, which Randall Grahm showcased in his ‘Ca del Solo Malvasia Bianca’, of the early 2000s. Alex Krause and John Locke of Birichino cite Randall Grahm as one winemaker who has influenced them over their journey in the wine world. They founded Birichino in 2008, the name chosen for no other reason than that it would appear at the top of alphabetical lists and that it means naughty in Italian. There’s nothing wrong with those reasons! Alex and John have a combined 40 years making wine in California, France, & Italy. They source from a number of “carefully farmed, family-owed, own-rooted 19th and early 20th century vineyards (and a few from the late disco era) planted by and large in more moderate, marine-influenced climates”. They prefer minimal intervention, native yeasts, stainless steel or neutral barrels, and little to no filtration. Their aim is “to make delicious wines that give pleasure, revitalize, and revive”. They’ve succeeded.

This Malvasia evokes roses and talc, muscat and honeydew. It’s exotically aromatic, (the winemakers describe it as the tropical flower frangipani) and racy. It was kept on the lees and stirred every few weeks for an additional 3 months for added texture and dimension before bottling. The result is a focused wine with great length and complexity that’ll keep you coming back for more.

2010 Milenio Dão

milenio

2012 Domaine de la Chanteleuserie Bourgueil “Cuvée Alouettes”

The name of this estate in the Loire Valley means “the place where the larks sing”. The vineyards, situated just across the river from Chinon and all planted to Cabernet Franc, have been in the same family for seven generations. The Boucards make some of the most age-worthy wines in the region, but the Cuvée Alouettes is meant for earlier consumption.

Alouettes comes from an 8 hectare vineyard with low-yielding vines ranging from 33-47 years old. This wine, like many cab francs, smells of violets & pencil shavings on the nose, and tends toward savory fruit, fall leaves & sweet tobacco. It’s fresh, soft & delicious.

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

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All in-shop tastings are free and open to the public.

Domaine Grosbot-Barbara “Vin d’Alon”, St. Pourcain Blanc 2011, Alliers, France

Domaine Grosbot-Barbara is 6.5 hectares in the center of France, in Alliers, a region known for the prized oak trees used in barrel production. The history of the vineyards in this area date back to before the Romans, when the Phoenicians settled here and planted vines. The heyday of the region was in the 13th and 14th centuries when the wines of St. Pourcain were highly esteemed and favored by Popes, royalty and aristocracy alike. The Vin d’Alon is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Tressallier. Tressallier is the distinguishing local grape variety in Saint Pourçain, at one time widely planted, rivaling the Chardonnay grape. The resulting blend is a wine with an elegant rich mouthfeel of Chardonnay heightened by the fresh lime and honey aromatics of Tressallier. Fermentation is carried out in temperature controlled stainless steel vats where the wine remains on its lees until bottling in the spring. This domaine practices “Lutte Raisonnée” farming, which in this case, means organic without certification; they will only use chemicals under great duress, and then only the minimal amount would be used.

Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues “Les Genestas” Cotes du Rhones Villages 2012
40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Carignan.

Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues is a unique co-operative cellar in the small town of Estézargues. Starting in 1995, the ten different growers in this co-op began to vinify their wine separately and make single cuvées from their best plots. Soon they began to practice natural winemaking, becoming one of the first (and perhaps only) co-ops in the world to do so. Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues uses no external yeast, no filtering, no fining and no enzymes in the winemaking process.

Tasting & pairing notes from the importer: Ruby red in the glass with a pretty amethyst rim. The nose is redolent with smoky notes of cassis, blackberries, dried orange peel and sweet spice. The palate is a plush and delectable expression of red and black fruits backed by brambly tannins. The wine finishes with a supple dash of orange zest and black pepper. Pair with grilled lamb, sausages, steak, chicken and pork in hearty red sauces.

Domaine du Mortier Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil “Graviers” 2012
100% Cabernet Franc-Certified Biodynamic

Domaine du Mortier is a 9 hectare vineyard located in the Saint Nicolas de Bourgeuil AOC, which lies between Angers and Tours. Brothers Fabien and Cyril Boisard were quite young when they started Domaine du Mortier nearly ten years ago. They don’t come from a family with a long wine making history, but you would never know that when tasting their pure, silky and elegant wines. All are bottles unfiltered & unfined. The vines are cultivated via Selection Massale, a labor intensive and time consuming practice of selecting the best vines in a vineyard and propagating through cuttings.

Ferraton Pere et Fils Cote Rotie L’Eglantine 2007, Cote-Rotie AOC

Ferraton Père et Fils was founded in 1946 in Tain l’Hermitage. In 1998, 4th generation Samuel Ferraton formed a partnership with Michel Chapoutier. This new partnership introduced biodynamic vine-growing practices for the single vineyards but kept winemaking control in the Ferraton family. L’Eglantine is a blend from Cote Rotie’s two slopes – Cote Blonde (limestone dominated) and Cote Brune (schist dominated) This is elegant Syrah with complex notes of earth, black olives, truffles and a long, mineral-driven finish.