Tag Archives: Burgundy

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

December 15, 2017

Champagne Huré Frères L’Invitation Brut NV 

Notes from the importer: As the story goes, Georges Huré rather reluctantly founded the estate in 1960, to satisfy the insistent dreams of his wife Jeanne. The name Huré Frères came about in 1971 when Georges passed on management of the domaine to his three sons—Jean Marie, Marc and Raoul. Since 2008, Raoul’s son, François, has been at the head of the estate after pursuing many other opportunities and inspiring wine regions as a young man. His prior stints include: falling in love with the terroir of Burgundy while obtaining his oenology degree in Dijon, becoming fascinated with biodynamics while working with Jean Pïerre Fleury, and exploring the vineyards of Australia and New Zealand. These experiences allowed François to understand the inherent advantages of both New and Old World wine regions: the traditional farming and respect for terroir of the former and the efficient modern techniques of the latter. Both serve him to create the terroir-driven and focused cuvées that mark the Huré Frères style today.

The domaine’s trademark cuvée is a blend of the three Champagne varieties: 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, from three villages: Montagne de Reims (Ludes and Villedommange), Tardenois (Serzy & Prin) and Vitry (Vavray le Grand), with an average vine age of 35 years. Vineyard methods involve no herbicides, maintenance of natural ground cover, organic composts, and meticulous pruning, thinning, and canopy management. Villages, varieties, and parcels are vinified separately; 25% to 40% reserve wine depending on the year blended in by solera, 3 years aging on the lees.

Domaine Dublère, Bourgogne Blanc Les Millerands 2014

Blair Pethel, formerly a Washington DC-based political and economic journalist, first stumbled across Burgundy in the late 1980s. He was working and living in London at the time, but quickly made it a point to return to this fascinatingly complex region several times a year. During a sabbatical in 1999, he threw himself into a harvest stint, “and after that experience, it was only a question of when and how I was going to become a winemaker here,” says Blair. In 2003, he managed to acquire 3 hectares of vines and made his dream a reality. Read more about him here.

“Le Millerands” comes from a single de-classified plot of 30-40 year old vines in Meursault. Like the rest of the property, no pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides are used. Fermentation and malolactic are in older oak barrels (less than 10% new oak), followed by 16 months aging, and 2 months blending and settling in stainless steel tank. Bottled unfiltered and unfined, with minimal sulfur.

Domaine Thillardon, Chénas Les Boccards 2015

Paul Henri Thillardon biodynamically farms nearly 6 hectares of vines in Chenas, the smallest of the ten Beaujolais Crus in the far north of the region, situated west of Moulin-A-Vent. His vineyards are located on a plateau around the Catle Boccards in the town of La Chapelle-de-Guinchay where the soil is granitic (pink granite). Aging in oak barrels for 5 months (70%) but no new oak.

2015 was a hot year, and that comes through in this muscular Beaujolais. The nose reveals notes of ripe black fruits; on the palate, the wine is very round and rich, and finishes with silky tannins. This is a wine to enjoy now, or to lay down for a decade.

Domaine Dublère Beaune 1er Cru Rouge Les Blanches Fleurs 2014

(Importer notes are above)

Pinot Noir from vines planted in 1973. 100% de-stemmed, fermented with indigenous yeast, and aged for 18-20 months in older oak barrels. Bottled without fining or filtration. 2014 was a tough year for red Burgundy, especially in Beaune, with major hail damage for the 3rd year in a row forcing production way down (or eliminating entirely in some places), and difficult weather leading to lighter reds in general. But there are always producers making quality wines, even in the toughest of times. This wine is an example of harnessing every wayward ray of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy, cool, hail-studded, and wet vintage.

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

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

Domaine Simon Bize et Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Blanc 2010

Started in 1880 by Simon Bize, the domaine has been headed since 1972 by great-grandson Patrick Bize, who was mentored by some of the best in the biz: Aubert de Villaine, Henry Jayer, Jacques Seysses, the Marquis d’Angerville and Hubert de Montille. His father Simon believed in marketing his own wines and in cultivating relationships between winemaker and consumer. Due to his efforts, their wines developed a great following amongst restaurants and private customers. Patrick Bize has added to the vineyard holdings, which now total 22 hectares (53 acres). He picks late to ensure ripeness, and keeps yields well below what is authorized by the appellation. The wines of Bize are a well-kept secret amongst Burgundy enthusiasts, delivering quality and character with each vintage. Sadly, Patrick Bize passed away after a car accident at the end of 2013. He leaves behind truly beautiful wines that are meant to be shared and savored.

COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG 2008, Sicily

Azienda Agricola COS was founded by Giambattista (Titta) Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti and Cirino (Rino) Strano, three friends who wanted to recreate the work of their ancestors. In 1980 they became the youngest winemakers in Italy when they purchased Joseph Cilia’s old family winery. COS went on to put Cerasuolo di Vittoria on the map, literally; the region was awarded Sicily’s only DOCG status in 2005. COS works with indigenous grapes, farms biodynamically & produces some wines made in the ancient tradition of fermenting on the skins, in amphora, which are then buried underground.

Cerasuolo di Vittoria is 60% Nero d’avola & 40% Frappato from densely planted, low-yielding, high elevation vineyards. The wine is fermented in concrete and then aged for a minimum of 18-24 months.

Cerasuolo is Italian for cherry. This wine hints at dried cherries, forest floor, anise, truffles and smoke.

Quinta do Infantado Ruby Port

Quinta do Infantado is based in Pinhão, specifically in the subdistrict of Gontelho where the best Port vineyards are found. The estate has been owned by the Roseira family since the end of the 19th century and is now managed by brother and sister, João Roseira, vineyard manager/winemaker, and Catherine Roseira, Chief Executive. The vineyards (terraced, very steep and hard-soiled) are worked in traditional methods: the grapes are picked by hand and are foot-trodden. The winery aims for a medium-dry style – that is, there is less grape brandy or “aguardente” and less grape sugars.

Their basic Ruby and Tawny Ports are outstanding examples of elegance and richness, usually from a blend of 2-3 vintages. Their Ruby is dark, rich and plummy with excellent balance of fruit, acid and tannins without an overwhelming sugary or jammy flavor.