Tag Archives: champagne

Friday Wine Tasting in the shop, 5-8PM

May 19, 2017

Domaine Philemon Perlé Gaillac Blanc 

perle

Perlé Gaillac Blanc is all fresh deliciousness. It’s 60% Loin de L’oeil, 20% Muscadelle and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The property in southwest France has been in the Vieules family for over 200 years; today Mathieu Vieules grows wheat, sunflowers and grapes in equal proportion.

This wine is the perfect aperitif or accompaniment to warm-weather food: it’s lively, citrusy, ever-so-slightly spritzy, and balanced out by a bit of garden herbs and green apple. And it’s well under 15 bucks.

 

AJ Adam Riesling Trocken 2015, Mosel 

Here’s a good telling of the Andreas Adam story. And here are more notes from the importer (clearly we’re too hot for writing): This Estate Trocken (Gutsriesling) is entirely from Dhron. Like a good Bourgogne Blanc it’s sourced from several top vineyards to make a wine that speaks to the vintage, region and style of the producer. The fruit harvested was very clean and at about 79 oechsle, similar to his Hofberg Kabinett. Fermented with spontaneous yeast in stainless steel and a bit of old fuder, the fermentation stopped at 7 grams of RS, “where it finds it’s balance”.

Champagne Moutard Brut Grand Cuvée NV

The Moutard family has been farming in Buxeuil, in the Côte des Bar since 1642, and has been making wine since 1927. In addition to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, they also grow heirloom varieties Petit Meslier and Arbanne on their 20 hectares of vines. Grand Cuvée is 100% Pinot Noir, and like all the champagne produced at Moutard, it spends a minimum of 3 years on the lees. It’s a rich, ripe, and approachable style, with nuts and brioche on the nose, and a creamy texture. At under $40, it’s very affordable farmer fizz.

Étienne Courtois L’Icaunais 2013, Loire

Notes from the importer:  Claude Courtois has created a small farm which exemplifies what biodynamic is in terms of biodiversity and self-sufficiency, although he does not consider himself to be a biodynamic grower. He farms a balanced & completely chemical free 13-hectares of vines in the heart of the VDP Sologne. Courtois also grows organic wheat, which he feeds to his cows. “Nothing comes into my vineyard,” he says, meaning no chemicals ever. He has created a well-balanced, bio-diversity with trees, fruit trees, vines, woods, and fields. No pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, or synthetic chemicals of any kind are allowed on the vines or in the soil of the vineyards. He has his own methods for promoting the diverse life of the soil. The grapes—Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Côt (Malbec), Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc & Pineau d’ Aunis—are harvested by hand and only indigenous yeasts are used during fermentation. Claude regards the soil on his farm as a living organism. He lives in harmony with nature and the wines he crafts are a pure and vibrant testament to outstanding Biodynamic winemaking.

Claude, who is growing older, has started to pass off the winemaking to his son Etienne, who is already showing immense promise…read more.

Farmer Fizz Friday with Vineyard Road, Dec. 16, 5PM – 8PM

Domaine Huet Vouvray Pétillant, Loire, France

Domaine Huet was established in 1928, but Vouvray has been known as a Chenin Blanc producing region since the 9th century, and many of its great vineyards were known by the 14th century. The domaine only exists because its founder, Victor Huet, was a Parisian bistro owner who fled the city due to “shattered lungs and nerves” after the first World War, and settled here in the Loire. Victor’s son Gaston worked with his father from the very beginning, and built the domaine’s legacy over nearly six decades, despite being in a German POW camp for five years. Gaston retired in 2009; since then Huet has been led by Jean-Bernard Berthomé, who officially joined Huet in 1979.

This sparkling wine is 100% hand-harvested Chenin Blanc from biodynamically farmed vineyards. It competes with true Champagne in elegance, texture, and flavor. It’s a beautiful wine that will make any occasion a little more special.

José Dhondt NV Brut Blanc de Blanc

José Dhondt produced his first cuvée in 1974. The family’s 6 hectares are split over several parcels, equally divided between the Côte des Blancs and the Sézannes regions, and planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The average age of the vines is 25 years, though some are around 60 years old. While they don’t claim to be organic, chemicals are avoided as much as possible. Yields are kept extremely low, and harvesting is as late as possible. The estate produces a little over 4,000 cases annually; a small amount of the harvest goes to Möet and other houses.

José Dhondt Blanc de Blanc is precise, delicate, and refined. Very suave, very delicious.

Camille Savès Cuvée Brut Carte Blanche Premier Cru

The Savès family has lived in Bouzy (we wish we lived in Bouzy!) since 1894. Eugène Savès founded the estate when he married Anaïs Jolicoeur, the daughter of a wine producer from the village. Eugène was an agricultural engineer by trade, and his love of the land and wine steered him into wine production. Since then, his children Louis, Camille, and Hervé have carried on his traditions. Now Hervé tends the family’s 10 hectare Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyard.

Carte Blanche is 75% Pinot Noir from Bouzy, Ambonnay and Tours-sur-Marne, and 25% Chardonnay from Tauxières. It’s full-bodied and leesy, with apples, pears, a touch of kirsch, and a beautiful fine-beaded texture. This is a bubbly for the dinner table; it’s always good to remember what a powerful pairing partner we have in Champagne.

Virgile Lignier-Michelot Bourgogne Rouge 2014, Côte de Nuits, France

Virgile Lignier is the third generation of his family to work the vines of this 8 hectare estate in the village of Morey St.Denis. Virgile began working the property with his father Maurice in 1988; while Maurice was a good winemaker, he always sold all of his grapes to local negociants. Virgile convinced him to start bottling his own wine in 1992, and each year they’d keep more for themselves, until 2002 when the domaine became entirely estate grown and bottled.

Virgile’s wines are ripe but balanced; silky, elegant and well structured. This Bourgogne Rouge is delicious with beef stews, bean casseroles, and simple roasted chicken.

Farmer Fizz Fridays at Campus

 

Friday, Dec. 2nd, 5-8PM: Wine Traditions with Leigh Ranucci

Friday, Dec. 16th, 5-8PM: Vineyard Road with Nick Cobb

We’re celebrating the season with Grower-Champagne again! Stop in for a chance to taste these beauties, made in small lots, by real people.

Support a Farmer: Drink Farmer Fizz!

Farmer Fizz Fridays

 

 

 

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.

Click here to read this week’s newsletter.

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

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

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

Thanksgiving Picks!

Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues “Les Grandes Vignes” Cotes du Rhone Blanc, 2014

70% Grenache Blanc, 10% Clairette, 10% Bourboulenc, 10% Viognier

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.

Les Grandes Vines is from vines that vary in age from 20 to 80 years, grown on red clay and stone. This wine is rich and fruity up front, with apples, pears, apricots, flowers and hay. Just when you think it might get a little too ripe and rich, an arc of acidity and minerality comes in to balance this shimmering glass of gold. This is the perfect foil to all the rich and sweet that happens on the Thanksgiving table.

Chateau d'ÉpireChateau d’Epiré Savennieres 2014

We put this wine in last week’s newsletter, so we’re recycling the note here. We blew through the first stack, so this is one to grab quick if you want it.

This wine is a RIDICULOUS value and you should just buy it. It’ll work with Thanksgiving, it’ll work with your Feast of the Seven Fishes, it’ll work with Chinese; it’s Chenin!

Grand Cru Epiré Savennieres is one of the oldest and most famous properties in the AOC. The domaine works primarily three parcels: La Croix Picot, Le Parc, and Le Hu-Boyau, the last situated just above another famous vineyard, La Coulée de Serrant, which we also have in the shop, but at many, many times the price (granted, it’s a different beast than this one, but still). If you were in France, you would be drinking filtered Chateau d’Epiré, but importer Kermit Lynch insists that all the d’Épire cuvées that he imports be unfiltered. We don’t mind a little sediment around here!

Qupé “A Modern Red” 2013

qupe modern redQupé calls itself a “modern stone age winery”. Started in 1981 by original Rhone Ranger Bob Lindquist, Qupé is so named to honor the Chumash, the indigenous people of the Golden State’s Central Coast and Channel Islands. The word means poppy, a plant traditionally used for food and medicine. Bob and his wife Louisa Sawyer Lindquist are skilled in biodynamics, and their Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard is certified Demeter Biodynamic and Stellar Organic.

A Modern Red is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, sourced from vineyards in Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez. This is an entry level wine in the Qupé portfolio, geared toward delivering American-grown Rhone-style wines at an everyday price. This wine is full of dark fruit and spices, it’s soft and smooth, with pleasant tannins on a long finish. It’ll stand up to all kinds of food, from roasted poultry, to grilled meats and veggies, to spicy tomato-based dishes.

LIOCO IndicaLIOCO “Indica” 2013 Mendocino Red

From the producers website: LIOCO is the result of a years-long conversation between Matt Licklider (a seasoned wine import specialist) and Kevin O’Connor (former wine director at Michelin Two-Star Spago-Beverly Hills) about whether California could produce a true “wine of origin.”

Campus notes: Indica is a field blend of Carignan, Petite Sirah, and Grenache harvested on one day, co-fermented in an open top vat, and put into neutral oak. It’s fresh, spicy, floral, inviting, full of dark fruit and earth, and relatively low in alcohol, leaving you free to drink more! Indica is also the name of a high quality strain of Marijuana, for whatever that’s worth!

Read this week’s newsletter here: Thanksgiving Wine Club; New Farmer Fizz; NOUVEAU!! Two Roads Beer Tasting!

 

 

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

Champagne David Coutelas Brut Cuvée Tradition 

8 hectares/under 5,000 cases annually

The Coutelas family has been growing grapes in the Marne Valley since before the French Revolution, but they didn’t start bottling their own Champagne until 1910. The Cuvée Tradition is from the village of Villers-sous-Chatillon and is 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir & 25% Pinot Meunier, fermented in oak (no malolactic) with 9g of residual sugar. It’s a blend of three vintages; the base vintage is 2008. This is a lively champagne with loads of citrus and lemon zest with a touch of almond and apples on the finish. Refreshing from start to finish, it’s the perfect match for fancy brunches and the festive ringing in of the new year.

Domaine Cheveau Macon Fuisse “Les Grandes Bruyeres” 2012

Domaine Cheveau was established in 1950 by André Cheveau; today his two grandsons run the estate, which is situated on 14 hectares around Solutré-Pouilly, and extends into Davayé in the Maconnais and Saint Amour in the Beaujolais. All harvesting is done by hand and the wines are fermented and vinified parcel by parcel. Total estate production is less than 5,000 cases.

Notes from the importer: Approximately 6000 bottles are produced annually from 40 year-old vines in the village of Fuissé. Planted to limestone-clay soils, these vineyards produce a typically generous, rich wine from this village famed for its ideal setting that yields some of the finest wines of the Maconnais.  In this instance, after fermentation, the wine is raised in stainless steel but left in contact with the fine lees for one year.  Virtually the entire production of this wine is dedicated to the US market.

Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly 2013, Beaujolais

Chateu Thivin, built into the side of an ancient volcano, is the oldest estate on Mont Brouilly, dating back to the 15th century; it has been in the Geoffray family since 1877 and has hosted many famous writers & journalists over time. The writer Richard Olney is responsible for introducing importer Kermit Lynch to the estate, proclaiming it the best producer in all of Beaujolais. Farming here is organic (conversion will be complete by 2020) and the vines are an average of 50 years old, with some over 90.

The Cote de Brouilly comes from 8.5 hectares that sit upon the steep, blue-stone slopes of Mont Brouilly. This wine can be enjoyed in its youth, but can also age for close to a decade. Right now it is fresh and floral, with notes of wild strawberry and black pepper. Have it with terrines & paté, roasted poultry, duck breast and goat cheese.

La Roche Bussiere Flonflons 2012, Cotes du Rhone

Importer notes on the estate: Located northeast of Vaison-La-Romaine in the southern Côtes du Rhone, Antoine and Lawrence Joly work 18 hectare of organic vineyards making some of our favorite wines in the region. They maintain a freshness and lightness in their wines by dedicating themselves to very intense vineyard work that allows them to harvest earlier than several other producers in their area, resulting in less concentrated and lower alcohol wines.

Antoine’s family has run the estate since the early 1970s (his grandfather was a beekeeper in the area and his father Pierre returned to live a more simple life after his involvement in the Parisian student riots of 1968). Pierre was a pioneer of organic viticulture in the Rhone and the vineyards have been certified since the 1980s, although he sold most of the grapes to the local co-op when he started. Antoine and Lawrence took over in 1999 and, since 2003, have vinified 100% of the harvest themselves.

Flonflons is mostly Syrah and Grenache from 2.5 hectares of vines averaging 25 years old. It’s fermented and aged in concrete and bottled unfiltered and unfined with little to no sulfur.

Final Farmer-Fizz Tasting Tonight, 5PM-8PM-In the Shop!

champagne and roses

The Fizz is finished. Long live the Fizz!

Ok, there’s nothing more we can say. We’ve set them up, you’ve knocked them down, and now we’re doing it one more time before we put a cork in it, so to speak: Tonight is the FINAL FARMER-FIZZ FRIDAY of 2013. We hope you can join us! Then be sure to visit us again tomorrow for our Thanksgiving wine and beer tastings.

And speaking of thanks, thank you to everyone who reads this longwinded newsletter, to everyone who shops at our dusty little store, and to everyone who has ventured out and made our Fridays extra special this month – may the Fizz be with you!

 
Dosnon-Lepage Blanc de Noirs “Récolte Noire” 
Aube Valley, 100% Pinot Noir (own 2 hectares, farm 4 additional leased hectares)

 

Located less than an hour north of Chablis, the Aube valley has more in common with northern Burgundy than with the rest of Champagne, including the soils, which are Kimmeridgian (limestone and fossilized oyster shells). Simon-Charles and Davy are intent on showcasing the Aube and the sometimes overlooked wines of the region. Their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir based champagnes are rich and mineral-laden. Fermented entirely in former Puligny-Montrachet barrels, the wines are elegantly focused with delicate fruit, but there’s a savory quality, an earthy intensity (mushrooms perhaps?) that really sets these wines apart from the pack. These wines are unfiltered and unfined, with very low dosage, which intensifies the mineral characteristics.

Thierry Triolet Grand Reserve Brut NV
Cotes de Sezanne, 10 hectares
planted primarily to Chardonnay

 

The Triolets are one of a growing number of families who’ve recently begun estate bottling their champagne. They own 10 hectares in & around the village of Bethon in the Cotes de Sezanne. Their vineyards are farmed with minimal intervention & are planted almost entirely to Chardonnay; only wild yeasts are used in the production. The Grande Reserve is made entirely from Chardonnay and stays an average of 3 years “sur lie” before disgorgement. Dosage is 11 grams. This is a staff favorite, a rich, satisfying champagne – it’s utterly balanced, clean, refreshing & pure.

Guy Larmandier Cramant Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc
9 hectares, 7500 annual case production
 

From the Rosenthal website: The cellars of Champagne Guy Larmandier are located in the village of Vertus at the southern base of the Cote des Blancs. This estate owns 9 hectares of vineyards, all located within the Cote des Blancs and distributed amongst the Grand Cru rated villages of Chouilly and Cramant and the 1er Cru rated vineyards of Vertus and Cuis.

Guy Larmandier established this domaine which, following his death, is now supervised by his wife, Colette, and their two children, Francois and Marie-Helene. Harvest is conducted manually, the Champagnes are aged a minimum of 36 months on the lees and the Champagnes destined for the US market are disgorged on order and receive a minimal dosage so as to emphasize the purity and finesse of this special terroir.

Made exclusively from Chardonnay grown on the Grand Cru rated slopes of the village of Cramant; aged for a minimum of 36 months, this Champagne is a blend of two successive vintages; it expresses the exceptional finesse and delicacy as well as the piercing chalk-like minerality and high-toned aromatics of this remarkable Grand Cru.

Perseval-Farge Brut NV “Terre de Sables”
Montagne de Reims
4 hectares/calcereous-clay & sandy-clay soil
Planted to: 50& PN/35% CH/15% Pinot Meunier
Small plot of Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Fromentot (Pinot Gris)
 

From the Wine Traditions website: Champagne Perseval-Farge is a 4 hectare estate in the 1er Cru village of Chamery which is in the heart of the Montagne de Reims. The Perseval family traces its roots back to the early 18th century in the village and today it is Benoist and Isabelle Perseval who carry on the tradition. Benoist farms sustainably, what he calls “viticulture integrée” with the commitment of taking care of the land for future generations. Atypical of Champagne, the Perseval’s four hectares are largely in one single parcel with the greater portion being on the mid to upper slope with calcereous-clay soils and the smaller part on the lower slopes with sandy-clay soils. Besides his commitment to sustainability in the vineyard, Benoist has worked to decrease the use of sulfur in his winemaking and at 26 to 35g per liter, his dose level is below 50% of the norm.

The Terre de Sables is a blend of one third each Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. It is also a blend of vintages, with the base of 50% coming from 2006 and the rest a blend of 2007, 2004 and 2001. The cuvée is made from grapes grown on the domain’s sandiest soils and is sharply marked by it, with notes of marine minerals being supported by bright acidity. The Champagne is held “sur lattes” for four years before disgorgement and finished with a dosage of 7g/L.

When we tasted this wine at the seminar in NY, we were blown away by it’s multi-faceted personality. It’s a cool champagne with a whole lot going on, from high-toned fruit and flowers to spicy low-tones of sandalwood and other yet-to-be identified foresty notes. And salt! The salty finish takes you by surprise, but it’s there and it sort of cried out for oysters. Mmmmm….oysters…

Read the entire newsletter here.