Tag Archives: french wine

Wine Traditions Tasting in the Shop!

Friday, Nov. 6th, 5pm-8pm

From the Wine Traditions website: Wine Traditions, LTD. imports wine from France produced from independent, family owned vineyards located throughout France’s many wine growing regions. We champion appellations that receive too little acclaim and have sought out vignerons and vigneronnes whose deep respect and commitment toward their land result in wines that convey a sense of place. Stylistically, we seek wines that balance intensity with delicacy and are wines of good character rather than caricatures of good wine. We hope these wines will bring you pleasure.

Christophe Thorigny Vouvray Sec 2013

Christophe Thorigny is the 4th generation to farm this 10.5 hectare estate in Vouvray. Most of the grapes here are sold off to local negociants, which makes the small amount of estate-bottled wines that much more special. Christophe farms with minimal intervention and keeps yields low with sever pruning throughout the growing season. The vines are planted on chalky and flinty clay covering a think layer of limestone, and those mineral, rocky notes come through in the wine. This is dry, focussed Chenin Blanc, with notes of honeysuckle, oranges and lemons on a long and elegant finish.

Domaine Gautheron Chablis 2014

Alain Gautheron is the 5th generation to cultivate vines on this 25 hectare property in the village of Fleys, in vineyards that are chock full of fossilized snails. In fact, the people of Fleys were once called “Gougueys” the local word for snail, because of all the snail fossils here. That’s just a fun fossil fact for you!

Gautheron Chablis is all bang for the buck. It’s stainless steel fermented, then left on its’ lees for 9 months before bottling, which gives it a pleasing texture. It has a crisp and stony character that reflects the chalky soil upon which the grapes are grown. Subtle floral and orchard fruit notes add complexity and depth.

Domaine de Foretal Julienas 2013

Domaine de Foretal is an 8 hectare estate situated in the small village of Vauxrenard, located between Fleurie and Chenas, in the northern Beaujolais. The Perrauds have been growing grapes here for five generations. Since 2000, Jean-Yves Perraud has tended to the property; he’s introduced a number of sustainable farming practices, including cover crops and finding alternatives to chemical herbicides and pesticides.

This Julienas is from 30 year-old vines grown on sandy, granite soil. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermentation is semi-carbonic in stainless steel. The wine is floral and aromatic, with strawberries and light spices, and vibrant, refreshing acidity and minerality.

Chateau Chabiran Rouge 2012 Bordeaux Superieur

This chateau is situated in a high plateau just outside Fronsac, which is said to be one of the best sites in all of Bordeaux Superieur. It benefits from well drained soils of local blue clay and red gravel. The vineyard is planted with 90% merlot & 10% cabernet sauvignon. Harvest is done by hand, as late as possible, to ensure maximum ripeness. It is stainless steel and cement tank fermented, with a long maceration and partial barrel/partial tank aging. Chabiran is a full-bodied wine, with rich lush flavors of plum, cherries, chocolate, and velvety tannins on the finish.

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

Oct. 9th, 2015

mont de marie roseMont de Marie “Anatheme” Rosé 2014

Thierry Forestier knew he wanted to be a winemaker from a very young age. But, like many of us, he did what he thought was the sensible thing and went to business school. Three years after graduating, he left his information systems career track behind and in order to pursue his winemaking dreams. In 2004, he pieced together 7.5 hectares of vineyards in Coteaux du Languedoc, in the sub-region known as the Terres de Sommières. He farms without herbicides or pesticides & fermentation takes place with only native yeasts & zero intervention; his wines are bottled unfiltered, unfined and without sulfur.

Mont de Marie Rosé is 100% Aramon from 100 year old vines. This is a funky, fringe wine without all the fanfare, as Mont de Marie tends to fly under the radar a bit. We love this wine for its expressive, intriguing personality. The nose smells of cinnamon and maybe a touch of nutmeg; on the palate it’s ripe, strawberries, vibrant acidity and a spicy kick. This is a rosé that will take you through fall. It’s not big & rich, but it has depth and a compelling umami quality that will pair nicely with autumnal fare. 

Christophe Thorigny Vouvray Sec 2013

Christophe Thorigny is the 4th generation to farm this 10.5 hectare estate in Vouvray. Most of the grapes here are sold off to local negociants, which makes the small amount of estate-bottled wines that much more special. Christophe farms with minimal intervention and keeps yields low with severe pruning throughout the growing season. The vines are planted on chalky and flinty clay covering a thick layer of limestone, and those mineral, rocky notes come through in the wine. This is dry, focussed Chenin Blanc, with notes of honeysuckle, oranges and lemons on a long and elegant finish.

Ciavolich Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Ancilla” 2013

Since 1853, Azienda Agricola Ciavolich has cultivated grapes from vineyards located in Abruzzo, in south-central Italy. The 44-hectare estate sits between 80 and 400 meters above sea level, with an average vine age of 25 years. Only 3500 cases of “Ancilla” are produced, and the hand-harvested fruit represents the best of their coastal vineyards; any remaining fruit that didn’t make the cut is sold off.

Ancilla is a deep, smooth and flavorful wine that tastes of plums, blackberries, strawberries and cherries. It sees no oak and is vibrant and youthful with light tannins on the finish.

Nerocapitano_ese trcLamoresca Nerocapitano Sicilia 2014

Lamoresca is a tiny, remote estate owned and operated by Filippo and Nancy Rizzo, who met while Filippo was proprietor of a natural wine restaurant in Belgium, one of the first outside of Paris. The 11 hectare farm is mostly olive groves with only 4 hectares planted to vines. It’s located between Etna and Gela on the southern coast of Sicily; the vines grow at 450 meters above sea level, on soils of compressed sandstone mixed with calcium and iron rich clay. Lamoresca is the only winery for roughly 50 square kilometers. It’s worked by hand by Filippo (who spent several vintages making wine with Frank Corenelissen) and his farm-hand Gaetano. The wines here are made without chemicals, fermented without temperature control, and are bottled unfiltered, un-fined, and without sulfur.

Nerocapitano is 100% Frappato that’s lively and full of bright red cherries, Meditteranean herbs and loads of character.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

2013 Schloss Hallburg Dry Estate Silvaner, Franken, Germany

This property has been farmed since the 11th century and has been in the von Shönborn family since 1806. It’s a 35 hectare certified organic estate planted mostly to Silvaner, then Riesling & Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and equal amounts Muller Thurgau, Bacchus & Pinot Noir. Total case production is 20,000 per year. The Hallberger Schlossberg vineyard is biodynamically farmed and produces top quality Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.

This Silvaner is mineral-driven, dry, herbal, racy and elegant.

2014 Éric Texier Chat Fou Cotes-du-Rhone Rosé, France

Éric Texier came to wine without any family connection or romantic, multi-generational story. In fact, he was trained as a nuclear scientist. In 1992, after years in in the world of science, he opted to follow his passion for wine and formally study viticulture and oenology at Bordeaux University. He read a lot, visited winemakers around the world, and worked in Burgundy with wine-savant, Jean-Marie Guffens, at Verget. There he learned the benefits of minimal-intervention wine-making: native yeasts, little to no herbicides, no machines, etc…

As a beginner, he was unable to afford his own vineyards, so he became a négociant, buying only from small growers philosophically aligned with himself. He has since acquired plots in Côte Rôtie and Condrieu in the northern Rhône, and replanted several hectares in long-forgotten Brézème with Syrah and Roussanne. All of his wines are aged in the underground 16th-century cellar at his home in Charnay-en-Beaujolais.

Chat Fou is 100% Cinsault, made using the direct press method and bottled unfiltered with noSO2. While only 11.8% alcohol, it’s dark in color & spicy & complex on the palate. It’s like fresh-picked flowers and strawberries, lightly dusted with dried herbs and crushed pepper. But there’s lots of acidity here too, keeping it lively and thirst-quenching. Serve it chilled and let it flesh out a bit, revealing light tannins on the finish.

2013 Perrini Negroamaro, Salento (Puglia), Italy

Brother and sister Vito and Mila Perrini converted their family’s centuries-old estate to organic farming (now biodynamic) in 1993, way before it was cool. Before that, the family mostly sold their grapes to local négociants, as they didn’t have the means to finance estate-bottled production. Vito and Mila then built an underground cellar, where the cooler fermentation temperatures would aid them in their goal of producing wines of more subtlety and elegance than was normally encountered in the region.

The vines here are 30-35 years old and are spread across hills and along the shoreline. Yields are kept low, grapes are picked by hand and fermented in stainless steel, then aged in stainless and glass-lined tanks. This Negroamaro is silky, perfumed and earthy, with bright notes of blackberries & cherries.

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

2014 Domaine de la Pépiere Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine sur Lie

Marc Ollivier is one of the best producers of Muscadet that we’ve ever encountered. His Muscadet has lees contact until the time of bottling, which is the traditional way to make Muscadet, but has become the exception. Ollivier hand harvests, uses natural yeasts & bottles with a very light filtration. The vineyards are 40+ years old & all from original stock; there isn’t a single clonal selection in the vineyards.

This wine never, ever fails to deliver. It’s a rocky, salty, twangy, lip-smacky, refreshing bottle of goodness!

2014 Domaine Rimbert “Petit Cochon Bronzé Rosé”, St. Chinian, Languedoc

It’s hard to ever say no to this little piggy. This rosé is made from a blend of Cinsault & Syrah, from vines of about 60 years old. The grapes are harvested at maximum ripeness and immediately de-stemmed, then gently crushed and fermented with natural yeast. The skins are removed from the vats 36 hours after pressing, lending this rosé its beautifully intense pink color. This wine is typically light and spicy, with bright red fruit, like cherries and a strawberries, and a clean and zesty finish.

2014 Domaine Rimbert “Cousin Oscar” Vin de France (St. Chinian)

He’s back! Made from Jean-Marie Rimbert’s organically farmed young vine Cinsault, this wine is synonymous with summer around the shop. Oscar likes a light chill, to maintain his suave sense of cool.

2014 Domaine du Mortier “Brain de Folie” St Nicolas de Bourgeuil

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.

Brain de Folie is apparently slang for hangover, but this is a light Loire Valley Cab Franc, so how bad can it be? Two weeks of carbonic maceration lend this wine its refreshing, food friendly, totally quaffable character. Porch-pounder! 

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

Domaine Mont de Marie Anathema Blanc 2012

Thierry Forestier pieced together 7.5 hectares of vineyards in Coteaux du Languedoc, in the sub-region known as the Terres de Sommières. He farms without herbicides or pesticides & fermentation takes place w/ only native yeasts & zero intervention; his wines are bottled unfiltered and unfined.

The Anathème Blanc is produced from a .5 hectare vineyard of 70 year old Ugni Blanc. It is light (11.5% abv) and very, very pretty, like a bowl of apples and pears with lemon squeezed all over, and a pleasantly sour twang. This is a cloudy white, don’t expect crystal clear “perfection”.

Chateau du Bloy Bergerac Rosé, 2014

Dating from the early twentieth century, Chateau du Bloy was sold to new owners in 2001. The new owners, M. Lambert and M. Lepoittevin-Dubost, are working to place Chateau du Bloy among the top producers in Bergerac. The vineyard is situated on a hillside overlooking the Dordogne river east of Castillon La Bataille. These hills are a continuation of those found in Saint Emilion and Cotes de Castillon.

The du Bloy Rosé is 100% Cabernet Franc, harvested a few days ahead of those destined for red wine. It’s deep pink in color, and tastes and smells of fresh herbs and bright red fruit. Refreshing, zippy, perfect.

Domaine Philémon, Gaillac Rouge “Croix d’Azal” 2012

This property in the South West of France has been in the Vieules family for over 200 years and today Mathieu Vieules grows wheat, sunflowers and grapes there in equal proportion.

Croix d’Aval is 100% Braucol, or Fer Servadou. This isn’t a widely planted grape, but it can also be found in Marcillac. This wine is woodsy, floral, savory, spicy and downright delicious.

Cheers!