Monmousseau “Ammonite” Cremant de Loire Extra Brut
We tasted the still version of this a few weeks back. Here’s the sparkling:
Chateau Gaudrelle was 1st established in 1537. It’s located in the heart of the Loire Valley and the property overlooks the Loire River. Owner and winemaker Alexandre Monmousseau’s family has run the 20 hectare estate since his grandfather purchased it in 1931. Alexandre makes sparkling, dry and sweet wine from the Chenin Blanc grape as well as a sparkling rosé from Grolleau and Cabernet Franc. Most of the vines were planted around the time his family took over the estate. Yields are kept extremely low to concentrate flavor, all the grapes are hand-harvested, fermentation is with inigenous yeast and is long, cold and slow.
Ammonite is named for a type of fossil prevalent in the soils here (they look like a nautilus). This Chenin Blanc based cremant is dry and racy, tart and refreshing!
Chateau du Rouét Rosé Cotes de Provence
We’ve been saying it for months now: the 2014 rosé’s are all killer, and the Rouét is no exception. Chateau de Rouét has been in the same family since the French revolution; in fact, former proprietor Marquis de Villeneuve supplied wines to the court of Louis XVI. This rosé is from vines planted in 1927, on the slopes of the Esterel mountain. It’s a blend of Grenache & Syrah, made in the saignée method (“bleeding” off the juice after a short contact with the skins). The bouquet is elegant yet fruity; on the palate, it’s dry and zesty, with notes of wild berries & hillside herbs. More please!
2013 Domaine de l’Aumonier “Les Chardons” Touraine Gamay
Domaine de l’Aumonier was founded in 1996 by husband and wife Sophie and Thierry Chardon. They organically farm 115 acres of vines that average 25 years old. We’re totally digging this Gamay. Bright, tart, minerally, earthy, delicious.
Kosovec Frankovka, Sisak-Moslavina, Croatia
We tasted Kosovec Skrlet a few weeks back, here’s the Frankovka, aka: Blaufrankisch.
Ivan Kosovec runs a small, organically farmed estate in the wine growing region of Moslavina, Croatia. He clearcut the 3.5 hectare forest BY HAND, BY HIMSELF, dug up the earth to make sure the soil was pristine, then worked the winery for 6.5 years without electricity, living in a cabin with only a generator for electricity.
This is 100% Frankovka, fermented with wild yeast in stainless steel and bottled unfiltered. Smooth, fruity, peppery: Grill, swill, repeat.
Domaine Lattard Roussanne 2011
Domaine Lattard is a producer of zero-sulphur, certified organic wines, operated by Luc & Denis Lattard, who took over the family chicken and vegetable farm in 1995. They planted Gamay, Syrah, Roussanne & Viognier on the 6.3 hectare estate that sits upon cliffs at 350 meters above sea level, on soils of limestone and clay. These are fresh and light wines, that in Denis’ words aren’t ‘pretentious or serious wines, just tasty wine to be enjoyed everyday’.
This is an intriguing, compelling, savory and mineral driven Roussanne. Lovely texture, lots of acidity, very food friendly.
The next three wines are part of our Thanksgiving suggestions.
Jermann Chardonnay Friuli Venezia Giulia 2011
Jermann was founded in 1881 by Anton Jermann, who came to Friuli by way of Austria and Slovenia. The winery has stayed in the family, though it has grown to encompass over 150 hectares, 30 of which are given over to horticultural crops.
This is an un-oaked chardonnay from 30+ year old vines. It’s rich and fruity, with notes of apples & bananas and a soft, lingering finish.
The Gamay is from a 1.2 hectare plot of 15 year old vines. 100% carbonic maceration, no fining, no filtration, no sulphur, totally GULPABLE! Fresh, juicy, mineral and bright, sometimes (but not always) a little bit of gaminess creeps in on the finish. Serve this with a slight chill; there’s a chance you’ll have to rumble for the last glass of this one too!
Pietradolce is a young winery, founded in 2005, in the Sicilian hill-town of Castiglione di Sicilia, on the northern slopes of Etna. The vineyards here lie between 600 and 900 feet above sea level. The soils are rich in minerals, “a gift” from the local volcano.
This Etna Rosso is 100% Nerello Mascalese, hand-harvested in early October. It’s fermented in stainless steel and then aged for three months in lightly toasted, fine-grained French oak barrels. It’s all mineral upfront, but it soon fleshes out and plums and cherries come to the fore. Often likened to Pinot Noir, this is a red that can go from the antipasto plate to the turkey without missing a beat.
Le Colture Prosecco D.O.C di Trevizo “Sylvoz”
This Prosecco is from third generation winemaker Alberto Ruggeri and sourced entirely from his family’s estate vineyards in Valdobbiadene. These vineyards have been in the Ruggeri family since the late 1800’s. To ensure freshness, the estate keeps the Prosecco in tank and bottles to order. This is a soft little sparkler, full of elegant fruit, ripe apples and vibrant acidity.
Domaine de la Patience Chardonnay 2011
This certified organic family estate located in the Costières de Nîmes takes its name from a wild, aromatic herb “La Patience” that can be found throughout the vineyard. After a decade of managing the winemaking at the local cooperative Christophe Aguilar decided it was time to make his own wine. Today Christophe farms 60 hectares of vines, fifty-years ago his grandfather farmed the same soil, with a deep respect & understanding of the terroir.
This is a fruity but dry white, filled with tart & zesty acidity, with lemons and peaches on the nose and palate. It’s a great seafood and chicken pair, or with simple veggie dishes, salads and mild, soft cheeses.
Domaine du Crêt de Bine Beaujolais 2011
François and Marie-Therèse Subrin biodynamically farm 5 hectares of land in the village of Sarcy, in the southwest corner of Beaujolais. The vines average 40 years old and are planted on granite soils rich in quartz. To ensure maximum ripeness, yields are extremely limited & harvest is as late as possible, sometimes stretching into October. No sulfur is used in the production of this wine.
This wine is delicate, with notes of spearmint & chamomile tea mingling with bright red berries and stony minerality. It’s an easy one to toss back.
Primaterra Sangiovese, Sicily
This is an exceptional little everyday value wine from Sicily. The grapes are grown 300 meters above sea level, and the wine is fermented and aged in 30% oak, 70% stainless steel. The Primaterra wines are made to be fruity expressions of their terroir, and that’s exactly what this wine is all about: cherries, subtle spices, fresh acidity, barely there tannins and a pleasant finish. What’s not to like?