Tag Archives: Rhone

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

May 27, 2016

We’ve got a little bit of symbolism happening in tonight’s tasting. We open with a French sparkler, and everyone knows that sparkling wine denotes celebrations and all things good and happy. We close our tasting with Forlorn Hope Mataro, in honor of Memorial Day. The phrase ‘forlorn hope’ is from the mid-16th century Dutch expression ‘verloren hoop’, which originally denoted a band of soldiers picked to begin an attack, many of whom would not survive. Over the years it’s come to mean more of a persistent hope that’s never to be fulfilled. Either way, it’s a strange name for a wine, but it makes sense, as producer Mathew Rorick describes it: we love the longshots. We love the outsiders, the lost causes, the people/projects/ideas abandoned as not having a chance in the world. We love the longshots because we’re all about tenacity, we relish a challenge, and – we admit it – we love us a good tussle… (these wines are) rare creatures from appellations unknown and varieties uncommon, these wines are our brave advance party, our pride and joy – our Forlorn Hope.

That resonates with us on so many levels…from the personal sacrifice to the championing of the underdog – the story is real.

Cheers, congratulations, and Happy Memorial Day from all of us at Campus!

Louis de Grenelle “Platine” NV Brut, Crémant de Loire, Saumur

Created in 1859, this is one of the oldest (and last) family owned sparkling wine houses in Saumur. Platine is a hand-harvested blend of 85% Chenin Blanc, 10% Chardonnay & 5% Cabernet Franc from limestone hillsides outside of Saumur. It’s made in the Champagne-method and aged for at least 18 months before being bottled at 7 grams dosage. This is a bang for your buck bubbly, with stones and hay, lemons and pears, a fine bead, and a delicate and delicious finish.

Pépière 2014 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clos des Briords

2014 Loire Valley whites have been a real treat, and 2014 Clos de Briords is no exception. Marc Ollivier is tops in his field and it shows with this wine. It’s from 3 hectares of old vines planted on the granite of Chateau Thébaud. He hand harvests, uses natural yeasts, and the wine stays in contact with the lees until time of bottling (about 7 months). It’s then bottled with a very light filtration. 2014 is a bit rounder and richer than previous vintages. An average spring through July was followed by a cold and humid August. The risk of rot was very high, through the end of August, when dry, sunny weather emerged and lasted through October. This allowed the grapes to mature with high sugar and his acidity. The result here is a wine that is incredibly balanced, splashed with bright citrus, texturally appealing, and stony/salty on the finish, just how you want it.

Cuilleron 2015 VdP Collines Rhodaniennes Rosé Sybel

From the importers website: The Cuilleron family domaine, located in the hamlet of Verlieu (part of the town of Chavanay) was founded several generations ago (1920). Yves Cuilleron’s grandfather was the first to bottle wine for commercial purposes in 1947. Antoine Cuilleron, the uncle and immediate predecessor of Yves, assumed control of the domaine in 1960 and significantly increased the percentage of wine bottled at the estate and extended the scope of the domaine. Yves assumed full ownership and direction of the domaine in 1987 and, since that time, has built an entirely new facility while at the same time acquiring additional vineyard property. The domaine is now…52 hectares of vineyards that cover multiple appellations, including principally, Condrieu, Saint Joseph Rouge and Blanc, Cote Rotie, Saint Péray and a series of Vin de Pays from the Collines Rhodaniennes.

This is a smooth and round rosé, dry but full of ripe red fruit. It’s only 12.5% abv, but it feels much richer than that. It has the fruit and balance to sip on its own, but the weight and acidity to be a refreshing gulp between bites.

Forlorn Hope 2014 Mataro, Rorick Vineyard, 

Calaveras County, CA

From the producers website: The Forlorn Hope wines were born to connect the thread between California’s boundless viticultural potential and its diverse viticultural history. In addition to the vines my family and I farm, I work with a handful of growers across the north of the state whose plantings might otherwise be misfits: the uncommon sites and varieties that pay tribute to California’s eclectic and often unexpected viticultural heritage. Taking cues from the stones and soil, I endeavor to interrupt the natural development of each of these wines as little as possible in order that the character and uniqueness of each vineyard site may take center stage.

This Mataro (aka: Mourvedre) is floral & savory, with rich fruit and soft tannins. Forlorn Hope wines are versatile pairing partners, since their acidity and freshness won’t overwhelm flavors.

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

December 18th, 2015

Gift Worthy Wines

Cool wines for gift giving!

Donkey & Goat Lily’s Cuvée Pétillant Naturel Chardonnay 2014

Donkey & Goat Winery is owned and operated by Jared & Tracey Brandt in Berkeley, California. They make natural wines from sustainably and organically farmed vineyards in Sierra Nevada, Mendocino and Napa. Lily’s Cuvée is 90% Chardonnay, 8% Roussanne, 2% who-knows. It’s fun, easy to drink, slightly rich, a touch sweet, pleasantly fizzy.

Éric Texier “Adele” Cotes du Rhone Blanc, 2014

Éric Texier came to wine without any family connection or romantic, multi-generational story. In 1992, after years as a nuclear scientist, 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 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.

Adele is mostly Clairette with the remainder Marsanne, fermented in cement tanks with native yeasts. It rests for about 8 months on its lees, without sulfur, and is bottled unfiltered and unfined. Very little sulfur (25 ppm) is used at bottling. Buoyant and aromatic, with notes of apricots and pears, and a rounded texture punctuated by refreshing acidity.

Broc Carbonic Carignan, 2014, Alexander Valley

Chris Brockway makes site-specific wines out of a “low-wattage” urban winery in Berkeley, CA (the same winery as Donkey & Goat). He produces natural wines, with a minimal SO2. This Carignan is from a 130 year old vineyard on decomposed sandy soils, which make it impossible for phylloxera to survive. These are some of the last remaining self-rooted vines in the state. The wine is made via-carbonic maceration, allowing the yeasts to begin to ferment the grape sugars from the inside out. After fermentation, it rests in neutral oak and concrete tanks for 10 months. This wine is lively, complex, savory and herbal. It’s vibrantly delicious.

Chateau Haut Segottes Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2008

Chateau Haut Ségottes is owned and operated by Danielle Meunier, the fourth generation of her family to oversee this nine hectare estate in the heart of the Saint Emilion appellation. The entire estate is within the Grand Cru appellation, and is planted 60% to Merlot, 35% to Cabernet Franc, and 5% to Cabernet Sauvignon. Although the majority of wines produced in Saint Emillion are Merlot dominant, approximately 65% of this blend is Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Franc dominance produces a wine that is structured and age worthy. Chateau Haut Segottes spends 18 months in barrel, approximately 20% of which are new. Wines are then bottled unfiltered. Total estate production is about 3,000 cases.