Tag Archives: Silvaner

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

brut-0Sept. 16, 2016

Domaine Grosbot Barbara Brut 0 2011, Saint Pourçain

Domaine Grosbot-Barbara is 6.5 hectares in the center of France, in Alliers, a region known for the prized oak trees used in barrel production. The history of the vineyards in this area date back to before the Romans, when the Phoenicians settled here and planted vines. The heyday of the region was in the 13th and 14th centuries when the wines of St. Pourçain were highly esteemed and favored by Popes, royalty and aristocracy alike. This domaine practices “Lutte Raisonnée” farming and refrains from the use of synthetic treatments unless the vines are under great duress, and then only the minimal amount would be used.

Brut 0 is 100% Gamay, left on the lees for four years – and like the name plainly states, it is zero dosage. This is a wine that lovers of fizzies and fine Champagne will really dig; it’s precise, it’s got depth, a beautiful leesy quality, a bit of red-fruit à la Gamay, and very approachable price tag.

More Teutonic! We just can’t get enough:
Teutonic Wine Co. David Hill Vineyard Silvaner, 2015

Teutonic focuses on single vineyard, single varietal wines that are dry farmed and made in a precise, Germanic style.

The Teutonic MO is old vines, cold climate, high elevation, dry farmed, old wood and wild yeast. Or, as they put it: old and cold, high and dry, wood and wild. They are inspired by the wines of Mosel, Germany, where they also happen to make wine, and they import wine from the region as well. Proprietors Olga and Barnaby Tuttle found a tiny amount of 40 year old Silvaner vines in Willamette Valley’s David Hill Vineyard. The combination of old vines and dry farming means that vines go super deep into the earth in search of nutrients, and therefore absorb layers of terroir-driven flavors. The resulting wine is more about minerality than fruit, with a touch of fresh apple and spice. It might be too soon to think Thanksgiving, but any of the Teutonic wines would be so at home on a table full of turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes. Let’s hope there’s some left! Silvaner production is fewer than 100 cases.

Berger Zweigelt 2013, Austria

This is a 14 hectare father/son estate, half of which consists of south-facing loess terraces. Vines are planted to 50% Grüner Veltliner, 10% Riesling, 10% Welschriesling, 20% Zweigelt, 10% other varieties.

All the wines here are vinified in stainless steel, and with cultured yeasts to get slow fermentations that preserves CO2 and fresh, fruity and clean flavors. This zweigelt is a go to. Bright, juicy, versatile and a liter!

Azienda Monteversa Versacinto Rosso 2012, Veneto

versacintoFilippo Voltazza runs his small family vineyard in the Euganean Hills, just west of Venice. Vineyards here are packed into terraced rows, at heights up to 600 meters.

Versacinto Rosso is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, grapes that are indigenous enough, since Napoleon brought the varieties to the region roughly 200 years ago. Filippo’s family used to sell their grapes to local wineries, to be used in their best bottlings, until they took back all their vines in 2006. Now their 17 hectares face in all four directions to maximize exposure. The vines are densely planted to 4,000 per hectare on chalky-clay volcanic soil. Farming is organic, harvesting is by hand, and all the wine is fermented and aged in cement, then bottled unfiltered and unfined.

This is a lovely wine; mineral driven, dark fruit, a touch herbal, balanced and elegant.

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, 5-8PM

2013 Gysler Silvaner Halbtrocken, Rheinhessen, Germany

12 hectares, 8,000 cases annually, certified biodynamic

gysler sylvanerNotes from the importer: Gysler’s history in Weinheim dates to 1450, with record of winemaking dating to 1750. The windy, cool microclimate of Weinheim, and its red soil dominated by Rotliegend sandstone, allow Gysler to ply a quite unique expression of Riesling from his 12 hectares, in a region planted to many lesser varieties and hybrids.

When Alexander Gysler took the helm from his father abrubtly, changes were made in the vineyard, including the reversal of the plantings of experimental crossings, instead focusing the estate by increased plantings of classic varieties such as Riesling and Sylvaner. Next came Biodynamic conversion and certification by Demeter in 2008, with the intention of helping to reverse the reputation of Rheinhessen wines as high-yielding, overly sweet ‘plonk.’ Fruit is hand harvested, which is rare in the Rheinhessen, and composting and cover cropping have become integral to the health of the estate’s vines – every second row is planted with flowers & herbs. In 2005, Gysler began bottling his wines in only 2 quality levels, estate and S-class, eschewing the pradikät system that portends quality is based predominantly on ripeness. Other changes include employing whole cluster pressing, spontaneous fermentations in stainless steel, eliminating fining and racking, gross lees contact right up until bottling, and abandoning the use of süssreserve. “2008 was the first vintage we did absolutely no handling of the juice,” says Alex Gysler.

And Terry Theise on the wine: Now 100% estate-bottled (Demeter!), and this is a crisp, fine and charming vintage of this perennial value, showing a curious length. Among the best vintages of a wine I’ve known for nearly thirty years(!).

2012 Chateau de Jouclary, Cabardès Rouge

jouclary 12Robert & Pascal Gianesini farm in the Cabardès AOC, on the southernmost outcropping of the Massif Central in south central France. It’s influenced by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea; AOC laws mandate that a minimum of 40% of the varieties must be “atlantique”: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc and 40% “mediterranean”: Syrah or Grenache.

The 2012 Jouclary rouge is a whole lotta wine for not a whole lotta money. This vintage appears to have more Cab Franc than the 2011, and that is especially apparent on the nose; it’s got tobacco leaf and hints of underbrush mingling with vibrant fruit, earthy complexity, delicate acidity, and a long, lingering finish to boot. It’s a winner!

2013 Domaine Philémon, Gaillac Rouge, Jurançon Noir

Notes from the importer:

philemon juranconDomaine Philémon is a 20 hectare estate located in Villeneuve-sur-Vere, a small village on the Vere river in between Albi and Cordes in the northeast quadrant of the Gaillac appellation. The Vieules family have had a vineyard in Villeneuve since 1804. Today the vineyard is run by Mathieu Vieules who grows wheat, sunflowers and grapes in equal proportions. All of his land is farmed organically with the vineyard being certified in 2013. Mathieu Vieules has twenty hectares of vines in production along the Cordes plateau on south facing slopes with a calcerous soil. They are planted almost entirely to the traditional Gaillac grape varieties: Loin de L’oeil, Mauzac and Muscadelle for the whites, and Braucol (Fer Servadou), Duras and Jurancon Noir for the reds. A good proportion of the vines are more than fifty years old. The vines are trained in the gobelet fashion meaning that they are head pruned and yields are kept exceedingly low; 40 hl/h for the whites and 30hl/h for the reds. The harvest is done entirely by hand.

After a few years of tasting Jurançon Noir from tank and begging Mathieu Vieules to bottle it separately, he finally agreed in 2013. The grapes are hand harvested and put into the cement fermentation tank in whole clusters for a semi-carbonic fermentation with indigenous yeasts. The Jurançon Noir is an old variety local to the southwest of France. According to Jancis Robinson, it is a cross between Folle Blanche and Cot (Malbec). To produce quality wine this vigourous variety must be severely pruned and then it will produce dark, spicy and slightly bitter wine that is 11% alc, when fully ripe. The bottles are sealed with a crown cap.