Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

August 16, 2019

Wine Traditions

Chateau du Grand Bos Graves Blanc 2017

Chateau du Grand Bos is an 18.5 hectare estate on the left bank of Bordeaux. It’s located in the appellation of Graves, in an area where vineyards were first established by the Romans 2,000 years ago. The estate has been around since 1771, and was once a leader in its region, but ceased being cultivated in the 1950s, after being damaged by the phylloxera epidemic. It lay neglected until 1988, when the current proprietor, M. André Vincent, bought the property. M. Vincent had just sold his property in St. Estephe, with the intention of retiring, but instead found himself replanting and restoring the vineyards of Chateau du Grand Bos. In 2005, the 17th century cellar where wells had been dug was transformed into a barrel room, where the natural humidity offered the perfect aging environment.

Graves is so-named for its gravelly terrain, and is the only one of Bordeaux’s regions famous for both red and white wines. The reds here are Cabernet Sauvignon dominant and are known for their elegant, mineral-scented expressions of the terroir.

M. Vincent keeps his yields extremely low, and doesn’t use any pesticides or herbicides in his vineyards.

This Graves Blanc is from 3½ hectares are planted to 60% Semillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, and 10% Muscadelle. The wine is fermented in barrel (50% new wood) and remains on its lees with frequent stirring for eight months. Fewer than 1,000 cases are produced.

Domaine de la Touraize Arbois Blanc “En Flandre” 2016

The domain takes its name from a small parcel of vines on a steep hillside called “La Touraize”. This was the only parcel of vines that André-Jean’s grandfather kept after World War 1. André-Jean’s father expanded the family’s vineyards and continued his father’s practice of selling his grapes to the local cooperative. In 2010 André-Jean “La Touraize” decided to begin estate bottling his production, and built a small winery on the edge of town. Each year, he produces more wine in bottle, with the goal of bottling 100% of his production. André-Jean’s 12 hectares are divided into parcels in many “lieux-dits” that surround the village of Arbois, including La Touraize, Les Corvées, En Flandre, and Les Petits Curoulets. André-Jean began farming organically in 2016 and is in conversion to gain certification. With the exception of some young Savagnin vines, all of the vineyards are hand harvested. All wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts and the total SO2 in the wines ranges from 2g to 6g.

En Flandre is 100% Chardonnay that’s fermented in 350l barrels and aged on the lees for 12 months. It’s fresh and fruity on the nose. Lively in the mouth with citrus overtones and more mineral on the finish.

Domaine Philemon Croix de la Bouscarié Rouge 2017, Gaillac

Domaine Philémon is 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 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.

This wine is 100% Duras fermented in concrete vats. It’s an intriguing little wine, bright, woodsy, spicy, and peppery.

Verdier-Logel “Les Gourmets” 2018, Côtes du Forez

Côtes du Forez is located between the Loire and Allier rivers in the center of France, on a geological fault formed in the Tertiary Period when Africa pushed into Europe and formed the Alps. There are up to 105 volcanoes in the greater area of AOC Volcanique Du Massif Central; thirty of them are in Côtes du Forez.

Domaine Verdier-Logel is the leading estate of this small and obscure appellation where vineyards are few and far between. The Côtes du Forez hillsides are foothills of the volcanic mountains of the Massif Central and have soils of granite and volcanic composition. Due to the difficult climate only parcels with the best exposition and soils are planted to grapevines. The appellation’s laws mandate Gamay as the sole grape to be used and Verdier-Logel produces separate wines from volcanic soils, “Volcanique”, and granite soils, “Cuvée des Gourmets“. These soils impart a rich earthy fragrance to the wines which combines well with the elegant fruitiness of the Gamay grape.

Saturday, August 17th, 3-6PM: Wild Tonic Hard Jun Kombucha Tasting

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

August 9, 2019

Processed with MOLDIV

Domaine Vetriccie Ile de Beauté Corsican Rosé 2018

This domaine has been in the same family since 1966. The sustainably farmed vineyards are spread across 120 hectares in the AOP Vin de Corse, ideally situated between the sea and the mountains. This rosé is a blend of Niellucciu, Sciaccarellu, Grenache, and Merlot, picked at night to preserve freshness. It’s easy-drinking, anytime, bang-for-your-buck wine full or citrus, red berried, and crisp acidity. Perfect for backyard parties, picnics, and secretly sipping on the seashore.

La Tour Saint Martin “Fumet” 2017, Menetou-Salon, Loire

Situated just southwest of Sancerre, Menetou-Salon is often viewed as a satellite to its more famous neighbor. The rolling vineyards are upon the same Kimmeridgian limestone as Sancerre, and the similarities of terroir are so much so that many well-known producers in Sancerre also tend vines of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir here. Sometimes telling the difference between a glass of Sancerre and a glass of Menetou-Salon can be a challenge even to the pros.

Bertrand Minchin comes from a family that tended orchards and cereal crops. He became passionate about wine when he returned from his studies in 1987 and decided to restore and replant the vineyards of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir that his grandfather had planted. These vines and his family’s farmstead became La Tour Saint Martin in 1994, with the construction of a winery and his first vintage of Menetou-Salon. La Tour Saint Martin is currently 17 hectares with 10 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and 7 of Pinot Noir.

Fumet is from 30 year old-vines on Bertrand’s most Kimmeridgian soil in the village of Morogues. He treats his Fumet like a top Sancerre by fermenting it in oak vats and aging the wine for 10 months in foudre and French oak barrels. This wine is beautiful, with spring flowers on the nose and rich fleshy fruit on the palate, all balanced by taut minerality and citrus-zest acidity.

Domaine Puech-Redon “Pour de Vrai” Vin de France Sparkling Wine, Languedoc, France

Importer Louis/Dressner was introduced to Domaine Puech-Reudon by Eric Texier, who as of 2017 was helping proprietor Cyril Cuche make “unpretentious, un-sulfured wines from his meticulously farmed land.”

Puech-Redon is a 380 hectare property (large by any measure) split between 200h of cereals, 52h of vines, and over 100h of woods and garrigues. The land belonged to Cyril’s grandfather, who acquired it after WWII; Cyril’s father farmed it conventionally for 30 years. When Cyril took the reins about 20 years ago, he decided to convert to organic farming and prioritize biodiversity, a choice he explains here:

“It was a choice I imposed on myself. Besides the incredible bore of working conventionally, with it’s by the book itineraries traced step by step by lobbyists for large phytosanitary corporations, I wanted to prove that within organics, you could work in poly-culture on a large surface and still be profitable. I learned to feed the soil and not the plant, I reclaimed the link that unifies the farmer to his land. The vines have been worked organically since 2008, and the cereals since 2010. Over the last decade I’ve been able to observe the immense consequences of such work. The effect of a culture without chemicals on such a large surface is truly impressive: for the soil, the plant but even more so the animals that had deserted us slowly coming back to our lands.”

2017 was the first vintage of Pour de Vrai, a pet-nat from Cinsault and the indigenous Aramon. It’s spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeast, with no additives, and is bottled unfiltered and unfined; sulfur is very low, at 25mg/L.

Domaine des Miquettes Syrah Vin de Franc 2015, Rhone, France

Domaine des Miquettes is a 5-hectare property created by Paul Estève and Chrystelle Vareille in 2003 in the small village of Cheminas, located on a high plateau in the southern part of the Saint Joseph appellation. Paul and Chrystelle took over the farm from Paul’s family and turned one of the small farm buildings into a low-tech wine-making facility. They planted one hectare of Syrah and one of Viognier, which are classified as Vin de Pays des Coteaux de L’Ardèche. Paul had been working 3 hectares in Saint Joseph, so when the owner retired, Paul and Chrystelle took over that property as well, which was planted to mostly Syrah and a tiny bit of Marsanne. These vineyards are high in the hills, at an altitude of about 350 meters, planted on steep hillsides of granite and micaschist. The vineyards, both in Saint Joseph and the Coteaux de L’Ardèche, are certified as organic farms, and are worked throughout the year with either a tractor or horse drawn plough. All harvesting is done by hand and the fermentations occur with natural yeasts and little or no temperature adjustments.

This Syrah is from vines outside the St. Joseph AOC, on granite soils planted at 400m. The 1 hectare vineyard is plowed by horse. The wine is vinified in stainless steel with a 3 week maceration. It’s bottled with zero sulfur, and is unfined and unfiltered. It’s redolent of graphite, black pepper, purple olives, and violets.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

August 2, 2019

Weingut Schlossmuhlenhof Riesling Trocken (Liter) 2017, Rheinhessen, Germany

The Schloss Mühlenhof estate, started in 1846, is now on its 6th generation. It began as a rye and wheat mill until the 1920’s when the small vineyard attached became the focus for the family income…They follow what they call “ecologically healthy’ organic farming practices, avoiding chemicals and utilizing extreme green harvesting to reduce yields by nearly 50%. In the cellar they will use selected yeasts, and small amounts of SO2 to maintain freshness. This liter Riesling has been a go-to for years. It’s snappy, zesty, lemon-lime deliciousness that’s super versatile; beach, brunch, just a bottle and a sunset…it’s all good.

Fattoria di Petrognano Orci Trebbiano 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Fattoria di Petrognano is a large, 4th generation property that covers 85 hectares, 25 of which are vineyards, in the village of Bottinaccio, situated in the Lucca hills of Chianti DOCG. This area is considered the terracotta capital of Tuscany. All the wine is estate-grown and estate bottled, as well as the olive oil that’s produced here. Farming is organic. If you’re planning a Tuscan wine trip, their guest accommodations look pretty enticing.

Orci Trebbiano is 100% Trebbiano fermented and aged on the skins for 3 months in terracotta amphora. It’s copper colored, somewhat savory, rocky-mineral laced, and subtly spicy, with fresh notes of apples and apricots. Pair with seafood, mushroom risotto, fresh mozzarella, tomato salad…

Jean François Merieau La Rosée Pineau d’Aunis 2018, Touraine, France

Jean-François Merieau practices organic farming and believes in a minimalist approach to winemaking. He produces mostly single varietal bottlings, often from single parcels in the inland Loire Valley AOC of Touraine. The cellar on his property is from the 14th century and the newest building dates from WWI. You’ll often find three generations working together. His vines are old too: from 50 years for the Malbec, to over 100 year-old Pineau d’Aunis.

La Rosée is from Pineau d’Aunis vines of 45 to over 100 years old. It’s full of flowers and spices, a touch of honey, and ripe red fruit. The finish is bright, dry, and long. Works well with spicy grilled poultry, fish in yellow curry, white beans with rosemary and garlic…

G D Vajra, Clare JC Nebbiolo 2018, Langhe, Italy

G.D. Vajra was officially established in 1972 (named after Aldo’s father, Giuseppe Domenico) but the family roots in the region go back over two centuries. Aldo Vajra has been making wine here since the late 60s. Today the estate is close to 60 hectares, 10 of which are planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo production. Farming is organic, grapes are hand-harvested, and aging is done in traditional Slavonian casks. Aldo and Milena’s children Giuseppe, Francesca and Isidoro are now carrying on the family business and traditions.

Giuseppe is making this Nebbiolo in the Metodo Ancestrale style that harks back to Thomas Jefferson’s time that slipped out of fashion in the 1950s: fermentation starts in the tank on the skins and finishes in the bottle, creating a slightly off-dry, lightly sparkling wine (the fizz might subside before the bottle is finished). Serve with a slight chill with pizza, pasta, salumi, olives, cheese, etc…