Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

January 25, 2019

Domaine Buronfosse Cotes du Jura Blanc ‘Les Belemnites’ 2012, Jura, France

Peggy & Jean-Pascal Buronfosse farm 4.5 hectares in a hamlet in the Jura foothills. Jean-François Ganevat and Julien Labet are their neighbors and friends, from whom they got help and advice when they were first starting out back in the early 2000s. They work naturally in the vineyard and cellar, avoiding additives and using only a touch of SO2, when at all. 

This white is a blend of Savagin and Chardonnay that spent 18 months on the lees. It’s lightly nutty (like walnuts) and salty, with oyster-shell minerality, and briny acidity. The fruit leans more toward apple and some subtle citrus. It’s beautifully fresh for 2012. Pair with shellfish, or try it with comte, the famous cheese of the region.

Here’s a website with a lot of info on the producers, but nothing on this particular wine.

Château de Trinquevedel 2017, Tavel, France

We’re fans of rosé in winter, and this one is particularly well-suited to cooler temps. We have a special price on this 2017, as well as a few others in the shop. They’re not our overstock, we’re buying more because they’re good, they’re on sale, and we love a deal! 

Guillaume Demoulin’s great-grandfather Eugène bought this eighteenth-century Southern Rhone château in 1936, the same year as the establishment of the Tavel AOC. Unfortunately the vineyards were in great disrepair and it wasn’t until 1960 that the vines were producing wines worthy of Demoulin’s standards. Tavel is the only A.O.C. entirely made up of rosé, so no red or white wine can bear the name of the cru. No more than sixty percent of the final blend can be made up of Grenache. 

This Tavel is a blend of 45% Grenache, 24% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 10% Mourvèdre, and 6% Syrah from vines over 30 years old, planted on sand, marl, limestone, clay, and quartz. Fermentation is for 20 days in cement, then it’s aged in enamel-lined tanks and stainless steel for 6-9 months. The wine has a ripe red fruit quality, balanced by Rhone stony-freshness and spicy hillside herbs. Farmed sustainably.

Tenuta Ormanni, Chianti 2015, Tuscany, Italy

This 13th century estate has been in the Brini Batacchi family for the last 200 years and is today overseen by Paolo Brini Batacchi and his daughter Paola. It’s located between the towns of Poggibonsi and Castellina in Chianti and covers 597 acres, of which 168 are vineyards planted to Sangiovese. Fun fact: mention of this property and the Ormanni family can be found in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.

This Chianti is 95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot that’s fermented and aged in cement for 12 months. It’s traditional and tasty, with notes of sour cherry, strawberries, oregano, and dried flowers. The tannins are light and fine-grained, and the acidity is fresh and food-friendly. Have it with what you’d expect: cured meats and cheeses, pasta with sauce (meat or tomato), roasted eggplant, polenta with mushrooms….   

Alfredo Maestro Viña Almate 2016 , Castilla y León, Spain

Alfredo Maestro’s family came from Basque Country to Castilla y León, on Spain’s northwestern border with Portugal. Alfredo grew up amongst vines and winemaking, and was always interested in pursuing winemaking himself. His first vintage was in 1998. He always farmed organically, but in the beginning, he farmed in “textbook” style, to make “correct” wines according to the Ribera del Duero wine-minds of the time. This meant using cultured yeasts, acids, enzymes, color enhancers, etc…This changed in the early 2000s when it occurred to him that it didn’t make any sense to farm organically and then use chemicals in the cellar. By 2003 he was making wine without any additives at all, including sulfur. This he says, is “to better tell the story of the land.” 

Viña Almate is 100% Tempranillo from 10-80 year-old vines in Peñafiel and Valtiendas, planted at 700 to 1000 meters elevation. It’s fermented in stainless steel, then aged for two to four months in neutral French oak. It’s an unfiltered, unfined, full-bodied, floral, spicy, satisfying red that will pair nicely with most things roasted and grilled.

Cheers!

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

Thanksgiving picks with Peter from Vineyard Road.

Champ Divin, Crémant du Jura Zero Dosage, France (2014)

Domaine Champ Divin is a 5ha property located on the Jura Mountain’s ‘premier plateau’. It was founded in 2008 by Valerie and Fabrice Closset-Gaziaux, who both have degrees in soil and earth sciences. They worked for years as biodynamic consultants in South Africa and around France before returning home to the Jura. Here they grown Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Savagnin os shale, silty clay, and limestone in the village of Gevingey. Of course farming here is biodynamic, and wine-making is as hands-off as possible, with native yeast fermentations and limited sulfur use. Harvest is by hand and as late as possible to optimize phenolic ripeness.

This crémant is a co-fermentation of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. It undergoes full malolactic fermentation in steel and then spends a minimum of 12 months in bottle on the lees before disgorgement. Although it’s zero dosage, it’s full of ripe fruit like pear, lime, green apple, and peach, and delicate flowers, like honeysuckle. It’s medium-bodied and and has a beautiful, ripe texture, punctuated by brisk minerality. This is a perfect sparkler to get the party started.

Arnaud Lambert ‘Brézé’ Clos du Midi Saumur Blanc, France (2017)

Château de Brézé has been around since at least the 15th century, when it was served to royalty and held in the same regard as Château d’Yquem. In the 1600s, the white wines of Château de Brézé were known throughout Europe as Chenin de Brézé.

In 2009, the new owner of the estate asked Yves Lambert and his son, Arnaud, from Domaine de Saint-Just, to manage the estate. They got a 25 year lease and began converting the estate to organic farming. In a little less than a decade, they’ve restored the wines to the heights they achieved centuries ago.

‘Clos du Midi’ is 100% Chenin Blanc from the colder sites on on the Brézé Hill. The upper section of the hill is sandy, while the bottom is richer in clay. Both are atop tuffeau, the chalky limestone rock made up of compressed marine organisms that lived in floating colonies in the prehistoric Turonian era. The differing soil types, coupled with the limestone, create a wine of great tension and depth, with a rounded palate punctuated by lively acidity, and balanced with notes of honey, dried fruit, and touch of lemon…it’s a gorgeous wine that always over delivers.

Anne-Sophie Dubois, ‘Les Cocottes’ Fleurie, France (2017)

Anne-Sophie Dubois comes from the Champagne region in France. Her parents have 3 hectares in Sezanne, but when they wanted to expand and offer their two kids more opportunities, they purchased an 8-hectare plot in Fleurie, where most of the vines had quite a bit of age on them, some exceeding 60 years old. Anne-Sophie took over this domaine in 2007, after internships at Roblet-Monnot in Volnay, and at various Champagne producers. Her early years here were marked with difficulty due to hail decimating her vines. But she persisted. She farms organically, and has a delicate touch in the cellar, with an emphasis on elegance and purity of fruit. Her wines undergo long macerations, fermentations are with wild yeasts, and there is no new oak, no filtration or fining, and no pumping – just gravity.

Les Cocottes is the only cuvée Anne-Sophie Dubois vinifies whole cluster *with* carbonic maceration (the remainder are traditionally fermented, in the Burgundian style, without carbonic). “Les Cocottes” means “the chicks”, and this is what Anne-Sophie drinks when she’s kicking back with her friends. It’s a fruit-forward style that doesn’t sacrifice any character; it’s full of raspberries, cherries, and other red berries, along with crackling minerality, earthy pepper notes, and fresh & zesty acidity. It’s fun and gluggable.

Bichi, La Flama Roja, Mexico (2017)

Notes from the importer: Mexico has a centuries-long history of winemaking that has mostly gone under the radar. Spanish conquistadores planted vines in the early 1500’s, before both Chile and Argentina, and Baja California represents about 90% of the vines in the entire country due to the ideal climate and geography. Brothers Noel & Jair Tellez, with the help of Chilean (by way of Burgundy) winemaker Louis-Antoine Luyt, are producing amazingly fresh and energetic wines from very old, recently recovered vineyards of Misión (aka Listán Prieto), Rosa del Peru (aka Moscatel Negro), Tempranillo and Carinena, among other varieties. Bichi means “naked” in some parts of northern Mexico, and for Téllez and Luyt, it thus seemed like an appropriate name to give their new natural wine project. Based at the Téllez family ranch in Tecate, just over the border from California, Bichi farms 10 hectares of their own Tecate vineyards biodynamically and collaborates with a growing family of organic farmers working vineyard land in Tecate and around Valle de Guadalupe. The majority of the vines are head-trained and all are dry-farmed, handharvested, fermented with native yeast, and aged in neutral barrel or vat so that the emphasis is on each wine’s Mexican terruño.

Flama Roja comes from the Téllez family’s high elevation (2500 feet) home vineyard in Tecate – young vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, and Nebbiolo, which they planted themselves in 2004 and farm biodynamically, just like their vegetable and herb gardens. The grapes were harvested by hand, de-stemmed and co-fermented in locally made concrete tinajas with 30 days of maceration, raised in a mix of steel tank and used French barrels over winter, and bottled without fining or filtration and only 10ppm of added SO2. Flama Roja is a well-structured, medium-bodied Pacific red wine with bright acidity, red/black fruit and firm tannins. 333 cases produced.