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.