News

Ukraine Comes to Villedommage

Early in April, when we visited Daniella and Pierre, we found Daniella on the floor of their tasting room, assembling a table for what, she said, was to be her new guest quarters.
Once she explained, I was so charmed that I asked her to send us the follow-up story so that we could post it on our site. Here is what she wrote…..

In late February, as Russia invaded Ukraine, the call went out in a number of European countries to prepare for an influx of refugees. The mayor of our village sent a message to all residents asking if there were any uninhabited homes that could be made available for Ukrainian refugees should the need arise. We are fortunate to have an outbuilding that houses our office and tasting room, which also has a kitchen and several rooms upstairs. Daniella’s parents, who live in Canada, would stay in the rooms when they were visiting for extended periods, and were in the process of renovating a bathroom upstairs. We let the mayor know that we had space available, but that the bathroom would only be finished in late March, so we could receive a family anytime thereafter.

There is a woman who lives in our village whose mother was Ukrainian, and she still has cousins who live there. She got a call in the early days of the conflict from one of these cousins, asking if he could send his two daughters-in-law with their grandchildren, as the city in which they lived was being bombed. Of course, she agreed, and she and her husband received these two young families a short time later. They were housed in an apartment adjacent to their home, although it was a space that was better-suited to temporary living for 2-4 people, and not as a long-term home for two adults and four children. So the couple asked the mayor if he might be able to help find them housing where they would be more comfortable. When he got this call, it was late March and he knew our renovations were almost done, so he got in touch to ask if they could move in. We consented, and they moved in on April 9, 2022.

The family is composed of two mothers, one with a 14-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter, the other with 12-year-old and 10-month-old sons. The 12-year-old boy has a fairly good grasp of English, but the others spoke very little English and no French at all when they arrived. This was surely a challenge, both for the mothers, in terms of doing day-to-day tasks like grocery shopping, and for the three older children, who began attending French school. But the people of our village created a WhatsApp group with some fifty members, so that when the family needed something (whether it be groceries, a ride somewhere, etc) they could use Google Translate and post their request on the group. There was always someone who was quick to volunteer and reply on the chat. Additionally, the local fruit and vegetable producer offered them free produce whenever they wanted, the mayor’s office opened an account with the butcher truck that comes around a couple of times per week and paid the bill for them, and two teachers in the village took it in turns to give the two women French lessons several times per week. It was very touching to see the community come together and be so eager to help in so many ways.

As I write this, the moms are in the process of packing up their belongings in anticipation of their return to Ukraine; the area where they live has been peaceful for some time now, and the children badly miss their fathers. Many of the other people they know who fled when they did have since returned home and they have decided to do the same. We wish them all the best and hope for their safety and that of their compatriots. And we look forward to seeing them again, they have promised to come for a visit in the future when the situation allows for them to travel for pleasure!

Wednesday, May 25th 2022

Grandmother Catherine Roque of Mas D’Alezon
Mother Alix Roque of Domaine Clovallon
and now perhaps a 3rd generation Vigneronne!

Very soon our days will be longer, our time outside to spend together breathing and walking and talking and cooking and drinking ROSE are imminent.

To encourage us during the last weeks of crazy March weather, Jean T’Kint sent us this photo and note about this coming vintage from his Domaine de La Banate in the appellation Côtes du Rhone-Villages Rousette-les-Vignes. It is in a tiny village in the northeast corner of the meridional Côtes du Rhône , northern neighbor to appellations Rasteau, Vinsobres… :

“The grapes reached a good and balanced maturity, without too much sugar. We did a rigorous sorting sorting at harvest, which resulted in lovely rosé juice with which to fill our vats. We will have a Côtes-du-Rhône Village Rousset-les-Vignes ROSE of great beauty, floral and fruity, with a good length on the palate and a seductive color.”

It is winter and Wine Traditions has a beautiful selection of red wines from the Southwest of France, featuring the appellations of Cahors, Gaillac, Irouleguy, Madiran, and Marcillac. These delicious wines are at once hearty and fresh steeped in aromas of earth and herbs and soaked-in sunshine. They are fruity, tonic, warming and comforting, perfect in these cold winter months.

AND, these wines are ideal to be consumed with the quintessential winter dish of the Southwest region. Cassoulet!

Seize the moment!

Toulouse-Style Cassoulet Recipe - Paula Wolfert | Food & Wine

Not to say that winter is fleeting, on the contrary, we have a few more months of sitting by the fire and cooking at home. We think it might be a moment to contemplate the historied dish that is Cassoulet while we sip our favorite winter reds from the region and get inspired for whatever version we decide to make.

And it may take a while……….

Garlic, goose fat, pork fat, confits, sausages, duck, lamb, and pork meats, breadcrumbs, carrots. The controversies are many and unresolved as to what is contained in a true Cassoulet.

 

Three towns claim to be the home of the authentic Cassoulet; Castelnaudary, Toulouse and Carcassonne and each hold true to ritualized versions. They are referred to as “The Trinity.” It constitutes high drama. In Castelnaudary, it is pure pork, fresh pork, pork knuckle, ham, pork sausage and pork rind.

In Toulouse, to the Castelnaudry formula is added either duck or goose confit, and in Carscassonne they add chunks of lamb and, in season, partridge.

One thing for sure, the beans are at the core .

Cassoulet connoisseurs give equal, if not more importance to the beans as to the meats. It is thought that the original recipe was made with fresh fava beans but it has evolved into a very rich wintery dish made from white beans from the Southwest where one finds many native varieties, most famously Tarbais, Pamiers, Lingots, and Cocos.

Below is a recipe, for inspiration, from “Goosefat & Garlic” by Jeanne Strang. After years of delving into the depths of what is Cassoulet, Jeanne created a recipe she calls a “concensus approach,” not confined to the purism of the Trinity. We also recommend recipes from Paula Wolfort’s “The Cooking of Southwest France.” She dedicates a full chapter to Cassoulet including recipes for the 3 classic variations, and also one that emulates the supposed original version made from fava beans.

Jeanne’s recipe

 

Florence Subrin sends a “snapshot” of the work that is currently going on in their biodynamic vineyard in the village of Sarcey in southern Beaujolais. We will be going more indepth to discuss with her their methods, preparations, their evolving biodiversity projects across the full growing season. Stay tuned……

“This summer, we had heavy rains combined with relatively warm temperatures, which stimulates grass growth as well as cryptogamic diseases [such as oidium, mildew, black rot].

The whole family, along with two seasonal workers, are working very hard controling overgrowth of the grass cover to limit its impact on nitrogen levels as well as limit residual humidity.

We are protecting our vines with weekly organic treatments made of copper, sulfur, tinctures (made from willow branches, as an exemple) and essential oils .

With this continuous care, our grapes are developing very well. We hope this coming harvest will reach its maturity in good conditions.”

Florence Subrin

Denis Barbara, of Domaine Grosbot-Barbara, shares a photo diary of one of his many ongoing projects, the reclamation and replanting of an abandoned historic vineyard.

“Beginning in 2018, we banded together a group of wine-growers, to be able to collectively purchase a large slope of land located in Bransat. Once covered in terraced vines, over time it was abandoned and became a vast wasteland.”

“A beautiful exposition, very steep and sunny all day long, we have done enormous work to lay bare this slope and prepare it for planting vines. The desire and the objective of our group is to revive this côte, replanting it to terraced vineyards: through a sustainable development, it will be a showcase that will reclaim the history and techniques of previous generations, a restoration of forgotten vineyards of this part of our region.”

Constructing terracing walls

PROGRESS!

to be continued…..

“Because 16.5 hectares of vineyards and 2 hectares of permanent meadows, all farmed organically, makes for a lot of work, the sheep are always there, until evening today and back again in the morning! That said, their work is voluntary, there is no risk of violating social legislation on illegal employment, they take their time ; the grass is tender, the climate is most clement, they would be wrong not to take advantage of it !!!” ~ Bertrand LEPOITTEVIN-DUBOST

“Now, they have continued on to other grasslands, but without forgetting to leave, here and there, a reminder of their passage.”

The Subrins continue full throttle ahead in their biodiversity projects, this Spring adding trees and hedges, shelters for insects and aiming to implement bee hives in the entirety of their vineyards. According to Florence Subrin Dodille “our goal is to aid and encourage the development of living organisms as a whole and maximize exchanges between species. We aim to develop our vines’ energy and expression, achieve a very balanced harvest, healthy and expressive grapes and ultimately convey this through our wines.”

Posh Digs for bugs at Crêt de Bine

At Domaine Grosbot-Barbara in Saint Pourçain, Bellini, the vineyard cat, keeps careful watch over the fruit

Every year about this time we ask our winemakers to send us reports on the current vintage : events over the growing season, harvest conditions, what’s happening in the winery during these early stages. It takes a while for all reports to roll in, which we will eventually compile and publish on our Vintage Reports page. Meanwhile we’ve received enough responses from all over France, from Champagne, Loire, Southwest, Rhone, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Beaujolais…to post a preview of Vintage 2019.

Having heard from wine makers in different regions of France, weather conditions in 2019 were almost uniform, north to south, east to west, having to do with similar climatic irregularities during the growing season. All inconsistant with historic norms. Warm winter and early spring, leading to early bud set, only to be beset by frosts in April and delayed flowering, then heatwaves and drought in summer, somehow miraculous comebacks with needed rains at the end of the growing season, and clement harvesting weather. In general there was a loss of yields but high quality fruit. Climate changes are tangible and posing serious challenges to wine growers who are now needing to anticipate how to adapt their wine growing methods to deal with an erratic and quickly changing growing environment.

Notes from our winemakers :

L’Yonne

Domaine d’Elise, Chablis, Frédérique Prain

The year 2019 = a hot and dry year
Alas, we had a bit of hail at the beginning of April and again in late April.
The hail beginning of May at which time buds were between 1 and 12 cm.
With this persistant cold budding was slow, taking through the end of May.
The vines were in full flower around June 17th
Which put the predicted harvest date at September 25th;Then the heatwave came!
Very hot at the end of June: 38°C, beautiful all of the beginning of July and at the end of July, record hot temperatures in Chablis : 42.6°C on the 25th of July.
End of August it was still very hot, and above all dry.
So the harvests began in the region the beginning of September, around the 10th in Chablis, on the 17th at Domaine d’ELISE!
The quality is excellent but its necessary to take note that there a lot of underdeveloped berries that were slightly dried out, and some even burned by the sun.
The yields are only 40HL/HA instead of the usual 60.
The degrees vary between 12.5 and 13.5, which is very high for Chablis and Petit Chablis.
However the acidities are correct, allowing for making characteristic Chablis.
They will be for medium term keeping.
The juice is already tasting very well : its round and fruited, very agreeable on the palate.
Since the year 2000 we’ve experienced many good years, despite climactic warming.
Often with excessive ripeness comes a decline in acidity, which is not suitable for Chablis.
Happily, le Domaine d’Elise always has good acidity because of its rocky, very calcareous soil.

Savoie

Domaine des 13 Lunes, Savoie, Sylvain Liotard

The 2019 vintage was the vintage of confirmation for me (my third year), in spite of being a growing season of all possible climactic hazards.

We had frost, hail, violent winds and 3 months of drought.

I was anxious about protecting the grapes.

In the end, the losses were not too bad, (15 to 20%).

The acidities are for the monent high, a real mountain wine.

The maturities were very good but heterogeneous, resulting in quite a bit of millérandage (mixed sized berries and partial crop failure).

The fermentations are quite variable, according to different parcels. Those that got hail are taking more time.

I really like these wines to come, I think that they will have great personality.

I just finished (end October) putting the wines in tank or in barrel to finish fermentations and for maturing.

Autumn work begins, earthing-up the vines, treating of the soils, replacing certain vines and a bit of commerce.

Beaujolais

Domaine du Crêt de Bine, Sarcey, Florence Subrin

2019, a crop of excellent quality but a small crop as a result of climactic hazards. The 2019 vintange for us will have been remembered by the successive late frosts in the month of April, as well as the hailstorm on the 18th of August. With the very warm start of the growing season, vegetation started early, then suffered the climactic “rewind” of a sudden drop in temperatures in April. Follwed then by a lovely spring and a hot summer, which was favorable to good ripeness of fruit. Unfortunately, the quantity was affected by a violent hail storm in August. Nevertheless, this small yielding season, makes up for itself in quality. Indeed, with such beautiful fruit, very balanced with delicate aromas, we are able to vinify wines that reflect that beauty the of fruit. Entirely hand harvested over 9 days, our 2019 cuvées are showing a rare finesse with beatiful bright “cherry” color, all with no added sulfur other than a minimal dose at bottling to protect them during transport. Beautiful “Natural” cuvées, are equally “Beaujolais” ; they will be released in the Spring 2020.

Sud-Ouest

Chateau La Caminade, Cahors, Dominique Ressès

Here is my first impression of the 2019 millésime.

We’ll say that the vintage, started a bit poorly with a spring frost (May 6th), but finished well, though with a reduced quantity, but superior quality than we estimated.

In addition, a beautiful, hot and dry summer provided conditions for the vines to catch up on the delay caused by the Spring frosts.

Finally, some rains at the end of August and beginning September, followed by nice weather, hot during the day, cool at night, during the whole rest of September, made for a lovely and homogeneous ripening of the fruit.

We started harvesting the 3rd of October and finished the 9th, days were cloudy and cool.

Today we can say that this vintage will be easy to drink, gourmand, with low acidities and high pH (already 3.6/3.7 before malolactic!!!)

Loire

Domaine Christophe Thorigny, Vouvray

The harvests went very well.

The crop is correct with a good quality in spite of the difficult climactic conditions of the year : 20% of vines affected by frost in the spring, heatwaves and drought this summer.

Domaine Verdier-Logel, Côtes de Forez, Julie Logel

The year 2019, once again, translates as an exceptional year, in the sense that the climate has upset the usual growth patterns of the vine and challenged the wine grower. Frosts during Spring and little rain caused a delayed development of the vines, which only started coming into a phase of fruit maturity at the end of August, which meant the winegrowers had to roll up their sleeves after traditional summer vacations. In the end, the harvest was quite satisfactory concerning quality. Vinification is just now finished, the wines are starting the maturing process and are already displaying a 2019 vintage that is less powerful than 2018, but more typical of the wines of the Forez and express the granite and basalt terroirs of the region.

Champagne

Champagne Perseval-Farge, Montagne de Reims, Isabelle Perseval

Each new vintage is an occasion to write a new page in history and above all to understand new winegrowing conditions in the changing climate.

The 2019 winegrowing season was once again quite singular : the erratic climactic cycles meant we had to organize ourselves around spring frosts, sudden unusual cold temperatures at budding and then heat waves during the summer. These changes in weather are recent and their consequences are unknown ; with little hindsight, an evolution is in progress. Each year we have to review the new imprint and rethink our production strategy.

The musts are very aromatic, and stimulate the palate. They have fruit, balance, concentration with a touch of liveliness, everything is there.

The fragrances emanating in the winery are so pleasant, we can’t wait to taste the first wines. Nature has given us the best, now it is up to us to magnify the fruit of our labor.

The Chardonnay has quite particular aromas : complexity, fruitiness, while the Pinot Noir and Meunier are powerful and elegant.

The 3 forgotten varieties (Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Fromentot) are very expressive. Their specific aromatic profiles are complementary : they combine freshness, balance, generosity and finesse. The production of the Cuvée Les Goulats remains very limited [1,000 bottles approximately / year]

In the end, the cuvées will be a reflection of the winemaker, his passion and his emotion. To that add patience to discover an acomplished wine…..

Now it is time that everyone takes ownership of their own Terroir and takes responsibilty and makes decisions to maintain productive vineyards, and bring the quality of production to the highest level. It is our credo and we consistantly pursue this objective. On this note, we have the pleasure to announce that Henry, our second son, has taken his place at the winery and that he has come to observe and assimilate Benoist’s savoir-faire after his wine-growing/making studies in Alsace and 2 years of profesional experience outside of our domaine.

Bordeaux

Chateaux Barraillots, Margaux, Yannick Martin

The 2019 harvests took place in very good weather with grapes in very sanitary condition.

It was sunny the entire harvest from September 26 through October 10th.

The grapes were healthy and well ripened.

Vinifications are almost complete, this week (end October) we finish the juice runs and pressings.

The malolactics are also almost finished.

In brief, a lovely crop, very good quality and good yields.

Rhone

Domaine de Berane, Côtes de Ventoux, Bertrand Ferary

We had quite a few suprises in 2019.

We grow Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. And for 19 years we have been harvesting them in that chronological order. For the first time Grenache matured before the Syrah. Incredible! In addition, maturities were blocked.

One of the causes is that we had the hottest summer in Provence since 2003. The grape skins were very thick, natures reaction to protect the pulp from dehydration, preserving its own production. We did reach normal quantites, with wonderful deep color, with higher degrees than usual.

We are performing many “déléstages” (multiple rackings of juice during fermentation and maceration, a process that aerates the juice and softens it by lessening time spent in contact with skins). And, hard to believe, for the first time, our Syrah and Mourvedre tanks have still not finished fermenting in early November. We expect they will have finished in a week. With this careful vinification, 2019 should be an excellent vintage.

Florence and Geoffroy pressing the premier jus at Domaine du Crêt de Bine. Right now they are readying it for shipping. In Florence’s words “C’est Chouette!”

Florence Subrin’s updates on this years vintage conditions in the south of Beaujolais


“Here, after a warm spring, frost came – we are so far not very sure about it’s impact on the coming harvest. We keep on resisting by using various techniques. Here, pictures of this morning’s battle. Another technique we are using is placing a sort of “braseros” between rows using fire to temper the atmosphere all along the night… ” (April 15th)

Nouaison (Berry-Set)

“……..the current situation in our vineyard. We have avoided storms and hails so far whereas our region has been impacted now for the second time in two weeks…Please keep fingers crossed for us! Grapes are growing, please see this morning’s picture. We expect the harvest to start mid-September. ” (July 10th)

Bee Friendly is an association of European beekeepers, established in 2011 in response to colony collapse disorder. It’s aim is to protect bees and promote pollinator friendly practices. The label identifies and promotes bee friendly systems in agriculture and agribusiness. Currently they have established specifications for 3 sectors, viticulture, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products. They are developing other sectors as well, livestock and meat production, cotton and textiles, crops.

Check out their site: https://www.certifiedbeefriendly.org/en/

Here’s a page from it:

Why the BEE FRIENDLY label ?

abeille sur astères © Virginie Hateau_10)

Impression BEE FRIENDLY, an answer to the bee protection challenge!

88% of the French are aware of the sudden collapse of bees and 81% identify the agricultural practices as the primary cause of this decline. (IPSOS UNAF 2011 Survey).

Identifying bee friendly products, BEE FRIENDLY gives consumers the opportunity to promote agricultural practices and products that are in harmony with the well-being of pollinators.

Impression The colony collapse disorder

All over the world – and even more so in the industrialized countries, bees and pollinators are declining.

Although numerous hypothesis try to explain those phenomena (some far-fetched), beekeepers, as a growing number of scientists around the world, are providing evidence that bees are predominantly weakened by the use of pesticides harmful to pollinators and biodiversity loss arising from the intensification of agriculture

abeille avec pollen sur cerisier Virginie Hateau(3)

However, bees play a vital role in agriculture and biodiversity through its pollination action. In its pollen and nectar foraging, bee pollination contributes to 80% plant species in the world, producing 84% of the cultivated species in Europe that depends directly on its pollinator role.

Bees are essential, not only to maintain the balance of natural ecosystems but also to ensure yields from our agriculture (orchards, forage, vegetable, flower and seed production, etc) and thus our food resources. A study by INRA in 2008 showed that pollinating insect activity is crucial as pollinating insects and bees in particular are responsible for 35% of our food supply… the turnover induced is estimated to €153 billion per year worldwide. It is now a priority to protect bees!

In Jancis Robinson’s 3rd and final report on a comprehensive blind tasting of “2009 Bordeaux at 10 years old” La Clotte-Cazalis ranks among the top 12 sweet white bordeaux in a vintage in which noble rot came early and picking during the first week of harvest was essential. Those that didn’t manage to bring in most of their grapes suffered, but the “best wines are superb”.

Published this March:

Ch La Clotte-Cazalis 2009 Sauternes

Tasted blind. Dark coppery colour. Good energy and not too sweet. Burly finish but there is real drive here.

Drink 2016-2035 17

Marie-Pierre and Taropa, her workhorse of Belgian Draft and Auxois breed

“L’objectif est de déterminer le profil sensoriel, olfactif et tactile des sous-sols, et donc celui des futurs vins, qu’ils soient assemblés ou non.”
“The objective is to determine the sensory profile, olfactive and tactile, of the sub-soils, and thus that of the resulting wines, whether belended or not.”
The winemaker and oenologue took samples of soils from 4 parcels of differentated soil types on David’s property and from 3 different depths. They created “infusions” by combining the soil samples with water, placed in tasting glasses for their aromas to be studied as would be wine at its different stages of evolving…….

Fossils in St Verand

Old Vines in Morgon

Old Vines in Morgon 2


Abandoned Vineyard High in Marchampt

Formidable Beaujolais-Villages slopes Marchampt

Pêches de Vigne in early Bloom, Sarcey


Ancient Clos in Viré

Ancient Clos in Viré 2

Eglise de Fuissé


View from Fuissé of the Rocks of Solutré and Vergisson

…… to raise the funds she needs for tools and material she needs to adapt to farming by animal traction, and to build bird houses, establish beehives and plant fruit trees. She has has had some great initial success, see the birdhouses she has put up in good time for Spring 2018. Click on any of the photos below to link to her fund page with more photos and info…..

Des vignes, des arbres et un cheval de trait au cœur du Sauternais !

Cher(e)s ami(e)s,

Déjà près de 2400€ récoltés en seulement 10 jours, un immense merci pour votre mobilisation !!

Grâce aux 31 premiers contributeurs, j’ai pu commander les 30 nichoirs afin de les installer au plus vite sur la parcelle, pour accueillir les oiseaux dès le printemps ! Les 2 ruches aussi ont pu être financées. Avec ces aménagements, nous allons pouvoir maximiser la biodiversité !

Mais il me manque encore 3 700 € pour acheter le semoir pour Taropa. Il m’est indispensable pour mettre en place des couverts végétaux entre les rangs, et éviter le travail des sols. Je pourrai enfin me passer de toute action mécanique !

Pour ceux qui souhaitent compléter leur cave avant l’arrivée des beaux jours, vous pouvez le faire par le biais de ma campagne, et avoir accès à une très belle sélection de millésimes de la propriété qui me permettra de financer l’ensemble du projet.

Je n’y arriverai pas sans vous ! Je compte sur votre participation, pour relayer, partager et parler de ce projet autour de vous.

Un grand merci pour votre soutien,

Marie Pierre Lacoste
Château La Clotte-Cazalis
Lieu dit La Clotte
33 720 Barsac

Saint Pourçain, an appellation in the Allier department, in the eastern part of the Loire, was once a flourishing wine region that rivaled Burgundy as the favorite of kings and clergy of the Middle Ages. Today Saint Pourçain’s vineyards are a fraction of their former size, with fewer than 600 ha of vines in production, down from 8,000 ha at its prime. Yet St. Pourcain is experiencing a renaissance: having received AOC status in 2009, the appelation’s winemakers are working cooperatively in a shared effort to revitalize and expand its vineyards.

At the heart of this group of winegrowers is Denis Barbara. He is a major contributor to the revitalization and future of the Saint Pourçain vignoble through what he calls his work ethic of total engagement: respect for terroir, intensive work in the vines, focused harvest of the fruit, a passion for the craft and a philosophy of cooperation.

Please tell us the origins of Domaine Grosbot-Barbara, what was your vision and how did you create the Domaine that it is today?

I am the grand-son of a winemaker in Saint Pourçain, but circumstances did not allow me to assume responsibilities at his domain. After finishing my studies in Burgundy, then an additional training in Beaujolais, followed by a year in Macon, I still didn’t know what I was going to do, what my next job would be or even where. Having a companion and a child, I didn’t want to be far away from them. By luck one evening I received a call from M Grosbot, a winemaker (of a family domain passed on from father to son since 1910) in the commune of Bransat in the appellation Saint Pourçain, He was soon to retire and did not want to sell his domain, or his vines. We were mutual aquaintances, it was an easy decision for both of us to agree to work together.

We partnered in 1996, thus the domain name Grosbot-Barbara (the elder with years of wine making experience and the savoir-faire passed along by generations, and the younger with a scientific knowledge of plant cultivation and methods of work in the vines to achieve better quality with more precise and pointed technologies.) The goal was to continue work and insure the future production of the domain, to create a plan to work better and more efficiently, and to create a newfound recognition and appreciation for the appellation St Pourçain beyond its region of origin, to make wines that express from where they come (their terroir and the Bourbon region), and to differentiate among parcels and thus offer a wider and more distinctive selection of wines.

Today, we have achieved these objectives, however each day it is essential to continue this work, this qualitative approach in order to preserve the history and continue the life of these vineyards. With the help of three commercial agents, covering a large part of France, and with the exporting of our wines to the USA (thanks to Wine Traditions, Ltd.) and in Canada (thanks to Vini-Vins) we are very happy with the recognition of our work, permitting the discovery of our vineyards and our wines.

***

St Pourcain is a wine growing region with an important history; what inspires you about Saint Pourçain, its history, its terroir, its local culture?

The vineyards of St Pourçain are situated geographically in the department of the Allier, in central France. Saint Pourçain has some of the oldest vineyards in France, and also the famous Tronçais forest, known nationally (and internationally) for the quality of its wood, established in 1669 by Colbert, minister to Louis XIV.

Historically, in our region of the Bourbonnais, so named because it was the place of origin of the Bourbon family, the wine of Saint Pourçain had its time of glory. In the era of the Bourbon Kings of France, connoisseurs drank St Pourçain as they did Burgundy! But while Burgundy continued to expand in vineyards as well as reputation, St Pourçain lost a considerable part of its planted surface (from 8000 ha to 598 ha) and thus, slowly, over a long period of time, lost its fame and importance as a wine producing region.

For too long in our region, the commercialization and professionalization of wine was not an economic priority. This resulted in great damage to the vineyards. And although for several years now Saint Pourçain’s notoriety has seen considerable development, it is absolutely necessary for us to continue to envision and believe in its future. We must work diligently to maintain our vines at standards that allow us to produce wines of quality and then be prepared and able to pass on the properties to the next generation so that we continue to strengthen the reputation of the appellation.

Geologically the vines are grown on 3 types of soil situated along the Allier river: sandy, clay-limestone and granite. As far as grape varieties, we grow gamay and pinot noir for the reds and for whites we have chardonnay and tresallier, a cousin of SACY found in the vineyards of CHABLIS, used mostly for making sparkling wines.

***

You are a guardian of patrimony. In fact you are the winemaker at Le Conservatoire des Anciens Cépages, a vineyard planted to the historic grapes of the region. Can you tell us a about that?

I am neither the initiator, nor the creator nor the guardian of the Conservatoire des Anciens Cepages. However, it seemed unthinkable to me not to produce wine from the grapes grown there, this patrimony of old varieties that were collected from vineyards and garden plots throughout the appellation. After many meetings, year after year, approaching different winemakers, proposing to share this desire to make a wine from these heritage grapes, without finding any willing partners, I finally committed to vinifiying by myself a white wine which belongs to the conservatory. The production ranges between 1,000 and 2,000 bottles according to the climactic vagaries of the year. The wine is made from several white varieties and matured in Tronçais barrels, making it a wine that is quite special and unique. The wine is sold only at the CAC and at a wine shop in St Pourçain, Qui l’Eut Cru

***

At Domaine Grosbot-Barbara, you have a single vineyard, “Quarteron”, that you planted along with your friends as a cooperative project. Please describe the vineyard and your ideas that inspired it?

Ahhh, yes, le Quarteron!…… passionate about my profession, I wanted to share my experiences with interested wine lovers, both novice and sophisticated. Having many such aquaintances, I chose a group of willing participants and proposed that we plant a vineyard together on a parcel of land at the Domaine called “Le Quarteron”. This was for them to see how much easier it is to discover a wine then it is to carry out the work in the vines and the cellar throughout the year in order to produce a wine and then to be able to savor it.

Le Quarteron was planted in 2006. Of course all those original participants in the planting of it were not, and often are not able to be present to work in the vineyard. The calendar of work in Nature is difficult to program, and does not align with the schedules of those who do not work in professions related to her. Yet, this vineyard exists and thrives, giving each year a new vintage for all participants to share. Members of many varied professions have become ambassadors, and through their own words speak to those around them of this vineyard, of the wine and of the winemaking region of St Pourçain.

This wine can be found on the table of J. DECORET, the sole Michelin starred restaurant of the Allier and is sold at our Domaine with a label that changes each year, chosen by the members of Quarteron. It is a blend of chardonnay and tresallier grown on granite soil, also with a bit of Sauvignon, fermented and matured in barrels, always of oak from the Tronçais forest.

***

How do you see the future of winemaking in Saint Pourçain?

Saint Pourçain could have a great future if we make available the means required and if we believe in it. Wine consumption has decreased in France over recent years, while globally people are drinking more wines. In France, increasingly, comsumers have grown tired of the standardized styles of certain appellations and are unwilling to pay the prices for those wines when they cannot be sure of their quality. As a result they are turning toward smaller, lesser known appellations and producers, seeking out contact with the winemakers and discovery of their wines.

Certain restaurateurs are taking the same approach, seeking to discover wines from vineyards that are less or little known, and making them part of the attraction to their tables. This is a great advantage for us. It is in our interest to be present and stand up for our vineyards, our production, and so in doing refine our own savoir-faire.

Enotourism is a recent concept, but we must not think that it takes a lot of means; it is enough to be present, to understand how to welcome guests warmly and how to share our knowledge, expertise and to offer the keys, the the pathways to discovering what is a region, a terroir, what man brings to it. This requires a lot of personal investment, presence and time, but this is the only way that we can renew interest and make our wines desirable once again. It’s necessary that every winemaker understands that we must all be actors in maintaining our vineyards and making them prosper. And we must act as ambassadors of our region. It is equally necessary that there be more winemakers in the future to ensure the long life of our vineyards.

We must not confuse « savoir-faire » and « faire-savoir ». « Savoir-faire » is , above all, the responsibility of the winemaker. The « faire-savoir » requires that the vineyard work be authentic and consistant in order to advance the vineyard. Uniformization and standardization must be banned in order to honestly propose to wine consumers and future clients an approach that many of them expect and want. That is to say a reasoning and philosophy of the craft, along with a conscious production which favors quality and the criteria of belonging to a place, a plant, a person, in order to reveal St Pourçain’s unique qualities.

***

Drinking Wine and using GPS

“it’s not what you think”

Thank you to the staff of Vif for the Petite Soif festival and for asking me to speak today. By way of introduction, I can say that I am perhaps the last driver to utilize GPS and I do so with much loathing and suspicion. That might be all you need to know about me. I do admit that I have come around to accepting its role in my life. For the last 21 years, my wife, Barbara, and I have travelled a lot together, both searching for wines in France and then trying to sell them here in the States, and GPS has not only helped us to reach our destinations in a timely fashion, it has completely taken off the table the question of whether or not men ask for directions. GPS is not however, a replacement for maps. Spending hours in a car and having no idea where you are or where you’ve been or where you are going, is at the very least disorienting and more insidiously, fosters a loss of connection – specifically the connection to place.

This connection to place is central to what I would like to talk about. In Amy Trubeck’s wonderful book, “The Taste of Place” published in 2008, she speaks in her preface about Maine potato farmers and their struggle to find an economically viable solution that would allow them to continue growing their traditional crop. One of the responses was to grow varieties of potatoes that are classified as culinary rather than industrial. This has many implications, but for the moment, I just want to highlight the distinction between industrial and culinary potatoes.

This is something Michael Pollan was getting at in his book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”. When this type of differentiation occurs with our food choices, Mr. Pollan reports that it causes us anxiety. So, if I may ask:

How did you get here?

Did you walk or ride a bike,

Did you come by car and if so, how many passengers were in the vehicle?

Does the engine run on gas, diesel or perhaps electricity?

We do have choices to make, and for me, as regards our food and wine choices, the road forward

recognizes place as the important anchor and compass.

The discerning consumer of 2017 is interested to know about authenticity and typicity, a sentiment that echoes the French phrase “local, loyal and constant.” There is a precedent. The ancient Egyptians used seals to mark their closures with information about the provenance of their wines. This practice continued with the Greeks and Romans who marked their amphoras with the names of domains and vineyard sights. This continued through the centuries and in the 18th century official decrees were passed to designate and protect vineyard areas. This was first seen in Tuscany with the Chianti region, in Portugal with the Oporto region and in Hungary with the Tokay region. The next century saw the major classification of Bordeaux estates in 1855 which gave rise to the notion of a “cru”. (And no, I do not know the derivation of this term which seems completely self-referential and whose only root means uncooked. I don’t think that Chateau Margaux was calling its wine “raw” or suggesting that the wine should be served with crudité, but who knows?) The end of the nineteenth century was not kind to the vineyards of France and other European nations. They were attacked first by Oidium or powdery mildew in the 1850’s and then shortly thereafter by the aphid known as phylloxera. Both of these blights came from the U.S.

By the end of the century the vine growers had found solutions to both problems and restoration was well on its course when as the 20th century arrived, a new blight appeared. It was homegrown and came in the form of fraud, both from the point of view of a product’s contents and its labelling. The wine and food producers looked to their government for help and protection. It is interesting to look at how the French government fashioned a durable response to the concerns of both the French wine and food producers and the French consumer, and in so doing, created a roadmap to deal with the problems producers and consumers face today. A law was passed in France in 1905 that protected against producers who “falsely attributed the location of origin of the merchandise as a way to sell their goods.”

I find it mildly amusing then to remember how ,when I first entered the wine business around 1980, the store shelves were packed with Ernest and Julio Gallo’s bestselling wines; a white called Chablis and a red called Hearty Burgundy. The anti-fraud law in France was strengthened in 1908 by setting geographic boundaries to winegrowing areas and stipulating that the wines show characters that were, and here’s that phrase again, “local, loyal and constant.” Despite the government’s efforts, fraud continued with only infrequent consequences. One response to the continued fraud was the increased reliance on brands, for example; not Champagne but Veuve Cliquot or not Cognac but Hennessy. The government responded by embracing the concept of terroir. Amy Trubeck quotes the anthropologist Mary Douglas who states, “dirt is matter out of place. Terroir, however, is dirt in a certain place.” It was under the guidance and leadership of Joseph Capus, an agronomist from the Bordeaux area and later minister of Agriculture and Senator from the Gironde that the French government passed into law the creation of an organization that would acknowledge and protect the specific flavor of a place. The specific flavor of a place is what makes the difference between an industrial and a culinary potato.

The organization that was created in 1935 was the Comité National des Appellations d’Origine. It brought together wine professionals from all over France who would examine the regional requests for recognition and protection. It is important to note that application for recognition had to be made collectively by the wine producers of a region and if granted, the new appellation would be protected as the collective property of the producers, as well as part of the agricultural, gastronomic and cultural heritage of France. After this system of appellation contrôlée was established for wines and spirits, it was adopted for dairy products as well as olive oil, fruit and vegetables, meat and honey.

What Joseph Capus brilliantly understood and is at the core of the A.O.C. system is that the specific flavor of place can only be achieved and should only be recognized when the winemaker brings together his or her land with the proper choice of grape type and winemaking techniques to create an expression in the wine that reflects the uniqueness of its constituent parts. It all sounds very Montessori. The fact that Joseph Capus recognized the selection of grape types as the indispensable compliment to the nature of an area’s topography, soil and climate for producing a wine with original qualities, shows his deep appreciation for the intricate web of terroir. The selection of grape types has a lot of relevance today and young winemakers with the intention of deepening the expression of their terroirs are researching and replanting local, heritage varieties that still exist in conservatories and people’s gardens but haven’t been commercially grown since phylloxera. For the most part they are not included in the appellations’ charters. These passionate winemakers are going to the I.N.A.O. and making their case for why these varieties should be recognized and protected within the A.O.C. status. They are linking the past with the present; local, loyal and constant.

For us as consumers, we have choices to make, and they do not need to make us anxious. If, as Elizabeth Barham has said, we embrace the idea that the products we consume reveal “what there is in nature to be known” rather than concealing it by viewing nature as an obstacle to be overcome or controlled for production, then we are choosing the specific flavor of place as our road map.

GPS be damned.

A great night of wine sharing as a heatwave reprieve! As the weather turned from blustery 50° to wicked hot 95° within 48 hours in our trusty New England, the lucky ones escaped to the waterfront yesterday for the first time this season, then came to Fortnight for refreshing draughts. Many thanks to Mike, Stuart, Liz, Chris and Kat for inviting Wine Traditions to pour our wines in your newly beloved, beautiful, dedicated downtown spot.

LE POINT:

Domaine de Lucie, nouvelle étoile dans le ciel des Crozes-Hermitage

Retenez le nom du Domaine de Lucie ! Ses crozes-hermitage “bio” sont déjà délicieux et (encore) abordables.

PAR CHRISTOPHE TUPINIER

Nancy Cellier et Lucie Fourel, le domaine de Lucie/ le domaine les 4 Vents, Crozes-Hermitage. © DR

Découverte en vallée du Rhône* est une manifestation organisée tous les deux ans (par l’interprofession, du 2 au 5 mars cette année) pour faire… des découvertes. En voici justement une dans l’univers des crozes-hermitage qui, par ailleurs, nous a semblé bien dynamique. On songe notamment à une véritable effervescence autour des conversions à la viticulture bio, en contraste avec un certain statu quo dans les saint-joseph et cornas, où le peloton des meilleurs garde une marche d’avance sur ses poursuivants sans trop être bousculé.

Bref, pour revenir à notre découverte, il faut descendre jusqu’à Mercurol, dans la Drôme, pour frapper à la porte du “tout nouveau, tout beau” Domaine de Lucie. “Tout nouveau”, car le premier millésime remonte à 2010 seulement. Après une première carrière professionnelle dans le commerce international, Lucie Fourel, aujourd’hui rejointe par sa soeur Nancy Cellier, s’est installée en 2006 et dans un premier temps pour faire ses armes. “Les débuts ont été de la viticulture pure, pour connaître mes vignes de syrah et de roussanne, mes terroirs et lancer la conversion au bio dès 2007”, explique Lucie. “Tout beau” parce que, depuis qu’elle a quitté la cave-coopérative pour produire ses premiers vins en 2010 donc, le domaine monte en puissance et étoffe sa gamme. Une cuvée de jeunes vignes (moins de 20 ans), Les Pitchounettes, ouvre le feu, avant de passer aux cuvées parcellaires plus consistantes : Les Saviaux et Saint-Jaimes.

Et le millésime 2015 va véritablement faire changer le domaine de dimension, puisqu’aux 4 hectares actuels vont venir s’ajouter les 6 hectares (100 % crozes-hermitage et 90 % de syrah) du domaine des parents de Lucie et Nancy qui partent en retraite. Les cuvées vont prendre du volume. Le potentiel des Saviaux va ainsi passer de 80 ares de vignes aujourd’hui à 5 hectares demain et celui des Saint-Jaimes, de 60 ares à 2 hectares. Quant aux prix des vins, dans l’univers tarifaire très “bariolé” des crozes-hermitage, le Domaine de Lucie reste abordable, entre 13 et 18 euros la bouteille.

champagne
Join Us For Valentine’s Day
at Cork Wine Bar

Select Reservations Available
February 14
Enjoy Special Menu Items PLUS Cork’s Regular Meant!!
by
Cork Executive Chef Jason Schreuder
Enjoy The Largest Collection of Grower Champagne in DC
Hamachi Crudo, pickled chili, endive, scallion oil
Lobster Saffron Risotto
Asian Scented Beef Pot de Feu, winter vegetables for two
Whole Herb & Citrus Roasted Durade for two
Make Your Reservations Now at CORKDC.com or Call

Cork Wine Bar 202-265-2675
RESERVE NOW – 6 SPACES LEFT
Cork Market’s 7th Annual Champagne Dinner

Chilling the #champagne for our afternoon #winetasting. Stop by the Market (2-4) for a sparkling tasting galore. #NewYearsEve #corkdc
Six Champagnes from
Wine Traditions
paired with
Cork Market’s New Chef
Ian Morrison’s
6 Course

Tasting Menu

We have selected a wonderful group of Champagnes produced by small growers throughout Champagne. Ed and Barbara from Wine Traditions will be on hand to talk about the producers. These unique sparklers are wonderful accompaniments to food and represent some of the best wines of Champagne.
This year the dinner will include all single varietal wines
Truffled Gougeres
R. Dumont et Fils, Brut Nature Non Dosé
Crispy Duck Fat Fried Potatoes, quail egg salad, mache
Perseval-Farge, “La Pucelle”, 1

er Cru Brut Non Dos
Almond Crusted Grouper, melted leeks, lemon creme fraiche
Thierry Triolet, “Vieille Vigne” 2011
Asian Scented Pot Au Feu, winter vegetables
Jose Michel, Brut NV “Pinot Meunier”
Lobster Risotto, saffron, parmesan crisp, lemon beurre blanc
R. Dumont et Fils, Brut Blanc de Noir 2006

Hazelnut Cake with Hazelnut Citrus Mousse, wine macerated red grapes, red wine reduction

R. Dumont et Fils, Brut Rosé NV
This tasting is $100 (exclusive of tax & gratuity) & attendance will be limited to 26 people to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of our guests.
WHERE & WHEN
Cork Market & Tasting Room
1805 14th Street, NW
Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
7:00PM – 9:00PM
Space is limited so please RSVP by February 13th to
Guests must be 21 or over to attend, Please bring Picture ID
These Champagne’s are small production and are not widely available. A selection of these wines will be reserved for tasting guests only to purchase at a discount at Cork Market.

May 2017 fulfill all of your
hopes and wishes
We look forward to seeing you in the new year!
Barbara, Ed, Jani, Leigh, Danny, Gabe, Nadim

Champagne Tasting this Saturday at Restaurant Ris

Walk around Champagne tasting at Restaurant Ris
December 10 2016
1:00pm – 3:00pm
$15 tasting Fee due at the time of registration

We would like to invite you to a tasting of champagnes from the Wine Traditions portfolio. This is an outstanding opportunity to taste some of our favorite champagnes from small producers, and stock up your cellars for the holidays. There will be 20 fabulous Champagnes open to taste between 1:00pm – 3:00pm.
Ed Addiss and Barbara Selig, the owners of Wine Traditions, will be with us to present his collection of small artisan champagne producers.

This tasting is $15 per person due at the time of registration. With the purchase of 6 or more bottles the tasting fee will be applied to the purchase. To RSVP please call Arrowine DC at (202) 785-0785 or email dc@arrowine.com.

Wine Traditions Ltd. was created in 1996, the collaborative project of Edward Addiss and Barbara Selig. The philosophy of Wine Traditions is to discover independent winemakers whose passion for their vineyard and mastery of their winemaking craft combine to create a product that is a beautiful expression of the land from which it comes. They believe their portfolio demonstrates that wonderful wines can be found beyond well-known appellations and need not be overpriced. For them, wine is meant to be enjoyed with dinner, every day and at prices that make it an appropriate component of the meal. Their wines feature indigenous varieties and are traditionally made, all farmed following sustainable if not organic and biodynamic principles.

What we will be pouring:

Bourdaire-Gallois
Brut NV
Brut Prestige NV
Blanc de Blanc NV
Brut Rose NV


Perseval-Farge
C. de Pinots 1er Cru brut NV
Terre de Sables, 1er Cru Brut NV
La Pucelle, 1er Cru Brut Non Dosage
1er Cru Brut Vintage 2003


Thierry Triolet
Brut NV
Grand Reserve NV
Vieille Vigne Vintage 2011
Brut Rose NV


Dumont Pére et Fils
Brut NV (750)
Brut Rose NV
Brut Vintage 2006
Douce Cuvee


José Michel et Fils
Brut NV (750)
Brut NV Pinot Meunier
Blanc de Blanc 2007
Cuvee du Pere Houdart Vieux Millesimes

RSVP to Champagne Tasting
Thank you for supporting the work we do.

Michelle, Ed and Aidan

Geeking Out On Gaillac: “Secret” Wines from Southwest France

Nov 30, 2016 | 12:41 pm
Contributor
From www.blackdresstraveler.com, by Wanda Mann
Geeking Out On Gaillac: “Secret” Wines from Southwest France
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Carole Fontanier (Communications Manager, Wines of Gaillac), Fred Dex(Master Sommelier), Yours Truly, winemaker Nicolas Hirissou (Domaine du Moulin), and winemaker Alain Cazottes(Domaine des Terrisses).

Blame it on Fred Dex, Master Sommelier – I recently spent an afternoon gleefully “geeking out on Gaillac.” Fred enthusiastically describes Gaillac as “one of the geekiest wine regions in France, if not the world” for the amazing diversity of its grapes and wine styles. From international varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah to lesser-known indigenous grapes like Loin de l’Oeil and and Duras, Gaillac is an absolute paradise for wine lovers in search of authentic, honest, and expressive wines that convey a sense of place.

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Located in Southwest France in the heart of the Midi-Pyrénées region, the Gaillac wine-growing region benefits from Mediterranean heat and the ocean humidity of Bordeaux. Gaillac lays claim to the oldest vineyards in Southwest France – their rich tradition of winemaking goes back 2,000 years. Gaillac wines are not cookie-cutter but do share a rugged elegance that is absolutely endearing. Although Gaillac wines are not yet a household name abroad, the secret is getting out.

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Domaine des Terrisses 2014 ($15) is a delicious introduction to the Gaillac style. A blend of Loin de l’Oeil (70%), Mauzac (20%), and Sauvignon Blanc (10%), this dry white wine’s lively tropical, citrus, and herbaceous flavors taste quite unique but have a tinge of familiarity. Domaine des Terrisses has been the property of the Cazottes family since 1750 and their 7 generations of experience is evident in their award-winning wines.

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Alain Cazottes, Domaine des Terrisses

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Domaine des Terrisses also produces a wonderful red – Grand Tradition Rouge 2014 ($15). A balanced blend of Braucol (50%), Duras (30%) and Syrah (20%), this bold wine has a rustic elegance and flavors of dark cherry, blackcurrant, and a touch of pepper. A great match with a steak or burger.

RAW WINE AT THE STEEL YARD: JUNE 11th, 2016

Raw Wine 2016Come explore the deliciousness and variety of raw wine in the raw beauty of a historic, reclaimed industrial space while raising funds for the Steel Yard and its’ programs.

The 3rd annual Raw Wine Tasting is hosted by Campus Fine Wines, the go-to shop for small-production, natural and organic wines in Providence.

This is the only event of its kind in RI; nowhere else will you be able to sample a richer or more diverse set of wines made by hand in small lots, by real people, from wine regions around the world.

Campus Fine Wines and the Steel Yard share the core belief in a world made by hands, where production is crafted and producers are connected to their audience, enriching our lives and creating cultural and economic value. Support this mission, and the Yard. Special Thanks to our event sponsors, the Compost Plant!

Some things to look forward to in addition to sampling the wine:
Oysters, and serious BBQ – for carnivores and vegetarians alike – made in a Steel Yard crafted smoker, and courtesy of Ocean State Oyster Festival and The Compost Plant. Big Ceaser salad and cured fish from Oberlin. More than you can eat Daniele Prosciutto, carved up by Diego Perez.
Desserts by North Bakery, a sculpture of bread by Seven Stars Bakery, Presto Strange O coffee, tea and juice truck, raffle prizes, blacksmithing demos…let’s see what else we can think up!
Guest importers and winery reps include:
Jenny Lefcourt of Jenny & François
Matt Mollo of SelectioNaturel
Zev Rovine of Zev Rovine Selections
Chase Granoff of Indie Wineries
Adam Wilson of European Cellars
Leigh Ranucci of Wine Traditions
Ralph Catillo of Montebruno Wine
Niklas Peltzer of Meinklang
STAY TUNED FOR MORE!
Tickets are $50 in advance, $60 week of and at the door. Click here for tickets.

Home > Weekend Wine > Verdier-Logel Côtes du Forez La Volcanique 2015

Verdier-Logel Côtes du Forez La Volcanique 2015

Within the confines of the Loire Valley, how far removed is it possible to be fromBordeaux? The Côtes du Forez is a long way in pure geographical terms, although if this is the measure we are to use this region would probably lose out – just – to the vineyards around Orléans or Gien, both of which lie a smidgen more distant. But it’s not geography I am interested in really, as my original question related to style. Which wines – red wines, to narrow it down a bit – present us with a style that is as far removed from the rich, oak-aged, Cabernet- and Merlot-dominant reds of St Julien, St Emilion and the like? Obviously, the Côtes du Forez is still in the running.

There is no Cabernet Franc here in the vineyards around Feurs, as the appellation allows only for Gamay. You can find a little Chardonnay or even a few pieds of Pinot Gris orViognier here or there depending on whether the grower in question feels more orientated towards Burgundy, Alsace or the Rhône Valley, but these are niche interests and they don’t have an appellation (they exist under the esoteric Vin de Pays d’Urfé designation). And you won’t find any familiar terroir here, none of the limestone or clay that characterises the right bank in Bordeaux, or the gravel of the left. The vineyards can be found on a thin strip of decomposed granite, basalt and other igneous rocks which runs north-south, sandwiched between the alluvial soils of the Loire to the east, and the lower slopes of the Massif Central to the west.

Even the vinification differs, although the fact I am drinking this 2015 already should tell you as much. While all the red wines of Bordeaux from this vintage slumber on in their expensive wooden barrels for the next 18 months, this alternative 2015 has seen out a very brief élevage in cuve, was summarily bottled under cork, and has been shipped ready for drinking.

Verdier-Logel Côtes du Forez La Volcanique 2015

The domaine was founded in 1991 by newlyweds Jacky Logel and Odile Verdier. They had met in Alsace, and after their marriage they then moved to Odile’s farm on the slopes above Feurs. Although the family had vineyards, established by Odile’s father, they simply sold the fruit. Jacky changed all that, as he set about vinifying and bottling the wine for himself. And being a native of Alsace, he also planted a few of those aforementioned Pinot Gris vines (and some Viognier too, in truth).

They turn out a number of cuvées, not least the deliciously fun Cuvée des Gourmets, butLa Volcanique is a step up. The difference is in the terroir; while the Cuvée des Gourmets comes from vines planted on a granitic sand, which Maxime Verdier – Jacky and Odile’s son – says is easier to work and naturally gives a lighter wine, with La Volcanique the Gamay vines are planted on a harder basalt terroir. The fruit is picked by hand, and then fermented in whole bunches at a temperature of 20ºC, with a maceration lasting three weeks. The use of whole bunches implies there is some carbonic maceration here, although I confess when I last met Maxime I omitted to verify this. Thereafter the wine sees a short élevage, also in cuve, before bottling. What you get is the pure essence of Gamay fruit, with the freshness and frame engendered by the acidic soils, unfettered by toasty oak and other overt tricks.

In the glass the 2015 La Volcanique from Verdier-Logel displays a really quite vibrant rose-crimson hue. There is a convincing lick of black fruits on the nose, especially dried blackcurrants, and alongside these we also have nuances of morello cherries, laced with fresher tinges of juniper and bay. The palate feels sweet and ripe, surely a vintage effect, set against a dry concentration rather than anything confected or too flashy though. It feels full, cool, savoury and tense, and is full of the juicy, pebbly fruit at which the nose hints do clearly. It is all wrapped up by a little ribbon of tannin in the finish. Overall the fruit profile feels genuine, and the texture true, so this is quite simply fantastic to drink, and it is exactly what Gamay combined with an igneous terroir and its acid soils should be all about. Fun, freshness, frame, and no winemaking fripperies. 16.5/20 (2/5/16)

Each year, for 25 years, at the festival Grands Jours de Bourgogne, the “Group of Young Wine Professionals” (GJVP) hosts a competitive exposition of wine from young winemakers the Salon des Jeunes Talents. In a blind tasting a winner is chosen from each of the 5 growing regions in Burgundy.

In this years expo, held at the Château de Garnerot in Mercurey, Thursday March 24th , 3 winemakers from Wine Traditions’ portfolio participated in the competition.

The results are announced : It’s a full sweep! All three of them are the 2015 trophy winners for their region!!!

We congratulate Cyril Gautheron winner for the Chablisien, Felix Debavalaere, Domaine Rois Mages winner for the Côte Chalonnaise and Romuald Petit winner for the Mâconnais.


Romuald PetitCyril Gautheron

Ann Williams loves Champagne and dogs. Devotedly. And in her signature style she celebrates this love on Saturday by holding a fundraiser at her beautiful wine and spirits shop Pour Richard’s. Here’s the link to the event:

https://pourrichardswine.com/content/bubbles-bark

You will see there that there will be many fun things to try, see and do, including tasting Champagnes from Wine Traditions. Recently some of our Champagne producers visited Massachusetts and tasted with Ann, you can read her reactions below.

Rock-Solid Day
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‘Like a rock….
Lean and solid everywhere.’
-Bob Seger
The rock above was once at the bottom of a sea. If you look closely, you can see fossils of tiny sea creatures embedded in what was once sand and clay. Now it’s Kimmeridgian limestone, the ‘soil’ common to Chablis, Sancerre, and parts of Champagne.
Bernard Dumont , of Champagne Robert Dumont & Fils, was pouring his lovely wines (and handing out rocks) at a tasting last week. David Bourdaire, of Bourdaire-Gallois, was also pouring at this event, a selection of importer Wine Traditions’ grower Champagnes. I stole away from the store for a couple hours to taste and talk with these two passionate and talented winemakers.
Champagne is rife with paradox. It’s wine (plus bubbles, but wine), but Americans almost never drink it at meals, as we would with still wines. Moreover, we stand the ‘rules’ of quality wines on their head when evaluating Champagne. Throughout the wine world, geography rules: the smaller the piece of land from which a wine is sourced, the more prestigious the wine. But in Champagne, we are supposed to believe that a wine consisting of fruit from hundreds of growers across a large region is the ‘best’, because it has a famous name and is aggressively marketed by a company which also sells scarves and handbags. Hmmm.
At Pour Richard’s, we favor grower Champagnes, wines from small, specific family plots. David’s Champagnes, largely Pinot Meunier from sandy soil in the Massif Saint Thierry, are extravagantly scented. They are so delicate and delicious, I find myself wishing I could inhale the glass. Bernard’s wines, grown on Kimmeridgean limestone in the southern Aube, are sumptuous and rich, more ‘luscious’ than their neighbors to the north. Both growers’ wines are clean, lean, and focused- classic Champagne, but also specific to an individual place.
Chatting with David and Bernard was almost as fun as tasting their exquisite wines, whether hearing David’s views on why some Champagnes should be decanted, or listening to Bernard explain his use of a solera system and extending aging on the lees.
For the fortunate few who absolutely love our work, there is nothing so satisfying as someone else who also loves what you do. Bernard and David were clearly enjoying introducing their passion to an appreciative audience; as a member of that audience, I had a great day, too.
If you’d like to have a great day, stop by for Bubbles & Bark on December 5. You can taste Champagnes from David and Bernard, as well as other growers, and aid an animal rescue group, too.
I may even let you pet my rock.
Cider Tasting October 24th * Pat’s Pastured Dinner *
November will be Austrian Food & Wine Celebration
month at Chez Pascal!
dazzling leaves, pumpkins, cider, autumn is here
We have many wonderful events coming up that will pair nicely with this stunner of season!
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Cider Tasting during Wurst Lunch
Saturday, October 24th
No other fruit unites the fine qualities of all fruits as does the apple. For one thing, its skin is so clean when you touch it that instead of staining the hands it perfumes them. Its taste is sweet and it is extremely delightful both to smell and to look at.
Thus by charming all the senses at once,
it deserves the praise that it receives. ~ Plutarch
Cider making is a centuries long tradition in Northwest France. Each cider producing area has developed
a regional style using local varieties.
Join us this Saturday afternoon during Wurst Kitchen Lunch from 11:30 – 2:30, try a flight of 3 different ciders
or enjoy a glass or two!
Perfectly refreshing and a well suited libation for all things Wurst!
Leigh from Wine Traditions, an importer of fantastic small artisanal cider makers, will be here to discuss the beauty of these ciders.
The Line Up:
La Maison Ferre, Cidre Brut, La Cave de Gabriel, Perche Normandy
*
Cave de La Loterie, Cidre Extra-Brut, Suisse Normande, Normandy
*
Le Val de la Chevre, Cidre Brut, Ille et Vilaine, Brittany
*
Plus a perfect time to taste and plan for the Season! Ciders are available for retail purchase at the lovely Campus Fine Wines!
+
We enjoyed a lovely, superbly attended to dinner at Savona Restaurant on the Main Line outside of Philly. A wonderful restaurant and historic spot, where Aaron Burr held headquarters during the Revolutionary War.
Sommelier Michele Gargiulo is in front, behind her left to right are Elisabeth Billard from Domaine Billard, Thierry Gaudrie from Chateau Villars, Franck Lihour from Domaine Castera and Catherine Dargaud from Chateau Le Breuil Renaissance. At the last minute our friend Nico Roumagnac could not make the trip, he was called early to harvest.

WINE MAKERS DINNER
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2015

Nicolas Roumagnac

Fronton Rosé, Chateau Roumagnac, 2014

Wilted Endive & Radichio Salad, Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, Parmagiano Reggiano

v

Elisabeth Billard

Hautes-Cotes de Beaune Blanc, “La Justice”, Domaine Billard, 2012

Plancha Quick Seared Scottish Salmon, Local Sweet Corn, Pearl Onions, Vanilla

v

Catherine Dargaud

Medoc, Chateau Le Breuil Renaissance, 2012

Carolina Quail, Barley & Farmer’s Cabbage, Natural Jus

v

Thierry Gaudrie

Fronsac, Chateau villars, 2012

Hereford Beef Short Rib,

Preserved Truffle-Root Vegetable Ragu

v

Frank Lihour

Jurancon “Cuvée Privilege”, Domaine Castera, 2011

Frecon Orchard Roasted Peaches, Rosemary Cake, lavender Crema

Eat.Drink.Think

at Newport Wine Cellar
Le Petit Gourmet & Café
Tasting & Discussion:
The Wines of Southwest France

Ed Addis & Barbara Selig
Wine Traditions
4-6pm Wednesday August 26th
at Le Petit Café
information: 401-619-3966
Seek great values, but don’t compromise taste, integrity, or quality
If you want to drink wine everyday, like I do, you have to seek out wines that are not expensive but are still satisfying, flavorful, complex, food wines. There are more options than you think, thanks to people like Wine Traditions owners Ed & Barbara, who ave been importing delicious wines from France and beyond, and contributing to a rising appreciation for the shared experience good wine and food.

Wine Traditions Ltd. was created in 1996, the collaborative project of Edward Addiss and Barbara Selig. The philosophy of Wine Traditions is to discover independent winemakers whose passion for their vineyard and mastery of their winemaking craft combine to create a product that is a beautiful expression of the land from which it comes. They believe their portfolio demonstrates that wonderful wines can be found beyond well known appellations and need not be over priced. For them, wine is meant to be enjoyed with dinner, everyday and at prices that make it an appropriate component of the meal.

It continues to be my goal to provide access not only to great food and wine, but to a community of people who are inspired by and driven to find good ingredients, responsibly grown, and thoughtfully produced. It is a goal that is easier than you think to achieve because so many people share this basic idea that we should support independent, family owned and operated businesses, farms, and vineyards. I know this is a theme you have heard before from me, but I must continue to wax on poetic about the work these people do and the wonderful products that I am fortunate to have on my shelves because of their hard work!

I hope you will join me in welcoming Ed & Barbara to Newport & to the café on Wednesday & take part in a tasting of five great value French wines. It is a good chance to eat, drink, and think!

This is a free event, no reservations requires. Come by and have a sip & say hello!

cheers,
Maria
Newport Wine Cellar & Le Petit Gourmet| | 401-619-3966 | newportwinecellar.com
STAY CONNECTED:
The Steel Yard and Campus Fine Wines invite you to Raw Wine at The Steel Yard, a walk-around wine tasting and fundraiser for the Yard, Saturday, June 6th, 6PM-9PM. Raw wine (aka: real wine/natural wine/organic wine) is wine that stands in defense of terroir, wine that is unadulterated, non-corporate, made without chemicals, in small lots, by real people. Featured importers include: SelectioNaturel, Wine Traditions, Headrick/Solomon, Rosenthal, Zev Rovine, Indie Wineries, and perhaps a bit more! Campus Fine Wines is the go-to shop for raw/real wine in Rhode Island. But you knew that already! Get your tickets here.

Located in vignoble of the Nantais since 1986, in the village of Levraudière, Alain Gripon produces several bottlings of Muscadet on varied soils, mica schists, granite and iron-rich gabbro, including Manoir de la Mottrie Muscadet Sévre et Maine Sur Lie, Muscadet Sévre et Maine Sur Lie “Vieilles Vignes”, and the cru “Goulaine “

Alain has dedicated many projects to actualizing the potential of his surrounding living environment of water, earth, air and the people that work there; he began his conversion to organic farming in 2012.

Alain believes his “efforts have led to the quality and authenticity of the wines and to their cultural significance”.

And so do we! We look forward to sharing these wines with you.

Fantastic local seasonal menu, so a la minute…. it’s still To Be Announced. It’s going to be great.

These are the featured wines :

Amuse Bouche: Christophe Thorigny Vouvray Brut NV

Starter : Giraudon Aligoté

Salad : Domaine de Mont de Marie “Anatheme” Blanc

Pasta: Domaine les Ondines Vacqueyras Rouge

Main Course: Domaine Foretal Julienas

Dessert: Chateau Kalian “Selection de Grains Nobles” Montbazillac

The menu will include local peas, favas, garlic, morels, and cheeses, fish, fowl……

There are a few tickets still available!

https://www.newportwinecellar.com/think/2015/5/7/beauty-artnoshwine

That’s Lucie’s photo in the right hand top corner of the invite, and Chystelle and Paul two photos below:
Salon PRO “Vignerons de Nature” PARIS lundi de 10h à 18h à l’espace Atrium – 76 rue des Saint-Pères – Paris 7ème.

Un beau soleil est annoncé sur la capitale ce lundi 23, rien de tel pour accompagner l’arrivée du printemps qu’une belle dégustation de vins !

Que les abeilles soit tranquilles tous nous travaillent en bio et biodynamie !
Pour plus d’info, invitation en PJ.
Les vignerons présent avec nous :

Château de la Selve – Coteaux de l’Ardèche
Domaine Mouriesse Vinum – Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Domaine du Joncier – Côtes du Rhône et Lirac
Domaine des Miquettes – St Joseph
Domaine Gilles Berlioz – Chignin et Chignin Bergeron
Domaine Charly Thévenet – Régnié
Domaine de Lucie – Crozes-Hermitage
Domaine Jaeger-Defaix – Rully
Domaine du Tunnel – Cornas, St Joseph et St Péray
Domaine Louis Chenu & Filles – Bourgogne et Savigny-lès-Beaune
Domaine Defaix – Chablis
Domaine Dirler-Cadé – Alsace
Domaine Bonnet-Huteau – Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
Domaine M&S Bouchet – Saumur
Domaine Fouassier – Sancerre
Château Falfas – Côtes de Bourg
Château les Croisille – Cahors
Domaine de l’R – Chinon
Cascina Corte – Italie, Piémont
Bon week-end,
Florence

========================
Florence Chazallon
vigneronne
mail : florence@laselve.com

Tél. +33 (0)4 75 93 02 55
Fax +33 (0)4 75 93 09 37
Mobile +33 (0)6 68 95 94 48

Notre Groupement : https://www.vignerons-de-nature.com
========================

PROCHAINS SALONS / NEXT FAIRS

Salon “Vignerons de Nature” PARIS – lundi 23 mars 2015Primeurs Biodyvin – Château Fonroque Saint Emilion – du 30 mars au 1er avril 2015

Devenez Fan sur Facebook :
Château de la Selve : https://www.facebook.com/chateaudelaselve
Vignerons de Nature : https://www.facebook.com/vigneronsdenature

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Earth, ocean and…cider

And what should you drink with that? Cider, of course! Robust, bordering on austere at first try, the wine from local apples has a special typicity. It is about to be rocognized as an “appellation d’origine protegée (AOP)”, hopefully in 2015. It’s most ardent defender is Marie-Agnes-Hérout. The producer in Auvers, near Carentan, is the head of the union of the promotion of the cider of Cotentin. From behind her small framed glasses, her eyes sparkle as much as her cider when she becomes animated : “Our ciders are not sweet , rather are defined by bitterness and acidity , because of the bitter and bitter-sweet apple varieties used : Belle Fille de la Manché, Gros Amer, Peau de Chien or Tete de Brebis….{Pretty Girl of Manché, Big Bitter, Dog Skin or Sheeps Head}…..Therefore they can be drunk throughout the meal. They are Brut and even Extra Brut with less than 18 grams of sugar per liter. They are not gassed, as are 98% of ciders on the market, but go through 2 fermentations, like Champagne. Their bubbles occur entirely naturally, and last even until the next day after opening. Well….when there is any left the next day” ! These perfect companions to the table have each their own character : subtle at Jean-Francois Vaultier, rustic at Damien Lemasson, fruity at Gaec de Claids….Each one having its place in the “basket of souvenirs” of Contentin, next to the sublime organic confiture du lait from Lait Douceur de Normandie, made at Saint-Saveur le Vicomte by two passionate producers. Stéphanie and Sylvie offer a permanent range of ten flavors of confiture du lait, classic or unusual, with seasonal additions. Recommended: for Easter, go for the marshmallow!

RESERVE NOW – A FEW SPACES LEFT!!

Join Us For

Cork’s 5th Annual Champagne Tasting

Six Grower Champagnes from

Wine Traditions

with Small Bites from

Cork Market’s

Chef Jason Schreuder

Valentine’s Day Menu & Grower Champagne Pairings

Black Truffle and Gruyere Gougeres

Champagne Bourdaire-Gallois, Brut NV (Based on 2009 Vintage)

Sauteed Scallop, shellfish custard, caviar, salade de chou

Champagne Bourdaire-Gallois, Blanc de Blanc

Duck Rillette, house-made potato chips, champagne grape jam

Champagne Perseval-Farge, C. De pinot Brut

Lobster Mushroom Risotto, quail egg, Parmesan crisp

R. Dumont & Fils, Grand Millesime 1998

Whole Herb Roasted Sea Bass, Peekytoe crab, citrus hollandaise

Thierry Triolet, Grande Reserve NV

Genoise with passion fruit and raspberry, wild berry sorbet, crispy coconut meringue

R. Dumont & Fils, Douce Cuvee

WHERE & WHEN

Cork Market & Tasting Room

1805 14th Street, NW

202-265-2674

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

7:00PM – 9:00PM

$90 (exclusive of tax & gratuity)
Space is limited to 26 people so please RSVP by February 12th to

Events@CorkDC.com

Guests must be 21 or over to attend, Please bring Picture ID

These Champagne’s are small production and are not widely available. A selection of these wines will be reserved for tasting guests only to purchase at a discount at Cork Market.

We look forward to seeing you soon at Cork!
Diane & Khalid
Cork Wine Bar
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The Wines of Wine Traditions, Ltd. – RSVP Today for Portfolio Tasting at Restaurant RIS on January 31

Please join us on Saturday, January 31st from1:30 – 4:30 pm at Restaurant RIS, for a “walk-around” portfolio tasting featuring thirty (!) wines from the exceptional French wine portfolio of local, Falls Church, Virginia-based importer Wine Traditions.

Ed Addiss and Barbara Selig founded Wine Traditions, Ltd. almost twenty years ago. Their portfolio focuses on French wines produced by independent, family-owned wineries and champions appellations and growing regions that receive too little acclaim. Ed and Barbara work with vignerons whose deep respect and commitment toward their land result in wines that convey a sense of place and a style that emphasizes finesse, delicacy and balance, wines of true character that harmonize wonderfully with food.

Ed Addiss &
Barbara Selig

Exploring the portfolio of Wine Traditions is a uniquely rewarding experience. Wines from unfamiliar places like Saint Pourcain in the Loire Valley, Fronton, Marcillac and Irouleguy in the Southwest, Beaujolais in Southern Burgundy and Faugères in the Languedoc will be available for sampling, as well as exceptional values from more famous appellations in the Loire Valley, Burgundy, the Rhône and Bordeaux.

This portfolio tasting will be held at Restaurant RIS, located at 2275 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037, right around the corner from Arrowine & Spirits (at 22nd & K Street). Chef Ris Lacoste has again graciously allowed us to spread out throughout the restaurant in light of the incredible attendance our previous portfolio tastings have garnered.

The kitchen at Restaurant RIS will open at 5pm so if you wish to have dinner after the portfolio tasting, the restaurant will be happy to accommodate you. For more about Chef Ris and the great food she and her staff serve up at this delightful restaurant, please check out their website.

So we can properly gauge attendance, we ask that you RSVP todrosen@arrowine.com or tkiszka@arrowine.com or call either of our shops(202-785-0785 for DC; 703-525-0990 for Arlington) if you plan on attending. There is no limit to how many wine loving friends & family you can bring as this is a “walk-around” event and you can arrive anytime between 1:30 and 4:00 pm. The event will end at 4:30 pm sharp as the restaurant will be starting dinner service.

Wines of the week: The underappreciated values of Bergerac and vinho verde

Chateau du Bloy (courtsey of Chateau du Bloy)
By John Foy|For The Star-Ledger

on January 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM, updated January 15, 2015 at 9:13 AM

Producing inexpensive, flavorful and balanced white wine is more challenging than making good value red wine. Winemakers can mask red wine flaws by using a longer maceration of the grape skins with the juice, manipulating the tannin structure, or aging time in oak barrels. White grapes are more revealing, and less tolerant of manipulation.

Yet there is a route to good value white wines: travel to less known areas where passionate winemakers are at work. Bergerac is such an address.

Located east of Bordeaux’s world-famous St. Emilion, Bergerac has 13 appellations; one is Montravel, where Chateau du Bloy makes a tasty, balanced 2011 Montravel Blanc.

Over the years, I’ve noted that professionals changing careers for winemaking apply to their new endeavor the intelligence and discipline that made them successful in their prior profession.

Former computer engineer Olivier Lambert and erstwhile attorney Bertrand Lepoittevin-Dubost purchased Chateau du Bloy in 2001 and converted its 40-acre vineyard to organic farming.

Lepoittevin-Dubost blended 45 percent sauvignon blanc with 35 percent semillon and 20 percent muscadelle in the 2011 Chateau du Bloy Montravel Blanc. It’s bursting with semillon and muscadelle’s floral and sauvignon blanc’s lemongrass aromas; the spunky lime and passion fruit flavors are carried on a perfectly balanced, medium-body of ripe fruit and mild acidity.

As I enjoyed the delightful 2011 Chateau du Bloy Montravel Blanc with a breast of chicken and chanterelle mushrooms, I reflected on Lambert and Lepoittevin-Dubost’s successful career change.

Bertrand Lepoittevin-Dubost.jpg
winemaker Bertrand Lepoittevin-Dubostcourtsey Chateau du Bloy

The 2011 Chateau du Bloy Montravel Blanc is distributed by the Vine Collective in Manhattan (646) 775-2877; it retails for less than $15.

TONIGHT ~ TONIGHT
6-9PM

Join us for Champagne and Tastes of Cork’s Newest Treats!

Taste local chocolates, cheeses, holiday treats. Taste imported French cheese and Italian sweets. Taste our newest crackers and gluten free eats!

Ed Addiss from Wine Traditions pours sparkling wine to
Celebrate Cork’s Anniversary
10% off all Sparkling Wine
10% off 1/2 Case Purchases
15% off Case Purchases

Sample our newest retail items and stock up on Holiday Gifts & Party Wines!

www.corkdc.com | info@corkdc.com |

Auld Lang Syne

December 4, 2014

Rosemont Markets

580 Brighton Avenue, Portland 207-774-8129

88 Congress Street, Portland 207-773-7888

5 Commercial Street, Portland 207-699-4560

96 Main Street, Yarmouth 207-846-1234

and delivery to Portland Yacht Services and Islands in Casco Bay

rosemontmarket.com

Special Wine Events in December
For Serious Drinkers!
We do hope everyone who took advantage of our Thanksgiving wine offer enjoyed (is enjoying?) those wines, and that you all had a wonderful holiday!
As you may have heard, the holiday just past is not the only one that takes place around now, and we’re gearing up for thrilling times ahead with a very special event next week, plus another wine Six Pack offer and excellent in-store tastings.
Spinning off the success of our Thanksgiving Six Pack, we’ll offer a terrific Holiday Six Pack offer via email next week, fine-tuned for end-of-year dining and gifting. Also, keepDecember 18 and 19 free in your calendars, for in-store tastings at our Brighton Avenue and Yarmouth stores.
For now, hallelujah and, should old acquaintance be forgot…
Drink Like a Pro!

On Friday, December 12, 5:30-7:30pm, it’s time for Drink Like a Pro, our Holiday Wine Spectacular. This will be an event unlike any other you’ve attended! To celebrate Rosemont Market’s tenth anniversary (yeah, little Rosie’s really growing up!), we’re going back to the womb, as it were, to hold our greatest wine tasting ever at the site of the original Rosemont tastings: the back room of our bakery at 559 Brighton Avenue!

Obviously, given the size of the space, we need to limit the number of guests who can attend. And obviously, we hope every single Rosemont Wine Club member who wants to be there (and even those who don’t?) will be able to come.
That’s why we’re telling you about it right now — a couple of days before the word goes out to the public and the price goes up. You really, honestly, truly should reserve your spots right freakin’ now. Tickets are only $15, and for that pittance you’ll get to taste some of the most extraordinary wines we know of. On Monday, the ticket price goes up to $20.
Why do we say, confidently, that this will be our greatest tasting ever? Because we will pour 25 truly extraordinary wines that rarely if ever get opened for the public — big, fancy wines, suitable for the most demanding gift recipients, the snazziest parties and the snootiest cellars. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Brunello, Napa, Champagne, Barbaresco, Amarone, Madeira and Port are just some of the standout regions and profiles.
And for the first time ever, we will bring together under one roof some of our dearest friends in wine, guys/gals who have been with us from the very beginning, who have the love, who know a lot and can’t wait to share with you.
Why do we call it Drink Like a Pro? Because we’re setting up the tasting the way professional wine tastings go: multiple tables, lots of info, lots of opportunities to ask our guides about the wines. There will be separate tables devoted to France, Italy, California and dessert. This isn’t like our regular tastings, where you get to taste four to six wines and then move on, son, you’re in my way. NO. Drink Like a Pro will go deep.
More information and tickets are available here. We do look forward to seeing you at the bakery on Friday, December 12.
Dan, Joe, Heidi, Emily, Caitlin, Atticus
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Gaillac Rouge « Jurançon Noir »
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.

https://chez-pascal.com/champagne-dinner-art-opening

A Fun & Fizzy Champagne Dinner

Wednesday, October 29th

with the winemaker David Bourdaire

of Bourdaire-Gallois

limited seating for this one folks!

With champagne producer David Bourdaire of Bourdaire-Gallois

and in collaboration with the fine folks at Campus Fine Wines,

Wine Traditions & Wine Wizards all who are so passionate and knowledgeable about small champagne producers.

What you will be missing…

David will be here to discuss his method of making grower champagne and the importance and difference it makes to be sustainable. You will get to taste 5different champagnes and see how they pair with food; demystifying that champagne is only for certified special occasions. If you love champagne, are unsure of champagne, are free on Wednesday the 29, then this tasting is for you.

Plus once you experience David’s wines and fall in love with them, you will have the opportunity to procure them from Campus Fines Wines just in time for the holidays!

We will try 5 champagnes from Bourdaire-Gallois.

At present we only have a few spots left so don’t delay.

$85 per person not including tax, gratuity or additional beverages.

The Menu

family style hors d’oeuvre

spiced popcorn

mini profiterole with duck liver mousse & quince purée

vt pheasant & pistachio terrine with brioche and pistachio jam

smoked cod with marinated beets & horseradish crème fraîche

bourdaire-gallois, brut NV

First Course

boudin blanc with black truffles, buttered tarbais beans, napa cabbage, pears & spiced hazelnuts

bourdaire-gallois, blanc de blanc NV

Side by Side Course

seared pork belly with celery root, kale & apple compote

&

local polenta with duck ragout, cloumage cheese & spicy pepper aigre-doux

bourdaire-gallois, prestige NV

bourdaire-gallois, prestige NV ‘ non-dose

Finale

saffron pond cake with cardamom custard sauce, black pepper & goat cheese

bourdaire-gallois, brut rosé

please note, some items may change slightly

This intimate gathering will be held in our side dining room.

The first champagne accompanied by family style hors d’oeuvres will be from6:00pm-6:30pm.

The tasting will then start at 6:30pm.

Limited seating. Reservations will be taken in advance with a credit card number.

Your reservation is nonrefundable, but you can certainly pass your seat to a friend.

Food & Wine Magazine

3 Bottles From France’s Best Value Region

BY KRISTIN DONNELLY | POSTED AUGUST 20, 2014 AT 12:00PM EDT
Rosé Wine

Photo ©istockphoto

Here, wine experts reveal their favorite bottles costing less than $17. Many of the selections are lesser known but absolutely worth the search.

Who: Colleen Hein, Eastern Standard, Boston

Learn about the New AMEX Everyday Card

What: Hein adores the wines from France’s underexplored southwest, where native grape varieties, like Négrette and Len de L’ehl grow alongside the more familiar Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.

1. A white to impress your friends
2011 Domaine des Terrisses Gaillac White

Ever heard of Len De L’ehl (Pronounced lohn de lay)? How about Mauzac? Neither have your friends, which is why they’ll love trying this wine.

At Domaine des Terrisses, in the Gaillac appellation, the vineyards are planted almost entirely with the traditional grape varieties of the region, which benefit from the Mediterranean climate and its warm, dry autumn.

The resulting wine is crisp and refreshing. It has a green-grassy quality, thanks to the little bit of Sauvignon Blanc added to the mix.

2. A rosé to serve with steak.
2013 Domaine Roumagnac Authentique Rosé, Fronton

This full-bodied, dry rosé is saturated and slightly spicy, filled with briar and wild forest fruit notes. The sturdiness of the wine allows it to pair with heartier food, like grilled meats and vegetables.

The wine gets its power from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a local grape variety known as Négrette. Domaine Roumagnac is located on western border of the Fronton appellation, which is just outside Toulouse. Négrette thrives in the warm and dry continental climate of the area, and is rarely found outside Fronton.

3. This (red) wine is a party!
2011 Elian da Ros, Le Vin Est Une Fête, Côtes Du Marmandais

That’s actually the translation of the wine’s name, which is full-bodied and dense, yet still fresh-tasting with notes of fresh earth and dark fruits. The winemaker, Elian da Ros, works in the Côtes du Marmandais, using primarily the same grape varieties as his neighbor, Bordeaux. He also happily incorporates the native grape variety, Abouriou, which he likens to Gamay (the same grape used to make Beaujolais), into this fun blend.

Related: Best $15-and-Under Wines
Cookout Pairings
35 Incredible Steak Recipes

Eric Asimov is back from Irouléguy. He writes an article in today’s “Dining and Wine” section featuring the appellation and its top producers, including Domaine Brana. Also the photographs in the online slideshow are quite beautiful, very worth a look. Link: https://nyti.ms/1toxhVZ

DINING & WINE

Splendor in Solitude

The Wines of Irouléguy, in French Basque Country

JULY 29, 2014

Slide Show

SLIDE SHOW|9 Photos

The Wines of Irouléguy

The Pour

By

ST.-ÉTIENNE-DE-BAÏGORRY, France — On a Saturday morning, this village in the French Pyrenees seems like any other small French town. Shoppers wend through the outdoor market while tourists snap photos. But resounding above the ordinary fray are the cries of young men playingpelote, a game akin to jai alai.

On an outdoor fronton, or court, adjacent to the market, using a basket shaped like a scimitar, they hurl a hard ball against a wall; it ricochets skyward at incredible speeds, sometimes flying onto the street, obliging passers-by to keep their heads up. Taking it all in, you realize that St.-Étienne, in the heart of Irouléguy in French Basque Country, is a different kind of place.

So it is with the wines of Irouléguy (ee-RHOO-lay-ghee), very much part of the constellation of appellations found in the southwest of France yet separate and distinct. It’s not that the grapes are different — the reds are made of tannat, as in Madiran, and cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, as in Bordeaux and Bergerac. Whites are made of gros manseng, petit manseng and petit courbu, as in Jurançon.

Yet the land, the climate, the language and the culture remain apart, isolated by the Pyrenees, which wrinkle upward in a confluence of steep, verdant slopes like the sides of a giant bowl, containing this land of picturesque towns, rivers and patchwork farms. The wine expresses those differences as plainly as the Basque differs from the French on the region’s dual-language signs.

I have been obsessed with the wines of Irouléguy for five years. It began with a visit to Bordeaux, where a restaurateur, recognizing that two friends and I were in the region professionally, plied us with a series of wines that he was producing. They were glossy, oaky things, modern and generic, not at all what I would have chosen to drink given the chance. As a refresher before the next round, he offered a rosé from Irouléguy, practically dismissing it as a palate cleanser.

Some palate cleanser! Unlike the Bordeaux, this wine was fascinating. It was refreshing, sure, but it tasted almost like blood and iron, with rocks thrown in for good measure. Amid the parade of banality, this rosé stood out as a formidable wine of great character.

Back home, I set about tracking down as many wines from Irouléguy as I could. There weren’t many. Irouléguy is a tiny appellation, about as far southwest as you can go in France. Though I found just a handful, the wines were almost always compelling.

Mostly, they are reds, yet not the inky black, tannic monsters typical of Madiran. Rather, they are limber, marked as much by acidity as by tannins, with an almost exotic flavor of flowers and red fruits laced with that bloody iron tang. I found them rustic in the best sense of the word, genuine and forthright, without the finesse, perhaps, of the wines of the Médoc or Graves, but also without the artifice.

The whites were tougher to find but equally irresistible. They may have tasted like flowers and yellow fruits, but they weren’t fruity. Instead, they were savory, sometimes saline, yet fresh and lively. And the rosés: The few I could find reinforced that initial impression of elemental wines of the earth, worthy of aging, unlike most ephemeral rosés. I resolved that I had to visit Irouléguy to see for myself the soil from which these wines emerged, and the people who shaped them.

So it was in June that Irouléguy unfolded before me in all its pastoral splendor. Sheep and cattle grazed on the sharp-angled pastures, next to fields of grain and an occasional orchard. Rivers gurgled along, and though Irouléguy is known for frequent rain, the weather over the course of four days was sunny and hot.

St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port, the other major town, is an embarkation point forthe Camino de Santiago, the Christian pilgrimage route that leads to the shrine of St. James at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. Dozens of backpackers, preparing for their spiritual walk, wander the main streets. It all reinforced Irouléguy’s Brigadoon-like quality of otherworldliness.

Vineyards are not a dominant feature here, as they are in so many wine regions. They are simply one facet of an agricultural way of life, as perhaps they were centuries ago in those other places before wine became an industry. And yet the handful of excellent estates that do focus on wine, like Domaine Ilarria, Maison Arretxea and Domaine Brana, are resolute, seeing it more as a calling than a business.

Peio Espil, the grandson of vignerons, started Ilarria in the 1980s, painstakingly constructing terraces on precipitous limestone slopes so he could plant vines. He is a follower of the Japanese agronomist Masanobu Fukuoka, who before his death in 2008 preached a hands-off style of farming that paradoxically requires constant vigilance in the vineyard. In the cellar, Mr. Espil operates in a similar style, avoiding manipulations and, as much as possible, the use of sulfur dioxide, a common wine preservative. Yet his wines are rock stable, and they show an intricate sense of detail that is rare in any region.

“I try to work as naturally as possible,” he said as we walked in the vineyard. He described the soil as rich in calcium, iron and magnesium. “It’s healthy for wine and for life,” he said.

His wines radiate minerality. The rosé is superb, complex and lasting, as is the lively, intense white and the vibrant, pure red. In the best years, he makes a special red cuvée, Bixintxo. The 2009, still a baby, was substantial yet elegant, with the signature elemental flavors that stamp the wines of the region.

Only about 500 acres of grapes are farmed in Irouléguy, equal to a couple of good-size Bordeaux estates and half as much as a century ago, when phylloxera, a ravenous aphid, devastated the vines. Grapes were not grown on a meaningful scale again until 1984, when Étienne Brana, whose family distilled eau de vie, planted a vineyard on red sandstone and began to make wine independent of the local cooperative.

Today, Domaine Brana, run by Étienne’s children, Jean and Martine, produces lively, excellent wines, including a refreshing Ilori white and an Ohitza red that is beautifully balanced and graceful.

For advice, the Branas often go to a family friend, Jean-Claude Berrouet, who for many years oversaw the winemaking at Château Pétrus, the acclaimed Pomerol estate. Mr. Berrouet, whose father grew cherries in Irouléguy, has consulted with winemakers all over the world. But his desire, he said, was always to return to the land of his heritage. In 1992, he planted four and a half acres of sandstone terraces, primarily with white grapes, and produced his first vintage in 1998. He called his wine Herri Mina, which essentially translates as homesick for the country.

“My story is sentimental,” he said. “I have a nostalgic feeling for this region.”

Mr. Berrouet aims for grace and balance, making what he calls “nonsophisticated wines, without technology.” He is passionate about tea, and sees it as an analogy for the structure and aromatic expression he seeks in wine.

“If you steep tea too long, you lose it,” he said. “Balance and modest extraction are crucial to guard the nobility of the wine.”

Indeed, his 2013 Herri Mina white is beautifully balanced and lip-smacking, with savory fruit flavors. He also makes a bit of red, entirely cabernet franc, with stony red fruit flavors and impeccable tension and harmony.

Despite the initial success of Domaine Brana, it was not easy to resurrect the local wine industry. Michel Riouspeyrous of Maison Arretxea, the grandson of a vigneron, and his wife, Thérèse, remembered the difficulty of trying to plant vines 25 years ago. “The banks would lend money for cows and sheep, which they understood,” he said, “but not for wine.”

They persevered and now own about 20 acres, which they supplement with grapes bought from a friend. Searching and experimental, Mr. Riouspeyrous is quick to describe the 40 kinds of soil on his property. He began practicing biodynamic viticulture in 2008.

The wines are superb, including a deeply colored, delicious rosé, an almost-exotic white and an energetic, earthy red. A red cuvée, Haitza, is made from older vines. The 2011 was richly flavored and expressive, with great aging potential.

Wine is not the only intriguing product of Irouléguy. Bixintxo Aphaule started as a winemaker, but now, with his wife, Pascale, he devotes himself to making cider, which he calls “another leitmotif of the land.” He believes that cider can be as expressive of terroir as wine is, provided that you have a diversity of trees planted on the right soils, and that you work organically.

“It’s necessary for the aromas, not a commercial question,” he said.

He makes three different vintage ciders under the Bordatto label, and all are well worth seeking out, particularly the elegant, concentrated Txalaparta.

What did it taste like? As with the wines, the people and the game of pelote, it was pure Irouléguy.

Here are some notable producers of Irouléguy wine and cider, which are difficult to find but worth seeking out.

AMEZTIA Exuberant, tannic reds; about $20. (De Maison Selections, Chapel Hill, N.C.)

MAISON ARRETXEA Refreshing whites, earthy reds, delicious rosés; about $25. (Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, Calif.)

BORDATTO Exceptional ciders; about $20. (De Maison Selections)

DOMAINE BRANA Lively whites; subtle, age-worthy reds, $25 to $30. (Wine Traditions, Falls Church, Va.)

HERRI MINA Savory whites; stony, impeccable reds; $25 to $30. (Martine’s Wines, Novato, Calif.)

DOMAINE ILARRIA Complex rosés, minerally whites, superb reds; $20 to $30. (Thomas Calder Selection/Moonlight Wine, New York)

Email: asimov@nytimes.com. And follow Eric Asimov on Twitter: @EricAsimov.

A version of this article appears in print on July 30, 2014, on page D1 of the New York edition with the headline: Splendor in Solitude. Order Reprints|Today’s Paper|Subscribe

 

Wine Traditions and our dear collaborators from Washington and Maine States on an early spring trek through the Loire, Northern Rhone, Beaujolais, Burgundy and Champagne. Here we are happy in the sun in the last days of March near the hamlet of Fleys in Chablis visiting the vineyards of Domaine Alain Gautheron.

A DAILY, INTERNATIONAL WINE BLOG

FRIDAY, MARCH 7, 2014

13 French Winemakers Presenting their Wines at a Dinner at Buck’s Fishing and Camping in Washington DC, USA

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Husband and Wife Team M. Jean Francois Meynard and Christelle Gauthier from Chateau La Bouree, Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux

This was a very exciting winemaker dinner: With 13 visiting winemakers from all around France. It took place a Buck’s Fishing and Camping in the Chevy Chase area in Washington DC. The winemakers were in town for the annual portfolio tasting of Wine Traditions, an importer of French wines.

Ed and Barbara Addiss’ Wine Traditions

Wine Traditions: Created in 1996 by Edward Addiss and Barbara Selig, the philosophy of Wine Traditions is to discover independent winemakers whose passion for their vineyard and mastery of their winemaking craft combine to create a product that is a beautiful expression of the land from which it comes. They believe their portfolio demonstrates that wonderful wines can be found beyond well-known appellations and need not be overpriced. For them, wine is meant to be enjoyed with dinner, every day and at prices that make it an appropriate component of the meal.

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller and Barbara Assiss, and Ed Assiss, Owners of Wine Traditions

Buck’s Fishing and Camping

Tom Sietsema, Washington Post: This arty and eclectic restaurant serves classic food made with the best ingredients. There are few local kitchens that do its familiar dishes better than Buck’s.

The 4 expertly prepared courses of American cuisine from Chef James Rexroad were indeed excellent.

Picture: Buck’s Fishing and Camping on 5031 Connecticut Avenue, Washington DC

Owner James Alefantis, who told us that he also owns a restaurant in Berlin, Germany, is charming and welcoming as is his restaurant: We are a small, neighborhood independently owned Fish Camp of a restaurant, where a woody, fire lit atmosphere is a great place to enjoy the best local produce, meats and fish.

Pictures: Annette Schiller, Ombiasy PR and WineTours, Christian G.E. Schiller and Owner James Alefantis

See: 3 Wine Tours by ombiasy Coming up in 2014: Germany-North, Germany-South and Bordeaux

Winemaker Dinner with 13 Producers from France

At this totally unique event, after a Champagne and oyster welcome, the 13 French winemakers were on hand to present their wines. We had the opportunity to select one of three wines with each of the 4-courses to pair side-by-side with Buck’s beautiful menu.

Pictures: The Dinner

Welcome

Oysters on the 1/2 Shell, Warm Gougeres, and Selection of Saucisson

Bourdaire-Gallois, Brut Champagne NV

First Course

House Applewood Smoked Salmon with its Roe

3 Wines and 3 Winemakers

Pictures: Brigitte Ardurats, Felix Debavelaere and Katia Mauroy-Gauliez, and their Wines

Chateau Magneau, Graves Blanc 2012

Brigitte and Jean-Louis Ardurats: Winemakers/ Owners of Chateau Magneau, a beautiful Graves producer in the south of Bordeaux. The Graves region is often referred to as ‘the cradle of Bordeaux wine’ and has been described as a beauty asleep in her woods and forests. We were delighted to taste their Graves Rouge.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Brigitte and Jean-Louis Ardurats, Winemakers/ Owners of Chateau Magneau

Domaine de Bel Air Pouilly-Fume 2012

Owner/ Winemaker Katia Mauroy-Gauliez from Domaine de Bel Air hails from the Loire Valley where the Sauvignon Blanc grape thrives. Katia Mauroy-Gauliez and her brother Cedric Mauroy are the ninth generation to manage Domaine de Bel Air. Their 15 acres of vineyards straddle the towns of Pouilly-sur-Loire and Saint Andelain. Pouilly-Fume is one of the Loire Valley’s most famous wines – a quintessential expression of flinty, vivacious Sauvignon Blanc.

Domaine Rois Mages “Les Cailloux” Rully Rouge 2011

Anne-Sophie Debavelaere, a native Burgundian, began her Domaine in 1984. 5 years ago, her son, Felix Debavelaere, who was sitting next to me at the dinner, took over. He now farms 11 hectares of vines which are mostly in Rully, but include small parcels in Bouzeron and Beaune. The vineyards are all worked with respect for the land in a fashion known as “lutte raisonnée”. The winery or “cave de vinification” is a vaulted cellar which was dug from the Rully hillside in 1850. It was originally built by a local negociant who wanted to have a cellar for sparkling wine similar to those in Champagne.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Felix Debavelaere

Second Course

Wild Local Mushrooms with Tagliatelle Pasta and Herbs

3 Wines and 3 Winemakers

Pictures: Samuelle Delol, Elisabeth Billard, Michel Champseix with Ed Addiss

Domaine Billard Hautes Cotes de Beaune Blanc 2012

Winemaker Elisabeth and Jerome Billard, Domaine Billard have 12.5 hectares of vineyards in different appellations throughout the Cotes de Beaune. Their largest holdings are in the Hautes Cotes de Beaune with other small plots located in Saint Romain, Saint Aubin 1er Cru, Auxey Duresses and Beaune.

Chateau Vieux Chevrol Lalande de Pomerol 2009

The Champseix family has made wine at Château Vieux Chevrol for many generations and continues to do so in a traditional manner. Jean-Pierre Champseix runs the estate today (20 hectares), aided by his son Michel. He has a profound respect and veneration for his land, a relationship that truly guides his work. The vineyard lies on the Neac plateau overlooking the vineyards of Pomerol. The soil is clay mixed with gravel and iron-rich sandstone known locally as “crasse de fer”. The vineyard is planted to 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Picture: Jean-Pierre Champseix, Château Vieux Chevrol, Lalonde de Pomerol, and Christian G. E. Schiller

Chateau Gueyrosse Saint Emilion 2003

Winemaker Samuelle Delol, owns two estates Chateau Bel Air and Chateau Gueyrosse in St. Emilion. Chateau Gueyrosse dates from around 1750 and the Delol family obtained the property in 1850. Samuelle, who has recently taken over from her father, is the sixth generation to make wine at Gueyrosse. The vineyard is in the southwestern corner of Saint Emilion, on the outskirts of Libourne and has a soil of “graves rouge”, a soil type similar to that found in the southern corner of Pomerol.

Third Course

Magret Duck Steaks with a Frisee Salad of Duck Cracklins and Farm Poached Egg

3 Wines and 3 Winemakers

Pictures: Ed Addiss, Dominique Ressès, Christelle Gauthier and Catherine Roque, and their Wines

Chateau La Bourree Cotes de Castillon 2011

The husband and wife team M. Jean Francois Meynard and Christelle Gauthier, who were sitting next to me at the dinner, own 4 chateaux with a total vineyard area of 40 hectares. Chateau La Bouree extends over 10 hectares. The vineyard is planted with 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The yields are kept to 45h/hl by green harvesting and leaves are pulled as needed to insure proper ripening. Fermentation on the skins lasts for three weeks after which the wine is aged in used barrels for a year

Picture: Annette Schiller, Ombiasy PR and WineTours and the husband and Wife Team M. Jean Francois Meynard and Christelle Gauthier, Bordeaux

Chateau La Caminade Commandery Cahors 2009

Dominique Ressès: The Chateau La Caminade vineyards (34 hectares) lie in Parnac, in the heart of the Cahors region. The vineyard covers a variety of soil types including gravelly sand and clay/limestone. The Ressès family has been making wine here for four generations.

One of my early posting were about Dominique Ressès and his beautiful wines: The Wines of Chateau La Caminade in the Cahors, France – Malbec from its Birthplace

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Dominique Ressès, Cahor

Mas D’Alezon Presbytere Faugeres 2012

Catherine Roque, Languedoc, is owner and winemaker of Mas d’Alezon and Domaine du Clovallon. Catherine says that seeing the results of bio-dynamic farming practices has greatly inspired her. Both of her estates are in Languedoc.

Fourth Course

A Selection of 3 Regional Cheeses

3 Wines and 3 Winemakers

Pictures: Julien Teulier, Laurent Charrier, Jean-Marc Grussaute and Ed Assiss, and their Wines

Camin Larredya La Part Davan Jurancon Sec 2012

Jean-Marc Grussaute: The Grussautes have a small but remarkable vineyard (9 hectares) situated in the Chapelle de Rousse area of Jurançon. The word “Camin” used instead of Domaine is the local dialect for chemin or road.

The majority of the vineyard, planted by Jean-Marc’s father 40 years ago, is terraced and lies on steep and curved slopes that form an amphitheater. The vineyard is planted to 60% Petit Manseng and 37% Gros Manseng and 3% Petit Courbu. Jean-Marc Grussaute began estate bottling in 1988. He has farmed organically since 2007 with the first certified vintage being 2010. Jean-Marc names his wines after the vineyard parcels from which they come.

The Jurançon Sec which is called La Part Davan, blends two thirds Gros Manseng with Petit Manseng and a small quantity of Petit Courbu.. The wine undergoes a “maceration pellicullaire” before fermentation in stainless steel tanks and foudres. The wine then is kept “sur lie” for at least six months.

Picture: Jean-Marc Grussaute and Christian G.E. Schiller

Domaine du Pas Saint Martin Jurassique Saumur Blanc 2011

Domaine du Pas Saint Martin is set among troglodyte caves formed out of ancient fossilized marine life that covered the Saumur region 10 million years ago. During the Middle Ages these caves served the Protestants as secret places of worship.

Laurent Charrier and his mother run the domaine which is a certified organic farm. Laurent’s father was not interested in producing wine and thus in 1994 when Laurent took over the responsibility of the domaine, he picked up where his grandfather had left off. He immediately set out to acquire certification for organic farming which he received in 1997. The family vineyards are a bit spread out with small holdings in Anjou and Coteaux du Layon in addition to their primary vineyard in Saumur. The average age of the vines is 25 years with a good part being older than 35 years. Vinification is carried out in temperature controlled stainless steel vats.

Domaine du Cros Lo Sang del Pais Marcillac 2012

Winemaker Julien Teulier: Deliciously fruity red wine from Marcillac, first used to quench the thirst of pilgrims on their way to the shrine of Santiago di Compostella, and then miners from nearby coalfields. Made from the local fer servadou grape from a vineyard that was saved from extinction by a handful of dedicated growers in Southwest France.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Julien Teulier

Dessert

Tanis Bark and Fresh Ginger Wafers

Big Tasting with Winemakers from Wine Traditions…
Sunday March 2nd

1:30 to 4:30 pm

One of our most important suppliers of traditional French wines from family-owned, small-scale, boutique wineries is oufriend Ed Addiss of Wine Traditions. Not only are wine imported by Wine Traditions unique and excellent, but they’re fantastic values as well.
For this event, six of the impressive producers represented in the Wine Traditions portfolio will be presenting their wines for a unique, exciting and educational tasting experience. Not only that, but during the event all the wines presented will be on sale (at least 10% off regular prices).

Here are the wines…

Chateau Magneau (Bordeaux) Jean-Louis Ardurats
Graves Blanc 2012
Graves Rouge 2009
Chateau Vieux Chevrol (Bordeaux) Jean-Pierre and Michel Champseix
Lalande de Pomerol 2009
Camin Larredya (Jurancon)Jean-Marc Grussaute
Jurancon Sec, “La Part Davan” 2012
Jurancon “Costat Darrer” 2011
Domaine Rois Mages (Burgundy) Felix Debavelaere
Rully “Les Cailloux” Blanc 2011
Rully “Les Cailloux” Rouge 2011
Domaine du Cros (Marcillac) Philippe Teulier
Marcillac, Lo Sang del Pais 2012
Marcillac, “Vieilles Vignes” 2010
Vignobles Meynard (Bordeaux) Christelle Gauthier and Jean-Francois Meynard
Chateau La Bourree, Cotes de Castillon 2011
L’Etoile de Clotte, Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2010
Finewine.com Finewine facebook
February 17th, 2014

New Happenings Coming Up at Finewine.com!!!
Dinner with 13 French Winemakers & Aussie Wine Class!!!

We’ve been asked many times to do more wine dinners so we’re delighted to parnter with Buck’s Fishing & Camping and Wine Traditions Importers for an epic evening of great food and wine. We will welcome 13 visiting French winemakers who will ALL be at the dinner to share annidotes and stories about their great domaines and wines. We’ve also got a fantastic “Outback Adventure” with a wine class on New Zealand and Australian wines!

Bucks Logo
French Winemaker Dinner at
Bucks Fishing & Camping

Featuring 13 Winemakers and Your Choice of Wine for Each Course
Sunday March 2nd at 6:30pm – $99
(Tax and Gratuity included)

We’ve planned a thrilling wine dinner with 13 visiting winemakers from all around France at one of DC’s hottest and upcoming restaurants! “This arty and eclectic restaurant serves classic food made with the best ingredients.” says The Washington Post

This wine dinner will feature four expertly prepared courses of American cuisine from Chef James Rexroad. At this totally unique event, after a Champagne and oyster welcome, 13 French winemakers will be on hand to present their distinctive and delicious wines. You will have the opportunity to select one of three wines with each of your 4-courses to pair side-by-side with Buck’s beautiful menu.

At Bucks Fishing & Camping you will taste the real deal , Washington Post Food critic, Tom Sietsema says “there are few local kitchens that do its familiar dishes better than Bucks,” “the kitchen distinguishes itself is so many small ways” full of localy sourced foods; these flavor are simple and excellent. Owner James Alefantis, is charming and welcoming as is his restaurant. We will have full run of the place as they are closing their doors to all other diners on Sunday night! This is the perfect venue for great wine, wonderful food and friends! Join the finewine.com team and dine with us!

Menu ~ Buck’s Fishing & Camping
13 French Winemakers with chef James Rexroad
& Wine Traditions Ed and Barbara Addiss
Welcome
Oysters on the 1/2 Shell, Warm Gougeres, & Selection of Saucisson.
Bourdaire-Gallois, Brut Champagne NV

first course
House Applewood Smoked Salmon with it’s Roe.
choose one; Chateau Magneau, Graves Blanc 2012, Domaine de Bel Air Pouilly-Fume 2012 or Domaine Rois Mages “Les Cailloux” Rully Rouge 2011

second course
Wild Local Mushrooms with Tagliatelle Pasta & Herbs
choose one; Domaine Billard Hautes Cotes de Beaune Blanc 2012, Chateau Vieux Chevrol Lalande de Pomerol 2009 or Chateau Gueyrosse Saint Emilion 2003

third course
Magret Duck Steaks with a Frisee Salad of Duck Cracklins & Farm Poached Egg
choose one; Chateau La Bourree Cotes de Castillon 2011, Chateau La Caminade Commandery Cahors 2009 or Mas D’Alezon Presbytere Faugeres 2012

fourth course
A Selection of Three Regional Cheeses
choose one; Camin Larredya La Part Davan Jurancon Sec 2012, Domaine du Pas Saint Martin Jurassique Saumur Blanc 2011 or Domaine du Cros Lo Sang del Pais Marcillac 2012

dessert
Tanis Bark & Fresh Ginger Wafers

Buck’s Fishing and Camping is located at 5031 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (NW Washington- Next to Politics and Prose – Connecticut and Nebraska). This dinner is a great value as you will be drinking 5 outstanding French wines to compliment each delicious course. Call 301-987-5933 or click on the “sign up” button below. This dinner will sell out VERY quickly, so don’t delay. All seats must be reserved and pre-paid in advance through finewine.com.

SIGN UP

a translation of Laurent’s (pre)historical explanation of the place-name “Pierres Frites”, the name of his Saumur Blanc and Saumur Rouge bottlings.

MENHIRS

During the neolithic era, our distant ancestors erected megaliths (or menhirs) in very particular locations.

Blocks of hard stone were placed at points of convergence of water currents and telluric currents (points of energy currents emanating from deep earth). They became objects of radiant force, of revitalization. Men and women would come to these menhirs, to rub themselves against the stone, in order to capture the energy coming from the ground.

Oral legends preserved the memory of this ancient period, and today we still have the place-name “Pierre Frite”, coming from the Latin “fricta” meaning to rub (against).

The existence of sandstone slabs in the wood by our vineyards, confirms, in the eyes of specialists, the hypothesis of the existance here of an erected stone.

visit this link to the website for the original (click the neon-moss green bar at the bottom of the page): https://www.lepassaintmartin.fr/fr/le-terroir-p3.html#prettyPhoto

Domaine du Pas Saint Martin has been Ecocert certified since 1997 and is devoted to the cause of biodiversity.

Also check out this link : https://www.lemondedepierrefrite.fr/familles.htm to their site “La Monde de Pierre Frite”. Since 2009 the Domaine, teaming up with other skilled artisans in its community, has devolped an interactive teaching program for children to encourage awareness and understanding of biodiversity. The Domaine was awarded the 2012 Eco-Trophy by the Parc National Loire-Anjou-Touraine.

On the site you can watch videos of kids in the vineyards learning, seeing, photographing the fauna and flora populating the vines and neigboring woods. There is a “galerie” of photos taken by the children that is not to miss!

R. Dumont & Fils

By Josh Raynolds

2005 R. Dumont et Fils Millesime Brut

($53) (60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir): Vivid yellow. Smoky orchard fruits and chamomile on the musky, perfumed nose. Fleshy pear and Meyer lemon flavors tighten up in the mid-palate, picking up bitter quinine and dried fig qualities. Shows very good energy and lift on the finish, which leaves smoky mineral and brown butter notes behind. The smooth interplay of richness and vivacity will make this a very flexible Champagne at the table.

90 Points

1998 R. Dumont et Fils Blanc de Noirs Grand Millesime Brut

($85) Bright gold. Smoky aromas of poached pear, yellow plum, cherry pit and orange pith, with a subtle floral overtone. Fleshy and broad on the palate, offering nutty dried orchard fruit flavors and suggestions of buttered toast and musky rhubarb. Closes spicy and long, with a touch of candied fig and lingering spiciness.

91 Points

Jose Michel et Fils

By Josh Raynolds

2005 Jose Michel et Fils Brut Special Club 6 pack

($75) (a 50/50 blend of chardonnay and pinot meunier, all from the estate’s oldest vines): Bright yellow. Smoky, penetrating orchard fruit and cherry pit scents are complicated by notes of truffle, chalky minerals and fresh flowers. Powerful yet lithe on the palate, offering refreshingly bitter pear skin and fresh fig flavors and a brighter suggestion of orange that gains in strength with air. Finishes on a toasty note, with lingering florality and excellent persistence.

92 points

Perseval-Farge

By Josh Raynolds

2000 Perseval-Farge Millesime Premier Cru Brut

($79) (made from 60% chardonnay, 30% pinot noir and 10% pinot meunier): Vivid yellow. Spicy apple and peach aromas are complemented by deeper notes of buttered toast and anise. Chewy orchard fruit flavors are braced by a touch of bitter orange pith, showing very good focus. Picks up a nutty quality on the lingering, toasty finish.

91 Points

Wine Traditions imports these and The Vine Collective, www.thevinecollective.com distributes them in NY and NJ.

Grape Varieties

Vintages

Disgorgement Date

Triolet Brut

70% Chardonnay / 30% Pinot Noir

60% 2011 / 40% 2010

2-3 months before sale

Triolet Grande Reserve

100% Chardonnay

50% 2010 / 50% 2009

2-3 months before sale

Triolet Vieilles Vignes

100% Chardonnay

2008

2-3 months before sale

Triolet Rose

60% Chardonnay / 25% Pinot Noir

Chardonnay 60% 2010/ 25% Pinot Noir 2010

2-3 months before sale

15% Red Blend (60% Pinot Noir + 40% Pinot Meunier)

Red Blend 2010

Jose Michel Brut

70% Pinot Meunier / 30% Chardonnay

Base wine 2010+ Reserve wine 2009

2-3 months before sale

Jose Michel Brut Pinot Meunier

100% Pinot Meunier

2010

2-3 months before sale

Jose Michel Blanc de Blanc

100% Chardonnay

2005

4-6 months before sale

Jose Michel Special Club

50% Pinot Meunier / 50% Chardonnay

2006

4-6 months before sale

vines are 70 years +

R. Dumont & Fils Brut Tradition

90% Pinot Noir/ 10% Chardonnay

Base wine 2010 + Reserve Wine 2009,2008

3-4 months before the sale

2007 and 5% Pinot Noir Solera

R. Dumont & Fils Solera Reserve

100% Chardonnay

120 hectoliter cuve begun in 1991

Spring 2013

wine drawn from tank May 2011

R. Dumont & Fils Vintage 2005

60% Pinot Noir / 40% Chardonnay

2005

5-6 years sur lattes / January 2013

R. Dumont & Fils Vintage 1998

100% Pinot Noir

1998

12 years sur lattes / October 2012

R. Dumont & Fils Brut Nature

80% Pinot Noir / 20% Chardonnay

Base wine 2006 + 40% Reserve wines

6 years sur lattes / January 2013

R. Dumont & Fils Douce Cuvee

90% Pinot Noir/ 10% Chardonnay

Base wine 2006 + 30% Reserve wines

6 years sur lattes / january 2013

R. Dumont & Fils Brut Rose

100% Pinot Noir

2010

4 months before sale

Bourdaire-Gallois Brut NV

100% Pinot Meunier

Base wine 2010 + 20% 2009

3+ yrs sur lattes / 6 to 12 mos before sale

Bourdaire-Gallois Prestige

40% Pinot Meunier / 20% Pinot Noir/ 40% Chardonnay

PM and PN 2008 / CH 50-08 + 50-07

4+ yrs sur lattes / 6 to 12 mos before sale

Perseval-Farge C. de Pinots

55% Pinot Noir / 45% Pinot Meunier

35% 2008, 25% 2007, 33% 2006, 7% 2004

4+ yrs sur lattes / 6 to 12 mos before sale

Perseval-Farge Terre de Sables

A third each Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay

50% 2006, 50% Blend 2007, 2004 2001

4+ yrs sur lattes / 6 to 12 mos before sale

Perseval-Farge Vintage 2000

60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Meunier

2000

10+ yrs sur lattes

After a challenging, sometimes suspensful growing season in 2013, things are now quiet in the vines, leaves are mellowing to gold hues and vines are cloaked in autumn mists. Dominique Ressès of Chateau La Caminade in Cahors sends us these photos. Stay tuned for 2013 vintage reports as they come in from our producers.


There will be in-store tastings that same evening with producer Bernard Dumont from Dumont Pere et Fils @ Flatiron Wines & Spirits https://flatiron-wines.com , 929 Broadway between 21st and 22nd Streets, 5’oclock to 8 o’clock.

AND @ The Princeton Corkscrew www.princetoncorkscrew.com , in Palmer Square, Princeton, New Jersey from 5:30 to 8:30 with Frédérique and Thierry Triolet, Isabel Perseval and David Bourdaire.

Wine Traditions Ltd. 2012 Rosés

2012 Château Jouclary, Cabardès Rosé

2012 Domaine Monte de Marie, “Anatheme” VDT Rosé

2012 Domaine Roumagnac “Authentique” Fronton Rosé

2012 Domaine des Terrisses, Gaillac Rosé

2012 Domaine Brana, Irouleguy Rosé 6pk

2012 Domaine de Berane, Côtes du Ventoux Rosé

Château Jouclary, Cabardès Rosé

Château Jouclary is a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 40% Grenache and 20% Cinsault. The grapes are harvested early in the morning to avoid any oxidation. Once in the vat house, they are gently pressed and then fermented at low temperatures. The wine has a pale salmon color and is enticingly aromatic with scents of red currant, citrus and exotic fruit. The flavors of fresh fruit are supported by a good structure and acidity that allows the wine to remain buoyant and fresh throughout the palate.

Domaine Mont de Marie, “Anatheme” VDT Rosé

Made of 100% Aramon from 100 year old vines. The vines are pruned “en gobelet” or goblet/bush-pruning, as is traditional in the Languedoc, and cultivated respecting the authenticity of the terroir. This wine is made with naturally occurring yeasts, vinified without sulfur and with no oenological input.

The nose is immediate and aromatic of small red fruits, in the mouth it is unctuous, fresh and crisp, it finishes with suggestions of caramel and a touch of liquorice.

Domaine Roumagnac, Fronton Rosé Authentique

Domaine Roumagnac Rosé Authentique is a blend of 50% Négrette, 30% Syrah, 20% Cabernet, harvested during the night in order to preserve their aromatic freshness. Made in the “saignée method, the wine sees a short maceration resulting in a transparent coppery-pink color. From the first juice, the most noble and fruity, the nose is of red berry and citrus fruits (red currants and grapefruit).

Domaine Roumagnac’s vineyards are the very same on which were planted the first Négrette vines in the 12th century, on soils of alluvial gravel, which give the wines authentic fruit aromatics and a natural suppleness. Farmed naturally, with grasses growing among the vines and with the advantage of the natural drainage of their parcels, yields are kept low in order to extract full potential of the fruit, and to preserve the soil and its geological riches from erosion.

Work in the vineyard is manual and quite intensive, making for the closest possible monitoring of the progress of the vines in the field. Vinification is traditional in resin lined cement vats. Varieties are vinified separately, then blended before bottling.

Domaine des Terrisses, Gaillac Rosé

Domaine des Terrisses is a blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Braucol and 20% Duras. The average age of the vines is 25 years. The syrah for this wine comes from a parcel on the plain, harvested when just ripe, offering a balance of fruit, suppleness and freshness. Extraction by « pressurage » or pressing results in a very light color. The juice from Duras and Braucol grapes, harvested later from hillside parcels, are obtained by the « saignée » method. The different grape varieties are fermented separately at low temperatures , allowed to settle naturally for 5 months and racked several times before blending and bottling. The wine has aromas of strawberries and rasberries and on the palate it combines stone fruit with more savory flavors. The wine has a balance and structure that will allow it to improve for a year.

Domaine Brana, Irouleguy Rosé

The Brana “Harri Gorri” Rosé is produced from 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Franc. The cuvee name “Harri Gorri” is Basque for red stones and refers to the red sandstone found locally in the Basque Pyrénées Atlantiques. The wine is produced using the “saignée” method with maceration sufficient to give the wine a deep color and good body. The scents are typically Basque with floral and earthy vying for “first out of the glass.” The earthy aromas are mirrored on the palate which is lifted by stone fruit, lots of spice and lingering citrus notes on the finish

Domaine de Berane, Côtes du Ventoux Rosé

Domaine de Berane Rosé of Haute Provence is a blend of 85% Old Vines Grenache (41 years) and 15% Mourvedre (12 years). The vineyards are located 330 meters above Mediterranean sea level, next to Mont Ventoux, the largest mountain in the Provence region. The cool nights at harvest time here permit Bertrand and Anne Claire to obtain amazing freshness in their wines,.

The vines are tended organically with out pesticides or herbacides. The grapes were harvested late in September with excellent maturity and balance. The same approach is used in the winery as in the vineyard, avoiding the use of any additional products so that the fermentations remain entirely natural. The rosé is produced by combining two methods of vinification ; extraction by “pressurage” for the Grenache and by “saignée” for the Mourvedre.

The wine is pale with a slight orange tinge. The scents tend toward stone fruits with citric overtones. The wine is delicate on the palate with strong mineral and saline notes both providing a long, refreshing finish.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/drink-in-southwest-france/2013/03/18/7f909b24-8c01-11e2-9f54-f3fdd70acad2_story.html

5 Wines to try from Southwestern France

The husband-and-wife team of Ed Addiss and Barbara Selig have specialized in importing wines from southwestern France under their Falls Church-based Wine Traditions label, representing family-owned wineries that use environmentally friendly farming to produce wines that reflect individuality and terroir. They give Washington area wine lovers a unique opportunity to explore this region. — D.M.

Domaine Brana Ohitza 2010

★★1 / 2

Irouleguy, France, $22

This blend is 80 percent tannat, the rest cabernet franc. Its structure speaks of the mountains (Irouleguy is nestled among the foothills of the Pyrenees), yet the cab franc lends a softness and a Bordeaux sensibility that makes the wine eminently accessible now, while easily worthy of five or six years in your cellar.

Clos Fardet Madiran 2010

★★1 / 2

Madiran, France, $18

Madiran is happily situated to enjoy the cool climatic influence of the Atlantic as well as the warmth from the Mediterranean. Its tannat-based wines are closer in style to those of Virginia: rich, tannic and ripe, with bright red fruit and a dense earthiness to keep the flavors grounded. The Clos Fardet shows dark berry fruit with an appealing stony character.

Domaine du Cros Cuvee Vieilles Vignes 2010

★★

Marcillac, France, $18

Made entirely from the fer servadou grape, this is almost nutty, with a roasted character over ripe dark-fruit flavors. There’s an appealing liveliness that suggests authenticity and honesty. It tastes as though someone’s hands were involved in its production.

Camin Larredya Au Capceu 2010

★★

Jurancon, France, $35

This sweet dessert wine made entirely from the petit manseng grape could be the poor man’s Sauternes: rich and honeyed, without the sublime knee-buckling focus, to be sure, but also without the knee-buckling price tag. This is a model for sweet wines from this grape in Virginia. Camin Larredya also makes delicious dry wines from gros manseng and petit manseng at more affordable prices.

Wine Traditions Ltd.:

Available in the District at Cork Market, MacArthur Beverages; on the list at Cork Wine Bar.

Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Whole Foods Market in Arlington, at the Wine Cabinet in Reston; on the list at Bastille in Alexandria.

COLUMN

Drink in southwestern France

Dave McIntyre MAR 19

With their combination of history, geography and ethnic culture, the wines are a must for “travelers.”

Southwest France is a bit off the beaten track, in travel and in wine. When wine lovers go to France — and by that I mean the French shelves at our local wine store — we gravitate toward Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne and the Rhone Valley. The hipsters among us long for the Loire, while more old-fashioned enogeeks reach for Alsace. Most of us don’t get to the southwest, which is too bad, because the wines can be as delicious as the scenery is spectacular.

So the next time you feel like traveling by corkscrew, ask your retailer to take you to Irouleguy, Fronton, Madiran or Jurancon. You’ll taste unfamiliar grapes such as negrette, tannat and fer servadou, reds that produce wine at once perfumed and rugged. Gros and petit manseng produce aromatic whites that range from dry and delicate to unctuously sweet.

These aren’t the stylish wines of classed-growth Bordeaux chateaux, nor do they have the sublime luxury of premier cru Burgundy. But they are honest, tasting as though they were grown and produced in a particular place instead of according to a recipe. They are what some people might call “weeknight wines,” because they are inexpensive and uncomplicated. You don’t need to worry about which foods to match with them; almost anything works. They won’t take you too far out of your comfort zone. Most are blended with familiar grapes such as cabernet franc, malbec and syrah.

And it’s fun to say Irouleguy (ee-ROO-luh-ghee). That appellation name is one of the easier words to pronounce on the labels of the excellent Domaine Brana. The wine names reflect the Basque influence of the region; they include the Ohitza red blend, made from tannat that’s tamed with 20 percent cabernet franc.

Exploring southwestern France gives me an excuse to consult my favorite travel primer, “Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours,” by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and Jose Vouillamoz (HarperCollins, 2012), more an encyclopedic tome than a pocket travel guide, to be sure.

Tannat, for example, is known for its high tannin (the mouth-puckering, drying factor in red wine), though its name may refer to its dark color. Micro-oxygenation, the modern technique of bubbling small amounts of air into young wine to soften the tannins, was developed in Madiran, the appellation most known for tannat.

Fer servadou, or simply fer, derives from the Latin word for wild, and this grape is the genetic grandparent of carmenere, now popular in Chile. It shines at Domaine du Cros in Marcillac, an appellation that enjoys climatic influence of both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Negrette, as its name suggests, is another dark-colored grape, though more aromatic and less brooding than tannat. It is blended successfully with syrah, cabernet sauvignon and malbec at Chateau Bouissel in Fronton. While fer servadou may be native to southwestern France, negrette is thought to have been brought back from the Crusades by the Knights Templar.

If some of these grape names sound familiar, you might be hearing their Virginia accent. Tannat and fer servadou were planted in the 1990s by vintners eager to experiment with grape varieties that could ripen well in Virginia’s humid climate and contribute color and tannin to its sometimes pallid red wines. Today they show up in wines produced by Chrysalis, Hillsborough and Fabbioli Cellars in Loudoun County, as well as Delaplane Cellars in Fauquier County and Horton Vineyards in Orange County. Varietally labeled tannat can be quite good in Virginia.

Virginia is also making nice wine from petit manseng, a floral white grape that survives well against humidity and ripens with high acidity and sugar levels. In France, the grape plays a minor supporting role to gros manseng in the white wines of Jurancon. Those range from dry, fruity whites to unctuously sweet dessert wines.

With their combination of history, geography and ethnic culture in the glass, the wines of southwest France are too delicious to leave off your travel itinerary.

Meunier Specialists
When thinking of historical specialists of meunier, there are two prominent names that come to mind. The first is José Michel, who has been cultivating vines in the village of Moussy since 1952. Michel has been a longtime champion of the meunier grape, and in the past, his vintage wine was always made of pure meunier. In his cellars, I’ve tasted old examples going back to the 1940s and 1950s, and these can be extraordinarily fresh and lively, defying the notion that meunier champagnes require early drinking.

In the 1970s, Michel began to include some chardonnay in his vintage blends, in an effort to cultivate more overt finesse. This set the precedent for the wines of today: both his Spécial Club and vintage cuvées, for example, are always made from a blend of meunier and chardonnay. He stopped making a 100-percent meunier champagne for a number of years, but in the early 2000s, he created a new, non-vintage meunier cuvée that my friends and I like to think that we’re at least partially responsible for.

My friend Brian and I used to visit Michel every year, and we would badger him incessantly about meunier. Brian would always ask, “Why don’t you make a 100-percent meunier?” And Michel would just smile and say, “Oh, I used to,” and then he’d pull out another old vintage champagne made entirely of meunier that we would invariably go nuts over. Every year it was the same. Finally, in 2005 I was in Bordeaux, and I saw Michel and his wife at VinExpo. He said to me, “Tell your friend I have a new wine for him.” The next time we showed up, he presented us with his non-vintage Pinot Meunier, and this wine has since become one of the stars in his portfolio.

Peter Liem’s latest article on Pinot Meunier Champagne

Of Champagne’s three major grape varieties, pinot meunier, or simply meunier, as it is commonly called in the region, is clearly the underdog. It accounts for about a third of the region’s plantings, yet in terms of perceived nobility, it ranks firmly below chardonnay and pinot noir. It’s often planted in marginalized areas, due to its resistance to frost and its ability to produce in vineyards where chardonnay and pinot noir struggle. It is not permitted the designation of grand cru, even if it is grown exclusively in a grand cru village—because of this, in fact, there is very little meunier grown in grand cru vineyards. Many producers avoid using meunier in their vintage wines, due to its supposed inability to age, and in general, it’s often viewed as a sort of rustic country cousin to the finer, more sophisticated varieties of chardonnay and pinot noir.

And yet, the last decade has seen an increased interest in meunier, with a growing acceptance of the variety among winemakers. There is no longer a sense of apology among producers when speaking about meunier, and its usefulness in a blend is now much more openly acknowledged. Even more intriguing, for us as consumers, is the marked increase in the number of champagnes made entirely out of meunier, offering us not only a better understanding of the variety, but also a view of how it performs in different terroirs.

A Distinctive Grape
Pinot meunier derives its name from the downy white fuzz found on its leaves: in French,meunier means “miller”, and this white down makes the leaves appear as if they were dusted with flour. This is most noticeable in the spring, when the growth is just beginning; later in the season, the leaves can be just as green as those of pinot noir. However, the leaves are usually shaped quite differently, as demonstrated by Benoît Tarlant in the photo below: on the left is pinot noir, with its characteristically round leaf shape, while on the right is a meunier leaf, with deep indentations.

Another method of telling the two apart is by the shape of the grape clusters, although this can be less reliable, depending upon the individual plant. Pinot noir typically has triangular clusters, with square “shoulders”, while meunier clusters are smaller and rounder. In the photo below, pinot noir is on the left, and meunier on the right.

Pinot noir and pinot meunier

While meunier can be found across the Champagne region, there are two areas where it has traditionally been prominent. The more famous of these is the Vallée de la Marne west of Epernay, where meunier represents the majority of plantings. Generally speaking, as one travels west from Epernay along the Marne River, the bedrock of chalk gradually sinks deeper below the surface, covered by an increasingly thicker layer of topsoils that can be composed of clays, marls, gravel or sand. Combined with the area’s cool, frost-prone microclimates and persistent fog, this can create problems for chardonnay and pinot noir in certain parcels, with the latter in particular struggling to ripen.

Meunier, however, readily copes with these adversities. It thrives in clay soils and, since it buds late, it is better positioned to avoid the early spring frosts. When hit by frost, it is hardier and more resistant than either chardonnay or pinot noir are, and even if its buds are destroyed, meunier can generate a second crop of buds, regaining up to 70 percent of the original yield. This gives it a distinct advantage over other varieties, and despite the decline in plantings over recent years (in favor of pinot noir), it’s likely that meunier is still the most suitable grape for many terroirs in the Vallée de la Marne.

The other primary area for meunier in Champagne is in the western portion of the Montagne de Reims, in the so-called Petite Montagne. This is an area that stretches from Gueux in the north to Sermiers in the south, on the western side of the D951, the main road that runs between Epernay and Reims. Some of this area has slowly been converted to pinot noir in recent years, but historically, much of this region was valued for its meunier, particularly the villages north of Écueil such as Sacy, Villedommange, Jouy-lès-Reims, Coulommes-la-Montagne, Vrigny and Gueux.

Here the soils are generally more overtly calcareous than those in the Vallée de la Marne, although they are also mixed with marls and sands, and can contain a high proportion of fossils. This results in different characters in the wines from the two regions: in the Petite Montagne, the meunier tends to be firmer and more structured, while the wines of the Vallée de la Marne are broader and more ample in build. This varies from one wine to another, depending upon individual parcels and producers, but in general, there are recognizable attributes between the two areas that can be discerned and differentiated.

Meunier can offer more forward and ample fruit flavors in its youth than pinot noir or chardonnay do, and for this reason it is most often used in non-vintage blends, to make the young wines more approachable. The specific flavors of the variety can be surprisingly diverse. There are often aromas of bread dough or baked apple, and these can be accompanied by red-fruit notes reminiscent of plums or cherries, while at other times the wines can be notably citrusy, with flavors of orange or grapefruit, sometimes even veering towards notes of tropical fruit in ripe examples.

It is generally accepted in Champagne that meunier matures earlier than the other varieties do, lacking the capacity for long aging, and many houses avoid using it in their vintage champagnes. However, there are notable examples to the contrary—the most frequently cited are undoubtedly the vintage wines of Krug, which possess mythical longevity despite having always included a significant proportion of meunier in their blends. There are even examples of 100-percent meunier champagne that have aged exceptionally well, although these are much more difficult to obtain.

Meunier Specialists
When thinking of historical specialists of meunier, there are two prominent names that come to mind. The first is José Michel, who has been cultivating vines in the village of Moussy since 1952. Michel has been a longtime champion of the meunier grape, and in the past, his vintage wine was always made of pure meunier. In his cellars, I’ve tasted old examples going back to the 1940s and 1950s, and these can be extraordinarily fresh and lively, defying the notion that meunier champagnes require early drinking.

In the 1970s, Michel began to include some chardonnay in his vintage blends, in an effort to cultivate more overt finesse. This set the precedent for the wines of today: both his Spécial Club and vintage cuvées, for example, are always made from a blend of meunier and chardonnay. He stopped making a 100-percent meunier champagne for a number of years, but in the early 2000s, he created a new, non-vintage meunier cuvée that my friends and I like to think that we’re at least partially responsible for.

My friend Brian and I used to visit Michel every year, and we would badger him incessantly about meunier. Brian would always ask, “Why don’t you make a 100-percent meunier?” And Michel would just smile and say, “Oh, I used to,” and then he’d pull out another old vintage champagne made entirely of meunier that we would invariably go nuts over. Every year it was the same. Finally, in 2005 I was in Bordeaux, and I saw Michel and his wife at VinExpo. He said to me, “Tell your friend I have a new wine for him.” The next time we showed up, he presented us with his non-vintage Pinot Meunier, a
nd this wine has since become one of the stars in his portfolio.

Another traditional specialist in meunier was René Collard, across the river in Reuil, on the right bank of the Vallée de la Marne. Collard, who began making wine in 1943, was devoted to organic viticulture long before organic viticulture became fashionable, and his wines, all of which were fermented in barrel without malolactic, were a little controversial: either you loved their rich, chewy depth of flavor or you were put off by their rusticity and their lack of finesse. In his deep underground cellar, he had a tasting room that looked like nothing had been touched for fifty years, and he always had old vintages for sale at very kind prices. Like Michel, he occasionally added chardonnay to his blends, but there were plenty of vintage wines that were 100-percent meunier: the powerful 1990, the chewy 1976 and the burnished, golden 1969, for example, or even the spicy, complex 1985 rosé. Collard retired in 1995, and passed away in 2009. His grandson Olivier continues to produce champagne at his own estate in Villers-sous-Châtillon, Collard-Picard, but to my knowledge, he doesn’t make a pure meunier champagne.

While José Michel and René Collard were the most renowned of the meunier specialists, there have certainly been other growers who made 100-percent meunier champagnes in the past, but who were smaller and less well-known. For example, in Festigny, in the Vallée du Flagot on the left bank of the Marne, Michel Loriot is highly regarded for his meunier today, and while he grows other grapes as well, he has two cuvées that are made entirely of meunier: a richly flavored non-vintage brut and a vintage-dated, single-vineyard Pinot Meunier Vieilles Vignes.

Historically, though, the family’s estate was planted exclusively with meunier, and all of the wines made by Loriot’s father and grandfather were pure meunier, since that’s the only grape they had. “In the past,” he says, “there was hardly any chardonnay planted here, because people were afraid of frost.” Recently, Loriot opened a 1964 vintage champagne for me, made by his grandfather, Germain Loriot. At 49 years of age, it was still fresh and youthful, with a surprisingly pale color and an incredibly vibrant, energetic fragrance. Like Loriot’s wines today, it possessed a fine balance between rich depth and subtle finesse, enlivened by a stony, saline minerality.

A Renewed Interest
Even as recently as the late-1990s, meunier remained a publicly marginalized grape. It accounted for over a third of the vineyard plantings in Champagne, yet many producers remained reluctant to talk about it, with some even denying that they used it in their blends. At the same time, there were a few growers who were becoming interested in seeing what meunier could do if it were given the proper attention.

In Oeuilly, on the left bank of the Vallée de la Marne, the Tarlant family has been growing vines since the seventeenth century. Meunier has long been a staple of this region, and in 1999, Benoît Tarlant and his father Jean-Mary selected a special parcel of meunier to bottle separately for the first time, under the label La Vigne d’Or. These are the oldest vines of the estate, planted in the vineyard of Pierre de Bellevue in 1947, and the wine was fermented in barrel and aged under cork rather than capsule.

As inspiration for this champagne, Benoît Tarlant cites the wines of René Collard, of whom he was a friend and great admirer. The Tarlants have continued to bottle this wine in later vintages, and have since released the 2002 and 2003, in addition to the inaugural vintage of 1999. La Vigne d’Or is a generous, amply flavored wine, but it’s as expressive of place as it is of fruit, demonstrating the broad build and rich aromas typical of vineyards close to the river while also maintaining a taut, focused structure—this parcel is notably calcareous for the area, and this is reflected in the wine’s lively minerality.

In an entirely different terroir, Jérôme Prévost also began to make a meunier champagne around this time, and since then, he has likely done more than anyone else to elevate the stature of this grape. Unlike the Tarlants, who bottled a pure meunier because they could, Prévost bottled meunier because he had to—it’s the only variety planted in his two-hectare vineyard of Les Béguines in the village of Gueux.

Prévost had been working his vines since 1987, when he inherited the parcel from his grandmother, but he sold his grapes each year to the négoce. In 1998, his friend Anselme Selosse convinced him to begin bottling his own champagne, and he even offered to let Prévost use his facilities in Avize to do so, since Prévost had no cellars of his own. Prévost began producing small quantities of a single cuvée, vinified in 450- to 600-liter barrels with indigenous yeasts and bottled without fining, filtering or cold-stabilization.

The wine immediately attracted attention among champagne connoisseurs in the know, and soon it seemed that no avant-garde Parisian wine bar was complete without having Prévost on its list. For those who appreciate terroir-expressive, naturally-grown wines, Prévost’s Les Béguines was something of a revelation, and together with growers such as David Léclapart, Bertrand Gautherot and Cédric Bouchard, Prévost represented a modern genre of Champagne producers who were doing something radically different and entirely new.

Les Béguines spends a relatively short amount of time on its lees, and thus does not qualify to be a vintage-dated champagne, although it always comes from a single year. It’s a complex, intensely soil-driven wine, and one that demonstrates a great deal of finesse, with a noticeably finer texture than other meunier champagnes. It also needs several years of post-disgorgement age to show its best: at a recent tasting in New York City, the 2007 (disgorged in 2009) was just beginning to open up and reveal a broader range of aromas, and the 2006 (disgorged in 2008) was generous and inviting, still youthful but fully accessible. In contrast, the 2008, 2009 and 2010 were all significantly more closed, promising greatness yet holding much of their depth and complexity in reserve.

In 2007, Prévost made a rosé champagne for the first time, using a section of vines affected bycourt-noué to make red wine, which he blended into the regular version of Les Béguines. Called Fac-simile, this is a pungent, vinous rosé, with concentrated fruit flavors and a taut, rigid structure. Despite being based on the same material, it’s a surprisingly different wine than theblanc version is, offering an alternate interpretation of Les Béguines meunier.

Proliferation
Today, there are a number of other growers who have begun bottling 100-percent meunier champagnes, grown in a variety of terroirs. In the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay, close to where José Michel has his vines, Laherte Frères makes a soil-expressive, vintage-dated cuvée called Les Vignes d’Autrefois, from vines in the vi
llages of Chavot and Mancy that were planted between 1947 and 1964. The first release was from 2004, and Laherte has made it in every vintage since: it’s a boldly fragrant wine, showing an old-vine depth and complexity, although it also reflects the chalky soils of the area in its racy structure and saline undertones.

Moving farther west along the Marne River, you’ll find Christophe Mignon in the little hamlet of La Boulonnerie, just outside of Festigny. Mignon grows vines both in Festigny and in a village farther to the southwest, Le Breuil: he notes that the wines from Le Breuil are leaner, with a more pronounced structure, while the meunier in Festigny is rounder and fruitier. He typically blends wines from the two villages together, and while he grows a small amount of chardonnay and pinot noir, his focus is primarily on meunier, which accounts for 90 percent of his six-hectare estate. His non-vintage brut nature is pure meunier, and it’s a vibrant, intensely soil-expressive wine, reflecting Mignon’s dedication to quality viticulture. The vintage cuvée is also made entirely of meunier, largely from Le Breuil, and while it’s rich and ripe, it demonstrates the same energy and intensity that the non-vintage does, adding more complexity and depth.

It’s interesting to compare Mignon’s wines with those of Jean Moutardier in Le Breuil, despite the differences in scale and philosophy between the two houses. Moutardier’s wines are all grown in the immediate vicinity of Le Breuil, in order to retain a specificity of terroir, and since 2006, the house has been making a 100-percent meunier champagne called, appropriately enough, Pure Meunier. It’s released as a brut nature, and it reflects the terroir character of Le Breuil in its sleek, focused shape and stony, earthy minerality.

Close to Festigny, in the direction of the river, Jérôme Dehours farms a 14-hectare estate based in the hamlet of Cerseuil, with vines also located in the neighboring villages of Mareuil-le-Port, Troissy and Oeuilly. Meunier accounts for 60 percent of his plantings, forming the backbone of most of his cuvées, but he also produces several individual bottlings of meunier that are well worth seeking out. From the vineyard of Les Genevraux in Troissy, planted in 1979, Dehours makes small quantities of a vintage-dated, single-vineyard champagne. The deep tuffeau soils here are mixed with sandy clay and plenty of small stones, and the wine that they produce is energetic and tense, with pronounced mineral aromas.

Just 150 meters away from Les Genevraux, Dehours also owns a parcel of 50-year-old meunier vines in the lieux-dit of La Croix Joly, a slightly warmer vineyard that’s more exposed to the afternoon sun. It also lies on clay and tuffeau, with very little calcareous matter, and the wines here tend to be more overtly fruity than those of Les Genevraux, with a rounder body and richer depth. Dehours has released one vintage of La Croix Joly, the 2005, which was bottled exclusively in magnum. He has since decided to convert this parcel to the production of red wine, which is potentially even more interesting, and certainly more unusual: the first release of La Croix Joly Coteaux Champenois is the 2008.

In addition to these two single-vineyard wines, Dehours also bottles another champagne called Blanc de Meunier, blended from various parcels of old vines across the estate. The first vintage of this cuvée is the 2007, and like the single-vineyard champagnes, this is vinified entirely in barrel and dosed very low (3 g/l, in this case). It’s a less demanding wine than the single-vineyard champagnes are, focusing more on varietal notes of apple, apricot and citrus peel rather than the intense minerality found in the other two.

In this same vicinity, and from similar terroir, the Bérèche family has also begun bottling a single-vineyard champagne from pure meunier, called Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche. The north-facing vineyard of Les Misy lies on calcareous clay soils in Port-à-Binson, near Mareuil-le-Port, and Bérèche’s vines here were planted in 1969. The wine is fermented entirely in barrel with indigenous yeasts and without malolactic, and it’s aged on cork rather than capsule for the second fermentation. All of this results in a vividly complex and piercingly mineral-expressive champagne, and it’s one of the finest examples of meunier in Champagne.

On the other side of the Marne river, Franck Pascal has been steadily gaining a reputation for his wines, most of which are heavily based on meunier. Pascal is a staunch advocate of biodynamic farming, and his vineyards in and around the village of Baslieux-sur-Châtillon have been entirely biodynamic since 2001. He typically blends his meunier with a smaller proportion of chardonnay and pinot noir, but in 2003, he made a pure meunier champagne for the first time, from a single parcel of old vines that resisted the heat of the vintage particularly well. This was called Cuvée Emeric, named for Pascal’s youngest son, and 2003 is the only vintage in which it was made. However, Pascal created a new vintage cuvée in 2004 called Harmonie, which he intends to produce as a blanc de noirs: the 2004 was a blend of both pinot noir and meunier, but the 2005 was made entirely of meunier.

In the neighboring village of Cuisles, Cédric Moussé has begun making his Spécial Club champagne exclusively from meunier, the first such example in the history of the Club Trésors de Champagne. The Moussé family has been cultivating vines in the Vallée de la Marne since 1750, and Cédric is the fourth generation of his family to produce estate-bottled champagne. He joined the Club in 2005, and began making Spécial Club in that vintage: it’s a wine of pronounced minerality, its stony undertones contrasting the broader and more overtly clay-driven characters of many of the meuniers found on the opposite bank of the river.

Virtually all of the most prominent Vallée de la Marne producers are found in the area between Epernay and Dormans, which is much more heralded for its wines than are the locations farther to the west, in the département of the Aisne. Nevertheless, in Crouttes-sur-Marne, in the far west of the Champagne appellation, Françoise Bedel makes densely-flavored, biodynamically-grown champagnes that have gained a steady following among fans of organic wine. About four-fifths of Bedel’s 8.4 hectares of vines are planted with meunier, but like Pascal, she typically blends this with chardonnay and pinot noir. Bedel makes two terroir-specific champagnes: Dis, Vin Secret comes from limestone parcels, while Entre Ciel et Terre is grown on argilo-calcaire. Both wines are always heavily meunier-based, but the 2002 Entre Ciel et Terre was made entirely from meunier, and it was excellent, with a lively depth of flavor and an intensely soil-driven character.

In the Petite Montagne, meunier’s other ancestral homeland in Champagne, the variety remains an important part of production, forming the base of blends for growers such as L. Aubry Fils in Jouy-lès-Reims, Roger Coulon in Vrigny, or Emmanuel Brochet in Vi
llers-aux-Noeuds. Yet there have been few 100-percent meunier champagnes made in this area, and none of significance until Jérôme Prévost began making Les Béguines.

In fact, other than Les Béguines, the only widely-known example of pure meunier from the Petite Montagne is Les Vignes de Vrigny, by Egly-Ouriet. In 2000, Francis Egly expanded his estate with the acquisition of vineyards inherited through his wife’s family. This included two hectares of 40-year-old meunier vines in Vrigny, and rather than blending this fruit into his existing wines, Egly used them to create a separate cuvée. While Les Vignes de Vrigny is recognizably an Egly wine, it differs significantly in character from his other cuvées, as a result of its varietal makeup and its vinification exclusively in stainless steel tanks. It’s a more overtly oxidative wine than Prévost’s is, with a broad, spicy fragrance and a savory minerality.

Just to the north of the Petite Montagne, in the Massif de St-Thierry, Alexandre Chartogne ofChartogne-Taillet is gaining a cult following for his new single-vineyard meunier, made from 50-year-old ungrafted vines in the vineyard of Les Barres. Champagnes made from ungrafted vines are rare, since phylloxera thrives in calcareous soils—in Les Barres, however, the topsoils are very sandy, preventing phylloxera from spreading.

Chartogne first bottled Les Barres in 2006, and has continued to make it in each vintage since. As with the meuniers of the Petite Montagne, Les Barres is more overtly chalky and more linear in build than its counterparts in the Vallée de la Marne, reflecting the differences in both soil type and climate between the two areas. It’s uncommonly complex as well, not just for meunier, but for any champagne, and its intensity of terroir expression is profound.

Meunier champagnes can be found in other areas of the appellation as well. In Cumières, a village better known for pinot noir, Vincent Laval of Georges Laval had a parcel of very old meunier vines that he replanted at the end of 2006, and from their final harvest, he bottled a rich, vividly expressive champagne called Les Meuniers de la Butte. It’s rather difficult to obtain as only 800 bottles were made, but it’s well worth a search.

Gilles Dumangin of J. Dumangin Fils recently released a new series of champagnes called the Trio des Ancêtres, and one of these, named for his great-grandfather Achille, is made entirely from meunier. The inaugural vintage was 2000, and it was aged for an unusually long time: one year in barrique and nine years on the lees before disgorgement. In Epernay, Janisson-Baradonhas also recently created a new trio of champagnes, with each being a single-vineyard, single-varietal wine. The meunier comes from an Epernay vineyard called Chemin des Conges, planted in 1964 and 1965, and it’s a boldly assertive wine, its aromas of red fruit feeling concentrated and tense.

Even in the Aube, where meunier is not a widely planted grape, at least one example of a pure meunier champagne can be found: in 2009, Dosnon & Lepage bottled one for the first time, made from grapes grown in the sandy soils of Tranne, in the Bar-sur-Aube. The wine hasn’t been released for sale yet, but early tastings have shown it to be fragrant and fruity, with the voluptuous depth typical of Aube champagnes.

The wines mentioned above do not by any means constitute a comprehensive list of 100-percent meunier champagnes, and you may encounter examples from producers such as Arlaux, Baron Fuenté, Gérard Loriot or Denis Salomon, among others. Today we’re seeing more and more 100-percent meunier cuvées appearing on the market, and of course meunier continues to play an important role in blends across the region. What is significant and exciting is that there is a growing and genuine interest in meunier among champagne producers, with an increasing number of people acknowledging that it can create fine wines if treated with care, and it’s likely that we’re only beginning to see the potential of this underrated variety.

February 2013

Wine Traditions is excited to announce several new producers to our portfolio.

We are now offering selections from the Languedoc from Catherine Roche’s two properties Mas d’Alezon in Faugeres and Domaine Clovallon in the Vallée de l’Orb, from Le Bouc a Trois Pattes in the Haute Vallée de l’Orb and from Thierry Forestier of Domaine Mont de Marie in Souvignargues in the eastern Coteaux de Languedoc.

In Beaujolais we welcome Domaine du Cret de Bine making wine in Sarcey the southern part of of the appellation and Domaine Foretal in the commune of Vauxrenard in the heart of Upper Beaujolais. And in neighboring Maconnais Domaine les Grands Crays in Viré-Clessé and Romuald Petit making Bourgogne Chardonnay in Saint-Vérand.

Find out more about these producers and their wines on their own pages on this site!

Chez Pascal presents:

Wurst Wine Tasting

Monday, September 17

6:00pm – 8:00pm

ed & barbara.

we anxiously await

their arrival.

In collaboration with our friends at Campus Wines, this will be a fun, casual, mingle about, wine sipping, wurst nibbling evening. We will be trying 5 fantastic wines from one of our favorite importers. If you have been to a few of our wine events before you will remember Barbara & Ed of Wine Traditions and their wealth of information and unique and wonderful wines.

Come, mingle, taste wine and enjoy some of our new wurst offerings out of the Wurst Kitchen.

The tasting will be held in our Wurst Kitchen

& side dining room.

Wines we will be tasting:

Domaine du Pas Saint Martin, La Vie en Rose, sparkling

Domaine Brana, Harri Gorri, Irouleguy Rose

Domaine Grosbot-Barbara, La Vreladiere, Saint Pourcin Blanc

Domaine Grosbot-Barbara, Chambre d’Edouard, Saint Pourcin Rouge

Domaine Philemon, La Croix de la Bouscarie, Gaillac Rouge

The price is $45 per person and this INCLUDES the wine, hors d’oeuvres from the Wurst Kitchen, tax and gratuity!

Please call Chez Pascal for reservations. Payment for this event will be taken in advance with a credit card, non refundable but you can certainly pass your reservation on to a friend.

Domaine Laurent Gauthier Beaujolais-Villages Rosé 2011……As Belle Epoque as you could hope for ; gamay redolent and fruity with wild strawberries ; vibrant, fresh and deep pink as a newly blossomed rose in morning……

An apperitif for pure enjoyment ; paired well w/ rillettes and patés w/ cornichons, saucissons secs, artichokes and grilled summer squashes and eggplant. Steak Tartare!

Chateau du Bloy Bergerac Rosé 2011….100% Cabernet Franc, a delicate pale color – between partridge eye and pale salmon. Mineral, linear and focused like whites from the region, graced by a brush of lushness from Cabernet Franc. This articulate wine edges well into high-toned dishes of spring and summer – composed salads, asparagus and peas and radishes and corn, vegetable risottos, high-season stripped bass, tuna. Crab cakes and lobster! A Mediterranean lamb stew simmered w/ cinnamon and cumin with rice. Milder washed rind cheeses.

This is a cook’s rosé.

In their 2012 releases, the Guides Hachette des Vins, Bettane & Desseauve des Vins de France and Dussert-Gerber des Vins publish high praises for Anne-Sophie Debavelaere’s Bouzeron and Rully “Les Cailloux” White and Red!

Hachette says:

Rully Les Cailloux 2008 White. This cuvee, coming from an incredibly rocky soil, breathes the minerality of its terroir matched with supple notes of ripe fruit. On the palate it begins fresh and delicate, then gives place to a rich and ardent wine of substance.

Rully Les Cailloux 2009 Red. Notable for its aromatic harmony, allying red fruits with forest floor and vanilla to more animal notes.

Bouzeron 2009. Of a beautiful gold color tinged with delicate green….a discreet nose which opens to notes of freshly cut grass, so characteristic of Aligote. The palate is floral, vibrant and fresh. A balanced, pleasing wine, perfect for rabbit terrine with tarragon.

Today, in his wine article in the Portland Press Herald, Joe Appel considers wines of the South West of France as optimal companions while lost on a deserted island. These wines, with their sense of “somewhereness” are “terrific friends”, keep one “tethered to the world left behind” and “hopeful for the world to come”. Read more musings and tasting notes here:

https://www.pressherald.com/life/foodanddining/praise-for-french-southwest_2012-06-06.html

Hangtime Wholesale Wine Company

presents

Spring 2012 Portfolio Tasting

The Wine Traditions portfolio consists of wines from small family owned vineyards throughout France where respect for the land results in wines that convey a sense of place. We will be showing wines from Champagne, Bordeaux, the Southwest, the Loire, Beaujolais, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley.

place: Tremont 647 Restaurant,

647 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

date: Monday, May 7th

time: noon til 4:00

~ please RSVP to: hangtimewine@aol.com ~

Our 2011 Rosés are here- reconnecting us to summer long days and gentle weather time to share with friends…


Château Jouclary, Cabardès Rosé

Château Jouclary is a blend of 40% Merlot, 30% Syrah and 30% Grenache and is produced by combining two methods of vinification, or more precisely, extraction. Known as the “saignée” method, the Grenache grapes begin a traditional vinification but with skin maceration lasting only about 12 hours after which the juice is drained to continue its fermentation without the solids. The Merlot and Syrah are produced using “pressurage,” like white wines where the juice is pressed from the grapes before fermentation begins. The wine has a pale salmon color and is enticingly aromatic with scents of red currant, citrus and exotic fruit. The flavors of fresh fruit are supported by a good structure and acidity that allows the wine to remain buoyant and fresh throughout the palate.

Château Bellevue La Forêt, Fronton Rosé

Château Bellevue La Forêt is a blend of 60% Negrette, 20% Gamay, 10% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Franc. The different varieties are picked separately by parcel in the early morning to maximize freshness. They are gently pressed upon reception and then vinified separately at low temperatures. Following an “elevage sur lies” an assemblage is made. The local negrette grape gives the wine both its luminous strawberry color and lively floral aromas. The supple mouth feel supports flavors ranging from orchard fruit to notes of herbs and spices.

Domaine des Terrisses, Gaillac Rosé

Domaine des Terrisses is a blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Braucol and 20% Duras. 2011 was a particularly hot and dry year in Gaillac and Alain Cazottes picked the Syrah for the Rosé very early and instead of using the saignée method as usual; he gently pressed the grapes before fermenting them at low temperatures. For the Braucol and Duras he used the saignée method with maceration lasting about 12 hours. The different grape varieties were fermented separately at low temperatures allowed to settle naturally for 5 months and racked several times before blending and bottling. The 2011 vintage is particularly light in color, “provençalesque,” and combines stone fruit with more savory flavors. Despite its delicate nature, the wine has a balance and structure that will allow it to improve for a year.

Domaine de Berane, Côtes du Ventoux Rosé

Domaine de Berane is a blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre. It is produced by combining two methods of vinification, or more precisely, extraction with 70% by “pressurage” and 30% by “saignée”. The grapes were harvested late in September with excellent maturity and balance. The wine is pale with a slight orange tinge. The scents tend toward stone fruits with citric overtones. The wine is delicate on the palate with strong mineral and saline notes both providing a long refreshing finish.

Domaine Brana, Irouleguy Rosé

The Brana “Harri Gorri” Rosé is produced from 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Franc. The cuvee name “Harri Gorri” is basque for red stones and refers to the red sandstone found locally in the Basque Pyrénées Atlantiques. The wine is produced using the “saignée” method with maceration sufficient to give the wine a deep color and good body. The scents are typically Basque with floral and earthy vying for first out of the glass. The earthy aromas are mirrored on the palate lifted by stone fruit, lots of spice and lingering citrus notes on the finish.

CAMIN LARREDYA A COMBATANT JURANCON

In a breathtaking landscape are the terraced vines of this Jurancon Domaine. Here Jean-Marc Grussaute organically crafts his expressive and sincere “sec and “moelleux” wines.

On these steep and abrupt terraces, the character and finesse of jurancon becomes exalted.

These are roughly translated experts from an article published in the latest La Revue du Vin de France.

The article is visually lovely and an intimate study of Jean-Marc Grussate and Camin Larredya, its landscape, the vineyards and process. A portrait of Jean-Marc as a Pur Jus Bearnais and a pioneering winemaker and a civic leader, adeptly, thoughtfully and cooperatively organizing to champion the cause of independent winemaking in Jurancon ; resisting the local cooperative and the bureaucratic barricade of politicized regulations……working in a collective w/ other young jurancon winemakers who have come to establish a local redefining of the “organic” model of winemaking – so harsh are the conditions of their growing environment ……….making wines that are the true face of Jurancon today.

Click the link below to see it in color!

www.madronawinemerchants.com

The Corners of France

Saturday, March 3rd

2 pm

Saturday afternoon we’re pouring a fine selection of wines from the diverse regions of the French countryside. We’ll have wines from the Loire, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the Southwest regions of Gaillac and Jurançon. These wines not only represent geographic diversity, but they are each from small, independent growers who make distinct and interesting wines tucked away in the corners of the wine industry. The wines are delicious. Come try them.

2010 Christophe Thorigny, Vouvray Sec $14

Chenin Blanc

Christophe Thorigny farms 10.5 hectares in the village of Parcay-Meslay, in Vouvray. His family has owned vineyards in the village for four generations. Christophe farms according to the principle of “lutte raisonnée” or minimal intervention and keeps his yields low by severe pruning throughout the season. It is a very complex and layered wine.

2009 Paul Garaudet, Bourgogne Blanc $17

Chardonnay

Paul Garaudet’s 10 hectares of vineyards sit in the heart of the Côte of Beaune, between Volnay and Meursault. Paul is the 4th generation to cultivate the family estate. His Bourgogne Blanc is crisp and clean with good supportive fruit. And it is an excellent value.

2010 Domaine Philémon, Gaillac Rouge, Croix d’Azal $10

Braucol

Domaine Philémon is located in the small village of Villeneuve-sur-Vere where the Vieules family has had a vineyard since 1804. Today they grow wheat, sunflowers and grapes in equal proportions. The wheat and sunflowers are grown organically and the vineyard is being certified organic. The vines are traditional Gaillac grape varieties, with a good proportion of them being more than fifty years old. The Croix d’Azal is produced entirely from Braucol. It is a wonderful expression of this grape variety with all of its typical spiciness and woodsy floral aromas.

2004 Chateau Villars, Fronsac $20

70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Chateau Villars has been owned by the Gaudrie family since the beginning of the 19th century. This hillside vineyard faces southwest with 35 years old vines. Harvesting is done in stages to allow each vineyard block to reach full maturity. After careful bunch selection the grapes are vinified in traditional cement vats and receive an extended maceration of up to 4 weeks. Each vat is tasted throughout the month of November and a rigorous selection is made before the wine is put in barrels. The wine is aged in barrel, one third new for 10 to 14 months. It is a solid Bordeaux that is ready to drink at a great price.

2010 Camin Larredya , Jurançon, Costat Darrèr $20

Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng

Larredya is a small vineyard situated in the Chapelle de Rousse area of Jurançon. The majority of the vineyard, planted 40 years ago, is terraced on steep and curved slopes that form an amphitheater. It is farmed organically. The Costat Darrèr is a blend of Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng with the exact proportions varying according to the vintage. The wine is fermented in barrel and rests there for eight months “sur lie” The wine is off dry but not quite dessert, just succulent, with enough spice and mineral to keep things interesting.

Madrona Wine Merchants

1127 34th Ave

Seattle WA 98122

(206) 860-6017

info@madronawinemerchants.com

www.madronawinemerchants.com

Wed — Fri: noon to 7

Saturday: 11 to 7

Sunday: 11 to 5

VALENTINE’S DAY

AT

CORK!

Reserve Your Table

at Cork Wine Bar for Dinner

Call 202-265-2675

or

Join Us at Cork Market for

~A SPECIAL VALENTINE’S DAY TASTING~

Tuesday, February 14th @7PM

Skip the Traditional Valentine’s Day Dinner

Try Something Fun and Different this Valentine’s Day!

2nd Annual Cork Champagne Tasting

Six Champagnes paired with Small Bites from

Cork Market’s Chef Kristin Hutter

FEATURING THE WINES OF WINE TRADITIONS

We have selected a wonderful group of Champagne’s produced by small growers throughout Champagne. These unique sparklers are wonderful accompaniments to food and represent some of Champagne’s best wines.

Ed Addiss from Wine Traditions and the Cork Staff will be pouring six Champagnes and pairing each selection with a Small Bite from Cork Market Chef Kristin Hutter. The Evening concludes with a lovely Sweet Treat!!

This tasting is $75

(exclusive of tax & gratuity) & attendance will be limited to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of our guests.

WHERE & WHEN

Cork Market & Tasting Room

1805 14th Street, NW

202-265-2674

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

7:00PM – 9:00PM

Space is limited so please RSVP by February 12th to

Events@CorkDC.com

Guests must be 21 or over to attend, Please bring Picture ID

These Champagne’s are small production and are not widely available. A selection of these wines will be reserved for tasting guests only to purchase at Cork Market.
We look forward to seeing you at Cork!

Happy Black History Month ~
Khalid & Diane
color of faint red-tinged light gold, fresh inviting hue, creamy texture, tenderly embraced w/ acidity, nose of freshly macerated orchard fruit and deepened w/honey, with light and long clean fresh apple skin and tout-petit meyer lemon finish. lively and rich.

Harvest was completed October 17th

The “Perle” has good liveliness on the palate and has an optimal level of 12.5% alcohol.

The “Croix d’Azal, due to mild temperatures after the harvest, benefited from a positive aeration, resulting in silky tannins.

Wine Enthusiast Magazine selects Wine Traditions import for slot #69 in their Top 100 Cellar Selections 2011!

click here to see it to believe it

Thrilling that Fabien Jouves of Mas del Perie in Cahors has a page-stealing photo-feature in the latest special edition of Cuisine et Vins de France. Check out Fabien and his buddies in his “portrait” on page 2 of the link Cuisine et Vins de France

Here is a rough translation of the text:

Fabien Jouves

Mas del Perie

Because he believes in terroir, Fabien Jouves had the intuition that the “parcellation” approach would be the passionate future of Cahors. The balance between power and finesse is shows through in all his four cuvees of Malbec: “Les Escures” 2009, on the freshness of fruit; “La Roque” 2009 more round. “Les Acacias” 2008 delivers more slowly, but with what persistance! “La Piece” 2008 is concentrated and complex, defies time. At 26 years old, Fabien sees himself as a winegrower-artisan: in 5 years he has transformed the family vineyard from a supplier to negotiants into one of the rising “domaines” of the AOC. He has also converted the property to organic and biodynamic growing, planted white grape varieties and created a collection of “quaffing wines”…that he drinks with friends with a picnic of cured sausages in the vineyards.

market

EXPRESSIONS OF THE LOIRE

with

Denis Barbara of Domaine Grosbot-Barbara SATURDAY, October 22nd at 6:30PM

The story begins with Elie Grosbot whose domain began in 1910, with Elie taking over operation in 1956. In 1995, as he was approaching retirement he called Denis Barbara, a young winemaker who had just finished his studies and asked him to join in the operation of the Estate. Elie is the rootstock, with its empirical knowledge and tradition. Denis is the passion. He loves the region, winemaking and the vineyards that make up the Estate.

The fields of Grosbot-Barbara, the vineyards of Saint Pourçain, are on the eastern slope of the oldest vineyards in France. The plots span four sites on the slope of the vineyard of Saint Pourçain: Bransat, Cesset, Verneuil en Bourbonnais and Montord. We will taste the white and red wines of the Estate together with a selection of Sparkling Wines from Saumur in the Loire Valley.

Together we will taste:

Gougeres with cumin
Domaine du Pas Saint Martin, Saumur Brut 2007

Salmon Rillette

Domaine Grosbot-Barbara, Saint Pourçain “Le Vin d’Alon” 2010

Duck Confit with Herb Roasted Potatoes

Domaine Grosbot-Barbara “Chambre d’Edouard” Saint Pourçain Rouge 2009

Branzino with A Sauce of Exotic MushroomsGrosbot-Barbara “Cuvee Charles Henri”
Saint Pourçain Blanc 2009

Almond Tart with House-made Ricotta and Honey Roasted Figs

Domaine du Pas Saint Martin, Vie en Rose NV
The Grosbot-Barbara Dinner is $50 and attendance will be limited to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of our guests.
PLEASE NOTE: A selection of these wines will be reserved at a discount for tasting guests only to purchase at Cork Market!

Where & When

Cork Market & Tasting Room
1805 14th Street, NW

202-265-2674

Saturday, October 22nd at 6:30PM

Space is limited, so please RSVP by October 20th toTastings@CorkDC.com

Guests must be 21 or over to attend, please bring a picture