THREE SENSATIONAL SIPPERS FROM FRANCE
This Saturday, we're treating ourselves (and you!) to three delicious wines from France. From Anne Pichon comes a lovely roussanne, a warm and inviting white with stonefruit flavors, spice, and a beguiling nutty, creamy character. Next is a classic Bordeaux, organically grown, and displaying elegance and depth to elevate any meal- like a favorite cashmere sweater: both graceful and comforting. Finally, a luxurious Côtes-du-Rhône pays homage to traditional French winemaking techniques, with delicious results. Opulent fruit with earthy, savory character, this is a classic in every sense of the word.
Anne Pichon Roussanne Vin de Pays du Vaucluse 2013 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: VIN DE PAYS DU VAUCLUSE/ Varietal(s): ROUSSANNE --- In 2008, Marc Pichon bought Domaine le Murmurium in the Côte de Ventoux village of Mormoiron. Made up of 13 hectares of old vineyards on prime terroir adjacent to Château Pesquie, Murmurium comes from the Latin phrase "The Buzzing Song of Bees", an old estate name which the Anne Pichon labels pay tribute to. All the vineyards are cultivated through 100% organic practices without any chemicals or pesticides and by hand tilling the soil. All harvesting is also by hand, and the grapes are completely destemmed. The primary goal at Murmurium is to consistently produce rich, ripe, hand crafted wines through low yields, late harvesting, and careful vineyard management. Roussanne is a white varietal from the Rhône Valley. Usually blended with other grapes from that region, such as marsanne & viognier, the grape can produce wonderful results all on its own. Here it displays aromas of pear, pecan, anise, and apricot, while well-integrated acidity mingles with green apples and some oak. Touches of cream, nutmeg, and hazelnut blend together for a warm finish that makes this a great match for beef stroganoff, creamy vegetable gratins, or meatier fishes such as tuna.
Château Le Puy Côtes de Bordeaux AOC "Duc des Nauves" 2012 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: BORDEAUX / Appellation: COTES DE BORDEAUX AOC / Varietal(s): MERLOT+CABERNET FRANC+ CABERNET SAUVIGNON --- There have been considerably lengthy arguments about the merits of the wines of Burgundy vs. the wines of Bordeaux; some quite heated and well outside the bounds of dignified discussion. Some extol the virtues of the expressive pinot noir while others rhapsodize the power and depth of a fine claret. Speak with the importer, Michael Feuerstein, a committed Burgundy drinker, and you'll be convinced that the wines of Château Le Puy satisfy both parties. This cuvée is an excellent example. Mostly merlot, this fruit is organically grown and fermented with native yeasts. This creates an elegant and expressive wine while delivering the depth this wonderful area is known for. An impressive offering at any meal, this pairs beautifully with winter comfort foods such as meatloaf.
Franck Balthazar Selections Côtes-du-Rhône AOC 2014 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE AOC / Varietal(s): GRENACHE+SYRAH --- Franck Balthazar possesses two distinct advantages in making outstanding wines: the patient demeanor essential to pursuit of perfection in producing flawless cuvées, and the opportunity to put that to use working a nearly 100 year old parcel formerly owned by Noël Verset, retired Cornas icon. The Balthazar domaine was founded by Franck’s grandfather, Casmir Balthazar, in 1931, and then run by his father, René, until 2002. Keeping to a strictly traditional philosophy in the vineyard and cellar, in homage to the great Cornas producers who preceded him, Franck is a purist and traditionalist: he works his vineyards with draft horses, and hand ferments each parcel separately including a portion of the stems, in order to better able express the character of his lands. His wines are proof his approach works: luxurious, graceful, and expressive, with a distinct sense of place. Deep red in color, this elegant Côtes-du-Rhône from a neighbors parcel, delights with a nose of sweet fleshy black fruit, such as prune and cassis, and hints of savory leather. Plush, with restrained tannins, it finishes with voluptuous touches of violet and tobacco. Enjoy with French onion soup or cassoulet.