SPECIAL TASTING SCHEDULE THIS WEEK - ONLY ON THURSDAY!
This week, we're combining our weekend tastings (no tastings Friday and Saturday) and moving them to Thursday; here's one last chance to taste some potential gift and dinner options, come on by!
Charles Ellner Champagne AOP Carte Blanche Brut NV
Country: FRANCE / Region: CHAMPAGNE / Appellation: CHAMPAGNE AOP / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR+CHARDONNAY+PINOT MEUNIER --- Located in the heart of Epernay, Charles Ellner remains a family business. It was founded at the end of the 19th century by Charles Emile Ellner, who first released Champagne under his own name in 1905. Today the house is run by Jean-Pierre Ellner, one of Charles's grandsons. His nephews Frédéric and Arnaud Ellner manage the vineyards and production, and his daughters Emmanuelle Foulon Ellner and Alexandra Ellner also work at the estate. The House of Ellner encompasses about 50 hectares of vineyards, located across more than 15 villages in the Champagne region. None of Charles Ellner’s wines see malolactic fermentation. All are fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fresh fruit flavors, then left to sit on their lees for a minimum of 4 years (the law is only 18 months). This allows the wines to soften, fill out, and become elegantly drinkable upon release while still retaining aging potential. Vibrant and precise, this complex, dry Champagne displays succulent aromas of red currant, orange zest, and white pepper, joined by flavors of apple, pear, white peach, and candied lemon peel on the palate. A subtle smoky quality in the background is lifted by racy acidity, and finished beautifully with elements of yeasty brioche and dusty minerals. Delightful for toasting, or with all manner of appetizers, such as cheeses, smoked salmon, or pâté.
Wayside Cider Catskill Sparkling Dry Barrel Aged
Country: USA / Region: NEW YORK STATE / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): N/A --- Founded in 2014 in Delhi, NY, Wayside Cider is the collaboration of Irene Hussey and Alex Wilson. Contrary to the current cider making trend of looking to Europe for inspiration, Alex and Irene focus on making distinctly American ciders that draw on the history and topography of their home in Delaware County. They pick and graft wild and abandoned apple trees with the aim of preserving the past while embracing modern production methods, handling every stage of the cider making process themselves. Wild apples produce far less juice than their cultivated counterparts, but more than make up for it in uniqueness and complexity of flavor. Catskill is Wayside's flagship cider. The intensity of wild apples is mellowed a bit here though partial aging in oak bourbon barrels from a local micro-distillery, resulting in a true Delaware County cider. The hint of oaky bourbon that the barrels impart is gentle, but lends this cider a subtle complexity. A warm spiciness and notes of vanilla on the finish of this sparkling cider make for a great match with chicken liver mousse, mushroom and goat cheese canapes; just about anything and everything!
J. Hofstätter Pinot Grigio Südtirol-Alto Adige DOC 2014
Country: ITALY / Region: ALTO ADIGE / Appellation: SÜDTIROL-ALTO ADIGE DOC / Varietal(s): PINOT GRIGIO --- Founded by Josef Hofstätter in 1907, this historic family winery is now run by the fourth generation, Josef’s nephew Martin. It is among the largest wineries in Alto Adige, with around 50 hectares of vineyards situated on both the west and east sides of the Adige River, giving it a diverse range of microclimates to grow several varietals of grapes using gentle, sustainable methods. This pinot grigio is a delicious classic; bright straw in color with enticing aromas of citrus, peach, pear, and honeydew. Medium-bodied, it is structured and firm on the palate with orchard fruit flavors and fruity, tangy acidity on the finish. Elegant, versatile, and Italian, this is your go-to wine to pair with the Feast of Seven (or Twelve) Fishes!
Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC 2014
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE AOC/ Varietal(s): GRENACHE+SYRAH+MOURVÈDRE+CINSAULT --- One of the benchmark producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the estate of Clos du Mont-Olivet dates back to 1547. Helmed by the esteemed Sabon family, the wines here are made in traditional style: partial destemming of grapes, crushing and fermenting in concrete vats, and aging in large foudres. The three Sabon brothers, Jean-Claude, Pierre, and Bernard, have run the domaine for the last 30 years, with Bernard's son Thierry gradually taking over winemaking duties beginning in 2001. The vines of this estate average over 60 years old. This cuvée, their flagship wine, is composed predominately of grenache (around 80%), with syrah, mourvèdre and cinsault rounding out the blend. The result is classic: ripe blackberry, cherry, and dried floral aromas focused by spicy hints of pepper. Opulent in texture, fleshy dark fruit flavors and notes of candied flowers on the palate evolve into a finish of impressive depth and power, replete with rustic spiciness and earthy crushed flower petals and leaves. Elegant and powerful, this is a fabulous companion to holiday fare like prime rib roast or rack of lamb with herbed roasted potatoes.