Château du Coing de Saint Fiacre Muscadet Sèvre et Maine AOP Sur Lie "Comte de Saint-Hubert" 2000
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE AOC / Varietal(s): MELON DE BOURGOGNE --- Véronique Chéreau-Günther left the Chéreau Carre family business and took with her the famed 40 hectare Cháteau Côing de Saint Fiacre estate. Old-time negociants who owned several of the appellation’s most respected châteaux for over 200 years, the Chéreau family were legends in Muscadet. Côing is an ancient rendition of “coin” or “corner”, and refers to the corner or angle where the Sèvre and Maine rivers meet and flow into the Loire, where the vineyards lie. Melon de Bourgogne grapes were first established in the Nantes area after the winter freeze of 1709 that destroyed all vines. This traditionally Burgundian grape variety has adapted marvelously to the Nantes terroir, where it is aged sur lie, a process that involves aging white wines on the solids formed during fermentation. Normally filtered or fined out afterwards, when allowed to remain in contact with their lees for an extended time, wines develop greater aromatic qualities, stronger structure, and enhanced richness. As the wines are not racked, they also develop a small amount of CO2 that results in an elegant effervescence much in demand by enthusiasts. Hand harvested from 100+ year old vines, this wine is yellow in color with a slight golden hue. Aromas of white flowers, peach, and apple make for a beautifully expressive nose, which evolves into dried fruit and honey flavors with a touch of minerality on the palate for a subtle, elegant finish. A beautiful companion to shrimp and other crustaceans!
Mas Coutelou Blanc Frisant Vin de France 2013 - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: LANGUEDOC / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): GRENACHE GRIS+MACABEO --- Located in the village of Puimisson, Mas Coutelou has always been a pioneer in natural winemaking; one of the earliest estates in France to be officially certified as organic (in 1987), winemaker Jeff Coutelou is now renowned as one of the foremost producers of natural wine in the Languedoc-Roussillon. He uses virtually no sulfur (a very difficult process), in order to preserve the elegance and purity of old-vine fruit, and only makes wines that suit a specific vintage, even if that means introducing a new cuvée one year or skipping vintages of an existing wine because conditions were not suitable. The resulting wines are some of most pure and delicious wines the area has to offer, and extraordinary values to boot. This cuvée is unfiltered and unfined; a light addition of residual sugar before bottling leads to a second fermentation in the bottle, resulting in a slight effervescence, hence the name "Frisant" (a play on the Italian "frizzante"). An intriguing nose of orange, lime, and quince, with hints of crushed nettles and green herbs, raisins and fresh ginger yields to a wonderfully clean, pure palate, redolent with intense minerality and spiced orchard fruit, citrus and a touch of ginger and fennel. Luxurious and mouth-filling in texture, a hint of creamy vanilla rounds out the long, spicy finish. This fascinating wine evolves throughout the course of an evening and into the next day - and also will age for 3-5 years. Delightful with grilled chicken with five-spice rub.
Olivier Lemasson "Poivre et Sel" Vin de France (2015) - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): PINEAU D'AUNIS+GAMAY --- Olivier Lemasson began as a sommelier who was introduced to natural wines during his time working for retailer Eric Macé in Rennes, Brittany. Lemasson developed a passion for these unique wines and trained at Marcel Lapierre’s winery in Morgon, Beaujolais, picking grapes for four years before working for a year in his cellar. In addition to the two hectares Lemasson rents in Touraine, he also sources grapes from fellow growers, all from old vineyards tended organically. Depending on the vintage, Olivier will either bottle the wines sulfur free or add a minuscule dose at bottling. Rather than continue to fight with the AOC board, Lemasson chose to intentionally de-classify all of his wines to Vin de France. Poivre et Sel (“pepper and salt”) is a savory blend of the somewhat obscure pineau d’aunis and gamay that is aptly named: bright, vibrant, lightly spicy and a tad earthy. Elegant and easy going, a bounty of fresh red fruit is accented by floral notes and a dusting of black pepper. The pineau d'aunis here provides the "pepper", while the gamay adds a savory salinity. Great lightly chilled, it's appealing freshness makes it a great match with meaty fish like grilled mackerel and arctic char, or with portobello mushroom and barley salad.