MOUTHWATERING PICKS FOR THE HOLIDAY TABLE
Königschaffhauser Grauer Burgunder Baden Hasenburg 2015
Country: GERMANY / Region: BADEN / Appellation: BADEN / Varietal(s): GRAUER BURGUNDER AKA PINOT GRIS --- Hard to pronounce, but easy to drink, Königschaffhauser produces this grauer burgunder (pinot gris), a grape that is one of Germany's best kept secrets. Amazingly well made, this white comes from a co-op of 300+ growers in Baden, which allows it to be an amazing value as well! From grapes grown in the Hasenburg vineyard on the terraces of the famed Kaiserstuhl area, this medium-bodied white is dry with no oak influence. This flinty, mineral-driven offering gives us exotic aromas of jasmine, chamomile, orange zest, and tropical fruit. Rich citrus essence (think orange meets melon... but without a trace of sweetness!) on the palate, hints of yellow plum and pear meld with high-toned acidity, and a finish of surprising power and length. A wonderful winter white, this is good all by itself, but pairs equally well with drink ham and Gruyère on a baguette or braised chicken thighs in wine sauce with crème fraîche.
Le Maoû "Haut Les Coeurs" Vin de France 2015 - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY/ Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE/ Varietal(s): CARIGNAN --- Vincent and Aurelie Garreta started this estate in 2014 with 3.5 hectares. Employed in the environmental field, Vincent's grandmother was a winemaker, and he yearned to get back to his family roots. Now 5.5 hectares, the estate is located in the Luberon region, in the village of Gordes, west of Avignon. It lies on ancient riverbed soil of clay and silt that is favorable to grapes like carignan. 100% carignan, this cuvée comes from 60 year old vines, hand harvested and whole cluster fermented in open top vats, then bottled unfiltered and unfined. "Haut Les Coeurs" (which translates to "take heart" or "lift your spirits") will definitely lift your palate, with a generous nose of dark fruit, herbs and wild berries, and lots of plum, blueberry, and black currant flavors. Balanced acidity and chalky tannins keep this wine fresh and incredibly drinkable, just fabulous with rustic fare like roasted or braised meats, charcuterie, or cheeses.