WINES FOR SPECIAL SEASONAL GATHERINGS
Mullineux Chenin Blanc "Kloof Street" Swartland WO 2015 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: SOUTH AFRICA / Region: SWARTLAND / Appellation: SWARTLAND WO / Varietal(s): CHENIN BLANC --- Mullineux is an intensely focused family winery based near the village of Riebeek Kasteel, in the Swartland region of South Africa. Established in 2007 by Chris and Andrea Mullineux (alongside business partners Analjit Singh and Peter Dart), within a few short years the winery has established itself as one of South Africa's finest, earning seventeen 5 star ratings from Platter's South African Wine Guide by 2016, as well as Winery of the Year in 2014 and 2016. The Kloof Street line of wines focuses on freshness, balance, and drinkability, making this chenin blanc a great go-to for seasonal dinners! Grapes for the 2015 vintage come from three sustainably farmed vineyard parcels in different parts of Swartland; one parcel of 34 year old vines planted on stony shale and schist soils of Riebeek Kasteel Mountain, and two other plots of 40+ year old dry land, bush vines grown in decomposed granite on Paardeberg Mountain. 85% of fermentation takes place in tanks with 15% taking place in old French oak barrels. Fermentation is done with indigenous yeasts and lasts up to 6 weeks. The barrels are then racked and blended with the tank fermented portion and then bottled. Pale straw in color, this wine is bright and aromatic, with an alluring nose of sun-ripened pears and wet granite. Lively notes of citrus, apple, and a hint of fresh-cut grass lead on the palate, followed by a vibrant, food friendly acidity. A soft, round texture and mineral finish makes this a versatile choice for the holiday table. Fantastic with pan-seared scallops with asparagus and pancetta.
Arnot-Roberts Gamay Noir El Dorado 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: SIERRA FOOTHILLS - EL DORADO / Varietal(s): GAMAY NOIR --- Arnot-Roberts Wines is a collaboration of school friends, Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts. Since founding their winery in 2001, they have gained a reputation as among the most progressive producers on the California scene. The 2016 gamay noir comes from the Witters and Barsotti vineyards above the town of Placerville in the El Dorado Appellation of the Sierra Foothills. Both vineyards lie on granite soils between 2,500 and 3,200 feet in elevation. A truly gorgeous red, this wine unveils layers and layers of delight! A classic bouquet of tart red cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, cracked pepper, and stony earth also contains the faintest nuance of campfire smoke. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, with juicy tanginess and fabulous complexity. Fine length and grip on a well-balanced finish displays silky tannins just begging to be paired with dishes like smoked tea shrimp dumplings with sour plum sauce.
Domaine Ratte Pinot Noir Arbois AOP 2015 - CERTIFIED BIODYNAMIC
Country: FRANCE / Region: JURA / Appellation: ARBOIS AOP / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR --- Just outside the town of Arbois in eastern France, Michel-Henri and Francoise Ratte have been growing grapes following organic and biodynamic principles since 1989, when they acquired some vines from Francoise's parents. After purchasing other parcels, they now have about 20 acres across seven vineyards. All their wines are made following biodynamic practices and are certified Demeter. Their son, Quentin, has just completed his studies in viticulture, and now assists them full time in producing wines that are hailed as iconic expressions of the Jura. This pinot noir is from vines ranging in age from 20-80 years old, planted on the blue marl characteristic of the area. Entirely hand harvested, it is fermented using indigenous yeasts and enjoys a long maceration of three weeks without the addition of sulfur. Aged in Burgundy barrels and bottled unfiltered, this is simultaneously delicate and powerful, with exquisite aromas and flavors of generous red fruit, blackberry, elderberry, and blackcurrant. Light and lively acidity is supported by assertive tannins that make this a special treat with salmon risotto with bacon and saffron.
Altesino Brunello di Montacino DOCG 2011
Country: ITALY / Region: TUSCANY / Appellation: BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO DOCG / Varietal(s): SANGIOVESE --- Brunello is famed as one of Italy's top-quality wines, and for good reason! It comes from the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino, located in the Tuscany wine region about 80 km south of Florence. In 1980, Brunello di Montalcino was awarded the first Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation. Altesino made their first Brunello in 1972, and the grapes here come from vineyards planted between 1981 and 1999. Made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso grapes hand-harvested from the Altesino, Castelnuovo dell'Abate, Macina, and Pianezzine vineyards, this wine is a delicious example of the classic elegance Montalcino's wines represent. Ruby red with a garnet rim, this offers up seductive aromas of violets, perfumed wild berries, tobacco, vanilla, and chocolate. Opulent and velvety on the palate, it displays sleek ripe black cherry, licorice, clove, and earth flavors, expertly balanced with firm tannins and palate-cleansing acidity. Its elegance and finesse make this a classic to uncork with warming, celebratory dishes like osso bucco, pot roast, and beef stew.