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Giraudon Bourgogne Aligoté AOC 2015
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY / Appellation: BOURGOGNE ALIGOTÉ AOC / Varietal(s): ALIGOTÉ --- As the name suggests, Chitry-Le-Fort was once a fortified town. Marcel Giraudon draws upon centuries of family winemaking history in Chitry, using traditional methods to produce this enticing new arrival. Giraudon's vineyards are located on hillsides of Kimmeridgian chalky marl (also found in Grand Cru Chablis); yields are kept modest and harvesting is done by hand. Fermentation is done in stainless steel, and the wine goes through a malolactic fermentation which adds a lovely textured middle palate to its vibrant fruit and mineral character. Although it often takes a back seat to chardonnay, the aligoté grape has been planted in Burgundy for generations, and is often blended with chardonnay in the sparkling wines of the region. It’s also the grape of choice to mix with cassis to make a classic Kir. This crisp, minerally white wine is great to sip with oysters or by itself as a palate cleanser. Light to medium-bodied with fantastic minerality and hints of creamy green apple flavor, it’s delicate enough to drink on its own and elegant enough to pair with shellfish or whitefish dishes.

Mas d'Alezon Faugères AOP "Le Presbytère" 2014 - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: LANGUEDOC / Appellation: FAUGÈRES AOP / Varietal(s): GRENACHE+SYRAH+MOURVÈDRE --- Along with Saint-Chinian, Faugères forms the western border of the Coteaux du Languedoc, a region that extends from Nimes to Narbonne. Faugères is renowned for its schist soil (a metamorphic rock that changed from shale or mudstone to schist through a process called recrystallization), which gives a sense of finesse and austerity to the wines of the region. In 1997, Catherine Roque, already a winemaker in the Vallée de L’Orb, acquired Mas D’Alezon and its 7 hectares in the northern corner of Faugères. Among the highest in altitude in the area, Catherine’s vineyards are certified organic and she employs biodynamic principles to enhance the health of the soil and the vines. The average age of her vines is 25 years, including plots of 70 year old grenache and 80 year old mourvèdre. The Presbytère is 80% grenache with the remainder a blend of syrah and mourvèdre. Catherine utilizes indigenous yeasts for fermentation, which is long and slow at cool temperatures. The wines are aged in cement tanks and barrels that are not new, for up to two years. No sulphur is used during this process and only at bottling is the smallest amount added. Explosively fragrant, this seduces with aromas of earthy dark cherry, briar, and incense. Vibrant on the palate, ripening fruits of blackberry, plum, and raisin mingle with subtle spices, black pepper, and barnyard funk. A smooth texture gives way to structured tannins on the finish. This wine continues to unfurl new nuances of aroma and flavor throughout drinking, making for an ever-evolving, attention-grabbing experience. A delicious choice with boeuf bourguignon or roast duck.

Wildekrans Cabernet Franc Merlot Bot River WO 2013
Country: SOUTH AFRICA / Region: WESTERN CAPE / Appellation: BOT RIVER WO / Varietal(s): CABERNET FRANC+MERLOT --- The Wildekrans estate lies on the Bot River near the coastal town of Hermanus, where the rocky surroundings provide an ideal environment for rare birdlife- and for wine grapes! With a focus on low yields and respect for the natural processes and ecology of the area, Wildekrans is able to produce distinctive wines full of the character of the region, as evidenced here in this beguiling blend of cabernet franc and merlot. Aged 15 months in old French oak, an inviting, wild nose of funky green pepper, plum, violet, and black olive precedes a broad, generous palate of plum, dark berries, cassis, and more savory woody herbs and olives. Fresh acidity and integrated tannins lend balance, while a savory finish and a touch of smoke make this a winner that begs to be drunk with food. Dark and dangerous, this is delicious now with sausage and peppers, but can be cellared for 3-4 years as well.