SECOND SATURDAY TREATS: NEW FRENCH BUBBLY (UNDER $20), WELL-AGED REDS!
Céline et Benoit Blet Les Terres Blanches Ancestral Blanc Brut NV - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): CHENIN BLANC --- Terres Blanches was created in 2004 by Céline and Benoit Blet when they took over the winemaking operation of Bernard Coutel. The winery comprises about 8 hectares in the town of Oiron in Poitou-Charentes in the Loire. This fantastic new bubbly is 100% chenin blanc grown biodynamically on raw quartz and marl soil. Terres Blanches hand harvests and ferments the grapes in cement tanks using native yeast, then bottles to finish fermenting with no sulfur added (méthode traditionelle). Toasty aromas of caramel Granny Smith apple, hints of crème brûlée, and delicate ginger cookie provide a seductive introduction – complex and dynamic, it's a tad gentler than many other wines made in similar style. Refined on the palate, it offers up flavors of ripe golden honeycrisp apple, with a touch of earthiness that conjures up images of freshly-dug root vegetables. A hint of honey on the mid-palate lingers momentarily before closing with a dry, clean finish. Elegantly refined, its complexity is effortless, and dangerously hard to put down! Perfect for making every day a celebration, the price will have you celebrating as well! Great for toasting, pairing with appetizers, or even main dishes like linguine with clams.
Château Massereau Bordeaux Supérieur AOC 2006 - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: BORDEAUX / Appellation: BORDEAUX SUPÉRIEUR AOC / Varietal(s): MERLOT+CABERNET FRANC+CABERNET SAUVIGNON+PETIT VERDOT
--- Château Massereau, situated in Barsac approximately 30km from Bordeaux, was built in the 16th century. The estate was acquired by the Chaigneau family in 2000 and brothers Jean-François and Philippe quickly set about to farming organically. They remain fully committed to natural winemaking; ploughing with horses, pressing using an old wooden press, fermenting with native yeast, and limiting SO2 (sometimes to none at all) at bottling. A delicious blend of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot, this ferments in concrete vats and spends 18 months in neutral barrique before a 10-year elevage in bottle before release. The result is stunning: full of dark, plummy fruit character elegantly accented by wisps of cedar, tobacco, violet, and smoke. Precise and savory on the palate, lovely dark berry and dried green herbs meld beautifully with a hint of blood orange peel. Classically styled and a great value to boot, this is fabulous with a steak (break out the grill after its winter hibernation!) or with mushroom risotto.
de Trafford Merlot Stellenbosch WO 2007
Country: SOUTH AFRICA/ Region: STELLENBOSCH / Appellation: STELLENBOSCH WO / Varietal(s): MERLOT --- De Trafford Winery is located on the beautiful Mont Fleur farm that sits atop a dramatic valley above Stellenbosch, between the Stellenbosch and Helderberg mountains. The property was purchased in 1976 by the Trafford family as inaccessible grazing land, and the high pastures were converted to vineyards in 1983 to produce experimental wines (consumed by family and friends). The years of experimentation, work experience in Bordeaux, and help and advice from local winemakers paid off, and this luscious merlot is delicious proof. The finicky harvest conditions with heat waves alternating with short, wet, cold spells seemed to bring out a nutty character in the merlot and elegantly accentuate the natural structure of the wine. Hand harvested and fermented with natural yeast, the wines undergo malolactic fermentation in the barrel, spending 19 months in barrel (35% new French oak), before being bottled unfiltered. Deep red in color, this displays rich red cherry, berry and plum fruit accented by tones of earth, nuts and spices. Fine dry tannins, a lingering finish and a characteristic smoky, earthy element make this a luxurious choice with braised meats, stews or slow-cooker chili with smoked pasilla peppers.