SECOND SATURDAY: UNIQUE GREEK, AMERICAN, AND FRENCH TREATS!
Gentilini Robola PDO Robola 2015
Country: GREECE / Region: CEPHALONIA / Appellation: PDO ROBOLA / Varietal(s): ROBOLA --- The Gentilini Winery was founded in 1978 by the Cosmetatos family. The family originated in Este, a town near Padua, Italy. In 1593, the Venetian Senate commissioned Marino Gentilini to build the extensive forts of Assos in Cephalonia, and he ended up settling on the island permanently. Today, Spiro-Nicholas Cosmetatos, a descendant of the Gentilini family, heads the winemaking operations. Having studied winemaking at the Wine Institute of Stellenbosch, South Africa, upon completion of his studies, he decided to return to Cephalonia and begin producing world-class wines in Greece. This new white is truly a one-of-a-kind find: made entirely from robola, an increasingly rare, ungrafted, noble grape variety (not related to ribolla gialla). Unoaked, and sourced from the high altitude (500 meters) slopes of Mount Ainos ("Black Mountain"), it is a terrific white for spring and summer: fresh, fragrant, and lively! An expressive nose of minerals and sunny orange blossom turns to intense citrus flavors with hints of dried peach and pear and melon rind that dance across the palate. Complex, crisp, and balanced, this displays a vivacious character and persistent finish that beg to be paired with seafood; try it with fried smelts with lemon sauce.
Matthiasson Family Vineyards California Rosé 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: CALIFORNIA / Varietal(s): GRENACHE+SYRAH+MOURVEDRE+ SAUVIGNON BLANC+COUNOISE --- Matthiasson Vineyards is the result of two dedicated farmers-turned-winemakers. Steve Matthiasson co-authored the manual on California sustainable agriculture practices in 1999, and worked as a vineyard consultant before focusing his efforts on his own winemaking. Jill Klein Matthiasson studied botany, ancient farming methods, and traditional techniques for soil health, and has pioneered farmer-to-farmer networking for sustainability. Their intense commitment to soil health in their vineyards translates into focused, elegant wines of character and quality. The 2016 rosé is a blend of grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, sauvignon blanc, and counoise from four sustainably farmed vineyards spanning Dunnigan Hills, Napa Valley, and Mendocino. Light orange-pink in color, it has aromas of red berries and blood orange with hints of acacia blossoms, herbs, dried roses, and anise. Red currant, cherry, and peach flavors finish firm and spicy on the palate with a touch of tangerine and lingering, clean minerality. Its depth and clarity make it the perfect complement for the summer influx of fresh veggies (salads, frittatas, peas, green garlic, summer squash). Enjoy this with anything fresh and green, or just kick back with a glass on the porch! Zucchini has met its match!
Xavier Benier Pinot Noir Vin de France 2016 - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY-BEAUJOLAIS / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR --- The youngest in a small family of growers in the south of Beaujolais (just about Saint-Julien, Rhône), Xavier Bénier is somewhat of a renegade; a fiercely independent winemaker dedicated to producing terroir-driven wines that possess their own individual personalities rather than conforming to any preconceived notions. After studying oenology in Beaune, he began his career as a négoçiant in 1993, buying and selling finished wines, but not really finding any that truly inspired him. In 2001 he was able to take on four hectares of his family's old Beaujolais-Villages vines in Saint-Julien and begin making his own wines. Rural and somewhat isolated, Saint-Julien lies on red sand and clay soils, which lend the wines a savory character, and Xavier tends his vines without chemicals or soil correction. He vinifies even more rigorously than many organic winemakers, and his wines are unfiltered, and in many cases unsulfured during vinification and bottling. Make this the first or second red you open on a long afternoon-into-evening barbecue, with a slight chill to go with lighter nibbles before the rich smoky fare comes off the grill.