Dominique Lucas "C de Marin" Vin des Allogroges IGP 2014 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: SAVOIE / Appellation: VIN DES ALLOBROGES IGP/ Varietal(s): CHASSELAS --- Dominique Lucas comes from a family of Burgundian winemakers (he is the 5th generation) who own a small estate outside of Pommard. After completing oenology school, he decided not to return to the family estate because he did not want to work within the strict oversight of the AOC, settling instead in the Haut Savoie in 2008. His vineyards lie just outside the small village of Ballaisons, on slopes overlooking Lake Geneva (known as Lac Léman on the French side of the border). In spite of a family history of Burgundian winemaking traditions, he vinifies his grapes in an array of different amphorae, barrels and concrete eggs. Fermentations occur naturally and the only addition to the wines is a tiny bit of sulfur at bottling. The results are stunning: pure and character-filled, these wines can hold their own with any of the best of the region. Chasselas is a fairly esoteric grape, grown mostly in eastern France, Switzerland and Germany, and mostly drunk casually, après-ski. Here, however, it comes into its own, bright and refreshing! The chasselas for the "C de Marin" cuvée comes from 40-50 year old vines planted in granitic soils, which lend it a definite mineral core. Loads of granite, citrus, and honeysuckle on the nose yield to a palate of honeyed tropical fruit, lemon zest, and a smooth, stony finish. Try it with fish cakes with a side of slaw with honey-lemon vinaigrette!
Vigneto Saetti Rosso Viola IGP 2016 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Country: ITALY / Region: EMILIA-ROMAGNA / Appellation: ROSSO VIOLA IGP / Varietal(s): SALAMINO DI SANTA CROCE --- It's Lambrusco, but fear not! This is a far cry from the dark days of Riunite! Luciano Saetti is one of a newer generation of Lambrusco growers approaching this much-maligned wine in a more modern (actually, old-fashioned!) way. His family planted their vines in 1964, and for years sold their grapes to a local co-op. But Luciano was inspired by the potential of their old vines of salamino (a thick-skinned, tight-bunched, darker, more acidic strain of the lambrusco grape.) He converted to organic (certified) farming and started bottling estate wines. Sulfur has not been used at any point in the process since the 2007 vintage, and grapes are hand harvested, de-stemmed and crushed in the field in small 100-liter steel containers for maximum freshness. Rare for Lambrusco, the secondary fermentation takes place in bottle, initiated by the addition of fresh grape must in the spring following the vintage, and is fermented to bone-dryness. This defies the sad stereotype of Lambrusco, with a dry, complex, earthy character, flavors of dark fruits, and a floral, savory finish. Add in its characteristic spritziness, and the result is an incredible pizza wine! (It's also great with cold cuts like salami, antipasti, or Parmesan cheese dishes.) Serve lightly chilled.
Puramun Malbec Reserva Valle de Uco 2013
Country: ARGENTINA / Region: MENDOZA / Appellation: VALLE DE UCO / Varietal(s): MALBEC --- Argentina has made its wine-producing name on malbec, offering easy drinking versions at affordable prices. However, the country can also vinify more robust styles as well. Puramun means "harvest" in the indigenous language of the region and it is the first solo project of acclaimed winemaker José “Pepe” Galante. He worked for many years at Catena Zapata establishing malbec but also pushing the heights to which Argentine winemaking could reach. Here he works a small site in the Valle de Uco sub-zone, considered by many as the top spot for growing malbec. Galante cuts no corners here: this is all hand harvested and then hand sorted twice to eliminate anything unwanted in the fermentation tank. The wine is aged in oak, a combination of new and used. The final product is big and robust, ideal for cold evenings, hearty bean stews or a meaty pasta dish.