SPOTLIGHT ON SINGLE VARIETAL WINES AND CIDER!
Blends need not apply: today is all about wine and cider made from a single grape or apple variety. Angry Orchard highlights the Newtown Pippin apple, a true New York classic perfect for toasting the fall foliage. The wines that follow all showcase French grape varietals, both by way of California and the Rhône Valley. Come enjoy the unique personalities of these "swingin' singles"!
Angry Orchard Newtown Pippin Cider 2017
Country: USA / Region: NEW YORK STATE / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): NEWTOWN PIPPIN --- Although Angry Orchard is best known for the sweet, easy-drinking ciders seen across the country, their cider makers have experimented with apple varieties and processes from around the world for over 20 years. In 2015, Angry Orchard opened a research and development center (and tasting room) just down the road from us, in Walden, NY. There, the focus is on experimentation and collaboration in the creation of unique small-batch ciders that utilize traditions from all over the world. The Newtown Pippin apple originated as a chance seedling on the banks of Newtown Creek, now the dividing line between Brooklyn and Queens. Incredibly popular in America's early days, it became a commercially important cider apple across the country, from the eastern seaboard to the Wild West. Angry Orchard head cider maker Ryan Burk ferments New York-grown Newtown Pippins with wild yeast, resulting in subtle, crisp green apple aromatics that evolve with air, and a palate that remains bright, earthy, and dry with a hint of barnyard funk. Bottled unfiltered, enjoy this with herb-rubbed pork chops or a classic Hudson Valley cheese platter.
Stolpman Vineyards Roussanne Ballard Canyon 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: BALLARD CANYON / Varietal(s): ROUSSANNE --- Stolpman Vineyards is considered the founding vineyard of the Ballard Canyon AVA (American Viticultural Area, akin to the French AOC system), which was granted official status 3 years ago. Over a dozen wineries have joined the AVA and all have decided to focus on syrah, based on Stolpman's results in varietal experimentation. Stolpman's 18 acres of roussanne make up over 5% of the planted roussanne in California. The notoriously late-ripening grape is well suited to Ballard Canyon, where low humidity and brisk afternoon winds off the Pacific combine to prevent the fungal issues that afflict the grape in Europe. In the intense late season California sun the roussanne tans to its beautiful namesake "rousse" (rust) color, with the leaves removed by hand from around each cluster before each cluster is rotated to ensure even ripening. Due to a five-year drought, the grapes were harvested at a slightly lower sugar than usual, resulting in a lighter, more delicate wine than past vintages. After undergoing malolactic fermentation, the wine was bottled after only 9 months in oak, to capture the fresh, bright nuances present. Winemaker Kyle Knapp also made the decision to vigorously stir the lees in the tank just before bottling. This gives the roussanne a cloudy appearance in bottle – but never fear: it also lends the wine a delightful creamy texture and added depth and dimension. Orange blossom, tangerine, honey, and a streak of lemon sashay their way through the palate. A framework of delicate toasty oak supports the fruit from underneath, while that creamy, zesty texture keeps on going and going. Add in some lovely notes of jasmine, guava, green apple, pear, apricot, and marzipan and this vivacious, silky gem is ready for your next dinner party! Great with vegetable gratin or baked swordfish.
Pax Carignan Mendocino County Testa Vineyard 2016 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: MENDOCINO COUNTY / Varietal(s): CARIGNAN --- Pax and Pam Mahle moved to California wine country in 1997. After a few years of tasting and sourcing wine from throughout California for Dean & Deluca, Pax decided to start his own brand, and Pax Wine Cellars was launched in 2000. Soon acclaimed as one of California's premier syrah producers, the entire lineup of wines comes from cool climate vineyards in Sonoma County and Mendocino. Expanding that winning approach to the carignan grape, this new beauty comes from a historic vineyard in Calpella, CA, originally planted in 1912 and sustainably farmed. 100% carignan, this undergoes complete whole cluster carbonic maceration with native yeasts in neutral French oak puncheons. Loaded with savory varietal character, it positively bursts with sweet red cherry, blood orange, and rose petal tones before yielding to rustic deep black fruit and spices. Vibrant and expressive, this has a rich, meaty texture that makes a lively companion to hearty stews and casseroles.
Clos des Grillons Grenache "Calcaires" Vin de France 2017 - ORGANICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): GRENACHE --- Originally a professor of geography and history, Nicolas Renaud worked nights and weekends for his friend Eric Pfifferling, the winemaker behind L'Anglore in Tavel. Nicolas moved on to further training at Domaine de Vieille Julienne in Châteauneuf du Pape before renting vines in 2005 to begin "Clos des Grillons". His vast knowledge of the rocks and soils of the region, as well as the location of several forgotten older vineyards, have allowed Nicolas to piece together an impressive string of parcels in the Gard department of the Southern Rhône Valley. He works the vineyards with organic methods, using no chemicals, and maintaining the soil by hand. This philosophy follows through into the cellar as well, where fermentations are sparked by wild yeast and the barest amount of sulfur is used. 100% grenache noir, this cuvée comes from old vines grown on gravelly calcareous limestone. It underwent carbonic maceration for 10 days and finished fermentation off the skins. After six months in barrique, the wine was bottled with a minuscule dosage of sulfur. This cuvée comes from three parcels of grenache grown on pure sandstone -- a fantastic natural aquifer for areas that have low rainfall. The wine is brimming with bright, ripe cherry and peppery spice with gorgeous tension on the palate rare in wines from warm Mediterranean climates. This is a stunning example of grenache with pure finesse. Delicious on its own or drink with black olive and caramelized onion pissaladière.