VERMONT CIDER AND WINE PICKS FOR THANKSGIVING
Eden "Juliette" Still Cider
Country: USA / Region: VERMONT / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): N/A --- Eden Ciders was founded in 2007 by Eleanor and Albert Léger on an abandoned dairy farm in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. They grow over 35 varieties of apples biodynamically, and also work with other like-minded growers in the area to get additional fruit for their acclaimed ciders. First making a name for themselves with their ice cider, they have since expanded their cider offerings with the Cellar Series. These are one-time, single batch offerings, and their ephemeral nature only adds to their delicious intrigue. "Juliette", #5 in the 2015 Cellar Series, is comprised of rare St. Lawrence apples grown in Québec, crushed, fermented to dryness and aged in used French oak chardonnay barrels for eight months. No bubbles here - just translucent liquid gold, its Shakespearean inspiration romantically outlined on the label. Delicate apple, Meyer lemon, and persimmon mingle easily with crisp acidity and subtle minerality. Perfectly suited for almost any gustatory occasion, pair this with roast chicken, simple pasta dishes, or a seasonal cheese plate.
Domaine Ledogar "La Mariole" Vin de France 2017 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: FRANCE/ Region: LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): CARIGNAN+MARSELAN --- Brothers Xavier and Mathieu Ledogar come from a wine growing family, as both their great grandfathers were wine growers in Ferrals Les Corbières. Nature lover Xavier began working the vineyards at 12 years old, and dropped out of agriculture school at 18 to devote himself full time to the domaine. He took over the 22 hectares of the domaine on his own in 1997, building a cellar (previously wine had been sent to the local cooperative), and originally calling the estate Domaine Grand Lauze, before eventually switching to the family name. Brother Mathieu joined him in 2000, and now he and Xavier work together, farming organically (and biodynamically since 2004). Xavier and Mathieu follow moon cycles, use organic fertilizers and plant infusions on the vines. They use a horse to plow the vines and also have some donkeys that assist in weeding. A blend of carignan (some vines are already more than a century old!) and marselan, "La Mariole" ("The Jester") offers up intense concentration of fruit along with ripe tannins. A perfect Fall/Winter red; tons of dark cherry, black currant, earth, and mineral provide depth without too much weight, making this a lovely choice with kale, sausage, and white bean stew – or all those hearty Thanksgiving sides!
Weingut Heitlinger Pinot Meunier Baden 2017 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: GERMANY / Region: BADEN / Appellation: BADEN / Varietal(s): PINOT MEUNIER --- Situated just across the Rhine from Alsace, Baden is the southernmost of Germany's 13 wine regions, and the warmest. Weingut Heitlinger, regarded as one of the leading wineries in Baden, was founded in 1960 by Albert Heitlinger and has been managed by winemaker Claus Burmeister since 2009. Certified organic since 2010, Heitlinger wines are known for their purity of fruit and focused minerality. Pinot meunier is often neglected as the "middle child" of grapes, overshadowed by its companions chardonnay and pinot noir in the production of Champagne (and elsewhere!), but here it gets a turn in the spotlight. Bearing some similarities to pinot noir, with its seductive cherry and smoke flavors, this is lighter and brighter on the palate with notes of juicy cranberry, citrus, and ground pepper. Versatile and elegant, open this with Beluga lentils with morel mushrooms, red wine reduction and butter-crisped brioche croutons.
Bodegas Gutiérrez de la Vega "Viña Ulises" Alicante VdT 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: SPAIN / Region: ALICANTE / Appellation: ALICANTE VDT / Varietal(s): GARNACHA+MONASTRELL --- For nearly four decades, Felipe Gutiérrez de la Vega and his wife Pilar have championed traditional winegrowing in the sun-drenched region of coastal Alicante. In 1982 the couple moved into an old olive mill in the secluded village of Parcent. Currently they farm 10 hectares of vines situated only a few kilometers from the sea, where the Mediterranean brings refreshing breezes and a pleasant humidity to their rugged mountainside. Their daughter, Violeta, is now beginning to take over the reins of the winemaking operation, continuing the family tradition. Inspired by the historical wine styles of their area, Felipe and Pilar produce a diverse range of 14 wines in their 19th century bodega and pay tribute to the novels, writers and composers which inspire their “vinos de autor” cuvées. Viña Ulises is their tribute to James Joyce. A lively red, this blend of 60% garnacha and 40% monastrell comes from 30-50 year old vines grown at 200 meters altitude on iron-rich calcareous soils in the Xaló Valley of the Marina Alta. Grapes are hand harvested, destemmed, and fermented with native yeasts in steel vats before spending six months on fine lees. The wine is bottled without filtration, and nothing is added in the cellar except for minute amounts of sulfur at bottling when necessary. Lovely fresh red fruit flavors are balanced by sanguine minerality and a backbone of fine-grained tannins. A versatile choice for the table, this works with roast meats and poultry (yep, poultry!), or of course the famous paella dishes of the region!