SPECIAL SEASONAL SIPS!
We're opening some special bottles to help you get in the festive spirit (and also help solve those "what to pair with that holiday dinner?!" dilemmas!) Four distinctive French and Italian classics offer up some elegant and unique flavors sure to complement any seasonal celebration!
Domaine Patrick Charlin Altesse Roussette du Bugey Montagnieu AOP 2012 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: SAVOIE / Appellation: ROUSSETTE DU BUGEY MONTAGNIEU AOP / Varietal(s): ALTESSE AKA ROUSSETTE --- This delectable white is made from the altesse grape, also known as roussette. Nestled in the Savoie region of eastern France (just a bit southwest of the Swiss border), the appellation of Montagnieu is spread over three communes: the villages of Montagnieu, Briord, and Seillonnaz. For the humidity-loving altesse, the village of Montagnieu, where Patrick Charlin's vineyards are located, is the best of the three terroirs. The soil there is water-retentive deep clay and fossil-rich limestone, and the hillside magnificently steep, facing south and southwest overlooking the Rhône. A winemaker of astounding precision and talent, Patrick's roussettes are of a power and depth not usually found in the region, really coming into their own after a few years in the bottle. We've done that work for you already, and this 2012 is delightful to drink now! And what enjoyment it is: a fragrant bouquet of quince with hints of truffle opens the show, evolving over the course of the evening just to keep things interesting. Opulent at first sip, the palate yields to a silky, densely-mineral texture, with notes of crushed mountain herbs, orchard fruit, and light citrus tones, all lifted by a sunny, energetic acidity that keeps it deftly balanced and refreshing. Powerful from the get-go, these wines finish with Alpine grace, and the more air and time they see, the more captivating they become. Almost Burgundian in style, this is a complex, elegant addition to any dinner: think polenta, tartiflette (a casserole made with sliced potatoes, Reblochon cheese, lardons, onions, and cream), or any of the region's famed cheeses!
Clos Cibonne Tibouren "Cuvée Spéciale des Vignettes" Rosé Côtes de Provence AOP 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: PROVENCE / Appellation: CÔTES DE PROVENCE AOC / Varietal(s): TIBOUREN --- Described by one taster as “love in a bottle”, this elegant rosé is the embodiment of romance. Owned by the Roux family since 1797, the property of Clos Cibonne saw its winery modernized in 1930 by André Roux, who hoped to showcase his estate’s rosés. André replaced all of the estate’s mourvèdre with the native grape varietal tibouren, which he believed to be the ideal grape for the region. Bridget Roux (André’s granddaughter) took it over in the 1990’s, bringing Clos Cibonne back to its standing as one of the 18 Cru Classés in Côtes de Provence. Nowadays, Clos Cibonne is highly esteemed for producing distinctive rosé wines with earthy notes that capture the essence of Provence. This special bottling is 100% tibouren sourced from 60+ year old vines. It is aged on the lees for one year before bottling, so it comes to market the year after the rosé wines from other estates. This cuvée is vibrant, highlighted by aromas of red berries, stone fruit, and hints of jasmine, orange pith, and crushed herbs. Bold and fresh on the palate, it offers up electrifying flavors of raspberry, peach, and blood orange. Powerful and graceful, a delightfully lingering finish makes this just perfect for pairing with red mullet, tomato bouillabaisse, roast chicken, or dishes with saffron or curry.
Le Petit Domaine de Gimios "Rouge Fruit" Vin de France 2017 - CERTIFIED BIODYNAMIC + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: FRANCE / Region: LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): OLD VINE FIELD BLEND --- One of the most interesting and delicious "natural" wines to come from the south of France, this gem is from Anne-Marie and Pierre Lavaysse from Saint Jean de Minervois in the Herault in the Languedoc (actually from Gimios within the commune borders of Saint Jean de Minervois), under the somewhat self-deprecating domaine name Le Petit Domaine de Gimios. Anne-Marie established the domaine in 1993 and began to restore the abandoned, very old vineyards (dating back to the 1860s!), randomly planted with at least sixteen different grape varietals. She tends her vines using biodynamic practices and the domaine is certified biodynamic by Ecocert. Anne-Marie and Pierre Lavaysse make their wines with zero additives and farm without the sulfur and copper treatments that are used by most organic vineyards. The Gimios wines are sourced from incredibly low-yielding vines, hence they tend to be a bit more expensive than some but with an incredibly delicious payoff. The exposed, rocky vineyard is covered with low bush vines with thick trunks that help them stand up to the wind that pushes down from the mountains behind. Grapes are co-fermented from old vines of carignan, terret, aramon, grenache, alicante, and muscat petit grain, resulting in this amazing soft, round, subtle red, full of layers of nuanced fruit that seem to go on forever. Complex aromas of fruit preserves, white pepper, violets, and baking spice mingle with bright red fruits, citrus, and minerals on the palate. Lip-smacking acidity with notes of berries and stone fruits linger for ages on the finish. These wines have had absolutely no sulphur added (and haven't since 2002!). Delicious and unique, this is sure to delight any lover of natural wines! Enjoy with garlic-crusted roast rack of lamb or farro-mushroom-walnut stuffed acorn squash on your holiday table.
Carlo Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva DOCG "Luca" 2011
Country: ITALY / Region: PIEDMONT / Appellation: BARBARESCO RISERVA DOCG / Varietal(s): NEBBIOLO --- The Carlo Giacosa Winery, family-run for four generations, is situated in Barbaresco (famed for producing some of Italy's most renowned wines) with a fantastic view over the village’s medieval tower and the Tanaro Valley. Donato Giacosa, Carlo’s father, founded the winery. As an expert vine grafter, he worked both for his own and surrounding estates, encouraging the development of the area’s immaculately geometrical vineyards and consequently helped shape the very hills of Barbaresco. Carlo, together with his wife Carla, continued in the family tradition, developing the winery through the years, before passing on the reins to his daughter, Maria Grazia. Now Maria Grazia's son, Luca, makes wines alongside his mother, including this eponymous cuvée. The 5 hectares of estate vineyards are all planted with native grape-varieties: nebbiolo, barbera and dolcetto. Eco-friendly methods protect against parasites, manure is used for fertilizer, and the soil is worked alternating mechanical means (cultivator, plow, mulcher, hoe) to avoid compacting the earth and forming pockets of humidity. In the winery, traditional methods are supported by modern technology, allowing for fermentation in steel at a controlled temperature, appropriate maturing in small barrels or large casks, and the reduction of sulphites to around 1/3 of the legal limit. 100% nebbiolo from three vineyards located in the Asili, Cole, and Ovello crus in Barbaresco, "Luca" was aged for 30 months in small French oak barrels, then another 12 months in bottle. Deep garnet in color, it bursts with intense scents of dark berries, rose petal, spicy licorice, cinnamon, and vanilla. Classically-styled and full-bodied on the palate, it offers up complex flavors of dark red and black cherries, dried flowers, earth, tobacco, and coffee, on a well-balanced frame of bright acidity and firm tannins. It has the potential to age well, but is also delicious drunk now with prime rib roast.