FOR THOSE SPECIAL YEAR-END NIGHTS!
We may have gotten through the bulk of the holiday party season, but that's no reason to stop drinking good wine! We have another Francophile line-up of bubbles, white, and red. From Champagne to Burgundy, and Bordeaux (oh, and a little something from a natural producer in the Rhône Valley), we've got some great bottles for you.
Champagne André Clouet Silver Champagne AOC Brut Nature NV
Country: FRANCE / Region: CHAMPAGNE / Appellation: CHAMPAGNE AOC / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR --- Founded by one of Napoleon's generals, and still owned by the same family, Champagne André Clouet has a reputation as a pinot noir specialist even within Bouzy, an appellation renowned for its pinot. From all Grand Cru vineyards, the wines are cellared under the family's 17th century village house, built by an ancestor who was printer to the royal court of Louis XV (a history reflected in the elegant label design). 100% Grand Cru pinot noir grown at a single site and fermented in neutral oak barrels, this Blanc de Noirs is the real deal! Pure and focused, it is made with no dosage, resulting in great structure and focus. Adhering to the metaphysical Rule of Three, André Clouet has taken to heart the tenet of Laurent-Perrier, whose famed Cuvée Grand Siècle was always a magical blend of three vintages. This cuvée accordingly contains 25% each 2015 and 2016 vintages, with 50% aged in solera, lending it the slightest touch of nutty funk. Lean, mineral, and mouthwatering, this offers up bright aromas of brioche, green apple, and hints of grapefruit. Notes of lemon and mineral join intensely focused acidity on the palate, all culminating in a long finish loaded with depth and nuance. Precise and concentrated, this is bone dry and elegant – perfect for special occasions (or for making any day a special occasion!) No beginner's aperitif, this is serious Champagne that shines when paired with shellfish, charcuterie, hard cheeses, even sushi!
Clos des Grillons "Les Grillons" Vin de France 2017 - ORGANICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: FRANCE / Region: LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): GRENACHE BLANC+CLAIRETTE --- 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.
Sylvain Pataille Marsannay AOC 2016 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY / Appellation: MARSANNAY AOC / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR --- Sylvain Pataille has perhaps done more to draw attention to the commune of Marsannay than any vigneron has in the past. Located in the northern reaches of the Burgundy region, the wines from the region are typically delicate and light in texture. Pataille has unlocked the puzzle, consistently able to coax more texture and richness from his fruit than others. Perhaps it's the age of the vines, the youngest being 40 years. The wine is organically grown, but using many biodynamic techniques. There is 30% whole cluster which brings a fruitful charm to the wine as well as a measure of complexity and structure. The bright red fruit notes and textural elements make this ideal with poultry and cheesy grain dishes.
Château La Pointe Pomerol AOC 2012
Country: FRANCE / Region: BORDEAUX /Appellation: POMEROL AOC / Varietal(s): MERLOT+CABERNET FRANC --- The fourth largest estate in the Pomerol region of Bordeaux, Château La Pointe has been known throughout its 150+ year history for producing wines of substance and consistent quality. After an intensive soil study, the Château placed a much heavier emphasis on growing merlot, uprooting the entirety of their cabernet sauvignon vines and limiting the yields of the remaining cabernet franc. A new barrel room was implemented in 2009, where they do plot-by-plot vinification in stainless steel tanks, and aging in small barriques (usually somewhere between 33% and 50% new French oak in a given year). Their style is concentrated yet ready-to-drink and an incredible value for those looking to begin their dive into one of the world's best growing regions for merlot!