Domaine Thomas Sancerre AOC La Crêle 2016
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: SANCERRE AOC / Varietal(s): SAUVIGNON BLANC --- Not exactly newcomers to winemaking, the Thomas family has been growing grapes and making wine in Sancerre since 1670! Today ninth- and tenth-generation winegrowers Jean and Ginette Thomas, along with their children, Julien and Christale, farm 19 hectares of sauvignon blanc and pinot noir near the hamlet of Verdigny. Jean and Julien farm their vineyards sustainably and eschew the use of herbicides, instead relying on regular plowing and grassy cover crops to control weeds and add nitrogen. Yields are also strictly controlled, and once harvested, the grapes are sorted, gently pressed and racked into temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. There they mature slowly on their lees for six to eight months before fining with egg whites and light filtration before bottling. This fabulous, single-vineyard bottling, "La Crêle", comes from a southeastern-facing parcel on gravelly slopes rich in clay and limestone. One of the three distinct soil types in Sancerre, these gravelly slopes are collectively known as caillottes, and situated on the southern slopes of the appellation. Opulent in texture, "La Crêle" doesn't sacrifice crispness. A layered palate of lush pear, exotic tropical fruit and notes of pithy grapefruit is all supported on a gravelly mineral core. A splash of citrus tang and a dash of celery salt lead to a long, lingering finish. An elegant choice to open with chicken stuffed with spinach and goat cheese.
Antonella Corda Cannonau di Sardegna DOC 2016 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: ITALY / Region: SARDINIA / Appellation: CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA DOC / Varietal(s): CANNONAU AKA GRENACHE --- Antonella Corda grew up among the vineyards as part of a winegrowing family that stretches back generations. She credits her mother with giving her a love of the land and her father for instilling a love of winemaking. She graduated as an agronomist in Agricultural Sciences and Technology at the University of Sassari before founding her own winery in 2010. Her goal: to create a boutique winery dedicated to honoring both her family roots and the roots of the region by producing Sardinian wines worthy of representing Sardinia on the world stage. Currently Antonella has 40 hectares on her estate, with 15 hectares devoted to vineyards, 12 to olive trees, and the rest open for crop rotation. She believes sustainable cultivation is the best way for humans to coexist with nature, and puts that into practice through the use of organic fertilizers, integrated pest control, and sustainable irrigation. This cuvée is an elegant representation of the cannonau grape. Cannonau is a native grape from Sardinia, but its impact on winemaking worldwide can’t be underestimated, as it’s grown in France as grenache, and in Spain as garnacha, and therefore a crucial component in renowned wines from all over the globe! This was vinified in stainless steel and neutral oak with indigenous yeast, resulting in a delicate, incredibly drinkable wine. Cherry, raspberry, blackberry, rose petals, and white pepper all mingle harmoniously on a softly textured palate. Fresh acidity and gentle tannins combine to make this lovely served with a BLT and a side of sweet potato fries.
Domaine Philippe Faury Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah 2016
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: COLLINES RHODANIENNES IGP / Varietal(s): SYRAH --- The steep, narrow valley of the northern Rhône is a challenging terrain for winemakers, as farming is only feasible through terracing. Domaine Faury remains among the region's most artisanal producers, helmed by Philippe Faury since 1979. At that time, the family was selling wine, peaches and cherries, and the bulk of their sales were local. Over the following years, Philippe expanded both the domaine's land (to over eleven hectares) and its sales, which now include an international reach (happily for us!). He passed the winemaking reins to his son, Lionel, in 2006 and today father and son still work side by side. The terraced granitic slopes provide plenty of southern and southeastern sun exposure, allowing for optimum ripening conditions for the vines. In the winery, partial destemming, gentle crushing and temperature-controlled fermentation all result in a liveliness and freshness not always found in wines of the area. Lionel and Philippe maintain great attention to detail, and avoid the use of new oak to maintain the subtlety of the grapes. Unfined and only lightly filtered before bottling, these wines display a classic character full of rustic elegance. Lively blueberries, mulberries, wild black raspberries and ground black pepper dance across the palate. Fresh acidity and finely grained tannins contribute to an elegant texture, wrapped up with notes of black olive, spice and a subtle savoriness on the finish. A classic pick; open this with braised chicken thighs with onions and black olives, or beef with fermented black bean sauce.