CLASSICS FOR SPRING CELEBRATIONS
Domaine Servin Chablis Premier Cru AOC Butteaux 2016
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY / Appellation: CHABLIS PREMIER CRU AOC / Varietal(s): CHARDONNAY --- In the world of white wine, chardonnay is often considered at the head of the class. One of the reasons is due to the region of Chablis, an area that produces chardonnay that is unlike any other region. The wines of Chablis are imbued with a distinct minerality, a flavor that marks the wines with a stony salinity. The Servin family have been vineyard owners in Chablis since 1654. This estate has holdings in four Grand Cru and five Premier Cru vineyards (one of which we're featuring today). It is now run by François Servin (the first Servin in the family to not be named Marcel in five generations), as obviously tradition is something the family has taken seriously! However, François, along with his Australian brother-in-law Mark Cameron, have been making changes at the estate, particularly in replanting vineyards. About one-third of the estate's holdings are on a stretch of land named Les Pargues, which lies between Montmains and Vosgros. It was devastated by phylloxera and at the time of the Premier Cru designation of 1967, it was still in the process of being replanted. From the left side of the Serein, situated on a steep slope of the hill of Montmains, above and to the west of Les Forêts, lies the 1er cru Butteaux, from whence comes this cuvée. Servin’s tiny parcel of Butteaux adjoins that of Raveneau. Old vines, perfect exposition, and extremely rocky Kimmeridgian limestone soil all combine to make Butteaux a special wine, one that can hold its own even with Grand Cru when it comes to expressiveness of character. From hand harvested fruit, fermentation and aging both take place in stainless steel tank, allowing the pure expression of fruit and soil to shine. A beguiling nose of lime leaf, dewy Granny Smith apple, and seaside pebbles yields to a fresh, well-defined palate of bright apple tones with yellow and green citrus zest. A creamy texture adds to the overall elegance, leading to a lingering finish of saline minerality. Gorgeous with scallops with lemon butter or pilaf studded with herbs.
Domaine Chaume-Arnaud Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC Blanc "La Cadène" 2014 - CERTIFIED BIODYNAMIC
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: CÔTES DU RHÔNES VILLAGES AOC / Varietal(s): MARSANNE+VIOGNIER --- The village of Vinsobres suffered a severe frost in 1956, killing almost all the olive trees in the region, and triggering a transition to grape growing instead. Situated about 45 km northeast of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vinsobres was part of the Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation until 2006, when it was granted appellation status on its own, becoming the northernmost appellation in the southern Côtes du Rhône. Nestled in the foothills of Mount Ventoux, it sits above the valley floor with vineyards as high as 400 meters above sea level. Valerie Chaume‐Arnaud always aspired to become a winegrower, eventually persevering over the objections of her mother, who wanted her daughter to pursue a more "modern" career. After studying oenology and viticulture, she took over the 5 hectares of vines belonging to her parents in 1987. With her husband Philippe, they gradually expanded the vineyards, which today cover 38 hectares. They have been organically farming their vines since 2002 and moved towards a biodynamic approach between 2004 and 2006, becoming certified biodynamic by Demeter in 2009. Inside the winery, all wines are vinified in tanks – nary a wood barrel or vat in sight! The resulting wines are pure, clean expressions of terroir and varietal, as intended. The two top wines of the estate are the “La Cadène” cuvées. The La Cadène blanc is made from 50% marsanne and 50% viognier planted in shallow limestone soils on the plateau. A touch of oxidative nuttiness on the nose yields to a palate of delicate stone fruit (peaches and apricots) that is simultaneously richly textured and clean as a whistle. Hints of citrus pith, white pepper, anise, and mint add an appealing complexity, while a splash of acidity keeps it all aloft. Great with seafood dishes like lobster burgers with brown butter lemon aioli or crawfish étouffée.
Dei Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2014 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: ITALY / Region: TUSCANY / Appellation: VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO DOCG / Varietal(s): PRUGNOLO GENTILE (AKA SANGIOVESE)+CANAIOLO NERO --- When you're planning a feast for family and friends, you need wines of great character. Italian wines always seem to fit the bill and this offering from Tuscany is no exception. The Dei winery was founded in the 1960's and has a long history of producing high quality wine evident through a string of high scoring reviews. This wine is produced mainly from sangiovese, known as prugnolo gentile in the area around Montepulciano, Tuscany. Full of classic sangiovese character, this polished, vibrant red opens with fragrant blue flower, new leather, black plum and baking spice aromas. The juicy, fresh palate offers up flavors of tart cherry, cranberry, clove and thyme, its acidity and fine-grained tannins lending grip to the finish. This is a rich and fuller bodied wine – perfect for a roast of pork, lamb or beef but one that will also work with hearty grain casseroles.
Stolpman Vineyards "Syrah So Hot" Ballard Canyon 2016 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN/LOW INTERVENTION
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: BALLARD CANYON / Varietal(s): SYRAH --- 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 4 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. Rajat Parr, their partner in Combe Wines, first made a whole cluster carbonic syrah without added sulfur from Stolpman Vineyard in 2014. In doing so, he introduced them to the methodologies of French syrah producers such as Thierry Allemand. Seeking to make a softer, more feathery syrah in Ballard Canyon, this is a diversion from Stolpman's signature rich, mouth coating style in favor of something fun and utterly quaffable! Slightly more delicate, "Syrah So Hot" is made via carbonic whole cluster fermentation (grapes are fermented uncrushed in the absence of oxygen), which results in a lighter bodied wine that still has freshness and personality in spades. A nose of dark fruit, cola, licorice, and nutmeg invites you to take the first sip – which is bursting with dark, spicy goodness! Black currant, mulberry, black pepper all make an appearance on a palate that is mouthwateringly fresh and juicy, with moderate grip on the finish. A winner for dinner, whether lamb, ham, or yam!