APRIL SHOWERS BRING... FRENCH CLASSICS!
Guillaume & Virginie Philip Rosé Côtes de Provence AOC "MiP" 2017 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: PROVENCE / Appellation: COTES DE PROVENCE AOC / Varietal(s): CARIGNAN+SYRAH+GRENACHE --- No matter how dreary the weather lately, the trees are still budding, the crocuses are up, and the birds are singing, which means spring is around here somewhere and it's officially rosé season! Domaine Sainte Lucie was founded in 1979 by Michel Fabre, and at that time consisted of eight hectares at the foot of Mount Sainte Victoire. The winery has since been expanded and developed to its present 45 hectares, farmed sustainably (the vineyards are leased to a shepherd in the fall whose sheep do their magic in helping revitalize the soil). Now run by Michel's son, Guillaume, and daughter, Virginie, this perennial favorite bears their names on the label. The palate abounds with elements of white flowers, crushed herbs, bright citrus peel, delicate raspberries, and stony minerals... a long-standing favorite which has amassed quite a fan club, this will be one of the rosés you'll turn to again and again this spring for everything from porch parties to elegant dinners!
Raymond Dupont-Fahn "Les Vireux" Auxey-Duresses AOC 2014 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY / Appellation: AUXEY-DURESSES AOC / Varietal(s): CHARDONNAY --- Raymond Dupont-Fahn is a fifth generation winemaker who has worked with his father and grandfather from an early age, absorbing every aspect of the winemaking process and traditions. After earning his degree in oenology at 21, he started managing five hectares of his own vines in 2001. In his brief career he has already produced some wines of stunning quality from the lesser-known appellation Auxey-Duresses (off the beaten path in the Côte d'Or in a small valley just above Meursault). Raymond avoids using pesticides in his vineyards, and usually chooses to harvest on the earlier side to achieve wines with greater acidity and lower alcohol. Pale yellow in hue, with crystalline clarity, this delights the senses with apple, pear, and baking spice aromas. In the mouth, the happy surprises continue, with a luxurious texture revealing juicy fresh pear flavors that generously linger. Accessible, but with elegance to spare, this is a lovely companion to warm shellfish dishes or roasted chicken.
Domaine des Marrans Morgon AOC Corcelette 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY-BEAUJOLAIS / Appellation: MORGON AOC / Varietal(s): GAMAY --- Domaine des Marrans is based in Fleurie, where most of their 20 hectares of vines are located, but they’ve also got a prime site in Morgon: Corcelette, a high-elevation site to the northwest of the village of Morgon. Corcelette is often compared to Côte du Py (south of the village), as one of Morgon’s greatest single-vineyard sites (the Beaujolais equivalent of Grand Cru, if such terminology were used in the region.) Corcelette is a south-facing site of granite and schist soils, famed for structured, mineral-driven gamay. The Mélinand family has generations of winemaking experience, with Mathieu joining his father, Jean-Jacques, in 2008. Their "vineyard-first" philosophy is reflected in their organic farming practices, as well as the resulting wines that display great purity and minerality. Domaine des Marrans farms 50+-year-old vines on Corcelette, fermenting the grapes with indigenous yeasts and aging the wine for 10 months in large used barrels. Vinification is done in a traditional manner, through "semi-carbonic" maceration (loading whole grape bunches into a sealed container, which sparks fermentation among the crushed grapes at the bottom of the vessel, but traps the resultant carbon dioxide inside the vessel. This triggers an ‘intracellular’ fermentation in the grapes on top, resulting in a brighter, more fruit-forward style of wine.) Sometimes described as the “James Bond of Beaujolais”, Morgon wines are deep, dark, and mysterious, and this handsome wine is a perfect example: full of focus, perfume, and structure. Aromas of black and red raspberry, fresh plum, dewy violets, crushed herbs, and wet stone give an idea of what's to come: deep berry and cherry flavors on a silky medium-bodied frame. A persistent mineral/floral finish wraps it all up elegantly. Perfect served slightly chilled with Middle Eastern lamb skewers.