Kewin Descombes "Cuvée Kéké" Beaujolais AOC 2017 - ORGANICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY-BEAUJOLAIS / Appellation: BEAUJOLAIS AOC / Varietal(s): GAMAY --- Kewin (French for Kevin) produced his first vintage in 2013, at the age of 21. Astonishing amounts of winemaking talent run in the family; Kewin (whose nickname is Kéké) is the son of acclaimed vigneron Georges Descombes, and stepbrother to Damien Coquelet, another winemaking wunderkind. Kewin currently farms about 15 acres of Morgon, given to him by his father, as well as four acres he rents within the Beaujolais appellation. He has adopted many of his father's ways in both vineyard and cellar: farming is certified organic and only native yeasts and minimal sulfur are used in the winemaking. Fermentation is semi-carbonic and aging takes place in barrel. Cuvée Kéké is his entry-level offering, and a fantastic example of classic Beaujolais. 100% gamay, this is bright and sappy, with juicy red berries, cherries, and cranberry sauce dancing across the palate. Whispers of smoke, earth, and crushed flowers offer a lovely lift, while remaining joyously bright and crunchy at its core. Ripe tannin, energetic acidity and impressive length and grip on the finish make this easy to open - and hard to put down! Fabulous with roasted stuffed acorn squash or a simple herb-rubbed roast chicken.
Moric "Haus Marke" Burgenland 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: AUSTRIA / Region: BURGENLAND / Appellation: BURGENLAND / Varietal(s): ROTBURGER+BLAUFRANKISCH+PINOT NOIR --- Winemaker Roland Velich doesn't mince words regarding his pursuit of singular wines: "I believe the world of wine is so fed up with uniform wines, produced with the goal of achieving a maximum of points in a tasting... [Wine is an] ancient cultural artifact, that under the influence of capitalism with all its facets runs the risk of deteriorating to a mere industrial product. Fast money creates fast wines and there it is the fast wine to go with our fast food." Describing himself as "hardcore", Roland comes from a winemaking family, and spent several years working with his brother at the family winery, absorbing the process intellectually, but still not quite finding the inspiration he sought. That inspiration came in the form of Burgundies and Barolos, iconic terroir-driven wines that Roland tasted and which compelled him to examine the potential of wines closer to home. He set out to make an Austrian red that would be the equal of those Grand Cru Burgundies, Barolos, and Northern Rhône masterpieces, using the blaufränkisch, rotburger (zweigelt), and pinot noir grapes that thrive in the challenging Burgenland region. Old vines, meticulous viticulture (Roland chooses not to seek organic or biodynamic certification), militant sorting, and relatively primitive winemaking techniques that echo those used in Burgundy all add up to a well-deserved reputation. Moric wines are indeed in a league of their own, unlike anything else in Austria. Intended as a table-style wine, the Haus Marke is composed predominantly of rotburger (also known as zweigelt – itself a cross between blaufränkisch and St. Laurent), with blaufränkisch and pinot noir making up the balance. The character of this cuvée, however, is very much blaufränkisch, albeit one with a playful bent. Fresh and lively, this explodes with red berries and cassis, accented with notes of crushed herbs and deep, complex forest floor flavors. An everyday wine that could turn every day into a special occasion! Fantastic with egg noodles with mushrooms and shallots, beef goulash with spaetzle, or cassoulet.
Yannick Pelletier "L'Oiselet" Vin de France 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: FRANCE / Region: LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): CINSAULT+GRENACHE+SYRAH --- Yannick Pelletier farms organically, mostly manually, de-stemming and hand-sorting fruit. A great proponent of natural winemaking, Yannick is a perfectionist in the vineyard. His parcels of 15-70 year old vines are scattered around the village of Saint-Nazaire de Ladarez near Béziers, on a mix of schist, limestone, and pebble soils. After a career in marketing, Yannick was trained in winemaking by local legend Didier Barral, beginning his own winemaking career in 2004. In the cellar, like in the vineyards, his goal is to keep inputs to the bare minimum. He also adopted a gravity-flow approach and light filtration techniques. "L'Oiselet" (baby bird) is a blend of equal parts cinsault, grenache, and carignan. The cinsault is de-stemmed and macerated for 15 days, while the other two varieties macerate from three weeks to a month, before aging for 18 months in cement vats. Fermentation occurs with indigenous yeasts and no sulfur is added whatsoever. This offers up generous flavors of rich dark cherry compôte and warm spices, all on a medium-bodied frame. Elegant, integrated tannins on the finish make this a lovely choice for farro with shallots, mushroom and dark miso-tahini sauce.