Paul Laurent Champagne AOC Rosé Cuvée du Fondateur Brut NV
Country: FRANCE / Region: CHAMPAGNE / Appellation: CHAMPAGNE AOC/ Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR+CHARDONNAY --- Champagne Paul Laurent is situated in the small village of Bethon, located south of Epernay, near the city of Sézanne. The Gruet family had been making Champagne for nearly 45 years before acquiring Champagne Paul Laurent in 1993. (If the name Gruet seems familiar, it's because the same family also makes Gruet sparkling wine from New Mexico.) Here their experience shows in this "Founder's Cuvée"- a very dry rosé that offers elegance and complexity at an attractive price. 80% pinot noir, 20% chardonnay, this is aged on the lees for 18 months, lending it a rosy salmon hue and delicate streams of fine bubbles. An inviting nose of pear, citrus, and white peach yields to a broad palate of red currant, raspberry, and strawberry in the mouth. Fresh acidity adds balance and elegance. Cool and composed, this is a graceful companion to cold meats, fish such as salmon or char, or red fruit-based desserts. It also makes a wonderful aperitif!
Jean-François Ganevat Chardonnay Côtes du Jura AOC "Dolium" 2012 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: JURA / Appellation: CÔTES DU JURA AOC / Varietal(s): CHARDONNAY --- Jean-Francois Ganevat is producing cutting edge wines by looking to the past, rediscovering techniques and grape varieties, and using biodynamic viticulture principles since 1999 (he also completely eliminated the use of sulfur in 2006). After training in Beaune and 9 years as the Maître de Chai at Jean-Marc Morey in Chassagne-Montrachet, he returned to make wines at his family domaine in 1998, the 14th generation of his family to do so since 1650. Using international and indigenous varietals including those prohibited by the official AOC Jura regulations, Ganevat grows 18 varietals on 17 acres in La Combe-Rotalier (30 miles west of Switzerland). He and his crew destem the grapes by hand, and ferment with indigenous yeast. 100% chardonnay, Dolium lies somewhere between Burgundy and Jura in style. While many Jura producers prefer to make heavily oxidized wines (a characteristic style of the region), Ganevat leans more toward the elegant side. Dolium is made with 60-year-vine chardonnay that is fermented with skin contact in open, used oak demi-muid. Aging takes place on the lees in 1000-liter Italian amphorae for 30 months. No sulfur is added, and the wine is left unfined and unfiltered. Bright and dry in character, it is slightly cloudy with a bit of oxidative nuttiness due to the amphora aging. It possesses truly unique aromas and flavors of dried lemon, wild flower, hay, straw, honeycomb, and hazelnut. These, combined with robust minerality and a light saline finish make this a truly exceptional bottling. Delightful with seafood and root vegetables!
Mauro Molino Barolo DOCG 2012
Country: ITALY / Region: PIEDMONT / Appellation: BAROLO DOCG / Varietal(s): NEBBIOLO --- Mauro Molino made his first Barolo in 1982, and today farms a 12 hectare estate located in the commune of La Morra. La Morra is on the western side of Barolo, with bluish soils of chalk and calcareous clay. The Molino family has holdings in some of La Morra’s most storied vineyards, and have owned their estate since 1953. Now Mauro's son, Matteo, and daughter, Martina, are taking on a large role in the estate. 100% nebbiolo, this is a classic Barolo- delicate and fresh with an intense bouquet of cherry and dried roses. A warm, earthy palate offers more concentrated red fruit and a persistent finish of structured tannins. Drink now, or cellar it for a while – it's great either way. A great value as well, this pairs beautifully with rosemary-rubbed roasted pork loin.
Barlow Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Calistoga 2012
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: NAPA VALLEY- CALISTOGA / Varietal(s): CABERNET SAUVIGNON --- All the members of the winemaking family behind Barlow Vineyards are farmers at heart. Since purchasing their land in 1994, they have farmed it all themselves, using their combined talents to produce exceptional wines. Warren Barlow Smith, a salesman, and Jeanne Smith, an accountant and financial manager, along with their son Barr Smith, a Geology major, and daughter-in-law Ann Smith, a Botany major, produced a small amount of estate grown cabernet sauvignon originally only intended for family and friends. It was so good the winemaker at the time, Art Finklestein, suggested they sell it instead. They quickly sold all 25 cases! Fast forward to the 2012 vintage of Barlow Estate cabernet sauvignon and you'll see why. Luxuriously smooth with velvety tannins, it opens the show with intense aromas of blackberry, cassis, and violets. Round and complex in the mouth, it boasts a gorgeous array of flavors including black cherry, blackberry, and plum, elegantly layered with licorice, vanilla, and mocha. Integrated yet firm tannins provide support for a supple, luscious finish. Open this with braised beef short ribs, grilled venison cheeks with blackberry glaze, or lentil shepherd's pie.