ORGANIC AND NATURAL CLASSICS FROM FRANCE AND ITALY
Domaine Arnaud Lambert Saumur AOC Clos de Midi 2017 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: SAUMUR AOC / Varietal(s): CHENIN BLANC --- Château de Brézé has a long and famed history, first mentioned in texts from 1068, then praised by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate's vineyards were the best in the region (at least for chenin, in contrast to the red wines of the area) and deserved an appellation all their own. He was likely right (as you'll discover upon tasting!), but the wines from those amazing vineyards didn't live up to the hype at the time, and he was denied. However, in 2009, the winery was sold to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert (son of Yves Lambert, whose fine wines we're happily familiar with!) from nearby Domaine de Saint-Just to make the wine. Arnaud changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly outstanding wines that finally live up to their history. Château de Brézé is situated on the historic hill of Brézé, renowned in Saumur for its tuffeau limestone rock, which contributes greatly to its character. The vineyards are divided into true “clos” or walled off vineyards, that protect the unique topsoil. While "Clos de Midi" is the Château’s entry level bottling, it is also a "clos" that expresses a wine from a cooler, sandy site - with absolutely stunning results! Light bodied, this offers up mind blowing complexity, with bursts of fresh honeycomb, lemon zest, herbal tea, and orange blossom opening the show. Liquid sunshine, it possesses electrifying acidity, with juicy flavors of cooked rhubarb, orange zest, and wet stones. Its regal texture combined with delicate chalky minerals is the perfect cadenza to this exciting new arrival. Think the freshness of young Sancerre, the textured richness of Chablis, but with a distinctive charm all its own! A perfect companion to a whole white fish or fatty cheese.
Cirelli Amphora Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC 2017 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC + SKIN FERMENTED
Country: ITALY / Region: ABRUZZO / Appellation: TREBBIANO D'ABRUZZO DOC / Varietal(s): TREBBIANO --- Trained as an economist, Francesco Cirelli left the profession to pursue a career in winemaking. He purchased his land in 2003 and devoted the property to organic farming, growing olives, garlic, spelt, barley, and figs, as well as the two-hectare vineyard of trebbiano used to produce this wine. It is rare we find a trebbiano d'Abruzzo that excites us, but this wine did. Francesco's secret is lower yields for more concentrated fruit, but also lowering the amount of sulfur to avoid masking the terroir. He makes several cuvées of trebbiano, but this amphora- fermented and -aged one is his pride and joy. Grapes were hand-harvested in baskets then immediately destemmed and crushed. The juice was kept in contact with the skins for 20 days in amphora before racking and malolactic fermentation. This longer skin contact and a year in amphora gives a depth of subtle baked exotic fruit, spices, and honeycomb without any hint of sweetness. Great with seafood risotto!
Damien Coquelet Morgon Côte du Py 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY-BEAUJOLAIS / Appellation: MORGON AOC / Varietal(s): GAMAY --- Damien Coquelet is one of France’s most exciting young guns - bottling his first vintage in 2007 at the age of 20! The step-son of Georges Descombes, Damien has worked alongside him since early childhood, which perhaps helps to explain this prodigy's sudden ascendance! Georges, his son Kevin, and stepson Damien, all bottle wine together under one roof in the cellar of a farmhouse in the tiny, rural hamlet of Vermont, 45 minutes north of Lyon. Unsurprisingly, Damien's work ethic echoes that of Georges: organic viticulture, hand harvesting, native yeasts, zero intervention in the cellar and little if any sulfur at bottling. Now barely 30, Damien is bottling some beautifully old-fashioned Beaujolais from the acclaimed region of Morgon. This elegant cuvée hails from the Côte du Py, perhaps the most important vineyard site between Burgundy’s Côte d‘Or and the Rhône Valley. This crumbling granite and schist hillside lends the wonderfully versatile gamay grape a sophisticated dose of energy and intensity. The 2016 Morgon saw carbonic maceration before aging in large wood foudres, and then additional aging in bottle. A lovely deep bouquet of spice, earth, and sappy berry evolves into a deadly combination of dark cherries, crunchy cranberries, and bright currant flavors on a frame of firm acidity and delicate tannins before yielding to a broad, stony finish. Serve quite cool with chicken, charcuterie and cheeses, or throw a burger or sausage on that grill – your palate will thank you!
Montepeloso "A Quo" Toscana IGT 2014 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: ITALY / Region: TUSCANY / Appellation: TOSCANA IGT / Varietal(s): CABERNET SAUVIGNON+MONTEPULCIANO+SANGIOVESE+MARSELAN+ALICANTE BOUSCHET --- Tucked away in the hills of Suvereto near Bolgheri on the Tuscan Coast (one of the hottest areas in Tuscany) is the 15-acre Montepeloso estate. In such a climate, it's quite easy to produce concentrated wines bursting with body and ripeness, but far less easy to achieve elegance and finesse. Swiss-born winemaker, Fabio Chiarelotto, manages to accomplish both, overhauling the vineyards in 1997 to take full advantage of the terroir's potential, and farming biodynamically. His approach in the cellar is similar; he does relatively short macerations, employs natural yeasts during fermentation, and bottles without filtration. The 2014 "A Quo" is a dark and luscious blend of cabernet sauvignon, montepulciano and sangiovese, along with tiny quantities of marselan and alicante bouschet. An intense, compelling nose of black cherry, plum, and prune hints at what's to come. Powerful, focused flavors of ripe cherry, plum, tobacco, and leather dance around fresh mint and thyme overtones, supported by firm tannins and hints of blood orange peel. Textural richness and a silky finish that goes on for days makes this an elegant choice with that steak!