Today we're pouring some Fall favorites that range from classic to innovative. Whether elegant chenin blanc from France's Loire Valley, a hearty Rosso di Montalcino, or an Old World-meets-New World cider collaboration, there's sure to be something here to tickle your palate!
Angry Orchard Cider "Understood in Motion" #03
Country: USA / Region: NEW YORK STATE / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): N/A --- Although Angry Orchard is best known for the sweet, easy-drinking ciders seen across the country, their cider makers have experimented with apple varieties and processes from around the world for over 20 years. In 2015, Angry Orchard opened a research and development center (and tasting room) just down the road from us, in Walden, NY. There, the focus is on experimentation and collaboration in the creation of unique small-batch ciders that utilize traditions from all over the world. This is one such collaboration cider, a story of two orchards separated by an ocean. Renowned UK cider maker Tom Oliver is based in Ocle Pychard, Herefordshire. Oliver and Angry Orchard head cider maker, Ryan Burk, each naturally fermented a cider with wild yeast, with bittersweet Dabinette as the principal apple. At Oliver's, the cider was fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged on lees, whereas Burk fermented his cider in used Calvados barrels, also aging it on the lees. After a year, Tom and his cider made their way from Herefordshire to Walden, where the two base ciders were blended together and the cidermakers began their collaborative tasting and experimentation. "Understood in Motion" is comprised of ciders from multiple harvests, all matured in oak, for as many as four years. The result is truly unique; hazy orange amber in color, with very low carbonation (practically still.) Dry on the palate, it displays the earthy, funky farmhouse character that is a trademark of English cider, particularly Oliver's cider. However, its sharp, balanced acidity is a hallmark of American small-batch cider making, and highlights notes of bittersweet apple, orange, grapefruit, pomace, and leather. A lengthy, firmly-tannic finish completes this Old World/ New World meeting of the minds! Great with grilled cheese with bacon and tomatoes!
Château d'Épiré Savennières AOC 2016 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: SAVENNIÈRES AOC / Varietal(s): CHENIN BLANC --- Savennières is located just southwest of Angers, on the north bank of the Loire River, where grapes have been cultivated since Roman times. One of the oldest and most iconic estates in Savennières, Château d’Épiré is rich in both winemaking and architectural history (thanks to its rendition of the Petit Trianon of Versailles). The domaine has been continuously owned by the Bizard family since the 17th century, and is currently run by Luc Bizard. They own 11 hectares, 9 of which are devoted to the cultivation of chenin blanc, which they vinify in the domaine's winery, a former Romanesque chapel dating from the 12th century. The Savennières from Épiré is regarded as Grand Cru, due to the rich soils and ideal microclimate. Southern and south-eastern sun exposure brings ripeness to the grapes, while the proximity to the Loire River keeps the temperatures moderate. The subsoils are comprised of sandstone and schist, and the top soil is a lovely blue slate schist that covers the vineyard floors, lending great character to the resulting wines. This wine is a true classic, both in terms of its pedigree, and also (importantly!) its flavor! Beautifully complex, this offers up elements of wild honey, bright orchard fruit, and hazelnuts on the nose, before an elegant transition to a palate of ripe apricot, lemon curd, and crushed stones, all supported on a core of nervy acidity. Gorgeous with Parmesan and polenta-crusted oysters.
Mocali Rosso di Montalcino DOC 2015
Country: ITALY / Region: TUSCANY / Appellation: ROSSO DI MONTALCINO DOC / Varietal(s): SANGIOVESE GROSSO --- Dino Ciacci, the founder of the Mocali estate, was one of the 25 vignerons who, in 1967, founded the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino. Today Mocali is owned and managed by Tiziano and Alessandra Ciacci, Dino's grandchildren, who live on the estate. Tiziano manages the vineyards and winemaking, as he has since the 1980s. Mocali follows a traditional style of winemaking, and their Brunello has a formidable reputation worldwide as being both approachable and age-worthy. This delicious Rosso is the "little brother" to Mocali's esteemed flagship Brunello; the fruit comes from the same vineyard and the wine is made similarly, with shorter aging to make it more approachable while still young. 100% sangiovese grosso, grown in marl and limestone. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel and malolactic fermentation is carried out in wood. The wine is then matured for 12 months in large French-oak barrels called “botti”, followed by additional aging in bottle for 7 months before release. Ruby red in color, this Rosso is elegant and precise, with a concentrated nose of cranberries and cherries, baking spices, and orange peel. Delicate mineral notes dance across a full-bodied palate, with an earthy, lingering finish tying things together beautifully. Throw a rib eye on the grill and enjoy!