Featured Wines in the Store

by Russ Anderson on October 18, 2017

As many of you know, we truly enjoy a good glass of rosé in the store. And most of you know we stock one of the most extensive offerings in the state. But, did you know we enjoy rosés all year round. We frequently term them a “winter white.”

Rosé wines certainly are not as seasonal as many people believe them to be and can be enjoyed most of the year. Certainly old favorites work but also wines that have a bit more depth and richness due to a longer maceration time are well suited to Fall.

1Domaine Faillenc – Rose des Glacieres
The rosé is made via the saignée method. The grapes, in this case 100% Syrah, go into a tank for a short period of time, usually overnight. After this short maceration period, the juice “bled” off has absorbed some color from the skins, but does not carry the dark purple hue that Syrah can produce. The fermentation is long and slow at controlled temperatures.

Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie Rose des Glacieres (Corbieres, France) Faillenc Sainte Marie is a small property, with only eight hectares of vineyards stubbornly clinging to the rocky foothills of Mont Alaric. For many, it is best located by being 12 kms from Carcassone. The terroir is composed of inhospitable, rocky limestone terraces. Only vines, olive trees and some scraggly brush survive under these harsh conditions. As a result, yields are naturally low. The grapes are strongly marked by their environment and this powerful character shows through in the wines, even the rosé.

The 2016 is juicy and fresh, with a cranberry edge to its macerated strawberry flavors and a hint of tannin in the finish. It is a delightful pairing for grilled white sausages and mixed bruschetta. $16 a bottle.

2Berangerie Cahors Rosé (Malbec)
Customers searching for this wine often simply request the “Frog.” It doesn’t always sound the most polite, but the wine is another easy drinking rosé, this one made 100% from Malbec.

Berangerie “Tu Bois cos?” Cahors, France
In 1971 André Berenger came to Cahors from Provence with his wife Sylvie, who is originally from Champagne, and planted their vineyard near Grezels, on the red clay/ iron stone soil known as Grèzes. Pruning, the sustainable farming of the vineyards (Terra Vitis certified) and harvesting are all done by hand; a disappearing practice in Cahors where harvesting is now done almost exclusively by machine. The Bérangeraie wines are proof that hand-made artisanal wines of character yet accessibility, are still being made in Cahors today.

The wine is 100% Malbec, deeply colored, dry and fruity, with grapefruit, raspberries, and strawberries on the nose with a the richer palate one would expect from Malbec. Just have some friends over and share. A stunning value at $12.

3La Bastide Blanche, Rosé Bandol, France
And here we have one of the perennial favorites in the store.

From the time of their acquiring the domaine in the early 70’s, Michel and Louis Bronzo have been focused on making quality wines equal to those of more famous appellations like Chateauneuf du Papes. Today, Bandol is equally well known and respected. The region’s rosés are seen by many as benchmarks for rosé, perfect for a bowl of bouillabaisse or ratatouille but also serve well as a pleasant afternoon sipper in the fall.

The wine is 71% Mourvèdre, 14% Grenache, 12% Cinsault, 3% Clairette. This wine certainly rewards a few months of aging. It is starting to take on some richness, with the lovely aromas of raspberry, peach, blood orange, rose and spice leading to a fuller palate of ripe raspberry and hints of strawberry with some dried orange peel notes and fresh herbs in the background. $24 a bottle.

Two Great Wines

by Russ Anderson on September 29, 2017

22As the temperatures cool, I find myself turning to rosés with a little bit more body and structure. This beauty comes from the Southern Rhone region of Gigondas. The area produces delicious reds based around the triumvirate of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre that drink comparably to more expensive Chateauneuf du Papes.

Domaine du Gour de Chaulé is in the middle of the village of Gigondas and was founded in 1900. For years the sold their wine in but to negotiants. Fortunate for us, in 1970 they started bottling an increasing amount for sale to the public. The Rosé is composed of Cinsault (50%), Grenache, and Mourvedre. This is a brilliantly colored wine with hues of pink and rose accompanied by flavors and a bouquet dominated by the impression of freshly crushed strawberries. Notes of apricot and peach make it a great wine to pair with grilled fish, even richer ones like bluefish. It drinks almost like a light red so is equally suited to sipping by itself as the sun fades to dusk.

There are 1200 bottles a year that make it to the US market, so we are fortunate to see them in the state. For those looking for a slightly beefier rose suited to cooler weather, this is just the ticket. $28 a bottle.

23One of the more exciting ‘projects’ I have been following is that established between importer Kermit Lynch and producer Louis Barruol of Domaine St Cosme. They have teamed up to source and produce some spectacular wines from the Northern Rhone. I happened upon these last year and was struck by the quality and price. My suspicions were confirmed when in January I found that most of the wines had already been bought by the rest of the US market. So, I begged, pleaded, negotiated and was able to get just a little bit of some very exciting wines.

Barruol Lynch – I’m not sure one could imagine a better “Dream Team” for the northern Rhone. Famed importer Kermit Lynch teams up with Louis Barruol, famed producer and owner of Chateau St Cosme. There multi-decades of experience combined with their excellent and experienced palates are focused on producing wines that honor both unique sites within the Northern Rhone and a classy, elegant and delicious style of wine. These wines combine richness and depth with elegance and length in a way that makes them a pleasure to drink throughout the meal.

Louis Barruol Crozes-Hermitage Tiercerolles, Rhone, France
The “Tiercerolles” is a wine of a higher “pedigree” than some Crozes as it comes from the sloped hillsides instead of the flatlands. Full of gorgeous plum, notes of dark chocolate and even hints of umami rich salinity squid ink. This wine is a little forward, certainly ready to drink now, but also built for the long haul. There is a touch of sauvage to the wine, that has me thinking of fruit compotes from mountain harvest berries that slowly cook over a campfire. It just begs to be paired with lamb or grilled mushrooms, game birds and more. $34, less than 10 cases of this wine available in the state. (Note: they also make some higher end bottlings from Hermitage, a red and a white, and Cote Rotie, that I will feature in a future email, but only a case of each is available.)

A great wine in from California

September 20, 2017

Many people think I don’t like California wine. While we have focused on the value offered by Europe, there as some delicious wines coming from California as well. It is so easy to keep drinking this wine. Here’s how winemaker Steve Matthiasson describes his red: “Tendu refers to tension, or poise, and we wanted that […]

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Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc)

July 10, 2017

Sancerre is one of the best known wines of France mainly because it is the ubiquitous white wine of the Parisian bistro. This is for good reason. First, the region is close to Paris and secondly the wines are deliciously refreshing in the summer time. Bright, crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc grown in the limestone soil […]

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New Wines in the Store

June 10, 2017

Those who know the store, know we love Burgundy wines. This wine is a great lesson in Burgundy for those just beginning to explore the enticing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines from this region. In fact, it is a mini case study of Burgundy in a single bottle. Volnay and Gevrey-Chambertin are two great regions […]

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New Wines in the Store

May 24, 2017

Some of the store’s top selling wines have shown up on the latest Kermit Lynch container. Some of these wines have been sold out for a while and return just in time for summer sipping. Part of the fun of the wine world is the great diversity and range of wines. The fact that not […]

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Caviste Wine Bags

May 11, 2017

“Bag” by popular demand, Caviste wine bags. We ran out of these fantastic bags and have recently restocked. I think they are the best wine bag I have ever found. They are from sturdy and durable canvass with straps that run under the base. They are made for 6 bottles and while I don’t recommend […]

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World Class Pinot Noir

April 26, 2017

Many of you will recognize this label as it is one of the most popular red Burgundies (Pinot Noirs) in the store. If you don’t recognize this wine, you will have the chance to taste it tomorrow. This wine is rare for two reasons, first this type of value is truly hard to find in […]

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Cheverny: Great Values from France​

April 5, 2017

​Cheverny is one of France’s newer AOC regions, being established in 1993. Before then, it was known in wine circles as a source of tremendous value where the wines are similar in style to Sancerre but much cheaper. This value proposition continues as you can see in today’s offer. Wines from the region are based […]

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Best Value Wines

March 30, 2017

We are always looking for the best value wines for your money, this weeks offering certainly have some; one of the store’s top sparkling wines, a delicious new vintage of a top Provencal rosé and a unique Pinot Noir. ​A wine that originates in the 13th Century, how can that be? Well not the wine, […]

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