As we prepare for Thanksgiving 2012, we offer our sympathies to those whose homes or businesses were lost or damaged in the recent storm. A natural disaster such as this makes us appreciate the simple things in life that we have to be thankful for. So as we gather our friends and families together let's think about helping those folks affected by the storm, or those in need of basic nutrition and health care. (The American Red Cross and Partners-in-Health would be good places to start)
Sermonizing aside, our talented and enthusiastic staff is here to help with their suggestions for your holiday table. Please call or email with any questions you may have - we hope you have a deliciouly happy and memorable Thanksgiving!Tweet
We have good reason to think that is the last version to be made of Emmanuel Lassaigne's Extra Brut Rosé. He Uprooted his Pinot vines in order to plant Franc de Pied Chardonnay; the fledgling vines are being cultivated behind his winery presently. Based on the 2010 vintage, pretty, raspberry notes are dominant on the nose along with sour cherry and tangy cherry pie. In a sense this wine presents itself a bit like a pet-nat... like the most complex one you've ever had with chalky length on the finish adding depth to the wine's inherent fruitiness. There is, however, that slight clowdiness and the freshly crushed and fermented fruit quality of wine made with native yeast and tiny additions of sulfur. The is a delicious and unusual Rosé Champagne that we think will age very well over the next few years based on a 2008 version we recently tasted that had become savory, mineral, complex, and harmonious. -msb
A great addition to the Thanksgiving table and especially good with pumpkin and apple pie. This yummy off-dry sparkling cider is full of plump pear-fruit - it's simply delicious and at 4% alcohol it's safe for Grandma and the kids...
The Barou family family makes delicious wines, and grows cherries and apricots, on their mixed-use organic estate in the hills around Saint-Joseph and Condrieu. Their 2011 Vin de Pays Marsanne is a sensational value! Beautiful aromas of lemon, exotic fruits, butter and hay with a hint of caramel. The palate is rich and ripe but with good acidity, showing apricot, pear and citrus fruits with a bit of smoky minerality in the finish. Really a lovely wine that will compliment full-flavored fish and poultry dishes and it's and amazing bargain at $11.99!
Certainly among the best values in White Burgundy, Thierry and Pascale Matrot make this lovely wine from certified organic grapes grown in a parcel adjacent to Meursault. There is a long fermentation in barrel with wild yeasts followed by 11 months sur lie elevage. This is a crowd-pleasing Burgundy at a great price and highly recommended!
We are surprised and pleased when we taste Gahier's Chardonnay La Fauquette that no matter the vintage and no matter the light (and delicious) oxidation that marks the wine, there is always a distinct "Fauquette-ness," down to the bouillon note on the nose that characterized the '90 Fauquette tasted in Michel Gahier's cellar last year. The nose has some aroma-lifting volatile acidity, which heightens the nutty, savory, and honeyed aromatics of the wine. One might go so far as to say "sesame seeds, baked apples, and wild flower honey." The palate is silky and surprisingly plush for the vintage with a long nuttiness and a fresh lift of acidity. Hunt down some Tomme Crayeuse and have yourself a ball! -msb
Comprised primarily of Treixadura, the 2010 shows delicate aromatics of pear, chestnut, spearmint and sea shells. The palate is racy, textured, and detailed, with notes of white pepper, nutmeg, and juicy fruit. The finish is long, broad, and saline infused. The balance of freshness with depth is incredible, and the acidity more pronounced than any other Rodriguez white in my memory, making it my favorite from Luis that I've tasted. Drink this over the next 4-5 years (including next week). A beautiful wine. cb/AR
The 2011 Senior is just barely off-dry, and is marked as such by Florian Lauer with his 'TF" symobl, representing "Trocken bis Feinherb," which roughly translates to dry, heading slightly to off-dry. It comes from mostly old vines to the west of the "Alte Neuenberg" section of the Ayler Kupp. It's made in a much more approachable, friendlier style than the 2010 and is really drinking well right now. Normal Saar-citrus tones are enhanced with cool, blue-slate mineral tones and fiery, red cassis notes as well. Wonderfully balanced, very focused and finishes dry with a sense of bright, round, juicy fruit. -jfr
This is our first experience with the wines of Geraud Fromont of Domaines des Marnes Blanches, an estate south of the Arbois by about 15 kilometers. We like what we have tasted so far. This wine is quintessentially Poulsard with zippy, sour cherry fruit on the nose. Pale and pure in the glass, the blood oranges and slightly bitter herbs come through on the nose and palate after an hour open. The wine is quite high-toned and high in acidity with a hint of quinine emerging with air. -msb
This extremely rare grape variety, normally blended with Mondeuse, is a must try for lovers of the obsure and delicious wines of eastern France. Reminiscent of Loire Valley Gamay with pepper and tangy fruits such as currants and sumac on the nose, the wine also has a decidedly Alpine hint of smoke and herbs. The palate is remarkably savory, which, when blended with juicy, red fruits and fruit seeds, makes an irresistible combination. Absolutely delicious. -msb
From four parcels in Morey, below the village, with vines averaging about 50 years of age. Lovely transparent red color, fresh wild strawberry and tart cherry fruit with earthy herbal hints. Real grip on the palate which is medium to light-bodied but with great intensity of meaty red fruits, herbs and spice with zingy chalky citrusy acids, really perfectly balanced. 2010 seems to be a superb vintage for the Magniens - there is no lack of fruit but it's contained in a relatively lean frame with good acidity. Great length and persistence of fruit in the finish. A beautiful wine that can certainly be enjoyed young but will age very well.
Le Clos Guillot is a beautiful south-east facing vineyard, just east of the town of Chinon, above the Clos de l'Olive and adjacent to Le Chene Vert. The upper slope of the parcel is clay over limestone (the lower part has sand over the rock, permitting a tiny separate production from franc de pied vines) and the vines are young, planted from 1993 to 2000. We have been buying this wine since it's first production in 2000 - it's one of the most elegant and Burgundian of Chinons and in the 2010 vintage it has reached a level of quality putting it among the very finest reds of the Loire. Bernard and Matthieu Baudry are skilled, intelligent winemakers whose vineyard work and harvesting are exemplary, and whose careful vinifications seem to perfectly express the quite different terroirs of Chinon. The 2010 vintage in Chinon gave wines with a bit less alcohol and density than the excellent 2009s, but they have perfect acidity, great purity of fruit and a bit more terroir presence - in other words an excellent vintage, especially chez Baudry. The 2010 Clos Guillot is a deep red/purple color with astonishingly bright, pure and complex floral red fruit aromas. The palate is bright, pure and very long with slightly peppery red and black fruits. The Baudrys did a longer elevage for this vintage, 15 months in 3 to 7 year-old Burgundy barrels. (Case price $25.19 per bottle)
In Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban, a village on the opposite side of the Rhône from Brézème in the Ardeche, Eric found vineyards in massale selection, never treated with chemicals, including a tiny plot of old vine Serine on micaschist and marne soils. We tasted the 2010 last winter before bottling - Very pretty, quite complex red fruit, citrus and floral aromas, black fruits on the palate, dark and deep with terrific length. Great balance and acidity, light on it's feet, this will age well. Lovely! ("No sulphur needed. Therefore no sulphur added. But THIS IS NOT A NO SULFUR WINE BY DESIGN, for Bacchus sake!!!!!!!!!!!!!No carbonic @#$%, no reductive ageing, no extended lees contact no addition of CO2... This is a traditional whole cluster syrah from decomposed granite in the Northern Rhone, bottled without sulphur. Period." - Eric)
We were thrilled with this wine when we tasted it last May (and again last week); it is a very pretty and pure expression of Etna, very bright, aromatic with cherry, earth and lava, herbs and flowers. Our friend Robert tasted and said “Fresh Etna!” and it really is – an elegant and feminine Nerello, and at a great price for quality.
The slightly tart aspect of good Nerello will work well on Thanksgiving, even with cranberry.
Prieto Picudo is a rustic and characterful native grape that grows around the town of Leon. Gregory Perez uses a fresh and elegant approach in his elaboration - with minimal extraction, natural yeast vinification and reductive wine-making in tank. The 2009 Preto shows lovely dark bramble fruits, great freshness, savory black pepper and cumin notes, with a supple well fruited palate of tart black raspberry and concord grape. Also, I think there's a mineral dimension that makes this wine really interesting and lovely. A great introduction to the new Spain. Pair with roasted birds and grilled meats. - cb/AR
Erwin Tinhof organically farms 11 hectares in Eisenstadt, on the west side of the Neusiedlersee. So far, this gets our vote for best Austrian Rosé of the vintage, a category in which there's generally pretty stiff competition. Hand harvested, fermented with native yeasts and 100% Blaufränkisch, this has bright flavors of strawberries and cream but is well-structured with a firm, steely backbone. This will be my go-to rosé for the summer months, for sure. -jfr