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Isabelle and Franck Pascal, Le Jonc Blanc, Bergerac A new shipment has just arrived from this superb Biodynamic estate in Bergerac, east of Bordeaux. Proprietors Isabelle Carles and Franck Pascal are delightful, deeply intelligent people whose committment to Biodynamic farming, natural winemaking and the preservation of their unique terroir is inspirational. Located on an unusual outcropping of two different limestones with very thin clay soils, giving tiny yields, the estate produces wines that transcend the appellation Bergerac. They are mostly bottled as Vin de France, without added sulfur, and show marvelous complexity of fruit and flavors of earth and stone. While the wines are inexpensive, they are superb examples of natural winemaking that reinforce our admiration for those vignerons who have chosen to work with respect for nature and for the consumer as well. A new addition from Jonc Blanc is the sensational 2014 Vin de France "Pure M," a 100% Malbec that shows remarkably pretty floral notes and berry fruit aromas with a lush and dense but bright and balanced palate. Aged in a large foudre and bottled without fining, filtration or sulfur, it's a pure and delicious natural wine to serve cool with just about anything!
The Hubert family at Chateau Peybonhomme-les-Tours in Blaye and Chateau La Grolet in Bourg have just sent a big batch of their Biodynamic Bordeaux, featuring the return of the 2014 La Grolet Tête de Cuvée and the 2012 Quintessence de Peybonhomme. The beautiful organic vineyards at these two great estates are a verdant pleasure to see and contrast immensely with the normally herbicided and heavily treated soils of Bordeaux. In addition to their great farming, the Huberts practise impeccable winemaking and have just released their first wines without sulfur, the 2015 La Grolet "Sans Sulfites Ajoutés" and the simply delicious 2015 "Les Vacances de Monsieur Merlot." Both of these natural wines are perfect to drink now, with the La Grolet showing more complexity and structure on the palate - they are wonderful everyday reds and superb values!
It is a great pleasure to work with Jonc Blanc and Peybonhomme/La Grolet, whose vineyard work is among the finest in France and who produce beautiful wines for everyday enjoyment, affordable to all. Thanks to Isabelle Carles and Franck Pascal, and to Jean-Luc Hubert and family for their commitment to organic farming and delicious natural wines!
This beautiful wine is made by Isabelle Carles and Franck Pascal at Le Jonc Blanc, an unusual limestone plateau in the Bergerac with shallow clay soils. Natural vinification with wild yeasts, no additives and minimal extraction. Aged in a large foudre, bottled without fining or filtration, no added SO2, certified organic and Biodynamic. The wine shows a very dark red/black color, with lovely fruit and floral aromas - rose, blackberry and raspberry with hints of dark chocolate and earth. Pretty berry fruits on the palate with cocoa and citrus lifted by refreshing acidity and finishing with a mineral core and citrusy black fruits. This is an extraordinary, pure and delicious wine that should be served slightly cool. Perfect with charcuterie, patés, chicken and pork dishes or just quaffed happily by itself. Highly recommended. DL
We're proud to be working with Isabelle and Franck Pascal, who make beautiful natural wines on their small estate near Félines in Bergerac. The estate is situated on a unique rectangular hill of two different limestones with very thin clay soils - really a great terroir, enhanced by superb Biodynamic farming. The 2014 Sens du Fruit Rouge is an outstanding wine, produced with zero added sulfur, a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec. The color is dark black/red; the aromas are ripe blackberry and cassis with cocoa, earth, spice and violets. The palate is deep and cool with supple black fruits, dark cocolate, earth and spice. The finish is long and earthy with prune, brown spice and firm acidity. Just delicious. Serve cool with charcuterie, grilled foods, stews, full-flavored cheeses. $12.99? Our thanks to Isabelle and Franck for their inspiring work.
Isabelle and Franck Pascal make this beautiful natural wine from Cabernet and Merlot grown on their Biodynamic estate near Felines, in Bergerac. The wine is aged sur-lie 12 months in barrel, and is bottled without filtration or added sulfur. The color is a dark red/black; the wine shows vivid aromas of ripe cassis and boysenberry with earth, musk, brown spice, violet and graphite. The palate is lush, ripe and very complex with cassis, prune, chocolate, earth and spice lifted by cool acidity that continues in the long, citrusy finish. Wow, delicious! Serve with grilled pork or beef, a daube provencal, strong cheeses and charcuterie or cellar for 5 to 8 years.
From clay and gravel soils over limestone in the Côtes du Bourg comes this lovely Bordeaux, roughly 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, certified organic and Biodynamic and produced entirely without sulfur-dioxide or other additives. Pure juice! The 2015 Sans Sulfites Ajoutés is an opaque red/black color with lovely aromas of ripe cassis, red currant and spiced plum with hints of cocoa and earth. The palate is dense and supple with blackberry liqueur, plum skin and ripe red fruits, finishing with firm, refreshing acidity. This is a pure and fruit-forward Bordeaux that's ready to drink - serve cool with anything from Coq au Vin to Steak Frites and flavorful cheeses, or simply enjoy by itself. DL
It's always a pleasure to drink a great Bordeaux such as Château La Grolet’s Tête de Cuvée, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec; it has complex fruit with deep savory layers not clouded by new oak and is certified biodynamic. The nose is dense with intense notes of strawberries and dark cherries with hints of red currants followed by turned earth and resinous herbs. The palate is soft with smooth tannins and fair acidity, showing more of a floral tone of violets and slight notes of leather. After some time open the wine begins to reveal itself; dark red fruit with figs, strong herbal character, and more pronounced florals with delicate tannins. An exciting Bordeaux that could pair well with leaner steak, pork chops on the grill, or savory chicken dishes. Andy Paynter
ARRIVES TUE. 5/23 - The Hubert family are owners of Chateau Peybonhomme-les-Tours in Blaye and Chateau La Grolet in Bourg. The farming here is among the best in Bordeaux, certified organic and biodynamic. The vineyards are a fantastic oasis of greenery compared to the rest of Bordeaux, and are located on slopes of clay over limestone giving the wines good concentration and firm minerality. The Quintessence of Peybonhomme is a selection of the best juice from tastings each year and is primarily Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, a portion of which is aged in new oak. The 2012 is a beautiful and lively Bordeaux showing deep aromas of ripe cassis, blackberry, black cherry, cocoa, spice and earth. The palate is supple and ripe, lifted by cool acidity, with complex black fruits, earth and mineral flavors with a long finish. The wine broadens and gains complexity with time open so decant if possible. A versatile food wine, this beautifully balanced Bordeaux will accompany anything from roast chicken to pork dishes to steak. Put a few in your cellar for a mature experience, best 2020 to 2025.(Featured in the NY Times "20 Wines for Under $20" October, 2016) DL
The Hubert family are owners of Chateau Peybonhomme-les-Tours in Blaye and Chateau La Grolet in Bourg. The farming here is among the best in Bordeaux, certified organic and biodynamic. The vineyards are a fantastic oasis of greenery compared to the rest of Bordeaux, and are located on slopes of clay over limestone giving the wines good concentration and firm minerality. From 70% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec. Natural, wild yeast fermentations. Extraordinary quality here for the price. The 2014 Cote de Blaye Cru Bourgeois is a bit more forward than usual, showing deep cassis and red currant aromas, pure and ripe with hints of coffee, prune and spice. The palate is supple and deep with blackberry fruit, chalky minerals and terrific length. Serve slightly cool with anything from roast chicken to steak and full-flavored cheeses. Did we say this is a great value?
What's atypical about this delicious wine? It's a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Franc rather than Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, giving the wine a more supple palate and quite different fruit character. The 2015 has lovely, deep blackberry and cassis aromas with red currant, cassis and cherry on the supple, lush palate, with hints of earth and smoke. More "forward" than most Bordeaux, and showing the ripeness and beautiful fruit of the 2015 vintage, this versatile wine will pair beautifully with almost any beef, pork or lamb dish and is a fabulous value!
This 100% Merlot made from young vines in the Biodynamic vineyards at Chateau La Grolet is a delicious and versatile wine, showing lovely ripe cassis aromas with a soft palate of red fruits with plum and spice. Created to drink well young and particularly round and ripe in the 2015 vintage, serve lightly cool with charcuterie, stews, chicken and pork. Produced and bottled with no added sulfites - pure juice!
MORE ARRIVING TUE. 5/23 - Our Biodynamic friends, the Hubert family at Chateau Peybonhomme-les-Tours, have finally made a dry rosé and it's quite delicious. Subtle aromas of strawberry, peach and citrus on the nose that continue on the round but dry and refreshing palate. This gains weight with time (better on the second day) and has surprising length for a rosé. This is a versatile wine to serve as an aperitif or with grilled tuna, melon and prosciutto, grilled chicken or pork and mild cheeses.
Catherine and Jean-Luc Hubert's estate on clay and limestone soils in the Côte du Blaye is certified Biodynamic. For Le Blanc Bonhomme, whole-clusters of grapes undergo spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts before being pressed into concrete vats where it will continue on, and ultimately finish, its journey to becoming a beautiful wine. Their white cuvée is an elegant blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Sémillon. Wonderfully aromatic with white peach blossom and slight hints of tangerine rising from the glass. A deep, chalky minerality takes over on the palate and is accompanied by white fruit and a citrus-tinged acidity. It would pair well with numerous dishes and is very generous enjoyed on its own. An excellent value for an outstanding wine. Tim Gagnon