October 22, 2008

Wine Tasting featuring Kysela Wines

Wine Tasting Featuring Wines from Kysela Imports
".....one of the finest palates and selectors of top wine....., Robert Parker"
The Tasting
Wednesday, Oct. 22nd

Where: Hilton Garden Inn, Park Street, Freeport (that's just across the railroad tracks and around the corner from my store)
When: 5:00-7:00pm, Wed., Oct. 22nd (if you can't be there right at 5:00, don't worry....show up when you can)
Cost: $10/person
RSVP: Please call Freeport Cheese & Wine to reserve a spot – 865-3993; it is okay to just show up, but it helps us to prepare if you callWe are thrilled about this event!

The tasting features wines from one of the best importers of wines in the United States, Fran Kysela Pere et Fils. Robert Parker says about Fran Kysela, “…One of the finest palates and selectors of top wine….” Patterson’s Beverage Journal, in October 2006, called Kysela, “…America’s Next Top Wine Importer.”

The tasting features wines from Kysela Imports and Davine Wines, their Maine Distributor. Leading the tasting is Robert Jones, the national sales manager for Kysela Peres et Fils.

Robert is one of only 160 Master Sommeliers in the WORLD. He's forgotten more about wine than most people ever know! At the same time, he is down to earth, fun, friendly and informative – he treats wine the way it should be treated - a fun beverage that can improve a meal or an event! If you really want to learn about wine, this tasting is the place to be!

The Wines

The Sparkling:

Charles Duret Crémant de Bourgogne (France) $19.99 – Have you checked Champagne prices lately? THROUGH THE ROOF! Crémant de Bourgogne is a “newly” designated wine area in France – 1975. The sparkling wines from Crémant are made in the same fashion as Champagne (secondary fermentation in the bottle – “Méthode Champenoise”).

This is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. Delicate, long-lasting bubbles that are just like Champagne’s…..this is a “Blanc de Noirs” because it has a red skinned grape in it and is a white wine. This has those hazelnut aromas that remind me of many champagnes. Food pairing – great as a sparkling wine for a party or reception or with foods with creamy wine sauce.

Kerisac Sparkling Cider NV (France) $10.99 - This is tasty! The cider is produced from these five following types of apples: Kermerien (bitter), Bedan (sweet), Douce-Moën (bitter-sweet), Petit Jaune and Avrolles (acidulous). This cider is from Brittany in northwesternmost France. This special cuvée is low in alcohol (only 2.5%). Food pairing - Refreshing and fruity, it is ideal as an aperitif and excellent when poured over desserts and sherbets.

The Whites:

Saumaize Michelin St. Veran “Les Creches” 2006 (France) Reg. $32.99 Sale $29.99 – if you ever wanted to know what “stirring of the lees” means, look at this picture! (4th picture down). You’ll also see some gorgeous photos of Burgundy and an awesome cliff!

This small estate has about 45 acres of Chardonnay and 1 acre of Gamay (for Mâcon Rouge). All of the wines are 100% barrel fermented (10-25% new barrels per vintage) and go through 100% malolactic fermentation. They make about 3,800 cases of wine per vintage. The family estate is owned by Roger and Christine Saumaize-Michelin. They built new cellars in 1991. Anthony Dias Blue, in his “Pocket Guide to Wine 2006,” says of Roger Saumaize, “(he’s a) “….meticulous vineyardist and skilled winemaker, makes Mâcon whites…..dense and rich for the region, they behave more like great Côte de Beaunes.”

Elegant and fruity nose with great minerality. Round, rich, fresh and well balanced. You notice this wine is aged on its lees. Aromas of apples, pears, baking spices and citrus peel. The apple notes pick up in the flavors. From vines in Davaye and planted in limestone-based soils. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 89 points

Domaine de Régusse Aligoté 2007 (France) $13.99 – This wine estate is at about 1,500 feet in altitude. The winery is in the Alpes de Haute Provence, at the start of the Luberon Mountain Range, about 50 miles from Marseilles. It is certified “Viticulture Raisonee Controlee,” which is very close to organic viticulture (it means that they intervene in the vineyard only when necessary). Think of this as going to the doctor to deal with strep throat or a heart murmur – dealing with a specific health issue in a specific way. This estate produces Aligoté and Pinot Noir, 2 grapes best suited to the cooler climates of Burgundy – so you get an idea that the climate here is not the “hot” South of France. Aligoté is the “other” white grape from Burgundy. Crisp, fresh and fruity wine. Nice acidity. I might call it a refreshing cross between a good Sauvignon Blanc and a Chablis. Food pairing – shellfish, grilled chicken, salads or by itself.

Wolfberger Edelzwicker 2007 (France) $15.99 - With a Master Sommelier on hand, we had to head to Alsace! This is a good tasting blend from Alsace and given that it is in a one Liter bottle (1/3 more wine), an even better value! Aromas of almonds, walnuts, minerals & citrus fruit. Flavors of fresh lemons, grass, minerals and a hint of spice. Blend of Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Sylvancer and Chasselas. Each of the grape varietals is picked individually (early-mid October). Food pairing - fresh salads, smoked fish, freshwater fish, shellfish, seafood, ham and more! Drinks well on its own! GREAT with THANKSGIVING DINNER!

Château Vessière Costières de Nîmes Grenache – Roussanne 2007 (France) $16.99 - Wonderful blend from Southern France! Aromas and flavors of peaches, citrus, white flowers, minerals and honey. On the finish, there is grapefruit and honeysuckle (that honey/honeysuckle is the Roussanne). Round, soft, rich wine. Great acidity that balances the fruit. 85% Roussanne and 15% Grenache Blanc. 7th generation winery. The Ancient Greeks revered wines from this site….as did the Romans. Food pairing - seafood, shellfish, salads, creamy pasta dishes.

The Reds:

Gourt de Mautens Cotes du Rhône Villages Rasteau 2005 (France) $79.99 – This is a bottle you will want to age and cellar. This is not for drinking now! You will do yourself and the wine a disservice! It needs at least 6-7 years right now and could go 15-20 years and still be peaking!

This is considered an “insider’s wine” – generally, you have to know someone to get this. Not much is made – 1,700 cases. Little is imported to the United States – 100 cases. 20 cases are in Maine. Less than that are available today!

Winemaker Jérôme Bressy farms just over 20 acres of vines. He is fanatical about grape quality. He farms organically. While his old-vine vineyard naturally has low yields, he pushes them lower by “green harvesting” to increase the quality even more.

This is one of the best estates in Rasteau. The REVUE DU VIN DE FRANC, France’s famous wine magazine, enthusiastically called Bressy “the new star of the Rhône!” In the “Bible” of French wine writing, Le Grand Guide des Vins de France, famed French wine reviewers Bettane & Desseauve call Gourt de Mautens “one of the best of the French wineries,” and they put it at the same level as the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape wineries Chateau Rayas and Domaine Henri Bonneau – yes, they are equating a Cotes du Rhône Villages from Rasteau with legendary Châteaneuf-du-Pape wineries!

Jerome Bressy – in his own words:

"I’m willing to make the best possible wine and to equal the great wine makers. To do so, I’m always trying new things and I am always questioning myself. I’m not one to make the same wine year after year, there must be an evolution and sometime even a revolution! That’s why one could be surprised tasting the difference between two vintage years of Gourt de Mautens. Nothing’s for granted on the path to perfection, I keep on learning and expressing new things. Each year I try to make the best of what the vine has to offer. But it all depends on nature, on the earth, the weather, and I try to feel that and do the best out from that osmosis.”

The wine:

Beautiful blackberry and black cherry fruits, licorice and spice. Notes of earth, chocolate, pepper…..a little of that Old World dusty rusticity. Right now, this wine is tannic and MASSIVE! You are going to have to think about this one and WONDER what it will taste like in 6-15 years!

Unfiltered. Unfined. Natural yeast. Aged 12 months in demi-muids (300 liter barrels) and foudres (large barrels); then 18 months in concrete vats (these are lined so you aren’t tasting cement). The 2005 harvest was bottled in June 2008 (30 months of aging). 1,700 cases made. This wine is made for LONG-TERM cellaring and aging. It develops very slowly and 2005 was an EXCEPTIONAL vintage. Blend of 70% old-vine Grenache with the rest Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 92+ points (tasted from the barrel)

Domaine de la Mordorée

Fran Kysela calls this “arguably the top estate in our Portfolio. Domaine de la Mordorée (woodcock), located in the town of Tavel, in the Southern Rhône Valley, is the most consistent producer of top quality wine in my entire selection.”

Robert Parker, in his book, The World’s Greatest Wine Estates, says of Domaine de la Mordoree, “Christophe Delorme’s objective as a winemaker is to be unintrusive and maintain total respect for his terroir and the fruit it produces. His dream is to achieve a perfect balance between concentration, terroir and flavors. Delorme seems to be moving in the direction of biodynamic farming. He represents the best of an enlightened approach to winemaking that has one foot in the traditions of the past and one in the future” (if the print on that linked page looks small, click on the little icon at the bottom of the page).

This winery practices “culture raisonee” in the vineyards, which is very close to organic viticulture (it means that they intervene in the vineyard only when necessary). Think of this as going to the doctor to deal with strep throat or a heart murmur – dealing with a specific health issue in a specific way.

We are tasting 2 wines from this estate:

Domaine de la Mordorée “La Dame Rousse” Lirac Rouge 2005 (France) Reg. $29.99 Sale $24.99 – This is a beautiful wine – I find it both elegant and powerful! Aromas and flavors of black raspberries, figs, licorice, smoky meat, minerals, red and dark fruit…..This is medium-to-full bodied, but not overpowering. Equal parts Grenache and Syrah from 40 year-old vines. 100% destemmed grapes. You’ll be able to age this for another 5-8 years. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points; Wine Spectator, 90 points; Wine Review Online, 91 points

Domaine de la Mordorée “Renaissance” Rouge 2005 (France) $14.99 – This has a deep red color. Loads of blackberries, raspberries and flowers (violets) on the nose. In terms of the flavors and feel, this is rich and big and has the same red and dark berries as in the aromas. Well-balanced tannins and acidity. Blend of 50% Marselan (a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache) and 50% Merlot. Food pairing – most any grilled and/or red meats. Awesome with game birds! Rich mushroom dishes. Hearty stews.

Les Hauts de la Brune Côteaux du Languedoc Saint Felix-Saint Jean 2005 (France) $14.99 – This shows lots of ripe, fresh fruit – cherries, raspberries and red plums. It picks up some blackberries, licorice and a little earth. Some spices. Clean and pure! The tannins are smooth. Blend of 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre. They destem the grapes and age them in concrete tanks after stainless steel fermentation.

S.C.V. Castelmaure Col de Vents Corbières Rouge 2006 (France) $12.99 – This winery makes 90% red wine – 80% is A.O.C. Corbières. The A.O.C. Corbières was created in 1985. This winery is a “co-op.” It has 65 members and it dates to the 1920’s. It’s in the unofficial Corbières cru site of Durban (11 unofficial Cru’s in Corbières)….Durban will become an official cru along with Alaric and Boutenac. This area is protected from weather systems off the Mediterranean Sea by mountains to the south. This winery takes quality seriously. This wine – 50% Carignan, 35% Grenache and 15% Syrah. Aromas of blueberries, cherries, raspberries, spices and black pepper. Long, smooth finish. Easy drinking but still with complexity! Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 87 points