February 16, 2011

Wine Tasting, Friday, Feb. 18th

Wine Tasting

Friday, Feb. 18th

3:30 – 7:30pm

10% off on all wine tasting wines!

We also have a donation jar on the table for the Freeport Community Services Food and Fuel Fund. You may opt to donate the tasting discount to Freeport Community Services. Our store will match all donations with a check to Freeport Community Services for the Food and Fuel Fund.

All NEW wines to Maine!

Ned Swain of Devenish Wines will be here! Ned took time to write a “manifesto” and mission statement for Devenish Wines and himself…..it sums up Ned’s thoughts regarding wine quite well – wines should be made in small amounts as naturally as possible and they should taste well and of a place. They should have soul and a heart. I agree with him.

Last year, Ned started working with a wonderful importer of wines from France, Maximilien Selections. This guy knows how to pick wines at great prices. We've sold a lot of his wines.

These are superb wines and killer values! The wines are organically farmed as a rule (or shifting to organic farming and production). These wines are all from small producers that are family-owned.

So, here are the wines:

The Sparkling:

Alexandre Monmousseau Cremant de Loire NV (France) $16.99 – This is a sparkling that is made in Vouvray in the Loire Valley. It’s 50/50 Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. This is very clean with a hint of fresh baked bread. It goes through the 2nd fermentation in the bottle, but, it isn’t aged long (Champagne is). Therefore, it is different from Champagne (that, and the addition of Chenin Blanc). Food pairing – great with almost all seafood, especially shellfish. Great for a cocktail party.

The Whites:

Château Clare Graves 2009 (France) $12.99 - Beautiful wine and a great value from Bordeaux from a great vintage! This is rich and full (that’s the Semillon grapes) with great stony minerality. The soil is Graves is all about being rocky and that minerality comes through in the wine. Aromas and flavors of citrus, nuts and grass. Blend of 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc. Stainless steel aging and fermenting. Organic farming. Food pairing – seafood, poached fish, shellfish. Salads.

Domaine Grand Cotes de Jura Chardonnay 2008 (France) $16.99 – Intriguing Chardonnay from the Jura Mountains. This has bright fresh fruit and a zesty, refreshing mid-palate. It is aged in casks that formerly held “Vin Jaune,” which is a common practice in these parts. That gives the wine a completely other dimension – aromas and flavors of nuts and spice. Vin Jaune is a wine that is similar to a dry Fino Sherry. It ages in a barrel for 6 years and 3 months under a layer of yeast – this is similar to the “flor” that sits atop Sherry while it ages and is called “voile.” You don’t see a lot of Vin Jaune in the USA – a partial reason is that it is bottled in a 21-ounce bottle (62 centiliters) and the US government TIGHTLY regulates bottle sizes. The 62 centiliter size corresponds to the percentage (62%) of the wine that is left in the cask after the 6+ years are over. This winery was founded in 1976 in Jura’s Revermont region, one of France’s oldest appellations. Food pairing – scallops, roasted chicken, creamy pasta dishes, stuffed chicken breast.

The Reds:

Domaine Boudau Côtes du Roussillon 2009 (France) $11.99 – A naturally-farmed, single vineyard blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan. This is a very drinkable, chewy, fruit-forward Mediterranean red. Hippolyte Boudau created this estate in the 1920’s. For over 70 years it focused on sweet wines. His grandchildren, Véronique and Pierre Boudau, run the estate today after taking over from their father. In 1993, they led the winery into making dry wines as well. Food pairing – salmon, duck, roasted chicken.

Michel Guignier Beaujolais 2009 (France) $14.99 – From the great, great 2009 vintage! Michel Guignier owns land across several Beaujolais crus and farms his land organically. This is vibrant, beautiful, “drink now Gamay” from a great producer. The owner of another store calls this “one of the two most perfect wines he has drunk in recent memory.” If you are thinking this is similar to Beaujolais Nouveau or Beaujolais-Villages, please think again. This is a great wine! Food pairing – roasted poultry, salmon, grilled chicken.

Château de Grandchamp Montagne-Saint Émilion 2007 (France) $16.99 – Gonzague Maurice acquired this domaine in 2005 and is transforming it to organic agriculture. This is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Classic Merlot-based Bordeaux with aromas and flavors of earth, black pepper, lush fruit and great structure. This has well-integrated tannins that are nicely there, but not obnoxiously there. This is a “drink now” Bordeaux from a really good producer from a good vintage. Food pairing – beef tenderloin, lamb chops, crown roast of pork, rich meals.

Chateau La Reyne Cahors “Le Prestige” 2007 (France) $16.99 - This is a big, dark, rich red! This is smooth, well-structured and has firm tannins. Red and dark berries and cherries are prominent in the flavors and aromas. It’s elegant! The tannins are smooth and big. Aged in French oak. 100% Malbec. From 35 year-old vines. Organic farming. Food pairing – aged cheeses, red meats and stews.

Cesca Vicent Priorat 2008 (Spain) $21.99 – Okay….yes….we are not in France! Still, this is a wonderful wine….and one just rarely finds a lot of wine from Priorat for this price! This is a blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. This is a well-balanced, approachable Priorat. It’s concentrated and it has notes of iron and slate mixed in with the bright cherry fruit and it doesn’t weigh you down. It’s organically farmed (look at pictures of Priorat – they don’t have much worries about bugs or fungi – so, herbicides and fungicides are not needed….and the soil provides plenty of minerals….plus vines work best when stressed, so this soil certainly doesn’t need chemical fertilizers). Priorat, along with Rioja, is one of only 2 D.O.Ca.’s in Spain (Denominación de Origen Calificada) – these are the highest quality producing areas in Spain. Francesca Vincent Robert’s ancestors have made wine here since the 15th century. She had a soil survey done many years ago. The vineyards are on 11 kinds of soil (gravel, slate, granite, lime, etc.) and are planted with grapes best suited to that soil and microclimate. The area sees temperature swings from XXF in the day to XXF at night and little rainfall during the summer months.

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