July 14, 2011

Wine Tasting, July 15th

Wine Tasting

Friday, June 17th

3:30 – 7:30pm

10% off on all wine tasting wines!

Each summer, Ned Swain of Devenish and I love to get together and talk about and taste wines that are PERFECT for the summer months and seafood and parties and grilling and more.....and, we keep coming back to France......each and every summer.....we are a bit biased.....these are the wines we love.....and among the wines we find the most food-friendly.

So, the tasting on Friday, July 15th is going to be Franco-centric and it is going to be focused on summer!

The wines (at least....the wines at this point; more details to come):

The Whites:

· Château La Morinière* Muscadet 2009 (France) $12.99 - This old-vine Muscadet picks up a lot of minerality from the gravelly vineyards that are home to the grapes. This has an almost Sancerre-like focus to it and minerally mid-palate. It has a great combination of fruit and minerals and a refreshing taste! Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Aged on the lees (the yeast and residue that collects in the bottom of vats and barrels during fermentation) for 8 months. This will age well for 2-6 years. The vines are 40-45 years old and the vineyard is one of the highest in terms of altitude in Muscadet Sèvre et Maine. It faces south-southeast. The Couillard Brothers are 6th generation winemakers. Organic, sustainable farming. Food pairing – shrimp scampi, mussels, oysters, shellfish, lobster.

· Domaine du Grand Moulin Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (France) $12.99 - Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley; if you are like me and you love Sancerre, but you don't like Sancerre prices, you need to try this! This is very aromatic and racy. Aromas of ripe citrus and minerals. Great minerality and acidity. The property is named after the wind mill on the property that dates to about the 16th century – it was a grist mill. The Chainier family has been making wine at the estate for 4 generations. Food pairing – seafood, white meats and goat cheese.

· Alexandre Monmousseau Vouvray Sec “Ammonite” 2009 (France) $16.99 - this is weightier than the delicious Vincent Raimbault Vouvray we have carried for years....it's also delicious, just a bit different! It’s not as racy and highstrung as the Raimbault. It’s still dry with great minerality. It’s a little more friendly – softer and round. Food pairing – seafood, shellfish, white meats.

· Avinyo vi d'Aguiia Sparkling Muscat 2010 (Spain) $14.99 - Yes, this is not from France. It is too cool and unique to pass up! This wine will require that you chuck most of your preconceptions about wine (yes, we've helped foster them). You have to let go and just go with us on this one.....we're all about sense of place, wine as art, meaningful wines that say something AND wine is just grape juice.....But, just was we are not capable of working all the time (we try), we can't drink "serious" wine all the time. Enter this! This is a very enjoyable distraction. It's a pleasant diversion. It's also what all the cool kids will be drinking this summer! It's dry and not really Muscat-like at all. Effervescent and tasty!

The Rosé:

  • La Croix du Prieur Rosé Cotes de Provence 2010 (France) - another wine store owner said of this wine, "WOW, HOLY ____! Did you taste this ____?! It's like sticking your face in a patch of perfectly ripe strawberries!" It’s really bright and pretty and fresh. Blend Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan and Syrah.

The Reds:

  • Famillie Laurent Saint-Pourcain Gamay-Pinot Noir 2009 (Loire Valley, France) $14.99 - each vintage gets better and better and we are on a new vintage! Perfect red for summer,,,,chill it so that it feels just like you do coming out of the Maine ocean! Refreshed! A big hit all summer…..a perfect summer red with a little chill on it! The wine is bright & fresh and has beautiful berry qualities with a slightly darker undertone from the Pinot Noir. This unusual blend comes from the St. Pourcain area just southwest of Beaujolais and Burgundy. The grapes are farmed and fermented by the Laurent family which has worked this land for nearly 100 years. Food pairing – grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, roasted root vegetables.
  • Domaine de l’Harmas* Côtes du Rhône 2009 (France) $16.99 - Year-after-year, this is sublime! Powerful, concentrated, balanced, profound. This is a knock-dead, wonderful! It's intense, peppery, and very concentrated. This wine justifies the name baby Chateauneuf. Soft, rich, lots going on in this wine – it will change after you open it – dry, good red berry fruit with hints of dark berries and a little white pepper. Good earth, but not too “earthy funky.” Smoky notes. Well-integrated tannins. Smooth feel. Approximately 70% Grenache; rest is Syrah. Hand-harvested. Aged in oak barrels 10-14 months. Organic Farming. Food pairing - Good with steak and other grilled meat, roast pork and lamb, other hearty entrees.
  • Chateau la Baume Costières de Nimes 2007 (France) $13.99 - This a KILLER wine at this price! We just love it! It’s tasty and distinctive! Dark ruby red. Aromas & flavors of red & dark fruits with a subtle anise - licorice hint. Notes of what the French call “garrigue” – rosemary, thyme & lavender growing in limestone. Soft, integrated tannins and nice acidity. Medium bodied. A little woodsmoke, Pepperiness. Blend of 50% Carignane, 25% Syrah and 25% Grenache. Soil is similar to Châteauneuf du Pape (rocky cover absorbs heat during day & releases it at night). Aged 5-6 months in old oak foudres (massive barrels). Food pairing - lamb, beef and hearty dishes with rosemary & Herbes de Provence. Grilled meat and barbecue wine.
  • Domaine de Chevalerie Bourgueil Cuvée Chevaliere 2001 (France) $21.99 - big, lush, drinks great! The sleek fruit, spice, tannin, and earthy components had all come together beautifully into this really polished, mature wine. It was so sleek it reminded me more of a Bordeaux Pomerol than a Loire Cabernet Franc. This is from the best producer in Bourgueil. This is 70-year old vine Cabernet France from a single vineyard. Bourgueil is in the Loire Valley in France. This winery was founded by the Caslot family in 1640. Today, the 13th and 14th generations manage it. The family has 81 acres spread across the appellation that they farm organically. The cellar is a cavern that was dug out in the 11th-13th centuries to provide stone for the adjacent town.

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