DECELLE-VILLA BOURGOGNE CHARDONNAY 2013, BURGUNDY FRANCE

  • Travel to any wine region in the world, and you’ll find at least one vineyard growing the white grape variety Chardonnay. It’s a wine that can be simple or regal, aged for many years or consumed immediately. Chardonnay was born in the Burgundy region of France, where it is known as White Burgundy, and it was there that the wine gained great acclaim for its elegance.  Winemakers began to realize that the Chardonnay grape had a unique knack for truly embodying terroir, the region and area where the wine is grown.  No two places that grow Chardonnay produce the exact same wine, yet every region finds it is relatively easy to grow.  This discovery is what helped the grape quickly spread across the world.    
  • Bourgogne Blanc wines are the still whites produced under the generic Bourgogne appellation. Created in 1937, the Bourgogne title covers those Burgundy wines produced in areas not covered by more location-specific appellations.  Bourgogne Blanc wine can be made from grapes grown in any one of 300 communes.  There are currently around 2410 acres of land producing Bourgogne Blanc wines, spread across Burgundy.  The appellation laws for Bourgogne wines are generally less restrictive than those covering Burgundy's location-specific titles. The maximum permitted yield is lower and the regulations around vineyard management, such as vine training techniques and vineyard planting densities, are also more relaxed.   
  • Olivier Decelle was made famous in the wine world for building one of the most appreciated brands of Roussillon wines Mas Amiel, and also for bringing back life to Chateau Jean Faure in St Emilion.   Pierre-Jean Villa, is the man who helped develop Vins de Vienne, a boutique rhône négociants reputation around the world.  He’s also a young but gifted winemaker in the northern Rhône.  These two passionate winemakers are now teaming up in Burgundy. They have purchased a cellar in Nuits Saint Georges and have just released their second vintage.   With Pierre-Jean heading the cellar, one has the guarantee of clear, delicate, accessible yet complex wines.  Soils are managed in organic or biodynamics.  Quantities available will be small, we’re talking boutique approach and small plot selections
  • Managed using organic and biodynamic principles this wine has been created with love, resulting in high quality.  A stylish option with peach and citrus characters, offering real refinement, a weighty wine with a creamy finish.  Delightfully crisp and minerally with streaks of smoky bacon and spice. Tightly wrapped at first, the edges slowly soften and finishes with a lingering apple-like acidity. This is an ideal match for roast chicken or turkey, or richer-flavored seafood such as scallops or monkfish.  A baby Puligny-Montrachet.

Charles Hours "Cuvée Marie" Jurançon Sec 2014, Jurançon France

 

·      Wines from Jurancon (a region located in southwestern France) have been celebrated since the middle ages.  A drop of Jurancon is said to have moistened the lips of the infant Henry IX at his baptism in 1553.  And the French poet Colette was an ardent admirer of the wines, writing "When I was a teenager, I met a prince, imperious traitor, like any great seducer: the Jurancon."  Charles Hours on his Jurancon Clos Uroulat estate makes only two wines, and they are both outstanding.  The dry "Cuvee Marie" is comprised of 90% gros manseng along with 10% Courbu.  "I watched my father work this earth, who in turn had watched his father who had watched his father, with a beret on the head, wrinkles at the corner of their eyes, skin burnt by the sun, and thickened from working in the vineyards and cellars.  Cultivated for generations at the cooler-climate foot of the Pyrenees, the grapes are grown on rocky, southwest exposed soils of primarily chalk, clay, and pebbles.  

·      Gros Manseng is one of the key white grape varieties from the Jurançon region in southwest France. Traditionally associated with sweet wine production, the variety these days is used also to make dry wines, which tend to be highly aromatic with crisp, lemony flavors.  Gros Manseng is produced as both a varietal wine and in blends with other local varieties like Petit Manseng, Sauvignon Blanc, and Corbou.  The variety is reasonably attractive to winemakers as it performs well in the vineyard, producing thick-skinned berries with high levels of both sugar and acidity.  While late-harvest examples of Gros Manseng wines still exist, they are being replaced by dry versions, made from grapes picked before full ripeness has been achieved.  These wines are characterized by their vibrant acidity, displaying floral aromas and sometimes a distinct note of spiced apricot.  The grapes are manually harvested, gently crushed, and transferred by gravity to oak barrels, 10% of which are new, where the wine remains for 10 months, gathering considerable complexity

·      This is a wonderfully rich and concentrated wine, with good balancing acidity and aromas of blanched almonds, fresh straw, lemon peel and pineapple.  It represents great quality at a fraction of the price of a Grand Cru white Burgundy.  Serve this wonderful white with Mussels, charcuterie, Basque cheese, smoked chicken salad or a slow-braised pork tenderloin.  

 

Gerard Bertrand Kosmos Organic Red Blend 2014, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

 

·      The 2014 Gérard Bertrand Kosmos is one of the best wines in the Vin de France category—a recently created appellation from the French wine industry to get themselves back into the international market.  As a category, Vin de France was quickly embraced by the French wine industry.  According to Business France 2015, in just six years it grew to account for 15% of French table wine exports; that’s 240 million bottles of varietal wines, not bulk wine.  In the U.S., printing the vintage on the label of these wines was authorized only since late 2012, so Vin de France wines are still very new to America.  Even with this delay, U.S. Vin de France imports have more than doubled each year, and we are now taking in 9% of the category’s total.  The category’s fast start has been fostered by a solid foundation of quality standards as well as a framework for trade promotion. Meanwhile France AgriMer, a branch of the French Ministry of Agriculture, oversees category regulations and ensures traceability from the vineyard to bottling for all Vin de France wines.

·      This organic wine, produced with a natural and biodynamic approach, is an interesting blend of red grapes: 30% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 10% Marselan.   Kosmos has a deep ruby-red color.  This powerful, elegant and nicely-balanced cuvee offers generous red fruit aromas.  This wine shows loads of juicy, black fruit flavors that have an international spin to it—not like the old styled, rustic offerings from the past.  The tannins are mature, subtle and the lingering finish is amazingly intense.  Kosmos has also a great potential for aging.  It has earthy characteristics, as well as a citrusy kick, like tangerine, to the blueberry and blackberry core fruit.  The mouthfeel is creamy and velvety, with plush tannins.  

·      Kosmos can be enjoyed with grilled meats, veal roasts, and lamb dishes, and also pairs well with Mediterranean or North-African food.  This wine will happily accompany spicy chicken preparations, peppered steak, duck, hearty stews, and game.

 

Clos Troteligotte K-Lys Malbec 2009, Cahors France

 

·      Malbec quickly became common as a blending grape in the original five main Bordeaux wine varietals.  However, because of the grapes poor resistance to weather and pests, it never surfaced as a top French Bordeaux variety.  Argentina leads global production with over 75% of all the acres of Malbec in the world.  In a major way, Argentina reinvigorated Malbec as one of the top noble grape varieties.  In South West France today, Malbec remains especially popular in the Cahors appellation.  Cahors is a small town on a switchback river that gently flows towards Bordeaux.  Cahors remains the spiritual home for Malbec.  AOC law dictates that no less than 70% of the variety be included in the Cahors blend.  The grape continues to enjoy a long history in the region that dates back to the ancient Romans.   Malbec from the Cahors region can be leathery with flavors of tart currant, black plum and a savory bitterness.  French Malbec from Cahors has higher acidity which attributes to flavors described as black pepper and spice.  Because of their tannin and acidity, French Malbec wines tend to age longer. 

·      In 1987, Christian Rybinski rehabilitated the family vineyard Clos Troteligotte.  The vines are planted on clay-limestone exposed south, part of the best terroirs of the appellation of Cahors.  In 2003, Emmanuel joined his father.  Combining tradition and modernity, they work together to promote the quality of their wines and offer the best of their knowledge.  The 10 acres of vineyards AOC Cahors (90% Malbec 10% Merlot) produce wines of unique character.  The innovative Emmanuel Rybinski is without question one of Cahors hottest young stars.  The estate sits atop an iron rich plateau on the Southern border of the appellation.  The iron chunks scattered atop this vineyard are so pure you could sell them to a smelter.  The property is unusually high in elevation which allows Emmanuel to farm organically with ease (he is above the fog line and therefore has no issues with mildew).  Rows are plowed by horse and spaced tightly.   The Rybinski family home is impressive - An off the grid Eco/DIY masterpiece created from a 17th century stone barn.          

·      Clos Troteligotte K-lys Malbec offers spicy aromas and flavors of plums, violets, and blackberry with focused mineral notes, rich texture and sturdy tannins.   This is one of Emmanuel Rybinski’s more traditionally styled Cahors, an impressive wine showing the richness of 2009.   K-Lys is made to show the deep, forward fruit that can be coaxed out of this site.  With that in mind grapes for K-Lys are harvested later in the season each year.  Aged for 24 months in new French oak, followed by 12 months in concrete tanks.   Malbec is great with leaner red meats.  The wine does extremely well with funky flavors like blue cheese and rustic, earthy flavors like mushrooms and cumin spiced mild Indian or Latin American influenced dishes.