Beaujolais

Bodegas Ejeanas 'UN' Uva Nocturna Garnacha Vino de la Tierra 2013, Ribera del Gallego-Cinco Villas, Spain (RED WINE)

  • Ribera del Gallego-Cinco Villas is a Vino de la Tierra title used in Aragon, northern Spain. The first part of the Vino de la Terra’s convoluted name means 'banks of Gallego' (Ribera del Gallego), a reference to the river that flows north-south through the region into the Ebro River. The second part – Cinco Villas, or 'five towns' – is the name of the comarca (region) of Aragon that the VT occupies. Ribera del Gallego-Cinco Villas borders Navarra DO and 3 Riberas VT to the west, placing it in the northwest of the Aragonese autonomous community. Coming from a vineyard that is located 450 meters high, this wine is made with grapes of old strains of Grenache. It is made with a very low yield, so that the production does not reach 20,000 bottles.
  • Grenache, or as it’s known by its Spanish name, Garnacha, is one of the most widely planted red grapes in the world; it’s also one of the key ingredients in some of the world’s most famous wines, such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Grenache is known for its berry flavors of bright strawberries and raspberries and notes of white pepper. The Garnacha grape was born in the northern region of Spain known as Aragon. There, the grape began to be cultivated and was originally used for both single varietal wines as well as for blending. Due to Aragon’s location on the border of France, Garnacha traveled over the Pyrenees mountains and found another home in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France. As a result of the language difference, the French called the grape Grenache (its more widely known name today) and from the Languedoc, the grape traveled to the Southern Rhone where it became very popular.
  • Grenache (Garnacha) can now be found in both blends and as a single varietal across both the old world and the new. It’s a fantastic wine for classic fall and winter dishes like roasted vegetables, prime rib, rack of lamb and Beef Bourguignon.

Château Terre-Blanque Bordeaux Superieur 2010, Entre-Deux-Mers France (RED WINE)

  • This red Bordeaux is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, made from 30 years old vines. The grapes are harvested at optimum ripeness. Traditional vinification methods are used with maceration at low temperatures to extract the best of the fruit. Slow extraction creates a wine suitable for aging. Aged in both traditional tanks and barrels for 12 months minimum, the wine shows as dense ruby, chunky, and has a surprisingly rich personality. It can be aged for 10 years but is also enjoyable upon immediate consumption. It is a good idea to open the wine for at least thirty minutes before you intend to drink it.
  • The Château Terre-Blanque is located in the commune of Saint-Genès de Blaye, on a vineyard area of 15 acres. It owes its name to the color of clay and limestone soil of the locality Terre-Blanque, entirely included in the property. The natural generosity of the climate and the strong identity of the land, make Terre Blanque an ambitious but balanced Vin de Bordeaux. The attack is full of volume, a complex wine loaded with notes of caramel, cassis and violet, yet shows some maturity in vanilla tones followed by silky tannins, and a long finish.
  • Red Bordeaux wines are natural partners for food, and choosing the right dish for them is not hard at all. As long as the wine’s basic qualities (body, or the way the wine feels in the mouth; acidity, or how tangy the wine tastes; and depth of flavor, or how powerful it seems) are similar to the food, you almost can’t go wrong. Whether you serve poultry, red meat, casseroles, pizza, pasta or rich cheese, red Bordeaux wines are really versatile. Steaks and lamb are natural partners for Bordeaux Rouge because they have stronger, richer, deeper flavors – just like the wine.

Château Tertre de Launay Blanc 2014, Entre-Deux-Mers France (WHITE WINE) 

  • Although Bordeaux is known for its fantastic red wine varietals—nearly 90% of Bordeaux is planted with red—the region also produces a unique white blend.  In typical Bordeaux style, Chateau Tertre de Launay’s white is a blend of the two major varietals that produce Bordeaux’s crisp and perfumey whites—Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon—and a lesser-known addition: the Muscadelle grape. It is the high proportion of Muscadelle that makes Château Tertre de Launay so special. It is a difficult grape, often susceptible to grey rot. When perfectly ripe, the Muscadelle contributes complexity, finesse, breadth and its own special aromas to the wine.  The varietal composition is: 45% Sémillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc, and 20% Muscadelle. The average age of the vines is thirty years.
  • This wine hails from the large region of Entre-Deux-Mers, or Between Two Seas, in Bordeaux, situated between the famous quality regions of the powerful Left Bank of Graves and Medoc and the rounded Right Bank of St. Emilion and Pomerol. The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia notes that “Entre-Deux-Mers has a growing reputation for exceptional-value wines of a high technical standard.”  
  • A pale straw color, it appears bright with tints of green-gold. Juicy, lemony acids kicked things off, but the wine keeps a tight focus, wrapping up with an elegant finish of limestone. 2014 Chateau Tertre de Launay is a full, rich, intense, dry white wine with tremendous fruit and great appeal. It is a delight to drink when young with shellfish, oysters and other seafood. It will age for up to 3 years. Dry, white Bordeaux wine is versatile at the table. White Bordeaux wine, due to its freshness and flavor profile pairs with almost any white food: shell fish, fish of all types, oysters, clams, mussels, sushi, veal, chicken, pork etc.

Vignerons De Saumur Les Pouches Chenin Blanc 2014, Loire France (WHITE WINE)    

  • Saumur is an excellent Loire Valley white wine appellation, producing very easy-to-drink wines of a number of styles. Named for the commune of Saumur, the birthplace of Coco Chanel and hub of the region, Saumur stretches across a large cut of the Loire. Saumur is a massive appellation, just a little under 10,000 acres, and produces about 2 million cases per year of wines of all colors. The appellation of Saumur was created in 1936.
  • Chenin Blanc is a versatile white-wine grape variety that has been cultivated in France for nearly 1300 years. It is most commonly associated with France's Loire Valley, and its high acidity levels mean it can be vinified in a number of different styles. It can make wines that range from dry to sweet and from still to petillant to very bubbly.
  • The 2014 Saumur Les Pouches amazes with its strength of concentration, totally dry character, and long, lean finish. Tangy and high-toned, with lime zest, tarragon and melon rind notes that race through. Attractive, simply fruity Chenin Blanc, this is a wine for drinking now. It is full of nutty flavors and apple acidity, with just a touch of minerality to give the wine some tension. All this at 11.5% alcohol. This weightless yet strong dry white will pair well with fish stews such as Bouillbaisse and Cioppino, as well as spicy Cajun fish dishes and Indian fish curries.

GRAND CRU

Apriori Napa Valley Red Wine 2014, Napa Valley California (RED WINE)

  • Apriori is defined as deductive reasoning or intuition. Apriori Cellar was founded on the principle that quality, authenticity and joy should be part of every wine experience. Their winemaking philosophy is deeply rooted in balance and terroir, which is why they strive to showcase the pure qualities of the grapes and distinctive personalities of their climates. This exacting commitment results in high quality wines that are sure to bring pleasure to consumers.   Apriori is the fruit of a collaboration between Patrice Breton & Georges Sabongui, two very passionate, focused and driven vintners who have been friends since high school. Both Patrice & Georges enjoyed successful careers in the technology industry before dedicating their attention to the art of wine. Patrice directs all production operations of Apriori and has always been driven to produce wines of clarity and balance, while showcasing the high quality of the fruit he sources from Napa. To do this, he enlisted the help of winemaker Shawn Johnson, who has made a name for himself in the Napa wine industry by working under the tutelage of Mark Herold at Merus, Kobalt, and at Vanishing Point. Georges manages Apriori sales, marketing and administration.
  • Apriori Red Wine is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Malbec, 10% Petite Sirah, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Zinfandel (almost a Bordeaux-style blend, but with a difference) sourced from praised Napa Valley vineyards. The hand harvested and sorted grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks for 30 days and aged in french oak barrels for 11 months.
  • Medium to full bodied with aromas of dark and red berries, plum, chocolate, spice box and earth, high quality, concentrated grapes make a wine meant to be enjoyed in its vibrant youth and beyond. The tannins are fine and soft and lead to a smooth, satisfying finish. This wine is ready to go right now and will continue to be pleasurable for another 5 years.
  • This delightful combo of red and black fruit flavors, the wine is perfect on its own or paired with a variety of meal options. A red meat wine for sure! The Apriori Red Blend also works magic with a hearty cold weather stew of collard greens, chorizo, and fresh garlic, or beef chili with beans, or grilled chicken thighs.

Bodegas Montevannos 'Montevannos' Reserva 2006, Ribera del Duero Spain (RED WINE)

  • A scenic two-hour drive north of Madrid brings you to the beautiful wine region of Ribera del Duero. Wine has been produced here since Roman times, as evidenced by a 2000-year-old Bacchian mosaic tile floor that was unearthed in 1972, yet Denominación de Origen (DO) status was only conferred on the region in 1982. With a tradition of winemaking stretching back generations, small family bodegas exist alongside state-of-the-art, corporate-owned wineries. Approximately one-third of the vines planted on its 51,000 acres are over 50 years old, and 3% are over 100 years old. Most vines are planted at between 2,500 and 3,000 feet above sea level, and the region receives an impressive 2,400 hours of sunshine per year. Temperatures can be extreme in northern Spain, but the large difference in day and night temperatures is responsible for the ripening and concentration of the grape sugars, creating wines of exemplary depth and balance. Although Ribera’s focus on excellence allows for up to 3.1 tons of grapes per acre, the average yield over the past few decades has been a mere 1.6 tons, an important factor in the high quality of fruit used in the winemaking process. The combination of climate, altitude, soil and winemakers’ dedication creates wines that are simultaneously powerful and elegant. They are international in style, yet distinctly Spanish at the same time, and a rightful source of national pride.
  • Bodegas Montevannos, S.L. was established in the year 1987. It is located in Baños de Valdearados (Burgos), a rich and generous land on the highest area of Ribera del Duero, next to a 2,000 years ancient Roman site. Montevannos owns 50 acres of the Tinta Fina and Merlot varieties placed at over 1,000 feet above sea level. This particular fact, together with the thorough and constant care of each vine, the meticulousness in picking the best grapes during the harvest season, the climatic and soil conditions of the Ribera, are all essential factors in the growing and ripening process of these grapes, and contribute to grant the wines a unique character and a strong personality. Montevannos Reserva is made from 90% Tempranillo; and 10% Merlot, from vines more than 80 years of age. The Reserva is aged for 12 months in American and French oak, and 12 months in bottle. Oak and Tempranillo certainly marry well together. In Ribera del Duero, the fashion is to use higher proportions of French and used-oak barrels to allow Tempranillo’s fruit to shine with a focus on more spiced oak flavors. As time passes the styles are consolidating and the consumer is being rewarded with wines of greater complexity.
  • A cherry red color with violet reflections, the nose is fruity, sweet with scented wood, vanilla, roasted coffee and anise. The palate is intense, persistent and large. An expressive Spanish red with harmonious flavors, we love to pair this wine with beef, game animals, grilled red meats, roasts, and stews. We recommend to decant the wine 1 hour before serving.

Chateau de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc 2011, Cote Chalonnaise, France (WHITE WINE)

  • Mercurey is one of the 5 village appellations of the Cote Chalonnaise and certainly the most prestigious. When talking about Burgundy wines, Mercurey usually comes up only after the top appellations of the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits, but its reputation is clearly under-estimated and its wines deserve the same recognition. Château de Chamirey is considered as the reference in Mercurey. Reds are firm but delicate and are usually compared to their neighbours from Pommard and Volnay. Whites are refreshing with a hint of minerality and floral flavors. Château de Chamirey, as the flagship of the appellation, is the best way to discover Mercurey and to enjoy amazing Burgundy wines at a value.
  • It all really started in the 1930’s when the Marquis de Jouennes d’Herville, grandfather of the actual owners Amaury and Aurore Devillard, decided to bottle the first red Mercurey at the estate. This marked the creation of the Château de Chamirey as a wine estate that has since then produced some of the best Mercurey reds and whites. With 37 acres in total, including 15 acres of 1er Crus, Château de Chamirey is one of the largest estates of Mercurey and also one of the best in quality. The Devillard family has always played a huge part in the reputation of the appellation by always maintaining high standards in their production. The vineyard is run in “culture raisonnée”, which limited at the minimum the use of chemicals, and using traditional winemaking techniques.
  • The 2011 Chateau de Chamirey Mercurey Blanc is one of those gorgeous Chardonnays. You can't ask for much more than this: minerality, citrus and orchard fruits, a hint of sweet spice. Between the Cote de Beaune and Maconnais, you find a treasure trove of beautiful Burgundies at reasonable prices. Though the Cote Chalonnaise is known mostly for Pinot Noir, they produce a small amount of white wines. If you can find a Mercurey Blanc, you'll see just how beautiful these mineral-driven Chardonnays are, with notes of apple and citrus and always that crystalline stoniness underneath. That mineral character comes from the limestone-rich soils, the type of soils that give Burgundy its Burgundian character. Chateau de Chamirey has prime vineyards on such limestone-rich slopes. With southeast exposure, Chardonnay grapes enjoy the less intense morning sun, yielding wines that are freshly styled with beautiful fruit and bright acidity. Aging a small portion in new oak barrels gives this wine just a bit of sweet baking spice, which integrates harmoniously with the beautiful fruit. Enjoy this now and over the next several years with seafood and young cheeses.

Serge Dagueneau et Filles Pouilly-Fume Les Pentes 2014, Loire, France

  • Pouilly-Fumé wines are known all over the world. In the soil on the right bank of the Loire near Pouilly, Sauvignon Blanc is clad in his finest and most subtle aromas. The Serge Daguenau estate of 17 acres is mostly situated on a terroir of Kimmeridgian marl. This soil is a conglomerate of tiny fossilized oyster shells, also known as "Terres blanches" (white earth). This exceptional, very specific terroir is the source of this wines' opulence and complexity. The average age of the vines is 35 years and the oldest vines are over a hundred years old.
  • Serge Dagueneau and his daughter, Valerie, are the uncle and cousin, respectively, of Didier Dagueneau. Serge’s daughter, Valerie, who is now in charge of the domaine, is a proponent of harvesting late. Their Les Pentes is marked by a distinctly ripe-tasting, rich, mineral quality which comes from Sauvignon on calcaire soil when harvested at its peak of maturity.
  • The Les Pentes cuvée from Domaine Serge Dagueneau et Filles is their standard bottling of Pouilly-Fumé and it is an excellent wine, offering up a refined and utterly classic nose of sweet grapefruit, orange, flinty soil tones, cut grass, green apple and just a hint of pepper. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and zesty, with a vibrant core of fruit, lovely soil signature and fine cut and grip on the long and bouncy finish. A classic bottle of fine Pouilly-Fumé. This wine is made according to traditional methods; direct pressing and then matured on fine lees, expressing fruity, exotic flavors of grapefruit and other citrus fruit along with the rich mineral flavor of a typical "Terres blanches" wine.
  • While the calcareous soil in the vineyards give the wines ample structure and the ability to age for five or more years, the vineyards of Pouilly Fume typically have more clay and depth than the poorer more chalky soils of neighboring Sancerre. This results in wine’s showing a clarity and intensity of varietal Sauvignon Blanc flavor with more texture and generosity which gives the wines immediate appeal while also enabling them to age for 5 to 10 years as the wines take on a slightly honeyed richness more reminiscent of Burgundy origins. Pouilly Fume has great affinity for goat cheese, brie, salmon, tuna, and white fleshed poultry.