Winestone's Saturday Tasting - "Holiday Wine Selections with Charles Oliver"
December 16, 2017, 12pm - 5pm
This Saturday, December 16, we will welcome back Charles Oliver for a selection of holiday wines from the Ideal Wine & Spirits portfolio. Join us from 12pm - 5pm and taste some delicious selections for holiday gifts and gatherings.
NV Jean Vesselle Champagne Brut Réserve, $40
Where: Champagne, northern France
Grape(s): 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay
The Vesselle family has been making Champagne for over 300 years. Today, Delphine Vesselle and her husband, David, continue the tradition of making grower Champagne in the village of Bouzy, famous for the quality of its Pinot Noir. The Jean Vesselle wines combine the energy of a small production winery (under 7,000 cases produced) with the finesse worthy of the luxury Champagne houses. The Brut Réserve is a traditional Champagne: aristocratic, soft and delicate. To the nose, it is powerful with aromas of lemon, red apple and wildflowers. On the palate, you'll taste hints of red berries, blond toast, white pepper and minerals. It is harmonious with a silky mousse and long finish. Wonderful as an aperitif, this Champagne also complements fried foods, saucy white meat dishes and creamy cheeses.
2015 Henri Bourgeois "En Travertin" Pouilly-Fumé, $22
Where: Loire Valley, Central France
Grape(s): 100% Sauvignon Blanc
The Bourgeois family are justly proud that they have produced ten generations of wine makers and counting. Henri Bourgeois was the first of the family to move from mixed agriculture to just growing grapes and making wine. His sons, Rémi and Jean-Marie, have greatly expanded the winery offerings and operations (even to New Zealand), but it still feels like a small family business. Both Patrick and Erika have visited the Henri Bourgeois winery in Chavignol, and they can attest that the sense of family extends to their customers as well. The name of Henri Bourgeois' Pouilly-Fumé, "En Travertin" comes from the type of limestone on which the Sauvignon Blanc grapes for this wine are grown. This soil gives the wine its fresh, lively and rather minerally character. There are concentrated aromas and flavors of white citrus, green apple, fresh leaves, white pepper, crushed stone with just a whiff of flint. This wine is a marvelous match with shellfish, fish, white meats and goat cheese.
2016 Verget "Clos Saint Pierre" Mâcon-Charnay, $20
Where: Bourgogne, eastern France
Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay
The raison d'être of Verget is to reveal the character of their wines by focusing on the "terroir" or environment in which the grapes are grown. Verget has been successfully following this process in the Chablis and Côte d'Or regions of Burgundy. However, it is the in Mâconnais region, which has historically produced more generic wines, where this focus on terroir has set Verget apart from other producers. We will be tasting the 2016 Mâcon-Charnay "Le Clos Saint Pierre". This vineyard has southern exposure with shallow clay soil allowing the grapes to achieve full maturity even in cooler years. Aromas of white peach, white flowers intermingle with notes of vanilla, white pepper and hazelnuts. The palate is dense and rich but perfectly balanced by acidity. Sip this wine with lobster, chicken pot pie or mushroom flatbread.
2015 St. Innocent "Villages Cuvée" Pinot Noir, $25
Where: Willamette Valley, Oregon, northwestern USA
Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir
In 1988, Mark Vlossak and some investors founded St. Innocent Winery, with the aim of emulating Burgundian Pinot Noir in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. St. Innocent produces several single vineyard wines, but their most widely known bottle is the 'Villages Cuvée', a blend modeled after the village level wines of Burgundy. The Villages Cuvée is comprised of grapes from about 6 vineyards throughout the valley. It entices the nose with scents of fresh red cherry, berry, rose, ground spices, menthol, and anise. The contributions from the different vineyards bring both balance and layers of flavor that is accented by a touch of toasty oak. This is a lovely pairing for a wide variety of fish, wild game bird, and pork.
2016 Darnaud "Mise en Bouche" Crozes-Hermitage, $25
Where: Rhône Valley, southeastern France
Grape(s): 100% Syrah
Emmanuel Darnaud started his own domaine in 2001 with only a few acres of vines. Today, his vineyard holdings have increased tenfold, but his close attention to detail remains unchanged when it comes to winemaking. This wine comes from Crozes-Hermitage which is an area in the northern Rhône Valley producing red wines which are usually softer and ready to drink earlier than the wines of the neighboring Hermitage appellation. Darnaud's "Mise en Bouche" (translation: Put in Mouth) wine is a fine example of youthful Syrah with intense aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, violet, licorice and black pepper. On the palate, the wine is rich with flavors of fruit, spice, black olive and smoked meat. The acidity is vibrant while the tannins are tactile yet tame. This wine can stand up to bolder and more exotic flavors like Tandoori chicken, lamb rubbed with garlic, and BBQ bacon cheeseburgers.
NV Marietta Cellars "Old Vine Red - Lot Number 66", $15
Where: California, western USA
Grape(s): Zinfandel and more
Marietta Cellars' "Old Vine Red" is a proprietary red wine made to replicate the field blends of many of the old vineyards in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Predominantly composed of Zinfandel, this wine is a groundbreaking combination of varietals and multiple vintages that was first produced in 1982. This Saturday, we will be tasting Lot #66 which has just landed in the store with a bright and shiny new label. Bright, rich, and ripe aromas of red and black fruits practically burst out of the glass. The palate delivers brambly, dark berry fruit with underlying tones of spice, pepper and dried herbs. The tannins are soft and restrained allowing the fruit to linger through to the long, juicy finish. This is a perfect bold red to pair with saucy dishes such as braised beef, barbecued spareribs or spicy bean chili.
NV Château de Laubade Bas Armagnac VSOP, $49
Where: Armagnac, southwestern France
Grape(s): Primarily Ugni Blanc and Folle Blanche with some Colombard and Baco
In the southwest corner of France, the two most famous regions for brandy are Cognac and Armagnac. The production and fame of Cognac has long overshadowed Armagnac, however, many Cognacs are produced in large volumes and lack the artisanal touches that we can still find in many Armagnacs. Although Château de Laubade is one of the larger Armagnac producers, they still control most of the processes themselves from grape growing, distilling, coopering, aging and blending. Their VSOP Armagnac has been aged between 6 and 12 years which is far beyond the minimum required aging. You will smell and taste notes of candied orange peel, dried tropical fruits, golden raisin, vanilla and honey. The spirit has a soft and elegant texture with a smooth finish that warms and pleasantly lingers.