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Posts Tagged ‘WINO

Jaune and jauneish

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Vin de France 2011, 3.11, Bertin-Delatte ($38.25, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Founded in 2008, the three-hectare estate is based in Rablay-sur-Layon. This 100% Chenin Blanc is from organically farmed young vines. The grapes, which normally would have been used for the flagship L’Échalier bottling, are harvested by hand and gently pressed. Barrel-fermented and -matured. The barrels were not topped up and a veil of yeast formed on the surface, much like on a vin jaune. This one-off experiment spent five years in the barrel. Unfiltered and unfined. Sulphur is minimal. Three barrels (800 bottles) were made; that and the last two digits of the vintage explain the name. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: WINO.
Typically oxidized nose of nutty yellow fruit but maybe not as complex or opulent as a good vin jaune’s. Lovely on the palate: sleek textured, lightly oxidized, clean fruited and minerally with great acidity, freshness and length. “Très chenin” and “great Chenin character” note other tasters. More than just a curiosity. (Buy again? Yes.)

Côtes du Jura 2009, Vin Jaune, Domaine Pignier ($102.10/620 ml, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Founded in the 13th century and in the hands of the Pignier family since 1794, the estate is located in the commune of Montaigu in the southern Jura. 100% Savagnin from biodynamically farmed vines rooted in clayey calcareous marl with Lias slate. Manually harvested. Fermented and matured in untopped-up oak barrels under a yeast veil for seven years. No added yeast. No chaptalization or racking. Bottled according to the lunar calendar. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: WINO.
On the nose, it’s a beautiful, subtle mix of nuts, yellow fruit, straw and white minerals. In the mouth, it’s a perfect balance between the pure fruit, fine acidity and imposing minerality. Not as oxidized as some but elegant, “accessible” and “super fresh.” (Buy again? If feeling flush, yes.)

MWG July 13th tasting: flight 9 of 9

Written by carswell

September 3, 2017 at 14:05

Château Landra, take three

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Ventoux 2016, Pur Jus Rouge, Château Landra ($25.86, private import, 12 bottles/case)
Syrah (60%) and Grenache (30%) and Cinsualt (10%) from 45-year-old vines rooted in gravelly alluvial deposits with lots of smooth pebbles and stones. Destemmed, crushed. Fermented (with indigenous yeasts) and matured in stainless steel. Unfined and probably unfiltered. No added sulphur. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: WINO.

Intriguing nose: cherry, black raspberry, “pink peppercorn,” “fresh-cut grass,” “asafoetida” (all per other tasters) and more. Medium-bodied, juicy and, alcohol notwithstanding, unhot. Packed with sweet fruit but far from a bomb. The extract and fine but present tannins give it a plush texture but the streaming acidity eliminates any possibility of heaviness. Long, clean, black pepper-dusted finish. A fresh, dry, savoury, uncomplicated red whose only drawback is that, at 14%, it’s dangerously drinkable. (Buy again? Sure.)

MWG July 13th tasting: flight 8 of 9

Written by carswell

September 1, 2017 at 12:25

Gamay de soif

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Touraine 2015, Gamay, Domaine Courtault Tardieux ($22.45, private import, 12 bottles/case)
After stints as a university student and briefly as a social worker, winemaker Simon Tardieux, who had spent time as a teenager working at the late, lamented Clos Roche Blanche, teamed up with Alain Courtault, a neighbour who had vines and was converting to organic agriculture. Located due east of the Thésée post office and less than a mile from the Cher river, the 15-hecatre estate specializes in vins de soif, thirst quenchers made from Cabernet Franc, Côt, Gamay, Pineau d’Aunis and Sauvignon Blanc. This 100% Gamay comes from organically farmed 50-year-old vines. Manually harvested. Whole-bunch maceration and fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. A small amount of sulphur dioxide was added at bottling. Bottled in March 2016. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: WINO.

Light, winey, floral nose showing some sour berries and leaves and background funk. Light- to medium-bodied, gauzy tannined and acid bright. Not as plush-fruity as, say, a Morgon, but remarkably minerally and fluid, especially on the mid-palate. A faint lactic note on the finish prompts “cherry yogurt” from one of the assembled. Fresh, clean, tasty and so, so drinkable. Definitely a Gamay but definitely not a Beaujolais. (Buy again? Um, it’s irresistible.)

MWG July 13th tasting: flight 6 of 9

Written by carswell

August 29, 2017 at 13:11

Château Landra, take two

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Ventoux 2016, Pur Jus Rosé, Château Landra ($25.86, private import, 12 bottles/case)
Cinsault (70%) and Grenache (30%) from organically farmed vines averaging 15 years old; the blend sometimes includes Syrah but not, it appears, in 2016. Manually harvested. Direct pressed. Fermented with indigenous yeasts at low-temperatures and matured in stainless steel tanks. Lightly filtered. Unfined. No added sulphur. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: WINO.

Watermelon pink. Hard-to-pin-down and initially subdued nose of quartz, “hibiscus,” “pink grapefruit or blood orange,” “Swedish berries” and strawberry. On the palate it’s rich (“really meaty” per one taster) yet fluid, a mouthful of, yes, juicy fruit and crunchy minerals buoyed by smooth acidity. The complex set of savoury flavours, including what I pegged as yeast but another called “a cured meat nuttiness,” lasts well into the finish. Likeable. (Buy again? Sure.)

MWG July 13th tasting: flight 5 of 9

Written by carswell

August 28, 2017 at 14:20

Character analysis

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Vin de France 2015, Kharaktêr, Domaine Le Briseau ($42.25, private import, 6 bottles/case)
After abandoning an estate in Vouvray, the late Christian Chaussard met and married Natalie Gaubicher and, with her, set up shop in the Jasnières/Coteaux-du-Loir region, first by founding a small négociant firm (Nana Vins et Cie) and then by acquiring vineyards of their own. The farming is biodynamic and the wine-making tends natural. 100% Chenin Blanc from organically and biodynamically farmed 50-year-old vines in the Jasnières AOC. Manually harvested. The grapes are gently pressed. The juice is clarified by settling and racking. Vinified with indigenous yeasts and bacteria. Malolactic fermentation is allowed. Matured nine months in stainless steel tanks. Lightly filtered. No added anything except a tiny shot of sulphur dioxide at bottling. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: WINO.

Draws-you-in nose of maple réduit*, corn silk, poached quince, “grapefruit,” chalk, linden flowers, a touch of honey and, eventually, “pancake batter.” Very dry. The mouth-filling flavours echo the nose. There’s a certain weightiness to the wine yet it’s fleet on its feet due to the faint spritz, sleek but sustained acidity and flood of minerals. Lovely bitter notes join the fruit on the long, saline finish. Improves with time in the glass so carafing is probably in order. (Buy again? Yes, though not without wishing it were $7-10 cheaper.)

*réduit is maple sap that has been reduced in an evaporator but is only about halfway to maple syrup. It can, among other things, be added to drinks and used as a cooking medium (e.g. Martin Picard’s exquisite lobster poached in réduit). For more information, consult your local sugar shack operator or the Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack Cookbook.

MWG July 13th tasting: flight 3 of 9

Written by carswell

August 23, 2017 at 13:54

Gauzy Ozzie

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Blewitt Springs 2016, Chenin Pet nat, Jauma ($43.25, private import, 6 bottles/case)
Founded and run by former sommelier James Erskine and based in the Basket Range section of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, Jauma is one of the leaders of Australia’s natural wine movement. An ancestral method sparkler. 100% Chenin Blanc from 60-year-old vines organically farmed by Fiona Wood. Manually harvested. Fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts. Matured in French oak barrels. Unfiltered and unfined. No added anything, including sulphur. Crown cap. Residual sugar: ca. 10 g/l. 10.5% ABV. Also available in 12-bottle cases at the LCBO ($53.10, 361641). Quebec agent: WINO.

Hazy, pale yellow-beige. Super natural nose of lemon pith and apple, lees, “jasmine” (per another taster) or maybe honeysuckle and “a little hairspray.” Very dry in the mouth, with tiny, tickly bubbles. The zingy acidity and lemony flavours bring lemonade and maybe wheat beer to mind. The complex of minerals includes a saline streak. The long, savoury finish brings a chamomile or “chrysanthemum tea” note. Light, tart, refreshing and so much fun to drink. The Quebec – let alone Ontario – price does give one pause but this is an ideal summer sipper. (Buy again? A splurge bottle, yes.)

MWG July 13th tasting: flight 2 of 9

Written by carswell

August 22, 2017 at 12:48

Château Landra, take one

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WINO’s Martin Landry paid another visit to the Mo’ Wine Group in mid-July, this time bringing a baker’s dozen of private imports that he described as summer-friendly. We added a WINO bottle of our own to the wine-up, making 14 wines in all. We began with yet another impressive Clairette-based white.

Ventoux 2015, Château Landra ($30.40, private import, 12 bottles/case)
Located at the foot of the Monts de Vaucluse, Château Landra is a 14-hectare estate that can trace its roots back to the late 1700s. The current winery was built between the two world wars, entitling the estate to the château designation and making it the first privately owned winery in the area. The current owners, Cécile and Frédéric Renoux, acquired the semi-abandoned property in 2007 and began restoring it. At present, the wine grape vineyards total 8.5 hectares; table grapes and olives are also grown. This, their flagship white, is a blend of Clairette (40%), Roussanne (30%) and Grenache Blanc (30%) from organically farmed vines averaging 20 years old. Manually harvested. The varieties are vinified (with indigenous yeasts) separately. Half the wine is matured in stainless steel tanks, half on the lees in new barrels with regular stirring for four months. Lightly filtered. No added sulphur. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: WINO.

Complex, involving nose of honey pear, sun-baked quartz, mastic, hay stubble and “Meyer lemon.” Round and a bit unctuous in the mouth yet alive with nipping acidity. The swirl of fruit and sharp-edged minerals and echoing honey pear last well into the long, bitterish finish. “Fresh,” “spicy,” “dry” says the peanut gallery. “More, please,” says me. (Buy again? Done!)

MWG July 13th tasting: flight 1 of 9

Written by carswell

August 21, 2017 at 13:35