June 2012 Dirty Dozen

Saturday, June 2, 2012 4:33 PM

2010 Viura, Campos de Enanzo $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Call it Viura, or you can call it Macabeo, what we have here is a crisp white that delivers! It’s a grape that usually makes its way into Cava blends; but on its own, its fresh, clean profile makes it a perfect “welcome to summer” sipper. All steel-tank fermented, it has a hint of smokiness on the nose with a clean, crisp mouth feel. Serve it with ceviche!

2009 Branco, FitaPreta Vinhos $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder
From Portugal comes a super duper blend of Antão Vaz and Roupeiro. Produced in very small quantities, the fruit is all hand-picked and the juice sees a little oak. One taste and you feel the wine’s pedigree. Hints of grapefruits, green tea, and pineapple all float from the glass. The fruit persists throughout the finish; pour it with Frutos do Mar.

2011 Pinot Grigio, Riff $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Coming from Veneto vineyards on the slopes of the Dolomites, the Pinot Grigio that goes into a bottle of Riff has some kind of class! Crafted by Alto-Adige superstar Alois Lageder for his negociant label, we have all the bling without all the cost. Notes of spicy baked apples interwoven with stony mineral make this a perfect companion for scampi with pasta.

2011 Rosé, Grange des Rouquette $12.79, $10.23 reorder
Calling all Rosé lovers! This year’s Grange des Rouquette Rosé is made employing the saignée method, or bleeding of a red wine (in this case, Syrah). It’s electric pink … but it’s fresh, clean, and dry. If there’s a grill nearby, pop this!

2010 Château Couronneau Blanc $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder
Hailing from Bordeaux’s eastern frontier, the wines from Château Couronneau are proudly farmed organic. This blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris was bottled using only a small amount of metatartaric acid resulting in harmless tartaric crystals. Citrus blossoms, a hint of herbs, and a crisp palate make this perfect for rotisserie chicken.

2010 Pinot Auxerrois, Domaine Ehrhart $16.29, $13.03 reorder
Auxerrois is a clone of Pinot Blanc and it thrives in Corinne and Philippe Ehrhart’s Val St. Gregoire vineyard. Apple and peach blossoms dominate the aromatics, and on the palate it is round and fruity. Great with a spicy Thai salad.

2009 Zinfandel, Third Avenue Elke $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Mary Elke may live on Third Avenue in the Coombsville part of Napa, but she gets her “Third Avenue” Zinfandel from Mendocino County. It’s old school Zin, nothing overdone. Medium to full in body; it pairs great with a pork roast.

2009 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, AgriVerdi $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Picture yourself sitting at a table in the warm shade of an Italian café. Around you are the sights, sounds, and smells of a much different world than ours. The food, ah the food. When you’re sitting at such a table, it is very likely that you will have a wine similar to the AgriVerdi Montepulciano in your glass. Just pour and close your eyes and you’ll be there!

2011 Pinot Noir, Pueblo del Sol $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
If you’re curious about Pinot Noir from Uruguay, here’s your chance to try it. It has all that cherry fruit PN lovers look for, but there is more. On the aromas, there is a distinct note of earthiness and something we like to call polite funk. The palate is medium bodied with the earthy cherries persisting through the finish. A great wine for beef skewers.

2009 Bergerac, Château Calabre $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Out in Bergerac, which is just east of the Bordeaux appellation, Daniel Hecquet crafts one of the best bargains in the red wine department. His Château Calabre Bergerac is made from 60% Merlot and equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc. The 2009 vintage smiled on the region and the wine is teeming with red fruit. This will shine with Teriyaki steak.

2010 Bourgogne-Hautes-Cotes-de-Beaune Clos Marc, Domaine Sylvain Langoureau $19.99, $15.99 reorder
Never say never, but you never see Red Burgundy in the Dirty Dozen, do you? Okay, maybe every now and then, but it’s rare! Introducing the Clos Marc from Sylvain Langoureau. All those wild Pinot Noir aromas with a distinct Burgundian twist. A little hint of polite funk and earthiness go a long way to set this apart from other Pinot Noirs. It has Old World written all over it. We suggest pairing it with a marinated skirt steak.

2009 Rouge, Domaine de la Petite Cassagne $11.99, $9.59 reorder
Superstar winemaker Diane Puymorin’s other label is Petite Cassagne, which was actually the name of the domaine she purchased in 1998 and renamed Château d’Or et des Gueules. 2009 wasn’t just a great vintage in Bordeaux and Burgundy; add the Rhône to the list! Diane’s Rouge is bold and complex, with dark fruit, black tea, and a forest floor nose. On the palate, it’s fresh and lively with fine tannins. The perfect wine for a baguette and a bowl of olives.

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2009 Grange des Rouquette Syrah/Grenache

Thursday, May 12, 2011 5:23 PM

WINE OF THE MONTH – 2009 GRANGE DES ROUQUETTE SYRAH/GRENACHE





En Avril, n’ote pas un fil. En Mai, fais ce qu’il te plait. Translation: “In April, don’t take off your clothes, but in May, do as you please.”

 

Mon Dieu! “Clothes off? What is this woman talking about!?” You must be wondering. Well, aside from an attempt at showing off what little of the French language I have mastered, I thought this quirky quote a rather lovable and fitting introduction to our May “Wine of the Month”. If you’ve been following us through cyberspace or via snail mail lately, you know that we’re just a smidge excited about Springtime, and in particular, the month of May. The only month of 31 days spent entirely in Spring; The month in which we celebrate everything from horse power and heros to mothers and Mexico… and do a lot of barbecuing to boot!

That being the case, it stands to reason that a wine befitting many occasions (and many a budget) should be the May W.O.M. Drum-roll please…. The 2009 Grange des Rouquette Vin de Pays d’Oc Syrah/Grenache is one of those gems that epitomize what we here at TWH love to do most: find wines that outperform their pricepoint. By a LOT.

Now in its fifth generation of viticulture and winemaking, Domaine Grange des Rouquette has become renowned for their craft both locally and abroad. Located in the tiny commune of Fournes, on the right bank of the Rhone River, this estate has produced vintage after vintage of delicious and versatile wines – both red and white – that seem to not only represent the terroir from which they hail, but also the many things about great winemaking learned, practiced, and perfected across the globe. This is thanks to Thierry and Veronique Boudinaud, the heart and soul behind Grange des Rouquette, who have traveled from New Zealand to California and places in between in order to hone their skills. The couple now owns 50 hectares in and around the Cotes du Rhone appellation, and though this Syrah/Grenache (with a little Mourvedre thrown in) is Vin du Pays d’Oc, the old-vine Syrah and Grenache come from their best vineyard sites. The blend is a traditional one, made up of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvedre – all harvested separately for optimal ripeness. A small portion of the old-vine Syrah gets barrel treatment, but otherwise, the grapes are vinified in stainless steel tanks to maximize the freshness of the fruit. The result is a wine with bright, juicy purple & red fruit on the nose and palate and enough savory earthiness and grit to warrant the cognomen “baby Cotes du Rhone.” I’d suggest pairing it with Poulet de Bresse while taking in the view from a grande villa in the Rhone-Alps, but it will be just as fantastic with a fat juicy burger & veggies off the grill in your back yard (and if you happen to take my first recommendation, please take me with you.)

Santé! –Emily Crichton

p.s. Happy Birthday to my adorable niece Minnie who turns 1 year old today!! Whoo hoo!

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