From France with Love – Oct. 24, 2014

Albert-Bichot
Mâcon-Villages

This wine is produced in the Village of Mâconnais in southern Burgundy. As with all of France the ‘terror’ here is integral to the flavors one finds in the wines. The soils of Mâconnais are predominately clay and sandstone on limestone bedrock, which accounts for the minerality you’ll find in this wine. Fermentation is carried out in stainless steel (to enhance minerality), but a touch of oak is added for depth of flavor. This wine displays a slight honeysuckle aroma on the nose. The palate is fresh and fruity with a refreshing finish.
Pair with something like creamed chicken or stuffed peppers. Cheeses such as Gruyere or unsmoked Gouda would also work well.

Kuentz-Bas
Alsace Blanc

From Mâconnais you would head northeast about 5 hours to get to Alsace along the border with Germany. The Kuentz-Bas vineyard has been in production since 1795. Their property is located in the village of Husseren-les-Châteaux and is one of the highest points in all of Alsace. In 2004 Jean-Baptiste Adam bought the property and added Samuel Tottoli as head winemaker. Both Adam and Tottoli focus on wines that show exceptional terrior. The soils here are dominated by loess, silt and again limestone bedrock.Though lighter than the Albert Bichot selection the aromatics of this wine necessitate it be poured second because these aromas remain in the glass even after finishing. Dominated by floral aromatics this wine remains bone dry with citrusy flavors and a touch of smoke. This wine is a great match for all manner of shellfish, or enjoy it by itself

Andre Brunel
Côte du Rhône Villages
Cuvée Sibrine

Côtes du Rhône lies to the southwest of Alsace below Burgundy. Andre Brunel is best known for his Châteauneuf-du-Pape of Les Callioux. He also maintains this vineyard in the village of Chusclan on the Western bank of the Rhone. This wine is a blend of 75% Grenache with the rest made up of predominately Syrah (20%) with a touch of Mouvedre.  Most of the Grenache in this wine is de-stemmed which helps provide roundness to the wine. The entire cuvée is produced in stainless steel barrels which helps make this wine supple and full.

Pair with pork and bean tacos, or pub fair- think shepherds pie. Also great with Cheddar cheeses.

Chateau Fleur de Rigaud
Bordeaux Supérior

For the next red we head west to the land of gilded chateaus and big chewy red wines. Unlike Côte du Rhone where red wines can be made from a myriad of varietals in Bordeaux things are much more restrained. The main river in Bordeaux is the Gironde; two smaller rivers, the Dordogne and the Garonne, feed into it. If you’re standing in Bordeaux looking west towards the Atlantic, wines produced south of the Garonne and Gironde Rivers are sometimes referred to as “left bank” wines- the wines produced to the north of the Dordogne and Gironde Rivers are referred to as ‘right bank’ wines. Wines made in the left bank are required to be majority Cabernet Sauvignon (as this wine is) and those made on the right bank  must be Merlot based wines.This wine is blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot. You’ll note classic aromas and flavors of Cassis and Currant with smooth tannins that make it easy to drink right away.

Pair withhearty red meats and your favorite cheeses.

Special for the Week:
Domaine le Sang des Cailloux
Cuvée de Lopy
Vacqueyras 2012

This wine is a real treat for sure. If you’ve had Vacqueyras before you may find this wine a bit atypical of the region. Usually these wines are quite meaty and gamey on the palate. Not at all this one. Domaine le Sang des Cailloux (literally blood of the stones) has been under the guiding hand of Serge Férigoule since 1990 and Serge has turned this domaine into one of the powerhouses of Vacqueyras. The grapes for his wines all come from the Plateau des Garrigues which is made up of clay, limestone, and the famous galets roulés (rounded stones). These stones become relatively hot during the summer days which keep the grapes almost baking through the evening- this makes the wines here intensely flavorful. The arid soil tends to create lower yields which further concentrates the flavor in the wines.Unfined and unfiltered these wines are produced with indigenous yeasts and are hand harvested. This is as old school as it gets. Thanksgiving anyone?