December 2023 | Enthusiast Wine Clubby Caileen Brison
Champalou Brut Vouvray
Catherine & Didier Champalou farm this 100% Chenin Blanc from sustainably farmed vineyards grown on clay and Limestone. In the glass the wine is light and lean, with citrus notes of pomelo, grapefruit, and a currant-like fruit profile. On the palate the wine exudes shortbread, sourdough-like minerality, and tight yeast-driven bubbles. While this is an excellent example of a sparkling wine that could be decanted, the most classic way to drink this would be out of the fridge in a glass that makes you feel fancy (an all-purpose glass would work best here). Drink now – 2033 and serve alongside hard cheeses, delicate crackers, or scallops.
Domaine de Pallus 2017 Les Pensees de Pallus Chinon
This was one of the first Chinon wines I really fell head-over-heels for; at an absurdly friendly price point for the quality, this wine deserves to be in every cellar and every dinner table, every week. The estate started in 1883 and the wine was aged in used Burgundy barrels followed by three years of aging in bottle before release. Right off the pop, the wine is the blackberry/blueberry/marionberry bramble trifecta, alongside bergamot. After some hours, the wine has a florality like wilting violets with a grippy, elegant texture. On day two, the wine becomes savory and warm – almost like a Christmas cinnamon candle – but I feel like the wine loses some texture. Overall, I prefer the wine on day one. Drink now – 2028/30, serve in all-purpose stemware at cellar temperature and enjoy alongside smash burgers, brisket, and chili.
El Paraguas 2020 Atlantico
Wow. If there was a trend for the year for me, it would be “I love Spanish wines” and this wine is an excellent example of why that’s the case. On the pop the wine is flint, wax, lemon oil, rocky, and salted honeydew melons. After a few hours the wine changes into parmesan cheese, beeswax, and sunflowers. The palate is satin-like and has a soft and supple acidity. On day two, the wine is chalky and Buddha’s hand citrus with a riverbed like salinity. Overall, I prefer the wine better on day two – I feel like the time with oxygen exposure crafts a silky and integrated wine. Drink now – 2034, serve in all-purpose stemware just above refrigeration temperature, and enjoy with scallops, shrimp scampi, oysters, or hard cheeses.