February 2023 (Opt-in) Wine Club | Terroir & Enthusiastby Caileen Brison
Terroir Level Wine: White
Arnaud Lambert La Rue 2019 Saumur Brézé
From The Source
The Clos de la Rue is dynamic and extroverted, parading intimidating strength that triggers a response somewhere between respect, fealty, and extreme gusto. Clos de la Rue is the warmest vineyard on the chilly hill of Brézé and is somewhat insulated from the heavy gusts of wind that uninhibitedly pass through this part of the Loire Valley. If you were to look at a thermal graph of average temperatures (which there is!) you would see a perfectly long rectangle that would show the warmest color from the key. The topsoil is sandy limestone on top for around 25 centimeters, then clay for another 10 centimeters, and finally the tuffeau limestone bedrock. The clay and warmth of the vineyard (within the context of this very cold commune) make this wine’s dimensions more pronounced than many other whites grown from this hill.
The warmth and strength of this wine is no joke – the nose is rich, savory, and toasted. The toast comes more from this over-arching sense of density as opposed to oak (though there is a hint of that); the intersection of spice, toast, minerality, and depth of this wine intersect beautifully. The glass also blossoms with aromas of lily, pollen, and playful tropical fruit. The acid is easy, lees-y, and mouthwatering in all the good ways. Enjoy alongside potato gratin, grilled white fish, or crackling sourdough bread and hard cheeses. Drink 2023 – 2030/2, serve just above refrigeration temperature, and serve in all-purpose stemware.
Enthusiast Level Wine: Red
Nouveaux Chemins Rouge 2020 Coteaux du Quercy Rouge
From Kevin (wUst Wine Imports)
The Coteaux du Quercy is an interesting area about 20 miles south of Cahors where its limestone plateau is a great place for growing Cabernet Franc. Other Bordeaux varietals and indigenous grapes of the area such as Tannat can also be used in each year's blends but overall this area provides a very interesting expression of Cabernet Franc and I've selected two reds and also a very delightful rose.
The area also a very long viticultural history as an interesting part of its recorded history is that the Emperor Domltian in AD 96 issued an order that all the grape vines in Quercy were to be removed. I don't know if he didn't like some wine that he consumed from the area or he was an early proponent of prohibition but I guess that messing with grape growers is ill-advised as he met his demise soon thereafter in an assassination plot.
Although the overall area is small at around only 300 acres of vineyards under cultivation it has excellent growing conditions. The limestone plateau where most of the vineyards are located provides a strong backbone of minerality to the wines and the very sunny summer weather in the area promotes very richly flavored and ripe grapes which then produce very fully flavored wines.
A wine this stellar at this price is sure to become a weekday staple – the limestone plateau really does give rise to a pervasive minerality throughout the wine. The wine explodes from the glass with juicy blueberry compote, spearmint, and a floating tone of fresh violets. The texture of the wine has good acid and tight grip, with a graphite creek gilding linearly over the mid-palate. The secondary fruit tones of grapefruit pith and pomelo are carried gracefully until the end, which (absolutely) leaves you wanting more (Kevin’s favorite sales pitch, as well). Enjoy alongside enchiladas, lamb curries, burgers and fries, or play around with a mushroom and farro dish. Drink 2023 – 2027, serve at cellar temperature, and serve in all-purpose stemware.