May 2022 | Enthusiast Wine Clubby Caileen Brison
Domaine du Haut Bourg 2010 “Origine de Haut Bourg” Côtes de Grandlieu
From Beaune Imports
In the past few years, lovers of Muscadet have been learning that this wonderful wine, which for so many people is synonymous with “early drinking,” is in fact a wine well worthy of aging. In fine vintages, Nicholas & Hervé Choblet hold back a small lot of wine produced from their prized Pavillon vineyard for this purpose.
Packed with the citrus and minerals that we expect from great Muscadet, the additional aging time on the lees brings forth another dimension. More like fine white Burgundy, we see notes of pears, butter and baked bread in the nose which leads into a gorgeous wine showing an unctuous, creamy texture wrapped around an intriguing saline backbone. Still extremely youthful, this wine was aged on its lees in vat and only recently bottled for release.
Initially the wine is a little wound, despite 12 years to evolve in the bottle - given a few minutes of air the wine starts to throw tones of lemon oil, marzipan, white cherry extract, and confectioners’ sugar. On the nose are hallmark notes of Melon such as oyster shells and oyster water, sea salt, and a silky mouth-coating feeling that wraps without density. After a couple hours the wine throws warm aromas such as sarsaparilla and white rose petals that contrast the palate texture that is more mineral driven, sea salt targeted, and tense. For food pairings I would consider the obvious pairing of oysters, but could also challenge Caesar salad, chicken liver mousse, and sauteed scallops. Drink now – 2024, serve just above refrigeration in all-purpose stemware.
Farm Cottage 2020 Ryan Spencer Vineyard Syrah
From Farm Cottage
Ryan Spencer Vineyard Syrah hails from the Alfaro Estate and planted to clones 470, 877 and 174. This Syrah was harvested on 10/15/20 and fermented 100% whole cluster for 12 days. Once completed, the wine underwent full malo-lactic fermentation in old french barrels. Bottled in August 2021. 13.5% alcohol.
This wine made from 100% whole cluster syrah throws beautiful and bright tones of blackberries, blueberries, and playful green highlights. There are notes of spearmint and fresh violets that dance atop a structure of tight and bright acidity with encompassing cherry leather, caramel, and plum flesh. Given time, the wine develops more spice driven notes like cardamom, niçoise olives, and dried green tones like thyme, sage, and tarragon. On day two the wine sinks into itself by developing more gunsmoke and amplifies the desiccated herbal tone. Despite an intriguing amplification of tertiary tones, I appreciate the wine as an overall picture on day one. For food pairings I might suggest pulled pork sandwiches, chile verde burritos, or pork ragu. I would drink from 1 – 8 hour after opening, serve in an all-purpose glass, and serve close to cellar temperature. Drink now – 2036.
Domaine la Roubine 2020 Seguret
From the Source Imports
A former Parisian fireman, and now the mayor of Gigondas (no joke!), Eric Ughetto took over the family’s vineyards in the early 1990s. Later, his wife, Sophie, joined him and they made their first estate wine with the 2000 harvest. A small estate with only 15 hectares (a little over 35 acres), it is operated almost entirely by this husband and wife team. They do the vineyard work together, but have clear lines elsewhere: Eric makes the wine and Sophie runs the commercial aspects. Simon, their young son, is already being groomed to start the process of taking the reigns from his pioneering parents.
It’s no surprise here, just like in any serious estate, that Eric and Sophie stress the importance of their vineyards over all else. The domaine is consciously run without pesticides, chemical fertilizers or herbicides. Since their beginning they have utilized organic methods and are now certified.
The Southern Rhône region is one of France’s most warm Mediterranean climates, and home to the infamous wine region, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. While Châteauneuf garners attention for their powerful and expressive wines led by the noble Grenache grape, there are other villages that are often times more charming and far less commercial, such as Domaine La Roubine’s home towns, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Seguret and Sablet. These three appellations, on the north side of the famous limestone cliffs, the “Dentelles de Montmirail,” are known for powerful and friendly wines of structure with high-toned, regional wild herbs of Provence aromas, referred to as “garrigue.” The soils of these three areas have a complex geological history with interesting microclimates that are often not well understood. Most of these wines are drunk in their youth, but extended time aging in the cellar is what gives true definition and magic to the wines of the Southern Rhône.
Every wine club release there are a few wines that stand out for whatever reason – this release, the Roubine Seguret wine is a standout. The wine has such a pervasive and encompassing presence of tertiary complexity. On the nose is a beautiful flint, graphite, slate, and wilting violet profile in an incredibly mesmerizing manner. The palate reflects those notes as well as an overall feeling of soft mineral water with a dark ruby core. There are notes of black pepper oils, caramel, quince paste, tarragon, and dried lavender. The wine is truly outstanding and will only get better with time. On day two the wine has all the same notes, but just a higher intensity of flavors. For food pairings, the wine would work well with charred meats, rabbit cooked with mushrooms, or anything overtly earthy and textured. Serve in all-purpose stemware close to cellar temperature, great out of the cork. Drink now – 2040.