September 2022 | Enthusiast Wine Clubby Caileen Brison
Domaine de L’Escalette 2021 “Les Petits Pas” Languedoc Rouge
From The Source
The philosophy at Escalette is simply to focus on farming their vineyards as naturally as possible using organic and biodynamic methods, and do as little as possible in the cellar, save for a severe triage when the grapes arrive and precision with their winemaking. They use a minimal amount of sulfites in their wines (no more than 30mg/l, or 30 parts per million total in their reds and a touch more for the whites) and allow them to finish both fermentations without the help of enological products. Sulfites are employed only at the time of bottling so the wine has time to define its personality during its aging process without the abrupt redirection sulfites can impose during this time.
They eschew the use of new oak and use large older wood barrels and tanks to help sculpt their wines grown on limestone and clay soils; they use a range of wood vessels from 500 liter barrels, 20 hectoliter foudre and 40 hectoliter vertical wooden tanks. In 2018 also they added cement vats to the mix with the intention to further protect the high-toned fruit qualities that their cool climate yields—a stark contrast to the majority of wines grown in the Languedoc, which are often dense, sun-soaked reds and usually uninspiring whites.
Don’t let the label fool you – there is a lot of wine in this bottle. Immediately upon opening, the wine can feel a bit restrained and may seem to be shy (but that could not be farther from the truth). After opening the wine, allow ~15 minutes for the wine to blossom to raspberries, alpine blueberries, cherry air-head candies, and cracked black peppercorn oil. Allowing even more time in the glass, the wine opens to soft floral notes of daisies, gardenia, and baby’s-breath that all float over a bright red notes currant and cranberry. Structurally the wine has bright but integrated acid and a touch of grip to add texture to the wine. The wine stays incredibly consistent throughout the day and evening and has remarkable longevity. You could drink this wine over dinner or drink on day two with minimal change to the overall profile. For food pairings I would think of foods with a bit of depth and spice such that the wine can structurally match that profile – think blood sausage, Korean BBQ, or Yakitori. Drink now – 2028 (it could age for longer, but I personally enjoy the freshness), serve at cellar temperature in all-purpose stemware.
Buisson Battault 2018 Bourgogne Aligote
François Buisson and his wife Frédérique are making exceptional Cote de Beaune wines in their domaine in Meursault. The Buisson-Battault family has been making wine for generations. The domaine cultivates the 4 villages of Beaune, Pommard, Puligny and above all Meursault with 4 1er Cru appellations: les Charmes, les Gouttes d’Or, les Genevrières and les Porusots. The wines are direct, expressive and offer the characteristic Meursault minerality.
The aligoté is made from 100% Meursault fruit, coming from the Magny and Sous le Chemin lieu-dits. The Meursault planted vines range in age of 40-80 years of age and the wine is aged 1 year in neutral barrels. Unlike many aligoté, Buisson-Battault’s has a length and depth of flavor and structure without losing it’s acid and minerality, which is not commonly found in other aligoté.
What a lovely wine.
Almost immediately upon opening the wine has a streamlined aromatic profile of Asian pear, sea salt, green tea and lime flowers. All of these aromatics linger over a dynamic palate with an oily beginning and transitioning to a salty, yeasty and lingering mid palate/finish. Over time the wine becomes more savory with notes of fresh boiled artichoke, lemon oil, and fresh bread. The consistency on this wine is also lovely with an evolution that makes the trajectory of the wine negligible over 48 hours. As a variety, Aligote is also an incredibly dynamic wine to pair with foods and I encourage you to try everything from roast chicken to grilled artichokes – avoid red meats and nightshades, but almost everything else is fair game. Drink now – 2036, serve just above refrigeration temperature in all-purpose stemware.
Lotis 2021 Provisor Grenache
From Lindsey Otis
Grown organically in the red gravelly loom soils of the Lytton Springs district of Dry Creek Valley, the Provisor Grenache was picked just before the lag in ripening. 100% whole cluster and foot tread native ferment, and then left on skins for 17 days before pressing to neutral barrels to age for 9 months, bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Its perfumed and ethereal aromatics are taut and high-toned with delicate floral aromas and stimulating mineral freshness. This wine has depth, intensity and some potential to age, although could also be enjoyed now, perhaps with a bit of chilling on hot days.
Lindsey Otis (hence, LOTIS) is equal parts friend, farmer, and highly respected winemaker to anyone in the wine community. Lindsey has been crafting (LOTIS) wine for only several vintages, but her wines and her reputation among the wine community would lead you to believe otherwise. This Grenache made with 100% whole cluster becomes readily apparent when you see the wine and feel the wine. In the glass, the wine is incredibly transparent with a watered rim and immediately off the pop the wine almost electrically explodes with rose petals, wild berries, and nerd candies. On the palate the wine is immediately energetic with vibrant overall structure, likely due to the young age of the wine. After 20 minutes or so, we start to settle into the sustainable profile of the wine; caramel, wild mint, soy crackers, and currants. Structurally, the wine also starts to show the whole cluster work as well with a prevalent grip of green phenolics and mouthwatering acidity. On day two, the structure calms down (but only a little) and evokes notes of violets, desiccated strawberries, and hoisin. For food pairings I would suggest pate, yellow curry, dal, or a meat and cheese board. Drink now – 2030 and serve either at or just below cellar temperature in all-purpose stemware.