February 2022 - Viva La France
In 2021 we were biting our fingernails as the EU wine tariffs threatened the value that French wine had historically offered. Thankfully, the World Trade Organization negotiated a deal to postpone the tariffs for 5 years. Viva La France 2022 and beyond!
Estezargues Blanc 2018
Importer, Jenny and Francois, are a ‘go to' when it comes to natural wines. J&F bring us Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues; a cooperative of several vineyards and vignerons. Grenache Blanc is the showcase at Estézargues. A blend of Roussanne, Clairette, and Bourboulenc make for a classic southern Rhone Blanc. Pale straw highlights, pear and apple aromas, and floral accents are complemented by tropical and stone fruits. Pair with chicken, grilled fish dishes, and all nightshade vegetables.
Though Gruet wines hail from the high desert of New Mexico, the family originated in and is inspired by Champagne, France. Upon traveling through the high desert of the Southwest, the Gruet family met a group of European winemakers who had successfully planted vineyards in Engle, near the town of Truth or Consequences, 170 miles south of the city of Albuquerque. The Gruet Family knew they had found what they were searching for. In 1984, Gilbert Gruet planted an experimental vineyard of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and thus began the family's American winemaking adventure. Made in the Champagne Method and 100% Pinot Noir, Gruet Brut Rose is everything you would expect from a sparkling rose. Drink with salty and savory salami, like this month’s specialty. Celebrate love. Celebrate life. Sante!
Guilhem Pot de Vin 2019
Bertrand Gourdou of Chateau Guilhem was inspired by an old label that his grandfather had made in the early 1970's; that wine was called "Le pot-de-vin". Bertrand sought to make a simple, natural wine; biodynamically grown fruit, fermented with native yeast, a negligible dose of SO2, made in the same concrete tanks his grandfather built. The word "pot" also references the old-style bottle shape. This is silky, juicy Merlot as it was meant to be. This is Bistro wine; purple fruit and chewy texture. This is perfection; wild berry pie in a glass. Pair with garlic seasoned dishes or mushroom accompanied grilled or roasted proteins. This month’s Goat Gouda, Tres Bonne and salami, is perfect with the juicy roundness of Pot de Vin.
Château Lamothe Castera Rouge 2018
Merlot is lovely and plays well with Cabernet, both Sauvignon and Franc. As a matter of fact, I have always found California Cabernet very reminiscent of French Merlot; silky, smooth, and juicy. The vineyards of Château Lamothe-Castéra are composed of sustainably farmed 30-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Lamothe Bordeaux is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Here you will find intense red fruit, spice, and vanilla that makes for the perfect evening for two this Valentine’s Day. Check out their website for a fun recipe of red wine braised lentils with Andouille sausage or pair with this month’s salame.
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