Calabrian Gaglioppo Paired with Lamb Chops Calabria Style

One of the things I love most about food and wine is their ability to transport one to a different place.  And a  place’s people, culture, and customs are reflected in its food and wine.  In that sense, one can virtually travel the world through food and wine.  And that is exactly what we are doing through Italian Food Wine and Travel (#ItalianFWT).  We are taking a virtual tour of Italy by exploring its food and wines.  This month we’re exploring Calabria!

About Calabria

In the Italy’s deep south, in the ‘toe’ that kicks Sicily into the Tyrrhenian Sea, far away from the traffic filled highways and hordes of tourists is Calabria.  It was colonized by Greeks who name it Enotria; “land where the vine is cultivated high above the earth.”  It is a place with whitewashed buildings perched upon steep cliffs over ultramarine seas.   It is a place with a diverse landscape where picturesque towns and villages are bracketed by mountains and the Tyrrhenian coastline.  It a land at once poor, yet rich in history. It is a place that is a throwback to the authentic la dolce vita!

Calabria

Image courtesy of edu-geography.com

Ciro

Cirò (pronounced “CHIR-o”) is Calabria’s flagship wine.  With a winemaking history that stretches back thousands of years, it may be the oldest wine in the world still produced today.  And it is the only DOC from the Calabria to have retained prestige through to contemporary times.

The region produces mostly red wines from the key indigenous grape variety Gaglioppo, introduced by the Greeks centuries ago. All Ciro Rosso are made from 95% Gaglioppo, with the remaining 5% from the white varieties Greco Bianco and Trebbiano Toscano.  Limited amounts of Bianco (White), and Rosato (Rosè) are also produced.

Ciro Rosso Riserva wines are considered the best that Ciro, and indeed Calabria, has to offer.  They are matured for at least two years before release, of which six months must have been spent in oak barrels.

2010 Librandi Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore Duca Sanfelice Riserva ($15.99; Beltramos)

When it comes to Cirò there is one producer whose wines are the most renown.  That is Librandi. Duca Sanfelice is the name of a single vineyard owned by the Librandi family in the coastal area of Ciro in Calabria.

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It is a crimson color with smoky, earthy, red fruit aromas and a hint of graphite. On the palate it’s medium-bodied,  and fresh showing slightly astringent tannins in Day 1 that soften to appealing dusty tannins on Day 2. It shows focused, juicy black cherry, red currant flavors with a  bit of minerality and a delicious lingering finish. Very good QPR @$16! I would buy it again!

I paired the wine with Costolette d’Agnello Alla Calabrese (Lamb Chops Calabria Style with Tomatoes, Peppers and Olives)

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 The Food and wine pairing

The wine, which is soft and juicy with vibrant acidity, was a great match for the dish!  Like seemingly all Italian wine is very versatile at the table.

Check out what my fellow #Italian bloggers are sharing about Calabria:

Join our conversation!  If you see this soon enough, please join our Twitter conversation on this Saturday, February 6th @ 8am PST.  We chat using #ItalianFWT!  We’d love to hear your experiences or just come to learn more about this southern region in Italy.

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

A Taste of Clos De La Tech Pinot Noir

From time to time, I receive wines samples, from wineries or their public relations agencies, for review.  This week, I’m featuring the the 2009 Clos De La Tech Pinot Noir Domaine Lois Louise.

About Clos De La Tech

Clos De La Tech (“CDLT”) was founded in 1994 by semiconductor pioneer T.J. Rodgers and his wife Valeta Massey.  Rodgers is the founder, president, CEO and a director of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation.  The couple are self-taught winemakers, whose goal is to make the New World’s Best Pinot Noir.  And to challenge the greatest Burgundies.

“Our winemaking method is a faithful replication of that of Ouvrard, the winemaker who brought prominence to Romanee-Conti in the 1830s — truly “méthode ancienne,” including hand picking, foot crushing, native yeast fermentation and no filtering. The theory is to bring our fruit, which is special, to the bottle without manipulation. With these methods, one can easily taste the difference between the vineyards — that is their expression of terroir.” TJ Rodgers

CDLT crafts small-lots of highly limited Pinot Noirs from their three separate estate vineyard planted in the  Santa Cruz Mountains – a prime location for growing Pinot Noir. Their three estate vineyards; Domaine Docteur Rodgers, Domaine Valeta, and Domaine Lois Louise each possess a distinct terroir that provide the backbone for our world-class wines.

CDLT Caves

Image courtesy of Clos De La Tech

With gravity flow caves tunneling deep into a vine-covered ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains,  the winery is a manifestation of technological prowess and innovation.  Rodgers has developed groundbreaking winemaking systems and equipment.  Steep vineyard sites (the vertical slope is as much as 66%!) are farmed with a one-of-a-kind tractor designed by owner/winemaker Rodgers. The tractor runs on cables and can be controlled with a joy stick.

Recognizing that Pinot Noir responds best when handled with a gentle touch, Rodgers was not satisfied with industrial press machines common in most wineries. So he designed and patented a one of a kind grape press that is very much like the French Melior coffee pot wherein the cap of the wine is pressed gently through the wine and squeezed against the bottom of the tank with 20 tons of pressure. He’s also invented and patented an automated fermentation monitoring system (which he donated to UC Davis) that allows monitoring and control of temperature, cap temperature, measure brix, performs pumpovers as well as introduce oxygen in the just the right amount.

But innovative equipment is just part of the equation at CDLT.  Much of the processing of the grapes is decidedly Old World.  Grapes are hand harvested and food crushed.  And there are whole cluster fermentation. Wines are aged in 100% Francois Freres Oak and bottled unfiltered.

Think Old World style with New World Tech!

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2009 Clos De La Tech Pinot Noir Domaine Lois Louise – Retail $42

The wine pours a very dark ruby color with perfumed floral, dark fruit, wet clay, clove, and a hint of tobacco aromas. I popped and poured. The wine was wound tight on Day 1, but opened up nicely on Day 2. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, fresh and slightly tannic (especially on day 1) with focused cassis, plum, black cherry, and spice flavors with an appealing savory edge, and lengthy satisfying finish. Stylistically, I’d say Old World sensibilities with New World fruit. Aged 18 months in 75% new French oak and two-and-a-half years in bottle before release.  From the Domaine Lois Louise vineyard, the wine is approachable now, but will improve in the cellar.  If you choose to drink now, aerate the wine for an hour or two. It offers good value at $42. Outstanding; 90-91pts

I am impressed with the CDLT story and this wine!  I think you will be too!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the wine samples from Big Bang Wines on behalf of Clos De La Tech.  I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; January 31st 2016

Over the course of a week, my wife and I drink a bunch o’wine – almost always with food. Since I’ve always been fascinated by wine at the table with food, I thought it would be fun to recap not only the wines we’ve been drinking, but also how they pair (or don’t pair) with the foods at our table.  It features my pick for Wine of the Week (WoW) – a  wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out for the week ended January 31st 2016

2013 Sato Pinot Gris; Retail – $25  This fascinating wine pours pink tinged orange color. Initial aromas of spice apple gives way to a complex and appealing cherry, spice, wet stone, rose petal, aromas with a hints of earth, menthol and a slightly oxidized note. On the palate, it’s fresh and savory with a wonderful texture, and dusty well-integrated tannins with spiced cherry, a bit of apple flavors with a bit of minerality. Lingering finish with a bit of natural, harmless sediment. Outstanding; 90-91pts

2012 Bedrock Wine Co. Cuvée Karatas – Retail $38 – Deep golden-yellow color with aromatic, perfumed floral, spiced citrus, pear nectar, and honey with a hint of wet stone aromas. On the palate it’s show surprising weight. It’s focused, and well structured showing lively acidity and great mouth feel with melon, spiced orange, tangerine, and honey flavors. Long finish. Blend of 60% semillon from vines in the Monte Rosso vineyard that were planted in 1886 and 40% sauvignon blanc from Kick Ranch; 50% new oak. Outstanding; 91-92pts

2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard – $38.50 – Purple/violet color with aromatic aromas. initial aromas that brings to mind truffles gives way to black cherry cobbler, chocolate, with hints of orange rind and strawberries. On the palate it’s round, with a great texture, wonderful acidity and well-integrated tannins with black cherry, blueberry, chocolate flavors with an intensely spicy long finish. 94% Zinfandel/6%Grand Noir Outstanding; 91-92pts

2010 Carlisle Syrah James Berry Vineyard – $40 – Shows beguiling blackberry, baked blueberry, black olive, licorice and, with some time in the glass, violet aromas.  On the palate its elegant,and fresh with an alluring texture with focused blackberry, blueberry compote , and vanilla flavors. If you’re thinking Paso means it’s not cool climate you’d be wrong. The James Berry vineyard is actually quite cool thanks to a considerable marine influence. 15% alcohol. Outstanding; 92-93pts

– Wine of the Week

It’s been a great week for wine in my book when I’ve enjoyed a few wines from Bedrock Wine Co. and Carlisle Winery and Vineyards!  We don’t typically drink this well throughout the week (I rated all the wines as outstanding), but we’ve been laying down Bedrock and Carlisle wines for years.  Now it’s time to start drinking them!.  Besides, I’ve featured the wines more than a few times as my Wine of the Week (“WoW”).

That makes the 2013 Sato Pinot Gris my WoW.  It’s a “natural” prolonged skin contact (3 months) “orange” wine of Pinot Gris. Yoshiaki Sato and his wife Kyoko have quickly made a name for themselves producing some of the most highly talked about and sought after wines in NZ. Yoshi sources only from organically farmed sources. He refuses to use any added yeast, enzymes etc. The wines are not fined or filtered.

This was my first wine classified as “natural”.  Natural wine can be controversial, in part because there is no universal definition of what, exactly, is a “natural” wine.

Wine lingo these days is full of references to “crafting” wines, and expression of place or terroir. It’s seems to be that a natural wine is the purest expression of place possible. I like that!

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I’m a huge fan of “orange” wines and this was one of the best I’ve had.  The fact that it’s a natural wine is a bonus for me.

More About Sato Wines from K&L Wine Merchants:

If there was a boutique producer in New Zealand that resonated with the micro-production, experimental, semi-hipster, natural, “culty” wines that have taken California by storm in the last few years, Sato would be it. Yoshiaki Sato and his wife Kyoko have quickly made a name for themselves producing some of the most highly talked about and sought after wines in NZ. While travelling in NZ last year many other winemakers I met were really quite jealous that I had managed to pry a few cases of each wine away from Yoshi (whose wines have very quickly become highly allocated and available only to mailing list customers). The wines are essentially “natural wines”…The only thing these wines see is a tiny addition of minimal Sulphur pre-bottling. They are pure expressions of place and season. They are made in miniscule quantities (often just a couple barrels – 100 +/- cases). 

Not for the faint hearted….this is almost entirely natural wine with just 10ppm of sulfur (about a tenth of most wines). The fruit is carefully selected and juice stays in contact with the skins for 3 months. The wine is allowed to slowly macerate in a pretty oxidative environment with very gentle pigeage for light extraction.

Here’s a video of Yoshiaki Sato discussing his approach to making “natural” wine…

If you’re looking for a natural wine that doesn’t compromise on structure and flavor, I highly recommend checking out Sato Wines!

The wines are hard to find, but K&L Wine Merchants has a stash (a couple are on sale too – I paid $25 for this wine, but it’s now on sale for $17. Check here.

Have you tried a “natural” wine? What was your favorite wine last week?

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

A Taste of Nieto Senetiner Wines

As a wine writer, I receive offers for free wine samples from time to time (a nice perk since making any meaningful money is almost impossible – but then again, I do it for love…). Most of the offers are for a bottle or two. Rarely do I receive more than three or four bottles of wine.  So, imagine my surprise when I received eight bottles of Nieto Senetiner wine from  Big Bang Wines on behalf of importer Foley Family Wines!

About Nieto Senentiner

The history of Bodegas Nieto Senetiner dates back to 1888, when Italian immigrants founded it and planted the first vineyards to European grape varieties in Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo, a province of Mendoza.
Over the first decades of the last century, the winery was run by several families including Spanish immigrant Don Nicanor Nieto, who succeeded in passing on the secret of fine winemaking and the love for their land.  These families gave the winery an architectural style of the Italian countryside that still remains today.
Over the years, the European grape varieties gave way to Malbec, and Bonarda (a.k.a. Charbono), which dominate the region’s vineyards today.
In 1969 it is acquired by the families Nieto and Senetiner, who expanded the facilities signalling the beginning of a new stage of growth and brand development. In 1998 it becomes part of the Grupo de Negocios de Molinos Río de la Plata. The winery is a leader in production of Malbec and Bonarda.  holds a consolidated leadership position, committed to the highest production and quality standards, backed by a continuous investment plan both in estates and process technology.

Nieto Senetiner has 400 hectares of vineyards in their three Estates (Fincas), all situated in the Lujan de Cuyo area.  The estates include:

  • Finca Villa Blanca in Vistalba – planted in 1900; 3,300 ft elevation
  • Finca Agrelo in Las Tortugas- planted in 1900; 3,100 ft elevation
  • Finca Alto Agrelo in Las Torcazas – planted in 2005; 3,300 ft elevation

The winemaking team includes Head Winemaker, Roberto Gonzalez, and consulting winemaker, Paul Hobbs. Nieto Senetiner was the first Argentine winery to receive ISO 9002 certification in 2002.  The wines are fermented with native yeasts, minimum SO2 and no acidifications.

Their state-of-the-art, sustainable winery and estate vineyards produce richly textured, interesting Malbec and Bonarda, the other red star of Argentina.  At the foot of the Andes Mountains Lujan de Cuyo (a.k.a.the “Primera Zona” for producing high quality grapes) is renown for its low rainfall, high altitude, and diurnal temperature swings that stress the vines, developing the highly concentrated flavors.

The Wines

Nieto Senentiner has three tiers of wine – Camila is their entry-level wine, the Nieto Senentiner are their flagship wines, and the Don Nicanor is a step up in sophistication, and complexity in terms of barrel blending and additional oak aging.  The wines I sampled were:

Camila

  • 2014 Malbec – SRP;$10
  • 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – SRP;$15

Nieto Senentiner

  • 2014 Torrontes – SRP;$15
  • 2013 Bonarda- SRP;$13
  • 2014 Pinot Noir- SRP;$13
  • 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – SRP;$13
  • 2013 Malbec- SRP; $13

Don Nicanor

  • 2012 Malbec – SRP;$19

My tasting notes follow:

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2013 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Malbec – Garnet color with subtle plum, blackberry aromas with hints of smoke and spice. On the palate it’s medium-bodied with an appealing supple texture and good acidity, and ample fruit with plum, blackberry, fig, vanilla and bittersweet chocolate flavors and a lingering finish. 100% Malbec. Aged in French Oak for 6 months – Very Good; 87-88pts

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2013 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Cabernet Sauvignon Emilia – Dark ruby color with subtle red fruit and sandal wood aromas.  On the palate it’s full-bodied, and fruity with solid acidity with easy, and juicy with red currant, blackberry, cherry, vanilla and hints of dark chocolate and spice flavors. Very Good; 86-87pts

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2013 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Bonarda – Violet color with blackberry, black currant, plum and perfumed spicy aromas. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, and fresh with easy, and enjoyable blackberry, black currant, plum, vanilla and a bit of spice flavors. Aged for 6 months in French  and American Oak. Pair with grilled beef, mushroom risotto or cheese ravioli. Very Good; 87-88pts

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2014 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Pinot Noir – Ruby color with promising red fruit, spice and vanilla aromas. On the palate, its light-bodied, and fresh showing a bit of savoriness with cherry, raspberry, and cranberry flavors.  Aged for 6 months in French Oak. Pair with grilled or roasted chicken, grilled salmon, mild cheese and dishes with tomato based sauces. Very Good; 87-88pts

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2014 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner TorrontésYellow color with subdued greenish shades with intense, appealing dried peach, citrus, and white flower aromas.  On the palate it’s fresh and easy with peach, and citrus flavors with an appealing hint of minerality. Raised in stainless steel. Pair with grilled chicken or white fish. Very Good; 87-88pts

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2013 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Cabernet Sauvignon – Deep ruby color with promising cassis, vanilla, and a bit of graphite aromas.    On the palate it’s medium-bodied, with medium-acidity and well-integrated soft tannins with generous black cherry, cassis, and vanilla flavors showing nice depth at this price point.  Aged for 6 months in French and American oak.Pair with roasted lamb, grilled pork, or heavy sauces.  Very Good; 87-88pts

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2012 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Malbec Don Nicanor – Inky black violet color with plum, blackberry, cassis, and roast coffee aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, with a harmonious, persistent character and well-integrated firm tannins and black cherry, cassis, vanilla, and a bit of baked blueberry flavors, and a lingering graphite laced finish. 14.5% alcohol Fruit from vineyard planted at 3,450 feet altitude. Aged for 12 months in French Oak.  Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

2014 Bodegas Nieto Senetiner Malbec Emilia – Intense dark red with low-key plum, raspberry and cedar wood aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, smooth, juicy and straight forward with plum, raspberry, and a hint of red currant flavors that are surprisingly persistent at this price point. Aged in French and American Oak for 12 months.  Very Good; 86-87pts

Since I typically taste sample wines organically (i.e., I work them into my daily wine drinking – almost always with a meal), it took what turned out to be a few months to taste these wines.  And I can tell you this about Nieto Senentiner wines. They are food friendly wines that offer strong value for every day drinking wines!  

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received the wine samples from Big Bang Wines on behalf of importer Foley Family Wines.  I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; January-24-2016

Over the course of a week, my wife and I drink a bunch o’wine – almost always with food. Since I’ve always been fascinated by wine at the table with food, I thought it would be fun to recap not only the wines we’ve been drinking, but also how they pair (or don’t pair) with the foods at our table.  It features my pick for Wine of the Week (WoW) – a  wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out for the week ended January 24th 2016

2009 Justin Vineyards & Winery Isosceles – Retail; $55 – Spicy dark fruit and dark chocolate aromas. On the palate it’s medium-full bodied and smooth with black cherry, plum, dark chocolate and vanilla flavors. Medium long finish. It’s delicious with great fruit, but I prefer a wine with more acidity. Blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

2011 JC Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard – $Retail; 68 – Brings to mind Cab Franc more than Cabernet Sauvignon. Shows a light-bodied cassis, black cherry, vanilla character, well-integrated tannins and very good acidity. Very Good; 87-88pts

2012 Under The Wire Chardonnay Sparkling Brosseau Vineyard; Retail; $45– Love this single vineyard vintage California bubbly. It’s charismatic, layered, broad, energetic, and vinous with a yellow orchard fruit, ginger, floral, mixed citrus (lime and a hint of blood orange marmalade), gentle spice character underscored with an appealing wet stone minerality. 12% alcohol, 22 months on lees, dosed at 3g/L Outstanding; 91-92pts

2012 Sebastien Dampt Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons; Retail-$24 – Pale yellow gold color and aromatic with buttered bread, chalk, baked green apple and a hint of spice aromas. On the palate it medium bodied, fresh and focused with green apple , pear, bit of Meyer lemon and spice flavors. Long finish Sample. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

2001 Marques de Legarda Rioja Gran Reserva de la Familia; Retail $30 – Ruby color with leather, red fruit, damp earth, balsamic and spiced vanilla aromas. On the palate it’s light and medium bodied, with harmonious strawberry, mixed ripe and sour cherry, a hint of cranberry, vanilla and mineral flavors buoyed by good acidity. Long finish. Gains complexity with time in the glass. 13% alcohol. Outstanding value at $30. Outstanding; 90-91pts

– Wine of the Week

Since we’re at a point where a lot of the wines we’ve cellared for years are ready to drink, we’ve been drinking more expensive wines on a weeknight. It hasn’t always been that way.  But as a result we’re drinking pretty well on a weeknight, and it’s becoming more and more of a challenge to pick a Wine of the Week (“WoW”).  For value a couple of wines stood out for me the Sebastien Dampt Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons (a great value for Premier Cru Chablis), and the Marques de Legarda Rioja Gran Reserva de la Familia (likewise a damned good value for a Gran Reserva Rioja).   

But this week most memorable wine, and my WoW was the Under The Wire Chardonnay Sparkling Brosseau Vineyard.  Under The Wire is a producer you need to check out if you enjoy sparkling wines.  The 2012 Under The Wire Brousseau Vineyard is 100% Chardonnay.  Partners, Chris Cottrell and Morgan Twain Peterson are  dedicated to single-vineyard, single-vintage sparkling wines.  They believe a sense of place can expressed through bubbles.  Think terroir-driven grower Champagne. But, of course it’s California sparkling made from some very distinct vineyards sights.

Brousseau Vineyard, located in the Chalone AVA is a great example.  Wineries like Copain, Wind Gap, Donkey & Goat, and Loring Wine Company produce still wines from the esteemed fruit.

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I also enjoyed the 2011 Brousseau (the first release) last year and thought that was also outstanding.

The 2012 was even better.  I’m not surprised.  Chris and Morgan are committed to excellence and have a passion for the craft of winemaking.

The wine is sold via mailing list. Get some!

More about Under The Wire

From the winery…Under the Wire is a project grown from a mutual friendship and love for wines with bubbles. Our simple, yet unique premise is to make California sparkling wines based on an individual vineyard in an individual year. Inspired in part by the grower Champagne movement we aim to prove that California can produce unique, delicious and terroir-driven sparkling wine.

Photo: Lacy Atkins, SFC

Photo: Lacy Atkins, SFC

The first two wines from Under the Wire are a Chardonnay from the 2011 vintage from Brosseau Vineyard and Zinfandel Rose’ from our beloved Bedrock Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. We are beyond excited to be releasing our first efforts and equally pleased with the wines to be released in the future from Hirsch and Alder Springs Vineyards.

Note. All wines were purchased for review unless otherwise indicated

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Two Decadent French Cheeses Paired with Burgundy Wines

Last month, to my surprise, I was offered the opportunity to obtain samples of two creamy cheeses from Fromagerie Guilloteau’s – Fromager d’Affinois with Truffles and Saint Angel.  

The offer had me at truffles and triple-cream!

My initial plan was to pair the cheeses with a post I was doing about hosting a Champagne Pairing Dinner.  The timing didn’t work out for that, but soon after, I was did a post featuring both white and red Burgundy wines.

But the cheeses were so delicious, I decided to feature them in a separate post.  Here goes…

The Cheese and Wine Pairings

Saint Angel is a triple-cream, cow’s milk cheese produced by Fromagerie Guilloteau in the Cotes du Rhone region of France. It has a thin white rind  with a mild earthy flavor similar to white truffle.  It’s uber creamy with a velvety smoothness that melts in the mouth with a mildly sweet buttery flavor and a hint of saltiness.  It brings to mind Brie, but it is softer and tastes better to me.  It makes for a great appetizer and is guaranteed to be a hit on your cheese platter!

 

Image courtesy of Fromagerie Guilloteau

We enjoyed the cheese with our Christmas meal and it was a huge hit!  My father, who is not a bit cheese guy, may have hurt himself eating this cheese.

I’m surprised there was any leftover!  But there was just enough for me to pair with a Premier Cru Chablis featured in my Burgundy post.

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Often, with a triple-cream cheese, such as this the top of mind wine pairing is sparkling wine.  That’s a very good choice.  The effervescence and acidity of the sparking wine is a nice counter-point to the richness of the cheese.

I decided to pair the cheese with Chablis, in part, because Chablis often reminds me of champagne in terms of its minerality and bright acidity (think champagne without the bubbles) Perhaps the similarity is a bit geographical since Chablis is closer to Champagne that it is to Burgundy.

The pairing worked very well!  The acidity of the cheese was a great counter-point to the richness of the cheese, and the wine had a bit of buttered bread and citrus character that complimented the cheese.

The Fromager d’Affinois with Truffles double-cream cow’s milk cheese made with real Black Truffles from the Perigord region of France.  It has a bloomy rind with an earthy character with notes of mushroom, and butter with a garlicky undertone typical of black truffles. It too is smooth and rich!

I almost hurt myself eating this cheese!

Image courtesy of Fromagerie Guilloteau

Whereas this Saint Angel brings to mind an appetizer such as a cheese plate. This is a cheese can also stand up to more pronounced flavors in a main dish.  For example, it would be great melted over a grilled steak and vegetables.

I paired the cheese with a Premier Cru red Burgundy.  In a word the pairing was magic.  Another word would be otherworldly!

The earthy character of the cheese and wine were a perfect match for one another!

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Both are cheeses I highly recommend. I know I’ll be buying more!

Fromager d’ Affinois with Truffles and Saint Angel can be found at Whole Foods markets, as well as in specialty grocery stores and cheese shops throughout the United States.

About Fromagerie Guilloteau

Fromager

The Fromagerie Guilloteau story began in 1981, in the small town of Pélussin in the Rhône-Alpes region, with a creative innovation by cheese-lover Jean-Claude Guilloteau. In a small workshop, Mr. Guilloteau made the first of a long-line of cheeses: Pavé Dauphinois. This original cheese was distinguished by its unique cube-like shape, thin white rind, inimitable taste, and melt-in-your-mouth texture. It was with the Pavé Dauphinois that a unique cheesemaking process developed by Guilloteau was born.

Spurred by success and demand for Pavé Dauphinois, both in Europe and abroad, Fromagerie Guilloteau opened in Pélussin, France in 1983. At this time, the original Pavé Dauphinois became what is now Fromagerie Guilloteau’s top-selling cheese, Pavé d’Affinois. In 1989, a second dairy was purchased in Belley, France.

In 1995, to keep up with international consumer demand, Fromagerie Guilloteau introduced Fromager d’Affinois, a 2kg cheese round with a unique mild flavor and creamy texture. Its debut into the marketplace was well-received, and lead to the cheese being produced in a number of flavors – including Garlic & Mixed Herbs; Olive; Truffle; and Pepper – and a variety of sizes, including mini cheeses and smaller rounds.

Today, Fromagerie Guilloteau works in partnership with dozens of local milk producers to produce a variety of cheeses. A company employee is specifically assigned to assist and guide each select partner, and regularly visits each milk producer in an effort to constantly improve upon the quality of the milk needed to make their superior range of cheese products.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received cheese samples from Chalkboard Communications on behalf of Fromagerie Guilloteau.  I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

 

No Reservations Wine Tasting-Urban Legend Cellars

My wife and I do more than our fair share of wine tasting.  We’ve hit all the major wine regions in California (and a few minor ones too;-), along with some tasting in Oregon, Spain and Champagne.  From time to time we have a wine tasting experience that stands above the rest, and is everything we’re looking for – great wine and commendable service in a relaxed unpretentious environment. It’s those such experiences that are the focus of this “No Reservations” series.  Why “No Reservations”? Because I can honesty say I have “No Reservations”  about recommending the winery anyone who is looking for a great wine tasting experience.

The latest in this series features an East Bay urban winery – Urban Legend Cellars  My complete review of Urban Legend Cellars, including history, a recap of the tasting experience, reviews of wines tasted, and insider tips may be found on the American Winery Guide’s website

No Reservations Wine Tasting-Urban Legend Cellars

Marilee Shaffer and Steve Shaffer, from left, wife and husband winemakers pose for a photograph at their winery Urban Legends Cellars near Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

More about Urban Legend Cellars

Here’s a Q&A of co-owner Marilee Shaffer (source)

Oakland winemakers Marilee and Steve Shaffer are redefining terroir at Urban Legend Cellars with a line of neighborhood-themed table wines, such as The Ironworks and West-O, and an expanding, premium pinot noir program that soon will include the Santa Cruz Mountains and Russian River Valley plus Napa’s Carneros.

From rosé of barbera to Lake County riesling, the Shaffers, who produce 2,000 cases a year, have worked with a whopping 20 varietals since they opened their winery five years ago in the Ironworks district near Jack London Square. Their label features a Port of Oakland waterfront container-loading crane that operates just a few blocks from the winery.

1 Claim to fame? The Neighborhood, a line of red table wines that celebrate the diversity of Oakland’s districts. Urban Legend’s homage to the Ironworks, an old metalworking area, is a blend of nebbiolo and sangiovese; the posh Uptown is a Bordeaux blend; and the art renaissance taking over West-O is represented in a brooding blend of zinfandel and petit sirah. The one-liter bottles are refillable and cost $24. “With this, we can have some fun, do something sustainable for the neighborhood, and celebrate how cool it’s getting to be here in Oakland,” Marilee Shaffer says.

2 Why an urban winery? “We were being our classically entrepreneurial selves and lamenting the absence of food-oriented wines in the East Bay, one of the most food-oriented places in the world. We wanted to return to that idea of wine and food together, so, we said, why not stay right here, where we’ve got a built-in muse?”

3 Biggest challenge? “Visibility. And helping sell the idea of the urban scene as a legitimate and credible place to make wine.”

Stay tuned: Urban Legend’s future holds many new wines, including a Santa Cruz Mountains pinot noir, a grenache blanc from the Capay Valley, and a late-harvest viognier, the company’s first sticky (sweet wine), from Lodi.

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

Wines At Our Table; January-17-2016

Over the course of a week, my wife and I drink a bunch o’wine – almost always with food. Since I’ve always been fascinated by wine at the table with food, I thought it would be fun to recap not only the wines we’ve been drinking, but also how they pair (or don’t pair) with the foods at our table.  It features my pick for Wine of the Week (WoW) – a  wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out for the week ended January 17th, 2016

After a bit of a hiatus, I’m happy to be back blogging about the wines we enjoyed over the course of a week.  Life, work and unfortunately a death in the family got in the way for a while.

2014 Dashe Cellars Rosé of Zinfandel-Todd Brothers Ranch – Retail $20; Strawberry red with red berry, rose petal, and peppery spice aromas. On the palate, it’s fresh with very nice weight, especially for a rosé, with strawberry, cherry, spice and a hint of guava flavors and a wonderful minerality. Lingering finish. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

Pierre Brigandat Champagne Rosé – Retail $30; Strawberry red color with perfumed rose and ripe red berries aromas, and plenty of active tiny bubbles. On the palate it’s juicy, and well structured offering focused cherry, tart strawberry, and raspberry flavors with a subtle, but very appealing minerality and a lingering finish. 100% saignee Pinot Noir Outstanding; 90-91pts

2012 Giornata Gemellaia – Retail $40; Violet color with aromatic cherry, cassis, anise, roast coffee,with hints of violet and dried herb aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied, with a velvety texture and well integrated dusty tannins with dark cherry, cassis, a bit of plum, roast coffee, black licorice, and a hint of caramel flavors with an appealing savoriness on the back end. Long finish. 14.3% Blend of 60% Sangiovese, $30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot. – Outstanding; 91-92pts

2012 Domaine Bart Fixin 1er Cru Hervelets – Retail $40; A subtle touch of pencil shavings sets off ripe and relatively elegant notes of black and red cherry, earth, warm spice with pretty floral notes. On the palate it’s medium-bodied and layered with intense mixed red and black cherry, raspberry flavors with ample minerality, and a subtle rustic character wrapped around dusty well-integrated tannins and bright acidity. Very Good to Outstanding; 89-90pts

– Wine of the Week

After spending a week in the Philippines with my wife to attend my mother-in-law’s funeral, I’m happy to be back in good old U-S of A and the wonderful selection of wine we have here!

There was much to like during my first week back.  The Dashe Zinfandel of Rosé is very good and very food friendly as well.  It’s a bottle I took to the Philippines.  I enjoyed it with some grilled chicken there as I taught my twenty-something nephew a little bit about how to taste wine.  He’s way ahead of where I was, in terms of drinking wine, than I was when I was in my twenties! The 2012 Domaine Bart Fixin 1er Cru Hervelets was my first Premier Cru red Burgundy(and a nice value at $40 for Preimier Cru). And it part of an other worldly pairing with a double cream Fromager d’Affinois Truffle cheese! The best deal of the week though was the Brigandat Brut Rosé!  I purchased the wine via Cruzu.com, which is sort of crowd sourced wine buying.

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I found about the deal from fellow food/wine blogging buddy Jeff Burrows of FoodWineClick (check out his website for some great food and wine pairing idea/tips).  It was part of a mixed half-case which I purchased for under $30/bottle! It’s rare you find Champagne this good for under $30!  My WoW is the Giornata Gemellaia. It’s an outstanding Super Tuscan that I picked up on a weekend trip to Paso Roble/Cambria for my wife’s birthday back in November.  I found out about Giornata after reading Jon Bonne’s New California Wine last year.  We stopped in for a fantastic tasting and picked up this bottle and a few others.

About Giornata

From the Giornata website:The journey in creating Giornata started with a dream to create wines from Italian grapes grown in California employing the sensibility and philosophy of Italian winemaking. We work with the same grape vines (clonal material) as the best producers in Italy. The Central Coast of California posseses many of the attributes of the top wine growing regions of Italy. Our winemaking style leans more Italian than Californian in that we favor wines with balance and subtlety rather than intensity and extraction. We pick our grapes at lower sugar levels and handle our must gently in the cellar, thus resulting in wines that belong on the Italian dinner table possesing both ample acidity and tannin. Traveling to Italy on a regular basis, we continue to receive feedback on our efforts while researching Italian winemaking and viticultural methods.

Inspired by Italy - Crafted in California

giornata

The winery is owned by Brian and Stephy Terrizzi. Here’s what Bonné says about the couple…In addition to her vineyard work and his efforts with the Broadside label, Stephy and Brian Terrezzi have taken on the most frustrating of California pursuits: interpreting Italy’s grapes in the New World.

If this wine and the other we tasted are any indication, they’re doing just fine!

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

A Taste of Burgundy #winophiles

Welcome to this month’s French Winophiles!  We’re group a food and wine bloggers pulled together by Christy of Adventures of a Culinary Diva.  We’re taking a virtual tour of France region by region and learning about French cuisine, wine and travel.  This month we’re exploring legendary Burgundy (a.k.a. Bourgogne)

 About Burgundy

Steeped in centuries of history, tradition, and mystique, Burgundy is an exemplar for world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  It is one of the world’s most renown wine regions.

In spite of, or perhaps more accurately because of, its reputation (the wines can be prohibitively expensive and premox can an issue with white Burgundy), my only experience with Burgundy has been Chablis(love it), Beaujolais, and Crémant de Bourgogne.

I simply had to try at least a red Premier Cru Burgundy!

“You admire great Bordeaux but you fall in love with great Burgundy”  Neal Martin

For the uninitiated , white Burgundies are made from 100% Chardonnay. Red Burgundies are made from 100% Pinot Noir. You won’t see the name of the grape variety on the labels.

Located in the east-central part of France, Burgundy has 5 principal wine growing areas (excluding Beaujolais and Châtillonnais):

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Source: Decanter (http://goo.gl/I7lIVJ)

The most renown of the wine growing regions are Chablis and Côte d’ Or – home to Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. 

Burgundy is all about terroir.  And The Climats  and lieux-dits are the ultimate expression of the notion of terroir.  Climat is a traditional Bourgogne word for a precisely delimited plots of land that enjoy specific geographical and climatic conditions.

A Taste of Burgundy

Image courtesy of Bourgogne Wines

Last year Burgundy was awarded Unesco World Heritage Status for its viticultural heritage, its 1,247 Climats, or individual terroirs, of the Côte d’Or, and the historic centres of Beaune and Dijon .

Though the word may remind you of climate, it comes from the Greek “klima”, and then the Latin “climatis”, which means slope. Lieux-dit are also plots recognized for their own topographic or historical specificities.  But they are not registered by the INAO (Be sure to check out the excellent Bourgogne Wines website for more info)  One may find several lieux-dit within a Climat, or a Climat may only cover part of a lieux-dit.  One can see how that might be confusing.

I think I’ll just stick to main levels of Burgundy classifications, in descending order of perceived quality, Grand crusPremier crus, village appellations, and finally regional (Bourgogne) appellations

Ah, but Burgundy is not just about wine.  The region’s famous vineyards are bookmarked by two  of France’s food capitals – Dijon (the mustard capital of the world)   and Lyon.  Many classic French dishes originate from the region including Coq Au Vin, Escargot a la Bourguignonne,and Boeuf Bourguignon (did Julia Child just pop into any else’s head?). Not to mention other gastronomic delights including cheese (Epoisses de Bourgogne) and bread ( pain d’epice)

Let Paris be France’s head, Champagne her soul; Burgundy her stomach – The Concise World Atlas of Wine

 

On Plate and In My Glass

I received, as a sample, a book entitled Chablis; A Geographical Lexicon from  by Jean-Paul Droin.  The idea was to learn more about Chablis, then taste a wine from one of a Chablis Premier Cru.  In this case, it was the wine the 2012 Sebastien Dampt Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons.

The book was informative (e.g., I didn’t know there Chablis winegrowing region covers 20 communes with the River Serein running through it.  And that the river divides it into two distinct parts left bank and right bank)   It’s a must read if you have an interest in the etymology and history behind the names of Chablis Climats.

Chablis Escargot

My tasting notes on the wine follow: 

Pale yellow-green color with green reflections. It’s  aromatic with buttered bread, oyster shell, baked green apple, white flower and a hint of spice aromas. On the palate it medium bodied, fresh, focused,  and harmonious with green apple , pear, bit of Meyer lemon and spice flavors. Long finish. Highly recommended.

I paired the wine with a Chablisien classic – Escargots a la Bourguignonne (Snails in Garlic-Herb Butter), and sautéed garlic asparagus accompanied by a loaf of crusty french bread. We topped our the meal with a fabulous Saint Angel triple cream cheese from Fromagerie Guilloteau in the Cotes du Rhone region of France.

(Note: I’ve included a link to the escargot recipe, but I found an oven ready escargot in garlic-herb sauce at my local Whole Foods Market)

The wine was fantastic with the entrée. And I especially enjoyed crusty french bread dipped in the garlic herb sauce with a sip of the Chablis.  In a word – divine! The wine was a very good complement to the buttery notes and chalky texture of the cheese.  

I simply couldn’t take a virtual tour of Burgundy with trying a red wine.  In keeping with the Premier Cru theme established with the Chablis, I chose the 2012 Domaine Bart “Hervelets” Fixin 1er Cru.  It my first Premier Cru Burgundy!

The Fixin appellation, which received official recognition in 1936, produces both appellations Village and Premier Cru. There are six Premier Cru Climats.

Fixin

Image courtesy of the Burgundy Report

From the Bourgogne website – Fixin (pronounced “Fissin”) is situated in the Côte de Nuits region between Dijon and Gevrey-Chambertin. In 1860 it merged with the neighbouring hamlet of Fixey. As well as wine-cellars, attractions for visitors include the 10th century church of Saint-Antoine, the manor of La Perrière where once the monks of Cîteaux came to enjoy the good air and the good wine, François Rude’s famous statue in the Parc Noisot of Napoleon in the process of becoming immortal, a particularly handsome communal laundry and the slate-covered village breadoven. Here there are a thousand things to see, not to mention many welcoming wine cellars.

Here’s where things may get confusing – the Premier Cru Climats of Les Meix Bas, and Les Arvelets may be labeled as Les Hervelets. But Les Hervelets cannot be sold as Les Arvelets or Les Meix Bas!

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My tasting notes follow:

A subtle touch of pencil shavings sets off ripe and relatively elegant notes of black and red cherry, earth, warm spice with pretty floral notes. On the palate it’s medium-bodied and layered with intense mixed red and black cherry, red currant flavors with ample minerality, and a subtle rustic character wrapped around dusty well-integrated tannins and bright acidity.Approachable now, but would benefit from further aging.  Highly recommended and a very good value at $40!

We paired the wine with a quick weeknight dinner of grilled salmon and sautéed spinach.  Again we capped off our meal with another double cream cheese from France. This one was the decadent Fromager d’Affinois with Truffles.   Pinot Noir is the most food friendly red wine in my book and it paired very well with our meal.  And it was other worldly with the cheese! 

Check out what my fellow French #winophiles are bringing to the table this month!

Don’t forget to join the live Twitter Chat this Saturday (Jan. 16, 2016) at 8 am PST (1700 hours in Beaune, France!) Just search for the hashtag #winophiles. We love new participants, if you would like to join us, just let us know.  Stay tuned for our February visit to Alsace. Au revoir!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received the bottle of Chablis and book at no cost from Sopexa on behalf of the Chablis Commission.  I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2016 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.

The Mystery Wines of the Loire Valley

Last month, I was thrilled when I received an invitation to participate in a fun competition for the 2016 Wine Blog Trophy. Organized by the Loire Valley Wine Trade Fair, which takes place in Angers from February 1 to 3, 2016, the essence of the competition is to guess the appellation and vintage of two mystery bottles (one each white and red) of wine from the Loire Valley. 

I was excited about the competition because I’m a big fan of the Loire Valley.  My favorite under $20 sparkling rosé wine is a Crémant de Loire. But, I’m also a big fan of the whites (Muscadet [my go-to wine for raw oysters], Sancerre, and Vouvray), rosé, and reds (Chinon and Bourgueil) of the region.

And hey….win, lose, or draw, it’s Loire Valley wine at no cost to me.

What’s not to like?

Loire Valley Wine Blog Trophy

The friendly competition was open to both American, Irish and French wine bloggers.

After tasting the two wines, were asked to go on www.wineblogtrophy.com to register our answers and tasting notes.

The first blogger who will give the two correct answers wins the Wine Blog Trophy 2016!

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The winners were (L-R):were Côte Roannaise (2014 – Domaine Sérol, Eclat de Granite), and Coteaux du Giennois (2014 – Vignobles Berthier, Terre de Silex)

After receiving the wines, I tasted and wrote up my tasting notes:

Cuvée 886 – Pale yellow with lemon, grass, quince, and wet stone aromas. On the palate it’s light-bodied, fresh and easy-going with lemon, quince, and under ripe white peach flavors with a nice vein of herbaceousness.

Cuvée 412 – Dark ruby color with red berry, black currant,  and mineral aromas with a kiss of floral aromatics. On the palate, it’s light-bodied, fresh,  and nicely balanced with black cherry, raspberry, black currant flavors underscored by an appealing minerality.  My wife and I enjoyed it with Paella Mixta of salmon and sausage.

My guess for the appellation both wines was Fief Vendéens.  In terms of vintage, I guessed 2013 for the red and 2014 for the white.

Why Fief Vendeens? I thought the red was a blend of (mostly) Gamay and Cabernet France. And I thought the white was a blend of (mostly) Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc.

I logged on the aforementioned website to register my guess, but I was too late.  The competition was over!

It’s just as well…I was wrong.

The two appellations of the Mystery Bottles were Côte Roannaise for Cuvée 412 (2014 – Domaine Sérol, Eclat de Granite), and Coteaux du Giennois for Cuvée 886 (2014 – Vignobles Berthier, Terre de Silex)

The winner was Yann DEREU – www.ah-le-vin.blogspot.fr, who correctly guessed one of the two appellations/vintages correctly.

Both these are new to me appellations (as was Fief Vendéens).  Once I found out which appellations the wines were from, I checked out the excellent Loire Valley Wines website for more information.

Côte Roannaise, located in the far south of the Loire region, produces rosé and red wines exclusively from Gamay.

Coteaux du Giennois is an appellation on the eastern edge of the Loire Valley northeast of Sancerre produces almost equal amounts of light-bodied red and white wines, with a small portion of dry rosé as well. The whites are Sauvignon Blanc.

The Fiefs Vendéens is a relatively small appellation produces a wealth of wines: white (Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Grolleau Gris, Sauvignon Blanc), rosé and red (Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Négrette).

This was a fun competition for me. I very much enjoyed learning about a few new-to-me wine appellations in the Loire Valley. Both the wines were delightful.  And I expect nothing less from the Loire Valley!

More About the Loire Valley

The Loire Valley, two hours southwest of Paris is known as “the Garden of France” due its abundance of fertile farmland that include vineyards along with fruit and vegetable farms which line the banks of both sides of the Loire River. The Loire is the longest river in France.
It’s also known as the Land Of A Thousand Chateau. The region has a rich heritage featuring historic towns of AmboiseAngersBloisChinonNantesOrléansSaumur, and Tours.

“The Loire is a garden, a mosaic of tastes and flavors with 45 appellations that attract curious wine lovers.” – Jean-Pierre Gouvazé

From a vinous perspective, the Loire Valley is one of the largest wine regions of France.  It covers fifteen departments and 52,000 hectares (128,000 acres) of vines shared between 7000 growers, who produce nearly 400 million bottles of wines annually.  It’s so large it’s 60 appellations are spread over three large areas – The Western (home of Muscadet – home of my favorite still wine for oysters!), Middle (Vouvray, Touraine and Chinon) and the Upper Loire (includes, arguably the regions most well-known appellations Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume). It’s France’s most diverse wine region producing red, white, rosé, sweet and sparkling wines.

Tale Of A Crémant de Loire Brut Rose At The Table #Winophiles

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received wines at no cost from Clement et Florian Berthier, Domaine Robert Sérol, and Loire Valley Wines.  I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.

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Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, InstagramVivino and Delectablefor all things wine. As a wino with latent foodie tendencies, you’ll also find food and wine pairings, and food related stuff! Become a fan and join ENOFYLZ Wine Blog on Facebook. Cheers! This article is original to ENOFYLZ Wine Blog.com. Copyright 2015 ENOFYLZ Wine BlogAll rights reserved.