France, Spain, & Australia

This week we will sample a variety of wine from France, Spain, and Australia (two per country) including one white, one rose, and four reds.

From France we will try a good-value Bourgogne Blanc (Chardonnay, unoaked) for which the fruit all comes from the esteemed appellation of Chablis, and a well-known Rose from the Southern appellation of Corbieres within the Languedoc-Roussillon. These wines are both present juicy fruit flavors and bright acidity and are ideal for the hot summer months; they would be great “picnic” wines and would pair with a variety of foods.

From Spain we will taste two reds; an inexpensive blend of Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache) and Monastrell (a.k.a. Mourvedre) from the South Eastern region of Almansa, and an unoaked wine made from the little-known grape Mencia from the North Western region of Valdeorras. These wines also present great value and are not overly heavy for consuming during the summer months.

From Barossa Valley, Australia we will sample two quite heavy and boldly flavored reds, both blends; a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot blend (that received 90 Points in the most recent Wine Spectator) and a Shiraz and Viognier blend (that received 92 Points in the most recent Wine Spectator). Although these wines might make you sweat in this summer heat, they are delicious, ripe and rich, and will pair with a variety of summertime foods like BBQ pork or chicken and grilled meats.

We are also pleased that Peter Schmidt and the Hotel Capstone will provide a variety of hors d’oeuvres to sample with the wines. Peter and the Hotel do an outstanding job at catering and private events. If you ever need a place for a party, reception, event or fundraiser, give Peter a call (343-1121).

We hope you will join us for a fun tasting this Thursday!

The specific wines for the tasting are:

Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard Bourgogne Kimmeridgien 2010– Burgundy, France. 100% Chardonnay. Stainless steel fermentation and ageing. The fruit is from a blend of various Chablis vineyards. Jean-Marc Brocard has lived in the Cote d’Or his entire life; he is a vine-grower working primarily in Chablis and its surrounding region (including Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru or Chablis Grand Cru). Together with his son, Julien Brocard, they are committed to eco-friendly viticulture and biodynamic/organic farming (the Brocard vineyards are herbicide and pesticide-free). No oak is used in the entire winery. Jean-Marc says “The truth of wine lies in the soil where it has grown. The technique is an important factor in the wine growing, but it is only an aid, the wine is essentially the product of its soil.” The 2010 Bourgogne blanc gives-off scents of flint, mineral, and wet stone intermingled with citrus fruit aromas of pineapple and lime. The palate is crisp offering tangy acid within a medium-bodied framework. It is summed-up with a refreshing, pure finish of white peaches and minerals. A serious-style that presents excellent value. Approx. 10,000 cases produced. Tasting $13.99

Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris Rose 2011– Corbieres, France. 70% Grenache (Gris and Noir), 10% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Carignan. Made in the saignee method (juice is “bled” from the vat). After fermentation the wine rests for 1 month prior to bottling. The Domaine de Fontsainte is located in the heart of Corbieres in a pristine environment (far from urban or industrial developments), with alternating Mediterranean and oceanic influences. The winery was founded in 1971. Salmon pink in color with an expressive nose of raspberry, cherry, and fresh strawberries with undertones of pineapple and mango. The palate is juicy, fresh and persistent with dense and rich fruit flavors, suburb acid, and excellent balance. Approx. 5,000 cases imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant. Tasting $12.99

Bodegas Atalaya Laya 2010– Almansa, Spain. A blend of 70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell that aged for 4 months in French oak barrels. Bodegas Atalaya was founded in 2007 by Oro Wines Group, in partnership with Bodegas Juan Gil and Gil Family Estates. The winery is located at 2600 feet above sea level and the soil is almost entirely composed of limestone. Fran Gonzales, Spanish-born Australian winemaker, oversees production and winemaking. The 2010 Laya is deep cherry red in color with complex aromas of ripe black and red fruits, fragrant herbs and flowers, and a hint of mineral. It is fresh and balanced with firm, young tannins and a lingering, smooth finish. An excellent wine for the value. 12,500 cases produced. Tasting $9.99

Ladera Sagrada A Portela Mencia 2010– Valdeorras, Spain. 100% Mencia (a rare grape that only grows in the Northwestern Spanish region of Galicia; pronounced Men-THEE-ah) planted in granite and slate soil at 1,749 feet elevation. Aged in stainless steel to emphasize the pure, young flavor of the Mencía grape. “This wine is a superb value made from estate-owned, organically-grown grapes. Ladera Sagrada has the largest holdings of vineyard land in the Valdeorras appellation, and the bodega makes wine using only the best 20% of its grapes [the remainder is sold in bulk to neighboring producers]. The mineral character of A Portela gives the wine a special identity. Fragrant aromas of graphite, damp earth, Asian spices, and black raspberry lead to a surprisingly complex, sweetly-fruited, savory offering that is an outstanding value.” 90 Points Wine Advocate– “The unoaked 2010 A Portela is made from 100% Mencia grown on granite and slate soil. Fragrant aromas of graphite, damp earth, Asian spices, and black raspberry lead to a surprisingly complex, sweetly-fruited, savory offering that is an outstanding value meant for drinking over the next 4-5 years.” 5,000 cases produced. Imported by Ole Imports. Tasting $13.99

Peter Lehmann Clancy’s 2009– Barossa Valley, Australia. A blend of 39% Shiraz, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 23% Merlot that is sourced from a number of the Barossa Valley’s sub-districts. The grapes vinified separately, then was blended and matured in new and neutral French and American hogsheads for 12 months. Peter Lehmann Winery was founded in 1979 by experienced winemaker Peter Lehmann and a team of investors; their first vintage was 1982. Initially the facility was built to process fruit purchased from local growers. Slowly and methodically, the Peter Lehmann Winery moved on from the bulk wine market to become a producer of premium Barossa Valley Wines. The 2009 Clancy’s is dark red in color with a garnet edge. Scents of raspberry, red berry, and ripe plum meet hints of chocolate and spice. Complex, rich fruit flavors are abundant on the palate, with soft tannins that linger on the finish. 90 Points Wine Spectator; Smart Buys– “This smooth, inviting red shows vivid plum and spice flavors that cascade into a tight, peppery finish. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2016. 25,000 cases imported.” Tasting $16.99

Small Gully Mr. Black’s Concoction 2008– Barossa Valley, Australia. A Northern Rhone-style blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Viognier (although at a whopping 15.9% ABV, this wine can hardly be considered “Old World”-style!). Small Gully was established in 1999 by vignerons (grape-growers) Robert Bader and Derek Zimmerman (whose family has been growing grapes in the Barossa Valley since the last century) and winemaker Stephen Black. Small Gully produces wines of a distinctive bold and intense style with great expression of fruit character; their wines reflect the meticulous fruit selection and the attention to detail in the vineyard. “The Shiraz fruit for this wine is selected quite late in the growing season to coincide with the picking of a small parcel of Viognier with which it is co-fermented. While being quite ripe the Viognier gives the wine a slightly perfumed aroma which carries through to the palate.” 92 Points Wine Spectator; Smart Buys– “Spicy, round and juicy, this boasts cherry, oatmeal, cinnamon and nutmeg flavors that persist into a gentle, expressive finish. Drink now through 2020. 3,000 cases made.” Tasting $19.99

Brocard Bourgogne

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