ASV Wine Club: Wine of the Month!
Keep checking this page for monthly updates, or see our Contacts page to add your name to our mailing list!
As we head into cooler weather, our friends at Chêne Bleu bring us an ideal choice for the October Wine of the Month, a light-bodied red from Roussillon in the IGP Côtes Catalanes appellation.
2017 Segna de Cor
Appellation: IGP Côtes Catalanes
Producer: Domaine Roc des Anges
Grapes: 50% Grenache, 30% old-vine Carignan, 20% Syrah
Soil: Schists, north facing slopes
Alcohol: 13.5% ABV
Farming: Certified organic, biodynamic, parcel selection, bush pruning, hand harvesting
Ageing: 9 months in concrete vats
To celebrate the last of the warm summer days before winter kicks in, sometimes you’re in the mood for a lighter-bodied red wine that still packs all the intensity and excitement of its full-bodied siblings. For that, I’ve headed down south to the Roussillon where they get more sunny days than anywhere else in France, plus the cooling effects from both the Mediterranean coastline and Pyrenees Mountains on either side. Everything you need to produce fruit that has balance and elegance while still packing a punch! Segna de Cor, literally an anagram for the winery Roc des Anges, is produced by Marjorie Gallet and her husband (although she wears the pants in the cellar!) using traditional artisanal methods of winemaking, namely the use of indigenous yeasts. This means she does not add commercially-bought yeasts from elsewhere but instead allows the natural yeasts found on the outside of the grape and in the air to allow for the fermentation. This often produces very earthy (we sometimes may even say “barnyard”) flavors that give a different flavor profile to the typically intense fruit-forwardness of a wine from a hot regi
Give it a swirl in the glass, and you’ll find a delicate blackberry color and glass-coating sticky legs, a sign of quality in the winemaking of lighter-bodied wines. On the nose, I find the luscious red and black fruits one would expect from these hot-climate grapes but was delighted to pick up gentle hints of chocolate and light smoke. On the palate, this wine is fresh and lively with smoky notes and spicy black fruits like cassis and black cherry with the addition of dried spices and roasted herbs. The tannins are complex yet discreet, thanks to a very hands-off philosophy in the winemaking, and the finish is fresh and lingering. I love the description from the winemaker on this wine: “Four S’s: soft, smooth, silky, and smoky!”.
I love wines like this because it’s light enough to drink on its own (for those of you who prefer red over white and rosé), but it also has enough body and character to stand up to cooked food as well. Try this with your favorite grilled or BBQ meats and vegs, slow-roasted dishes and sauces, or what about an earth mushroom risotto?? I’d be down.
Our September Wine of the Month comes from Burgundy, an ideal choice for early Autumn recommended by our expert at Chêne Bleu.
Producer: David Duband
Grapes: Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13% ABV
Vines: 65 years old
Residual sugar: <.1 g/l
Farming: Certified organic
I love Gevrey-Chambertin wines because the appellation is one that contains both Grand Cru, Premier Cru and village productions, which means you can find wines at more reasonable prices that still pack all the wow factor of a top Burgundy. In fact, it’s the largest village appellation in the Côte de Nuits and second largest in all the Côte d’Or after Beaune. These wines tend to be very colorful and intense for the region. Most of the vineyards used for David’s Gevrey-Chambertin come from the commune of Brochon, which just borders the Gevrey-Chambertin vineyard, where he does all the organic farming himself. I love that each vineyard has its own name: Les Journaux, Les Gueulepines, Les Croisettes and Pince-Vin. Brochon soil tends to be stonier and contains a combination of brown clay and limestone.
On first impression, this wine packs a punch, strawberry and blackcurrant with hints of licorice on the nose. Color is a straight-up juicy red. The on the palate, the texture is chewy for a Pinot due in part to about 80% whole bunch fermentation, where the stems are fermented with the grapes, and no filtration nor fining. This also gives a little more acidity to the juice, which helps to balance the rich red fruit. Subtle wisps of oak linger on the palate, which is long and fresh. This is a powerful wine with elegant tannins for being so young, ready to drink now or cellar for up to 8 years.
Try serving this wine just the slightest bit chilled (68°-72°F) with strong flavors like lamb or rabbit. A good pairing tip is to serve a wine with dishes from the same region, so think boeuf bourguignon or coq au vin and don’t forget those smelly Burgundian cheeses (Époisses comes to mind!).
Our August Wine of the Month is perfect for summertime in the south of France, and comes to us from our friends at Chêne Bleu.
2018 LE ROSÉ
Appellation: IGP VAUCLUSE
Producer: Chêne Bleu
Grapes: Grenache noir (62%), Syrah (16%), Cinsault (5%), Mourvèdre (8%), Rolle (9%)
Alcohol: 13.5% ABV
Residual sugar: 1.9 g/l
Farming: Certified organic
This vineyard sits at 550m (1800ft) in elevation high in the Dentelles de Montmirail in the shadow of the famous Mt. Ventoux in Provence, southern France. Growing grapes at such a high altitude in a region that gets so much sun in the summer produces grapes with pronounced opulent fruit that retain their exceptional acidity.
This award-winning rosé from Chêne Bleu is a blend of the typical Grenache and Syrah with slight additions of other varieties for color, acidity and balance. The strawberry, raspberry, pink grapefruit, dried limes and white pepper notes on both the nose and palate make this a very fine wine to enjoy during those hot summer months on the terrace. However, thanks to the barrel work here (approx. 3 months ageing in demi-muids [600l barrels] on around 30% of the production), this wine is highly concentrated in fruit and has a lovely rich texture that goes exceptionally well with food. So start with this with your aperitif, but then keep on it as you move to your starter and all the way through your meal (I’ve even served it with dessert!). Try pairing with roasted salmon in lemon and dill, grilled freshwater trout, spiced shellfish pasta, fresh goats cheese, smoked or dried meats or tender spring lamb. Also delicious with fresh strawberries and cream!
Serve slightly chilled (but not too cold), around 56-58°F. Or try ageing for up to 4 years for even more richness and food friendliness.