Here are the tasty libations:
White: Mas de Daumas Gassac, “Moulin de Gassac” Chardonnay, Pay d’Oc, Languedoc, France, 2018
-This wine comes from the family-owned and organic cooperative run by the Guibert family of Languedoc “Grand Cru” estate, Mas de Daumas Gassac. In the early 90’s the family looked to expand their portfolio, but wanted to do so in a thoughtful manner that could also help some of the smaller local farmers, while at the same time encouraging them toward organic and sustainable agriculture. They agreed to buy small lots of locally grown grapes, and use their reputation to sell the wine, as long the farmers agreed to use the same organic practices they did on their family estate. This wine is a lovely example of the freshness that Chardonnay can bring to a dinner table when you don’t use any oak throughout the vinification process. Bright lemon and tart green apple notes are accompanied by the faintest touch of richness balanced by refreshing acidity.
Rosé: Maisons Laurent Miquel, “Auzines” Rosé, Corbières, Languedoc, France, 2019
-This is a brand-new import from Thomas this year, from one of our house-favorite Languedoc estates, Maisons Laurent Miquel. Another family-run and sustainably farmed estate, Laurent Miquel owns and farms some of the highest elevation vineyards in the Languedoc, and champions forgotten or overlooked grapes. Built like a Côtes de Provence Rosé (40% Syrah, 30% Cinsault, 30% Grenache), with just a touch more ripeness and forwardness of fruit, this dry Rosé wine would be right at home with an aperitif of cheese and charcuterie, but also has the stuffing to stand up to richer seafood dishes and some Fall flavors. Perhaps a little Salad Niçoise, or some Pan-Roasted Clams with bacon? Yes, please!
Sort-of Rosé: Clos Troteligotte, “K-Bo” Gamay Noir, Villesèque, Cahors, Sud Ouest, France, 2018
-Is it a dark Rosé…is it a light Red…? Well, we don’t like labels around here, so we’ll let you decide, all we know is that the wine is delicious. Ever-experimenting madman of Cahors, Emmanuel Rybinski, has run his family’s beautiful Cahors estate, Clos Troteligotte, with an eye on creativity and the highest respect for his land for 15 years, even since taking over for his father at the age of 28. His first order of business was to convert his family’s land over to Biodynamic agriculture, to preserve the sharpest sense of place in the wines and healthy nature of the land. His second order of business was to begin experimentation with grape varieties not typically grown in the Lôt River Valley. This lovely deep Rosé/light Red of Gamay Noir, a grape usually found in Beaujolais, is a wonderful example of that experimentation. Notes of red cherry, pomegranate, and blood orange are balanced by the finest sensation of tannin and grip on the palate. Drink chilled for a more Rosé-like experience or start off chilled and let come up to room temperature for a more Red wine-like experience. Just about the perfect wine for a little bit of our famous Duck Confit over a salad of bitter greens.
Lighter Red: Clos Troteligotte, “K-or” Malbec, Villesèque, Cahors, Sud Ouest, France, 2018
-Manu’s (Emmanuel, above) take on Malbec has graced our menu in various forms for a number of years. There’s just something about the freshness and complexity of Malbec from Cahors’ cooler climate and iron-laden soils that is SO different from the fuller, richer Argentine expressions, that we were smitten pretty early on. Add to that Manu’s respect for his land and desire to convey the purest voice of his property on the high plateau of Cahors, and you’ve got the makings of an exceptional wine at a reasonable price. This wine was matured all in below-ground cement tanks that allow for a cooler fermentation temperature, preserving the acidity that gives this wine its lift. Bright red fruits, like red cherry and raspberry, with subtle spice and a distinct, but a well-integrated mineral component makes this wine a balanced pairing for roast chicken or duck, or smoky pork dishes.
Medium Bodied Red: Domaine Chiroulet, “Terroir Gascon” Côte de Gascogne Rouge, Gascony, Sud Ouest, France, 2016
-The Fezas family, led by sixth-generation farmer, vigneron, and Armagnac distiller, Philipe, has been carefully and responsibly tending their 110-acre estate in the “Ténarèze (elevated hillside) of Gascony for 150 years. In addition to producing dry wines of great refinement, they also produce outstanding brandy (Armagnac), and the little fortified wine treat of the region, Floc de Gascogne (more on that in a second). This lovely red blend is composed of 50% Merlot, 25% Tannat, and 25% of a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The softness of ripe red fruit from the Merlot is given some proper backbone and structure from the inclusion of the Tannat (a grape known for providing…you guessed it…tannin) and the Cabernets. Everything is here in balance, with red fruits giving slowly way to a peppery spice, a subtle herbaceous quality, and a lingering grip that wants a nice cut of beef, perfectly grilled, served aux poivre and with some freshly picked mushrooms. A perfect bistro red!
Dessert/Aperitif Wine: Domaine Chiroulet, Floc de Gascogne Blanc, Gascony, Sud Ouest, France, NV
-The treat of Gascony! The production of Floc de Gascogne follows regional traditions as old as the 17th century and manages to put all the region’s lovely products together in one bottle, combining grape growing and brandy production. A blend of 1/3rd un-aged brandy (eau de vie) made on the estate, from Colombard and Ugni Blanc, and 2/3rds fresh, unfermented grape juice from Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc and Gros Manseng. With a nose of white berries and candied almond, and flavors of fresh white grape, peach, and candied lemon, the alcohol and sweetness meld perfectly together to make for a delicious sip. Serve chilled, on ice, as a fantastic aperitif or digestif, or with a specific pairing like foie gras, chicken liver pâté, or bleu/other heavily veined cheeses. We love it in low-alcohol cocktails as well! Try it mixed 50/50 with dry sparkling wine and a big twist of lemon, over ice, for a lovely summertime cocktail.