2017 DOMAINE TEMPIER ‘POUR LULU’ BANDOL ROUGE BANDOL, PROVENCE, SOUTHERN FRANCE

Background: From one of the most famed vineyard sites in Southern France, this red blend was dedicated to Lulu Peyraud, the owner and hostess of Domaine Tempier, for her 100th birthday. An organic practicing vineyard in the hills overlooking the Mediterranean Sea where true vignerons still farm the rich clay & limestone land year-round, this vintage is a blend of 75% Mourvedre, 14% Grenache, 9% Cinsault, and 2% Carignan; native yeast fermentation and aging in large oak foudres for 18-20 months before bottling unfined and unfiltered.   

Tasting Notes: An immediate sense of place hits your nose with an earthy underbrush, notes of wild thyme and dried lavender. Aromas of smoke and dark fruit appear as it opens up in the glass. On the palate, this medium-bodied wine exudes concentrated dark fruits of plum and elderberry jam, lavender emerges with a white pepper spice, light smoke, and a hint of old cedar on the finish. Silky tannins coat the tongue with the layered fruit, herbs, and spice leading to a long and complex finish.

By Debbie

CAVA RAVENTOS ROIG BRUT,  D.O. CAVA/CATALUNYA

And it’s nice to see that you don’t have to spend a lot to drink very good Cavas!
Made with the traditional blend from this area using Parellada, Xarel.lo and Macabeo grapes.
It has light yellow color, loads but fine bubbles. Not aggressive at all as this Cava was aging on the bottle for 12 months!
Pastry and fresh fruit aromas like lemon, apples, pears with floral  hints.
On the palate fresh, acidic, lively. 
Correct, long and gentle aftertaste.
As I said, a good cava for every day. 
Because this is a Brut Cava, with a little bit of added sugar, there’s no bitterness on its finish making it perfect to drink on its own!
Great for aperitif (try with olives, almost all kinds of cheeses.
Also, light goat cheese salads (with not too much vinegar or lemon). 
Light meat dishes like chicken on butter or creamy sauces or even some roasted pork and vegetables.
Fishes almost all of them!

By Viv

CLOT BLANC DE NEGRES, D.O. TERRA ALTA/CATALUNYA

This white wine is what the French call Blanc de Noirs. That means white wine made out of red grapes. This wine is made with 100% red grenache grapes.
It’s produced with not pressed juice and avoiding contact with the grape’s skin. 
With a pale, almost transparent colour and a tiny bit of pink on it. Reminds me of strawberry water!
Super light aromas with some lemon or orange zest. Hints of salinity or even some spices like cumin or aniseed.
On the palate it’s dry and intense. Opposite from the smell.
Very long and insisting spiced after taste.
Full bodied white perfect for pairing with intense food.
It’s a white for red meats, even BBQ. Stews or mushrooms risotto.
Cured and strong cheeses are a good pairing too.
Great white for red wines drinkers and a gastronomic (to pair with food) one for white wines drinkers!

By Viv

MEDRANO CRIANZA, D.O.C. RIOJA/SPAIN

This Rioja wine was produced with 100% Tempranillo grape.It’s a crianza, which means young but not too young!Was aging on french and american oak for 12 months and another 6 months on the bottle before being released to the market.
Intense purple red ruby color showing all the intensity of the tempranillo grape and its youth.Intense fruit aromas as red and dark berries and some vanilla and hazelnuts too!Some smokiness from aging on oak but very well balanced with the fruit aromas.
It tastes a lot like it smells! 
Fruit at first, dry and fresh on the mid palate. Long but gentle on the finish with a smoked spiced aftertaste.
Pairing very well with matured creamy cheeses like camembert or brie.
All kinds of meat due to its balance between fruit acidity and tannins.
You could go from roasted chicken to BBQ beef!
And to extend it can be used even for some dark chocolate desserts, if you dare!

By Viv

2018 FORIS VINEYARDS PINOT GRIS

ROGUE VALLEY, OREGON 

Background: Coming from a naturally high elevation vineyard site within the Siskiyou Mountains in Oregon, this 100% Pinot Gris was night-harvested in mid-September, a long hang-time from previous vintages, resulting in small, concentrated berries with perfectly ripened sugar and acid levels. Stainless steel fermentation preserved the bright fresh fruit character. 


Tasting Notes: Aromas of stone fruit and honeysuckle on the nose, with notes of lemongrass, nectarine, and a sweet ginger spiciness reminiscent of the more German styles that winks at you on the finish. Deliciously refreshing and the perfect accompaniment to many types of food pairings, such as this homemade Wedge Salad with roquefort dressing, red onions, bacon, grape tomatoes atop iceberg lettuce. Hello Summer!!!

By Debbie

2017 GARY FARRELL RUSSIAN RIVER SELECTION CHARDONNAY

RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, SONOMA, CALIFORNIA

Background: Sourced from the Russian River Valley AVA in Sonoma, California, this single varietal bottling showcases the beautiful potential of Chardonnay in a hot climate. De-stemmed fruit was gently pressed and then transferred to French oak barrels (35% new and 65% one to three-year-old used) to complete both alcoholic and malolactic fermentations. It aged in these same barrels for 9 months on its fine lees until it was then bottled the following June. 


Tasting Notes: Pungent citrus aromas of grilled lemon greeted the nose with notes of white flowers and orchard fruit. Medium-body with medium plus alcohol and acidity. Ripe summer peaches and white nectarines appeared on the palate with hints of jasmine, grilled lemon juice,and a lightly toasted marzipan on the finish. The best part was how it opened up as it got warmer in the glass!

By Debbie

2018 SEVEN SPRINGS EVENING LAND GAMAY NOIR

EOLA-AMITY HILLS, SALEM, OREGON

Background: A single varietal bottling from a mere 2.2 acres of Gamay vines planted in iron-rich, volcanic clay soils, this 2018 Gamay Noir could easily rival the Crus of Beaujolais. Whole-cluster fermentation with native yeast in concrete tanks for 10 days, this wine completed carbonic maceration and was then transferred to neutral French barrels for 15 months to rest before bottling without filtration.  


Tasting Notes: The nose bursts with aromas of bright red fruits like raspberries and cranberries, with a hint of violets. As it opens notes of blue fruits come to life with a hint of smokiness. Light-bodied with medium tannins and acid, the crunchy red fruits balance out the fresh ripe blueberry tones, with an underlying layer of zippy acid that lifts the palate and makes your mouth water for another sip. Served with a slight chill, this was a perfect pairing with a delicata & butternut squash gnocchi dish, topped with fresh Parmesan of course!

By Debbie

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