Thursday, December 19, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Roasted Duck Holiday Feast

The movie, A Christmas Story, teaches us a lot of things -- one lesson being that if a pack of dogs runs off with your Holiday turkey, then go get a roast duck from your local Chinese restaurant. Roving dogs aside, if you find yourself in need of a turkey backup this year, then save yourself a trip to a restaurant and cook a homemade roast duck instead. Food & Wine’s Roast Duck with Citrus Pan Sauce is a great alternative to turkey and surprisingly easy to make. 

Photo Credit: Food & Wine / Quentin Bacon
Serve this beautiful culinary centerpiece alongside an equally elegant bottle of J.L. Chave Selection's Saint-Joseph “Offerus.” The sweet, dark berry notes on this wine combined with the rich, caramelized citrus pan sauce on the roasted duck make a brilliant combination for any festive holiday feast.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Wine of the Week - J.L. Chave Selection Saint-Joseph “Offerus”

Today's featured wine is a pedigreed Northern Rhône Syrah at an accessible price. The vineyards for J.L. Chave Selection's Saint-Joseph “Offerus” are located in two distinct St. Joseph areas. The communities of Mauves, Tournon, and St. Jean de Muzols yield over 80% of the blend and are owned by Jean-Louis. These southern vineyard sites express tightly wound tannins, spice, and power. They add structure and depth to complete the harmony of Offerus. The remaining vineyards are located in more northerly communities around Serrières, and even these are farmed mainly by Jean-Louis, though he doesn’t own the vineyards. This soil produces wines which are more elegant with incredible purity, definition, and focus. Josh Raynolds, writing for Vinous, gives the 2016 vintage 92 points, saying:
"Brilliant magenta. Expansive scents of fresh blackberry and boysenberry are complicated by suggestions of cracked pepper, olive and pungent flowers. Sappy, appealingly sweet dark berry preserve and cherry flavors show sharp delineation and spice and mineral qualities that build with air. Finishes with strong, energetic cut, well-knit tannins and lingering sweetness." 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Mussels and Frühroter Veltliner

On the eve of a sumptuous holiday feast, something effortless yet elegant will be calling your name, such as Fine Cooking’s Steamed Mussels with Garlic, Parsley and Wine. Festive and light, these steamed mussels are fancy enough for a party and come together very quickly. Don’t forget to serve them with a warm loaf of crusty baguette to sop up the delicious juices.

Photo Credit: Fine Cooking / Scott Phillips
This meal begs for a wine that is light and refreshing. Surprise guests with the charm of the Diwald Frühroter Veltliner, a rare varietal with notes of ripe apple and citrus zest. This lovely white wine has just the right weight and minerality with a punch of herbaceousness to accompany the briny mussels.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wine of the Week - Winegut Diwald Frühroter Veltliner

Frühroter what? Dynamic young winemaker Martin Diwald is really diving into the past, vinifying this rare variety (it currently accounts for less than 1% of all vineyard plantings in Austria) and bringing it to his customers. And it's delicious! Wine Enthusiast awards the current 2018 vintage 92 points, saying:
"Notes of ripe red apple and green pear waft from the glass. The palate swings with ripe apple and a lovely pithy texture that unites citrus pith and zest in a lovely, concentrated fashion. Wonderful expression with tons of freshness. (AK)"
David Schildknecht for Vinous writes of the variety:
“‘I’m very concerned that this traditional, un-modern variety survives’ says Diwald of Frühroter Veltliner, and the present example helps make his case for that grape (whose parents are Sylvaner and Roter Veltliner)...’Frühroter Veltliner likes cool years,’ explains Diwald – which one hopes won’t be part of its undoing – and he shakes his head at the fact that he felt forced to pick his Frühroter Veltliner on the first of September in 2017, a week before we met to taste this 2016. I presume that the authorities will let this wine’s delightful name – which means ‘Thief’s Nest’ – stand as a bit of ‘fantasy’ rather than viewing it as an unregistered, illegitimate vineyard designate."

Paula and Hans Diwald pioneered their winery’s conversion to completely organic viticulture during a time when chemicals and additives were prominent in winemaking. In 1980, the Diwalds converted their 4 hectare farm into a vineyard. After some trial and error with chemical fertilizers, the two made the decision to farm organically in order to improve the quality of their fruit. Today Martin Diwald leads the second generation of the family’s commitment to producing wine that reflects Wagram’s environment, resources, and land.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Brettljause

While a holiday ski trip to the Alps may or may not be in the cards this season, you can always bring the Alps home to you by way of its scrumptious food and wine. One dish you’ll find many ski-goers enjoying after a long day on the slopes is Brettljause, a hearty snack served on a wooden board made up of a variety of cold cuts, cheeses, spreads, pickled vegetables and a lovely bread basket. Following the traditional recipe at Strudel & Schnitzel, it can easily be replicated at home.

Photo Credit: Strudel and Schnitzel

An indispensable part of the Tyrolean culinary culture, this versatile snack platter begs for a Tyrolean wine that is light and full of flavor. Enter the Erbhof Unterganzner St. Magdalener Sudtirol, a fresh and elegant red wine that is an ideal companion for a variety of dishes. Its harmonious balance between tannins and acidity for finger foods and light antipasti.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Jean-Louis Chave ‘Mon Coeur’ Named Top Value

Hot on the heels of Wine Spectator featuring famed Rhône producer Jean-Louis Chave on its December cover, the magazine has now named one of his wines as a Best Value pick for 2019. How can a producer this illustrious produce a value wine? It comes courtesy of his Sélection portfolio, bottlings that come from grapes not grown on the Chave estate (though he does have long-standing contracts with all his growers and oversees every bit of the viticultural process as closely as they were his own vines). Enter the 2017 Chave Sélection Côtes-du-Rhône "Mon Coeur," as a 90-point red that retails for under $25. As reviewer James Molesworth writes:
"Bold dark cherry compote flavors are liberally laced with violet, savory and singed anise notes, showing a nice flash of warm earth through the finish."

Congratulations to Chave for their continued success!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Wine of the Week - Erbhof Unterganzner St. Magdalener Sudtirol

As we approach the darkest day of the year, let us offer you a little something to brighten your spirits. Hailing from the South Tyrol region of Italy, the Erbhof Unterganzner St. Magdalener Sudtirol brings a little bit of flair to the table. Composed of mainly Schiava, with a splash of Lagrein for color and body, this is a lighter red that still contains a ton of personality. As Josephus Mayr from the Tenuta
Chairman of the Consortium for the protection of St. Magdalener wine says: “The St. Magdalener is a real all-rounder. Many people prefer to enjoy the wine with a meal but it is also popular as a wine to be drunk with a group of friends.” And just your luck, we happen to import Mayr's St. Magdalener. Pop a bottle and lighten up your day!

Erbhof Unterganzner was purchased by Simon Mayr in 1629 and the dedication and devotion of winemaking has been passed down for over ten generations. It is located 285 meters above sea level near the Isarco River in the predominantly German-speaking region of Trentino-Alto Adige in the north of Italy. The higher altitude of the vineyard provides excellent air circulation, which optimizes vine and grape health. Loose alluvial soil gives ideal drainage, as well as warming quickly in the spring, promoting flowering and fruit set. These conditions combine for advantageous vineyard siting, and the location is ideal for growing the traditional grapes of the area.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Recipe Wednesday: Thanksgiving Time

Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker
Last week, we explored the idea of bucking tradition and serving something other than turkey as the centerpiece meal this Thanksgiving. From stuffed veal breast to Lentil and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie from Minimalist Baker, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re sticking with the tried and true, or venturing outside your comfort zone this year, there’s always room to liven things up with something unconventional in the glass.

That’s why we’re turning to the Lulu BB1, a fun blend of Chardonnay and native grape Savagnin, to add some personality in our glasses. Not only will it delight your guests, but its strong mineral characteristics and rich round orchard fruit notes will pair remarkably well with everything on your Thanksgiving plate.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Wine of the Week - Lulu Côtes du Jura 'BB1'

This week's featured wine brings a little something different to the table. Thanksgiving dinner is a meal that encourages a wide variety of wines to try, so we've chosen one of our favorite oddballs to highlight. Lulu Vigneron operates out of the Jura, a tiny region in the east of France. The BB1 is a blend of Chardonnay and local grape Savagnin that shows the uniqueness of Jura. Hints of menthol and acacia flowers on the nose, dried and stewed citrus fruits with a strong mineral impression on the palate with an iodine and saline twist, then gentle bitters on the finish. Liven up your holiday feast with this personality-filled white!

The owners of Lulu Vigneron, Ludwig Bindernagel and Nathalie Eigenschenck, purchased the Domaine in 2000. Their first vintage came shortly after in 2002. Their motto of “the wine is made in the vineyard” is exemplified by the fact Ludwig works with the vines every day. The strict attention to detail and quality helps create very complex wines with depth and layers that reflect the individuality of Jura.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Turkey Day Alternative

Photo Credit: Food Republic
Are you looking for something different to serve other than traditional Thanksgiving turkey this year? You wouldn’t be the only one. In fact, in a recent poll of 2,000 Americans who celebrate Thanksgiving, 26 percent said they’d like to see turkey alternatives this year. If you’re looking to simplify and cut down on prep and cooking time, but you still want to dazzle guests, then we suggest an elegant Corsican Stuffed Veal Breast, recipe courtesy of Food Republic.

This meaty centerpiece checks all the boxes, but won’t have you hovering in the kitchen all day. This is a pop-in-the-oven-and-forget-about-it-dish, but do note that it takes 12 hours to cook, so be sure to get things started early so it’s done by dinnertime. Serve alongside a bottle of Clos Ornasca Ajaccio Rouge -- the indigenous varietals in this red wine sing in harmony with the slow roasted veal, caramelized vegetables and warm spices.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Wine of the Week - Clos Ornasca Ajaccio Rouge

This week's featured wine is another new addition to our portfolio, this time from the island of Corsica. Clos Ornasca was founded in 1995 by Vincent Tola, a native Corsican who had relocated to mainland France, but always harbored a dream of working the land in his home country. His daughter Laetitia shared his vision and after staging in Burgundy and Australia, made her home in Ajaccio and, after her father's death, has taken over winemaking duties.

At a small 12 hectares, the vineyards are currently planted to Sciaccarellu, Nielluccio, Vermentino and Muscat (as well as Minustellu, a native varietal which she recently planted and/or grafted over a few rows). The Clos Ornasca (which translates to "born of gold" in Corsican) is aged in 100% stainless steel in order to preserve the varietal characteristics of the native grapes. Laetitia's husband, Jean-Antoine Manenti, now works the vineyards, helping this winery maintain strict quality control.

Laetitia has recently purchased a neighboring plot of 20 hectares that she's been waiting for 20 years to buy! She looks forward to expanding production in the near future.

Hope will be pouring tonight at the Dead or Alive Bar in Palm Springs. Come meet your Thanksgiving lineup: Benoît Mérias, Montluis-sur-Loire Brut La Methodé Traditionelle Non Dosé (NV) Lulu Vigneron, Côtes du Jura Savagnin (2014) Le Roc, Fronton Ninette Rosé (2018) Bertrand Galbrun, Grolleau Antidote (2018) Virna Borgogno, Barolo (2015) #deadoralivebar #palmsprings #thanksgivingwine #benoitmerias #luluvigneron #leroc #ninette #bertrandgalbrun #virnaborgogno #blog

via Instagram

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Thanksgiving Starters

Thanksgiving is still a couple of weeks away, but it’s certainly not too early to start thinking about the wines you’ll serve not only with the meal, but also when guests arrive. Something sparkling is always a good way to whet the appetite, but it’s also nice to have an option for those who prefer to kick things off with a glass of red. Enter the Filippo Grasso 'Ripiddu' Etna Rosato, a scrumptious Sicilian wine made with Nerello Mascalese. This light red is excellent served chilled and pairs well with with a number of starters. 

The best tuna meatballs (Le migliori polpette di tonno)
Photo Credit: Jamie Oliver

We recommend serving the ‘Ripiddu’ with a classic Sicilian dish, Polpettine di Tonno, or fried tuna croquettes. Jamie Oliver’s version stays true to the traditional recipe using fresh fish and is subtly seasoned with Sicilian herbs and spices. Because of Nerello’s balanced tannin and fruitiness, it pairs exceptionally well with fish.

Jean-Louis Chave Covers Wine Spectator

Renowned Rhône producer Jean-Louis Chave is the cover story for the November 30, 2019 issue of Wine Spectator. Senior editor James Molesworth draws on years of interactions with Chave to paint a picture of the estate as it is now, moving from strength to strength. Molesworth highlights Jean-Louis' commitment to Saint-Joseph, an appellation that doesn't receive the same acclaim as neighboring Hermitage, but that nonetheless has boundless potential. A major part of Chave's innovation as the 16th generation of his family's storied estates is to deliver a Saint-Joseph that rivals the best of the Northern Rhône. As Molesworth writes:
"I've been stopping in here regularly for over 15 years and it's been amazing to watch Chave's project on the hillsides above the town itself. Chave has been resurrecting abandoned terraces, planting Syrah bit by bit, for his St.-Joseph. Young vines go into the négociant label, Jean-Louis Chave Sélection. When the parcels come of age and/or the quality rises to the requisite level for Chave, the fruit then goes into the estate bottling. In many respects, Chave seems more focused on this project than on his Hermitage, though the latter has hardly been forsaken. But the St.-Joseph project has taken up much of Chave's time. And he can finally see the end. Though time here is relative. 'I should be done with the planting in another 10, maybe 15 years,' says Chave with his customary air of modesty. He's been saying that for a while now."

The November issue is on newsstands now, and contains a wealth of information about the estate, as well as reviews of the most recent vintages. Congratulations to Jean-Louis!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Wine of the Week - FIlippo Grasso 'Ripiddu' Etna Rosato

This week's featured wine comes from one of our newest producers - Filippo Grasso from Sicily. They are a small family owned winery on the north side of Mount Etna in Sicily. The current generation is the 4th generation of winemakers and they have been bottling their own wine since 2006. The 'Ripiddu' Etna Rosato is made from 100% Nerello Mascalese and shows a deeper pink color, floral flavor, and is pleasantly dry, harmonious, very versatile. Serve cold to accompany aperitifs or fish dishes. This wine also goes well with cheeses and charcuterie.

Filippo Grasso is located on the Contrada Caladera, and have six hectares planted to indigenous Etna grapes, such as Carricante, Catarratto, Minella, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Mantelato (aka Cappuccio). In addition to the vineyards, they grow and produce olive oil from 100 century-old, olive trees on the property and also have a variety of fruit and nut trees, indigenous herbs and wild vegetables, all of which promote biodiversity, creating a healthy and balanced ecosystem for the vines.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Autumn Lobster and Saint-Aubin 1er Cru

Photo Credit: Savory Simple
A great way to set the tone for autumn and the holidays ahead is an elegant dinner chock full of autumn goodies, such as decadent lobster and warm butternut squash. Fall is one of the best times of year to buy good, hard-shelled lobsters, and there’s no shortage of winter squash this season. As the temperatures start to drop, a warm bowl of Butternut Lobster Bisque is just the ticket for a cozy dinner at home.

Once you’re ready to saddle up with your bowl of warming bisque, pour a glass of Jean-Charles Saint-Aubin 1er Cru. This smooth Chardonnay is bright and minerally, just the right combination to complement the lobster bisque.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Wine of the Week - Jean-Charles Saint-Aubin 1er Cru

Today's featured wine is from one of our favorite value Burgundy producers - Jean-Charles. The Saint-Aubin 1er Cru is a bright, minerally white wine that's a great example of this appellation. William Kelley, writing for the Wine Advocate says of the 2017 vintage:
"The 2017 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru is showing well, offering up notes of green apple, crisp peach, pastry cream and hazelnuts. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, glossy and succulent with a charming, open-knit profile."

The Fagot family has been located in the small village of Corpeau since 1860. Just outside Chassagne-Montrachet, it is located near some of the most prestigious vineyards in the Cote de Beaune, so it would be fair to say that wine is in the family’s blood. Jean-Charles is part of the 5th generation of Fagots in the area and the third generation to own vineyard acreage in Chassagne-Montrachet. On his estate vineyards, Jean-Charles employs lutte raisonée, a method of growing in which chemical intervention is employed only when necessary. The wines are vinified traditionally and naturally, utilizing oak foudres and 12-14 month long aging periods in the Fagot cellars.

Friday, November 1, 2019

James Suckling Reviews Jean-Louis Chave

The reviews for Jean-Louis Chave continue to roll in, with James Suckling the latest to add his opinions of the latest bottlings. With reviews ranging up to 98 points, the Chave estate maintains its place among the Rhône Valley's elite - and we would expect no less!

The Chave family is based in a small village on the northern right bank of the Rhone. There have been Chaves growing vines on the famous Hermitage hill since 1481. Gerard Chave took over from his father in 1970 and rapidly achieved megastar status due to the extraordinary quality of his wines and has since passed on the winemaking responsibilities to his son Jean-Louis. The Chave’s methods for all their winemaking are traditional farming, super low yields, full ripeness, and minimal manipulation. Their unmatched meticulousness continues through five centuries to render venerable expressions of the purest of Rhône terroir.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

We hope you have a boo-tiful Halloween! Celebrate with some Barolo! 👻 🍷 #virna #barolo #cannubiboschis #halloweenwine #wineandcandy #blog

via Instagram

Recipe Thursday: Barolo and Truffles

As the old saying goes, “What grows together, goes together,” and this couldn’t be more true for Barolo and Piedmont truffles. Autumn is the perfect time to pair these two as our taste buds are drawn to heartier dishes. What could be more divine than Carne Cruda All'albese (Italian-Style Steak Tartare) topped with shaved white truffles, and a glass of Virna Barolo Cannubi Boschis?

Photo Credit: StockFood / Getty Images

What makes this pairing so fantastic is the truffles and Barolo mirror and draw out each other’s earthy and gamey qualities. There’s also a counterbalance at work as the wine’s acidity cuts through the richness of the beef. Since we’re dealing with highly prized truffles here, be sure to use the highest-quality, grass-fed beef you can find.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wine of the Week - Virna Barolo Cannubi Boschis

This week's featured wine represents the pinnacle of Piedmont. The Virna Barolo Cannubi Boschis comes from one of the best vineyards in one of the most prestigious DOCGs in all of Italy. This combination, paired with producer Virna Borgogno's 3+ decades of winemaking knowhow, results in one of the jewels in the Shiverick Imports crown. Monica Larner, writing for the Wine Advocate, awards the 2014 vintage 93 points, saying:
"The 2014 Barolo Cannubi Boschis is a wine of depth and substance. This Barolo achieves a very pretty level of density and power for what is a cooler vintage. Red rose aromas rise to the top but are quickly followed by more substantial tones of blackberry and ripe cherry. This is a mid-weight effort that is enhanced by finely tuned layers of spice and crushed stone. The wine needs a bit of time to open and put on volume, but once it does it sails forth with pride and purpose." (06/2018)

The Borgogno family has owned vineyards in Barolo since 1720, and have always attached particular importance to the work carried out in the vineyards and the selection of only the best grapes. The Virna label was created in 2001, when Virna Borgogno became proprietor of her family’s estate. Today the estate stretches out over an area of around 12 hectares, producing wines from grapes grown on its own vineyards located in historic crus in the Barolo wine-making area. Though the wines are from different crus, each one represents the heritage and tradition of the Barolo region.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Garlic Lover

Photo Credit: Joanne Weir / Cooking Light

Vampires, watch out. Garlic is nearly impossible to resist this time of year, whether it’s slow roasted and slathered on toast, or used as a flavoring in hearty autumn recipes. As Halloween approaches, instead of wearing a garland of garlic around your neck, how about making the classic French comfort food, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic from Cooking Light? If there ever was a dish to repel vampires, this would be it.

You might be wondering what wine goes best with that much garlic, so we have you covered. Enter the Château Lamothe Bordeaux Blanc, a bright, tangy wine that perfectly offsets the pungent garlic. This wine is dense, yet still acidic enough to make it a food-friendly pairing at any fall gathering.

Laurent Martray in Vinous

Just in time for the change of seasons, Vinous has released its most recent set of Beaujolais reviews. Brouilly-based producer Laurent Martray has received a stellar set of scores for their 2016 bottlings. Specializing in old vine production, Martray has really outdone himself with these wines. Reviewer Josh Raynolds says of the vintage:
"The more I revisit the 2016s in Beaujolais, the more impressed I am. This is a vintage that has been underrated in many quarters when compared to the densely packed, deeply flavored, darker-fruited and more structured 2015s. That vintage received almost universal acclaim but from the beginning had its doubters, who considered the wines too atypical and large-scale. I get their point but, for the long haul, I’m still a believer. At their best, the 2016s show real freshness, energy and sharp delineation, with distinct regional (as in Cru) character. And I’ll add that there are an amazing number of outstanding 2016s, up and down the classification level, at every price point."

Laurent Martray has been a winemaker based in Odenas since 1987. His vines are located on the hillside of Combiaty facing east and south-east, from which come the “Vieilles Vignes” and “Corentin” cuvées. More recently Martray has been using a plot of vines located on the famous Brouilly hill, also in Odenas, which is the “Les Feuillées” wine in the Côte de Brouilly appellation.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wine of the Week - Château Lamothe de Haux Bordeaux Blanc

Recently named to Wine Enthusiast's "Top 100 Best Buys of 2019" for the second year in a row, our featured wine this week is the Château Lamothe Bordeaux Blanc. The 2018 vintage was reviewed by Roger Voss, who says: "This crisp wine is bright, tangy and full of attractive lemon flavors. A riper side suggests red apples." Sounds like a perfect fall white!

Located in the commune of Haux southwest of Bordeaux’s city center, Château Lamothe has actively produced estate-bottled wine since the 16th century. Its renovation in the 19th century yielded the distinctive façade now pictured on the label of each of the Lamothe cuvees. It is currently run by The Néel-Chombart family, who have owned the property since 1956. The Château currently spans 80 hectares of clay and limestone slopes in prime Bordeaux growing conditions. Over the past fifty years the family purchased more hectarage under vine and converted what were underground galleries below the chateau into cellars ideal for aging wine. Winemaking technology was also modernized and vastly improved. Today Château Lamothe’s distinctive label is recognized world-wide, and enjoys quite a following. In an effort to increase sustainability, Château Lamothe is working toward ISO 14001 certification, which sets out the criteria and maps out a framework that a winery can follow to set up an effective environmental management system.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Woodsy Mushrooms and Négrette

Photo Credit: Vegetarian Times / Kate Kosaya

Mushrooms are starting to pop up at local Farmers Markets and tables as the season kicks off for harvesting wild mushrooms. These woodsy funghi are the ultimate autumn ingredient for everything from soups and stews to pizza and pasta. This week we’re highlighting a special pairing of Wild Mushroom Ravioli in Sage and Brown Butter Sauce from Vegetarian Times with Domaine Le Roc’s 'Cuvée Classique,’ a rustic red made of Négrette with dark fruit and herb notes.

The texture and character of the Négrette echo the texture of the wild mushroom ravioli. The woodsy, earthy mushrooms laced with sage perfectly complement the herb notes on the wine.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Wine of the Week - Domaine Le Roc Fronton ‘Le Classique’

This week's featured wine is a unique bottling from the little-known French appellation of Fronton. Natural winemaker Domine Le Roc brings the Southwest of France to the U.S with their 'Cuvée
Classique.' A Negrette-based blend, this rustic wine is fresh and spicy with dark fruit and herb notes.
A touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah provide structure and length.

Since the Middle Ages, Fronton, just north of Toulouse, has been the home of the Negrette grape variety, which is nearly exclusive to the area. The region encompasses 2,300 hectares of vines dominated by dry heat and rocky soils and the landscape is marked by hills and valleys, ranging from 300 to 600 ft above sea level. It is here that, since 1974, the Ribes family has been dedicated to producing wines with personality and character at Domaine Le Roc. Their insistence on strictly controlled yields, while being careful not to over-extract the fruit, and high vine density planting produces wines that release a wonderful perfume. They produce wine in a traditional, almost old-fashioned way that raises the bar for Fronton wines and deserves recognition.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Rich and Luscious Autumn Recipes

Photo Credit: Alexandra Rowley / Food & Wine
Autumn brings all things rich and luscious -- jewel-toned leaves falling from the trees, ripe fruits, sumptuous knits and slow-cooked suppers. If you’re in need of the perfect fall dinner for a cozy evening at home, look no further than Food & Wine’s line up of 24 Fall Favorites to Put in Rotation. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but this week we’re feeling the Butternut Squash Casserole with Leeks, Prosciutto and Thyme, a “luscious squash-studded bread pudding” that can stand up on its own as a main dish, or can be served alongside roasted meats.

You’ll of course need an equally rich and luscious wine to pair it with, which is why we’re opening up a bottle of the Pascal Laffourcade Clos des Quartes. This Chenin Blanc has notes of ripe apple and a rich texture, which mirrors the buttery caramelized vegetables in the bread pudding.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Wine of the Week - Pascal Laffourcade Clos des Quarts

Now that the weather has finally turned towards fall, there's no reason to abandon white wine just yet. Our featured wine this week is ready to make the seasonal transition with you - and is a real rarity as well. The Pascal Laffourcade Clos des Quarts is a rare example of Chenin Blanc grown in Quarts de Chaume (traditionally a producer of dessert wine) that is fermented to dryness. This is a white with some serious structure and the ability to age. Roger Voss, writing for Wine Enthusiast, says of the 2015 vintage:
"This single-vineyard wine is impressively ripe and rich. It is maturing although nowhere near its peak. The ripe apple, mango and kiwifruits are matched by the intensity of the mineral texture. (09/2018)"


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Lamothe Best Buy

Congratulations to Château Lamothe de Haux! Their 2018 Bordeaux Blanc has been named to Wine Enthusiast's "Top 100 Best Buys of 2019." This is the second year in a row that this wine has been included on this list.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Pumpkin is for Fall

Photo Credit: So Delicious
Fall has arrived and pumpkins are everywhere -- on our plates and in our cups -- whether it’s a pumpkin spice latte or a creamy pumpkin pie. Not just for the sweet tooth, pumpkin makes an excellent addition to stews and soups, just as you would use a butternut squash. This weekend we’ll be getting in the fall mood and making So Delicious’ Lamb and Pumpkin Stew, a cozy dish with warm spices and rich flavor.

We’ll be pairing it with Laurent Martray's Côte de Brouilly “Les Feuillées”, a full-bodied Gamay with notes of dark berries and allspice. Essentially fall in a bottle, this wine pairs beautifully with the warm spices in the lamb and pumpkin stew.

Jean-Louis Chave in Vinous and the Wine Spectator

Both Vinous and Wine Spectator have released bottle scores for the 2016 vintage of Domaine Jean-Louis Chave. With scores up to 98 points, this is a vintage to seek out. Also reviewed are Chave's Sélection wines, offering value in an often-pricey category.

The Chave family is based in a small village on the northern right bank of the Rhone. There have been Chaves growing vines on the famous Hermitage hill since 1481. Gerard Chave took over from his father in 1970 and rapidly achieved megastar status due to the extraordinary quality of his wines and has since passed on the winemaking responsibilities to his son Jean-Louis. The Chave’s methods for all their winemaking are traditional farming, super low yields, full ripeness, and minimal manipulation. Their unmatched meticulousness continues through five centuries to render venerable expressions of the purest of Rhône terroir.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Wine of the Week - Laurent Martray Côte de Brouilly “Les Feuillées”

This week's featured wine is a Gamay that's also ageworthy. Laurent Martray's Côte de Brouilly “Les Feuillées” is no lightweight Beaujolais. This cru offering is complex and food friendly. Josh Raynolds, writing for Vinous, says of the 2015 vintage: “Brilliant magenta. Incisive, mineral-accented cherry and blackberry scents, along with suggestions of candied violet and allspice. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, offering bitter cherry and dark berry flavors that spread out slowly and become sweeter as the wine opens up. The mineral note comes back strong on a very long, focused finish shaped by fine-grained tannins.”

Laurent Martray has been a winemaker based in Odenas since 1987. His vines are located on the hillside of Combiaty facing east and south-east, from which come the “Vieilles Vignes” and “Corentin” cuvées. More recently Martray has been using a plot of vines located on the famous Brouilly hill, also in Odenas, which is the “Les Feuillées” wine in the Côte de Brouilly appellation. The “Les Feuillées” cuvée, in the Côte de Brouilly appellation, is made from very old vines planted in 1916 on just over one hectare. The soil consists of porphyritic and diorite rocks with blue volcanic stone.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Autumn Transitional Foods

Photo Credit: Lidey Heuck /

Autumn is the ultimate transitional season, a time to create a serene and snug space as temperatures drop and we head into winter. Dinner preparation goes from seared on the grill to slowly cooked on the stove. Red wine becomes the staple, but there’s always a place for a good quality Chablis at the table. Enter Samuel Billaud’s Petit Chablis ‘Sur la Clos.’ Served with simply prepared roasted chicken and caramelized roasted fall vegetables, such as Lidey’s Thyme Roasted Chicken Breasts with Autumn Vegetables, you’ve got yourself autumn heaven on a plate.

The red apple notes complement the caramelized vegetables, and the acidity cuts through the richness of the skin on the chicken. Total autumn comfort with the simplicity of pure ingredients in both food and wine.

Harvest at @medevillecollection #Repost @medevillecollection with @get_repost ・・・ First week of Crémant de Bordeaux harvest in Château Fayau ! 🍇🍷👌 #chateaufayau #medevillecollection #8generation #harvest #harvest2019 #cremant #cremantdebordeaux #bordeauxwine #bordeaux #sauvignon #winelover #wine #blog

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Wine of the Week - Samuel Billaud Petit Chablis 'Sur Le Clos'

One of the stealth values in Samuel Billaud’s lineup is his Petit Chablis ‘Sur la Clos.’ As its name indicates, it comes from four hectares he owns in a vineyard directly above the famed Grand Cru ‘Les Clos,’ with the only difference being that the Petit vineyard lays on Portlandian limestone instead of Kimmeridgian. In contrast, many other producers’ Petits generally come from vineyards that are more far-flung, while this particular wine truly comes from the heart of Chablis.

This wine regularly gets acclaim, drinking far above its AOP. Of the 2017 vintage, Neal Martin, writing for Vinous says:
"The 2017 Petit Chablis Sur La Clos, which was racked one time, has a very perfumed bouquet with crisp red apple and light lemon zest aromas. The palate is fresh and crisp, very good acidity here with a vivid finish with plenty of tension. Recommended."

Part of an esteemed Chablis family, Samuel Billaud struck out on his own in 2009 to found his eponymous domaine. He had previously been the winemaker at Domaine Billaud-Simon, which had been a shining light in the old school Chablis clubhouse of quality. Since the creation of his own label, Samuel has met with great success and moved into a new winery space in 2015 as well as purchasing four hectares of vines that had previously belonged to Domaine Billaud-Simon. The resulting range, from AC to Grand Cru, are layered wines rife with crunchy oyster shell and silex, and exhibit a range of flavor profiles from licorice to white peach to toasty baguette. This is top quality Chablis from a rising star producer – for white Burgundy lovers, these are not to be missed.

How’s your French? 🇫🇷 Harvest at Le Roc, a family owned natural winery in the Southwest of France. #Repost @domaine.leroc with @get_repost ・・・ Contrôle de maturité avec nos big boss préférés 🍇 #harvest2019 #southwestfrance #domaineleroc #negrette #indigenousgrapes #fronton #naturalwine #organicwine #blog

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Harvest 2019 at Max Ferd. Richter. #Repost @cr_mfr with @get_repost ・・・ First #riesling of the #harvest2019 ! #mülheimersonnenlay for our #sparklingwine ! Perfect grapes ! #Mosel #maxferdrichter #methodechampenoise #klassischeflaschengärung #deutschersekt #germanwine #winesofgermany #winestagram #winetime #instawine #instawein #2019 #blog

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Our newest Sicilian producer, Filipinos Grasso, is being featured this week at A16! #filippograsso #mountetna #sicilianwine #blog #Repost @shelleylindgren with @get_repost ・・・ This Wednesday, September 25th @a16rockridge & Thursday, September 26th @a16sf , we are honored to be pouring 2 Etna producers -Filippo Grasso & Barone di Villagrande- both multi-generational winemaking families from Mt. Etna, Sicily along with @brittanycarlisi - visiting us from her home on Mt. Etna. We’ll be discussing the Eastern Slopes of Etna & the cru for Carricante in Milo with @baronedivillagrande - whose 10 generations of making wine in Etna & Salina are truly part of their heart & soul and show in their beautiful wines. Also, Filippo Grasso wines located in the Northern slopes of Etna. Their 6 hectares located between Etna Volcano & the Nebrodi Mountains, tell a story of 4 generations of Winemaking on Contrada Calderara at 650 meters. We’ll be pouring all these wines and pairing with some Sicilian-inspired dishes from a historical sense when Campania & Sicily we’re ‘the two Sicilies’.

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Wine & Sushi

When considering what to drink with sushi, the first thought is usually sake -- a tried and true classic. But lately, we’ve been seeing some exciting wine selections (the grape kind) making their way onto sushi menus across town. One might think it’s tricky to pair wine and sushi, but as sushi is one of the more diverse types of food, the wine possibilities are boundless. Let’s start with a simple yellowtail roll.

Photo Credit: Just One Cookbook

You’ll want a white wine with some acidity and zest -- enter the Antonella Corda Nuragus di Cagliari. Not to overpower the fish, it’s the perfect link to the starchy sweetness in the rice and the acidity in the sauce of your choice.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Wine of the Week - Antonella Corda Nuragus di Cagliari

Italy is home to literally thousands of indigenous grapes and we're happy to feature a real rarity this week - the Antonella Corda Nuragus di Cagliari. This is an ancient grape variety native to the southern part of the island of Sardinia, thought to date back to the Phoenician era of 1550 BC to 300 BC. Light bodied and tending towards high natural acidity, this is a perfect aperitif wine or with raw seafood of all types - such as oysters, sashimi, and ceviche.

The story of Antonella Corda winery is deeply connected to that of its eponymous founder. She grew up among the vineyards in a family of winegrowers that stretches back over generations. Her mother gave her a love for the land and her father instilled in her a passion for the work of vinification. Antonella became an agronomist, graduating in Agricultural Sciences and Technology at the University of Sassari and founded her own winery in 2010. She took the reins in hand, transforming it into an ambitious and innovative project that honors its past. She has created a boutique winery capable of producing excellent Sardinian wines worthy of representing the region worldwide. A 40-hectare farm with 15 hectares of vineyard, 12 of olive trees, and the rest left open for crop rotation. Antonella Corda believes sustainable cultivation to be the best way for people to coexist with nature, so it can be passed down to the next generation intact. All of this means that organic fertilizers, integrated pest control actions, and sustainable irrigation systems are utilized in the vineyards.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Shiverick Wines in the Wine Advocate

The Wine Advocate has released its most recent issue and several winemakers from the Shiverick Imports portfolio have gotten some great press. Samuel Billaud, Domaine Font du Vent and Max Ferd. Richter have all been featured, so be sure to click through for all the latest!