Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Wine of the Week - Herdade do Rocim "Mariana" Rosé

Now that the 2019 rosé season is upon us, it's time for one of our perennial favorites - the Herdade do Rocim "Mariana" Rosé. Easygoing, vivaciously fruity, and very fresh, the Mariana shows notes of bright red berries, elderflower, and melon. A great summer sipper on its own or with seafood, oysters, or pizza. Is it really summer without Mariana? We don't think so!

Located in the Lower Alentejo region in the southern half of Portugal, between Vidigueira and Cuba, lies the estate of Herdade do Rocim. Catarina Vieira has been in charge of the development of the estate and she believes that Alentejo has the unique conditions required to produce world-class wines. Joining her as General Manager of the estate is Pedro Ribiero. He contributes to the winemaking decisions, as well as running the sales and business affairs of the estate. Since purchasing the estate, Caterina and Pedro have invested greatly in the land by completely regenerating the vineyards and building a new state of the art winery. They believe that Rocim has great potential for producing high quality wines with worldwide recognition and have created a project that gives value not only to Alentejo, but to Portugal as a whole.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Festival Season Pairing

Spring has sprung, and festival season is upon us. Whether you’re planning to listen to live music or watch cinema outdoors, a well-thought-out picnic basket will do wonders to elevate your experience. Picnic food should, of course, be simple and fuss-free, but it certainly doesn't have to be boring. And neither does the wine you pack to go along with it.

Photo Credit: Justin Walker / Saveur

Here’s what’s in our basket this season, courtesy of some great ideas from Saveur: A hearty and fresh salad, such as Farmer’s Salad with Beet Vinaigrette, paired with savory and easily-packable Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa and Beef Short Rib Empanadas. For dessert, Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. Last but not least, an exceptionally versatile wine, such as the Chateau Ollieux Romanis Corbieres “Cuvee Classique”, a red blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah. The balanced profile and natural spice flavorings (think cumin and dried herbs) will bring out the complementary spices in every dish you pack.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Domaine de la Pousse d'Or in Burghound

Allen Meadows has released his barrel scores for the 2017 Côte de Beaune vintage in Burghound, including those for Domaine de la Pousse d'Or, which is based in Volnay. He finds much to like in this vintage, noting the domaine's commitment to low sulfur usage carried on by Benoît Landanger. With banded scores ranging up to 95 points, this is a vintage to watch.

Arguably the finest and most prestigious Burgundy house in Volnay, Domaine de la Pousse d’Or has now been in existence since the 1100s. Most recently, Gérard Potel acquired the Domaine through a marriage to the then-owner’s niece in 1964. He unified what were two properties in Volnay into one 17-hectare nucleus, where Pousse d’Or is headquartered today. With his untimely death in 1997 the Domaine was taken over by current owner Patrick Landanger, who has since passed the reins on to his son, Benoît. Pousse d’Or has recently received its Demeter Biodynamic certification.

Wine of the Week - Chateau Ollieux Romanis Corbieres “Cuvee Classique”

Today's featured wine is one that can easily transition seasons and cuisines - and versatility is always a selling point in our book. The Chateau Ollieux Romanis Corbieres “Cuvee Classique” is blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah that embodies the part of Southern France where it's made. Jeb Dunnuck writing for Wine Advocate says of the 2016 vintage:
“The 2016 Corbieres Rouge Cuvee Classique is a textbook red from this region and estate. Made from 40% Carignan, 30% Grenache and 30% Syrah, aged in tanks, it gives up loads of ripe black raspberry and blackberry fruits, peppery herbs and garrigue to go with a mouth-filling, sexy, downright textured style on the palate. Buy a case and enjoy over the coming 3-4 years (I’m sure it will keep longer as well).” 

Located in Boutenac, just south of the village of Corbières in the Languedoc region, Ollieux-Romanis is now one of the largest privately owned wineries in Corbières, spanning some 130 hectares. Along with the Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Marsanne, and Roussanne, all of which are quite common to the Languedoc, the Bories also cultivate Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Merlot, and Mourvèdre. Les Ollieux is currently working its way to fully organic status, having dispensed with herbicides and pesticides in the late 1990s. Instead, they compost with marc, or the leftover solids (skins, seeds, pulps, pits) of the grapes and olives after pressing. The estate recently received its 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, April 18, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Springtime Alfresco Rosé Pairing

There’s something about the subtle hint of warm spring air that entices you to put away the chunky sweaters and start dusting off the outdoor furniture. This time of year also kicks off the unofficial start to rosé season (although, you’ll find us drinking rosé year-round!). Today, we’re celebrating spring and a spirit of renewal with an alfresco dining pairing that highlights the arrival of the new 2018 rosé vintage: the Saint Cyrgues Costières de Nîmes Rosé and Grilled Chicken Breast with Blackberry-Corn Salsa from The Kitchn.

Photo Credit: Lauren Volo / The Kitchn

This week’s rosé from Saint Cyrgues is bursting with notes of spring-time flowers, wild cherry and raspberry. So, what better dish to accompany it with than a lean protein and a fruit-forward, yet savory salsa? As Kristin Appenbrink from the Kitchn says, “The berries in the salsa make this dish especially suited to a glass of rosé. Plus, feel free to make the salsa as spicy as you like; rosé holds up well to spicy foods.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Wine of the Week - Saint Cyrgues Costières de Nîmes Rosé

Whether you're celebrating Easter or not, we have the perfect wine for your weekend. Our wine of the week is the very first rosé of the 2018 vintage - the Saint Cyrgues Costières de Nîmes Rosé. Light-bodied and fresh, this Syrah and Grenache blend is bursting with notes of spring-time flowers, wild cherry, and raspberry. This quaffable wine is perfect for your Easter brunch or for any sunny afternoon!

Costières de Nîmes (which loosely translates to ‘the slopes of Nimes’) sits at the nexus of the rocky hills of Provence and the sandy alluvial plains of the Camargues. Many of its areas feature the larger, flat, galets, the signature stones of Chateauneuf du Pape. Among the many value driven wines in the Langdon Shiverick portfolio, Chateau Saint Cyrgues stands out as offering very inexpensive product that punches well above its weight class. Located in Saint Gilles, which borders the Camargue region at the mouth of the Rhone River, Chateau Saint Cyrgues was built on the ruins of the Church of SaintCirice de Marge in 1654. Jean-Pierre Ferraud and his son Loic Ferraud now run the domaine, which has begun to practice 100% organic viticulture and vinification.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Springtime Brunch

If ever there’s a “season” for brunch, it’s spring. With special occasions such as Mother’s Day, Easter, Passover and graduation, there’s no shortage of festivities and holidays to celebrate in good company with a delicious mid-morning meal. This is the time to highlight spring’s bounty of fresh, verdant vegetables. We love the variety of the spring brunch recipe ideas over at The Spruce Eats – from Classic Eggs Benedict to Orange Buttermilk Pancakes to Spring Leek Frittata.  

Photo: The Spruce Eats / lois.slokoski.photography/Getty Images

Of course, with any celebration there needs to be wine, so what’s a good option for springtime brunch fare? With a description like “aromas of lemon oil, grapefruit pith and oatmeal” from Wine Advocate’s William Kelley, the Jean-Charles Fagot Bourgogne Blanc "Les Champs l'Huillier" is an excellent choice. It sounds like brunch in a glass! Pair it with Orange Buttermilk Pancakes to bring out the citrus notes in the wine, or it would go equally well with the Classic Eggs Benedict – the tangy notes in the wine will make the flavors pop in the Benedict.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Wine of the Week - Jean-Charles Bourgogne Blanc “Les Champs l’Huillier”

In a world of skyrocketing Burgundy prices, our featured wine this week is decidedly down-to-earth. Jean-Charles Fagot crafts honest Burgundies at accessible costs, but this Bourgogne Blanc "Les Champs l'Huillier" may be the best deal in his lineup. Just awarded 89 points by the Wine Advocate, William Kelley writes:
"The 2017 Bourgogne Blanc Les Champs l'Huillier is terrific, wafting from the glass with aromas of lemon oil, grapefruit pith and oatmeal. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, elegantly textural and tangy, with more depth and concentration than the Louères. It's a serious Bourgogne Blanc that over-performs for the price."

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.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Recipe Thursday: Nebbiolo and Chinese Five-Spice Duck

In last week’s Recipe Thursday, we talked about how some of the best food and wine pairings are those hailing from a single origin. However, you may be also surprised to find some delicious pairings coming from two very different geographies. This week, we’re highlighting a pairing that involves a wine from Italy and a dish from China.

Photo: Fine Cooking

Classical Nebbiolo, such as Montaribaldi’s Barbaresco "Sorì", is not what you would typically think to pair with Fine Cooking’s Chinese Five-Spice-Crusted Duck Breasts, but it actually makes a very intriguing combo. The Chinese Five-Spice rub on the duck echoes similar spice notes in the wine. In addition, the acidity in the wine cuts right through the fat and richness of the duck.