“Drinking & Knowing Things” Tasting Notes

“Drinking & Knowing Things” By Michael Amon

Wine #15 2018 Joguet ‘Cuvee Terroir’ Chinon – This 100% Cabernet Franc out of the village of Chinon in the Loire Valley of France is another wine brought to us by Kermit Lynch. This wine is fresh, aromatic and just downright delicious. Initially your palate is hit with blackberry, plum, and black cherry. Then secondary notes of bell pepper, pine, dried oregano and wet gravel appear adding complexity and depth to the palate.

Wine #17 2019 Perrin ‘La Gille’ Gigondas – From the Famille Perrin, La Gille 2019 is a full-bodied red blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah produced from grapes sourced in the village of Gigondas in the Rhône Valley of France. After the fermentation and blending, the wines were aged in oak foudres and barrels for one year. It shows notes of violets, anise, dark cherry, blueberry, rich dark fruits and cracked pepper flavors with velvety tannins.

Wine #19 2017 Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol Rouge – This red blend of 85% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache, 5% Cinsault out of Bandol in the south of France is yet another Kermit Lynch selection. It is a benchmark of what Bandol reds should be. On the nose it has aromas of blackberry, cedar, leather, bramble, licorice, and tilled earth. It’s tightly packed tannins are perfectly integrated with ripe black fruit, savory spice, earthy flavors, and it’s rounded and supple finish.

Wine #20 2019 Henry Fessy Moulin-a-Vent Domaine de La Pierre – This selection from Henry Fessy is from one of the most prized Beaujolais Cru’s. Moulin-à-Vent is nicknamed “The Lord of Beaujolais wines” because of its noble bouquet. Its cellaring potential varies depending on the estate, but certain crus can be kept for over ten years. This wine has an intense red and purple color, with aromas of red fruits and blackcurrant on the nose. It is round on the palate, with mellow and intense tannins. Black fruits, such as blackberry and blackcurrant, mingle with spicy notes on the finish with a beautiful length.

Previous month’s wine selections and tasting notes:

Wine #1 2018 Vietti Nebbiolo Perbacco – Located in the heart of the Langhe hills, at the top of the village of Castiglione Falletto, the Vietti wine cellar was founded in the late 1800s by Carlo Vietti. The grapes for this wine are grown in various selected vineyards sites mostly in the Barolo area and a minor part in Barbaresco. This wine has a medium deep ruby color. It has an intense and generous fruity nose (red berries) along with floral and spicy notes, a hint of menthol and hard candy. On the pallet it is medium bodied, showing notable intensity while retaining an essentially mid-weight style.  The tannins are harmoniously integrated in the fruit structure of the wine. This wine finishes with a long lasting aftertaste with tremendous freshness.

Wine #2 2020 Champalou Vouvray Sec– Catherine and Didier Champalou both came from families that farmed grapes for the purpose of winemaking, yet their mutual sense of independence prompted the couple to brave it on their own right after completing viticultural school in Saumur. Since starting the domaine in 1983, they have not only grown their business, but their label is one of the most highly-acclaimed in the appellation. Imported by Kermit Lynch, this 100% Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley of France is made in the Sec style meaning it is dry and crisp. It is gentle and refreshing on the palate. It boasts a delightful balance of stony minerality with luscious, almost honeyed fruit and flowery notes.

Wine #3 2019 Terredora di Paolo Aglianico– Established in 1978, with 200 hectares of privately owned vineyards in the best sites of the Avellino province, Terredora is one of the largest wineries in southern Italy. Aglianico is a native Italian varietal. This wine is ruby red with violet reflections. It shows notes of black cherry, blackberry, and plum fruit with a spicy toasted overtone. It is soft and elegant, and long in the mouth with notes of mature red fruits.

Wine #4 2020 Stolpman ‘Combe’ Trousseau– While the book calls for a selection from Jura, this region in France lost nearly 85% of it’s fruit last year due to terrible frost in April, hail in June, and a colder and wetter than normal Summer that caused disease in the vineyards and rotted the grapes. With that being said, wines from Jura are not plentiful at the moment, and the ones that are are quite expensive. So, we are using a grape that is one of the more popular grapes used in Jura, Trousseau Noir. Peter Stolpman is producing some very cool wines out of the Ballard Canyon AVA in Santa Barbara County, California. The 2020 Combe Trousseau is a playful expression of the Trousseau grape, and is aged in a mix of steel and concrete. Almost foggy in the glass, the wine hits the nose with brisk and fresh raspberry and pomegranate aromas, as light herb and eucalyptus cut through the haze. There’s an earthy, gravel-like grip to the palate, where the fresh fruit flavors are sprinkled with herbs and soil.

Wine #5 2018 Laurent-Perrier Champagne Brut ‘La Cuvee’ NV – 91 pts WS “A crisp Champagne, with a fine, lacy mousse and a pretty, finely meshed range of flavors, showing hints of crushed cherry, toasted almond, fleur de sel and pink grapefruit pith, followed by a smoke-tinged finish.”

Wine #6 Andre Clouet ‘Grande Reserve’ Champagne NV – 93 pts JS “The effusive nose of candied citrus, ripe pear and brioche pulls you into this fresh and creamy champagne that hits all the pleasure buttons for a non-vintage Brut. Then the chalky freshness at the finish pulls you back for another sip. Excellent balance! 100% pinot noir.”

Wine #7 2019 Frago do Corvo Mencia  Fraga do Corvo Mencia from Galicia, in Northwest Spain is fermented and aged in a combination of stainless steel and oak casks. The vineyards here are a mix of granite and slate primarily, with some sandy soils as well, so the underlying soil tones are quite complex. The wine offers up a fine, youthful nose of dark berries, pomegranate, graphite, a fine base of minerality, a touch of meatiness, chicory and a smoky top note. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and tangy, with a superb core of fruit, excellent soil signature, ripe, modest tannins and a long, complex and intensely flavored finish.

Wine #8 2019 Abbazia di Novacella Kerner  -This wine from Alto Adige, Italy scored 91 pts WE. “Enticing aromas suggesting ripe yellow stone fruit, dried Alpine herb, eucalyptus and white rose waft out of the glass. On the linear palate, a smoky mineral note accompanies ripe apricot and grapefruit while vibrant acidity gives it great tension.”

Wine #9 2019 Halter Ranch C.D.P– Halter Ranch is a vineyard and winery that dates back to the 1880’s and is located on the west side of Paso Robles in California’s Central Coast. The estate spans over 2,700 acres with 200 acres of vineyards, 15 acres of walnuts, 10 acres of olives, and, fun fact, the house from 1990 film, Arachnophobia. This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Tannat, and Mouvedre. It shows aromas of raspberry, wild strawberry, and dark cherry. This wine showcases bright, crisp flavors of bramble fruits, blueberry, and Asian spices. The palate is seamless and low in tannins. Great by itself or paired with a variety of food.

Wine #10 Tsantali Rouge NV-The Tsantali family is one of the oldest wine families in Greece. This red blend from Macedonia, Greece is a blend of Xinomavro and Moschomavro. It has a rich aromatic bouquet of wild berries, ripe dark cherries and spicy notes. The nose is intense and complex. On the palate it has chewy and textured tannins.

Wine #11 2020 Karthauserhof “Bruno” Kabinett Riesling The historic Karthäuserhof estate in Germany is located just before the joining of the Ruwer and Mosel rivers, in a side valley near the small village of Eitelsbach. The location is said to have practiced viticulture since Roman times. This wine is so crisp and refreshing. It has an ideal balance of citrus fruit aromas, uplifting lightness and natural acidity along with a clean, dry finish.

Wine #12 2018 Monchof “Mosel Slate” Spatlese Riesling -The Mönchhof (the “Monks House or Monks Court”), formerly a possession of the Cistercian Abbey at Himmerod, is one of the oldest wine estates in the Mosel Valley in Germany. As early as 1177, documents from Pope Alexander III show the abbey owned vineyards in and around the village of Ürzig. The wine has an elegant bouquet of citrus and flowers and on the palate it shows vibrant apple and herbal notes and perfectly balanced sweetness.