THURSDAY NIGHT TASTING 6-8PM:
CHILLING WITH SOME FRENCH FAVES
We looked last week at perhaps the oldest tradition of aging wine, in Qvevri in Georgia. This week we’re focusing on the country that has the longest, deepest fine wine tradition, the place that has been making most of the best wine in the world over the last five centuries, which is to say FRANCE. A wise man once said “Burgundy is the North Star,” and it’s really true – the history of this most storied, most complex of all wine regions, in some important way illuminates all the rest, guides our way along the wine route… And France as a whole is like that as well. And whether we’re talking about Burgundy, Bordeaux or the Rhône, these days we get a lot of our very favorite French wines fromPolaner Selections. It’s our old pal Alvaro behind the Lions Club Bar, slinging the fresh French your way! Did I mention BREAD,CHEESE and VINYL?
Maison Foucher, Crémant de Loire Brut Cuvée de Roys de Naples NV
Champagne is sparkling wine from Champagne, a sub-region of Burgundy. But there is much other sparkling French wine made in the same way – secondary fermentation occurs in bottle with “Methode Traditionelle” (or Methode Champenoise). These wines are usually known as Crémants, and they’re significantly more affordable. We try to keep a good amount of them in stock and cold. This one, from the Loire, is made from Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, all hand harvested from vineyards located in Montlouis-sur-Loire and Lissault-sur-Loire. Classic dry French bubbles at a reasonable price are what I (and you) need in the fridge – always! $17!
Lucien Muzard et Fils, Santenay Champs Claude Blanc 2016
White Burgundy is one of life’s richest treasures. Usually Chardonnay, from it’s native home in the Cote d’Or, it can be deep and wide, sandy and snappy, long and wild – there are truly a thousand variations and the sooner you start to explore them the better. Start here! This organic offering from Muzard offers a classic – and delicious – example of a more opulent, fleshy style with brassy ochre fruit, serious length, and the steely minerality that only very good Chardonnay can produce, all at an excellent price. Thanks again, Santenay! $36
Antoine Sunier, Régnié 2017
Still our favorite current Cru Beaujolais available, the Antoine Sunier is widely considered the best Regnié available at the moment. There’s not a lot left in the city but we have some. And we don’t know what 2018 will taste like yet so get down here and taste it while you can. Fermented whole-cluster with indigenous yeast and vinified in the classic Burgundian method, there are vibrant fresh red fruit and seriously mineral notes here, with a long finish that’s rare in Beaujolais. Aged 8 months on the lees, unfined and unfiltered, bottled with minimal nsulfur. Maximal deliciousness. $32
Champagne Laherte Frères, Champagne Extra Brut Rosé de Meunier NV
Now just because we might not drink Champagne every day doesn’t mean anyone should ignore Champagne. In an excellent example of how France has led the world in wine, we can safely say that Champagne is fundamental! And we can also say that Laherte Frères kick a$$. This 50% 2012, 50% 2013 Rose de Meunier is a blend of 30% macerated Meunier, 60% white wine (immediately pressed Meunier) and 10% still red Meunier. Still with us? It is simultaneously racy and rich, focused and full, with a long, dry finish. An exciting new wine especially for Meunier lovers. Not sure what a “Meunier” lover is? Come find out! $58