The Frescobaldi name is famous for making top-notch Tuscan wines and has been associated with wine production for over 700 years. With multiple estates situated throughout the hills of Tuscany, the family strives to showcase the finest qualities of each region while respecting the history and style of the area. With Remole, we find a superb value from fruit grown at their Chianti estate in the northeast region of the zone, Chianti Rufina. Rufina is a relatively small zone, and Frescobaldi has the finest vineyards in the area. This traditional blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon mirrors the blend of many in Chianti, with greater approachability and finesse. Pretty aromas of sour cherry, dust and dried sage lead the charge, while a combination of vibrant wild berry fruit flavors linger on the distinct finish.
The vineyards of Mont Gravet are situated near the city of Toulouse in southwest France and find a moderating climate influence from proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. A region generally known for Armagnac, there is a growing category of still dry wines that are gaining in popularity. Mont Gravet is produced using 100% Colombard, one of the indigenous varieties of the area. The vines are planted on the hillsides called “Mont” in French and on soils that are full of oval shaped pebbles called “Gravet.” The winemaking is simple, using low fermentation temperatures to gently extract fresh aromas from the Colombard juice. The wine spends time on the fine lees before bottling and is released with immediate drinkability. Fruit flavors of Meyer Lemon, passion fruit and tart apple are complemented by hints of mineral and fresh green herbs.
Featured Red Wines
While Evolúció is a Hungarian Producer, known especially for their wines from the Tokaj region, for this red wine they decided to cross the border to showcase Austria’s most famous red grape, Blaufränkisch. This grape, sometimes referred to as the Pinot Noir of Eastern Europe, is known for its bright, vibrant fruit, soft tannins, and lively acidity. The 2015 vintage provides physiological ripeness and with low alcohol and a backbone of acidity. While light ruby in color, you’ll find hints of blueberry and spice on the nose that transform into fresh dark cherry and wild berry on the palate. With fine tannins and well-integrated acidity, the fruit and spice of the palate conclude with a velvety finish. It’s a perfect alternative for a Pinot Noir or Gamay drinker, and is a wonderful, affordable introduction to the Blaufränkisch grape.
Saint-Pourçain is a lesser-known wine region that is producing unique wines at an excellent value. Granted AOC status in 2009, it is often considered an upstream satellite of the Loire Valley. The red wines of this region are made from Pinot Noir and Gamay. Château Courtinat was created around a sixteenth-century convent based on the Sioule river. Christophe and his wife Nathalie represent the third generation of winemakers here, though it was Christophe’s father who started bottling their production in 1982. The Cuvée des Perelles is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Gamay, and is aged older barriques. This is a perfect springtime red: the fruit profile is bright, with aromas of tart cherry, berries, with a hint of anise. It has a silky mouthfeel that is structured by subtle tannins and well-integrated acidity.
Two brothers, Antonio and Raimondo Levis, started this winery in 1938 with passion and focus on the grapes of the Langhe region. They were focused on making top quality wines from the beginning and the practice of producing honest, classically styled wines continues today. In 2002, Raimondo passed away, and a portion of the business was sold to the Sartirano Family who has been making wines in the region since 1871. They now handle the winemaking aspects of the winery while holding true to the Fratelli’s original ideals. This 100% Barbera is produced with a hands on approach. The grapes are farmed without pesticides, carefully handled at harvest, and produced in stainless steel to highlight the deep, dark berry flavors and keep tannin in check. The goal is finesse, elegance, and a wine with fresh fruit and medium body.
It has been a while since we have been able to find a Cahors wine that we were excited about featuring. This 2015 Château Combel-la-Serre produced by Julien Ilbert is awesome. Superb richness and style while maintaining a clean profile that is not too tannic - this is how French Malbec should taste. In the region, Malbec is referred to as either Auxerrois or Côt and is often blended with Negrette and Tannat. That said, Julien believes in only working with Auxerrois in his Cahors wines. The estate has been organic for quite some time and was officially certified as of the 2015 vintage. The nose offers concentrated fruit flavors of dark plum, kirsch, and blackberry. A distinct dark earth note of potting soil, mushroom, and mineral accent the firm, but polished tannin profile.
The Tolley family is rooted in the Coonawarra region and produces outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon from the Terra rossa (Italian for “red soils”) of this special region. Terra rossa is a type of red clay soil produced by the weathering of limestone. These soils have good drainage and serve Cabernet Sauvignon well. As far as Penley Estate is concerned, it was Kym Tolley who had the foresight to purchase as much land as possible in the region before the area was well known. Kym retired in 2015 and sisters Ang and Bec Tolley have since taken over the family business. Coonawarra sits south in the Limestone Coast with more exposure to the cooler winds of the Southern Ocean. It keeps the style of the wine compact and refined with detailed flavors of dark cherry, currant, mint, and dust.
The Breton family farms 11 hectare of vines just east of Bourgueil in the village of Restigné. Catherine and Pierre focus their production on Cabernet Franc from Chinon and Bourgueil with a small amount of Chenin Blanc from Vouvray. They have been certified organic since 1991, with biodynamic practices since 1994. Their philosophy also includes commitments to low yields, hand harvesting, natural yeasts, low or no sulfur, and age in oak barrels. “Trinch” is named after a German expression meaning “cheers” championed by the poet and philosopher Rabelais. Trinch is a Cabernet Franc from younger vines vinified in stainless steel with a cold maceration. Electric color and snappy aromatics are backed up with dark boysenberry, wild plum, cherry, and stone. Violets, pepper, smoke, and green herbs complement the wild fruit flavors and add balance to the equation.
Featured White Wines
Every year Richard and Carla Betts bring us great wines, but this 2016 Rosé is perhaps the finest pink wine from them yet. We had a staff training at the Boulder Wine Merchant with this dynamic duo and received a sneak peek of this wine well before it arrived in Colorado. We have been eagerly anticipating its arrival since trying this delicious, vibrant, balanced wine. The 2016 vintage seems to have more richness and a perfectly integrated acidity that drives the multi-layered finish. My Essential is inspired by the great rosé wines of Provence and is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault from vineyards located near Aix. The 2016 is loaded with fresh cut strawberry and ripe red raspberries, there is a touch of fresh peach, sage, and dried flowers. Don’t miss this new release!
I was fortunate to visit this winery last summer on my trip to Portugal and had the chance to taste this delicious 100% Loureiro from the Vinho Verde region. Ramos has been a top consulting winemaker in Portugal for many decades and has influenced the wine trade with the benefits of modern technology, emphasis on low yields, occasional oak aging, and the preservation of a grape’s natural fruit flavors. The grapes for this wine are planted on trellised vines in granitic soils. Traditionally produced using stainless steel tanks in order to maintain freshness. Citrus and floral notes are combined with a pronounced minerality and a vibrant finish. A touch of tangerine and orange oil add to the lifted aromatic intensity. The perfect wine for early spring cuisine and weather.
The Corvidae Wine Company names each of its wines for a different crafty and adaptable bird found in the region, such as the ‘Ravenna,’ or Raven. The geology and climate of Columbia Valley yields wines with rich, complex fruit, luscious fragrance and bright acidity. This is a relatively dry example of Riesling that will please those who are suspicious that all Riesling is sweet. The fruit is sourced from vineyards in the Yakima Valley and the 2013 vintage found balance between fruit richness and bright acidity. The wine is aged in stainless steel which helps maintain the balance between lush fruit and bright acidity that make this a highly food friendly wine. It is perfect for many dishes, but try it with slightly spicy foods like Thai curries and stir-fries.
Garciarevalo is a family owned winery located in the heart of Rueda where they focus their production on white wines from the regional grapes of Verdejo and Viura. Unlike their neighbors in Rueda, they have a unique sandy soil here that allows for better drainage and producers wines with elegance and finesse. The cellars are built using the finest equipment and technology in order to preserve the freshness in the wines they produce. The Casamaro is sourced from a selection of younger vines on the property and is fermented and aged in stainless steel. The blend is 90% Verdejo and 10% Viura and boasts lively citrus flavors of Meyer Lemon, tart green apple, and and a touch of stone fruit. The wine is bright and flavorful with mineral, honey, and spring flowers that accent the vibrant fruit.
It is extremely rare that we find the opportunity to offer a biodynamic produced wine from a single vineyard at this price. Selected from 100% Melon de Bourgogne in the Muscadet Sevre et Maine region, the soil is a special Amphibolites - Metaporphic rocks that give the wine a specific minerality. The grapes from this 15 acre parcel are carefully harvested by hand and whole cluster pressed before being racked off the lees into cement tanks before bottling. The style of this wine is perfect for a dry cocktail white wine and pairs especially well with oysters and cuisine with a high saline content. The flavors of tart citrus, underripe pear, and green melon work harmoniously with the river rock minerality and brioche notes from extended lees contact.
When people think of German wine nowadays they tend to think of Riesling, but until the early twentieth century Elbling was the most widely-cultivated variety in Germany. Nowadays, it is rare to find a wine that is one hundred percent Elbling. Like Txakoli and Vinho Verde it has a touch of effervescence, and this Trocken style from winemaker Matthias Hild is bone-dry with vigorous acidity. Harvested from 70-plus year old vines, pale straw yellow in color, the nose offers aromas of green plums, hazelnuts, lime zest, elderflower, and jasmine. The palate has a racy core of minerality that extends to secondary flavors of lemongrass, cardamom, and a delicious salty finish. Pair with spring vegetables – asparagus, artichoke, nettles, fiddlehead ferns – or with poached halibut, oven-roasted mussels, or steamed Littleneck clams.