Vignoble Francois Boyer Costières de Nîmes Rosé ($13.99)
Rhône Valley, France
From the producer:
"The origins of this estate can be traced back to the 13th Century, when the Cistercian monks of the Franquevaux Abbey discovered this ideal terroir in the French countryside and proceeded to clear the forest for planting vines and olive trees.
Francois Boyer and his sister Fanny represent the 4th generation of their family to run the winery and the vineyards, continuing the family tradition of making high quality wines and growing of the legacy of this great estate.
In 2009, François began converting the 51 Ha vineyard to organic farming. They are a certified organic estate dedicated to preserving the beauty and health of this unique terroir. They also use vegan winemaking practices and minimal sulfur in producing the wines.
60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Cinsault
Clear pale pink in color with a fine nose of peach, raspberries, red currants and pomelo. Lively and full on the palate with aromas of fresh red berries.
Refreshing and expressive with a clean finish."
This wine is more complex than many of the Provençal wines that have a similar blend of grapes and light pink hue, and it has a really elegant mouthfeel with a crisp finish. Light, but with a solid flavor profile that makes this less of a porch-pounder and more of a "sipper with a light meal." It straddles the seasons, so enjoy it through the fall and into the holidays.
Poderi Vaiot "Franco" Arneis ($17.99)
From the producer:
"In 2001 after years of learning the family secrets from their father, Franco, Daniele and Walter Casetta began forging their own path in the wine world using their father’s vision as a guide. By studying, experimenting and combining passion with innovation, they have found a unique and distinctive style.
The vineyards and hills of the Roero where Poderi Vaiot is located stretch out as far as the eye can see, alternating with picturesque ravines, castles and old villages. This historic region of Piedmont straddles the provinces of Cuneo, Asti and Torino, and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014.
The history of this area is inextricably linked to the important role played in its past by its namesake, the House of Roero, a noble family renowned as early as the XII century for its enterprise and power. The twenty-four small towns and villages which compose the region have remained almost unchanged and continue to live side-by-side, just as they did under the Roero family centuries ago.
Safeguarding this historic land and environment is important to Poderi Vaiot, where winegrowing traditions have always sought to establish equilibrium between man and nature. Treatments in the vineyard are limited as much as possible and carried out with the utmost care and attention. Most of the work is done by hand to preserve the land’s natural biodiversity. Many wild herbs grow in Poderi Vaiot’s estate vineyards. They are beneficial to the ecosystem and to health, and the intention is to protect them, rediscovering their uses and properties.
Fresh and delicate with fragrant chamomile and white peach on the nose. The palate follows through with flavors of lemon curd and pear balanced by vibrant acidity.
Grapes: 100% Arneis
Fermentation: Spontaneous fermentation with ambient yeasts in stainless steel tanks
Aging: 6 months on the lees in stainless steel and 2 months in bottle
Production: 30,000 bottles per year
Appearance: deep straw yellow with green hues.
Nose: fresh, delicate and tempting with a well-balanced fragrance of chamomile and white flesh fruit, an indelible remembrance of this kind of grape.
Palate: smooth and pronounced, slightly sharp for a fresh and lingering wine.
Gastronomic matching: it is excellent with the typical Piedmontese starters, cooked with white meat too. However, it also accompanies fish and first dishes, prepared with vegetable sauces, very well."
Arneis is the Italian white that i never knew I needed until I tasted it. This is one of several indigenous wines that I introduced to the store this season, and I hope that you love it as much as I do. It's both elegant and refreshing, fruity and floral.
Jean-Louis la Grande Réserve Côtes du Rhône ($13.99)
Rhône Valley, France
From the distributor:
"This wine is the creation of Jean Louis Canto, owner of the great Châteauneuf-du-Pape estate Domaine de la Roncière. Jean-Louis produces this “Grande Réserve” from Plan-de-Dieu, a region which now covers an area of 1,500 hectares at an altitude of 100 meters. The vines grow on a bed of red clay packed to a depth of 10 metres with a mass of smooth-rolled pebbles. Given this stony foundation, the skimpy soils yield little: some barely have enough grapes to produce one bottle of wine per vinestock. The wines are all reds, made from three of the Côtes du Rhône’s leading grape varieties: Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. From this soil, they produce wines that are high in color, dense and concentrated. The nose is reminiscent of the surrounding garrigue, with scents of thyme and bay laurel.
Juicy yet structured Côtes du Rhône displaying aromas of red berries and black fruit, hints of earthy undertones and fine tannins. This wine will seduce your senses and bring a touch of elegance to hors d’œuvres, pork and roasted meats.
Grapes: 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvèdre
Fermentation: 60% whole cluster, 40% destemmed in concrete for 18 days Aging: 12 months in concrete vats"
This wine represents excellent value for money. Round, deep, and rich, it rolls smoothly over the palate. The balance of fruit, earth, and tannins is executed with the kind of artistry one would expect of a seasoned crafter of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This is my go-to, mid-level Côtes du Rhône.
Tenute Rubino Salento Rosso Oltreme Susumaniello ($16.99)
From the producer:
"Susumaniello, the most typical variety of the Brindisi area, in purity. It matures only in stainless steel vats allowing the primary flavours to fully express themselves. It enchants with simplicity through its fruity and spicy flavours.
Colour: Intense ruby red with purple tinges.
Bouquet: Fragrant fresh notes of red fruit: cherries, pomegranate, raspberries and mature plums.
Taste: Sapid, mineral and round, with pleasantly soft tannins.
Characteristics: A balanced and velvety wine, with an elegant texture; its harmony and persistence are truly enchanting. Its varietal notes stand out clearly.
Food matches: It goes well with savoury dishes such as stuffed aubergines and peppers, orecchiette with tomato sauce, risotto with porcini mushrooms. It pairs well with cold cuts, semi-cured cheeses and grilled meats."
As many of you already know, this is one of my favorite wines in the shop. Southern Italian wines are really up my alley; I love the full body, the rusticity, the ripeness, the earthiness, and the boldness. Susumaniello has become one of my favorite grapes, and I love that it is indigenous to the area where this wine is made. This is a must-try.
Tenute Rubino Torre Testa Susumaniello ($47.99)
From the producer:
"Susumaniello is the grape variety which best identifies Tenute Rubino. Black grape variety of Dalmatian origin, it is named after its abundant production in the early years. This important productivity strongly decreases harvest by harvest, down to an average of less than one kilo per plant.
This is why Susumaniello was slowly abandoned by the local vintners, since the main productive philosophy was to maximise the total production. Tenute Rubino grows Susumaniello in the Jaddico estate. The vines are the outcome of an accurate selection made on a wide collection of very old plants (75 years old) espalier-trained. The limestone terrain of the estate contains a large amount of sand which allows vigorous root growth. The project kicks off in the year 2000 with the appearance on the market of Torre Testa, the first Susumaniello in purity. A red wine that remains to this day the emblem of Tenute Rubino. Just few years after its birth, Torre Testa is already considered one of the pearls of Apulian oenology.
CLASSIFICATION Red · IGT Salento
GRAPE VARIETY Susumaniello
ALCOHOL LEVEL 15,5% vol.
ALTITUDE OF VINEYARDS Sea level
SOIL CHARACTERISTICS Sandy
HARVEST Manual, first [week] of October, with subsequent drying for 2-3 weeks.
MACERATION 16 days at controlled temperature
MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION Totally carried out
AGEING 5-6 months in steel tanks; minimum 12 months
in French oak barrique; 12 months in the bottle
PRODUCTION VINTAGE 12.000 bottles
COLOUR Dark garnet red with violet reflections
BOUQUET Clear, elegant, ethereal and complex notes of black cherries and plums in brandy, blackcurrant and blackberry jam, hints of chocolate, juniper, nutmeg, liquorice, cinnamon and ink.
TASTE Classy and harmonious, intense with a long finish, the result of strong and fragrant fruit, powerful acidity and incomparable fine tannins, noble and defined.
CHARACTERISTICS It’s a real gift from Puglia, a rare and precious wine, a milestone of the Italian oenology, firm and gentle, aristocratic and generous.
FOOD MATCHES It needs structured dishes such as pappardelle with meat sauce, grilled or roasted meat. Very good the match with seasoned cheeses such as Canestrato Pugliese DOP."
I've had my eye on this wine for two years, and just decided to introduce it to the shop. Oltreme has done so well, and so many customers have now experienced Susumaniello, that I thought it was time to take you to the next level. This is it. This represents an ideal of southern Italian winemaking, and a commitment to honoring the traditions of viticulture in Salento. This is also an excellent example of how an IGT wine can compare to a DOCG one in terms of quality. You must try this wine!