Domaine de la Fruitiere Folle Blanche ($14.99)
From the producer:
Famille Lieubeau farms over 40 hectares of vines and produces both Muscadet Sèvre et Maine and Vin de Pays from grapes such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Regardless of the varietal, the vines are planted on rock, and in most cases, sheer cliffs of rock through which the roots have to bury for meters for any hydric source. The vines, and the wines, are fed by water that is awash in wet rock. It’s not a big shock that the wines smell and taste more like rock and minerals than fruit or flowers. Combine this with the cold Atlantic breezes and you’ve got an amazing cool climate, high cut, precise bottle of white wine.
The Lieubeau family takes great care to vinify the wines according to exposition, density of granite, and harvest date. Farming for their Folle Blanche, Chardonnay and Sauvignon is certified by Terra Vitis and all of their Melon is now certified organic by Agriculture Biologique. They keep yields as low as possible to produce wines that express the varietal character and terroir – not just acid. These are delicious, vibrant wines that are easily among the best values in the portfolio.
Folle Blanche, or Gros Plant as it is know in the Muscadet, originated in Gascony and traveled its way up the Atlantic coast of France centuries ago. High in acid and with a tendency for high yields, it has been declining in recent years but retains its own AOC - Gros Plant de Nantais. Famille Lieubeau makes a particularly tasty version from 50 year old vines near the village of Clisson."
This wine is so unusual, both because it's a little-known varietal, and because its flavor profile includes a mild saline minerality. Beyond that, there are citrus notes and a very light effervescence due to the immediate bottling after fermentation. This is one of my new favorites.
Château de Landiras Graves 2014 ($21.99)
From the producer:
"Located in the heart of Graves and built on the site of a 12th century fortress, Château de Landiras produces classic red Bordeaux of aromatic concentration and elegant structure.
Owner Michel Pélissié has a keen sense of good food and good wine given his Périgord roots. Now retired from the architecture industry, Michel is realizing his dream of reviving an old estate and making excellent wines. The vineyards are sustainably cultivated (without pesticides or additional chemicals) on predominantly white gravel soils that Graves is known for. Fermentation is conducted via small temperature-controlled cement tanks — the small vats allow for vinification of separate parcels and thus preservation of the terroirs of the château. After the assemblage is made the wines are aged in French oak barrels for 12 months.
Grape variety : 75% Merlot 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
- In French oak barrels 12 months, to complicate the aromatic palette and round the structure.
- In tank to preserve the aromas of the fruit.
Tasting : A Grave, which will seduce you with its aromatic velvety and its olfactory power revealing shades of mocha and black cherries mixed with warm spices.
Food and wine harmony: Red meats, white meats, charcuterie platter, cooked pressed cheeses.
Aging : 4 to 7 years"
A fine and approachable Left Bank Bordeaux that represents excellent value for money, this is drinking just about at peak, so now is the time to buy!