H. Blin Champagne Brut Tradition ($43.99)
From the producer:
"Champagne H. BLIN is a union of vintner (Vincelles Cooperative) founded in 1947 by Henri BLIN and 28 other growers.
Located in Vincelles in Marne Valley (25 minutes west of Epernay and Reims), Champagne H. BLIN is known for its cuvees with a strong identity, crafted to express their unique character. These wines are based around the historic local grape variety, Pinot Meunier.
Our 110 hectares of vines, planted around Vincelles, are predominantly Pinot Meunier (70%), but we also grow Chardonnay (16%) and Pinot Noir (14%).
The Blend : 70% Meunier – 20% Chardonnay – 10% Pinot Noir
Ageing : 24 months minimum
Visual : A golden colour. Fine bubbles.
On the nose : Aromas of peach and apricot.
On the palate: : Rich and generous, the stone fruit aromas persist with freshness and balance."
Poderi Vaiot Arneis "Franco" ($17.99)
From the producer:
"Typical Piedmontese white wine, highly structured and pronounced.
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.
Our vineyards are proof of the environmental commitment that my brother Walter and I have at heart: here the grapes grow luxuriantly, among healthy rows surrounded by the wild herbs of the Roero.
Savory, Tansy, Chicory … many plants that grow on our lands, witnesses to the health and well-being of the soil.
All the treatments carried out in the vineyard are followed with the utmost care and attention. Most of the work is done manually in order to preserve the natural biodiversity of these lands."
Casale del Giglio Petit Verdot ($24.99)
From the producer:
"As a child and young teenager the fields and lanes of the family estate, Casale del Giglio, were nothing more to Antonio Santarelli than a place where he could spend carefree weekends and indulge his budding passion for motorbike riding; but all that changed when he joined his father Dino in the family business. By then, a shrewd twenty-five year old, he knew instinctively that their unconventional land in the Agro Pontino valley, some 50 kms south of Rome, offered a unique opportunity to attempt something no one had ever attempted before.
The total lack of any vine growing tradition in the area meant that Antonio and his father could give free rein to their pioneering ideas. Some of the most famous ampelographers and university researchers of the day were convinced by these ideas and were inspired to join them in a research project which was launched in 1985 with the planting of close to 60 different experimental vines in Casale del Giglio’s soil.
100% very ripe Petit Verdot grapes.
During vinification both the ‘submerged cap’ technique and that of ‘punching down’ are adopted; the first is aimed principally at extracting the grape’s softer tannins, the second, its strong colour. Submerged cap fermentation extends over 15 days at a temperature which ranges from 26-28°C. This is followed by ‘délestage’ (rack and return) to further soften the tannins and stabilize the colour. After the new wine has been racked, a part of it undergoes malolactic fermentation in stainless steel, another part in wood. Once blended, the new wine spends from 8-12 months ‘in barrique’ and a further 6 in the bottle before leaving the winery.
This deep crimson wine displays an intense, lingering aroma of red berry fruit, cherry, myrtle and juniper. Elegant and full-bodied, with rich velvety tannins, the wine presents a spicy, white peppery finish."