December Newsletter: Gifting Made Easy, Pre-Arrival 2010 Clape

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NOT TO MISS FROM
THE SOUTH OF FRANCE

by Anthony Lynch

2011 JURANÇON SEC • DOMAINE BRU-BACHÉ

When I first tasted this white from the foothills of the Pyrenees, my eyes immediately lit up. Zesty citrus notes burst across my palate as if I had just squeezed a fresh lemon into my mouth. The attack of crispy mineral and fruit flavors soon gave way to richer notes of ripe citrus. I swallowed, refreshed and in awe, left only with an almondy finish, like the bittersweet smell of an ex-lover’s perfume. The next thing I knew, I was underwater collecting sea creatures for a platter of fruits de mer. A second glass of Jurançon washed away all thoughts of my ex. In other words, this dry white can fire up one’s imagination.

$17.95 per bottle $193.86 per case

2011 BANDOL BLANC
DOMAINE DE LA TOUR DU BON

Bandol is not known for its whites. However, I believe all colors are created equal, and La Tour du Bon’s white is Exhibit A. Clairette and Ugni blanc are joined by the same Rolle (a.k.a. Vermentino) that creates such fresh whites in Corsica and coastal Italy. The result? A rich, opulent dry white—reflective of the sun-drenched Southern climate—that is balanced by a refreshing core that keeps the wine interesting sip after sip, swallow after swallow.

$32.00 per bottle $345.60 per case

2011 LE PIGEOULET ROUGE
VIGNOBLES BRUNIER

For fans of southern Rhône reds, Daniel Brunier is practically a household name. His majestic Châteauneufs from Vieux Télégraphe and his collaboration with my father to make Les Pallières’ noble Gigondas make him a legend for lovers of Grenache, Syrah, and the other usual suspects. Finally, we have a Brunier wine that is at its very best before ten, twenty, even thirty years of aging. You’ll appreciate that Le Pigeoulet tastes like a more expensive wine and is a perfect candidate to be your latest everyday red.

$18.95 per bottle $204.66 per case

2011 VIN DE PAYS DE L’ÎLE DE BEAUTÉ ROUGE
DOMAINE DE GIOIELLI

KLWM has become the specialist for Corsican wines over the decades, and this red from the northern cap of the island illustrates the reason why. Fermented in stainless-steel tanks to ensure a supple mouthfeel, this red from Michel Angeli is a true reflection of its place of origin. The nose is saturated with wild berries and, of course, the ever-present maquis. It is the perfect companion to cuisine featuring Mediterranean herbs, but just being thirsty will suffice. The staff agrees: it’s a knockout!

$36.00 per bottle $388.80 per case

2010 GIGONDAS • DOMAINE DE DURBAN

Who says Gigondas needs to age years and years before it can be drunk? Who says it needs to cost over a hundred dollars? Well, I don’t know about you, but I want to drink Gigondas now, and spend no more than . . . twenty-seven dollars. Top that! And you’ll revel in those typical dense tannins, dark fruits, and earthy spices that make Gigondas one of the southern Rhône’s top crus. Durban’s 2010 is perfectly balanced, and it will reward you right now as much as it will in the long run.

$27.00 per bottle $291.60 per case

SAVOIE’S UNIQUE WHITES

by Anthony Lynch

Gazing up at the Quenards’ vineyards above Chignin, one wonders how they manage to cultivate vines there—or cultivate anything, for that matter. “Soil” is not the appropriate word to describe the steeply inclined mountain rocks into which the vines’ roots must penetrate in search of nutrients. This is pure limestone, and the vineyards are planted in places where landslides have left rocky debris scattered about the precipitous slopes. The Quenards, a three-generation team made up of André, Michel, and the youngest, Guillaume, farm sixty acres in Chignin, situated equidistant from Lyon to the west and Mont Blanc to the east. While they produce a variety of wines—white and red, still and sparkling, simple and complex—the common point with all is the presence of delicate aromatics and a beautiful minerality: the product of hard work and old vines in an exceptional terroir.

2011 CHIGNIN “VIEILLES VIGNES”

Imagine lying down in a meadow high in the Alps on a sunny day. A fresh breeze blows over your head, carrying with it the delicate scents of white and yellow wildflowers. The joyous sound of birds singing is complemented by the comforting trickle of a crystal-clear alpine creek. It may be impossible to reproduce the feeling, but a glass of Chignin works pretty well. In this special cuvée, seventy-year-old Jacquère vines bring depth and minerality to what is rarely more than a simple thirst quencher. Drink it with a baked filet of fish, or pour it by itself to enjoy the subtle aromas of pit fruits and to be invigorated by its refreshing acidity.

$19.95 per bottle $215.46 per case

2011 CHIGNIN-BERGERON

Bergeron may be the same grape as what most people know as Roussanne, but the Bergeron of Savoie bears very little resemblance to the Roussanne of the Rhône. For starters, Roussanne is never referred to as an “aromatic” varietal. One whiff of this beauty, however, will be enough to convince you otherwise. The Quenards’ Bergeron is a masterpiece featuring ripe peach, apricot, and white flowers, packaged in the most elegant format conceivable. The deliciousness lingers until you reach for your glass and take another sip.

$26.00 per bottle $280.80 per case

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