I love Loire Valley Cab Franc. Our wine cellar is full of bottles both young and old and you are likely to enjoy a glass (or three) if you hang out at our house for any amount of time. One of my favorite values from the region is Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil “Trinch!”. Each and every vintage, I feel like I can rely on getting a delicious, pure Cab Franc.
I recently uncorked the 2015 vintage of “Trinch!” for the first time and was once again drawn in by its pureness and honesty. The nose offers up aromas of dark fruit with hints of smoke. The palate is fresh and light showing off bright blueberries & strawberries that mingle with herbal nuances. Vibrant acidity and super easy to drink. Serve with a slight chill and watch it disappear quickly!
The more wine I drink, the more challenging it becomes to find a delicious, well-made wine at a great price. Vintage after vintage, Les Heretiques Pays d’Herault is a wine that is interesting and made with integrity. This vintage is a blend of 90% old vine Carignan and 10% Syrah made in the Languedoc-Rousillon region of France. It is relatively easy to find in boutique wine shops and retails at a staggeringly low price of $11.
Les Heretiques Pays d’Herault awakens your palate with fresh flavors of berries, plums, and violets. It is well-balanced and with a relatively long finish. The most striking thing about this wine is its powerful minerality; it is not a characteristic that would normally be found in a wine at this price point. Such a great value…I think I will pour myself a glass now!
Since moving to the Bay Area, old wine has become much more accessible. When Brandon and I venture into San Francisco, we try to swing by wine shops that have a nice selection of old wines (especially ones that aren’t too much of a burden on the wallet). One of the latest old wines we have fallen in love with is Moulin Touchais.
Moulin Touchais was founded in 1787 and is known for producing a late harvest Chenin Blanc that is aged for a minimum of 10 years. The 1981 vintage has aged beautifully over the last 35 years. The enamoring, copper-colored wine offers up aromas of citrus, honey, and spice. The palate is medium-bodied with tastes of grapefruit, honey, citrus rind, and caramel. It still has a solid backbone of acid and is a pleasure to drink! I can’t wait to explore more vintages!
I was cruising the aisles of Whole Foods looking for an inexpensive wine to pair with burgers and was pleasantly surprised to see a bottle of Château Coupe Roses La Bastide Minervois on the shelf for $14. I have uncorked many bottles of this blend of old-vine Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah in the past and was pretty impressed with the QPR. The wine hails from the Languedoc region of France and the family-run winery adheres to minimalist winemaking philosophies.
This is a fun and funky wine. Fresh tastes of plum, dark berries, tar, and anise are surrounded by earthiness and bright acid. Not too complicated yet far more satisfying than a lot of other wines in the same price range. Perfect for grilling and just light enough for warm, summer nights! (13% alcohol)
Today is the first Tuesday Night Farmers’ Market of the season in Sonoma and I cannot wait to go. The whole community comes together in Sonoma Square to enjoy wine and food while listening to live music. Rosé is a mainstay in our cooler and we are kicking off the first farmers’ market celebration with a bottle of Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières Gris de Gris Rosé. It is a blend of 50% Grenache Gris, 20% Grenache Noir, 20% Carignan, 5% Cinsault, and 5% Mourvèdre from the Corbières appellation in the Languedoc region of France. The wine is made with minimal intervention in the winemaking process and is imported by Kermit Lynch. It is a Rosé I come back to vintage after vintage and it never seems to disappoint!
The 2015 vintage of Domaine de Fontsainte Corbières Gris de Gris Rosé pours a beautiful salmon color in the glass. The wine has aromas of red berries with hints of citrus. The palate is vibrant and juicy with tastes of strawberries, cherries, and tart cranberries. A fun and refreshing Rosé that we will undoubtedly be enjoying throughout the farmers’ market season! (For all of you fellow Sonomans, Whole Foods Market in Sonoma sells this bottle chilled and ready to sip)
There are some “go-to” wines that you can almost always find in our house and among those wines is Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois. Marcel Lapierre was a genius winemaker and his legacy still carries on through his family and the wine they produce. His Raisins Gaulois is 100% Gamay from Beaujolais and is made without any addition of S02. This natural wine is made with indigenous yeasts and bottled unfiltered.
The wine pours a cloudy, ruby color in the glass and opens with aromas of bright, red fruit. The palate is filled with juicy tastes of red cherries, cranberries, and red currants with hints of earth and minerals. It displays such purity that each glass is hard to put down. I seriously love this wine and think it’s incredibly hard to find a better Gamay for under $15. Best served slightly chilled! (12.5% alcohol, $14)
I have been on a Gamay kick lately. I am uncorking bottles that are young and fresh along with bottles that are more serious and Burgundy-like and have been mesmerized by both. Last weekend, I picked up a bottle of Le Telquel because it caught my eye (yes, it’s Gamay but I am pretty sure the cute dog on the label may have also swayed my decision). Le Telquel comes from the Loire Valley in France and is imported by Louis/Dressner Selections. It is made by Thierry Puzelat, who makes his wine with as little intervention as possible. Something about this Gamay just did it for me…
Le Telquel is a simple wine yet the purity is complex. The aromas are intriguing and the palate is musky, bright, and fresh. There are tastes of juicy red berries and spice that are entwined with racy acidity. Pure and unadulterated. This Gamay is definitely heading to the top of the list of my personal favorite wines for under $20! Serve slightly chilled and allow time to decant. (12.5% alcohol, $17)
Although I don’t believe that Rosé is only for warm weather, I definitely start drinking more of it this time of year. Last week, I uncorked a new vintage of one of my everyday favorites for the first time; Domaine Fontsainte “Gris de Gris” Corbières Rosé. It is a blend of Grenache Gris, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Carignan, and Cinsault from the Corbières appellation in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.
The wine pours a bright salmon color in the glass and has soft aromas of strawberries and cherries. The palate offers fresh flavors of strawberries and cranberries that mingle with traces of minerality. There is also healthy acidity and a refreshing finish. When I think of a beautiful yet affordable wine to sip by the pool, I think Domaine Fontsainte “Gris de Gris” Corbières Rosé! (12.5% alcohol, $14)
A delicious Red Burgundy for under $30…is that even possible? I found out it is indeed possible after uncorking a bottle of Domaine Les Faverelles “Le Nez de Muse” Bourgogne. Domaine Les Faverelles is a small, 15 acre winery located in the village of Vézelay. The vineyard is farmed organically and biodynamically and all of their wines are made with indigenous yeasts. The “Le Nez de Muse” Bourgogne is aged in oak casks and is bottled unfiltered.
This Burgundy, which pours a brilliant cranberry color in the glass, opens with aromatics of red fruit and pepper. The wine is graceful and delicate on the palate. There are notes of ripe strawberries along with lively acidity. There is also a youthfulness that is fresh and pure. The wine actually reminded me a lot of Gamay in style and in taste. Absolutely stunning for the price…I wish I had more bottles to enjoy! (11% alcohol, $22)
Champagne Jacquart has a rich history dating back to 1964. For over 50 years, they have worked with winegrowers throughout the region to produce excellent wines. Today, Champagne Jacquart is home to 1,800 vineyards in the Champagne region with 60% of the vines located in Cru sites. Their current winemaker, Floriane Eznack, joined the winery in 2011 and she is the force behind Champagne Jacquart’s signature blends.
I recently had the chance to try both the Brut Mosaique and Brut Rosé. I was not familiar with the brand before and can honestly say I am really impressed with both Champagnes. Both are terrific wines and incredible values.
NV Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique
The Brut Mosaique, a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, begins with aromas of almond and citrus with hints of yeast. The palate is refined with delicate bubbles and bright acidity. There are tastes of orange blossom and grapefruit entwined with nuttiness and minerals. A delightful Champagne that is hard to beat for under $40.
($39.99. 12.5% alcohol)
NV Champagne Jacquart Brut Rosé
The Brut Rosé is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir vinified as red wine grapes. The wine opens with bright aromas of red berries. The vibrant palate offers tastes of strawberries, red currants, freshly baked bread, and minerals followed with a dry, lengthy finish. We paired it with goat cheese and it went together wonderfully.