Summer's here and so are the Wines!
The 4th of July has come and past. I would normally write something here about how amazing all these wines to follow are, but it just doesn't feel right to project the same persona when we're in the situation we're in. The sun is warm, the air is humid, the tomatoes are growing like weeds. But this isn't like any summer before it. We've been dealing with the corona virus for going on 5 months now and while we've all evolved through many stages of processing it.... but the reality of the virus hasn't really changed. It's still here, still a threat that isn't thoroughly understood, and we still need to avoid contact with other people in order to keep each other safe. It's ironic that while the virus and what we all need to do hasn't changed: it feels like everything else around that has changed. Social distancing is a lot harder when it's the height of summer and we're accustomed from past years to be seeing old friends and having summer get togethers.
It's frustrating that so much about the Pandemic is out of our individual control and progress is so slow, but that's the nature of this. Every day counts. Every day is another day where our health care system gets better at dealing with the complications of the disease, learns more about how to treat it, improves how to treat patients without exposing health care workers. Every day that we make it through without the health care system getting over whelmed, with our sanity intact, with our families safe, with our businesses as intact as possible; those are all little victories that add up.
So, uh, yeah that's what I'm going to write here. I guess I've got more processing to do myself. I should go write more op-ed pieces. Now on to the wine!
Cellario Il Barrusco
Fausto Cellario! What to say about that guy!? He's super sweet, very energetic, and just a little crazy in such a lovable way he should star in his own romantic comedy.
Juicy fun blend of Neretta, Barbaresco, and Dolcetto from Fausto Cellario! This wine is exactly what it looks like: juicy, fruity, fizzy, and absolutely delicious! It's full of life and extremely fun, just like Fausto the wine maker. Don't believe me? watch the video evidence below of how much fun this wine is.
You can find this for around $21 at Lorne, Great Cranberry General, Maine and Loire, Vessel and Vine, The Cheese Shop of Portland, Aragosta, Floods, Ada's Portland, Milk and Honey in NEH on Mount Desert
Here's a quick video of me talking about Il Barrusco
Fabien Jouves Les Agudes 2019
You're probably familiar with Fabien from previous email newsletters. He's a younger guy who quite medical school and took over his family's winery in Cahors when his parents weren't able to continue any more. He has something of a reputation of a wild guy, and when he switched everything to natural farming and fermentation the other villagers thought he was crazy. But the proof is in the wines and they're shockingly lovely and elegant! This is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, and Semllion. It sort of combines the best parts of all of them! The body and the ripeness of the aroma give away the Chardonnay, but the Sauvignons come through in a spicy aromatic aroma and the tangy zip it has on the palate. That back drop of apple blossoms is fitting because I can smell apple blossoms in the aroma. This is one of those rare wines that tastes unique, delicious, and extremely well made all at once.
You can find this lovely blend at Maine and Loire, Main St Meats, Vessel and Vine, Aragosta, Cherie's, Lily's House, The Cheese Shop of Portland, and Royal River Natural Foods for about $23
Here's video of me drinking the Fabien Jouves in the back of a box truck
Domaine Espiers is back!
I drank my last bottle of Domaine Espiers Sablet in February of 2019 as part of a seminar I taught on Southern Rhone wines. It was 2010 and it was exceptional! I had been hoarding that last bottle for years so I'm quite excited to have Philippe Cartoux represented in my portfolio again. He's an amazing farmer and his wines are examples of how to make lively beautiful wines in a hot sunny place that can naturally create too much ripeness. Here's a quick little blurb about him: Philippe Cartoux created his 9.5 ha estate in 1989. The estate is run organically “l'Agriculture Biologique.” There are 3 ha in Gigondas, 2.5 ha of Sablet and 4 ha of Cotes du Rhone. Yields are restricted through short pruning and green harvesting, 20% below the limits, and vine density is a high 5400 per ha. The resulting wines are extremely well balanced, combining great intensity of flavor with excellent aromatics and acid balance. Over the last three years he has reduced SO2 to 20-25 mg/liter on all the wines. Sablet, with great care in vinification and aging, has been reduced to 9 mg/liter.
Espiers Cotes du Rhone about $22
Grenache 70%-Syrah 20%-Mourvedre 10%, done in tank. Ver deep pure purple. Fantastic brilliant nose. All vibrant purple fruits. Excellent. Mouth is very juicy, black fruit but brilliant balance. Juicy spicy Grenache all the way! Tastes very ripe and juicy too, but I wouldn't call this heavy. There is a lot of pepper and spice! Very fun. Only 10 cases available. You can find it at Maine and Loire, Blue Hill Wine Shop, Duck Fat, Cherie's, Lorne, and Meridians
Sablet, priced about $27
80% Grenache and 20% Syrah, done in tank. Very dense purple. Fresh, juicy brilliant nose. Mouth is juicy, very, very deep with ripe, sweet tannins and grip.Meatier and denser smelling smelling than the Cotes du Rhone. Crushed black pepper, roasted cherries. It tastes firey, but lush and sleek. There's more spice and heat, tastes like intense sun and ripe fruit: lots of raspberry and blackberry. It's intense,because there's so much and the flavors are big, but it's balanced and focused. Available at Vessel and Vine, Cherie's, Maine and Loire, Lorne, Blue Hill Wine, and Vic and Whit's
T Shirt Orders are Open Through the 11th
Our payment processor shut down for about 5 days last week (they suspected our T Shirts contained alcohol). Ordering is back up, but I decided to extend the window for orders since we lost some time.
So you can still order any combo of the 4 shirts, all with art from local artists, with all profits going to the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation Covid relief fund.
Just visit www.devenishwine.com/shop to order
Shop T Shirts
Jean Aubron Sauvignon Blanc de la Loire
Jean Aubron is a producer down in Muscadet (lower Loire) who also happens to produce this stunning Sauvignon Blanc. He works sustainably and ferments with native yeast. Muscadet may be the famous wine down in this area so this has to just use the "Val de Loire" name, but for the price it's better than nearly anything else out there. I just got 15 cases in.
Oh I love ripe Sauvignon Blanc! That spicy key lime Thai basil and sun aroma gets me every time! It's got some surprising roundness and richness on the palate! There's a ripe sweet pear flavor that runs all throughout but it also has a clean stony focus and freshness. Cool proper French poise and edge! You can pick this up for about $15 at Tess Market, Meridians, Blue Hill Wine Shop, Cherie's, The Natural Living Center, Aragosta, Store Ampersand, and the Brooklin General Store.
Domaine Pepiere Muscadet
Domaine Pepiere is a legendary estate in Muscadet. Marc Ollivier founded it with 7 hectares he inherited and just slowly through his own curiosity evolved into making wines with natural yeast in individual cuvees that represented Muscadet's different terroirs. Pepiere was one of the first producers to do this and they were the first Loire wine that Louis Dressner picked up way back in 1989. Here's a link to Louis Dressner's page about them:
It's a fantastic value so I've direct imported 2 pallets of it for the summer. Pallet #1 just arrived so I opened a bottle. The aroma is lovely! There's ripe peach and pear with some briney beach on a hot day thrown in! The flavors are of white peach with a salty, zippy, midpalate. The tension of the salty ripe peach flavors here is spectacular. There's a citrus flavor that lingers along with the saltiness and draws out the very clean finish.
You can get the Pepiere for about $15 from Meridians, Tops'l Farm, Maine and Loire, Lorne, Treats, Riverside Butcher, Cherie's, Aragosta, Little Giant, Store Ampersand, Fiddlehead in Bangor, Nina June in Rockport, Sheepscot General, More and Co, Whole Foods, Uncorked, Blue Hill Wine Shop, Vessel and Vine, Best Wines, Burning Tree, Walpole Barn, In A Silent Way (Wisscassett), Oak Hill Beverage, John Edwards Market, Bow St in Freeport, and the Great Cranberry General Store.
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