Valentines Day Wines!
Valentines Day Wines!
Sexy Cabernet, Petnat Rose, and of course Champagne
Valentines Day Cometh!
Well, here we are 1 week away from Valentines Day! Fortuitously Devenish has received some wines that I think are perfect to impress and send the message “I think you’re hot stuff”!
Kobal Bajta Pet Nat Rose 2022
Find it at Maine and Loire, Bow Beverage, Portland Cheese Shop, Graze and Vine, Lorne, Meridians, Folk, and The Rosemont Markets.
I just wrote about this last week and here it is again! What is this?! Am I getting lazy? No, it’s just that this petnat rose is just so so good! This is 100% Blaufrankisch from Bojan’s little family vineyards in Štajerska Slovenia, close to the borders with Austria and Hungary. Bojan hand harvests, lets the grapes sit for four hours to leak juice and sort of start fermentation. Bojan watches the fermentation intensely and when the baby wine has the right amount of sugar left he bottles it. No sulfur, filtration, fining, etc because this is real petnat and you can’t add anything in that process. Bojan only makes about 450 cases of this so I snagged 28 right on release. It’s really delicious and fresh and tastes so alive!
Aroma: cranberry, some dry raspberry, some red rose and a little bit of lilac... it’s beautiful and smells sort of like fruit punch! It's ripe but dry and not too big, not too in your face. The effervescence gives it this little twist of slightly more brambly savory something to the aroma. It smells so fresh and exciting and alive!
Taste: delicious and pretty, some cranberry, some dry raspberry… it has these super fine tiny relaxed bubbles that give the wine a dryness and uplift. The mid palate has pale strawberry and also a savory dimension from a little bit of salt that’s worked in behind it. The bubbles and tannin linger on your palate and give the wine body you can sink your teeth into, but then the finish is clean and uplifting and refreshing! Juicy and fresh wild raspberry, then thanks to the bubbles the texture is so gentle and uplifting: it's a really delicious juxtaposition!
Galognano Cabernet Sauvignon
Find it at Brooklin General Store, The Rosemont Markets, Bangor Wine and Cheese, and the Blue Hill Wine Shop
We received our yearly order of wine from Erika Ciapelli back in early December and I was super excited to get her Cabernet for the first time. I opened a bottle over the weekend and was really happy by how it’s come together! The tannins have calmed down and the fruit is a little more open and relaxed. It’s a classic deep dark Cab, but the alcohol is 13.5% so it’s not too heavy. It’s lush and ripe and also made by a talented young woman wine maker. I think it’s perfect for Valentines Day!
Erika took over her family’s winery when her father passed away unexpectedly in 2014. Her grandfather had bought these 14 hectares down in Chianti Colli Senesi (the same region as Brunello and Montepulciano) and Erika had grown up here in he Val d’Elsa. The work is all organic, fermentation is with native yeast; everything is in harmony with nature which seemed to Erika like the only way to work since she had grown up here and knew the land so intimately. This Cab is grown on clay and chalk-rich soils, where it really shines. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented in cement, the wine rests in cement, and then further aging happens in the bottle.
Aroma: rich dark black cherry, blackberry, plum, dried cherry, and currant. There's a little hint of cedar cigar box…definitely some eucalyptus as well; or I suppose I should say umbrella pine since this is Tuscany we're talking about!
Taste: Rich, juicy, dark, deep and seductive but there's bright acidity up front that keeps it fresh. It's only 13.5 percent alcohol! The tannins are grippy and dry but this is Cabernet from Tuscany: what do you want!? The body is supple and perfectly offsets those tannins! I love this because it tastes very clearly like the sunny open friendly Mediterranean climate but also has classic Cabernet character in that dark lush fruit and deep body.
Andre Clouet Grand Reserve Champagne
Find it at RSVP, The Portland Cheese Shop, The Rosemont Markets, John Edwards, Bow Beverage, New Morning Natural Foods, Bleeker and Greer, Lorne, Lincolnville General, Maine and Vine, and Folk
Champagne for Valentines day? Yes please!
The Clouet family has been making wine for a very long time. So long in fact that they're not actually sure when they started! But they were the royal printers for Louis the 15th and also made Champagne for the royal court as a sideline. This is 100% Pinot Noirs (Blanc de Noirs) from the Clouet family's 20 hectares of grand cru vineyards around Bouzy. The wine has no contact with the skins, ferments at low temperatures, and then spends 48 months aging on the fine lees.
Aroma: ooh, pretty fresh orange juice and yellow peach. A little bit of brioche. Not like full-on toasted bread...more like fresh baked bread
Taste: delicious lush Champagne with fine and relaxed bubbles. It's definitely fruit driven. Lots of ripe orange across the palate with just a hint of toasted almond or vanilla like praline at the finish.
Sassara Esotico Field Blend Rose
Find it at Graze and Vine, Fog Bar, Solo Cucina, and Bow St Beverage
Sassara is a tiny new winery in the Veneto. This is the second vintage they’ve made and it is a compellingly vibrant and beautiful field blend of red and white grapes. The label is gorgeous and the wine is even better: it’s engaging and exciting, fresh clean and vibrant, also at 11% alcohol it is super thirst quenching. It’s the kind of wine I personaly would want for Valentines day.
Aroma: Pink grapefruit, watermelon, a touch of pineapple, some light raspberry but it's more like raspberry gelato. There's a hint of something sort of aromatically spicy too- it makes me think of Italian pines in the sun.
Taste: watermelon and a little bit of pink grapefruit followed up by a delicious mid palate that's got some meaty watermelon and tart cherry along with underpinning tasty salt. The finish has some more watermelon and a hint of cranberry... This has perfect balance and it's thirst quenching, clean, and that underlying salt is so so good. It's 11% alcohol and I think that really helps the balance. The fruit is perfectly ripe without being too much or having any vegetal qualities: they must have timed the harvest exactly right.
Vini Sassara is a little estate of fourteen hectares nestled in the hills of Valeggio sul Mincio in the Veneto. This is classic wine making central in the Veneto, just south of Lake Garda, close to the town of Custoza and at the southern end of the Bardolino DOC. Bardolino and Bianco di Custoza are old established wine making regions that have been DOCs for a long time, but most of the wine produced here is through industrial grape growing and manipulated wine making. Don't let the pretty labels fool you, against that background Sassara is subversive and revolutionary!
Alessia Bertaiola and her husband, Stefano, a 3rd generation winemaker whose family have owned these vineyards on the hill of Monte Mamaor for more than 50 years. They took over the property in 2007, and with Alessia's strong background in agricultural research and development, quickly converted each plot to biodynamic farming. 10 hectares are planted to vines and the other 4 are left wild for biodiversity. They have been making certified organic wine since 07, but at first they weren't sure what to do beyond that. They just recently jumped into producing more full on natural expressions of their terroir after meeting and being inspired by the likes of Danillo Marcucci and others. These are their first releases of the new wines!field blend of It's 30% red grapes (Corvina, Rossanella, Rondinella, Molinara) and 70% white grapes (Fernanda, Moscato, Trebbianello, Trebbiano, Garganega, Tocai), all from old vines. Hand harvested and spontaneously co-fermented with 10 days of skin maceration and without temperature control. Aged in stainless steel. No filtering or fining and no added sulfur. hand harvested on the early side, skin macerated for 10 days, and aged in stainless steel. I have to say: I liked the 2020, but this 2021 is a big step forward for Sassara. I'm genuinely shocked how delicious this is.
Noella Morantin La Boudinerie Gamay 2020
Find it at Maine and Loire, The Rosemont Markets, Perks Beer and Bev, and the Warren Wine Shop
Here’s a rare beautiful bewitching Gamay from a woman who’s a cult wine making star in the Loire! With a heart on the label!
A random encounter with a professor of viticulture peeked Noella's curiosity about wine making. She started learning, tasting, visiting and eventually quite her job to enroll in a wine making program. After an internship with Agnes and Rene Mosse she connected with Junko Arai and eventually was hired to oversee his estate. Junko was working land previously owned by the legendary Clos Roche Blanches winery and through this Noella met Catherine and Didier of Clos Roche Blanches. They decided to downsize and Noella started making wine on her own when she rented some of those storied vineyards. In the end Catherine and Didier sold off their vineyards and Noella had to find new vineyards to work, but she did and now owns 6 hectares in total.
Boudinerie is the name of the farm Noella lives on and that houses her winery. This is Gamay from 30 year old vines growing in sandy soil over limestone. She farms organically, hand harvests, and the wine ferments naturally with whole clusters in 400L old oak casks. She ages it for a little over a year and bottles it with just a bit of sulfur added.
Aroma: mmm, if you are familiar with Gamay you'll definitely recognize it in these classic dark musky brambly aromas. There's lots of raspberry jam and a little hint of wintergreen. The stems of the whole cluster fermentation come through in that brambley quality. I love this aroma: it smells a bit brooding and mysterious in that dark smokey way, but it's so lively and inviting and fruity at the same time.
Taste: fun but juicy and kind of jammy. It has playful raspberry fruit upfront that's fresh with nice acidity but also jammy and ripe all at once. There's spice on the midpalate; it's a little peppery and woodsy with some nice salt. The finish lingers but the tannins are retiring and stay in the background: super fun!
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