Friday Sips


FRIDAY SIPS
Rhone Villages: Visan & Ventoux plus a Champagne Special
Today August 11 from 1:30 - 6:30
Chateauneuf, Gigondas and Vacqueyras certainly don’t have the monopoly on delicious wines from the Southern Rhone Valley. Drop by this Friday as we explore wines from two excellent producers in Visan and the Ventoux...plus a bubbly that we have on special!


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2015 DOMAINE LA FLORANE VISAN
COTES-DU-RHONE VILLAGES 'FLORESCENS'
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Rhone wine enthusiasts take note! So, maybe you have not heard of Visan yet. If that’s the case then Domaine La Florane certainly isn’t in your repertoire either. What this all means is that you SHOULD get to know this area, its wines as well as Domaine La Florane, one of the Rhone’s most exciting. Visan was a papal enclave in the 14th century and is a small-enclosed section of the Vaucluse bordered by the Drome, which essentially begins the Northern Rhone. Cotes-du-Rhone Village Visan status was gained in 1966 to separate its special quality from generic Cotes-du-Rhone. Founded in 1982 by Francois Fabre, Domaine La Florane is in the capable, brilliant hands of Adrien Fabre who happens to be married to Claire Michel, Vieux Donjon winemaker and daughter of the legendary Lucien Michel and when all combined makes for Rhone Royalty. When I was in France in late May, some wine friends and I consumed a bottle of this in Cairanne at a restaurant called Coteaux & Fourchettes and were very impressed. When I returned home, found access to it and voila, here we are!

The flagship of the estate, the Florescens cuvee conveys Visan’s locale, clay and red rocky soils very well. Remember this location is the northernmost of the Southern portion of the Rhone Valley so finesse and sensuality rule the day over sheer power. Do not be suckered into thinking this is light and easy, there is ample concentration and depth. 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah and aged in 600-liter barrels, this wine is a refined beauty with plenty of spine and attitude. A nose of lavender, thyme, hot rocks, blackberry, black licorice and pronounced rosemary notes leads into a classic yet clean texture that has generous kirsch and blueberry flavors yet maintains its lively aspects. Vintage 2015 brought about depth and class, especially on the brilliantly focused and expansive finish. Enjoy this wine now over the next decade with hearty meals such as grilled rack of lamb.



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2015 DOMAINE LA FLORANE VISAN
COTES-DU-RHONE VILLAGES 'TERRE POUPRE'
$24.99 BTL./$299.88 CASE

The one thing that I have gathered about Adrien Fabre’s wines is that underneath the impressive cores of fruit, there is always a cool minerality to them. Terre Poupre, literally meaning purple earth is a masterpiece of a wine and let’s face it, if it were in Chateauneuf would be at least double, if not triple the price.

70% Grenache with varying amounts of Syrah and Mourvedre the 2015 Terre Poupre is packed with herbs (sage, rosemary and peppermint), violet, licorice, smoke and strawberry. Plenty of complexity and character on both the exquisite nose and engaging, lacy but impactful without being heavy palate. Lots of sophistication and dimension, this wine is very likable now and will develop very well indeed. Enjoy this over the next 10-15 years.



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2016 CHATEAU PESQUIE VENTOUX BLANC
'LES TERRASSES'
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

I am calling this wine Ventoux Blanc because I can. Unfortunately, brothers Fred and Alex Chaudiere and their parents are not able to even though this wine is fully from their vineyards at the foothills of Mont Ventoux. Some archaic, bureaucratic ruling due to a certain amount of Viognier has this wine relegated to a quote ‘lesser status’ but once you taste it, you see that it is the real deal. The ongoing petition to allow wines as such to be included is now in its ninth year and eventually producers like this will always win out over the evil, cooperative, corporate menace that still has such a heavy hand in this region.

Along with producers like Saint-Jean de Barroux and Fondreche, Chateau Pesquie is one of the leaders when it comes to exploring Ventoux’s many microclimates and diversity of soil. We have been using the red and rose wines from this estate for almost 20 years and having recently tasted this zingy white, we absolutely had to pour it for you all! 70% Viognier (AOC sez no more than 50%) 15% Roussanne, 15% Clairette and aged entirely in stainless steel tanks along with no use of malo-lactic fermentation to preserve its alluring freshness. Subtle rose tones, this possesses more of the orange/ginger aspects as well as a mineral current that is prominent in this area of Ventoux that is surprisingly cooler than its other Rhone brethren. Direct flavors; ample lemon-lime briskness rides on top of subtle spices and follows through to a nervy finish that has sneaky exotic fruit and excellent persistence. A real steal for the price! Great to pass around as an aperitif, it will pair nicely with grilled vegetables (asparagus) and lighter fish dishes, maybe with a kiss of spice.



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CHAMPAGNE PIOLLOT BRUT
CUVEE DE RESERVE
[reg. $42.99]
SPECIAL - $27.99 BTL./$167.94 - SIX PK

A smashing special and we are thrilled to be able to open it for you this afternoon! Champagne Piollot based in the Aube is one of the excellent emerging growers of this southern portion of Champagne whose soils are the same as Chablis.

70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, this wine has an abundance of youthful exuberance. An assault rifle with a bouquet of flowers in the barrel, Sensuous, friendly and utterly likeable in a plucky sort of way. Full bubbles, pure apple fruit with lemon, subtle toastiness and a marine like minerality associated with the Aube. Pleasurable and lingering in the mouth, this is a great way to kick off a great meal, toast the eclipse at 9 AM or have with shellfish. If you are a Champagne fiend as we are, get in on this deal, because it is doubtful that we will ever sell it at this price again and we only have seven six packs to work with.






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