It felt like this Summer took its sweet time to start and then when it finally did it went racing by. Let’s soak up these last two weeks of August with good friends, good food and of course good wine. We’ll cross our fingers, cheers our glasses and wish for a ‘local summer’ that bleeds well into October. Following are some of our favorite hits of the Summer, that in case we didn’t get a chance to share with you in the shop or at a Granor Farm dinner, we won’t let pass you by like the Summer of 2019.
P. & E. Mullins
Rosé Granit Méthode Traditionelle Brut par Franck Besson, France
We’ve enjoyed celebrating these beautiful Summer days with this sparkling 100% Gamay Rosé! This bubbly is fun and delicious. Perfect for brunch, lunch, cocktail hour, dinner and dessert, you get the point. It's fresh and lively, mingling sweet red cherries and minerals - deftly balancing sweet and sassy - finishing clean and dry. This Sparkling Rosé is from Beaujolais but as you might notice, it isn’t labeled as Beaujolais, as there is no A.O.C. designation for this sparkling category. Even more special is that the grower's vineyards are in the Cru Julienas so this is made with all Cru fruit. The vines are 40 years old, farmed organically and hand harvested. Winemaker Franck Besson specializes in Champagne style wines. He does whole cluster pressing, 6-12 hours of skin contact for this vivid bright pink you see in your glass. First fermentation is stainless steel to hold on to the beautiful aromatics and then aged in for 12 months on a riddling table, riddling by hand daily for the last 12 days before disgorgement and secondary fermentation in the bottle.
2016 Cyprus Barrel Fermented Chardonnay Russian River Valley, Sonoma County CA
This has been one of our favorite Summer whites. Bright, refreshing and beautiful to pair with a late dinner outside. Ellie’s brother Daniel Fitzgerald made this wine. We thought it’d be fun to have him share about it with you – It’s a mix of Fidelis vineyard (14 years old, steep hillside, North eastern part of Russian River Valley) and Bazzano Vineyard (38 years old, dry farmed on AXR1 rootstock in central Russian River Valley. Wine is fermented with indigenous yeast and indigenous malolactic bacteria in a combination of French oak barrels and large French oak puncheons. I have the crew barrel stir the wines weekly post primary fermentation until I feel a harmony between texture and acidity has been achieved. No fining or filtration, grapes are grown sustainably and organically. The winemaking also conforms to organic winemaking practices. We use only 20% new French oak from the forests of Vosges. I like stave wood from that forest for chardonnay as it does not impart any oaky or toasty flavors- rather it elevates the fresh citrus and apple notes that I love in chardonnay and provides a nice framework for the phenolics to balance within.
2016 Tornatore Etna Rosso Sicily, Italy
If you’ve been in the Bottle Shop this Summer, you might have noticed our crush on Sicilian wines. Although they differ in so many ways, there is a continuity with their bright acidity, silky light texture and lush structure. This blend of native Sicilian grapes, 95% Nerello Mascalese and 5% Nerello Cappuccio are grown on the Mount Etna appellation. The volcanic soil makes for very fertile terroir with great drainage, perfect for viticulture. Since 1865 this family owned estate has some of the best North-East facing vineyards. Everything is hand harvested and organically farmed. The warm days with lots of sun help grow a lush ripe fruit, the lower cool temps at night preserve the acidity keeping this wine fresh and bright.