I don’t know about you, but this year has felt like a blur. It’s been hard to define time these last 20+ months. Upon reflection, I’m often unsure if it happened this year or last year, but as we all know a great bottle can at least for a moment make time stand still. It can allow for a touchstone or brief oasis. To celebrate the moments before they pass by, we say, open that bottle, cheers each other and recognize how lucky we all are. Time is fleeting, but moments are worth celebrating. Happy holidays to you and yours! Thank you for being a part of what we do here in this little corner of Michigan and may you have a happy and healthy New Year!
P. & E. Mullins
2020 Terrevive San Vincent Rosato Frizzante
Located in the village of Gargallo di Carpi near Modena lies biodynamic Terrevive farm. Founded in 2008 Terrevive is not only a winery, creating “pure living wine” but also it is an educational farm that grows a variety of produce and raises animals which allows for biodiversity, sustainability, and agronomic technique. To create a more sustainable global community with education, Terrevive also participates in Wwoof (Worldwide Organization on Organic Farms). Wwoof is a non-for-profit organization that connects people with farms to promote cultural exchange and education. Pat and I were fortunate enough to be “Wwoofers” in New Zealand back in 2010. When I discovered that Terrevive participated in this awesome program, I was tempted for us to hit the road again. The vineyards of Terrevive produce Lambruscos. Lambrusco is a frizzante style wine that is festive and perfect as an aperitif. The terroir is loamy-sand and every aspect of the farming is done by hand. When the grapes come to the cellar there is little to no intervention in the vinification process. The “San Vincent” was created after winemaker Gianluca had an inspiring trip to the Champagne region of France. Made with 100% Lambrusco Sorbara (which is said to be related to Pinot Meunier a traditional grape varietal found in Champagne). It is a vibrant cranberry orange in the glass with bubbles grazing just the top of the wine. A rush of intense bubbles clusters together and then quickly dissipates with a lush softness. On the nose is raspberries, persimmon, and a light anise. The palate is juicy and dry all at the same time with racy acidity. Even the labels capture the life of the wine, as each one is done by an artist with their only inspiration being the wine itself. The artist is presented with a naked bottle and a glass and what has been created is what the wine inspired. The artist Marino Neri.
2020 Three Feathers Blanc de Noirs
Willamette Valley, Oregon
The Three Feathers estate is run by Christine Stimac and her two daughters Elise and Cynthia. The “Three” in their name, isn’t only to meant to reflect three of them, it is also represented in the logo, it is the family crest of the Roosevelts. As it has three ostrich plumes in it and Dorothea Virginia Roosevelt, mother to Christine and grandmother to Elise and Cynthia was Theodore Roosevelt’s cousin. They were raised together in Long Island. The women adopted the crest in her honor and strive to reflect the meaning of the Latin phrase on the crest “Qui Plantavit Curabit” meaning “You reap what you sow” representing the values of the work of farming and making a life from it. The vineyards are located a mile from the highest peak of the Chehalem Mountains in the Willamette AVA. The terroir is made up of Laurelwood soils, which has been created over millions of years by volcanos, floods, and winds, it is fine in texture and red in color with the high iron content. There are natural springs that feed into a pond which allow for irrigation. It is quite a picturesque place to work. The wine takes you there. In reading this label, you may think this is a sparkling wine as you often see “Blanc de Noirs” on a bottle of Champagne, but it means a white wine made from a red varietal. In this case, it is a still wine made with 100% Pinot Noir. In the glass it is a crystal clear peachy pink hue. Like a classic Provençale pink. Aromas of cherry ice cream and watermelon jolly rancher please the nose. The palate shows tart rainier cherries and gravel. It is mouth-watering with great texture and there is finesse and elegance on the finish. It’s the perfect celebratory still wine.
2018 Clos Petit-Corbin Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
When a wine is imported by Neal Rosenthal Imports it is because that Domaine is a great representation of that region and that style of wine. Winemaker Danielle Meunier of Hauts Segottes was the first Bordeaux producer to be in the Rosenthal import portfolio back in 1980. She is a 4th generation producer and is meticulous in her practice. Her vineyards are farmed “Lutte raisonnée” and her caves and winery pristine. Clos Petit-Corbin is Meunier’s’ second estate where her focus is entirely merlot. Even though Sideways and other trends have given merlot a bad rap, the truth is it is one of the most noble grapes and when a grower and producer showcase it as it should be, it is a pretty and pure varietal. Danielle Meunier has done just that and continues to do so. Enjoy this bottle soon or tuck it away for years to come as its well-structured and will age gracefully. When you are ready to open this bottle, be sure to let it breath for at least an hour or two. If you have a decanter, it would be a perfect time to use it. We always find it fun to pour a little taste right at opening and then wait or decant for the following taste. It is incredible what breathing does to a wine like this. It comes alive. In the glass this wine is a hazy garnet in color with purple hues. The nose has a classic Old-World style with notes of violets, iron, and blackberries. There is a bit of that “opening a can new tennis ball” smell. The palate is well structured with balance and elegance. It has some chalky acidity along with graphite, lip smacking cherry and red berries notes, finishing with chewy and well-built tannins.