This Spring the feeling of renewal, rebirth and, and reawakening feels stronger than ever. Hoping we are all on the verge of sharing hugs and wine with our loved ones and making up for so much time apart. Celebrating just getting to be together! The wines for this wine club are just for those occasions; joyful, refreshing and crisp. We also want to take a moment to thank you and let you know how much we so appreciate our Wine Club quaran-team. Sharing wines with you over this more introverted year has really been special.
P. & E. Mullins
2019 Domaine Roger Neveu “Cote des Embouffants” Sancerre
The history of the Neveu family in the Loire Valley dates as far back as the 12th century. The agricultural estate dates back to 1641 with Vineyards being a part of the estate up until the 19th century when they were destroyed by phylloxera. It wasn’t until 1945 that vineyards were replanted. Roger Neveu started producing wine under this Domaine in the 1970s. He is the father to current owners, brothers Éric and Jean-Philippe. The vineyard site known as Clos des Bouffants, is regarded as one of the best in the Sancerre region. The terroir is limestone, the hill side is steep and the faces due-South and lies about a half mile from their cellar. The land is farmed with “lutte rainsonée,” which you see as a common practice in a family that has lost all to phylloxera. They treat the land with respect and follow sustainable organic practices, but if something we’re to harm their vines, they will take the precautions to protect them. As you swirl this 100% Sauvignon Blanc in your glass you can sense the viscosity of the wine. It is a light golden hue. The nose is classic of Sancerre with wet stones and a hint of lemon verbena. You get the toasty notes from the barrel fermentation and lees. The palate is weighted with crisp and bright notes of green apple, apricots and citrus. It finishes with a mouth-watering acidity.
2019 Jean Manciat Macon-Charnay
This 100% Chardonnay from the Mâconnais in Burgundy is a treasure we feel so lucky to have stumbled upon. Importer Denyse Louis is the “Louis” in Louis/Dressner one of our favorite wine importers and she comes from this area of Burgundy, so she knows the area and the wines quite well. The area is known for co-ops that produce millions and millions of bottles. It was specifically a 1986 Mâcon from a small producer that sent Louis on the hunt for a gorgeous Macon-Charnay for their portfolio. This is when she discovered Jean Manciat. When he took over his family estate, he quickly left the co-op in Charnay and went off on his own. He replanted his vineyards and kept as many old vines as possible. His yields went down but the quality of the fruit more than made up for it. He picks by hand, a tradition lost in most of the area. He prunes his vines in the classic Côte d’Or style, which makes for shorter vines that are less productive. He sows grasses that eliminates the use of herbicides between the vines and protects topsoil. He uses old rootstock that is ideal in the chalky soil of the Mâconnais and uses clones and grafts taken from old vines in the Pouilly-Fuissé area. We recommend enjoying this wine not too cold as it will shadow the beautiful aromas and palate. In the glass it is a bright straw yellow. The nose reminds you of a dusty road that’s been roasting in the sun. The palate is supple and silky. There are hints of vanilla and apricots and apple butter with a hint of lemon.
2019 Jean Foillard Beaujolais Villages
Last year we shared the 2018 vintage of Jean Foillard Beaujolais Villages with you, and we couldn’t help ourselves to share his current release with you again. He continues to showcase some of the most gorgeous wines out of Beaujolais along with the other members of the “Gang of Four,” Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Paul Thevenet, and Guy Breton. Beaujolais located just South of Burgundy (and sometimes considered part of Burgundy) has been given a bad rap for cheap young wine. Most are familiar with Beaujolais Nouveau that is the years current vintages made to be drunk the same year. I will note that there are some Beaujolais Nouveau worth seeking out that can be fun to enjoy and celebrated with the tradition, but it is important to also note that this region has beautiful terroir and with growers and vitners returning to old viticulture and vinification practices, giving old vines the care, they need by hand, treating the land with sustainable organic practices, and harvesting late, age worthy beautiful wines are created. That’s exactly what Jean Foillard and his “Gang of Four” traditionalists wine makers started doing when they took over their family Domains’ in the 1980s. In the glass this wine is a light maroon tone with a ting of rust. It has a cloudy-ness that shows off the unintrusive wine making style. The nose is very expressive, almost bursting out of the glass with bright and juicy notes of red berries and Balaton cherries. The palate, just as expressive as the nose has bright fruit, and acidity. There is a touch of spice and gentle tannins that give it an elegant finish.
There is something no-nonsense and straightforward about Foillard’s wine. It seems to say, let’s cut straight to deliciousness. Deliciousness with class. It has a wonderful texture going down. The finesse from start to finish seems almost offhanded.