What better way to welcome Fall and toast the end of Summer than having the wine club land on the Fall Equinox! It’s one of our favorite times of year, we are soaking up these beautiful sunny days and cozying up to cooler nights. It feels like time slows down a bit and we have more time to cook and drink wine with our loved ones. We hope you get to do the same with these fun wines we’re sharing with you this September.
P. & E. Mullins
Gruet Brut Rosé Albuquerque, New Mexico
Believe it or not one of our most favorite sparkling wines comes from New Mexico. Of course, it comes with a cool story too. The Gruet family is from Bethon France, a little village in Champagne. Born in 1931, Gilbert Gruet grew up less fortunate but along with his wife Danielle had dreams of making fine champagne. In 1952 the Gruets started making their own fine champagne, “Gruet et Fils” in Bethon France. In 1983, the Gruet Family was traveling through the southwestern part of the US, and while in New Mexico met a group of European winemakers who had successfully planted vineyards in Engle, near the town of Truth or Consequences, 170 miles south of the city of Albuquerque. After hearing of vineyards planted there as early as the 1600s and learning about the specific climate and soil conditions of the region, the Gruet Family knew they had found what they were looking for. They decided to plant an experimental vineyard in Engle, NM. The plantings were exclusively Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Two of their four children, Laurent and Nathalie Gruet relocated to New Mexico to begin their American winemaking adventure. This sparkling rosé is 100% Pinot Noir. It is a beautiful garnet in color, it has a delicate, fine mousse and rich, fruit flavors. This full-bodied sparkler starts with floral and berry aromas which introduce flavors of cherry. raspberry and wild strawberry, finishing delicately with zesty acidity.
2014 Le Cigare Blanc Santa Cruz, California
Bonny Doon Vineyard is a winery in Santa Cruz, California, that focuses on terroir wines. Founded in 1983 by Randall Grahm, it is perhaps best known for its quirky labels, eccentric mix of grapes, and humorously-named wines. It was amongst the first California wineries to embrace Rhone varietals, and entered the national spotlight in 1989, after Grahm appeared on the cover of Wine Spectator as "The Rhone Ranger." Randall, originally from L.A., attended UC Santa Cruz where he was "a permanent Liberal Arts major." He eventually began working at the Wine Merchant in Beverly Hills where he had the opportunity to taste great French wines. This opened up his World to his passion of wine. He returned to UC Davis to complete a degree in Plant Science in 1979. With his family’s assistance, Grahm purchased property in Bonny Doon, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Since 2006 the winery is completely biodynamic. Le Cigare Blanc is a blend of 66% Grenache Blanc, 34% Roussanne. An homage to the complex blended wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It’s a more serious white, rich and savory wine. IN color it’s pale, slightly lime green. The nose has fresh citrus and bright honey notes reminiscent of lemon curd. You get pear and cantaloupe on the palate with a hint of fennel. The mouthfeel is light and has a bright acidity. Only 1,307 cases were produced.
2014 Hauner Hiera Terre Sicilian, IGT
Carlo Hauner’s first passion was not wine, it was painting. As an artist Carlo first traveled to Lipari (one of the Aeolian Islands off the coast of Northern Sicily) in the Summer of 1963. He was so intrigued with the volcanic origin of the island once known as the “nectar of the gods” that after many more visits he bought almost 50 acres. He replanted the land with a vineyard terracing over the sea. In the 1980s, Carlo inaugurated a brand-new winery at Lingua, in the commune of Santa Marina Salina. Carlo had triggered a renaissance not only of the islands' most celebrated wine but of the islands themselves, which in due course were inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List. In February 1996, Carlo Hauner passed away, but his son Carlo Hauner Jr. carried on the winery's exceptional story. Named after the original denomination of the island of Vulcano: Hiera means sacred in Ancient Greek. This wine is a deep, dark ruby color in the glass. The aroma is fragrant with a bouquet of wild berries, sweet spice and chocolate earthy tones. The terroir carries through with a velvety, full bodied palate that is fresh and fruity, it’s bright and acidic but also luscious and smooth. A beautiful balanced finish lingers. The wine represents an innovative blend of indigenous grapes, 60% Nero D’avola, 30% Alicante Bouschet, 10% Nocera. The taste profile is unique but there's nothing not to like about this delightful wine. Only 30,000 bottles are produced annually.