Who: Jill, the boss lady
What: 2013 Clos des Vignes du Maynes Cuvée 910
Why: “There are a lot of good wines that meet your expectations when you taste them. They taste like they should, typical for their region, grape variety, etc. And then there are a tiny number of wines that take you by surprise, that can’t be categorized, and that fall into what I like to call the “ethereal” realm. This is one of them. A field blend of Gamay, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (yes, Chardonnay) from a vineyard in southern Burgundy never touched by chemical farming agents, the Cuvée 910 is a light-bodied red with precise fruit and acidity, cranberry and faint herbaceous notes, and an otherworldliness about it.”
When: “While a little early for Thanksgiving recommendations, this would certainly be on my list. It also falls in the reds with fish category. And for me, it definitely is a contemplative wine, no food required. The bottle, with no sulfur additions, changes fairly significantly over the course of a few hours so it’s fun to sip and sniff over the course of an evening and let it take you on a journey.”
The Naturalist & Gastronomist: A Tale of Two Spaniards
The wine club is long overdue for some Spanish wine. Time to show the love and share these very unique bottles.
Each wing of the club will receive wines from two Spanish winemakers in Jose Pastor’s progressive, yet traditional portfolio. The two growers in the spotlight are Luis Rodriguez of Ribeiro (Galicia) and Rafa Bernabe of Alicante (The Levant). Both gentlemen work very minimally in the cellar, with no additives and native yeast fermentation. They also cultivate and farm indigenous (and sometimes rare) varieties organically or lutte raisonee.
2011 Rafa Bernabe Tinajas de la Mata (Merseguera and Moscatel) – The grapes in this orange wine come from two different parcels within La Mata National Park, grown on sand and fossilized seashells! 15 days of skin contact and aged in clay tinajas (amphora).
2012 Rafa Bernabe Los Cipreses de Usaldon (Garnacha Peluda)- Made from the local “hairy Grenache”, a grape much like Grenache but with hairy leaves and more natural acidity. Whole cluster fermentation and partial carbonic bring a floral/herbal quality to this otherwise complex and spicy red.
2011 Luis Rodriguez A Torno Dos Pasos Tinto (Ferrol, Brancellao, Caino Longo, Caino Redondo)- An interesting blend of Ribeiro’s native grapes. A wine that screams of Spain with black pepper, red fruit, food-friendly body and acidity.
2012 Rafa Bernabe Tragolargo (Monastrell) – Partial carbonic maceration and whole cluster fermentation. Tragolargo means long drink, the winemaker’s answer to French glou glou wines. Best served in abundance with a little chill on it and a side of smoky meats.
Photos courtesy Jose Pastor Selections