Archive for December, 2009

This is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Grenache gris (the Roussanne and Grenache gris are cask matured) from Saint-Chinian. Saint-Chinian produces some 16 million bottles of wine each year. 90% of that production is red wine, but there are also some interesting white wines as well — and this is one such example. Beautiful golden yellow in color. Aromatics of pear and peach with sweet pineapple and floral notes.  On the palate, orchard and stone fruit with some tropical and citrus notes (tangerine) as well as bay leaf and white pepper — really solid richness and minerality. Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.

This isn’t widely available and I haven’t been able to find it at any other store than Weygandt in DC. The Weygandt shop gets better every week, they do tastings every day — and are extremely generous in what they pour. Today for New Year’s they had a champagne tasting, that included a wonderful Grand Cru Brut Rose from Nicolas Maillart. Since opening, they hosted a Chateauneuf du Pape and a Burgundy tasting in addition to pouring great wines each day. Truly a great wine shop to buy and taste some outstanding wines.  Their opening in DC is on the short list of most important food/wine milestones for 2009 in DC.

Weygandt Wines just announced an offer on their site for a 25% off a purchase when you sign up for the email list — they usually just send a weekly email detailing the Saturday tasting line up and any other special events or sales….to sign up go to http://www.weygandtwines.com/ and click “Join our email list” and you’ll receive the coupon in the confirmation email.

Related posts:
New Weygandt Wines Store in DC
Les Aphillanthes Côtes du Rhône 2007
Daniel Bouland Morgon Vieilles Vignes 2008
Domaine Alary Cairanne La Font d’Estevenas 2007

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Aside from being from one of the most beautiful fishing villages in Provence, Sainte Magdeleine is said to be the top producer in the Cassis appellation. Cassis is also the oldest AOC in Provence. 75% of the wines produced in Cassis are white.

The 2007 Sainte Magdeleine is a blend of Marsanne, Ugni Blanc, Clairette, and Sauvignon. Muted aromatics with some orchard fruits, white flowers, honeysuckle and sea foam. On the palate, solid richness and a little oily with orchard fruits with a little apricot, a mash of honey and butter as well as a touch of citrus, herbs and salt. Good minerality, soft acidity, great purity and balance with a clean finish. Something about this wine just begs for seafood. This is one of those quintessential pairings — like a Chenin Blanc from the Loire with mussels, a Sauvignon Blanc with raw clams or oysters — the perfect match for fish stew, cioppino or bouillabaisse. 13% alcohol. Imported by Kermit Lynch.

Kermit Lynch says this is the best Cassis he has ever had — and he has been going to Cassis since 1971. I have had a number of bottles throughout the course of the year — and each time I have been impressed. I came home last night after a wonderful dinner at Et Viola!, poured myself a glass and got ready for today’s snowstorm, expected to be the worst DC has had in 25 years or more.  This would certainly would be one of the best and most interesting new white wines I have tried this year.

Some of my other favorite white wines I have discovered this year include:
Viñedos de Ithaca Odysseus Garnacha Blanca Priorat 2008
Bodega Ángel Rodríguez Martinsancho Verdejo Rueda DO 2008
André Perret Saint Jospeh 2007
Domaine Ricard Cuvee Les Trois Chênes 2008
Txakoli (post coming soon)

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Shaya is a joint project among Jorge Ordonez, Enrique Busto and the Gil family of Jumilla. Their Verdejo is produced from very old low yielding vines whose average age is between 75 and 112 years old.

Spain has an appellation system for wine like France and Italy with the main classification of quality wine is Denominación de Origen (DO). Rueda gained DO status in 1980, the first DO to be approved in the Castilla y León region. While Sauvignon Blanc and Viura can also be used, only wines produced with at least 50 percent Verdejo are permitted to be labeled Rueda. For the Rueda Superior designation, at least 85 percent must be Verdejo. Sauvignon Blanc became an authorized variety for the Rueda DO in 1985. In fact, the importance of this grape is underscored by the fact that it has its own appellation, Rueda Sauvignon, which has to be 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc.

Shaya’s Verdejo is light yellowish gold in color. Stonefruit with tropical fruit and citrus on the nose. On the palate, orchard fruit, melon, tropical and citrus notes with a litte white pepper and spice. Vibrant acidity with a clean finish. Very approachable and quaffable. I thought this was very good and a excellent value at $12 a bottle.

Related post:
Bodega Ángel Rodríguez Martinsancho Verdejo Rueda DO 2008

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