2010 Ravailles Frères Ermitage du Pic St. Loup Rouge “Cuvée Agnès”-Languedoc, France
We are big fans of the Ravailles brothers, who own and produce the wines of Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup.
You often see the words hermitage, ermitage, ermite or hermite on French wine labels; this refers to hermits, men who live alone, away from society, usually with religious motivations. Sometimes when I go home to a pile of laundry, unmade beds, and floors covered with dog hair, I too wish I was a man who lived alone, away from society!
The Ravailles family has been in the region for 1000+ years, but it is the current generation of Ravailles (brothers Xavier, Pierre & Jean-Marc) who have made the greatest progress in winemaking. Recognizing the significance of their high-altitude vineyards and vine age (averaging 40 years), the brothers made a shift from high yielding, industrialized co-op farming, to a more careful, organic vineyard management style.
The resulting wines are complex and full of depth, produced with very little intervention.
They make several wines based upon terroir; Cuvée St. Agnès comes from limestone soils, and although it is made of old vines Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, this potentially beefy wine comes across with a bit of lift and aromatic delicacy, courtesy of those very soils.
$14.00/BTL. – DUE TO LIMITED AVAILABILITY, IT IS ONLY AVAILABLE AS PART OF THE SAMPLER, REQUESTS FOR EXTRA BOTTLES WILL BE FILLED AFTER THE DURATION OF THE SAMPLER
2013 Château de la Liquière “À Mi Chemin” Blanc”-Languedoc, France
Last month, on our “all Frenchie” sampler, we featured the rosé from this most affordable line from Château de la Liquière. And this month we have their delightful white. These are some of the young vines that will eventually go into Liquière’s Faugères Blanc, which they call Cistus. But for now, you can enjoy them in the bloom of youth in this bottling, for very little Euros.
The wine is composed of 30% Terret Blanc, 20% Grenache Blanc, 35% Bourboulenc (that just rolls right off the tongue!) & 15% Muscat. This is all planted on the famous Schiste soils for which Faugères is famous.
The wine is fermented at cool temperatures to retain freshness, and kept in tank for four months.
The ensuing wine is imbued with peach skin, pear and candied lemon peel. It’s aromatically pretty too, with flower petals, orange peel a hint of those tasty French hard candies, coated with a dusting of sugar.
$12.00/BTL.-$144.00/CASE OF 12
2012 Hermanos Torrontés-Cafayate Valley, Argentina
For about a minute in 2004, it looked like Torrontés was going to be the next Sauvignon Blanc, a crisp, fresh wine that would delight the masses and take over the world. It did not happen. Why?
There are several issues that blocked this global take-over. Quality could be quite variable. And there were several clones of Torrontés planted in Argentina, some superior to others. It was hard for a wine drinker to know which Torrontés they were getting: a clean, peachy, crisp delight, or something, well, more flabby and uninspiring.
On today’s sampler we are offering the former. Hermanos works in Salta, in vineyards upwards of 5000+ feet above sea level. The grapes enjoy an enviably short distance to the sun, and ripen beautifully, but then during the cool evenings high in the mountains, the vines rest, a process that allows for the preservation of acidity.
This Torrontés offer a peachy, cirtusy flavor profile, with a fresh, almost saline quality along with a creamy texture. It is both clean and thirst quenching.
$13.00/BTL.-$156.00/CASE OF 12
2013 Ca’ Stella Pinot Grigio-Delle Venezie, Italy
We understand if the grape Pinot Grigio doesn’t excite you these days. One of those terrible Housewives of New York has an eponymous wine she promotes at every instance, and in the shadows of the Dolomite Mountains are some spurious looking vineyards where grow the grapes for a very famous, high-production brand that is pretty much the elephant in the room when it comes to Pinot Grigio.
So yeah, yawn city. We totes get it.
However, Pinot Grigio can be quite delicious and even complex, and yes, you can drink a well-made Pinot Grigio from the Anselmi brothers, that destroys the high-production brand at less than half the price. The Società Agricola Anselmi lies in Pocenia, between Trieste and Venice. This is a wonderfully fresh, crisp and fruit forward style of Pinot Grigio that is sure to please.
$9.00/BTL-$108.00/CASE OF 12
2012 Bodegas de Murcia “Caracol Serrano” Tinto- Jumilla, Spain
Sometimes, in researching the wines for our samplers, one can accidentally fall down a google “hole” which is how I found out that there are forums for people who keep snails as pets, and post pictures of these pets.
The reason my research pointed to snails is that the name of this delicious and juicy Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah/Monastrell blend is “Carcol Serrano” which is a abundant and delicious type of edible Spanish snail. And perhaps if you are feeling brave, in a culinary way, you can make a dish of sautéed rabbit with saffron, thyme, marjoram and snails.
Jumilla is a mountainous region with dark, lime bearing soils. This is southeast coastal Spain, mountainous and mysterious, beautiful and exotic. This is the kind of dark, bold wine you can chill for about 20 minutes and enjoy cool, as it’s silky texture and ripe fruit make sense for the summer as well as cooler times.
$7.50/BTL.-$90.00/CASE OF 12
2013 Ollieux Romanis “Capucine” Rosé-Languedoc, France
We don’t want to freak you out or anything, but we are getting to that time of year where we won’t be offering rosés on the sample pack. So drink as much as this pink elixir as you can, while letting your skin soak in a title Vitamin D!
Ollieux Romanis is a producer of very high quality located in the village of Corbières, in Butenac, which is recognized as an official sub-zone for very good Carignan.
The Capucine Rosé is named for a beautiful pink flower and has a lovely, pale color and dry, delicate flavors of raspberry and strawberry. It is made primarily from Grenache and Cinsault.
$9.00/BTL.-$108.00/CASE OF 12