New Year, New Wines
Happy sipping, and enjoy this first week of 2018.
Happy 2018! We hope you’re well rested after your New Year’s Eve shenanigans. (We know we had a great end to 2017.) With this cold snap still in full force, the weather remains perfect for wine and the next season of Black Mirror’s technological ennui.
For this week’s wine tasting, we keep it varied, focusing on a structured and complex white wine from Jura, the first sparkling offering from Pheasant’s Tears and a red blend from outside of Bergerac that shakes up your expectations of wines from southwest France. Some of the wines, like the Savagnin, are more contemplative sippers, designed to be savored over multiple nights and given time to open up in the glass. Others, like the Lestignac, are fruity and would pair well with a hearty stew straight out of the bottle.
Domaine de Saint Pierre – Savagnin Autrement (2014)
Savagnin ouillé is a style of Jura winemaking in which the wine is topped off to avoid exposure to air. The result is a cleaner, crisper wine that prevents the oxidization typical in Jura whites. Yet a lack of oxidization doesn’t mean a lack of complexity, as this 2014 vintage shows. Decidedly Chardonnay-like on the note, this wine is fruit forward, with green apple and citrus notes predominating. Subtle spices follow, with a waxy and rich mid-palette, before transitioning into a long mineral-forward and clean finish that shows the well-structured and integrated acid. This wine never feels flabby because of these fresh, fruit-forward and mineral characteristics.
Pheasant’s Tears – Chiruni Pet Nat (2016)
Finally Pet Nats from Georgia! This one, made using the Chinuari grape, is an understated stunner. It pours like lemonade in color and smells like ripe citrus and flowers with a touch of wet earth. On the palette, you get an initial kick of acid, juicy pomelo and orange with a light floral sweetness before transitioning into a decidedly herbaceous mid-palette and a dry finish. Though this wine is quite a bit more elegant and pleasant than a lot of traditional Georgian wines, it still captures the wild earthiness that makes Georgian wines so exciting, at the same time offering more and floral notes for those looking for a cheerful sparkler.
Lestignac – Va Te Faire Boire (2016)
Hailing from the Southwest of France, just outside of Bergerac is where the Chateau Lestignac wines are grown. The region might not be on the map, but since 2008, Lestignac has been making carefully produced, organic wines from the limestone soil. This particular varietal blends Malbec (50%), Merlot (10%) and Semillon (40%) through carbonic maceration. The result, as you might expect, is super drinkable and light on its feet, bucking the myth that delicate reds only come from further north. Gorgeous cherry fruit and a forest floor earthiness on the nose lead to expressive red fruit on the palette, a pleasant tannic grip, medium body and a clean, dry finish. Glou glou!
Join us next week as we delve into some other offerings that have arrived just in time for the new year! In the meantime, happy sipping and enjoy this first week of 2018.