To France and Spain We Go
Whatever the grape varietal, all of these wines have something to say.
As January slowly moves forward, we’re excited that things have finally warmed up a bit and we’ve got a bevvy of new wines in stock. This week we decided to focus on three French wines and one Spanish wine, all emphasizing natural winemaking styles, many of them unfined, unfiltered and with only minimal amounts of sulphur. One is a French Chenin Blanc that screams fresh but still captures all of the tension you’d expect from the style. Another from southwest France is a Cabernet Sauvignon Pet Nat that turns up on the dial on fruit and acid. Whatever the grape varietal, all of these wines have something to say.
PZ, Un Bout de Chemin (2015)
If you like your Chenin Blanc fresh, Un Bout de Chemin is perfect for you. This 2015 vintage is high octane at 13.5% ABV, with rounded, slightly oxidated richness on the nose that follows with fresh, crisp green apple fruit on the palette. What is most memorable, however, is that as the wine decants, it features a tension between fruit, lightly honeyed sweetness, soaring acid and dry minerality that follows into a long finish. The end result is clean, precise, and exactly what you want from the varietal.
Domaine Buronfosse, Se Kwa Sa? (2016)
This blend Pinot Noir and Ploussard is generating a lot of buzz at the moment (and is very Instagram worthy) but having tried it we can say this: the hype is justified. It’s a ruby red in color and features pungent earthiness and a little smoke on the nose. The palette doesn’t necessarily match the nose and is quite a bit lighter. We get blackberry bramble, zippy acid, some textured herbal notes, mild tannic grip and clean, structured finish. This is not a wine you want to share and would also do well slightly chilled (though that isn’t necessary).
Marenas Viñedo y Bodega, Cerro Encinas (2016)
Monastrell (aka Mourverde) is typically known for being full-bodied and rustic. This expression from Spain is considerably lighter, though the richness is laced in the wine subtlety. It is ruby red in color, bursting with plum, red berry, deep earthiness and smoke on the nose. On the palette, it’s an explosion of raspberry and dusty strawberry. What is unique is the wild mineral streak that builds in the mid-palette, giving it texture before finishing with soft tannins to round everything out. At under $20, it’s a real steal as far as Spanish wines go – approachable but still expressive as far as terroir goes.
Lestignac, Compain Comme Cochons (2016)
This Pet Nat sparkler from the southwest France is everything you want in an effervescent style that is lighter on the bubbles. It features fresh fruit on the nose, juicy, tart cranberry and gooseberry on the palette, sing song acid and a finish that reels the high-octane fruit in with a little bit of funk, particularly as the sediment enters into the glass with the later pours. What is surprising about this wine is that it is 13% ABV but drinks much lighter, as if it were 10-11%. It’s hard not to enjoy this Cabernet Sauvignon wine.
Join us next week as we feature two mouthwatering Pet Nats and a few other surprises up on sleeve that we can’t tell you about – yet.