La Grange de Piaugier
Cotes du Rhone
- Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, Syrah
Domaine de Piaugier is situated in and around the village of Sablet, which stands proudly at the feet of the jagged Dentelles de Montmirail in the Vaucluse department of the Southern Rhône. Jean-Marc Autran is the fourth generation of his family to grow grapes, and he made his first wine in 1985 in the cellars built by his great-grandfather, Alphonse Vautour, in 1947. The domaine’s diverse soils and old vines, along with the Autran’s commitment to quality over quantity, have resulted in wines that over-deliver in a big way. All of their grapes are entirely hand-harvested, pressed and made into wine plot-by-plot, and all of the wines are made from whole bunches. Leaves are removed but the bunches are not de-stemmed, and the wine is lightly fined and filtered. This wine is both brambly and balanced, perfect for everyday quaffing.
Orlegi de Luberri
Orlegi is a return to the traditional light, fruit-forward wines of Rioja Alavesa. Utilizing whole-cluster fermentation for some of the grapes, partial carbonic maceration and indigenous yeasts, this is a classic, young Tempranillo from Rioja for everyday drinking. Plenty of bright fruit and berries, and its pronounced acidic backbone makes it dangerously drinkable. Enjoy this Spanish beauty with anything from the grill!
Pintupi 9 “The White”
- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Fiano
The concept behind this wine was to make something completely smashable. Not smashable in that breaking bottles is suggested but annihilating bottle after bottle on a lovely spring/summer day. The concept to make wine with richness but zing is often desired but rarely well executed. The Chardonnay is sourced from two different vineyards of extremely varying soils and climates in order to provide a yin-yang of lushness with focus. To bring higher tones to the wine some herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc and pithy Fiano were added to finish the blend. The wine is dry and zesty in character, with lifted aromas of citrus, melon and white blossom whilst the palate is fresh and flavorsome with lovely balance and fruit focus. So delicious and rewarding it’s easy to crack a second or third bottle!
Chateau du Cayrou
Cahors is Southwestern France appellation known for their wild berry, earth-driven, rustic and “chewy” wines. This Cahors delivers the goods in all respects. It boasts wild red berries, a jolt of acidity, firm tannins, cracked black and green peppercorns, leather. Clean wine…old world but not “funky.” All tank fermented and aged.
Neyers Sage Canyon Red
St. Helena, CA
- Carignan, Mouvedre, Grenache, Syrah
This first ever Rhone varietal blend from Neyers Vineyards combines organically-farmed Grenache from the Sierra foothills; Mourvedre and Carignane from 130 year-old vines grown in northeast Contra Costa County, near Oakley; and Syrah from the Sonoma Coast. In the tradition of Rhone wines, each varietal seems to add a component that makes the whole much more than the sum of its parts. Lush and ripe, red and blue fruit, and hints of wild herbs make this wine a great accompaniment to grilled meat dishes as well as a variety of cheeses.
- Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier, Clairette
When you think of the great Saint Joseph appellation, don’t forget to think of white as well as red. Though much less of the former is produced, it is one of France’s most unique, versatile, and delicious white wines. Made predominantly from Roussanne and Marsanne grown on granite hillsides above the Rhône, the best examples are dry yet ample, with an unctuous texture and hints of honeysuckle and pit fruits like apricot and peach. Lionel Faury’s interpretation is distinguished by its elegance, class, balance, and stylishness, a lot of adjectives you might not think to employ for this humble country wine. With a few years of bottle age on it, it is polished and ready to give maximum satisfaction, as an apéritif, with assorted appetizers, or with fish or fowl.