27 July 2009


Ronco Malo is produced by the same winery as the Arcese white that we worked with last fall. They hold it back, so the current vintage comes with a little bottle aging. It is a single vineyard wine made on a mountain vineyard in Piedmont where one side is all Barbera plantings and the other is Dolcetto, and the winemaker lives on top of the mountain between the two. It ages in cement and is unfiltered. Rich and smoky, juicy and elegant. It has the leaner structure that Asti is known for (in contrast to Alba), dry with a dark ruby color, soft on the palate. Great for chicken, lamb, rich pastas, and even steak. I love the label; two hearts coming out of a goblet...come on, why do those damn Italians have to be so sexy?


What is good taste?
It is the talent, acquired through experience,
to recognize the true or the good,
the circumstances that caused it,
and the ability to be promptly and highly touched by it.



This wine is 45% Trouseau, 45% Poulsard, and 10% Pinot Noir. It is from the Cotes du Jura appellation, and although the focus in this region is primarily on Vin Jaune (made from the Savagnin grape) in Chateau-Chalon, Trousseau and Poulsard vines are quietly making focused and incredibly light bodied red wines---in my opinion, truly perfect wines to accompany late summer meals at the time of night when the temperature has dropped just enough to consider eating a substancial meal, the air is still warm but a breeze cools your sunburn enough to crave a glass of red wine for the first time in days. (I know this sounds cheesy; but it really happened to me a few weeks back at Castagna!)

Anyway, incredible balance of tannin, acid, earth and fruit. Perfect with cured meats, pork, and sausages. Impeccably made wine by a husband and wife team at their estate which dates back to the 16th century and is surrounded by caves. She was a professor of agriculture prior to owning the winery, and they harvest primarily by hand.

For a lot more information please visit http://www.berthet-bondet.net/indexanglais.htm


I figured as long as we're talking Jura I'd cover this wine as well. Currently being served on the dessert board, this fortified wine is interesting and intense, powerful and also playful. It is a great alternative to a sweeter dessert wine, and is actually refreshing enough to act as an aperitif. We serve it chilled, and it is a blend of chardonnay and Savagnin finished with a bit of brandy to stop the fermentation process. It smells of fresh bailed wet hay on the nose, with nuts, raisins, and fig on the palate. It is aged 3 years in cask before bottling.

25 July 2009


I had dinner with Jon David Headrick at Navarre (http://navarreportland.blogspot.com/) last week. Jon David is a whip smart; stand up guy from Nashville, Tennessee who happens to know, love, and import French wine. He is just reserved enough to allow the wines to speak for themselves; as he knows they can- and I quickly picked up on his slight and muted Southern drawl; which seemed to emerge along with an aire of excitement surrounding some particular wines. This Muscadet was one of the first wines of the evening, and Jon sat back with a prideful smirk as he asked the table our thoughts on the wine. We sat still and baffled for a moment in the heat of the early evening as commuters flew by our outdoor post. Navarre was super busy after their recent Restaurant of the Year award, so it was just us, the heat, the water, and the wine. After swimming all day and saving my appetite for dinner time, the rough saline and fresh lemon zest punch of the wine was a perfect beginning; I couldn't wait for fish fish fish!

This is the first time that Michel Delhommeau's wines have been in the US market, and he and his wife Nathalie are ecstatic. They farm just 28 hectares of Melon de Bourgogne near the end of the Loire river where it meets the ocean outside of Nantes. The soil is a blend of granite, chalk, and a stony lava-like soil called gabbro; which is specific to the region and plays a huge role in the expression of the wines.

Delhommeau farms naturally, ages in tank, and separates bottlings by soil type in the Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie (one of 3 Muscadet appellations), which implies extended time on the lees--ensuring a complex and yeasty wine, a perfect accompaniment to local seafood and shellfish.

The Cuvee St Vincent is salty and fresh with lemon and lime character, and an incredible finish-strangely round and soft on the palate.

>>>>you can't afford not to sell this wine at $7/glass, that's class yo<<<<

13 July 2009


The first time I ever heard of Muller-Catoir was when my very strange new co-worker Michael Lacy was walking me through the wine list at the restaurant where we met in New York. He told me that this particular Riesling tasted "like mama bird chewed up a grapefruit and spit it in baby bird's mouth"; so I began to describe the wine as such to my tables, and needless to say; they ate it up! I also ate dinner just once at that restaurant in the year that I worked there, and I ordered that wine; and I have been a beleiver ever since.

Muller-Catoir is one of the most amazing and historically important estates in the Pfalz. They were instrumental in pioneering wine of quality and character from the region beginning in the 1960's.

These wines are often described as evocative, aristocratic, and supernatural.

The current winemaker; Martin Franzen has taken over for Hans-Gunter Schwartz who was the cellar master for 42 years, and although there are some changes in the wines; the importer beleives that the progression is natural and the wines are consistent with the beloved fruit, spritz, and near psychadelic experience Muller-Catoir is known for.

The 40 year old Scheurebe vines account for only 9% of total production. Scheurebe was created in 1916 by a German viticulturist when he crossed Riesling with an unknown wild varietal.

Ripe, round, grapefruit, elderflower, earth, light pepper spice---obviously, very layered and rich, with sugar, acid, and minerality. Alien wine.

11 July 2009

<<< TWO WORLDS >>>

There are 7 seats still available! Please let your friends and your tables know. It's going to be a great combination of New/Old World wine, and Jason's menu looks perfect for the occasion.

06 July 2009


Please mark your calendars for tasting with Maggie Harrison (winemaker) of Antica Terra at Clyde Common, on Saturday August 1st, 2pm.

Maggie will be speaking about winemaking in the Willamette Valley, and of course we will taste through her current releases.

This should be both interesting and informative and help us even better represent Maggie's beautiful wines.