A WINTER CELEBRATION OF FRANCE

WITH THE FIRST SNOWFALL UNDER OUR BELTS LET’S GET BACK TO THE BUSINESS OF DRINKING THE CLASSICS. ENJOY EXPLORING SOME NEW ADDITIONS TO OUR FRENCH SELECTIONS AND SOME LESSER KNOWN REGIONS AND GRAPES. 

1 SPARKLING 2 WHITES AND REDS    $85

Francois Montand Sparkling from the Jura.  A blend of Colombard, Ugni Blanc and Chardonnay made in the Method Traditional and aged for 9 months on the lees.  Pale gold with a hint of green with fine bubbles.  Intense aromas of white flowers and citrus fruits.  Creamy and smooth, like golden delicious apples meets brioche.  No need to wait for a special occasion to drink.  Pair it with a salad, fish, ceviche or a cheese platter.

Le Cellier du Palais, Apremont, Savoie.  High on the East side of Mont Granier in South-Eastern France.  A family property since the 1700’s of only 15 acres, now run by Beatrice, 3rd generation since her grandfather started the winery.  Apremont is a fascinating region carved by glaciers.  The Bernards use techniques like digging and ploughing to encourage healthy bacterial life in the soils and maintain a natural environment.  The grapes surrounded by cherry, almond and fig trees, are 100% Jacquere grape, are hand harvested.  The wine expresses intense minerality and flintiness, with a fruity finish and freshness.  It makes for an excellent aperitif and pairs well with smoked trout and salmon.

Cave de Tain Premier Note Marsanne, Collines Rhodaniennes, Rhone Valley.  Marsanne is the dominant white grape in the Northern Rhone.  It can naturally be a weightier wine than other whites, and not need oak aging for character.  It has a pale, yellow color and a rich nose of white daisies and citrus fruits.  It is an easy drinking, well balanced wine to pair with lighter seafood or savory appetizers.

Isle Saint Pierre Rouge, Mediterranee, Camargue.  Ok, so this was new to me.  A tiny island in the middle of the Rhone river, 25 miles South of Arles!  The winery dates to the 1920’s.  Mainly comprised of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and, wait for it, Arinarnoa – a hybrid of Merlot and Petit Verdot. Who knew?  Farming is done organically, fertilized by sheep.  With its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, the wine is fresh and juicy, and very tasty! 

Francois Villard Syrah “L’Appel des Sereines” - “The Call of the Sirens” A nice play on words here, Sereines is the old French word for Syrah.  Francois, a former chef, is a self-taught winemaker in the Northern Rhone.  His reputation precedes him, and this little gem will not last long as I bought all the remaining cases available.  Pair it with braised lamb shanks to release its inner spice and pepper.  It is lush and juicy, and delicious.

Khalkhal-Pamies “Kalys” Minervois is a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah.  This wine is stunning.  It has a beautiful balance of minerality and ripeness.  It is very accessible, fruit forward and rich.  Unoaked, nothing stands between the flavors and your taste buds with a natural sense of leather.  It is certified Organic, to boot.  Pair it with a triple cream cheese and you will be in heaven.