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Last Friday of the Month Wine Tasting


WINES OF THE NORTHERN RHONE


February 27th
4 PM to 8 PM

5 Wines for $25 per person

It is a very exciting time for the Northern Rhone right now. A string of successful recent vintages beginning with 2009 has attracted the attention of consumers young and old to the quality and range of wines produced there. As prices for Bordeaux and Burgundy continue to climb, top wines from the Northern Rhone remain in reach and there is great value to be explored throughout the region.

For this month's Last Friday Tasting on February 27th, we have assembled a killer selection of wines that showcase the outstanding quality this historic region has to offer. Whether your goal is to find a great wine to drink tonight or lay down for a decade, we've got you covered. Don't miss out!

The Lineup:

Remy Nodin Saint Peray Mousseux Extra Brut $29.99

Saint Peray is a tiny appellation located in southernmost tip of the northern Rhone. Production is dedicated exclusively to white and sparkling wine. Despite the fact that it is one of the oldest appellations in France for sparkling wine, Remy Nodin is only one of five producers making sparkling wine there. Even fewer are exported, so this is a rare treat! The limestone, clay-limestone and granitic soils in Saint-Peray are ideal terroir for growing grapes with the acidity and structure needed for making a sparkling wine with elegance and finesse.

Composed of 100% Marsanne, this is made in the Champagne style. It is mineral-flecked and lush, with a creamy mousse and exotic hints of pear and ginger. A truly distinctive bubbly, this complements both savory and sweet dishes. Try it with rich cheeses, candied spiced nuts, or even light cakes and fruit tarts.

2013 Pierre Gaillard Condrieu $55.99

100% Viognier from naturally low-yielding parcels on the south-facing slopes of Côte Bellay and Boissey. The southern hillside exposure and decomposed granite topsoils here are ideal conditions for growing Viognier with the structure and intensity that distinguish the wines of Condrieu as one of the world's most famous white wine appellations. Pierre Gaillard's is no exception. Aged on the lees for eight months in 10% new French oak, this is a truly elegant expression of Viognier offering tropical lychee and stone fruit aromas and flavors with delicate white flower accents. Frequent lees-stirring adds layers of complexity to the natural richness and silken texture of the wine.

According to Wine Advocate: "Starting with the three whites, the 2013 Condrieu is made in a pretty, fresh and lively style, showing notes of wild herbs, mint, green citrus and underipe peach. Medium-bodied, nicely balanced and with good length, it’s perfect for drinking over the coming 2-3 years. Based out of the northern part of Saint Joseph, Pierre Gaillard fashions classic, fresh and traditionally styled reds from all of the Northern Rhône appellations." (12/2014)

2012 Domaine Durand "Premices" Cornas $35.99

Located just south of Lyon, Cornas is one of the smallest appellations in the Rhone Valley and produces exclusively red wines made from Syrah. The name 'Cornas' comes from the Celtic word for 'burnt earth', for much the same reasons that its more famous neighbor in the north, Cote Rotie, literally translates to mean 'the roasted slope': extremely steep, rocky hillsides characterize the terroir, and the aspect makes for prolonged sun exposure for the vines. The wines of Cornas are famously rustic in style.

93 points Robert Parker: "The 2012 Cornas Premices knocks it out of the park with its chocolaty dark fruits, leather, crushed rock and licorice aromas and flavors. Dense, full-bodied and concentrated, with a hedonistic, voluptuous slant, drink it over the coming 6-7 years.

Another brilliantly run estate in the Northern Rhône, Eric and Joel Durand have made rich, concentrated and textured 2012s that show the vintage nicely. These should drink nicely on release yet evolve gracefully. Their 2013s follow suit, with their top cuvee, the Cornas Confidence, being the only wine that will really require cellaring to become approachable. The style here is quasi-modern, with plenty of destemming and moderate new oak, but the wines all hold onto plenty of Cornas character. They're highly recommended." (JD, 12/2014)

2011 Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph Rouge $65.99

93 points Robert Parker: "Tasted out of bottle and a smoking St.-Joseph that savvy readers need to seek out, the 2011 St.-Joseph (which was just bottled prior to this tasting) offers gorgeous richness and depth, especially in the vintage. Black currants, charcoal, mineral, bouquet garni and ample background meatiness all emerge from the glass, and this medium to full-bodied beauty has brilliant purity of fruit, a great texture and fine tannin that should allow it to evolve gracefully. It’s a fantastic value that should not be missed!

One of the highlight visits during my time spent working in the Northern Rhone, Jean-Louis Chave (who is often called “The Pope of Hermitage” by others) makes some of the most profound wines in the world today...Despite the notoriety here, Jean-Louis remains one of the most humble and straight talking winemakers out there, and his wines deserve a place in any wine lover’s cellar." (JD, 12/2013)

2011 Delas "Les Tourettes" Hermitage Rouge $99.99

95+ points Robert Parker: "Starting off the 2011s, both of which were tasted out of bottle numerous times, the 2011 Hermitage Domaine de Tourettes is another blockbuster from this producer. Full-bodied, rich, layered and voluptuously textured, it offers up a beautiful bouquet of smoked herbs, leather, ground pepper and assorted meaty nuances that are grounded by a rich core of cassis and darker berry fruit. While a big wine, it has remarkable freshness and purity, serious mid-palate depth and silky tannin, all of which allow it to dish out loads of pleasure, even now. Enjoy it over the coming 15-20 years.

Run by Jacques Grange and Claire Darnaud, Delas, which is owned by the Louis Roederer-Deutz Champagne firm, is producing no nonsense, extremely high quality efforts that are near the top of each of their respective appellations. I was consistently impressed by the wines, and they stood out in all of the larger tastings that I was able to do. In addition, I was able to taste the wines again at the domain, and again once back in the states. These are serious efforts worthy of attention. As to the Hermitages, they produce two, a standard Domaine des Tourettes, and in top vintages, the Les Bessards. In addition to the top-flight Cote Rotie and Hermitage releases, this estate produces a bevy of high quality efforts from Cornas and Saint Joseph." (JD, 12/2013)

No reservations required.

All wines featured in the tasting will be available for purchase.


 

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