Treat yourself and stop by this Friday, we will be pouring 4 wines,
A white organic from the “Gavi” Appellation in Piedmont, Italy
A rosé from the Loire Valley, France
Two reds, a Valpolicella Classico from Veneto, Italy
And a red blend from Cotes de Gascogne, France!
Il Poggio di Gavi, Gavi (2018)
- Grape: Cortese
- Geography: Piedmont, Italy
- Appellation: Gavi
- Features: Organic
Emile Balland, Coteaux du Giennois Rosé Les Beaux Jours (2018)
- Grape: Gamay
- Geography: Loire Valley, France
- Appellation: Coteaux du Giennois
Emile Balland is a tall man. Perhaps it’s seeing the world from such a physically elevated position that allows him to take the long view when it comes to his vineyards and wine making. Standing at the top of his steep 0.8 hectare vineyard in Sancerre, looking out onto the rest of the appellation, you get a feeling of exhilaration from the beauty of the view. Or maybe it’s just being out of breath. While Emile ran up this slope in steady, long strides, the rest of us trudged up behind him huffing and puffing. Cecille, Emile’s wife, just shook her head and laughed at the good-natured show off she married.
The far sighted approach that Emile takes in the vines manifests itself in meticulous work, and respect for biodiversity and the organic life of the soil. Only natural treatments are used when necessary as Emile believes that healthy soil is crucial in the transference of terroir to the finished wines.
The estate is comprised of just 9 total hectares; 1 in Sancerre and 8 in the Coteaux du Giennois. Emile’s holdings in the Giennois lie within the villages of Bonny-sur-Loire and Beaulieu-sur-Loire where the vineyards rise gently from the banks of the Loire. From these calcareous soils, with sub-strata of silex and clay, come the wines Emile calls “Les Beaux Jours.” The red is a juicy blend of pinot noir and gamay, and the white is entirely sauvignon. Seasonally, Emile produces rosé from the same blend as the rouge
Domaine de Joy, Côtes de Gascogne La Vie en Joy (2017)
- Geography: Southwest France, France
- Appellation: Côtes de Gascogne
In the beautiful Cotes de Gascogne region resides the Domaine de Joÿ founded in 1927 by Swiss emigrés Paul and Marguerite Gessler. In these rolling hills, we find perfectly beautiful terroir for wine grapes as well as grapes for wine distilled into Armagnac. Domaine de Joÿ produces both, guided by minimally interventionist philosophies in the vines and cellar. These philosophies are now being handed down to the 4th generation of Gesslers as brothers Roland and Olivier are handing the reins over to Roland’s son Gaël and his two cousins Vanessa and Kevin.
What’s striking when discussing the history of the domain with the Gesslers is how much research and care went into the planting of each specific grape variety, the location dictated in each case by a thorough examination of the soils which are quite diverse and complex, and the aspect of the hillside relative to the sun. For instance, Columbard, Ugni Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc are planted only on the south-facing slopes for best acid retention that will keep these grapes balanced, fresh and lively. Petit and Gros Manseng are at their most expressive planted in sandy clay soils. These five white grapes are most often blended to showcase and enhance the strengths of each. Inspired by the similarity of one vineyard area’s clay/limestone soils to those of the right bank of Bordeaux, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown. However, it would be a simplification to describe the wine produced from this plot as a value ringer for St. Emillion. All of the wines from Domaine de Joÿ have a breezy freshness and a Joie de Vivre about them that make them their own distinct pleasure.
Azienda Agricola Viviani, Valpolicella Classico (2017)
- Grapes: Corvina and Rondinella
- Geography: Veneto, Italy
- Appellation: Valpolicella
Amarone holds a reputation as the elephant of the Italian wine world, crushing all cuisines under its unctuous power. Claudio Viviani takes a different approach – he is looking for nuance, elegance, balance, and above all the ability of the wines to complement and enhance a meal. Viviani is a man who likes to drink his own wines with dinner and, like all good Italians, he loves food! In truth, these graceful wines express a truer identification of the historical traditions of Amarone. Originally, Amarone came only from the highest hills, where altitude above the valley helped to retain acids. Even as harvest dates in Valpolicella have gotten later and later amongst his peers, Claudio looks to no one but the grapes themselves to tell him when to pick. This unique and confident approach, combined with excellent terroir, results in wines which are bright, lively and refreshingly juicy on the palate, even within the larger impression of dense concentration. At Viviani, the trick is not to breed the fattest elephant, but to teach your fat elephant to dance!
The 10 Ha estate in the hamlet of Mazzano boasts vines at the highest elevation of the historic zone (345-450 meters above sea level). The sea breeze and low humidity creates an ideal environment for the vine cultivation and most importantly the necessary drying for the Amarone. The vines face south, south-east and are farmed with minimal intervention avoiding any synthetic products to maintain a healthy respect for the grapes as well as local tradition.
70% Corvina Veronese, 30 % rondinella. 2 ha of vines between 10-80 years old in limestone soils laced with fossilized pink coral. South, south-east exposure. Hand harvested. Fermented in cement tanks