Exclusive offer: 5/13/2022 – A plethoral of Springtime goodness
This offer is only available from Friday, May 13th at 3:00 pm to Sunday, May 15th at 3:00 pm. If the offer is still on, you’ll see the order form at the bottom of this page. That form is sent to Solo Vino Wine Shop in St. Paul, MN for final fulfillment (shipping is available).
And don’t miss out on our May 2022 “Four on the Fourth” box we built in coordination with Solo Vino. Check it out.
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It looks like a random pile of wine, but there are some connections here
We’ll be starting in Burgundy (with a can’t-miss-opportunity diversion to northwestern Spain), going down to Beaujolais (with a little diversion to Dry Creek Valley), heading over the hill to the Upper Loire, then riding the river toward the ocean and one of the best Chenin Blanc bargains in we have ever found.
An opportunity on Premier Cru White Burgundy (it’s all about the vineyard)
This is the kind of wine, at this price, that is getting harder and harder to find.
And it’s not cheap. “Affordable” and “Burgundy” are two words that are rarely coming together anymore. However, the price on this is amazing considering the quality, provenance, vintage, producer, and most of all the vineyard.
It’s all about where it’s from. The En Remilly vineyard is one of the great secrets of the wine world, and if you’re into white Burgundy, memorize it. En Remilly is a little skin-tag of land on the far northern edge of Chassagne-Montrachet, but as you can see it really looks to be more a part of Puligny-Montrachet. It faces northeast, so in a hotter vintage like 2015, the resulting fruit is perfect.
But then, here’s the big secret. In the image below I circled the En Remilly vineyard … look at the neighbors!
From this one vineyard, you can almost literally throw a rock into Chevalier-Montrachet, Montrachet, and Le Montrachet. Arguably the three top Chardonnay vineyards in all the world.
The wine is stunning, textured, and produced by a fantastic domaine that was formed when two families with bits of land holding combined their forces through a marraige. Fantastic concentration of fruit, firm minerality, and everything you’d expect from Premier Cru White Burgundy.
Avancia Godello 2015 – a Burgundy wannabe at 50% off
This is a fun wine. Only 35 bottles are available at a great price. And it speaks to lovers of white Burgundy. So if you were intrigued with the first wine, you will LOVE this.
Godello is a grape grown in northwestern Spain and has been the belle of the ball for many Sommeliers in the last five years or so. It’s a white that has opulence and verve at the same time, with loads of fresh apple, stonefruit, and mineral characteristics.
When it’s grown in a single vineyard (like this one) and treated like a Burgundy (careful use of oak, battonage, allowing some lees aging but maintaining freshness) it can make for show-stopping, head-turning wine.
HOWEVER, it appeals best to restaurants and sommeliers that can hand-sell it to go with particular dishes. While the restaurant business is starting to return, the budgets at the best restaurants don’t allow yet for obscure Spanish whites that you have to hand-sell. This makes for our opportunity.
Tasting note: color is racy lemon, not showing signs of age. Aromas are season-perfect McIntosh apple meets lemon rind, with a touch of lychee and starfruit. The taste is racy but mouth-filling, finishing with firm acids. Perfect pairing? Pan-fried walleye with a berre blanc sauce. This is a serious wine and drinking great right now. Drink before the end of the year.
MOVING ON DOWN TO BEAUJOLAIS (with a quick visit to California)
Domaine des Gaudets Beaujolais Blanc
Beaujolais Blanc? Yep! In fact, there is a tiny little crossover section of Beaujolais that allows the Chardonnay grown there to be labeled either Bourgogne Blanc or Beaujolais Blanc. The importer of this wine wisely chose Beaujolais Blanc not only to help it stand out but because it really tastes more like it’s from the granite soils of Beaujolais instead of the limestone and marl of Burgundy. It’s a fun little bargain Chardonnay, clean as can be and expressive and smart. Grabbing some rotisserie chicken? This is your wine!
Domaine de la Madone Beaujolais-Village “Le Perréon”
This is one of our go-to reds for the summer, and one of the few Beaujolais that we’re finding that lives up to the promise and the hype that Beaujolais offers, and at a price that’s impossible to beat.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s easy to find incredible, expressive, and awe-inspiring Beaujolais right now but the problem is that many of them are over $25, sometimes over $35. I’ve even seen some new wines on the market reaching $50 a bottle.
Gamay is such a great grape, and this one is flawless. Lip-smacking in style, with loads of blue and black fruits that drive the best wines of Beaujolais. And as you see in the photo, Wine Advocate likes it too.
Fire up the grill.
Duxoup Gamay Noir, Dry Creek Valley
Yep. In the land of Zinfandel, on the western flank of Dry Creek Valley, Minnesota native Andy Cutter and his wife Deb have a tiny (and I mean TINY) parcel of Gamay in their front yard. Andy literally makes his wine in his garage, and his European sensibilities make for wines that are racy, edgy, and love pairing with foods. This is one of my favorite wines to serve blind to a room of sommeliers.
We’re offering both the 2018 and 2017 here because they are so different. 2018 is firmer, edgy, and packs a punch. 2017 is opulent, rounder, and friendlier. A bottle of each gives you a clear side-by-side comparison.
The vineyard is only a half-acre in size. There is barely any of this wine made, and rarely are two vintages available at the same time.
OVER THE FIELDS, TO THE LOIRE: Upper and middle
From where we were in Beaujolais if you go straight west and over a little hill, you reach the Loire River and our next stop: Saint Pourçain.
The Loire River is the longest in France, and one of the longest in Europe. It originates in the Massif Central, the geologic pimple that covers south-central France. When people refer to the “Upper Loire” they are talking about closer to the source, and when they refer to the “Middle Loire” they are referring to the concentration of wine regions that you find due southwest of Paris.
Saint Pourçain, as you can see, is far closer to Dijon and Lyon (i.e. Burgundy and Beaujolais) than to Angers (the ‘center Loire’). Stylistically, culturally, and gastronomically, this area has more to do with Burgundy.
Nebout “L’Incompries du Tressallier”
This is one of my favorite wines, period. Tressallier is the grape (also known by the cheeky name Sacy), and it is the traditional grape of this little region in the middle of nowhere. It’s a grape that makes for racy, clean, bright, citrus-mineral packed wines that are so good with summertime foods on the patio! A wonderful description was “if Chablis and Muscadet had a baby, it would be Sacy.” The region is Saint Pourçain, and this wine used to be part of the Saint Pourçain AOC but the French government has recently screwed things up. In a spasm of short-sightedness, they have decided that for a wine to be labeled Saint Pourçain AOC it had to have Chardonnay in it. So this producer, growing this incredibly rare and obscure grape, has given the middle finger to the government and dropped their AOC status on the wine because they believe in doing it 100% Tressallier.
Only 90 acres of this grape exist (in the whole world). It’s a wonderfully fun and obscure little gem.
Then to the ‘center Loire’ … Caves de Saumur “Les Pouches” Chenin Blanc
THIS IS THE SINGLE BEST BUY ON CHENIN BLANC I’VE FOUND. There, I said it.
I’ve enjoyed this wine for the last ten vintages, but their 2020 is exceptional in all respects and is firing on all cylinders at the moment.
It’s everything a Chenin Blanc lover could want: single-vineyard production, top quality fresh white fruit aromas, that mouthfeel that only Chenin seems to get right, firm acidity, and perfect food pairing ability. I’ve always loved Les Pouches but the 2020 vintage is by far the best I’ve ever had. It’s a stock-up wine.
There is a lot going on with this week’s offer, so let me break it down a bit.
If you’re into big-time white wines then the first two (white burgundy and the Godello) are for you. These are serious gems and the pricing is the lowest you’ll find on them guaranteed. Both are show stoppers. Plan a good meal around them.
If you’re stocking up on whites for the summer then the Caves de Saumur Les Pouches and the Gaudets Beaujolais Blanc are your wines. Both are wonderful when you need more texture and richness than a Sauvignon Blanc may deliver, but you want to keep the acidity flowing. Super duper wines.
If you like to grill burgers in the sunshine and enjoy a glass of wine then stock up on the Beaujolais-Village. It might be the ultimate burger wine for summertime 2022.
If you’re into rarities and obscurities then both vintages of Duxoup Gamay Noir, plus the Nebout Tressalier, are for you. If you have wine people over and pull out those wines, odds are good they have never had them much less heard of them (unless they get this newsletter). These wines are better with food, so design up a crazy beautiful charcuterie board and live it up!
** This offer is closed. Thank you for your interest! **