Chuck and Sean’s Languedoc Bargains (14th generation of ownership!)

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Hi everyone –

While I’m on holiday for a couple of weeks, I’ve asked Chuck to take charge of finding some super cool wines for this week’s offer. Our palates are very simpatico, and I think you’re in for a treat here.

The wines are all outstanding Corbieres bargains imported by our good friend Sean LaBonty (former manager of Solo Vino), who owns Lompian Imports and directly imports some of the best French bargains available in Minnesota.

These wines over-deliver in a HUGE way, but Lompian is small enough that these wines fly under the radar for most drinkers.

Sidebar: the history of Chuck, Sean, and me

In the mid-to-late 1990s, myself, Chuck Kanski, and Sean Labonty were all in our late 20’s (what a glorious age), full of energy and spark, and prided ourselves on knowing what top-grade hospitality and food were all about. We were professional servers and took pride in our jobs. What we didn’t know much about was wine, but that was about to change.

We all met at our new job, at the hottest restaurant and wine bar at the moment in the Twin Cities, The Vintage. It was in the mansion that is two blocks west of Solo Vino, one block west of Dale Street.

The Vintage was THE spot when it first opened. For the first year of its existence, nothing could touch it. It had the best chefs, the best servers, and the best wine list. I still have a copy of the original wine list. 1945 Mouton Rothschild was the most expensive bottle, at around $3000 (a bargain by today’s standards). Penfolds Grange was $500 a bottle (and one night I sold six of them to one table … a story for another day).

The wine manager was Brian Mallie, current buyer for the Kowalski’s wine shops, and he’s the one who poured wine into our glasses and got all three of us going on the magical juice.

It was an incredible place to work, and six nights a week it was me, Chuck, and Sean pulling corks and talking wine (and being the 1990’s, selling cigars and coming home reeking of them at the end of the night) to table after table. Perhaps you were there too?

What we have here

Three wines, three grapes. Pre-industrial winemaking. Bare minimum of sulfites added for stability (this family is very well known for there top-quality ‘clean’ winemaking that allows for minimal or no sulfite wines to be produced).

There is a purity and grace to these wines. They are what I call “honest wines” and they are priced to pop on a Tuesday night.

And an AMAZING Orange Wine

Those that love orange wine will LOVE THIS WINE.

Those that are new to orange wine should buy this to know just how much fun orange wine can be.

Orange wine is produced by making a white wine using red wine methods: fermentation on the skins, resulting in an amber/orange color and a white wine with body, texture, and tannin.

This category is fascinating, and when you have a family like the Fabres, with the talent they possess, their orange wine is a must buy and must try.

The last thing on orange wines: they are BY FAR the most versatile wines for those that love veggies, seafood, salads, and meat. In other words, good food. Especially anything with a Turkish, Moroccan, or Eastern European flavor profile, these wines excel.

Chuck and Sean on the Fabre family and their winemaking

A very nice little video from the winery

Fabre Domaine de Luc Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting note from Kyle and Joe at Solo Vino: Wow! Beautiful example of a classic Sauv Blanc. Aromatics of lychee, peach, dried flowers. On the palate you can expect a very subtle, gentle tart finish after the copious amounts for Granny Smith apple fruit. The finish is very clean. I suggest this wine with petty much ANY food pairing.

Fabre Domaine de Luc Merlot

Tasting note from Kyle and Joe at Solo Vino: Plum, leather, cigar box tobacco just leap from your glass. The fruit is medium leaning towards light body. A very versatile wine for food pairings. I can easily see this with grilled seafood, chicken, on its way up the ladder to a big rich ribeye! Grilling Season is here folks!

Fabre Domaine de Luc Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting note from Kyle and Joe at Solo Vino: Wet clay, dried cherries, earthy aromatics of pepper and Eucalyptus. The clean purity again of the fruit is perfect. Soft, plush with hints of cinnamon and spice. Very clean finish again. This wine will enjoy a single decant!

Note the three wines above are being offered in a three-pack and six-pack at further discount.

Louis Andrieu Amber Wine

Certified Organic, Certified Sustainable, Vegan, Biodynamic In Practice, Minimal Intervention / Augmentation, Natural Fermentation. A terrific orange wine that can handle curry, pan-Asian spices, and even barbecue. This might be one of the most versatile wines we’ve ever offered.

Final thoughts and buying advice

The word of the day here with this offer is PURITY. It came up naturally in the conversation between Sean and Chuck. It came up naturally in the tasting notes from Joe and Kyle. And honestly, it’s not a word that I’m hearing often with other wines.

Embrace the purity, embrace the family ownership, embrace the natural winemaking and low sulfite use, and get your hands on some great wines!

Thank you!

Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education

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