Joe's Winos Wine Club march 2016
The Loire Valley is famous for the mineral driven, highly focused Sauvignon Blanc but the true gems of the region come from a small pocket far up the Loire river. Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume are the most common names associated with these lovely whites but a third, less known region may be the most impressive. The region of Menetou-Salon is immediately to the west of Sancerre (See Map Above) and shares the region's clay and limestone soils along with the very cool growing season. These highly stressed vines exhibit incredible minerality and offer a fruit profile unlike any other Sauvignon Blanc. Foregoing classic grapefruit and lemon for something far more savory. Jean-Paul Picard's Menetou-Salon's nose offers lean and focused wet stone, mangosteen, lime and white pepper. The palate will wake up your senses with its intense and tight minerality. Lime peel and dried herbs bring this clean, racy Sauvignon Blanc to a lovely finish. If this Sauv Blanc is a little too intense on its own, the pairing potential for this style of wine is almost infinite. Enjoy!
Fresh tomato and herb salad, smoked salmon with dill, cream cheese and capers, salty or blue cheeses. Seared Scallops or any fresh shellfish.
"The Keeper" Cabernet Franc 2012
Cabernet Franc is rarely seen growing on its own. The Loire Valley's Chinon AOP is considered the birthplace of varietal Cabernet Franc, but even those wines have limited presence in our markets. There are a few producers in California but any hint of over-ripeness translates to overwhelming bell-pepper flavors. David O'Reilly of Owen Roe fame is turning Washington State Cabernet Franc into a science. He produces several single vineyard Cab Francs from an array of cooler growing sites. O'Reilly makes beautiful Cabernet Franc that is truly age worthy. This particular 2012 Corvidae "The Keeper" needs to be open about 2 hours (or decanted 1 hour) to really show its full potential. As this wine unfolds, leather, tobacco, cinnamon, cedar, chili peppers become very present on the nose. There is an undercurrent of raspberry, cola, rhubarb, black cherry and torched brown sugar. The palate is medium bodied, spicy with black cherry, pepper and black olives. A nice tannin structure and acid ensure this wine's age-ability.
Mushroom-based dishes, hearty stews, pork or duck sausage.