Keller 2011s, Chidaine Bullas, Dubos Bordeaux, Manchuela and new Corsin Maconnais gems.
Thursday, June 14:
Gruner Silvaner Trocken, Weingut Keller, Rheinhessen 2011- $16.99/btl ($13.60 by case or mixed case): By now, most of our regular clients probably wish we'd lay off our constant proselytizing for the incredible wines of Klaus Peter Keller. Sometimes, we even think of moving on to another grower, another wine, another region...then, Keller releases a new bottling. Today, we taste his just-arrived 2011 Silvaner, a grape that in the hands of mere mortals yields wines that can (at best) be deemed "workhorses". Often, Silvaners serve no higher purpose than functioning as everyday table wine for estate staff, or as a house pour for the local winstub; but, typical of Keller, his Silvaner is a nervy, focused, intensely-flavored, mineral-tinged opus that is both a revelation of Rheinhessen terroir and a compelling argument for this humble grape to be taken seriously. This overachieving gem would be equally at home with brats off the grill or a stately dinner of German classics.
Bullas "Tres P", Francois Chidaine 2010- $17.99/btl ($14.40 by case or mixed case): Bullas, situated in southern Spain, near the city of Cartagena, is an appellation known for producing brawny, boozy wines of a very direct and simple nature. Enter famous Loire vintner Francois Chidaine, who- through the fortune of marriage to a native of the region- has found a high-altitude plot and brought to bear the same meticulous and refined touch on display in his otherworldly single-vineyard Vouvrays and Montlouis. The result is a Bullas red, blended from Tempranillo and Monastrell, that features plenty of black fruits, wild herbs and espresso in the aromas and flavors...but also holds these disparate elements in a balance usually found only in Spain's more northerly vineyards. We're rarely inspired by hot-climate Spanish reds, but when you taste this one, you'll instantly know why it's the exception that breaks the rule.
Friday, June 15:
Taste Through Bordeaux, with Mathilde Lombard of Dubos-Bordeaux (note: today's tasting begins at 5 PM): One of the most exciting developments in modern Bordeaux has been the demise of the time-honored negociant system, in which a handful of Bordelaise agents and courtiers- working in conjunction with a now-defunct "super importer" (Chateau & Estates)- essentially rigged the pricing and allocation of all major Bordeaux wines through the manipulation of access to wines for tasting, press hype and demands for significant prepayment for unfinished wines. What has replaced the negociant system is a far more efficient, transparent and consumer-friendly arrangement, in which the best agents for Bordeaux directly invest in both the wines and the subsequent export/marketing here in the US. Long story short, more Bordeaux are available in the US at more reasonable prices! And to prove that point, our guest today, Mathilde Lombard, will be pouring a selection of Dubos' outstanding offerings from 2008, 2009, 2010 and '11.
Saturday, June 16:
St Veran "Tirage Precoce", Corsin 2011- $19.99/btl ($15.99 by case or mixed case): Gilles Corsin is well-known in Burgundy circles as being a fanatic in the cellar. He specializes in sourcing grapes from countless tiny plots in the Maconnais, St Veran and Pouilly-Fuisse, then fashioning all that fruit into no more than three or four basic cuvees each vintage. For his St Veran, the wines that are fresh and young that he chooses not to put through malo (secondary fermentation) and barrel aging go into his "Tirages Precoces" (literally, "early selection"). As you can imagine from such a name, the emphasis here is on straight-up, apple blossom-scented, stony Chardonnay...with a little hint of pineapple that is the hallmark of first rate St Veran. In our hierarchy of great southern Burgundy, Corsin's "Precoces" easily bests other growers' old vines offerings, so a tariff of only $16 or so by the case for this beauty is one of our best current values!
Manchuela "Salia", Finca Sandoval 2008- $15.99/btl ($12.79 by case or mixed case): What better to get you through the summer months than a big, bold, dark mixture of Grenache and Syrah? Spanish journalist Victor La Serna started his vineyards in Manchuela (just south and east of Madrid) with cuttings from the famed southern Rhone estate, Chateau de Beaucastel, and the early results are quite promising. This is just one of many reds were featuring that prove big wines needn't be heavy or jammy to be of interest.
This week's lineup- as usual- is going to be available in limited quantities, with the caveat that one or two of them may still be in transit and not arriving until next week. That being said...here's the list:
Epic Brainless on Peaches (Tripel w/peach infusion)- 22 oz
Epic Hop Syndrome Lager- 22 oz
Mikkeller 1000 IBU (the name says it all!)- 375 ml
Dupont Speciale Belge (rare collaboration between Dupont and Iron Hill of Maple Shade, NJ! The featured brew at Philly Beer Week and sure to go fast.) - 750 ml
Brenna Wine Queue
This week brings news that Brenna intends to raise the number of lawyers in this overlawyered state by one, as she will sit for the bar exam in February. So, until she receives her license to ill, expect her to be at her post, slinging juice until she finally realizes she might need to take a day or two to actually study for the exam. Between now and then, count on us to keep force-feeding her the best in quality juice from around the planet, starting with this week's lineup:
Grauer Burgunder Trocken (Pinot Gris), Weingut Keller, Rheinhessen 2011- $22.99
Riesling QbA Trocken, Emrich-Schonleber, Nahe 2011- $22.99
Riesling QbA "Lenz", Emrich-Schonleber, Nahe 2011- $24.99
Roger Coulon Brut Rose NV- $62.99
Sauvignon d'Oc, Domaine Massiac 2011- $10.99
Chardonnay "Ca' del Buc", De Forville 2011- $14.99
Rias Baixas Albarino, La Cana 2011- $14.99