We met Susan Maschal of Ultimate Wine and Spirits as we tasted through some vins des terroirs from the Vintage '59 Portfolio. Vintage '59 is named thus for the founder, Roy Cloud, who was born in 1959. He has also just finished a book about wines called To Burgundy and Back Again.
- 2010 Domaine Branger Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Le Fils des Gras Moutons - $17.99 - 12% alcohol - 100% Melon de Bourgogne - Domaine Claude Branger was founded by his grandfather, who developed the wine domaine during the First World War. Today his son Sebastien works beside him. They farm 61 acres in two parishes in the heart of the Muscadet Sevre et Maine appellation. Le Fils des Gras Moutons (the son of the fat sheep) is the domaine's base wine, which comes from 26 acres of vines in Branger's earlier maturing plots. The soil runs from 10 to 16 inches deep and the granite bedrock is metamorphic gneiss full of mica and quartz. Notes of chamomile and white peach flowers up front, followed by racy lemon zest, verbena, and fleur de sel notes through the finish. Long and Pure. Would pair well with oysters or light seafood. Viscous finish, has salinity, and organic to boot!
- 2010 Domaine de San de Guilhem Vin de Pays de Gascogne - $13.99 - 11.5% alcohol - 40% Columbard, 30% Gros Manseg, 30% Ugni Blanc (OO-nee-Blah-nk)- The 50-hectare Domaine de San de Guilhem (Gee-yum) is in the eastern portion of Bas-Armagnac (southwest France), a region of sloping green hills, and oceanic climate, and sandy soils. Alain Lalanne's father (and his grandfather and great-grandfather) only made wine to distill into Armagnac (aka: Cognac), but his retirement in 1970 coincided with a progressive and lasting decline in the global market for Armagnac (cognac). Consequently, Alain and the other growers in the region faced the need to sell the region's white wine as wine rather than as spirits. Vin de Pays de Gascogne: is a zesty and lively white wine with a nose of white fruits and a clean, crisp finish. Would pair well with salad, seafood (without sauce).
- NV Charles Bove Sparkling Rosé - $21.99 - 70% Cabernet Franc, 30% Gamay - The Charles Bove company was founded in the 19th century in Montrichard (Mahn-trey-shard), in the Loire Valley. Its base of operations is an enormous rock quarry. The company specializes in sparkling wines, but also has an extensive portfolio of still wines. The domaine buys juice after tasting vintages at each property. The wines are then vinified, blended, and bottles at the domaine. Sparkling Rose: a methode traditionelle sparkling made from 70% Cabernet Franc (fine aromatics and acidity), 30% Gamay. The wine rests on its lees in Bove's chalk caves for 18 months before being disgorged. This is fresh, dry, with hints of rose petals and hibiscus. Only 5 cases in Georgia. This wine will be served at The Watershed's new location on Peachtree (near the original Cafe Intermezzo).
- 2009 Mas Conscience Cuvée 'La Petite Prise' Coteaux du Languedoc - $24.99 - 13.5% alcohol - 50% Grenache, 50% Syrah - Genevieve and Laurent Vidal founded Mas Conscience in 2003, on the outskirts of Saint-Jean-de-Fos. They came from the appellation of Pic-Saint-Loup, where they had started a domaine the preceding decade. The village of Saint-Jean-de-Fos had a special place in their hearts because both had spent their childhood years there. So when a friend offered them his vineyard parcels, the Vidals sold their domaine and bought their friend's vines, and built a cellar to make and bottle their own wines. Cuvee La Petite Prise is made from equal parts Grenache and Syrah, both from young vines growing on the old Herault riverbed. BONUS STORY: You will notice a donkey and a ceramic vessel depicted on the bottle label. Mas Conscience means Collective Conscience. The story goes that there were 2 Benedictine Abbeys nearby, and this town was known for its ceramics. Each year they had to decide, based on their conscience, whether to send a vessel of olive oil, or wine, or both to the Abbeys.
- 2008 Domaine de la Chevalerie Bourgueil 'Les Galichets' - $28.99 - 13% alcohol - 100% Cabernet Franc - Since 1640 this domaine has been in the Caslot family. Today it is aided by the son and daughter team of Emmanuel and Stephanie. These dynamic siblings have been instrumental in upgrading the winery equipment and converting the domaine to organic farming. Galichets: a 25-acre vineyard heading down the terrace toward the river that is planted on stony, sandy clay. Galichets was first planted in 1934, and today the vines average 40 years of age. This vineyard tends to make the domaine's fruitiest wine. Full of energy, with uplifting aromatics. One of the more fragrant and floral - Cab Franc's I've ever tried. has notes of black olive and a mushroomy-bell-pepper .
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