2009 Domaine Rolet Pere Arbois Rouge Jura, France
A blend of Trousseau, Poulsard & Pinot Noir, the principal red varieties of the Arbois appellation. What a perfect summer red – fresh & light-bodied with flavors of small juicy red fruits, bramble and a touch of wild thyme framed by light, superfine tannins. It was just a matter of time before we had to pay obscure Jura its due…this red-headed stepchild of France’s cool-climate wine regions is finally basking in the warm glow of geeky attention with its distinctive and unapologetic wine styles. The Jura is nestled between Burgundy’s Côte d’Or and Switzerland. Set apart geographically, its remoteness has permitted very traditional styles and wine-making practices to survive. Domaine Rolet is a small, celebrated estate in the area, established in the early 1940s. Put this in the fridge for 15 minutes before enjoying it with charcuterie or a morsel or two of Ossau-Iraty cheese.
2012 Clos du Tue-Boeuf Cheverny Blanc “Frileuse” Loire, France
33% Sauvignon Blanc/33% Chardonnay/33% Sauvignon Gris (a pink-skinned clone of SB). Since the Middle Ages, there have been records about the lieu-dit “le Tue-Boeuf” and its excellent wines which were enjoyed by local nobility & the kings of France. This wine is produced by Thierry Puzelat in the Cheverny appellation of the Loire. Cheverny is in the Central Loire Valley, achieving official AOC status in 1993 and produces mainly whites. “Frileuse” roughly translates to “the little cold one,” and unsurprisingly, it’s the parcel within the Clos du Tue-Boeuf that gets the coldest. Thierry sticks to organic production, no sulfur on vinifications, vinifies in barrels and only a small dose of SO2 is added before bottling (always less than 15mg), so share this with a Natural Wine seeker or a member of the self-proclaimed Sulfite-sensitive tribe. This is rare juice – in 2012, just 3 barrels of this exotic, citrusy cuvee were produced.
2013 Salcheto Toscana Rosato Obvius Tuscany, Italy
This Rosato is primarily Sangiovese with 10% “kitchen-sink” grapes blended in: Canaiolo, Mammolo, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot. Salcheto is one of the first 100% carbon-neutral wineries in the world, is Certified Organic and was the recipient of the Award for Sustainable Viticulture in the Gambero Rosso Guide, 2014. Salco is the winery’s most important vineyard and means “willow tree” in the ancient Tuscan dialect. Salcheto is the name of a stream that runs through the property where willows once grew in abundance. They have just begun to replant willow trees on the estate in areas not suitable for viticulture. Only 250 cases imported !