|Whew – Things have gotten really crazy around here … I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was two-pronged, but I made good on both of my vinous promises. I shared a bottle of Sauternes with my sister during our traditional LOBSauTERnes Thanksgiving lunch (it was actually from Barsac, you could probably guess the Château). Then, I literally walked in to a dining room and took the last open place at the table surrounded by 10 hungry musicians and friends, magnum of 2011 Fleurie in tow! I basically watched them have their Thanksgiving meal (I did manage to nosh on some brussel sprouts), helping pass various plates and platters around the table, and of course, pouring the wine. Back here in the shop, it’s pandemonium! Our 36th Anniversary Sale is on, and there are values everywhere! Nowhere are the savings better than in our Burgundy department! With so much to choose from, it’s hard to nail down just one wine, but if I were to choose a sale Red Burgundy for my cellar, it would have to be the 2009 Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru “La Boudriotte” Rouge from Château de la Maltroye. It’s got everything going for it: winemaker, vintage, terroir, and now, price!
We’ve been importing the wines, both red and white, made by Jean-Pierre Cornut for 15+ years. Jean-Pierre took over from his father in 1993-94, and he continues to push the envelope for quality for his swath of bottlings. Formerly an aeronautical engineer, Cornut’s inherent meticulous ways have paid off big time as evidenced by the quality of his wines. For his Pinot Noir, he de-stems his entire crop, and the purity of fruit strikes the taster from the moment the aromas hit through the finish. Jean-Pierre got all he wanted (and then some) from the 2009 growing season, each phase of development was greeted by ideal weather conditions. In general, the wines were precocious and expressive upon release, and are currently filling out nicely. They have the structure to go the long haul, and the expressive fruit destined to stay on the front-end of that for a long time. The Premier Cru “La Boudriotte” vineyard sits to the south of the village of Chassagne adjacent to the “Morgeot Vigne Blanche” vineyard. Cornut’s Pinot Noir vines in “La Boudriotte” comprise just half a hectare, so production is extremely limited, but Jean-Pierre feels the terroir particularly distinct and bottles what he can. The aromatics are dominated by dark, lush berries, earth, and incense. There is a savory quality on the palate that binds with the spicy dark berry fruit and intensifies with a zippy lift. The finish is long and balanced, the wine a mere child in its life. You may remember that last year, one of Cornut’s less expensive bottlings wowed the Thursday Tasting Group and won a 2009 Red Burgundy tasting (which included an Echezeaux, no less). The 2009 Boudriotte is a little more of a serious wine with a longer life expectancy, AND as part of our Anniversary Sale, you can have it in your cellar for less than the price of a village wine!
So yes, our Anniversary Sale is on! The 2009 Boudriotte is just the tip of the iceberg! We’ll be sending out lists of wines that are on sale, so keep an eye on your inboxes. Meanwhile here at TWH, we’re all here ready to take your phone call, process your online order, or answer your email. Whichever way you would like to place your order, we’re ready. December is here and we’ll be running the sale throughout the month … but don’t wait too long, many of the bottles on sale are in very limited quantities and will sell out sooner than later!
Yes it is December, it’s a busy month for all of us, what with the sale and all. It’s a busy sports month for my favorite team overseas, with 9 crucial matches in 31 days. All I know is that we will know much more about the fate of the Blues once the December dust settles. Hey, I’ll take 3rd place on December 1; let’s see what they can do tomorrow. See you at the Mad Dog In The Fog! - Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about Our Anniversary Sale, LOBSauTERnes, Bordeaux, or English Football: email@example.com
|Carrying over Pete’s theme from last week - for Thanksgiving, drink what you like! Yes, the anything goes approach when choosing a wine for Thanksgiving is gaining strength even among wine writers and journalists. It is a relief to me that this new trend has emerged. If asked, I will share strong opinions as to what I think works best with turkey and all the trimmings, but I feel even stronger that at Thanksgiving, time should be spent on family and friends and not worrying about what wine to serve. It really only matters what you enjoy drinking and to understand your crowd. For years I was banging my head against the wall, trying to impress my food-loving, California wine-drinking family with the earthy, soil-driven red Burgundy I brought to share. With age and wisdom, I now know to grab a bottle of Zinfandel or Syrah from one of my favorite California producers to take home. Now we are all happy. So you see, relax and enjoy during this time of gratitude and reflection.
I have selected the following wines as viable options for the Thanksgiving table, that just also happen to be two top values from California. The quality that you get in the bottle far exceeds the price tag. They are not new to THW and are probably familiar to many of you who read our newsletters, so without any further adieu welcome back in stock Lacuna and Juicy Villages!!!!
The 2011 is the third vintage from Lacuna. Unlike the 2010, which was heavily influenced by Petite Sirah, and more like the 2007, our Top Ten of 2010, the 2011 Lacuna has Syrah back in the driver’s seat. Leave it to winemaker Morgan Twain-Peterson to source top quality fruit from various celebrated sites to blend together a perfect amalgamation of fruit, structure and perfume.
For the three original partners in Lacuna, who were already actively working in the wine business, the aesthetic behind creating Lacuna was all about the aromatics and the texture. The three, passionate about Old World wines, wanted to apply their palate preferences to domestic wine. It may be a marketing nightmare for the guys, but I appreciate how each vintage of Lacuna brings out a different expression of fruit all the while adhering to a strong point of view. The aromatics at this young stage are quite dramatic in the 2011 Lacuna; notes of bacon fat, berries and petals waft up out of the glass. Inside the bottle you will find 85% Syrah, sourced from several sites and some co-fermented with Viognier just like they do in Cote-Rotie, with the balance comprised of old-vine Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Carignan. The mouth-coating fruit is persuasive and energetic. Yes, I would bring this wine to Thanksgiving, but I would also love to see it alongside braised short ribs or a steaming bowl of Carbonnade. The 2011 Lacuna proves to me that ’07 and ’10 weren’t just flukes. The gorgeous Lacuna reds are moving from strength to strength.
Last year the 2011 Juicy Villages from Juicy Rebound made it to our list of Top Ten of 2012. It did not stay in stock for long. With only 100 cases produced, I expect the same to be true for the newly released 2012 Juicy Villages. Again it is a blend, but this vintage Syrah takes center stage with Grenache and Mourvedre cast in supporting roles. The Syrah and Grenache come from a vineyard in the Russian River Valley, while the Mourvedre comes from the legendary Evanghelo Vineyard in Contra Costa County. It is plush, dense and concentrated. Honestly, if you were to buy a wine of this quality from the majority of wineries out there, you could expect to pay 2-3 times more. So how do we get to be so lucky? It is one of those quirks in the wine industry; if you pay close enough attention though, this type of treasure can still be found. Let’s just say, I’m deeply thankful to be able to recommend a wine of such pedigree and pleasure at such an affordable price to TWH customers.
There is a classification of winemaker that I describe as “a winemaker’s winemaker”. Douglas Danielak is such a winemaker. He may not be a household name like Randall Grahm, but if you ask around, you will find the respect and admiration for Doug’s winemaking skills, tasting prowess and overall wine knowledge is universal. As proof, Morgan Twain-Peterson (see Lacuna above) last July tweeted, “My vote for most historically underrated winemaker would likely go to Doug Danielak,” along with a photo of a bottle of Juicy Rebound Grenache. So you see, it is not just my opinion!
|It probably comes as no surprise that I do love Thanksgiving! All you do is eat, and drink. Yes, I love the roasted turkey and the traditional sides, but I also love how this American holiday adapts to each individual household. At my husband’s Italian-American family, there will be a platter of ravioli and at my family’s Russian-American table there will be pickled mushrooms and peppers, some type of beet dish and this year, fresh roe my mother cured. I hope to make the rounds to see everyone (and to taste a bit of everything!). Wishing you and yours a bountiful Thanksgiving! - Anya Balistreri|
|San Francisco, November 16, 2013. Two weeks ago, I pointed out that Thanksgiving was creeping up on us, and guess what? It is! Since this will be my last Sunday email before the big day, I’m going to continue with the T-Day spirit. You see, when it comes to Thanksgiving, I feel like I’ve been born again. Seriously, it has only been a fairly recent development that I get excited about Thanksgiving. Why get excited? Because I get to drink Sauternes, that’s why.
It is important to be grateful and give thanks, and I’ve never had a problem with that. It has been the traditional Thanksgiving meal that I’ve had issues with, and this goes way back to early childhood. Being the only native American in a family of immigrants came with a rather unique perspective. Goings on at the homes of childhood friends, though all different from each other, still had a familiar cultural connection. I would return home and it was like crossing a border or something. Giving thanks was something done daily at the dinner table … after one was finished. Though they had a few years of practice before I came into being, my family’s Thanksgiving meals were bland and banal. They ceased being banal once I started providing the wine, but the family feast still left a lot to be desired. In those days, excessive money was spent on extravagant bottles that drank very well; they just didn’t pair well with anything on the table. I enjoyed sharing fancy wines with my loved ones, and I still do, don’t get me wrong.
Being in this line of work has me a little more focused on pairings nowadays, and I’ve been loving my journey of discovering savory food pairings for the Gold wines of Sauternes and Barsac. I’ve always loved the wines, but I was under-utilizing them. It’s interesting how things come about, and my Sauternes story is certainly a long one; I’ll do my best to spare you the ” … and then the 38 Geary went by” details I’ve been known for while telling a story. It was May, 2008. It was just another day here at TWH, a customer was walking through the Bordeaux section, and then stopped in the Sauternes section. We do have an amazingly large selection of Gold wines, one of the largest in the country. I’m always curious to see customers there, so I went out to investigate. Turns out the customer was Didier Frechinet from Château La Tour Blanche. He was in town for a big Sauternes tasting. David asked me to go to the tasting. A lot changed that day. I am very grateful that Didier visited us that day, and I am also very grateful for all of the good Sauternes has done for me. Very grateful. Giving Thanks.
|After that tasting, I was off in search of unusual savory pairings for the Gold wines of Bordeaux, chiming in here on occasion.Turns out people actually read these things, because not too long thereafter, we teamed up with Aline Baly of Château Coutet for an all-Sauternes dinner for customers at Restaurant Picco in Larkspur. It was a smashing success, as we now have 3 Coutet dinners under our belts! Though born in France, Aline grew up here in the states and always celebrated Thanksgiving with the Gold Wines from her family’s property. Now there’s an idea! It might have taken me a while, as once you get in the habit of dismissing Thanksgiving, it can be difficult to embrace it. But I’m embracing it now; the golden elixir to the rescue!
What I’m trying to say here, as I said last time, there’s no right or wrong way to pair wine with Thanksgiving. Go with what works for you. You want a light-body red? Magnums of 2011 Fleurie would be great. A nice, fairly inexpensive White Burgundy? Try the 2011 Bourgogne Blanc from Michel Bouzereau.In the mood for a full-bodied red? The 2009 Château Larrivaux is calling your name. I could go on and on. Just remember: This is Thanksgiving. These are your friends and family. Do what you want; or as Ms. Baly likes to say, “There are only traditions, no rules.”
|I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, however you celebrate. Over the years, I have received compliments from several customers about these write-ups, and I am very grateful for them. I am also very grateful for those of you that I don’t hear from; thank you for reading! Giving Thanks.
So yes, I am very excited about celebrating this born-again (for me) holiday. You can absolutely count on the fact that I will have, at the very least, a glass of Sauternes or Barsac come November 28.
In case you all want to join me in a toast, check this: We’re having a special sale on the 2005 Château La Tour Blanche in half-bottle! Regularly priced at $29.98, it is now on sale for $19.95!!! When I tasted it with Didier Frechinet in the room, I found the botrytis profound and the structure suggesting the wine will last a long, long time. After tasting it recently, I still find the botrytis ever-present, but it exhibits a melange of complexity that will keep you deep in thought … this baby’s open for business! True story, a customer once asked for a recommendation for a magnum of Sauternes for his daughter born in 2005. He bought the 2005 Château La Tour Blanche, he also asked me to enclose an autographed copy of my tasting notes. That was a first. Very Grateful. Giving Thanks. - Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments about Thanksgiving, Gold Wines, Bordeaux, or why I don’t like international breaks during footy season: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Thierry Boudinaud’s 100% Syrah, from a parcel located equidistant from Nimes and Avignon, captures the dark black fruit of Syrah delivered in a friendly, gentle, medium-bodied frame. Whether you like your red to pour out like motor oil or prefer a more delicate touch, Syrah covers all the bases. I think this is what can draw people to Syrah as well as confuse some wine drinkers. If you expect a varietal to conform to a certain set of criteria, Syrah might not fit your expectations every time. The 100% Syrah from Boudinaud is named Agrippa, in honor of the historical figure Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, who was instrumental in building the famous Pont Du Gard aqueduct which lies in proximity to the parcel Thierry uses for this cuvee.
The Agrippa is a relatively new wine in the Boudinaud arsenal, debuting in 2000. When first shown Agrippa in barrel, David was struck by its Northern Rhone characteristics; black fruit, pepper, dark profile. As David relayed to me, there is a reason why Grenache reigns queen in the south and Syrah is king in the north, but for some reason this 3-hectare parcel behaves more like it lies closer to Cornas than to the Mediterranean. One factor could be the soil, which is composed mostly of sandy loess, and with vine-age close to 20 years, the fruit coming off the vine has gained complexity. Another interesting fact about the Agrippa is that Thierry doesn’t make it in every vintage and when he does he produces far less than is possible, leaving production levels around 10-15 barrels. In essence, Agrippa is Boudinaud’s reserve wine. Pretty impressive for a wine that costs less than $20 (and far less when purchased by the case: $16.14).
|Lately, I have been giving a lot thought to how best to convey to others the value and pleasure for drinking wines that dance along in the arena of easy, vibrant and unquestionably – medium-bodied. Wines that are big, huge, massive and powerful usually get all the attention. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy a full-bodied wine, however, the loudest in a crowd is not necessarily the best and the brightest. A lot of the times, it is the understated and modest wine that best enhances the meal, turning that lovingly made, home-cooked dish into something even more nourishing and transformative.
I’m headed to the farmer’s market this weekend to load up on hard squashes and fall fruits. A slow-braised one-pot dish seems to be in order, the kind of dish that tastes even better the next day. When the flavors in the pot begin to meld, a wine like Boudinaud’s 2009 Agrippa Syrah is capable of embracing the dish like a ballroom dancer, a firm hand to the small of the back and confidently taken for a twirl. On that night we might abandon the dining table for the coffee table set in front of the fireplace; a steaming bowl of yummy and a goblet of delicious. How cozy is that? –Anya Balistreri
|And POW! Just like a splash of cold water in the face, autumn is upon us. It started last Monday, Anya came in with sad news from the Sunday Farmers’ Market, no more tomatoes. The colder nights have taken their toll on the treehouse and the car: out came the dehumidifier in the former, and on with the defrost in the latter. Then baseball season came to an end. Then I watched an NBA game. Then I saw a bunch of people, big and small, parading around in costume. And now we’re turning back the clocks? What can I say? I do realize that we are fortunate here in the SF Bay Area as summer doesn’t end until November. But now it’s November, and when I take my sunglasses off this evening after driving home, I will realize that this was their final appearance for the after work ride home until late March! I was hanging out with a buddy last weekend, and he asked me what I was doing for Thanksgiving dinner … apparently, he wants to host a gathering made up of mostly musical types, to feast, revel, and jam. It looks like my calendar’s free, and if I’m invited to such a fête, I’ve got the wine all figured out. Howzabout a magnum of delicious Cru Beaujolais? Yes, the 2011 Château de Raousset Fleurie “Grille-Midi”.
Every year right around now I am frequently asked for advice on what wines to serve at Thanksgiving. It all depends on what’s being served and who’s coming and how many and … yeah. First thing’s first, don’t overthink it. If you want to open something fancy, by all means, please do so. It IS Thanksgiving after all. I used to open fancy full-bodied red wines with my family back in my rambunctious youth, and as inappropriate as they were from a pairing perspective, I was happy to share such nice wine with my loved ones. If you want to dial in pairing perfection, there are several avenues to take, and it all depends on what exactly is being served. When I think of the traditional Thanksgiving table I must say that, first of all, it’s tricky. Second of all, it’s pretty much all about white wine. I know, I know. Many of you want to drink red wine, and that’s perfectly fine. If you’re going to go the red route, it’s fun to tone it down a bit. That’s where Cru Beaujolais gets you. So when I first saw the magnums of 2011 Château de Raousset Fleurie “Grille-Midi”, I thought, “Thanksgiving Party.”
|2011 represents the third vintage of wines that we’ve imported from Château de Raousset. Are we ever glad to have them in TWH family!!! Whenever we taste the Raousset wines with our Burgundy negociante Jeanne-Marie de Champs, she never fails to say, “A great grower.” Raousset is a property that dates back to the 18th century with the current structure dating back to 1850. They make 3 different Cru bottlings. A Chiroubles, Morgon, and this here Fleurie. According to their website, the Chiroubles and Morgon won silver medals at the annual Paris tasting in 2012, but the Fleurie “Grille-Midi” took the gold! I guess their judges were wowed by the same factors as our staff: Bright wild cherry, forest floor, moist clay, ripe olives, a hint of tar and allspice. That’s a lot of aromatic complexity. The palate, like most Gamay Noir, is light bodied, which allows all of that complexity to ping off your olfactory sensors. It’s balanced by bright acidity which keeps it interesting throughout its finish. It kind of reminds me a little of the 2011 Château Armurey Bordeaux Clairet that came and went two weeks’ time! It smells like red wine, yet is light in body, with a fruity middle, and a crisp finish. Only the Fleurie has so much more interesting complexity.
I don’t mean to scare anybody; Thanksgiving is still a long ways away, but it will sneak up on you if you’re not looking. I’m guessing these magnums of Fleurie won’t still be in-stock come November 27, but never fear, we still have 750′s of it as well. It’s just that nothing says “festivity” better than large format wine bottles. And for Thanksgiving wines that smell like autumn, are light in body, and reasonable in price? It’s all about the 2011 Château de Raousset Fleurie “Grille-Midi”! - Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about Thanksgiving wines, large format bottlings, Cru Beaujolais, or today’s no-show on Tyneside: email@example.com
Look out; it’s November! Things are changing quickly. Our clocks will be going back soon, there’s a chill in the air, and at the end of this month, many of us will be seated around the Thanksgiving Day table. Now that time and weather are encouraging us to head indoors, don’t you think a Dirty Dozen is in order? 12 wines, all different, chosen for their versatility, for one low price. And this month the savings are greater than 35%!!! The November Dirty Dozen.
Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines
Click here to purchase the Dirty Dozen for $109.
2011 Chardonnay, Domaine de la Fruitière $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Chardonnay grown in Muscadet? Those famous soils which contain granite, clay, and mica contribute to the bracing freshness and mineral quality of traditional Muscadet wines made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape. This tank-fermented Chardonnay possesses that crispness combined with its inherent rich, fleshy yellow fruit. Great with scampi!
2012 Chenin Blanc, Kiona Vineyards $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Washington State has some ideal growing conditions for this Loire Valley stowaway, Chenin Blanc. Known for having aromas of crisp, green apples, Kiona’s Chenin Blanc is one of the most versatile white wines in its price range. Fermented off-dry, you can serve it as an apèritif, with hors d’oeuvres, and with everything from fish tacos to Kung Pao Chicken.
2012 Rosé, Domaine de la Petite Cassagne $11.49, $9.19 reorder
Some of us don’t believe that Rosé has a ‘season’. A warm kitchen is cause enough to pop the cork and pour out a cool glass for the chef! But let’s not forget Rosé’s versatility. This one is equal parts Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre; the result is a dry, mineral driven Rosé with just a hint of red fruit. How about salmon burgers off the grill pan?
2012 Montravel Blanc, Château Calabre $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Montravel is an appellation just beyond Bordeaux’s eastern boundary, and the values that come from there are in great abundance. Known primarily for white wines comprised of the same varieties as of white Bordeaux, Calabre’s blanc is half Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Sémillon, and 10% Muscadelle. Depending how you roll, this could be your sushi wine.
2009 Vernaccia Fiore, Montenidoli $21.99, $17.59 reorder
“Nurse of the vines,” Elisabetta Fagiuoli consistently wins awards for her Fiore bottling. There is something about her vineyards planted in an ancient seabed perched above the medieval village of San Gimignano. The Fiore is made using only free-run juice, and in its purity, will pair well with rich dishes such as Fettuccine Alfredo.
2012 Gewurztraminer, Aresti $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Hmmm, what’s Gewurztraminer doing in Chile? Founded in 1951, the Aresti Estate is one of the largest Chilean producers of this fruity, aromatic variety. This Gewurz is vinified dry, but its aromas suggest it would team up well with a burrito.
2010 CMS Red $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Washington State’s original red blend, Hedges Family Estate’s CMS Red has been produced since 1987! Made from roughly half Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, it does include 12% Syrah to bolster the aromatic complexity. Recognized as one of Columbia Valley’s best values, this blend is elegant and pure. The depth of fruit beckons something like a prime rib.
2008 Marzemino di Isera Husar, de Tarczal $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder
Okay, let’s just call this one Husar. Made from the Marzemino grape, a genetic cousin of both Lagrein and Syrah, it makes for hearty red wines with complex aromas and hints of rusticity. A Husar was an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Calvary, the current proprietor naming the wine after a direct ancestor. The perfect wine for a pizza-with-the-works.
2009 Corbières Réserve, Domaine Sainte Eugenie $16.95 sale price, $16.10 reorder
Bon vivant Hervé Gauntier is an old pal of TWH, and we are happy to be able to offer his fancy Reserve Cuvée for such a reasonable price. Made from Syrah, Carignane, and Grenache, Hervé’s Réserve sees a little (20%) new cask with the remainder in 1 and 2 year old barrels. It has a spicy, lush, dark red fruit profile, and works well with red pasta sauces.
2010 Montravel Vieilles Vignes, Château Puy-Servain $20.99, $16.79 reorder
Ah, but Montravel has red wine too. This old vine Bordeaux-style blend will turn your perception on its head! Winemaker Daniel Hecquet has crafted a full-bodied red, reminiscent of a wine from St. Emilion for a fraction of the price. You will fool a lot of tasters if you sneak it into a Right Bank blind tasting. A fancy wine, yes; pour it with a rack of lamb.
2009 Côtes du Rhône Villages, Tour de l’Isle $14.59, $11.67 reorder
By now we’ve all heard how successful the 2009 vintage was in the southern Rhône Valley (and almost all of France, for that matter). We would all be doing ourselves a great service to profiter from such fortunate circumstances. There is always great value in Côtes du Rhône, even more so from 2009! It’s great on its own and great with a bowl of olives.
2009 Château Aimée, Médoc $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Speaking of 2009 … It was a fantastic vintage in Bordeaux. So good, mind you, that we continue to go back to the well to stock up on “lesser known” chateaux. Why? Quality. Value. This Médoc bottling wowed us with its honesty; it’s just straight up, quality Bordeaux. This will pair well with any of the traditional meals you would want with a full-bodied red.
Check Out Our Complete Inventory at WineSF.com
Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines 5%/ Sale Wines
Click here to purchase all 12 wines for $109!
|October 2013. It has been with much excitement that we’ve proudly reported here that we (in the form of David) have found and have begun importing the wines from more than a handful of new producers over the past couple of years. There’s Claudie Jobard, Stephane Magnien, and Philippe Pernot with their lovely Côte d’Or Burgundies; the Côtes Chalonaise producer Michel-Andreotti; northern Rhône producer Stephane Pichat, and Robert Rocchi, with his stable of southern Rhône wines. That is exciting stuff!! If you think about it, that represents a great deal for you. Buying directly from the importer is the best way to get the wines you want for the lowest price in town. We’ve been doing this a long time, and just as excited as we are about all of our new producers, we’re happy and proud to have so many more producers already as a part of TWH family!
We’ve been directly importing the wines from Tuscan producer/winemaker Enrico Pierazzuoli for 20 years now. Why? The quality is high, they speak of a place, and they’re very fairly priced. Enrico has two estates, one in Chianti Montalbano, and the other in Carmignano, west of Firenze. The estates are located in areas with a high wine growing and wine production culture, as stated by the Bando Granducale of 1716, which was issued by Cosimo de’ Medici and is considered the first law in the world declaring specific wine production to come from vineyards in specific prestigious areas. See here for a reproduction of the Bando Granducale. A wine coming from the prestigious DOCG of Carmignano is the 2009 Le Farnete Carmignano. Enrico’s Carmignano has been the stuff of legend around here for years! Both Anya and I having written about it in years past. In a past life I remember drinking some fancy, high falutin’ Super Tuscans which were pretty special, but did they ever leave a mark (in the pocketbook). If you think about it, the Super Tuscan is a relatively new concept, beginning in the 1970′s. Aha! But in Carmignano, they’ve been allowed to grow Cabernet Sauvignon to bolster the indigenous Sangiovese since Cosimo de’ Medici’s Bando Granducale! This wine has a special place in our hearts and on our tables, as it is truly a special wine that has a great history, and best of all, it can be had for less than $20.
|2009 was a stellar vintage in Carmignano with wines that show power and concentration, yet they have finesse and can be accessed at present. Enrico’s 2009 Le Farnete Carmignano is alive with expressive purple fruit aromas, hints of smoky incense, and a kiss of the earth. The palate is rich and lively, yet deep, with a good dose of the aromatic complexity, and barely noticeable tannins. The finish is bright and balanced, the fruit and earth persisting. A great food wine, it boggles the mind as to the possibilities … Let’s see, meatballs seem to be all the rage in my world these days; some pork/veal meatballs with an herbal infusion, on a bed of polenta with a rich arrabbiatta sauce along with some sauteed broccolini. Yeah, that’ll be just fine. You’re welcome to try something fancier, but when you get home at 7:00, quick, simple, and delicious is always welcome.
Rumor has it that we’re soon to be celebrating an Anniversary. It’s true, TWH will enter our 37th year of business this weekend. We owe you all a big, giganticTHANK YOU! As we wouldn’t be here without you. We greatly appreciate your continued patronage, as well as the positive feedback we receive regarding our wines and promotions. As we continue to meet and introduce you to new producers, we would like to take the time to focus on the passion and dedication of one of our stalwarts, Enrico Pierazzuoli and his 2009 Le Farnete Carmignano. - Peter Zavialoff