Fall Wine Club Terroir Series: Limestone Wines

Fall is my favorite time of year.

As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, I find myself looking forward to the holidays much more than I did when I was young. I love cooking for friends and family, throwing dinner parties, and sharing my most prized wines.

I’m no longer looking for light and easy reds to enjoy with a slight chill; instead I crave wines with density, texture, and earthy minerality. I reach for more serious wines to slowly enjoy out of a big, tulip-shaped glass as I transition from the dinner table to a seat in front of the fireplace.

For our Fall wine club, we’re continuing our focus on terroir and featuring French wines grown in limestone soil.

limestone_minervois

Photo by midihideaways.wordpress.com

Limestone is a sedimentary alkaline soil type composed of ancient seabed that is highly beneficial to grape growing. It neutralizes the acidity in the soil, has excellent water retention properties, keeps the roots of the grapevines cool, and slows the ripening of grapes which helps them retain their natural acidity. Wines grown in limestone have phenomenal texture, structure, freshness and profound minerality; they are often heralded as the greatest wines in the world.

Much of continental France is composed of limestone, as it was under an ocean millions of years ago. Chablis, Côte d’Or, Sancerre, Saumur, Alsace, and many other important French winemaking regions have legendary vineyards planted on this porous soil.

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Mixed Wine Club – $150 plus tax and delivery:

Three reds, two whites, and one sparkling rosé. A cornucopia of delicious, natural French wines.

Domaine du Pas de l’Escalette 
2012 “Les Clapas” Red Blend
Côteaux du Languedoc, France
Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault
Full-bodied and savory with balanced freshness. Rich, ripe notes of red/black fruits are accentuated by aromas of juniper, rosemary, and irony minerals. Refined, silky tannins are uplifted by juicy acidity.

Domaine Contat-Grangé 2012 Maranges 1er Cru La Fussière
Burgundy, France
100% Pinot Noir
Brooding, subtle, and complex with notes of ripe cherry and profound minerality. Balanced and bright acidity is framed by present yet supple tannins.

Olga Raffault 2001 Chinon Les Picasses
Loire Valley, France
100% Cabernet Franc
Old school Cabernet Franc at it’s best. Light garnet in color with complex notes of herbs, smoky minerals, dark cherries, and earth. On the palate, the tannins are softened by age but maintain their youthful velvety texture, with fresh acidity that make it a perfect compliment to a variety of fall foods. At 14 years old, it’s just beginning to show how well Chinon can age.

Le Petit St. Vincent NV Cab à Bulles Rosé Pet-Nat
Saumur-Champigny, France
100% Cabernet Franc
Vibrant and joyful with a bouquet of crunchy red fruits and minerals. On the palate, it’s juicy and pleasantly fizzy with flavors of cranberry and cherries with a crisp and dry finish.

Domaine de la Sarazinière 2013 Cuvée Claude Seigneuret
Mâcon-Bussières, France
100% Chardonnay
Bright and mineral-driven with a lovely ripe stone fruit profile balanced by fresh acidity and delicate creaminess.

La Grange Tiphaine 2013 Clef de Sol Blanc
Montlouis-sur-Loire, France
100% Chenin Blanc
Delicate and fresh with notes of white flowers, citrus zest, and minerals. On the palate, it’s balanced by bright acidity, chalky texture, and a dry mineral finish with just a hint of succulent fruit.

All-Red Club – $150 plus tax and delivery:

Six impressive, food-friendly red wines perfect for dinner parties, holidays, or any other day of the week.

Domaine du Pas de l’Escalette 2012 “Les Clapas” Red Blend
Côteaux du Languedoc, France
Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault
Full-bodied and savory with balanced freshness. Rich, ripe notes of red/black fruits are accentuated by aromas of juniper, rosemary, and irony minerals. Refined, silky tannins are uplifted by juicy acidity.

Domaine Contat-Grangé 2012 Maranges Premier Cru La Fussière
Burgundy, France
100% Pinot Noir
Brooding, subtle, and complex with notes of ripe cherry and profound minerality. Balanced and bright acidity is framed by present yet supple tannins.

Olga Raffault 2001 Chinon Les Picasses
Loire Valley, France
100% Cabernet Franc
Old school Cabernet Franc at it’s best. Light garnet in color with complex notes of herbs, smoky minerals, dark cherries, and earth. On the palate, the tannins are softened by age but maintain their youthful velvety texture, with fresh acidity that make it a perfect compliment to a variety of fall foods. Unbelievably fresh and lively for a 14-year-old wine, drinking beautifully now and can age for several more years.

Domaine Gramenon 2014 Sierra du Sud
Côtes-du-Rhône, France
100% Syrah
Fresh black and red fruits are highlighted by notes of violets and a sultry peppery streak. Full-bodied and luscious with plenty of juicy acidity and tannins. Drink now while it’s young and fresh or lay it down for a couple of years.

Mas del Perié 2014 Les Invaders Malbec
Cahors, France
100% Malbec
Juicy and fresh with aromas of ripe blue fruits, earth, minerals, and spice. Polished and supple structure with an intriguing earthy finish.

Francois Chidaine 2014 Touraine Rouge
Loire Valley, France
Côt, Pineau d’Aunis, Cabernet Franc
Spicy, herbal, fruity, and fresh! Notes of black pepper, tomato vine, and crunchy red fruits are framed by supple tannins and juicy acidity. An excellent food wine.

All-White Club – $150 plus tax and delivery:

Four white, one sparkling rosé, and one sparkling white. Graceful, elegant, and joyful – like you.

Le Petit St. Vincent NV Cab à Bulles Rosé Pet-Nat
Saumur-Champigny, France
100% Cabernet Franc
Vibrant and joyful with a bouquet of crunchy red fruits and minerals. On the palate, it’s juicy and pleasantly fizzy with flavors of cranberry and cherries with a crisp and dry finish.

Domaine de la Sarazinière 2013 Cuvée Claude Seigneuret
Mâcon-Bussières, France
100% Chardonnay
Bright and mineral-driven with a lovely ripe stone fruit profile balanced by fresh acidity and delicate creaminess.

La Grange Tiphaine 2013 Clef de Sol Blanc
Montlouis-sur-Loire, France
100% Chenin Blanc
Delicate and fresh with notes of white flowers, citrus zest, and minerals. On the palate, it’s balanced by bright acidity, chalky texture, and a dry mineral finish with just a hint of succulent fruit.

Philippe Gilbert 2013 Menetou-Salon Blanc
Loire Valley, France
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Fresh and pure with notes of lemon zest, green fruit, and minerals. On the palate, it’s electric and lively, with a long and crisp mineral finish.

Domaine Bechtold 2012 Silberberg Pinot Gris
Alsace, France
100% Pinot Gris
Delicate and complex with a bouquet of orange blossom, yellow citrus, honey, and minerals. On the palate, it shows elegance and grace with delicate acidity and silky texture.

Domaine du Clos Naudin 2010 Foreau Vouvray Brut
Loire Valley, France
100% Chenin Blanc
Rich and complex with intoxicating aromas of white truffles, toasted brioche, alpine flowers, and minerals. On the palate, the bubbles are fine and ethereal; the flavors are savory and profound. The finish is long, crisp, and dry, with persistent minerality.

Can’t wait to join the club? Don’t miss out on these incredible wines. Sign up here.