January Wine Notes

January, 2022 – Resolute selections

Three weeks in and the weather of January in central Texas is about as resolute as many of your dwindling resolutions. Eighty today, freezing tomorrow, it’s best to dress in layers and be prepared for whatever awaits outside your door.  This month L’Oca’s wine club features French selections that frequently find their way onto our list and into our Mediterranean wine favoring hearts, as well as a few rad northern Italian favorites. Pour a glass of super food flexible Beaujolais or Corbieres with your chilly Sunday picnic, or a take out fried chicken sandwich (makes me want to go by Sour Duck). Elevate brunch with rose from Italy’s Riviera, or lunch with a crisp Languedoc white. Toast New Years all over again with classic and elegant Chenin bubbles or a playful Arneis pét-nat, if you’re feeling less serious. You can’t trust the weatherman.  Please find here – wines for every way the wind blows.

Laurent Perrachon Terre de Loyse 2018
Grape: 100% Gamay
Region: Beaujolais, FR

Martine & Laurent and Maxime & Adrien make up, respectively,  the fifth and sixth generations of Perrachon, who have been producing on the Lake Estate since 1877. The earliest traces of the family in the wine trade date 1601.

Beaujolais produces the large majority of the world’s Gamay (a grape comparable and related to everybody’s buddy, Pinot Noir) – though much of that volume goes into easy and fun Beaujolais Nouveau. This slightly more elevated, Village level offering is perfect for getting to know the varietal and style. Crisp, fresh, and delighting with notes of tart cherry and cassis. Throw it in the fridge for about 20 minutes, and give it a good swirl to activate the bright nose.

Monmousseau Brut Etoile NV
Grapes: 70% Chenin Blanc, 20%, Ugni Blanc, 10% other native varietals
Region: Loire, FR

The Estate of Monmousseau is one of the most widely known and respected sparkling wine producers in Southern France. The winery was founded in 1886 with extensive vineyard lands above ground and miles and miles of underground tunnels for fermentation and aging below them. Mommousseau is responsible for the creation of the Cremant de Touraine category, and produces this offering the Méthode Traditionnelle.

The resulting wine is an easy companion. Small long-lasting bubbles. Full and frothy on the front palate, with almond, fig and pear, pleasant acidity, and a lasting finish. 

 

Domaine de Fontsainte Rouge 2021
Grape: 60% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir, 10% Syrah
Region: Corbières, FR

The first vineyards at Domaine de Fontsainte, in the Corbières appellation, were planted by the Romans. Artifacts found in these vineyards, such as an old coin dating from the time of Marcus Agrippa in 25 A.D., are a testament to its antiquity. The original domaine was built around a thermal spring, which was later named for the local, twelfth-century patron saint, Saint Siméon;  Fontsainte—the saint’s fount.

The three grapes of the blend are treated and vilified separately, with a portion of the Carignan set aside for carbonic maceration (a process that leads to fresher, brighter, fruit expression). It leads to a nimble red for the table- complete and composed, with notes of black cherries, blackberries, and lavender, juniper, thyme, rosemary and sage (a combination of herbs and mineral notes that the French refer to as “Garrigue” a term for the wild hillside vegetation of the Mediterranean Coast.)

Chateau Saint Marin de la Garrigue 2021
Grape: 100 % Picpoul
Region: Languedoc, FR

Montagnac in the  Hérault, where Chateau Saint Marin lies, is just inland from the Mediterranean on top of a hill overlooking the Thau coastal lagoon – where the vines grow on the steep sides benefiting from the gentle sea breezes. The grapes are pressed and left in contact with skins for 10 hours — and then cold and slow fermented on lees in stainless steel. This process offers up a wine refined and floral with mineral and lively citrus undertones and a pleasant, almost oily texture. We love to pair it with fish, or some of our lighter toned pasta dishes — or even our rich pistachio rissoto.

La Meridiana ‘Bio’ 2020
Grape: 100% Marzemino
Region: Lombardy, IT

La Meridiana works organically, and produces a slim 5000 bottles of this delightful Marzemino, a varietal native to Northern Italy. The wine is most noted for its mention in the opera Don Giovanni of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (“Versa il vino! Eccellente Marzemino!”).  Deep ruby color hinting toward purple, Marzemino,  grants a natural structure and character with dark berries, plums, tobacco, and presents bold and round with soft tannins. A pleasure for hardy meats and a chilly night.

Demarie ”Luigi” Bianco Pét-Nat NV
Grape: 100% Arneis
Region: Roero, IT

This Pét-Nat is a playful experiment with the major white grape of the Roero region, Arneis. A popular style worldwide, Pét-Nat is a French term for petillant naturel, which means a naturally sparkling wine. Unlike Champagne, there is just one fermentation that finishes in the bottle leaving mild carbonation and often times, natural sediment. The wine is energetic and fresh with lime and lemon citrus, fresh cut wildflowers, and peach pit. “Luigi” features organic practices, wild yeast fermentation, and a unique offering in sparkling Arneis. 

Il Monticello ‘Serasuolo’ Rose 2021
Grape: 100% Cilegiolo
Region: Liguria, IT

In 1994, Alessandro and Davide Neri introduced their father’s 12 hectares of vineyards to organic and biodynamic farming as well as sustainable agriculture. With this high regard for protection and maintenance of the environment, enologist Nicola Tucci and the brothers Neri produce 65,000 bottles from local varietals.

This biodynamically produced rosé is unique, produced from the ciliegiolo grape variety (related to sangiovese), it is darker than most with an enticing, brilliant, cherry-red color. Tastes black cherry and wild strawberry, with a note of rose petals. Juicy and totally tasty, this rosato is fuller and deeper on the palate than many of its French cousins. The name ‘Serasuolo’ is very close to “Cerasuolo” a term meaning “light cherry red” that shows up on wines from Abruzzo, Sicily, and elsewhere.