WINE OF THE WEEK
Domaine Gilles Lesimple 2019 Sancerre
$19.99, $17.99 for Wine Club Members
We have all been tested this year to seemingly biblical or dystopian proportions. But it's not time to jump ship. (Perhaps just a penalty flag?) With the smoke clearing we are reminded that this too shall pass. In the mean time, I don't want to be the "My glass is no longer half full, but empty" guy. Therefore, I'm continuously on the hunt for out of this world wine deals to elevate the day. I'm pleased to introduce my latest encounter: Domaine Gilles Lesimple. Sancerre is the village on the Loire River that is best known for setting the Sauvignon Blanc stage. You simply don't see Sancerre at this price these days, let alone domaine-bottled stock from Chavignol!
Gilles Lesimple is the fourth generation in his family to farm the land of Sancerre. Fifteen years ago Gilles took over the reins of the family domaine, where he tends to 25 acres, 85% of which are Sauvignon Blanc.
Farming here is natural, and a major advantage of this estate is that the vines sit on each of the three principal soil types in Sancerre (Limestone, Marnes, and Silex).
Aromas are nuances of citrus fruits of grapefruit and lemon, exotic fruits of mango and litchi, floral notes of white flowers and finishes with a smokey/flinty character. It wakes up the taste buds, allowing the perception of spiciness on the tip of the tongue. The second impression shows the suppleness and volume of the wines from the ‘stony’ vineyards, blending nicely with the mineral vivacity of the wines from the flint soils.
NEW "Rhone Valley, France" ARRIVALS
Presented by Hannah Green
Domaine de la Charbonnière 2017 Vacqueyras
$24.99, $22.49 for Wine Club Members
Across the southern Rhone, and within the most esteemed vintages, the wines of Domaine de la Charbonniere rank among the region’s best bottlings. Two sisters, Veronique and Caroline Maret, are the current generation to oversee the domaine. Josh Raynolds of Vinous says of the sisters, “While this domaine's wines have been of high quality since the late 1990s, the wines have stepped up several notches since the arrival of the sisters. Today, the estate’s four different Chateauneufs are consistently in the upper tier of the appellation, with the “basic” bottling now among the best, not to mention one of the top values in that category.” (Vinous, December 2019) Oftentimes their wines are snapped up by wine insiders, never even being released to the public. Luckily for all of us, we have two of their wines.
"Lurid ruby. Expansive aromas of ripe red and blue fruits, potpourri and licorice are complemented by building mineral and allspice nuances. Juicy, densely packed black raspberry, bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors become sweeter with aeration. Youthfully gripping tannins lend shape to an impressively long, spice-accented finish that echoes the floral and blue fruit notes. Raised in a combination of oak foudres, demi-muids and barriques.”
Vinous-Josh Raynolds, February 2020,
“A representative tank sample of the 2017 Vacqueyras showed impressive ripeness and concentration. Leather and clove notes accent blueberry fruit in this full-bodied blend of60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. It finishes long and creamy in texture.” The Wine Advocate Robert Parker, August 2018, "91-93" points
Domaine de la Charbonnière 2016
Chateauneuf du Pape
$44.99, $40.49 for Wine Club Members
Chateauneuf du Pape: for many, this AOP is the Holy Grail of Rhone wines, famous for its fascinating history, sky-high reputation, and for being the wine of choice of one Dr. Frasier Crane. The traditional blend of up to 13 different grapes expresses ripe, developed fruits, relatively high alcohols, and grippy complexity, bringing to mind the best of the New World—yet the wines also have a savory, meaty quality that’s entirely of the Old. A single bottle of this Southern Rhone can deliver raspberry, plum, hoisin, graphite, cedar, licorice, anise, garrigue, barnyard, and strawberry—enough for even the most dedicated Franco-oenophile. The Villages of Vacqueyras and Gigondas, nestled just to the north of CdP, are top-level AOPs themselves and the source of the best combination of value and quality in the area. These Villages offer the famous flavor, body, and structure of the CdP at a more approachable price point.
"Shimmering ruby-red. Powerful aromas of raspberry, cherry liqueur and succulent flowers are joined by baking spice and mineral elements that build in the glass. Lively, spice-laced red berry and bitter cherry flavors display excellent clarity and minerally lift. Finishes with impressive energy, the silky tannins adding subtle grip to lingering berry and floral notes.” Vinous-Josh Raynolds "92" points.
“The recently bottled (three weeks before my visit) 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape was surprisingly open. It features delightfully ripe Grenache fruit that hints at stone fruit and milk chocolate, ample weight on the palate and a supple, easygoing personality. It should drink well for the next decade.” The Wine Advocate-Robert Parker, "91+" points
Chateau de Saint Cosme 2018 Gigondas
$42.99, $38.69 for Wine Club Members
Chateau de Saint Cosme resides in the heart of the Gigondas appellation, just northeast of the Chateauneuf du Pape AOC. Saint Cosme is the most ancient domaine in the region. An exceptional estate, its Gallo-Roman fermentation vats are perfectly preserved. This fantastic historical site gives a good idea of how the ancestors of winemaking were living. In the modern day, Saint Cosme crafts wines which express their terroir with purity and personality. These are balanced wines with a great ability to age.
The 2018 Gigondas, from a vineyard site with an impressive pedigree, is captivating. The wine is nimble and aromatic, with supple characteristics of salinity, charm, and depth. This vintage is one of finesse.
“Blended on the spot from several different barrels, the 2018 Gigondas looks very promising. Asphalt, black cherries, and tapenade feature on the nose, while the palate is almost painfully intense, with ample weight, great richness, and a long, velvety finish.” The Wine Advocate Robert Parker, August 2019, "92-94" points
70% Grenache - 14% Syrah – 15% Mourvèdre - 1% Cinsault
Wines from the AOP Villages in Southern Rhone pair with a startling breadth of dishes. Grilled steak, lamb, duck, and even rich seafood dishes work well with these top wines, and for a kick, pair with roasted and spiced vegetable-based dishes like tagine with olives, moussaka, or cauliflower steaks.
This moussaka recipe is a show-stopper, and even better, can be prepared in advance. I always prepare and bake the casserole the day before. Reheat before serving, and the gorgeous squares of spiced lamb and béchamel will retain their sharp edges.
TRADITIONAL GREEK MOUSSAKA RECIPE
(MOUSSAKA WITH BÉCHAMEL)
By My Greek Dish
CURB SIDE PICK UP
COULDN'T BE EASIER!
We are continuing our curbside-only practice for the duration of Phase II due to the size of our shop. We continue to offer personalized service over the phone or via email, and you're welcome to shop through our website. Place your order on-line and orders are usually filled within 15 minutes during business hours.
PICK UP HOURS
Tip from Ted-I highly suggest you put us in your contacts to avoid having to look us up or even enter our phone number when your arrive. Shouldn't your favorite wine shop be on your speed dial?
Serving Bellingham fine wine since 2013.
19 Prospect Street Bellingham