For this month’s wine club, we wanted to dive into some classic varietals from notable regions that truly showcase why these regions are among the best for these varietals. This is a wonderful way to enjoy some beautiful wines, but also a great exercise for your palette and wine knowledge. One of the steps of becoming a Sommelier, is blind tasting wines and being able to name the region and varietal. These three wines would be perfect contenders as they are true expressions.
P. & E. Mullins
2020 Fournier “Les Belles Vignes” Sancerre
Loire Valley, France
Within the Sancerre appellation of the Loire Valley is where the best Sauvignon Blanc is grown (also a small quantity and a beautiful expression of Pinot Noir, but that is for a different time). It stands apart from Sauvignon Blanc produced throughout the World because it is elegant, racy, dry, and crisp. The terroirs are rich with flint, gravel and limestone which comes through with a bright salinity and gorgeous mouthfeel. To best represent these beautiful wines, we are sharing “les Belles Vignes” from Domaine Fournier Père et Fils. Which means “the pretty vines” it is a cuvée made from Sauvignon Blanc from three vineyards sites that all lay on different terroirs. The grapes are hand harvested and aged on their lees which is what gives you that silky weighted mouthfeel. On the nose you get beautiful bright citrus aromas. The palate is lush and finishes crisp, clean, and dry.
2016 Authentic Condrieu Vignobles Verzier
This 100% Viognier is a perfect example how something can stand so apart that there is no question of the varietal and place. Condrieu is a small appellation in Northern Rhone that exclusively grows viognier. These vineyards have been in the Verzier family since 1828 farmed organically since the 1960s and made completely naturally including foot stomped, fermented with indigenous yeast, and bottled unfined and unfiltered with little to no Sulphur added at bottling. What showcases in your glass is a honeylike amber color with weight you can see as you swirl your glass. The nose is invigorating with apricot, peaches, and mint. The palate is rich with stonefish but balanced with a sunny lemon acidity. It has long finish reminiscent of honeycomb.
“When Viognier is grown in the right place—and Condrieu, of course, is its spiritual home—its balance of honeyed texture, exotic aromas, and taut acidity makes for one of the most memorable white wine experiences around.”nIan Cauble, Master Sommelier
2019 Chateau de Chamilly Bourgogne
Burgundy, the birthplace of Pinot Noir. It’s delicate body with plush fruit and gentle tannins has won over most the World and with varying degrees of success try to duplicate it everywhere, from California to Oregon, even here in Michigan. There’s a reason the best in the World comes from Burgundy. The climate, the terroir, the history, and the dedication from the vines to the winery has made it untouchable. Here we share with you Chateau Chamilly. It dates to the 17th century. Two brothers, Xavier and Arnaud Desfontaine work the vines and in the winery with minimal intervention. They want to let each vine; each vineyard show it son character. All the grapes are hand harvested and sorted to showcase the best of that vintage. A red Burgundy like this showcases the essence of Burgundy, pleasure in a glass. In the glass it’s a beautiful deep red with hues of purple. The aromas are rich with wild strawberries and cherries. It has a lingering finish that keeps you wanting more. nn