March Wine Club

Apr 10, 2023

As we are at the point of transition from Winter to Spring, we all sit on the fringe of longer, more gentle days ahead. While we daydream about what’s in store, it’s also important to not overlook the small but beautiful changes taking place in nature all around. The crocuses and snow drops are up and deserve every bit of wonder as the tulip to come. Great wines too can inhabit this fringe and often go unnoticed or underappreciated. Vineyards and wines that lay just beyond a famous appellation can often be just as satisfying and often at a much friendlier price. So, please join us on the fringe of the season and regions with these serious wines with smaller followings.

Cheers,
P. & E. Mullins

2020 Marc Deschamps Pouilly-Fumé ‘Les Porcheronnes’

Loire Valley, France

Pouilly-Fumé located across the Loire River from the legendary Sancerre, often plays second fiddle to its more famous appellation. Its terroir is of limestone and flint, and it is also the land of Sauvignon Blanc. The name Pouilly-Fumé comes from “Pouilly-sur-Loire” the village of the region and Fumé a local nickname for Sauvignon Blanc. Often confused with Pouilly-Fussé which is actually in Southern Burgundy and Chardonnay. Think “Fumé” French for “smoke” and flint like the terroir and characteristics of this mineral crisp Sauvignon Blanc. The Domaine harvests by hand and ferments in stainless steel and cement all with native yeasts. The wine spends a lot of time on its lees which gives its structure and body. In the glass this is a clean crystal clear with a pale-yellow hue. The nose has aromatics of green apple, kiwi, and wet stone. The palate is mineral focused and brisk with a rounder body, texture and mouth-watering acidity. It just floats across your tongue and has a long pleasing finish.

 

2020 Le Ragnaie ‘Troncone’ Toscana Rosso

Tuscany, Italy

There are a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to wine appellations. Sometimes those rules can benefit the drinker and not so much the seller. When your vineyard lies across the gravel road from the boundaries of Chateau-Neuf-de-Pape and in this case when your Sangiovese vines in Montalcino are just 20 meters too high in altitude to be a Brunello. Why then, you can’t call your wine CNDP or Brunello which sell at much higher price points as they are regarded as superior. Winemaker Riccardo Campinoti first labeled his wine as Chianti Colli Senesi an appellation for vineyards that lay just outside of the Brunello DOCG, but due to the pale color aka clarity of Riccardo’s wine, it was rejected to be classified as so. Riccardo frustrated with the DOCG administration decided to call his wine ‘Troncone’ meaning stump and just label it a Toscana Rosso. The vineyard site couldn’t be more picturesque with views on a clear day all the way to Isola d’Elba in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Tuscany. All farmed organically this 100% Sangiovese is a stunner. The vines and fruit are all tended by hand. In the glass it’s a ruby red with that clarity we mentioned throughout. The nose is dusty with light clove, green strawberries, and bay leaves. The palate has dried cherries, dusty grippy tannins and a lingering acidity on a very long finish.

 

2020 Le Ragnaie ‘Troncone’ Toscana Rosso

Tuscany, Italy

There are a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to wine appellations. Sometimes those rules can benefit the drinker and not so much the seller. When your vineyard lies across the gravel road from the boundaries of Chateau-Neuf-de-Pape and in this case when your Sangiovese vines in Montalcino are just 20 meters too high in altitude to be a Brunello. Why then, you can’t call your wine CNDP or Brunello which sell at much higher price points as they are regarded as superior. Winemaker Riccardo Campinoti first labeled his wine as Chianti Colli Senesi an appellation for vineyards that lay just outside of the Brunello DOCG, but due to the pale color aka clarity of Riccardo’s wine, it was rejected to be classified as so. Riccardo frustrated with the DOCG administration decided to call his wine ‘Troncone’ meaning stump and just label it a Toscana Rosso. The vineyard site couldn’t be more picturesque with views on a clear day all the way to Isola d’Elba in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Tuscany. All farmed organically this 100% Sangiovese is a stunner. The vines and fruit are all tended by hand. In the glass it’s a ruby red with that clarity we mentioned throughout. The nose is dusty with light clove, green strawberries, and bay leaves. The palate has dried cherries, dusty grippy tannins and a lingering acidity on a very long finish.

2020 Figli Oddero Covento Vino Rosso

Piedmont, Italy

Since the 1800s the Oddero family has been in the Barolo wine trade in Piedmont Italy. Which is why today with over 70 hectares of land of Nebbiolo, they are one of the most notable and historical family names among the Piedmont region and the Italian wine industry as a whole. Their Barolos are often laid down for years and are not in a price range to indulge in frequently. What a treat it was to discover this Covento Rosso, a blend of Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo that can be uncorked and enjoyed even a Tuesday night. We recommend opening this bottle up a couple hours before serving or even decanting if you have the option. With time and air, the wine gets fuller and all the layers of its structure show more. In the glass it appears weighted and has a deep hue of magenta. The nose first hits you with a bit of cassis and violet, then savory qualities follow. There’s a smokiness almost like a paprika rubbed and smoked pork shoulder. The palate has a silky velvety mouthfeel with earthy herbaceous notes. There is a bright acidity throughout with smooth tannins.