Pairings for July 14 at McCauley Family Farm:
NV Vilmart et Cie, ‘Grand Cellier’ Brut Premier Cru Champagne, Champagne, France $122.00
Récoltant-manipulant or grower champagne is champagne crafted from 100% estate grown fruit embodying distinct vineyards and style. While larger Champagne houses may source grapes from the entire Champagne region and place their emphasis on a consistent house style, grower champagnes place terroir at the forefront of each wine creating unique sparkling wines speaking to the place and people whom created them.
A récoltant-manipulant since its inception in 1890, Vilmart is considered not only one of the greatest grower estates in Champagne but one of the finest producers of any type in Champagne. Founded by Desire Vilmart and now run by 5th generation Laurent Champs, the 11 hectare estate is located in the region of Montagne de Reims, where the majority of the vines lie in Rilly-la-Montagne with a few plots in the neighboring village of Villers-Allerand. A member of Ampelos (an organization that promotes organic and sustainable viticulture), Champs has refrained from the usage of herbicides or chemical fertilizers during his 26 year tenure. All of Vilmart’s wines are fermented and aged in oak-every base wine, without exception, seeing at least ten months in casks.
Importer, Terry Theise, states “I’ve found Vilmart among the most food-friendly of all my Champagnes, because they’re so gracious, so vinous, so lordly in their carriage. It’s clear to me Vilmart is a Champagne estate of unassailable consequence, a must-have for anyone interested in the possibilities of this most suavely powerful and graceful of all wines.”
The NV ‘Grand Cellier’ Premier Cru Champagne is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. On the nose it reveals white flower aromas of honeysuckle and lilac, citrus, fresh butter and cream revealing spicy notes of ginger and lemon grass as it warms in the glass. The palate is lively with a delicate effervescence; a creamy and silky textured wine with green apple, grapefruit zest, orchard fruit, and toasty notes accompanied by a light smoky minerality.
NV Jo Landron ‘Cuvee Atmospheres’ Extra Brut Cremant, Loire Valley, France $32.98
Famously photogenic thanks to his extraordinary mustache, Jo Landron is the creative and hard working man behind the farming and winemaking at Domaine de La Louvetrie. The domaine located in La Haye Fouassiere, a tiny town in the heart of Muscadet Sevre et Maine near the city of Nantes on the Atlantic coast of France, focuses on the production of distinct Muscadets from diverse parcels. Jo took control of the domaine in the 1990’s after working for many years with his father, Pierre, and in 1999 began converting the estate to organic and biodynamic practices, earning certification in both. Jo is well known for his decades long devotion to elevating the status of the Melon de Bourgogne grape grown almost exclusively in the region of Muscadet in the far western Loire Valley. The estate is located close to the part of the Atlantic defined by cold, salty waters, perfect for the production of oysters, coupled with rich grasses seasoning local lambs as they graze, and the cultivation of the Melon de Bourgogne grape.
While the majority of Jo’s vineyards are devoted to Melon de Bourgogne, he also plants small quantities of Folle Blanche, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay for his sparkling wine, Cuvee Atmospheres, because he found Melon de Bourgogne to be unsuitable for sparkling wine. Brilliantly crafted in the methode traditionnelle (same production method used in Champagne), the 100% estate biodynamically grown fruit from 18-30 year old vines is hand-harvested, naturally fermented using wild yeast with secondary fermentation in the bottle, and finished with a low dosage of 5g/l (extra brut) after which it spends 24 months on its lees.
The list of attributes accompanying this wine rivals some of the great growers of Champagne, and with no surprise Cuvee Atmospheres delivers impressive depth and a graceful style. This cremant would not be mistaken for a wine from anywhere but the Loire Valley, with its racy citrus, fresh peach, yellow and green apple, honeycomb, musty floral character, toasted brioche, and plenty of rocky, earthy complexity. On the palate the wine has a delicate petillance and an attractive acidic grip with delicious white stone fruit and bready texture.
2015 Domaine de Reuilly, Pinot Gris Rose Reuilly, Loire Valley, France $29.98
To quote importer Kermit Lynch, “When tasting the wines of Denis Jamain, it’s clear the appellation of Reuilly, in the eastern Loire, is experiencing a renaissance, moving far beyond its former status as the ‘poor man’s Sancerre.’” An appellation ravaged by phylloxera in the late 19th century, it took a strong faith from growers like Camille Rousseau (Denis’s maternal grandfather) in order to rejuvenate Reuilly, thus keeping viticulture and winemaking alive in the region. Rousseau planted his first vines in 1935 in addition to farming a large oak forest on the outskirts of town, passions carried on by his grandson. Today, Denis farms seventeen hectares in Reuilly, eleven planted to Sauvignon Blanc, four planted to Pinot Noir, and the remaining two planted to Pinot Gris for his unique rose.
Certified Organic as of 2011, the vines are planted on highly coveted Kimmeridgian limestone soil (part of the geological chain that connects the Loire Valley to Chablis in Burgundy and valued for its high marine and shell fossil content dating back 150 million years ago), clay and gravel. Soil and farming techniques translate into the wine in a brilliant representation of terroir. In aging his Pinot Noir, Denis further embodies the aforementioned terroir through use of oak from his grandfather’s forest.
The 2015 Rose of Pinot Gris is a beautiful light, rosy pink, with a bouquet of tangerine, orange blossom, lemon, and pear with a distinct salinity and soft flinty note. On the palate the wine is crisp with high mineral tones and a gentle finish. At the forefront is a medley of lime zest, citrus leaves, orange rind, grapefruit and white peach.
2013 Domaine Ciringa, ‘Fosilni Breg’ Sauvignon Blanc, Slovenia $28.98
In 2009, the Tement family, a 3rd generation farming and winemaking family synonymous with great Austrian wine, had the opportunity to purchase a vineyard site bordering their famed Zierrig vineyard on their Austrian estate across the border in Slovenia. From this acquisition, Domaine Ciringa was born.
Located on a large steep hill, once a massive coral reef under the ocean, the 20 hectare, single vineyard Fosilni Breg (fossil mountain), is an exceptional plot planted to Sauvignon Blanc. The fossil depicted on the Ciringa label is a photograph of a fossil found in the vineyard and represents the importance of the coral shell and limestone soil in crafting terroir driven mineral rich wines.
Committed to biodynamic farming practices, winemaker Armin Tement, creates a Sauvignon Blanc speaking less of fruit and more of its sea inspired minerality. Flinty on the nose with a puristic chalky minerality on the palate, this youthful, bright, crisp wine exhibits aromas of peaches, dog rose, herb, and pepper with light grapefruit, orange and lemon shining through on the palate.
2014 Ingrid Groiss, Dorflagen Gemischter Satz, Austria $31.98
Ingrid Groiss is a young, vivacious female winemaker, living in the Weinviertel, the oldest wine-growing district in Austria. Her relationship with the Weinviertel runs deep, as her parents and grandmother owned vineyards for many years, making wine for their local country wine tavern, traditionally known as a Heuriger. It took Ingrid some time before returning to her roots and taking on the life of a winemaker, whereby she had to blaze her own trail within the family business. Wines of expressive terroir have come to symbolize Ingrid’s craft technique, and deservedly, a dedicated following has ensued. The indigenous vineyard hare, gracing her labels, is symbolic of her dedication to harmony with nature and her connection to this delightful creature that flourishes in her gardens.
The Dorflagen Gemischter Satz is a wine crafted from a single vineyard of 50 year old grapes vines planted to 17 different grape varietals ranging from well-known varieties, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc etc. to lesser-known, ancient varieties. The combination of these 17 varietals creates an elegant, characterful and complex wine displaying a multi-layered bouquet of quince, yellow plum, peaches, citrus, and fresh herbs. Similar fruit purity travels to the palate with a touch of apricot and generous mineral tones.
2014 Domaine Mosse, Magic of Ju-Ju Blanc, Loire Valley, France $40.98
Specializing in natural winemaking and biodynamics, Domaine Mosse was founded in 1999 in Saint Lambert du Lattay, in Anjou by Agnès and René Mosse. Prior to the Domaine’s founding, the couple owned a wine-bar and wine retailer in Tours crediting the great vignerons they met whilst there, as the impetus to becoming winemakers.
They carefully and conscientiously work 17 hectares of vines mostly planted to Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, and in keeping with the biodynamic efforts put into the vineyard work, they find it equally important to vinify the wine in the same fashion. Particularly attentive to minimizing manipulations and the use of sulfur, the Mosses barrel-ferment and age their wines in old oak vessels.
The 2014 Magic of Ju-Ju is a blend of 80% Melon de Bourgogne (the varietal famous in the Muscadet region of the Loire Valley) and 20% Chenin Blanc. The fruit is hand-harvested from organic vineyards, pressed slowly, and fermented by indigenous yeasts in wooden vessels. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation followed by a seven-month élevage before bottling.
Fabulously fresh yet also savory, Magic of Ju-Ju has notes of bitter citrus pith, juicy orchard fruits, musky pear skin and a touch of white pepper. The palate is generous and complex with notes of golden apple skins, tangy citrus, light honeycomb, mineral freshness and zippy acidity.
2013 Domaine Alain Chabanon, Petit Merle aux Alouettes Merlot, Languedoc, France $31.98
Born to teacher parents, Alain Chabanon owes his early love of wine to his father. Following his undergraduate studies, Chabanon spent five years studying agriculture in Bordeaux and Montpellier. Returning to the land of his birth, the Languedoc, at the end of the 1980s, Chabanon bought his first parcels of vines between Jonquières and Montpeyroux.
Chabanon seeks to create wines that ooze intrinsic personality while displaying subtle and elegant qualities that become increasingly more complex over time.
100% Merlot from 26 year old vines grown on rocky soil, Le Petit Merle aux Alouettes reveals itself with red current, blueberry and blackberry aromas accompanied by bay leaf, sage and a hint of balsamic and anise. The wine is wonderfully fresh with smooth tannins and refined mouthfeel.
2006 IBY, ‘Durrau’ Blaufrankisch, Burgenland, Austria $55.98
If you have not begun to explore the wines of Austria already, it needs to be your next exploration into the world of wine. The quality of wine produced in Austria has drastically improved over the last twenty years and the value to be found in the fascinating and delicious indigenous varietals of the area is incredible.
IBY Winery, located in the famous wine village of Horitschon in Mittelburgenland, Austria, cultivates approximately sixteen hectares of vineyard land and is considered one the premier Blaufrankisch producers. Anton Iby (5th generation currently in charge of the estate) is a young and passionate winemaker and his youthful energy along with his father’s extensive experience together produce wines of terroir, power, elegance and aging potential. Unlike many producers cultivating Gruner Veltliner, a white Austrian varietal recently attracting the spotlight and deserved fame in the U.S., the IBY family focuses solely on red varietals.
Considered a great vintage for Burgenland, Austria, the 2006 single vineyard Durrau Blaufrankisch is an elegant, complex and balanced wine only benefitting from its time in bottle. Blackberry, black cherry, and undertones of smoked orange peel waft from the glass with gentle notes of spice, black pepper and fine tobbacco. The palate is full of dried dark berry fruits, earthy spice of cinnamon and thyme and perfectly integrated oak. Delicate yet rich, this wine has a delicious lingering finish.
2013 Matthaisson, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California $85.00
Winemaking for Steve and Jill Matthaisson is a natural extension of farming. Most of their grapes come from vineyards they farm themselves in Napa and Sonoma. Steve Matthaisson, well known for never being without a pair of pruning sheers, believes that a balanced vine (achieved through appropriate pruning each season) creates a balanced wine. Each of their labels artfully depicts pruning sheers as representative of this sentiment. The couple, both well educated in farming and sustainability practices prior to coming together, are enormous advocates for respecting the purity of the variety and the individuality of the site. Their wines are refreshing, moderate in alcohol and very complimentary of food. They strive to produce wines with full flavor but impeccable balance.
Cabernet Sauvignon is often a varietal many chefs feel may overwhelm a delicate farm fresh meal, however this particular wine is incredibly smooth and well balanced making it a perfect accompaniment to a meal full of fresh vegetables and herbs. Dark fruits abound both on the aroma and palate of this wine with delicious baking spices and classic herbaceous notes. The wine has a deep focus and structure with a complex lingering finish.
Catherine Walker of the Boulder Wine Merchant has chosen wines to accompany our menu. There is more than one wine available for each course to allow you to choose the wine or wines that best suit your taste and budget. These wines are available for purchase from the Boulder Wine Merchant, and will be delivered to you at the table. Wine purchases are limited to one bottle per guest in the party. A small delivery and handling fee has been added to the retail price of the bottle.
For insurance reasons, guests may not bring their own alcoholic beverages to a farm dinner.