Pairings for June 15 at Aspen Moon Farm:
NV Domaine Francois Chidaine, Montlouis-sur-Loire Brut, Loire Valley, France $34
Domaine Francois Chidaine was established in 1989 by Francois Chidaine across the river from Vouvray in Montlouis. It’s a fairly sizeable domaine, totalling 37 hectares, including 20 in Montlouis, 10 in Vouvray and 7 in Touraine. The estate has vines between 40 and 80 years old, all certified Biodynamic but none 0f his labels will say as much. For Francois, it is about the work not the notoriety. He is a true champion of the Chenin Blanc grape and touts its ability to produce vibrant wines that age gracefully. Francois is happiest on his tractor or with his hands in the dirt, but being among his barrels is a close second.
Montlouis is a 400 hectares appellation which was granted AOC status in 1937 (Prior to that all wines made in Montlouis were labeled Vouvray). The soils in both Vouvray and Montlouis are quite similar: sandy clay on a base of tuffeau. Some say that a slightly higher percentage of sand and pebbles in the Montlouis soils makes the wines a bit leaner than the wines of Vouvray. This trait adds to the charm of Montlouis's wines giving them a lively crispness on the palate and outstanding minerality.
The Montlouis-sur-Loire Brut is crafted from Chenin Blanc vines, 30 to 90 years old, and made in the Methode Traditionelle. The initial fermentation takes place in older 600L casks and then following secondary fermentation in the bottle rest for a minimum of 12 months on the lees before release. A complex bouquet of ripe apple, pear, quince, and honey, beeswax nuances is followed by a distinctly chenin blanc character on the palate, offering dried orchard fruit, bitter lemon qualities and a strong mineral undertone. A touch of marzipan adds depth to the dry, stony, precise finish.
2015 Chateau Simone, Palette Rosé, Provence, France $102
Situated in the hills just south of Aix-en-Provence, Château Simone has been in the hands of the Rougier family for two centuries holding a virtual monopoly on the appellation of Palette. This historic estate encompasses 20 hectares of vineyards that sit on limestone soils at elevations between 500 and 750 feet above sea level on the slopes of Montaiguet. The appellation of Palette has a very special microclimate influenced by the encircling pine forests, the mass of Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Arc River. The vineyards were reconstructed after the invasion of phylloxera and many of the vines are over a century old. Chateau Simone crafts a white, rose and red wine.
The Château Simone Rosé is a wine that belies the notion that rosés are simple wines to be drunk young. An identical blend to the red, 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, and 20% Syrah, Castet, Manosquin, Carignan, Muscat Noir and Blanc, the grapes are grown on limestone soils and average more than 50 years old. The wine is aged in small oak casks and left on the lees until bottling. A beautiful, multi-layered rose with a texture and complexity that will wow the Palette, Chateau Simone Rose has beautiful berry tones with lots of spice, floral and herbaceous notes woven in. A special treat for those who want a wine that is both an experience on its own and fabulous throughout a freshly and delicately prepared dinner by the Meadow Lark team.
2014 Domaine Morey ~ Bastide du Claux. 'Barraban' Blanc, Luberon, France $33
Bastide du Claux was founded by Sylvain Morey, the son of Jean-Marc Morey, a famous vigneron in Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy. Thoughtful and strong-minded, Sylvain left Burgundy determined to find his own way, settling down south in the historical but lesser-known region of the Luberon. Born in 2002, Bastide du Claux is located in the gorgeous hills of western Provence, in the heart of the Luberon National Park. Sylvain works a diverse group of parcels totaling 17 ha, planted to 14 different varietals scattered throughout the region. The vineyards of the Luberon are relatively high, at 400-450m above sea level, and benefit from cooler temperatures compared with other parts of Provence and the Southern Rhone. This unique climate makes the Luberon an excellent location for producing racy and exciting white wines as well as reds that retain a freshness and bite.
The 2014 ‘Barraban’ Blanc is primarily a blend of Vermentino and Grenache Blanc with a small amount of Clairette, Ugni Blanc, Rousanne, Marsanne, and Viognier, crafted from southwest-facing parcels on sandy soils. The wine undergoes a natural fermentation and is then aged on the fine lees in mostly concrete. A small portion is aged in older oak barrels for 9 months before being bottled. The first note both aromatically and on the palate is the beautiful minerality of this wine. Wet stone and a certain saltiness beautifully highlight the light pear, apple, lemon and white floral notes. This wine is a delightfully crisp and refreshing way to start the evening.
2013 Ronco delle Betulle, Bianco 'Vanessa', Friuli, Italy $42
Founded in 1967 by the Adami family, Ronco delle Betulle is a leading wine producer in the Eastern hills of Friuli. The estate spans approximately 17 hectares in the DOCG Rosazzo very close to the Slovenian border.
A blend of at least 50% Pinot Bianco with the remainder made up of Friulano and Ribolla Gialla, this wine has a floral, fruity aroma highlighted by notes of bread crusts and aromatic herbs. Partial ageing in oak barrels for Pinot Bianco and Friulano gives this wine an elegant smooth texture. White nectarine, pear and citrus abound on the palate.
2015 Francois Crochet, Sancerre Blanc 'Le Chene Marchand', Loire Valley, France $51
Sancerre is a tiny bucolic French village, steeped in history, situated in the far western region of the Loire Valley. Almost in the middle of the country, it has been the center of the French resistance since the Middle Ages. While considered one of the best appellations in France for the cultivation of Sauvignon Blanc (~2,200 hectares under vine), creating beautifully flinty and savory wines with bracing acidity, it also produces a small amount of high quality red and rose wines of Pinot Noir (~620 hectares under vine).
Following in his grandfather and father’s footsteps, Francois Crochet and his wife, Carine, took over his family’s estate in 1988 located in the commune of Bué, just outside the town of Sancerre proper. Francois was formally schooled at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune after which he worked for several estates in France and abroad. Francois tends 10.5 hectares of vine divided into 30 plots with the lutte raisonnée method, considered a happy medium between conventional farming and stricter demands by organic certifying agencies. Biodiversity in the vineyards is encouraged through the planting of cover crops, plowing of the soils and the use of manures and natural composts to fertilize the vines.
As a young winemaker, Francois has made quite a name for himself both in France and abroad. His Sancerre Blanc ‘Le Chene Marchand’ is a vibrant expression of Sauvignon Blanc. A single vineyard with 40 year old vines grown on chalk soils, this wine displays personality and depth. Aromas of orchard flower, lemongrass, spicy blood orange, and white stone introduce a beautiful mouth texture with a bright acidic snap and mineral undertow.
2012 Quinta do Infantado, Douro Red, Portugal $32
Quinta do Infantado, based in Pinhão, has been a leader in estate-bottled Ports since 1979. Prior to 1986, the British monopoly on Port required that all exported Ports be sent in bulk to Vila Nova de Gaia, 60 miles west of the Douro Valley, where they were bottled and shipped. This practice effectively prevented small private producers from exporting their wines, since the cost of running an operation in another town was prohibitive for these vineyard owners. In 1986 the laws were changed and Quinta do Infantado, who were already making their own wines, were amongst the first to begin exporting.
The estate, run by the brother and sister team, João and Catherine Roseira, produces wines made exclusively from their own vineyards and bottled at the estate. The grapes for this still, dry, red wine are grown in the Cima Corgo district of the Douro, a combination of three different vineyards, Vale de Moinhos, Serra Douro, and Serra de Cotas, all situated at around 300m above sea level and set on schist terroir. A combination of 30% Tinta Roriz, 30% Touriga Franca, 30% Touriga Naçional, and 10% other varietals, all of the grapes are co-planted and co-fermented and then aged in a combination of tank and old oak barrels. This wine is juicy, floral and fruity with an abundance of blackberry, blueberry, plums, violets and light baking spice.
2015 Clos Maia, Terrasses du Larzac, Languedoc, France $45
Born in the west of France with family vineyards in Bordeaux, Géraldine Laval settled down in Larzac in 2009 after being trained by legendary Olivier Leflaive in Burgundy, Jean-Louis Chave in the Rhône and Olivier Jullien in the Languedoc. From the 1st vintage in 2009, she gained instant recognition from french press & professionals for her micro production of 4 ha of vines.
Situated to the north west of Montpellier, the Terrasses du Larzac vineyards are heavily influenced by the cool air from the high Larzac plateau creating a unique microclimate with significant day/night temperature variations. A red wine only appellation, Terrasses du Larzac is planted primarily to the five Languedoc varieties Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, and Carignan so as to maximise the character of the many different soil types (clay and limestone, ruffes, pebbles and shingle) each of which influences the grapes differently. Painstaking blending (a minimum of 3 varieties) and at least a year of maturing, means this appellation's wines are truly unique.
The 2015 Clos Maia, Terrasses du Larzac is comprised of Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, Oeillade, and Aramon. Unlike some full bodied Languedoc reds, this wine has a delicacy and refinement on the nose and palate that stands it apart. A delicious combination of blackberry, black currant, violets and a peppery gameyness on the nose and palate make this an excellent wine for meats.
2014 Petrussa, Schioppettino di Prepotto, Friuli, Italy $54
Gianni and Paolo Petrussa, 4th generation of the Petrussa family, both had the opportunity to work jobs with salaried positions upon coming of age. Throwing caution to the wind, the brothers declined these jobs and instead followed in their parents’ footsteps. A decision initially not supported by their parents as they remembered the hard life spent in the fields and the economic difficulties they faced, the brothers set out to prove to their parents that they too had perseverance. With passion, determination and investment, the brothers updated the winery equipment, replanted the vineyards and added the use of French oak barrels. Today Petrussa is a leading producer in Friuli especially known for their dedication to the Schioppettino grape.
History says that in 1282, Schioppettino was consumed on the tables of of the most important families. Originating in the area of Prepotto, Schioppettino is an elegant wine with balanced concentration and velvety tannins. It carries an aroma of spices with a predominance of white and green pepper and accents of wild berries and cut flower stems. On the palate, cherry, ripe cranberry and currant glide over the palate along with pretty herbaceous tones and rustic minerality.
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.