Pairings for June 22 at Lyons Farmette:
NV Catherine and Pierre Breton, Vouvray Brut 'La Dilettante', Loire, Valley, France
Catherine and Pierre Breton are a passionate and talented husband and wife team, farming 11 hectares of vines since 1982 just east of Bourgueil in the village of Restigné in the Loire Valley. The property was certified organic in 1991 and in 1994, Catherine and Pierre began converting the property to biodynamics. The Bretons farm vineyards on varied soil types, including gravel, limestone, clay, schist, and yellow tuffeau. Their wines are made primarily from Cabernet Franc (known in the Loire, curiously, as “Breton”) with small quantities of Chenin Blanc for their Vouvray. Though Pierre is the principal cellar master, Catherine makes a series of cuvées under the label “La Dilettante,” or the Dabbler.
‘La Dilettante’ sparkling Vouvray is crafted from 40 year old Chenin Blanc vines grown on clay and limestone soil. Made using the Traditional Method (the same method known as Methode Champenoise in Champagne whereby secondary fermentation takes place in the bottle), this non-vintage sparkling has lively, delicate bubbles and fresh notes of pear and apple with nutty undertones and a light touch of honeysuckle.
2016 Château Pradeaux, Bandol Rosé, Provence, France $56
Situated on the outskirts of the town of Saint Cyr-sur-Mer that lies directly on the Mediterranean Ocean between Toulon and Marseilles, Château Pradeaux has been in the hands of the Portalis family since before the French Revolution. In the appellation of Bandol where there are many producers, some good and some mediocre, Château Pradeaux is a unique, standard-bearer for this ancient wine-growing district.
In Bandol, the 2016 vintage ended up bearing very high-quality fruit, but yields were down almost 40%. The 2016 Bandol Rosé is produced from 75% Mourvedre and 25% Cinsault, where the yields for this wine were barely 30 hectoliters per hectare. Produced via direct-press with no maceration and a bit of lees aging, it offers a rich, evocative nose of violets, blueberries, and sea salt. The palate is full and powerful, with plenty of acidity and a mineral-drenched, gently tannic finish. It is one of the richest rosés of France, dry but full-bodied.
2016 Luigi Baudana, 'Dragon' Langhe Bianco, Piemonte, Italy $32
Luigi Baudana is the last scion of one of the oldest wine families of Serralunga d’Alba. His winery has been a secret for a bunch of fortunate wine lovers for over thirty years, producing a limited amount of Barolo and other wines. In 2003, Luigi and wife Fiorina started to look for a future for their estate. Through long-time family friends of Aldo Vajra they found his son, Giuseppe Vajra. The enthusiasm, energy and will to preserve the past history and prolong the future of this beautiful little jewel was what Luigi was searching for. Giuseppe considers himself il guardiano (the guardian) of this century-long running winery, and started operations with the 2008 vintage in the Baudana cellar. Farming is sustainable and takes advantage of organic and biodynamic practices; no chemical manipulation occurs to the wines.
The 2016 Luigi Baudana ‘Dragon’ is a blend of varieties, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Nascetta and a tiny amount of Riesling. Luigi Baudana planted Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the coolest of his Cerretta blocks in the mid 1980s initially to see which one grew best and decided to keep both.
This wine is quite dry and perfect to savour with food, but intriguing and refreshing enough to drink before, or even after, a meal. Dry perfumes of stone, flowers and summery grass move to a slightly savoury taste on the palate. The touches of Riesling and Nascetta add to an extra hint of elegance, giving it a long refreshing finish.
2014 Francois Chidaine, Montlouis sur Loire 'Bournais', Loire Valley, France $56
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). Unlike most of Montlouis, which is on clay and flint, this 4-hectare vineyard (planted in 1998) lies on a pocket of clay and Bournais limestone, from which it takes it's name. It's a beautiful site, certainly one of Montlouis' fines and it produces an altogether more 'Vouvray' expression of Montlouis with a powdery, chalky structure that clearly reflects its soils and location. The power and opulence of this wine is equally balanced by the chalky vibration (the kind you might find in a great Blanc de Blancs) that runs the length of the palate and dominates the finish.
2013 Domaine Barou Condrieu, Rhone Valley, France $86
The concept of a self sustaining existence at Domaine Barou since its inception is of utmost importance, an ethos shared by Cure Organic Farm, making this wine an appropriate and exciting pairing for this evenings festivities. The Barou family farm was established in 1928 in a remote area of Drome in southeastern France. Their goal was to create a self-sustaining farm growing their own produce and raising animals. In later years they planted apricot and peach orchards, also beginning their pursuit of viticulture (the science, production, and study of grapes). In 1971, the farm was converted to organics and in 1997, third generation Emmanuel Barou, after studying viticulture and oenology in Orange and Avignon, shifted the family’s pursuits towards winemaking.
The domaine’s farming is exemplary, using their own compost, plowing as little as possible, and planting cover crops to maintain healthy well balanced soil. The one hectare vineyard in Condrieu is on a steep south facing granite slope with clay soil.
The wine is made entirely of Viognier showcasing aromatically complex and beautiful citrus and exotic fruits with spicy floral notes. The palate is perfectly balanced, lovely ripeness and gripping acidity. Unlike many Condrieu that have a dominating oak profile, this wine, elevage for 9 months, 30% new, whispers of its time spent in barrel. Instead lies a wine with honeyed perfume of peaches, tangerine, honeysuckle, jasmine and a velvety spice that lingers on the tongue.
2013 Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme, Touraine Rouge KO “In Côt We Trust”, Loire Valley, France $36
Pierre-Olivier Bonhomme is one of the most influential figures in natural wine in the Loire Valley, in France, and beyond. Grown from old-vine organic and biodynamic parcels in the Cher Valley, 'In Côt (a synonym for Malbec) We Trust' is Pierre-O's anthem to the great Malbecs of the Loire. Grown on flint and clay, the wine is fermented and aged in neutral barrel and bottled unfiltered.
A strong example of what Malbec is capable of in the region, this wine, while not as dark, ripe, fruity or full bodied as the typical Argentina offering, has an elegant tannic structure and an ample amount of finesse. A mix of red and black fruits, spice, sweet floral and fresh green herbs on the nose moves to fresh fruits and lots of minerality on the palate.
2015 Château Fortia, Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée du Baron, Rhone Valley, France $52
Château Fortia is a wine producing estate in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region of the Rhône Valley. With a history dating back to the eighteenth century, Château Fortia has long been a notable producer in the southern Rhône. In the early twentieth century, the estate came under the direction of Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié. Baron Le Roy went on to be co-founder of the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO) and guided the creation of the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system which is the basis of not only French wine laws but has also been influential in the laws and appellation systems around the globe.
Château Fortia sits on a 30 hectare estate located just south-east of the commune of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The vineyards constitute a single block that includes 27.5 h of red grape varieties (mostly Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre) and 2.5 ha of white varieties (mostly Clairette blanc, Roussanne and Grenache blanc). The vineyard soils range from sandy in the north to clay-limestone in the south.
Château Fortia La Cuvée du Baron made its debut in 2001. The 2013 vintage is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre aged for an average of 16 months in old foudres. Rich complex aromas of plum, cassis and spice continue into a full bodied wine with sappy blackberry, bitter cherry and a hint of cracked black pepper and violets.
2012 Château le Puy, Bordeaux Rouge 'Emilien', Bordeaux, France $78
Situated on a rocky plateau near the small town of St. Cibard, just east of Pomerol and St.-Émilion, Château le Puy is a special estate owned by the Amoreau family who have been growing grapes for more than 400 years. With approximately 125 acres of vines, 50 years old on average, planted on a mixture of limestone, clay and flint soils, Chateau Le Puy is 100% biodynamic. No recent convert to this now fashionable form of organic viticulture, Chateau Le Puy, even after World War II when chemical agriculture became the norm, has never once used fertilizers or pesticides on their property.
The fruit of a plot of vines planted with 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Carménère, Emilien is matured in oak barrels and casks for 24 months. The nose is fruity, with ripe red fruit aromas dominated by blackcurrant and redcurrant, accented with roasted almond notes and occasional hints of mushrooms and undergrowth. The palate is well-rounded, full-bodied and precise, with velvety tannins paving the way for a long, complex 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.