Pairings for June 30 at Lyons Farmette:
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.
2014 Domaine Jean Masson et Fils, Apremont Vieille Vigne, Savoie, France $20.98
The year is 1248 and the destiny of Apremont, an area within the Savoie region of the French Alps is about to change dramatically. The limestone mountain known as Mount Granier collapses killing 3000 people and destroying everything in its path. Following this horrible tragedy the area was named Apremont or ‘bitter mountain,’ and viticulture became the principle industry as limestone soil is widely considered the best soil for farming under vine. Furthermore, the Savoie is also famous for its cows used in the production of numerous types of mouth watering cheeses.
The 4th generation Masson family’s estate is widely considered the greatest domaine in the appellation. They own nine hectares mostly planted to the white varietal, Jacquere. Jacquere produces a refreshing, dry, high acid white wine with light floral and alpine aromas mingled with a distinct crispness arising from generous mineral undertones. The palate displays notes of green apple, lemon, pear, and fresh herbs.
We are quite lucky to carry this wine as it can be difficult to find wines of the Savoie in the U.S. due to small production, as 80% is consumed locally.
2015 Dönnhoff Estate Riesling Trocken, Nahe, Germany $32.98
Two hundred and fifty years ago, the Donnhoff family settled in the German region of the Nahe in a tiny village called Oberhausen an der Nahe. Germany has around 100,000 hectares under vine, 4,000 of which are planted in the Nahe and only a quarter of that is planted to Riesling in the middle Nahe where the Donnhoff family is located. In this tiny village where to this day the population remains around four hundred people, the family established a traditional farm with livestock, vegetable gardens and some grape growing. In 1971, the farmland was sold and the family’s full attention was given over to the vines.
The estate has grown to twenty-five hectares, where it will remain so the family may continue to devote sufficient time in the vineyards and the cellar in order for the continued production of high quality wines. Furthermore, the pedigree of this estate is quite exceptional, as it’s comprised of nine different single vineyard sites, all classified as Grosses Gewachs or Grand Cru (the highest ranking awarded to vineyards in Germany).
Often considered by many in the food and wine world to be one of the best grapes for food pairing, the 2015 Donnhoff Estate Riesling is no exception. The vines are grown on steeply sloping hillsides in stony, weathered volcanic soils with small amounts of slate. An expressive white wine with an elegant and aromatic bouquet, this Riesling displays notes of jasmine, nectarine, sage lemon zest, green apple and a rocky minerality. On the palate this wine is dry with tingling acidity. A wine not to be missed with fresh summer produce!
2014 Michel Bouzereau et Fils, Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France $51.98
The Bouzereau family has cultivated vines in Meursault for seven generations, an appellation located in the Cote de Beaune within the commune of the Cote d’Or in Burgundy, France. Despite containing no Grand Crus, there are more top producers in Meursault than in any other commune of the Côte d’Or. Its wines are typically rich and savory with nutty, honeyed hints and buttery, vanilla spice from oak use during aging.
Michel Bouzereau comes from a large winemaking family and has in the past held the post of President of the Burgundy Growers Union. He is a huge proponent of the traditional way of making wine, fermenting in cask and aging on the lees for nine months. Michel’s son, Jean-Baptiste is now in charge of the eleven hectare estate, and whilst respecting his father’s traditionalism, has instilled a lively, modern freshness in the wines as well.
The Bourgogne Blanc made of 100% Chardonnay comes from vineyards within the boundaries of Meursault but just outside of the appellation. It is a terrific value for a delicious well-crafted white Burgundy.
A very pretty nose with lots of fresh floral notes, white peach, lemon and a hint of vanilla, this wine has a delicate oak presence and an expansiveness on the palate. This is a perfect wine to travel with you throughout the duration of the meal.
2013 Vietti, Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne, Piemonte, Italy $28.98
Like many European wineries, Vietti traces it’s roots back to the 19th century, but it was only at the beginning of the 20th century that Vietti began offering its own wines in bottle. Over the years the Vietti winery grew to be one of the most prestigious in Piedmont, a region in northwestern Italy, and was one of the first to export to the U.S. Since 1974, each of the Vietti bottlings have been adorned with specially designed works of art to represent the wine of the respective vintage. Outwardly a beautiful presentation, but more importantly, Vietti produces wines of incredible depth and finesse.
Barbera, while not deemed to be the noble grape of Piedmont (that title is reserved for Nebbiolo the work horse of Barolo and Barbaresco), is still an exceptional wine with a beautiful balance of fruit, body, tannin and acidity. Rife with lavender, dried strawberries, and dried herbs on the nose, with cherry, licorice, plum, and tobacco on the palate, this wine pairs nicely with delicate and savory cuisine.
2014 Forlorn Hope, ‘The Kerrigans’ Carignan, Mendocino, California $41.98
As the winemaker, Matthew Rorick, writes on his website, “Rare creatures from appellations unknown and varieties uncommon, these wines are our brave advance party, our pride and joy – our Forlorn Hope.” Forlorn Hope, taken from the Dutch ‘verloren hoop’, meaning ‘lost troop,’ was the name given to the band of soldiers who volunteered to lead the charge directly into enemy defenses.
Matthew may also have been considered a long shot in his youth. Born in Oceanside, California, he was your quintessential, weed smoking, skater, surf bum who became quite good at the sports and told his mother he was never going to college. As most young people do, he changed his mind but couldn’t admit to his mother his turn of thought, so he joined the navy to pay for his education. His introduction to wine came from a lengthy amount of time spent with his grandfather, who had a fairly extensive collection and knowledge of wine. Eventually he made his way to UC Davis where he acquired a dual degree in viticulture and enology. In the proceeding years, he spent his time bouncing between the northern and southern hemisphere as a cellar hand and eventually came back to Sonoma to work as a winemaker where he was offered his first opportunity to make his own wine.
Rorick is now one of the pioneers of California’s wine renaissance, focusing on old forgotten vineyards and odd varieties of California’s past. On offer for this dinner is his single vineyard Carignan planted in the early 1940’s and cultivated by the Kerrigans Family in Mendocino County. Layered with bright red fruits, dried cranberries, raspberry, and an earthy nose of baking spices, cured meat and tobacco leaf, this textured wine with a slight tannin presence will sing with fresh vegetables and meats.
2012 Domaine d’Aupilhac, ‘Les Cocalieres’ Rouge, Languedoc, France $49.98
Located in the village of Montpeyroux in the Languedoc region of southern France, the eighteen hectare, Domaine d’Aupilhac has been farmed by the Fadats family since the nineteenth century with the vineyards dating even further back in time to the Romans. In 1989, Sylvain Fadat took over the estate and the process of converting the property to organics whereby he is fully credited with the wines we are fortunate enough to enjoy today.
Aupilhac is very a special parcel of land, sitting at a high altitude of 1,200 feet above sea level with southwest sun exposure, nestled below the ruins of the village’s chateau. In addition, the single vineyard Cocalieres is planted on the site of ancient lake formed after the eruption of a volcano, resulting in a rich bed of limestone and basalt. From this vineyard all of the grapes are hand harvested, vinified separately with indigenous yeast fermentation, and aged for thirteen or fourteen months in older barrels.
A tasty blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 30% Mouvedre, a classic blend of Rhone varietals, this wine marries dark fruit notes of blackberry, black cherry and hints of peat with flavors of plum, cassis, black pepper, tobacco, and sage.
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.