Pairings for June 8 at Munson Farm:
NV Jo Landron ‘Cuvee Atmospheres’ Extra Brut Cremant, Loire Valley, France $33
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.
2016 Domaine d’Aupilhac ‘Lou Maset’ Rose, Languedoc, France $26
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. The ‘Lou Maset’ Rose is comprised of Grenache, Cinsault, Mouvedre and Carignan, 8-15 year old vines, grown on limestone, clay, and blue marl with fossil deposits.
The rose is crafted using the saignée method, a technique capable of producing some of the longest lasting rose wines. Actually a by-product of red winemaking, 10% of the juice during red wine fermentation is bled off and the leftover bled wine or “Saignée” (Saigner meaning “to bleed” in French) is then fermented into rose. Wines made from this method are typically much darker than maceration method wines and more savory.
The 2016 ‘Lou Maset’ is a medium bodied, fleshy, generously textured rose overflowing with aromas of current and spice with strawberries, raspberries and savory herbaceous notes on the palate.
2014 Domaine du Monteillet, Le Blanc d'en Face, Rhône Valley, France $33
Located in Condrieu, high up on a gorgeous west-facing slope overlooking the Rhône River, Domaine du Monteillet is managed by the young and charismatic Stéphane Montez. Stéphane represents the 10t h generation of winemakers for the Domaine founded in 1732. With two years of international travel, working in vineyards around the world, and the first generation to formally study viticulture and winemaking, Stéphane brought a fresh perspective to the winery when he took over from his father in 1997. A small but high quality producer, Domaine du Monteillet produces wine, both red and white, from some of the best appellations in the northern Rhône.
Le Blanc d’en Face is a blend of 40% Chardonnay and 60% Cugnette, vines averaging 5-20 years old grown on schist soil. Cugnette, also known as Jacquère, is primarily grown in the Savoie and Loire Valley regions of France with a small portion grown in the northern Rhône appellation of Condrieu. This wine has delicate notes of pear, white peach, yellow apple and grapefruit with a hint of white flowers and flinty minerality.
2013 Marilena Barbera, Grillo 'Coste al Vento', Sicily $41
Cantine Barbera is a family winery run by Marilena Barbera and her mother. Marilena inherited the winery in 2006 upon her father’s passing and took over all work in the vineyards and cellar in 2011. She makes 10-11 different wines a year, all single vineyard bottlings of the indigenous fruit that grows in her grandfather’s vineyards.
With 30 hectares in Sicily, just southwest of Menfi and a half-mile from the ocean, Marilena farms the entire estate organically and likens the proximity to the ocean to standing in front of an open refrigerator door. Her vineyards yield wines that are fresh and bright and naturally lower in alcohol than wines grown in the mountains. However, temperature is not the only benefit to being one of very few producers close to the ocean, salinity is also very important for white wines. It adds structure, helps protect against bacteria and preserves flavors and aromas.
A cross between two native Sicilian varietals, Grillo is grown almost exclusively on the island of Sicily. Sourced from a single vineyard, Marilena’s Grillo is one of the best examples both in its expression of varietal character as well as its terroir. The nose is complex and elegant with aromas of white stone fruit and hints of tropical fruit, married with herbal scents of oregano, mint and sage that stand out against rich layers of nettle and fine green tea. Its pleasantly full palate is enriched by a mineral and vibrant aftertaste.
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.
2015 Lunar Apogé, Côtes du Rhône, Rhône Valley, France $32
Lunar Apogé is an estate located in Roquemaure, France, just north of Avignon and across the Rhône River from Chateauneuf du Pape. Owned by the Leperchois family who have been making wine for centuries, Lunar Apogé became a pioneer in the region in 1977 when they fully converted their estate to organic and biodynamic viticulture. Certified Biodynamic by the governing body known as Demeter, this estate not only follows organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard but also in the winery where all wines are made using native yeast fermentation with minimal fining and filtration.
The Côtes du Rhône is a blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mouvedre and 10% Cinsault. It displays elegant notes of blackberry and blackcurrant with a touch of violet, clove and pepper on the nose. On the palate, this wine has a delicate, medium body with black cherry, black raspberry and soft herbaceous tones.
2014 G.D. Vajra, Barbera d'Alba, Piemonte, Italy $39
Milena and Aldo Vajra began G.D. Vajra in 1972, producing small quantities of Piemontese wines from vineyards planted by Aldo’s father, Giuseppe Domenico, in 1947. The fruit was sold to negociants until Aldo bottled his first vintage in 1978. Today, the family has 40 ha under vine. The estate is steeped in tradition and stylistically produces wines of incredible finesse and elegance. The extensive range, including most of the varieties grown in the Langhe (Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, etc.), is uniformly excellent and the top Barolo bottlings are among the finest.
This wine blends fruit from six sites in Barolo and the wine ages in both Slovenian oak barrel and tank. It displays lifted aromas of violets, roses, cherry, hay, tobacco, and spice and a plump mouthfeel with juicy black fruits alongside licorice and graphite.
2014 A Tribute to Grace, Grenache Vie Caprice Vineyard, Santa Inez Valley, California $67
A Tribute to Grace Wine Company was started by a New Zealand born winemaker, Angela Osborne, in 2006 when she moved to California with a dream of making Grenache. New Zealand’s climate, too cool to ripen the sun-loving grape, sent Angela on a search through Spain, southern France, southern Australia and eventually to California. In 2007 she sourced her first Grenache fruit from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard nestled high above the Pacific Ocean and 33 miles inland. All of the wines are single vineyard sourced to maintain authenticity and remain 100% Grenache.
The Vie Caprice Vineyard is planted in the Santa Inez Valley to the Alban Grenache Clone. This vineyard produces a wine of amazing depth and purity with notes of boysenberry, choke cherry, anise and fennel. This is a beautiful, delicate, high-toned wine.
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.