Pairings for September 5 at Red Wagon Organic Farm:
Domaine Maestracci 2014 E Prove—This is one of the more interesting wines I've tried in awhile. The grape here is Vermentino, a Mediterranean grape variety that originated in Northern Italy. Today it is the most important grape on the French Island of Corsica. The proximity to the ocean and the extreme daily temperature variations make ideal growing conditions for Vermentino, producing intensely flavorful wines. Domaine Maestracci is located high in the foothills of the Mont Grossu Mountains on a unique granite plateau known as “U vino di E Prove” or “the wine of the Prove”. It is here that some of the most aromatic wines of Corsica are produced. With a steely citrus note, aromas of fresh peaches, a crisp acidic backbone, the “E Prove” Blanc, makes an ideal partner for many different foods. There is a salty, briny character and a slight nutty tone that linger on the rich finish. $25.98
Clos Roche Blanche 2014 "Sauvignon No 2”—Touraine, a Loire Valley appellation, designates a large viticultural area around the city of Tours. The vineyards of Clos Roche Blanche were planted on the Touraine hills bordering the Cher river by the Roussel family at the end of the 19th century and have remained in the family since. Catherine Roussel took over this 28-hectare estate (which has progressively and intentionally been downsized to 9 hectares) in 1975 from her father, and was later joined by Didier Barrouillet, who tends the vineyards and makes the wine. Both are enthusiastic proponents of non-interventionist winemaking. Their soil is poor, mainly clay with flint over a limestone subsoil. The varietals grown are Cabernet (Sauvignon and Franc), Gamay, Côt (or Auxerrois, the grape of Cahors) and Sauvignon Blanc. Roussel and Barrouillet keep yields low by maintaining old vines, using organic fertilizers in moderation and growing grass between and plowing under the rows. They converted the vineyards to organic farming and, with the 1995 vintage, received the official “organic agriculture” accreditation. The vines are treated with copper and sulfur solutions, and plant decoctions (a mixture of nettles and other herbs) used in biodynamic viticulture. The grapes are hand-harvested and the Sauvignon Blanc is macerated for 48 hours. The must is handled by gravity at all stages. The wine then ages on its lees, is bottled by gravity by hand without filtration to avoid mechanical manipulation that would unsettle it. Instead of using sulfur at bottling, the bottles are blanketed with CO2. Their Sauvignon Blanc, of incredible purity and fruit, is available at amazingly low prices. All the red wines have true varietal character, and the depth associated with low yields and optimum ripeness. Neither Catherine or Didier has studied oenology or viticulture. They both learned their trade in the vineyards and the cellar, searching for methods and techniques to make wines of exceptional character in an appellation of modest reputation. This is clean and clear, balanced, round in the mouth rather than chiseled or cut, with good weight. This is not a herbal Sauvignon Blanc, it is more clear and white fruited, with grapefruit notes but not grapefruit tartness or much citrus acidity; it's like grapefruit flavor, quince and other white and clear fruits, but not brisk, more round and smooth and "cool", with an interesting tarragon note. The acidity is underlying. Hint of honey on the finish. This goes down way, way too easy. Unfortunately for the world, 2014 is the last vintage of this great wine estate, and a final chance to taste the work of a master. $33.98
Avanthia 2013 Godello, Spain—Godello isn't yet a well known grape, but it will be! This grape finds its home in northwestern Spain, and tends to make a fuller bodied wine with some real weight and texture. I tried this wine and was blown away by the similarity to a much more expensive White Burgundy. This is a very serious example of Godello, with pretty tree fruit aromatics, which continue through to the palate. Oak aging is employed in moderation, adding to the weight and power of this bottle. But it is the acidity owning to a cool growing climate that really makes this bottle sing and gives it a great versatility in paring with food. $46.98
Vincent Paris 2013 Crozes-Hermitage—Vincent Paris, whose first vintage was 1997, is as shy as his wines are bold. In his early 30's, he has retro sideburns, but not much else in the Cornas appellation's new star is "retro". Vincent's uncle is Robert Michel, one of Cornas' finest growers. He made his two first wines with his uncle then, seeking autonomy, rented facilities for the vinification of his most recent wines. He is in the process of building his own winemaking facilities with a courtyard that holds his apricot plantation. Vincent Paris, co-president of the appellation of Cornas with Jacques Lemencier, owns 6 hectares of vineyards and produces about 2,500cs per year of which 1,600cs are Cornas. He inherited most of his own vines from his grandfather (some of which are 90 years old) and has also rented some vines from his uncle. The Crozes-Hermitage is a new wine from the 2013 vintage on, with the vines being leased. Northern Rhone Syrah is such a great food wine. Look for red fruits, earth, pepper, and a meaty character on the nose. A medium weight on the palate, find a continuation of red fruit, violets, olives, and pepper. Some drying tannin exhibits on the finish along with a healthy dose of acidity. $31.98
Anton Iby 2011 Blaufränkisch Hochäcker—In the middle of the red wine village of Horitschon lies Iby winery. Since the introduction of the appellation Mittelburgenland DAC they have places importance on a natural and organic vineyard management program, because quality starts in the soil and the vines. For their incomparable wines, management without herbicides and synthetic chemicals, as well as no application of artificial fertilizers. Instead, organic treatments are used to combat disease, and insects are kept at bay with the application of pheromones. When needed, nutrients are supplied by a high-quality cattle dung compost. In the glass, look for a dark ruby garnet with a violet rim, dark core, and 'teardrops' which cling to the sides of the glass with a swirl, which are evidence of a high degree of ripeness and a high extract. Very clean, clear fruit with pronounced aromas of fully ripe Morello cherries and shades of dark berries. Dry with a mild acidity, very ripe tannin, very full-bodied and rich. Harmonious and long departure with a pleasant, lingering finish. This is a typical and traditional Blaufränkisch of the highest quality. $35.98
Andy Rose 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.
The deadline for purchasing wine for the Red Wagon
Farm Dinner is
8 PM on Friday, September 4.
Ayinger Oktober Fest Märzen—It's that time of the year! Oktoberfest is a two plus week long celebration that takes place every year in Munich, Germany. It runs from mid-September until the first weekend in October. Go for the fun, the food, and the beer! Brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot beer purity law of 1516 (yes, they are serious, and Germany had a law on the books about how to brew beer for 260 years before America even became a country), this is a great example of the Oktoberfest style. This is a lager, but certainly richer than your standard pils style. Look for rich aromas of malted barley, honey, and hay in the aromatics. On the palate, find a food friendly weight, rich malt, and ample carbonation. Though richer, there is still a crisp finish to the beer owing to the lagering techniques used for centuries in Germany. This is a great example of the style. Please note this is one 500mL bottle. $4.98
Juvé y Camps NV Cava Brut Rosé—Juve y Camps is a family-owned winery located in San Sadurni d'Anoia, a small town in the northeastern Penedes region near Barcelona. Founded in 1921 by Joan Juve Baques and his wife Teresa Camps Farre, the winery's three-generation history has resulted in an international reputation for producing top-quality Cava. The story of Juve y Camps actually began over 200 years ago when Joan Juve Mir, a bold and enterprising vine grower with ideas ahead of his time, laid the foundation for what would become the family firm. From the beginning, the winerys philosophy has been to use only traditional, high-quality winemaking practices. Its Cava is made in the metodo tradicional, as is Champagne, meaning it undergoes a secondary, in-bottle fermentation prompted by the addition of yeast and sugar. The wines are often aged in bottle for 18 months or more. This Rose Brut is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes that come from the newly acquired Feixa 1 vineyard on the historic Juve y Camps estate. The free run juice undergoes a cold-soak maceration followed by fermentation in stainless steel. The resulting wine blends the traditional methods of Juve y Camps with international flair and flavor. With fresh red fruits on the nose and palate, and a mineral and yeast character, this wine captures the essence of what Cava is all about. It bears some similarity to Champagne, but in the end, remains its own beast.$28.98
Il Colle 2013 Rosso di Montalcino—While many know the joys of Brunello, that most exquisite Tuscan example of the Sangiovese grape in action, many are also familiar with how pricey Brunellos often get. In many cases Brunello’s younger brother, the Rosso di Montalcino, can be a terrific and amazingly affordable stand-in. Typically the second wine from each estate is released slightly earlier, and is sometimes made from younger vines, but other than that the same expertise brought to the high-end wine is also applied lovingly to these approachable and delicious younger wines. We recently discovered this fantastically delicate example from a very small family producer. It shows notes of raspberries, plums, currants and cherries with hints of iris, lavender, violet, licorice, myrtle and rhubarb. An incredibly complex wine with all the definition of a Brunello, but for half the cost! $38.98