Asheville’s Best Wine Tasting
Our Wine Wednesdays, include one *free sample from each of our hand selected fine wine features (up to four wines). New wines are chosen each week.
Knauss La Boutanche Riesling 1L
Natty liter. Made with real grapes. Whereas winemaking was a hobby for earlier generations at this domain (a way of winding down after a day’s work at the nearby Mercedes-Benz factory), Andi Knauss has long known he wanted to be a vigneron. After wine school and a stage in Austria (where Andi learned how to work organically in the vineyard, and to care for the soil) he took over the reins at Weingut Knauss in 2004, and in less than 10 years, he has developed one of the most important and exciting estates we know of. The vineyards are worked naturally, and winemaking is careful and conscientious. Natural fermentations and minimal sulfur are the norm throughout the range, and some cuvees see no sulfur at all. Andi, who is in his early thirties, runs a tight ship, making wine from over a hundred different plots in Strümpfelbach, the village where the winery is located, and a few surrounding villages in the hills around the river Rems. These hills are composed of different types of limestone of different eras, basically layerd on top of each other, changing with the altitude, between 300 and 400 meters above sea level.
Seehof Pinot Noir Rose
Florian Fauth is comfortable in his own skin. Which is saying something these days for a winemaker in the Rheinhessen. The winemaking landscape here, after all, has undergone a nearly inconceivable, 180-degree sea-change in last two decades. In one sentence, this region has gone from being the armpit of German wine (remember, this was the land of “Liebfraumilch”) to being the white-hot, super star in the spotlight. Winemakers and estates that have been largely ignored for decades, now have people knocking on the door and clamoring for appointments. For the wines of the Rheinhessen, the key is limestone. This is what gives the wines their glycerin-induced sexiness. This is also what gives them the flair of acidity, a presence strong enough to counter the lavish extract and to keep the wines from feeling gooey or too heavy. It’s a delicate balance, to be honest, but when you nail it… well, it’s impressive. At this moment I don’t know of an estate that makes a more profound “basic” estate wine than Florian at Seehof. The wines, both the dry and off-dry, are crystalline and pure with buoyant fruit and plenty of energy. For the money, you just can’t find anything better. His rose is, in other words, crunchy.
Montemelino Malpasso Rosso 1L
Overlooking Lake Trasimeno, on the northern cusp of Umbria, lies the Cantarelli family farm of Montemelino. In 1961 Margret Etten Cantarelli made her first vintage of wine, inspired by her passion for the land and a drive to create a fully-functioning, independent farm and winery. Living in Umbria as a German ex-pat for much of her adult life, she’d found her heart in Umbria and a desire to be connected to its land…thus was borne, Montemelino. Today the farm has 8 hectares of vineyards, all worked organically, as they have been since Margret began. They grow the native grapes of the tiny Colli del Trasimeno DOC, which include Grechetto, Malvasia and Trebbiano for the white wines and Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo and Gamay del Trasimeno (aka Grenache) for the red wines. This wine is comprised of 100% Sangiovese. Simple, classic, humble but very precise and comforting, isanely perfect food compainion.
Broc Le Clairet Perfect Red
A lighter, chill-able red of Cabernet Sauvignon, an homage to the historical clairet wines of Bordeaux. The fruit is from a practicing organic vineyard in the Green Valley AVA. Native yeast fermentation, light sulfur additions. Broc is an urban winery based in Berkley, California that sources from organic vineyards in the state and makes low intervention wines. An ideal wine for barbecues and beef-based Mexican dishes. Notes from the importer:………Chris Brockway came to call Berkeley home (for his cellar anyways) by way of Omaha, Nebraska, where he was born and raised, Seattle, and finally Los Angeles, with a couple short stops in between. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, he began working in restaurants around the city before decamping to the Pacific Northwest, where he ultimately became interested in wine. After a friend joked that he should learn how to actually make it, he packed his things and enrolled in winemaking courses at UC Davis. Before finishing, he made the move to Cal State Fresno, which has its own functioning winery, and this is where he became an expert, as he says, in everything he does not use.
*tasting free with purchase of $10 or more per guest