Wine Tasting w/ Jon David Headrick Selections
Our Wine Wednesdays, include one *free sample from each of our hand selected fine wine features (up to four wines). Jon David Headrick was the first person to use the word “terroir” when explaining the importance of place to us in regards to the wine he imported. He was at our grand opening in 2008 pouring, hand-made small production “natural”, organic wines well before it was fashionable. Founded in 2005, Jon-David Headrick Selections was named “Best New Specialist Importer” by Wine & Spirits magazine as well as a “Wine Importer You Can Trust” by Slate magazine. Headrick’s work has been featured in French media outlets such as Radio France, La Nouvelle Republique, and TV Tours as well as American publications such as the Washington Post, Food & Wine magazine, and many others. In 2010, the government of France announced that Jon-David Headrick would be appointed a Chevalier dans l’Ordre du Merite Agricole, one of the highest civilian awards given by the government of France. The rank of chevalier (knight) is a lifetime appointment and is given to acknowledge outstanding service to French. As luck would have it, Jon Daivd Selections are now under the umbrella of Eric Solomon, and his European Cellars (Est. 1990). While the industry has changed, these wines have not. They are still insanely precise and pure. Wildly well priced as well. Do not miss this one.
Famille Lieubeau La Fruitière Muscadet Gneiss de Bel Abord
Famille Lieubeau farms over 40 hectares of vines and produces both Muscadet Sèvre et Maine and Vin de Pays from grapes such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Regardless of the varietal, the vines are planted on rock, and in most cases, sheer cliffs of rock through which the roots have to bury for meters for any hydric source. The vines, and the wines, are fed by water that is awash in wet rock. It’s not a big shock that the wines smell and taste more like rock and minerals than fruit or flowers. Combine this with the cold Atlantic breezes and you’ve got an amazing cool climate, high cut, precise bottle of white wine. The Lieubeau family takes great care to vinify the wines according to exposition, density of granite, and harvest date. Farming for their Folle Blanche, Chardonnay and Sauvignon is certified by Terra Vitis and all of their Melon is now certified organic by Agriculture Biologique. They keep yields as low as possible to produce wines that express the varietal character and terroir – not just acid. These are delicious, vibrant wines that are easily among the best values in the portfolio. Following a trend among the top producers of Muscadet the guys at Fruitière are not only making two outstanding cru Muscadets from Clisson and Château Thébaud, but they also make a single terroir (and single plot) Muscadet from sandy, weathered gneiss. This site faces east and is on a gentle slope bordering the river Maine. This terroir expresses itself with a delicate floral aromas and a coiled, salty minerality.
Jean-Francois Mérieau Fleuve Blanc
It sometimes seems like Jean–François Mérieau’s mind goes faster than his hands. Although he already produces some of the most respected and sought-after wines of the Touraine, he’s not satisfied and is currently looking for new ways to express the old vines and rich landscape that is the Domaine Jean-François Mérieau. Despite the quaintness, dustiness and disorder of the tasting room, the wines, are anything but old-fashioned. The Sauvignon Blanc bottling benefit from the rich clay and limestone soils and are exotic and often rich with underlying brightness and acidity. The new Chenin Blanc is racy and tinged with apple and stony flavors. The rosé of Pineau d’Aunis is exuberant and gregarious. The old vine Gamay and Cot are snappy with delicious, lingering fruit. The sparkling wines are a hand-harvested, vintage Touraine with little dosage. This is the real deal in Touraine. A pure example of Chenin Blanc and one that comes from limestone-rich soils, Fleuve Blanc is a crisp and dry version of the variety sourced from Jean-François’ vineyards supplemented by fruit purchased from conscientious neighbors.
Louis De Grenelle Saumur Rosé Brut
Deep under the streets of the Loire Valley town of Saumur, miles and miles of caves wind their way through the soft limestone that was used to build so many Loire châteaux. Carved centuries ago, many were dug with prison labor (often by men caught for smuggling salt) under the direction of the king of France. There are so many “streets” underground that they outnumber the actual streets in this beautiful town. This extensive network of caves has been used throughout the centuries as places to live, hide, store food and age wine. In this regard they are similar to the caves found under the city of Reims in Champagne, even more so today, as both are now filled with bottles of sparkling wine. The winemaking as Louis de Grenelle is quite minimalist, the fruit is pressed and flows by gravity into underground tanks at the winery. All of the wines are made in the Champagne method and are aged for their allotted time in the cellars beneath the streets of Saumur. They are bottled with little dosage to preserve the freshness of the Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc Chardonnay varieties. This is not sparkling wine made by “leftover” juice as is unfortunately the case in many Loire sparkling houses. The fruit for these bottlings is harvested by hand and yields are quite low. 100% Cabernet Franc from vineyards just outside of Saumur. Fermented and aged in tank, this is produced using the Méthode Champenoise. Very low dosage to protect the aromas and flavor of the varietal. Bright, crisp, and delicious sparkling rosé.
Jean Francois Merieau Le Bois Jacou Gamay
From 10-60 year old Gamay vines. It is hard to remember a time when being excited about Gamay was like confessing your love of velour leisure suits. Now that Beaujolais is a requirement on every wine list in the country, it ‘s thrilling times talking about the Loire’s take on this variety. Jean-François makes an excellent example of Touraine Gamay, more nervy, high-pitched and mineral than Beaujolais but so satisfying to drink slightly chilled while arguing about the best way to grill a steak. INSANE VALUE!!!
*tasting free with purchase of $10 or more per guest