Jolie Laide Trousseau Gris, Russian River Valley Fanucchi Vineyard – Jolie-Laide is a one-man operation based in a Sebastopol winery. Winemaker Scott Schultz makes only 500 cases of wine a year under his own label. The name Jolie-Laide translates loosely to “Pretty-Ugly”, a French term of endearment to describe something that is unconventionally beautiful. Scott makes some of the most unique and highly sought-after wines in California that are true to their name.
Winemaker’s Notes: Recherché (rare, exotic, or obscure) at its truest sense. These rare, near-extinct vines produce unique yet fascinating fruit. In turn, the wines made from them are equally beguiling. Some skin contact lends an incandescent, roseate hue, breadth of palate and subtle tannin. A veritable high wire act; light and pretty, wildly floral yet savory with a visceral depth. An inebriating blend of wild pomelo, summer melon, stone fruit, white tea and sweet earth all weave with finessed length and elegant palate presence.
Kevin’s Notes: My wife Sharon, manager Joe, and I tasted this wine and we all said, “How many can we get?” The original answer was 12 bottles, but Paul, the owner of Craft Wines allowed us to have 3 cases! Thank you Paul! This is a true showcase wine and I would hate anyone to miss it. It’s one the best whites of the year from one of the best winemaker’s in the United States. Typically we can never get enough of his wines for a tasting! Cooper’s price $29.99
Domaine Lelievre, Côtes de Toul Gris de Toul 2017 – Roughly half way between Champagne and Alsace, in s straight line between Paris and Strasbourg, is the Côtes de Toul. Grapes have been grown there since the Romans nearly 2000 years ago. Winemaking became important during the 15th century due to the Dukes of Lorraine and the Bishops of Toul, in the mid-17th century. The Franco Prussian war in the late 19th century, Two World wars and the delimitation of Champagne (Lorraine grapes were previously allowed) led to little winemaking. After WWII, mining took the region’s already decimated manpower, and by the mid 1950’s there were less than 250 acres. The Lelievre family was one of those founding estates. Now in its third generation, Lelievre is run by brothers Vincent and David, who both have over a decade of international (Argentina, Australia, Chile, Spain, US, and Uruguay) and regional (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Languedoc) winemaking experience. They tend to just less than 19 hectares = 47 acres.
Wine Education: For vin gris : Gamay (the most common grape variety in the AOC) and Pinot Noir as the main grape varieties, and Aubin blanc, Auxerrois blanc and Pinot Meunier as accessory grape varieties. For Vin Gris, at least two grape varieties must be used, and the major grape variety is not allowed to exceed 85%. At least 10% Pinot Noir must be used, and the total proportion of accessory grape varieties is not allowed to exceed 15%. This wine is made from Gamay and Pinot Noir. Cooper’s Price $14.99
Walter Scott La Combe Verte Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir 2017 – Famed Burgundy importer Becky Wasserman was once quoted in Wine Spectator saying, “You can always judge a great Domaine by the quality of their Bourgogne bottling.” These are words we LIVE by. At Walter Scott, we put the same care and attention to detail into our two Willamette Valley wines as we do our single vineyard selections. The La Combe Verte bottlings are the foundation for every choice we make in the winery, directly reflecting our reputation, philosophy, and lifestyle.
This wine is a serious and beautiful example of the 2017 vintage, immediately appealing, but layered with power and structure giving this wine the ability to age in your cellar for several years. The nose suggests red & black fruits, flowers and spicy earth. The fruit, tannins and acid all come together to produce what we feel is a lovely & balanced example of what the Willamette Valley gave us in 2017.
Kevin’s Notes: Every year, we get a limited release of this stunning under $30 Pinot Noir. 28 btls available Cooper’s Price $28.99
Bodegas Pedro Regalado “Embocadero” Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero – Bodegas Pedro Regalado is located in La Aguilera, in what the local experts call ‘The Golden Triangle’ of Tempranillo grapes in the Ribera del Duero region. A small group of growers founded the bodega in the early 1960’s, but it remained in obscurity for about 40 years, selling their wine to prominent bodegas in the region until Cesar Mate a young winemaker / enologist, joined the bodega.
Since 2003, Cesar has been in charge of the bodega’s 370 acre vineyards, which were planted in the early 1900’s. Cesar convinced the bodega not to spend the money to replant the vineyards, which would increase the yield, but to continue with the old vines with their low yields in order to maximize their concentration.
Kevin’s Notes: Its real simple, this wine is 100% Old Vine Tempranillo from the Spanish wine region of Ribera del Duero – a region known for full-bodied Tempranillo’s. The wine taste well above its price. Cooper’s Price $15.99