Jolie Laide Trousseau Gris
– Cooper’s Price $29.99 –
Jolie-Laide is a one-man operation based in a Sebastopol, CA 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, fascinating fruit. In turn, the wines made from this fruit are equally beguiling. Some skin contact lends an incandescent, roseate hue, breadth of palate and subtle tannin. 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: IT’S BAAAACK!!! Last year, we bought 3 cases of this wine for our weekend tasting, and sold out halfway through the Saturday session. So, the winery sent us seven more cases, and those sold out in a month! Now, what about this year? It appears the secret is out on this stunning wine…we ordered 10 cases (120 bottles), but we only received 36! This won’t be here long.
Domaine Miolanne, Côtes d’Auvergne Volcane Rouge
– Cooper’s Price $16.99 –
Located in the Cotes d’Auvergne in the southern Loire Valley, Domaine Miolanne allows the volcanic terroir to speak through their Gamay and Pinot Noir vines. The region is centered around one of the oldest French cities of Clermont-Ferrand, which is perhaps most famous for the Michelin tire factory. There are 2 separate areas of dormant volcanoes that have not erupted for at least 7500 years, and which have helped to shape the interesting topography of the region. The vines have been cultivated here for least 1500 years, with the appellation finally achieving AOP status in 2011.
Odette and Gilles Miolanne own 17 hectares of grain and vines. The Pinot Noir vines are 7.5 acres and the Gamay is only 3 acres. The vineyards, and wines, are organic.
Kevin’s Notes: The nose of this wine is explosive with plum, un-ripe blackberries and spice. The weight is light and expressive with flavors of purple fruit, spice and mineral. This is going to be a great pairing for the holidays.
Château Grand Bâteau Red Bordeaux 2016
– Cooper’s Price $11.99 –
Dating back to the 1980’s, Grand Bateau is the product of collaboration between Maison Barrière and Chateau Beychevelle. The boat which decorates this label is the mythical galleon of the famous Château Beychevelle which took part in the creation of Grand Bateau.
Wine Education: Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, needs little introduction as one of the world’s most prestigious, and prolific wine regions. Its three trump cards are diversity, quality, and quantity.
The red Bordeaux varieties are Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot (there’s also a very, very, VERY, small amount of Carmenere)
Kevin’s Notes: Yes, some of the world’s greatest and most expensive wines come from Bordeaux. However, the famed region is also home to some the best value in the world, and this is a strong example! This wine comes from the outstanding 2016 vintage. It is fruit driven and complex, with a stunning mouthfeel. 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet.
Vicente Gandía Raiza, Crianza Rioja
– Cooper’s Price $13.99 –
The Vicente Gandía Winery is currently the largest winery in the Community of Valencia, and ranks in the top 15 Spanish wineries, and the top 100 European wineries. It has a presence in 85 international markets and is the ambassador of Spanish wines to the world!
Wine Education: Spanish wine, especially the more expensive types will often be labeled “Crianza”, “Reserva”, or “Gran Reserva”. These terms refer to the amount of time the wine has spent aging in oak barrels and in the bottle. Not necessarily a designation of style, but more of quality. A wine labeled Crianza has spent one year in oak barrels. A wine that says Reserva on the bottle has been aged for two years; one of these years has to have been spent in oak. Gran Reserva is often considered the highest quality. These are aged for two years in oak and three years in the bottle.
This wine is carried by aromas of earth, spice, cherry and plum. For a crianza, this is a serious medium-bodied wine. Spicy dark-berry flavors come with a touch of cocoa prior to the lasting finish, with leftover spice notes and slow-fading fruit.