Thanksgiving Pairings Extravaganza 2016

18 Nov Thanksgiving Pairings Extravaganza 2016

Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau 2016

Since Beaujolais Nouveau is harvested less than two months before it’s ready to be consumed, its makers send out little updates throughout the summer months to let everyone know how the grapes are doing, what the weather has been like, and whether the projected date of harvest will be ahead or behind schedule. The news from Drouhin at the end of August was beauthat the very end of the growing season would be nice and sunny, ando that the gamay could be picked a little earlier than last year. This vintage promises the beautiful bluish-red hue of the best Nouveau bottlings with a little firmness from carbonic maceration and the distinct sensation of biting into fresh dark berries. Maison Joseph Drouhin has a long history in Beaujolais and was the first producer to bottle and ship Beaujolais Nouveau which had long been a farm-to-table staple of Lyonnaise Bouchons, autumn gatherings, and family meals. 16.99

FRV 100- Jean Paul Brun

As if this glorious sparkler needed appeal beyond its outré glitter label which is both delightfully tacky and hilariously French, I can never gush enough about this Beaujolais or its vigneron. Monsieur Brun was involved in wine from childhood, and grapes grew along with grains, cows, sheep, and pigs on his father’s farm. When young Jean-Paul’s father discovered frv100he had an interest in making wine, he stopped selling his grapes and began making wine with his son. Monsieur Brun’s first vintage at his Terres Dorees estate was in 1977, and he has created a signature style as a vigneron through years and years of working with the soil and trial and error. Most producers in Beaujolais ferment the grapes in whole clusters to add structure and tannin to the gamay, but Brun prefers to make wines that are more Burgundian in style and ages them for at least several month is oak or concrete depending on the grape variety and vintage. The result is always a wine that is both approachable and soft but with enough body and distinct character to carry a heavier meal from start to finish. His approach to natural winemaking is refreshingly lighthearted, and while he would never add additional acids or sugars to achieve a desired result, he is not either obsessed with the cult of unsulphered, preferring to sulphur minimally when necessary rather than use the pretense that a flawed natural wine is “artisanal.” FRV 100 is 100% Gamay made in Methode Ancestrale with indigenous yeasts, is a beautiful magenta, has loads of soft bubbles, and tastes like a raspberry Sweettart. Monsieur Brun is the only Beaujolais producer outside of the crus rates four stars by Parker. 19.99

Bottex Bugey Cerdon La Cueille

Another Methode Ancestrale sparkling wine, Bottex La Cueille is from a tiny crossroads of a region called Bugey (we have a Bugey chardonnay, too, and it’s also uncommonly lovely) just north of Lyon, east of Beaujolais in a loop of the Rhone river at the foothills of the Jura Mountains. In addition to gamay, vignerons Patrick and Catherine Bottex make this Cerdon with bugey-cerdon-lacueille-resized20% poulsard, mostly exported from Jura to Bugey’s east. Delightful seems like the best word with which to praise this wine, but it doesn’t begin to do this bottling justice. Many of you have probably enjoyed this with your holiday meals for the past few years, and you will notice some slight differences with this bottling. It is significantly lighter in color, almost pastel pink instead of pale rosé because of the non-dosage for the secondary fermentation and natural winemaking, and as wonderful as it has been for the last two years, it is still better and bursting with aromas of cherries, raspberries, and blackberry fruit! There is nothing quite like it on Earth. 28.99

Louis Grenelle Cremant de Loire

The classic Brut Saumur twin of the sparkling rosé that wins summertime every year is a delicate yellow hue with a rich nosegren of apricots, brioche, and hazelnuts. White flowers top the palate rather than taking over the aromatics and is followed by flavors of candied lemon and lime zest. The blend of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc verges on off-dry, so it’s an easy choice for Thanksgiving. 22.99

Domaine Pierre Richard Cotes du Jura Poulsard

The supporting-role grape variety in Bottex’s La Cueille is commonly bottled as a varietal wine in the adjacent Jura region. Somewhat like pinot noir and somewhat like gamay, poulsard is very light in color but has every bit of earth and gravity that those two grapes poulsardrarely show in southern Burgundy and Beaujolais. The vines are 25 years old, just old enough to lower the yield to the point of elegance and intensity for the finished wine, and the winemaker proudly points out a nose of sloeberries, wild, fresh strawberries, and an underlying aroma of “something animalistic.” The combination of bright fruit and musk make this a perfect selection for the holiday if you are going to smoke your turkey (like I am!) or if you like to snack on charcuterie with family and friends before or after supper. 24.99

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