The Flavors of Fall

The Puy du Dome volcano natural park in the Auvergne.
The change in seasons has a major effect on our lives, whether we realize it or not.  Perhaps it's the New Englander in me but Fall, September in particular, seems to embody and encapsulate the region at it's most quintessential.  Crisp air, extended high pressure, comfortable temperatures...these are just a few things that real New Englanders can complain about (that's what we do best, especially regarding the weather).  

And you know what, people buy and drink wine based on the weather.  I'm convinced of that.  It's a good thing. Drink with the seasons! 

This time of year is always my favorite time for drinking wine.  The season's harvest is upon us, late summer veggies are at their peak, it's cool enough to stand around a stove and cook, but warm enough to eat outside for an early dinner.  Add the great influx of new wines, new vintages and exciting arrivals and this shoulder season really is the best time of year to come to the shop and buy a lot of wine.  

We've had a great couple weeks of tastings; Jules Dressner, Lambrusco, Old Portuguese stuff and Zev!  Tonight we cap it off with a lineup that I think is really fun and interesting.  These wines are perfect this time of year, they have the essential flavors of Fall.  Not too heavy, not too light...just your favorite cardigan sweater you just pulled out of the closet. 

Come, taste with us, you won't regret it. 

The Six Essential Fall Wines that come from Rural France Lineup: 

Marc Pesnot, La Boheme, Loire $20
Technically it's not Muscadet.  That's because Marc Pesnot hates on the bureaucratic French AOC system.  Years ago the AOC board told Marc his wines were not 'typical' of the region.  That's because Marc was using fully ripe grapes, not adding yeast to ferment the wine and only using a tiny (< 20mg) of sulfur at bottling.  Turns out it's one of the best wines in the region! 

Dom. la Haut Lavigne, Cotes de Duras, Southwest France $16
Nadia Lesseau is small scale negociat winemaker. She doesn't come from money or a long line of winemakers in her family. She caught the wine bug later in life and decided to go down the natural route.  Today she specializes in wines from the southwest of France, a place I always think of this time of year for fun drinking wines.  Duras is a pretty unknown appellation not that far outside of Bordeaux.  This white is an elegant, spiced, rich white wine that dances gracefully on the palate.  Sauvignon blanc and semillon. 

GASPARD (Francois Ecot), Pinot Noir, Saint Pourcain, France $18
Gaspard is a new project taken on by Francois Ecot (the Francois of the Jenny & Francois natural wine importers world).  The idea is simple. Make good, simple natural wines that aren't messed up and don't cost a lot of money.  We liked the sound of that.  This is the a brilliant pinot noir from Saint Pourcain in the northern Auvergne.  Classic pinot elegance, a bit of fun and funk with gentile spice and enough dirt to remind you it's from France. 

Dom. Verdier-Logel, La Volcanique, Cotes du Forez, Auvergne, France $18
I love this wine. The tiny family domain in the Forez nature reserve in the central Auvergne makes this special cuvee only when possible in distinct vintages.  It comes from an old vine parcel of gamay grown in volcanic basalt soil.  Natural farming, natural vinification and gamay on a volcano all add up to delicious.  It's limited so grab a few, you'll need them for the Fall season. 

Matthieu Barret, Petit Ours Brun, Cotes du Rhone $20
We poured the elusive Cornas from Matthieu Barret last Fall at our giant Rhone Abbondanza.  We have long awaited this, his entry level cuvee...and here it is!  I am a big believer that September, October and November are the best three months of the year to drink Syrah and Nebbiolo.  So here you go, a great syrah from the Ardeche! 

Dom. Guiberteau, Saumur, Loire $28
The wines of Guiberteau are hard to come by.  They are crafted much in the same mold of the very famous Clos Rougeard wines but I also don't think they are riding the coattails of that iconic estate. And even if they are the wines are stand alone great.  This is the younger vine rouge, cabernet franc, grown in tuffeaux soils.  The wine is dense and muscular yet bright, transparent and pure.  A cabernet franc to appeal to both sides of the aisle. Also, very limited.

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