Journey into the heart of France with special guest Alan Sobczak, importer of Domaine Dubreuil Fontaine (Burgundy), Maison Trenel (Burgundy/Beaujolais), and Chateau La Rabotine (Loire Valley). We will feature more than a dozen wines; red, white, rosé, and sparkling from Burgundy (Chardonnay/Pinot Noir), Beaujolais (Gamay Noir) and Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc). Our cheese buyer will offer a selection of imported artisan cheeses to pair with the wines for the event.
Friday, May 4 (6-8PM) | $15
Domaine Dubreuil Fontaine
Today, Pernand-Vergelesses is the only commune in Burgundy which can claim the four appellation designations for both white and red wines, a wine town like no other. Likely it is the broad diversity of soils and vineyard exposures that makes the range possible. For Dubreuil-Fontaine it provides the opportunity to craft wines each with a well-defined personality. One does not find here a "one size fits all" mentality. There is no battery of consultants, no high priest of enology to sprinkle lab-designed yeast into super-charred, Russian or Hungarian oak barrels, making wines that fit the latest fad. No, Dubreuil-Fontaine is a family winery making ultra-classique Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The modernist may discover what the rest of us treasure: wines of rich personality that taste clearly of the places from which they come and which marry so well with cuisine.
Vins Blancs 2010
Aligoté, Bourgogne blanc
This is none other than Aligote Dore, the most prized strain that is planted along the same hillside where Dubreuil's "Ile de Vergelesses" Pinot Noir grows. Bone dry, lemony-citrussy with a glorious color in the glass. Volume and acidity that has no comparison. See why Dubreuil's Aligote served alongside lapin pate with a rustic baguette and cornichons with Dijon mustard has no peer. It's delicious and will make you swear you jumped back in time.
Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Blanc "Clos Berthet" Monopole
When you arrive at the domaine, if you approach along the old country road built in the late 1800's, you encounter a lovely sight: the unique monopole "Clos Berthet" in a frame with the ancestral home of the Dubreuils. The wine has a crisp, cool character with a kiss of herbal, flowery tones. Think of what you like in a Puligny and Saint-Aubin combined in the same glass.
Vins Rouges 2010
Bourgogne Rouge "La Chappelle Notre Dame" Vineyard
Bernard Dubreuil knows a thing or two about what a good vineyard site looks like, even if the appellation police sometimes don't. He spotted this excellent little plot near the majestic hill of Corton and made sure he acquired it. The Pinot Noir vines he planted here are now in their 38th year growing in a soil of Bathonian limestone rich in iron and marble-sized pebbles. Perfect for Pinot Noir. Hand-picked and de-stemmed, the fruit starts out in stainless steel at a cool temperature and then some 40% is given three years in barrel. The color just beams Pinot Noir and in the glass it seduces with fresh fruit aromas, rich red currants and spice on the palate, all tied together with perfect dryness and acidity.
Pernand-Vergelesses Rouge "Clos Berthet" Monopole
Adjacent to the Chardonnay vines in this vineyard owned entirely by the domaine are Pinot Noir vines growing in the same remarkable soil of iron-rich limestone. And boy do they make great juice here! If ever there was a petite Grand Cru Corton Rouge, this is it. From this site, it is a great hike to the summit of Corton and anyone visiting should undertake it to see the beautiful expanse of the Cote de Beaune to the South. This is Pinot Noir for those who prefer character over flashy oak and sweet fruit. The color gives it away...ruby red with a dark center. Fraise and mure abound in the perfumed nose. The ripeness achieved in this vintage makes for that balance that we so often seek, but seldom find.
Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru "Les Vergelesses"
Sandwiched between the venerable "Ile de Vergelesses" below and the Bois Noel above, "Les Vergelesses" is a great vineyard. One finds in this vintage superb elegance. 2010 captures the classic vigor of Savigny with the undeniable charm of its floral and fruit qualities, brimming as it is with strawberry, raspberry and cherry. At table with say Beef Bourguignon, new potatoes in their jackets and swiss chard gratin, all this fine Pinot Noir needs is good friends.
Beaune 1er Cru "Montrevenots" 2010
Dubreuil's "Montrevenots" is a parcel of some five acres of old vines (34 years) nestled right up along the border with Pommard and the famed vines of "Le Clos des Mouches." The same iron-rich soil and the same easy south-facing exposure. Add Dubreuil's "touch" (hand picking, de-stemming, gentle pressing, cool stainless steel tank fermentation and then 20% new Troncais oak) and what you have is a Pinot Noir with perfect upbringing. Loads of deep red Pinot fruit coupled with a perfume rich in earth, cherry and hints of spice. And the acidity of 2010...ooo la la, this is the "Real McCoy".
I think that in 2010 Trenel assembled the most “complete” range for both Chardonnay and Gamay Noir since I first had the pleasure of championing their wines in the mid 1990s. — Alan Sobczak
Claude-Henri Trenel established the firm that bears his name in the late 1920’s. After World War II, his son Andre took the foundation provided him and began a long career seeking to enlighten people about the delightful wines of Beaujolais and Mâcon, in Burgundy’s most southerly point. He tirelessly promoted the crus of Beaujolais and the many unheralded communes of Mâcon, becoming one of the leading figures of the region. With a passion for the wines of his beautiful homeland, he wanted to show just how “chameleon-like” the Gamay grape can be in its various cru locations. For perhaps nowhere else in France does one encounter a single grape with so many “different” expressions. Andre also assembled fruit from very specific sites across the region to present distinctive Chardonnays from the finest growers, working only with those who practiced traditional, natural (biologique) farming and hand picking of fruit. Today, the legacy of Andre Trenel is carried on by director Gilles Maimoun with superb assistance from Herve de Boissieu, Andre’s nephew, Bruno Chambe, and the delightful Laurence Malois. These three have dedicated themselves to upholding Andre’s old motto, “You can only do things well, if you know how to do them well.”
Cremant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs “Cuvée Hommage” Ecocert”
OK, I confess, I have not gone “awol”, not lost my mind, but at last I have found what so many of you have asked for (me too): a perfectly dry (zero dosage – secret sugar sauce that is) 100% Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine. All Chardonnay. You betcha. We customized the label and bottles and even shipped in a six-pack case for you. And what’s more, it’s completely organic and certified biodynamic by Ecocert, who if anything are more strict than the Americans on standards of natural faming.
There are veritable oceans of Chardonnay planted all over the landscape in Mâcon, urgh.... Some 42 sanctioned communes, stretching over some 3,000 hectares of vines, can be used. This year’s fruit was sourced only from the communes of Charnay and Farges. Precise, dry and fruit-centered. Entirely hand-picked, the fruit begins fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Then it is finished for several months in large wooden barrels called tuns, which hold some 200+ gallons of wine. Only a partial malolactic fermentation to retain vibrant, natural acidity. The essence of fresh, pure, whole Chardonnay fruit has been captured. At a time when domestic counterparts are all over the map in taste and price, come on down and partake in some of the “real stuff.” Chardonnay from where it all began.
Mâcon Rouge Gamay Noir 2010
This is Gamay sourced from a parcel of prime older vines in the commune of Igé. Although this site yields only a few hundred cases for us, they are swept up release after release. The bunches are macerated whole for some ten days, then pressed and matured in old wooden vessels called tuns. Pure, refreshing “pinot-like” fruit. Alive and flavorful. This is your Tuesday night “burger and salad” wine.
Cru Beaujolais “Chiroubles” 2010
Chiroubles, the fourth smallest cru in vineyard size, is nestled a bit northwest of Morgon and just south of Fleurie. A prime location indeed, as one finds Trenel’s Chiroubles to be a bit of both in the glass. Three lieu dits (vineyards) are used to make this blend for us: Grille Midi, Le Setre and Cheysson, all hillside vines at more than 400 meters of elevation. The ripeness here seems inspired from above. Cool fermentation, no fining, no filtration and no oak make this just a joy in the glass.
Cru Beaujolais “Saint-Amour” 2010
The elusive Saint-Amour Cru is the most northerly of the Crus of Beaujolais. Here the soil is somewhat higher in clay and a bit lower in granite. Trenel's Saint-Amour fruit comes from a vineyard called Champs-Grilles which means roughly, “the field with an iron gate.” Is there a gate, you ask? Indeed there is and it dates back to the early 1900’s when the field was first identified as a prime site by Andre Trenel himself. Trenel’s Saint-Amour consistently provides for a robust red wine with a fresh peach-like perfume that marries wonderfully with its palate of “soft” red fruits. Satisfying indeed.
Chateau La Rabotine, Alban Roblin
The Roblin family goes back six generations in Sury-en-Vaux. And can you guess what Sury-en-Vaux means in the old dialect of Sancerre? Well, it’s perfect…“Smile of the Valley.” — Alan Sobczak
The vineyard surrounding Chateau La Rabotine, which Alban and his fiancé took control of in 2008, is the very same one the Roblins cultivated since the 1920’s. They are old, magical, hillside plantings up at about 280 meters. Alban tends the vineyards by hand with all hand picking and sustainable farming practices throughout. The extra effort is worth it for this is the one and only Jurassic clay-limestone soil where the grapes express the greatness of Sury-en-Vaux Sancerre. This “magic” is what Sury-en-Vaux terroir is all about: white flower, citrus, flint.
2010 Chateau La Rabotine, Sancerre Blanc
Alban’s La Rabotine vineyards provided for a Sancerre suffused with white flowers, citrus and flint. Crisp and elegant with only 1.5 g/l residual sugar and a fine 5.2 g/l acidity. Cut and definition, it is the raison d’être of the region and Alban’s “La Rabotine” Sancerre is about as classic as it gets.
2010 Chateau La Rabotine, Sancerre Rosé “Pinot Noir”
This is stunning rosé, its body and complexity lingering on your pallet long after you drink it.