30 Days of Rosé | #11 | Emmanuel & Thierry Delaille | Cheverny Rosé | Vin de Pays du Val de Loire | 2016 | $14.99
Ah wine from Cheverny… white, red, or rosé, is a rising star in our French wine section. We’re mesmerized not just by the superb balance and sensory experience of these wines, but also because we’ve personally met with the makerswho carefully harvest the grapes, make the wine, and ship it over to us in this small community. We are most delighted to not just support our friends who responsibly craft these craveable wines, but to share their labor of liquid love with you.
Domaine du Salvard has been a working domaine since 1898, through five hardworking generations of the Delaille family.Today, all forty-two hectares of vineyards are farmed by the capable brother team of Emmanuel and Thierry Delaille, with help from their father Gilbert. To our delight, they have carried on the traditions established by their ancestors, producing a true, classic Cheverny that is both simple and elegant.The Delaille brothers have focused their attention on growing fresh, lively Sauvignon Blanc, deeply rooted in the sand, clay, and limestone plains of northeastern Touraine. Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Cot constitute their red grape holdings, creating youthful reds with great aromatics. Gilbert and his sons have also made their own contributions to the heritage of the domaine, including the introduction of sustainable farming practices into the vineyards, as well as temperature-controlled vinification equipment to the winery.
Until finally achieving A.O.C. status in 1993, Cheverny was widely regarded as one of the best V.D.Q.S. (Vin de Qualité Superieur) of the Loire. However, some argue that this A.O.C.-in-waiting designation was a political maneuver by the I.N.A.O. to keep Cheverny’s delicious, sprightly Sauvignon Blanc out of competition with the other more famous appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Kermit was the first to discover the charm and value of Cheverny back in 1978 when he imported the Domaine Jean Gueritte. He took on the Cheverny of Domaine du Salvard in 1992, a year before the status change in the appellation. We continue to tout the domaine’s wine as one of the greatest values for Sauvignon Blanc perfection.
VITICULTURE / VINIFICATION
All wines are vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel cuves
All wines age on fine lees in stainless steel tanks and are bottled unfiltered
Rosé is 50% free-run juice, 50% pressed
65% Pinot Noir / 35% Gamay
The proliferation of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides in the 1950shas made France the single largest consumer of phyto-chemicals in Europe today. The subsequent degradation of the soil has ensued, killing off the necessary microbiotic lifeforms that support healthy soils. Lutte raisonnée, literally “reasoned fight” (in French), or “supervised control” (in English), is a reaction to the use of such chemicals, regarded as a pragmatic approach to farming,where chemical treatments are used only when absolutely necessary. Biodiversity in the vineyards is encouraged through the planting of cover crops, rigorous plowing of the soils, and the use of manures and natural composts to fertilize the vines. Some growers use this as a first step towards full organic farming. Others find it a happy medium between conventional methods and the stricter demands dictated by organic certifying agencies. There is a wide berth of interpretation concerning these methods. Some farmers work through certifying agencies such as Terra Vitis, following a specific set of specifications and requirements.Others farm independently, following organic methodologies, and reserving treatments only when conditions are optimal (for example, when there is no wind). Zoologists have introduced more environmentally-friendly concepts such as integrated pest management, or hormone confusion, which prevents the reproduction of certain pests that may threaten the vines. The reduction of sprays not only contributes to the health of the vines and the greater ecosystem, but also to the health of the winegrowers(who account for the largest percentage of cancer cases among farmers).
If you revel in Chinon Rosé like us, we encourage you to explore Chinon, the first installment in our 30 Days of Rosé!
30 Days of Rosé | #10 | County Line | Pinot Noir Rosé | Anderson Valley | 2016 | $23.99
It’s hard to believe we’re already 1/3 into our ’30 Days of Rosé’ featurewhen we have so much more delicious wine to share with you! The best is still yet to arrive, we look forward to the bulk of our Rosé pre-orders coming in. Yes, that’s right, the wines we’re most excited about haven’t even rolled in yet! Clocking in at No.10 is County Line Rosé from Anderson Valley, California.
The 2014 vintage in California was the second in a row substantially affected by severe drought. Despite very limited irrigation in the vineyards we work with, the available soil moisture was so greatly diminished by early August that the vines ripening process was accelerated before much sugar had accumulated in the grapes. Fortunately the weather stayed pretty even, and the early and rapid harvest produced exceptionally high quality fruit. Alcohols were low, acidity was strong, and energy and freshness were hallmarks of the resulting wines. Case in point: our 2014 Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rosé
Witters Vineyard At 3400’ elevation, above Camino, in the eastern reaches of the Apple Hill region. Soil is Aiken series vocanic clay-loam. The property was, for many years, a pear orchard, but in 2000 Bob Witters followed Ron Mansfield’s recommendation, and planted four acres of Gamay for us. Since 2011, we’ve used the Gamay from Witters exclusively for rosé.
Picked August 18th at a bit under 21 Brix, with a 3.28pH. Grapes were de-stemmed into the press, and pressed immediately. Juice fermented very cool at 55-60F, till dryness at mid-September, at which point the malo was blocked.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES:
Pretty pale-pink color with a little blue around the rim. Very fresh, penetrating nose . Juicy and precise on the palate, mouth-watering, showing lot of depth. The finish is long, and clean.This is already really versatile at the table, as always. Alcohol is 12.6%
Before 2000, Bob Witters’ property was planted to Bartlett pears, for quite some time. But by 1999, the pressure of global economics drove the market price for Bob’s pears so low that it didn’t make sense for him to keep farming them. The market for wine grapes, on the other hand, was expanding, and Bob had a conversation with Ron Mansfield about putting in a vineyard to replace his pears.
Since Edmunds St. John had been working with Ron at that point for a dozen years, we spoke about Bob’s site, and it seemed like it might be a really good site for Gamay, a grape that had been on our radar for some time. Ron conferred with Bob, and in the Spring of 2000, four acres were planted to Gamay, the first planting of real Gamay in California in a generation!
Witters is situated at 3,400 feet elevation, making it one of the highest vineyards in California. The soil is volcanic clay-loam, and the land slopes gently down to the North. At that elevation, temperatures are generally pretty mild, and nights can be quite cool. The risk for frost in the Spring is fairly high, and there have been a couple of years where crop losses were substantial.
First Principles – I didn’t get into the wine business until I’d been on this earth for 25 years. I’ve spent the last 29 years trying to steer Edmunds St. John through the maelstrom of the marketplace while simultaneously attempting to bring something new to the landscape of California wine. Who knows what’s next? I just might have a few more tricks up my sleeve!
Winemaking isn’t Rocket Science; it’s an ancient, relatively straightforward process that should yield, in any wine, a precise expression of the vineyard and the season that produced it.
Given grapes farmed attentively, with vines in optimal balance, the key to producing a wine that is an elemental, unfettered expression of its origin in place and time is being able to pick at that point closest to the moment when the flavor in the grapes has come fully into focus, a moment that is usually also when that flavor is most energetic. The window is fairly small. After the grapes are picked, I’m trying not to add or subtract anything from the raw material.
In 1987 a wine grower from a venerable domaine in Southern France visited our cellar, and tasted a number of wines from the harvest just past. When he came to the one from my favorite vineyard his response was dramatic: he raised his nose from the glass, slowly rolling his eyes upward in reverie. He sighed, and whispered, “la terre parle” (the earth speaks). If I have done my job well, when you taste our wine you may be similarly affected; this is a voice one longs to hear.
It is our goal to produce wines of the highest level of quality, integrity, and authenticity, the hallmarks of which are balance, nuance, and elegance, wines that express their origins in place and time, wines through which “the earth speaks” in a clear and strong voice. As a winemaker, for me there is no other voice.
After three decades, there are still many people who have not heard of us, but of those who have, most of them seem to say “Oh, yes; Edmunds St. John–they make great wines!”
Terroir : mix of 3 terroirs : galets roulés (big pebble stones) lauzes (flat limestones) and mostly sandy
Harvest : by hand with sorting
Vinification : 100% destemmed, 36 to 48 h cold maceration.
Hue : rose with blueish glares
Aromas : very fruity (strawberries cherry, red gooseberry, pink grapefuit and tangerine) and floral, delicates, of ancient roses
Mouth : rounded, well balanced and fresh
Pairings : fishes, seafood, white meat,
duck, oriental and asiatic dishes
Ideally located at the crossroads of Provence and Languedoc, the Domaine de la Mordorée produces some of the greatest vintages of the Rhone Valley : Châteauneuf du Pape, Lirac, Tavel.
Our philosophy has always been to produce the greatest wines possible. To achieve this goal we have selected the best parcels of land, the highest grade grapes and developed environmental friendly wine growing methods. The vinification and maturation of our wines combine both tradition and modernity.
The fruits of our efforts were quickly rewarded with prizes, in the Paris Agricultural Fair as well as other fairs where we have won over 160 medals since 1985. The specialized press and the greatest wine reviewers, like the Revue du Vin de France, Wine Spectator, or Parker have acknowledged and praised the quality of our wines.
The Mediterranean area granted us a climate and beauty which are exceptionally favourable to tourism. The whole environment appeals to discovering a unique wealth of landscapes and culture : Avignon, Arles, Nîmes, the Camargue, the Pont du Gard, the Luberon, and the Cevennes are minutes away, offering easy and boundless access to gastronomy, culture, nature or architectural heritage.
This outstanding environment naturally inspired us for the name of our Domaine : the Mordorée is the poetic nickname used locally for the woodcock that flies over our lands during its migrations.
« The end never justifies the means »
We strongly believe the way used to obtain a result is at least as important as the achievement itself. Of course, we aim towards the highest possible quality, but not at any cost : a result alone would by no means suffice.
Our code of ethics is profoundly based on respecting the gifts of nature through our soils and landscapes. This code of ethics is consequently applied to all the stages of production, ensuring that future generations may live in harmony with our heritage. We are but passers-by on Earth, our presence is ephemeral and we are not here to exhaust our resources but to develop our land’s riches.
Our actions are thus continuously guided by environmental awareness. This philosophy has guided us for 15 years. Our efforts have been particularly forceful over the past 5 years, seeking to support tradition with innovative solutions. The key word of this approach, both in definition and spirit, is respect.
Respect for nature, respect for man, respect for our customers and respect for our pledge.
These inviolable rules are the very basis of our estate : the rules that steer our concepts and actions today, and that we hope shall show the way tomorrow.
There are three main soil types in the lands of Tavel :
Quartz round pebbles on the villafranchienne terrace : Vallongue.
Flat lime stones originating from the Barremien crumbled hill-stones : Campey, la Vaute, Romagnac, Torette, la Vau et Clos, Les Vestides, les Comeyres, Vaussières.
Astien fluvial sands : Vaucrose, Vaucrose et Vacquières, Genestière, Codoyères, Le Palai, Roquaute, Bouvette, Olivet.
Some parcels have mixed subsoils, as in Cravailleux, where round pebbles and flat stones can be found as well as Astien fluvial sands and pebbles.
The soils are mostly poor in humus and organic matter, making Tavel an ideal land for winegrowing.
Pebbles and stones have a definite effect on the vines : Barremian flat stones are whitish and tend to reflect most sunrays during the day, activating the maturation of the berries. As for Villafanchian pebbles, they accumulate heat during the day that they release during the night.
The climate in Tavel can vary considerably depending on the spot; there can easily be a 2° Celsius difference between the east and west of the lands, like on the Vallongue plateau, more exposed to the cold Mistral, and Campey or Romagnac. What happens is some plots can be frozen while others aren’t, resulting in a different stage of maturity during the wine harvest, by a few degrees. Generally speaking, we have over 200 days of sunshine per year with average temperatures at 22°Celsius in summer, and 7.3° Celsius in winter. Rainfalls average 201 mm in summer and 503 mm the rest of the year. As for the Mistral, it blows on average 158 days per year out of which more than 100 days at 60km per hour. Sometimes, as was the case in May 2000, the winds can blow at over 100 km per hour, for over a week.
The grapes authorized in Tavel AOC (Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée) are the following :
Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette white and pink, Picpoul, Calitor (out of fashion : there are only a few dozens of vines left), Bourboulenc, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Carignan.None these grapes must exceed 60 % of a vineyard’s total, and Carignan must not exceed 10%.
The Tavel appellation vines exploited by the Domaine de la Mordorée are located on the plateau of Vallongue, at Palai, Roquaute, and Romagnac ; their composition is as follows : Grenache 60 % , Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault 10%, Bourboulenc and Clairette 5%.
Plot in AOC Tavel, this area is called Vallongue West
Plot in AOC Tavel, an harmonious mix of sand and clay, planted with 8 years old Syrah.
The wines produced here are rounded and fruity.
To be noticed : one can see some pebble stones coming from the Vallongue plateau located on the left of this picture.
HISTORY OF TAVEL
Tavel has always been the land of vines and winegrowers: the remains of a Roman-time cellar were found in Tavel, still containing great amounts of grape pips, proving the importance of the wine industry at that time.
The reputation of Tavel is centuries-old: Ronsard, Philippe le Bel, the Popes of Avignon, François 1er and Louis XIV loved and praised this wine for its qualities. A quality that winegrowers have always sustained forcefully through the ages; thus, on the 8 April 1716 the consuls of Tavel asked that authorities forbid any wild import of grapes that would harm the reputation of Tavel wine. Then, on 10 September 1737, a royal decree authorized Tavel to be part of those villages to bear the CDR (Côte du Rhône) seal on its barrels, a seal which was the first to define an appellation covering several districts.
In those days vineyards covered 375 hectares in Tavel and were the main source of income for the village of about 200 families. A great period of expansion followed, and in 1819 the Vineyard reached 721 hectares. But then, the phylloxera disease almost destroyed the whole vineyard: from 800 hectares in 1868, the vineyard dropped to 50 sickly, and barely exploitable hectares, in 1870. The village population itself dropped from 1314 inhabitants before the phylloxera 611 inhabitants in 1931.
Villagers tried to diversify their activities: raising silkworms, making olive oil, small-scale agriculture or, in some cases, trying to get hired in the surrounding phosphate mines. Hopefully, this only lasted a few years, and by 1887 Tavel winegrowers once again believed in their vineyards.
1887 was the year when the first American stumps were bought and transplanted in Tavel: they represented the only efficient response to the phylloxera plague . By 1914, the Vineyard reached 195 hectares, then 260 in 1926 and 960 today. The energy developed by winegrowers can still be found today in the defense of Tavel wines, its reputation and lands of production. In 1902, an association was created grouping owner winegrowers in Tavel to protect the wines of Tavel, to preserve its genuineness and typical character. In 1928, this association started a long struggle to obtain an appellation that would define the vineyard lands of Tavel; in 1936 Tavel was one of the first wines to obtain the AOC acknowledgment.
Nowadays, most inhabitants of Tavel perpetrate their efforts for better quality, trying to use as few pesticides as possible to preserve the health of man and environment: Tavel is among the first pioneer villages to have developed reasoned agriculture .
Today, Tavel wines are found in all the wine menus of restaurants that have obtained three stars in the famous Michelin guide. Tavel wines export well and are found on all the tables of wine connoisseurs throughout the world.
Vermont's Largest Craft Beer, Wine, & Liquor Store