Skin contact can be a magical thing. Especially when it comes to a particular wine made in the most natural of ancient methods, in a tiny corner of France. That wine is MADLOBA, and it’s what we’re drinking this week.
Domaine des Miquettes | Madloba | $50.99
Let’s get one thing clear. Madloba could be called an orange, an amber, or a skin-contact wine. Yeah ok, I know – that doesn’t seem all that clear! The wine is *literally* a little hazy…and it’s in a category that seems to defy definition.
This beautiful golden liquid from Domaine des Miquettes is made from the white grape varietals Marsanne and Viognier. The deep copper color comes from the grape skins and seeds, which are left in contact with the pressed juice for an extended time (6 months!). The fermented juice is then aged a further 6 months in clay amphorae buried in the cool ground. This ancient winemaking technique produces a liquid gold with the texture, body and tannin of a light red wine plus the fruit and minerality of a white wine. Stylistically unique, with a savory, richly textured mouthfeel, this is a special bottle worth trying – especially if you’re new to skin-contact wines.
The name “Madloba” is Georgian, and it means “thanks”. If your New Year’s resolution is to expand your wine knowledge, or just to try new things, check this one out! You’ll thank yourself.
In the glass, Madloba catches the light and glints like pennies; like the last rays of sunlight angling across a shadowed beach. It smells like an escape to a warm summer afternoon in a Mediterranean grove. You’re surrounded by nectarines, yellow plums, apricots and oranges, plus swirls of ginger, quince and almond blossom. The first sip startles your palate, flooding your tongue with tart orange pith, snapping your head up with snappy acidity that’s like a plunge into a cold pool after a sauna, leaving a lingering texture of fine chalk baked in the sun. As the wine warms slightly, the scent takes me back to early mornings in my mom’s garden, when I would wander through the flowers and stick my nose deep into the glowing orange-throated yellow “Charles Darwin” old English roses.
My husband, who is very particular about the wines he likes, couldn’t stop drinking this stuff. It’s a treat, but oh man…what a treat!
Domaine des Miquettes was created by Paul Estève and Chrystelle Vareille in 2003 in Cheminas, a small village located on a high plateau in the northern Rhône. Paul and Chrystelle took over the farm from Paul’s family and turned one of the small farm buildings into a cramped and low-tech wine-making facility. In total, the domaine consists of five hectares.
At an altitude of around 350 meters, the vineyards are planted on a steep hillside with soils of granite mixed with mica & schist and an east/southeast exposure. Both of the Domaine des Miquettes vineyards are certified as organic farms. The vineyard rows are worked throughout the year with either a tractor or horse drawn plough, which is used on the more difficult terrains.
All harvesting is done by hand and the fermentations occur with natural yeasts and little or no temperature adjustments. All of the wines are made sans soufre – without the addition of sulfur.
During a visit to the republic of Georgia years ago, Paul and Chrystelle were inspired to make wine in the ancient tradition, using clay amphorae buried in the earth. They built a “chai” dedicated to these buried clay jars, and use them for the vinification and maturation of the red and orange wines they call Madloba.
Oh! And the fun label? That comes from a trip to Georgia as well, when Paul got INTO an amphorae and had to be pulled out. He and Chrystelle have truly immersed themselves in making this style of wine, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been able to try their wine here in frozen Vermont this winter. If you come into the Bevie, ask for Kate or Jason and we’ll direct you to this orange gem!
At the Bevie we love bubbly! Our French Champagne selection is extensive and fully-stocked with in-demand bottles including Veuve Cliquot and Moet & Chandon, plus grower Champagne from small family-owned estates. Our prices are competitive, and this is a no-shenanigans list…we have these bottles in stock! Whether you want lightly-sweet fizzy rosé or Brut Nature (a.k.a zero dosage a.k.a no added-sugar) bubbles, we’ve got it.
If you’re a fan of Grand Cru and Premier Cru white Burgundy, this is your lucky month! Until the end of November, these special wines from France are on sale for 25% off.
Last updated on: 11/23/2018
These coveted bottles have been slumbering safely in our wine cave, resting at a perfect 55 degrees and awaiting your corkscrew. White Burgundy (aka some of the best Chardonnay in the world) is lovely paired with soft cheeses, roast turkey & gravy, a juicy ham, or even a less “conventional” main course such as lobster (yum), making them the perfect occasion wines for your holiday table. They’re ready to pop and pour now – no need to cellar these babies!
The wines listed below are all 25% off the tag price from today until November 30, 2018. For some bottles, that’s a savings of over $75!! To take advantage of this limited sale, simply come into the Beverage Warehouse and let us know which bottle or bottles you’d like. We’ll retrieve them from the wine cave, and you’ll be good to go! You can also call us at 802-655-2620 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve particular bottles.
Available quantities of each wine are noted below, and we’ll do our absolute best to update this list as bottles sell. There are only one of two bottles of some of the Grand Cru and single-vineyard bottlings, so reserve yours soon!
Jean-Marc Pillot | Burgundy | Côte de Beaune – Chassagne-Montrachet | “Les Vergers” | Premier Cru | 2005 | Regular price $79.99 – on sale for $63.99#3015 – 5 bottles
Jean-Marc Pillot | Burgundy | Côte de Beaune – Chassagne-Montrachet | “Les Caillerets” | Premier Cru | 2005 | Regular price $99.99 – on sale for $79.99#3017 – 2 bottles
Jean-Marc Pillot | Burgundy | Côte de Beaune – Chevalier-Montrachet | Grand Cru | 2005 | Regular price $379.99 – on sale for $303.99 (save $76!)#3022 – 2 bottles
About Jean-Marc Pillot:
Jean-Marc Pillot is the fourth generation of his branch of the Pillot family to tend vineyards in Chassagne-Montrachet. He joined his father, Jean, in 1985 to learn the craft of “vigneron”. After six years of working side-by-side, Jean-Marc assumed the direction of the domaine in 1991 with the assistance of his wife, Nadine, and his sister, Beatrice. Of course, his father, Jean, remains by his side rendering advice and valuable assistance in the vineyards (often while he is tending the garden in back of the chai!). Jean-Marc has instituted several changes at the estate, the most prominent of which is the construction of a new cave. Of equal importance, Jean-Marc expanded the amount of vineyards under cultivation and has made subtle modifications in vinification and elevage to place his own “mark” on this estate which now covers approximately fifteen hectares with an annual production of, more or less, 60,000 bottles.
The domaine is dominated by its production of white wines but there are important cuvées of red wine produced here as well. Vineyard holdings are spread throughout the village of Chassagne with subsidiary parcels in Puligny, Santenay, Meursault and Remigny (to the south). This breadth of real estate enables the Pillot family to produce a stunning range of wines that put on brilliant display the intricacies of terroir in this southern tier of the Cote de Beaune. The estate’s jewels are its premier crus blancs (Baudines, Chenevottes, Macherelles, Vergers, Morgeot, Caillerets, La Maltroie and Champs Gain) and premier cru rouges (Macherelles, Morgeot, Clos St.Jean), all within the boundaries of Chassagne Montrachet.
The vines in most parcels are between 25 and 50 years old; in certain instances the vines are considerably older, reaching the 100 year mark in Clos Saint Jean and Clos Saint Marc (within the cru of Vergers). Traditional viticultural practices are used in the vineyards. Both Cordon de Royat and Guyot Simple pruning and training systems are employed. The spring and summer months are the time for intensive work in the vineyards to control the size and quality of the harvest, the work including de-budding and canopy control. The vineyards are plowed and no herbicides are used.
Harvest is manual. The white wines are almost all fermented and aged in barrel, with a regimen of 10% to 30% new oak (the degree depending on the structure and importance of the wine). The wines are aged on the fine lees for twelve months and then are racked out of barrel into stainless steel tanks to clarify and settle naturally for an additional six months. The extra aging avoids the necessity to cold stabilize the wine.
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