Côtes-du-Rhônes are a dime a dozen these days. From bistro chalkboards in Paris, to Costco’s “Kirkland Signature” labels, it’s one of the most recognizable brands in the wine world. And as you might expect, the quality varies as much as the colorful labels. Among our very favorites is the Domaine Malmont’s version in Séguret.
Chablis remains one of the best bargains in the wine world. Forever playing second fiddle to the rest of Burgundy, the brand suffered damage from the jug-wine “California Chablis,” and has yet to recover fully. The wines themselves, however, have never been better.
No town in France is more celebrated for its wines than Vosne-Romanée. Responsible for the some of the world’s finest and most sought-after bottles, Vosne is undoubtedly the most famous Pinot Noir village on earth. Michel Gros is a lifelong resident of Vosne. His family has made wine there for centuries, and his mother was once the mayor.
Some of the finest wines in our cellar are White Burgundy. Grown in a small collection of vineyards where Chardonnay reaches its highest expression, White Burgundy can be as profound as any red wine. Burgundy is where Chardonnay strikes its most elegant balance between soft, mouthfilling fruit, and crisp, refreshing acidity.
Ansonia Wines is based on relationships with masters of their craft. The vignerons of France are some of the finest craftsmen in the world, and we’re always excited to discover and share the fruits of their talent. But there’s plenty of talent to be found back home as well.
Wine is only one expression of France’s terroir. In our travels around the country we always enjoy sampling the others -- from Belon oysters and real Epoisses to pâtés de campagne and fleur de sel. One of our favorite such products is crème de cassis, a blackcurrant liqueur originally from Burgundy.
We like to see Holidays as an opportunity to open special bottles. As family and friends pass through our doors and another year passes into the books, we often mark the occasion with the bottles we’ve been saving -- wines too festive and special for a Tuesday in August. Our most recent addition to our end of year lineup is Grower Champagne.
A dusting of snow this morning reminds us that winter is not far off. In the colder months our palates turn towards richer wines, particularly those from the Southern Rhône valley, where the warm summer sun is baked into every grape. And the undisputed king of the Southern Rhône Valley is Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Gevrey-Chambertin is the largest appellation of Burgundy’s Côte d’Or. And because of its clay rich soils, its wines are similarly grand. Known for power and longevity, Gevrey-Chambertin shows dark, intense fruit and a sturdy tannic structure.
With a chill settled firmly into the air these days, we’re turning towards reds with a bit more substance. The rich wines of the Southern Rhône valley spend the summer soaking in the warmth of the clear Provençal sun -- they’re a perfect matches for cold weather. Châteauneuf-du-Pape gets most of the attention in the Rhône, but if you know where to look, there are delicious, affordable wines across the valley.
Chablis remains among the best bargains in the wine world. Its distinctive wines are always more affordable than their counterparts in the Côte d’Or, a result of damage to the name from imitation “California Chablis” of decades ago. Drawing from the distinctive Kimmeridgean terroir and a tradition of subtle or no oak, the winemakers of Chablis create some of the purest expressions of Chardonnay in the world.
The are two main distinctions between Champagne and other French sparkling wine. First, terroir: Champagne’s unique chalky soils contribute to the singular flavors of its wines. Second, time spent on the lees: Champenois must age their wines for a minimum of 15 months on the lees, adding complexity and depth to the wines. (Lees are the dead yeasts that precipitate from fermented wine.)
“Puligny-Montrachet is where Burgundian Chardonnay is at its most complete,” writes Clive Coates MW. The tiny town, covering over less than one square mile, has made highly sought-after wine for nearly a thousand years. Today many consider it, as Coates puts it, “the greatest white wine commune on earth.”
The 2015 vintage continues to impress. An unusually warm and sunny year resulted in wines of deep richness and concentration, even in regions where ripeness is often a concern. In the Beaujolais, home to our new winemaker Jean-Marc Monnet, the Gamay reached a density that resembles northern Rhône syrah.