Domaine De Fontsainte ‘Gris de Gris’ Corbières Rosé 2014


Estate: Located in the heart of the Corbières appellation in the Languedoc region of southern France, the estate’s first vineyards were planted by the ancient Romans. More recently, the Laboucarié family has been making wine there since the 17th century. Today the estate is headed by Bruno Laboucarié who maintains his family’s legacy of innovation. Bruno, along with his father Yves were one of the first grape growers in the region to work with whole cluster fermentation. (A technique that can impart a subtle “green” flavor, spices and additional tannins.) For over 30 years Kermit Lynch has been importing their fantastic wines.

Philosophy: With a belief that ”great wines are made in the vineyard”, focus is on terrior since each vineyard is different in regards to soil type, microclimate and varietal. The family motto is “innovation means looking forward and backward”.

Winemaking: Sustainable viticulture has been practiced since 1971. The winery utilizes gravity fed modern thermo regulated stainless steel vats along with traditional cement vats. Grapes were sourced from vineyards with silica, clay and limestone rounded stones.

Tasting Notes: Pale coral in colour with aromas of sea salt minerals and hints of strawberry. A superbly light and simple Rosé with delicate citrus, strawberry and melon flavours, culminating in a zippy, dry finish of white pepper and minerals.

50% Grenache Gris, 20% Grenache Noir, 20% Carignan, 5% Cinsault, 5% Mourvèdre
Mis en Bouteille au Domaine [Estate Bottled]
12.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2017

Selbach ‘incline’ Mosel Riesling 2013


Referred to as “all that Mosel wine should be”, this is a fantastic, affordable approach into the exquisite, renowned world of Mosel Riesling.

Estate: The Selbach family has been making wine for 400 years, today Barbara and Johannes Selbach are at the helm, their children Hannah and Sebastian will be the next generation of Selbach winemakers. The 21 hectares of vineyards are located on steep slate slopes in the “golden mile” from Zeltingen, Wehlen, Graach to Bernkastel, in the heart of the Mosel region of Germany. Johannes’s winemaking skills are said to be “on fire” and improve with each vintage. Selbach-Oster is their premium range of wines; Selbach is the entry level label of the estate. Selbach ‘incline’ was produced by Johannes Selbach “to simply outshine all Mosel Rieslings at, or near, its price point”.

Philosophy: To “produce Riesling wines of top quality, grown in harmony with Nature”, along with allowing that “nature should take it’s course and the wine should be interfered with as little as possible”.

Winemaking: The name ‘incline’ refers to the incredibly steep slopes of the vineyards. All vineyard work is done by hand, from pruning to harvesting. Wild, indigenous yeasts are used during fermentation. Vinified in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of white flowers, pear and minerals. Clear and vibrant with pear and honeysuckle flavours skating atop a slate mineral backbone, a complimenting, bright acidity introduces the refreshing lemon finish.

[A Terry Theise Estate Selection. I am a huge fan of Terry Theise, and find his wines and writing inspirational. I’m a firm believer that his book Reading Between the Wines should be on everyone’s shelf.]

100% Riesling
Bottled and Shipped by J. & H. Selbach Weinkellerei
11.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2018

Rated 90 points by Wine Spectator

Anthony Road Rosé of Cabernet Franc 2014


Straightforward, this is a zippy, easy drinking Rosé wonderful on its own or with a wide variety of dishes. [It held its own with goat cheese and potato croquettes,  fries and garlic aioli.]

Winery: Anthony Road Wine Company is a family run winery founded in 1973 by Ann and John Martini and located on the west side of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. At the time of founding the estate, John was employed by Cornell University at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, and originally the vineyards were planted with hybrid varietals. Thru the years, all of the hybrids have been replaced with European grape varietals, and the estate now comprises 45 acres of vineyards.

Tasting Notes: Watermelon pink in colour with aromas of summer strawberries and minerals. Parallel flavours of strawberry and clean minerals accompany the dry finish with hints of white pepper.

Cabernet Franc [I could not verify varietal percentage]
Finger Lakes
New York
Produced and Bottled by Anthony Road Wine Company
13.1% Alcohol
$18 [listed price from winery]
Enjoy now thru 2016

Illuminati ‘Riparosso’ Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012


A soft, friendly Montepulciano for the table. [And phenomenal value at $7.]

Estate: Illuminati Wines was founded by Nicola Illuminati in 1890, when it was known as ‘Fattoria Nico’ [Nicola’s Farm]. Today the estate is headed by Nicola’s grandson Dino, along with his wife Marina, children Lorenzo, Stefano, Anna and grandson Nicola. Located in Controguerra in the province of Abruzzo in eastern Italy, the vineyards have expanded from 15 to 130 hectares.

Philosophy: To craft “a genuine and transparent wine, reflecting the territory where it is produced”.

Winemaking: Aged in Slavonian oak barrels for “about 6 months”, with an additional 2-3 months bottle ageing.

Tasting Notes: Dark ruby-red in colour with aromas of vanilla laced black cherry and traces of hay barn. Loads of cherry [think black cherry, red cherry and hints of morello cherry] are backed by earth notes and soft tannins, subtle baking spices round out the pleasantly dry finish.

100% Montepulciano
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Estate Bottled by Agricola Dino Illuminati
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2016

Matua Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013


Estate: Matua’s origins date back to 1974 when brothers Bill and Ross Spence began making wine in a tin shed in West Auckland, New Zealand. The very first vintage gave them notoriety as innovators, and Matua was officially established with the Margan family as partners in 1976. Matua translates to ‘head of the family’ in Maori. The name was chosen since they feel it is a reflection of their winemaking ideology of “have-a-go Kiwi attitude, ongoing determination, passion, and real New Zealand roots”.

Philosophy: “To revolutionise the New Zealand wine industry by making wines with the best fruit from the best vineyards.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced mainly from vineyards in Marlborough with a small amount included from Central Otago “to give the wine more depth and body”. Aged in tanks “plus a small amount of barrel for 8 months”.

Tasting Notes: Brilliant dark ruby-red in colour with aromas of spiced oak, wild berries and earth. The flavours are rather similar to the aromas, with cherry and blackberry accented by savoury elements, whilst white pepper and toasted oak comprise the lengthy finish. I found the oak to be a bit overwhelming and the lighter nuances of the varietal were missing to the point that this drank more like a California Cabernet. Pleasant, plush and a decent value, but not my personal taste.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Spicy Asian, pizza.

100% Pinot Noir
New Zealand
Produced and Bottled by Matau Wines
13% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2017

Rated 89 points by Wine Spectator