If you’re avoiding the madding crowds and not going out on New Year’s Eve, you may want to consider a mini celebration on Sunday, December 29. Our Last Sunday wine tasting this month is offered up in the spirit of all those- end-of-the-year lists you see around now. Our friend Mike Galkin brings with him six wines that have been favorites of his, ours, or all of the above throughout the year. So while some of your favorite things might be raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, here are some of our faves from 2019. The tasting is $35 plus tax and tip, the wines are, well, quite frankly, our favorite things, and there’ll be food pairings to match the wines. The tasting begins at 3:30, and as per usual, you’ll need to make a reservation by calling 326-9363, as web and email reservations don’t work for special events.
2018 Domaine des Terres Dorées Beaujolais Blanc (Chardonnay) $21.00
Jean-Paul Brun started Terres Dorées in 1979. From the beginning, Jean-Paul carved a different path for himself in Beaujolais. Not only does he not chaptalize (common practice here), he has also always eschewed the relatively modern technique of carbonic maceration, in favor of traditional Burgundian vinification. Jean-Paul is not an adherent or advocate of “natural wine” per se, yet is among the most natural of Beaujolais vignerons, uninterested in trend or fashion but deeply committed to purity of expression of fruit and site. 100% Chardonnay. The vines are organically farmed and the fruit harvested by hand. The grapes are destemmed, crushed and fermented with natural yeasts in vat. The wine goes through malolactic fermentation, its lees stirred periodically, and is aged in steel and concrete tank until bottling. This great-value Chardonnay gets its freshness from natural vinification and no use of oak barrels. The very old vines thrive on limestone soils in Beaujolais. It is a lively, fresh wine that is drinking beautifully right now.
2018 Brooks Wines “Amycas” white blend, Willamette Valley, Oregon $18.00
There have been many milestones since Brooks was founded in 1998. In 2008, we expanded our winemaking operations and purchased the 20-acre vineyard Jimi started farming in 2002. In 2012, we obtained Biodynamic certification from Demeter. Amycas is a delightful, crisp and floral blend of 26% Pinot Blanc, 25% Riesling, 24% Muscat, 14% Pinot Gris and 11% Gewürztraminer. It is inspired by the Edelzwicker (edel = noble, zwicker = blend) wines found in Alsace, and like its French cousins is very pleasurable, with or without food. Generous ripe golden fleshed fruits with sweet citrus notes framed by equal parts white spring florals, herbal, and mineral structure.
2016 Gachot-Monot Cote de Nuits-Villages (Burgundy) $39.00
The wines of Gachot-Monot represent some of the best values in the KLWM portfolio – not because they are the least expensive, but because they offer an outstanding price-to-quality ratio. Damien Gachot may work the vineyards of the lesser known Côtes de Nuits Villages appellation, but he works his vines as if they were premier cru fruit from Nuits-Saint-Georges. 100% sustainably farmed & hand havested Pinot Noir. Grapes are vinified traditionally in cement tank, and then aged in barrel (20-30% of which are new) for up to 18 months before bottling.
Sourcing grapes from the village of Corgoloin in the southern end of the Côtes de Nuits, he presents a wine with the velvety character of the Côtes de Beaune while maintaining the structure and finesse of the Côtes de Nuits. From the soft fruit to the exotic spice, this bottle provides something for everyone.
2017 Angelo Negro ‘Angelin’ Langhe Nebbiolo, Piemonte, Italy $20.00
A historically significant winery whose origins date back to 1670. In this year, two of the estate’s most important vineyards—Perdaudin and Prachiosso—were first planted. With some of the most desired vineyard sites in Roero, Negro is one of the indisputable legends of the region. Giovanni Negro, the estate’s present owner, produced the first dry Roero Arneis on record in 1971. Negro observes organic practices while managing a staggering 64 hectares. 100% Nebbiolo that is aged in 80% stainless steel tanks, and 20% oak casks.
Intense ruby red color with orange highlights with ageing. Fresh bouquet with hints of rose, blackberry and blackcurrant. Soft flavor, rightly tannic, persistent and well balanced.
2016 Domaine Johann Michel Cornas (Rhône Valley, France ) $66.00
This Cornas is a blend from 2 different vineyard sites: – 60% of the final blend is from vineyards located on a hillside (16 year old vines on the “coteau”), planted on sandy soils, decomposed granite and some rocks, giving the structure, spiciness and licorice flavors to the blend. – the other 40% of the final blend comes from the bottom of the slope (40 years old vines on the “pied de coteau”), planted on sandy soils, bringing acidity and balance to the wine. 100% destemming, 3 weeks tank fermentation, daily remontage and pigeage. Malolactic fermentation in oak and aging on the lees for 12-18 months (2-4 year old barrels). “The base 2016 Cornas from Michel is brilliant and a match for just about anything out there. Completely destemmed and brought up in 2- to 4-year-old barrels, its deep purple color is followed by a monster nose of black fruits, olives, cured meats, and wild herbs. Deep, full-bodied, and incredibly pure on the palate, it shows the classic style of the vintage yet also packs plenty of depth and richness. It’s a thrilling Cornas to drink over the coming 15-20 years.” – Jeb Dunnuck (March 27th 2019), 95 points.
2016 Januik Winery ‘Ciel du Cheval’ Syrah, Red Mountain, Washington $39.00
One characteristic contributing to the great success of Ciel du Cheval Vineyard is the high pH found in the loam topsoil of Red Mountain, courtesy of the calcium carbonate deposits left by the ancient Spokane floods. Temperatures in the vineyard rarely reach above 95˚F which is ideal for vine development and fruit ripening. In fact, with just less than 3,000 “degree days” per growing season and as much as three more hours of sunlight per day than the Napa region, owner Jim Holmes is able to grow grapes with great concentration and balance.
This Syrah has a dark ruby red color and has plum, cherry, and raspberry notes on the perfumed nose. There are hints of spice and black tea which balance the fruit flavors. Its supple entrance onto the palate is followed by a nicely refined structure and a long seemingly endless finish.