November Anchor & The Vine Wine Club Tasting Notes
Champagne Xavier Leconte “Secret de Femme” Brut Rosé NV – Champagne, France – 80% Pinot Munier, 12% Pinot Noir, 8% Chardonnay
Starting out our Autumn shipment is a stunning Champagne from the small town of Troissy-Bouquigny located in the Marne Valley, and is known for its production of Pinot Munier. This Munier dominated blend is pretty rare and something of a specialty for Xavier Leconte. The nose is bready with notes of red fruits like wild strawberry and red currant, and a touch of peach. On the palate there’s a fresh attack with nice complexity. Raspberry, blackberry and currant linger delicately on the finish. This cuvée can be served as an aperitif, with soft cheeses, or even as dessert with a strawberry tart.
Jules Taylor Grüner Veltliner 2021 – Marlborough, New Zealand – 100% Grüner Veltliner
You can take the Grüner out of Austria, but you can’t take the Austria out of Grüner. Sort of… Grüner Veltliner fans will find the classic Grüner white pepper flavor they love as well as notes of mandarin, cantaloupe melon, and white peach. But the tropical nose on this white is definitely the product of a winemaker who just won Gourmet Traveler Wine Magazine’s New Zealand Winemaker of the Year award for her ubiquitous NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Jules recommends this wine be paired with strong flavors and spice, so try it with something like sticky pork belly bao buns with hoisin sauce and cucumber and spring onions. Or try prawn and chive dumplings with chili oil and black vinegar.
Domaine des Pasquiers Côtes du Rhône Villages Sablet Blanc 2020 – Rhone Valley, France – 40% Roussane, 40% Marsanne, 20% Clairette
We love white Rhones this time of year! These medium bodied whites find their place in the sun when the zingy crispness of summer whites won’t do, and a heavy Chardonnay is out of the question. This Côte du Rhône Villages Blanc is from the charming village of Sablet and is certified organic. The Lambert family has owned these vineyards since 1935, and after four generations, this traditionally-styled winery is now run by the two brothers, Jean-Claude and Philippe Lambert and his son, Matthieu. The nose is lush with white flowers, peaches, and pears. Like taking in the scent of a basket of fresh picked orchard fruit. The mouthfeel is smokey, round, and opulent. A complex white on its own, it’s also a clear winner with seafood. We think it’s divine with scallops.
Tenuta Di Aglaea Terre Siciliane 2019 – Etna, Sicily, Italy – 100% Nerello Mascalese
This is basically an Etna Rosso (a portion of the vineyards used are outside of the legally designated Etna Rosso zone), and so you’ll find all the complexity from the volcanic soil coming head-to-head with juicy, tart cherry. It’s made from both young and old vines giving the wine dried herbs and minerals on the nose, while on the palate good acidity and hints of dry cherries capture the senses. A light savory mouthfeel that lingers towards the end makes the Aglaea pair well with a wide range of lighter dishes (no heavy sauces), salads/vegetables in all forms and shapes, and antipasti and snacks like roasted nuts, carpaccio, or salami. For good reason, this wine, with its Pinot-like lightness, is always a hit during Thanksgiving meals.
Viña Real Reserva 2014 – Rioja, Spain – 90% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano
The Viña Real winery was launched in the 1920s by CVNE, the oldest winery in Spain that is still operated and owned by the same family, as a modern wine for the modern drinker. Keep in mind though, that “modern” back then was flapper girls and jazz. This is still a very traditional style of Rioja, although it’s worth noting that today the winery is completely run by female winemakers and vineyard managers, which is pretty progressive for such a traditional Spanish establishment! Their Reserva is manually harvested from Rioja Alavesa, and has an intense nose highlighting forest fruits, licorice, and the spices attributed to the aging in new American Oak barrels. It’s structured with body, vigorous tannins, and classic Tempranillo boldness. This is a red meat wine, but the winemakers also recommend this with salmon or other fatty fishes.
Madrigal Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2015 – Napa Valley, California – 100% Zinfandel
The story of Madrigal is one of creative perseverance. Today the winery is run by third generation Mexican American immigrants who originally came to the Napa Valley to farm fruit. The current owner, Chris Madrigal, and his father eventually broke into the wine business as vineyard managers for top tier Napa wineries. It wasn’t easy. They had to first convince tractor dealers to allow them to take brand new tractors out for “test drives” to complete the work until they could actually afford to buy one. Now they themselves operate a full-blown winery with vineyards in Calistoga. Their Zin is a Cab drinkers zin in our opinion. Rather than overripe and balsamic, it showcases notes of blueberry pie and nectarine on the nose. The palate is full, spicy, and balanced with satin smooth tannins. This one is a meal in a bottle, but can be paired nicely with roasted lamb, pork, or eggplant.