Happy New Year, Wine Club Members!
What a great finish to 2015. Our NYE Bubbles and Suds tasting was a grand send off! And from the looks of it, 2016 is starting off on a great note, especially considering the finds for this month’s club selections.
Let’s talk a little about Bordeaux (guess why?). In order to put together a base to begin learning about Bordeaux, you should know these fundamentals. First, circa 1855, Emperor Napoleon III requested that a classification system be put into place in Bordeaux. Enter the “Cru” system. This classification system (by ranking of “best”) was to arrange the various Chateaus to be displayed for the Exposition Universelle de Paris. This system took into account the reputation of each Chateau and the average price of a Chateau’s wines. From this came what is commonly referred to as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th growth properties. These properties were defined and written into law and became a benchmark of quality that the world of wine follows and studies every day.
Here is a list of the “1st Growth” (Premier Cru) Chateaus:
– Chateau Lafite
– Chateau Latour
– Chateau Margaux
– Chateau Haut-Brion
– Chateau Mouton Rothschild
If someone offers you one of these bottles, say thank you and share with us!
The more important part to Bordeaux is knowing the varietals (grapes) approved and used.
Red varietals of Bordeaux:
– Cabernet (dominant on the left bank of the Gironde estuary)
– Merlot (dominant on the right bank of the Gironde estuary)
– Cabernet Franc
– Petit Verdot
– Carmenere (very little is used today…but remember last month’s selection?)
If you hear someone refer to a wine as a “Bordeaux blend,” they’re referring to a blend using the first five grapes above.
White varietals of Bordeaux:
– Semillon (most common)
– Sauvignon Blanc (most common)
– Sauvignon Gris
– Ugni Blanc
– Merlot Blanc
And now on to the Wine Club selections –
Chateau Moulin Canon Fronsac
This amazing little Chateau has 7.5 hectares (18 acres) of organically grown vines. They produce just three selections of wine, and the selection that made it into our club is 100% Merlot. In fact, it’s only Merlot that is grown on this property. If you caught the info above about red Bordeaux varietals, you’ll have already figured out that this Chateau is a right bank property where Merlot is dominant. This wine sees used French oak for 12 months. Total estate production is just 1,800 cases! This wine is a gem that we are sure will impress you. It is ready to drink as soon as you pop the bottle, but if you want to let that bottle breathe for about an hour before you drink what’s in it, the wine will take on a new depth and richness – to a level that made us sure we had to bring it in to share with you!
Terras Do Cigarron Godello
Godello, say what? Say Spanish varietal that will leave you wanting more. This selection comes from a very small DO (Denominacion De Orixe, AKA a certified Spanish growing region) called Monterrei. This area is in the northwest part of Spain, right on the Spain/Portugal border. This area is culturally part of Galicia, and during Lenten season celebrates a local carnival tradition called “Entroido.” This celebration comes from an ancient pagan fertility celebration marking the passage of winter into spring. The heroes of Galicia, known as “Ciggarones,” are honored during Entroido with masks that adorn their families lineage and history. In other words, this wine is freaky good, but we are not responsible for any fertility shenanigans caused while drinking it!
Cheers to you and an amazing 2016!
Craig & Danielle