Friday Winedown – Red, White and Pink Wines From France

If you live in Asheville and like wine, you must stop by our little store on Friday, May 4.  Rick Bowman from Bordeaux Fine and Rare will join us to pour 7 new wines to the store.  From Bordeaux to Gascogne to the Rhone Valley, we’ll sample a couple whites, a couple of new and fresh dry rosés and some delicious reds.  Even better, all of the wines come from small, family owned and operated wineries where the production levels are small, but the prices are more than fair.  We’ll cap the tasting off with a real “Wow Wine”, but it’s a surprise!

Join us from 4 to 6:30 p.m. to sample some of the best wines your money can buy in Asheville.  The cost for the tasting is $5/person or it’s free if you’re a Grape Nut.

1. Chateau Magneau Graves Blanc – Château Magneau is an ancient property that has been run by the Ardurat family since before the reign of Henri IV…………that’s a long time!  They are certified organic and this blend is made from 45% Sauvignon Blanc, 45% Semillon and 10% Muscadelle, and the average age of the vines is 30 years.  The wine is zippy, tangy and absolutely delicious with notes of grapefruit, lime zest, green apple and mineral.

2. Domaine des Cassagnoles “Cuvée Gros Manseng” – Gilles Baumann’s Domaine des Cassagnoles consistently produces one of the best white wine values in the world……………and you will get to try it!  The estate is located in Gascogne, in southwestern France, and the same grapes that are used to make Cognac and Armagnac are also fermented into delicious, dry, lively white wines.  The grape here is Gros Manseng, and it produces a fleshy, beautifully aromatic white wine with aromas and flavors of white peach, apricot, pear and honey.  You will love it!

3. Domaine les Aphillanthes Cotes du Rhone Rosé – Robert Parker had this to say about this biodynamically farmed estate: “In 1999, I discovered one of the finest estates in the southern Rhone, the Domaine Les Aphillanthes owned by Daniel Boulle. His oenologist is none other than Philippe Cambie, one of the finest in all of France.”  Their dry Rosé is a blend of 60% Cinsault with Grenache, Counoise and Mourvedre rounding things out.  It is a pretty wine with fresh aromas of strawberries, earth, and spice, good acidity, medium body, loads of fruit, and a dry style.

4. Domaine les Grands Bois Cotes du Rhone les Trois Soeurs Rosé – Marc Besnardeau is from Paris originally and before he met Mireille Farjon, he was a sommelier at one of the better restaurants in Paris.  He has obviously adjusted to his new surroundings and profession very well as every year his wines garner great reviews from all of the leading wine periodicals.  Their dry rosé is composed of two-thirds Grenache, one-fourth Carignan and the rest Cinsault from vines that average 60 years in age. It is a medium rose-colored, flowery offering with good body and freshness and flavors of  strawberry and framboise intermixed with a hint of Provencal herbs.

5. Domaine du Cros Marcillac “Lo Sang del Pais” – Domaine du Cros, with its 22 hectares, is the largest independent producer in the appellation of Marcillac, in southwestern France and Philippe Teulier and his family have been instrumental in reestablishing the reputation of Marcillac’s wines.  His wines are made from one grape type, the local grape of Marcillac, Fer Servadou.  The wine is rustic and wild with notes of brambly berries, herbs, earth and mineral – perfect for serving with grilled sausages.

6. Domaine St. Damien Cotes du Rhone “Vieilles Vignes” – Young proprietor Joel Saurel is another client of the brilliant oenologist, Philippe Cambie and his estate is another of the finest in the southern Rhone.  Vintage 2010 was a great one in the region and this wine is entirely Grenache with the average age of vines around 50 years.  Strawberry, black cherry, lavender, pepper and dusty, loamy, sandy soil aromas jump from the glass of this deep plum/purple-tinged wine. Ripe and medium to full-bodied, it is ideal for consumption over the next 3-4 years.

7. Surprise Wine – All I’m telling you is that this stuff is naughty good!

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