Friday Winedown – Awesome French and Spanish Wines

This Friday, September 21 from 4 to 7 p.m.
$5/person……Free for Grape Nuts
Includes light palate cleansers 

The wine producing countries of Europe continue to offer the consumer some of the best wines their money can by.  With the US dollar trading more favorably against the Euro, we’ve seen prices on European wines stay the same or even come down as new vintages have rolled in to the store.

This is truly a rock star lineup of wines from some of our favorite, small family producers of Spain and France.We’ll sample four Frenchies and 3 Spaniards this Friday. Come “winedown” your week with us and get your week end off to a good start!

1. 2011 Domaine du Pas St. Martin Saumur Blanc – From Asheville’s sister city in France comes this exquisite Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley.  From a sixty year old, organically farmed vineyard, this dry, crisp and crunchy white wine abounds in aromas and flavors of lime, pear, apple and mineral.

2. 2011 Michel Gassier Cotes du Rhone Blanc “Cercius” –We know we poured this one recently, but we truly feel that the wine is drinking even better now, as it’s had a few weeks of “rest” in the shop.  70% Grenache Blanc and 30% Sauvignon Blanc from organically farmed vineyards, the Cercius Blanc offers up loads of aromatic citrus fruits, flowers and crushed rock.

3. 2011 Domaine de Martinolles Chardonnay – Owned and operated by the Vergnes family since 1926, this estate is located in Limoux, the western most part of France’s Languedoc region.  Their no-oak Chardonnay is one of our best selling whites in the store…….come see why!  It smells of fresh citrus, pear and apple and offers a purity of flavor rarely found at this price point.

4. 2011 Michel Gassier Cotes du Rhone Rouge “Cercius” –Like the white, Gassier’s Cercius Rouge has settled nicely and is really drinking like champion right now.  A blend of 80+ year old Grenache (85%) and Syrah (15%), it is a luscious and seamless wine with a fruit forward personality.  Kirsch, raspberry jam, subtle smoke and spice and a full bodied, friendly personality make this one perfect for drinking by itself.

5. 2007 Izadi Rioja Reserva – Remember this one?  We bought as much of the 2006 as we could, but we just couldn’t keep it on the shelf for long.  The 2007 is another stunner of a wine composed entirely of Tempranillo aged in American oak for 14 months.  It is packed with aromas and flavors of dark berry fruit along with notions of sweet spice, violet and vanilla.

6. 2010 Descendientes de J. Palacios Petalos – Lynn and I first discovered the splendor of this wine over a dinner at Curaté several months back.  Founded in 1998 by Alvaro Palacios and Ricardo Perez, the estate has steep hillside, organically farmed vineyards ranging in age from 60-100 years planted to 100% Mencia, the native grape of cool-climate Bierzo.  Deep purple in color, it offers up a super-fragrant bouquet of smoke, violets, mineral, wild blueberry, and black raspberry.

7. 2010 Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat – Alvaro Palacios is the dynamo and tour de force that helped propel Priorat to the forefront of the Spanish wine scene. Tasting one of his wines is a special occasion and we are completely enchanted by this wine.  A blend of  35% Garnacha, 35% Carignan, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, it has a very pure bouquet of lifted blackberry and cassis fruit, the French oak well-integrated. The palate is full-bodied with a soft, sensual entry.  In a nutshell, it rocks our world!

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