As we like to say at our little South Asheville store, the best way to learn about wine is to taste it, and we’ve got five wines on tap this Friday, July 6 that we think you should all taste. Heck, if you like them, you should buy them too! It’s a simple premise this week – just a bunch of good wines from great, small family owned and operated wineries. The tasting runs from 4 to 7 p.m. and the cost is just $5, or it’s free if you’re a Grape Nut.
1. 2011 Domaine du Pas St. Martin Saumur Blanc (Loire Valley, France) – This one comes from Asheville’s sister city in France, and it is 100% Chenin Blanc. The vines average 60 years of age and the wine is completely dry with lovely notes of apple, peach, citrus and mineral. Certified organic too!
2. 2010 Pascal Berthier Macon-Chaintré (Burgundy, France) – This single village Macon is about as pure and crunchy as Chardonnay can get. The Berthier family’s vineyards are all organically farmed and average at least 50 years of age. This “no oak” Chardonnay is bright, pure and clean with lovely notes of pear, lemon, apple and just a touch of hazelnut on the finish.
3. 2010 Quattro-Mani Toh-Kai (Brda, Slovenia) – This is about the freakiest white wine that we stock, and there will be some that just don’t like it and that’s completely fine. It hails from Brda, Slovenia just across the border from Italy and is made by the outspoken Ales Kristancic of Movia. His vineyards are all farmed organically and his approach to winemaking is very hands off. The wine has a slight oxidative quality to it along with complex notes of melon, quince, green tea and green herbs.
4. 2010 Eric Texier Vaison la Romaine (Rhone Valley, France) – This is Eric Texier’s single village Cotes du Rhone, and his 2010’s are absolutely stunning. 100% Grenache from a very old parcel of vines, this smells a bit like Chateauneuf du Pape with notes of wild blackberry and blueberry along with notions of licorice, spice and smoke.
5. 2009 Acustic Cellers Montsant “Vinyes Velles” (Montsant, Spain) – Acustic Cellers released their first wine in 2004 to great critical praise, and they continue to reap high praise for their wines. Montsant is south of Barcelona and includes vineyards in the lower lying regions surrounding Priorat. This wine is all old vine Carignan and Garnatxa and it bursts out of the glass with ripe aromas of raspberry, black cherry and spices. Full bodied, nicely textured and super spicy, it is a stellar wine to drink with or without food.