French Wines From Charles Neal Selections Part 2

French Wines From Charles Neal Selections Part 2

Saturday, September 26th from 2-5 p.m. – Free wine tasting featuring joyful French wines from importer Charles Neal – Did you miss the Charles Neal Selections tasting yesterday? You’re in luck because we like the wines that San Francisco-based importer Charles Neal imports so much that we’re pouring more of them this Saturday! Whereas yesterday we went with lighter styled wines, today we’re going to pour some fuller, richer, spicier wines. If you like Southern Rhones, you might want to stop by!

The Wines

1. 2014 Domaine Duffour Cotes de Gascogne (Southwestern France) – Farmer and winemaker Michel Duffour makes one of the best white wine values in that we stock. His white wine is based on a blend of Colombard, Ugni Blanc, and Gros Manseng. These are the same grapes that are used to make the famed Armagnacs of the region, but when fermented, they yield a fresh, dry, and aromatic white wine with good weight and texture.

2. 2013 Domaine Amido Cotes du Rhone Villages (Southern Rhone Valley, France) – Want to taste the best selling wine in the history of the store? This is your chance! The young Christian Amido and her husband Antoine tend old vines in the Lirac region of the Southern Rhone Valley. Their Cotes du Rhone is a 70/30 blend of Grenache and Syrah fermented in concrete tanks. Combining the heady and hedonistic character of Grenache with the spicy, darker fruited character of Syrah, this is a real crowd pleaser and at less than $15, it makes for a perfect house wine to enjoy with comfort food staples or without.

3. 2013 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Vacqueyras (Southern Rhone Valley, France) – This enviable property is beautifully situated below the Dentelles de Montmirail, a small chain of rugged, jagged mountains in Southern France. Run by the talented Yves Cheron since the late 1980’s, the estate owns vineyards in both Vacqueyras and Gigondas. Their Vacqueyras is typically a blend of 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre grown in the rocky, rugged terrain of the region. The resulting wine is a classic expression of the Southern Rhone terroir — rocky and minerally, but possessing perfectly ripened and spiced fruit. Like lamb? Try this with it!

4. 2013 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas “Les Deux Juliette” (Southern Rhone Valley, France) – This cuvée is named after the daughters of the producer (Yves Chéron) and the importer (Charles Neal), both of whom have young girls named Juliette. From some of the most ancient vineyards of the Southern Rhone, the domaine covers more than 35 hectares planted exclusively on the south facing hillsides and terraces. The blend is 80% Grenache from 45 to 55-year-old vines, 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre from 20-year-old vines and the yields are extremely low. The wine can be summed up with one word — BIG! Enjoy this with hearty proteins and stews as the nightime temperatures dip.