Fine Wine Source Wine

November 2019

Les Vignobles Foncalieu: The origins of the Vignerons du Pays d’Ensérune date back to the beginning of organized winegrowing with the construction of the first cooperative winery in France in the village of Maraussan in 1901. Upholding the tradition launched by the Vignerons Libres de Maraussan, our cooperative winegrowers have preserved their ancestors’ knowledge over the years, and their same remarkable capacity for innovation. With each era they have shown courage and ambition with the creation of new economic models, while at the same time preserving and developing a powerful work ethic of mutual support. Our vineyards cover more than 3,000 hectares, from the Mediterranean coast to the foothills of Mount Caroux. Due to this enormous expanse, our vineyards offer an incredibly rich variety of terroirs. We benefit from the plains of the lower Aude valley, with large areas of wetlands that are home to remarkable biodiversity, the pale soil of Capestang and Montady that lies on ancient marine deposits, the red soil of Maraussan and Cazouls, due to iron concretions, and finally the limestone slopes of the St Chinian appellation in the communes of Cazedarnes and Puisserguier. This diversity of terroirs enables the expression of wide range of exceptional aromas and flavors. But what really sets us apart is the introduction of varieties that are not usually grown in the region, such as Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, and the rehabilitation of old varieties like Piquepoul Noir, which require unusual vinification methods for the Languedoc, resulting in interesting wines.

2016 Ensedune Petit Verdot: At the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, the Oppidum Romain d’Ensérune dominates the terroir of the Ensédune wines. It is characterized by one of the warmest and dryest climates of France located at the west of Béziers. Proud of a 1000 year tradition, the Ensérune winegrowers were keen to develop their vineyards by acclimatizing grape varieties from various horizons. Created by teamwork, the Ensédune range is the product of generations of collaboration by winegrowers and presents unusual grape varieties for mono-varietal wines. 100 % Petit Verdot. A Bordeaux grape variety recommended in the Gironde region for its resistance to powdery mildew, it is the last to be harvested (late-harvesting with a very long growth cycle, hence its name “petit vert”, meaning “little green”). It needs water and heat, and is not very drought-resistant. The grapes are harvested towards the end of the morning and taken to traditional tanks in the winery for seeding with selected yeasts. Extraction is carried out by alternating pneumatic crushing, pumping over and gravity rack-and-return operations. When the required level of bouquet and concentration is reached, the wine is left to macerate in the tank for three to four weeks to obtain the optimal concentration of the extract before pressing and malolactic fermentation.

Varietal: 100% Petit Verdot

Alcohol: 12.5%

Tasting Notes: Very colourful, peppery, spicy and fragrant, a connoisseur’s wine. Fruity (raspberry, wild strawberry, citrus fruits) and floral (licorice, peony, juniper berry) notes.

Food Pairings: Best served with grilled red meats or with a cheeseboard. Serve between 18°C and 20°C

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Big rich layers of spice and intensity. Best served with lamb or beef.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2015 Chateau de Jacques Fleurie Grand Cru Gamay…A perfect expression or Terrior and indigenous Bourgogne fruit. These won’t last, so grab one fast to experience the best of Beaujolais! Wine Club Member Price $29.99

Fine Wine Source Wine

November 2019

Rabble Wine Company: Rabble Wine Company was founded by Rob Murray, an upstart grower who bootstrapped his winery from the trenches of the vineyard. The challenges imposed by nature were numerous, but he was determined to gain the upper hand. To this day, Rabble remains rooted in this core aspiration. Rob Murray is a longtime grower whose vineyard-first mindset will always drive our wines. He works with each vineyard and maintains a final say in all aspects of farming; every block is painstakingly grown to meet the vision for Rabble, Tooth & Nail, Amor Fati and Stasis wines. Mossfire Vineyard is found on the San Miguel bench overlooking the Paso Robles valley floor. A cobbled streambed runs through it, and the sandy-gravelly loam soils provide excellent drainage and optimal vine stress. Mossfire is a red variety stalwart for us, producing richly rendered Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The labels all incorporate beautiful public domain art rooted in history: woodblock prints from the 1500s, illustrations by John James Audubon, and etchings from William Blake and John Boydell. Download the Rabble Wine Co. Interactive app (Google Play or Apple App Store) and watch the labels come to life!

Rabble Red Blend: Winemaker Jeremy Leffert leans toward the philosophical and views himself more as a shepherd than a maker: “My approach is to treat everything with such care that it’s almost transparent and you hear this voice from the vineyard,” he says. He is ever alert to avoid what he calls “the dominance of the winemaker’s hand.” Vineyard expression must only be accentuated, and never obstructed. Jeremy’s mindset is technically and physically demanding. It is a quest to match non-saccharomyces, saccharomyces and wild yeast strains to each wine and vineyard; to optimize individual lot maturation from a mix of oak barrels, foudres, concrete tanks and other alternative vessels; and to go to great lengths at every step, such as removing barrel heads to conduct micro open-top fermentations. The native energy that you taste in our wines is no accident—it is the outcome of a discerning winemaker working in concert with nature’s intent. Recommended decant 1 to 2 hours. Aging potential of 3-7 years.

Varietals: 65% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petite Sirah. Barrel Aged 10 months.

Alcohol: 14.5%

Tasting Notes: Enticing notes of dark ripe plums fill the glass. Vibrant flavors of blackberries and boysenberries with hints of vanilla and cocoa powder harmonized together for a luxurious mouthfeel. Tannins and natural acidity balance out nicely and leave a seamless finish.

Food Pairings: What doesn’t go with a nice Merlot based red blend; save delicate dishes? Savory meat stews, rump roast, juicy steaks, burgers, roasted chicken, or duck will make the Rabble Red Blend stand out on the palate as much as the bottle does on the table.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: High levels of fruit in perfect balance with acidity; a big wine with an elegant finish. Best served with chicken, fowl, or rich oily fish dishes.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2016 Blue Rock Baby Blue Red Blend…A wonderful Bordeaux style field blend that showcases the vibrant fruit of the Alexander Valley. Wine Club Member Price $29.99. A great value and a spectacular wine for a chilly evening paired with a warm and comfy night at home!