Fine Wine Source Wine
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
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.
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Fine Wine Source Wine
Marty Peterson comes from a family with a rich farming history. In 1904, his great-grandfather, Carl A. Peterson, made his way by ferry to Lodi, an agricultural community at the mouth of the Sacramento River Delta, 60 miles east of San Francisco, where he founded the family ranch. For more than a century, the Peterson family has farmed 100 acres in the Lodi region, now planted to fine wine grape varietals, as well as Bing cherries. The fourth generation of growers from the family property, Marty grew up in a community of farmers who shared a similar commitment to the land. The childhood friends and family relationships forged over many years are still firmly in place, giving him an insider’s insight—and connections— into this important, emerging winegrowing region. Marty received his Bachelor of Sciences in Enology from Fresno State University in 2002, giving him expertise on the cellar side and refining his natural farming knowledge. Peterson joined Vintage Wine Estates in 2011 as winemaker for Viansa Sonoma; in May of 2015 he was then appointed Winemaker at Cosentino Winery, where he draws on his deep roots in the Lodi region, as well as his knowledge of the Napa and Sonoma appellations, to create uniquely expressive wines of balance and complexity. Cosentino Winery is renowned for creating the first designated and licensed Meritage wine, Bordeaux inspired blend (The Poet) that set the standard that others would follow in Napa Valley.
In 1990, ‘THE’ Series was introduced with ‘THE Zin,’ showcasing the best grapes from the Lodi AVA and paving the way for ‘THE’ Series of wines. ‘THE’ Series is now our largest volume collection of wine from the Lodi AVA. 2016’s THE Dark is a proprietary blend of Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon aged 12 months is French oak barrels. The grapes for THE Dark were hand-harvested in Lodi, an AVA known to benefit from the cooling Delta influence. The 2016 harvest was notably even and steady, providing balanced yields of quality fruit which allowed us to craft a wine with both freshness and depth of fruit. Don’t be afraid of THE Dark – enjoy now or over the next three years.
Undisclosed percentages: Predominantly Petite Sirah blended with Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
THE Dark lives up to its name with an inky dark hue in the glass and rich aromas of plum, blackberry jam and blueberry cobbler. The palate is dense with fruit flavors, pepper spice and vanilla barrel toast leading to a brooding finish that is smooth and opulent.
THE Dark can hold its own against slow-roasted short ribs and rosemary-crusted lamb or a slow cooked herb-crusted bottom roast with carrots, onion, celery, potatoes, and stewed tomatoes; however, it is equally delicious to indulge in after dinner alongside aged Gouda or flourless chocolate cake. THE Dark would also be a perfect pairing to Valentine’s chocolates and a romantic candle-lit evening with your sweetheart!!
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:
Big, rich, and chewy…A full throttle Wine that way overachieves; best served with BBQ!!!
“Our exceptional team is made up of two accomplished winemakers: Sara Gott, internationally acclaimed for her success at Joseph Phelps and her brilliant stint at Quintessa, is our head winemaker. We were thrilled to have Marie-Laure Ammons join Oakville East to assist Sara in 2009. After working in France at Domaine Lejeune in Pommard, Chateau de Pressac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Dulong Negociant in Bordeaux, Marie-Laure arrived in California in 1998. She also works with Philippe Melka and brings a remarkable French point of view to our winemaking and blending.”
A complex mix of refined Bordeaux varieties, with spice, currant, cedar, mineral and tobacco notes. Full-bodied, with a pleasant olive edge, turning more subdued and delicate on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
91 Points: This shows classic valley-floor aspects of dusty tannin, brushy sage and cedar, staying true to the Bordeaux varieties it holds. Pencil lead and mocha accent the medium-bodied background, while soft, pillowy tannins are approachable.
FWS Price per btl. $99.99
Case Price per btl. $79.99
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