Youthful Memories

Domaine de Rochebin
Bourgogne Aligoté AOC 2021
100% Aligoté
Azé, Mâconnais, France
Mickaël Marillier (son) Jean-Pierre (father), & Laurent Chardigny

Warm shimmering golden. Breathing in pears, apples, allspice, mace & other pie spice, lemon/lime squeeze, touch of salt, and apple & orange blossoms floating on a warm breeze. (Have you ever been in the middle of an apple orchard and a gust kick up the blossoms swirling all around you? Growing up in an orchard, I’d anticipate Spring and the magical fairytale land that would come with the first budding/blooming scents to the moments of watching the petals flutter upward, sideways, down and decorating my hair and clothes. Was a beautiful spring blizzard that was almost like a dream and so happy to have the memory to hold in my heart.) Now back to sipping this lovely glass…all of the scents are right here in the taste with a bit of an apple tree twig (a little bark & greenery), a teeny touch of honeysuckle nectar, Valencia orange & lime zest.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: delicious like cheddar cheese on warm apple pie

I have no why I kept bypassing this bottle in the fridge because turns out it’s exactly what I needed right now even with the chill outside. As you can tell from above, it brought up warm happy youthful memories that I hold deep in my mind and heart…nothing like those innocent joyful moments. Sometimes to jostle those recollections it only takes a taste of a warm cookie, the feeling of fresh crisp early morning walk as the streetlights are still on and the sun is just breaking, or in my case just a fragrance of simple blooms from an elegant glass of wine. ❤️

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Everything Everywhere All At Once

Maison Marchand-Tawse
Morgon AOC 2021
Nuits-Saint-Georges, Bourgogne, France

Pascal Marchand & Moray Tawse & team

Shining garnet ruby. There’s scents growing of red currants, a little earth & puff of smoke/peat, cherries, boysenberries, a raspstrawberry combo, and a blend of tomato leaves & tobacco. Sip and there’s raspberries, cherries, pomegranate, boysenberries, blackberries (seeds & all), strawberries, blueberries, a tiny twangy orange zest, and a tobacco tingle.

Pairs with Cheez-Its: better without

After reading the background on Pascal Marchand, my head is spinning. He’s originally from Quebec but became quite a traveler before landing in Burgundy, taking a viticulture & enology course (Beaune), and started learning from & working for the best. As he, his talents, and grape intuition grew, so did his acclaim & desire to work more natural, organic & sustainable with the wineries where he was working/consulting. That spilled over into his own “garagiste” wines where he developed good relationships with growers that were of a natural like mindset. Oh and before I forget he’s one of the “flying winemakers” who work with wineries all over the world. I swear with all he has his hands in, it was like he’s everywhere everything all at once minus the hotdog fingers. Now back to the wines he was personally making…not far down the road, his friend Moray Tawse (also Canadian & of Tawse Winery in Canada) joined Pascal in his wine venture and Maison Marchand-Tawse was born. Working together they could expand their winemaking spaces in Nuits-Saint-Georges and pick up plots for their own vines, albeit they still work with the previously mentioned trusted growers. The two men also let the grapes speak of their terroir and recognize how “each wine is different and must be nurtured in a different way, so as to help it express its full personality” which is very cool, smart, and delicious. 🍷

To my dear friend who gifted me this bottle, THANK YOU! You’ve started me down a new wine path.

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Brothers, Burgundy & Bubbles

Chapuis et Chapuis
La Bulle 2019
100% Pinot Noir
Sparkling wine
Organic, hand harvested, methode traditionnelle
Ladoix-Serrigny, Burgundy, France
Winemakers & brothers: Romain & Jean-Guillaume Chapuis

There was a bit of a tussle between my tiny wiry hands and the cork but as you can see…I won! Pour and it’s warm gold with a touch of rose and fine active bubbles. Sniffing and my first thought is fresh out of the oven Pear en Croute with buttery pastry (no cheese) and blended with apples, dried apricots & golden raisins, and a light citrus zest. Take a sip and it’s zippy, bright, & crisp! There’s a citrus zing along with those pears & apples with buttery pastry/brioche, tart plum, a lick of slate and a teeny grind of black pepper waaaay on the back. Mmmm…lip tingling.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: surprisingly good but I prefer without to get the full flavor

Does anyone know who did this beautiful label? Please help stop me from going down the artist googling rabbit hole again! Back to the Chapuis brothers, who come from a lineage of winegrowers but have gone their own path with not 1 but 2 wine labels, Chapuis Frères and Chapuis et Chapuis (their side project & natural line…which is mighty fine). Before Romain returned to Burgundy to team up with Jean-Guillaume, he spent time learning/working in wine from France, New Zealand, Australia, & Lebanon. Wow Lebanon! Just watched “Wine and War” this weekend and it put so much into perspective about how impassioned winegrowers/makers can be in all conditions. Romain, if by any chance you actually read this post and would love to share, I would love to hear more about that experience! 🥂

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Fresh, Friendly & Live Frogs

Domaine Marcel Richaud
Bulbille 2021
Appellation Côtes du Rhône Protégée
51% Grenache, 34% Counoise and 15% Syrah
Cairanne, France
The Richaud Family: Marcel (dad), Thomas (son) & Claire (daughter)

Shining ruby with little bits of blue. Breathing in lively cherries, raspberries, red plums along with tiny spring flowers and a touch of tilled earth that waves bye on a breeze. Rolling around on my tongue are those cherries & raspberries joined by blackberries with seeds and a little ramble bramble, a bit of smoke, and a grind of pepper. This glass is light on its feet and so fresh!

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: mmm smooth

What would you do if your teenage son came to you and said, “I want to be an independent grower & winemaker!”? Probably the same reaction my parents had when I decided to go to school for art. Actually probably not in Marcel’s case since he had a leg up on vine education since his family was well versed in growing & selling grapes, and working with the local co-op. As you can see, the path he chose turned out to be a successful one and now includes his adult kids. Evidently this wine, Bulbille was a “young bud”ding idea from his daughter Claire on “making fresh wines even in very warm climates”. Well Claire & all, it definitely works!

Side note: this was tasted while watching Season 3, Episode 2 of “The Mandalorian”. It’s definitely Grogu approved, but does not pair well with live frogs.

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Birds & Bacchus In The Vines

Domaine Des Rouges-Queues
Bourgogne Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Blanc 2018
Vin de Bourgogne
100% Chardonnay
Organic, biodynamic, dry farmed, hand harvested, spontaneous fermentation
Burgundy, France
Winemakers: Isabelle and Jean-Yves Vantey

Shining warm medium gold. Breathe in and a glass of springtime, says “hi did ya miss me?”. There’s apricots, nectarines, pears, a little honeysuckle and as time ticks along there’s a perfume droplet of spring flowers along with a little smoke that merges into the background and ends in salt. Sip and those pears appear, apples and also apricots but now dried and fresh, salt, thyme, a lick of granite, a tiny pinch of white pepper…and it all goes silky.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: ooh this is like putting cheddar cheese on a hot apple pie…delicious

Isabelle and Jean-Yves Vantey fell in love with each other and then with Sampigny-lès-Maranges. You know what you do for land you love (and the wild things that live there too)…you care, nurture, and give it your organic/biodynamic best like Isabelle & Jean-Yves. Hence the homage to their feathered friends in their name “Rouges-Queues” and the Redstarts on their labels. BTW Isabelle seems to be quite the nature photographer too. Check out her IG page for a little of their enchanted wonderland, and if you swipe down far enough you might catch Bacchus in the vines.

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Sunshine on a Rainy Day

Domaine Bertrand et Axelle Machard de Gramont
Bourgogne Aligoté “Le Chêne du Court” 2017
100% Aligoté
Organic, hand harvested
Nuits-St. Georges, France
Winemaker: Axelle Machard

Pale glistening gold. Fragrances of apples, peach, smoke, light tangerine, and wet rock or limestone. As the glass and I are both sweating due to the evening…rolling this around in my mouth and there’s fresh apple, pear, light peach, salt, a lemon lime swirl ting of tart, and something herby but I can’t quite place which. I should have my Penzeys’ card revoked. It’s just so crisp, refreshing, elegant and so welcome. Henri is knocking on the door and this glass brightens this rainy grey day. Unfortunately it has me craving mussels and super salty frites which I have neither, and am not about to make a delivery driver come out in this  rough weather.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: delicious and sweeter

Coming from a distinct wine lineage, Axelle, Bertrand’s daughter is at the helm of Domaine Bertrand et Axelle Machard de Gramont, and is who brought it into organic certification. I’m glad she came back from a 15 year stint in Paris to rejoin her father in wine. Her parcel of Aligoté is pretty darn special residing behind the Abbaye de Saint-Vivant which is now a historic site and had been going through restoration when a discovery took place. I got pretty intrigued about the Abbey and with some really bad Google Translate of different papers and posts, I found that a bottle was unearthed from under debris and a slab near the apse and altar. It could date back to 1772 or possibly 1810-60 and it was opened and tasted in 2011. I would love to know how that turned out, and I’m sure one of you probably knows.

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