It seems France’s Roussillon region was made to grow fine wine. Proximity to the vine’s favorite sea, the Mediterranean, and planted in classic limestone-clay soil, winemaking talent thrives in this area. Founded by a pair of Frenchmen in 2002, Domaine de l’ Edre produces ripe yet balanced and stylish wines of terrific character and terroir definition, all done sustainably. The Cotes du Roussillon Village is a traditional blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan fermented and aged in once- and twice-used barrels and demi-muid. Here’s the perfect match to a leg of lamb or even a pot au feu, to veggie dishes rich in grilled peppers and eggplant, and of course to charcuterie and cheese. Celebrate the French way of good living by uncorking a bottle of L’Edre Roussillon!… Read the rest
Proud Oregon Tradition
Down to earth: Ayres grows and makes wines in the true Oregon tradition. From certified-sustainable viticulture in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, to hands-off winemaking (learned at Domaine Drouhin Oregon), and extremely reasonable pricing, Ayres represents Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with respect. The Lewis Rogers Lane and Perspective cuvees satisfy that plump red/blue fruit craving, while the Pioneer gives a deeper, darker taste. Meanwhile, to keep it bright, fresh, and under $20 a bottle, the Willamette Valley 2015 already drinks wonderfully. Pick one, two, or all four to taste and we’re sure you’ll add Ayres to your list of favorite Oregon producers. They’re definitely one of ours.
Ayres Lewis Rogers Lane Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($34.95) Buy Now: $29 special
James Suckling 93 points “A linear and fresh pinot with firm yet soft tannins and a savory and fruity finish.… Read the rest
A winery defined by their remarkable vineyards
Heymann-Löwenstein is the signature producer of Germany’s Terrassenmosel region. The Terrassenmosel is part of the lower Mosel river valley where the steepness of the slopes requires terraces just to be able to grow grapes. It’s a daunting place to work—everything is so steep that no mechanized work is possible and so every single vine must be tended by hand.
Reinhard Löwenstein fits in with this region, then, as an absolute perfectionist who will do any and everything possible to make sure that his wines are as profound as possible. His yields and selection in the vineyards are made solely with quality in mind and he holds his wines back longer before release than most German producers—cash flow be damned.… Read the rest
Joseph Swan Vineyards
A California Icon Still Going Strong
Joseph Swan Vineyards remains one of the most notable names in California wines. Joe Swan was a trailblazer and legendary figure in the California’s viticultural history, and his son-in-law Rod Berglund is a talented winemaker of equal skill. That said it sometimes seems like this winery doesn’t get mentioned as often as it should when we talk about California’s great wineries, which is a shame.
The Swan wines aren’t trendy and never have been—they epitomize the idea of classicism and have been made in the same style no matter whether the winds of fashion favored the huge and ripe or the light and lean. The one constant for Swan has been the idea that the vineyard speaks for itself.… Read the rest