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Cru Krewe – July 2017

By July 21, 2017Cru Krewe

Pinot Envy

Pinot Noir: everyone’s favorite grape variety next to Cabernet Sauvignon. Its bright red fruity aromas and flavors, low tannin profile, paired with a little French oak and you have a crowd-pleasing red begging for any scenario. Pinot Noir is the chameleon of wines in that you can pair it with an array of food including salmon or duck or enjoy on its own! The one downfall: unattractive price point. Luckily for you, this wine of month is focusing on other varieties related to this noble grape that also come at a more everyday-drinking price tag.

Egly-Ouriet Brut- Ambonnay, Champagne
Egly Ouriet has around twelve hectares of vineyards, the majority of which lie in Ambonnay, mainly planted with Pinot Noir as well as some parcels in the Grand Cru villages of Bouzy and Verzenay. This unique sparkling of 100{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Pinot Meunier comes their Premier Cru village in Vrigny which uses over 75 year old vines. This exciting house is biodynamically influenced and producing cuvées of the very highest quality. The yield is kept very low and the natural vinification process largely takes place in oak “barriques”. Dosage is also very low across the entire range and the natural processes ensure low levels of sulphur. Add to this mix the single vineyard and lieu-dit cuvées and the result is truly stunning Champagnes. Testament to what can be achieved by a great Récoltant. Qualitatively, these wines are not for the faint of heart. However you refer to your Champagne’s they are undoubtedly in a category of their own. This is of course no accident, for fourth generation winemaker, Francis believes deeply that complexity and structure comes not only from perfect fruit, but also from extended lees aging. This belief is felt throughout his lineup, with most of his wines undergoing a minimum of 48 months on the lees with some cuvees being aged for 100+ months! As Francis puts it, this is critical for expressing the terroir of his wines, lending the wines that much sought after vinous quality.
“The NV Brut Les Vignes de Vrigny 1er Cru, Egly-Ouriet’s 100{8a779485a35888273496f0b72dc634490a1f8dcc316116b0257b1d61f66eee22} Meunier, is bright, focused and quite expressive. Dried orchard fruit, hazelnut, dried flowers, mint and chamomile. Classy and resonant through to the finish, the Vignes de Vrigny is striking. All the elements are impeccably balanced.”– 92 pts Antonio Galloni

Grange Aux Belles Pineau d’Aunis- Loire Valley, France
Pineau d’Aunis, also known as Chenin Noir is a red French wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Loire Valley around Anjou and Touraine.Both Pinot and Pineau come from the French word for “pine” because the bunches of grapes supposedly looked like pine cones to those who were naming them.
La Grange Aux Belles was created by Marc Houtin in 2004 – a classic story of a new career, first looking for vineyards in the Languedoc then finding 9 hectares in Anjou, inspired by Leon Barral in the south and Patrick Baudoin in the Loire. The estate has Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pineau d’Aunis, Gamay, Grolleau and Chenin Blanc, farmed organically of course, using herbal infusions against mildew and vinified with minimal SO2. Short macerations are practised here, with minimal extraction, seeking light-bodied aromatic wines, low in tannins and alcohol. This comes as a welcome alternative to the tannic, high-acid reds that have been common in Anjou.
In the glass: floral, black rasberry, white pepper, plum and strawberry liqueur. The palate is bright with cool black and red berries, slight spice followed by a mineral-laced, refreshing finish!

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