August Wine Club
Marc Delienne-Beaujolais Rosé
In the winery, whole clusters go into concrete vats, relying on native yeasts to begin fermentation. The wine maker pumps over minimally to restrain the levels of extraction, and with no fining or filtration, very little sulphur added, they keep things as stripped back as possible in order to achieve aromatic, textured and powerful expressions of the Fleurie terroir.
Château du Cèdre-Blandine BlancPascal Verhaeghe and his brother, Jean-Marc, bring a welcome refinement to the wines of picturesque Cahors, located about an hour and a half east of Bordeaux. Their father began making wines at Château du Cèdre in the 1970s, and the sons took over in the 1990s, banning all herbicides and chemicals, and adopting a domaine motto: "Move forward, experience new ways."
Blandine Le Blanc is a blend of Colombard and Ugni Blanc grown on two different soil types: limestone/clay and silica/clay. The vines average 30 years of age. After harvest, the wine stays in contact with the skins for 24 hours, is then cold-settled for 48 hours before being in stainless steel and aged in tank for 3 months. The result is a light, crisp wine perfect as an aperitif or an accompaniment to light vegetable dishes and salads.
Château Tour des Gendres-des Gendres
Château Tour des Gendres is a household name found on virtually every fine wine-list in France, yet it is little-known in the United States. These wines provide outstanding value; they are approachable and pleasurable, crunchy and bright, with an abundance of fruit.
This wine shows off the heart & soul of the limestone terroir where Merlot’s boasts its uniqueness and ripeness. The nose subtly gives off red and black berries, liquorice and a fresh note. The mouth is characterized by its beautiful balance between roundness, deepness & freshness, held up by its tasty complexity of blackberries, cherries and a discreet oakyness.
Domaine Chasselay-Quatres Saisons
The Chasselay family proudly claims winemaking ancestry back to 1464. In recent years, the domain has bolstered its reputation by committing to responsible farming techniques (gaining organic certification in 2006). They use no chemical products in the field and foster biodiversity with hedgerows and wildflower borders. Vinification takes place with indigenous yeasts, and little to no sulfites are added. While Chasselay vineyards in the Beaujolais Cru villages of Brouilly, Fleurie, and Morgon continue to shine, the domain also produces a line of more affordable—and still excellent—Beaujolais reds, whites, and rosés.
This “quatre saisons” cuvée reflects all of the careful attention and expertise that Chasselay is known for, at a great value. It undergoes 15 days of whole cluster maceration and is aged in foudre, retaining a beautiful degree of freshness and lift. Medium bodied, and “mildly-wild” in character, its black raspberry, cherry, and cedar flavors meld with refreshing acidity, well-integrated tannins, and touches of sun-warmed wildflowers and earthy forest aromas. Organically grown, low-intervention, vegan natural wine.
Château Tour des Gendres-La Vigne d'Albert
The 52-hectare Chateau Tour des Gendres was founded 1925 and is situated at Ribagnac near Bergerac. The estate is run along organic and biodynamic lines (certified 2005) by the 3rd generation of the Conti family led by head winemaker, Luc de Conti. The hallmarks of the estate's wines are balance, power and freshness from vines grown on a mixture of limestone and clay soils. No additional sulphites are used and the wines are unfiltered.
'La Vigne d'Albert' is made by Guillaume de Conti and is homage to his grandfather, Albert. The grapes come from vines planted by Albert in the 1960's and include Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and the lesser known Perigourd, Fer and Arbouriou. All bunches are destemmed, before being put directly into the vats on indigenous yeasts (thanks to the pied de cuve method of doing a very small pre-harvest to start the natural fermentation going). 20 days of maceration, during which 10 days a quick fermentation takes place until there are 0 grams of sugar left. The wine was bottled without being filtered in may 2019 without the addition of sulphur. Seeing no oak, this is a generous and flavorful red with a smoky acidity.
A dark cherry red in the glass. Aromas of summer red fruits with savoury notes of green pepper. On the palate, sweet and spicy with a generous mouthfeel and fresh acidity.
Domaine Marcel Lapierre-Morgon
Marcel Lapierre’s mentor, Jules Chauvet, is the man who in the 1950’s spoke out against chemical fertilization in the name of protecting “natural wine” and the traditional viticultural and winemaking methods of Beaujolais. Throughout his career, Marcel Lapierre and a small group of other vignerons and winemakers in the region, made it their mandate to maintain the viticultural and winemaking traditions of Beaujolais. These traditional practices valued old vines, no synthetic herbicides, pesticides, late harvesting, sorting grapes and using only the healthiest, minimal or no sulphur and zero chaptalization(sugar added). Marcel once said, “Our ideal is to make wine from 100% grape juice.” Marcel passed away in 2010 and now his work is carried on by his talented son Mathieu.
Decomposed granite comprises most of their eleven hectares, . Grapes are picked at the last possible moment to obtain the ripest fruit, which is a trademark of the estate style. The Lapierres age their wines on fine lees for at least nine months in oak foudres and fûts ranging from three to thirteen years old. These wines are the essence of Morgon: bright, fleshy fruit with a palatable joie de vivre that was undoubtedly inherited from their creator.
Morgon is considered to be the most structured of the Beaujolais Cru. Lapierre’s Morgon is made from Gamay Noir from 70 year old vines. The wine is aged for 9 months in 216 L barrels and bottled unfiltered.
Domaine Tempier-BandolWhen Lucie “Lulu” Tempier married Lucien Peyraud in 1936, her father gave them Domaine Tempier, an active farm that had been in the family since 1834, near Le Plan du Castellet, just outside the Mediterranean seaport village of Bandol. Tasting a pre-phylloxera bottle of Domaine Tempier Bandol (a wedding gift from his father-in-law) inspired Lucien to research the terroir of Bandol extensively. Up until that point, old vineyards planted with Mourvèdre had been systematically replanted to higher-yielding varietals. However, more research not only showed its historical roots to the area, but the grape proved to be more resistant to oxidation, producing wines with great aging potential. By 1941, with the assistance of neighboring vignerons, Lucien worked with the I.N.A.O. (Institut National des Appellations d’Origines) to establish Bandol as its own A.O.C. Needless to say, large-scale replanting of Mourvèdre ensued, and Bandol now requires a fifty percent minimum in all reds. Lucien will forever be celebrated as the Godfather of Bandol, but also as the man who revived Mourvèdre to its former glory. Raising deep and structured wines of such refinement and longevity has made Domaine Tempier truly a grand cru de Provence.
Objectively the celebrity of Domaine Tempier also lies deep in the soils of Bandol. Variations of clay and limestone soils between the vineyards produce wines that are undeniably world class. Whether it is the cult following they have established through their refreshing, age-worthy rosé (once praised by Robert Parker as the greatest rosé in the world)