Dec 07 , 2016

Tom Kisthart

Email Newsletter: French Wine Tasting Tonight!

Hello everyone,

Hope you're having a great week so far. Anyone notice that the water in the neiborhood smells like chlorine this week? That probably is a pour excuse for me to substitute with wine. Starting to catch up to me. 

I really hope you can make it to the tasting tonight. The lineup is solid. We'll have 11 wines open with some cheese so the cost is $10 per person tonight. Stop by between 6:00 and 8:00. More on tasting below.

New beer arrivals

Funky Buddha Strawberry Shortcake has arrived, it's a wheat ale with strawberries and vanilla added. Also new from the mighty FB is the return of Nib Smuggler which is their cocaine themed chocolate milk porter. We're also supposed to have some barrel aged goodness from Anderson Valley Brewing and Weyerbacher arriving either later today or Friday, not sure. Boy are we making a killing selling our pulp wine shipper boxes to what appears to be hardcore beer nerds for whatever reason. Have no idea what you guys are doing with them but we have them. A fresh shipment of the following bottle sizes will be arriving tomorrow: 1, 2, 3, 6 and 12. Hope you all have permits for sending yeast samples around the country or whatever it is you're doing.

Back to the tasting

We're starting off with two Muscadets (I know you now know that these are anything but sweet) both single vineyards one from 2015 and the other from 2012. It's interesting to see how the acidity has softened on the 2012 compared to the sharp acid of the 2015. I can see the 12 aging great for another five years (it's $12.99!) and the 2015 for over a decade. Branger 'Terroir Les Gras Moutons' 2012Landron 'Clos la Cariziere' 2015

One of the most slept on wines in the store is Gros Noré Bandol Blanc 2014. You can't buy Bandol Blanc like this anywhere for fifteen dollars except at Craft & Curd. Bandol is a region within Provence that's mostly known for their rosés but also reds and whites which can be exceptional. This is made up mostly of the grape Ugni Blanc which goes by Trebbiano in Italy. It's also used as one of the main grapes in Cognac production.

The last white is a Chardonnay that I think most people can appreciate: Domaine Cordier Saint Veran 'En Faux' 2013. It comes from the more southern part of Burgundy called the Mâconnais where other value wines like Macon Village come from. A wine from the village Saint Veran will typically be better than your average Macon Village because it's a more specific place. Remember in Burgundy it's all about narrowing down the place as much as possible.

We're starting off the reds with a beautiful cru Beaujolais from the appellation of Fleurie. This one from Clos de la Roilette is not as floral as some other wines from the appellation, it's actually pretty big and dark fruited for a Beaujolais. It's from one of my favorite importers Louis Dressner. Heading up to Burgundy proper we're pouring the great steal of 2016 from Domaine Lecheneaut. Their Morey-Saint-Denis (that's the village where it comes from) for just $35!

So Wine Spectator magazine puts out their top 100 wines of the year list around this time every year. Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone 2015 made the list at #43 with a 91 point rating. It's a really solid Cotes-du-Rhone for $13.99. It's not a really complex wine (maybe more so with time) it's all about the structure - the tannins, acidity and sleek mouthfeel are all well balanced. I highly recommend picking some up.

Warning: three out of four of the remaining reds may have some herbaceous / green pepper notes. Some people find this appealing, others may tolerate and some will despise it. We've come to rely on our reds always being ripe and devoid of these flavors. They exist. The first being a Cabernet Franc from Chinon which is a region in the Loire Valley known for this grape. This is what a typical Chinon will taste like, appreciate it for that if nothing else. Then we're pouring the first of two Corsican wines. The 2011 has some of those green notes while the 2012 is riper. This is vintage variation, it's natural. A wine like Meiomi Pinot Noir doesn't vary much from vintage to vintage because it's an industrial product. It has no soul and will chip away at yours. [Yes, we do carry Meiomi at the amazingly low price of $16.99]

The Antoine Arena 'Carco' Patrimonio 2012 which is a bit riper probably due to a slightly warmer, dryer year is also really savory and a bit earthy. It's made with native Corsican grapes that I proudly have no idea how to pronounce.

We're finishing up with a Bordeaux from the right-bank appellation of Fronsac. The Kermit Lynch website says it's all Merlot but it seems like it also has some Cabernet Franc in it which is typical of wines from this area. Drinking great with six years age on it now. Château Haut-Lariveau Fronsac 2010

Thanks for reading especially today. I struggled to write this email - not feeling my best. Hope to see you tonight after my third caffeinated beverage of the day.
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