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October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Robin Garr » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:39 am

This month we invite you to look around your own state or region. Is anybody making wine? Is it any good? If you live in a major wine-producing area, this month is easy for you. For those of us in much of the Eastern U.S., it's going to be more of a challenge. But as the first option, I encourage you to explore, even if you don't have high expectations. Visiting a winery, even a small one in an out-of-the-way region, is always fun, and you might find a wine that you enjoy, even if it doesn't make choirs of angels sing.

So, give it a try! But we don't want to lock anyone out, so if you don't have any wineries nearby, or if you're just not willing to pay good money for your regional wine, you can still play. Just get out your map or globe and look for the nearest wine region that does satisfy you. For me, that might be ... um ... California? :oops: For Bob, British Columbia? Tim, I think you're set ...
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Tim York » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Although Normandy is not normally associated with wine growing, we have a winery less than 30km away. It was developed on a site used by monks in the Middle Ages and now produces a very good Pinot Noir at least equal to many village Burgundies and at a more friendly prices. There are also decent whites from Auxerrois, Pinot Gris and Melon de Bourgogne.

This thread is a reminder for me to go and buy some more.

The nearest AOP vineyards less than 200km from here are in the northern Loire basin round Jasnieres and les Coteaux du Loir. No hardship to be encouraged to buy those! And Vouvray and Chinon are only a short distance further away.

The real Norman drink specialities are cider, perry and Calvados. Maybe I'll stray in their direction.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:17 pm

Think Tim might have some real fun with this topic this month!
Yup, BC here I come.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:18 pm

Joe Moryl is on the east coast so Finger lakes area is in order.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Joe Moryl » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:37 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:Joe Moryl is on the east coast so Finger lakes area is in order.


I actually live in NJ, so I may need to check out some of the local talent for this thread.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Tim York » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:01 am

Here are some TNs on Norman drink from my CT archives.

The apple and pear are the source of Normandy's typical drinks, namely cider, perry and Calvados (apple brandy). I particularly love Calvados and here is a good example. I have another bottle, Roger Groult's Âge d'Or nearing its end and I guess that there will be a TN on it during the month.

NV Michèle Giard Calvados Pays d'Auge Hors d'Âge - France, Normandy, Calvados Pays d'Auge (5/24/2018)
I write my notes on these spirits when I finish the bottle. This one has been a constant source of great satisfaction with its marriage of the fruit of a quite young Calva with the greater complexity, suavity and backbone of a more mature one. Also it should be commended for the low level of caramel notes which disfigure many when in excess. I will certainly be going back to this house for more. Very good.




AFAIK Gérard Samson's Les Arpents du Soleil is the only producer of wine in Normandy http://www.arpents-du-soleil.com/ (French only). This is located on a south facing slope about half an hour from us. Samson recreated the vineyard on the site where vines flourished from the middle ages to the end of the 18th century. He claims that there is an unusual micro-climate and a very favourable soil type (rendzine anthropique sur Bathonien supérieur). Here are some TNs on his offerings.

2014 Les Arpents du Soleil Rouge - France, Normandy (4/9/2018)
This is my best bottle so far of the estate's Pinot Noir out of 5 (just 1 left) and it is indeed opening up on the nose and acquiring extra complexity and depth with a more velvety texture and obvious Pinosity. Rivalling a good entry level wine from a lighter Côte d'Or village and may still develop further. I must go down the road to get more or, failing that, some 2015 or 2016. Good+.
Posted from CellarTracker

2013 Les Arpents du Soleil Mauve - France, Normandy (12/18/2016)
I don't think that I would identify this bracing wine as PG in a blind line-up. There was some of the usual meat, nutmeg based spice and underlying roundness in this medium bodied dry wine but also minerals, lively acidity and salty spine. Quite different from the often opulent Alsatian examples but good.

2012 Les Arpents du Soleil Orange - France, Normandy (3/12/2017)
A nice crisp dry white from Auxerrois but not great personality or QPR at €11 for 50cl. Better value to be had from, say, Muscadet, Mâconnais.....



There were also vineyards on les Coteaux d'Argences near Caen during the warm spell of the middle ages but no wine has been produced commercially there in recent centuries. Maybe global warming will result in a revival.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Rahsaan » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:12 am

Interesting. Never knew about wine in Normandy, but it sounds like the scene is not too deep.

Still, I can imagine the general drift of the wines, and nice of you to try them!
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:18 pm

Tim has talked to me before about local Normandy wines so good to see these notes.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by David M. Bueker » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:18 pm

Connecticut and Massachusetts wine is dismal. There is a new winery in my town, though they do not use local grapes. Maybe I'll hit the tasting room thins month to see what's up.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Robin Garr » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:42 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:There is a new winery in my town, though they do not use local grapes. Maybe I'll hit the tasting room thins month to see what's up.

That's gotten to be a big thing here, too. Apparently there's a growing business in exporting California wine grapes as pressed and filtered juice, sent to other states for finishing and bottling as American appellation (made from grapes grown in a non-contiguous state). Most of ours are aimed at tasting-room sales and typically are sound but don't play in wine-geek circles.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Jon Leifer » Thu Oct 04, 2018 5:59 pm

Along the lines of Robin's comments re "American appellation", remember tasting several vintages of an Aligote made in Nantucket from grapes grown in Washington..and this was at least 15-20 yrs ago, if not longer. Was very tasty, neighbor of ours wd occasionally go to Nantucket during the Summer and brought home several bottles for me.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by David M. Bueker » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:27 pm

There once was an Aligote from Nantucket...
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Robin Garr » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:21 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Jon Leifer » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:03 pm

ho,ho,ho
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Rahsaan » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:00 am

In my case, drinking locally means beer. And tonight at our favorite pizza restaurant was Ponysaurus Oyster Saison from Durham (which is not technically where I live, but the brewery is 10 miles from my house, local enough!)

Lovely stuff, lots of flavor for a saison, but also lots of freshness (apparently brewed with fresh oysters). Perfect relaxing way to start the weekend.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Robin Garr » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:11 am

Rahsaan wrote:In my case, drinking locally means beer.


:idea: Suddenly this month started looking up for me ...
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Tom NJ » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:22 am

Joe Moryl wrote:I actually live in NJ, so I may need to check out some of the local talent for this thread.


What part of Jersey you in, Joe?
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Tim York » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:16 pm

Here are some examples of drinks from apples, the predominant source in Normandy. Both were made less than 30 minutes drive from home.

NV Cidrerie Daufresne Cidre de Normandie Artisanal Brut - France, Normandy (10/7/2018)
Opened to use in a poulet au cidre (delicious), I took a quick swig before the rest of the bottle disappeared into the pot. As usual with Norman cider there was round fruit, an earthy touch and more RS than one would expect in a Brut champagne, but there was only moderate acidity which made it a blander drink than really like. Quite good.

NV Roger Groult Calvados Pays d'Auge Âge d'Or - France, Normandy, Calvados Pays d'Auge (10/7/2018)
This was a lovely drink. The nose was subtle and delicate. The palate was not very big but showed depth, mature fruit, some spice, suave texture, grip on the finish and a burnished note with very slight caramel hints. Costs €105 but at least equal to much Cognac and Armagnac costing more than twice as much. Excellent.

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Last edited by Tim York on Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Joe Moryl » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:09 pm

Tom NJ wrote:
Joe Moryl wrote:I actually live in NJ, so I may need to check out some of the local talent for this thread.


What part of Jersey you in, Joe?


Essex County. No wineries here, but I hope to do some cycling in Hunterdon County soon and will try to stop in to a couple places that seem interesting (e.g. Beneduce Vineyards). I pass by Unionville Vineyards regularly when I ride out that way and, while their wines are decent enough, I find the pricing hard to take. So I'm hoping some of the other places out that way have better QPR.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by kasey.dubler » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:56 pm

Living in Utah does not give a whole lot of choices... There is a winery in Salt Lake that makes wine from grapes out of Mendocino that is actually very good. Ruth Lewandowski Wines; they are big on the natural wine scene and their wines are delicious. If you like natural wines Ruth Lewandowski is worth checking out, their wines are pretty and pure without crossing over to the dirty side some natural wines can be.

But instead of this I decided to pick wines from my home. I'm originally from Southern California, specifically a small town east of San Diego called Julian. Julian sits just above 4,000 feet in elevation and is famous for it's apples. It's also famous because it's the closest place to San Diego you can go see snow in the winter. Recently more and more wineries are opening up out there. Temecula is the town in southern California known for wine making, but honestly the weather their is less than ideal, just too hot very often. Julian being at a higher elevation is cooler and has a large diurnal shift which helps keeps the acid in check. I was out visiting my father last month and picked up a few wines. I'm quite excited for a Syrah I picked up from a vineyard at 4,200 feet elevation that checks in at 13.8%, but I'm giving this a few more years before opening it up.

The wine I tasted was 2017 Julian Winery Angel Mountain Rosé Diamond T Vineyard (3,800 feet elevation, 13.7% alcohol). The nose has Peach and raspberry nose with just a touch floral notes as well. Dry with a touch of tannin and a citrus rind note on the palate. Acid is elevated, body is medium. Very pleasant, easy drinker, but would be great with food.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Jon Leifer » Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:08 pm

there is a winery roughly 10 miles from our house(Owera Vyds, Cazenovia, NY)..Haven't tasted there in several years, probably time to re-visit, In the past, their semi-dry Reisling was decent..Balance of their portfolio a hodge-podge of wines made from native grapes, mostly blends. Doubt they have distribution beyond a 50 mile radius from the winery.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Tim York » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:25 pm

It's a stretch to call this a local wine but it comes from the nearest serious wine growing area. Google maps tells me that it is about 190km and a 2 hours drive from here. With les Coteaux du Loir, it is the most northerly appellation of the Loire basin being close to le Loir tributary. Curnonsky, a famous gastronomic critic from the first half of the 20th century, claimed "le Jasnières est, trois fois par siècle, le plus grand vin blanc du monde" (= thrice per century Jasnières is the greatest white white in the world). Nowadays with global warming together with improved husbandry and cellar techniques, it succeeds far more often. Its best known grower is Éric Nicolas of Domaine de Bellivière who often produces celestial but quite expensive wines. This Jasnières (from Chenin) is an entry level wine. I would like to say that I bought it on a flying visit to the estate but in fact I found it at the Caen branch of the ubiquitous Nicolas chain.

2016 Domaine des Gauletteries Jasnières Le Tradition - France, Loire Valley, Jasnières (10/12/2018)
This bottle retains the charm and verve of the bottles consumed over a year ago. Leaning towards tendre rather than bone dry, full of citrus and other white fruit like peach, pear and apple, minerals, floral aromas, mouth-watering acidity and some backbone. I don't reckon that this wine has much ageing potential but why wait? Good+.
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Last edited by Tim York on Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:00 pm

Will be in Ontario for a few days so can try some local wines there! Meanwhile here is a go-to white from the Okanagan.

2016 Wild Goose Vineyards Autumn Gold VQA Okanagan Valley.

Think I paid close to $28 Cdn, ouch. Pale yellow in color, blend of Gewurtz, Riesling and Pinot Blanc.
Some nice floral aspects on the nose, spice for sure with apples and hint of tropical fruits. Nice minerality, peach, pineapple, off-dry. Very easy drinking for the patio in summer but think I prefer other whites from this winery...P Gris for sure.
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Re: October Wine Advisor: Drink locally ... or ...

by Rahsaan » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:37 pm

Tim York wrote:"le Jasnières est, trois fois par siècle, le plus grand vin blanc du monde"...Its best known grower is Éric Nicolas of Domaine de Bellivière who often produces celestial but quite expensive wines.


Thanks for the reminder. I loved the Nicolas wines from the first part of the 00s, but then stopped drinking them and I don't think I have seen them locally. Many of the other Jasnières options pale in comparison. Perhaps I will seek them out again! (I also used to love the pineau d'aunis, as long as it was stable it was gorgeous)
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