Cheese Please: Staff Picks

by Abigail

Initially, it was Don who was to present the wine component of the tasting, but unfortunately he fell ill just a couple days before (hope you are feeling better!) Fortunately I am one to always jump at the chance to host a tasting, but to do a tasting with Crystal? Even better!

This tasting is something to share with you all. There are no boundaries of region, country or style (well maybe a little bit of a budget boundary because my first pick would have probably been the jeroboam of Cristal we have, but alas.) We are picking wines and cheeses that get us excited, and we are sharing them with you!

Here is the line up from tonight’s tasting

Laherte Champagne Les Longues Voyes NV
Champagne Laherte Freres is a small, artisanal Champagne House located in the Valle de la Marne. Considered one of the hottest growers in Champagne, Aurélien Laherte has been making waves with his youthful, yet traditional approach. Les Longues Voyes’ could mean ‘The long way’: coming from 30 km from the estate, these fine Pinot Noir, are always taking the time to get the best maturity. With long ageing in barrels on lees for 18 months, it brings richness and complexity to this Premier Cru. Only from 1 harvest.

Becker Riesling Trocken 2018
Say hello to this wonderful dry Riesling from Germany. It doesn’t always have to be about sweetness. This Riesling is super-expressive, energetic, with exotic aromas of peach, powdered candy, and pineapple, accompanied by mineral notes of crushed stones. Dry, racy, and lithe on the palate, with a long, mineral finish. Perfect as an aperitif, fresh seafood, or roast chicken.

Weingut Sabrina Becker was founded in 2017 with its first vintage. It is a partnership between Sabrina and her sister Christine, working with their family-owned 25-hectare vineyard. Their family has owned the vineyard since 1987 but it wasn’t until 2017 when the sisters took it over with Sabrina at the helm to produce wines made with minimal intervention, spontaneous fermentation, minor sulphur adjustments before bottling, and no fining or filtering. The results are clean, pure, balanced expressions of varietal and place.

Moss Wood Semillon 2017
2017 is a major vintage for this wine as they are celebrating 40 years of this Semillon wine. 1977 was the first year that Moss Wood produced a Semillon for commercial use. It was made with no barrel treatment and upon the first year of production was a major head-turner. According to the winery “The wine has a medium straw colour, with some green tints and its condition is bright. On the nose, it is ethereal, with lifted perfumes of lemon sherbet, green apples, honeysuckle and figs. Underneath there are just some early suggestions of the variety’s complex features like lanolin and mushroom. We always expect our Semillon to be relatively firm as a youngster and this wine certainly has good acidity and tannin. However, the fruit flavours of limes, figs and lychees are rich, generous and mouth-filling, so the wine displays softness and drinkability only seen in the great years.”

Moss wood is a family-owned wine company and one of the pioneers for the Margaret River region. Their original plantings date back to 1969 with their first wines being made in 1973. Since then Margaret River has made a name for itself as a well-recognized region in Australia with the wine’s popularity consistently increasing.

Durigutti Compuertas Criolla 2018
This is a deliciously refreshing light red wine made with Criolla grapes. Also known as Pais or Mission grapes. This wine is meant to be drunk fresh and slightly chilled. It is perfect for those warm days, a patio or just something super refreshing and delightful to enjoy when you need those tasty refreshments. Intense red garnet wine. On the nose there is a lot of fruit; cherries, strawberries and raspberries that join the note of fresh thyme. The palate is refreshing, medium structure, very balanced.

Obtained from the pergola-trained vines of Don Carlos de Danielle, which date back to 1943, these vines recover the essence in the wine destined to be enjoyed by the locals of the region. With a focus to conserve the varietal expression and place of origin, these wines have been fermented in concrete eggs with native yeasts. Little less than 3,000 bottles produced.

The Durigutti winery is from 2 brothers, Pablo and Hector Durigutti. They are both winemakers with different styles for making wines but filled with passion and the desire to make great wines that represent Argentina. Together they are a spectacular force and making some amazing wines. The Compuertas line is from the Lujan de Cuyo sub-region in Mendoza which is rich with history and enormously valued. Their passion for wine and love for the land motivates them to protect the traditional culture from being lost. The Western region of Lujan de Cuyo offers the coolest climate, an important diversity of soils and traditional viticultural methods that have continued to be used over the century.

In 2007 the brothers purchased their first 5 hectares of old vine Malbec vineyards. The original vineyard dates back to 1914. Over time they have built up to 25 hectares in total. With this dedication, they aspire to develop, along with other local producers who maintain their vineyards with pride, the stewardship to offset the encroaching urbanization.

Vajra Clare JC Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
One of the best-kept secrets out of Piedmont is the winery G.D. Vajra. Located at 1300ft in elevation and being the highest winery in Barolo they are fortunate enough to have some of the latest ripening grapes in Barolo and also providing smaller berries with thicker skins. A lot of the vineyards were planted in 1947, but the winery itself was not started until 1972 and the first vintage was released in 1978.

According to Giuseppe Vajra who is fourth-generation winemaker “Claré J.C. is a Nebbiolo made according to a 1606 note from the House of Savoia jeweller Gian Battista Croce. This wine is a time-capsule into an era when Nebbiolo wines tasted fresher, lifted and slightly crisp. This is a wine for people who are young, brave at heart and curious about Piemonte forgotten past.”

Produced with grapes from younger vines, Claré J.C. is a 100% Nebbiolo vinification. In 2017, approximately 25% of the fruit was vinified the whole cluster.

Light ruby colour, slightly sparkling and very fresh, eye-catching. The nose opens with red fruits, vin-nouveau like aromatics, spices, gentle incense and a touch of very unique Nebbiolo stem. The mouth is vibrant, refreshing and with plenty of energy. This wine is meant to serve slightly chilled during the warmer months (14-16°C) and can pair an amazing array of diverse food, from aperitifs and appetizers to fried delicacies and BBQs.

Xavier Clua Mas D’en Pol Negre 2016
70% Garnatxa Negra, 30% Syrah. Bright cherry – red with slight violet hues. This wine has a very strong bouquet with a slight mineral note. It is very zesty and concentrated to the taste – the fine tannins and balsamic notes complement this wine. Pair with aged cheese, red meat and charcuterie.

The Xavier Clua wine cellar is situated in Vilalba dels Arcs, in the Terra Alta in Catalonia – a dry, sunny area where vine-growing and wine production have been a tradition since medieval times.

For four generations, the name of Clua has been associated with the culture of the vineyards and the production of wine. The latest generation, led by Xavier Clua combines the experience of this viticultural tradition with university training, bringing new perspectives and techniques both to viticulture and winemaking.

Taurino Patriglione 2013
100% Negroamaro that spends 12 months in French Oak. It’s a wine with boldness, yet has a smoothness to it too. Full-bodied, spice, berry, earth. The perfect wine for our Calgarian winters and pairs perfectly with any hear stew, lamb dishes and anything else that is rich and heavy.

Patriglione is the name of the place where are implanted the vineyards planted as trees from which we get the prized IGP Negroamaro Salento Red.
The late harvest, the few grapes left on the vines that are of about 80 years in age, give life to this award-winning wine, the Company Agricola symbol, which represents the history of Negroamaro and Cosimo Taurino.

Born from the insights and passion of Cosimo Taurino, the unforgettable protagonist of Apulian viticulture from the seventies, this wine is the ultimate expression of the great potential of the Negroamaro grape.

The Patriglione is a wine that has had a very important role in the history of viticulture in Southern Italy. In his best years, he proved that even in the South could be obtained red wines that are not only distinguished themselves for power, concentration and “exuberance” taste. The Patriglione all this added complexity, dynamic taste, harmony.

Thank you to all that attended, and thank you again to Crystal of Peasant Cheese for putting together such an amazing spread.

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