Happy Holidays from Le Du’s and many more!
This year we have a lot to be thankful for at Le Du’s Wines and 2015 will certainly go down as one of ourmost memorable vintages. Le Du’s Wines first opened in September 2005 and though there have been some challenges through the years, like a great vine we overcame them! We still can’t believe that 10 years have gone by so fast, and that this will be the last wine club of 2015!
Every year we like to take a step back and look at what we accomplished during the year, and what we could do to make things even better! We’re proud to have the best wine club in NYC, so we look forward to having you on board with us for 2016 as we continue to take you on journeys across the wine world and open your mind to new discoveries. We’re also making some changes in our Saturday wine tastings, as they will be more focused on a specific theme and they will now be from 2 pm to 7 pm. But most importantly, we want to make it known how thankful we are to have your amazing support, because without you, we would not have been able to reach this special milestone of 10 years.
We know that this time of year can be hectic, but we curated a special wine club to help make things easier so you can relax and spend more time with friends and family. Hopefully, each glass of wine that you have from this month’s wine club will transport you to a peaceful dimension.
We generally associate Holiday season with sweet spice; the air is colder, and there is just something about it that just makes you want to eat and drink bolder food and wine. All of this month’s wines have one thing in common: they all have a distinct spice aspect to them, and a certain satisfying richness and complexity. Christmas dinner provides the perfect opportunity to pair delicious food and wine. While your particular menu may vary, there are classic pairings that work well with traditional Christmas meals. This is why we picked wines that have good body but are not overly tannic, and have that perfect finish to go with just about any occasion and dish that you might prepare. We at Le Du’s Wines wish you a happy and safe Holiday season!
Donna Olga “Lady’O” Spumante Brut Rosé NV
In the heartland of Montalcino located in the dramatic hillscapes of Tuscany is located one of the region’s most innovative and exciting producers, Donna Olga. This estate takes its unusual name from its owner, Olga Peluso Centolani, a woman who is deeply passionate about Montalcino and the Sangiovese grape. The estate is a beautiful secret garden that consists of 11 hectares, but only 4 hectares are currently cultivated with perfectly-manicured Sangiovese vines. Olga’s love for the Tuscan countryside and nature with its cycle of seasons, its fruits, its mysteries, brings every year a production of 20,000 bottles of Brunello di Montalcino. The wines all share an extraordinary combination of power and elegance, style and structure, harmony and longevity, every bottle bringing the unforgettable sensorial experience that only the greatest wines can give.
However, because Olga is such a progressive thinker and is always looking for new challenges she decided that she wanted to experiment with a sparkling Sangiovese done in the Traditional Method. Before we tasted Donna Olga Spumante we were all quite skeptical; after all, it’s not very common to see sparkling Sangiovese. However, we were all won over, as the results are simply brilliant. The wine has notes of burnt wood and ripe cherries finishing with a smooth note of coffee and chocolate with a hint of mint.
Bergerie de L’Hortus Classique Blanc Val de Montferrand 2011
A young agronomist studying at the University of Montpellier back in the 70’s discovered an abandoned piece of land nestled between two facing limestone cliffs. The grape vines had grown wild and the huge olive trees were ancient; it was obvious to Jean Orliac that this location had been cultivated in ages past, producing the classic Mediterranean trio – olives, wine and wheat, and that this would be an ideal site to produce a “Grand Vin,” the dream of this passionate man. Starting with 5 hectares and acquiring another 50 soon after, Jean Orliac named his property “l’Hortus”, the Latin translation for “The Garden”, as homage to the land and its tradition. Early on, his grapes were transported to the local cave cooperative for pressing; in 1990 his cellars were built which allowed him to vinify and bottle on his own property.
The Bergerie de l’Hortus range comes in three colors: red, rosé and white. The red grapes grow in land parcels low in the foothills, whilst the whites grow at the bottom of the valley. In both cases the plants are less exposed to the elements than those that grow on the higher slopes. Overall, the grapes mature later than those destined for the Domaine de l’Hortus range. The whites grow in soil consisting of alluvial deposits mixed with hard limestone from the cliff sides and from softer limestone deposited on the slopes as the river carved out its bed. It’s a combination of soil type and climate that results in the grapes ripening very late. But it also results in the wine’s excellent balance between acidity and aromatic complexity.
The Bergerie de L’Hortus Blanc is a blend of 30% Roussanne, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Viognier, 10% Sauvignon Gris, 10% Chardonnay, 5% Petit Manseng, 5% Bourboulenc that is perfectly executed with fresh apple slices, lemon peel and white peach with hints of straw and honeyed toast. With plenty of peach, citrus and toasty flavors on offer in the medium-bodied palate, it has a refreshing acid line and a long, silken-textured finish.
Hager Matthias Riesling “Terrassen” 2014
Weingut Hager Matthias is 5 kilometers north of Langenlois in the Kamptal. Matthias studied at the school of Oenology & Viticulture in Krems, Austria and worked for years at Weingut Franz Hirtzberger (Wachau) and Weingut Ernst Triebaumer (Rust). Matthias began to create his own style of wine at the age of 19. For the last 15 years he has been producing terroir driven Grüner Veltliner and Riesling from the estate selection. They have been Biodynamic certified from Demeter since 2005.
Kamptal gets its name from the river Kamp that flows directly through it, and is also home to Austria’s largest wine-producing town, Langenlois. With a vineyard area of 3,802 hectares, Kamptal is one of the most successful wine regions in Austria, and boasts a high proportion of outstanding, quality wine producers. Culture and tourism also play a significant role and effective from the 2008 vintage, the Kamptal DAC defines wines made from Grüner Veltliner or Riesling in two styles, a classic-styled medium-bodied wine and a rich, opulent dry Reserve style.
The sandstone slopes are so steep that only a thin layer of soil is retained, and exposure to the sun is high. Riesling thrives on these steep slopes; closer to the Danube the valley broadens and more red grapes are grown. Riesling is also called the king of the white wines. It is a very typical grape variety in Kamptal and needs spares and stony soil. Only on this soil it develops its typical character. The harvest is rather little; therefore the quality is especially good.
The Riesling Terrassen 2014 is as corresponding to the vintage a very light and also pretty fruity and minerally wine. The fresh acidity makes it to an ideal companion with fresh fish or sushi.
Ronchi di Cialla Ribolla Nera 2012
This historic Friulian Estate is strictly a family business. While Dina and Paolo Rapuzzi, who founded it in 1970, were attached by wine growing, their children Pierpaolo and Ivan belong to a generation that “grew up with vines”. At that time, the only traces of Schiopettino were in ancient manuscripts and in the memory of the elders. Paolo and Dina Rapuzzi managed to find about 70 surviving vines in the valley and nearby, which enabled them to create a whole new vineyard and resuscitate Schioppettino. The policy of the estate was from the beginning to work only with indigenous varieties, such as Ribolla, Refosco, Schioppettino, Verduzzo and Picolit that in the Cru’ Cialla found the perfect environment. After 40 years Ronchi di Cialla established on the market the reputation to produce some of the finest age-worthy wines of Friuli.
The earliest written mentions of Schioppettino go back to 1282 on manuscripts now kept in the Albana Castle, in the Prepotto province. Historically, this grape has different names in different regions, according to the language of the land: Sclopetin (Friuli), Pocalza (Slovenia) and Ribolla Nera (Italy). Since its origins, Schioppettino has always been grown in a very small area on the southern hills of the Prepotto county. Traditionally, two “cru” stand out for quality: Cialla and Albana.
A delicious effort by this fantastic winery as it reveals an exotic combination of earthiness, juniper berries, herbs and dark jammy fruit with excellent concentration and follow through on the palate.
Viuva Gomes Collares 2006
There’s a region in Portugal, on the coast, northwest of Lisboa, called Collares. It is one of Portugal’s most ancient areas and it is entirely planted on sand. Why is that important? Because when phylloxera destroyed most of Europe’s vines in the 19th century, it didn’t destroy Collares. Because phylloxera doesn’t like sand. Thus, Collares is the only official appellation in Europe with all original vines. Collares is also one of the most endangered wine regions in the world. It has become the go-to vacation spot for affluent Lisboans so the land has become much more valuable as beachfront property than vineyard land. There are only 23 hectares left. To put that in context, Grand Cru Burgundy vineyard Clos Vougeot is over 50 hectares. The production of wines allowed to use the Collares designation is around 4,500 bottles.
This was quite a change from a century ago when there were thousands of hectares of vines and, as one of the only regions left with vineyards, their reputation soared. They were called “The Bordeaux of Portugal” and experienced a brief, yet intense, international flowering of interest but as Europe’s vineyards came back on line and Portugal descended into a nearly eighty years of strife, civil war, and dictatorship, the fortunes of Collares faded.
Viuva Gomes is one of only three remaining independent bottlers left in Collares. Their total production is around 1,000 bottles. The truth is the future does not look bright for Collares. There aren’t any new plantings. Most of the old timers are gone and their kids are more interested in taking the money and running rather than spending their lives digging in the sand.
Very light red, with muted baked cherries, kale, cinnamon, black pepper, sea salt, lavender, and thyme on the nose followed by tart strawberry crème on the initial palate entry with a zesty blast of kitchen spices (oregano, bay leaves, cilantro) on the mid-palate. The acidity is sublime, with a finish of very tart cranberry and a hearty, pleasing grape tannic grip. The alcohol is low, the flavors unexpected, and the overall experience delectable.
J.L. Chave Cotes-du-Rhone “Mon Couer” 2013
Jean-Louis Chave is the embodiment of tradition. Arguably one of France’s finest estates, this family-owned producer of red and white Hermitage hangs its hat on the continuity and beliefs of successive generations – in an open-minded, pragmatic way. It only takes a look at the neck-label on bottles of Chave Hermitage to understand the conduit and philosophy of the domaine. ‘Vignerons de Père en Fils depuis 1481’ (vine growers from father to son since 1481) is clearly inscribed for all to see.”
Jean-Louis Chave makes these négociant wines to showcase what he believes to be the potential of the appellations with which he works. The Côtes du Rhône ‘Mon Coeur’ is always a blend of Syrah and Grenache, the percentages of each vary according to the vintages, and is sourced from the crus of Vinsobres, Visan, Buisson, and Estargues. Each lot for Mon Coeur is vinified separately, and proves to be a delightful blend of Syrah and Grenache; the former adding pure cool fruit notes and granitic self-belief, the latter warmth and a gentle invitation to mid-week indulgence.
Youthful purple color. Ripe dark berry and cherry-cola scents are enlivened by a peppery quality and a hint of violet. Round and fleshy on the palate, offering gently sweet blackberry and cassis flavors and a zesty spine of acidity. Finishes long and spicy, with building sweetness, soft tannins and a hint of smokiness.