Selections for January 2017

New Year, New Experiences!

2014 DAMA de TORO MALVASIA – Toro, Spain

In the spirit of newness of year and refreshment of outlook, let’s bring you something you’ve probably never had.  Indeed, YOURS TRULY had never had a white wine from Toro, Spain until this was shown to us in early December.

Toro is an hour-and-a-half’s drive northwest from Madrid.  Tourists don’t often frequent the place, meaning YOU should.  Redolent of Castilian Spain’s quintessential rugged spirit, rich with Reconquista history, scenically-arresting . . . Toro is a great stop for one or two nights on your personal Spanish road trip.  This is red wine country, with the starring grape being Tempranillo.  Toro’s own interpretation ofSpain’s “noble” red grape is a powerful message of dark and alcoholic impact:  “Strong like bull.” 

. . . So it’s wonderfully ironic to see a fragrant and delicate alternative from here!  Give this un0aked white a good chilling and place it next to a salad or white fish dish (bacalhao from neighboring Portugal would be a great choice, too).  Sniff it to discover floral and citrus qualities and an undercurrent of fresh cream.  Sip it to feel a silky, broad texture accompanied by peach blossoms and ultra-ripe apricots. 

Wines such as this develop and fail quickly, so get to this bottle sooner than later.  Six months ago you’d have found more “perkiness” in the nose and flavors of Dama de Toro, but I’m liking the “Phase II” qualities happening now, represented by the vague sense of resin. 

Happy New Year and here’s to things we’ve never seen or tasted before!            

Living on the edge

2012 JOSEPH FAIVELEY – Macon-Villages, Burgundy, France

This wine club submission somewhat follows the idea of the other January wine with its “Phase II” development.  You would normally see something like this as a 2014 – maybe even 2015 – on our shelves. 

– But bringing you only the newest and freshest whites omits your exposure to what happens with the application of a little time.  Certainly, not all the whites we show you can develop white Burgundy is often up to the task.  This Faiveley certainly is.  Like the Malvasia described above, this is not a bottle to sit on.  “Phase III” would be regrettable, so savor this right away!

Here is 100% Chardonnay from Burgundy, France’s southernmost white wine region, the Macon.  Within Macon you can obtain “Macon-Villages” such as this and buy up for Saint-Veran and Pouilly-Fuisse, the really good stuff.  Limestone with varying amounts of clay is the prevailing soil type, accounting for the distinctive flavors and textures of the local wines.  Sunshine also has a role:  As Burgundy’s warmest place Macon confers more richness of fruit to its product. 

If you’d tried this 2012 two years ago, apples and citrus would have been in control of the perfume and flavor.  With the passage of time though, a deeper lemon custard and mysterious smokiness has taken over.  The palate feel remains fresh with mineral nerve, so you’re getting this wonderfully complex dance of intrigue and zing in your mouth.  . . . And so the call goes out for Camembert, or some related soft and funkily-flavored cheese, warmed to room temperature.