While I’ve found a few California producers who create extremely refined Grenache, I’m not a huge fan of the Spanish or South American garnacha. There’s something about the focus on rusticity that usually turns me off — harsh without a purpose, it seems. And yet, when you’re in the mood for some spice in your life, there are a few varietals that immediately come to mind. For me, Garnacha is certainly one of them. So when I found this bottle at a local wine shop for under $20, I figured, why not try something different? So…here’s that story.
If you’re new to Franciacorta, like I was when I received this wine, then you may be interested to know that the name, like Champagne, refers to a region — a region in northern Italy. Like many of Italy’s finest wines, the Franciacorta DOCG is located in a hilly portion of the country — between the southern shore of Lake Iseo and the city of Brscia — with mineral-rich, calcereous gravel and sandy soils and deeper limestone bedrock.
The DOCG spans 5,400 acres which is planted to Chardonnay (85%), Pinot Nero (10%), and Pinot Blanco (5%) — the DOCG’s “permitted” grape varieties.
All Franciacorta is made inthe metodo classico. Nonvintage Franciacorta must be aged for 18 months with yeast contact (as opposed to 15 months for Champagne). Vintage Franciacorta, or Millesimato must have 30 months of yeast contact (comparable to Champagne).
Designations for dosage is the same as Champagne: pas dosé, or dosage zéro; pas opéré: maximum 2 g/l of rs; extra brut: 6 g/l; brut: 15 g/l; extra dry: 12–20 g/l; sec: 17–35 g/l; demi-sec: 33–50 g/l.
Jura is a department of eastern France named after the Jura Mountains, a sub-alpine mountain range at the north of the Western alps, following the France-Switzerland border and separating the Rhine and Rhône basins. Thus, the wine styles of Jura are influenced by both Burgundy and Switzerland. Yet the geological structure of the mountain range consists, which consists of maritime influence from three different eras (the early, middle, and late Jurassic eras), certainly creates unique characteristics in the wines produced.
While the Trousseau grape is native to eastern France, it’s certainly not what the region is known for.
This is my first taste of Kathleen Inman’s wine and I have to say I am absolutely honored that she and her team sent this my way. Because of scheduling issues, I’ve had to turn down at least two invites to meet with the iconic vintner herself, which left me gutted. Well, this little pink surprise perked me right back up to day the least. A solid acidity that provides a hint of effervescence that just fizzes away on the tongue leaving a solid finish — without giving too much away here, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised at how structurally sound this rosé of Pinot Noir was; it’s a rosé varietal that’s proven a bit too fruity and fatty in the past. If you’ve had that experience, cast those aspersions aside. Kathleen knows what she’s doing and, what’s more, it’s a wine that’s important to her, as it has a bit of a personal story behind the name and label…
I was so excited to try this Cabernet Sauvignon from Stony Hill. Even more so than the Chardonnay — but don’t ask me why. I guess there’s some pretense when you see the words “Napa” and “Cabernet” on the bottle. It can turn some people off because it may automatically connote “big, bold, chewy” -type vocabulary. But not so here, and this predominantly has to do with seasoned winemaker’s, Mike Chelini’s, winemaking techniques. According to the winery, Chelini is constantly monitoring the vineyards throughout the season, harvesting by chemical balance rather than by flavor alone. Testing the grapes for the perfect amount of pH versus acidity, means grapes with just enough acid to encourage ageability in the resulting wines. So what Chelini produces are both red and white wines that can age for years to come or be enjoyed straight out of the bottle. And with this Stony Hill Vineyard 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon — you can honestly go either way.