Wines of the Wild Wild North

Hey hey! Long time no see. Sorry about the hiatus–I had headed up to Vermont for a week or so, and was mostly collecting cuddles from cats and other fuzzy creatures.

But! Fortunately for us all, there is also wine in Vermont. Here’s a few of them!

Old vine Cinsault varietal from France. Lovely stuff, lush, with notes of cherries and strawberries.
A straightforward French chardonnay. Not exceptionally clean as some I’ve had–and a surprising amount of butteriness, given the origin.
If anyone asks, the Star Wars paper towels are definitely more effective.

This one was cool–the folks and I were at dinner with some old family friends, and they, being extremely experienced wine drinkers (and generous besides) brought out a bottle of this! As you can see, it’s definitely been sitting for a bit, and it was seriously delicious. The age had really given this Cahors (southwest France, known well for its malbecs (which I’m fairly sure this was?)) a nuance and depth to it that was really just incomparable. I didn’t take notes, unforunately, since I was several glasses of the previous few in, but nevertheless–just a joy to drink.

The wine selection at a local grocery store. Surprisingly thorough, though not much broke $20. Huzzah for affordability!
Little bit different of a setting for my bottle/glass pics.

This last one is very cool. We had headed over to the old friend’s house early in the afternoon to begin food prep, and I had a bit of time to kill. They live just outside of Shelburne, Vermont, and Shelburne has (as I discovered) an exceptionally lovely wine shop called Village Wine and Coffee. Always a good combo.

I was lucky enough to make it while the owner, Kevin, was there, and we had a wonderful discussion about the industry, and the differences between NY and VT, and some of the wines he’s had in. This was one–full disclosure, Kevin gave it me because he specifically wanted me to try it! It’s a white blend, grenache blanc (60%) and roussane (40%), from a small AOC in the Rhône valley called Costières de Nîmes. While originally these wines had characteristics more akin to Languedocs (it used to be a part of that very region!), these have embraced the characteristics of the Rhône valley.

These wines are produced by a NYC/French-based winemaker and importer, Michele D’Aprix. They most certainly reflect her self-stated passion for both the wines outside of the norms of Bordeaux, and for making wine that reflects the care and effort put into it.

What I also particularly like is the writing on the back of the label, which I’ll quote a small bit here:

Caz translates to ‘crazy in a good way’, a sentiment I have come to embrace as I branch out from Bordeaux to bring wines from new terroirs …. It totally complimented [sic] the food and good, honest farmers grew the grapes. Maz Caz is fermented in steel and left unoaked. The grapes hail from the tippy-toes of the southwestern Rhône Valley where the attitude and exposistion are truly Mediterranean …. it’s the moment you taste it: with great friends, alongside great food, with no clock ticking. This project seeks to deliver the simple wine: fresh, young, uncorrupted and pure.

Lovely imagery. Hard to say I disagree, and I’m all for informative back labels. Some pertinent info:

Full name: Pentimento Wine, Maz Caz Blanc, Costières de Nîmes, 2016.
Grape(s): Grenache blanc (60%), roussane (40%).
ABV: 12.5%
Price (to the nearest $5): $10.

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Tasting Notes

Nose
– Clean, mineral. Tart yellow fruit. Some apples?

Approach
– Subtle, though I feel as if the tartness is becoming slightly more pronounced.

Mid-palette
– Smooth, with the notes of the roussane becoming more pronounced. Very even.

Finish
– Clean. Dry, but not bone-dry. Good acid.

Thoughts?
– It’s a steal at $10. Costières is a cool region. Great description on the back of the bottle–and cred for actually crediting the artist.

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All in all, a really lovely trip. Both for wine, but also, y’know, to see all the lovely people in Vermont. I will forever love that state.

Pictures of me and cuddly things past the fold.

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My parents’ cat, Zoë. Completely ridiculous creature, totally shameless and terribly soft.
Out of their three (three!) barn cats, this one loved being on shoulders. I love cats on shoulders.
The border collie, Duchess. Incredibly mellow for a Collie. Here seen trying to convince me to give her a slice of the roast.

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That’s all, folks. Good to be back.