Chateau Maris ‘Le Carignan de Maris’ 2015

Estate: Named the “The Biodynamic Apostles of the Languedoc” by Wine Spectator, Chateau Maris is located at the eastern edge of the village of La Livinière at the foot of the Montagne Noire Mountains, in the Languedoc region of southern France. With a goal of “creating “grand cru-level” wines from La Livinière in the Minervois appellation, winemaker Robert Eden took over the estate in 1996. Eden converted the entire estate to biodynamic farming after trying different methods to revitalized the soils that had been rendered unusable due to the previous owner’s overuse of chemicals. Over the years his green approach and biodynamic processes have gained much recognition. He has built “the world’s first hemp cellar” that functions carbon neutrally. The hemp bricks not only capture carbon dioxide, but also maintain temperature and humidity so that heating or cooling is not needed.

Winemaking: Hand harvested from vines with a mixed soil of sandstone and clay, fermented for 1 month with natural yeasts in large concrete tanks.

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, raspberry, brambly vegetation, peppery spice and a shake of funk. Ripe, juicy fruit [blackberry cherry cranberry] is accented by a savoury streak, fresh acidity and good tannins. Crushed rock minerality, black pepper and a trace of licorice comprise the lengthy finish. Easy drinking on its own or with a wide variety of dishes, a phenomenal value. [It was fantastic with soy chorizo, roasted pepper, mushroom, ricotta, mozzarella  and cotija pizza.]

100% Carignan
IGP Coteaux des Peyriac
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2019

Xavier Benier ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Vin de France 2016

Estate: Xavier Bénier is part of the young, pioneering group of winemakers in Beaujolais that are responsible for the return of vintage specific wine from village and cru Beaujolais. A proponent of natural winemaking, he farms organically and without any chemicals, likewise for the cellar. Currently he has 6.5 hectares of vineyards in the south of Beaujolais, just above Saint-Julien.

Winemaking: Grapes are from a 1.7 hectare vineyard with schist soil, with vines over 100 years in age. Fermented with natural yeasts in neutral oak with 25 days maceration. Aged in foudre [large wood casks] for 8 months. Unfiltered.

Tasting Notes: Transparent garnet in colour, with aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, bramble, flinty minerals and a drop of fruit liqueur. Raspberry, black currant, red currant and blackberry envelop a spicy, herbaceous core. Finishing dry and fruity, keeping you reaching for more and more.

100% Gamay
Vin de France
12.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2020

Santa Julia ‘Organica’ Chardonnay Mendoza 2017

Estate: The Zuccardi family has been making wine in Mendoza since 1963, when Alberto Zuccardi planted his first vines. Now in his 90’s, Alberto is known as a pioneering force in both Mendoza and the Uco Valley. Today, the multiple estate vineyards and winery are headed by Alberto’s son, José, along with José’s eldest son, Sebastián, and daughter, Julia [the 3rd generation].

The Santa Julia Winery was established in the 1990’s in honor of Julia. José’s only daughter, she is now the director of the Familia Zuccardi winery. The family is committed to achieving the highest quality wines through sustainable practices, working to protect the environment, wildlife preservation and developing the community. Expanding to the Uco Valley, the family opened Valle de Uco Winery last year, where winemakers focus on research and development, while studying the variables that influence wines throughout the Uco Valley.

Philosophy: “To be natural, environmentally friendly and grow in harmony with the community of which we are part.”

Winemaking: Grapes are from Santa Rosa Vineyards in Mendoza. Vinified in stainless steel tanks.

Tasting Notes: Light gold in colour with aromas of apple, lemon, ginger, white flowers and a trace of brioche. Apple, melon, lemon custard and grapefruit are accented by a streak of clean minerality and fresh acidity. Pineapple and citrus zest shine on the dry, crisp finish. Refreshing, easy drinking and easy to pair, a wonderful value!

100% Chardonnay
Produced & Bottled by Bodega Santa Julia
13.5% Alcohol
$11 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2019

An excellent pairing with mushroom risotto with plant based faux beef, spinach and gravy.

Sample submitted for editorial consideration.

Egger-Ramer Schiava Gentile Alto Adige DOC 2016


Estate: Peter Egger-Rammer is a 4th generation winemaker, cultivating the land his family has tended to since 1880. The few hectares of vineyards are located in the valley of the town of Bolzano in the San Paolo Appiano district of northern Italy.

Tasting Notes: Red violet in colour, very aromatic with fresh strawberry, raspberry, dusty earth white pepper and floral aromas. Clean fruit flavours of cherry, strawberry, raspberry and red currant are given a shake of white pepper. Refreshing acidity and light tannins fuse into the dry, fruity finish. Simple and pure, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes. [It was excellent with porcini and local mushrooms, béchamel and parmigiano reggiano lasagna.]

Serve slightly chilled.

100% Schiava Gentile
Alto Adige DOC
Bottled by Estate A. Egger-Ramer
12.5% Alcohol
$17 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2019

Gérard Bertrand ‘Cote des Roses’ Rosé Languedoc 2017

Estate: Gérard Bertrand grew up assisting his father on the family’s estate in the sub-appellation of Corbiѐres in the Languedoc Roussillon. He took over the domaine upon his father’s death in 1987, and today presides over nearly 1000 acres of vineyards across the varying Languedoc Roussillon terroirs. He also heads a négociant business that partners with local growers and co-ops. A well-known proponent of sustainable farming, he is one of the largest producers of organic wine in Southern France. His flagship estate Château l’Hospitalet is carbon neutral, and many of his vineyards follow biodynamic practices and are certified by DEMETER. In addition to being recognized for his fantastic wines at excellent prices, Wine Enthusiast bestowed him with the European Winery of the Year award in 2011, stating “He fully understands the movement toward expressive, well-balanced and elegant wines that remain accessible and affordable.” Cote des Roses is the name of the coastal area near the village of Gruissan.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from varied soils, but predominately hard limestone and schist, “but also gravel transported by the rivers of the Languedoc region”. {The bottle is an original design created by a young designer from the Ecole Boulle.]

Tasting Notes: Light coral pink in colour, highly aromatic with summery, ripe strawberry, raspberry, pink grapefruit, white flowers, candied rose petal and dash of white pepper. The flavours follow the aromas; delicate strawberry, raspberry and pink grapefruit accented by citrus acidity, finishing dry and fruity with a streak of chalky minerality and a zippy kick of citrus zest. Fantastically refreshing on its own or with snacks and light dishes.

Enjoy at 50°F [10°C]

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Ideal as an aperitif or with subtly spiced dishes and shellfish.

Blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah
Shipped and Bottled by Gérard Bertrand
13% Alcohol
Enjoy now