Brand: Le Paradou is a project created in 2005 by winemaking brothers Alexandre and Frédéric Chaudière. The Chaudière family has been making wine in the Southern Rhône AOC of Côtes du Ventoux for many generations at Château Pesquié. The word ‘Paradou’ refers to the ancient windmills that once dotted the landscape of the Languedoc.
Philosophy: One of the goals the brothers have with the Le Paradou range is to infuse the wines with the values of living in the south of France; “These pleasures are pure and simple, they are those of sharing and of enjoying the small pleasures in life”.
Winemaking: The Chaudières practice sustainable, integrated farming methods with an emphasis on respect for the environment, and they do not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Grapes were sourced from two of the family’s vineyards on slopes [200/250 meters (650 to 800 ft)] in altitude with clay and limestone soils, with an average vine age of 60 years. Aged for 7 months in concrete tanks to preserve the “naked expression” of the grape.
Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with cheerful aromas of cherry, black cherry, white pepper and a shake of cinnamon. Silky cherry, pomegranate and red currant frame a spicy core, baking spices linger between each silky sip. Easy drinking, a fantastic companion with a wide variety of dishes and an excellent value.
Pairing Suggestions from the Winemaker: Easy to pair with many simple dishes: charcuterie, red snapper with Serrano ham, grilled white or red meats, pizzas… It can also be paired with more structured dishes (daube d’Avignon, venison). Serve at around 17°C [62°F]
Vin de France
Bottled by Famille Chaudiere
Rated 90 points by Wine Advocate
Winery: Brother and sister Andrea and Francesca Sperone are the 4th generation of the winemaking Sperone family. With 75 acres of vineyards in Piedmont, the family has a built a reputation for crafting “affordable premium wines”. The Franco Serra brand is intended to provide “provides everyone with the opportunity to drink thoughtfully crafted, distinctive wines from Italy’s most renowned region”.
Winemaking: Vineyards are certified sustainable. Grapes are hand harvested, followed by 10 days of maceration and two weeks of fermentation in stainless steel at 75°F. Aged for 3 months in the bottle before release.
Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry and a hint of floral. Cherry, black pepper and anise are framed by bright acidity and smooth, soft tannins. Cherry and spice return on the dry finish. Straightforward, a lovely glugable sip with pizza and pastas. [It was fantastic with potato, smoked scamorza, brie and rosemary pizza.]
Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Pairs well with hearty Italian fare and spicy dishes.
Barbera d’Asti DOCG
Bottled by TE.NE. S.P.A.
Estate: Domaine Dupeuble is in the southern part of the Beaujolais region of eastern France. The estate has been making wine nearly continuously since 1512, and throughout that lengthy history, the name has only changed three times. The most recent name change was in 1919 when estate heiress Anna Asmaquer married Jules Dupeuble. Today their grandson Damien, along with his wife, brothers and their children, run the estate. Over the years, the family has incrementally been able to increase their property holdings, currently the estate consists of 100 hectares, 40% of which are vineyards. Their wines are renowned for their combination of high quality and reasonable price.
Winemaking: The family are committed to lutte raisonnée cultivation methods and therefore do not use any chemicals or synthetic products in the vineyards or during production. Grapes are harvested by hand and vinified without the use of sulphur, “wines are not chaptalized, filtered, or degassed and only natural yeasts are used for the fermentation”. Grapes for the Beaujolais Nouveau were sourced from vines 50-100 years old in a mixture of granite, clay and limestone soil. Fermented naturally (carbonic maceration) and aged in stainless steel, bottled unfiltered.
Tasting Notes: Transparent red violet in colour with aromas of black cherry, blueberry and a hint of violet. Fresh cherry, blueberry and raspberry are framed by bright acidity. A trace of forest floor and an overall elegant softness add to the delightful, lovely character. Finishing dry and fruity. Lovely on its own, easy to pair with a wide variety of dishes.
Mis en Bouteille à la Propriété [Estate Bottled]
Estate: Pioneering winemaker and “rising star” of Abuzzo, Francesco Cirelli farms 22 hectares of certified organic land in the sandy hills of Colline Teramane near the village of Atri, 8kms from the Adriatic Sea. In addition to the vines, the estate includes olive trees, fig trees, garlic, spelt, wheat, barley, figs and geese, all farmed using organic, sustainable and biodynamic methods.
An innovator amongst clay amphora ageing, Cirelli designed his own amphora and had them custom built in Tuscany. The amphora “have special stainless steel seals on the top of them that assist in preventing oxidation and allow his wines to remain fresh and vibrant” yet still able to benefit from the neutral vinification clay amphora are renowned for.
Philosophy: “Producing artisan wines reflecting the terroir and the emotions of the artisan.”
Winemaking: Indigenous yeast fermentation of hand-harvested grapes. No fining, filtering or added sulphites. Vegan friendly.
Tasting Notes: Deep gold in colour with aromas of lemon, chalk minerals and a trace of nuts. Lemon, pear, apple, honey and warm summer earth are framed by bright acidity and a nutty finish. Soft, round and smooth, your glass will empty rather swiftly.
Estate Bottled by Francesco Cirelli az. Agri.
Estate: Dating back to 1697 [and consistently been producing wine since then], Feudo di Santa Tresa is headed by Stefano Girelli. Located in Vittoria, southern Sicily the estate consists of about 50 hectares of vineyards. Promoting an organic, sustainable ecosystem, the estate focuses their “attention on nature, in order to emphasize its qualities, rather than exploiting or modifying it”. They are committed “to championing local indigenous grape varieties”. In addition, they have recently introduced a local Sicilian bee species to the estate, which will aid in natural pollination. All the packaging is recycled and free of chemicals, right down to the vegetable based ink on the recycled label. For more on their sustainable and organic initiatives, click here.
Philosophy: To “work in harmony with nature to make expressive, organic wines full of Sicilian character and soul”.
Winemaking: The estate takes a holistic approach to every aspect of winemaking. Certified organic, the family grown grapes are cultivated using sustainable, time honoured methods such as cover crops and natural herbicides.
Tasting Notes: Bright transparent ruby in colour, with aromas of raspberry and strawberry. A fruity explosion of strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate and cranberry is framed by bright acidity. White pepper and earth accent the dry, fruity finish.
Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Grilled or barbequed poultry and tomato-based pasta dishes.
Frappato [I was unable to confirm varietal percentage.]
Terre Siciliane IGP
Bottled by C.F.M. e C. S.P.a. on behalf of Santa Tresa