Le Paradou Grenache Vin de France 2016

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]

100% Grenache
Vin de France
France
Bottled by Famille Chaudiere
14% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy now

Rated 90 points by Wine Advocate

 

Carlos Serres Blanco Rioja 2016

Estate: A pioneer in Rioja, Carlos [Charles] Serres left Bordeaux and founded one of the first wineries in the Haro area of Rioja in 1896. Fleeing phylloxera, Serres, an already famous French wine consultant, “found in Haro the perfect terroir to make Bordeaux style wines, with a climate and terrain which reminded him of the best terroirs in Bordeaux”. Merging French winemaking techniques with the Rioja terroir, Serres’ visionary approach focused on international export and was a phenomenal success. Forever changing the way wine was understood in the area, he remains “one of the key personalities in Rioja’s winemaking history”. Family owned and operated, with 150 acres of vineyards with an average vine age of over 30 years, it stands out as one of the few estates in the Rioja region that has been producing wine for over 100 years.

Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes are from a select group of growers around Haro who have long-term, exclusive contracts with the estate. The vines average 10-20 years in age. The winery jointly manages the viticulture in these vineyards throughout the year to ensure maximum quality of fruit for these wines.

Tasting Notes: Light gold in colour with aromas of apple, lemon and traces of white blossoms. Crisp and airy with light flavours of apple and lemon complimented by fresh acidity. The dry, mineral driven finish adds to the overall sunny, breezy character.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Fish, shellfish, smoked meats and many types of fresh and lightly aged cheeses.

85% Viura and 15% Tempranillo Blanco
Rioja
Spain
Bottled at the Property by Carlos Serres S.L.
12.5% Alcohol
$10 [average price]
Enjoy now

 

Sample submitted for editorial consideration.

 

Filón Garnacha Calatayud 2015

Winery: The Filón winery is in Villarroya de la Sierra, one of the highest areas of the Calatayud DO, in Aragón, northeastern Spain. Filón is one of the family wineries in the Avivo Vino portfolio. Aviva Vino is a “passionate and dynamic marketing, sales and distribution organization”. Their portfolio of wines features family owned Spanish wineries, with a focus on “typicity, terroir and character”.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from old vine vineyards, 30-40 years in age. The vines are on steep hillsides [3,000 ft above sea level]. The soil is predominately quartzite and slate. Fermented in stainless steel, aged 3 months in used French oak barriques.

Tasting Notes: Red violet in colour with aromas of mixed berry jam, spice and a trace of slate minerality. Blackberry, black cherry and a hint of black currant frame a core of earth and spice. A bit of bitter chocolate and vanilla highlight the dry, spiced finish. Straightforward and a versatile companion at the table, this is a great value.

100% Garnacha
Calatayud
Spain
Bottled for Aviva Vino by R.E. 50/40864
14.5% Alcohol
$8
Enjoy now

Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva DOC 2013

Estate: Giovanni Batista Cantele founded the Cantele winery in 1979 along with his sons Augusto and Domenico. Prior to that, Giovanni was a successful wine broker, purchasing Puglian wines and selling them in northern Italy. Today under the direction of his grandson Gianni Cantele [Augosto’s son], the family estate consists of 50 hectares of vines and an additional 150 hectares owned by other growers that the family manages. The family grows many indigenous grapes such as Primitivo and Negroamaro, along with international varieties like Merlot and Syrah.

Philosophy: “We have always thought of our wines as food” in that they “offer drinkability and balanced aromas and flavors when paired with dishes at the dinner table”.

Winemaking: Herbicides and pesticides are kept to a minimum, [if they are even used at all]. After being destemmed and crushed, the must macerates with skin contact for approximately 10 days. Aged in 1-2 year old barriques for approximately 6 months.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of wild berries, herbs and earth. Layers of dark fruit [think plum, blackberry and black cherry] over black pepper and a wisp of smoky earth. Silky tannins and good acidity fuse into more fruit and spice on the lengthy finish. Well balanced, easy drinking and easy to pair, a fantastic value.

Enjoy at 18° C [64° F].

100% Negroamaro
Salice Salentino DOC
Italy
Bottled by Cantele Azienda Vinicola
13% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy

Rated 90 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Cantina di Casteggio Barbera Oltrepo’ Pavese DOC 2015

Winery: Located in Lombardy, northern Italy, Cantina di Casteggio is a cooperative that was established in 1907 by a 100 grape-growers. Their goal was to create a consolidated winemaking center that could represent the entire group of growers. In 2008, they merged with another cooperative, Cantina di Broni, which added 85 more growers and 25 additional acres of vines, therefore increasing production capabilities.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from 15+ year old vines growing in calcareous and clay soils. Aged in stainless steel tanks.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of stewed fruit and a trace of funk. Super fruity with concentrated red cherry, raspberry, red currant, plum and blackberry framed by food friendly acidity and silky tannins. Black cherry lingers between each sip. Friendly and versatile at the table.

100% Barbera
Oltrepo’ Pavese DOC
Italy
Bottled by Cantina di Casteggio
13% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy now thru 2018