Farmstead Classic Club – April Allocations

domaine nathalie et gilles fevre logo


domaine nathalie et gilles fevre logo

One of Chablis’ most recognizable names, branches of Fèvre family have been producing wine in the region since the early 1800s.  Nathalie and Gilles Fèvre base themselves in the village of Fontenay-Pres-Chablis, where they operate a Domaine that is impressively large by Chablis standards with over 100 acres under vine in total including a large proportion of classified holdings (Grand Cru Les Preuses, 1er Cru Fourchaume, and 1er Cru Mont de Milieu).

It is worth noting that their basic “AC Chablis” holdings are unusually strategic, as most of their acreage sits on the Côte de Fontenay just northeast of the region’s coveted Grand Cru slopes. Nathalie and Gilles are putting the final touches on a new winery that you must see to believe – An impeccably efficient gravity flow setup cut into the side of their main vineyard site in Fontenay. If this is the future of Chablis then the future looks delicious. Gilles’ Grandfather and father both held the position of President at the leading cooperative La Chablisienne, and Nathalie was the head winemaker at La Chablisienne for 12 years (until recently all of their harvest was delivered to La Chablisienne).

The AC bottling is 100% Chardonnay, farmed on Jurassic soils (mostly Kimmeridgian limestone), vinified and aged in stainless steel.   This is a bracingly crisp Chablis and will complement many lighter foods, cheese and charcuterie plates, and is a perfect aperitif wine (or as we say in the trade, a porch pounder).



La Fouquette Côtes de Provence Rosé  (Organic)

No longer inspired in their former vocations, Isabelle and Jean-Pierre Daziano decided to follow their shared passion and agreed to take over the 35-acre vineyard and farm of Isabelle’s family.  Nestled into a forested plane amid the Massif des Maures mountains, Domaine de la Fouquette sits in the heart of the Côtes de Provence appellation.  With the skillful guidance of consulting oenologist Bruno Tringali, Jean-Pierre has established an environmentally friendly, but labor intensive regimen in the vineyard that includes green harvesting in early summer to limit yields, working the soil without the use of chemicals, and harvesting by hand. In the cellar, the philosophy is minimal intervention. The results have been impressive.

This cuvée is special for the American market, with fruit coming from a neighboring farm,  all farmed organically.

This wine is comprised of the classic cépages Grenache and Cinsault, and accented with the white variety, Rolle (aka Vermentino).  This crisp, dry rose is the quintessential Provencal style offers lovely citrus and strawberry aromas and flavors, with punchy watermelon notes on the palate accented by currant and garrigue spice on the finish.

It is fruity yet delicate, perfect to enjoy with classic Provencal dishes like bouillabaisse, avocado and lobster salad, or crusty bread with a traditional Provençal tapenade.  All fruit is destemmed. The rosé is made entirely from direct pneumatic press juice. Fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. No malolactic. Aged five months in temp-controlled inox tanks before filtration and early bottling (February) to capture and preserve freshness.

1 durin rossesse1 web

Riviera Ligure di Ponente Rossese

Four generations of the Basso family have lived and worked in the mountains above the Mediterranean sea—less than three miles away as the crow flies—struggling with the elements to care for older vines grown in garden-sized plots more suitable for gnomes.  Liguria’s vibrant patchwork of vines, fruit trees, and wild scrub has one particular star: Pigato.  This family estate is unquestionably a pioneer in exploring the seemingly infinite potential of Pigato on these rocky slopes, not only through their selection of single-vineyard bottlings but also through sparkling wines, stored for years in the Grotto di Toirano, an ancient cave with near-perfect humidity and temperature for extended wine aging.

The Basso family over generations has expanded their small holdings—literally some 259 separate vineyards, most just a handful of vine rows—in the plains around the village of Ortovero and coiled around the region’s terraced and steep hillsides, cut over the ages by the Centa and Arroscia rivers.  Vineyard altitude ranges from as low as 150 feet to as high as 1,400 feet; soils are equally varied, from dark, fertile patches to ruddy, iron-rich soils, to the “terra bianca” mix of white clay and sand.  The valley channels the cooler winds that sweep south from Piedmont, moderating the summer’s warmer temperatures; a boon for the cultivation of balanced white grape varieties. The family’s ‘Taverna’ vineyard, planted in the village of Onzo and exclusively to the Pigato grape, is a 17-acre plot and as such, is the largest in the region. Many of the estate’s Pigato vines were planted by Antonio Basso’s grandfather, and are now 70 to 80 years old.

Harvest is as a rule by hand, and grapes are cared for as naturally as possible. In general, white grapes are macerated in tank for one day then pressed; juice is fermented on indigenous yeasts at low temperatures. Reds are fermented and aged in tank.

The rare Rossese grape (known as Tibouren in nearby Provence) is much beloved and greatly respected by the tiny number of producers who work with it and understand it. The labor of love required to farm Basso’s vineyard sites results in one of the world’s most charming, saline, sea-kissed, transparent red wines.

Durin’s  Rossese is limpidly garnet in color followed by an exotic, orchard-fruit nose of wild cherries, apricots, persimmons, lilac, and pink peppercorns. Juicy and bursting with tart cherry, fig, and strawberry fruit, the wine adds notes of rhubarb, lavender, sandalwood, and cinnamon-scented potpourri. Lingering impressions of sweet cherries come to the fore on the wine’s brilliant red-fruited finish. Joyful, distinctive, and a wonderful choice for a late summer or early autumn red, enjoy Durin’s Rossese now and over the coming two years with grilled anchovies, fritto misto, pizza, dry-rubbed baby back ribs, and sautéed squashes.


desire winds of change

Desire Lines Winds of Change Red Blend

Desire Lines is the project of Cody and Emily Rasmussen, who made California their home in 2011, three months after graduating college and two months after getting married. They made the first wine of our very own in 2014, and so began Desire Lines Wine Co.  Cody started working for Morgan Twain Peterson’s Bedrock Winery with zero wine experience; he’s now their Assistant Winemaker.  The wines are all made at Bedrock.

The wine is the Rasmussen’s ode to California’s cool and windy places, where Syrah becomes lithe and perfumed, Carignan becomes vibrant and rich, and Mourvèdre smells like a strawberry pie cooling on the windowsill on a sultry summer night.

The 2019 is a delightfully approachable blend built around Syrah (73%), with the addition of Mourvèdre (10%), Carignan (8%), Grenache (6%), and Petite Sirah (3%),  Strawberry and red cherry fruit compote on the nose complemented by savory notes and a subtle spice, with fine-grained tannins on the palate and a terrific juiciness and succulence.

The blend is pulled from barrels that show a little softer and less tense than those selected for the vineyard designates, rendering a wine that is both fresh and rich, textured and round.



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