Bargain Club – October Allocations

grand caillou

Le Grand Caillou Sauvignon Blanc – Conventional
Bernier Chardonnay – Sustainable
Pasaeli Seahorse Rosé – organic practices
Joseph Cattin Pinot Noir – Sustainable, Organic practices, vegan
El Vivero Garnacha – Organic and natural
Pallières Côtes du Rhône- sustainable

grand caillou

Patient cottat Sauvignon Blanc le Grand Caillou – Conventional

French Sauvignon Blanc has been having its moment for about a decade now, fueled mostly by the meteoric rise in popularity of Sancerre, from France’s Loire Valley.  Patient Cottat makes a great Sancerre, and this wine is crafted to be similar in profile to a Sancerre but from grapes grown outside the AOC.  Le Grand Caillou is textbook Loire SB:  soft, subtle mineral notes are wrapped in aromatics of melon and agrumes.  Clean bright, and refreshing, this is a perfect SB – tropical fruits, citrus, and spice, with vibrant, mouth-watering acidity and minerality.   Plays well with fish, ersters, pork, chicken, or goat’s milk cheese.

Situated in the small village of Verdigny in the Sancerre region, the Fournier family has been making wine for many generations. The estate has grown from 13 acres in 1950 to almost 75 acres today, divided over the appellations of Menetou-Salon, Pouilly-Fumé, and Sancerre.

The story of Patient Cottat goes back generations of winemakers in the Loire Valley. It all began in 1950 with Paul Fournier in the renowned winegrowing village of Verdigny. Since 2015, the Villebois family has continued to enhance and perpetuate the efforts of Patient Cottat’s original owners, following sustainable practices and continuously working to ensure the winery is as successful as possible as they move forward into the future.

Patient Cottat was a famous “Master Goldsmith” in mid-19th century France. Born in Paris, he loved the Berry region of the central Loire Valley. His legacy is perpetuated through the Grand Caillou and Anciennes Vignes ranges of selected traditional Loire wines.


bernier chard

Bernier Chardonnay – Sustainable

We’ve been carrying Bernier Chardonnay since we opened the shops in 2002.  It offers great value, is varietally correct and could pass for an entry level White Burgundy at a fraction of the cost.   

Of all the wines produced in France’s vast Loire Valley, Chardonnay is probably the least celebrated. Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Muscadet, Cabernet Franc, and even Malbec and Pinot Noir have justifiably deserved reputations there. But Chardonnay? It’s a minor player at best.

And yet, this is an oversight. There is more-than-decent Loire Valley Chardonnay to be found and enjoyed. In the far eastern end of the Loire, the variety figures in the relatively obscure but often delicious wines from the small Cheverny appellation, where it is blended with Sauvignon Blanc to produce crisp and elegant wines.

A hundred miles or so to the west, on the other side of the Loire not far from the Atlantic Ocean, Chardonnay is grown and bottled on its own in the Muscadet region. One producer doing this successfully is Couillaud Brothers, as this 2018 Domaine de Bernier Chardonnay amply demonstrates.

In 1978, just after purchasing Château de la Ragotière, the Couillaud brothers also purchased an estate on a beautiful hillside in the Loire Valley with a schist terroir. Part of the plot still needed to be planted, and Bernard Couillaud was curious about which varietals would do well in this area, where the two dominant varietals were Melon de Bourgogne and La Folle Blanche. After some research, the Chardonnay grape piqued his interest due to its unexplored potential in a maritime region. He launched the project and immediately set out for Chablis to research and learn more about Chardonnay. Planting started in the spring of 1987 and, over the course of three years, 42-acres were planted on the hillside plot.

Soon after the project began, Danny Haas of Vineyard Brands became interested and wished to taste the final product. In 1990, after having tasted Bernier Chardonnay amongst several other wines from the brothers, he was convinced of its potential and Bernier was introduced to the market.

Domaine de Bernier Chardonnay is made with 100% Chardonnay grapes in the Western Loire Valley, Aged on the less to add weight and texture, it is also refreshing and crisp. Made in an unoaked style, it is delicious with lobster, fish, curry, and hard cheeses.

calkarasi rose seahorse pasaeli 2 350x350

Pasaeli Rosé – organic practices

Not surprisingly, wine grapes have been grown in what is now called Turkey for milennia, and today, Turkey has a thriving wine trade, despite it being a Muslim country.  

Paşaeli is a family owned Turkish wine estate that was founded by Seyit Karagözoğlu in 2000. Seyit, who was born and raised in İzmir, appreciated the value of agriculture and made wine his passion at an early age. He planted vineyards and founded Paşaeli after a decade as a wine importer, as he felt the soil and climate of Turkey were ideal for growing high quality grapes. Indigenous varieties were planted in the Aegean region, such as Sultaniye, Yapıncak, Çalkarası, and Karasakız, and Bordeaux varieties were planted near İzmir. The Paşaeli wines are well-made, balanced, and great value wines from Turkey.  Founder Seyit Karagözoğlu is a personal friend of Marc de Grazia and has experience importing fine wines into Turkey before starting his own winery

This 100% Çalkarası wine is a perfect foil for fish, tomato -based dishes, cheeses, or on its own.

Çalkarası is grown exclusively in Çal District of Denizli in the Aegean region of Turkey. As a variety, it is very suitable for producing high quality rosé wines due to powerful fruit flavors balanced with good acidity. The Çalkarası for this wine is coming from a single vineyard at an altitude of 850 meters with warm days and cool nights which helps to preserve acidity. Kept with the skins for an hour and a half, it has a light salmon color. It is fermented in stainless steel tanks. The nose has lovely aromas of wild strawberries and raspberries. The palate is well balanced with good acidity and lush, juicy fruit.

Cattin PINOT NOIR tradition new

Joseph Cattin Pinot Noir – Sustainable, Organic practices, vegan

Cattin is the largest family-owned and family-operated winery in Alsace and located in Voegtlinshoffen, a small village on the foothills of the Vosges Mountains at 1,091 feet in elevation. The Cattin family has been producing wine since 1720 and today the winery is managed by the 12th generation! The estate is composed of many small plots located in the Southern part of the Colmar region and a staggering 80% of their vineyard land is located on slopes.

A broad menu of soils (clay, limestone, sandstone, ferruginous, marl…), combined with big time diurnal shifts, means an exceptional palate of aromas and flavors. Cattin uses old oak “foudres” (big barrels) to produce some of the region’s most terroir driven Grand Cru wines such as the legendary Hatschbourg which ranks among the family’s oldest plots. 

A superb value Pinot Noir without losing the quality. This light red wine has a nose of red fruits, strawberry and cherry with a floral balance. A light, clean, smooth taste and very pleasant on the palate. Crisp, crunchy, tart red berry plays subtly on the nose. The light palate is very pure in a traditional Alsace Pinot Noir fashion. The finish is dry, fresh and soft.   Pairs best with light dishes. 

El Vivero Garnacha – Organic and natural

FL El Vivero

Garnacha and friends from 25-year-old vines. 30% full clusters and the rest uncrushed grapes to ferment in tinajas (amphora) with natural yeasts. Four months in clay amphorae. No filtering and no SO2 added.

Intense purple color. Aromas of red fruits appear on the nose and black, even some floral notes. It has balsamic, esparto and dry leaf nuances as well as clay and clay notes own the amphorae. In the mouth, the wine is fruity, lively, cheerful, and with a balanced acidity. It is a red wine with texture, half body and a medium drink finish.

Rice, pasta, light dishes, Tapas, Manchego Cheese, Ibérico

92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: Despite what the label of 2019 El Vivero says, it’s not pure Garnacha, but that’s what’s in the register for a plot in a six-year-old vineyard in Finca Casa Balaguer that was planted with old material from Usaldón consisting of Garnacha Peluda, Rojal, Arco, Valencí Negre, Tortosina and even Saperavi from Georgia! The wine fermented in tinaja with 30% full clusters and indigenous yeasts and then matured in those tinajas after being pressed. It’s a very interesting Mediterranean blend with primary and herbal aromas, some rusticity and slightly dusty tannins, full of character and personality. It has a medium body and some dusty tannins and finishes dry. As with all the rest, it’s clean and balanced and you don’t feel any heat. 3,000 bottles were filled unfined, unfiltered, and without any added sulfur in February 2020.

171114 ND des Pallieres photo btl CDR

Pallières Côtes du Rhône- sustainable

Domaine Notre Dame des Pallières is a very old family estate, whose name comes from a place of pilgrimage visited by the Provençal people in the middle ages who believed that the fountain on the property would protect them from the plague.

Claude Roux and his cousin Jean-Pierre have so many generations of Gigondas wine making experience in their family that they don’t know exactly how many of their relatives have been involved up to now – Antique writings suggest that this Domain existed in the 900’s.  Fortunately this tradition is continuing with Claude’s children, Isabelle and Julien, gradually taking over the day to day responsibilities of farming, production, and administration.

Vineyard holdings total 74 acres in Gigondas, Sablet, and Cotes du Rhone.

When asked about their methods they smile and explain that they are simply following the traditional methods of the family members that came before them.

 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 5% Clairette Rose, 5% Cinsault

The vines that make up this Côtes du Rhône are located on different terroirs Sablet and Séguret, for the Vaucluse and Roquemaure for the Gard, this diversity gives the wine its inimitable particularity.

Harvested by hand for the most part, destemmed in full with a maceration of fifteen days by controlling the temperature, reassembly and shedding daily, respecting the fruit.

This wine is deep garnet red in color. The nose is on notes of fresh red fruits, on cherry, strawberry coulis. We note a beautiful roundness, flesh in the middle of the mouth and the aromas are of a beautiful persistence in the final.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *