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France? Spain? A few of my favorite countries, and certainly some of my favorite wines.

France? Spain? A few of my favorite countries, and certainly some of my favorite wines.

Kathleens Picks of the Week!

Not that we need an excuse to drink bubbly, 'Carpe Diem' is my life's motto after all, and when the world hands us a bottle of joyous exuberance, who can, or should, say no? With the holidays approaching, and having to consider budget, at least occasionally, I like to save a little champagne for a bit more special occasion and enjoy other sparklers, and I am in love with Cava, so that makes my life easy. 

It's a win~win...still lots of festive and delightful choices, and I can put all the money I'll save aside for some travel to Paris, or Laos, or Palowan...oh, the world is full of possibilities! 

Juve & Camps, Reserva de la Familia, Brut Nature, Spain ~ $19.99

This is their 40th Anniversary, Limited Edition Cava, which I recently drank every single day in Spain, and drink here as often as I can. The flagship wine of the estate, it expresses the family's philosophy of extended aging on the lees and high quality, hand-harvested and hand-riddled cava, with no added dosage. Aromas of ripe white peaches, brioche, Meyer lemon and apricots. The palate is rich and broad with flavors of green apple, jasmine green tea 

and toasted almonds. A plate of Iberico ham, some grilled garlic shrimp, asparagus with Romesco sauce, and thou...that's what makes the world go round!


2015 Maison Chanzy, Bouzeron 'Les Trois", Burgundy ~  $24.99

Maison Chanzy located in the Bouzeron area of the Cote Chalonnaise of Burgundy. While most of us think Chardonnay when we think of white Burgundy, this is the other white grape varietal, Aligote. This is the classic wine to make Kir or Kir Royal, but fresh and lively white is just right on its own. The vines have an average age of 35 years on clay and limestone soils, and this wine has alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. It's maturation is in 100% stainless steel vates on the lees. Bouzeron Les Trois is made from three parcels : Les Clous, La Tournelle, Les Cordères, hence, the 'Les Trois'. With its maturation in 100% in stainless steel vats on the lees, and bottled during summer to preserve the freshness and liveliness typical of Aligoté wines, this is a perfect wine to pair with oysters. Its lemon notes and minerality is a match made in heaven for oysters briny hints of the sea, but would also be great with a nice veal chop.


2015 Domaine l'Aumonier, Chenonceaux, Touraine ~ $19.99

It was in 1996 that Sophie and Thierry gave birth to the Domaine de l'Aumonier, named for her grandparents. They started with no tools, no customers and few resources, but with a desire to grow grapes as his elders did, winemakers for generations. They became certified organic in 2006, and their motto that exemplifies their winemaking principles is borrowed from Antoine de St. Exupery ~ 

"We do not inherit the Earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children."

This Sauvignon Blanc is aged 12 months, has intense aromas of honeysuckle and  ttropical fruits with some herbaceous notes, great minerality and crisp acidity. Perfect for the beach this Monday, it's going to be a beach day! Again!


2016 Willamette Valley Vineyards, Whole Cluster, Pinot Noir, Oregon ~ $23.99

Unlike traditional Pinot Noir that is aged for months in oak barrels, Willamette 'Whole Cluster' Pinot Noir is made using very careful techniques to produce a fresh, juicy wine with a bright acidity

 and relatively low tannins. The grapes are not de-stemmed or crushed before undergoing fermentation. Instead, the entire bunch~the whole cluster of grapes~is put right into stainless steel fermentation tanks. The grapes remain intact, and the juice remains inside each grape where it does absorb some tannin from the skins. After fermentation, the wine is filtered to remove impurities and organic matter, and then immediately bottled in glass. The resulting wine is clear, clean, and fruity, low in tannin and dryness. From the vine to the bottle, the entire process takes just three months. "As refreshing as liquid fruit salad in a glass, this wine is deep ruby in color and opens with lively aromas of bing cherry, blackberry, baking spices with a hint of cocoa and earth. A vibrant entry and juicy mid-palate features flavors that mirror aromas with the addition of strawberry puree and raspberry fruit leather." ~ Winemaker's Notes


2016 Domaine la Bonneliere, Saumur Champigny, Loire ~ $15.99

André Bonneau and his wife created Domaine la Bonnelière, today, their children Anthony and Cédric represent the 5th generation of the family. They are vigorous proponents of biodiversity in their vineyards and plant grass between all the rows. No herbicides or chemical products are used. The Saumur-Champigny Tradition is a selection of very ripe and healthy fruit from 20-year-old vines across the domaine's holdings on southwest facing slopes. The chalky limestone and gravel soil warms quickly and drains well, giving fully ripe and concentrated Cabernet Franc grapes. They have gained international acclaim for their wines. 

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