Mas Mellet Costières de Nîmes 'Le B'
As the seasons change, our wine selections do, too. This month we’ll delve into wines for the warmer weather starting with a bottle from the south of France. The red wines of the Rhône valley are world renowned, but we think the white wines are more than worthy of our attention, too. Emilie and Brice Bolognini are making incredible wines in Costières de Nîmes, the most southerly appellation within the Rhône. When they took over the Domaine in 2002, their dream was to make organically grown wine with little intervention or additives. The vineyards had been abandoned and left in disarray, it was a huge project for these two, who at the time were just 20 years old. By 2007 they obtained organic certification and started to make a name for themselves. When working the vines they are keen observers of climate, lunar cycles and growth throughout the season. They anticipate what the vines need, and intervene without the use of chemicals - instead using herbs and plant based treatments on the vines. Farming in this manner is no easy feat, but passion for their craft and the incredible wine produced makes it all worth it.
True to the tradition of the region, this wine is a blend of Roussane, Grenache Blanc, Vermentino and Viognier. The warmer climate of southern France typically allows the vines to achieve optimum ripeness, which translates to a rich and full bodied wine. The parcel from which these grapes are sourced is a northern facing slope, which means there is a bit less sun exposure, giving this wine a fresh quality. Hand harvested, diligently sorted and destemmed, the fermentation takes place using indigenous yeast and spends some time aging on fine lees. Lees aging imparts a full and creamy mouthfeel and adds extra aromatic depth. Notes of lemon peel, apricot and white flowers will greet you from the glass. A perfect pairing with rich poultry dishes or a buttery seafood plate.
Gulp Hablo Orange 1L
‘Gulp’ is certainly an appropriate name for this wine, it’s nothing if not drinkable. Juan Antonio Ponce began making wine under his label Bodegas Ponce at the age of 23, his biodynamic farming and natural approach is very much in line with the new age of producers in Spain. For the past few years, there has been a gradual, yet steady, shift away from large scale commercial production, toward small scale, low intervention wine making with a focus on native varieties. Ponce is certainly a champion within the movement. ‘Gulp’ is a collaboration between Ponce and a trio of brothers, Francisco, Javier and Luis Parra. They’re goal? To produce wines that showcase the incredible landscape and varieties that Castilla la Mancha has to offer.
Orange wines have become a staple for the natural wine drinker for good reason - these wines are versatile, hauntingly aromatic and down right interesting. The style has been experiencing a renaissance, but the technique of allowing the grape skins to macerate with the juices during primary fermentation has been in use for thousands of years. Grape skins contain tannin and pigments that lend texture and that bright golden color. This liter bottle is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. The grapes are farmed organically and biodynamically and are then carefully harvested by hand. Verdejo is a native variety that showcases zesty brightness with notes of grapefruit and fleshy stone fruit. Sauvignon Blanc, which you are probably more familiar with, displays very similar aromatics, making these two grapes perfect for each other. In the cellar, they spend about 5 to 7 days on the skins in clay and neutral french oak barrels. Chill this bottle and bring it with you for a lakeside sunset or drink it on a Sunday afternoon with friends on the porch.