Thursday: Wine Trust Tasting

This Thursday we will be starting our wine journey in Mendocino, California with an unusual varietal, Charbono, before hopping over to France to taste some Rhône Valley and Bordeaux reds! All food friendly or excellent as cocktail wines, these are sure to please. A great Thursday-night-pick-me-up!

We will be tasting:

Kivelstadt Cellars ”Native Son” Charbono 2016 - Mendocino, California
After leaving a career in consulting in his early twenties, Jordan Kivelstadt traveled the world making wine in California, Australia, Chile and Argentina. In 2007, Jordan made 125 cases of Estate Syrah, drawing inspiration from both his winemaking experiences in the New World and his family’s passion for European wine culture. Thus, the focus of Kivelstadt Cellars became the exploration of  the product of incredible California vineyards, with a nod toward the rich history and balance of Old World wines that came before. One of the original three varietals widely planted in California during the 1800s, Charbono is now planted on only 80 acres in the state. Kivelstadt Cellars is grateful to have stumbled upon the two-acre block of Charbono in Potter Valley, planted just after World War II. Semi-carbonic maceration kept the notoriously heavy tannins in check, giving the wine a lift that plays well with its richness. Bright and balanced, the wine explodes out of the glass with savory aromas of briny black olives, mushrooms and juicy, stewed fruit on the palate.

Domaine Belle Crozes-Hermitage “Les Pierrelles” 2016 - Rhône Valley, France
The Domaine Belle vineyards are located in the Rhône Valley, a stone’s throw away from Tain l’Hermitage, and extends over 25 acres, six communes and three appellations; Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage and Saint Joseph. With vines growing in the area since the 1600s, Domaine Belle was converted from family-used vines to commercial in the 1930s by Louis Belle. Louis became a founder of the Train l’Hermitage wine-making cooperative in 1933, acquiring more parcels of land in the communes throughout his career. Louis’ grandson Philippe Belle continues the modern winery with respect to his winemaking roots and to the terroir of the individual appellations. The 2016 Crozes-Hermitage les Pierrelles comes not from the area around the winery but from the clay and pebbly soils around Pont d’Isere, and spent 14 months in two to five year-old barrels. It is a classic, fruit-forward expression for the appellation. Saturated purple and ruby in color, notes of blackberries, pepper, ground herbs and a hint of minerality accent cherry and plum flavors in this supple, medium to full-bodied wine. Its elegant texture carries great depth and richness.

Château Val de Roc, Bordeaux Supérieur 2015 - Bordeaux, France
The daughter of vine growers, Séverine Grimal purchased a small property in 2008 just north-west of Libourne. Grimal operates the estate with her husband Laurent Vallet. This 2015 vintage is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, the typical grapes used in Bordeaux Supérieur. Bordeaux Supérieur wines are made under strict appellation laws, setting higher winemaking standards. The wines are required by regulations to be aged for at least 12 months before they can be sold to buyers, although winemakers often age the wine for longer. This is done in the pursuit of a richer, more complex wine with greater aging ability. The 2015 vintage is savory and a touch smoky, boasting good structure and supple texture. A black fruit core of plums and raspberries, dappled with sweet spice, balances game-meat notes on the long finish. Pairs well with slow roasted garlic and herb lamb or grilled cocoa-and-spice rubbed pork chops.

Château La Chenade, Lalande-de-Pomerol 2016 - Bordeaux, France
Château La Chenade is the smaller estate owned by one of the brightest stars of Pomerol, Denis Durantou, of the highly acclaimed Chateau l’Eglise-Clinet. Durantou bought the estate in 2000 with the mission to produce consistently delicious Bordeaux wine for an incredibly fair price. The 2016 vintage is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, grown in gravel sites. Cabernet Franc, with its unique herb infused red berry fragrance, adds backbone and acidity to the rounded red fruit flavors of Merlot. This is a traditional combination used in the vast majority of serious Pomerol and St. Emilion blends. On the nose, dark cherry and floral notes lead to raspberry, strawberry and Victorian plum on the palate. Fine herbs and gravelly minerality dominate this fresh, sleek, medium-bodied red.

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Thursday: Citizen Cider

Reveler is excited to welcome Citizen Cider back to the tasting bar! Citizen Cider was founded by Justin Heilenbach, Bryan Holmes and Kris Nelson in 2010, on a hunch and some good old-fashioned hard work. Kris was working as a wine salesman, Bryan as a chemist and Justin as a small farmer. All discontented for one reason or another, they started pressing sweet cider in Kris’ barn and fermenting test batches of hard cider in Bryan’s basement. They decided to quit their day jobs and create cider full-time. After a formal partnership was set up with Happy Valley Orchard in Middlebury, production first began in Fort Ethan Allen in Essex, Vermont. Almost instantly, they were continuously selling through the cider produced and by 2013 it was clear they needed more space. In early 2014, Citizen Cider moved onto Pine Street in Burlington, where they call home today. They are simply cider makers who love to take fresh, local apples and ferment them into delicious, refreshing, dynamic and clean cider! Come on in and give them a try.

We will be tasting:

Wit’s Up - A classic cider maker’s cider! Drawing on the old and new traditions of cider making, it starts like an ale and finishes like the dry, sessionable craft cider that it is.

The Dirty Mayor - An ode to the honorable and fully infamous mayor of the only non-town in America, Fort Ethan Allen, USA. The mayor likes his cider with a ginger nip, so Citizen cooked up this ginger infused dry cider.

For Shore - Formerly called High Tide, This cider was created with the thought of how can one adapt a cider to be similar to gose style beers? The result is a cider finished with honey, coriander seeds and sea salt, creating a dry and bubbly cider.

bRosé - bRosé is the embodiment of cooperation; blueberry and apple, farmers and cider makers. bRosé is handcrafted by co-fermenting blueberries and fresh local cider pressed at Citizen’s Press House on Flynn Ave, Burlington.

The AmeriCran - Throw together a bin of apples, a bushel of cranberries and a few cider making citizens and you’ve got yourself an AmeriCran experience. The AmeriCran is a proud union of apples pressed at Happy Valley Orchard in Middlebury, VT and cranberries from Vermont Cranberry Company in Fletcher, VT.

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Friday: TGIF Wine Tasting

TGIF - Kick off your weekend with some wine! We have a great selection featuring a Hungarian Furmint, Argentinian Malbec and two wines from California’s Carol Shelton Wines. Whether you’re ready for spring and some fun whites or you’re still thawing out and need a good red, we’ve got you covered. Come on in!

We will be tasting:

Carol Shelton Wines Viognier Wild Thing Damiano Vineyard 2017 - Placer County, California
Carol Shelton is widely cited as the most awarded winemaker in the United States. She has won countless medals for her wines and has been honored as Winemaker of the Year numerous times. After years of working with some of the industry’s top winemakers and wineries, Carol continues to win awards and accolades for premium wines produced under her own brand, Carol Shelton Wines, which launched in 2000. The 2017 Viognier Wild Thing is 95% Viognier and 5% Marsanne. The wine was barrel fermented with no malolactic fermentation, before spending nine months sur lie in barrels (70% neutral French, 25% neutral American and 5% stainless steel drums). The nose shows white flowers, jasmine, green tea, grapefruit, orange zest and a hint of creamy vanilla oak toast. Juicy and mouth-watering with crisp acidity, flavors of honey-crisp apple, green peach fruit and citrus are balanced with a trace of sweet and creaminess from oak.

Affinitas Tokaj Furmint 2015 - North Hungary, Hungary
The fragrant, savory and spicy Furmint is the white grape variety principally responsible for the highly desired, historically important and lusciously sweet, elixir called Tokaji. To make Tokaji, Furmint is usually blended with other grape varieties to achieve an incredibly sweet Tokaji Aszu or the even sweeter Tokaji Eszencia. The latter contains so much sugar that it has an aging capacity of 200 years! As a single varietal, Furmint is a deliciously crisp, savory and spicy dry white. This 2015 Affinitas is bright yellow with green hues and an intense, elegant nose showing white flowers and spice. Fresh and balanced with summer fruits on the palate it is unctuous with great levels of acidity and minerality.    

Aguijon de Abeja Malbec 2016 - Patagonia, Argentina
Brothers Hector and Pablo Durigutti collaborate on their Aguijon de Abeja wines. Both have had successful solo careers in the wine world previous of their joint venture and are currently amongst the most well known young winemakers in Argentina. The brothers started with only 3,000 bottles in 2002 and production has grown steadily since. Their wines have generous fruit without excess, showcasing New World Fruit with Old World elegance, a trademark of Durigutti. Their 2016 Malbec is 100% organically grown Malbec that spends eight months aging in oak barrels, then is bottled unfined and unfiltered. It expresses spiced notes and ripe blackberry fruit with tannins that harmonize with acidity.  

Carol Shelton Wines “Pizazz” Old Vine Zinfandel 2017- Lodi, California
Another rockstar Zinfandel from Carol Shelton Wines! The 2017 Pizazz Zinfandel is showing zippy Bing cherry pie in a graham cracker crust, with creamy milk chocolate and a bit of toasted marshmallow. Not sweet, but with a soft and round mouthfeel, this wine is balanced by juicy acidity with oak and creamy caramel nuances and a long cherry finish. 99% Zinfandel and 1% Petite Sirah the wine spent 14.5 months in new American oak (40%) and 2-year old American oak (60%). Only 271 cases of this vintage were made, so don’t miss out!

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Saturday: Afternoon Wine Tasting

Stop in this Saturday afternoon and taste a great selection of white and red wines! We will be tasting a new Greek Malagousia, a Côtes du Rhône, a gorgeous and silky-textured Bordeaux from the commune of Margaux, and a juicy, flavorful California blend with a great mission. Hope to see you at the tasting bar!

We will be tasting:

Domaine Zafeirakis Tyrnavos Malagousia 2018 - Thessalia, Greece
Domaine Zafeirakis represents one of the most exciting new Domaines of Greece. Nestled in the foothills of Mount Olympus in the region of Thessaly, Christos Zafeirakis built a winery both in honor and continuation of the four generations of family winemakers that preceded him. After receiving viticultural degrees and doing work around Italy, Christos returned to Tirnavos and immediately started to set new standards by creating the first organic vineyard in 2005. A nearly extinct variety, Malagousia was revived in the 1970s and today appears on many best selling labels. It is grown all over Greece, standing out for its finesse, balance and aromatic qualities. The expressive nose gives typical aromas and flavors of rose, pear, mango, peach, mint, sage, and citrus fruits. Christos’ Malagousia is picked early so as to balance the alluring aromatics of the varietal with freshness and acidity in the wine. The 2018 Malagousia is a more restrained, mineral expression of the varietal with herbal nuances along with fresh citrus fruit and jasmine notes. Perfect pairing with fresh cheeses, curry and risotto.

Domaine de Piaugier “La Grange” Côtes du Rhône 2016 - Rhône Valley, France
The Domaine de Piaugier is situated in the village of Sablet, in the southern Rhône valley. The Sablet vineyards were first developed under the protection of the Counts of Toulouse, to whom the property once belonged. Jean-Marc Autran, a fourth-generation winemaker, first started cultivating wine on his family’s original property called Tenebi, which ran along the slopes of the Briguieres hills. By 1995, Jean-Marc realized the domaine was too small for production and enlarged the property. Today, with his wife Sophie, Jean-Marc cultivates 30 hectares of vines. All vines are farmed using organic methods and grapes are harvested by hand. The 2016 La Grange is a Rhône field-blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Carignan. The blend was aged in concrete for six to twelve months, resulting in aromas of lavender, licorice and black pepper. The palate shows thyme, cocoa powder, plum, black raspberry and red cherry held by ripe, juicy acidity. Pairs well with lamb chops, herbed steak and root vegetables.

Château Paveil de Luze Margaux Cru Bourgeois 2015 - Bordeaux, France
Château Paveil de Luze has been owned by the de Luze family since 1892, when the Medoc estate was purchased by the Baron Alfred de Luze. In 2004, the vineyard was taken over and Stephane Derenoncourt led a complete renovation of the Château’s cellars, winemaking facilities as well as the château itself. The 2015 vintage was a hallmark year across Bordeaux, where the weather provided perfect conditions to make excellent wine. Now with some aging on it, the 2015 vintage is a ripe, impressively textured wine that is rich and generous. The Margaux Cru Bourgeois is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot and was aged in oak casks for twelve months. Profound aromas of earth, blackberries, cassis, and rich succulent plum fruit are set off by graphite, sweet vanilla pod, tobacco and baking spices all against a background of ripe Bing cherries.

Stolpman Vineyards “La Cuadrilla” Red Blend 2017 - Ballard Canyon, CA
Stolpman Vineyards is located in Ballard Canyon, an area accounting for only ten percent of the greater Santa Ynez AVA. Tom and Marilyn Stolpman founded Stolpman Vineyards and planted their first grapes in 1992 and today have 120 planted acres. The winery is committed to preserving their natural environment for the vines through natural farming, dry farming and sustainable employment. Vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano went beyond traditional mentoring his team by giving one Cuadra (a small vineyard block) to them so they would take responsibility for their land. Each crew member became a farmer rather than just a worker. Beginning with the 2009 vintage, they expanded the Cuadra program with the La Cuadrilla program, by blending in more wine from the Stolpman Vineyard with the training Cuadra. Today, 10% of the vineyard’s production goes into this La Cuadrilla blend and now the profits are returned to the crew members, divided by seniority, in the form of a year-end bonus. One hundred percent of the crew’s training Cuadra make up the initial base of the blend and then select barrels of gently pressed red wine from the Stolpman black label wines are added, giving further purity of fruit and silky tannins. The 2017 is a blend of 55% Syrah, 27% Sangiovese and 18% Grenache. This wine pops with a blast of fresh red plum, boysenberry and blueberry fruit. With medium-plus body, the juicy, ripe fruit is perfectly balanced with fresh acidity and fine, dusty tannins.

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