May Featured Wines – 2017 Maris Rose, Pay D’Oc, France & 2016 Chateau Maris La Touge, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

2017 Maris Rose, Pay D’Oc, France, $16

2017 Maris Rose, Pay D’Oc, France is a blend of Cinsaut,Grenache and Syrah commonly grown and blended in southern France. This classic combination is used most commonly to make Provence’s famous rosé wines, which display crisp, aromatic flavors of berryfruit and spices. Syrah typically frames the wines with its structure and deep color. Dark fruit flavors such as blueberries and blackberries come from Syrah, while raspberries and earthy aromas come from the Grenache. Cinsaut, often used in the smallest proportion, lifts the aromatics of the wine with its soft, perfumed characteristics. This is a year-round dry wine for duck, seafood, other light meats. Alcohol: 13%

 

2016 Chateau Maris La Touge, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, $17

2016 Chateau Maris La Touge, Languedoc-Roussillon, France is a blend of Syrah and Grenache. It is dark red in color and medium in body with moderate tannins and refreshingly heightened acidity. It has powerful flavors of cherry liqueur, black pepper and intense clove. Overall it has a dry feel but the ripeness of the fruit makes it appear generous and hearty, Overall it has a dry feel but the ripeness of the fruit makes it appear generous and hearty. This is a nice pairing for beef, veal, pork or pasta. Alcohol: 14.5%

July Featured Wines -2015 Maison Nicolas Sauvignon Blanc & 2015 Maison Nicolas Merlot, Languedoc Roussillon, France

2015 Maison Nicolas Sauvignon Blanc, Cotes de Gascogne, France                                         $10

This French white has a wonderful smooth balance with crisp acidity that is characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in this region of France. Ripe peach, pear and apple are predominant flavors in this dry wine. Serve icy cold with summer seafood and you will understand why this wine is a great buy from Cotes de Gascogne.Alcohol: 11.5%

 

2015 Maison Nicolas Merlot, Pays d’Oc, France                                                                               $10

This Merlot is a well-balanced single varietal wine that comes from the Vin de Pays d’Oc appellation. It has a rich color and  is packed full of jammy flavors with notes of plum and currant.  This is a round and supple wine with smooth tannins. Consider this wine for  simple summer picnics with chicken and lighter meats.  Alcohol: 12.5%

 

This month we are offering wines produced by Maison Nicolas in Languedoc-Rousillon, France. We have had other wines from this region but they have been classic blends. July’s selections are single varietals – Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.

Opening Reception and Wine Tasting for “Winter Abstracts”

 

Each February Bishop’s Stock’s walls pop with color and energy with Winter Abstracts. Come visit with exhibiting artists and taste wines from California and France.

Opening Reception and Wine Tasting with C.L. Marshall, Book Signing

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December’s First Friday Opening Reception includes C.L. Marshall selling and signing his recently released Chesapeake Bay Duck Hunting Tales. Wines from Cotes du Rhone will be offered for tasting.

Featured Wines for December – 2015 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc & 2013 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage Rouge, Cotes du Rhone, France

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2015 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc, Cotes du Rhone, France                     $14

This blend from Northern Cotes du Rhone is 65% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 8% Marsanne, 8% Clairette, 2% Bourboulenc, 2% white Grenache.  The full bodied Viognier  and Roussanne carry this blend but the other grapes provide fruit and depth typical in Rhone blends. This is a bright, clear yellow wine with a fresh nose marked by the distinctive aromas of the Viognier – white flowers, apricot, acacia and white peach. The richness and body make this a well-rounded wine with elegance, strength and balance that is an easy aperitif that can carry guests through a holiday menu.

 

crozes_hermitage-nouv_10_vignette2013 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage Rouge, Cotes du Rhone, France                   $20

E. Guigal uses 100% Syrah in this full-bodied wine. For the holidays this wine gives guests who prefer red wine a nice option to complement a cocktail buffet or a full dinner. This is a dark red wine that has a nose of red fruits, cherry and strawberry with delicate oak. Due to long oak ageing this red and black fruit rich wine has remarkable freshness and refined tannins. According to Robert Parker, now is the time to uncork this wine and enjoy!

Featured Wines for November – 2015 Willm Gewurztraminer Reserve, Alsace, France & 2014 Cloudline Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

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2015 Willm Gewurztraminer Reserve, Alsace, France   $14

2015 Willm Gewurztraminer Reserve from Alsace, France is the white we are featuring since it is right at home with Thanksgiving’s sage-rubbed turkey and stuffing. “Gewurz” means “spicy” in the language of Alsace and Gewurztraminer wines are characteristically  aromatic, spicy, sometimes off-dry with hints of lychees and nutmeg. The Willm Gewurztraminer is a little more delicate than other Gewurztraminers but it has a rich aromatic palette with an explosion of exotic fruits, flowers, citrus and spices. It has a medium body with a richness that stands up to the mixture of spices and herbs used at Thanksgiving. Alcohol: 13%

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2014 Cloudline Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon    $19

2014 Cloudline Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon is our featured red for November. People pretty traditionally serve Pinot Noir at Thanksgiving since it is a lighter bodied red with a soft palate. It is a good match for poultry but deciding what Pinot Noir varietal profile to select may be challenging. Cloudline is produced in the Willamette Valley where a cooler climate produces Pinot Noir grapes that offer a delicacy and transparency unlike California Pinot Noir that gets a deeper richness from a warmer climate. With 2014 Cloudline Pinot Noir you get a stellar year and a good value with a wine that brings forward notes of dark berries, black cherries and crushed red fruits.  The wine has good complexity yet a soft palate. This is a perfect “turkey” wine. Alcohol: 13.5%

Featured Wines in September – Joseph Drouhin 2014 LaForet Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France & Eric Chevalier 2013 Domaine de L’Aujardiere Cabernet Franc, Loire Valley, France

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2014 LaForet Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy, France $15

The Joseph Drouhin Domaine founded in  Burgundy in 1880 is now run by the fourth generation which offers a fascinating array of Burgundy terroirs in all their authenticity and subtle variations. 2014 LaForêt Bourgogne Chardonnay is an entry level wine that provides the simple pleasures of a classic white Burgundy. It has a bouquet of citrus aromas that trail with honey and vanilla. There is a delightful lively texture with some spicy minerality that shines through on the finish. This is an easy wine as an aperitif or a complement to simply prepared fish and fresh vegetables.Alcohol: 13%

 

Eric Chevalier Cab Franc

2013 Domaine de L’Aujardiere Cabernet Franc, Loire Valley, France $18

Eric Chevalier produces wine in the Loire Valley just to the west of Burgundy.  2014 Domaine de L’Aujardière Cabernet Franc is imported by Kermit Lynch which gives it a strong recommendation for a quality wine at a good price. Cabernet Franc grapes are lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon. The color is clear, reddish with a light rim and the aromas are woody with ripe raspberries. This wine has a smooth mouth-feel, a slightly peppery taste and a medium long dry finish that ends on a light note. This wine is  an all-purpose red for pork and poultry. Keep this in mind for Thanksgiving turkey. Alcohol: 12%

April Featured Wines -2013 Domaine Roland Lanvantureux Petit Chablis, France & 2013 Clos La Coutale Malbec, Cahors, France

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2013 Domaine Roland Lanvantureux Petit Chablis, Lignorelles, France $15

This month’s white selection is 2013 Roland Lavantureux Petit Chablis from the Chablis region in the northern most wine district in Burgundy. White Burgundy, or Chablis, is  made from Chardonnay grapes. Approximately 85% of the Chablis are  unoaked. What makes a “Petit Chablis” is a non-distinguishable difference in grape appearance but it does have a slightly different profile. This wine has a subtle minerality on the nose with slight tropical fruit. The palate shows a dry, silky mouthfeel with a long tropical fruit finish. This is a perfect pairing for rich fish (salmon and tuna.)

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2013 Clos La Coutale Malbec, Cahors, France $22

The red selection is 2013 Clos La Coutale Malbec, from Cahors in Southwest France.  The area around Cahors produces wine, primarily a robust and tannic red wine. To achieve the Cahors appellation a wine must be made from at least 70% Malbec (also called COT) grape, with a maximum of 30% Merlot or Tannat grape varieties added to the blend. Philippe Bernede, the winemaker at Clos La Coutale, uses 20% Merlot to soften the Malbec tannins. This wine is deep red and robust with dark fruit on the palate. As you begin to use your grill, keep this wine in mine for barbecued pork or beef – or anything smokey.

 

November Featured Wines – 2014 Bila-Haut Blanc & 2013 Bila Haut Rouge, Roussillon, France

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Les Vignes de Bila-Haut by Michel Chapoutier

This month our featured wines are from the south of France. The region has long been called Languedoc-Roussillon but recently each of these wine producing areas are being given individual attention. This month’s wines are from Roussillon which is the most southern region along the Mediterranean Sea with Spain as a neighbor. The producer of the selected wines is Michel Chapoutier, a well-regarded Rhone Valley winemaker. Chapoutier became intrigued by the old vineyards, the mountain slopes, the cool winters and very hot summers with little rain as a wonderful combination for the wines he excels at growing. Both of the wines are produced following the same principles Chapoutier uses with his Rhone blends maximizing the best qualities of the terrior. His vineyard, Domaine Bila-Haut, comprises 185 acres of land cultivated under bio-dynamic farming techniques. The grape varieties that are grown are Grenache, Carignan and Syrah.

2014 Bila-Haut Blanc, Roussillon, France                                        $15

The 2014 Les Vignes de Bila Haut Blanc is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeu. The wine is pale yellow with green tints and has citrus aromas with smoky notes. The palate is round with great acidity and a fresh finish with the minerality. The 2014 was recommended with an 88 score in the latest Wine Spectator (November 30) in an article on the Roussillon region As I often recommend with Rhone white wines, the Bila Haut is a good choice for entertaining when you need an appertif and a wine with food.

2013 Bila-Haut Rouge, Roussillon, France                                     $15

The 2013 Les Vignes de Bila Haut Rouge is a blend of Syrah (40%), Grenache (40%) and Carignan (20%.) It is a deep garnet with aromas of black cherry, pepper and minerality. On the palate the wine is smooth and supple with a bold richness. Robert Parker gave this a 91 with 3-4 years of drinkablity. Just as with the white Bila Haut, the red is a great option for entertaining since it is a nice rounded wine.

 

June Featured Wines – 2014 Chateau La Graviere, Entre-Deux-Mers, France & 2013 Bouchard Aine & Fils Pinot Noir, Beaune, France

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2014 Chateau La Graviere, Entre-Deux-Mers, France                 $11

The region’s name, which means “between two seas,” refers to its location between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers. Entre-Deux-Mers is best known for inexpensive dry white wines.  This is a medium dry white wine with Semillion used to soften Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is fruity with a great nose. While not a huge white Bordeaux this is a very pleasant wine for summer entertaining. Drink without food but this is a good food wine with summer’s fresh vegetables and seafood. Alcohol: 12.5%

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 2013 Bouchard Aine & Fils Pinot Noir, South of France           $11

This is a deliciously fruit-forward Pinot Noir from the South of France produced by the Bouchard family –   one of France’s great wine merchant families.  This wine is characterized by its aromatic complexity and mild tannins. It is brilliant cherry red and has red fruit aromas, cherry, kirsch with notes of lime and mint. There is a lot of fruit and a delicate note of wood. This is a well balanced wine that can be served with lighter summer meals from the grill. Alcohol: 13%

Both of these wines are examples of the quality and value Bishop’s Stock offers. Neither wine is a “heavy hitter” but each show good quality for the varietals.