February Featured Wines – 2017 Marcel Dubois Vouvray & 2016 Bourgueil Alouettes Cabernet Franc, Loire Valley, France

February’s wines come from the Loire Valley. We have featured wines from this region before but we like to offer varietals produced by different winemakers from different parts of the region. The Loire Valley wine region is divided into 3 parts – Upper, Middle and Lower. In each section different varietals dominate. Both of February’s wines come from the Upper Region where Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are dominant grapes. 2017 Marcel Dubois Vouvray is 100% Chenin Blanc. 2016 Bourgueil Alouette produced by Domaine de las Chanteleuserie is 100% Cabernet Franc. These wines are grown in vineyards within 30 miles in the Upper Region along the Loire River.

Marcel Dubois Vouvray ($14) is 100% Chenin Blanc which makes it a light yellow straw color. It is medium bodied with aromas of fresh apples and pears. This is well-balanced with good acidity and a crisp finish. Serve with chicken, pork, salmon or a simple mushroom risotto for a great pairing. Alcohol: 11.5%
Bourgueil Alouettes Cabernet Franc ($15) uses “Cuvée Alouettes,” to refer to the name of the domaine where sandier soil tends to soften the tannins and defines the wine as fresh, supple, fruity. Wild berries with a twist of pepper make this is a red wine that is ready to be drunk young. Alcohol: 13%

May Featured Wines – 2013 Ox-Eye Riesling & 2012 Ox-Eye Cabernet Franc, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia


Ox-Eye Vineyards, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Ox-Eye Vineyards (the actual vineyard) is located near Staunton in Augusta County, but has a tasting room in downtown Staunton. The 100-acre farm was purchased by John and Susan Kiers in 1996 with the main intention of growing wine grapes in Augusta County. This particular site was chosen because of the unique climate of the Shenandoah Valley, hot temperatures during the day and much cooler temperatures across the valley at night. Other factors were the low rainfall as well as the deep limestone soils. These conditions, we were told, allow the grapes to ripen and intensify the sugar content while maintaining the acidity in late summer and early fall. The vineyard was named Ox-Eye after the ox-eye daisies that are strewn throughout the vineyard. The Kiers planted their first two acres of grape vines in 1999 and, eventually, expanded the planting to around twenty acres.

The original venture was to sell grapes to local vineyards, but after 10 years and some deliberation between the couple they decided to build their own winery. They did just that in 2010 and began selling their own Estate Bottled wines. Not long after, the Kiers purchased and renovated an old coal and lumber office building which was built in 1903. This would come to be their main tasting room location. The building was completely renovated and its doors were opened to the public for the first time in the spring of 2011. The exterior brick is painted an eye-catching yellow to match that of the ox-eye flowers that grow on the Vineyard property, while the interior glimmers from the refinished pine floors, windows, and tasting bar.

2013 Ox-Eye Riesling                       $18

This is a perfect off-dry Riesling. The Kiers have found a niche for German-style wines. Being off- dry means the sweetness of the grape does not overwhelm. There is a nice blend of citrus and a hint of honey. This is a light-bodied wine that is a perfect compliment to many foods.  Perfect with shellfish and wonderful with Asian foods.  Alcohol: 11.8%

2012 Ox-Eye Cabernet Franc        $20

Cabernet Franc is a medium bodied red lighter in color and tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon. Ox-Eye is dry with ripe plum and raspberry perfumes. Citrus aromas mesh with bright acidity, adding a touch of minerality mid palate, while maintaining a semi-sweet but not puckering finish. This pairs with red meats and full flavored cheeses.A good wine for grilled meals. Alcohol: 13.2%