SWIRL WINE CLUB

JANUARY 2018

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Domaine de Beaurenard

80% Grenache, 20% Syrah, Rasteau "Les Argiles Bleues" 2015

So here's the thing with the southern Rhone Valley of France: there's either Chateauneuf-de-Pape or everything else (aka: Cotes du Rhone). At least that's how it was a little over a decade ago. Now we're seeing a resurgence in the various 'other' growing sub appellations in the Rhone Valley and the youngest to be founded (2010) is Rasteau, characterized by it's high elevation, steep inclines and it's blue clay. This blue clay is so revered that Domaine de Beaurenard named their tete de cuvee after it! They have such a love for it that when making this wine, they will only select the finest clusters while sorting the hand picked fruit (all else goes into their larger production 'standard' Rasteau). This wine shows incredible depth and complexity both in it's flinty minerality and deep brooding purple fruits. It shows strong notes of blackberry and plum jam, with subtle graphite notes and a long velvety finish.

 

Alma Cruz Carmenere

Colchagua Valley, Chile 2015

Carmenere: the defining grape of Chile and one that we a-typically will carry at Swirl. Why, you may be asking? Generally speaking it can exhibit intense notes of Green Peppercorns and bell peppers with touches of paprika throughout, however, on warmer years and with oak aging, as Almacruz does, something truly special happens: Raspberries blossom with hints of sweet tobacco and figs, all still having subtle green peppercorn notes - this yields a complex and multi-faceted wine. You'd be hard pressed to find a better value Bordeaux varietal! 

 

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Flora

A field blend of: Riesling, Scheurebe, and Gelber Muskateller Weinviertel, Austria 2015

Full disclosure: we here at Swirl have never had Scheurebe or Gelber Muskateller wines before. That being said, it's easy to see where these two varietals play towards Riesling’s strengths and make up for some of it's short comings. The strengths? Aromas of lime and tart green apples, which, in the Flora, are accentuated and highlighted with additional notes of honeyed lemons and jasmine. The short comings? Riesling tends to either be on the sweet side, or on the highly acidic side - these are nowhere to be seen, instead exchanged for Gruner-like minerality and touches of gingered nectarines. This wine really shows the artistry that comes with blending varietal parts to make an incredible finished product.

 

Domaine des Accoles "Gryphe"

100% Carignane, Rhone Valley in Saint-Marcel d'Ardeche 2013

Between the old, rustic, Northern Rhone and the soft, supple, Southern Rhone lies a nebulous region known as Ardeche in the central Rhone valley. There are some very old vines planted in between the two, but they are few and far between lying mostly on steep terraces that are difficult to cultivate. Good thing that this is Domaine des Accoles’ speciality. This carignane comes exclusively from 50+ year old vines all grown on soil rich with fossilized oysters known as Gryphaea, or Gryphe. These ancient bivalves do wonders for the texture and spice of this elegant wine. It mirrors velvety strawberry and black cherry with herbaceous fresh licorice and touches of black cardamon. A one-of-a-kind wine

 

Patrick McNeil's "Ellen Redding" Marin County Pinot Noir 2015

Okay. We feel that every great label should have an equally great story behind it and boy does this Pinot have it in spades. Between the years of 1925 and 1928 the winemaker's Grandfather was courting his Grandmother, Ellen Redding, via 50 postcards. This particular one was sent in 1927 while she was a guest at the Casa del Rey in Santa Cruz, and while the postcard is a loving ode to his grandparent's bond, the contents will forever be between them. Now: how about the wine itself? All sourced from the cool-climate of Marin this wine shows tart layers of red cherries and cranberries, with a depth of clove and hibiscus. Great packaging, and a great wine!