First things first. Earlier this month, I believe the first Saturday, we tasted an old favorite that had been missing for several months. All due to a combination of vintage change, and a new importer. It is a wine that nationally would be hard to find, being from an eastern portion of France that many, otherwise knowledgeable wine folks, haven't even heard of, the Savoie. Rare or not, the Domaine Labbe 2010 "Abymes" Vin de Savoie sold out by the middle of the afternoon. To keep it simple, if you missed out then, it's back in stock now.
Another wine I just have to mention is the annual appearance of the Pascal Janvier Jasniere. This is a beautiful chenin blanc from the ancestral home of chenin blanc, the central Loire. Only this is from an area around the Loir, a northern tributary of the Loire. You've heard of Vouvray, Montlouis, and Savenierres right? Sure you have. They are Jasniere's more famous neighbors. While fine now, chenin blancs like these really don't start showing there stuff until they have been in the bottle for two or three years. At least. Every year I get a case before it is all gone, because it goes fast. There isn't very much, and apparently many people want it. So it's $21.95 (I consider this a bargain) and limited to three bottles per person until it is gone. And if it isn't gone real soon now, guess what cellar it will end up in. Hehe.
The wines open for tasting Saturday (for free, as usual) are the 2009 Fattoria Laila Verdicchio ($10.25), a pretty floral, citrussy, quintessentially summer white with a slightly mineral edge for great balance with light seafood. The red will feature one of my favorite unknown Italian grapes, gagliopo. That's gah-L'YEE"OHP-poh to you. It's the Ippolito 1845, 2007 Ciro Rosso ($11.95). From way down south in Calabria. That's all I have time for now. If you want more, below is the Pascal Janvier info I cribbed from the Kermit Lynch Web site.
"Pascal Janvier never planned on becoming a vigneron. Though his parents had vineyard land of their own, they did not make their own wine. Instead, he went to school to learn butchery. However, Pascal made a sudden about-face at the age of thirty and decided to study winegrowing in Amboise. His serious and soft-spoken demeanor reflects a man prone to quiet contemplation and great deliberation. His decision was anything but a whim. Starting slowly, he has mastered his craft with a focus and passion that is contributing towards the revival of the small appellation of Jasnières, in the department of the Sarthe in the Val du Loir. The Loir is a tributary of the Loire River, and its viticultural area is the most northerly (and coldest) of the greater Loire region. The once proud appellations of Jasnières and the Coteaux du Loir (the preferred wines of King Henri IV) are now all but extinct, with still less than one hundred and two hundred hectares still under vine. Pascal, with the help of his wife Dominique, is doing his part to remind everyone what Jasnières is capable of."
"The Janviers rent sixty-six different parcels (a total of nine hectares) of land and farm it entirely themselves. Jasnières produces some of the best dry Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Loire) in the world, and its wines are said to reach their peak ten years after the vintage. The soils of their parcels are comprised of clay, limestone, sand and silex (flint), and are planted primarily to Chenin Blanc."
So, come on down, it will be good to see you.