Salut! And welcome to the November edition of the l’Art du Vin wine club.
November can be a slightly funny month in the wine industry. There is lots of pent-up energy and enthusiasm ahead of the all-important festive period. We all try to be as organised as possible but often December is a period of reactivity rather than proactivity.
And in the meantime, places are a little quieter as customers think ahead to festive spending and socialising.
As a result, it provides us with a natural lull in which to begin planning for next year – particularly how we can improve our offering and the areas in which we would like to grow our portfolio.
This month we are delighted to have the arrival of a new champagne house to our range – G.Richomme. At l’Art du Vin, our focus has always been on the promotion of wines from small, sustainable, family-run estates from across the globes.
In some regions, there are plentiful options to fulfil that criteria. However, in others, it can be far harder to find producers that fit our ideal brief.
One of those more challenging regions is Champagne. In recent years, it has been increasingly difficult to source from small growers as the luxury brands that dominate the Champagne market grow bigger and bigger.
With that in mind, we are delighted to begin working with the wonderful, Chardonnay-focussed cuvées of the Richomme family, produced on their 11-hectare estate in the Côte de Sézanne. Have a look out for them hitting our website in the coming weeks!
This month, we have decided to uncork the greatest hits! Two of our favourite, most popular l’Art du Vin producers for your enjoyment. Both Domaine de la Rochette and Fabulas are shining examples of the style of producer we love to work with – ethical, sustainable and gregarious, with a true sense of place. I hope that you enjoy their wines as much as we have over the many years we have worked closely with them.
I hope you are all well and able to head towards the finishing stretch of 2023 on a positive note.
Many thanks for your continued support.
Domaine de la Rochette, Touraine, France
François Leclair is among a group of local winemakers intent on driving up the levels of quality in the Touraine appellation.
To reach this objective, he has taken it upon himself, along with those who share his vision in the region, to create a new appellation – AOC Chenonceaux, which was legally instated in 2011.
Located in the very heart of the sprawling Touraine appellation, Domaine de la Rochette comprises 46 hectares of vines, producing Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Pinot Noir and a little Malbec.
François’ wines have long been a staple of our offering at l’Art du Vin. We believe they are a true reflection of their Touraine terroirs and offer great value for money.
Sauvignon de Touraine 2022
Award winning Sauvignon from the heart of the Loire. Crisp gooseberries, limes and a very slightly creamy finish.
A wonderful companion to chicken, tofu, or fish dishes with herb-heavy sauces. Also ideal with feta, goat’s cheese and traditional Thai or Vietnamese dishes.
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Gamay/Pinot Noir 2021
Light cherry and bitter strawberry notes with floral hints are carried through a nearly tannin-free finish in the charming light red wine.
Both Gamay and Pinot Noir are incredibly food-friendly grape varieties. This particular blend from Francois is great alongside lighter meat dishes, cured meats, chicken or pork. An early front-runner to act as the perfect foil to your festive turkey!
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Fabulas, Marche/Abruzzo, Italy
The Fabulas estate is set in the simply stunning location of Majella National Park in the Italian region of Abruzzo.
Located in the village of Pretoro, the Fabulas team cultivate their vines at around 600 metres above sea level, producing a range of fresh, aromatic and beautifully balanced wines.
They allow sheep to roam their vineyard as they keep a check on other flora and fauna as well as providing natural fertilisation.
The national park is so-called due to the fact it centres on the Majella Mountain, a key factor that impacts the wines stylistically.
Despite the fact that the vines are situated only 35 kilometres from the coast, there is little to no maritime influence, as the mountain looms overhead and protects the estate.
This is lush, aromatic, soft and wonderfully round. Expect an exotic nose of ripe nutmeg, white roses and lychee. The palate is silky smooth, packed with aromatic flavours building to an opulent, ripe finish.
Creates a fantastic combination with Asian cuisine. Also excellent with sushi and oysters. However, perfectly at home being sipped without food.
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A spicy, rich, mouth-filling blend with rich aromas of bright fruit, dried flowers and herbs. A soft, balanced texture with a spicy character and well-integrated tannins.
A great wine to enjoy with or without food. If pairing with a dish, opt for meat from the grill or dishes based around a tomato sauce – pasta, pizza or aubergine parmigiana. A personal favourite pairing with this particular wine is spaghetti Bolognese!
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