The Holidays are among us and with celebrations and gatherings coming up quickly in the social calendar, I asked Daniel Souder, the co-owner of Pleasantry, Wine Director / Sommelier & Business Development at 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab + Pleasantry, to take over the blog and find what wines our readers must add to their collection this Season.
Below is an in-depth look of wonderment, bringing your palate across the pond to Burgundy, FR all the way back to Paso Robles, CA. Looking for a “sparkling natural”? A lovely bottle is also on the list. Make sure to visit Daniel and his amazingly knowledgeable, and creative team at Pleasantry. If wine and food is a gift to the universe, meet where both arts collide beautifully and boldly, at www.pleasantryotr.com
5 Wines to Add to your Collection this Fall
By Daniel Souder
Fall has quickly become my favorite time of year. The Summer heat dissipates, football & the NBA start new seasons, and the wines I drink shift ever so slightly, right into a nice balance between light & chuggable to a little more grip, earth & dark fruits (plenty of acidity never changes!).
Slight rant before I start: buy California wine, people! They just experienced (and are still in it, in parts) some of the worst wildfires they’ve seen, and it was devastating. And the fact of it is, there’s some really damn great wine being made there (which I champion every day at Pleasantry), and are totally different than what you think of for “California wine.” So buy it. It’ll change your perception, and help an industry & area that has been ravaged.
Wines I’m digging for the Fall:
Agnes Paquet “Ali Boit Boit” Rouge pet nat – Burgundy, FR
100% gamay (we think)
-A sparkling red? That’s decent? No, not decent; it’s delicious. Some call this a rosé, but to me, it’s red. It’s got a deep ruby color, and an ever-so-slight amount of tannin, perfect to balance out the lush, almost-juicy fruit. This petillent natural (old school way of making sparkling that requires the winemaker to bottle during primary fermentation, akin to kombucha in that way) from a traditional Burgundy producer is perfect for those early fall nights where the porch is calling, but a sweater is required. Grab a glass while you can, because at 8% alcohol, it goes down smooth!
NV R. Pouillon “Solera” Brut Champagne – Champagne, FR
chardonnay & pinot noir
-A biodynamic farm in the Vallée de la Marne (western part of the region), this family-owned winery has been producing wines since just after World War II. On the 3rd generation winemaker, these grower champagnes (grow their own fruit, as opposed to the big houses that buy fruit) are all about terroir (lay of the land). Aged with a method (solera) usually seen in Sherry, this champagne will rock you, in a good way. Slightly oxidized (intentionally) notes of caramel & toffee, with the classic, bracing Champagne acidity, this bad boy will make those voices in your head seem all too real. Not really, but you could have a come to Jesus moment; it’s that legit. And it’s Champagne, which is good for any time. But buyer beware : once you go down the Champagne route, it’s hard to go back.
’15 Broc Cellar Picpoul – Paso Robles, CA
-Mostly seen as a blending grape in white blends, this grape native to Southern France stunts as a single varietal in this example from urban Berkeley winery Broc Cellars. Funk to the next level, we think the wine is undergoing a slight secondary fermentation in the bottle (a totally great thing, in my opinion), yielding an ever-so-present spritz. With almost sour beer-like qualities, drink this now, in the sun or shade, and be prepared for a totally unique experience to wine.
’16 JL Dutraive “Fleurie” – Beaujolas, FR
-Jean-Louis Dutraive is the patriarch of the Dutraives, a winemaking family that has stolen my heart, and palette. Situated in Fleurie, a cru in the center of the crus of Beaujolais, their wines are electric. Working organically & naturally since 2009, the pink granite soils & high elevation of Fleurie are on full display in this gem. Super tart cranberry & raspberry, I’ll recommend gamay for every season; it’s acidity, fruit & light-body make it the perfect thirst quencher for any & all occasions.
’15 Ruth Lewandowski “Boaz” – Mendocino, CA
carignan, grenache, cabernet sauvignon
– Full disclosure : I went & worked harvest this year with Evan Lewandowski, the winemaker & owner of this winery. But there’s no bias; any bozo could try his wines & know they’re on point. Boaz is his fullest-bodied red. And it bangs. Dark, dirty fruit, violets & a heavy earth component, this wine is dense without being weighty. So much balance & relatively low alcohol for a bigger red, it’s what I’ll grab when the days get shorter & the food gets heartier. Buy it while you can, he doesn’t make a lot!
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OTR, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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