Anne's Boutique Wines


December 2018 Wine Club Notes

The month of December is a time to celebrate and enjoy the joy of the season.  We selected wines to celebrate all month long...and to start we invite you to join us this Saturday, December 1st from 2 pm till 5pm to sample these wines plus 2 bonuses.  

The wines this month are: 



Touraine (Loire Valley), France - Biodynamic (Ecocert)

On the west side of the Loire Valley you will find Touraine, a region that is said that it hasn’t changed much since the 17th century. This is where we find a true convergence of old and new with Jean–François Mérieau’s wines and his winery. Based in the tiny village of Saint-Julien-de-Chédon, Jean–François’ property stretches to just over 85 acres planted to vineyards that are on the verge of being certified fully organic. The winery is based on rich history, with much of the winery in a cave that was carved during the 14th century. The “new” structure that houses many of the fermentation tanks was used by Americans soldiers during World War I, and some left inscriptions on the walls. The vineyards also speak volumes, with many of the vines ranging from 30 to 100 years old. Old history and tradition is everywhere but Jean-François is always looking to bring the old with the new, with vineyard work done all by hand and no commercial yeasts used in the vinification but at the same seeking new ways to express the old vines and rich landscape that is the Domaine Jean-François Mérieau. One of those ways is to introduce us to wines like this sparkling. As tradition at Anne’s dictates, in December we bring you a sparkling wine to celebrate the holidays. This year’s choice is the J’ose Les Fines Bulles (Jose’s fine bubbles) a grower sparkling wine made in the champagne method (two fermentations, one in tank and one in bottle) a single vintage, blend of 90% Chenin Blanc and 10% Chardonnay, vines planted on chalky clay soils, like those in Champagne and very little dosage added. This wine is aged for 24 months before disgorgement, which is the removal of the cap to replace it with the cork. Then it is allowed to age another 12 months in the bottle before release. Many champagnes do not age this much, so this is a great “bang for your buck” sparkling wine. Chill this wine like you would any champagne to 40F, any colder and you’ll numb the delicious aromas and flavors. As you pour the first glass, you will notice the abundant bubbles that rise from the glass bringing you the delicate notes of ripe, yellow apples, peaches, nectarines and white tropical flower hints at the back. The first sip signals your saliva glands into party mode to savor the yellow and green apple notes, Meyer lemon, and unripen pineapple. This wine is dry with zippy acidity, well rounded and generous bubbles. The mouth is left asking for more! This wine is a great way to start an evening, celebrate a great occasion or just have with your favorite fried food, or even a humble bag of potato chips. $21.00



Languedoc, France – Certified Organic

 You enjoyed their white blend in November, now try their hearty red. But a refresher on who the winery and winemakers are…Just above the village of Montpeyroux, originally the site of Roman villas is where we find “Villa Dondona”. A meeting of two personalities: Jo Lynch, a British artist enthused by the south and French doctor transformed into a winemaker, André Suquet. She is a painter, specializing in the drawing of animals. She designs all the labels; he was a doctor and is really a poet in the vineyard, his great passion. In 2000, he wanted to offer Jo a garden. As a British artist she had always dreamt of a garden but their ancient home in Montpeyroux did not have any. Instead it was 21 acres of wild land at the foot of the Larzac that would become the vineyards. André decided to turn this into vines, he decoded their language and nurtured them into certified organic purveyors of beauty and wine. And this is a delicious wine. The vines of Villa Dondona’s red varietals grow low, close to the soil in Mediterranean warmth allowing full maturity, giving aromatic wines of strength and character but with a silky note. This wine is a blend of Mourvedre 40%, Syrah 40%, and Grenache 20%; the mourvedre is king follow by the grenache and the syrah. Each plot is vinified separately to keep a fruity and complex wine. The wine has manual harvest with selective sorting, followed by vinification in stainless steel thermoregulated vats. This wine is a bright garnet red, the nose is aromatic with complexity: blackberries, raspberries and spicy aromas, hint of black olive and dark chocolate. The palate is fresh and ample with fine elegant tannins. The finish is long but also intense. Perfect to enjoy with lamb, steak, and/or a hearty winter meat stew. This wine can age another 3 years but drink soon. $22.50





Monterrey County, California

 In Monterrey County, nestled between the ocean and the 101 Highway, you find a mountainous area producing some really exciting and delicious California wines. The Monterrey County area and its AVAs an American wine producing region well worth visiting and enjoying via wine The region enjoys cool morning fog and breezes from Monterey Bay followed by warm afternoons thanks to direct southern exposures to the sun. The River Road Wine Trail runs along the length of this county. The hotel industry is still in its infancy here so don’t expect bed and breakfasts all over the place the way Napa is…but if you stay in nearby Carmel or the other sleepy beach towns, not only will you find gorgeous places to stay but you are well within range to drive a picturesque road and visit a few wineries that will be well worth your while. This month for our secondary wines, both hail from this amazing area. First this red blend that comes from Morgan Winery is an American contrast to our primary red wine from France. The Morgan winery, owned and operated by Dan Lee Morgan, who along with his wife Donna, have been making wine in the area since the 1982. With about 2000 cases of wines annually, they have, from the beginning, won medals and acclaim. They have been named Winery of the Year by Wine and Spirits Magazine, Winery of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, Wine Enthusiast…well you get the point. Everyone thinks they rock wine! We do too…so for the secondary red, we chose their Cotes du Crow wine. It is a blend of Grenache and Syrah, with just a small amount Tempranillo added to compliment the first two grapes. The fruit was sourced primarily from the Arroyo Seco and San Lucas appellations of Monterey County. This wine was fermented in open top tanks and received manual punch-downs to bring out the juicy, dark fruit notes. This enabled good extraction and structural development with pleasant tannins. After fermentation, the wine was transferred to French oak barrels where it aged for 10 months. This Rhone-inspired blend has a rich ruby red color, highlighted with purple edges. Raspberry jam, cedar, and fig paste aromas jump out of the glass. The wine is medium-bodied with soft tannins, offering a mouthful of brambleberry and black cherry. Its weight and balance make it a perfect pairing with anything off the grill, be it meat or vegetable. A great companion to sip by the fire. $17.99





Santa Lucia Highlands, California – ORGANIC WINE (SIP CERTIFIED)

The McIntyre Estate Vineyard lies in the “sweet spot” of Monterey County’s Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. Originally planted in 1973, the 60 acre property boasts some of the Highlands’ oldest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. Proprietor Steve McIntyre is one of the most knowledgeable viticulturists in California. As owner/operator of Monterey Pacific, he farms 12,000 acres in Monterey County. The McIntyre Estate Vineyard was among the first properties in the Santa Lucia Highlands to be SIP (Sustainability In Practice) Certified. SIP Certified goes beyond the USDA Organic process because organic only addresses prohibiting synthetic pesticides and fertilizers without considering other resource concerns. While you’ll find organic wines that are also SIP Certified, the SIP Certified goes further, from farm labor to agriculture – from energy conservation to water quality. This winery places all of the important things above and the vines are cared for in a manner that yields wines of amazing quality. For your secondary white wine, we submit their Chardonnay. 2016 turned out to be another exceptional vintage for SLH Chardonnay. The wine yielded fruit that once fermented and aged only 5 months in French oak, gave us notes of Asian pear, baked apple with compliment hints of vanilla wafers, toasted almonds and plenty of tropical fruit. A vibrant silky texture with plenty of crisp acidity, this Chardonnay should continue to evolve and improve over the next few years. We think you’ll love this wine…one of those “please Chardonnay lovers” kind of wine! If you are entertaining this holiday season, load up on this wine. Your guests will love it. Pair with with a baked brie and a side of yellow apples to dip into the cheese. $21.00 

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