There are few places in the world that can compete with France’s Loire Valley for incredible values in wine.  From hearty, robust reds to light, dry whites, the Loire Valley is home to a staggering range of wines that won’t break the wallet.  In fact, most can be found for under $20 with truly exceptional, collector wines coming in at under $50.

This Friday, December 9, from 4-8pm, we would like to invite you to join us at the store to taste a sampling of these fantastic wines: 

2010 Domaine de la Paupiere Sevre et Maine Muscadet ($12.99/750 ml) 

Last week the RED team tasted through some fantastic wines from Boonedocks Distributing, one of our favorite wine wholesalers. Boonedocks owners Jeanne and Larry Boone represent Louis/Dressner Selections, a great importer of small production, artisanal wines.  And while all the wines we tasted were good, one stood out: the 2010 Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet.

This is a textbook Muscadet: Dry and crisp with a powerful streak of acidity, this Loire Valley white wine has flavours of chalk, crushed oyster shells, and citrus. At $14.99, this is one of the best white wine values in the store.

Quality winemaking starts with the winemaker and Domaine de la Pepiere winemaker Marc Ollivier puts considerable care into his wines. Ollivier hand harvests his Melon de Bourgogne (the grape variety of Muscadet) so as to not damage them, he uses natural yeasts to capture a sense of place, and he bottles with very light filtration to preserve the freshness of the wine. Ollivier’s Muscadets are special wines and were a crowd favorite at a recent Saturday tasting.

We also have its big brother the 2010 Domaine de la Paupiere Clos des Briords in stock for $17.99.  This is a wine crafted from a single plot of vines planted in the 1930s. This wine is a richer and more complex than its sibling.

While neither of these fabulous wines have been rated by the usual suspects.  The 2009 Clos Des Briords earned 92 pts from Robert Parker and 90 pts from Wine Spectator. Early reports put the quality of the 2010 vintage slightly higher than the 2009, so come down to RED and pick up these gems before the wine police score them high and they sell out!

2009 Reverdy Sancerre   ($14.99/375 ml; compare at $17.99)

“Hippolyte Reverdy’s family has been making wine in the charming village of Verdigny, a commune of Sancerre in the eastern Loire, for many generations—perhaps as far back as 1600. Traditional in nature, the farm was planted to multiple crops, and the Reverdys raised goats and made small quantities of wine from their own vines for local consumption. It was not until the end of World War II that Hippolyte began increasing his Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir production, selling it to accommodate increasing demands from Paris. Hippolyte and his three sons began bottling small quantities under their own label, although the lion’s share of the grapes was still being sold off to the local cave coopérative. Michel joined his father and brothers in 1971, shortly after finishing high school. Kermit began working with the domaine for the first time in 1983. Shortly after, the passing of Michel’s father and the untimely deaths of his two brothers brought a climate of sadness to the domaine. Michel was left with his mother to bear the burden of loss and to assume the responsibility of running the farm alone. Slowly but surely, Michel has found his own rhythm. After tasting a Sancerre rouge from the domaine, Kermit asked Michel to craft one for him in the traditional demi-muids, and specified that he would like it unfiltered. Once convinced of the quality, Michel expanded the winery to accommodate these new reds. Since then, his rouge is the talk of Sancerre, one of a kind.

Today, Michel farms fourteen hectares of vineyards on his own. Chris Santini, our man in France, writes of Michel, “His dedication is total. He’s one of the few remaining vignerons in France who truly live like a paysan [peasant]. No vacation, no travel, ever. He’s happy just to stay on the farm, working seven days a week, and wanting nothing more and nothing less…[Michel] plans to keep working the land until he physically can’t get himself out to the vines any longer.” In earlier days, Kermit considered the Sancerre blanc very good, with great typicity, although since Michel has taken the reins, Kermit says that Reverdy has since “become the benchmark domaine of our day.” – Kermit Lynch

The 2009 Reverdy Sancerre is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from one of the finest producers in France. A great stocking stuffer for the wine aficionado. 

2009 Destinea Pinot Noir ($15.99/750 ml)

There are few estates in the Loire Valley more committed to sustainable agriculture than Joseph Mellot, producer of Destinea Pinot Noir. In June 2009, the Joseph Mellot estate became the first estate in the Central Loire Valley to receive ISO 14001 certification. This international standard applies to all types of companies, regardless of their size or activity. It is based on the continual improvement of environmentally sound practices through an integrated environmental management approach.

From 2009, the Mellot estate has engaged in an extensive recycling program that recycles all packaging and waste from both the supplies they use and from the winemaking process. According  to Mellot President Catherine Corbeau Mellot, “receiveing ISO 14001 certification crowns the totality of our efforts (human, material and organizational) and reinforces our commitment to constantly improve upon our practices. It goes hand in hand with what has always been our company’s contribution to society and sustainable development.” 

At RED, we believe you can taste this commitment to the land, and we’re happy to sell you wine from a producer who believes in taking care of the planet. 

The 2009 Destinea Pinot Noir blows away most mass-produced Pinot Noirs. Lighter in style, with a gorgeous nose of cherries and spices. This is elegant and refined. For fans of Burgundy, but at a much lower price.  

Today, Friday, December 9, we’ll be offering special pricing on wines featured at the tasting: 10% off each bottle listed above. Buy 6 or more and receive a 15% discount!

We look forward to seeing you tonight!

– The RED Spirits & Wine Team 

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