Specialty Club – June 2010

2007 Remoissenet Père & Fils, Chambolle-Musigny
Remoissenet was founded in the early 1800s by Pierre Remoissenet. It later passed to his son, but over the years quality began to decline. In 2005 the estate was purchased by a group of investors from New York and Toronto with the goal of bringing it back to its glory days. Blessed with the backing of wealthy shareholders, the new owners are able to go to any length to assure utmost quality. They were able to purchase vines in some of the most prestigious and coveted vineyards in Burgundy: one acre in Clos Vougeot cost them $4 million, from which they produced a mere 108 cases of wine. Clearly they’re not in it for the money, but out of a passion to make superlative wine. Last month Pierre Rovani, Washington D.C. native and president of Remoissenet Père & Fils, was in town and we had the opportunity to attend a small gathering to taste through his 2007 Burgundies with him. Rovani is a former wine writer for the Wine Advocate, and has a reputation for being both extremely passionate and highly opinionated. It was both enlightening and entertaining, plus we got to taste some absolutely stunning wines. One of them was this Chambolle-Musigny, an appellation in the northern half of the Côte d’Or, known for its richness and elegance. Though still young, that elegance is much in evidence in this wine, which has a delicate body, with hints of cherry and chocolate. At $70 it was one of the more affordable wines we tasted, and worth every penny. It has wonderful structure and balance that will develop nicely over the next three to five years. As for food pairings, try it with coq au vin, or boeuf bourguignon. After club allocations, we have a couple of bottles left.

2007 Corliss Estates, Tranche Roussanne Viognier
For a winery that has been officially open only about a year and a half, Corliss Estates has received an incredible amount of acclaim, including being named “Northwest Winery of the Year” by Seattle Magazine. It was founded in 2001 in an old bakery in downtown Walla Walla by a couple of Seattle real estate developers, Michael Corliss and Lauri Darneille, at the height of the wine boom there. After a fitful start (they discarded all the wine they made from the 2001 and 2002 vintages) they got on track when they hired veteran winemaker and Canoe Ridge alum Kendall Mix. Paul Gregutt has noted on his blog their incredible attention to detail, including hand sorting, no pumping, and very gentle fermentation procedures. This white, the flagship blend for their Tranche label used for white wines, might be the best white Rhone blend we have ever tasted from Washington. It has an absolutely vibrant acidity, with nice spicy peach and apricot flavors. The Viognier grapes came from the cool Evergreen Vineyard in the Ancient Lakes while the plush Roussanne comes from Sagemoor Vineyard. Although Viognier makes up just a third of the blend, its floral and mineral notes dominate the nose, relegating the almond aromas from the Roussanne into the background. It is $29.75 and would be a great match for almond chicken or any white fish. Corliss wines are at this time sold mostly through their mailing list and in only a handful of Seattle wine shops, so we are grateful to our good friend Lars Ryssdal from Corliss for getting us the wine.