Specialty Club – October 2015

In honor of importer Paul Wasserman’s visit to our shop for a tasting on Saturday, October 17, we’ve selected one of his most intriguing Burgundies for the club. Although that used up most of the money allocated for the club, we were able to find a very tasty white from Umbria, not usually known for high-end white wines.

2011 Domaine Michel Lafarge, Volnay, Vendanges Selectionnées, $75

Winemakers: Michel Lafarge and his son Frédéric. For Michel Lafarge, 2011 was his 65th vintage!

Winery info: Domaine Lafarge is one of the most respected wineries in Burgundy, and the first in the region to move to biodynamic viticulture, in 1995. The estate was founded in the 1850’s.

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir, a selection of the very best barrels from the 2011 vintage which Michel and Frédéric called “a superb, even great, vintage of terroir that produced perfectly balanced wines.”

Vineyard source: The Lafarge estate consists of 6.45 hectares in Volnay, the top village in the Côte de Beaune for red wine. The vines that provided the fruit for this wine are around 80 years old, so yields are extremely low, even for Burgundy.

Flavor profile: From Allen Meadows, Bear’s favorite Burgundy expert: “A riper and more deeply pitched nose features terrific complexity with its moderately earthy aromas of red currant, dark cherry, plum and cassis hints. There is excellent vibrancy and outstanding detail to the generously textured, stony and complex middle weight flavors that finish in a mouth coating, persistent and delicately balanced finale.”

Availability: Although only 520 cases were made, the local distributor has a decent supply left.

Drinkability: While many of the excellent 2011 red Burgundies can be enjoyed now, the general consensus of experts is that this wine should be held for at least six years, and will probably continue to develop for around 10-15 more years.

Food Pairing: The Pinots of Volnay are known for their elegance, and call for elegant, complex meals. Or you could just savor this wine on its own!

2013 Azienda Agricola Scacciadiavoli, Montefalco Bianco, $23

Winery info: This estate was founded in Montefalco in 1884 by the Prince of Priombino, a small principality in the hill country of Umbria. “Scacciadiavoli” means “cast out the devils” and takes its name from a 19th century exorcist who lived near the vineyards and used the wines in his rituals. It was acquired by Amilcare Pambufetti in 1966 and is one of the leading wineries in Umbria.

Winemaker: Francesco, Carlo and Amilcare Pambufetti, the grand-children of Amilcare.

Grapes: 50% Grechetto, 25% Trebbiano and 25% Chardonnay. The Grechetto and Trebbiano are fermented in stainless steel tanks and the Chardonnay in large wooden casks.

Vineyard source: 35 hectares of vineyards in Montefalco, with mixed sand, schist, and clay soils.

Flavor profile: A full-bodied yet crisp wine, with aromas of white stone fruit, flowers, honey, and lemon, and flavors of peach and citrus with mineral notes. Delicious!

Availability: In good supply

Drinkability: Ready to drink

Food Pairing: Fish or appetizers