2017 Domaine de Fondrèche, “Il Était Une Fois,” $55
Winery Info: Domaine de Fondrèche is located at the foot of Mont Ventoux, in the Vaucluse department of southern France.
Founded in 1991, it is now run by Sebastien Vicenti who represents the second generation of his family to oversee the estate. The nearby mountain funnels cool air to the site, creating large diurnal temperature variations in their vineyards which they farm using organic and biodynamic practices. With a variety of soil types and microclimates, they are able to plant each vine according to its optimum terroir. This cuvée (the name, “once upon a time,” refers to the beginning of the story — the oldest vines on the estate) is made only in exceptional vintages and in limited quantity.
Grapes: 80% old vine Grenache (planted in 1936), and 10% each Syrah and Mourvèdre, grown on the best terroir of the clay-chalk plateau. Aged in large foudre and concrete eggs for 12 months.
Vineyard: Their vineyards have various exposures and soils of ancient alluvium origin — stony, with a chalky surface and sandy-clayed texture.
Flavor Profile: Complex and aromatic, with notes of red fruit, spice and hints of garrigue. It has wonderful texture and depth and great minerality. The flavors continue to evolve as the wine opens up and linger long on the finish.
Availability: The distributor has just a few bottles left of this wine.
Drinking Window: Enjoy now or over the next couple of years.
Food Pairing: They suggest leg of lamb, guinea fowl in a creamy mushroom sauce, or quail.
2018 Jean-Yves Devevey, Hautes Côtes de Beaune, “18 Lunes,” $45
Winery Info: Jean-Yves Devevey created his estate in 1992, beginning with one small vineyard in Burgundy. He worked to expand his holdings over the following years, aided by the advice and experience of some of the great Burgundian winegrowers around him. Today he has eight hectares spread throughout the Côte de Beaune, Hautes Côtes de Beaune, and the Côte Chalonnaise, and he makes both red and white wines. He was certified organic in 2014 and is experimenting with biodynamic practices. He is a big proponent of low-sulphur wines and adds very little to his wines. The “18 Lunes” in the name of this wine refers to the 18 months (or moons) the wine ages in barrel.
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, aged 18 months in barrel, 10% new.
Vineyard: From the lieu dit, Les Chagnots, in Nantoux, planted in 1991 at the bottom of Champs Perdrix. With stony soil on a steeper slope.
Flavor Profile: Beautifully complex and layered, with its lovely richness perfectly balanced by taut, food friendly acidity. With notes of orchard fruit, spice, and nuttiness, and a subtle hint of oak. The wine continues to develop after opening.
Availability: The distributor won’t have this wine around for much longer.
Drinking Window: Enjoy anytime over the next two or three years.
Food Pairing: Perfect for lobster, crab, grilled fish, or poultry in a cream sauce.