CorksCru 6 Best of 2018
We continue to have a vested interest in the farmers and winemakers we meet, the wines they make, and the stories they have to tell. As of this writing we're working directly with about 50 wineries in France, Spain, and Italy, and this past year another 50,000 or so of their bottles found their way into our warehouse and then out into your car or onto a UPS truck. Thank you!
The real surprise for me however, is the amazing increases in white whites and sparkling wines. I've never featured either on this list, but this year--one of each! Folks are drinking bottles in these categories all year round. I suppose I should start ordering more!
Also, is a movement toward fruit-forward, lower alcohol wines--especially from grape varieties that used to be pejoratively described as "light" (whatever that means)--like Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Cinsault. We love them here evidently!
- Toby and Julie Bainbridge 'La Danseuse', $25--Arguably this sparkling pink wine has become our "house bubbly" around here. And for good reason too. It's refreshing, natural, organic, and bone dry. Hard to beat any day of the year.
- Clos de Mez Fleurie 'Mademoiselle M' 2017, $24--Marie-Elodie Zighera is doing something unusual in Beaujolais--making Gamay into something that more resembles find red Burgundy. Her "welcome mat" bottling is pure, elegant and refined.
- Mas Seren Etincelle Rouge 2016, $15--Undoubtedly our most popular winery. We've imported more from Emmanuelle Schoch over the past 3 years than any other winery. And I think I know why--dollar for dollar her wines can't be beat...
- Mathieu Cosme Vouvray 'Promenards' 2017, $25--I still tell wine lovers, after all these years, that coming to love and appreciate Vouvray, in all its shapes and styles, is the best thing they can do to grow their wine appreciation. This rich but dry version is Cosme's best in years. What a wine.
- Puits de Compostelle Pinot Noir/Gamay 2015, $16--Our continued support of the little guy is best on display right here. Emmanuel Rouquette farms a mere 8 acres in the Burgundian countryside on the east side of the Loire. It is a pastoral and special location that yields wines that are pure country, but also purely wonderful. This could be your house everyday red.
- Les Hautes Noelles 'HE-HO' la Rouge 2017, $16--Sometimes it's still important to crack open a bottle, and use it to wash down almost anything you might cook up. Here's one of those kind of bottles--fruit forward, luscious, and disappears far too fast. A juicy blend of Gamay and Grolleau grown near the mouth of the Loire at the Atlantic.
So there you have it--A six-pack Tour de France, but with a sparkling and white mixed in for good measure. And the highest alcohol of the bunch tops out at 13.2% I believe. And that's a good thing.