Menu for april
Southern French Wines
Mas de la Dame 2004 Les Baux de Provence La Gourmande 13.99
The wines of Mas de la Dame have become staples here at the Winds Café. The La Gourmande is their introductory wine made from a 50/50 blend of Syrah and Grenache. Although it comes in a similar bottle as Mas de Gourgonnier, this is a very different wine. It’s full of red fruit flavors and just a hint of rosemary and spice. Rhone legend, Jean-Luc Colombo, is now the consulting winemaker for the two women who own Mas de la Dame and the changes are all good. La Gourmande is a perfect choice with lighter meals; pasta, soup or roast chicken with garlic. Van Gogh immortalized the beautiful vineyards of Mas de la Dame with a painting in 1889.
Mas de Gourgonnier 2004 Les Baux de Provence 14.99
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art. - Paul Cézanne.
Art is such a tossed around word anymore I hesitate to comment when people say they’re an “artist”. I live in Yellow Springs for god’s sakes...everyone’s an artist. I guess I just don’t understand what being an artist means anymore. Does it mean you make your living selling art? Or does it mean you are poor and starving and never make any money for what you create? Alternatively, is it the way you see yourself in the world with no relationship to anyone or anything else? And, especially in the modern age, what is art and what is being a technician? I don’t claim to know the answers, all I know is that Mas de Gourgonnier makes a very artisan blend of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27%Grenache, 22% Syrah, 13% Carignan, 1% Cinsault & 1% Mouvedre. It’s dense and layer with dark fruit and full of garrique, the wild herbs that grow everywhere in the South of France. It’s also full of heart and soul. If you agree with Cezanne, then Mas de Gourgonnier is one artistic wine.
Mas des Brunes 2003 Cuvee des Cigales 15.99
“Where the heck is Côtes de Thongue?” you ask. Well, the Vins de Pays of Côtes de Thongue are produced in Languedoc. The vineyards stretch to the west of Pézenas in an area full of history and old vines. Mas des Brunes offers incredible value considering the dynamic wines they produce. The Cuvee des Cigales is a 60%Syrah/ 40% Grenache based wine with intense, high-toned red fruit flavors along with some darker plum elements. It’s meaty, earthy and just oozes terroir. Anyone interested in an early spring cookout or an Easter roast leg of lamb? Call me, we’ll talk.
Château les Valentines 2005 Le Caprice de Clémentine Côtes du Provence 13.99
This wine will surprise you. White wines from this region are not usually shining stars. We hosted a luncheon with Pascale Massenot, Gilles Pons last spring. Clementine showed up by mistake, and a fortunate mistake it turned out to be. Made from old vine Ugni Blanc, Le Caprice de Clémentine is a zippy, mineral laden beauty that’s light enough for lunch but also pairs beautifully with more complicated dishes. Note to self...Château les Valentines is located in La-Londe-Les-Maures. They’re on the move as one of the finest producers of red wines from the Côtes du Provence.
La Font de L’Olivier 2003 Carignan Vieilles Vignes 15.99
I find Carignan is one of those grape varietals that consumers either love or hate. I’m crazy for it. Le Font de L’ Olivier fashions a rustic wine that’s reminiscent of meat juices and wild herbs. I won’t stop here because this wine deserves much more attention. Aside from a certain gamey element, this old vine Carignan (75 year old vines) produces a wine that also incredibly silky in texture. The wine finishes with hints of chocolate and the subtle nuttiness of cocoa nibs. What can I say...I love it. La Font de L’ Olivier is made by owner/winemaker Bruno Granier, brother of Isabelle Bertrand, owner of Mas des Brunes. Bruno is currently involved in a geological survey, which could possibly change his appellation to Faugères. Stay tuned.
Château de Pibarnon 2000 Bandol 25.99
Château de Pibarnon 2003 Bandol 37.99
It’s documented that Cézanne painted until a week before his death. He collapsed while painting outdoors and was carried home. He wrote “I could paint for a hundred years, a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing.” This is how I feel about wine. The more I study, the more I taste and discuss, the less I seem to know. Bandol is the perfect example. This is a wine I’ve love since my first encounter nearly 20 years ago when I tasted the legendary Domaine Tempier. I love the power of Mourvedre, but with a bit of age, the wine turns into something more akin to a full-bodied Pinot Noir. Pibarnon’s version has flavors of black plum and black cherry with elements of white pepper. These wines will last a good ten years. Buy the 2000 and 2003 and compare the vintage variation as well as aging potential. Also, check out one of my favorite wine blogs, www.wineterroirs.com. Bertrand is a French photographer/ food and wine lover who has traveled extensively in Provence. His posts are incredible.
Bastidonne 2005 Viognier Côtes du Ventoux 12.99
Bastidonne is one of those wines that’s almost too good for the price. It’s like a happy, content marriage...comfortable, but sometimes taken for granted. This beautiful, straw colored wine has a lovely floral aroma with juicy citrus and apricot fruit elements. What an awesome wine! I mean for 12.99 you will not find a more delightful white wine for spring quaffing. It’s aromatic, bright and full of lively minerality. If you don’t buy this wine by the case you’ll miss one of the season’s best values. Give this Viognier to someone you love but have forgotten to acknowledge as of late, for under thirteen dollars it’s money well spent. I guarantee it.
Chateau de Roquefort 2006 Rosé Corail 13.99
These first beautiful days make me feel so good it’s like falling in love. What is it about fresh, clean air, chirping birds and a few daffodils that make nearly everyone feel like a million bucks? How can we preserve and maintain that feeling all year long? Everyone just seems optimistic and energized. Van Gogh wrote, “The diseases that we civilized people labor under most are melancholy and pessimism.” He wrote that almost 120 years ago, but it certainly rings true in our modern age. If we were allowed to vote on such matters, I’d petition to make a national holiday when the first rosé of the season is released. This year’s winner would be the biodynamically produced Château de Roquefort. It’s always one of my favorites. What’s not to like about this beautifully mineral sparked wine? It’s bursting with fresh, tart, strawberry flavors that scream for garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs. Ok, you have beautiful spring weather, wild flowers...what else do you need, a starry night?