They had me at “Girard”. Recently I was asked by a wine distributor if I’d have an interest in hosting a Meet the Winemaker event for our store, Whole Foods Market North Miami. Said winemaker would be in town for other events and was interested in doing a tasting/bottle signing event. Since we’d done well with other similar events the offer was put on the table. It was true, we’d had great success in the recent past with winemakers in our store. Our customers and team members truly enjoyed the one on one interaction and learning experience of these “Rock Star” wine moments.
So far so good, but the question was being put to me during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Eve trifecta of shopping and retail event madness. My head was spinning. I recall I mustered the strength to ask “can you tell me who it is?” and the distributor replied Marco Digiulio of Girard Winery. I am sure the distributor went on with a short history of the winery and their wines. All I heard was “Girard“……
Girard just happens to be the producer of one of my favorite wines: Artistry. A consistently excellent fruit rich yet earthy Napa red blend that I consider to be one of my special occasion go-to wines. In fact when I was hired by Whole Foods as a Specialty Beverage Buyer and asked to list my top wines for the department you can bet Girard was on there. At the time I was able to bring in their Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Artistry. Presently, we also stock their Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. On my in-store wish list is the Petite Sirah, presently out of stock and the Old Vine Zinfandel which knocked my socks off.
Meeting Marco, yes we are now on a first name basis although some refer to him as Girard’s “Chief Wine Overlord”, was a wonderful opportunity for me to taste and compare earlier, current and new vintages. It was also my first time trying the white wines of Girard. Wines I can now recommend to our customers as I tell them what style of wine-making went into these productions. Stories I picked up from Girard’s Chief Wine Overlord himself. ¡SALUD!
July 14th the annual La Fête Nationale celebration in France or Bastille Day as it is mostly known in English-speaking countries is upon us once again. I now know that the Tour de France should have been a sign since it is always scheduled to correspond with this celebratory occasion. Better yet, I/we have another holiday to drink wine to. This may not be a “wine” holiday for most but the French are famous for their brew so…..I say let’s drink some French wine and since we are amidst the Summer season with heat records being broken every which way, I will be drinking and writing about two French white wines. Both these wines caught my attention last year while attending a Bordeaux class and a Sauvignon class. I’ve enjoyed them regularly since and if I may add, both would easily be my own Chateau wine if I wasn’t always out there looking for my next possible Chateau wine.
Should you be interested in more facts/myths about Bastille Day check out this fellow WordPress site I came across and found quite entertaining: http://irishherault.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/bastille-facts-myths/
Chateau Montet was discovered first [in a Bordeaux class] and I have since enjoyed their 2009 and 2010 vintages. Even more so I love the price! So much so that I bought a case the first time we crossed paths. The retail price is $8.99 but I was able to get it closer to $7.00 thanks to a sale and an additional 10% discount for the case at Total Wine and More. I dare say this is the perfect under $10.00 wine for White Bordeaux [Sauvignon Blanc] wine lovers out there. The wine comes from the area known as Entre-Deux-Mers, famous for its dry white wines and I can see why. We paired it with various cheeses but I can see it pairing wonderfully with seafood and lighter fare. Noted on the nose and palate were citrus [grapefruit], pear, grass and a very appealing minerality. A pale greenish-yellow in color with light to medium body. Again, this could easily be my “go to” dry white wine. Should you be interested in reading another review of the Chateau Montet check out the following White Sauvignon Review link; http://whitesauvignon.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/hello-world/
Chateau Tour de Bonnet Blanc I was lucky enough to discover in a Sauvignon class. It also comes from the appellation of Entre-deux-Mers and is produced by; André Lurton. Chateau Bonnet is located in his home village of Grezillac in the north of the Entre-deux-Mers appellation and has been under his control since 1956.
The Chateau Bonnet White Bordeaux is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle fermented in 100% stainless steel. It is pale straw in color with a very inviting bouquet. Its taste intensity is ample with a crisp style. This wine starts with classic fruit and flower aromas with an underlying minerality. On the palate notes of apple, grapefruit, grass and minerals were detected. I also noted fig and or guava. The sweetness was dry with acidity low on this light bodied wine with a lengthy finish. The Chateau Bonnet retails for $14.99 and is a great choice to serve as an aperitif with cheeses or with lighter meals. Its taste is distinctive and somewhat comforting. I know that may sound crazy to some but as I have written before some wines just make me feel cozy. I would add this one to the list!
So, as I end this French themed post celebrating the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution I/we at least have one more excuse to drink and appreciate good wine. Happy Bastille day, ¡SALUD! or more appropriately Á votre santé!