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"Cat Silirie Curates: The Trio" is back with the 8th installment of this delectable series, and the timing is perfect! "FriendsGiving" represents the simple yet sublime experience of sharing a meal with those we hold dear and the belief that friends shouldn't let friends drink unfriendly wines with their festive, celebratory dinners! To that end, Cat has selected three gorgeous wines that will pair beautifully with holiday fare, all of them crafted by some of her dearest winemaking friends.
Bob, Louisa, Jo, and Marco are the people behind these wines, and just like their creators, they are complex and versatile yet approachable and fun!
NV Jo Landron Méthode Traditionnelle Sparkling "Atmosphères" Loire Valley, France
Joseph Landron, known as "Jo Landron" is known far and wide by the moniker "Muscadet with Mustaches" because of his distinctive handlebar mustache, yet this well-loved Loire Valley native is first and foremost highly regarded as one of the leading vignerons and winemakers in the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine region.
Farming his vines organically and biodynamically long before it was in fashion, he strives to bring forth wines with purity of fruit and terroir-driven characters. His philosophy is beautifully manifested in today's sparkling wine, which displays a playful, crystalline delicacy, a persistent mousse, fresh fruit notes, and subtle depth.
Winemaking methods for the NV Méthode Traditionnelle Sparkling "Atmosphères" include the use of exclusively hand-harvested grapes, direct pressing of whole bunches in a pneumatic press, no racking, fermentation for two to three weeks with natural yeasts, and aging for 4 months in vats on lees. Secondary fermentation happens in the bottle, followed by 36 months elaboration, or aging, on the lees; the finished wine is disgorged 2 months before release.
2016 Sawyer-Lindquist Cellars Pinot Noir "Sawyer-Lindquist Vineyard" Edna Valley, California
Bob Lindquist is known as one of the world’s 50 most influential winemakers via Wine & Spirits Magazine and is considered by the national and international wine trade as one of the most talented vignerons and winemakers in California. Having achieved legendary status among his peers and legions of wine lovers, Bob is at the apex of his craft and is widely admired for his outstanding wines made from Rhône Valley varietals for 32 years at Qupé winery and now at the estate bearing his name.
Louisa Sawyer Lindquist, Bob's wife and partner in the "Sawyer-Lindquist" wines and vineyard, has her own label named Verdad in which she produces Spanish varietal wines. Luisa is known affectionately as the “First Lady of Albarino”, having been one of the very first vintners to plant, grow, and make albarino wines in California. She also uses tempranillo, garnacha, and graciano in her cuveés, and of course, there is today's beautiful pinot noir.
Together Bob and Luisa founded, originated, and planted the "Sawyer-Lindquist Vineyard" which is Demeter Certified Biodynamic.
The Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard, also known as Slide Hill, is located in Edna Valley. The gravelly, sandy loam soils have loads of marine fossils, Obispo Formation Mudstone, Monterey formation shale as well as an underlying volcanic influence due to the many dormant volcanic caps that dot the area. The vineyard is about 5.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean and Edna Valley has the longest grape growing season in California, yielding well-balanced, fully flavored grapes with excellent structure. All of this viticultural bounty is beautifully expressed in today's pinot noir.
2019 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso, Sicily, Italy
The Mt. Etna estate Tenuta delle Terre Nere is owned by winemaker Marco de Grazia, who is also a renowned importer of Italian wines. He has answered a calling to cultivate the volcanic soils of Mt. Etna with its indigenous grapevines, making wine and codifying the various microclimates and terroirs of Etna's volcanic slopes. Marco de Grazia's impact on Italian wine has been remarkable and inspiring.
“Proprietor Marco de Grazia is one of the pioneers of Mt. Etna. Not only was he among the first producers to recognize the value of these once-forgotten, ancient terroirs, he also was the first producer to bring attention to the specific qualities of these vineyards by bottling single-parcel Nerellos that have become reference-point wines for the Etna.” – Wine Advocate
“Terre Nere’s wines all possessed unbelievable freshness and complexity as well as huge perfumes that suggested Pinot Noir…These wines are astonishingly complex and ethereal efforts from the hillsides of Mt. Etna in Sicily.” – Robert Parker
Melding his non-interventionist approach to winemaking with modern sensibilities Marco tells us:
“In 2002, Terre Nere’s first year of production, I somewhat daringly defined the Etna appellation as the “Burgundy of the Mediterranean”. The elevated altitudes dedicated to viticulture start at 400 meters above sea level, sometimes reaching above 1,000 meters (1300-3300 feet) – a range in itself unique with respect to all other appellations known to me. These heights are characterized by temperature excursions (variations) between day and night that often register up to 30 degrees Celsius (86F).”
- Marco de Grazia
The climate on Mt.Etna is arid, and its vineyard soils have many layers of rocky pumice and volcanic soils. The grape varieties indigenous to this forbidding environment are grown on the steep slopes of this active volcano, these being primarily Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Capuccio for the red wines, including today's offer, which is a magnificent expression of this seemingly unforgiving yet bountiful terroir.
"FriendsGiving" is a spectacular lineup that will elevate your celebratory meals to great heights. We have 24 of these Trios available only and they are ready for pickup NOW. Grab them while they last. CHEERS!
*adapted from winery and importer notes