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Posts Tagged ‘organic wine’

Clos Cibonne Cuvee Speciale Tibouren

Clos Cibonne Cuvee Speciale Tibouren

We’re so excited to share the Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence red with you, as this is one of our favorite wines for late summer and early fall! Clos Cibonne is a winery located in the town of Le Pradet, in southern Provence close to Bandol. The rare local grape that is grown here on clay and schist soils is called Tibouren. Tibouren is a sweet little grape that produces fascinating wines. In fact, the grape is so special that Clos Cibonne has special permission from the A.O.C. to put the name of the grape on their label in addition to the A.O.C. designation, which is Cotes de Provence. We’ve heard a rumor that the Tibouren grape is related to the light Ligurian red rossese (used in the Dolceacqua DOC wines), but Clos Cibonne winemaker Andre flatly denies it, partially because he has “never heard of Liguria.”

All of their grapes are grown organically, though the winery is not certified organic. They employ huge 100 year old “foudres” (giant 5,000L wooden barrels) that don’t give an oaky flavor to the wines, but instead allow them to breath through the wood.

Rather than being intense or big and heavy like many southern Provence reds, this red has a refreshing acidity and balance that make it an easy sipper. Partially because the Tibouren grape is thin-skinned and sweet and partially due to the situation of their vines, the Clos Cibonne wines never taste baked or overripe. Vaguely spicy and herbal aromas are mixed with red fruit scents. On the palate this wine has just enough tannin to keep it brisk, but with a nice juicy berry fruit and a silky mouthfeel. Basically, we love this wine for its easy drinkability. The Clos Cibonne Cuvee Speciale red with a slight chill and a plate of brandade or a salty anchoïade and a crusty baguette make for a perfectly light end of summer meal.

Julie Cappellano is the General Manager and Wine Buyer at Formaggio Kitchen South End, Boston.

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Pascal Pibaleau Rosé

Pascal Pibaleau Rosé

Close to the town of Tours in the heart of the Loire Valley, Domaine Pibaleau sits nestled between two of the region’s historic Châteaux: Azay-le-Rideau and Langeais. The 12 hectare Domaine Pibaleau has been family owned and operated since 1886. Here Chenin Blanc, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Grolleau are grown on organically farmed sandy-clay soil near the banks of the river L’Indre. Domaine Pibaleau has organic certification, and they work according to biodynamic principles.

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Mottura Vineyard

Porcupine’s eye view of the Mottura Vineyard

This past April the Formaggio Wine Team took a pleasant trip to visit Sergio Mottura’s estate on our way to VinItaly 2014. We flew into Rome’s Fiumicino airport early in the morning and drove north-east towards Umbria. We eventually split off from the crazy A1 autostrada onto small, one-lane roads. Just along the northern border of Lazio we reached the medieval hamlet of Civitella d’Agliano, and the home, hotel and cantina of the Mottura family.

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Gilles Berlioz's "La Piquette" with Pantaleo and kumquats

Each winter, I chuckle when I hear myself describing 30 degree weather as “balmy,” while simultaneously shaking my head at the arctic outcrops of snow outside. With all the white snow setting everything in frigid, monochromatic contrast, I find myself craving shades of yellow and orange, and the warm spectrum of flavors that go along with them. A delicate, understated Savoie white from Gilles Berlioz, made of 100% Jacquère, is the perfect complement to one of my favorite aged Sardinian goat milk cheeses, Pantaleo. Coupled with some thin slices of exuberantly tart kumquats, I get all of the sunshine and fresh aromas I need to make it through the deep-freeze of winter. (more…)

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Château des Rontets Vineyard

Château des Rontets Vineyard

It was truly a pleasure to visit Claire and Fabio at Château des Rontets last October. The couple met as architects in Milan, Italy, and eventually relocated to France to take charge of Claire’s family estate in the town of Fuissé, Burgundy. Fabio and Claire don’t subscribe fully to all of the intricacies of the biodynamic philosophy, but they have adopted some biodynamic techniques such as following a lunar calendar for harvesting and other cellar jobs. All of the estate’s grapes are grown organically and carefully hand harvested. (more…)

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A Representative Selection of Our Top 10 for 2013

At the end of each year, staff members at all three of our shops – in Cambridge, the South End of Boston and in New York – fill out a staff survey. We reflect on what we have tasted over the course of the past year – moments where we were surprised (both pleasantly and unpleasantly), new and exciting food experiences, as well as the flavors we found ourselves returning to time and again. We pick our favorites and share memorable moments. Some tried-and-true items appear in our survey results year after year – other items are new and exciting finds from the current year – goodies in this instance that distinguished 2013 from all others. Here are our top ten picks culled from this year’s survey results! (more…)

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Beaujolais, France

The Rolling Hills of Beaujolais

If we had our way, every other wine article would feature Beaujolais. That’s why this post features three Beaujolais from three different cru villages, just in time for holiday sipping! All are made from organically grown Gamay grapes and pair well with a wide variety of cheeses and appetizers. We especially like to pair Beaujolais with Comté and our exclusive import Pyrénées brebis. Here are our top three picks: (more…)

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