Club Little House - April 2017

“Comtesse” Bordeaux Blanc – Chateau L’Escart (2016) 

  • Grape Variety(s): Semillon/Sauvigon Blanc
  • Style: Dry White
  • Region: Bordeaux, France
  • Winemaker: Damien Laurent
  • Soil: Clay and Limestone
  • Age of Vines: 20 yrs

   A brand new wine and producer for us! We just recently expanded many selections in Southwest France and are so very excited to carry a Bordeaux producer who is practicing all Biodynamic in the vineyard and making great wine! It’s really quite rare to see organic farming practices in this region dominated by mass-produced, export-driven wines.
Like many Bordeaux estates, Damien Laurent is a multi-generational farmer and winemaker. His estate, Chateau L’Escart dates back to the 1600s and boasts a long tradition of winemaking. It wasn’t until recently that Damien abandoned the norm for the area and converted his entire vineyard to Biodynamic and Organic viticulture. The reason...more than anything, because they were convinced it made better wine. Additionally, they have a humble understanding that they must treat the land in a way that will preserve it for their children and many generations to come. Bravo!
The “Comtesse” Bordeaux Blanc is quite exceptional. Bordeaux is not really known for its whites and even Damien grows just a little plot of Semillon and Sauvignon, producing just 1,500 bottles of this lovely mineral-driven aperitif wine. Super fresh, yet pleasantly round. We love this wine for the spring!

Fusco – Bodegas Albamar (2015)

Grape Variety(s): Mencia
Style: Dry Red
Region: Galicia, Ribeira Sacra, Spain
Winemaker: Xurxo Alba
Soil: Slate
Age of vines: 20 years

  If Sally sells seashells by the sea shore, Xurxo Alba of Albamar makes albariño and mencia (two grapes) al alba del mar (next to the sea). If it were up to me, I’d stop right here. There’s really not much more to say. It’s what he was born to do. It’s what he knows best.
His cellar is in Cambados, next door to his parents’ restaurant and tienda de ultramarinos, a small shop selling local artesanal foodstuffs. His family has been farming and making albariño in the O Salnés sub-region of Rías Baixas for generations but it wasn’t until Xurxo finished his oenological studies that they started bottling and commercializing their own wines in 2006. They own about 2.5 hectares but source from about a total of 10 spread throughout this region dominated by smallholdings. Xurxo wishes they owned more but like theirs, neighboring vineyards have been passed along from generation to generation and working them is a way of life. It’s a hobby. It’s what people do on their free time. It’s a lifestyle that money can’t buy.
He farms and makes sure his farmers farm as naturally as possible, as much as the region permits. In the cellar, spontaneous fermentations with native yeasts are a common denominator in all of his wines. Whether he works the lees or uses oak is on a wine by wine basis, vintage by vintage.
We are fortunate enough to get a bit of the only red white he makes, a lovely Mencia aged in Stainless...just super fresh and versatile. One o