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Philippe Tessier Cheverny Rouge Nota Bene 2014

Gamay from Loire, France
    14% ABV
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    14% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Nota Béné is produced only in exceptional years when Tessier’s Gamay really shines. As expected, production is always very limited. Vinification in stainless steel vat using native yeasts. Malolactic fermentation. 10 months in used barrique (10 year). Bottled with no fining and no filtration.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Philippe Tessier

    Philippe Tessier

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    Philippe Tessier, Loire, France
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    Founded in 1961 by Roger Tessier, son Philippe took the reins 20 years later in 1981. They are located in the heart of the Cheverny and Cour Cheverny AOCs with 23ha of vines. The vineyard exists in a microclimate that keeps the vineyards cool, situated between the Loire River and the forests of Cheverney, Chambord and Solange. The estate has been Ecocert certified since 1998.

    Philippe believes that a wine should express the place from which it comes, the climatic conditions of the year, and the vigneron that produces it. Additionally, it must respect the life of the soil and the environment. He believes that wine should be delicious and must also be sound and healthy. Above all, Philippe says, it must be a natural wine.

    Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux, the picturesque Loire valley produces pleasant wines of just about every style. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the Atlantic coast to the center of France.

    The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire—farthest west and closest to the Atlantic—has a maritime climate and focuses on the Melon de Bourgogne variety, which makes refreshing, crisp, aromatic whites.

    The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc produces some of, if not the most, outstanding dry and sweet wines with a sleek, mineral edge and characteristics of crisp apple, pear and honeysuckle. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Malbec (known locally as Côt).

    The Upper Loire, with a warm, continental climate, is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.

    Delightfully playful, yet at its best capable of impressive gravitas, Gamay is responsible for juicy, berry-packed wines from Beaujolais and parts of the Loire Valley. While it has received some criticism for its role in Beaujolais Nouveau—a decidedly young, charming and fruit-driven wine—the Gamay grape is very capable of producing serious wines. The variety is also widely planted in Savoie, Valle d'Aosta and Switzerland, and has recently found success on a small but growing scale in Oregon.

    In the Glass

    In its simplest form as Beaujolais Nouveau, a wine released just a couple of months after harvest, Gamay is fresh and full of cranberry and cherry candy flavors. But Gamay is capable of much more. The region of Beaujolais is divided into Villages and Crus, where granite-rich soils and conditions are perfect for Gamay. The Villages and Crus wines, given more time on the vine and in the winery, are capable of improving with age and offer dark blackberry or ripe cherry flavors with enticing aromas of baking spice, violets and dark wet earth.

    Perfect Pairings

    Gamay is delicious on its own; the simpler bottling can even benefit from a light chill before serving. It is the quintessential picnic red and goes well with simple charcuterie, country pâté and terrines. Gentle tannins and bright acidity make it a great option with Asian food, even dishes with a bit of spice. Gamay is also great with poultry, especially duck or Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce.

    Sommelier Secret

    Within Beaujolais, there are ten different Crus, or highly ranked grape-growing communes. Each one has its own distinct personality—Fleurie is delicate and floral, Côte de Brouilly is concentrated and elegant and Morgon is serious, structured, and age-worthy, capable of rivaling some red Burgundies.

    SACNOTABENE_2014 Item# 164826