Épernay’s Staff Fall FavoritesOctober 3, 2019
Like the credit card commercial that asks “What’s in your wallet?,” it is always interesting to know what is in someone else’s wine cellar. Will you find a rare, expensive Bordeaux that is being tucked away for a child’s 21st birthday? Is there plenty of pink on hand for that impromptu social gathering? What is the house white for easy-drinking, daily consumption? We recently asked the staff at Épernay Wine & Spirits to share their favorite fall selections and what wines they will be drinking over the next few weeks. Here is what they said…
SUMMER SIPS CONTINUE
When choosing a favorite wine for long-time Nantucket resident Josie, it was an easy choice to select Seresin Sauvignon Blanc from Malborough, New Zealand. Marlborough produces more than half of New Zealand’s total wine production. This area has been consistently acclaimed worldwide for its standard bearing Sauvignon Blanc. Josie is a native New Zealander who has now lived on Nantucket longer than from her own country of origin. Sauvignon Blanc is her favorite sip all year round, not just in the summer.
Having visited this winery several times on her jaunts back home, Josie is impressed by the winery’s commitment to sustainability and growing their grapes organically. Bart Arnst, the founding vineyard manager of this property, is well known as the godfather of organic vineyard management in Marlborough and his boots on the ground mentality in regards to producing grapes. While this Sauvignon Blanc displays some of the trademark Marlborough characters, with floral, citrus and passionfruit aromas all present, the palate is finely textured with gooseberry, tropical and citrus notes, framed by a mouth-watering acidity, which creates a persistent finish. It is certified organic, biodynamically grown, and suitable for vegetarians and vegans with no dairy products or eggs used during production.
THE ROSÉS HAVE IT
Advanced Sommelier Jenny Benzie is not shy about her love affair with rosé wines, having traveled the world to continue educating herself about the many different styles available and the collection she has in store to share with you. While rosés from Côtes de Provence are the hallmark for most, Benzie most enjoys a domestic rosé made by Robert Sinskey Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir in California. The wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes that are organically farmed in the Carneros region. It is just plain delicious (along with very limited in production and can be a challenge to procure)! The nose showcases floral aromas of cherry blossom and chamomile that meet flavors of white peach, Pink Lady apple, and kumquat. The finish is clean with a mineral-driven backbone and mouthwatering freshness.
Winery owners Rob and Maria Helms Sinskey are repeat Luminaries at the annual Nantucket Wine Fest, where not only are their wines well received, Maria is also an outstanding chef who oversees the kitchen and food pairing at the winery. Her recommended dish with this wine is Roasted Squash with warm sprice, labneh and za’atar, perfect for a fall gathering of friends on island.
Heidi is in absolute love with Pinot Noir, almost as much as her life here on Nantucket. Having fell in love with a Nantucket Native many years ago, she has made the island home her home and raised her family here. She likes a solid wine that matches her big, fun-loving personality and Siduri Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley in California is her go-to wine of choice. Siduri, named for the Babylonian goddess of wine, specializes in cool-climate Pinot Noir, producing only single-vineyard, single-variety wines that express the terroir from which they come. Winemaker Adam Lee believes in minimal intervention so that the winemaking forwards, rather than overshadows, what happens in the vineyard.
The Russian River Valley is practically synonymous with Pinot Noir, producing wines that are generous, rich and round. This wine shows big cherry fruits, cola, and smoked earth characteristics. It is medium to full-bodied, well-rounded on the palate with a textured profile that is hard to resist. The pretty aromatics of the wine coupled with the heft on the palate prove that wine can be a pleasure and serious fun altogether, an attitude that well describes Heidi herself!
If you have ever spent time chatting and tasting with Certified Sommelier Kirk Baker, you will soon be captured by his bubbly personality. The same can be said when drinking a lovely coupe of Champagne, hence his favorite drink of choice hails from this region. Champagne Agrapart “Les 7 Crus” is a mix of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir. This fourth generation historic family domaine managed by Pascal Agrapart is located in the charming village of Avize in the heart of the Côte de Blancs.
This wine is sourced from estate owned 1er and Grand Cru vineyards from seven villages surrounding Avize. The vineyards have been farmed organically for years, not for any sort of certification, but merely as the right way to farm for quality at this artisanal level. This cuvée is a superb non-vintage bottling that beautifully synthesizes the pure and opulent fruit of top quality chardonnay vineyards in the Côte de Blancs with a racy, structured minerality that gives the wine superb length and cut. Delicious now, this Champagne will also easily keep for ten to fifteen years (if you can wait that long!).
All this being said, what is in your cellar to consume this fall? Whatever your wine of choice, please remember to drink responsibly and properly recycle your beverage container. Cheers to Cobblestones, Cranberries, and fall on Nantucket!