In celebration of the holiday season, your friends at Paul Marcus Wines are offering a discount on all large-format bottlesfor the entire month of December! Get 15 percent off any magnum-sized (or larger-format) bottle from our generous selection of reds, whites, bubbles, and even rosés. (If you’re shopping in our online store, use the discount code magnum15 when you check out.)
Impress the hosts of your next holiday party–or perhaps cuddle up with your sweetie by the fire for a (long) night of profligate pleasure. In addition, big bottles make wonderful last-minute gifts for your wine-drinking friends and family.
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Nothing says “holiday celebration” like a bottle or three of Champagne. If you’re looking for some direction in your choice of bubbles, we’ve assembled a three-bottleChampagne Party Pack that showcases the stylistic diversity of the famed region–with different grape blends, dryness levels, vineyard locations, and winemaking approaches. This specially discounted package will help distinguish your own holiday party–and it’s also the perfect gift for the oenophile in your life.
This house is named for Bertrand Gautherot’s two growing parcels in the hills of the town of Troyes in the Côte des Bar. Bertrand is a true vigneron–just as present in the fields, cultivating the vines, as he is in the cellar–the epitome of “grower champagne.” His devotion to his vines and to biodynamic viticulture has garnered him quite the cult following. His precision and unwavering attention to quality has made Bertrand a sought-after name among sommeliers and collectors alike.
Bertrand’s wines are all fermented with indigenous yeast in French oak barrels. He prefers to make wines as transparent as possible; therefore, in addition to his strict farming and winemaking practices, he does not add any liqueur de l’expedition (a mix of wine and sugar to top off the bottle after disgorgement). It’s a true brut nature (absolutely no dosage/sugar additions), and he only adds small amounts of sulfur in accordance with the Demeter law.
Bertrand’s vineyards in the Côte des Bar are more akin to those of Chablis: rocky Kimmeridgian and Portlandian limestone. This region of Champagne is known for its pinot noir production, but of course–being the renegade he is–Bertrand’s Blanc d’Argile is 100 percent chardonnay from Briaunes, his largest parcel, with a small amount of fruit from scattered plantings in his other Côte des Bar townships. Its ripe fruit is offset with acidic tension.
Mineral, nougaty, and salty, this wine is often compared to a (bubbly) grand cru Chablis. Pop these bubbles to impress the wine expert in your life or to experience an indulgent night in.
Champagne Saint-Chamant was established in 1930 by Pierre and Hélène Coquillette. Their son Christian took over the estate in 1950 and brought Saint-Chamant to international recognition. Christian’s son Stéphane succeeds him as the third generation.
The estate is located in Epernay in the Côte des Blancs, which is known for its chardonnay production. This rosé is 92 percent chardonnay (all grand cru fruit) and 8 percent pinot meunier. Farming is done under organic practices (however, the estate does not hold any certifications). All vineyard work is done by hand. Christian believed in extended lees aging, and all the wines are disgorged to order, something that is particularly unique in Champagne.
This Champagne is rich, with bursts of raspberries and cream upon opening. The finish is dry, with a dosage of only 5g/L, yet creamy. The bubbles are fine, giving this NV Champagne an aged feel. These bubbles are sure to please Champagne drinkers of all types. Enjoy with cheeses, meats, and rich shellfish dishes.
Jacquesson Champagne production traces its roots back to 1798. This name has laid the foundation for some of the greatest and most renowned Champagne houses, such as Krug. (Johann-Joseph Krug left Jacquesson in 1843 to produce his own wine.) The success of Jacquesson, however, is not simply in their longstanding name or parentage of other great houses, but also in their modern manifestation as a large-production, grower Champagne.
In the 1980s, brothers Laurent and Jean-Hervé Chiquet took over the winemaking and estate management from their father. They immediately adopted pesticide-free, organic practices in order to produce a less manipulated, more terroir-driven Champagne style. Only juice from the first pressing is used, and all the juice is either from grand cru or premier cru vineyards. The wine ferments in large foudres with regular battonage (lees stirring).
To further highlight their vines’ terroir, they began using a majority of a single-vintage base for their blended, non-vintage wines–a non-vintage wine in a vintage style. They marked the start of this new philosophy by labeling the wines as the 700 series. They began with 728, and each year, a subsequently numbered cuvée is released, with Cuvée No. 733 based on the 2005 vintage, Cuvée No. 734 based on the 2006 vintage, and so on.
The 745 uses the 2017 harvest as its base and includes grapes from the areas of Ay, Dizy, Hautvillers, Avize, and Oiry (Vallée de la Marne). The blend is always about 80 percent chardonnay plus about 20 percent pinot noir and pinot meunier. Late-onset frosts were particularly destructive and were followed by a hot and wet summer. Rigorous sorting left them with small yields, but incredibly premium fruit.
The wine is lush and plush with a creamier-than-usual palate due to the low, ripe yields. All Jacquesson wines spend a minimum of five years on the lees, and the very low extra-brut dosage of .75g/L deftly complements the wine’s natural ripeness. It offers notes of pineapple and creamy lemon curd, with bright lemony-chalky acidity and persistent perlage (fizziness).
To learn more about these exquisite bottlings or to discover the wide range of Champagne available at Paul Marcus Wines, please visit us at the shop.
https://www.paulmarcuswines.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Logo_Paul_Marcus_Wines2018.jpg00Paul Marcus Wineshttps://www.paulmarcuswines.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Logo_Paul_Marcus_Wines2018.jpgPaul Marcus Wines2022-12-14 14:32:222022-12-14 14:32:22Celebrating Holidays: Big-Time Bubbles
Imagine a grape variety that gives you the silkiness and grace of pinot noir; the dark fruits, pepper, and floral notes of syrah; and the joyous lift and moderate alcohol of gamay. This grape shares nebbiolo’s knack for making a variety of wines–everything from easy everyday wines to important site-specific ones, not to mention singular rosés and sparkling wines. And, to make it even more palatable, it boasts an appealing quality-to-price ratio, with most coming in at under $25. Voilà: we give you blaufränkisch!
The best-known name of the grape, blaufränkisch, gives us an idea of its pedigree: From the Middle Ages onward, German-speaking peoples used variations of fränkisch (“from Franconia”) to distinguish higher-quality from run-of-the-mill varieties. Blaufränkisch is the name that’s used in Austria, which is the most important source of quality wines made from the variety. But there are lots of synonyms, depending on where it’s grown: kékfrankos in Hungary, limberger/lemberger in Germany, borgonja in Croatia, and gamé in Bulgaria, among others. (I’m not the only one to have noticed the partial resemblances to pinot noir and gamay!)
Whatever you call the grape, the wines made from it are as much fun to pair with food as they are to drink, thanks to their lively acidity, moderate alcohol, and judicious dollop of fruitiness. Start with the dishes you love to eat with pinot noir or syrah, especially savory things like mushrooms, tomatoes, sausages, and smoked meats. Then dial up the spices if you want: paprika, barbecue sauce, capsicum…. If you’re up for going Hungarian-style native, importer Eric Danch suggests offal (“bloody, minerally stuff”), culminating with kakashere pörkölt (rooster testicle stew). Back here in the Bay Area, experiment with izakaya plates: grilled and fried bites, pickled vegetables, and the like.
Here are eight examples of this variety from Paul Marcus Wines. (Continue reading for a special discount.)
Sisters Birgit and Katrin Pfneisl farm their family’s certified organic vineyards in eastern Austria, near the border with Hungary, and make this deliciously gulpable blaufränkisch. The wine is light, fresh, fruity, and just 12 percent alcohol. Chill it for 20 minutes to enhance all of these qualities. It’s great for barbecues, picnics, and camping–the full-liter bottle is finished with a screw cap, for easy access.
Gernot and Victoria Schreiner practice certified organic farming in their hometown of Rust, on the western shores of Lake Neusiedl. This wine is from a parcel called Gemärk (limestone, sand, and sandstone). It’s aged in large, old oak casks for 14 months and is classic Burgenland blaufränkisch: inky black and blue fruits without heaviness and with a pleasing bitter hint. At 12.4 percent alcohol, it’s lively, fresh, and fun, yet with a serious, elegant side.
Here’s a German example of blaufränkisch/lemberger. It’s perhaps a little higher-toned than the Austrian and Hungarian versions, with especially bright acidity. The grapes are farmed organically, and the wine comes in at 12.5 percent alcohol.
Father János and son Péter Stumpf dry-farm 20 hectares of vines in the Eger appellation of Hungary, halfway between Budapest and Tokaj. This wine is from 40-50-year-old vines. Nagy-Eged means “Eged Mountain,” and it’s the highest-altitude red-wine vineyard in Hungary. The wine is aged for 20 months in 500-liter acacia and Hungarian oak barrels and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The only addition is a small amount of SO2 at bottling. This is a kékfrankos that’s sophisticated and even a touch flashy, with dark fruit and noteworthy structure. It gains complexity with bottle age.
Peter Wetzer is a producer in the appellation of Sopron, right next to the border with Austria. His kékfrankos is a blend of several organically farmed 40-50-year-old vineyards, with loam, limestone, and mica-schist soils. Fermentation is in open vats and aging in used 500-liter Hungarian oak barrels. It’s bottled unfined and unfiltered, with a small addition of sulfur. Vivid dark fruits are etched with vibrant minerality and acidity. This is a lot of wine for the money.
Roland Velich started Moric (MOR-itz) in 2001 with the goal of doing with blaufränkisch in Burgenland what producers have achieved with pinot noir in Burgundy, syrah in the Northern Rhône, and nebbiolo in the Langhe. (Read Alder Yarrow’s article “MORIC: The Apogee of Blaufränkisch.”) This wine is from 10-50-year-old vines growing in limestone, primary rock, and loam. Farming is uncertified organic, and fermentation is with indigenous yeasts in open vats and steel tank. Aging is in a combination of barrels ranging from 600 to 4,500 liters in size. No fining or filtration and minimal SO2 added at bottling. This is a super-classy wine that manages to be both impressive and understated at the same time.
Here is the wild and kinky side of kékfrankos. Gábor Karner is the godfather of natural wine in northeast Hungary (as well as a progressive metal drummer with the band Æbsence). His daughter Fanni works with him in the wine region of Matrá, between Budapest and Tokaj. Their wine is from the organically farmed single vineyard Vitézföld (“the good soldier’s land”). It sees one week of maceration and then 18 months of aging in stainless steel. Unfined, unfiltered, and no additions of any kind, including SO2 (ØØ). This is a serious natural wine: concentrated and complex, while walking the line between sauvage and fine.
We’ll finish–but maybe you should start–with an utterly hedonistic fizzy pink wine from Lower Styria (Štajerska) in Slovenia. Four hours of skin contact give the electric-pink color. Fermentation finishes in the bottle, resulting in a wine that’s juicy, yeasty, fruity, and exuberant–the opposite of serious!
Special Offer Take 10 percent off any three or more blaufränkisch/kékfrankos that you buy through April 15th. The offer is mix-and-match: three different wines, three of the same thing, or anything in between. Use discount code frankish10 (no “c”) if you shop at our online store.
Perhaps you’re looking for a singular bottle to dazzle your holiday guests. On the other hand, maybe you want a wine to savor by yourself in quiet reflection, in celebration of the holidays being over. In either case, for the rest of the year Paul Marcus Wines is offering a 15 percent discount on all red Burgundy wines priced at $100 or more. We offer a wide selection of standout wines from some of the world’s most prestigious pinot producers. Amaze your friends and family, or simply treat yourself after a long year.
Speaking of last-minute gift ideas, might you consider a membership in the PMW Wine Club? The PMW Wine Club offers three different courses, each at the same price of $75 per month, plus tax (and shipping, if required). Delight the wine lover in your life!
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Ready or not, the holidays are upon us. In celebration of the festive season, your friends at Paul Marcus Wines are offering a discount on all large-format bottles for the entire month of November! Get 15 percent off any magnum-sized (or even larger-format) bottle; receive 20 percent off if you buy two or more biggies. Please visit us at the shop or online to learn more about our selection (whites, reds, rosés, bubbles) of large-format bottles. (In our online shop, use discount codes magnum15 for one bottle or magnum20 for two or more bottles at checkout.)
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