Domaine Lucien Muzard – Santenay “Les Gravières”

This week, we’re featuring Domaine Lucien Muzard’s 2014 Santenay 1er Cru “Les Gravières.”

In 1995 Lucien Muzard handed over the reins to his sons Claude and Hervé, who immediately began domain bottling their wine rather than selling it in bulk to négociants. Subsequently, in 2003 they purchased small bins for harvesting to keep crushing to a minimum. That same year they acquired a new temperature-controlled fermentation facility and stocked it with wooden fermentation vats, a new press, sorting table, and conveyor belt to carry grapes to vat without pumping— all enabling great care to be taken during fermentation and ageing. In 2005 they went organic in their vineyards, and then in 2008 they began the conversion to biodynamics, attaining certification with the 2011 vintage.

The largest premier cru in the northern tenderloin, named after its gravel content. Indeed, much of the north side of the village is defined by one geographical fault, and the vineyards here share many characteristics, with their wines being notable for complexity and length along with the lovely dark cherry fruit. The domain’s holding is 1.34 hectares (3.31 acres) and the vines average 50 years of age.

Regular price: $73

Discounted price: $58

Weekly Wine Feature 10/3

Joseph Voillot Volnay 1er Cru “Les Fremiets” 2011

Jean-Pierre came up steeped in Burgundian culture when he took over for Joseph Voillot, he moved the domain to sustainable farming. In the cellar, he did away with fermenting with a percentage of stems because he liked the essence of fruit. Jean-Pierre has also shied more and more away from new oak, moving from around 30% new barrels for the premier crus to today using 10-20%. He lowered the sulfur additions. These are considered “insiders” Burgundies by those in the know.

This wine is from 1.5 acres whose pinot noir vines date from 1932, 1950, and 1978. This parcel is up slope, and the wine is very calcaire (reminiscent of limestone, calcaire is French for limestone). You definitely taste the stone over the top of the red fruits and earth in this elegant, intensely perfumed wine. The 2011s are showing very well right now with the perfume coming to the front and the tannins receding. Is there anything better than a red Burgundy and roast chicken?

Regular price: $137
Discounted price: $89

Weekly Wine Feature 9/19

Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Montagny 1er Cru “Les Gouresses” 2014

Jean-Marc Pillot is the fourth generation of his branch of the Pillot family to tend vineyards in Chassagne Montrachet. He joined his father, Jean, in 1985 to learn the craft of “vigneron”. The vines in most parcels are between 25 and 50 years old; some vines are considerably older, reaching the 100 year mark in Clos Saint Jean and Clos Saint Marc (within the cru of Vergers). Traditional viticultural practices are used in the vineyards: the vineyards are plowed, no herbicides are used and planting is at high density (10,000 vines per hectare on the village level; 12,000 vines per hectare on the 1er Cru level). The Montagny 1er Cru Les Gouresses is the furtherest from the domaine, in the Cote Chalonnaise, but Jean-Marc applies the same attention and Chassagne tradition to this wine. The grapes are harvested from a parcel of very old vines (in excess of sixty years) and the resulting concentration and finesse that Montagny rarely achieves. Pillot’s Montagny is an intense wine that still manages to reflect the cut and stoniness typical of this appellation. It is a pale, bright yellow with minerals, menthol and a whiff of almond on the nose. The palate is densely packed and crunchy, framed by rocky calcaire. The finish is thick and stony, with a hint of pear. Only two barrels (fifty cases) find their way to the States each year. This would be ideal with any of our NC fish dishes or even the Chatham rabbit.

Regular price: $66

Discounted price: $53

 

Weekly Wine Feature, 9/5

This week’s wine feature is Clos Cibonne Côtes de Provence Rosé “Tibouren Cuvée Tradition” 2015

The property of Clos Cibonne dates back to 1797 when the Roux Family purchased it from Jean Baptiste de Cibon, captain of the royal marines of Louis XVI. In 1930, André Roux modernized the winery in order to pursue his goal of producing top quality wines at the estate. The estate’s 15 hectares of vineyards are located a mere 800 meters from the coast and are surrounded by hillsides in the base of a bowl that faces the sea. This topography creates air circulation that allows for perfect maturation of the grapes and helps to reduce vintage variation. After harvest, the wines are fermented in stainless steel and then aged under fleurette (a thin veil of yeast) in 100-year-old, 500L foudres. Clos Cibonne crafts a wine that is completely its own through combining a rare grape with a unique aging process. There is no other wine quite like this!

Brilliant orange-pink. A perfumed, mineral-accented bouquet evokes dried red berries, orange pith, lavender and jasmine, along with a suggestion of peach pit in the background. Silky and broad on entry and then more taut in the middle, offering juicy red currant and blood orange flavors and a hint of anise. Shows a suave blend of depth and energy and finishes long and seamless, leaving behind floral, mineral and red berry notes.

Regular price: $55
Discounted price: $44

Rosenthal Wine Merchant Paired Dinner 9/12

We are pleased to announce the next of our wine dinners, to be held at 7pm on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. We will be joined by Joseph Frederick of Rosenthal Wine Merchants.

Neal Rosenthal has been bringing artisanal wine from France and Italy into the United States for more than 30 years. Many of our favorite wines are part of the Rosenthal portfolio, and the wines all share a fidelity to place and tradition above all else. Maybe that’s why, as trends come and go, Rosenthal Wine Merchant stays at the top of everyone’s list of the very best wine importers.

We got together with the local distributor and Chef Whitney to select the five wines and discuss menu pairing. If you have been to one of these dinners in the past, you know that there is a great meal with great wine waiting for you. Some of the treats this time include a sparkling wine from the Jura that is brand new to these shores, as well as a highly allocated red Burgundy. It would be a real shame to miss out on this event!

Wines to be served:

Dom. Pecheur Crémant du Jura Blanc NV
Dom. Jean-Marc Pillot Montagny 1er Cru “Les Gouresses” 2014
Dom. Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin “Vielles Vignes” 2014
Château Le Puy Francs Cotes de Bordeaux “Emilien” 2012
Cru d’Arche Pugneau Sauternes 2011

The dinner will be priced at $79 per person. As always, seating is limited and will go quickly. To reserve yours, please call Rue Cler at 919-682-8844.

Renardat-Fâche Vin du Bugey-Cerdon

This week’s featured wine is Renardat-Fâche Vin du Bugey-Cerdon 2016.

It’s back! Enjoy Alpine meadows in a glass! The vineyards here are hard to detect driving around. They consist of little patches here and there on steep slopes looking southeast or southwest, lost in the midst of fields with grazing cows, and dense forests. The total Bugey acreage in vineyards is 170 hectares. Alain and his son Elie make their Cerdon from Gamay and Poulsard, and follow the technique called “ancestral method” where the bubbles occur naturally in the bottle. At Renardat-Fâche the grapes are picked by hand, pressed and fermented in cold vats until the alcohol reaches about 6 degrees then it is bottled and continues its fermentation in the bottle until it reaches about 7.5 or 8 percent alcohol.

The wine is fresh and bright with scents of berries and flowers freshly crushed on a rock in an Alpine meadow. It tastes like Spring feels. The only problem is that before you know it, the bottle is gone! That’s OK, it’s on special, have another one! While this is the perfect brunch wine, it’s also a great way to start a meal with your first course of soup or salad, or just as a treat.

Regular price: $49
Discounted price: $39

Yannick Pelletier Saint Chinian “l’engoulevent”

This week’s 20% off bottle special is Yannick Pelletier’s Saint Chinian “l’engoulevent” 2013.

Yannick Pelletier’s estate currently consists of 10 hectares in the Saint Chinian, the oldest wine region, or AOC, in the Languedoc. He has been working these mostly old vines since January 2004. The parcels are relatively distant from each other which lets him take advantage of many different types of terroirs: 65% schist, 23% clay and limestone and 12% round stones. The youngest vines are 15, the oldest 70. The vines are all converted to organic agriculture. For the most part Yannick does goblet pruning in the vine, and the soil is worked with one or two plowings and a possible hoeing by hand. He fertilizes the soil with an organic compost; about 500 to 1500 kilos per hectare. Yannick’s guiding principle in the winemaking process is to preserve the integrity of the grapes and wine: manual everything, use of gravity to rack, and indigenous yeast fermentations. If the grapes are clean, pure, healthy and of good quality, he sees no reason to alter them with chemicals or oenology.

L’Engoulevent is a blend of Grenache (40%) Syrah (30%) and Carignan (30%). Part of the Carignan goes through carbonic maceration. Aged 18 months in cement vats, it has deep dark pitted fruits framed by leather and those lovely smell of Provençal flora that is called garrigue. What really makes Pelletier’s wines stand out among Languedoc wines is the lift provided by good acidity thanks to his carefully chosen terroirs which makes it an excellent match for a wide array of dishes. We particularly like it with our Merguez sausage, but it would be fabulous with any of our house made charcuterie or meat entrées!

Regular price: $48
Discounted price: $38

 

Piedmont Wine Imports Paired Dinner at Rue Cler Tuesday, August 8

We are excited to announce our upcoming dinner with local wine rock star, Jay Murrie, of Piedmont Wine Imports. We remember Jay from Schoolkids Records on Franklin Street, back in the day, and have known him throughout his rise in the wine world. Among other things, Jay ran the wine department at A Southern Season, taking it to a whole new level, before leaving to run 3 Cups. When he left to start Piedmont we were a bit apprehensive… did the wine world really need another boutique importer? The answer, in Jay’s case, is a definitive yes!

Jay has a distinct palate and philosophy about wine that shines through in the small growers he represents. They make very pure, unadulterated wines that speak clearly of where they are from, without any obscuring make-up. Jay has been a champion of just these kinds of wines for almost 2 decades.

The dinner begins at 7pm on Tuesday, August 8 and is priced at $69 per person. There will be limited quantities of Jay’s wines available for purchase, at special prices. Seating is limited. To reserve yours, please call the restaurant directly at 919-682-8844

 

The menu for the dinner is as follows:

Alla Costiera Prosecco 2016
House-Made Antipasto

Hofgut Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Spatlese Feinherb 2015
Jambon de Bayonne and Melon, Marcona Almonds, Roasted Chili Crème Fraiche

Vallana Gattinara 2007
Duck and Mushroom Gnocchi, Fontina

Caparsa Chianti Classico Riserva “Caparsino” 2006
Skirt Steak, Lemon, Rosemary, Anchovie Butter, Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

Franco Terpin Jakot 2010
Plateau de Fromages: Boxcarr Cheese Makers Campo and Rocket’s Robiolo

 

July is Champagne Month at Rue Cler!

We’re back! After the July 4th holiday (and a couple of days to put on some fresh paint and spruce ourselves up) Rue Cler has reopened under our regular business hours.

Also, we’ve designated the month of July “Champagne Month!” All of our Champagnes will be 20% off by the bottle for the entire month of July. Chef Todd will be putting some dishes on the menu with an eye towards pairing with that most delicious bubbly. Many people think of Champagne only for a celebration, but we often have it with an everyday meal, as it compliments a variety of foods so well. Check out how well those nice, cool bubbles go with our l’Escalope de Saumon or with any of our NC seafood dishes.