The “Retour À L’école” Urban Sampler
Four great bottles of wine handpicked by our staff, always $50
We hate to be the bearer of bad news but, summer is over and it’s time to get back in the work, school, and life game. We’re softening the blow with a foursome of delicious French wines that that get us excited to “Retour À L’école,” i.e., head Back to School! Priced at just $50, these wines are fun enough for impromptu weekend roof deck parties, but also serious enough for fall flavors and cooler nights. And don’t worry, unlike white pants, rosé is still chic after Labor Day, so we’ve included a bottle for you to sip on during those rogue September scorchers.
*3W* 2017 Cave de Saumur “Les Pouches” Blanc (Loire Valley, FR)
A collective of 160 winegrowers in Saumur, France, this group has been making wines together since 1956. The co-op is dedicated to sustainable practices that protect their region while producing high-quality wines. This Chenin Blanc is made from old vines that produce low yields of grapes with lots of flavor and natural acidity. A naturally food-friendly wine, this bottle pairs well with easy weeknight dinners – a perfect cure or back to school exhaustion!
2017 Lieu-dit Cocagne, Coteaux du Vendômois Rosé (Loire Valley, FR)
Pineau d’Aunis is colloquially known as Chenin Noir, despite DNA proof that the two grapes are not even vaguely related. It can be a difficult grape to grow, but the effort is worth it, especially in the soils of the Loire Valley, where it seems to thrive. This delicious wine is all you want in a rosé – fragrant strawberry aromas and a touch of spice. Tuna Niçoise is the obvious French pairing!
*5R* 2017 Château d’Oupia “Les Hérétiques” (Languedoc, FR)
Grown on the hillsides of the Minervois region in the Languedoc, as opposed to the more typical valley wines, this Carignan blend is flush with ripe dark fruit flavors, notable peppered spice, unabashed elegance, and balanced acidity. Robert Parker called this wine an “ideal bistro wine” so we suggest pairing it with a light chicken stew made with end of summer tomatoes. Don’t forget the crusty bread!
*5R* 2016 Domaine de L’Ameillaud Vin de Pays du Vaucluse (Provence, FR)
If you aren’t quite ready to face reality, let this wine – grown on a gorgeous estate in Provence that has rental properties on it – transport you to the most idyllic region in France. A Grenache blend, this wine combines ripe fruit flavors with spice, orange peel and chocolate for a mouth-watering experience. A perfect wine for sipping by a fire pit with a cozy sweater and good friends.