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Ep 321: The Greats -- Côte Rôtie, Rhône Valley

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 04/14/2020

Ep 358: Mendocino, California show art Ep 358: Mendocino, California

Wine for Normal People

Mendocino is a large county north of Sonoma that spans one California’s largest, most diverse, and northernmost wine growing regions. Mendo producers make everything from sophisticated, earthy, cool climate Pinot Noir and Alsace varietals, to elegant sparkling wine to full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. There is a myriad of climates, soils and especially elevations in Mendocino, and learning more will make you question why the wine isn't more available and known.

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Ep 357: The Role of Alcohol in Wine show art Ep 357: The Role of Alcohol in Wine

Wine for Normal People

It’s the first show of our 10th year! WOW! This time we discuss the role alcohol plays in a glass of wine. As one of the four most important structural components of wine, alcohol can help make or break what is in your glass. We super dork out in this show, discussing everything from irrigation to yeast to reverse osmosis and taxes. A very nerdy way to start out 2021!

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Ep 356: The Historic Champagne Lanson with Hervé Dantan, Cellarmaster show art Ep 356: The Historic Champagne Lanson with Hervé Dantan, Cellarmaster

Wine for Normal People

Founded in 1760 as the 4th Champagne house, Lanson is known for its fresh, acidic style (no malolactic fermentation). In this show, Hervé Dantan, cellarmaster and Champagne native, gives us a unique perspective. Rather than marketing and image, Hervé tells us how Champagne is truly made. He focuses a lot on the land and the vineyard. As the son of wine growers, his perspective is so very different from many in the region, who choose instead to focus on the process in the winery.

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Ep 355: The 8 Holiday Wine Gifts for Wine Lovers (plus 5 wine gag gifts to make you laugh) show art Ep 355: The 8 Holiday Wine Gifts for Wine Lovers (plus 5 wine gag gifts to make you laugh)

Wine for Normal People

It's the end of the year and there's still time to get interesting and USEFUL gifts for the wine lovers in your life. We covered basics of glassware and gadgets in Ep 338, but this pod covers some cool gift ideas that aren't essentials but, rather, nice to haves (or just damn funny to know about in the case of the 5 gag gifts!).

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Ep 354: A New Look At Bordeaux's Médoc -- with Château  La Cardonne's Magali Guyon  show art Ep 354: A New Look At Bordeaux's Médoc -- with Château La Cardonne's Magali Guyon

Wine for Normal People

Magali Guyon has been the technical director/ winemaker of Château La Cardonne, the prestigious Cru Bourgeois Supérieur, for more than 20 years.  We take a different look at the Médoc (the prestigious Left Bank of Bordeaux) and approach it as a proposition of growing and terroir – not of pretty chateaux and expensive wines. Magali helps us reframe the discussion of Bordeaux teaching us that Bordeaux is about the vineyard and the land, not the glitz and glamour that is too often emphasized.

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Ep 353: Women in Wine and the Subtle Symphony of Quiet Misogyny show art Ep 353: Women in Wine and the Subtle Symphony of Quiet Misogyny

Wine for Normal People

After mulling over the various scandals in wine lately, and thinking about my position in the wine world, I have a perspective to add beyond just a social media post to call out the behavior of those in the wine business, those who have minimized the situation, and the hollow calls for change that likely won’t happen. I discuss my experiences as a woman in wine, and how the solutions to solving issues that underpin the entire industry are sadly inadequate.

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Ep 352: The 2020 Thanksgiving Episode -- American Wine Edition show art Ep 352: The 2020 Thanksgiving Episode -- American Wine Edition

Wine for Normal People

2020 has been unlike any other, so we are recommending some different things for this year’s annual Thanksgiving show. This year has been tough for everyone, but small, family-owned wineries have been hit pretty hard. Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, so for this year, especially, we’re recommending that we show support for great American, family-owned wineries and their wines that pair perfectly with any kind of Thanksgiving food you decide to eat.

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Ep 351: Severine Schlumberger of Domaine Schlumberger and the very French side of Alsace show art Ep 351: Severine Schlumberger of Domaine Schlumberger and the very French side of Alsace

Wine for Normal People

Séverine Schlumberger joins us for the third installment of our mini-tour of Alsace (first installment was Ep 343). To provide a counterpoint to Phillippe Blanck of Domaine Paul Blanck (Ep 250), the Schlumberger family is more devoutly French in attitude and Séverine tells us a different story of her family’s heritage, attitudes, and how Domaine Schlumberger developed and grew to become one of the largest family-owned domaines in Alsace.

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Ep 350: Alsace's Famed Domaine Paul Blanck with Phillippe Blanck show art Ep 350: Alsace's Famed Domaine Paul Blanck with Phillippe Blanck

Wine for Normal People

Building off Episode 343 on Alsace and the Alsace class I taught (available on YouTube), Phillippe Blanck of the famed Domaine Paul Blanck joins to talk about his family’s 420-year history in wine, the uniqueness of Alsace and its sites, and how we need to reorient wine to tasting and sensation versus elitist words. You will learn volumes about Alsace, terroir, history, and taste from this wise, very tuned-in, wonderful man

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Ep 349: Mas Martinet - A Founding Domaine of Priorat with Sara Perez, Owner show art Ep 349: Mas Martinet - A Founding Domaine of Priorat with Sara Perez, Owner

Wine for Normal People

There are five founding estates of the Priorat region of Spain. Mas Martinet was the first and in this show, brilliant, philosophical owner Sara Perez discusses its history, philosophy, and how she sees the land and wines of this magical, mystical region.

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More Episodes

One of the greatest wines of the world is the Syrah-based Côte Rôtie, from the northernmost appellation in the northern Rhône. Named "roasted slope" after the sun that bathes the south-facing slopes, the region is less than 25 miles south of Lyon near the town of Ampuis, and is at the cool-climate limit for growing Syrah.

On the right bank of the Rhône, across 3 communes of Saint-Cyr sur Rhône, Ampuis, and Tupin-Semons, the vineyards are on extremes slopes at 180m/590 ft and 325m/1070 ft above sea level.
 

This week we explain what makes these wines, from this tiny, historic area, so very fascinating and why they truly are one of the greatest wines in the world. 

 

I think the best thing to do in the show notes this time is to list the things that are hard to catch on the show. Rather than a lengthy recap, this time I'll list the regions and producers mentioned!

 

Sub areas

 Ampuis: The area that lies above Ampuis town contains the best sites. The Reynard River serves as the geological dividing lie between the schist soils of the northern part of the appellation, and the granite soils in the south. 

Schist: 

  • Cote Brune – Schist soils make  powerful, tannic, darker
  • Chavaroche – Borders Cote Brune. Bernard Levet produces a single vineyard Cote Rotie from here
  • La Landonne – Famed for Guigal’s La Landonne but Gerinn, Rene Rostaing, Delas and Xavier Gerard also make wine from here
  • Cote Rozier- some of the steepest sites in Cote Rotie. Great wines include Ogier’s Belle Helene, and wines from Jamet, Guigal, Bonnefond and Gangloff
 
Granite:
  • Cote blonde – Vastly different soils and more Viognier. The soil is granite and the wines are more aromatic and lighter. The famed La Mouline vineyard is here
 

The village of Tupin  has no single vineyards but makes some great wine

The Village of Verenay is the next village upstream from Ampuis, and producers full, rich, long-lived wines. The vineyards of interest are Grandes Places, and Vialliere (10 hectares makes it quite variable in quality)

 St Cyr is in the far north of the AOC, past Verenay. It was added in the 1960s and is on schist but not as good as the wines near Ampuis. 
 

Top Producers

TRADITIONAL:  Domaine Gilles Barge –most traditional practices,Domaine Bernard Levet  
 
MODERN: Guigal, Gerin, Bonnefond
 

Middle ground:

  • Domaine Jamet: one of the brothers went off to set up his own domaine, Jean-Luc Jamet, both are very good
  • Rene  Rostaing: Rene's son Pierre took over a few years ago – wines are amazing. Single vineyards from Cote Blonde and La Landonee, Ampodium blend for early drinking.
  • Clusel-Roch  from Verenay, single vineyard from Grandes Places
  • Stephane Ogier
  • Vidal-Fleury (the merchant house for which Marcel Guigal's father once worked as cellarmaster but which now belongs to Guigal). 
  • Chapoutier

 

Top Vintages: 1997, 1998,  2001, 2003, 2007, 2009-10, 2012, 2015-19
 

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I’m so excited to introduce Wine Access to you. Wine Access is a web site that has exclusive wines that overdeliver for the price (of which they have a range). 

  • They offer top quality wines by selecting diverse, interesting, quality bottles you may not have access to at local shops.
  • Wine Access provides extensive tasting notes, stories about the wine and a really cool bottle hanger with pairings, flavor profile, and serving temps.
  • Wines are warehoused in perfect conditions and shipped in temperature safe packs. Satisfaction is guaranteed! 

Check it out today! www.wineaccess.com/normal 

 

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