The clock isn’t the only thing to have changed in recent weeks. Warmer, sunnier days and daffodils are just the beginning. Spring has officially sprung, bringing with it a sense of renewal amid prep for Easter and Passover celebrations with loved ones both near and Zoom-called. This is the perfect time to explore new varietals and flavors, even as we honor cherished traditions. No matter what you’re toasting this spring, we’ve got great wines to explore, expertly curated for any holiday table. Check 'em out below!
It’s not Easter without Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and this sustainably farmed grenache-led blend is an exceptional example. Winemaker Francoise Rey cares as much about her team as she does about the vines, a dedication you can taste in every sip. The wine opens with notes of black cherry, mulled strawberries and red plums, pink flowers, and smoke. Juicy and voluptuous, the wine is incredibly balanced, with flavors of button mushroom, herbes de provence, red and black peppercorns coming to the fore on the palate. The finish is impressive, ending on chalky tannins. This wine delicious today, but should improve even more over the next six years.
A Giant of Gigondas
Domaine de Boissan is located in Sablet in the Rhône Valley, and has been passed down through five generations of winemakers, with the very first winery having been built in 1898, making it among the oldest in the southern Rhone. Christian Bonfils, with support from his wife Cathy (formerly of Pommard), now guides the nearly 50 hectares of vines here with a wise and restrained eye. Only organic fertilizer is added to the soil, which is mechanically maintained, and grapes are handpicked at harvest. Christian prefers to make his wines in a more traditional style; they are marked by a delicate approach to fruit. This ruby-red blend of Grenache and Syrah comes from vines that are over 40 years old. Opening with delicate aromas of wild strawberries and pepper, before blossoming on the palate into a full-bodied, silky and food- and budget-friendly red.
Gamay At Its Greatest
Having lived and worked among the “superstars” of Beaujolais, including "Gang of Four" members Marcel Lapierre, Jean Foillard, Jean-Paul Thévenet, and Guy Breton, Joseph Chamonard was destined to produce great wine in the village of Morgon. For nearly 50 years, his values—cherish the land, first—and singular style has produced some of the finest gamays in Beaujolais, and arguably, all of Burgundy. Today, the estate is run by his daugher Genevieve with her spouse, Jean-Claude Chanudet (of Chateau Cambon), and Domaine Chamonard continues to make gorgeous, ornate wines with no use of chemical treatments and minimal intervention in the cellar. The 2017 "Clos de Lys" is a classic, complex, pure iteration of Morgon terroir, with gleaming red cherry, black berry and a smoky, sweet-spice undercurrent.
One Man Show
Collectors, critics, and other wine nerds get excited when they hear the words "Domaine Jasmin," and with good reason. Patrick Jasmin produces some of the most stunning expressions of Northern Rhone's famed Cote-Rotie that money can buy. The 2016 "La Giroflarie" is 100% Syrah and no exception. Full of dark, silky red fruit, notes of smoke, pepper, leather and roasted meat, this wine is downright soulful, and can age for up to 20 years without breaking a sweat.
Donne Fittipaldi began in 2004 when the Fittipaldi Menarini family decided to plant roots in Bolgheri, in the heart of Tuscany. Run by Maria Fittipaldi and her four daughters, their goal has always been to produce wines of great elegance and harmony, but above all else, wines that expertly tell the story of the Bolgheri terroir. Donne Fitipaldi strives for quality, keeping their yields low to ensure they are selecting only the best grapes for their wine, as well as keeping the land healthy and sustained. They are dedicated to supporting the arts and consider Donne Fittipaldi an artistic venture as much as a winemaking one. They finance a special scholarship to Fondazione Accademia di Belle Arti of Verona and their entire design team is one local artist (and friend) who was inspired by the elegance and feminie energy of the wines and estate.
An elegant blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, this blend captures all the luxury of Tuscany at a price point rarely seen in this quality. Pleasant and full of character, fresh and impulsive, a unique interpretation of this classic terroir. Fruity on the nose with notes of cherry, cassis, dried herbs, with the slightest underpinning of spice. Round silky tannins and a satisfying finish keep you coming back sip after sip. Easy to drink without sacrificing complexity, pair with a wide range of foods from hearty red meats and medium aged cheeses to roasted vegetable dishes.