Posts tagged #loire

Brendan Tracey "Rue de la Soif"

rue de la soif marissa a. ross

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was a draft I accidentally published. While it is technically unfinished, I'd left it up for days without realizing it, so I am against taking it down. Plus I drank all the damn wine so I couldn't finish it right now if I wanted to. Though I don't wax as poetic as I would have liked, the bones are here and they are good. Delicious bones. Licked 'em clean. Anyway, my apologies for the brevity, and I hope you try the Rue de la Soif for yourself very soon. xo MAR

Brendan Tracey "Rue de la Soif"
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Loire, France
Year: 2014
Price: $21
Retailer: Lou Wine Shop
Importer: Goatboy Selections

The Rue de la Soif reminds me of when you pull a load of laundry fresh out of the dryer and then fold it ten minutes later. It's soft, warm, and welcoming, even more so than when you first pull it out of the Whirlpool hot as hell. It's fragrant but not overwhelming, and you want to dive into it. 

Tasting Notes: A cloudy, yellow sapphire on the eyes. It smells like leftovers of my grandmother's (and now my sister's) apple pie reheated the next day, still cool in the center. Tastes like fresh laundry and bruised pears, with a sturdy and sustaining lemonade style acidity. 

Ross Test: Good, but has a bit of a soapy quality, making it preferable out of a glass.

marissa a. ross rue de la soif

Puzelat - Bonhomme "Golden Salope"

marissa a ross golden salope

Puzelat - Bonhomme "Golden Salope"
Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Region: Loire, France
Year: 2011
Price: $28.99
Retailer: Exclusively at Domaine LA 

Importer: Louis/Dressner

There are a number reasons I'm effectively "over" Los Angeles. It's mostly that I grew up forty-five minutes away and have only managed to ever get this far, and the constant grind of the ever-present "industry" has finally worn me down. But if there's one reason I love Los Angeles, and am hesitant to leave, it is because of the amazing wine and food community that is here. Not only because of how delicious it all is, but because of how complimentary they are and how they work together, even when the status quo says "NAH."

Night + Market has been one of the most innovative and important restaurants in Los Angeles not only for its incredible Thai street food, but for its integration of natural wines. Thai food by all 1990's Robert Parker standards was deemed notoriously "unpairable" with wine, and yeah, that makes sense. Big-ass Cabernets do not pair with much outside of big-ass steaks. But we don't eat that way anymore. Food is not governed by French classics, but by freshness and a certain litheness that emphasizes flavor without forcefulness. And Chef Kris Yenbamroong's graceful and creative yet commanding cuisine at Night + Market embodies all of that. But more importantly for our current subject, is that he recognized how well those same qualities in natural wines work with his food. His wine list is jam-packed full of natural wine fan favorites and straight up unicorns I've legit peed my pants a little over, each working with the entire span of a meal from Party Wings to Burmese curry to the Pad Thai you ordered for the sheltered one in the group (but it's so fucking good you can't believe you're about to say you love Pad Thai).

And the rest is a bit of history. No one questions whether wine pairs with Thai food anymore-- you order the spiciest thing on Night + Market Song's hot pink menu with a Clos Roche Blanche and you're in heaven. Or at least I am, as I am lucky enough to live walking distance (but far enough not to be too embarrassed to Postmates) from Night + Market Song.

So when Jill Bernheimer of Domaine LA told me that she and Kris Yenbamroong came together on a release with winemakers Thierry Puzelat and Pierre-O Bonhomme it made perfect sense. Because for me, great wine and great food have always gone hand in hand, but in a way, so do Jill and Kris. Each of them is a Los Angeles purveyor of the best god damn shit the worlds of wine and food have to offer, and it's not like you don't see them reveling in each other's respected work. It is not uncommon to find Kris at Domaine or Jill at Night + Market Song. It's the law of attraction: like attracts like. And I really, really like their release, "Golden Salope."

Essentially Night + Market's house wine, this Loire Pet-Nat is exclusively poured at the Night + Markets and sold exclusively by Domaine LA and is exclusively the Pet-Nat of all my Crispy Rice Salad dreams. No shit, I crave Night + Market's Crispy Rice Salad on the regular, and I can't think of anything that I would rather enjoy with it (or any of N+M's dishes) than this sparkling Chenin Blanc. 

"Golden Salope" has a bouquet candied ginger, the glitzy sugared ones, dipped in honey with a side of basil and vased peonies across the table. Breezy but so damn classy, it is reminiscent of wafting, rich, and numbered perfume drifting on the wake into the sunset. It smells like I imagine it feels like to be hitting the high seas with Rihanna, like you're not entirely sure if you're qualified to be there and keep looking around for someone to tell you to fuck on outta here, but she keeps passing you blunts and complementing you on your bikini, and you've never felt more at home.

For how good it smells, it tastes that much better, like an aspirational best friend. Bubbly but not overwhelming, this Pet-Nat is the perfect tag-teamer whether you're crushing Thai food or breaking hearts. Bright and stunning acidity with plenty of green apples, savory pears and Sour Patch Kids powder, it's impossible not to drink the entire thing. It's as intoxicating as new friends named Rihanna, and Night + Market's food. You only want more. 

But it hits another note. It's so fun, but it is also a grand gesture. This wine is a gift. While it is rousing in many ways, what I mostly take away from it is its ability to bring everything together. It is the outstretched arms welcoming you to the table of Kris Yenbamroong, but also the love of those around you. My obsession with wine comes partly from its ability to bring people together, and this is a wine you and those you love can congregate around. It is so versatile and delicious, and warm and infectious. I want dinner to last four more hours with this wine. It makes me miss the old times, and clamor for new ones. Clean but hearty, it is all that I want and all that I have, all at once. 

This wine makes me feel golden and grateful, for life, love, and Los Angeles. 

Tasting Notes: Please see above

Ross Test: PASS. BEST BUBBLES ROSS TEST IN RECENT MEMORY. LITERALLY DRANK EVERY DROP.

marissa a ross golden salope

Julien Courtois "Ancestral"

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Julien Courtois "Ancestral"
Varietals: Côt, Gamay & Gascon
Region: Loire, France
Year: 2012
Price: ~$30
Retailer: Lou Wine Shop

It's interesting when your hobby becomes your job. It is so fun and exciting and gratifying, and it is challenging and exhausting, just like you always knew it would be. And then there is this part where you find yourself uninspired and frustrated, because that thing you used to do to relax and be creative is now your job.

But you have to get back to that thing; that thing that made you laugh when no one was around, that thing that took weight off your shoulders no one else could, that thing you couldn't stop doing if you tried, that thing you did for no one but yourself, that thing that gave you purpose before you knew you had a purpose.

And here we are. I couldn't be more predictable if I tried with a Gamay blend. It's like I've lit a bunch of fancy-ass candles, put on Getz/Gilberto and am leading myself to bed to try to rekindle a dwindling romance...

AND IT WORKS!

Julien Courtois' "Ancestral" has me feeling more than satisfied, entirely in love all over again, and convinced that my relationship with wine will last forever.

It's got a mouth on it; acerbic and a little dirty. There's definitely a bite to it, but it is very smooth. Its acidity walks a tight rope of savory tension that leaves you wanting more. This is not a shallow Gamay that you drink before dinner and never think about again. This has a smokey delicious depth to it I want to swim in forever. 

Tasting Notes: Cranberry and black cherry on the nose, with some hints of melted Red Vines. On the palate, there's very tart cranberry and red currant, resting upon a bed of savory smoke. There is this umami-ness to it too, and the mouthfeel is very "freshly laundered white t-shirt." Nicely balanced considering the high acidity. 

Ross Test: Delicious!

Wine Time: Domaine Guion Bourgueil

Domaine Guion Bourgueil
Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Region: Loire, France
Year: 2012
Price: $14.99
Retailer: DomaineLA

I know it's been a million years since I posted a Wine Time so guess what, here is one for you! A dreamily affordable Cab Franc that smells kinda like a fajitas and a dude you could date.

Shot & Edited by Josh Fuss
Music by Monster Rally 

Le Sot de l'Ange "Rouge G"

rouge g marissa ross making a murderer

Le Sot de l'Ange "Rouge G"
Varietal: Gamay
Region: Loire, France
Year: 2014
Price: $22
Retailer: Silverlake Wine

2016 is here, and it wouldn't look like much has changed aside from the fact that it is finally raining in Los Angeles. I'm still here drinking Gamay and spending too much time analyzing true crime. WHICH IS PRETTY IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO DO IF YOU HAVE WATCHED MAKING A MURDERER.

I probably have only vaguely mentioned it here, but I LOVE TRUE CRIME. YES IN ALL BOLD CAPS. Being a hermit who stays home drinking wine all day, it is easy for me to devour endless podcasts, get lost in Reddit rabbit holes and get stoned and regret Google searching crime scene photos. I watched the entire series of Making A Murderer in 24 hours, and have even started rewatching it because apparently I am a masochist.

I don't want to get into.

But I don't think Steven Avery did it!
I mean sure, if the evidence was found how the prosecution presented it was found then of course, he should be a suspect. But those fucking blood marks in the car look like they were straight-up Q-Tipped from Essie's Tomboy No More nail polish, and if I believe the blood was planted then I have to believe that everything was planted, SO I BELIEVE IT WAS ALL PLANTED AND STEVEN DIDN'T DO IT. 

But like I said, I don't want to get into it. Anyway.

rouge g selection massale

Yesterday I nabbed this bottle I hadn't seen before from my homies at Selection Massale. I trust them like I trust my own blood and bought it without hesitation. Gamay? Loire? Selection Massale? What could go wrong?

I bet that's what Steven Avery thought too. Then eight days later they've got him for murder based on a car key that mysteriously showed up behind some slippers. Now, I'm no detective, but from my experiences with car keys, they are never just hanging out in the open. Car keys are one of the hardest things in the world to find, along with lost arks, mythical lake monsters, and Obama's birth certificate. 

But seriously, I don't want to get into it.

Unlike Steven Avery, nothing went wrong with this wine! I'd even go as far to say that this wine tastes like I just won a 36 million dollar civil case it's so good! 

WHICH STEVEN SHOULD HAVE WON.
OK MAYBE NOT 36 MIL, BUT SOMETHING!!!
AND NOT BE IN JAIL BECAUSE SCOTT & BOBBY DID IT!!!

OKAY, I'M SORRY WE REALLY DON'T NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT.

What we do need to talk about is how much I love this wine. It is an outstanding example of what I love about biodynamic Gamays. Straight-forward, bright and punchy, the Rouge G is the life of the party. Or perhaps more accurately, the party itself. It's energetic and fun most importantly, but there are the other nuances. Shadowy, sensual little corners that aren't surprising but still exciting. Also the tiny residuals at the bottom of the glass look like tiny little glitters! IT IS A PARTY!!!

Tasting Notes: Candied barnyard boysenberry with light plumeria and licorice on the bouquet, like an adult pool in Willy Wonka's factory. Light and mad chuggable with poppy, smooth blackberry and a tart finish. So so good. 

Ross Test: A bit acidic, but very glou-glou by my standards. Do it to it, babes. 

Posted on January 7, 2016 .

Lise & Bertrand Jousset "Exile" Rosé Pétillant

Lise & Bertrand Jousset Rosé Pétillant
Varietal: Gamay
Region: Loire, France
Year: 2013
Price: ~$20

I'm off my game today. I can't tell you how many photos of my dumb fucking face I tried to take with this wine. I want to say, "Don't you hate that?!" as if that is at all relatable, like everyone is jerry-rigging their cameras to take pictures with bottles of wine because they're 90% sure their tri-pod is in the back of their fiancé's car. Instead, you get this still-life of my beauty products because that's what I did! I drank this rosé while trying my new rose face mask from Fresh, recommended by Best Coast beauty queen Beth, who is my skincare sage. She knows everything about face masks, and one thing people don't know about me is that I LOVE FACE MASKS. EVERYTHING WITH SKIN CARE. EVERYTHING BATH AND BODY BUT NOT BATH & BODY WORKS. OK FINE. I EVEN WOULD PROBABLY STILL LOVE SOME BATH & BODY WORKS.

Most people think I spend all my money on clothes, but the truth is, I spend most of my money on wine and skincare. Seriously. I may have a problem. When Ben and I decided to get a joint bank account, I kept my personal one because of "savings", but really it's because "skincare". Have you ever tried to explain La Mer to a dude? It's impossible. Just try. I can't have him seeing how much I spend on this shit, he'd legit be so disappointed (I was going to say break my leg but he's not aggressive like that, and his disappointed face is much worse than any physical harm he could inflict). 

BUT IT'S MY FACE!
I CAN'T JUST GET A NEW ONE LIKE AN H&M BUTTON-UP!
I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THIS ONE!

I haven't drank in three days so I was excited to pop this and celebrate my return! And also my new face mask. I mean, what could possibly pair better with a pet-nat rosé than a face mask featuring little particles of roses that made me look like I had chicken pox in all the photos? NOTHING!

Holy shit, I don't think I've ever talked about Pétillant Naturel, which is a sin because it's a personal favorite. Pétillant Naturel, otherwise known by its pet name Pet-Nat, is a lightly sparkling wine that is naturally carbonated when winemakers cut off fermentation before all the sugar is consumed by yeast. They throw a cap on it, and as the yeast continues to eat the sugar, it produces extra carbon dioxide and voila. Mild carbonation. Most Pet-Nats are unfiltered, funky and fucking awesome. Thanks for your attendance at the MAR Wine Academy, now back to this rosé.

The Exile tastes like the Fresh rose mask and Blondie's "Heart of Glass". Now hear me out. I know that sounds crazy but you know I've got this. Much like the rose mask, the Exile is cheek sucking and smells like florals on the wind. And like Blondie's "Heart of Glass", it's a harmonious party in a glass. Of my heart. This wine is in my heart for sure. I mean, combine "Loire", "Gamay" and "Pet-Nat" in any order and I will need a new pair of panties. 

(My love of alliteration trumps my hatred of "panties".)

This is dancing wine! Shoulder shimmin', tit shakin', hip swayin', love makin' wine. I'd chalk it up to the Blondie, but I listen to Blondie while drinking a lot of shit and I don't feel this good. I'm not saying I'll do this, or that you should, but this tastes like I should be doing a lot of cocaine and ruling a dance floor somewhere. Like, I want to drink a bottle of this and get into a dance battle. A sexy dance battle. And I'd be running my hands through my very 70's middle-parted hair and pelvic thrusting my adversary into submission. After I shamed their horrible moves, we'd pop a hundred more bottles of this. And I'd let the loser come and hang because I'm nice, but they'd know forever that I was the queen of shoulder shimmin' and pet-nats. 

And yet, it is also very good for wearing a full sweatsuit and rubbing shit on your face while wearing Ugg slippers you swore you'd never own, but now you love oh so much. And dreaming of being a dancing queen. But not listening to ABBA because, c'mon guys. 

My neighbors have to be concerned over the amount of time I've replayed "Heart of Glass" at this point. 

Tasting Notes: On the nose, it's like a dozen roses lost at sea; floral but salty. On the palate, lots of raspberry and strawberry, with clenching minerality and acidity. A perfect wine for day-drinking, or getting a party started. 

Ross Test: Bubbles are always hard :(