We’re celebrating the Oscars all weekend long at Maslow 6 Wine Shop. This year the Best Picture nominees all have ties to the U.S. or France, so we’re taking the opportunity to spotlight some of our favorite wines and introduce some new discoveries from both countries. We’ve chosen one wine for each film nominated for Best Picture, from Champagne to minerally whites to earthy reds to biodynamic wines, each representing the spirit of one of the films.
Stop by and try some of these incredible wines – a rotating selection will be open for tasting throughout the weekend. Then take home a bottle to enjoy during the ceremony.
Or call us to deliver a selection: www.maslow6.com
War Horse - Cousin-Leduc Vieilles Vignes VdT – Loire Valley, France ($28)
War Horse celebrates the majestic beauty and dignity of horses, which are an important part of Olivier Cousin’s work. In his vineyards, he has eschewed tractors for three horses to help him cultivate the land and this bottle’s label depicts him with one of them. Of course, War Horse is also about surviving conflict and Cousin has been enmeshed in a very serious dispute with French authorities over the Appellation system and how he designates his wines. We and the New York wine community continue to support him in this fight, which has quite serious financial consequences. The wines, however, are the opposite of bureaucratic interference – grapes grown biodynamically, no added sulfites, no anything. This is 100% Cabernet Franc all about fruit and floral notes: Roses, plums, cedar, raspberry, cherries, and currants on the nose and the palate. The vines are 65 years old, which explains the complexity achieved in this wine.
The Descendants – St. Innocent Freedom Hill Chardonnay 2009 – Willamette Valley, Oregon ($26)
Family revelations and loss of innocence are the focus of this film, which made us think of this richly textured Chardonnay reminiscent of white Burgundies. Located in the foothills of the coastal range 10 miles southwest of Salem, Oregon, Freedom Hill Vineyard sits at an elevation of 425 feet above sea level. The St. Innocent Chardonnay portion is planted with the French ‘Dijon’ clones that are used in Burgundy. Evoking some characteristics of Meursault (stony minerality but with a sumptuous texture), and some characteristics of Chablis (ripe fruit and a bit of roundness from ageing on the lees, but balanced with zesty minerality), it would be a perfect wine to sip on a warm Hawaiian evening.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – Wolffer Estate Chardonnay 2009 – Long Island, New York ($18)
The vibrancy of today’s Tribeca is a far cry from the days after 9/11 and we have chosen a vivacious Long Island jewel to pair with this story of a curious child searching for clues left by his father on that fateful day. Wolffer Estate is a gorgeous vineyard with sustainable practices set on the South Fork of Long Island. Sharing some characteristics with Bordeaux including closeness to the Atlantic ocean, Wolffer’s goal is to show the Long Island terroir and at the same time produce elegant wines. This Chardonnay is not an over-oaked, over-blown version, but one with lively acidity and minerality. Pears, apricots, and citrus result in a vibrant very food-friendly chardonnay.
The Help – A Tribute to Grace 2009 – Santa Barbara, California ($50)
For a film that celebrates the fortitude of women, we couldn’t think of a better wine than this biodynamic Grenache from Santa Barbara County. Winemaker Angela Osborne is from New Zealand and moved to California in 2006. Her “vineyard” which is really 3 rows she leases at the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, sits at 3200 feet above sea level and is quite barren: sand, brush, exposed rock. Arid and blazing hot in summertime, snow-laden and sleepy in the wintertime. The wine is named after her grandmother and Angela’s intention is to capture the spirit of grace in the wine too, which to her means staying as close to nature as humanly possible. Half the grapes are fermented with whole clusters, which are tread by foot twice a day(!) The remaining portion is de-stemmed and also receives the “gracedance”. A small portion is aged in new wood; most is neutral. It spends 16 months in barrel. The entire production is 2,244 bottles.
The Artist - Marcel Deiss Estate 2009 – Alsace, France ($20)
The artistry behind the Marcel Deiss Estate blend perfectly complements this unique black and white Oscar frontrunner. Jean-Michel Deiss believes that ‘terroir trumps grape’ given the right circumstances and this year a silent throwback might trump modern technology. Deiss’ philosophy is to let the terroir express itself via a range of varieties that are all grown together. Unusually, Deiss also harvests and vinifies them together too. The vines need to be old to really express what is there because time allows them to dig further and further into the soil. The soil needs to be deep enough too, which it is on the slopes where these vines are planted. This blend is seamless, focused and elegant – just like the world of this silent film.
Hugo – Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups Clos de Venise 2010 ($40)
This richly textured Martin Scorsese film matches well with Loire Valley star Jacky Blot of Domaine de la Taille aux Loups. Like Scorsese, Jacky is a preservationist and a bit of a throwback to simpler times. A wine broker previously, Jacky acquired about 8 hectares of 50 – 75 year old vines in 1989. These prized parcels belonged to families that could no longer cultivate the vines and so were entrusted them to Blot and his team. Yields are kept low, and he ploughs now instead of treating chemically, allowing the roots to descend deep into the limestone bedrock. Harvest is done by hand, and as late as possible. Beautiful minerality, richly textured, yet chalky, dry and a bit austere with flavors of lemon and honey. Gorgeous balance. We look forward to hosting Jacky at a special tasting for our Wine Club members on March 19 – call or email us if you would like to attend!
Midnight in Paris – Gérard Loriot Champagne NV – Champagne, France ($51)
When we thought of what we’d like to drink at midnight, or really anytime in Paris, we thought of Champagne! We couldn’t have said it better than John Gilman from View from the Cellar had: “I have become a very big fan of the non-vintage Brut bottling from Gérard Loriot, as its 100% pinot meunier cépage is fairly unique and the quality has been consistently excellent. The bouquet is young and very classy, as it jumps from the glass in a blend of tart orange, a beautiful base of soil, bread dough and a smoky top note. On the palate the wine is deep, full bodied, complex and still a bit bound up in its structure, with very refined mousse, superb focus and a very, very long and classy finish.” We’re sure Woody would approve.
Moneyball – Robert Foley ‘The Griffin’ 2009 – California ($35)
In this film, a scrappy baseball team with limited resources fields a team of undervalued players that stands up to the biggest spenders. Rich and concentrated, The Griffin drinks like a more expensive big California cult wine, but at a price that is still accessible. The blend is 50% Petite Syrah, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot. Lots of fruit on the nose and palate, with blackberries, creme de cassis, leading the way. Kicking in next are the mocha notes, the violets, with a sensuous texture. Underneath these are the notes that give it an amazing structure as well as being upfront pretty: lead pencil, river stones, and just a hint of tar. It’s a winner!
Tree of Life – Sinskey ‘Aries’ Pinot Noir 2009 – Carneros, California ($28)
The complications of the modern world and loss are the focus of this ambitious though very human film. One incredible sequence depicts our world forming, reminding us of both our place in the universe and the need to appreciate our planet. Nothing shows that appreciation more than organic and biodynamic practices, such as those practiced by Robert Sinskey. A native Californian, Robert has been practicing organic and biodynamic farming since 1991. He and his team hold the strongest beliefs that artisanal winemaking begins with the care of the land – they source 75% of their energy from solar power. The 2009 ‘Aries’ Pinot Noir from Los Carneros is a bright, juicy, earthy, and very special wine. Cherries and plums jump out on the nose leaving subtle spice and silky texture and find balance in mouthwatering acidity and tannins. Berry, cherry and spice aromas beckon. Woven in are raspberry and black cherry fruit accented by clove, vanilla and cinnamon.