A Wine Mishmash: Sierra Foothills, Maule Valley, Jura

Spencer from Charles River Wines is visiting to pour a wine mishmash from California's Sierra Foothills, the Maule Valley in Chile, and the Jura in France. 10% off all tasting wines!

NV Benoit Mulin Cremant du Jura ($28) - Jura, France
This is a creamy and dreamy expression of a Jura Cremant from biodynamic rockstar Stéphane Tissot, along with Benoit Mulin and enologist Jêrôme Arnoux. This small, quality-focused negociant buys grapes from the very finest growers in AOC Arbois and Côtes du Jura and produces pure, complex wines from them. The wines are aged in oak casks and allowed to ferment slowly in one of the oldest cellars in Arbois, built in the 14th century by the then Queen of France. This sparkler is 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Chardonnay. The wines rest on their lees for 15 months giving the wine a full-bodied, rich mouthfeel. It's an absolute stunner!

2015 Withers El Dorado Rosé ($22) - Sierra Foothills, California
The "Withers" is the highest part of the horse's back right below the shoulder blades. Andrew and Kathleen Tow are passionate about winemaking and horses, and even put their horse, Mr. Burgess, on the label of their wines. This Bandol-style dry rosé is a blend of 59% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre, and 1% Counoise and has beautiful notes of citrus and stone fruit, highlighted by cherry, nectarine, and peach flavors. 

2012 Meli Carignan Maule Valley ($17) - Maule Valley, Chile
Meli is the dream of celebrated winemaker Adriana Cerda. In 2005, she and her three sons bought a property with 60-year-old Carignan and Riesling vines in the Maule Valley. Using dry farming, Meli produces two unique wines, Riesling and Carignan, both unusual for Chile. These varieties are well-suited to the Maule Valley, where the growing season is long with cool nights and warm days. Aged in used oak barrels and stainless steel, this wine is concentrated and unique, with an distinctive balance of earth and fruit. Only 2,000 cases produced!

2011 Terre Rouge Mourvèdre ($29) - Sierra Foothills, California
This is a confident, full-bodied vintage that is spicy, powerful, and carries a long finish. Meaty and full of blackberry notes, the Mourvèdre grapes are small, thick-skinned berries, high in phenolic compounds, which produce deeply colored, very tannic wine. Bill Easton's Terre Rouge label strives for French style and this Mourvèdre is classically gamey like a down right dirty southern Rhone.

2013 Easton Zinfandel, Amador County ($21) - Sierra Foothills, California
Another wine from Bill Easton, only this time a Zinfandel! This is the 17th release of Easton's Amador County Zinfandel and made from grapes that grow on the estate's beautiful mountain sites with the classic, vermilion-colored Amador decomposed granite soil. The wine spends 10 months in French oak barrels and the result is a decadent blueberry pie.