Somm in the city

Published on November 2nd, 2017

Dinner at Lauren’s House: Rosenthal Wine Merchant

My dearest friend and colleague, Lauren, has the especially lucky job of selling the wines from Rosenthal Wine Merchants, a collection of esoteric wines from France and elsewhere. She gathered a group of wine professionals together for an evening at her house with a lineup of wines that blew everyone away.

 

There’s wine, and then there’s wine.  I really don’t know how else exactly to put my finger on just how special the wines represented by Rosenthal Wine Merchants are. They seem to be hyper-real. True and honest and pure, transcending stereotypes and trends. They are wines for real winos; people who get it and are seeking their next ‘Aha!’ moment.

 

We were joined by Joseph Fredrick, a savant and expert on all things Rosenthal. He led us through the below lineup, and I share with you my thoughts and tasting notes. All wines are available on the shelves at both DEP’s locations. Since DEP’s is a family-run company, these family-run estates fit perfectly with our mission to bring the best selection to the Cincinnati market.

 

 

Larmandier Cuvee Signe Francois 2007 Vintage {$84.99}

This wine was disgorged to order. That means you get 10 years of stunning lees aging, which adds a richness to this wine that can’t be matched. Vibrant nose of mint and apples.

 

De Faix Chablis Les Lys 2003 {$51.99}

The de Faix family releases their Chablis only when they deem them ready to drink. So, you get this perfectly aged Chablis right when the experts think it is showing best, without having to do the aging yourself.

 

Clos de la Meslerie Vouvray 2009 {$35.99}

Nuts, wax and complexity. The finish on this wine is what sets it apart as suberb. Would be an excellent Thanksgiving pairing choice.

 

Bitouzet Volnay 2014 {$42.99}

I wrote ‘all that is classic and good’ in my tasting note. A real winner that overdelivers for the price, and that is saying something for Burgundy.

 

Fenouillet Beaumes de Venise Rouge 2014  {$17.99}

Best value wine of the night. Aged in concrete, which adds to the graceful texture of this wine that makes it superior to other Rhone’s in this pricepoint. Fruity, yet still rustic.

 

Chateau le Puy Emilien 2014 {$45.99}

My favorite wine of the evening, and I NEVER say that about Bordeaux. I wrote ‘Stupid-Good’ next to my tasting note. Classic nose, pencil and graphite. Smoke and charred cedar.

 

Danilo Thomain Enfer d’Arvier  2015 {$35.99}

Incredibly small production from this tiny area in Northern Italy. ‘The shape of this “bowl” of vineyards effectively concentrates the heat of the sun, thus giving birth to the “hell of Arvier” moniker. Danilo Thomain is the only independent vigneron working this tiny appellation only five hectares in size. The Thomain family works one hectare of vineyards here in the shadow of Mont Blanc.’

 

BEA Cerrete 2009 {$125.00}

How we have any of this wine to sell is beyond me. Probably the ‘geekiest’ wine on the market right now, with a cult following. The savior of the Sagrantino grape, Paulo Bea has put the tiny town of Montefalco on the map. Sometimes called the most tannic grape in the world, this is a ‘wow!’ wine that isn’t easily forgotten.

 

Il Censo Orange Wine Sicily {$26.99}

Jospeh had this to say about the Rosenthal wine portfolio, “We never chase trends, but sometimes trends find us.” That may be particularly true in the case of this Orange wine. ‘The grapes maintain contact with the skins for two to three weeks, the length of the maceration depending on the vintage; only indigenous yeasts are used during fermentation and no temperature controls are utilized; the wines is bottled without being fined or filtered.’

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