Vow to Drink Better in 2015
After the holidays, many of us go on a purge of sorts — curbing our waistlines, purses and wallets, as well as our livers, after weeks of reckless gluttony.
Following weeks of parties filled with the cheapest swill caterers can find to pad their profits, for me the New Year and high season in South Florida is a time to treat your tongue well. Here are a few winemakers from around the globe that you should seek out give your liver and tongue a treat.
For those of you who cannot get out of the New World, I give you Gavin Chanin: 29 years old, Jewish doctor’s son, who crafts some of the most balanced and flavorful pinot noirs and chardonnays from California, period. He worked for notable winemakers at Au Bon Climat and Zaca Mesa for 11 years before even graduating high school. He started his Chanin label and was named the Winemaker of the Year in 2012 by Food & Wine magazine. The focus of his named winery is on whole-cluster (skins and stems are included in the ferment to add texture and ageability) fermented wines likened to Burgundy. His new label, Lutum, is all about richness and allowing the vineyard to speak through the wine as a soloist at the opera.
Luca Currado, the owner and winemaker of Vietti Winery in Piedmont, is crafting some of this world’s most extraordinary nebbiolos on the planet. In his mid 50s, he was one of the first in Italy to embrace social media and adopt techniques from the New World while keeping true to his Old World-rooted family values, all the while forging incredible wines and reasonable prices. The barbera from the 80+-year-old vineyard of Scarrone is mind-boggling. Barolos from Rocche, Lazzarito and Villero will reward your tongue, and if you can find Ravera buy as much as you can and hide it from your kids.
Pierre Gonon, run by brothers Pierre and Jean, have earned the reputation of the Domaine in St-Joseph. They work their nine hectares of land without any chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, using allnatural composts. Their Syrah, from a prized parcel of granite bedrock purchased from famed winemaker Raymond Trollat, shows the wild “sauvage” side. Yet there is energy and freshness in their wines that makes it impossible to open a bottle without it evaporating rapidly in your glass.