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Two Brothers

There was something special about this week which made the namesake wine ("Deux Freres" or Two Brothers) taste extra good. My brother Paul was here from the UK for a week -- his first visit since 2004! Nine years my senior, I always looked up to him. After watching him for many years work a summer job as a wine server at the famous old restaurant, Grange Farm, I was excited when I was old enough to take his place. Little did we know how influential this would be in my life :) We both have the proud legacy -- many years apart -- of causing a power outage at the restaurant while trying to change a light bulb in the middle of service, leading to a candle lit evening for all. Occasionally he referred to me as the "mistake" (I was born a decade behind my two older brothers), or "Victoria Jane" (my parents may have hoped this time it would be a girl). But I've long forgiven him for all that, especially when I think back on some of my childhood antics, like demanding kisses from his girlfriends. He is a special person and I could not wish for a better brother.

Domaine Pellé is a wonderful producer from the Loire Valley, France. The appellation of Menetou-Salon was for a long time in the shadow of its famous neighbor, Sancerre. The regions share similar terroir with the Kimmeridgian soils that make the Sauvignon Blancs sing, however Menetou-Salon is much smaller in size, and most of its wines are consumed before they leave France. Domaine Pellé has been instrumental in putting Menetou-Salon on the map, consistently crafting wonderful wines for four generations. The vines are grown on a rocky slope resulting in great complexity and character. The first things you'll notice is the perfumed nose that jumps out of the glass, with notes of sweet grapefruit, soft green grass, delicate gooseberry, and lime zest. This wine is graceful, with a wonderful fruit character. You can easily sip it on its own or pair with goat cheese, grilled shrimp, or crab cakes.

For our red this week we travel down into the Southern Rhône to the appellation of Vacqueyras. The Montmirail estate, which Maurice Archimbaud founded in 1960, is now run by his two grandchildren. The family owns two vineyards in the Vacqueyras and Gigondas appellations, both famous for their spectacular red wines based often on the Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes. The Montmirail cellar is located near the Dentelles de Montmirail, a small, craggy mountain that overlooks the sprawling vineyards. It is in this idyllic landscape that the Montmirail Vacqueyras Cuvée des Deux Frères 2020 is born. We have featured past vintages of this wine (the label has changed so you may not recognize it), and we are very excited for its return! This is a ripe yet fresh wine full of blackberries, black cherry, herbs and faint peppery spice. A wonderful-value, delicious red to pair with a grilled steak or burger.


A special shoutout to the new vintage of this great rosé from Domaine Pellé. The 2022 vintage is full of lemon balm, fresh strawberries and an elegant character that makes you think of the French countryside. Drink in the sun with quiche and goat cheese salad.

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