|Tonight, we’re tasting three new California wines and because it’s Friday night and you deserve it, one, one and exactly one fabulous bottle of Pascal Agrapart’s “Minéral” extra brut Champagne. The California tasting starts with Mikey Giugni’s naturally sparkling pét-nat from cool coastal California. It’s wild yeast fermented, dry and salty. To follow, two California reds: La Clarine Farm’s 2015 Cedarville Vineyard mourvèdre from the Sierra foothills, savory, earthy, and lean (only 11.5% ABV), followed by the new vintage of Jason Drew’s organically farmed Rhône blend, mostly syrah, from coastal Mendocino Ridge, which is turning out to be one of the very best sites for syrah in California.
Special Friday Fancy by-the-glass: Champagne Agrapart “Mineral” à Aviz grand cru extra brut Champagne ($120/btl) Our go-to grower Champagne is Pascal Agrapart’s “7 Crus,” his reasonably priced entry level wine made from the fruit of seven different vineyards. Tonight, we’re tasting a much more serious and complex Agrapart Champagne, his 2009 Minéral cuvée. This wine is made from older vines growing on privileged, grand cru sites. 2009 was a ripe vintage and so the texture is rich and layered, yet, true to Agrapart’s style, the whole thing is laced together with vivacious minerality, making it a blast to drink. Part of the wine spends time in larger older barrels, while the other part sees neutral tank. This is a super yeasty wine, late disgorged, after spending five years in bottle on its fine lees.