Pigeon & Friends: New Cellar Sale 6 Packs, and Learn How to Make Beef Cheek Bourguignon This Week
Pigeon & Friends Updates
Cellar Sale Update: Curated 6 packs of wine for your at home wine drinking pleasure
The sale is back on! Our third round of curated 6 packs is below. Each one is focused on a wine region we are passionate about, also each one showcases the variety of grapes and/or styles that each region offers. It’s a chance to dig deep into some cool corners for the wine world.
TO ORDER click the ‘Order Bundle’ button which will take you to the sale on our website, scroll down to the bottom of the page, select your wine bundle of choice, follow the steps to securely order your wine. All payments will be processed ahead of time through our website.
Once you order they will be available for pickup at Le Pigeon on Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25, from 12-5. You can pick them up from our front door, or we can bring them out to your car. If those times do not work for you, please let us know and we can arrange an alternative.
We are all in this together, and when you’re drinking good stuff, well hey, you’re keeping it classy.
Cellar Sale Curated 6 Packs
Bundle #1: Loire Valley Sippers (36 for sale) $125
The Loire River is the longest river that resides solely in France. Flowing north from its headwaters in south central France, and then making a left at Orléans it flows west towards the Atlantic. Along most of the route grapes are grown. From Gamay at the start, to the elusive Romarantin of Cour-Cheverny, to the Sauvignon Blancs of Sancerre and her satellite regions, then on to the heart of the Loire where the world’s benchmark Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc based wines are produced, and finally on towards the Atlantic with Melon de Bourgogne (confusing name, yes) lending itself to Muscadet wines that rival many more famous (and expensive) wines for complexity and age-ability. Let’s ride!
Pétillant Naturel Brut, ‘Perles Rouge’ (Gamay), Patrice Colin, NV Pet-nats are bottled while still completing fermentation. The yeasts are still eating the sugar from the grapes and producing Co2 which leads to moderate effervescence – different from some bubblies that have 2 separate fermentations. This Gamay Pet-Nat brings the juicy vivacity along with a bright freshness.
Muscadet, Clisson, Domaine des Cognettes, 2014 The Perraud family has been farming in the western-Loire region of Muscadet for 6 generations, and have been certified organic since 2009. This bottling hails from a superior sub-zone known as “Clisson” where the granitic soils influence the wines. Smells like wet rocks with spiced yellow apples.
Vouvray (Chenin Blanc), Silex, Domaine d’Orfeuilles, 2017 This bone-dry Chenin is made from organically farmed grapes grown on a unique type of soil known as “silex” which is flint. Some say that this can impart “flinty” aromas in the wine…you tell us.
Rosé de Loire (Cab Franc/Groulleau), Thibaud Boudignon, 2018 Thibaud Boudignon is one of the most exciting “rising star” winemaker in the Loire valley. This rose has just enough weight to pair with food but its crisp and fruity character makes it just as enjoyable to drink by itself while sitting in the sun.
Touraine-Amboise ‘Clef de Sol’ (Cab Franc/Côt – aka Malbec), Domaine la Grange Tiphaine, 2012 The “Clef del Sol” blend of Cabernet Franc and “Cot” (which is what the Loire folks call Malbec) may make you re-think the varietal entirely. This is not an ink-colored fruit+alcohol+oak bomb but instead a well-balanced earthy red made from 120-year-old vines and aged in concrete egg. The few years of bottle age allow it to truly sing.
Chinon (Cab Franc), ‘Les Galuches, Domaine Jean-Maurice Raffault, 2018 This branch of the Raffault family has been growing grapes in the Loire valley since 1693, but the Domaine really took off in the 1970s when Jean-Maurice took over. They produce multiple single-vineyard bottlings to showcase the specificity of each unique growing site. The “Les Galuches” cuvée comes from an ancient river bed and gets its name from the gravel stones found throughout the vineyard.
Bundle #2: Green, Gorge-ous Galicia (24 for sale) $255
Galicia is not the Spain of our Don Quixote imagination with warm dusty plains. Tucked in the northwestern corner of the country, parts are lush and green, and other areas are steep hills and gorges over rushing streams and rivers. Galicia’s cool maritime climate, inland river valleys, and diverse geology make it one of Spain’s most interesting regions for wine.
Albariño, Nanclares y Prieto, 2018, Rias Baixas From the Galician coast – thinks fjords, but warmer. Alberto Nanclares farms about 7 acres of vineyards divided up into dozens of different parcels. All the fruit for this flagship bottling come from the subzone of Salnes which is at sea-level and very close to the ocean, you can almost taste the ocean sea air in the glass.
Albariño, Cepas Vellas, Do Ferreiro, 2018, Rias Baixas The Cepas Vellas bottling is also located in the sub-zone of Salnes, and farmed organically…the big difference here is that the 1.5 hectare vineyard has vines that are over 200 years old! This wine is really the pinnacle expression of the Albarino grape. Cepas Vellas will develop in the bottle for many years to come.
Ribeiro, ‘Escolma Branco’ (White) (Treixadura/Albariño/Torrontés/Lado), Viña de Martin (L. Rodriguez), 2013 Louis Rodriguez has been a driving force in the revitalization of the Ribeiro wine region; which in the 16th and 17th century was known throughout Europe for the quality of its wines. The 15 acres he farms are divided among 180 different vineyard plots! Each grape adds it’s note to the piece. This wine is both broad and ripe, as well as full of focus and tension… it’s a cliché to say this but think great Puligny Montrachet.
Ribeiro, ‘A Torna dos Pasas’ (Brancellao/Caiño Longo/Caiño Redondo/Ferrol), Viña de Martin (L. Rodriguez), 2015 Mr. Rodriguez is credited with reviving red wine production with indigenous varieties in Ribeiro as well. This blend of local varietals comes from really steep and terraced south-facing vineyards with ancient granitic soils. This bottling is medium bodied, peppery, floral and has lots of crunchy red fruit.
Ribeira Sacra, ‘Madialeva’ (Garnacha Tintorera) Adega Algueira, 2012 The vineyards in Ribeira Sacra which rise up above the Sil river are truly breathtaking, some of them reach a 75% slope and harvest and vineyard work is a backbreaking labor of love. Madialeva is a newer bottling from the winery. They were inspired to plant Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouchet) when they discovered some 100-year-old vines lost in a corner of their vineyard.
Mencia, Mosier Hills Estate, Analemma, 2018, Columbia Gorge Analemma is a winery located in Mosier on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge. They are inspired by the wines of Galicia. This Mencia definetly has common threads with the great wines of Ribeira Sacra, but with some Oregon flare as well. Lots of spicy and savory character.
Bundle #3: Northern Rhône Exploration (18 for sale) $305
Where to begin? We have been talking about the Syrahs of the Northern Rhône for over a dozen years now. If you have dined more than 3 times at Le Pigeon and asked us to pick you a red wine, we’ve likely served you a wine from the Northern Rhône. The variety of expressions of Syrah from this region are uncanny, and the whites, though few, can be breathtaking, if challenging at times (not this time though). The best can be described as having power, but without too much weight. Sounds abstract? Try ‘em.
Saint-Joseph Blanc (Roussanne), Domaine des Pierres Séches, 2017 Northern Rhone white wines can be weighty, waxy, and high in alcohol. This wine somehow manages to exude the weighty and the waxy, exhibiting body and texture, but also fresh acidity and the floral and spice notes balancing the weight with a bright fruit note. Quite remarkable.
Saint-Joseph, Domaine de Gouye, 2016 Not much changes at Domaine de Gouye, which is located in the “original”southern part of the Saint-Joseph appellation. The grapes are foot-trodden in old wooden fermenters without de-stemming and after fermentation the family uses their 130-year old press to extract the juice for aging in neutral oak barrels. This Syrah is drinking great now and makes a great match for summer BBQ.
Saint-Joseph, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave, 2016 Jean-Louis Chave is one of many in a long line stretching back centuries. In fact, they began growing grapes in Saint-Joseph in the late 15th century. While famous for their Hermitage, Jean-Louis has made it his life’s work to refocus on the potential of St Joseph replanting long-forgotten vineyards, and rebuilding stone terraces on these steep hillsides…. how many other wineries have 2 stonemasons on staff?
Hermitage, Farconnet, J. L. Chave Selections, 2012 The hill of Hermitage is where the Chave family has staked (literally, the individual vines are held up by wooden stakes) their reputation deftly blending multiple parcels to achieve a wine of greater complexity. Due to that they always have wines from great parcels that don’t make it to the final blend. Rather than create a second tier they make a second wine. Sometimes with purchased fruit added in, but usually all Domaine fruit. A wine that is built to last 20+ years (as opposed to the Domaine wines that are ageless). With 8 years of bottle age it is drinking very well now.
Côte-Rôtie, La Vialliere, Domaine Champet, 2018 Côte Rôtie is the northernmost outpost for Syrah grapes in the Rhone River Valley, the climate is a little cooler and the wines generally show more elegant side of Syrah than in Hermitage or Cornas. Domaine Champet re-pioneered the sub-zone of Vialliere. It was a great site historically, but just 35 years ago had been covered by woods. Emile Champet spent 35 years clearing a mere 3 hectares for plantation. Wild elegance.
Cornas, Granit 30, Vincent Paris, 2018 Vincent Paris has history in Cornas his uncle is Robert Michel – a godfather of the appellation. This wine comes from a parcel of 30-year-old vines planted on a 30% gradient on the hillside and is fermented in a mix of oak barrel and stainless steel tank.
The Northern Rhône is about tradition generally, but some producers, you might say, are über traditional. They would be classified by some as natural wine producers and by others as simply vigneron of deep belief. Regardless of labels, these three bottles express a purity of grape and terroir expression. Hard to find, and after tasting, hard to forget.
Côte-Rôtie, Coteaux de Tupin, Domaine Jean-Michel Stéphan, 2014 This wine is a benchmark for the potential of “natural” wine. It is also a benchmark for the potential of Syrah…really… it’s about as complex as any wine you can drink. Jean Michel employs whole cluster fermentations in closed tank which causes some “carbonic fermentation” thus lending a little bit of fruitiness to the wine but the Syrah stems provide tons of spice. Made from “Sirene” which is an ancient clone of Syrah that give even more aromatic intensity than usual. Bottled without any sulfur additions.
Saint-Joseph, Clos des Cessieux, Hervé Souhat, 2017 Herve Souhat’s domaine was founded with the belief that wine is meant to be drunk and enjoyed: he prefers to make wine that tastes as good on release but could also be cellared if desired. This St. Joseph bottling shows his knack for crafting silky and elegant wine while still retaining the hallmarks of the Syrah grape: floral, pepper, and smoke.
Cornas, Dom. La Grande Collines (H. Ooka), 2012
Hirotake Ooka was born in Japan and studied winemaking in Bordeaux, afterwards he began working as a vineyard manager in the Northern Rhone. He spent his weekends working with the legendary Theirry Allemand and in 2001 bought a little land and began to make his own wine. He named his winery Domaine de la Grand Colline which means “big hill” in French…his last name Ooka means “hill” in Japanese. He is steadfast about being hands-off in the vineyard and doesn’t even use approved organic treatments because he believes that the vines need to have their own balance. These wines were already near-impossible to get a hold of, but even more so now seeing as Ooka has stopped producing wine.