Gemtree Wines Savagnin "Moonstone" McLaren Vale 2016 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Bodega Vinificate Amorro Mahara Vino de la Tierra de Cadíz 2015 - NATURAL WINE
Nada Fiorenzo Nebbiolo Langhe DOC 2014
Gemtree Wines Savagnin "Moonstone" McLaren Vale 2016 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Julien Braud "Forty Ounce" Rosé Vin de France 2016 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Thierry Chardon Gamay Touraine AOC "Les Chardons" 2015 - NATURAL WINE
WELCOME MFW WINE COMPANY!
MFW (Michael Foulk and Wheeler) Wine Co. is the partnership of two people with a combined 30+ years experience in the New York and New Jersey wine worlds. Rather than constantly chasing fads, their motto is "two guys who enjoy real wine and want to work with the people and wines we care about." Today we're welcoming Annika Adelmann to pour a selection of MFW Wine Company's offerings.
Bow & Arrow Melon Johan Vineyard Willamette Valley 2015
Country: USA / Region: OREGON / Appellation: WILLAMETTE VALLEY / Varietal(s): MELON DE BOURGOGNE --- Do you love Loire Valley wines? So do we! And so do Dana and Scott Frank, makers of Bow & Arrow; that's the inspiration for their wines, using exclusively Loire Valley varietals. Many have noted the similarities in climate and latitude between the Willamette Valley and the Loire Valley (as well as Burgundy). The melon here is better known in France as melon de Bourgogne, the grape responsible for oyster lovers' favorite drinking buddy: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine. A cool, composed nose of crushed stone, dried white flowers, and lemon zest yields to sweet-tart citrus on the palate, with bright dried lemon and lime accents, and stony minerality on the finish. Oregon melon typically has a bigger mouthfeel than its Loire cousins, but still maintains unmistakable varietal character. A match made in oyster-eating heaven, but also delectable with goat cheese and arugula salad.
Michel Autran Vouvray Ciel Rouge 2014 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE / Appellation: VOUVRAY AOC / Varietal(s): CHENIN BLANC --- Although his first official vintage wasn’t until 2013, Michel Autran is already making a name for himself as one of the top producers in Vouvray. Far from an overnight success, Michel has quietly been putting in the work behind the scenes for many years now. He started off as a doctor, working in emergency medicine for nearly 20 years, but somewhere along the way the wine bug bit. Deciding to change careers in his 40s, Michel began working with some of the top chenin producers in the world, including François Pinon, Vincent Carême, the Joussets, Frantz Saumon, Ludovic Chanson, and others. In 2011, he was able to purchase just under 1ha of prime vineyards in Noizay to start, and slowly expanded to 3.8ha today. Farming is completely organic, and due to the steepness of some of the plots, a horse is necessary for working the parcels of 50-70 year old vines. Harvest is done by hand, and native yeast is used for fermentation in stainless steel, before the wines are racked by gravity into old oak barrels. A small amount of sulfur is used only when absolutely necessary. The resulting wines simply explode with character: pure, elegant fruit, luxuriously long finish, textural richness balanced by electric acidity, and outstanding minerality. The Ciel Rouge (Red Sky) displays a precise, stony nose of golden delicious, quince, white flowers, cream, and beeswax followed by steely crushed stone, white pineapple, and peach pit with a lingering finish. A truly elegant match with roasted pork loin.
Farmstrong Field Red California 2014 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: CALIFORNIA / Varietal(s): CARIGNAN+SYRAH --- Winemaker Faith Armstrong Foster seeks to highlight California's unique grape growing history with her Farmstrong label by purchasing small lots of grapes from individual vineyards with distinctive characteristics and using them to create deliciously dynamic blends. A blend of 36% carignan from Hawkeye Ranch in Redwood Valley, 28% carignan from Casa Rojo vineyard in Contra Costa, and 36% syrah from Roger King in Suisun Valley, these batches were fermented separately in stainless steel tanks, then aged in 9% new and 91% neutral French oak. Faith works with farmers who are true stewards of the land, and this field blend is a case in point. The carignan vines of Hawkeye Ranch are heritage clones and 80 years old on average, and the vineyard is CCOF Certified Organic and Fish Friendly. The syrah comes from Roger King (of Ledgewood Vineyard), a well-known grower and advocate for sustainable practices in Suisun Valley, where his dry-farming techniques imbue the syrah with intensity and complexity. Finally, the other batch of carignan comes from Casa Rojo, the oldest vineyard planted in Contra Costa, dating back to the 1800s. Old vines and sustainable farming pay off in spades here, with incredible aromas of spices, floral notes, dark fruit, grilled bread, and freshly ground white pepper. Medium- to full-bodied on the palate, the wine is elegant and structured, with mouthwatering flavors of black plum, cranberry preserves, and warm cherry compote, all balanced by bright acidity and gentle yet firm tannins. Sure to be a new favorite, this is refreshing, reliable, and versatile. Try it with chicken stew with tomatoes, white beans, and thyme.
Bodegas Federico "Roble" Ribera del Duero DO 2014
Country: SPAIN / Region: CASTILLA Y LEON / Appellation: RIBERA DEL DUERO DO / Varietal(s): TEMPRANILLO --- A part of the Castilla y León wine region approximately two hours northwest of Madrid, the Ribera del Duero produces red wines regarded as some of the finest in Spain. This is largely due to the extreme conditions of the area, which range from 100+ degree summer days with long periods without rain to sub-zero winters. 60 degree temperature swings between night and day are a regular occurrence, and all this adversity results in concentrated flavors in the grapes that thrive there, most notably tempranillo. Bodegas Federico was founded in 1986 by Federico Fernández Pérez. The winery is located in the province of Valladolid, in a village with a long winemaking tradition: Pesquera de Duero, "the heart of the Ribera del Duero". If you are familiar with the renowned Pesquera winery, then you should know that owner Alejandro Fernández's brother owns Federico. In fact, while the Pesquera name went to Alejandro, the family's original vineyard holdings all went to Federico. This is evidenced by the quality of the wine: savory dark red cherry flavors burst forth on a rich, mouth-filling palate. Intense hints of blackberries and ripe red cherries are supported by firm tannin structure and a balanced, lingering finish. A hearty, warming choice with braised lamb with peppers and jamón.
Cesani Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: ITALY / Region: TUSCANY / Appellation: VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO DOCG / Varietal(s): VERNACCIA --- Cesani is located on a lovely hillside position in upper Pancole, overlooking San Gimignano, about 20 km from Siena. Founder Vicenzo Cesani moved to Tuscany from his native Marche, and today his daughters Letizia and Maria-Louisa have taken over winemaking duties with great success. Vernaccia di San Gimignano received Denominazione Origine Controllata (DOC) status in 1966, even before that recognition was granted to the "big names" of Barolo, Barbaresco or Brunello. Though the area is small (only about 1,700 acres), the diversity of soil in San Gimignano is great, owing to both volcanic activity and erosion, and imparts a characteristic complexity to the wines produced here. While the town of San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famed for its medieval towers, the vernaccia grape remains relatively obscure. There are many strains of vernaccia grown throughout Italy, but Vernaccia di San Gimignano is distinct among them (the name vernaccia comes from the Latin, vernaculus, meaning local, native, or distinctive.) Pale straw in color with greenish highlights, this compelling white displays intense aromas of green apple, pear, herbs, and minerals. The palate yields flavors of melon, pear, and apple supported by a mineral core and a streak of bright, zesty acidity. Medium-bodied, it offers a lingering finish of almond notes typical of the vernaccia grape. A lovely choice with white clam pizza!
Antico Fuoco Veronese IGT Rosso 2015
Country: ITALY / Region: VENETO / Appellation: VERONESE IGT / Varietal(s): CORVINA+MERLOT --- This off-dry red from Veneto is bound to be a crowd-pleaser! A blend of corvina (renowned as a key component in Valpolicella) and merlot, the late maturation of the grapes used here results in concentrated luscious flavors of candied cherry, plum pie, and intense berry fruit, accented by aromas of tobacco, walnuts, and tar. Light oak aging lends this delicate notes of chocolate and sweet baking spices, adding depth and body. It all adds up to an easy drinker that avoids being overly vapid, while remaining a great value as well! A perfect companion to hearty Italian fare – try this with sausage, pepper, and potato casserole with cherry tomatoes and basil.
Terrazze dell'Etna Vino Bianco "Ciuri" 2014
Country: ITALY / Region: SICILY / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): NERELLO MASCALESE --- Mt. Etna, despite its volcanic disposition, has a history of terrace viticulture, and the 120-hectare estate of Terrazze dell’Etna is no exception – paying homage to it in their name. The estate was founded in 2008 on a mission to rehabilitate and reinvigorate many of the forgotten terraces of the mountain and to become one of the growing number of excellent producers propelling Sicilian wine to the forefront of the global wine scene. This vino bianco shows us a willingness to break with tradition -- 100% red-skinned nerello mascalese vinified in a white wine style (so no skin maceration). Fragrant with tropical fruit, this wine opens up with sumptuous body on the palate and finishes with a bright and light mineral note. Ceviche would make a stunning partner to this wine, or even Ligurian pesto with linguine.
Terrazze dell'Etna Etna DOC Rosso "Carusu" 2013
Country: ITALY / Region: SICILY / Appellation: ETNA DOC / Varietal(s): NERELLO MASCALESE+NERELLO CAPPUCCIO --- Carusu, the straight-laced sibling of Ciuri, likes to stick to societal norms of red grape vinification by actually becoming red wine. This blend spends six months in neutral oak and another 24 months aging in the bottle, finally released when ready to be drunk. Nerello cappuccio lends ripe red and black berries and spice, while mascalese provides ripe tannins and great acid, keeping the wine vibrant. Did somebody say homemade pizza or spaghetti and meatballs?
Broc Cellars Counoise Mendocino County Eagle Point Ranch 2014 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: MENDOCINO COUNTY / Varietal(s): COUNOISE --- Chris Brockway makes fantastic natural wines in his Berkeley-based urban winery by utilizing low-intervention winemaking methods and sourcing sustainably and organically-farmed fruit from lesser-known vineyards all over California. In the winemaking process, he uses low-tech equipment and very little to no sulfur until bottling. This wine features organically-farmed counoise, a lesser-known grape appearing in Rhône Valley blends, particularly in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here in California it gets to shine on its own, with aromas of cranberry, spices, and earth, which give way to pomegranate, bramble, and a touch of pepper on the palate. Structured but medium in body, with bright, refreshing acidity and an incredibly smooth texture, this matches beautifully with burgers, grilled beets, hard cheeses, or even roasted game.
The Fableist Wine Company Merlot "Fable: 395" Paso Robles 2015
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: PASO ROBLES / Varietal(s): MERLOT --- The Fableist is a collaboration between two talented Paso Robles winemakers: Andrew Jones of Field Recordings and Curt Schalchlin of Sans Liege. Curt is known for his high-scoring yet affordable wines, while Andrew spends most of his days planting vineyards and walking just about every vineyard in the Central Coast! (We've showcased some of Field Recordings' delicious wines!) A new vintage for us, this merlot delights with a luxuriously silky texture and aromas of black tea, ripe cherry, wild blueberries, and wet stones. Sweet plum, woodsy cedar, and warm spices glide richly over the palate, supported by firm tannins, making this a cozy, elegant companion to smoky braised pork shoulder and Mexican pumpkin. A perfect late-winter companion to warm up with!
Affinitás Furmint Tokaj 2013
Country: HUNGARY / Region: TOKAJ / Appellation: TOKAJ / Varietal(s): FURMINT+HARSLEVELU --- The 17th century monarch Sun King Louis the XIV of France proclaimed Hungarian Tokaj the “King of Wine and the Wine of Kings!” While he was referencing the seductively sweet Tokaj Aszu wine made of botrytis-afflicted furmint grapes, this week we will be sampling a compelling dry-style of Tokaj made of the same furmint variety. The name “furmint” itself is derived from the French “froment,” in reference to the wine’s enticing golden-wheat color. From 30 year old vines we get grapes with bright acidity giving wines a sense of freshness even after years in the bottle. Aromas of ripe peach, white flowers and citrus jump right out of the glass. The addition of some hárslevelű vinified and aged separately in stainless steel adds textural depth to a wine that already has nice complexity on the palate – balancing spice, acid and rich, oily mouth feel. Perfectly juicy roasted pork loin, or even Kashmiri lamb rogan josh – heavy on the spice but not on the heat – would make an unforgettable pairing.
Domaine Vetriccie Corse AOP 2014
Country: FRANCE / Region: CORSICA / Appellation: CORSE AOP / Varietal(s): NIELLUCCIU+SCIACCARELLU+SYRAH --- “Vetriccie” is the name for the indigenous Corsican wicker that grows wild near the vineyards of Domaine Vetriccie. This red blend reflects the estate’s appreciation and respect for the native habitat of Corsica. The co-fermentation of two native grapes, niellucciu (aka Sangiovese) and sciaccarellu, with continental syrah, yields a well-balanced Côtes du Rhône-esque blend. Ripe berry, fresh cracked black pepper and wild herb aromas make this ready for your spring and summer cookout (think grilled eggplant with herbes de Provence), but still perfect with hardy winter stews or vegetarian chili.
Livon Friulano Collio DOC 2013 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: ITALY / Region: FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA / Appellation: COLLIO DOC / Varietal(s): FRIULANO --- Framed by the vision of founder Dorino Livon, the Azienda Agricola Livon estate on the Collio hills has slowly grown in size and prestige in the Italy’s Northeastern province of Friuli. Though the wines are classically styled, Livon experiments with a range of environmentally conscious viticulture practices including the incorporation of indigenous plants in the vineyards. Grown on marl and clay, the friulano grapes evolve into a balanced, bright wine in the cellar. With delicate aromas of almond and honeysuckle, this wine will pair well with roasted whole fish with citrus and herbs (the vineyard itself is less than 20 miles from the sea) or take a page out of a local cookbook and drink with a stuffed bird -- pheasant if you can swing it – and a side of polenta finished with Friulian Montasio cheese.
Domaine Lombard Côtes du Rhône AOC Brézème Grand Chêne 2014 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHONE VALLEY / Appellation: COTES DU RHONE AOC BREZEME / Varietal(s): SYRAH --- Although the label humbly says “Côtes du Rhone”, history has a more favorable view of Brézème – once touted as being only second to Hermitage, arguably the most notable Northern Rhône wine producing area. As a region, Brézème did not rebound from the late 19th century phylloxera epidemic like its neighbors to the north, and to this day has only 23 total hectares under vine, farmed by six producers. Domain Lombard brings us some lovely biodynamically farmed syrah. Planted on south-facing slopes, this syrah reaches perfect ripeness for classic Rhône valley red. Twenty percent whole cluster fruit fermented with native yeasts adds layers of textural, tannic depth to the wine. Pepper and black cherry take the lead on the nose, making this the perfect wine to open with rosemary and red wine-braised lamb shanks or penne with black olives and roasted fennel.
Pavi Wines Dolcetto Napa Valley 2008 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: NAPA VALLEY / Varietal(s): DOLCETTO --- The dolcetto grape is native to the Piedmont region of northern Italy, where it is a favorite for everyday drinking. Lesser known here in the US, the Pelissa family propagated this old Torino clone at the University of California, Davis in 1981. All 9 total acres of dolcetto planted in Napa are managed by Pavi. Pavi proprietor and winemaker, Rob Lawson, strives to integrate Napa Valley's climate and growing techniques with classic Italian grape varietals. This 100% dolcetto is a tasty, medium-bodied wine from grapes that are whole berry processed, and then barrel aged for 3-4 years in French oak barrels, 10% of which is new oak. Lush in texture, and redolent with bright raspberry and cherry aromas, it offers intense flavors of spiced cherry, balanced acidity and gentle tannins, just lovely for spaghetti Bolognese, stews, or pizza.
Romain Chamiot Vin de Savoie AOC Aprémont 2015
Country: FRANCE / Region: SAVOIE / Appellation: VIN DE SAVOIE AOC APREMONT / Varietal(s): JACQUERE --- In the stunning Rhône-Alpes sub-region of Savoie, the Chamiot family has been making wine that will finally make you dust off that old fondue kit that you got for your wedding all those years ago (says the 27 year old). Vines on steep slopes on mountainous terrain make hand harvesting a necessity. Combined with the dry climate, the grapes see little threat of moisture, so the use of sulfites is kept to an absolute minimum. The native Savoie grape jacquère brings us a fresh and straightforward wine with a pleasant suppleness from a small amount of residual sugar. All cellar work is done in enamel-lined stainless steel, giving us a pure expression of fruit. Pair with traditional Savoyarde Emmental and Beaufort fondue of potatoes and crusty bread, or if you're in a rush, try it with an American classic -- cheese fries (or even Canadian poutine if you’ve got Trudeau on your mind). If you’re feeling a bit too healthy for this cheesy madness, pour this with Thai seafood stew, this wine will perfectly balance the spice!
Ricominciare Malbec Cabernet France Valle de Uco 2013
Country: ARGENTINA / Region: MENDOZA / Appellation: VALLE DE UCO / Varietal(s): MALBEC+CABERNET FRANC --- Migrating from Italy to Argentina in 1902, Nicolas Catena found the spot in the Uco Valley of Argentina to begin planting vines. His grandson Jorge continues his family’s winemaking tradition through Ricominciare, only using grapes from his 50 year old Finca San Vicente Estate. The vineyard itself sits on deep sandy soils and utilizes the water from the thaw from the Andes mountains nearby. The hand-harvested fruit is fermented with native yeasts in concrete vats, bypassing fining before going through a light filtration. These practices form a wine with rounded freshness on the palate and notes of red and black fruit with a little herbaceousness. In the Argentinean spirit, pop open a bottle when you find yourself preparing a grill full of meats. For our herbivore comrades, break out the crock pot for shiitake-dashi pot au feu.
Giraudon Bourgogne Aligoté AOC 2015
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY / Appellation: BOURGOGNE ALIGOTÉ AOC / Varietal(s): ALIGOTÉ --- As the name suggests, Chitry-Le-Fort was once a fortified town. Marcel Giraudon draws upon centuries of family winemaking history in Chitry, using traditional methods to produce this enticing new arrival. Giraudon's vineyards are located on hillsides of Kimmeridgian chalky marl (also found in Grand Cru Chablis); yields are kept modest and harvesting is done by hand. Fermentation is done in stainless steel, and the wine goes through a malolactic fermentation which adds a lovely textured middle palate to its vibrant fruit and mineral character. Although it often takes a back seat to chardonnay, the aligoté grape has been planted in Burgundy for generations, and is often blended with chardonnay in the sparkling wines of the region. It’s also the grape of choice to mix with cassis to make a classic Kir. This crisp, minerally white wine is great to sip with oysters or by itself as a palate cleanser. Light to medium-bodied with fantastic minerality and hints of creamy green apple flavor, it’s delicate enough to drink on its own and elegant enough to pair with shellfish or whitefish dishes.
Mas d'Alezon Faugères AOP "Le Presbytère" 2014 - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: LANGUEDOC / Appellation: FAUGÈRES AOP / Varietal(s): GRENACHE+SYRAH+MOURVÈDRE --- Along with Saint-Chinian, Faugères forms the western border of the Coteaux du Languedoc, a region that extends from Nimes to Narbonne. Faugères is renowned for its schist soil (a metamorphic rock that changed from shale or mudstone to schist through a process called recrystallization), which gives a sense of finesse and austerity to the wines of the region. In 1997, Catherine Roque, already a winemaker in the Vallée de L’Orb, acquired Mas D’Alezon and its 7 hectares in the northern corner of Faugères. Among the highest in altitude in the area, Catherine’s vineyards are certified organic and she employs biodynamic principles to enhance the health of the soil and the vines. The average age of her vines is 25 years, including plots of 70 year old grenache and 80 year old mourvèdre. The Presbytère is 80% grenache with the remainder a blend of syrah and mourvèdre. Catherine utilizes indigenous yeasts for fermentation, which is long and slow at cool temperatures. The wines are aged in cement tanks and barrels that are not new, for up to two years. No sulphur is used during this process and only at bottling is the smallest amount added. Explosively fragrant, this seduces with aromas of earthy dark cherry, briar, and incense. Vibrant on the palate, ripening fruits of blackberry, plum, and raisin mingle with subtle spices, black pepper, and barnyard funk. A smooth texture gives way to structured tannins on the finish. This wine continues to unfurl new nuances of aroma and flavor throughout drinking, making for an ever-evolving, attention-grabbing experience. A delicious choice with boeuf bourguignon or roast duck.
Wildekrans Cabernet Franc Merlot Bot River WO 2013
Country: SOUTH AFRICA / Region: WESTERN CAPE / Appellation: BOT RIVER WO / Varietal(s): CABERNET FRANC+MERLOT --- The Wildekrans estate lies on the Bot River near the coastal town of Hermanus, where the rocky surroundings provide an ideal environment for rare birdlife- and for wine grapes! With a focus on low yields and respect for the natural processes and ecology of the area, Wildekrans is able to produce distinctive wines full of the character of the region, as evidenced here in this beguiling blend of cabernet franc and merlot. Aged 15 months in old French oak, an inviting, wild nose of funky green pepper, plum, violet, and black olive precedes a broad, generous palate of plum, dark berries, cassis, and more savory woody herbs and olives. Fresh acidity and integrated tannins lend balance, while a savory finish and a touch of smoke make this a winner that begs to be drunk with food. Dark and dangerous, this is delicious now with sausage and peppers, but can be cellared for 3-4 years as well.
Weingut Fürst Elbling Trocken Mosel 2015
Country: GERMANY / Region: MOSEL / Appellation: MOSEL / Varietal(s): ELBLING --- Why wait for summer to roll around to try a zesty new white? This sudden winter warm spell is just right to crack open this light, bright, new arrival from Germany! Around 2,000 years ago, the Romans planted elbling in the seashell-strewn floor of an ancient seabed in the upper Mosul. Known then as Vitis Alva, it spread throughout Germany to become one of the most popular white grapes until riesling took over in the 20th century. Today, only a handful of growers continue to create this traditionally bracing, dry wine. Elbling still flourishes in small corners of the upper Mosel and in Luxembourg's Moselle (an extension of the Mosel), and today is beginning to experience a renaissance among growers in other parts of Germany as well. A family-run winery for many generations, Weingut Fürst makes wine from a wide selection of German and French grapes on 31 acres near the small of village of Metzdorf - on the border with Luxembourg and 6 miles west of Trier. The Teutonic response to France's Muscadet, this is light, crisp, and zippy. Drier than many elblings, this offers up lemony acidity, seashell, and limestone flavors. A versatile wine for any occasion, try this with oysters, white fish, or salads. At 10.5% alcohol, it's easy to drink, and in a liter bottle, an easy value too!
São Matias Dão Tinto 2013
Country: PORTUGAL / Region: DÃO / Appellation: DÃO DOC / Varietal(s): TOURIGA NACIONAL+TINTO RORIZ+ALFROCHEIRO+JAEN --- Casa de São Matias is helmed by a family that has been inspired by terroir-driven, quintessentially Portuguese wines for over three hundred years. The wines of Casa de São Matias embody the character of the renowned Dão region in north-central Portugal, a region known for producing round, full-bodied wines, with strong aromas and good acidity. Here a luscious blend of four native Portuguese grapes form a winning combination of elegant red and black fruit, floral and herbal notes, and hints of earth and spice. Firm and fresh, with fine tannin, balanced acidity, and a long finish, this makes a great companion to lamb and white bean stew.
Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine AOC Sur Lie "Les Gras Moutons" 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: MUSCADET SEVRE ET MAINE AOC / Varietal(s): MELON DE BOURGOGNE --- Les Gras Moutons, or “the fat sheep”, is not simply a charming name, evocative of pastoral Loire countryside; it is in fact the specific plot of gneiss soils on which these melon de Bourgogne grapes are grown. Domaine de la Pépière’s other Muscadet bottlings come from grapes grown on granite soils, while the gneiss plots of Gras Moutons produce wines with generous floral and stone fruit aromas and great textural balance. Winemaker and Happy of the Seven Dwarfs doppelgänger, Marc Ollivier conducts all farming organically, and through careful handling of the grapes from vineyard to cellar, is able to vinify using yeasts present on the grapes. Aging on the lees (sur lie) gives this wine added richness in texture, and combined with its refreshing acidity, will allow this wine to age well for the next several years. Chill this down and serve with oysters, or use some in, before pairing with, a braise of chicken with cipollini onions and wild mushrooms.
Roagna Dolcetto d'Alba DOC 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: ITALY / Region: PIEDMONT / Appellation: DOLCETTO D'ALBA DOC / Varietal(s): DOLCETTO --- Luca Roagna is giving a voice to the voiceless, as far as Piemontese grape varieties are concerned, by producing a natural-style dolcetto d’Alba that has earned its spot next to titanic Barolos and Barbarescos. Luca employs native yeast fermentation to give this dolcetto a gamey wild side that melds seamlessly with the grape’s intrinsic black cherry aroma. This wine sees 90-100 days of skin-maceration, and is then aged in large-format, old oak barrels for one year. Bottled without filtration, this wine has chewy tannins and a texture begging to be rounded out with the rich dishes typical of Piemontese cuisine! Open early and serve with fresh egg pasta in mushroom ragù, or if you’re feeling truly indulgent, spend the day preparing stinco, the Piemontese braised and roasted pork shank served over creamy polenta with roasted root vegetables!
The Red Hook Winery "Twenty One: Twenty Four" North Fork of Long Island 2012
Country: USA / Region: NEW YORK STATE / Appellation: NORTH FORK OF LONG ISLAND / Varietal(s): MERLOT+CABERNET SAUVIGNON --- Robert Foley, one of the kings of big California reds, has found himself enjoying the fruits of the East Coast while tackling new challenges. Born out of calamity, “Twenty One: Twenty Four” refers to the military time when Hurricane Sandy surged on Red Hook Winery back in October of 2012. The storm destroyed almost all 100 casks of the 2010 vintage and most of the fermentation tanks holding what would become the 2012 vintage. Out of this hardship was born a 90:10 Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon blend that showcases the cult Napa-valley style for which Foley is famous. Indulgent notes of stewed black berry, black currant, and plum pave the way for a secondary rush of spice and nuttiness. Superstorm Sandy postponed the bottling of the 2012 vintage, so this wine was able to spend four years aging gracefully in barrel! Although it sounds like Twenty One: Twenty Four has all the makings of a big Napa valley red, it comes in at a sprightly 12.8% abv and is refreshing on the palate (possibly the wine equivalent of “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”?) Grapes from the North Fork of Long Island have a distinct sea-air quality due to the vineyards’ proximity to the Great Peconic Bay and Peconic Sound. This adds another unique layer of depth to Robert Foley’s wine. A must try for any New York wine fan. Open a bottle with mushroom barbacoa tacos or rosemary-scented pork roulade.
Celler Masroig "Pinyeres" Montsant DO 2014
Country: SPAIN / Region: CATALUNYA / Appellation: MONTSANT DO /Varietal(s): GRENACHE BLANC --- When drinking white wine in the winter, we're always looking for a bit more than our summer whites offer. More texture, more fruit, more intensity of flavor, any of these will suffice. Celler el Masroig has been making some very well made wines over the years and Pinyeres is no exception. Pinyeres blanc is a selection from old grenache blanc vines grown in the Montsant area, traditionally fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, then aged for three months on lees. Bright golden in color, with intense aromas of ripe white peaches, it displays hints of yeast and toast in the background. Bursting onto the palate with refreshing acidity, it then becomes creamy and bold with a delectably lingering finish. Drink this with fragrant roast chicken, hearty winter squash salads, pasta with cream and morel mushrooms, or with cheese while catching up on Netflix.
Nexo Garnacha Cariñena DOP 2015
Country: SPAIN / Region: ARAGON / Appellation: CARINENA DOP / Varietal(s): GARNACHA --- Established in 1932, Cariñena is one of the oldest legally delimited growing areas in Europe. Winemaking here dates back to the 3rd century B.C. but has been documented throughout history to be an area of great wine production – 1500s monarch Philip II, King of Spain was a huge fan! Nexo brings us ripe garnacha fermented in stainless steel and aged for four months in large old oak foudres (typical of the Southern Rhône). The 2015 vintage was particularly good in Cariñena as the hot, sun-drenched summer helped this garnacha reach peak form. Drink young to revel in the wine’s jammy red berry and spice aromas. Thyme, paprika and even some cinnamon notes give this bottle added layers of depth while smooth tannins make this an easy drinker with lamb burgers or hearty BBQ pulled pork and brisket.
Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie Pays d'Oc "Pas des Louvres" 2014
Country: FRANCE/ Region: LANGUEDOC / Appellation: PAYS D'OC / Varietal(s): ROUSSANNE+MACABEU+ BOURBOULENC+CLAIRETTE --- Founded in its current form during the reign of Louis XIV by an officer returning from service on the Indian subcontinent, the grounds of Domaine Faillenc Sainte Marie also contain ruins of a Roman winery, a testament to its long winemaking history. Faillenc Sainte Marie is a small estate, consisting of 8 hectares of vineyards set amidst rocky limestone terraces in the foothills of Mont Alaric, buffeted by the Tramontane wind. This inhospitable, extremely dry climate contributes to naturally low yields and great character in the resulting wines. Jean-Baptiste Gibert, son of vignerons Dominique and Marie-Therese, has now taken charge of the domaine and embarked on the steps towards organic certification. This delicious mineral-driven white, named “Pas des Louves” (“path of the she-wolves”), is made from a blend of roussanne, macabeu, bourboulenc, and clairette. The four grape varieties are pressed and vinified together; fine lees contact during fermentation gives body and complexity. Dry, this possesses a compelling minerality along with a nutty, herbal character that perfectly complements touches of citrus and ripe tropical fruit on the palate. A versatile sipper, this makes a great choice for Alpine cheese toasts.
Château Jouclary Cabardès AOC "Cuvée Tradition" 2014
Country: FRANCE / Region: LANGUEDOC / Appellation: CABARDÈS AOC / Varietal(s): MERLOT+GRENACHE+SYRAH --- This wine seriously over-delivers for the price! Located on the southern slopes of the Montagne Noir (the southernmost outcropping of the Massif Central, just outside the medieval walled city of Carcassonne), the Cabardès AOC is one of France's newest AOCs, established in 1998. It is unique in that producers are allowed to blend Mediterranean varietals like grenache and syrah with Atlantic grapes like merlot and cabernet franc. The result is "Bordeaux meets Côtes du Rhône" – earthy, spicy, and rustic. The vineyards of Château de Jouclary are planted with three of the sanctioned varieties; syrah, grenache, and merlot. Merlot is the backbone of the wine, while the old vine grenache and syrah from the stony upper hillside contribute ripe fruit flavors, warmth, and spice on the palate. Fermented in lined cement vats, the wine rests in vats for 12 months and receives a number of rackings before it is bottled. This cuvée, the 2014, is 50% merlot, contributing lush plum and cassis flavors, followed up by equal components of herbal, tarry grenache and syrah. A beautiful purple-ruby hue in the glass, this is equally delightful on the palate, with complex flavors of fleshy plum and cherry, accented by undertones of leather, dried herbs, licorice, earth, and mushroom. Satisfyingly green and earthy, this glass of funky French goodness just begs to be drunk with roast beef, leg of lamb, or cassoulet.
Bisson Bianchetta Genovese Portofino DOC "U Pastine" 2015
Country: ITALY / Region: LIGURIA / Appellation: PORTOFINO DOC / Varietal(s): BIANCHETTA GENOVESE --- Enoteca Bisson began in 1978 when Pierluigi Lugano fell in love with the wines of the Ligurian coastline. He started out as a trader in small lots of bulk wine, and later became a wine merchant and finally a grower in his own right. High above the Mediterranean Sea in Italy's northwest, the steep, stony slopes of Liguria require that all grapes be cultivated by hand, often using traditions passed down through generations since the ancient Greeks first planted vines there. Lugano works closely with several small, local growers, closely monitoring the work done in the field. A fierce advocate of native, increasingly rare grape varietals, this delightful white is a prime example of his tireless work to preserve indigenous grapes. Bianchetta Genovese is a very rare grape grown in the area south of Genoa. Usually found as part of a field blend with other grapes, Bisson was the first to vinify it on its own, and Lugano has saved several parcels from extinction. This cuvée is vinified in stainless steel to preserve the true character of the grape variety and the vineyard site. "U Pastine" in the Ligurian dialect roughly translates as a gift that is crafted for someone in particular as an extra special present. Delicate and lively, this wine offers up flavors of citrus, sea spray, wet stone, and woody coastal herbs. Snappy acidity, a generous mouthfeel, and clean finish all add up to a compelling wine that fans of vermentino, verdicchio, muscadet, or vinho verde will find easy to love! Its vibrant minerality makes it a heavenly match with white fish dishes – you'd be hard-pressed to find a better companion to seafood or salad!
Maison Jessiaume Bourgogne AOC Rouge 2013
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY / Appellation: BOURGOGNE AOC / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR --- Built in 1850, Domaine Jessiaume sits invitingly at the entrance to the small spa town of Santenay. It comprises over 37 acres, with large plots in Santenay, important holdings in the Premiers Crus of Auxey Duresses Les Ecusseaux and Volnay Les Brouillards, and a prime section of Beaune les Cent Vignes vineyard. Domaine Jessiaume seeks to create elegant, subtle wines with well-integrated tannins, using methods that respect the environment. These methods include low yields, as well as harvesting and vinifying in accordance with the phases of the lunar cycle. Light garnet in color, this pinot noir spends 12 months aging in French oak barrels and 3 months in stainless steel prior to bottling. A beautiful bouquet of red cherries and blackcurrants with subtle accents of woody spice yields to morello cherries and raspberries on the palate. Supple in texture, a generous mouthfeel gives this a luxurious air, with refined tannins contributing to an elegant finish. Beautifully crafted, this shines with grilled arctic char, eggplant, zucchini, and peppers. Wonderful to drink now, this also will age gracefully over the next 5 years. A truly affordable classic!
Skinner Vineyards "Smithereens" Red Blend El Dorado 2014 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: SIERRA FOOTHILLS - EL DORADO / Varietal(s): GRENACHE+ MOURVÈDRE+SYRAH+COUNOISE --- In 1861 Scottish gold miner James Skinner founded J. Skinner Native Wine and Brady in Rescue, California. One of the earliest wineries and distilleries, this pioneering effort in El Dorado county was also one of the most successful in the history of California. Over a century later, in 2006, Mike and Carey Skinner and their three children bought land a mile away from the original Skinner winery and embarked upon their dream of continuing the family tradition of winemaking. They brought in winemaker Chris Pittenger, formerly with Williams Selyem and Marcassin in Sonoma, and began planning the new Skinner Vineyards and Winery, aiming to create world-class wines while honoring their family history. Smithereens Red is a unique Rhône-style blend from the Sierra Foothills. Organically farmed in clay and volcanic soils, this blend of traditional Rhône Valley grapes is aged for 23 months in French oak barrels (86% neutral, 14% new). A rich nose of bright red fruit, touches of vanilla, and spice transforms into soft, deep texture, medium body, and notes of candied cherry and spice on the palate. A tasty companion to spicy braised short ribs.
KAS Krupnikas Spiced Honey Liqueur
Country: USA / Region: NEW YORK / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): N/A --- Krupnikas is a sweet honey liqueur that is popular in Lithuania as well as Poland (known there as “Krupnik”). According to legend, Benedictine monks created Krupnikas in the 1500s. Made with sweet honey and warm spices, it became a popular mainstay in the Polish and Lithuanian communities as a way to celebrate holidays, weddings, and for everyday sipping. The Soviets shut down production for many years, but krupnikas has survived through closely guarded family recipes, passed down through generations, which vary from family to family. KAS Krupnikas is a family recipe distilled with local honey and a secret blend of spices, bottled by hand in Mahopac, New York (the only krupnikas producer in New York state). Featuring spices including vanilla, cinnamon, caraway seeds, cloves, and saffron, it makes a delightful dessert liqueur with cookies and crème caramel, or honey semolina olive oil cake.
Domaine Pascal Bonhomme Viré-Clessé Vieilles Vignes 2014 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY / Appellation: VIRÉ-CLESSÉ AOC / Varietal(s): CHARDONNAY --- Situated in the north of the Mâconnais between Tournus and Mâcon, Viré-Clessé is one of Burgundy's newest appellations. The chardonnay of Viré-Clessé is distinctly different from the appellations further to the south such as Pouilly-Fuissé and Saint-Véran, in part due to a greater percentage of limestone in the soil. An old school winemaker in the classic Burgundian style, Pascal Bonhomme has some of the best-situated sites in Viré-Clessé on his 2.5 hectare estate. Entirely hand harvested, 1/5 of the cuvée is vinified in older barrels, adding to the overall effect of complexity and subtlety. The average ages of the vines for this delightful cuvée is 60-65 years. The results are stunning: an aromatic, sophisticated nose of clean apple and spice evolves into luscious baked apple flavors on the palate, offset by subtle touches of oak. A winner with cod poached in coconut milk with leek and fennel.
Franck Balthazar Selections Côtes-du-Rhône AOC 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE AOC / Varietal(s): SYRAH+GRENACHE --- Franck Balthazar possesses two distinct advantages in making outstanding wines: the patient demeanor essential to pursuit of perfection in producing flawless cuvées, and the opportunity to put that to use working a nearly 100 year old parcel formerly owned by Noël Verset, retired Cornas icon. The Balthazar domaine was founded by Franck’s grandfather, Casmir Balthazar, in 1931, and then run by his father, René, until 2002. Keeping to a strictly traditional philosophy in the vineyard and cellar, in homage to the great Cornas producers who preceded him, Franck is a purist and traditionalist: he works his vineyards with draft horses, and hand ferments each parcel separately including a portion of the stems, in order to better able express the character of his lands. His wines are proof his approach works: luxurious, graceful, and expressive, with a distinct sense of place. Deep red in color, this elegant Côtes-du-Rhône from a neighbor's parcel delights with a nose of sweet fleshy black fruit, including prune and cassis, and hints of savory leather. Plush, with restrained tannins, it finishes with voluptuous touches of violet and tobacco. Enjoy with French onion soup or cassoulet.
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco DOCG 2013
Country: ITALY / Region: PIEDMONT / Appellation: BARBARESCO DOCG / Varietal(s): NEBBIOLO--- Prior to 1894, nebbiolo grapes were sold to make Barolo or just labeled as Nebbiolo di Barbaresco. However, in 1894, Domizio Cavazza, headmaster of the Royal Enological School of Alba and a Barbaresco resident, created the first cooperative, the Cantine Sociali, by gathering together nine Barbaresco vineyard owners to make wine in the local castle that he owned. His purpose was to highlight the differences between wine made from nebbiolo in Barolo and that of Barbaresco (an early nod to the concept we now call "terroir.") Although fascist economic rules closed the Cantine Sociali in the 1930s, in 1958 the village priest of Barbaresco, realizing that the only way small estates could survive was by joining together, gathered 19 small growers and founded the Produttori del Barbaresco. The first three vintages were made in the church basement, then in the winery built across the square where the Produttori is still located. United once again, the small growers continued the work started by Domizio Cavazza, and the results today are delicious! This Barbaresco is a classic: aromas of black cherries, pepper, and violets yield to a powerful, firm, and elegant presence on the palate. Red cherry, pomegranate, and bright acidity meld beautifully with notes of tobacco, licorice, herbs, and leather. Impeccably balanced and subtle, this pairs wonderfully with pastas adorned with braised meat, olives, or mushrooms. This 2013 vintage is accessible to drink now, but also a classic candidate for aging over the next decade and beyond.
Popolo di Indie Langhe DOC Bianco NV - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: ITALY/ Region: PIEDMONT / Appellation: LANGHE DOC / Varietal(s): CORTESE --- Piedmont is home to many important Italian wines using a variety of grapes. Terre di Mate’ is a small winery on the slopes of Gavi region founded in 2013. Stefania Carrea farms her 25 year old vineyards using sustainable practices, focusing on producing stellar wines from the cortese grape. This cuvée is made especially for importer Indie Wines. Cortese is an important grape of Piedmont that doesn't make as wide an appearance in the United States. Fermented in stainless steel, this is round, fresh, and easygoing, with notes of almond, citrus, and fresh cut grass. Pair this with egg pappardelle with butternut and rosemary sauce or sage-rubbed turkey breast cutlets.
Domaine Giuliani "Les Notes de Louis" Côtes du Rhône AOC 2015 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: CÔTES DU RHÔNES AOC / Varietal(s): GRENACHE+ SYRAH --- This crowd-pleasing red is full of soft, generous fruit. The Giuliani vineyards were established in 1930 and since then succeeding generations have labored to produce the best grapes possible for the co-operative in Courthézon. However, in the early 2000s, Bernard Giuliani had grown tired of seeing the carefully grown fruits of his labor blended into mediocrity, and began producing his own wines, beginning with the 2006 vintage. The Giulianis are talented grenache specialists, with choice plots totaling 8.3 hectares in prime locations. They work sustainably to create fruit-forward expressions of the region and its iconic grapes. 95% grenache, 5% syrah, hand harvested and aged in concrete eggs, the result is supple in texture, with enticing dark fruit notes on the nose. Think raspberries, plums, cherries, and spice! Drink this with wild rice pilaf or pan-roasted hanger steak.
C. Donatiello Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2015
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY / Varietal(s): CHARDONNAY --- After many years in New York working in wine sales and marketing, and frustrated by seeing great vineyards bought and homogenized by big corporations, Chris Donatiello headed west with the goal of making wines filled with character and personality. C. Donatiello Winery in the Russian River Valley focuses on the fruit and the land, showing the delicate balance between the character of the land and the ability of the winemaker. To make such distinctive wines, Chris works with classic varietals, combining the use of modern equipment with traditional methods to achieve a powerful sense of place in all his wines. He especially enjoys making Russian River Valley wines because of both their esteemed history and bright fresh palate. This luxurious chardonnay is aged for 11 months on its lees in French oak barrels (44% new oak), lending it a rich complexity without verging on cloying or unbalanced. Peach, pineapple, Golden Delicious apple, and mango are joined by notes of pink grapefruit, white pepper, and dried rose petal. Baking spices punctuate a long, luscious finish, supported by clean acidity. This has great aging potential, but is also a delicious winter white to drink now with creamy seafood gratin.
Bow & Arrow "Rhinestones" Oregon Johan Vineyard 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: OREGON / Appellation: OREGON / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR+GAMAY --- Do you love Loire Valley wines? So do we! And so do Dana and Scott Frank, makers of Bow & Arrow; that's the inspiration for their wines, using exclusively Loire Valley varietals. Many have noted the similarities in climate and latitude between the Willamette Valley and the Loire Valley (as well as Burgundy). Bow & Arrow wines are made from carefully sourced grapes, vinified with minimal-intervention winemaking techniques. The result is a breath of fresh (French) air from Oregon, lighter in style, lower in alcohol, and extremely food-friendly. This new arrival is a single vineyard expression from Johan Vineyard that blends pinot noir and gamay in the exuberant spirit of wines from Cheverny. Black and red cherry, red plum, raspberry, cinnamon, nutmeg, basil, violets, and rich dark earth all vie for attention on the nose, while juicy raspberry, cherry, and cranberry flavors explode across the palate. A light tannic grip, accompanied by notes of white pepper, spice, and sassafras, make this easy drinking, but far from boring! A seriously versatile choice, this pairs wonderfully with seared albacore, baked Arctic char, or poulet en cocotte (chicken roasted with bacon and potatoes).
Ross Andrew Winery "The Huntsman" Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2014
Country: USA / Region: WASHINGTON STATE / Appellation: COLUMBIA VALLEY / Varietal(s): CABERNET SAUVIGNON+MERLOT+PETIT VERDOT--- A fairly small winery by volume, Ross Andrew Winery is the project of Alexandra and Ross Andrew Mickel (who cut his winemaking teeth at Betz Family Winery). This cabernet is named "The Huntsman", as Ross loves to hunt, and also because he hunts down Columbia Valley's top vineyards for his grapes. Grapes for this cabernet were sourced from some of eastern Washington’s finest vineyards, including Alder Ridge, Ciel du Cheval, and Klipsun, lending the wine balance, power, and structure. This is a great daily drinker with a classic cabernet profile. Generous aromas of blackberry, cassis, and green herbs evolve into clean, lush black raspberry flavors with notes of vanilla and licorice on the palate. Lively acidity and light grainy tannins all contribute to a wine you'll want to reach for again and again. Try this with black bean burgers with mushrooms and caramelized onions.
Picayune Cellars Sauvignon Blanc California 2014
Country: CALIFORNIA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): SAUVIGNON BLANC --- Picayune Cellars' owners Jennifer Roberts and Claire Weinkauf share a joint passion for amazing wines and delicious food. (Picayune is an old term used to refer to a Spanish coin worth half the value of the Real. It also means “a little bit” in French.) In 2011, Jennifer and Claire began making wines using a négociant business model—purchasing small lots of exceptional wines from respected wineries at far lower prices than they were being bottled at, then blending these "rescued lots" together to craft the wines they desire. The key on the label represents the concept of “Unlocking Secret Wines from California”, as Jennifer and Claire sign confidential agreements with all the producers from whom they have purchased wines (which is why vineyard sources are not disclosed.) The resulting wines represent an exceptional value, and this sauvignon blanc is a perfect example! 100% sauvignon blanc (56% from Sonoma County and 44% from Napa County), this is fermented primarily in stainless steel barrels, with 20% in neutral French oak and and 10% in cement eggs. Bright and lively, this bursts across the palate with lemon, gooseberry, and grapefruit flavors. Lime zest, lemon curd, and hints of Asian pear add interest, while good acidity and some minerals on the finish complete a very satisfying package. Crisp and versatile, the herbal notes characteristic of sauvignon blanc are more delicate here than in some New Zealand or French wines. A versatile choice to drink with baked chicken, seafood or farro salad with feta, green olives and lemon dressing.
Hermann Moser Zweigelt Niederösterreich "The Red Cherry" 2013
Country: AUSTRIA / Region: NIEDEROSTERREICH / Appellation: NIEDEROSTERREICH / Varietal(s): ZWEIGELT --- Hermann Moser’s 300-year-old estate in the Kremstal region of Austria is ubiquitous with high-quality Austrian wines. With 19 hectares of vineyards, mainly planted with white varietals, he crafts wines with personality, true expressions of the land from which they came. This delectable red comes from a selection of vineyards planted on the Neubruch plateau. Grapes are hand harvested and fermented in stainless steel. 100% zweigelt, this is a great lighter style red, perfect for when you want something fresh and versatile. Earthy red berries mingle with light pepper/spice on the nose, becoming fresh and ripe in the mouth with more red cherry and berry fruit supported by juicy acidity and a gently firm finish. Try this with grilled sausages or roasted mushrooms stuffed with spinach, feta and bacon.
Eva Fricke Riesling Trocken Rheingau 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: GERMANY / Region: RHEINGAU / Appellation: RHEINGAU / Varietal(s): RIESLING --- Eva Fricke wasn’t born into a winemaking family- the daughter of two doctors in Lower Saxony, she was bitten by the winemaking bug after time spent in the vineyards of South Africa. She went on to study viticulture and oenology in Geisenheim, where she graduated in 2001, having worked at several vineyards around the world: in Bordeaux, Piemonte, Australia and the famed Dominio de Pingus estate in Ribera del Duero. Eva worked as winemaker for many years at Leitz, one of the best known Rheingau wineries. She began her own project while still employed there, making her first independent vintage in 2006, from the Krone vineyard in Lorch. She farms organically, currently working 3.2 hectares in Lorch, Lorchhausen and Kiedrich, where the slate, loess, and loamy soils yield distinctive wines of powerful elegance. This dry riesling is simply beautiful: aromatic, fresh, and pure, with lively apple and pear fruit, and touches of lime, peach, white flowers, and crushed stones. Vibrant acidity keeps this wine juicy and light on its feet without becoming too austere. Lovely with lemongrass-seared chicken over warm vermicelli salad, or try it with fish tacos or shrimp green curry!
Broc Cellars "Love Red" North Coast 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: NORTH COAST / Varietal(s): CARIGNAN+VALDIGUIÉ+ SYRAH --- If you read these emails with some regularity, you know the wines of Broc Cellars, one of the faces of new-wave California winemakers. For those new to the winery, Broc was founded by Chris Brockway and built on a philosophy of sourcing sustainable and organic fruit on the way to creating exceptional wines. He takes a hands-off approach, allowing nature to be in charge. This is the third bottling of Love Red, and as with the previous vintage, grapes were primarily sourced from 50-70 year old vines from Frei Vineyard in Solano County's Green Valley. Green Valley is small strip of land, about three miles long and a mile wide, tucked between the south eastern corner of Napa Valley and southwestern edge of Suisun Valley. It’s unique in that it still contains many of its old-vine carignan and valdiguié vineyards on clay-loam soils. This is predominantly a field blend with a small percentage of syrah blended in from neighboring Wirth Ranch. This wine, like all Broc Cellars wines, uses native yeast for fermentation. Bright and joyful, this juicy, medium-bodied red will have you falling, well, in love! Graceful on the palate, it offers up plenty of clean red berries, hints of spicy anise, and vibrant acidity. Try this with pork chops with garlic mashed potatoes.
The Fableist Wine Company Merlot "Fable: 395" Paso Robles 2015
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: PASO ROBLES / Varietal(s): MERLOT--- The Fableist is a collaboration between two talented Paso Robles winemakers: Andrew Jones of Field Recordings and Curt Schalchlin of Sans Liege. Curt is known for his high-scoring yet affordable wines, while Andrew spends most of his days planting vineyards and walking just about every vineyard in the Central Coast! (We've showcased some of Field Recordings' delicious wines!) This merlot delights with a luxuriously silky texture and aromas of black tea, ripe cherry, wild blueberries, and wet stones. Sweet plum, woodsy cedar, and warm spices glide richly over the palate, supported by firm tannins, making this a cozy, elegant companion to smoky braised pork shoulder and Mexican pumpkin. A perfect mid-winter companion to warm up with!
Huia Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Country: NEW ZEALAND / Region: MARLBOROUGH / Appellation: MARLBOROUGH / Varietal(s): SAUVIGNON BLANC --- Named after a legendary (sadly extinct) bird native to New Zealand, this delicious new find is certified organic! Huia feathers were worn by the Maori and said to represent wisdom, elegance, and dignity; the same philosophies that today guide Claire and Mike Allan in their winemaking. Grapes here are sourced from two separate vineyards with contrasting soil types resulting in a greater array of flavors and textures in the finished wine. A small percentage of this sauvignon blanc (10-15%) was native-yeast fermented in a mix of neutral and French oak. Dry, with classic New Zealand herbaceousness and lime-based citrus softened by delicate tropical fruit notes, this is beautifully balanced on the palate, finishing with enticing minerality. A touch more subtle than many New Zealand wines, this makes an elegant match with winter squash ravioli with herbs.
Tornesi "Il Canto del Cuculo" 2014Tornesi "Il Canto Cuculo" 2014 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: ITALY / Region: TUSCANY / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): SANGIOVESE --- The Tornesi family has deep roots in the ancient Brunello town of Montalcino, having owned land in the area since the 1700s. In homage to Tuscan tradition, they farm organically, allowing the wines of Mauritzio Tornesi to fully express the character of the iconic countryside where they are grown- an embodiment of the "contadino" (peasant) spirit. Starting with grapes from a superb vineyard site in the town of Montalcino, the steep terrain and 30-40 year old vines yield juicy, generous wines. Apart from their classic Brunello di Montalcino, Mauritzio and his two daughters also produce a Rosso di Montalcino. If Rosso di Montalcino is a "baby Brunello" then "Canto del Cuculo" (song of the cuckoo) is a "baby Rosso." Made from the youngest vines blended from all three vineyard sites, and vinified in stainless steel, grapes that don't end up in Brunello or Rosso find a delicious home here. Bursting with lively red berries and hints of earth and spice, the result is a fresh, rustic, yet delicate expression of sangiovese. Try this with sautéed chicken and mushrooms over linguine.
TREATS FOR THE FIRST SECOND SATURDAY OF 2017!
Ca' dei Zago Prosecco DOC Col Fondo 2015 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: ITALY / Region: VENETO / Appellation: PROSECCO DOC/ Varietal(s): GLERA aka PROSECCO --- Founded in 1924, Azienda Agricola Ca’ dei Zago maintains six hectares of vineyards in Valdobbiadene in the province of Veneto. The estate has been practicing biodynamic winemaking since 2010, and herbicides and pesticides have never been used in the vineyards, which are terraced on steep hills that require hand harvesting. Christian Zago pays homage to the traditions of his grandfather to make this unique Col Fondo (on the sediment) Prosecco, which finishes its fermentation in the bottle under crown cap. A throwback to the way Prosecco used to be made prior to the 1970s (when pressurized tanks were introduced), the result is a slightly cloudy Prosecco with sediment still in the bottle. The whole winter season, the wine rests and is decanted in stainless steel tanks with periodic stirring in order to keep it homogeneous and to let the yeast work. Full of character, this still remains light and refreshing! Possessing delicate notes of light cream and Asian pear with faint hints of earthy brioche, it makes a perfect aperitif by itself or with light snacks like cheeses and salads.
Partida Creus Vinel-lo Blanco 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: SPAIN / Region: CATALUNYA / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): XAREL-LO+ MACABEU+PARELLADA+VINYATER+MOSCATEL +GARNACHA BLANCA --- Massimo Marchiori and Antonella Gerona are an Italian couple from Piedmont who founded the Partida Creus label. (The name Partida Creus is a reference to the crosses historically used to separate holdings.) After moving to Barcelona in 2000, they wearied of city life and resettled in the Massís de Bonastre in the Baix (Maritime) Penedès of Catalunya. They began farming all manner of local foods, but had trouble finding wines in the same style, so they began making their own, recovering old vines of local grape varietals, from often-abandoned vineyards. Farmed organically, the vineyards are mostly old, low-yielding, and filled with obsolete grape varietals, some of which have been declassified. Massimo and Antonella now have the reputation as "those crazy Italians" making amazing natural wines with the grapes all the locals had written off in favor of more "international" grape varietals. This unique white is a field blend of six native grape varietals, foot stomped and co-fermented in stainless steel with native yeast. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined and with no additives of any kind. Fresh and vibrant, it's characterized by low alcohol and high acidity, with a grippy, zesty texture on the palate. Slighty cloudy, light on its feet, and easy to drink, it displays notes of baked apple, quince, and earthy Meyer lemon peel. Its bright, distinctive nature pairs beautifully with shellfish-based dishes!
Stolpman Vineyards "Para Maria de Los Tecolotes" Santa Barbara County 2015
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: SANTA BARBARA COUNTY / Varietal(s): SYRAH+PETIT VERDOT--- Stolpman Vineyards is considered the founding vineyard of the Ballard Canyon AVA (American Viticultural Area, akin to the French AOC system), which was granted official status 3 years ago. Over a dozen wineries have joined the AVA and all have decided to focus on syrah, based on Stolpman's results in varietal experimentation. "Para Maria de Los Tecolotes" ("For Maria of the Owls") is a partnership with Stolpman Vineyards' vineyard manager Ruben Solorzano and his wife Maria, their forewoman. 2015 is the second vintage of Para Maria, and the first time the wine incorporates fruit from other vineyards that Ruben farms. 2015 was a great harvest year, where conditions allowed the syrah to be picked over the course of two weeks, resulting in a wide range of flavors. A blend of 93% syrah and 7% petit verdot, 33% of the earliest harvested syrah for this wine underwent whole-cluster carbonic fermentation in sealed stainless steel, adding a joyful freshness. The later-picked syrah adds depth and darker fruit flavors, while the petit verdot contributes juiciness and rich texture. Dense, voluptuous purple fruit dominates the nose with delicate touches of violet, red plum, and sage a bit further back. Luxuriously textured, this cuvée unveils layer after layer on the palate, finishing with bright red pomegranate flavors. This delicious, dark-fruited, densely colored syrah retains a liveliness that will brighten up your winter meals, perfect for roast turkey, lamb or that earthy lentil centerpiece.
Clos Fantine Faugères AOC 2014 - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: LANGUEDOC / Appellation: FAUGÈRES AOC / Varietal(s): CARIGNON+GRENACHE+ CINSAULT+ MOURVÈDRE+SYRAH --- A deep, dark and beguiling wine from Faugères, in the Languedoc. Located just outside of the village of Lenthéric, the 28-hectare Clos Fantine estate is run by three siblings: Carole, Corinne and Olivier Andrieu. They built their winery in 2000, three years after their father (a winemaker with a talent and passion for natural wines) passed away, and have been making natural wines in his honor ever since. All their wines are made from organically grown grapes without any added SO2 and spend 18-20 months in concrete vat, depending on the vintage. A blend of carignan, grenache, cinsault, mourvèdre and syrah, this is a funky, earthy expression of blackberries and redcurrants, with touches of crushed herbs, smoke, and minerals. Complex and rustic, this makes a great match with grilled meats, or hearty, earthy stews.
Parés Baltà Blanc de Pacs Penedès DO 2015 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Country: SPAIN / Region: CATALUNYA / Appellation: PENEDÈS DO / Varietal(s): PARELLADA+MACABEU+XAREL-LO --- The origins of Parés Baltà date back to the 18th century, to 1790 when the first vines were planted in the mountains of Penedès, Spain (just west of Barcelona), on the estate that now surrounds the winery. In 1978, Joan Cusiné Hill took over the winery, beginning a family business that’s now in its third generation. Today his two grandsons, Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol, grow the grapes, while their wives, Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas, are the winemakers and oenologists. Remaining respectful of long standing winemaking traditions, Parés Baltà welcomes innovation as well, with respect for the environment above all. Accordingly, all their vineyards are certified organic. Cultivating their grapes without any herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers, they employ a flock of sheep to fertilize and weed the vineyards after harvest, as well as hives of bees to assist in pollination. This easygoing white is made from parellada, macabeo and xarel-lo grapes – the same grapes used in Cava production. Bright and clean, with no oak, it displays enticing aromas of green pear and yellow apple. Fresh and crisp on the palate, it provides lots of soft fruit flavors, including golden apple, pear, apricot and pineapple. Good acidity and subtle hints of citrus, herbs, and floral accents lead to a balanced, food-friendly finish. An easy anytime aperitif, this also makes a great choice with seafood paella, or baked chicken.
Domaine de la Bastide Côtes du Rhône AOC Rouge 2015
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: CÔTES DU RHÔNE AOC / Varietal(s): SYRAH+GRENACHE+CARIGNAN --- Vincent and Stephanie Boyer’s domaine in Visan is surrounded by remnants of winemaking history dating back to feudal times. Vincent's family resides in a fortified farmhouse built by Templar knights in the Middle Ages. An order of Christian crusaders who rose to great prominence and wealth in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Templars established many farms and vineyards. After time as a Benedictine, then Dominican, monastery, the Bastide property continues the winegrowing tradition today. Vincent has followed in his father's winemaking footsteps, and together with Stephanie, also a trained enologist, they carry the domaine forward with innovation and focus. Their goal is to make the farm fully organic in the near future. This red, a blend of syrah, grenache and carignan, is a fabulous (and delicious!) value. A wonderfully balanced blend of succulent raspberries and plums is offset by a dark, earthy streak. Dry and juicy, it offers bright, zippy acidity and gentle tannins, making it a fantastic match with roast chicken, eggplant, or a gruyère cheeseburger!
Tinhof Sparkling Rosé Burgenland NV
Country: AUSTRIA / Region: BURGENLAND / Appellation: BURGENLAND / Varietal(s): BLAUFRANKSICH --- The eleventh generation of his family to work in wine, Erwin Tinhof trained at Mas de Daumas Gassac after studying viticulture and enology at the University of Montpellier. His 14 hectares of vines in Eisenstadt, in the north of Burgenland, were certified organic in 2012. Tinhof focuses primarily on older-vine (up to 55 years) neuburger, weissburgunder, zweigelt, blaufränkisch and Sankt Laurent grapes, and this delightful sparkler is 100% blaufränkisch. Beautiful aromas of flowers, strawberries, raspberries, and melon evolve into flavors of berries, purple flowers, and delicate earthy, spicy notes in the mouth. Dry and floral, a saline, chalky finish is accented by hints of roses and honeysuckle, making for a unique, graceful sipper, perfect for toasting, or for pairing with goat cheese croquettes or shrimp cocktail.
Terre des Chardons "Bien Luné" Costières de Nîmes AOC 2014 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: COSTIÈRES DE NÎMES AOC / Varietal(s): GRENACHE+ SYRAH--- Costières de Nîmes is the most southerly appellation of the Rhône wine region in southeastern France. The Chardon family moved from Touraine, in the Loire Valley, to Bellegarde in the early 1980s, where they began farming apricots, cherries, and vegetables, converting to organic farming a few years later. When their son Jerome graduated from his studies in agronomy in 1993, he moved to the estate, and planted vineyards with syrah and grenache. The estate has for many years now been certified both organic and biodynamic, the result of Jerome's passion for sustainable farming and traditional winemaking methods. Accordingly, no chemicals are used in the vineyards or the winery, apart from a tiny bit of SO2 at the fermentation and bottling stages. Fermentation is entirely reliant on the naturally occurring indigenous yeasts. Picking, racking and bottling are all carried out in accordance with the phases of the moon, and the wines are all aged in stainless steel vats, seeing no oak. This all contributes to the fantastic freshness and character of these wines! Fresh and intensely aromatic, this explodes with scents of violets, damson plums, and cassis, highlighted by notes of leather and damp earth. A vibrant palate of ripe, tangy red berries, black cherry, blackcurrant, and spices remains at once airy and concentrated, with a complex finish of fine tannins, juicy acidity, and hints of savory smoked meat and black olive tapenade. A delicious biodynamic value, give this a try with coq au vin or lentil stew.
Puramun Malbec Reserva Valle de Uco 2013
Country: ARGENTINA / Region: MENDOZA / Appellation: VALLE DE UCO / Varietal(s): MALBEC --- Argentina has made its wine-producing name on malbec, offering easy drinking versions at affordable prices. However, the country can also vinify more robust styles as well. Puramun means "harvest" in the indigenous language of the region and it is the first solo project of acclaimed winemaker José “Pepe” Galante. He worked for many years at Catena Zapata establishing malbec but also pushing the heights to which Argentine winemaking could reach. Here he works a small site in the Valle de Uco sub-zone, considered by many as the top spot for growing malbec. Galante cuts no corners here: this is all hand harvested and then hand sorted twice to eliminate anything unwanted in the fermentation tank. The wine is aged in oak, a combination of new and used. The final product is big and robust, ideal for cold evenings, hearty bean stews or a meaty pasta dish.
Domaine Grande Bellane Côtes du Rhône AOP 2015 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: CÔTES DU RHÔNE AOP / Varietal(s): VIOGNIER+MARSANNE --- Domaine Grande Bellane lies in the commune of Valréas, bordering the Vinsobres appellation, on a shared plateau that overlooks both villages. Five generations have been making wine here since 1919, and the estate has used organic farming methods for over 30 years. 80% viognier, 20% marsanne, this cuvée is a refreshing medium-bodied white, redolent with notes of citrus, apricot, and pineapple. Touches of honeysuckle and peach are supported by delicate acidity and a mineral-driven finish. Drink with roasted snapper or lemon-rosemary pork chops.
Lenotti Valpolicella DOC Classico 2015
Country: ITALY / Region: VENETO / Appellation: VALPOLICELLA DOC / Varietal(s): CORVINA+RONDINELLA+MOLINARA --- Valpolicella is classically a fruity medium-bodied red made in the northeast of Italy, primarily from the corvina grape. At the end of the last century, overall quality dropped off as producers pushed to expand the boundaries of the Valpolicella designation and increase yields in a rush to feed the market with quantity rather than quality. Recently there has been something of a movement to rejuvenate the reputation of Valpolicella, and here is a case in point that's also a great value. 'Classico' indicates that this was produced within the smaller original Valpolicella designation, which means smaller plantings at higher altitudes, lower yields, and generally better-quality grapes. According to a 1906 enological map, Lenotti has a long history in the area, beginning as a producer of Bardolino classico. In 1968, the farm began bottling and selling wine directly to consumers (instead of to other bottlers in the area, as had been done in the past). In 2004, the winemaking facilities were completely modernized, resulting in the current state-of-the-art operation. This wine features vivid flavors of fresh, ripe dark berries, underscored with earthy tones, and a touch of bitter almond (a characteristic of corvina). Great with wild mushroom risotto!
CHAMPAGNE TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR! (AND OTHER DELIGHTFUL FRENCH WINES!)
Taste four fantastic French wines, including two wonderful Champagnes... to get you ready to toast the New Year. And don't feel shy about having sparkling wine throughout your New Year celebration meal, they will make your food (and you) sing!
Baron Dauvergne Champagne AOC Grand Cru Oeil de Perdrix NV
Country: FRANCE / Region: CHAMPAGNE / Appellation: CHAMPAGNE AOC / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR+CHARDONNAY --- Looking for Champagne to welcome in the New Year? This one’s a beauty, grower-produced from the village of Bouzy in Montagne de Reims. In this region only 17 of the 300 “communes” carry the appellation of Grand Cru, and Baron Dauvergne has been among this prestigious number since 1895. The vineyards are entirely south-facing, with a base of pure limestone, a hallmark of the unique terroir of great Champagnes. Hand-harvested pinot noir with a touch of chardonnay, the oeil de perdrix nomenclature, meaning "eye of the partridge", indicates that this wine has a touch of rosé color. This is allegedly the color of a partridge's eye and historically denoted a bit of sweetness in the wine as well, but has since come to include Brut (dry) wines. This Champagne is dry and superbly elegant, shimmering with the faintest hint of salmon color, and light on its feet with clarity and precision. Perfect as an aperitif, to ring in the New Year, or serve it alongside smoked meats and hard cheeses!
Chapuy Champagne AOC Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Réserve Brut NV
Country: FRANCE / Region: CHAMPAGNE / Appellation: CHAMPAGNE AOC / Varietal(s): CHARDONNAY--- From the renowned Côte des Blancs sub-region, known for wines of great delicacy, Chapuy is located in the Grand Cru village of Oger in the department of Marne, an area that covers 8,000 acres with east-facing slopes that are planted almost exclusively with chardonnay. The Chapuy family has been growing wine in the Champagne region for more than 100 years. In 1952, the mayor of Oger, Serge Chapuy, started bottling under his own name, and Chapuy was founded. Still a family affair, Serge's granddaughters Elodie and Aurore now run the estate with Aurore looking after the vineyards and winemaking and Elodie taking care of the export markets. 100% chardonnay, this is a light gold in color, with delicate aromas of brioche and pastry that yield to subtle floral notes. Sleek, with bright acidity and refined flavors of poached white peach, candied lemon zest, pastry dough, and spice, it boasts a creamy texture, and loads of lingering minerality on the finish. Another great choice for toasting, or for serving alongside white fish with lemon sauce or Coquilles St. Jacques.
M&S Ogier d'Ampuis Viognier de Rosine Collines Rhodaniennes IGP 2012
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: COLLINES RHODANIENNES IGP / Varietal(s): VIOGNIER --- Over the last ten years, Stéphane Ogier has earned a name for himself as one of the most respected winemakers in the Northern Rhone. His passion for the vineyards and winemaking combined with his youthful energy have resulted in the estate's rise to cult status, with both his syrah and viognier standing among the best offerings of the region. The La Rosine vineyard is situated between Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu. This barrel-fermented viognier is a beautiful, elegantly restrained rendition of this iconic grape variety. High-toned, with delicate floral elements, it boasts wonderful complexity and length on the palate. Dramatic aromas of apricot, citrus, and pineapple are supported by racy acidity and notes of white peach and honeysuckle on the palate. Opulent in texture, while still being refreshing, it's great by itself, or with creamy baked leeks with garlic, thyme, and Parmigiano.
Château Cantemerle "Les Allées de Cantemerle" Haut-Médoc AOC 2008
Country: FRANCE / Region: BORDEAUX / Appellation: HAUT-MÉDOC AOC/ Varietal(s): MERLOT+CABERNET SAUVIGNON+CABERNET FRANC --- The first evidence of winemaking on this estate dates back to 1354, with many periods of upheaval, reconstruction, modernization and rejuvenation since. Les Allées is the winery's second label, offering a more affordable opportunity to enjoy classic Bordeaux. This 2008 is classic yet approachable, with mellow tannins courtesy of mature oak, and cedar and earthy notes. Softer, more abundant fruit of black cherry and cassis from the merlot are accentuated by virtue of the vintage. Give this an hour to breathe a bit, then enjoy alongside an herb-rubbed lamb roast or black beans stewed with onions, peppers and thyme.
SPECIAL TASTING SCHEDULE THIS WEEK - ONLY ON THURSDAY!
This week, we're combining our weekend tastings (no tastings Friday and Saturday) and moving them to Thursday; here's one last chance to taste some potential gift and dinner options, come on by!
Charles Ellner Champagne AOP Carte Blanche Brut NV
Country: FRANCE / Region: CHAMPAGNE / Appellation: CHAMPAGNE AOP / Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR+CHARDONNAY+PINOT MEUNIER --- Located in the heart of Epernay, Charles Ellner remains a family business. It was founded at the end of the 19th century by Charles Emile Ellner, who first released Champagne under his own name in 1905. Today the house is run by Jean-Pierre Ellner, one of Charles's grandsons. His nephews Frédéric and Arnaud Ellner manage the vineyards and production, and his daughters Emmanuelle Foulon Ellner and Alexandra Ellner also work at the estate. The House of Ellner encompasses about 50 hectares of vineyards, located across more than 15 villages in the Champagne region. None of Charles Ellner’s wines see malolactic fermentation. All are fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fresh fruit flavors, then left to sit on their lees for a minimum of 4 years (the law is only 18 months). This allows the wines to soften, fill out, and become elegantly drinkable upon release while still retaining aging potential. Vibrant and precise, this complex, dry Champagne displays succulent aromas of red currant, orange zest, and white pepper, joined by flavors of apple, pear, white peach, and candied lemon peel on the palate. A subtle smoky quality in the background is lifted by racy acidity, and finished beautifully with elements of yeasty brioche and dusty minerals. Delightful for toasting, or with all manner of appetizers, such as cheeses, smoked salmon, or pâté.
Wayside Cider Catskill Sparkling Dry Barrel Aged
Country: USA / Region: NEW YORK STATE / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): N/A --- Founded in 2014 in Delhi, NY, Wayside Cider is the collaboration of Irene Hussey and Alex Wilson. Contrary to the current cider making trend of looking to Europe for inspiration, Alex and Irene focus on making distinctly American ciders that draw on the history and topography of their home in Delaware County. They pick and graft wild and abandoned apple trees with the aim of preserving the past while embracing modern production methods, handling every stage of the cider making process themselves. Wild apples produce far less juice than their cultivated counterparts, but more than make up for it in uniqueness and complexity of flavor. Catskill is Wayside's flagship cider. The intensity of wild apples is mellowed a bit here though partial aging in oak bourbon barrels from a local micro-distillery, resulting in a true Delaware County cider. The hint of oaky bourbon that the barrels impart is gentle, but lends this cider a subtle complexity. A warm spiciness and notes of vanilla on the finish of this sparkling cider make for a great match with chicken liver mousse, mushroom and goat cheese canapes; just about anything and everything!
J. Hofstätter Pinot Grigio Südtirol-Alto Adige DOC 2014
Country: ITALY / Region: ALTO ADIGE / Appellation: SÜDTIROL-ALTO ADIGE DOC / Varietal(s): PINOT GRIGIO --- Founded by Josef Hofstätter in 1907, this historic family winery is now run by the fourth generation, Josef’s nephew Martin. It is among the largest wineries in Alto Adige, with around 50 hectares of vineyards situated on both the west and east sides of the Adige River, giving it a diverse range of microclimates to grow several varietals of grapes using gentle, sustainable methods. This pinot grigio is a delicious classic; bright straw in color with enticing aromas of citrus, peach, pear, and honeydew. Medium-bodied, it is structured and firm on the palate with orchard fruit flavors and fruity, tangy acidity on the finish. Elegant, versatile, and Italian, this is your go-to wine to pair with the Feast of Seven (or Twelve) Fishes!
Clos du Mont-Olivet Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC 2014
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE AOC/ Varietal(s): GRENACHE+SYRAH+MOURVÈDRE+CINSAULT --- One of the benchmark producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the estate of Clos du Mont-Olivet dates back to 1547. Helmed by the esteemed Sabon family, the wines here are made in traditional style: partial destemming of grapes, crushing and fermenting in concrete vats, and aging in large foudres. The three Sabon brothers, Jean-Claude, Pierre, and Bernard, have run the domaine for the last 30 years, with Bernard's son Thierry gradually taking over winemaking duties beginning in 2001. The vines of this estate average over 60 years old. This cuvée, their flagship wine, is composed predominately of grenache (around 80%), with syrah, mourvèdre and cinsault rounding out the blend. The result is classic: ripe blackberry, cherry, and dried floral aromas focused by spicy hints of pepper. Opulent in texture, fleshy dark fruit flavors and notes of candied flowers on the palate evolve into a finish of impressive depth and power, replete with rustic spiciness and earthy crushed flower petals and leaves. Elegant and powerful, this is a fabulous companion to holiday fare like prime rib roast or rack of lamb with herbed roasted potatoes.
Paul Laurent Champagne AOC Rosé Cuvée du Fondateur Brut NV
Country: FRANCE / Region: CHAMPAGNE / Appellation: CHAMPAGNE AOC/ Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR+CHARDONNAY --- Champagne Paul Laurent is situated in the small village of Bethon, located south of Epernay, near the city of Sézanne. The Gruet family had been making Champagne for nearly 45 years before acquiring Champagne Paul Laurent in 1993. (If the name Gruet seems familiar, it's because the same family also makes Gruet sparkling wine from New Mexico.) Here their experience shows in this "Founder's Cuvée"- a very dry rosé that offers elegance and complexity at an attractive price. 80% pinot noir, 20% chardonnay, this is aged on the lees for 18 months, lending it a rosy salmon hue and delicate streams of fine bubbles. An inviting nose of pear, citrus, and white peach yields to a broad palate of red currant, raspberry, and strawberry in the mouth. Fresh acidity adds balance and elegance. Cool and composed, this is a graceful companion to cold meats, fish such as salmon or char, or red fruit-based desserts. It also makes a wonderful aperitif!
Jean-François Ganevat Chardonnay Côtes du Jura AOC "Dolium" 2012 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: JURA / Appellation: CÔTES DU JURA AOC / Varietal(s): CHARDONNAY --- Jean-Francois Ganevat is producing cutting edge wines by looking to the past, rediscovering techniques and grape varieties, and using biodynamic viticulture principles since 1999 (he also completely eliminated the use of sulfur in 2006). After training in Beaune and 9 years as the Maître de Chai at Jean-Marc Morey in Chassagne-Montrachet, he returned to make wines at his family domaine in 1998, the 14th generation of his family to do so since 1650. Using international and indigenous varietals including those prohibited by the official AOC Jura regulations, Ganevat grows 18 varietals on 17 acres in La Combe-Rotalier (30 miles west of Switzerland). He and his crew destem the grapes by hand, and ferment with indigenous yeast. 100% chardonnay, Dolium lies somewhere between Burgundy and Jura in style. While many Jura producers prefer to make heavily oxidized wines (a characteristic style of the region), Ganevat leans more toward the elegant side. Dolium is made with 60-year-vine chardonnay that is fermented with skin contact in open, used oak demi-muid. Aging takes place on the lees in 1000-liter Italian amphorae for 30 months. No sulfur is added, and the wine is left unfined and unfiltered. Bright and dry in character, it is slightly cloudy with a bit of oxidative nuttiness due to the amphora aging. It possesses truly unique aromas and flavors of dried lemon, wild flower, hay, straw, honeycomb, and hazelnut. These, combined with robust minerality and a light saline finish make this a truly exceptional bottling. Delightful with seafood and root vegetables!
Mauro Molino Barolo DOCG 2012
Country: ITALY / Region: PIEDMONT / Appellation: BAROLO DOCG / Varietal(s): NEBBIOLO --- Mauro Molino made his first Barolo in 1982, and today farms a 12 hectare estate located in the commune of La Morra. La Morra is on the western side of Barolo, with bluish soils of chalk and calcareous clay. The Molino family has holdings in some of La Morra’s most storied vineyards, and have owned their estate since 1953. Now Mauro's son, Matteo, and daughter, Martina, are taking on a large role in the estate. 100% nebbiolo, this is a classic Barolo- delicate and fresh with an intense bouquet of cherry and dried roses. A warm, earthy palate offers more concentrated red fruit and a persistent finish of structured tannins. Drink now, or cellar it for a while – it's great either way. A great value as well, this pairs beautifully with rosemary-rubbed roasted pork loin.
Barlow Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Calistoga 2012
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: NAPA VALLEY- CALISTOGA / Varietal(s): CABERNET SAUVIGNON --- All the members of the winemaking family behind Barlow Vineyards are farmers at heart. Since purchasing their land in 1994, they have farmed it all themselves, using their combined talents to produce exceptional wines. Warren Barlow Smith, a salesman, and Jeanne Smith, an accountant and financial manager, along with their son Barr Smith, a Geology major, and daughter-in-law Ann Smith, a Botany major, produced a small amount of estate grown cabernet sauvignon originally only intended for family and friends. It was so good the winemaker at the time, Art Finklestein, suggested they sell it instead. They quickly sold all 25 cases! Fast forward to the 2012 vintage of Barlow Estate cabernet sauvignon and you'll see why. Luxuriously smooth with velvety tannins, it opens the show with intense aromas of blackberry, cassis, and violets. Round and complex in the mouth, it boasts a gorgeous array of flavors including black cherry, blackberry, and plum, elegantly layered with licorice, vanilla, and mocha. Integrated yet firm tannins provide support for a supple, luscious finish. Open this with braised beef short ribs, grilled venison cheeks with blackberry glaze, or lentil shepherd's pie.
Domaine André et Mireille Tissot Crémant du Jura AOC Extra Brut NV - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: JURA / Appellation: CREMANT DU JURA AOC/ Varietal(s): PINOT NOIR+CHARDONNAY+POULSARD+TROUSSEAU --- "When you’re Biodynamic, you have a different life in your vines, in your grapes, and in this way, you can make very easy wine. It leads you." Those are the words Stéphane Tissot lives by, having worked biodynamically since 2004, and with his wife, Bénédicte, striving to express the character of the Jura terroir above all else. The Tissot family has been producing wine in the Jura since 1962, with Stéphane and Bénédicte taking the reins from his parents, André and Mireille, and acquiring a formidable reputation as being among the region's top winemakers. This wine is a full-bodied bubbly that will elevate just about any occasion. Rich deep gold in color sparkling with streams of fine bubbles, opulent aromas of yeast, pear, and lemon zest give way to refined notes of orchard fruit, flowers and almonds on the palate supported by a lively, mineral-driven finish. Open this with vegetable bisque, cheeses, or to make any day a celebration!
Domaine Dyckerhoff Reuilly Blanc AOC 2014
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: REUILLY AOC / Varietal(s): SAUVIGNON BLANC --- Reuilly is located at the eastern end of the Loire, not far from Quincy. Not to be confused with Rully in Burgundy, Reuilly is often overshadowed by the regions of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé when it comes to recognition for sauvignon blanc production. However, this 370 acre region offers a refreshing alternative to the usual Loire whites, and an excellent value as well! Since 2004, Christian Dyckerhoff and his Alsatian wife, Bénédicte, have been making wine on 12 acres of lieu-dit plots in Les Conges, Les Enaudes and La Raie, where vines range in age from 3-20 years. Picture a cross between a Sancerre and Bordeaux: opening with herbal, grassy notes, this medium-bodied white focuses on round, ripe fruit flavors of citrus and gooseberry. Bright, zesty acidity and loads of minerals and stone finished off with more touches of grass and gooseberry make this complex, compelling, and hard to put down! All the elegance and terroir you desire, at a delicious price too! Pair this with fish, cooked green vegetables with butter and lemon (great for those holiday table sides), or goat cheese tarts.
Anne Pichon "Sauvage" Grenache Noir Vin de Pays du Vaucluse 2014 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: VIN DE PAYS DU VAUCLUSE / Varietal(s): GRENACHE NOIR --- In 2008, Marc Pichon bought Domaine le Murmurium in the Côte de Ventoux village of Mormoiron. Made up of 13 hectares of old vineyards on prime terroir adjacent to Château Pesquie, Murmurium comes from the Latin phrase "The Buzzing Song of Bees", an old estate name which the Anne Pichon labels pay tribute to. All the vineyards are cultivated through 100% organic practices without any chemicals or pesticides and by hand tilling the soil. All harvesting is also by hand, and the grapes are completely destemmed. Although tragically no longer with us, Marc Pichon has said that his inspiration behind "Sauvage" is to produce a fresh, accessible, pure style of wine. Fermentations are done in small cement tanks with native yeast. This grenache is a perfect companion for chilly weather. Aromas lean to floral violets, but with a restrained black fruit note. The wine has never seen oak, but is capable of sitting alongside strong cheeses and roasted or braised dishes as well.
Bow & Arrow Melon Johan Vineyard Willamette Valley 2015
Country: USA / Region: OREGON / Appellation: WILLAMETTE VALLEY / Varietal(s): MELON DE BOURGOGNE --- Do you love Loire Valley wines? So do we! And so do Dana and Scott Frank, makers of Bow & Arrow; that's the inspiration for their wines, using exclusively Loire Valley varietals. Many have noted the similarities in climate and latitude between the Willamette Valley and the Loire Valley (as well as Burgundy). The melon here is better known in France as Melon de Bourgogne, the grape responsible for oyster lovers' favorite drinking buddy: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine. A cool, composed nose of crushed stone, dried white flowers, and lemon zest yields to sweet-tart citrus on the palate, with bright dried lemon and lime accents, and stony minerality on the finish. Oregon melon typically has a bigger mouthfeel than its Loire cousins, but still maintains unmistakable varietal character. A match made in oyster-eating heaven, but also delectable with goat cheese and arugula salad.
Forlorn Hope St. Laurent Carneros "Ost-Intrigen" 2013 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: CARNEROS / Varietal(s): ST. LAURENT --- Named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of its Winemakers to Watch a few years ago, Matthew Rorick is standout even among his peers. A man of seemingly tireless energy, Rorick is a supreme experimenter. Rorick worries little about exactly how the wines will turn out, focusing more on the process, and allowing the wines to reveal their individual personalities along the way. The St. Laurent grape is far better known (and widely planted) in Austria and the Czech Republic; currently Rorick makes the only 100% St. Laurent in California. The grapes for this delight come from the Ricci Vineyard, owned by Dale Ricci, and originally planted as something of an experiment. Whole cluster fermented with 10 months in (old) barrels, it immediately seduces with an exotic nose – delicate, almost pinot-like, but more savory, intriguing, harder to pin down. Lighter and leaner than many Austrian incarnations, it displays beguiling aromas of sour cherry, red flowers, citrus peel, thyme, lavender, sage, and earthy peat moss. Low alcohol (11.45%) keeps this light and lively on the palate, but a velvety texture and incredibly complex notes of bright red fruit, spicy flowers, dried herbs, and orange zest reveal personality to spare. Vibrant acidity ushers in a long finish, with deepening flavors of darker red fruit, blackberry seed, saffron, smoke, and mandarin orange. Flinty minerality on a zingy, zesty finish makes this a sassy companion to dishes like lamb meatballs – but beware: it's frighteningly easy to drink!
Pavi Wines Dolcetto Napa Valley 2008 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: NAPA VALLEY / Varietal(s): DOLCETTO --- The dolcetto grape is native to the Piemonte region of northern Italy, where it is a favorite for everyday drinking. Lesser known here in the US, the Pelissa family propagated this old Torino clone atthe University of California, Davis in 1981. All 9 total acres of dolcetto planted in Napa are managed by Pavi. Pavi proprietor and winemaker, Rob Lawson, strives to integrate Napa Valley's climate and growing techniques with classic Italian grape varietals. This 100% dolcetto is a tasty, medium-bodied wine from grapes that are whole berry processed, and then barrel aged for 3-4 years in French oak barrels, 10% of which is new oak. Lush in texture, and redolent with bright raspberry and cherry aromas, it offers intense flavors of spiced cherry, balanced acidity and gentle tannins, just lovely for spaghetti Bolognese, stews, or pizza.
Nelms Road Merlot Washington State 2014
Country: USA / Region: WASHINGTON STATE / Appellation: WASHINGTON STATE / Varietal(s): MERLOT+CABERNET SAUVIGNON+SYRAH --- In 1998, Woodward Canyon Winery began producing wines under a second label, Nelms Road. Nelms Road offers merlot and cabernet sauvignon from Walla Walla Valley and Washington State grapes, with the aim of producing tasty, affordable reds from younger vineyards and surplus lots of Woodward Canyon Winery production. The 2014 Nelms Road merlot (85% merlot, with tiny touches of cabernet sauvignon and syrah), is a delicious example of what that approach can offer. Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard is the main vineyard for this merlot, augmented by some absolutely phenomenal press wine from some of the oldest, most renowned vineyards in Washington State. A warm 2014 yielded beautifully ripe fruit that still maintains a good sense of balance with deep black cherry flavors and hints of baking spice and herbs. Complex aromas of roasted meat, black olive, and tobacco add a subtle savory influence, resolving in a generous finish. Quite enjoyable to drink now, this may also be cellared for several years. But if you can't wait that long, try it with smoked brisket or wild mushroom risotto!
La Raison à Plume d'Est en Ouest Pétillant-Naturel 2015 - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: LOIRE VALLEY / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): MELON DE BOURGOGNE --- Jacques Fevrier is a young, passionate winemaker from the western Loire Valley, in the town of Oudon, close to the Loire river (and not far from the city of Nantes). After much experience as a sommelier in both France and Australia, he turned his energies to winemaking, and now owns 6 hectares of vineyards in the area, with a winemaking style characterized by great minerality, tension, and balance, and a growing reputation as a rising star. Jacques is proving to be exceptionally talented in producing sparkling wines that fall into the pét-nat or méthode ancestrale category. These single-ferment sparkling wines are widespread throughout France, and rapidly gaining popularity worldwide, but their real homeland is in the Loire Valley. The wine is bottled before the fermentation is finished, allowing the bubbles to appear due to the trapped carbon dioxide. This one is made from Melon de Bourgogne grapes (used to produce Muscadet) and is a classic example of the style. Le Raisin à Plume d’Est en Ouest ("The Feathered Grape, From East to West"), displays fine bead, intense flavors of Meyer lemon and quince, and a lovely mineral finish. A touch of sour funk mid-palate will make this a big hit among fans of bottle-conditioned beer, as well as a great match with holiday cheese and charcuterie platters.
Marie et Cécile Albrecht Pinot Gris Reserve Alsace AOC 2014
Country: FRANCE / Region: ALSACE / Appellation: ALSACE AOC / Varietal(s): PINOT GRIS --- The Albrecht family are early pioneers of Alsatian winemaking, dating back to 1425, when Romanus Albrecht established himself in the southern Alsatian town of Thann. In 1698, Balthazar Albrecht settled in Orschwihr, just south of Colmar, where the family winemaking continues today. Marie and Cécile Albrecht, two sisters, are the 19th generation, continuing to improve the long standing practices that have set their family’s winery apart while remaining committed to tradition. This opulent pinot gris comes from the Pfingstberg hill, one of two hills surrounding the village of Orschwihr. Expressive aromatics of quince, pear, and honeyed wildflowers carry through to a full-bodied, velvety palate, redolent with rich pear and light brioche flavors. Good acidity and a generous, lingering finish make this a wonderful match with roasts, paté, and hard cheeses, as well as a fabulous aperitif.
Lucchetti Lacrima di Morro d'Alba DOC 2015
Country: ITALY / Region: MARCHE / Appellation: LACRIMA DI MORRO D'ALBA DOC / Varietal(s): LACRIMA --- Passionate about restoring focus to native Italian grape varietals, Mario Lucchetti got started in the 1980s with the first acres of Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, a local indigenous grape native to the rural area of Le Marche. Helped by his wife Teresa, his son Paolo, and Paolo's wife Tiziana, Mario has become an iconic producer of Lacrima di Morro d’Alba wines. Potassium-rich, iron-poor clay soils result in wines of great power and warmth that are simultaneously highly aromatic. Winemaking at Lucchetti also benefits from the oversight by one of the Marche’s brightest minds, Alberto Mazzoni, who also serves as consulting winemaker at the standout Sartarelli estate. Lacrima di Morro d’Alba is a dark purple grape that embodies the Marche wine region, and has been harvested in the Morro d'Alba region since medieval times. Deep violet in color, this wine has heady, explosive aromatics of exotic flowers, pomegranate, and wild strawberries. Fruitful yet concentrated, the palate features hints of violets, roses, and geranium, notes of pink peppercorn, fresh berries, and gentle tannins. A truly unique drinking experience, this is lovely paired with salami, cold cuts, roasted meats, and grilled sausages.