ECLECTIC WINES FOR ECLECTIC WEATHER
Campolargo Arinto Branco Barrica Bairrada DOC 2009
Country: PORTUGAL / Region: BEIRAS / Appellation: BAIRRADA DOC / Varietal(s): ARINTO --- The Campolargo family has been producing wine since the 1920s, when grandfather Martinho, a farmer from Mogofores, established a reputation for himself by separating white from black grapes to produce an especially lovely white wine. Martinho's son, Manuel, modernized the winery in the 1960s, and in 2000, the Campolargo family began vinifing their own wines, rather than selling grapes to mass market. Nowadays, the business lies in the hands of the third generation with Jorge Campolargo responsible for the vineyards and Carlos Campolargo heading the cellar and sales. This unique white comes from one of Portugal's iconic grapes, arinto. It is known for producing vibrant wines with tart, defined acidity, accented with mineral elements and gentle apple, lime, and lemon flavors. Delicious young, arinto wines also display great aging potential, as this 2009 cuvée demonstrates. Generous wood contact adds a perfumed, toasty, spicy character, while still allowing the tangy, bright lemon and herb qualities of the arinto to shine through. A bit reminiscent of Chablis in texture, lovers of California chardonnay will also find much to like here. Open this with fried oysters or goat cheese fritters.
Gen del Alma "Ji Ji Ji" Tupungato 2016
Country: ARGENTINA / Region: MENDOZA / Appellation: TUPUNGATO / Varietal(s): MALBEC+PINOT NOIR --- Gen del Alma is the family project of winemaker Andrea Mufatto and her husband Gerardo Michelini (of Zorzal winery). This 2016 release follows the success of the 2015 and 2014 cuvées (which sold out within a few hours after being awarded 'Outstanding' by Decanter magazine.) Co-fermented in concrete "eggs", this amazingly unique un-oaked blend of 50% malbec and 50% pinot noir is quickly bottled to preserve its vibrant freshness and shimmering fruit expression. This is a stunning example of the inventiveness occurring in Argentine winemaking, as well as the versatility of the malbec grape. It is wonderfully fragrant, redolent of blackberry, blueberry, violets and crushed herbs. Juicy and incredibly drinkable at 12% alcohol, this positively explodes with pure red cherry and blackberry fruit, supported by an earthy, savory backbone and hints of mineral. Its balance, energy and tension keep it light on its feet, while managing to be both honest and sophisticated at the same time. An exhilarating representation of modern malbec; malbec, pinot, and even gamay fans will find something to love here. Drink it with everything from chili-roasted chicken with cilantro rice to lamb burgers with tzatziki and arugula.
Andrea Calek "Babiole" Vin de France 2014 - ORGANICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): SYRAH+CARIGNAN+GRENACHE --- After the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Andrea Calek took a leave from the Czechoslovakian army and ended up in France. He liked it so much, he got a doctor to write him a sick note in an attempt to extend his leave, but rather than pass it along to the army, his mother reported him a deserter and he was kicked out of France. Returning a few years later, he never intended to work in wine, but a chance encounter with the seminal Gang of Four vignerons (Lapierre, Thévenet, Foillard and Breton), led him to alter his destiny and follow in their steps, inspired in particular by the wines of Guy Breton or "Petit Max." He worked at many wineries to start, and ended up in Provence, helping Domaine Hauvette transition from organic to biodynamic viticulture. Eventually he landed in the Ardèche, learning from and working with Gerald Oustric of Le Mazel, one of the godfathers of so-called "natural" winemaking in the region. Valvignières is home to many up and coming vignerons, but Calek has ensconced himself on an adjacent hillside, where he lives, notoriously, in a trailer in his vineyard. His painstaking viticulture combined with non-interventionist, hands-off vinification has resulted in some of the purest expressions of syrah and grenache in Southern France. He believes in carbonic maceration as long as it doesn't mask character and terroir. This earthy syrah-driven red is medium-bodied but feels fuller, due in part to its muscular acidity and robust tannins. Juicy black fruit makes it highly quaffable, while a rustic, wintery style, and hints of black pepper, pair beautifully with warming fare like roasts.
Bussola Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore "Ca' del Laito" 2012
Country: ITALY / Region: VENETO / Appellation: VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO DOC / Varietal(s): CORVINA+ CORVINONE+RONDINELLA+MOLINARA --- Tommaso Bussola was originally a stone mason. However, when he took over his uncle's wine estate he was quickly forced to learn the wine growing trade on the job. He was fortunate to have an estate with old vines and some rare clones planted on the property, such as corvinone, a fickle variety but one that can offer great depth. Being self-taught, he learned through much experimentation, but despite universal acclaim, he continues to experiment each vintage. This wine is harvested from a single vineyard and first fermented in October. Then in the tradition of ripasso, a large portion of the wine was re-fermented on the skins of Amarone in March. This creates even more depth and texture to the wine. This is the ideal wine for cold weather fare like osso bucco.