Terre Rouge Roussanne Sierra Foothills Monarch Mine Vineyard 2011
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: SIERRA FOOTHILLS/ Varietal(s): ROUSSANNE --- Terre Rouge is located on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada in Amador County, California. Established in 1986 by Bill Easton and Jane O'Riordan, it's also the home of Easton Wines, with about 30 different wines produced in small lots of 100-400 cases between the two labels. Terre Rouge began bottling roussanne annually in 2001. This fantastic winter white comes from the Monarch Mine Vineyard, planted with a clone of the roussanne grape that originates from a Chave family parcel on a hill at Hermitage. A difficult variety to grow, it ripens unevenly, requiring selective harvesting over a prolonged period of time. Its susceptability to powdery mildew also results in reduced yields, with over 80% of the 2011 harvest discarded. The result of all this labor, however, is exquisite, evoking an Hermitage Blanc, for a European-styled California wine that offers beautiful balance and sophistication. Classic roussanne characteristics abound here: straw golden color, with delicate quince, honey-nut, and beeswax aromas. Opulent on the palate, the result of barrel fermentation and lees aging, it lingers luxuriously on the finish, with elegant minerality and a silky mouthfeel. Bottle-aged before release, go for all-out flavor extravagance and open with lobster mac & cheese!
Bichi "La Santa" Rosa del Perú Baja California 2016 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: MEXICO / Region: BAJA CALIFORNIA - TECATE / Appellation: N/A / Varietal(s): ROSA DEL PERÚ (AKA MISSION AKA PAÍS) --- Wine from Mexico? Why yes! In Mexico's rugged Baja California Norte mountains, El Equipo Bichi has put together an exciting collaboration, with delicious results! Noel and Jair Téllez, their mother Ana Montaño, and their team of collaborators produce wonderfully expressive natural wines from non-irrigated, organically farmed vineyards. Mexico's winemaking history dates back to the 1500s, when the Spanish conquistadors first planted vines (predating both Chile and Argentina). About 90% of Mexico’s wine is produced in Valle de Guadalupe, with many of the oldest vineyards centered around Tecate, very close to the US border, where the sandy loam and granite soils are ideal for grapes. Some of the vineyards are planted up to 2,500 ft in elevation, and the Pacific Ocean contributes a delicate salinity and character to the wines. The Téllez family moved to Baja from neighboring Sonora in the early 1970s (hence the name Bichi, which means “naked” in the Sonoran dialect, perfect for describing these natural, expressive wines). Bichi bottled their first vintage in 2014, inspired by a meeting that Jair and his brother Noel had with the patriarch of Chilean natural winemaking, Burgundian ex-pat Louis-Antoine Luyt, now renowned for his work with the país or mission grape. Luyt convinced Noel and Jair to seek out heirloom plantings of mission, as he had done in Chile, and produce "vinos sin maquillaje" (wines without makeup) from them. As such, Bichi adheres to traditional methods and minimal intervention, farming 10 hectares of their own Tecate vineyards biodynamically and collaborating with a growing family of organic farmers working vineyard land in Tecate and around Valle de Guadalupe. Fermentations are carried out by wild yeast in locally made concrete amphorae. The wines are raised in a mix of neutral barrels and steel vats, with a minuscule 10 ppm of sulfur added at bottling to preserve the wine for travel, if needed. As you've probably noticed, the labels are distinctive, to say the least, and represent the Téllez family's quirky sense of humor! The wine inside comes from 100 year old, own-rooted (not grafted) Rosa del Perú, grown at 2,400 ft elevation. La Santa is light and lively, almost rosé colored in the glass. Delicately floral, with red and black fruits, and vibrant, transparent acidity. A touch of Pacific salinity and granite minerality make this a lovely light red to serve chilled as an aperitif with charcuterie and cheeses!
Field Recordings Fiction Red Paso Robles 2015 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: PASO ROBLES / Varietal(s): ZINFANDEL+SYRAH+MOURVEDRE+GRACIANO+CABERNET SAUVIGNON+TOURIGA NACIONAL+CARIGNAN --- 34-year-old Andrew Jones seems to have a keen eye for finding diamond-in-the-rough parcels with untapped potential in California’s Central Coast. He spends his days as a vine nursery employee planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over the region and, in return, is sometimes gifted small allocations of the finest fruit the vines can offer for his efforts. Given his background, there’s no question as to why he produces such soulful and delicious wines. This red is a quirky blend of grapes. Based mostly in zinfandel, it also incorporates grapes traditional to Iberia and southern France. The wine is a full-bodied, fruit forward expression of the Paso Robles region. The fruit is decidedly black in profile, yet the tannins are a bit softer. This is a great partner to dry-rubbed Memphis style pork or chipotle black bean and sweet potato fajitas with avocado.