NATURAL AND BIODYNAMIC SELECTIONS FROM FRANCE AND ITALY!
Les Vins Pirouettes "Le Tutti Frutti de Stéphane" Alsace AOC 2014 - NATURAL WINE
Country: FRANCE / Region: ALSACE / Appellation: ALSACE AOC / Varietal(s): PINOT GRIS+GEWÜRZTRAMINER+PINOT AUXERROIS+PINOT BLANC+MUSCAT --- Established in 1770, the Binner estate is among the environmentally conscious producers in Alsace that strive to push the technical limits of winemaking while remaining respectful of the nature that surrounds them. Winemaker Christian Binner vinifies without any added sulfur, even at bottling, and uses native yeast for fermentation. The quality of his wines has cemented a reputation as one of the most renowned natural winemakers in Alsace. Les Vins Pirouettes is a project launched by Christian to bring affordable natural wines to the table, while at the same time helping organic and biodynamic grape growers in Alsace move away from selling their grapes to cooperatives towards making and bottling natural wines. Each cuvée is made at a young grower’s winery, where they supply the grapes and Christian supplies his 20 years of expertise, as well as his marketing savvy, and features the name of the grower on the bottle. This delightful white is a blend of pinot gris, gewürztraminer, auxerrois (an obscure white grape grown only in Alsace, Luxembourg, Germany and the Loire), pinot blanc and muscat. It's certified both organic (ECOCERT) since 2004, and biodynamic (Demeter) since 2012. From 35-40 year old vines grown on limestone silt soils, grapes are hand harvested, destemmed and fermented with native yeast and zero sulfur. The wine then sits on the lees in stainless steel tanks for several months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered with zero sulfur added. Cloudy pale straw colored in the glass, its exuberant ripe white orchard fruit and distinctive texture form an elegant combination on the palate. A versatile addition to any table, try this with shrimp tacos.
Fattoria San Lorenzo "di Gino" Rosso Piceno DOC 2016 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: ITALY / Region: MARCHE / Appellation: ROSSO PICENO DOC / Varietal(s): MONTEPULCIANO+SANGIOVESE --- Rosso Piceno DOC was established in 1968, making it one of the older DOCs in Italy (the oldest being Vernaccia di San Gimignano in 1966). The wine predates even Roman settlement in the area though, dating back to the Piceni tribe which gave their name to the land. So even though this wine may be new to us, Rosso Piceno is a historic and important wine for Le Marche! Fattoria San Lorenzo is a third generation family winery that is completely organic and biodynamic, located in Montecarotto, 30 km from the Adriatic Sea, behind the hills of Poggio San Marcelo. Winemaker Natalino Crognaletti relies heavily on the knowledge he got from his grandfather Enrico and father Gino (who spent his life selecting old clones of verdicchio and for whom this cuvée is named). This entry level Rosso Piceno hits the bullseye of quality and value! Farmed biodynamically, this traditional blend of montepulciano and sangiovese, 10% of the wine sees time in used oak to soften the natural acidity of the grapes. Lovely aromas of red and black cherries, blackberries, and spices yield to a lively palate with more notes of cherry, plums, and currants. Soft tannins, food friendly acidity, and a gently lingering finish make this a great dinner companion, perfect with white bean and sausage stew or pizza with spinach and roasted red peppers.
Franck Balthazar Selections Côtes-du-Rhône AOC 2016 - BIODYNAMICALLY 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 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. Perfect for elegant winter dinners, this pairs beautifully with herb-rubbed leg of lamb, brisket or potatoes au gratin with sage and Manchego.