VIGNERONS AT THE VANGUARD!
Today we've got all new wines, just in from producers in Austria, Slovenia, and Spain. The thing they all have in common is that they all excel at pushing the boundaries of wine making in their regions - with delicious results for us!
Weingut Werlitsch "Ex Vero Legoth" Styria 2010 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: AUSTRIA / Region: STYRIA / Appellation: STYRIA / Varietal(s): PINOT BLANC+ WELSCHRIESLING+SAMLING+MUSKATELLER+MÜLLER-THURGAU --- Chablis and Jura lovers, take note! Ewald Tscheppe makes some of the most distinctive and unique white wines in Austria. He took over the family winery in 2005, and biodynamically farms 8 hectares of vines in the southern part of Styria (the southernmost wine region in Austria, bordering Slovenia). Famous for its ‘opok’ (limestone rich clay) soils, the winemaking culture in this mountainous region can be traced all the way back to Roman times, and the area possesses some of the oldest sauvignon blanc plantings outside of France. Ewald's winemaking philosophy is perfectly embodied in his "Ex Vero" series. Meaning "from truth" in Latin, it captures his desire to make honest, authentic wines that speak of the place they are from. "Ex Vero Legoth" is a co-fermented blend of pinot blanc, welschriesling, samling, muskateller, and müller thurgau, fermented with native yeasts and aged in older oak barrels. A combination of that aging in older oak, as well as extended lees contact, and bottle aging lend this a truly unique nutty, saline, mineral-driven texture. Gentle notes of yellow fruit (baked apple, lemon curd) make an appearance but the real focus here is the explosive flavor and amazingly lively palate. Crisp, fresh acidity shimmers throughout, providing a wine that crackles with energy while simultaneously providing depth and intricacy. A compelling new find for fans of complex, aged white Burgundy and Jura whites. "Ex Vero Legoth" comes from a vineyard that Ewald used to rent, but no longer has access to, so this, the 2010 vintage, is the last. Get it while you can!
Vino Zaro Refošk Izola 2016
Country: SLOVENIA / Region: ISTRIAN PENINSULA / Appellation: IZOLA / Varietal(s): REFOŠK --- Matej Zaro hails from the town of Izola (Island) - a tiny, medieval city along the Adriatic coast. This steep, stony area has historically been recognized as a prime region in Slovenia for the native refošk grape. A former professional handball player, Matej took over the family winery and is stepping up his winemaking game with the zeal and perfectionism of a pro athlete. An enthusiastic proponent of Slovenian wines, he's also the founder of the Orange Wine Festival. The Zaro family has lived in Izola since the 14th century and the estate has long been organic. 100% refošk, grapes were hand harvested, destemmed, and fermented spontaneously in stainless steel. Aged for one year, then bottled unfiltered, this is purple in hue and lip-smackingly fresh. Lighter in body than some refošk, it offers up aromas of violets and spices, flavors of brambly berries, and a touch of dried herbs. A tasty match with dishes like fried smelt, vegetable moussaka, or creamy penne with sausage.
Bodega Lanzaga LZ Rioja Tinto 2017 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Country: SPAIN / Region: RIOJA / Appellation: RIOJA ALAVESA / Varietal(s): TEMPRANILLO+GARNACHA+ GRACIANO+VIURA --- Bodega Lanzaga is the creation of Telmo Rodriguez (son of Jaime Rodríguez Salís and Amaia Hernandoarena of the famed Remelluri estate) and his partner Pablo Eguzkiza. Its 19 hectares of organically farmed vines are where Telmo seeks to recreate the vineyards of 150 years ago, where as many as 50 grape varieties would all be planted together. This is a delightful blend of tempranillo, garnacha, graciano, and viura from a mix of different vineyards in the Alavesa sub-region, co-fermented with wild yeasts. Blackberry and currant fruit dance around a silky frame that shows incredible freshness and purity. Bursting with sassy, sultry dark fruit, this will make a great partner to spice-rubbed leg of lamb or split pea "meatballs" with pistachio yogurt.