Johannes Zillinger "Reflexion" Grüner Veltliner Weinviertel Kellerberg 2017 - CERTIFIED BIODYNAMIC + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: AUSTRIA / Region: WEINVIERTEL / Appellation: WEINVIERTEL / Varietal(s): GRÜNER VELTLINER --- As a child, Johannes Zillinger learned the craft of organic winemaking at his father’s knee, vowing to protect the environment rather than poison it. His father Hans is one of the pioneers of organic viticulture in Austria, converting to organic in 1983. When Johannes took over the 350-year-old winery in 2013, he took it a step further and became biodynamic, now Demeter certified. He has embraced the biodynamic philosophy head-on, and even grows his own herbs for tea tinctures to use as treatments in his vineyards. The wines are all spontaneously fermented, lightly filtered, and minimally sulfured only at bottling. The Kellerberg vineyard is at the heart of Johannes’ winery, with thyme interplanted throughout the vineyard and used to produce tea and extracts. Old grüner veltliner grapes consistently produce high quality wine every year. “Reflexion” is hand harvested, fermented with naturally occurring yeasts, pends 4 months on the lees, and goes through full malolactic fermentation, which contributes a unique, savory richness to the wine. Golden yellow fruits form the core of this round-bodied white, leading off with a graphite edge, and finishing with loads of peppery spice and a mineral-driven finish. An exuberant display of flavors, this is a master-class in clean, precise winemaking. Fantastic with Parmesan and sage crusted pork chops (if anyone knows how to make whites that pair with meat dishes, it's the Austrians). Certified biodynamic, low-intervention, vegan.
Château Cambon Brouilly AOC 2017 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: FRANCE / Region: BURGUNDY-BEAUJOLAIS / Appellation: BROUILLY AOC / Varietal(s): GAMAY --- What began as a project of three friends – the late Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Claude Chanudet, and Joseph Chamonard – remains now in the hands of Jean-Claude Chanudet and his wife Geneviève (the daughter of Joseph Chamonard). The trio purchased this 13-hectare forgotten vineyard, realizing it had incredible pedigree and potential. Planted originally in 1914 in three parcels, it contains a mixed soil composition of clay-granite and calcareous-sand. Marcel, Jean-Claude, and Joseph expanded the plantings and combined the wines to create a harmonious (and incredible) expression of the entire plot. The vines are tended with biodynamic-organic practices established years ago, fermentation occurs using only native yeasts, and the wines then rest in 200-year-old foudres. 100% gamay, it is structured and concentrated, boasting ripe, bright cherries and fresh plums supported by a subtly earthy tannic grip. An elegant match with classic roasted chicken or marinated tofu with swiss chard and sautéed peppers. Organically grown, low-intervention, vegan.
Domaine de la Terre Rouge "Tête-à-Tête" Sierra Foothills 2013
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: SIERRA FOOTHILLS / Varietal(s): GRENACHE+MOURVÈDRE+SYRAH --- 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. The “Tête-à-Tête” is a Rhône blend meant for “head-to-head” (or heart-to-heart) conversations over dinner with good friends. 51% grenache, 32% mourvèdre, and 17% syrah, it offers generous aromas of sweet red fruit and spicy floral notes. Meaty, smoky, and sappy on the palate, with loads of ripe red and black fruit and savory herbal hints, it remains wonderfully fresh, steering clear of any jamminess. Displaying a long, luxurious finish of spice and crushed wild herbs (“California garrigue”) it evokes a solid Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages but with a unique California character all its own. A lovely match with roasted eggplant tart or cast-iron skillet sausages and potatoes.