Tim Fröhlich is the 9th generation winemaker at Schäfer Fröhlich, but before him, this estate was relatively unknown and had never reached any great heights in quality. Tim took over at the 19 hectare property in 1995, and with no formal training, set on a path of making some of the greatest wines in Nahe. He sustainably farms the vineyards that are on soils of mostly slate and quartzite. He keeps the yields low, the cellars immaculate, and is known as a master of spontaneous wild yeast fermentation. In 2005 Gault Millau named him “Newcomer of the year” and in 2010 Tim and his family were awarded the Eichelman Prize for “Producer of the Year” as well as being named “Producer of the Year” by Gault Millau.
This Riesling is mineral driven and elegant, with orchard fruit and citrus notes, a generous texture, and a backbone of slate and lively acidity.
Amas de Guerra Rosé 2014, Bierzo, Spain
Ama de Guerra has been making wine in Bierzo, in northwestern Spain, since 1879. They specialize in the indigenous grapes that grown in the mineral-rich, slate soils of this rural and remote area.
Guerra Rosé is 100% Mencia, hand-harvested from 45-55 year old vines that are situated at an altitude of approximately 1700 feet. This is a fun and refreshing rosé that’s spicy, zesty, fruity, and floral.
Qupé Sawyer Lindquist Grenache 2011
Qupé calls itself a “modern stone age winery”. Started in 1981 by Bob Lindquist, Qupé is so named to honor the Chumash, the indigenous people of the Golden State’s Central Coast and Channel Islands. The word means poppy, a plant traditionally used for food and medicine. Bob and his wife Louisa Sawyer Lindquist are skilled in biodynamics, and their Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard is certified Demeter Biodynamic and Stellar Organic.
Winemaker notes: This wine is 87% Grenache and 13% Syrah from grapes grown at the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard in the cool Edna Valley. The Grenache portion is 73% Alban clone and 27% Tablas clones. The Syrah portion is from neutral barrels that were selected for our single vineyard Syrah bottling. A little over half of the Grenache was fermented with 33% whole clusters which adds a definite layer of spice and tannin and gives more complexity as the wine ages. All of the Grenache was aged in neutral French oak, on the lees, for 17 months. The Syrah was blended in to the wine just before bottling.
A. Christmann Riesling Trocken, Pfalz, 2013
This is a 7th generation estate, farmed biodynamically by Steffen Christmann, who is also the head of VDP, Germany’s prestigious winemaker association.
There’s all kinds of delicious going on here: slate and flint, tart lemons, flowers, herbs and earth.
Alois Lageder Müller Thurgau, Alto Adige, 2013
Alois Lageder has been in the same family for 5 generations. Their approach to business and winemaking is informed by holistic practices; currently 50 hectares of their vineyards are farmed biodynamically and their winery is fully sustainable.
This Müller Thurgau is from vines that are between 4 & 55 years old, from vineyards that are between 1,650 – 3,020 feet above sea level. Temperatures vary wildly between day and night, contributing to the depth and freshness of the wine. This is an elegant wine with a muscat like quality, though not so flowery. It’s medium bodied, very lively, and is perfect as an aperitif or with all kinds of seafood.
Domaine de l’Elu “Indigéne” Coteaux du Layon, Loire, 2013
Domaine de l’Elu is an old 25 hectare property taken over in 2008 by Thomas Carsin and Gregoire du Bouexic. They grow eight different varieties here: Chenin, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, and Grolleau. The two farm organically, harvest by hand, don’t filter or fine their wines, and use very little sulfur.
“Indigéne” is 50/50 Gamay and Grolleau, foot-stomped, full carbonic, vinified separately & blended after 6 months in vat. This wine is a little bit funky, a little bit dirty, lots of cherry, blueberry, earth and acidity. Put a chill on it.
This week the onslaught of pumpkin and fall beer continues. We also got Thunderstruck IPA from Stone, their 19th anniversary release. We’ve had Berliner Weisse from White Birch brewing when we can get it, but this week we also got a Blueberry Berliner Weisse from them. Anbai Ale from Hitachino came in, a gose style beer brewed with Japanese plums and sea salt.
Beer Tasting on Saturday, 8/22, 4-7PM
This week we’re tasting pumpkin beer: Post Road Pumpkin from Brooklyn Brewery, Wolaver’s Pumpkin Ale, and Punk’n from Uinta. Just what you want at the beach, right?
Rosé, Beaujolais, Macon & Gewurz; Fall Beer is Here; Save the Date: Makers & Merchants Sidewalk Sale.
Rosé. Many we’ve loved are now gone. New ones come along. Kind of like a Willie Nelson song. Here’s a late bloomer, just arrived today. We’ll taste it tonight.
Get it while it’s fresh!
Saturday, August 8th, 2015
Saturday Beer Tasting in the Shop, 4-7PM
We’re tasting Foolproof Augtoberfest from Pawtucket, Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale from Off Color Brewing in Chicago, and from Boston, it’s Harpoon Nordic Saison, the latest from their 100 Barrel series.
Friday, August 7th, 2015
New Dressner; Brooklyn Gin; Jameson Caskmates; Adios Summer–Fall Beers are Here.
This week started out spectacularly, with our OysterFest & Campus Pop Up Broadway Bistro. If you made it to this event, then you know that the Bistro knocked it out of the park! And the Wine Traditions pairings were on another level. We couldn’t have imagined bluefish paté and pickled red onions paired with Mont de Marie Anathéme Blanc, but there it was, in all it’s glory. That was a genius pairing if ever there was one. Thanks again to the entire staff at Broadway Bistro, to Leigh Ranucci of Wine Traditions and toOcean State Oyster Festival for shucking 200 Salt Pond oysters. We must do that again!
It seemed like we were still high-fiving eachother over this dinner when the wind was literally knocked out of our sails! Or sales, as it were. When that crazy storm blew through Tuesday morning, a big tree fell in front of our shop, and took out power to the entire neighborhood. If we had only been dealing with no lights, we would’ve kicked it out old-school, with flashlights and cold, hard cash. But alas, live wires and tree debris aren’t the welcome mat most people expect, so we stayed closed until Wednesday morning. Let’s hope that’s all the adventure we get this week!
Friday, July 31, 2015
New German Wines; OysterFest & Campus Pop-Up at Broadway Bistro – now with Wine Traditions! Sake Cocktails w/ Little Bitte, and Summer Slip Sliding Away…
It’s Friday, July 31st: Do you know where your summer is? Is it slipping away faster than a bottle of rosé on a hot & steamy evening? We know the feeling! We’re still dreaming of cool blue horizons and waves dragging the sand from under our feet, but summer in the city is more about flip-flops on hot pavement than beach towels and bikinis. Yes, even in the Ocean State! We’re not complaining, we’re happy to celebrate the spirit of summer – and to keep tossing back those bottles of rosé! Perhaps while lounging in a backyard kiddie pool – it’ll do in a pinch!
Speaking of the spirit of summer, we just had Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails & Ocean State Oyster Festival in the shop on Wednesday, and they brought that breezy, beachy feeling with them! Between refreshing sake cocktails and EIGHT DOZEN Salt Pond oysters, we were utterly transported! Major thanks to them for bringing their sunshine to our shore – it was just what we needed!
And of course, we are never ones to turn down the opportunity to bust open a bivalve, (oh those precious presenters of pearls, those humble provisions for peasants!) so join us Monday at Broadway Bistro as we and Ocean State Oyster Festival celebrate the sea. Wine Traditions has jumped aboard, so it really can’t get any better!
Check out the menu & sake cocktail recipes in the link that appears below.
Wednesday, July 29th, 5-7PM, In the Shop
Join us for a special Wednesday tasting featuring Willa Van Nostrand of Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails and Don Nguyen of Ocean State Oyster Festival. Willa will demonstrate how to make refreshing and oyster friendly Sake cocktails; Don will shuck a bunch of Walrus & Carpenter oysters – sounds like a perfect Wednesday to us. Free and open to the public!
Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm-8pm
July 24, 2015
This 40 hectare estate has been in the Cazottes family since 1750. The vineyard is situated along the “Premiere Cotes” of Gaillac, the hillsides facing south-southwest toward the Tarn river. It’s planted almost entirely with the traditional grape varieties of the region: Mauzac and Len de l’oeil for the whites and Braucol and Duras for the reds.This rosé is 50% Gamay/50% Syrah, and for lack of a better term: it’s super tasty! Deep, spicy, herbal, and with a touch of weight that makes it eminently satisfying.
2013 Domaine Lattard Gamay, Rhone, France
An old favorite is back! This is a zero-sulphur added, certified organic wine from Luc & Denis Lattard, who took over the family chicken and vegetable farm in 1995. They planted Gamay, Syrah, Roussanne & Viognier on the 6.3 hectare estate that sits upon cliffs at 350 meters above sea level, on soils of limestone and clay. These are fresh and light wines, that in Denis’ words aren’t ‘pretentious or serious wines, just tasty wine to be enjoyed everyday’.
The Gamay is from a 1.2 hectare plot of 15 year old vines. 100% carbonic maceration, no fining, no filtration. It’s peppery, juicy, brambly – put a little chill on it, toss it back and forget your worries.
New Vintage! We’re recycling an old note: Louis-Antoine Luyt was a student of Marcel Lapierre, of Morgon fame, and it shows. He’s a Frenchman in Chile, making natural wines that conjure a mix of cru Beaujolais and the Loire. Louis-Antoine had a bit of a rocky start in Chile – literally. The 2009 vintage was almost entirely lost in the earthquake that struck the region. But he’s making small lots of biodynamic wines that are complex, intriguing and evocative of the dirt upon which they’re grown. Luyt picks early to emphasize acidity and to keep the alcohol in check. The 70+ year old vines are dry-farmed and the vineyards are plowed by horses; fermentation is with natural yeast & carbonic maceration is frequently used.
The wines of Luyt are full of rustic, earthy, mineral and animal charm. They are always memorable.
Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm-8pm
July 17, 2015
Vin de Savoie ‘Abymes’, Roger Labbe 2014
Domaine Labbe was founded in 1975 by two brothers who were subsistence farmers (a little bit of everything: milk, cows, beef, hay, wheat and some table grapes and wine not worth drinking). It is a 10 hectare estate located 15km south of Chambéry, a village famous for its Vermouth and cheese. Two cousins, (their children) Alexandra and Jérome, took over the domain from their fathers in 2004.
Abymes is 100% Jacquère, a varietal that grows especially well in the Savoie region of France. The soil is mostly argilo/calcaire with some 2 inch stones – debris from years of avalanches from the Alps. Fermentation is with indigenous yeasts in non-reactive tanks/foudres.
The wine is dry, pure & zesty, full of delicate fruit, chalky minerality, and food-friendly acidity. Perfect as an aperitif or with shellfish.
Hobo Wine Co. “The Folk Machine” Tocai Friuliano 2014
Kenny Likitprakong started Hobo Wine Company in 2002, at the age of 26. He grew up in Healdsburg, spending much time at Domaine St. George, the winery owned by his great-uncle Supasit Mahaguna. Kenny’s father Somchai was also involved at the winery, having been summoned there by Mahaguna while studying in NY.
Likitprakong sells his wines under three labels: Banyan Wines, Hobo and Folk Machine, all of them under the umbrella of the Hobo Wine Co. He doesn’t own any vines, instead he gets fruit from top sources, although he does farm about an acre of Branham Estate Rockpile Vineyard Zinfandel.
From the start, Likitprakong intended to make lower sugar, lower alcohol, higher acid, more food friendly wiines than what was being produced in California at the time. In 2008, Gary Branham said that Likitprakong was “already doing more avant-garde things than most people do in their whole careers.” He’s still doing it.
Phillipe Tessier Cheverny Rose 2014
Phillipe Tessier took over this domaine in 1981, 20 years after it was founded by his father Roger. The 23 hectare estate is in the heart of Cheverny and Cour Cheverny AOCs. They have been certified organic since 1998.
This rosé is 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Gamay. The grapes are harvested by hand, then fermented with whild yeast and bottled unfiltered and unfined. Wild strawberries, fresh herbs, tangy acidity and a long finish make this a go-to rosé.
Paterna il Rosso 2013
Paterna is a 15 hectare fully functioning farm in the Tuscan hills, established in 1985 by a group of friends looking to get away from the tourist market that Tuscany had become. In addition to grapes (indigenous only), they cultivate local products like cheese, honey, salumi, etc. The farm has been organic since the beginning, but they go beyond that by working naturally in the cellars as well, with only indigenous yeast, and little to no sulfur.
Il Rosso is a blend of 75% Sangiovese and 25% Canaiolo, fermented outdoors in cement tanks, without temperature control. This is a lively wine, with lots of cherry, red fruit, and zesty, food friendly acidity.
Father’s Day Gift Ideas
There’s nothing wrong with ties and scratch tickets, but if you want to get Dad something a little out of the ordinary, we’ve got a fine selection for you! We’re also offering 10% off all Single Malts now through Sunday – just say it’s a Father’s Day gift to get the discount!