Some things to look forward to in addition to sampling the wine:
Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm – 8pm
April 15, 2015
Chemins de Bassac Isa Rosé 2015, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Domaine Rimbert “Les Travers de Marceau” 2014, St. Chinian, France
Comando G “La Bruja de Rozas” 2014, Vinos de Madrid, Spain
Tasting notes are here.
April 1, 2016
Chateau Valcombe Ventoux Rosé 2015
Chateau Les Valentines Cotes de Provence Rouge 2012
Bodegas Camino del Villar “Vina Aliaga Antonio Corpus” 2002, Navarra, Spain
March 25, 2016
We’re tasting a rosé and a Ruche, along with a couple of exciting new wines. Stop in for a taste! Wines and tasting notes are here.
Our beer tasting tomorrow will feature Bill from Two Roads Brewing in CT. 3pm-6pm, come on in and taste some super fresh, super delicious, semi-local suds.
March 18, 2016
Domaine Maurice Schoech Pinot Auxerrois Vielle Vigne 2014, Alsace
Domaine Fontsainte Gris de Gris 2015, Corbieres, France
Chateau Valcombe Ventoux Rouge “Les Hautes de Valcombe” 2013
Domaine Clos de l’Elu Anjou Rouge, Loire, 2013
March 4th, 2016
La Perla White Rioja, 2014
The La Perla winery is located in Labastida, an area in Rioja that is at a higher elevation and experiences a cooler climate than most of the region, resulting in wines that are higher in acidity and are especially fresh.
Manuel Ruiz is the 2nd generation winemaker here. The wine is a blend of dry-farmed Viura (92%, 30 year old vines), and 8% Malvasia (50+ years old) sourced from independent growers. It’s fermented in stainless steel and is light and easy, a touch tropical, and will be an easy one to toss back all spring and summer. And it’s super cheap too!
This 100% Cinsault is made in 100 year old amphora or tinajas, (earthenware jugs) that the De Martino family salvaged to bring back this old winemaking tradition. The grapes come from unirrigated vineyards in the coastal mountain region of the Itata Valley, about 14 miles from the Pacific. There is little to no intervention in the winemaking process. After destemming, the grapes were fermented for 15 days in amphora, where they undergo carbonic maceration. It then rests in the same jug and then goes through malolactic fermentation. It’s bottled unfiltered and unfined, with no artificial enzymes or yeasts, and only a small amount of sulfur.
Cinsault is somewhat low in acidity, hence the choice to plant here in the Itata Valley, where the proximity to the ocean, and the cooler climate, help to boost acidity. The wine itself is fresh and lively, tempered by an earthy, floral, herbaceous notes.
Alto 3 Malbec, Catamarca, Argentina
Catamarca is located 515 miles north of Mendoza, and at 4,947 feet, has some of the highest altitude vineyards in the world. Alto 3 practices organic and biodynamic farming. They ferment in concrete tanks and some of their wines go into clay cones which are buried in the ground; winemaker Carlos Arizu does this because the wines will undergo fewer temperature fluctuations and will have added structure, in his opinion. Fermentation takes longer but he thinks the process produces more complex wines.
Alto 3 Malbec is alas not one of the wines that goes into cone, but it’s still pretty special. It’s hand-harvested, estate-grown fruit (as are all the wines here). After fermentation in concrete, it goes into French and American oak casks for 6 months. It’s then bottled unfiltered and unfined. This wine is rich & smooth, with mocha, plums, raspberry and tobacco. The finish is long with notes of licorice and spice.
February 26, 2016
Elvio Tintero Vino Rosato, Piedmont, Italy
90% Barbera, 5% Moscato, 5% Favorita
Cantine Elvio Tintero was founded in 1900 by Frenchman Pierre Tintero, when he happened upon the small estate while looking for work in Piedmont. The vineyards were already being worked alone by a young widow named Rosina. The two married, had children, and the estate remains in the same family today. The vines are sustainably farmed and all vinification is in stainless steel.
We always look forward to this frizzante, It’s light, pretty & tart, full of fresh, sweet raspberry & strawberry notes. (Kermit Lynch)
José Pariente Verdejo 2014, Rueda, Spain
Brother and sister Ignacio and Martina Pariente recently rose to the helm of this family estate, where their mother Victoria has been the winemaker, after picking up where her father José let off. Martina is now the winemaker and Ignacio is in charge of business operations. Rueda is northwest of Madrid and was quite productive during the middle ages, with cellars carved out of the limestone under the town – until phylloxera decimated the vines at the end of the 1800s. José Pariente established his winery in 1960; in the 1970s native Verdejo began its resurgence and the region started to gain attention again for quality white wine.
Ignacio and Martina are young and innovative (they’ve recently started making a wine in concrete egg) but they respect terroir and tradition. This Rueda is fresh and elegant, with notes of citrus, pear and fennel. Pairs well with olives, tomatoes, salads and seafood. (Gerry Dawes selection)
Vinaspral “Maisulan” Rioja 2012
In the Basque language, Maisulan means good hard work. That is how husband and wife Luis and Eva Ruiz approach working their 28 hectare estate, in a tiny, mountainous town of just 370 people. These vineyards have been in their families for four generations. They dry farm biodynamically, interplant for biodiversity and pollination, use crushed vine shoots as mulch, and hand harvest the fruit.
Maisulan is from 40 year old vines, planted at 1800 feet elevation. The wine is fermented spontaneously via native yeast, then rests for 6 months in a 50/50 split of French and American oak. It’s spicy and peppery, with raspberries, oranges and clove. It’s quite delicious and quite a value. (The Artisan Collection)
Décima Tinto 2014 Ribeira Sacra, Spain
Ribeira Sacra is a region in northwest Spain that has been gaining notoriety in recent years. The DO was created in 1996, and it’s the only Galician region specializing in the Mencia grape, as well as lesser quantities of white grapes Albarino and Godello. The region is a little bit like Burgundy or the Loire, with its collection of small producers. Mercia can achieve the elegance of red Burgundy, and can also be compared to Cabernet Franc; it’s frequently light and savory, earthy and minerally, even hinting at lead pencil at times.
From the importers website: The unique, rich, pomegranate-like fruit-driven Décima Mencia is underpinned by a graphite-like slate minerality that comes from the precipitiously steep pizarra terraces on which Décima’s vineyards grow. The vineyards are owned and farmed by José Manuel Rodríguez, who in addition to farming his own vines, is also the President of the Consello Regulador de La Ribeira Sacra. This wine is a masterpiece, reminiscent in style and quality, if not in Pinot Noir flavors, of a wine from Burgundy’s northern Cótes de Nuits. (Gerry Dawes)
February 12, 2016
Tonight we’re happy to introduce Cheongsam Tea Liqueur, a hand crafted, small batch liqueur made with exotic whole leaf teas.
These authentic and lightly sweet liqueurs were developed and produced by local Rhode Island spirits artisans Tyson Davenport and Manda Shen. Stop in to taste their creations and hear of their journeys in China that have made this compellingly unique product a reality.
Iconic Wines Sidekick Chardonnay 2014
Qupé “A Modern White” 2014, Central Coast
Hobo Dry Creek Zinfandel 2013
Brea Cabernet Sauvignon “Margarita Vineyard” 2012, Paso Robles
January 22, 2016
Le Colture Rosé Vinho Spumante Brut
This sparkling rosé is from third generation winemaker Alberto Ruggeri and sourced entirely from his family’s estate vineyards in Valdobbiadene. These vineyards have been in the Ruggeri family since the late 1800s. It’s a blend of Merlot and Chardonnay, fermented in stainless steel, and kept in tank until ready to ship. It’s fresh, bright and dry. Have it as an aperitif or with grilled veggies, white meat or seafood.
La Viarte Pinot Grigio 2014, Friuli Colli Orientali, Italy
Giuseppe and Carla Ceschin moved to Friuli in the 1960s & worked as share-croppers for 13 years before purchasing their own estate. La Viarte – Friulian for “springtime”– is a labor of love that didn’t yield its 1st harvest until 1984. Now sustainably farmed by their son Giulio, the wines here are refreshing, precise & distinct. The Pinot Grigio is crisp & mineral driven with lemon peel and orange zest on the nose & palate; seven months lees contact gives the wine an elegant texture. Serve on its own or with light pasta, fish and chicken dishes.
Clos la Coutale 2013, Cahors, France
Cahors is a town in southwest France that is known as the birthplace of Cot, otherwise known as Malbec. Malbec from Cahors tends to be more inky, herbal, earthy, robust and tightly structured than those from Argentina or elsewhere in the new world. Cahors is known as the “black wine” of the southwest and is the perfect partner for the local cuisine that’s rich in duck and duck fat.
Clos la Coutale is 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot from the 60 hectare estate that’s been in the Bernède family since 1895. The vines grow on gravel, limestone and clay; after harvest, the grapes are vinified separately, in stainless steel, then aged in barrel for one year before bottling.
Durigutti Malbec 2014, Mendoza, Argentina
Héctor and Pablo Durigutti use low yielding (one bottle per vine), hand-harvested fruit from their 10 hectares of high-elevation, organically farmed vineyards in Mendoza. The grapes are fermented with native yeast & aged in stave-studded cement tanks (first use American oak) for 18 months & bottled unfined and unfiltered. Durigutti wines are typically lush and full-bodied, but maintain the high-elevation acidity and freshness that keep them drinkable and food friendly.
January 15th, 2016
SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, June 11th: RAW WINE AT THE STEEL YARD. Details to follow.
Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio Ramato “Gossip” 2014
The Di Lenardo estate produces wines from its four large (150 hectares) family owned vineyards situated in Ontagnano, in the heart of the Friuli region in the foothills of the Alps, as well as from rented vineyards in Aquileia and Manzano. The estate was established in 1878, and has been for many years now under the direction of winemaker Massimo “Max” Di Lenardo. All the fruit here is hand-harvested and the winery is 100% solar powered.
2012 was the first vintage of Di Lenardo Ramato, and only about 1600 cases are made each year. We’ve carried every vintage in the shop, and this 2014 just arrived, so we just have to crack it open!
Ramato is an old-school style of Pinot Grigio, made by allowing the grape skins to stay in the mix with the juice during the maceration. This contact with the skins gives the wine its ramato, or copper-pink hue. Sometimes called a baby orange wine, Ramato-style wines are more compellingly aromatic and texturally interesting than a Pinot Grigio made without skin contact. They’re also quite food friendly, especially with seafood.
Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie 2014
Clos de la Roilette covers nine hectares of one of the best slopes in the Beaujolais Crus. The clos (walled estate, although there’s no wall here…) borders the Moulin-à-Vent appellation and produces wines known both for their youthful beauty and for their ability to age gracefully. Depending on the vintage, the wines here can typically be laid down for 5, 10 years, or more.
Fernando Coudert bought the estate in 1967; since the mid-80s, his son Alain has been making the wines. The terroir (mainly clay and manganese), and the age of their vines (upwards of 40 years) contribute to the richness and depth of their wines. Farming here is by hand and lutte raisonnée (sustainable, or reasoned fight). Vinification is the traditional, semi-carbonic Beaujolais style with indigenous yeast.
The 2014 vintage was a little rough at first but was saved by bright and sunny weather in August and September. This wine is a reflection of the vintage: it’s pure, bright fruit, light on its feet, and balanced. It may not be one to put away for a decade, but it could handle 5 or so years just fine. Or drink it now. Why not?
Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil “Trinch!” 2013, Loire
The Bretons were on the forefront of the natural wine movement in the Loire back in the early 90s. Their organically farmed vineyards are now moving toward biodynamic certification.
Trinch! (“Cheers” in German) is from a 5 hectare plot of 30 year-old Cabernet Franc vines grown on gravel. Hand-harvested, wild yeast, little to no sulphur (like all Breton wines), and vilified in stainless steel, this is the Breton Bourgueil meant for earlier consumption and casual bistro-style meals.
January 8th, 2016
Manoir de la Mottrie Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie “Vieilles Vignes” 2009, France
We tasted this way back in October, but it seems like just yesterday. We just got more so we’ll do it again!
Located in Nantais since 1986, Alain Gripon produces several bottlings of Muscadet from organically farmed vineyards on soils of mica-schist, granite and iron-rich gabbro. This 2009 is the current release of this old-vine bottling. It’s graceful, nuanced and focussed, the salty minerality and vibrant acidity tempered and made more delicate by time.
Champagne Bourdaire-Gallois Brut NV, France
We’re not quite done with the sparkling season, so popping open this special treat tonight!
This 100% Pinot Meunier Champagne from low yielding vines is a stunner. David Bourdaire farms his 4 hectare farm in Massif Saint Thierry without the use of herbicides or pesticides and allows natural grass to grow between the vines. This particular wine is fermented in stainless steel, undergoes malolactic fermentation, and rests on its lees for a minimum of 15 months. It is an elegant & creamy wine with soft, tiny bubbles and an invigorating burst of tart fruit on the finish. It wakes up the palate and the senses; it’s simply delicious!
Tami Nero d’Avola IGT Sicilia Rosso 2013, Italy
Tami is a joint project between Arianna Occhipinti, a young, natural-wine maker (and niece of the “O” in COS Wines”) and some friends and neighbors, including her boyfriend, the owner of Tami wine bar in Siracusa. These are all well-priced, easy-drinking wines made from local purchased fruit and fermented using indigenous yeasts. The project is supervised by Arianna.
This 100% Nero d’Avola is juicy & easy to drink. It’s smooth and plummy, with bright fruit, low tannins, and a food friendly lightness.
Bodegas Muga Rioja Reserva 2011, Spain
Established in 1932 by Isaac Muga Martínez, this is a family owned, but by no means small, producer. They control every aspect of production, from vineyard to vinification. They are also one of only 6 estates in the world that owns its own cooperage; they import oak directly from France and the US for their barrels.
Muga Reserva is 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo, 3% Graciano that spends 24 months in oak and an additional 12 months in bottle before being released. It’s ripe and spicy, with smoky. plummy, earthy and savory notes.
December 18th, 2015
Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5PM-8PM
Donkey & Goat Lily’s Cuvée Pétillant Naturel Chardonnay 2014
Éric Texier “Adele” Cotes du Rhone Blanc, 2014
Broc Carbonic Carignan, 2014, Alexander Valley
Chateau Haut Segottes Saint Emillion Grand Cru 2008
December 11th, 2015
Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5PM-8PM
December Wine Club: La Joie des Fêtes Festive French Six-Pack
The perfect gift for the French wine lover, or for yourself, to make shopping during this hectic season a little easier. Includes tasting notes and a 12% discount. Delivery available. Wines and tasting notes are here.
Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm-8pm
December 4, 2015
We’re popping some celebration-worthy wines in the shop, including at least one Farmer-Fizz! Adam Wilson will be with us representing the very fine Jon David Headrick portfolio. Great wine, tasty snacks and a festive atmosphere guaranteed!
Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues “Les Grandes Vignes” Cotes du Rhones Blanc, 2014
Chateau d’Epiré Savennieres 2014
Qupé “A Modern Red” 2013
Lioco “Indica” 2013 Mendocino Red
November, 13th, 2015
Friday Tasting in the Shop, 5pm-8pm
Sign Up for our Thanksgiving Wine Club!
Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm-8pm
Friday, Nov. 6th, 2015
Ok, who’s messing with our favorite season? This balmy November, with birds-a-chirpin’, open-window breezes and confused crocuses is definitely giving an identity crisis to at least a few of us die-hard New Englanders. And it’s putting a cramp in our ‘take shelter and indulge’ slow slide into winter! Not that we’re asking for brutal cold and 6 foot snowbanks, but cool, crisp air, tinged with the scent of woodsmoke, and paired with a peaty scotch or autumnal red? Well, it’s just wired into our DNA in these parts…But we’ll stop complaining and look on the bright side: We’ve got Wine Traditions in the house tonight! Nothing says ‘fall’ like Beaujolais, and we’ll be tasting a lovely Julienas with importer rep Leigh Ranucci. Tonight’s tasting is Thanksgiving focussed and all Wine Tradtions. We’re pouring three other wines in addition to the Julienas, including a Vouvray that will be killer with your turkey – or tofurky, it’s pretty versatile, really. So tonight’s line-up oughtta help take the sting out of our Seasonal Affective Disorder! Tasting notes are below.
From the Wine Traditions website: Wine Traditions, LTD. imports wine from France produced from independent, family owned vineyards located throughout France’s many wine growing regions. We champion appellations that receive too little acclaim and have sought out vignerons and vigneronnes whose deep respect and commitment toward their land result in wines that convey a sense of place. Stylistically, we seek wines that balance intensity with delicacy and are wines of good character rather than caricatures of good wine. We hope these wines will bring you pleasure.
Christophe Thorigny Vouvray Sec 2013Christophe Thorigny is the 4th generation to farm this 10.5 hectare estate in Vouvray. Most of the grapes here are sold off to local negociants, which makes the small amount of estate-bottled wines that much more special. Christophe farms with minimal intervention and keeps yields low with severe pruning throughout the growing season. The vines are planted on chalky and flinty clay covering a think layer of limestone, and those mineral, rocky notes come through in the wine. This is dry, focussed Chenin Blanc, with notes of honeysuckle, oranges and lemons on a long and elegant finish.
Domaine Gautheron Chablis 2014Alain Gautheron is the 5th generation to cultivate vines on this 25 hectare property in the village of Fleys, in vineyards that are chock full of fossilized snails. In fact, the people of Fleys were once called “Gougueys” the local word for snail, because of all the snail fossils here. That’s just a fun fossil fact for you!
Gautheron Chablis is all bang for the buck. It’s stainless steel fermented, then left on its’ lees for 9 months before bottling, which gives it a pleasing texture. It has a crisp and stony character that reflects the chalky soil upon which the grapes are grown. Subtle floral and orchard fruit notes add complexity and depth.
Domaine de Foretal Julienas 2013
Domaine de Foretal is an 8 hectare estate situated in the small village of Vauxrenard, located between Fleurie and Chenas, in the northern Beaujolais. The Perrauds have been growing grapes here for five generations. Since 2000, Jean-Yves Perraud has tended to the property; he’s introduced a number of sustainable farming practices, including cover crops and finding alternatives to chemical herbicides and pesticides.
This Julienas is from 30 year-old vines grown on sandy, granite soil. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermentation is semi-carbonic in stainless steel. The wine is floral and aromatic, with strawberries and light spices, and vibrant, refreshing acidity and minerality.
Chateau Chabiran Rouge 2012 Bordeaux Superieur
This chateau is situated in a high plateau just outside Fronsac, which is said to be one of the best sites in all of Bordeaux Superieur. It benefits from well drained soils of local blue clay and red gravel. The vineyard is planted with 90% merlot & 10% cabernet sauvignon. Harvest is done by hand, as late as possible, to ensure maximum ripeness. It is stainless steel and cement tank fermented, with a long maceration and partial barrel/partial tank aging. Chabiran is a full-bodied wine, with rich lush flavors of plum, cherries, chocolate, and velvety tannins on the finish.
Oct. 23, 2015
It’s twice the Cellario this week, as we taste the line-up again tonight!
Saturday, Oct. 17th, 2015
We’re tasting a line-up of locals today! Leaning Chimney Smoked Porter from Grey Sail in Westerly, Peanut Butter Raincloud from Foolproof in Pawtucket, and Ginger Libation from Artisan Beverage Cooperative in Greenfield, MA.
Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm-8pm
Friday, October 16th, 2015
Tonight in the shop we’re opening up an old and a new favorite: Clos Siguier Cahors 2012 and Chateau Tessendey Fronsac 2012. This weekend’s weather is ideally suited for these reds; make a stew, a cassoulet, a fall veggie casserole, or throw a steak under the broiler–these wines will be the perfect partner at the table. Before you hit the reds though, wet your whistle with a couple of French whites! There’s nothing like a Loire Valley sparkler to get the juices flowing, followed by a more cerebral old-vine Muscadet. In fact, this line-up is pretty much your whole dinner party. You’re welcome!
Don’t forget that Fausto Cellario will be in the shop this Tuesday, Oct. 20th. We love Cellario wines, and we can’t wait to meet the producer himself. We hope you can join us!
Louis de Grenelle “Platine” NV Brut Crémant de Loire
Hand-harveseted and made in the Champagne method, from 85% Chenin Blanc, 10% Chardonnay & 5% Cabernet Franc grown on limestone hillsides outside of Saumur. Platine is fermented in stainless steel, then aged for at least 18 months before being bottled at 7 grams dosage. This is a satisfying bottle of bubbly: stones and hay, lemons and pears, and all around delicious.
Manoir de la Mottrie Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie “Vieilles Vignes” 2009
Located in Nantais since 1986, Alain Gripon produces several bottlings of Muscadet from organically farmed vineyards on soils of mica-schist, granite and iron-rich gabbro. This 2009 is the current release of this old-vine bottling. Don’t let anyone tell you Muscadet is only for early consumption, some of these wines can age elegantly and beautifully. This wine is no exception. It’s graceful, nuanced and focussed, the salty minerality and vibrant acidity tempered and made more delicate by time.
Clos Siguier Cahors 2012
Cahors is south of Bordeaux and is a bit more rural, rugged and rustic than its neighbor to the north. The climate here is also somewhat warmer, so the grapes ripen earlier and the wines don’t take as long to develop as in Bordeaux. In the 13th and 14th century, the Bordelais saw that as a threat, so they enacted laws dictating that the wines of the southwest (including Cahors) could not be sold until the majority of current vintage Bordeaux sold out. It’s good to know corruption is a time honored tradition throughout the world!
Clos Siguier is a 15 hectare property of old-vine Malbec and Tannat, farmed organically by Gilles Bley, whose own roots go back generations in Cahors. Gilles makes wines that are more delicate, accessible and fruity than what is typical of the region, which is known for earthy and rustic wines. This Cahors is full of cherries, red currants, and plums on a backbone of crushed stones and fine tannins.
Château Tessendey, Fronsac 2012
Fronsac is on the Right Bank of Bordeaux and thus the wines are Merlot dominated. From the mid 1700s until the early 1900s, the wines of Fronsac enjoyed more notoriety and fame than those of Pomerol. While the wines typically don’t have the lushness of Pomerol, they do offer a nicely priced alternative to their more famous neighbor.
Château Tessendey is 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, grown on soils of clay-limestone, and aged in cement and 20% new oak. This is a small family-owned property of 7 hectares, and only 2,000 bottles of the 2012 vintage were produced. This wine is elegantly-structured, with rich fruit, and tannins that will soften with time or protein.
Friday, Oct. 9th, 2015
Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm-8pm
Saturday, Oct. 3rd, 2015
New Beer Arrivals and Saturday Tasting in the Shop
This week we got the latest in Narragansett’s Lovecraft series, the Reanimator Helles Lager, and their newest RI mash-up, the Allies’ Double Chocolate Porter. Ommegang released Rosetta, an ale aged on cherries and brewed by brewery, Brouwerij Liefmans in Belgium. We got a limited amount of Double Dose from Otter Creek – sorry, gone before it hit the shelf!
Saturday Beer Tasting, 4PM – 7PM
We’re tasting the two new ‘Gansett beers this, alongside Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale.
Oct. 2, 2015
Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm-8pm
A wet and windy weekend needs wine. Lots of wine. We advise at least 4 days worth, just to be on the safe side. Here’s what we’re tasting tonight – we’d love it if you could join us, and we’ll give you 10% off the wines in the line up! 5pm – 8pm, in the shop!
2014 Bisson Glera Frizzante, Treviso, Italy
This is a collaboration between Pierluigi Lugano of Bisson, located in Liguria, and a colleague in the Treviso district of the Veneto. Glera is the grape used to make this lightly sparkling, bone-dry Prosecco. Fresh, invigorating, taste-bud tantalizing and the perfect starter to any meal – or end to any evening!
2014 Mayu Pedro Ximinez, Elqui Valley, Chile
The Elqui Valley is one of Chile’s newest wine regions. Mayu, established in 2005, was the first winery in Elqui Valley, but the vines here are over 70 years old. That’s because this region has long been known as one of the best sources for grapes for Pisco – and the main grape in Pisco is Pedro Ximinez. This is a fruity, floral, versatile and inviting wine.
2010 Ricominciare Malbec-Tannat, Mendoza, Argentina
60% Malbec, 40% Tannat, all estate-grown, hand-harvested and aged in concrete tanks. Fruit driven, supple, full-bodied, and ready for fall and winter.
2012 Chateau Haut-Vigneau Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Haut-Vigneau is a 20 ha estate located in Graves, the most urban area within Bordeaux, and home to famed producer Chateau Haut Brion. This is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, hand-harvested and barrel aged (20% new oak) for 15-18 months. This is a nicely structured wine with fine tannins, deep notes of blackberries and cassis, and a touch of earth and smoke on the long, dry and minerally finish.
Sept. 25, 2015
Friday Tasting in the Shop, 5pm – 8pm
We’re continuing the three French and an Italian theme from last week. Here’s the line-up!
Romain Chamiot Apremont 2014, Savoie
Savoie is a region in eastern France on the Swiss border, in the foothills of the Alps. The landscape is alpine, with mountains, lakes, and vines planted mostly in the flatter parts of the region, though some are planted on slopes and hillsides. Much of the soil is dotted with large stones that are the result of years of avalanches.
Chamiot is a multi-generation 7 ha estate, nearly all planted to Jacquere, with vines ranging in age from 40 to 80 years. Most of the vineyards are on slopes, and handpicked. Jacquère is the common white grape of Savoie. Chamiot’s Jacquere is dry, delicate, lightly scented, herbal, pleasantly green and exceedingly pure.
Domaine La Piffaudiere Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Touraine
Olivier Bellanger has apprenticed under some of the Loire’s best vignerons, including Philippe Tessier (for 5 years) and Jean-François Merieau (for one harvest). In 2008 he got the opportunity to purchase his own 6 ha estate, but it didn’t have a cellar or wine making facility, since the previous owner only grew grapes for the local cooperative. He has since converted the domain to organic farming, and works naturally in a nearby cellar, which he purchased in 2012. He uses a friends facility to crush.
This Sauvignon Blanc is grown on sandy, flinty soils. It sits on its lees for 3 months in 500 liter casks (no new oak) and is bottled unfined, lightly filtered, and with very little SO2. It’s bone dry, elegantly textured, and balanced.
Domaine La Piffaudiere Mon Tout Rouge 2013
Mon Tout rouge is a blend of 60% Côt (Malbec) and 40% Gamay, also grown on sandy, flinty soils. After fermentation with indigenous yeast, the Cot stays in 2 year old barrels for 11 months; the Gamay sees no oak at all. This is a light, mineral driven wine with bright red fruit & lively acidity. It’s refreshing from start to finish.
Monsecco Vespolina “Barbatasso”, Colline Novaresi 2012, Piedmont
Monsecco was established in 1872 in the Novara hills of Gattinara, in Piedmont. In the 19th century, there was more Nebbiolo planted here than Langhe, and the wines were more highly prized than either Barolo or Barbaresco. The region experienced a bit of a decline for a while, until 1990, when it was awarded DOCG status. Monsecco itself was purchased by the Zanetta family in 1993. They ended up owning five hectares of vineyards and rent an additional three hectares, where only Nebbiolo, Vespolina, Uva Rara and Croatina are planted.
Recent DNA profiling has shown that Vespolina is an offspring of Nebbiolo. One rarely finds a varietal bottling of it, as it is usually blended with Nebbiolo or Bonarda. The Barbatasso is floral, earthy, peppery & intriguing.
Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails in the Shop, Wednesday 9/23, 5pm-7pm
Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails will be here mixing up ‘The Old Man & The Sea’ a drink made with St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur and Thomas Tew Rum. Swing on by for a sip!
Here’s the recipe:
The Old Man and the Sea
2 ounces Aged Rum – Thomas Tew Rum (Newport, RI)
1 ounce St George Spiced Pear Liqueur
1/2 ounce fresh pressed lime juice
lime wheel for garnish
Tasting notes: poached pear, vanilla, clove, citrus & oak.
Combine rum, lime juice and pear liqueur over ice in a bar tin and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop Tonight, 5pm-8pm & German Wine Tasting Tomorrow, 4pm-7pm
Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5 – 8PM
100% Fer ServadouThe appellation of Marcillac is in southwestern France, nestled in the mountain range known as the Massif Central. At 22 hectares, Domaine du Cros is the largest independent producer in the appellation; Philippe Teulier and his family have been instrumental in reestablishing the reputation of Marcillac’s wines. Back in the early 80s, the family (then on its 4th generation in Marcillac) only had one hectare of vines. Since then they have added to their hectares through purchasing and renting. Philippe Teulier’s vines lie at elevations as high as 450 meters on a few different hillsides that surround the village of Clairvaux. Much of his vineyard is terraced and the soil is an iron rich clay known locally as “rougier” with outcroppings of limestone. His wines are made from one grape type, the local grape of Marcillac, Fer Servadou.This wine delivers vintage after vintage. “Fer” translates as “iron”, and typically, Dom. du Cros has a fair share of earthy minerality and a brambly, rustic character, punctuated by bright fruit and lively acidity. This wine, a cool night and a fire-pit; that’s all you’ll need…
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!