Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

Sept. 6, 2019

Plus! Don’t miss our special Tuesday the 10th tasting from 5-7PM with Bertrand Minchin of La Tour Saint Martin!

Deux Moulins IGP Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 2018

Paris Wine Company founder Joshua Adler uses his connections with producers in France to create custom bottlings of “good wine at good prices with good labels” for The Good Wine Project. That’s a lot of “good”!

The fruit that goes into Deux Moulins comes from gravel and schist vineyards located between Anjou and Tours that’s vinified at cold temperature in stainless steel tanks to emphasize the fruit-forward nature of the wine. This Sauvignon Blanc is party-pleasing-perfect, from the price tag to the crisp yet juicy fruit. Toss it back.

Weingut Brand “Unholy Alliance” 2017, Pfalz, Germany

Brothers Damiel and Jonas Brand are the 5th generation to work this estate in southwestern Germany. They took over in 2014, and though the property always farmed responsibly, they have taken it to the next level and eschew all chemicals, in favor of plant remedies, herbal extracts, and teas. The property is also heavy on biodiversity of flora and fauna, and interplanted with clover and wild herbs, in order to attract bees and other beneficial animals.

Unholy Alliance is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Riesling from vines planted on limestone. White peach, green apple, and lime zest quenches your thirst, while bright acidity keeps your mouth watering. It’s a perfect partner for seafood, spicy bean dishes, and salty/crispy pork & poultry, but you can just sip it on its own as well.

Viña Zorzal Graciano, Navarra, Spain

Antonio Sanz has been in the wine industry pretty much his entire life. In 1989 he was making wine in Navarra, where he established Viña Zorzal. In 2007 his sons took over and expanded the project. Farming and production techniques are organic.

Viña Zorzal is located in the heart of Navarra’s Ribera Baja region, in the centuries-old village of Corella. The Graciano vineyards are in the high altitude hills where the climate is continental, and the soil is stony.

Like all of the fruit here, the Graciano is hand-harvested, then initial fermentation is in stainless steel, followed by malolactic fermentation with 25% in new French oak, and the rest in stainless steel. 9 months of aging on the lees in French oak follows, with just a light filtering at bottling. This wine is earthy and aromatic with black-fruit throughout as well as black pepper and cedary notes. Pair it with fall stews, cured meats, manchego…

Les Tètes Bordeaux Superior AOC “Triangles” 2017

Les Tètes is a small wine project run collaboratively by four winemaker friends, Nicolas Grosbois and Philippe Mesnier (of Domaine des Hauts Baigneux) and Baptiste and Vivien Martin. They are located in the village of Le Pressoir in Touraine Azay-le-Rideau in the Loire Valley, but they also work with vineyards in Bordeaux. Les Tètes is focused on bringing fresh and fruity competitively-priced wines that are grown organically and fermented with native yeasts and with only minimal sulfur added. In their own words, “Les Tétes is about friendship, and wines you drink with friends.”

Triangles is Merlot from a friends 1.5 hectare vineyard of 35 year old vines planted on clay and limestone, somewhere on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. Farming is biodynamic, harvest is by hand, and fermentation is spontaneous with indigenous yeast in concrete tank, where it’s then aged for 12 months before being bottled un-fined, and only lightly filtered.

This is an easy-drinking, fruit and mineral-driven, food-friendly red.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

And other tastings too!

Labor Day Monday we will be open noon – 6PM. Have a safe and happy holiday!

August 30, 2019

Leitz Eins Zwei Dry 3 Trocken Riesling 2018, Rheingau, Germany

There’s evidence of the Leitz family as winemakers in Rheingau going back to 1744. The winery was destroyed during WWII in a bombing raid, and was subsequently rebuilt by Johsef Leitz. Josef’s son, Antonious, briefly took ownership of the winery before dying young, in 1966. His son, Johannes, born in 1964, is the current proprietor. Johanne’s mother had maintained the vineyards after her husband died, but the business went dormant as she ran her flower shop (her main source of income) and raised her children. Johannes took over in 1985, and grew the property from holdings of 2.6 hectares to over 40, most of which are Grand Cru sites on the slopes of the Rüdesheimer Berg, including many plots over 50 years old. He works the steep vineyards by hand.

Eins Zwei Dry is from a cross-section of various Rheingau loess and clay soils and is dry, as the name suggests, with refreshing notes of peaches, apricots, green apples, and lime-zest throughout.

Albamar Albariño 2018, Rias Baixas, Spain

Xurxo (pronounced sure-sho) Alba farms his family’s 2.5 hectares, and sources from an additional 10 hectares. He farms (and makes sure his farmers farm) as naturally as possible; all wines are fermented in his cellar, via spontaneous fermentations with native yeasts. His family has been farming and making albariño in the O Salnés sub-region of Rías Baixas for generations, but it wasn’t until Xurxo finished his oenological studies in 2006 that they started bottling and selling their wine under their own name. They still maintain their restaurant and tienda de ultramarinos, a small shop selling local artisanal foods.

This Albariño is sourced from multiple sites on mostly sandy soil. The plots are vinified separately, some in stainless, and some in barrel, then aged on the lees for 6 months.

Domaine Puech-Reudon Apparente Red Vin de France 2017, Languedoc

We tasted a sparkling wine from this producer a couple weeks ago, tonight we’ll taste a red. Here’s a partially recycled note:

Importer Louis/Dressner was introduced to Domaine Puech-Reudon by Eric Texier, who as of 2017 was helping proprietor Cyril Cuche make “unpretentious, un-sulfured wines from his meticulously farmed land.”

Puech-Redon is a 380 hectare property (large by any measure) split between 200h of cereals, 52h of vines, and over 100h of woods and garrigues. The land belonged to Cyril’s grandfather, who acquired it after WWII; Cyril’s father farmed it conventionally for 30 years. When Cyril took the reins about 20 years ago, he decided to convert to organic farming and prioritize biodiversity, a choice he explains here:

“It was a choice I imposed on myself. Besides the incredible bore of working conventionally, with it’s by the book itineraries traced step by step by lobbyists for large phytosanitary corporations, I wanted to prove that within organics, you could work in poly-culture on a large surface and still be profitable. I learned to feed the soil and not the plant, I reclaimed the link that unifies the farmer to his land. The vines have been worked organically since 2008, and the cereals since 2010. Over the last decade I’ve been able to observe the immense consequences of such work. The effect of a culture without chemicals on such a large surface is truly impressive: for the soil, the plant but even more so the animals that had deserted us slowly coming back to our lands.”

Apparente is Cinsault, Grenache, and Mourvèdre from vineyards planted on clay and limestone. The grapes are fermented and vinified in stainless steel, and is bottled unfined, unfiltered, and without SO2. This is a backyard-casual, easy, gluggable red. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, a little bit of brambly…

Microbio Sietejuntos Syrah 2015, Nieva-Castilla Y Leon, Spain

Ismael Gonzalo of Microbio, is known locally as “El Mago de las Verdejos” or the Wizard of Verdejo. Importer Alvaro de la Viña, of Selections de la Viña, says it best: “he practices his sorcery in his medieval underground cellar located in his native town of Nieva. Barrels, fudres, anforas, damejeannes, stainless…young, old, skin contact, sparkling, biological and oxidative aging…you name it, he’s got it…Ismael’s family owns some of the oldest (between 100-200 years old) ungrafted pre-phylloxera vines, most of which in the town of Nieva, province of Segovia between 800-900 meters of altitude. Characterized by it’s sandy soils, these head trained vines have never seen any chemicals over the different generations that have cared for them.”

Many are familiar with Ismael through his role at Ossian in Rueda, where he worked as winemaker and winegrower since its founding in 2004. But Microio, his solo project since 1998, is where his passion lies, and that is where you will find him these days.

Ismael explains the name “Sietejuntos” like this: because initially there were 7 small deposits that I made, 7 are the barrels of tempranillo, 7 are the varietals with which I have fun in Microbio wines, 7 is a cabalistic number that follows me and gives me luck…

This is 100% Syrah from a single .81 hectare vineyard planted in 1999 (from vines grafted with wood from Crozes-Hermitage) on a decomposed gray slate floor. The grapes are foot trodden, fermentation is whole cluster, and the wine is aged for 12-14 months in used white burgundy barrels.

This Saturday’s beer tasting in the shop from 3-6PM will be hosted by Brooklyn Brewery.

Tuesday, Sept. 10th, 5-7PM: we’ll have Bertrand Minchin in the shop for a tasting of his Menetou-Salon and Valençay wines. Remember we just tasted that beautiful Sauvignon a couple weeks ago? Well now we’ll get to meet the man behind the libation. Honestly, all of his wines were gorgeous when we tasted them back in late winter. We’re excited to finally be getting these handmade wines in the shop.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

August 16, 2019

Wine Traditions

Chateau du Grand Bos Graves Blanc 2017

Chateau du Grand Bos is an 18.5 hectare estate on the left bank of Bordeaux. It’s located in the appellation of Graves, in an area where vineyards were first established by the Romans 2,000 years ago. The estate has been around since 1771, and was once a leader in its region, but ceased being cultivated in the 1950s, after being damaged by the phylloxera epidemic. It lay neglected until 1988, when the current proprietor, M. André Vincent, bought the property. M. Vincent had just sold his property in St. Estephe, with the intention of retiring, but instead found himself replanting and restoring the vineyards of Chateau du Grand Bos. In 2005, the 17th century cellar where wells had been dug was transformed into a barrel room, where the natural humidity offered the perfect aging environment.

Graves is so-named for its gravelly terrain, and is the only one of Bordeaux’s regions famous for both red and white wines. The reds here are Cabernet Sauvignon dominant and are known for their elegant, mineral-scented expressions of the terroir.

M. Vincent keeps his yields extremely low, and doesn’t use any pesticides or herbicides in his vineyards.

This Graves Blanc is from 3½ hectares are planted to 60% Semillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, and 10% Muscadelle. The wine is fermented in barrel (50% new wood) and remains on its lees with frequent stirring for eight months. Fewer than 1,000 cases are produced.

Domaine de la Touraize Arbois Blanc “En Flandre” 2016

The domain takes its name from a small parcel of vines on a steep hillside called “La Touraize”. This was the only parcel of vines that André-Jean’s grandfather kept after World War 1. André-Jean’s father expanded the family’s vineyards and continued his father’s practice of selling his grapes to the local cooperative. In 2010 André-Jean “La Touraize” decided to begin estate bottling his production, and built a small winery on the edge of town. Each year, he produces more wine in bottle, with the goal of bottling 100% of his production. André-Jean’s 12 hectares are divided into parcels in many “lieux-dits” that surround the village of Arbois, including La Touraize, Les Corvées, En Flandre, and Les Petits Curoulets. André-Jean began farming organically in 2016 and is in conversion to gain certification. With the exception of some young Savagnin vines, all of the vineyards are hand harvested. All wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts and the total SO2 in the wines ranges from 2g to 6g.

En Flandre is 100% Chardonnay that’s fermented in 350l barrels and aged on the lees for 12 months. It’s fresh and fruity on the nose. Lively in the mouth with citrus overtones and more mineral on the finish.

Domaine Philemon Croix de la Bouscarié Rouge 2017, Gaillac

Domaine Philémon is located in Villeneuve-sur-Vere, a small village on the Vere river in between Albi and Cordes in the northeast quadrant of the Gaillac appellation. The Vieules family have had a vineyard in Villeneuve since 1804. Today the vineyard is run by Mathieu Vieules who grows wheat, sunflowers, and grapes in equal proportions. All of his land is farmed organically with the vineyard being certified in 2013. Mathieu has twenty hectares of vines in production along the Cordes plateau on south facing slopes with a calcerous soil. They are planted almost entirely to the traditional Gaillac grape varieties: Loin de L’oeil, Mauzac, and Muscadelle for the whites, and Braucol (Fer Servadou), Duras, and Jurancon Noir for the reds. A good proportion of the vines are more than fifty years old. The vines are trained in the gobelet fashion meaning that they are head pruned and yields are kept exceedingly low; 40 hl/h for the whites and 30hl/h for the reds. The harvest is done entirely by hand.

This wine is 100% Duras fermented in concrete vats. It’s an intriguing little wine, bright, woodsy, spicy, and peppery.

Verdier-Logel “Les Gourmets” 2018, Côtes du Forez

Côtes du Forez is located between the Loire and Allier rivers in the center of France, on a geological fault formed in the Tertiary Period when Africa pushed into Europe and formed the Alps. There are up to 105 volcanoes in the greater area of AOC Volcanique Du Massif Central; thirty of them are in Côtes du Forez.

Domaine Verdier-Logel is the leading estate of this small and obscure appellation where vineyards are few and far between. The Côtes du Forez hillsides are foothills of the volcanic mountains of the Massif Central and have soils of granite and volcanic composition. Due to the difficult climate only parcels with the best exposition and soils are planted to grapevines. The appellation’s laws mandate Gamay as the sole grape to be used and Verdier-Logel produces separate wines from volcanic soils, “Volcanique”, and granite soils, “Cuvée des Gourmets“. These soils impart a rich earthy fragrance to the wines which combines well with the elegant fruitiness of the Gamay grape.

Saturday, August 17th, 3-6PM: Wild Tonic Hard Jun Kombucha Tasting

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

August 9, 2019

Processed with MOLDIV

Domaine Vetriccie Ile de Beauté Corsican Rosé 2018

This domaine has been in the same family since 1966. The sustainably farmed vineyards are spread across 120 hectares in the AOP Vin de Corse, ideally situated between the sea and the mountains. This rosé is a blend of Niellucciu, Sciaccarellu, Grenache, and Merlot, picked at night to preserve freshness. It’s easy-drinking, anytime, bang-for-your-buck wine full or citrus, red berried, and crisp acidity. Perfect for backyard parties, picnics, and secretly sipping on the seashore.

La Tour Saint Martin “Fumet” 2017, Menetou-Salon, Loire

Situated just southwest of Sancerre, Menetou-Salon is often viewed as a satellite to its more famous neighbor. The rolling vineyards are upon the same Kimmeridgian limestone as Sancerre, and the similarities of terroir are so much so that many well-known producers in Sancerre also tend vines of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir here. Sometimes telling the difference between a glass of Sancerre and a glass of Menetou-Salon can be a challenge even to the pros.

Bertrand Minchin comes from a family that tended orchards and cereal crops. He became passionate about wine when he returned from his studies in 1987 and decided to restore and replant the vineyards of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir that his grandfather had planted. These vines and his family’s farmstead became La Tour Saint Martin in 1994, with the construction of a winery and his first vintage of Menetou-Salon. La Tour Saint Martin is currently 17 hectares with 10 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and 7 of Pinot Noir.

Fumet is from 30 year old-vines on Bertrand’s most Kimmeridgian soil in the village of Morogues. He treats his Fumet like a top Sancerre by fermenting it in oak vats and aging the wine for 10 months in foudre and French oak barrels. This wine is beautiful, with spring flowers on the nose and rich fleshy fruit on the palate, all balanced by taut minerality and citrus-zest acidity.

Domaine Puech-Redon “Pour de Vrai” Vin de France Sparkling Wine, Languedoc, France

Importer Louis/Dressner was introduced to Domaine Puech-Reudon by Eric Texier, who as of 2017 was helping proprietor Cyril Cuche make “unpretentious, un-sulfured wines from his meticulously farmed land.”

Puech-Redon is a 380 hectare property (large by any measure) split between 200h of cereals, 52h of vines, and over 100h of woods and garrigues. The land belonged to Cyril’s grandfather, who acquired it after WWII; Cyril’s father farmed it conventionally for 30 years. When Cyril took the reins about 20 years ago, he decided to convert to organic farming and prioritize biodiversity, a choice he explains here:

“It was a choice I imposed on myself. Besides the incredible bore of working conventionally, with it’s by the book itineraries traced step by step by lobbyists for large phytosanitary corporations, I wanted to prove that within organics, you could work in poly-culture on a large surface and still be profitable. I learned to feed the soil and not the plant, I reclaimed the link that unifies the farmer to his land. The vines have been worked organically since 2008, and the cereals since 2010. Over the last decade I’ve been able to observe the immense consequences of such work. The effect of a culture without chemicals on such a large surface is truly impressive: for the soil, the plant but even more so the animals that had deserted us slowly coming back to our lands.”

2017 was the first vintage of Pour de Vrai, a pet-nat from Cinsault and the indigenous Aramon. It’s spontaneously fermented with indigenous yeast, with no additives, and is bottled unfiltered and unfined; sulfur is very low, at 25mg/L.

Domaine des Miquettes Syrah Vin de Franc 2015, Rhone, France

Domaine des Miquettes is a 5-hectare property created by Paul Estève and Chrystelle Vareille in 2003 in the small village of Cheminas, located on a high plateau in the southern part of the Saint Joseph appellation. Paul and Chrystelle took over the farm from Paul’s family and turned one of the small farm buildings into a low-tech wine-making facility. They planted one hectare of Syrah and one of Viognier, which are classified as Vin de Pays des Coteaux de L’Ardèche. Paul had been working 3 hectares in Saint Joseph, so when the owner retired, Paul and Chrystelle took over that property as well, which was planted to mostly Syrah and a tiny bit of Marsanne. These vineyards are high in the hills, at an altitude of about 350 meters, planted on steep hillsides of granite and micaschist. The vineyards, both in Saint Joseph and the Coteaux de L’Ardèche, are certified as organic farms, and are worked throughout the year with either a tractor or horse drawn plough. All harvesting is done by hand and the fermentations occur with natural yeasts and little or no temperature adjustments.

This Syrah is from vines outside the St. Joseph AOC, on granite soils planted at 400m. The 1 hectare vineyard is plowed by horse. The wine is vinified in stainless steel with a 3 week maceration. It’s bottled with zero sulfur, and is unfined and unfiltered. It’s redolent of graphite, black pepper, purple olives, and violets.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

August 2, 2019

Weingut Schlossmuhlenhof Riesling Trocken (Liter) 2017, Rheinhessen, Germany

The Schloss Mühlenhof estate, started in 1846, is now on its 6th generation. It began as a rye and wheat mill until the 1920’s when the small vineyard attached became the focus for the family income…They follow what they call “ecologically healthy’ organic farming practices, avoiding chemicals and utilizing extreme green harvesting to reduce yields by nearly 50%. In the cellar they will use selected yeasts, and small amounts of SO2 to maintain freshness. This liter Riesling has been a go-to for years. It’s snappy, zesty, lemon-lime deliciousness that’s super versatile; beach, brunch, just a bottle and a sunset…it’s all good.

Fattoria di Petrognano Orci Trebbiano 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Fattoria di Petrognano is a large, 4th generation property that covers 85 hectares, 25 of which are vineyards, in the village of Bottinaccio, situated in the Lucca hills of Chianti DOCG. This area is considered the terracotta capital of Tuscany. All the wine is estate-grown and estate bottled, as well as the olive oil that’s produced here. Farming is organic. If you’re planning a Tuscan wine trip, their guest accommodations look pretty enticing.

Orci Trebbiano is 100% Trebbiano fermented and aged on the skins for 3 months in terracotta amphora. It’s copper colored, somewhat savory, rocky-mineral laced, and subtly spicy, with fresh notes of apples and apricots. Pair with seafood, mushroom risotto, fresh mozzarella, tomato salad…

Jean François Merieau La Rosée Pineau d’Aunis 2018, Touraine, France

Jean-François Merieau practices organic farming and believes in a minimalist approach to winemaking. He produces mostly single varietal bottlings, often from single parcels in the inland Loire Valley AOC of Touraine. The cellar on his property is from the 14th century and the newest building dates from WWI. You’ll often find three generations working together. His vines are old too: from 50 years for the Malbec, to over 100 year-old Pineau d’Aunis.

La Rosée is from Pineau d’Aunis vines of 45 to over 100 years old. It’s full of flowers and spices, a touch of honey, and ripe red fruit. The finish is bright, dry, and long. Works well with spicy grilled poultry, fish in yellow curry, white beans with rosemary and garlic…

G D Vajra, Clare JC Nebbiolo 2018, Langhe, Italy

G.D. Vajra was officially established in 1972 (named after Aldo’s father, Giuseppe Domenico) but the family roots in the region go back over two centuries. Aldo Vajra has been making wine here since the late 60s. Today the estate is close to 60 hectares, 10 of which are planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo production. Farming is organic, grapes are hand-harvested, and aging is done in traditional Slavonian casks. Aldo and Milena’s children Giuseppe, Francesca and Isidoro are now carrying on the family business and traditions.

Giuseppe is making this Nebbiolo in the Metodo Ancestrale style that harks back to Thomas Jefferson’s time that slipped out of fashion in the 1950s: fermentation starts in the tank on the skins and finishes in the bottle, creating a slightly off-dry, lightly sparkling wine (the fizz might subside before the bottle is finished). Serve with a slight chill with pizza, pasta, salumi, olives, cheese, etc…

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, Heatwave Edition

July 19, 2019

Tonight’s tasting is all light and summery, and tomorrow Granny Squibb is in the house with some cool cocktail creations made with Rhodium Gin & Vodka from local newcomers Rhode Island Spirits. Swing by, we’ll have the AC cranking.

Click here for newsletter and notes!

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

July 12, 2019

Shiba Wichern Auxerrois 2017, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Notes courtesy of Chris Wichern: “Our main goals are balance and elegance. As it turns out a great way to do this is via minimal intervention during ferment and cellaring. On the other hand it requires that we spend a lot of time in the vineyard during the growing season and during harvest for field sorting. One thing that Akiko (Shiba) insists on doing differently from a very big portion of the industry -big or small- is actually work the vineyards ourselves. Our grapes don’t grow in picking bins on flatbed trucks. She refuses to hire a crew to do the field work. Almost every step is done by Akiko, friends & family, and me. This gives Akiko such a high level of control and understanding of the grapes, the importance of which should not be under estimated.

Finally, Akiko much like the Japanese cliché, observes, learns and collects what she deems to be the best practices for wine-making. Implementing what she learns is not always easy and sometimes doesn’t work out as we expect, but that is also key to the learning process. Over the past 5 harvests we have worked out a lot of kinks. Give us about 20-25 more years and we might actually admit to knowing what we are doing…”

Auxerrois is widely planted in Alsace, where it is frequently blended with Pinot Blanc, although rarely named on labels. It’s slightly fuller, and lower acid than Pinot Blanc, and is also popular in Luxembourg, where it’s appreciated as a low acid white. This Willamette Auxerrois is leesy and yeasty, a little bit like the Shiba rosé we all know and love. It’s light and floral too, and is perfect on a table full of summery fare.

Domaine Romuald Petit, Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay 2018, Saint-Vérand, France

This 7-hectare estate is made up of small plots of different age & origin that are farmed without chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. There are young vines planted by winemaker Romuald Petit, and others over a hundred years old. Each parcel produces grapes with very different qualities that are vinified separately & assembled just before bottling.

Old vines combined with heavy clay and fossil rich limestone soils add depth and mineral intensity to this un-oaked chardonnay. After vinification it’s left on its lees for 8 months, adding further textural nuances and preserving freshness and acidity.

Domaine Eugene Carrel Vin de Savoie Rosé 2018, Savoie, France

We tasted this wine when it first arrived back in April. We just got another stack so we’re tasting it again!

Domaine Eugene Carrel is located in Savoie, in eastern France, in the village of Jongieux. It’s situated on 59 acres of steep slopes on the Chavaz Mountain. This is where the French Alps begin, and it is a region famous for cheese, vermouth, and part of the Tour de France bike race.

Winemaker Olivier Carrel represents the third generation to run the estate. They grow all the traditional varieties here including Jacquere, Altesse, Gamay, Pinot, and Mondeuse on steep slopes they work by hand, sustainably, with the goal of fostering healthy, biodiverse vineyards. Domaine Carrel is poured in every restaurant and bistro in Savoie.

This wine is mostly Gamay with about 20% Mondeuse, which which adds juicy, peppery notes to this light & fruity sipper.

COS Nero di Lupo 2015, Sicily

COS winery was founded in 1980 by three friends, Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti, and Cirino Strano; the initials of their last names form the winery’s name. The winery itself dates back to the 1880s, when demand for Sicilian wine was high due to phylloxera not yet reaching the island. COS put the appellation of Cerasuolo di Vittorio on the map, and is most well known for Pithos Rosso, which is aged in amphora instead of oak. They have never used any chemicals at COS, and have been practicing biodynamic farming and winemaking since 2000, and have been certified organic since 2007.

Nero di Lupo is 100% Nero d’Avola sourced from estate vineyards of 15-20 year old vines, planted at 300 meters elevation. Spontaneous fermentation takes place in concrete tanks with indigenous yeast; the wine is further aged in concrete for approximately 1 year, and another few months in bottle before release. This is a softly fruity, balanced wine, with notes of cherry and smoke.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

June 28, 2019

Peter Buckley from Vineyard Road pouring.

Domaine des Cognettes Clisson Muscadet 2013

The village of Clisson is a mini-appellation within Muscadet Sevre et Maine. The vines (in this case over 60 years old) grow on poor, hard, compact granite with little clay, and a lot of quartz and mica over hard granite.

Brothers Stephane and Vincent Perraud work organically on their small property, as well as patiently. This Muscadet (100% Melon de Bourgogne) is pressed in whole bunches, fermented with native yeasts and very low SO2, with fermentation and aging in underground vats for 44 months. May need decanting…

Domaine Pattes Loup, Burgundy

Notes from the importer: Domaine Pattes Loup is one of the most exciting estates to emerge from Chablis in recent years (Pattes Loup means “wolf’s paws”). Thomas Pico started his tiny estate in Courgis in 2005, just outside of Chablis, under the wing of his friends and fellow organic Chablisiens, Alice and Olivier de Moor. He inherited 2.4 hectares of vines from his family’s estate that had been producing correct, but uninspiring wines. Fortunately, most of his vines were planted by his grandfather in selection massale in the hillsides near Courgis and Preys, the two highest altitude villages within Chablis, with vineyards up to 300 meters. Motivated to take a qualitative leap in a new direction, and against the wishes of his father, he immediately began a program of strict yield control and a conversion to Organic Viticulture—a rarity in Chablis, and a feat of extreme diligence in this often inhospitable vine growing region.

Thomas Pico Blanc, Vin de France 2017

Pico Blanc is Chardonnay, Gros Manseng, and Clairette from organically farmed vineyards, fermented in stainless steel. It’s a touch creamy, with orchard fruits throughout, and fresh acidity on the finish.

Chablis Vent d’Ange 2017

Importer notes: From vines averaging 55 years old mostly selection massale plantings by Pico’s grandfather around the villages Courgis and Preys, south-west of central Chablis. Vineyards are approximately 300 meters high making these two of Chablis highest altitude villages. All vineyard work is done by hand. Yields are kept small at the domaine, approximately 28 hectoliters per hectare.

Pico uses a “champagne press” at the domaine to allow for a very slow and delicate press of the grapes. All juice moves downstairs to the vinification settling room by gravity through a drain at the bottle of the press. All wines are fermented using only indigenous yeasts and élevage is slow and long lasting up to 14 months. A combination of stainless steel and cement eggs are used for the Chablis Vent d’Ange. The juice is racked and blended and will be blended again before bottling. Each parcel is vinified separately and blended after one year of fermentation. Bottled without fining and filtration. It’s aged for 14 months on the lees in a combination of stainless steel, cement egg, and used barrique.

Elisabetta Foradori, Ampeleia Unlitro 2018, IGT Costa Toscana

Elisabetta took over the grape growing and winemaking duties at the family estate in Trentino, Italy, when her father died young in 1985. Since then she has transformed the estate from the ground up, converting to biodynamic viticulture and bringing the region back to valuing quality over quantity.

Ampeleia is a joint venture from Elisabetta and a few friends. Unlitro is a liter of glou-glou. It’s mostly Alicante (Grenache) and some Carignan and Alicante Bouschet from vineyard planted at 200-250 meters above sea level, then fermented and aged for 6 months in cement. Organic, very low SO2. Put a little chill on it, toss it back.

Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Rouge 2018

Importer notes: Romain Guiberteau is the third generation on the estate, and things have changed radically since he took over. Romain’s grandfather was a pillar in the community of Saumur before and after World War II, long serving as the head of the local growers’ coop. That coop long benefited from the grapes grown on Guiberteau’s land until Romain returned from college.

Today, Romain oversees the organic farm and does all the winemaking at the estate. His vines date back to the years just after World War II and include some of the prime sites in and around Saumur. Romain’s father Robert, a medical doctor, assisted in the transformation of the estate and you are likely to meet him at a tasting, explaining the history of the wines and the vines his mother and father planted.

Cabernet Franc from 3 parcels of over 60 year old vines grown on limestone. 100% de-stemmed, indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged for 6 months in tank.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

June 21, 2019

Leigh Ranucci is pouring a selection of French wine from the Wine Traditions portfolio.

Marcel Giraudon Bourgogne Aligoté 2018, Chitry, France

The Giraudon family has been farming and making wine in Chitry (one of four viticultural communes of the Auxerrois) for centuries. Their vineyards are on hillsides of Kimmeridgian chalky marl, the same one finds in Grand Cru Chablis. In fact, in the 19th century the wines of Chitry were sold under the name Chablis. In 1929 they were given the name “Bourgogne des Environs de Chablis”. Currently, they go by Chitry, or Bourgogne Chitry.

Aligoté accounts for only about 5% of Burgundy’s total vineyard area; it’s the region’s little known “other white grape”. In Chitry though, it makes up 40% of vines planted. Marcel Giraudon keeps yields low, harvests by hand, and allows the wine to undergo malolactic fermentation to temper its naturally high acidity. That acidity makes this wine a perfect partner for oysters, fried seafood, & salads.

Domaine du Crêt de Bine “La Cuvée de Florence” 2018 Beaujolais Blanc

The Subrin family farms this 5 hectare property in the village of Sarcy, situated on a high plateau tucked between the Monts Beaujolais and the Monts Lyonnais in the southwest corner of the Beaujolais appellation. The Subrin’s vineyard is planted on granite with significant deposits of quartz and feldspar. On average, the vines are 40 years old. François, Marie-Therèse, and daughter Florence farm organically and biodynamically. To insure maximum health and ripeness for their grapes, they severely limit the yields and harvest late into the growing season.

We tasted a barrel sample of this wine back in March with Florence herself. The chalky, silty minerality of the barrel sample has been complimented by delicately floral characteristics coming to the fore. It’s beautifully balanced and elegant. 100% Chardonnay.

Domaine du Cros Marcillac Rosé, 2018

The 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 rosé is from 25 year old vines planted on steep slopes of limestone (at the top) and rougier. The grapes are hand-harvested, and once pressed, the skins stay in contact with the juice for 6-12 hours until the desired pink hue is achieved. It’s then fermented in stainless steel and bottled in the spring. It’s a red-fruited, spicy rosé that’s perfect grill-side.

Domaine Billard Père et Fils Hautes Côtes de Beaune Rouge, 2017

Domaine de Billard is made up of 12.5 hectares of organically farmed vineyards in different appellations throughout the Cotes de Beaune. Their largest holdings are in the Hautes Cotes de Beaune with other small plots located in Saint Romain, Saint Aubin 1er Cru, Auxey Duresses, and Beaune. Yields are kept low through the use of cover crops and severe pruning. All the vines are harvested by hand and only indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation. Jérôme’s father sold his wine to the local cooperative, but Jérôme is now estate bottling his entire production.

Note from Wine Traditions: The Billard HCB rouge comes from a plot of 4 hectares of alluvial clay soil. It is extracted by foot pressing, respecting the delicate nature of Pinot Noir, then matured in barrel for 10 months. A rigorous bunch selection is made in the vineyard before harvest ensuring ripe, healthy grapes; resulting in a real purity of Pinot Noir fruit expression.