Firday, Oct. 21, 2016
You can now reserve your spot at Broadway Bistro for the dinner with Wine Traditions importers Ed Addiss and Barbara Selig. If you’re a fan of Wine Traditions, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet Ed and Barbara and get the inside scoop on the life and adventures of a small wine importer. And of course you won’t want to miss the Broadway Bistro pairings! Grab your spot asap!
Oct. 7, 2016
Hervé Dubourdieu makes white bordeaux and Sauternes on his 13 hectare property. Founded in 1890, the vineyards are just across the road from 1st Growth Chateau Climens, and on a similar soil of calcerous clay, fissured rock, red iron, limestone, and flinty gravel. He farms sustainably. This wine is made from 50 year old vines, it’s dry and elegant, rich and minerally, with a very aromatic nose and a long, clean finish. This is a lovely go-to bottle for all kinds of fare, but pairs especially well with fish, chicken and creamy sauces.
Marc Pesnot “La Boheme” Melon de Bourgogne, 2015
Marc Pesnot organically farms (converting to biodynamic) 13 hectares of fifty year old Melon de Bourgogne vines near the city of Nantes, on the western edge of the Loire. His old vines thrive in schist rich soils, adding depth and character to his wines.
Harvest here is by hand, and at maximum ripeness. The fruit undergoes a slow manual pressing and rests on its lees for at least 9 months. There’s lots of refreshing acidity in this wine, tempered by pears, green apple, crushed stones and a touch of creaminess. Pairs nicely with shellfish, salads, chicken, and light appetizers.
Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Rouge “Cuvée Kermit Lynch” 2015
This wine is made by the Leydier family of Domaine de Durban in Beaumes-de-Venise. Famous for their Muscat, the Leydier’s sustainably farm 55 hectares of vineyards and also make Gigondas and Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge. The property, surrounded by pine trees that protect it from mistral winds, has been a working farm since 1159; it sits at high elevation with a cooler micro-climate than the rest of the southern Rhone, which lends freshness and finesse to the wines. The Vaucluse Rouge is the wine the family drinks by the jugful. t’s vibrant, fresh and fruity, with a touch of tannins on the finish.
Clos Bagatelle “Jardin de Bagatelle” Saint Chinian Rouge 2012
This is a Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend from a brother and sister team. Christine and Luc Simon took over from their mother, Marie-Françoise, who ran the estate since 1963. Christine and Luc are meticulous in the vineyards and the cellar. Vines are planted on clay-limestone soil, with some shale plots. Summers are hot and dry, resulting in small grapes with thick skins. In the case of Jardin de Bagatelle, these conditions lead to a wine that is full of warm-stone minerality and dark, spicy fruit, with a touch of garrigue. Perfect for cooler nights and heartier dishes.
Didier Tripoz took over this 13ha domaine located in the southern part of the Mâcon region in 1989. Catherine & Didier work the land like their families have for generations: they allow grass to grow between the rows and plow regularly to encourage an active biological environment. They practice “lutte raisonée” (the reasoned-fight, or sustainable farming) on vines that average 45 years old.
Clos des Tournons comes from a one hectare plot of 48-year-old vines in a nine-hectare monopole that is sub-divided into 12 different parcels determined by the age of the vines. The grapes are vinified separately in stainless steel and cement vats before blending. This wine is dry & lively, with a bit of stony minerality and crisp apple. The palate fleshes out a bit and hints at what this wine will become with a few years or more of age: a touch of vanilla, honey, and the faintest whiff of butter. Enjoy it with seafood, poultry, mild cheeses and appetizers.
La Clarine Farm, Sierra Nevada Foothills, CA
La Clarine Farm is 10 acres of grapes, goats, dogs, cats, chickens, gophers, and myriad other flora and fauna, situated at 2600 feet elevation in California’s Sierra Nevada Foothills.
We like the ‘about us’ description on their website: Caroline Hoel and Hank Beckmeyer started La Clarine Farm in 2001 and quickly became swamped with work with little monetary gain. Still, they love what they do… Something about that sounds weirdly familiar…we can’t quite put our finger on it… At La Clarine Farm, they make wine as minimally as possible, without chemicals or additives. Fermentations are spontaneous and can sometimes last up to 6 months. Aging is in neutral containers (never any new oak) without sulfur. Only a tiny bit of sulfur is added at bottling, to ensure that the wine makes it unscathed to its varied destinations.
They grow a field blend of various red varieties, including Tempranillo, Syrah, Tannat, Grenache, Negroamaro and Cabernet Sauvignon, and purchase other grapes from vineyards farmed similarly and that they wish they owned.
La Clarine Farm 2015 Jambalaia Blanc
This is a blend of 57% Viognier, 36% Marsanne, 4% Albariño & 3% Petit Manseng from various plots in El Dorado County. It’s whole cluster pressed, tank fermented, and left on the lees for approximately 10 months, then bottled unfiltered and unfined, with barely any SO2– just 15ppm. The Viognier shows through nicely, with lots of peaches and perfume. Full spontaneous malolactic adds weight and depth to the palate. Lively acidity and juicy fruit round out the flavors, and lead into a slightly nutty and gamy finish. 244 cases made.
La Clarine Farm 2015 Jambalaia Rouge
This is a blend of 59% Mourvedre, 21% Marsanne, 15% Grenache, and 5% Syrah from one single little plot on volcanic loam soil. Yields were way down on Grenache this vintage, so a touch of syrah was added. This wine is all about juicy drinkability, bright red fruit, blueberries and blackberries, vibrant acidity and barely there tannins. It takes a little chill quite nicely, and is versatile with a wide variety of foods, from casual pizza and burgers, to roasted poultry and veggie dishes. 500 cases made.
L’enclos des Braves 2013 Les Gourmands Gaillac Rouge
Importer notes: After having worked at other wineries for over 12 years, in 2005 Nicolas Lebrun found the plot he was looking for: L’Enclos des Braves. This small hilly 6 ha (14.82 acres) vineyard was topped with limestone-rich soils and a thick layer of clay, perfect for drainage. The vines were all 20 to 35 years old, and Nicolas took to them like a father to his kids.
Treating them in accordance with Biodynamic principles, he uses only indigenous yeasts, manually harvests everything, and adds barely any SO2 at bottling. Like children, he lets the wines take their time. To put it mildly, he is making beautifully wild and soulful wines with these local grapes.
Les Gourmands Rouge is a blend of Braucol & Duras that’s fermented in cement, then aged in a mixture of mostly cement, and some large old oak. This wine has a savory nose of licorice, cedar, pepper and dark fruit. On the palate it’s savory again, and herbal, with a touch of smoke and meat. The elegant texture evolves as the wine is exposed to air; the finish is long and lip-smacking, with fine tannins goading you to grab just one more helping of that wild boar stew! Or cassoulet, confit, pate…this is a food friendly little wine.
Info on events, in shop tastings, and new arrivals.
Sept. 23, 2016
Marco Felluga is considered to be one of the highest quality estates in Collio. The family history goes back to the 1800s in Istria, a peninsula in the Adriatic Sea at the junction of Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. In the 1930s,Giovanni Felluga moved to Friuli; Marco, the youngest of his seven children, continued the family business and in 1956 founded the estate that bears his name.
“Just Molomatta” is a blend of Pinot Bianco, Friulano, and Ribolla Gialla. from vineyards located in Molomatta. It’s fermented in stainless steel then left on the lees for about 6 months. This is a pleasantly perfumed wine with flavors of apples and pears balanced by a slightly salty note. It’s lushly textured, balanced and elegant.
Forlorn Hope “Nodosaur” 2014, Calaveras County, CA
The phrase ‘forlorn hope’ is from the mid-16th century Dutch expression ‘verloren hoop’, which originally denoted a band of soldiers picked to begin an attack, many of whom would not survive. Over the years it’s come to mean more of a persistent hope that’s never to be fulfilled. Producer Mathew Rorick explains his reasons behind the name: we love the longshots. We love the outsiders, the lost causes, the people/projects/ideas abandoned as not having a chance in the world. We love the longshots because we’re all about tenacity, we relish a challenge, and – we admit it – we love us a good tussle… (these wines are) rare creatures from appellations unknown and varieties uncommon, these wines are our brave advance party, our pride and joy – our Forlorn Hope.
Producer notes: The Nodosaur is a vineyard blend of fruit grown on our estate Rorick Vineyard at 2000′ elevation in Calaveras County. The 2014 vintage is a blend of Picpoul, Verdelho, Albariño, and a dashing of Muscat. All fruit was hand harvested; a portion of each was foot tread prior to pressing to increase aromatic depth and textural intensity. The wine was fermented in a combination of open top fermentor, stainless steel, and 500L puncheon; it saw 14 months elevage before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Brightly aromatic and fiercely structured, it bears the cut and definition that have become hallmarks of wines grown on our limestone and schist soils. 207 cases produced
Fedellos do Couto “Lomba Dos Ares” 2014, Ribeira Sacra
A Galician blend of Mencía, Mouratón, Garnacha Tintorera, Caiño, Bastardo sourced from 70 year old, high elevation, organically farmed vines on the slopes of the Bibei River. Fedellos (brats) do Couto is a young project (2013 was their first vintage) started by four friends with with backgrounds in wine: Luis Taboada (whose family has owned the 12th century manor (couto) on the 4 hectare property for generations); viticulturist Pablo Soldavini, and winemakers Curro Barreño and Jesús Olivares. Pablo is an advocate of organic farming; Curro and Jesús come from Sierra de Gredos, a mountainous region in central Spain, where they worked with winemakers Dani Landi and Fernando Garcia, of Comando G.
All harvesting here is done by hand. The grapes for Lomda dos Ares are fermented in whole bunches with indigenous yeasts at low temperatures, then aged in neutral French oak, mainly 500L demi-muids. The wine is expressive and fresh, with a slatey, savory minerality and a satisfying depth and richness.
La Querciolina “Istriciaia”, DOC Maremma, 2011
La Querciolina is a side project for bothers Lorenzo and Luciano Sassetti, who bought this previously abandoned farm in 1999. In 2000 they began reclaiming the land and replanting the vineyards with indigenous varieties. The Sasetti family goes back four generations in Tuscany, and in that time they have always farmed without chemicals. Like the mother estate, Pertimali di Livio Sassetti, La Querciolina is also certified organic. Maremma gained DOC status in 2011.
Istriciaia, which translates to “the place where the porcupine lives” is a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Ciliegiolo. Cherries, blackberries and flowers, a fine-grained texture and bright and buoyant acidity, make this wine ever so delicious.
Newsletter, 9/16/16. Click here to read it.
Domaine Grosbot Barbara Brut 0 2011, Saint Pourçain
Domaine Grosbot-Barbara is 6.5 hectares in the center of France, in Alliers, a region known for the prized oak trees used in barrel production. The history of the vineyards in this area date back to before the Romans, when the Phoenicians settled here and planted vines. The heyday of the region was in the 13th and 14th centuries when the wines of St. Pourçain were highly esteemed and favored by Popes, royalty and aristocracy alike. This domaine practices “Lutte Raisonnée” farming and refrains from the use of synthetic treatments unless the vines are under great duress, and then only the minimal amount would be used.
Brut 0 is 100% Gamay, left on the lees for four years – and like the name plainly states, it is zero dosage. This is a wine that lovers of fizzies and fine Champagne will really dig; it’s precise, it’s got depth, a beautiful leesy quality, a bit of red-fruit à la Gamay, and very approachable price tag.
More Teutonic! We just can’t get enough:
Teutonic Wine Co. David Hill Vineyard Silvaner, 2015
Teutonic focuses on single vineyard, single varietal wines that are dry farmed and made in a precise, Germanic style.
The Teutonic MO is old vines, cold climate, high elevation, dry farmed, old wood and wild yeast. Or, as they put it: old and cold, high and dry, wood and wild. They are inspired by the wines of Mosel, Germany, where they also happen to make wine, and they import wine from the region as well. Proprietors Olga and Barnaby Tuttle found a tiny amount of 40 year old Silvaner vines in Willamette Valley’s David Hill Vineyard. The combination of old vines and dry farming means that vines go super deep into the earth in search of nutrients, and therefore absorb layers of terroir-driven flavors. The resulting wine is more about minerality than fruit, with a touch of fresh apple and spice. It might be too soon to think Thanksgiving, but any of the Teutonic wines would be so at home on a table full of turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes. Let’s hope there’s some left! Silvaner production is fewer than 100 cases.
Berger Zweigelt 2013, Austria
This is a 14 hectare father/son estate, half of which consists of south-facing loess terraces. Vines are planted to 50% Grüner Veltliner, 10% Riesling, 10% Welschriesling, 20% Zweigelt, 10% other varieties.
All the wines here are vinified in stainless steel, and with cultured yeasts to get slow fermentations that preserves CO2 and fresh, fruity and clean flavors. This zweigelt is a go to. Bright, juicy, versatile and a liter!
Azienda Monteversa Versacinto Rosso 2012, Veneto
Versacinto Rosso is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, grapes that are indigenous enough, since Napoleon brought the varieties to the region roughly 200 years ago. Filippo’s family used to sell their grapes to local wineries, to be used in their best bottlings, until they took back all their vines in 2006. Now their 17 hectares face in all four directions to maximize exposure. The vines are densely planted to 4,000 per hectare on chalky-clay volcanic soil. Farming is organic, harvesting is by hand, and all the wine is fermented and aged in cement, then bottled unfiltered and unfined.
This is a lovely wine; mineral driven, dark fruit, a touch herbal, balanced and elegant.
Sept. 9th, 2016
Last week we tasted Teutonic Jazz Odyssey, a fun, off-dry blend perfect for hot days and spicy food. Tonight we’re tasting this more serious single vineyard Riesling. Just about all of Teutonic’s wines are single vineyard (with the exception of maybe one). They are all dry farmed and made in a precise, Germanic style. Total production is extremely low (only 500 cases) so we are ever so grateful to have such an assortment on our shelves – this is another producer that we tried to get into RI for a few years, so it’s extra special that there’s finally a little bit to share.
Crow Valley is a high elevation vineyard in the foothills of the Willamette Valley coastal mountain range. It’s old vines planted at high elevation, where the cold growing conditions allow for a long hang time. This is the Teutonic MO; old vines, cold climate, high elevation, dry farmed, old wood and wild yeast. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s very similar to Mosel winemaking, from whence they draw their inspiration (and they also import wine from Mosel and make wine in Mosel, so the love affair is deep and real!). Teutonic is also a member of the DRC (Deep Roots Coalition), a group that promotes “sustainable and terroir-driven viticulture without irrigation”.
This Riesling shows pure, precise, no-holds-barred, spot on balanced winemaking. The character of the terroir shines through in all the Teutonic wines; do yourself a favor and grab a bottle before they’re all gone!
Cerro La Barca Vegas Altas Eva de los Santos, 2015, Ribera del Guadiana, Spain
Ribera del Guadiana is in Extremadura, a region located in south-western Spain on the border of Portugal. Extramadura has been known as a place for bulk wine production, but some pioneers are finding unique new wines here. Cerro La Barca is the first organic producer in the region. They have 38 hectares of Tempranillo and the nearly extinct Eva de los Santos.
Importer notes: Juan Sojo and Ángel Luis González are like brothers from different mothers. One minute they’re arguing and the next they’re toasting to another harvest. They studied oenology together and ever since have been making wines together. Ángel Luis comes from a background in agriculture while Juan comes from a background in science. Both so different, but yet complement each other so well.
Fermented using indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats where the wines naturally decant without filtration until bottling. The Eva de los Santos is from vines that are up to 80 years old. It’s flowery, fruity and perfumed on the nose, but the palate is a little more intense, with a pronounced crushed stone quality.
Laurent Herlin worked as a computer engineer for 12 years before dropping that career in 2008 and dedicating himself to wine. After taking classes in Beaune and working at various domaines, he purchased 5 hectares in Bourgueil, which he farms biodynamically.
To ensure quality, the grapes are sorted twice; first in the vineyard, and then on the sorting table. Harvest is manual, fermentations are with indigenous yeast, in steel or cask. As a dedicated environmentalist, Laurent only uses recycled glass in his production.
Laurent’s wines are said to “exude happiness” and after tasting Tsoin Tsoin, and now Cintré, we can definitively say that that statement is not hyperbole. Cintré is 100% Cabernet Franc from 25 year old vines and it is a mouthful of fizzy joy. It’s also classic Loire Valley cab franc: violets, raspberries, and pencil shavings dance around luscious strawberry notes and are neatly wrapped up in a long, long finish with just the slightest touch of gamey goodness.
Domaine Jérôme Jouret “Pas a Pas” 2015, Ardèche
Domaine Jérôme Jouret is a 12 hectare, relatively new, family winery in the southern Ardèche, a region on the right bank of the Rhône river, between the northern and southern Rhône valley. Burgundian Louis Latour was a pioneer here, most notably with his Grande Ardéche Chardonnay. Jérome Jouret works minimally, by hand, with extremely low yields and little to nu sulfur. The ancient, organic vines here are planted on steep and stony slopes. The high elevation and cool climate means that the grapes have a longer hang time, which leads to heady aromatics and purity of fruit.
Pas a Pas is a blend of 65% Carignan, 15% Alicante, 20% Grenache from 35 to 55 year old vines planted on clay and limestone. It’s fermented in stainless steel and bottled without filtration. This is a lovely wine, with fresh fruit and brambly notes. Lower alcohol and lively acidity means this one takes a chill quite nicely.