Category Archives: Newsletter

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm-8pm

Domaine Catherine & Didier Tripoz 2014 Mâcon Charnay Clos des Tournons

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.

Click here for this week’s newsletter. 

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm – 8pm

June 3, 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 and makes for the perfect toast.

Domaine de la Fruitiere Vignes Blanches 2014

The Lieubeau family owns Domaine de la Fruitiere which is certifiedTerra Vitis. They farm over 40 hectares of Melon de Bourgogne on the granite for which the region is known. The domaine also produces Vin de Pays from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. They keep yields as low as possible in order to emphasize varietal expression and not be overtaken by acid. All the vines are planted in rock, usually sheer cliffs, through which the vines must dig for meters to get at sources of water that are awash in wet rock. For this reason the wines of Fruitiere are quite evocative of rock and mineral, and are insanely clean and pure.

This 2014 Vignes Blanches is a blend of Melon de Bourgogne, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It is so delicious. Just get it in your glass. It’s perfectly balanced, subtle – with notes of green apple and lemon – a touch salty, rocky for sure, and the texture (elegant, silty) just brings it all home. Get yourself some oysters and down this baby. When the 2014 is all gone, the 2015 is hot on its heels. It’s just a tad riper, but still hitting all the right notes.

Berger Gruner Veltliner 2015, Kremstal, Austria

This is a father and son estate on roughly 18 hectares of mostly south-facing vineyards. This Gruner grows on loess terraces which emphasize terroir and characterize the landscape of the eastern part of the Kremstal. These terraces store heat during the day and reflect it onto the vines at night producing wines with unique fruity, fresh and bright flavors. They use stainless steel and cultured yeasts in order to get slow fermentation and to preserve CO2; this further ensures the fresh, fruity, and clean flavors we’ve come to expect and love from this producer.

So we know we just went on about the Fruitiere, but this 2015 Gruner is so delicious too!! We can love more than one thing at one time. Again, the 2015 is riper, and that just emphasizes the fruit, here peaches, citrus, is that a little bit of banana? Maybe… But the mineral notes are still popping, it’s still light and refreshing and oh-so food friendly. It’s a no brainer, and it’s a liter.

De Martino “Viejas Tinajas” Cinsault, Chile
We tasted this wine when it first came in back in March and noted that it would really make a nice summer/seafood red. So we’re tasting it again, now that the season is upon us.

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 is 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 savory but fresh, with lively acidity alongside earthy, floral, herbaceous notes.

Read the entire newsletter here. 

 

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm – 8pm

May 27, 2016

We’ve got a little bit of symbolism happening in tonight’s tasting. We open with a French sparkler, and everyone knows that sparkling wine denotes celebrations and all things good and happy. We close our tasting with Forlorn Hope Mataro, in honor of Memorial Day. 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. Either way, it’s a strange name for a wine, but it makes sense, as producer Mathew Rorick describes it: 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.

That resonates with us on so many levels…from the personal sacrifice to the championing of the underdog – the story is real.

Cheers, congratulations, and Happy Memorial Day from all of us at Campus!

Louis de Grenelle “Platine” NV Brut, Crémant de Loire, Saumur

Created in 1859, this is one of the oldest (and last) family owned sparkling wine houses in Saumur. Platine is a hand-harvested blend of 85% Chenin Blanc, 10% Chardonnay & 5% Cabernet Franc from limestone hillsides outside of Saumur. It’s made in the Champagne-method and aged for at least 18 months before being bottled at 7 grams dosage. This is a bang for your buck bubbly, with stones and hay, lemons and pears, a fine bead, and a delicate and delicious finish.

Pépière 2014 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clos des Briords

2014 Loire Valley whites have been a real treat, and 2014 Clos de Briords is no exception. Marc Ollivier is tops in his field and it shows with this wine. It’s from 3 hectares of old vines planted on the granite of Chateau Thébaud. He hand harvests, uses natural yeasts, and the wine stays in contact with the lees until time of bottling (about 7 months). It’s then bottled with a very light filtration. 2014 is a bit rounder and richer than previous vintages. An average spring through July was followed by a cold and humid August. The risk of rot was very high, through the end of August, when dry, sunny weather emerged and lasted through October. This allowed the grapes to mature with high sugar and his acidity. The result here is a wine that is incredibly balanced, splashed with bright citrus, texturally appealing, and stony/salty on the finish, just how you want it.

Cuilleron 2015 VdP Collines Rhodaniennes Rosé Sybel

From the importers website: The Cuilleron family domaine, located in the hamlet of Verlieu (part of the town of Chavanay) was founded several generations ago (1920). Yves Cuilleron’s grandfather was the first to bottle wine for commercial purposes in 1947. Antoine Cuilleron, the uncle and immediate predecessor of Yves, assumed control of the domaine in 1960 and significantly increased the percentage of wine bottled at the estate and extended the scope of the domaine. Yves assumed full ownership and direction of the domaine in 1987 and, since that time, has built an entirely new facility while at the same time acquiring additional vineyard property. The domaine is now…52 hectares of vineyards that cover multiple appellations, including principally, Condrieu, Saint Joseph Rouge and Blanc, Cote Rotie, Saint Péray and a series of Vin de Pays from the Collines Rhodaniennes.

This is a smooth and round rosé, dry but full of ripe red fruit. It’s only 12.5% abv, but it feels much richer than that. It has the fruit and balance to sip on its own, but the weight and acidity to be a refreshing gulp between bites.

Forlorn Hope 2014 Mataro, Rorick Vineyard, 

Calaveras County, CA

From the producers website: The Forlorn Hope wines were born to connect the thread between California’s boundless viticultural potential and its diverse viticultural history. In addition to the vines my family and I farm, I work with a handful of growers across the north of the state whose plantings might otherwise be misfits: the uncommon sites and varieties that pay tribute to California’s eclectic and often unexpected viticultural heritage. Taking cues from the stones and soil, I endeavor to interrupt the natural development of each of these wines as little as possible in order that the character and uniqueness of each vineyard site may take center stage.

This Mataro (aka: Mourvedre) is floral & savory, with rich fruit and soft tannins. Forlorn Hope wines are versatile pairing partners, since their acidity and freshness won’t overwhelm flavors.

Swick Wine Tasting in the Shop, Friday, May 13th. 5pm -8pm

Joe Swick

Joe Swick

A couple of months ago a friend in the biz introduced us to Joe Swick and his wines; we’ve been anxiously awaiting their arrival ever since. Joe knows wine. Just check out all the places he’s worked since 2003. Swick Wines is a small winery working out of Medici Vineyard in Newberg, Oregon. The wines are the epitome of low-intervention; they are minimally foot-trod and fermented with wild yeast. Many spend time in neutral French oak, they’re not filtered or fined, and sulfur is kept to a minimum or not used at all. Production is tiny. We got to taste though some of the current releases, including a barrel sample of the 2015 Melon de Bourgogne; the cloudy pour was punctuated by buoyant acidity and rocky, mineral freshness. Tasting Swick wines is like listening to a great record for the first time – they’ve got the hooks and the melodies, wrapped around a core of originality, with the artist humming harmonies in the background. Minimal intervention at its best. Come taste some Swick in the shop tonight.

Cheers!

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm – 8pm

May 6th, 2016

tavelChâteau de Trinquevedel 2015, Tavel

Guillaume Demoulin’s great-grandfather Eugène bought this eighteenth-century château in 1936, the same year as the establishment of the Tavel AOC. Unfortunately the vineyards were in great disrepair and it wasn’t until 1960 that the vines were producing wines worthy of Demoulin’s standards.

This Tavel is a blend of 45% Grenache, 24% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 10% Mourvèdre, 6% Syrah, from vines over 30 years old, and planted on sand, marl, limestone, clay and quartz. The wine has a ripe red fruit quality, balanced by Rhone stony-freshness and spicy hillside herbs. Farmed sustainably.

Dashe Cellars

Notes from the producer: Founded by the husband and wife winemaking team of Michael and Anne Dashe, Dashe Cellars crafted its first vintage of Dry Creek Zinfandel in 1996. Since that time, the Dashe’s have focused on producing exceptional, single-vineyard wines using a traditional, non-industrial approach to winemaking.

At Dashe, we are committed to partnering with some of the finest small growers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties and beyond. We focus on crafting wines with a distinctive sense of place and look for that perfect balance of steep hillside vineyards, older vines, and vigor-reducing growing conditions. With almost two decades partnering with many of our growers, we work together to limit yields and reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals in the vineyards. In addition, all harvesting decisions are made by Michael Dashe.

Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel 2013

Fermented using only the natural yeast and aged for 10 months in older French oak barrels, including 900 gallon French oak casks, which add softness without a lot of oak flavors. Blended with approx 8% Petite Sirah (for structure and aging potential). This is a full-bodied, velvety-soft zin. Lots of blackberries and cassis, chocolate and flowers on the nose. Dark and spicy on the palate, with cherries and hints of licorice and chocolate again.

Producer notes: The Comet is a blend of three wines: a 51-year-old vine Zinfandel from Geyserville, a 130-year-old vine Carignan, and a significant proportion—39% of the blend—of an Alexander Valley Petite Sirah. Together, they make a rich, complex, full-bodied wine with a tremendous depth of flavor.

The Zinfandel and Petite Sirah come from the Todd Brothers Ranch, a steep, red-rock vineyard where the vines struggle to produce a small quantity of grapes, resulting in wines with great intensity and structure. The old-vine Carignan is from the famous Bedrock Vineyard, a vineyard that was originally planted by Generals Sherman and Hooker before the Civil War. The Carignan adds fruit and spice to this luscious, full-bodied wine.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm-8pm

Thanksgiving Picks!

Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues “Les Grandes Vignes” Cotes du Rhone Blanc, 2014

70% Grenache Blanc, 10% Clairette, 10% Bourboulenc, 10% Viognier

Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues is a unique co-operative cellar in the small town of Estézargues. Starting in 1995, the ten different growers in this co-op began to vinify their wine separately and make single cuvées from their best plots. Soon they began to practice natural winemaking, becoming one of the first (and perhaps only) co-ops in the world to do so. Les Vignerons D’ Estézargues uses no external yeast, no filtering, no fining and no enzymes in the winemaking process.

Les Grandes Vines is from vines that vary in age from 20 to 80 years, grown on red clay and stone. This wine is rich and fruity up front, with apples, pears, apricots, flowers and hay. Just when you think it might get a little too ripe and rich, an arc of acidity and minerality comes in to balance this shimmering glass of gold. This is the perfect foil to all the rich and sweet that happens on the Thanksgiving table.

Chateau d'ÉpireChateau d’Epiré Savennieres 2014

We put this wine in last week’s newsletter, so we’re recycling the note here. We blew through the first stack, so this is one to grab quick if you want it.

This wine is a RIDICULOUS value and you should just buy it. It’ll work with Thanksgiving, it’ll work with your Feast of the Seven Fishes, it’ll work with Chinese; it’s Chenin!

Grand Cru Epiré Savennieres is one of the oldest and most famous properties in the AOC. The domaine works primarily three parcels: La Croix Picot, Le Parc, and Le Hu-Boyau, the last situated just above another famous vineyard, La Coulée de Serrant, which we also have in the shop, but at many, many times the price (granted, it’s a different beast than this one, but still). If you were in France, you would be drinking filtered Chateau d’Epiré, but importer Kermit Lynch insists that all the d’Épire cuvées that he imports be unfiltered. We don’t mind a little sediment around here!

Qupé “A Modern Red” 2013

qupe modern redQupé calls itself a “modern stone age winery”. Started in 1981 by original Rhone Ranger Bob Lindquist, Qupé is so named to honor the Chumash, the indigenous people of the Golden State’s Central Coast and Channel Islands. The word means poppy, a plant traditionally used for food and medicine. Bob and his wife Louisa Sawyer Lindquist are skilled in biodynamics, and their Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard is certified Demeter Biodynamic and Stellar Organic.

A Modern Red is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, sourced from vineyards in Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez. This is an entry level wine in the Qupé portfolio, geared toward delivering American-grown Rhone-style wines at an everyday price. This wine is full of dark fruit and spices, it’s soft and smooth, with pleasant tannins on a long finish. It’ll stand up to all kinds of food, from roasted poultry, to grilled meats and veggies, to spicy tomato-based dishes.

LIOCO IndicaLIOCO “Indica” 2013 Mendocino Red

From the producers website: LIOCO is the result of a years-long conversation between Matt Licklider (a seasoned wine import specialist) and Kevin O’Connor (former wine director at Michelin Two-Star Spago-Beverly Hills) about whether California could produce a true “wine of origin.”

Campus notes: Indica is a field blend of Carignan, Petite Sirah, and Grenache harvested on one day, co-fermented in an open top vat, and put into neutral oak. It’s fresh, spicy, floral, inviting, full of dark fruit and earth, and relatively low in alcohol, leaving you free to drink more! Indica is also the name of a high quality strain of Marijuana, for whatever that’s worth!

Read this week’s newsletter here: Thanksgiving Wine Club; New Farmer Fizz; NOUVEAU!! Two Roads Beer Tasting!

 

 

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop with Jenny & François

Nov. 13th, 5pm – 8pm

Jenny & François Tasting in the Shop

Jenny & François with Tim Mortimer – All of these will be SO GOOD
on your holiday table! 

Ca dei Zago Prosecco Col Fondo 2014, Veneto

 

We continue to flip over this gentle little fizzy. It’s light, refreshing and good anytime of day, and with any meal – or with no meal at all. It’s a blend of Glera from very old clones, Verdiso, Perera, and Bianchetta from massale selection. Col Fondo means ‘on the sediment’ so you can store it upright and enjoy the sediment separately (as they do in Valdobbiadene) or swirl it as you drink so that it’s incorporated throughout. Either way is the right way. The 2014 is so fresh and delicious, we just want to drink it all the time. It’s like a mouth full of crisp apples and pears; it’s super clean, softly sparkling, and all around satisfying. This is just what you need to welcome your holiday guests: it’s fun, interesting, and at just 10% abv, it’s perfect for easing into the party–or for brunch the next day. Practicing biodynamic since 2010. Want to know more? Check out this video of Christian Zago!

Chemins de Bassac Isa White 2014, Languedoc-Roussillon

Isabelle and Rémy Ducellier own and operate this small, organically certified estate located in Vin de Pays Côtes de Thongue, which is a collection of 14 villages in Languedoc. Like Isabelle and Rémy, the wines of Chemins de Bassac are friendly and easy-going, generous and inviting. Together they make and market their wines, with Rémy even designing the labels.

Isa White is a blend of Roussanne and Viognier that is gorgeously aromatic, lushly textured, and popping with flowers, ripe peaches and apricots. It’s beautifully balanced with stony minerality and a touch of orange pith on the long finish.

Domaine Jérôme Jouret La Coulée Douce 2014, Rhone Valley

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. We’re most familiar with the cult wines of Hervé Souhaut, which we try to have on our shelves whenever we can. Jérome Jouret works much like Souhaut; that is, minimally, by hand, with extremely low yields and little to no 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. This unsulfured Syrah comes on with clean, vibrant fruit that gives way to smoky, minerally notes, then takes another turn to flowers and fresh tobacco. The texture is refined, as is the experience of drinking this wine.

Domaine du Mortier Graviers 2013, Loire Valley

Domaine du Mortier is a 9 hectare, certified biodynamic property located in Saint Nicolas de Bourgeuil. Brothers Fabien and Cyril Boisard were quite young when they started Domaine du Mortier nearly ten years ago. And while they don’t hail from a long line of winemakers, they do employ the most traditional method of propagating vines: Selection Massale, a labor intensive and time consuming practice of selecting the best vines in a vineyard and propagating through cuttings. With this level of discipline and commitment, it’s no surprise that they always produce top notch wines, from glou-glou to lay-it-down. All wines here are bottled unfiltered and unfined.

Mortier Gravier is 100% Cabernet Franc grown on gravel. Grapes are hand-harvested, fermented with wild yeast in barrel, then aged for 8 months in oak. This is a raspberry and cassis scented wine, with the mineral (gravelly) notes intertwined with juicy fruit, subtle spices and a satisfying roundness on the palate.  

Click here for today’s entire newsletter, including Thanksgiving picks and new arrivals.