October 6, 2017
Finca Parera is a father/son operation, now on its fourth generation of the Parera family. Established in 1892, they have been farming organically since 1999, and biodynamically since 2013 (certified). In addition to grapes, they also grow small plots of cherries, almonds, olives, and an assortment of vegetables. They also keep bees, which provides them with a small amount of honey.
Their vineyards are in the Upper Penedès, a low rainfall area about 350 meters from the sea, and planted on calcareous-clay soil. Some of their vines are around 80 years old.
Clar is Xarel-lo, Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay, fermented with native yeast in cement, and bottled with very little sulfur. It’s fragrant and easy-drinking, and perfect with seafood and savory, earthy vegetables, like white mushrooms, artichokes, and roasted fennel.
Domaine du Viking 2014 Vouvray Tendre
Notes from Jon David Headrick: It is fair to say that Lionel Gauthier is a bit of a misfit in the area. With a shocking patch of blond hair, massive build, and in-your-face intensity, he seems more Scandinavian than Loire. At least that is what his friends thought when they started calling him the “Viking” several years ago. After a few years, the name “Viking” had stuck, so in 1989, Lionel decided to rename the property. Read more about Vouvray and Lionel here.
Every single bunch of grapes on the property is hand-harvested, sorted, destemmed, crushed, and fermented in Lionel’s tiny garage cellar, and left to age in tank and barrels made from local chestnut (according to Lionel, oak imparts too many unwanted flavors to his wines.) Lionel’s style is what he called “Sec Tendre” or “Tender Dry”. This is usually a demi-sec (off dry) bottling with very high acidity. Because most of the vines are planted on flint (silex), the minerality and acidity are startling and stunning. There is a type of mouthwatering acidity that makes drinking these wines all too easy. For lovers of great Austrian and Germain riesling.
Vouvray “Tendre” is 100% Chenin Blanc from the most northern part of the Vouvray AOC and silex (flint) soils. Fermented in tank and aged partially in chestnut barrels. “Tender dry” (tendre) style.
MicroBio Correcaminos Red 2016, Castilla y León
Ismael Gozalo is known locally as “El Mago de las Verdejos” or the Wizard of Verdejo.
The importers words say 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 altitud. Characterized by it’s sandy soils, these head trained vines have never seen any chemicals over the different generations that have cared for them.”
Some might be familiar with Ismael through his role at Ossian in Rueda, where he worked as winemaker and winegrower since its founding in 2004. But MicroBio, his solo project since 1998, is where his passion lies, and that is where you will find him these days.
Correcaminos is 100% Tempranillo from 70 year old vines planted on slate soil, fermented in stainless steel, and bottled unfined and unfiltered, with no added SO2. Correcaminos is juicy and vibrant, with flavors of cherries and plums, earthy-dried spice notes, and a touch of anise. Serve with a slight chill.
Gut Oggau Atanasius 2015
Notes from the importer: Gut Oggau is a project in the small town of Oggau in Burgenland, Austria, started by Eduard and Stephanie Tscheppe in 2007. Before starting the winery, Eduard made conventional wine with his father in Styria, and Stephanie’s family owned and operated the Michelin starred restaurant Taubenkobel. They painstakingly restored the 17th century winery that had been abandoned for 20 years, including its 200-year-old screw press. The vines’ 20-year period of neglect was fortunate, as this allowed for all pesticide and chemical treatments to be washed away. This let them begin working immediately on vines biodynamically, where they are now fully Demeter certified.
When they began to work with the wines in the cellar, they noticed that each wine seemed so alive with its own personality, that they decided to craft labels centered around the personality inside each bottle. Thus they created a family of wines: each wine is given a name of one family member and the artist Jung von Matt draws a face for each label. The detail here is so exacting that Jung actually ages the face on the label each time a new vintage is released. The children, Atanasius, Theodora, and Winifred, are wines that are more forthright, light, bold and energetic. The parents, Joschuari, Emmeram, Timotheus, and Josephine, come from vineyards with a little more direct sun exposure and therefore more ripeness producing wines with more body and power. And finally the grandparents, Mechtild and Bertholdi, are from two single vineyards of older vines that produce the most traditional wines from their lineup. Most of the vineyards are field blended, and therefore there is little mention of grape varieties here, but they do work with 6 main grape varieties– Blaufrankish, Zweigelt Grüner Veltliner, Welchriesling, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), and Gewurtzraminer.
Like his sister Theodora, Atanasius has a very affectionate and easy-going nature that is typical of the inhabitants of the Burgenland, and is an attractive young man, but in no way superficial. Despite already being exceptionally popular, he still retains some hidden qualities, which makes him even more interesting. His dream is to one day become an acclaimed world star.
Age of Vines: 35 years
Soil: Gravel and limestone
Zweigelt and Blaunfrankisch
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested and destemmed. Fermentation takes place in used 500, and 1200-liter barrels, and the juice spends about 3 weeks in contact with the skins. The wine goes through elevage in the same barrels for about 12 months, with no batonnage. The wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with zero addition of sulfur.