February 16, 2018
This pink is a mix of red and white grapes (50% Hondarribi Beltza and 50% Hondarribi Zuri) indigenous to the Spanish Basque region; the vines range in age from 20 to 150 years old. The grapes are co-fermented in stainless steel, then bottled with a touch of residual carbonic acid to preserve that little spritz.
Ignacio Ameztoi is the 7th generation to farm this 20 hectare estate on the Atlantic ocean, in the province of Getaria. The vines are planted on sand and clay, and the farming is sustainable.
This wine is as refreshing as the first warm day of spring after a long, cold winter. It’s the color of a sunset, and it bounces around the palate like sunbeams through a prism.
Dominio del Aguila, Ribera del Duero Pícaro Clarete 2014
Dominio del Aguila is a family owned winery run by Jorge Monzón and Isabel Rodero. It’s 30 hectares of old vines (60+) situated at 800-900 meters altitude, farmed organically and biodynamically. The vineyards are planted to Tempranillo, Garnacha, Bobal, and Albillo, on topsoil of sandy clay/limestone. Jorge comes from a long line of winemakers, and worked for some well-known names, including over two years with Domaine De La Romanée-Conti, a year with Vega Sicilia, and at Bodegas Arzuaga-Navarro for nine years. He’s been full time at Dominio del Águila sonce 2013.
Pícaro Clarete is another co-ferment of red and white grapes (this used to be common practice in Ribera del Duero) but the expression is completely different from the Txakolina. It’s whole cluster direct pressed into French and American oak barrels, with natural yeast fermentation. It spends 16 months in the barrels, but they aren’t new barrels, so in no way is the wine overly oaky. It is extraordinarily elegant and creamy, laced with flowers, herbs, and spices. The 2014 is beautiful now, but will continue to evolve and express itself over the next few years.
Tami’ Frappato Terre Siciliane 2016
Tami’ is a joint negociant project between Arianna Occhipinti, a young, natural-wine maker (niece of the “O” in COS Wines”) and some friends and neighbors in the food and wine world. The fist incarnation of Tami’ was an artisanal shop selling handmade goods, including wine. Some of the grapes come from the organically farmed vineyards adjacent to the shop. Tami’ utilizes high quality fruit from Vittoria, indigenous yeasts, short macerations, and aging only in stainless steel. This project allows Ariana to bring more organic wines to market, at prices closer to every day than her other higher end wines. This is a medium bodied wine with bright red fruits, like raspberries and strawberries, and a touch of lavender and black pepper.
Laurent Herlin Bourgueil Eclosion 2014
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. All of his wines are from hand-harvested grapes that are sorted twice (once in the vineyard, then in the cellar), fermented with indigenous yeast, and bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with no added sulfites.
Eclosion is from 50 year old Cabernet Franc vines planted on clay/limestone soil. It’s foot-trod and ages in barrel for 12 months. We have a little bit of this wine left, so we’re gonna open it up and see how it’s doing.