July 17, 2015
Vin de Savoie ‘Abymes’, Roger Labbe 2014
Domaine Labbe was founded in 1975 by two brothers who were subsistence farmers (a little bit of everything: milk, cows, beef, hay, wheat and some table grapes and wine not worth drinking). It is a 10 hectare estate located 15km south of Chambéry, a village famous for its Vermouth and cheese. Two cousins, (their children) Alexandra and Jérome, took over the domain from their fathers in 2004.
Abymes is 100% Jacquère, a varietal that grows especially well in the Savoie region of France. The soil is mostly argilo/calcaire with some 2 inch stones – debris from years of avalanches from the Alps. Fermentation is with indigenous yeasts in non-reactive tanks/foudres.
The wine is dry, pure & zesty, full of delicate fruit, chalky minerality, and food-friendly acidity. Perfect as an aperitif or with shellfish.
Hobo Wine Co. “The Folk Machine” Tocai Friuliano 2014
Kenny Likitprakong started Hobo Wine Company in 2002, at the age of 26. He grew up in Healdsburg, spending much time at Domaine St. George, the winery owned by his great-uncle Supasit Mahaguna. Kenny’s father Somchai was also involved at the winery, having been summoned there by Mahaguna while studying in NY.
Likitprakong sells his wines under three labels: Banyan Wines, Hobo and Folk Machine, all of them under the umbrella of the Hobo Wine Co. He doesn’t own any vines, instead he gets fruit from top sources, although he does farm about an acre of Branham Estate Rockpile Vineyard Zinfandel.
From the start, Likitprakong intended to make lower sugar, lower alcohol, higher acid, more food friendly wiines than what was being produced in California at the time. In 2008, Gary Branham said that Likitprakong was “already doing more avant-garde things than most people do in their whole careers.” He’s still doing it.
Phillipe Tessier Cheverny Rose 2014
Phillipe Tessier took over this domaine in 1981, 20 years after it was founded by his father Roger. The 23 hectare estate is in the heart of Cheverny and Cour Cheverny AOCs. They have been certified organic since 1998.
This rosé is 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Gamay. The grapes are harvested by hand, then fermented with whild yeast and bottled unfiltered and unfined. Wild strawberries, fresh herbs, tangy acidity and a long finish make this a go-to rosé.
Paterna il Rosso 2013
Paterna is a 15 hectare fully functioning farm in the Tuscan hills, established in 1985 by a group of friends looking to get away from the tourist market that Tuscany had become. In addition to grapes (indigenous only), they cultivate local products like cheese, honey, salumi, etc. The farm has been organic since the beginning, but they go beyond that by working naturally in the cellars as well, with only indigenous yeast, and little to no sulfur.
Il Rosso is a blend of 75% Sangiovese and 25% Canaiolo, fermented outdoors in cement tanks, without temperature control. This is a lively wine, with lots of cherry, red fruit, and zesty, food friendly acidity.