Tag Archives: Favorita

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

Fausto Cellario with custom-label Barbera Frizzante

Fausto Cellario with custom-label Barbera Frizzante

This week, we just can’t get enough of a good thing! Our special Tuesday tasting with Piemonte producer Fausto Cellario and SelectioNaturel was a smashing success! But many of our Friday regulars were sad to miss this line-up, so we’re bringing it back tonight. Unfortunately, we can’t come close to Fausto’s charm and personal experience with the wines, but we’ll do our best. We may even break out a fake Italian accent, if that helps.

Fausto & Cinzia Cellario are 3rd generation winemakers in the village of Carru` on the western outskirts of the Langhe, in Piedmont, Italy. They only work with local, indigenous grapes & uphold local winemaking traditions both in the vineyard & the cellar. They have 30 hectares spread across 5 different vineyard sites, including some in Novello, Monforte, and Dogliani; they are considered to be Dolcetto specialists. Work here is organic & all the fermentations take place with indigenous yeasts. Sulfur is only added in tiny quantities at bottling, if necessary.

2014 Cellario Langhe Favorita

Favorita is an old white grape variety indigenous to Langhe & Roero. It is genetically identical to Pigato and Vermentino from Liguria. The grape does well in poor, sandy soils and makes for fresh, floral and fruity wines, sometimes with a touch of saltiness. The 2014 is a bit fuller and fruitier than the 2013, and is it possible we like it even more? Yes it is.

2014 Cellario Langhe Dolcetto

Cellario Dolcetto is fresh, bright & juicy, with pure, vibrant fruit, like plums and cherries. This is a wine for pizza, pasta & casual meals, but this happy little red could easily find a place on your holiday table. It has just the right balance of juiciness and acidity to be the foil to fatty fall/winter fare.

2014 Cellario Barbera Frizzante

This is the 2nd Barbera Frizzante we get to have in our shop, and we couldn’t be happier. Hey, we’re a place that stacks Grignolino – we got this! This dry, effervescent little red is a Lambrusco lovers dream; the light sparkling is the result of a refermentation in the bottle. If you want to look like you know what you’re doing, drink it chilled out of a mason jar, like Piedmontese old-timers and hipsters do.

2013 Barbera “Sabinot”

Barbera was once known as ‘the people’s wine’ of Piedmont, because of its versatility and its abundant production. It can make anything from light and spritzy wine (see above) to deep, dark, brooding wines, that need years of cellaring before they’re ready to drink. The grape ripens relatively late, but maintains high levels of refreshing acidity.

Sabinot is the name of an old plot of Barbera vines in Dogliani, and it’s here that they get the grapes for this wine. This is a little more serious than Cellario’s Dolcetto; it’s deeper, the flavors more concentrated, the tannins a bit more pronounced. It’s still plummy, and fruit-driven, but it’s like the older brother who’s seen some stuff, whereas the Dolcetto is still all wide-eyed and innocent. We love them both.

Friday Wine Presentation in the Shop, 5-8PM

We’re opening up these lovely wines this evening, stop in for a sip!

2013 Cellario Langhe Favorita

From Selection Naturel’s website: Fausto and Cinzia Cellario are 3rd generation winemakers in the village of Carru` on the western outskirts of the Langhe. The family only believes in working with local, indigenous Piemontese grape varieties and fiercely defends local winemaking traditions both in the vineyard work and the cellar practices. The Cellario vineyard holdings cover some 30 ha between 5 different vineyard sites covering the southern Langhe. With holdings in Novello and Monforte, the Dogliani plot is arguably the family’s most prestigious land and I would consider them Dolcetto specialists. Vineyard work is organic (soon to be certified) and all the fermentations take place with indigenous yeasts. Sulfur is only added in tiny quantities at bottling if necessary (a practice not common with a winery in this mid-size range).

Favorita is an indigenous grape of Langhe that is genetically the same as Vermentino di Sardegna and Liguria. It thrives in the poor, sandy soils of Langhe. This wine is fresh and aromatic with a bouquet of flowers, hay & rosewater. It’s light & dry and makes a lovely aperitif or seafood pairing.  Try it with sushi, ceviche, and white fish in delicate sauces.

2013 Birichino Malvasia Bianca, Monterey, CA

Malvasia is a white grape that is planted, to one degree or another, in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Croatia. There’s a tiny amount planted in California, which Randall Grahm showcased in his ‘Ca del Solo Malvasia Bianca’, of the early 2000s. Alex Krause and John Locke of Birichino cite Randall Grahm as one winemaker who has influenced them over their journey in the wine world. They founded Birichino in 2008, the name chosen for no other reason than that it would appear at the top of alphabetical lists and that it means naughty in Italian. There’s nothing wrong with those reasons! Alex and John have a combined 40 years making wine in California, France, & Italy. They source from a number of “carefully farmed, family-owed, own-rooted 19th and early 20th century vineyards (and a few from the late disco era) planted by and large in more moderate, marine-influenced climates”. They prefer minimal intervention, native yeasts, stainless steel or neutral barrels, and little to no filtration. Their aim is “to make delicious wines that give pleasure, revitalize, and revive”. They’ve succeeded.

This Malvasia evokes roses and talc, muscat and honeydew. It’s exotically aromatic, (the winemakers describe it as the tropical flower frangipani) and racy. It was kept on the lees and stirred every few weeks for an additional 3 months for added texture and dimension before bottling. The result is a focused wine with great length and complexity that’ll keep you coming back for more.

2010 Milenio Dão


2012 Domaine de la Chanteleuserie Bourgueil “Cuvée Alouettes”

The name of this estate in the Loire Valley means “the place where the larks sing”. The vineyards, situated just across the river from Chinon and all planted to Cabernet Franc, have been in the same family for seven generations. The Boucards make some of the most age-worthy wines in the region, but the Cuvée Alouettes is meant for earlier consumption.

Alouettes comes from an 8 hectare vineyard with low-yielding vines ranging from 33-47 years old. This wine, like many cab francs, smells of violets & pencil shavings on the nose, and tends toward savory fruit, fall leaves & sweet tobacco. It’s fresh, soft & delicious.