June 3, 2016
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oct. 9th, 2015
Thierry Forestier knew he wanted to be a winemaker from a very young age. But, like many of us, he did what he thought was the sensible thing and went to business school. Three years after graduating, he left his information systems career track behind and in order to pursue his winemaking dreams. In 2004, he pieced together 7.5 hectares of vineyards in Coteaux du Languedoc, in the sub-region known as the Terres de Sommières. He farms without herbicides or pesticides & fermentation takes place with only native yeasts & zero intervention; his wines are bottled unfiltered, unfined and without sulfur.
Mont de Marie Rosé is 100% Aramon from 100 year old vines. This is a funky, fringe wine without all the fanfare, as Mont de Marie tends to fly under the radar a bit. We love this wine for its expressive, intriguing personality. The nose smells of cinnamon and maybe a touch of nutmeg; on the palate it’s ripe, strawberries, vibrant acidity and a spicy kick. This is a rosé that will take you through fall. It’s not big & rich, but it has depth and a compelling umami quality that will pair nicely with autumnal fare.
Christophe Thorigny Vouvray Sec 2013
Christophe Thorigny is the 4th generation to farm this 10.5 hectare estate in Vouvray. Most of the grapes here are sold off to local negociants, which makes the small amount of estate-bottled wines that much more special. Christophe farms with minimal intervention and keeps yields low with severe pruning throughout the growing season. The vines are planted on chalky and flinty clay covering a thick layer of limestone, and those mineral, rocky notes come through in the wine. This is dry, focussed Chenin Blanc, with notes of honeysuckle, oranges and lemons on a long and elegant finish.
Ciavolich Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Ancilla” 2013
Since 1853, Azienda Agricola Ciavolich has cultivated grapes from vineyards located in Abruzzo, in south-central Italy. The 44-hectare estate sits between 80 and 400 meters above sea level, with an average vine age of 25 years. Only 3500 cases of “Ancilla” are produced, and the hand-harvested fruit represents the best of their coastal vineyards; any remaining fruit that didn’t make the cut is sold off.
Ancilla is a deep, smooth and flavorful wine that tastes of plums, blackberries, strawberries and cherries. It sees no oak and is vibrant and youthful with light tannins on the finish.
Lamoresca is a tiny, remote estate owned and operated by Filippo and Nancy Rizzo, who met while Filippo was proprietor of a natural wine restaurant in Belgium, one of the first outside of Paris. The 11 hectare farm is mostly olive groves with only 4 hectares planted to vines. It’s located between Etna and Gela on the southern coast of Sicily; the vines grow at 450 meters above sea level, on soils of compressed sandstone mixed with calcium and iron rich clay. Lamoresca is the only winery for roughly 50 square kilometers. It’s worked by hand by Filippo (who spent several vintages making wine with Frank Corenelissen) and his farm-hand Gaetano. The wines here are made without chemicals, fermented without temperature control, and are bottled unfiltered, un-fined, and without sulfur.
Nerocapitano is 100% Frappato that’s lively and full of bright red cherries, Meditteranean herbs and loads of character.
2013 Il Saliceto “Falistra” Lambrusco di Sorbara
This is an unusual Lambrusco produced by Gian Paolo Isabella (most well-known as a decorated Muay Thai champion) and his brother-in-law Marcello. They founded this 4 hectare estate in 2005, in the tiny village of Campogalliano, on the outskirts of Modena (Emilia-Romagna region). They are dedicated to working with traditional local grapes such as Lambrusco di Sorbara and Salamino, but they also work with the less common Malbo Gentile, from which they make an oaked, savory wine, capable of aging for up to a decade. All farming here is done organically and the Lambrusco’s are produced via natural vinification and re-fermentations in bottle.
Falistra means spark, and that is an apt description of this wine. Any notion of Lambrusco being sweet should be thrown out the window. This is dry, lively and super-pale-pink. It’s unfiltered, so it pours cloudy, which just makes it that much prettier. The fruit here is delicate, and the overall impression is of tart minerality and slightly rustic earthiness. This is a great wine to wet the appetite or to pair with plates of antipasto.
2013 Guild Columbia Valley White Wine, Oregon
The Columbia Valley AVA lies mostly in Washington state, with a tiny slice of it in Oregon. Guild is “a cooperative of four Portland, Oregon vintners producing wines of exceptional value for the masses”. The Guild cooperative is tiny, just 4 winemakers:John Grochau, Grochau Cellars; Vincent Fritzsche, Vincent Wine Company; Anne Hubatch, Helioterra Wines; Patrick “X”, Hammer & Tongs. Guild white is a blend of Pinot Gris (60%), Sauvignon Blanc (25%), and Riesling (15%). Production is just 750 cases, so the aforementioned “masses” must be rather small, when you think about it. But no matter, this wine is crisp and loaded with citrus upfront, from lemon to grapefruit. The Pinot Gris fleshes is out and gives the wine weight. The Riesling adds zingy acidity and the Sauvignon Blanc brings the tropical fruit.All in all this is a satisfying, versatile, very food friendly wine.
2012 Cellario Langhe Dolcetto
Fausto & Cinzia Cellario are 3rd generation winemakers in the village of Carru` on the western outskirts of the Langhe. They only work with local, indigenous grapes & uphold local winemaking traditions both in the vineyard & the cellar. Work here is organic & all the fermentations take place with indigenous yeasts. Sulfur is only added in tiny quantities at bottling, if necessary.
Cellario is fresh, bright & juicy, with pure, vibrant fruit, like plums and cherries. Pizza, pasta & casual meals are the perfect pair for this happy little wine.
2012 Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup “Tour de Pierre”
The Ravailles brothers (Xavier, Pierre, and Jean-Marc) are descendants of a family that has been in Pic Saint Loup, in Languedoc-Roussillon, for over 1,000 years. The hermitage dates from the Middle Ages, as the former home of the bishops of Maguelone. The three brothers planted vines here in 1992; until then, the region was mostly known for sheep farming and cheese production. They have been practicing biodynamic farming since 1999 and were certified organic in 2012.
This wine is a blend of Syrah, Grenache & Mouvedre. It’s briny and stony, with precise fruit and crackling acidity. Think black olives and fresh raspberries ground up with a rock and a dash of salt and you have something approaching this red. It’s wild, memorable, and a little bit addictive.
Le Colture Prosecco D.O.C di Trevizo “Sylvoz”
This Prosecco 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 1800’s. To ensure freshness, the estate keeps the Prosecco in tank and bottles to order. This is a soft little sparkler, full of elegant fruit, ripe apples and vibrant acidity.
Domaine de la Patience Chardonnay 2011
This certified organic family estate located in the Costières de Nîmes takes its name from a wild, aromatic herb “La Patience” that can be found throughout the vineyard. After a decade of managing the winemaking at the local cooperative Christophe Aguilar decided it was time to make his own wine. Today Christophe farms 60 hectares of vines, fifty-years ago his grandfather farmed the same soil, with a deep respect & understanding of the terroir.
This is a fruity but dry white, filled with tart & zesty acidity, with lemons and peaches on the nose and palate. It’s a great seafood and chicken pair, or with simple veggie dishes, salads and mild, soft cheeses.
Domaine du Crêt de Bine Beaujolais 2011
François and Marie-Therèse Subrin biodynamically farm 5 hectares of land in the village of Sarcy, in the southwest corner of Beaujolais. The vines average 40 years old and are planted on granite soils rich in quartz. To ensure maximum ripeness, yields are extremely limited & harvest is as late as possible, sometimes stretching into October. No sulfur is used in the production of this wine.
This wine is delicate, with notes of spearmint & chamomile tea mingling with bright red berries and stony minerality. It’s an easy one to toss back.
Primaterra Sangiovese, Sicily
This is an exceptional little everyday value wine from Sicily. The grapes are grown 300 meters above sea level, and the wine is fermented and aged in 30% oak, 70% stainless steel. The Primaterra wines are made to be fruity expressions of their terroir, and that’s exactly what this wine is all about: cherries, subtle spices, fresh acidity, barely there tannins and a pleasant finish. What’s not to like?