Our fall in-shop tastings have been a blast!
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 Schloss Hallburg Dry Estate Silvaner, Franken, Germany
This property has been farmed since the 11th century and has been in the von Shönborn family since 1806. It’s a 35 hectare certified organic estate planted mostly to Silvaner, then Riesling & Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and equal amounts Muller Thurgau, Bacchus & Pinot Noir. Total case production is 20,000 per year. The Hallberger Schlossberg vineyard is biodynamically farmed and produces top quality Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
This Silvaner is mineral-driven, dry, herbal, racy and elegant.
2014 Éric Texier Chat Fou Cotes-du-Rhone Rosé, France
Éric Texier came to wine without any family connection or romantic, multi-generational story. In fact, he was trained as a nuclear scientist. In 1992, after years in in the world of science, he opted to follow his passion for wine and formally study viticulture and oenology at Bordeaux University. He read a lot, visited winemakers around the world, and worked in Burgundy with wine-savant, Jean-Marie Guffens, at Verget. There he learned the benefits of minimal-intervention wine-making: native yeasts, little to no herbicides, no machines, etc…
As a beginner, he was unable to afford his own vineyards, so he became a négociant, buying only from small growers philosophically aligned with himself. He has since acquired plots in Côte Rôtie and Condrieu in the northern Rhône, and replanted several hectares in long-forgotten Brézème with Syrah and Roussanne. All of his wines are aged in the underground 16th-century cellar at his home in Charnay-en-Beaujolais.
Chat Fou is 100% Cinsault, made using the direct press method and bottled unfiltered with noSO2. While only 11.8% alcohol, it’s dark in color & spicy & complex on the palate. It’s like fresh-picked flowers and strawberries, lightly dusted with dried herbs and crushed pepper. But there’s lots of acidity here too, keeping it lively and thirst-quenching. Serve it chilled and let it flesh out a bit, revealing light tannins on the finish.
2013 Perrini Negroamaro, Salento (Puglia), Italy
Brother and sister Vito and Mila Perrini converted their family’s centuries-old estate to organic farming (now biodynamic) in 1993, way before it was cool. Before that, the family mostly sold their grapes to local négociants, as they didn’t have the means to finance estate-bottled production. Vito and Mila then built an underground cellar, where the cooler fermentation temperatures would aid them in their goal of producing wines of more subtlety and elegance than was normally encountered in the region.
The vines here are 30-35 years old and are spread across hills and along the shoreline. Yields are kept low, grapes are picked by hand and fermented in stainless steel, then aged in stainless and glass-lined tanks. This Negroamaro is silky, perfumed and earthy, with bright notes of blackberries & cherries.