Tag Archives: Loire

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

May 27, 2016

We’ve got a little bit of symbolism happening in tonight’s tasting. We open with a French sparkler, and everyone knows that sparkling wine denotes celebrations and all things good and happy. We close our tasting with Forlorn Hope Mataro, in honor of Memorial Day. The phrase ‘forlorn hope’ is from the mid-16th century Dutch expression ‘verloren hoop’, which originally denoted a band of soldiers picked to begin an attack, many of whom would not survive. Over the years it’s come to mean more of a persistent hope that’s never to be fulfilled. Either way, it’s a strange name for a wine, but it makes sense, as producer Mathew Rorick describes it: we love the longshots. We love the outsiders, the lost causes, the people/projects/ideas abandoned as not having a chance in the world. We love the longshots because we’re all about tenacity, we relish a challenge, and – we admit it – we love us a good tussle… (these wines are) rare creatures from appellations unknown and varieties uncommon, these wines are our brave advance party, our pride and joy – our Forlorn Hope.

That resonates with us on so many levels…from the personal sacrifice to the championing of the underdog – the story is real.

Cheers, congratulations, and Happy Memorial Day from all of us at Campus!

Louis de Grenelle “Platine” NV Brut, Crémant de Loire, Saumur

Created in 1859, this is one of the oldest (and last) family owned sparkling wine houses in Saumur. Platine is a hand-harvested blend of 85% Chenin Blanc, 10% Chardonnay & 5% Cabernet Franc from limestone hillsides outside of Saumur. It’s made in the Champagne-method and aged for at least 18 months before being bottled at 7 grams dosage. This is a bang for your buck bubbly, with stones and hay, lemons and pears, a fine bead, and a delicate and delicious finish.

Pépière 2014 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clos des Briords

2014 Loire Valley whites have been a real treat, and 2014 Clos de Briords is no exception. Marc Ollivier is tops in his field and it shows with this wine. It’s from 3 hectares of old vines planted on the granite of Chateau Thébaud. He hand harvests, uses natural yeasts, and the wine stays in contact with the lees until time of bottling (about 7 months). It’s then bottled with a very light filtration. 2014 is a bit rounder and richer than previous vintages. An average spring through July was followed by a cold and humid August. The risk of rot was very high, through the end of August, when dry, sunny weather emerged and lasted through October. This allowed the grapes to mature with high sugar and his acidity. The result here is a wine that is incredibly balanced, splashed with bright citrus, texturally appealing, and stony/salty on the finish, just how you want it.

Cuilleron 2015 VdP Collines Rhodaniennes Rosé Sybel

From the importers website: The Cuilleron family domaine, located in the hamlet of Verlieu (part of the town of Chavanay) was founded several generations ago (1920). Yves Cuilleron’s grandfather was the first to bottle wine for commercial purposes in 1947. Antoine Cuilleron, the uncle and immediate predecessor of Yves, assumed control of the domaine in 1960 and significantly increased the percentage of wine bottled at the estate and extended the scope of the domaine. Yves assumed full ownership and direction of the domaine in 1987 and, since that time, has built an entirely new facility while at the same time acquiring additional vineyard property. The domaine is now…52 hectares of vineyards that cover multiple appellations, including principally, Condrieu, Saint Joseph Rouge and Blanc, Cote Rotie, Saint Péray and a series of Vin de Pays from the Collines Rhodaniennes.

This is a smooth and round rosé, dry but full of ripe red fruit. It’s only 12.5% abv, but it feels much richer than that. It has the fruit and balance to sip on its own, but the weight and acidity to be a refreshing gulp between bites.

Forlorn Hope 2014 Mataro, Rorick Vineyard, 

Calaveras County, CA

From the producers website: The Forlorn Hope wines were born to connect the thread between California’s boundless viticultural potential and its diverse viticultural history. In addition to the vines my family and I farm, I work with a handful of growers across the north of the state whose plantings might otherwise be misfits: the uncommon sites and varieties that pay tribute to California’s eclectic and often unexpected viticultural heritage. Taking cues from the stones and soil, I endeavor to interrupt the natural development of each of these wines as little as possible in order that the character and uniqueness of each vineyard site may take center stage.

This Mataro (aka: Mourvedre) is floral & savory, with rich fruit and soft tannins. Forlorn Hope wines are versatile pairing partners, since their acidity and freshness won’t overwhelm flavors.

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

Domaine Cheveau Macon Solutre-Pouilly “Sur Le Mont” 2014

Domaine Cheveau was established in 1950 by André Cheveau; today his two grandsons run the estate, which is situated on 14 hectares around Solutré-Pouilly, and extends into Davayé in the Maconnais and Saint Amour in the Beaujolais. No fertilizers are used and all harvesting is done by hand; the wines are fermented and vinified parcel by parcel. Total estate production is fewer than 5,000 cases.

This wine is from a plot of vines just over 20 years old. There’s no oak but it’s left on its lees for about 8 months, creating a gorgeous texture that rounds out as the wine opens up. Clean rockiness mingles with light apple and peach notes; this is an elegant wine and a go-to for fans of French Chardonnay.

Chateau L’Eperonniere Rosé de Loire 2015

Mathieu Tijou, son of Pierre-Yves and Brigitte Tijou of Chateau Soucherie, launched his career as an independent vigneron at Chateau L’Eperonniere with the 2007 vintage. The family had owned the larger Chateau Soucherie for generations, and effectively traded it for this smaller one, just down the road. The vineyards are situated on both sides of the Loire, overlooking the Layon. Mathieu now owns the “Croix Picot” vineyard in the Savennieres appellation, and the remaining vineyards are in the Anjou & Coteaux du Layon appellations.

This dry Rosé is mostly Cabernet Franc with a touch of Grolleau. We had it last year and loved it, so we grabbed it again from a presell. It just arrived, we haven’t had the chance to taste it!

Chateau D’Oupia, Minervois 2013

Since the death of her father André in 2007, Marie-Pierre Iché has been running this large, old-vine estate, complete with 13th century castle. André was never a member of the village co-op, choosing instead to tend his own vines and make his own wine. However, he sold his wine in bulk to local negociants until a visiting Burgundian winemaker convinced him to sell them under his own name. He made quite an impression with his wines, which were deep and savory and full of ripe fruit character, but priced for everyday drinking. This producer continues to be a go-to for value and quality. This wine is a blend of Carignan, Grenache, Syrah from 50 year old vines.

Domaine Rollin Hautes Cotes de Beaune Rouge 2013

Domaine Rollin is a 4th generation estate across five separate communes: Pernand Vergelesses, Savigny les Beaune, Echevronne, Aloxe Corton and Chorey les Beaune. In 1955, Maurice Rollin, who had beed a vineyard worker like his father before him, decided to start bottling and selling wine from the family vineyard holdings. He mostly sold to a small group of private clients, but he garnered enough success to purchase a parcel in the “Ile des Vergelesses”, one of the top vineyards of Pernand. By the mid 80s the family had accumulated 10 hectares and stopped selling any holdings to negociants. The estate is now 12 hectares and produces about 5,000 cases in total per year. While not certified organic, treatments in the vineyard are avoided unless absolutely necessary; grapes are hand-harvested and fermentation is with indigenous yeasts. Since 2003, Maurice’s grandson Simon has been winemaker here, after taking over from his father Remi.

This Hautes Cote de Beaune Rouge is from vineyards in Pernand Vergelesses and Echevronne. It’s spicy and earthy, floral and aromatic. It’s aged in small old barrels and bottled a few months earlier than other reds of the domaine to preserve freshness and fruitiness. Only about 300 cases come into the US annually.

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

wine 3 25 16Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Rosé, 2015, Loire

Domaine du Salvard has been a working domaine since 1898, through five generations of the Salvard family. Today all 42 hectares are sustainably farmed by brothers Emmanuel and Thierry Delaille. The sand, clay and limestone soils of the appellation (Cheverny, northeastern Touraine) give the deeply rooted vines the elements to produce wines that are fresh, clean, herbal & earthy. The Salvard rosé never fails to deliver!


Cantine Valpane “Rosa Ruské” 2014 Piedmont

Cantine Valpane has been in the Arditi family since the late 1800s and is located in the heart of Monferrato, an area known for Barbera, and one of the few places you’ll find Ruche. The surrounding un-tamed forests & fields provide a naturally diverse environment. The farming here is sustainable and only wild yeasts are used in the vinification process.

Rosa Ruské is from a 1 hectare plot of mostly 46 year old vines of Ruchè, a grape that is indigenous to Piedmont, and very rare, accounting for only 247 acres in all of Italy. The name “Ruske” (roo-SKAY), is a combination of the grape name Ruchè, and Ruschena, the last name of Pietro’s cousin who owns the vineyard. This wine is gorgeously aromatic, with spicy notes of flowers and bright berries, and a pleasant bitterness on the finish.

We’ll be opening up two more wines from a little stash of cool stuff that just arrived. No time for notes!

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

December 11, 2015

Louis Dressner Wine Tasting in the Shop

Louis Dressner Wine Tasting in the Shop

Domaine de la Pepiere “Les Gras Moutons” 2014 Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine

Marc Ollivier and Rémi Branger make serious, age-worthy Muscadet from old vines from original rootstock. And 2014 was arguably one of the best Loire vintages ever, so we’re expecting their wines to achieve mythic status!

Gras Moutons means “fat sheep” and is from a plot of land where the soil is mostly gneiss (course-grained; feldspar, quartz, and mica). All the vineyards at Pepiere are farmed sustainably at a minimum, and some are 100% organic. All grapes are hand-harvested, only wild yeasts is used, and sulfur is used only in small doses. Extended lees contact is a given.

Enjoy this wine now, for it’s salty, green apple twang and leesy, mineral purity. Lay another couple down and see how it evolves.

Cascina degli Ulivi VdT “Semplicemente Vino” “Bellotti” Bianco 2014, Piedmont

Biodynamic, naturally made wines since 1985. This Cortese is wildly delicious. It is NOT fizzy, even though it’s bottled under crown cap. It IS gorgeously aromatic, with notes of butter, ripe apples, orange oil and walnuts. There is also a Semplicemente Rosso, and yup, it’s as good as the white!

This property is a full-working 100% biodynamic farm, with a restaurant and accommodations for visitors.

Stefano Bellotti says this about natural wine:

I’ve always said that our force is the truth. When you start drinking natural wine, or eating natural cheese, natural bread, natural food… When you start eating REAL food, products from the earth that have a true link to their terroir, you don’t go back.

Read more here.

2014 Pierre Olivier Bonhomme “Le Telquel”,  Touraine

LE TELQUEL translates to ‘as it is’, but sounds like the french word for dachshund, hence the wiener dog on the label. Originally made by natural-wine trailblazers Thierry Puzelat and Pierrot Bonhomme,  the 2014 vintage marked the first to bear the name “Domaine Pierre Olivier Bonhomme”. Pierre has been solely making the wine since 2011, so it was time that his name graced the label.

There’s never been a time we haven’t loved this wine. Lithe, brambly, a little bit funky, and only 11.5% abv. Glug-Glug!

2014 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. 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. We’re happy to have this Negroamaro back in stock. It’s a super-affordable crowd pleaser!

Wine Tasting in the Shop with Adam Wilson of European Cellars

Friday, Dec. 4th, 5pm-8pm

Françoise Bedel Brut “Dis, Vin Secret” NV

Located in Western Marne Valley in the village of Crouttes-Sur-Marne (as far west as you can go and still be in Champagne), Francoise Bedel is one of Champagne’s biggest proponents of Pinot Meunier and one of the 1st in the region to practice biodynamic viticulture – no non-organic treatments have been used on her vines since 1997. She arrived at her decision to convert to organic, and then biodynamic farming, when her son Vincent was sick for many years as a child and didn’t respond to traditional medicine. Eventually she sought out the help of homeopaths and finally found relief for her son. As she learned more about homeopathic medicine, she implemented more of the practices into her daily life, culminating in her taking the approach in the vineyard and cellar as well. Today, her son Vincent is healthy and has taken over most of the winemaking duties. Their Champagnes are highly sought after examples of Pinot Meunier.

“Dis, Vin Secret” is 96% Pinot Meunier and 4% Chardonnay from younger vines planted on soils of chalk, gravel, clay, and grey schist in some parcels. It’s fermented in tank, aged partially in barrel, and then left to rest for at least five years; even the entry level, non-vintage cuvées don’t leave the cellar until 5 years after harvest. Always zero-dosage, Dis, Vin Secret is a gorgeous example of savory Pinot Meunier minerality, and rich, lees-y depth and complexity. It’s a beautiful wine.

Domaine Clos de l’Elu Anjou Blanc 2013

Domaine de l’Elu is an old 22 hectare property taken over in 2008 by Thomas Carsin and Gregoire du Bouexic. Thomas was a consultant in Champagne and Provence when this domaine became available. He and Gregoire jumped at the chance to purchase it and put their farming and winemaking philosophies into practice. They grow eight different varieties here including Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Pineau d’Aunis, and Grolleau. New plantings are done via selection massale, farming is organic (transitioning to biodynamic), harvest is by hand, only wild yeast is used, and none of the wines are filtered or fined. Sulphur is avoided, and only used in tiny amounts when deemed necessary.

Anjou Blanc is 100% Chenin Blanc, aged for 12 months in 400L French oak. It’s pure and expressive, with ripe orchard fruit, bright lemony acidity, a touch of salinity and chalky minerality, all wrapped around that gorgeous, full Chenin texture.

Domaine Clos de l’Elu “L’Aiglerie” Anjou Rouge, Loire, 2013

See full note above.
Most of the red wines here are whole cluster fermentations, macerations are long and the wines age in tank, barrel or amphorae. L’Aiglerie is 100% Cabernet Franc, semi-carbonic, no sulphur added. It’s ripe and bright while retaining the earthy, slightly vegetal, nervy minerality of Cab Franc.

Domaine Saint Nicolas Fièfs Vendéens “Reflets” Rouge 2014
60% Pinot Noir, 30% Gamay, 10% Cab Franc

Domaine Saint Nicolas sits at the extreme southern end of the Loire delta, just south of Muscadet. Fièfs Vendéens is a tiny viticultural area right on the Atlantic; the wines of Saint Nicolas are all about the place, in this case, the soil (slate, schist and silex) and the sea. Thierry Michon works old vines of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Groslot, Pinot Noir, Negrette, and Cabernet Franc. He farms biodynamically, and has taken the added step of purchasing parcels of land around his vineyards to work as buffer zones against the non-organic compounds some of his neighbors might use. He is one of the few winemakers in the region to age his wines in barrel. The wines of Saint Nicolas are pure like a new sheet of glass, and evocative of the sea and the mineral laden soils upon which the vines are grown.

Click here to read this week’s newsletter.

Pop-Up Wine Illustration by Evan Larson, RISD & Campus alum.

Pop-Up Wine Illustration by Evan Larson, RISD & Campus alum.

Thanksgiving Wine Club

Thanksgiving Wine Club kits are available for pick up or delivery.

Included in the 6 pack (one bottle of each)
or case (two bottles of each) of the following:

2014 Éric Chevalier Chardonnay
2013 Christophe Thorigny Vouvray Sec
2013 Birichino Malvasia

2013 Foretal Beaujolais Julienas
2012 GD Vajra Langhe Rosso
2013 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir

Wine Club Prices

6-pack / 10% discount: $103.44
Case / 15% discount: $195.38

Tasting Notes & Free Delivery Included
Thanksgiving week deliveries will take place Sunday through Tuesday.



Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop with Jenny & François

Nov. 13th, 5pm – 8pm

Jenny & François Tasting in the Shop

Jenny & François with Tim Mortimer – All of these will be SO GOOD
on your holiday table! 

Ca dei Zago Prosecco Col Fondo 2014, Veneto


We continue to flip over this gentle little fizzy. It’s light, refreshing and good anytime of day, and with any meal – or with no meal at all. It’s a blend of Glera from very old clones, Verdiso, Perera, and Bianchetta from massale selection. Col Fondo means ‘on the sediment’ so you can store it upright and enjoy the sediment separately (as they do in Valdobbiadene) or swirl it as you drink so that it’s incorporated throughout. Either way is the right way. The 2014 is so fresh and delicious, we just want to drink it all the time. It’s like a mouth full of crisp apples and pears; it’s super clean, softly sparkling, and all around satisfying. This is just what you need to welcome your holiday guests: it’s fun, interesting, and at just 10% abv, it’s perfect for easing into the party–or for brunch the next day. Practicing biodynamic since 2010. Want to know more? Check out this video of Christian Zago!

Chemins de Bassac Isa White 2014, Languedoc-Roussillon

Isabelle and Rémy Ducellier own and operate this small, organically certified estate located in Vin de Pays Côtes de Thongue, which is a collection of 14 villages in Languedoc. Like Isabelle and Rémy, the wines of Chemins de Bassac are friendly and easy-going, generous and inviting. Together they make and market their wines, with Rémy even designing the labels.

Isa White is a blend of Roussanne and Viognier that is gorgeously aromatic, lushly textured, and popping with flowers, ripe peaches and apricots. It’s beautifully balanced with stony minerality and a touch of orange pith on the long finish.

Domaine Jérôme Jouret La Coulée Douce 2014, Rhone Valley

Domaine Jérôme Jouret is a 12 hectare, relatively new, family winery in the southern Ardèche, a region on the right bank of the Rhône river, between the northern and southern Rhône valley. Burgundian Louis Latour was a pioneer here, most notably with his Grande Ardéche Chardonnay. We’re most familiar with the cult wines of Hervé Souhaut, which we try to have on our shelves whenever we can. Jérome Jouret works much like Souhaut; that is, minimally, by hand, with extremely low yields and little to no sulfur. The ancient, organic vines here are planted on steep and stony slopes. The high elevation and cool climate means that the grapes have a longer hang time, which leads to heady aromatics and purity of fruit. This unsulfured Syrah comes on with clean, vibrant fruit that gives way to smoky, minerally notes, then takes another turn to flowers and fresh tobacco. The texture is refined, as is the experience of drinking this wine.

Domaine du Mortier Graviers 2013, Loire Valley

Domaine du Mortier is a 9 hectare, certified biodynamic property located in Saint Nicolas de Bourgeuil. Brothers Fabien and Cyril Boisard were quite young when they started Domaine du Mortier nearly ten years ago. And while they don’t hail from a long line of winemakers, they do employ the most traditional method of propagating vines: Selection Massale, a labor intensive and time consuming practice of selecting the best vines in a vineyard and propagating through cuttings. With this level of discipline and commitment, it’s no surprise that they always produce top notch wines, from glou-glou to lay-it-down. All wines here are bottled unfiltered and unfined.

Mortier Gravier is 100% Cabernet Franc grown on gravel. Grapes are hand-harvested, fermented with wild yeast in barrel, then aged for 8 months in oak. This is a raspberry and cassis scented wine, with the mineral (gravelly) notes intertwined with juicy fruit, subtle spices and a satisfying roundness on the palate.  

Click here for today’s entire newsletter, including Thanksgiving picks and new arrivals.


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

Oct. 9th, 2015

mont de marie roseMont de Marie “Anatheme” Rosé 2014

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.

Nerocapitano_ese trcLamoresca Nerocapitano Sicilia 2014

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.

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

Sept. 25, 2015

Romain Chamiot Apremont 2014, Savoie

Savoie is a region in eastern France on the Swiss border, in the foothills of the Alps. The landscape is alpine, with mountains, lakes, and vines planted mostly in the flatter parts of the region, though some are planted on slopes and hillsides. Much of the soil is dotted with large stones that are the result of years of avalanches.

Chamiot is a multi-generation 7 ha estate, nearly all planted to Jacquere, with vines ranging in age from 40 to 80 years. Most of the vineyards are on slopes, and handpicked. Jacquère is the common white grape of Savoie. Chamiot’s Jacquere is dry, delicate, lightly scented, herbal, pleasantly green and exceedingly pure.

Domaine La Piffaudiere Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Touraine

Olivier Bellanger has apprenticed under some of the Loire’s best vignerons, including Philippe Tessier (for 5 years) and Jean-François Merieau (for one harvest). In 2008 he got the opportunity to purchase his own 6 ha estate, but it didn’t have a cellar or wine making facility, since the previous owner only grew grapes for the local cooperative. He has since converted the domain to organic farming, and works naturally in a nearby cellar, which he purchased in 2012. He uses a friends facility to crush.

This Sauvignon Blanc is grown on sandy, flinty soils. It sits on its lees for 3 months in 500 liter casks (no new oak) and is bottled unfined, lightly filtered, and with very little SO2. It’s bone dry, elegantly textured, and balanced.

Domaine La Piffaudiere Mon Tout Rouge 2013

Mon Tout rouge is a blend of 60% Côt (Malbec) and 40% Gamay, also grown on sandy, flinty soils. After fermentation with indigenous yeast, the Cot stays in 2 year old barrels for 11 months; the Gamay sees no oak at all. This is a light, mineral driven wine with bright red fruit & lively acidity. It’s refreshing from start to finish.

Monsecco Vespolina “Barbatasso”, Colline Novaresi 2012, Piedmont

Monsecco was established in 1872 in the Novara hills of Gattinara, in Piedmont. In the 19th century, there was more Nebbiolo planted here than Langhe, and the wines were more highly prized than either Barolo or Barbaresco. The region experienced a bit of a decline for a while, until 1990, when it was awarded DOCG status. Monsecco itself was purchased by the Zanetta family in 1993. They ended up owning five hectares of vineyards and rent an additional three hectares, where only Nebbiolo, Vespolina, Uva Rara and Croatina are planted.

Recent DNA profiling has shown that Vespolina is an offspring of Nebbiolo. One rarely finds a varietal bottling of it, as it is usually blended with Nebbiolo or Bonarda. The Barbatasso is floral, earthy, peppery & intriguing.

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

2014 Domaine de la Pépiere Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine sur Lie

Marc Ollivier is one of the best producers of Muscadet that we’ve ever encountered. His Muscadet has lees contact until the time of bottling, which is the traditional way to make Muscadet, but has become the exception. Ollivier hand harvests, uses natural yeasts & bottles with a very light filtration. The vineyards are 40+ years old & all from original stock; there isn’t a single clonal selection in the vineyards.

This wine never, ever fails to deliver. It’s a rocky, salty, twangy, lip-smacky, refreshing bottle of goodness!

2014 Domaine Rimbert “Petit Cochon Bronzé Rosé”, St. Chinian, Languedoc

It’s hard to ever say no to this little piggy. This rosé is made from a blend of Cinsault & Syrah, from vines of about 60 years old. The grapes are harvested at maximum ripeness and immediately de-stemmed, then gently crushed and fermented with natural yeast. The skins are removed from the vats 36 hours after pressing, lending this rosé its beautifully intense pink color. This wine is typically light and spicy, with bright red fruit, like cherries and a strawberries, and a clean and zesty finish.

2014 Domaine Rimbert “Cousin Oscar” Vin de France (St. Chinian)

He’s back! Made from Jean-Marie Rimbert’s organically farmed young vine Cinsault, this wine is synonymous with summer around the shop. Oscar likes a light chill, to maintain his suave sense of cool.

2014 Domaine du Mortier “Brain de Folie” St Nicolas de Bourgeuil

Domaine du Mortier is a 9 hectare vineyard located in the Saint Nicolas de Bourgeuil AOC, which lies between Angers and Tours. Brothers Fabien and Cyril Boisard were quite young when they started Domaine du Mortier nearly ten years ago. They don’t come from a family with a long wine making history, but you would never know that when tasting their pure, silky and elegant wines. All are bottles unfiltered & unfined. The vines are cultivated via Selection Massale, a labor intensive and time consuming practice of selecting the best vines in a vineyard and propagating through cuttings.

Brain de Folie is apparently slang for hangover, but this is a light Loire Valley Cab Franc, so how bad can it be? Two weeks of carbonic maceration lend this wine its refreshing, food friendly, totally quaffable character. Porch-pounder!