Tag Archives: Piedmont

Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm – 8pm

Friday, March 3, 2017

Elvio Tintero Vino Rosato
90% Barbera, 5% Moscato, 5% Favorita

Cantine Elvio Tintero was founded in 1900 by Frenchman Pierre Tintero, when he happened upon the small estate while looking for work in Piedmont. The vineyards were already being worked alone by a young widow named Rosina. The two married, had children, and the estate remains in the same family today. The vines are sustainably farmed and all vinification is in stainless steel.

This is a fun, fruity and lively (gentle) frizzante from young vines planted on clay, limestone and tufa. It’s produced and bottled by vintage, (this one is 2016) but because Tintero sources from different parts of Piedmont, there is no specific DOC, and therefore vintage dating is not allowed. This wine is bottled unfiltered.

Les Vins Pirouettes ‘Tutti Frutti de Stéphane’ Binner & Co. 2014, Alsace

Importer notes: Les Vins Pirouettes is a project launched by Christian Binner, that brings affordable natural wines to the table, and at the same time helps organic and biodynamic grape growers in Alsace move away from selling their grapes to cooperatives towards making and bottling natural wines. Each cuvée is made at a young growers winery. They supply the grapes and Christian supplies his 20 years of expertise in making natural wine in Alsace, and of course his marketing and distribution savvy. Each cuvée will feature the name of the grower on the bottle.

Tutti Frutti is a blend of Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc and Muscat grown on limestone silt, from vines about 40 years old. Grapes are hand harvested, de-stemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. The wine stays on its lees for several months before being bottled without sulfur, filtering or fining. Tutti Frutti is all about texture and orchard fruit.

Azienda Agricola Al Di La Del Fiume ‘Fricandò’ Albana, 2015, Emilia-Romagna

We first tasted this wine back in October, and we continue to love it! It just got some bigger love than ours though, with a little shout out in the Feiring Line: “Hate apple cider in your wine? Then pass, but if like me this is a non-issue, you’ll find plenty of enjoyment here. Macerated in anfora for up to three months, there’s a lot of tannin from the thick skins and a lot of complexity. This is a full on lovely wine with a plush crustiness in the texture and blushing apricot.”

“The Farm Beyond the River” is a small, biodynamically farmed, 27 hectare property, 3 of which are planted to Albana and Barbera. Everything here is done by hand & without chemicals or additives.

Fricando is amphora fermented & macerated Albana, a rare, thick-skinned grape indigenous to Bologna. Whole clusters are added to terracotta vessels where it slowly ferments, and then the wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered and unsulfured. As a skin-fermented wine, Fricando pours a deep, brilliant amber. Along with the cidery notes, it’s also umami driven, and pleasantly oxidative. Don’t over chill, a little cool will do.

Poderi Cellario È Rosso, Piedmont

Fausto & Cinzia Cellario are 3rd generation winemakers in the village of Carru` on the western outskirts of the Langhe. They focus on indigenous grapes, farm entirely organically, and only use wild yeasts. Sulfur is avoided, but may be added in tiny quantities at bottling, if at all.

È Rosso is a liter of Barbera grown at high altitude. It’s gluggable and slurpable, full of berries, spice, woodsy earth and subtle tannins – and under crown-cap for easy access!

Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5pm – 8pm

Friday, February 17th

Tonight in the shop we have Gian Lorenzo Ernesto of Picollo Ernesto in Piedmont, and Enrico Pierazzuoli of Tenuta Pierazzuoli/Cantagallo in Montalbano, and also of Tenuta La Farnete in Carmignano, Tuscany. These two winemakers are friends who travel to promote their wines together, and we’re very happy to have them in our shop tonight. Picollo Ernesto is a 3rd generation producer on 8 hectares in Rovereto di Gavi. These high elevation, sunny, southern exposure vineyards are farmed traditionally, without chemicals. The Gavi made here is refreshing, minerally, lightly fruity and sunny like the hillsides.

Enrico Pierazzuoli’s family has owned their 200 hectares of olives, grapes and forest in Montalbano and Carmignano since 1970. The Pierazzuili/Cantagallo property is in Montalbano DOCG, a subzone of Chianti known for a lighter, fruitier, more acid-driven style. The family’s vineyards are located in the southern part of the region, and planted on marl, making the Sangiovese-based wines a bit fuller and softer, but retaining balanced, appetizing acidity.

Tenute la Farnete is in Carmignano, a region in Tuscany that has been considered one of the best for red wine production since the Middle Ages. The vineyards are situated on a series of low-lying hills; as a result, the Sangiovese that makes up the base of the wines is lower in acid and with softer tannins than in Chianti Classico. It’s the only Tuscan DOC to require the inclusion of Cabernet Sauvignon (up to 20%).

We’re looking forward to trying the wines from these two friends tonight. We hope you can join us!

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

Friday, Dec. 23rd

Balestri Valda Soave Classico 2015, Veneto
Monte Carniga – Sengialta – Campagnola

A family winery spearheaded by Guido Rizzotto, now mostly in the hands of his two children: Laura (on the business side) and Luca (the current winemaker).

100% Garganega from densely planted vines at 500 feet above sea level. What they have to say about themselves: We say no to chemicals and grow our vineyards and olive trees according to the principles of organic viticulture with every agricultural practice being an expression of our deep respect for nature and harmony with our ecosystem. That’s why we started beekeeping with enthusiasm. Our happy bees prove that protecting biodiversity is possible and a duty we take on with pleasure.

Balestri Valda Soave is a perfect starter; it’s light and pretty, with loads of refreshing minerality and delicate fruit.

Mirabella Franciacorta Brut

What’s Franciacorta? Here’s what Walter Speller (Italian correspondent for Jancis Robinson.com) has to say: Franciacorta — important wine region in the hills immediately east of Brescia, with a relatively short history of producing traditional method sparkling wine from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with some Pinot Bianco. Its name is a corruption of the medieval Francae Curtes, Curtes meaning communes and Francae meaning ‘exempt of taxes’, referring to the region’s privileged position at the time…

Franciacorta modelled itself closely on Champagne, while the local consorzio adopted an admirable code of self-regulation for the sparkling wines with production regulations at least as strict as those for the wine’s French model: a minimum vine density of 3,300 vines per ha; tendone and geneva double curtain training systems forbidden; a maximum yield of 65 hl/ha; and fractional pressing. The wines must undergo lees ageing for a minimum of 18 months for non-vintage wines, 30 months for vintage-dated wines, and 60 months for wines labelled Riserva. The Sáten designation refers to a blanc de blancs that has spent at least 24 months on the lees.

Mirabella was established with 11 hectares of land by Teresio Schiavi in 1979; in 1980 two partners joined him and it became a 15 hectare co-op. They now hold more than 40 hectares and refer to themselves as an “agricultural society”. They are certified sustainable and draw 100% of their energy from renewable sources.

Tre Monti Campo di Mezzo 2015, Romagna DOC Sangiovese Superiore

We’ve been fans of Tre Monti Winery for a long time now, going back to when we first met winemaker Vittorio Navacchia six or so years ago. He believes in minimal intervention from the vine to the cellar. Certified organic since 2014, Tre Monti is in the process of transitioning to biodynamic farming. Only estate-grown grapes from their 50 hectares are vinified here. Pebbly, sandy, clay soils give the wines mineral depth and complexity.

This Sangiovese comes from younger vines and is fermented and aged in a combination of stainless steel and glass lined cement. It’s dark and spicy, with palate pleasing notes of sour cherry and violets.

G.D. Vajra Barbera D’Alba 2013, Piedmont Italy

G.D. Vajra was officially established in 1972 (named after Aldo’s father, Giuseppe Domenico) but the family roots in the region go back over two centuries. Aldo Vajra has been making wine here since the late 60s. Today the estate is close to 60 hectares, 10 of which are planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo production. Farming is organic, grapes are hand-harvested, and aging is done in traditional Slavonian casks.

This Barbera spent 14-16 months in cask. It’s rich and dark, with notes of dark plum, violets and tobacco.

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

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 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, 5-8PM

Mestres 1312 Brut Reserva Cava

The history of Mestres goes back to 1312, when they were negociants. In 1607, the first documents show up with Mestres as vine growers & owners of the “Heretat Mas Coquet” vineyard. In the 1600s, they started construction on the winery in San Sadurni d’Anoia, in Penedes, Spain & finally finished it in 1861. In 1959, they were the first producer to register the word Cava, and labeled their bottles ‘vins de cava’ (wines made in cave). They have only ever used indigenous grapes: Xarel.lo, Parellada and Macabeu, harvested from their own 74 acres of vineyards, which sit at nearly 700 feet above sea level and are some of the oldest in the area.

Nothing has changed here since the very beginning. All methods carried out are organic, from the vineyards to the cellar, and everything is done by hand, including riddling. All second fermentations and aging are under cork. The minimum amount of time any wine stays in cave is 20 months.

1312 is 30% Macabeu, 30% Xarel.lo and 40% Parellada. This is an elegant Cava, with notes of flowers, sandalwood, citrus and herbs. The bubbles are persistent and delicate. This is a delicious addition to any meal or festive occasion.

Alphonse Dolly “Cuvée Silex” Sancerre 2013

This Sancerre is from a small, family-owned organic domaine just outside the village of Thauvenay, one of Sancerre’s 14 communes in the southeast section of the appellation. It’s 100% Sauvignon Blanc from grapes around 35-40 years old, grown on silex, or flint. It is indeed flinty, crisp and minerally, with citrus peel and flowers throughout.

G.D. Vajra Langhe Rosso 2011, Piedmont Italy

G.D. Vajra was officially established in 1972 but the family roots in the region go back over two centuries. The estate sits 400 meters above sea level in the village of Vergne, in the commune of Barolo. Some of these vineyards were in the family since the 1920s but were given to sharecroppers after WWII. Aldo returned in the late 60s and reclaimed the family legacy. Today the estate is over 40 hectares, 10 of which are planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo production. Aldo and his wife Milena worked the vineyards and made the wine during those early years, while Aldo also worked as a professor of oenology during the day in nearby Alba. Now their sons Giuseppe & Isidoro are assistant winemakers preparing to carry on the family tradition. Farming here is organic, grapes are hand-harvested, and aging is done in traditional Slavonian casks.

The Langhe Rosso is a blend of Nebbiolo, Dolcetto & Barbera, with small amounts of Albarossa, Freisa and Pinot Noir. It’s fruity, floral and spicy, with a touch of brambly underbrush and black pepper. It’s lively and bright with pleasant tannins on the finish. It’s a perfect bistro-style wine!

G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d’Alba 2013

The grapes for this Dolcetto are from Vajra`s vineyards located in Coste di Vergne, Fossati and Pascolo in the Barolo region, and the Ravera vineyard in the Nerollo region. The vines were planted from 1982 to 2002 on soil that is a mix of limestone and marl. Fermented and aged in stainless steel, this wine is fresh and aromatic, with notes of violets, hay, cherries and thyme. It’s elegant, with refined tannins on a long, smooth finish. Aldo describes it thusly: It is a wine that gives life! If people knew how good, digestible, and humanizing it was, they would drink it every day.

A wine that gives life and humanizes? Let’s get an IV pump for the world!