Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio Ramato “Gossip” 2014
The Di Lenardo estate produces wines from its four large (150 hectares) family owned vineyards situated in Ontagnano, in the heart of the Friuli region in the foothills of the Alps, as well as from rented vineyards in Aquileia and Manzano. The estate was established in 1878, and has been for many years now under the direction of winemaker Massimo “Max” Di Lenardo. All the fruit here is hand-harvested and the winery is 100% solar powered.
2012 was the first vintage of Di Lenardo Ramato, and only about 1600 cases are made each year. We’ve carried every vintage in the shop, and this 2014 just arrived, so we just have to crack it open!
Ramato is an old-school style of Pinot Grigio, made by allowing the grape skins to stay in the mix with the juice during the maceration. This contact with the skins gives the wine its ramato, or copper-pink hue. Sometimes called a baby orange wine, Ramato-style wines are more compellingly aromatic and texturally interesting than a Pinot Grigio made without skin contact. They’re also quite food friendly, especially with seafood.
Clos de la Roilette, Fleurie 2014
Clos de la Roilette covers nine hectares of one of the best slopes in the Beaujolais Crus. The clos (walled estate, although there’s no wall here…) borders the Moulin-à-Vent appellation and produces wines known both for their youthful beauty and for their ability to age gracefully. Depending on the vintage, the wines here can typically be laid down for 5, 10 years, or more.
Fernando Coudert bought the estate in 1967; since the mid-80s, his son Alain has been making the wines. The terroir (mainly clay and manganese), and the age of their vines (upwards of 40 years) contribute to the richness and depth of their wines. Farming here is by hand and lutte raisonnée (sustainable, or reasoned fight). Vinification is the traditional, semi-carbonic Beaujolais style with indigenous yeast.
The 2014 vintage was a little rough at first but was saved by bright and sunny weather in August and September. This wine is a reflection of the vintage: it’s pure, bright fruit, light on its feet, and balanced. It may not be one to put away for a decade, but it could handle 5 or so years just fine. Or drink it now. Why not?
Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil “Trinch!” 2013, Loire
The Bretons were on the forefront of the natural wine movement in the Loire back in the early 90s. Their organically farmed vineyards are now moving toward biodynamic certification.
Trinch! (“Cheers” in German) is from a 5 hectare plot of 30 year-old Cabernet Franc vines grown on gravel. Hand-harvested, wild yeast, little to no sulphur (like all Breton wines), and vilified in stainless steel, this is the Breton Bourgueil meant for earlier consumption and casual bistro-style meals.