Our fall in-shop tastings have been a blast!
You can now reserve your spot at Broadway Bistro for the dinner with Wine Traditions importers Ed Addiss and Barbara Selig. If you’re a fan of Wine Traditions, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet Ed and Barbara and get the inside scoop on the life and adventures of a small wine importer. And of course you won’t want to miss the Broadway Bistro pairings! Grab your spot asap!
Sept. 23, 2016
Marco Felluga is considered to be one of the highest quality estates in Collio. The family history goes back to the 1800s in Istria, a peninsula in the Adriatic Sea at the junction of Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. In the 1930s,Giovanni Felluga moved to Friuli; Marco, the youngest of his seven children, continued the family business and in 1956 founded the estate that bears his name.
“Just Molomatta” is a blend of Pinot Bianco, Friulano, and Ribolla Gialla. from vineyards located in Molomatta. It’s fermented in stainless steel then left on the lees for about 6 months. This is a pleasantly perfumed wine with flavors of apples and pears balanced by a slightly salty note. It’s lushly textured, balanced and elegant.
Forlorn Hope “Nodosaur” 2014, Calaveras County, CA
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. Producer Mathew Rorick explains his reasons behind the name: 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.
Producer notes: The Nodosaur is a vineyard blend of fruit grown on our estate Rorick Vineyard at 2000′ elevation in Calaveras County. The 2014 vintage is a blend of Picpoul, Verdelho, Albariño, and a dashing of Muscat. All fruit was hand harvested; a portion of each was foot tread prior to pressing to increase aromatic depth and textural intensity. The wine was fermented in a combination of open top fermentor, stainless steel, and 500L puncheon; it saw 14 months elevage before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Brightly aromatic and fiercely structured, it bears the cut and definition that have become hallmarks of wines grown on our limestone and schist soils. 207 cases produced
Fedellos do Couto “Lomba Dos Ares” 2014, Ribeira Sacra
A Galician blend of Mencía, Mouratón, Garnacha Tintorera, Caiño, Bastardo sourced from 70 year old, high elevation, organically farmed vines on the slopes of the Bibei River. Fedellos (brats) do Couto is a young project (2013 was their first vintage) started by four friends with with backgrounds in wine: Luis Taboada (whose family has owned the 12th century manor (couto) on the 4 hectare property for generations); viticulturist Pablo Soldavini, and winemakers Curro Barreño and Jesús Olivares. Pablo is an advocate of organic farming; Curro and Jesús come from Sierra de Gredos, a mountainous region in central Spain, where they worked with winemakers Dani Landi and Fernando Garcia, of Comando G.
All harvesting here is done by hand. The grapes for Lomda dos Ares are fermented in whole bunches with indigenous yeasts at low temperatures, then aged in neutral French oak, mainly 500L demi-muids. The wine is expressive and fresh, with a slatey, savory minerality and a satisfying depth and richness.
La Querciolina “Istriciaia”, DOC Maremma, 2011
La Querciolina is a side project for bothers Lorenzo and Luciano Sassetti, who bought this previously abandoned farm in 1999. In 2000 they began reclaiming the land and replanting the vineyards with indigenous varieties. The Sasetti family goes back four generations in Tuscany, and in that time they have always farmed without chemicals. Like the mother estate, Pertimali di Livio Sassetti, La Querciolina is also certified organic. Maremma gained DOC status in 2011.
Istriciaia, which translates to “the place where the porcupine lives” is a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Ciliegiolo. Cherries, blackberries and flowers, a fine-grained texture and bright and buoyant acidity, make this wine ever so delicious.
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.
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.
A couple of months ago a friend in the biz introduced us to Joe Swick and his wines; we’ve been anxiously awaiting their arrival ever since. Joe knows wine. Just check out all the places he’s worked since 2003. Swick Wines is a small winery working out of Medici Vineyard in Newberg, Oregon. The wines are the epitome of low-intervention; they are minimally foot-trod and fermented with wild yeast. Many spend time in neutral French oak, they’re not filtered or fined, and sulfur is kept to a minimum or not used at all. Production is tiny. We got to taste though some of the current releases, including a barrel sample of the 2015 Melon de Bourgogne; the cloudy pour was punctuated by buoyant acidity and rocky, mineral freshness. Tasting Swick wines is like listening to a great record for the first time – they’ve got the hooks and the melodies, wrapped around a core of originality, with the artist humming harmonies in the background. Minimal intervention at its best. Come taste some Swick in the shop tonight.
May 6th, 2016
Guillaume Demoulin’s great-grandfather Eugène bought this eighteenth-century château in 1936, the same year as the establishment of the Tavel AOC. Unfortunately the vineyards were in great disrepair and it wasn’t until 1960 that the vines were producing wines worthy of Demoulin’s standards.
This Tavel is a blend of 45% Grenache, 24% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 10% Mourvèdre, 6% Syrah, from vines over 30 years old, and planted on sand, marl, limestone, clay and quartz. The wine has a ripe red fruit quality, balanced by Rhone stony-freshness and spicy hillside herbs. Farmed sustainably.
Notes from the producer: Founded by the husband and wife winemaking team of Michael and Anne Dashe, Dashe Cellars crafted its first vintage of Dry Creek Zinfandel in 1996. Since that time, the Dashe’s have focused on producing exceptional, single-vineyard wines using a traditional, non-industrial approach to winemaking.
At Dashe, we are committed to partnering with some of the finest small growers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties and beyond. We focus on crafting wines with a distinctive sense of place and look for that perfect balance of steep hillside vineyards, older vines, and vigor-reducing growing conditions. With almost two decades partnering with many of our growers, we work together to limit yields and reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals in the vineyards. In addition, all harvesting decisions are made by Michael Dashe.
Dashe Dry Creek Zinfandel 2013
Fermented using only the natural yeast and aged for 10 months in older French oak barrels, including 900 gallon French oak casks, which add softness without a lot of oak flavors. Blended with approx 8% Petite Sirah (for structure and aging potential). This is a full-bodied, velvety-soft zin. Lots of blackberries and cassis, chocolate and flowers on the nose. Dark and spicy on the palate, with cherries and hints of licorice and chocolate again.
Producer notes: The Comet is a blend of three wines: a 51-year-old vine Zinfandel from Geyserville, a 130-year-old vine Carignan, and a significant proportion—39% of the blend—of an Alexander Valley Petite Sirah. Together, they make a rich, complex, full-bodied wine with a tremendous depth of flavor.
The Zinfandel and Petite Sirah come from the Todd Brothers Ranch, a steep, red-rock vineyard where the vines struggle to produce a small quantity of grapes, resulting in wines with great intensity and structure. The old-vine Carignan is from the famous Bedrock Vineyard, a vineyard that was originally planted by Generals Sherman and Hooker before the Civil War. The Carignan adds fruit and spice to this luscious, full-bodied wine.
April 15, 2016
Bodega Eladio Santalla “Hacienda Ucediños” Godello 2014, Galicia Spain
Brothers Eladio and Marco Santalla own a restaurant in Galicia named Pulperia El Dorado, where they pair their wines with traditional Galician food, such as pulpo Gallego. Godello is a fine match for this “fair or street-style” octopus, but it also pairs beautifully with other salty, paprika, and olive oil rich dishes.
Godello is grape variety native to north west Spain and northern Portugal. It was rescued from near extinction in the 1980s and produces well-structured, dry whites that some compare to the fine whites of Burgundy. It’s identical to the Portuguese variety known as Gouveio in the Douro and in Dão.
Hacienda Ucediños is 100% estate-grown fruit. It’s clean and fruity, with green apple, pear, a touch of peach and a pleasant green herbaceous quality. A little bit of creaminess on the palate combines with crisp acidity to make this a wine to pair or to sip on its own.
Chemins de Bassac Isa Rosé 2015, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Isabelle and Rémy Ducellier own and operate this small, organically certified estate located in Vin de Pays des Côtes de Thongue, which is a collection of 14 villages in the Languedoc. The vineyards are 100 feet above sea level and are influenced greatly by the nearby Mediterranean. The wines of Chemins de Bassac are friendly and easy-going, generous and inviting.
Isa Rosé is a blend of Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Syrah. It’s loaded with strawberry, cherry and raspberry; it’s rich and zesty at the same time, the dry finish balancing out the smooth & creamy mid-palate texture. This is another for seafood and spring and summertime fresh and casual meals.
Domaine Rimbert “Les Travers de Marceau” 2014, St. Chinian, France
This is a blend of Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre from ancient vines that grow in schist rich soils in the highest elevation vineyards in St. Chinian. The grapes are hand-harvested and de-stemmed before being gently pressed. Only indigenous yeasts are used and all the varietals are fermented separately before being blended and bottled with minimal filtration.
Importer notes: Jean-Marie Rimbert, a native of Provence, arrived in the Languedoc nearly twenty-five years ago and managed the vineyards at Château de Flaugergues for five years until he saved up enough money to purchase his first parcels of gnarled ancient vine Carignan that had been nurtured in schist-laden soils for the better part of the last century. Today, Jean-Marie has 20 hectares spread amongst 40 diverse parcels each with different soil compositions and expositions. Berlou has the highest elevation in all of the St. Chinian AOC and is the only place in the region that possesses schist rich soils. From the beginning, his objective was to cultivate vineyards with the utmost respect for the environment and his wines reflect all of the natural beauty, depth and flavor originating from those vines. The wines Jean-Marie crafts are a passionate testament to this region’s multi-dimensionality and ever-expanding potential.
Comando G “La Bruja de Rozas” 2014, Vinos de Madrid, Spain
La Bruja de Rozas is 50-80 year old Grenache, grown on granite, from several organically and biodynamically farmed vineyards. Comando G is 8 hectares and sits at 1100 meters above sea level. Like their single vineyard wines, La Bruja de Rozas is hand harvested, undergoes natural yeast fermentation with a long maceration, followed by five months in 500 liter foudre.
Importer notes: Daniel Landi and Fermando Garcia, friends since college, found themselves working in the area bounded by the Sierra de Gredos: Dani at his family’s estate, Bodegas Jimenez-Landi and Fermando at Bodegas Marañones. Drawn to the mountains and rumors of small, nearly inaccessible vineyard plots located high in the Sierra de Gredos, over time they began purchasing and leasing the best sites they could find, creating their own project, Comando
G in 2008. Along with many of the new innovators in the Priorat, Dani and Fernando are redefining what was previously viewed as a workhorse variety, Garnacha, into something that can rival the elegance and finesse of Pinot in Burgundy or Syrah in Hermitage. Read more here.
March 4th, 2016
La Perla White Rioja, 2014
The La Perla winery is located in Labastida, an area in Rioja that is at a higher elevation and experiences a cooler climate than most of the region, resulting in wines that are higher in acidity and are especially fresh.
Manuel Ruiz is the 2nd generation winemaker here. The wine is a blend of dry-farmed Viura (92%, 30 year old vines), and 8% Malvasia (50+ years old) sourced from independent growers. It’s fermented in stainless steel and is light and easy, a touch tropical, and will be an easy one to toss back all spring and summer. And it’s super cheap too!
De Martino “Viejas Tinajas” Cinsault 2014, Itata Valley, Chile
This 100% Cinsault is made in 100 year old amphorae 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 amphorae, where they undergo carbonic maceration. It then rests in the same jug and then goes through malolactic fermentation. It’s 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 fresh and lively, tempered by an earthy, floral, herbaceous notes.
Alto 3 Malbec, Catamarca, Argentina
Catamarca is located 515 miles north of Mendoza, and at 4,947 feet, has some of the highest altitude vineyards in the world. Alto 3 practices organic and biodynamic farming. They ferment in concrete tanks and some of their wines go into clay cones which are buried in the ground; winemaker Carlos Arizu does this because the wines will undergo fewer temperature fluctuations and add structure, in his opinion. Fermentation takes longer but he thinks the process produces more complex wines.
Alto 3 Malbec is alas not one of the wines that goes into cone, but it’s still pretty special. It’s hand-harvested, estate-grown fruit (as are all the wines here). After fermentation in concrete, it goes into French and American oak casks for 6 months. It’s then bottled unfiltered and unfined. This wine is rich & smooth, with mocha, plums, raspberry and tobacco. The finish is long with notes of licorice and spice.
Iconic Wine “Sidekick” Chardonnay
From the producers website:
The SK Series from Iconic Wine represents the finest wine we could create at everyday drinking value. We work with multiple vineyard sources from around northern California, as far north as Anderson Valley to as far south as Lodi. This allows us every year to assure we pull the best fruit for the price depending on the vintage, creating a trustworthy wine and perfect companion to you day to day adventures.
Iconic was founded on a love of Chardonnay. It was the very first wine we ever made, and we are very picky when it comes to this great grape. Like our flagship Chardonnay, Heroine, the focus is on fresh bright fruit and minerality. The grapes are slowly pressed over a long gentle pressing before fermented in vertical, temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is apricot and white peach and full of floral aromatics.
Qupé “A Modern White” 2014 Central Coast Blend
Qupé calls itself a “modern stone age winery”. Started in 1981 by original Rhone Ranger Bob Lindquist, Qupé is so named to honor the Chumash, the indigenous people of the Golden State’s Central Coast and Channel Islands. The word means poppy, a plant traditionally used for food and medicine. Bob and his wife Louisa Sawyer Lindquist are skilled in biodynamics, and their Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard is certified Demeter Biodynamic and Stellar Organic.
“A Modern White” is a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier & Marsanne. The Viognier was harvested slightly late for richness and a touch of sweetness. The Chardonnay and Marsanne were harvested a bit early for freshness, crispness and acidity. This is a food friendly, ripe and fruity (though not sweet) white wine with lots of richness, body and depth.
Hobo Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel, 2013
Kenny Likitprakong started Hobo Wine Company in 2002, at the age of 26. He grew up in Healdsburg, spending much time at Domaine St. George, the winery owned by his great-uncle Supasit Mahaguna. Kenny’s father Somchai was also involved at the winery, having been summoned there by Mahaguna while studying in NY.
Likitprakong sells his wines under three labels: Banyan Wines, Hobo and Folk Machine, all of them under the umbrella of the Hobo Wine Co. He doesn’t own any vines, instead he gets fruit from top sources, although he does farm about an acre of Branham Estate Rockpile Vineyard Zinfandel.
Fromthe start, Likitprakong intended to make lower sugar, lower alcohol, higher acid, more food friendly wiines than what was being produced in California at the time. In 2008, Gary Branham said that Likitprakong was “already doing more avant-garde things than most people do in their whole careers.”
Producers notes: The Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel is an “appellation wine” and we attempt to make a wine that represents what we think the appellation is; rich, but not overripe, fruit-forward, but not a bomb, structured, but not tannic. The 2013 is a blend of Treborce, Larrick, Wellstone, and Branham Vineyards. We continue to cover the geographical and climatic diversity that the appellation has to offer from the far North Rockpile part of the Dry Creek Valley to the Southern most border of the appellation. It is our belief that the multiple sites and climates and soil types give us a representation of the appellation and a variety of different expressions and flavors.
Brea Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 “Margarita Vineyard” Paso Robles
Brea is a project between winemaker Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars and Tim Elenteny of TE Imports. This wine is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc & 5% Petit Verdot planted on granitic shale and uplifted seabed. Farming is sustainable, fermentation is spontaneous, and the wine spends 20 months in 100% used French oak barrels. Margarita Vineyard is located at 1000 ft elevation and 15 miles from the Pacific. Some consider this area too cool to make Cabernet, but the cooler maritime climate means a longer growing season. The resulting wine is elegant, soft, refined. Not so much a California powerhouse as a subtle expression of minerality and terroir. It’s really pretty gorgeous.