Tag Archives: ramato

Friday Tasting in the Shop, 5pm – 8pm

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.

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

~all tastings in the shop are free & open to the public~

2013 Kozlovic Malvasia, Istria, Croatia

Gianfranco Kozlovic is the largest producer of Malzasia in Istria. The focus on this 17 acre family owned and operated estate is on indigenous varietals and sustainable farming. The winery is close to the Slovenian and northern Italian border, not far from the Adriatic coast.

This wine is fermented in stainless steel, at controlled cool temps to preserve and enhance the zesty Malvasia aromas. This is a lively wine, full of flowers, apricots, peaches. It’s not quite as rich as some other Malvasia’s on the market these days, it’s a little leaner and drier. As indicated on the label, it really would be a nice pairing with seafood, risottos, pasta with cream sauce, etc…

2013 Pullus Pinot Grigio, Slovenia

Until the early 1990s, Slovenia was under communist rule, and the wines were made by strict government controlled cooperatives. With independence came a resurgence & innovation in winemaking and viticulture. Pullus is the oldest winery in Slovenia, dating back to 1239. They also claim to have the oldest grapevine in the world, at 400 years old. We’re curious about that one!

Farming here is sustainable, and the use of sulphur is limited. This Pinot Grigio is another Ramato, or copper-hued (this is in fact the traditional style of Pinot Grigio) although this one is on the pinker end of the copper spectrum. It spends 72 hours on the skins, and 5% of the wine is aged in 225 liter oak barrels. Some lees aging adds a touch of weight and creaminess. The nose is floral and fruity, on the palate is fresh, dry and mineral driven. Only 1,000 cases produced.

2013 Kobal Blaufränkisch, Slovenia

This is a very small production wine (approx 300 cases) from a family producer in Bizeljsko –Sremič, Lower Styria, in northeastern Slovenia. The vines are dry farmed, farming is sustainable, and the use of sulphur is limited in the vineyards and the cellar. After fermentation with wild yeast in large open vats, this Blaufränkisch ages for up to 16 months in used 225L French oak barrels. It’s bottled unfiltered and unfined. This wine is all about blackberries, plums, and a touch of chocolate, with lively acidity, light tannins and a long, soft finish. Put a little chill on it and have it with just about anything: pizza, burgers, grilled chicken & pork, cured meats…the list goes on.

2013 Piližota Plavina, Craotia

This is another tiny production (350 cases) from an organic farm on Outskirts of Šibenik, Dalmatia, Croatia. This is dry farmed, 100% Plavina, a grape we really didn’t know existed until a few weeks ago. What is it? According to the importer, Vinum, “Plavina is without a doubt Croatia’s most underrated coastal red grape! Due to the fact that the Croatian coast has been focused on growing Teran, Babić, Plavac Mali and Crljenak, the original Zinfandel, it is oftentimes in the shadows of those better-known varietals.” Oh yes, those better-known varietals, such as Teran, Babić, Plavac Mali and Crljenak! Ha! Well, we do know that Plavina is a dark skinned grape grown exclusively in Croatia. It may be related to Zinfandel, or Puglia Verdeca. Who knows, who cares, the wine is good!

This Plavina is hand-harvested, then fermented in open top vats with natural yeasts. Aging is in large, used Slovenian oak barrels for 4 months. It’s bottled unfiltered, and is only lightly fined. This is a medium bodied wine with fresh, bright red berries on the nose and palate, tart and zesty acidity, a touch of earthiness, and soft tannins. This will be a good grill-n-swill wine, perfect with hotdogs and kraut, easy on its own. Another winner with dinner!

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

Rosé is so passé, we’ve moved on to Ramato! Just kidding, we still love rosé, but have you ever tried copper wine, or Ramato, as it’s known in Friuli? Ramato is made from the pinkish-hued Pinot Grigio grape, which is crushed and then the juice is allowed to sit on its skins for an extended period of time, usually less than a day. Copper wine is not to be confused with orange wine, which tends toward the funkier, cidery, oxidized end of the spectrum. Ramato is all about texture, texture, texture, with a richness & mineral character that is hard to define. The nose is highly aromatic & enticing, and the color is simply glorious! It makes us want to take up painting just to see if we can recreate it on canvas. We’ll taste the Di Lenardo Ramato tonight; you’ll definitely want to swing on by for a sip!

Di Lenardo Vineyards, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy

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.

Di Lenardo Sauvignon Monovitigno 2013

This Sauvignon Blanc is from Sancerre clones. It’s fermented in steel and left on its lees until bottling. This is a richer & rounder expression of Sauvignon Blanc than what we commonly encounter. On the nose it has peaches, melons, and on the palate there is the suggestion of fig, followed by more tropical fruit. It’s a perfect ham wine, but is also lovely with fish or as an aperitif.

Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio Ramato “Gossip” 2013

2012 was the first vintage of Di Lenardo Ramato, and only about 1600 cases are made each year. We’re not really sure why it’s called Gossip, but we think it has something to do with everyone in town talking about the new copper wine that Max was cooking up. And now we’re talking about it! As mentioned previously, this is a wine produced by letting Pinot Grigio sit on its skins for an extended period of time, 18 hours in this case (Ramato is sometimes called a baby-orange wine). The nose is pretty wild and intense; it’s fruity, floral and concentrated with notes of citrus, pears, tropical fruit & hay. The first sip reveals deep minerality, almonds, dried flowers, & dried fruit. The fine grained texture is intriguing and satisfying.

La Roche Bussiere Flonflons 2012, Cotes du Rhone

We meant to taste this a couple of weeks ago, nut we bumped it for a new Rioja. Here it is again!

Importer notes on the estate: Located northeast of Vaison-La-Romaine in the southern Côtes du Rhone, Antoine and Lawrence Joly work 18 hectare of organic vineyards making some of our favorite wines in the region. They maintain a freshness and lightness in their wines by dedicating themselves to very intense vineyard work that allows them to harvest earlier than several other producers in their area, resulting in less concentrated and lower alcohol wines.

Antoine’s family has run the estate since the early 1970s (his grandfather was a beekeeper in the area and his father Pierre returned to live a more simple life after his involvement in the Parisian student riots of 1968). Pierre was a pioneer of organic viticulture in the Rhone and the vineyards have been certified since the 1980s, although he sold most of the grapes to the local co-op when he started. Antoine and Lawrence took over in 1999 and, since 2003, have vinified 100% of the harvest themselves.

Flonflons is mostly Syrah and Grenache from 2.5 hectares of vines averaging 25 years old. It’s fermented and aged in concrete and bottled unfiltered and unfined with little to no sulfur.