Tag Archives: Riesling

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

January 27, 2017

Becker Family Pinot Gris 2014, Pfalz, Germany

Becker Estate is made up of 28 hectares in Schweigen (in southern Pfalz), on the border of Alsace. Now on its 7th generation, Becker is known as a top producer of Pinot Noir in Germany. Since the vineyards have been in the Becker family, the border between France and Germany has changed many times, the last time in 1945. Now, 70% of their holdings are actually in Alsace; the winery itself is in Germany. A 1955 accord grants them and five other vineyards the right to continue to call themselves as German. In exchange, the French got water rights to the springs of Schweigen and some lumber rights from the local forest.

This Pinot Gris is aromatic and full of citrus, apples and tropical fruit. Pair it with root vegetables, creamy squash soups, and as a foil for spicy food.

Keller Riesling Trocken 2015, Rheinhessen, Germany

…Keller has inspired an entire generation of young winemakers and single-handedly given birth to a Renaissance in the Rheinhessen. Storied vineyards that were all but forsaken – Kirchspiel, Hubacker, Morstein and Abtserde to name a few – are now seen as holy ground for Riesling and command some of the highest prices for dry wines in Germany. Read more from the importer here.

This Riesling has lots of acidity, tempered by aging on the lees. Peaches, apples, lemons, honey and honeydew all bounce around on your palate. Delicious.
Domaine des Pothiers Référence Gamay 2015, Côte Roannaise, Loire

Domaine des Pothiers is one of the oldest estates in the appellation. The Paires family has been here for over 300 years; as well as tending nine hectares of vines, the family also raises cattle. They are certified organic since 2010, and also practice biodynamic farming, though not certified.

Référence is 100% hand-harvested Gamay grown on granite. It’s soft and round, aromatic, brambly, with lots of raspberry, strawberry, and cherry. The finish has the slightest touch of tannins. It’s gluggable.

Mas D’Alezon “Le Presbytère” 2015 Faugères

Catherine Roque is a pioneer in Faugères. She has two high elevation properties totaling 17 hectares: Mas D’Alezon, and Domaine du Clovallon, which she co-runs with her daughter Alix Roque. Catherine saw the promise in this somewhat unsung region in the Languedoc, and planted varieties that aren’t typical, such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, Reisling, Viognier, Roussanne, Clairette and Petite Arvine. She fully embraced biodynamic farming, and now both of her properties adhere to the practice. Her wines are produced with indigenous yeast, without sulfur, and are bottled unfiltered and unfined.

Mas d’Alezon focusses on grapes that are native to the region. Presbytère is 80% Grenache from 70 year old vines, with the remainder a blend of Syrah and Mourvèdre, from 80 year-old vines. This is a silky wine, ripe with cherries & plums, balanced by earth & dried hillside herbs, and finishing with a touch of gaminess and soft tannins.

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

Sept. 9th, 2016

teutonic-rieslingTeutonic Crow Valley Vineyard Riesling 2015, Willamette Valley, OR

Last week we tasted Teutonic Jazz Odyssey, a fun, off-dry blend perfect for hot days and spicy food. Tonight we’re tasting this more serious single vineyard Riesling. Just about all of Teutonic’s wines are single vineyard (with the exception of maybe one). They are all dry farmed and made in a precise, Germanic style. Total production is extremely low (only 500 cases) so we are ever so grateful to have such an assortment on our shelves – this is another producer that we tried to get into RI for a few years, so it’s extra special that there’s finally a little bit to share.

Read more about them here.

Crow Valley is a high elevation vineyard in the foothills of the Willamette Valley coastal mountain range. It’s old vines planted at high elevation, where the cold growing conditions allow for a long hang time. This is the Teutonic MO; old vines, cold climate, high elevation, dry farmed, old wood and wild yeast. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s very similar to Mosel winemaking, from whence they draw their inspiration (and they also import wine from Mosel and make wine in Mosel, so the love affair is deep and real!). Teutonic is also a member of the DRC (Deep Roots Coalition), a group that promotes “sustainable and terroir-driven viticulture without irrigation”.

This Riesling shows pure, precise, no-holds-barred, spot on balanced winemaking. The character of the terroir shines through in all the Teutonic wines; do yourself a favor and grab a bottle before they’re all gone!

Cerro La Barca Vegas Altas Eva de los Santos, 2015, Ribera del Guadiana, Spain

Ribera del Guadiana is in Extremadura, a region located in south-western Spain on the border of Portugal. Extramadura has been known as a place for bulk wine production, but some pioneers are finding unique new wines here. Cerro La Barca is the first organic producer in the region. They have 38 hectares of Tempranillo and the nearly extinct Eva de los Santos.

Importer notes: Juan Sojo and Ángel Luis González are like brothers from different mothers. One minute they’re arguing and the next they’re toasting to another harvest. They studied oenology together and ever since have been making wines together. Ángel Luis comes from a background in agriculture while Juan comes from a background in science. Both so different, but yet complement each other so well.

Fermented using indigenous yeasts in stainless steel vats where the wines naturally decant without filtration until bottling. The Eva de los Santos is from vines that are up to 80 years old. It’s flowery, fruity and perfumed on the nose, but the palate is a little more intense, with a pronounced crushed stone quality.

cintreLaurent Herlin “Cintré” Sparkling Rosé of Cabernet Franc

Laurent Herlin worked as a computer engineer for 12 years before dropping that career in 2008 and dedicating himself to wine. After taking classes in Beaune and working at various domaines, he purchased 5 hectares in Bourgueil, which he farms biodynamically.

To ensure quality, the grapes are sorted twice; first in the vineyard, and then on the sorting table. Harvest is manual, fermentations are with indigenous yeast, in steel or cask. As a dedicated environmentalist, Laurent only uses recycled glass in his production.

Laurent’s wines are said to “exude happiness” and after tasting Tsoin Tsoin, and now Cintré, we can definitively say that that statement is not hyperbole. Cintré is 100% Cabernet Franc from 25 year old vines and it is a mouthful of fizzy joy. It’s also classic Loire Valley cab franc: violets, raspberries, and pencil shavings dance around luscious strawberry notes and are neatly wrapped up in a long, long finish with just the slightest touch of gamey goodness.

Domaine Jérôme Jouret “Pas a Pas” 2015, Ardèche

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. Jérome Jouret works minimally, by hand, with extremely low yields and little to nu 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.

Pas a Pas is a blend of 65% Carignan, 15% Alicante, 20% Grenache from 35 to 55 year old vines planted on clay and limestone. It’s fermented in stainless steel and bottled without filtration. This is a lovely wine, with fresh fruit and brambly notes. Lower alcohol and lively acidity means this one takes a chill quite nicely.

Read this week’s newsletter here. 

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

2013 Schloss Schönborn “Not Normal” Riesling, Rheingau, Germany

We love Riesling, but bring us one called “Not Normal” and you really have our attention! This might need to be our wine mascot! The Schönborn family traces its roots back 27 generations on this estate, to 1349, though family documents put them their as early as the 13th century. This is the oldest estate in Germany, and one of the oldest in Europe. Farming practices have remained pretty much the same since the beginning; though not certified organic, they avoid chemicals and call themselves sustainable and manage their vineyards “in tune with nature”. Over 90% of their 50 hectares of vineyards are planted to Riesling.

“Not Normal” is named as such because it undergoes malolactic fermentation and has extended lees contact, which is…not normal, for Riesling anyway. And after making wine for nearly 700 years, you get to call your wine whatever the hell you want. This is a pretty cool wine. The texture is rich and full (due to the malo & lees) but there’s a deep, rocky mineral quality here, along with flowers and orchard fruit. It’s balanced, bright & pretty darned delightful.

2014 Chateau L’Eperonniere Rosé de Loire

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. It just arrived today, so we’ll try it together!

2013 Chateau Cambon Beaujolais

Chateau Cambon is a cult-Beaujolais baby; it’s the creation of three of the most well-known names in the region: (the late) Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Claude Chanudet (w/wife Genevieve) and Joseph Chamonard.

This 13 hectare biodynamic estate sits between Morgon and Brouilly. The three parcels that make up the estate were planted in 1914, upon soils that are a mix of argile-granite and calcerous sand. After fermentation with wild yeasts, the wines rest in 200 year old oak foudres and are bottled with little or no SO2. This is pure Gamay. Fresh and juicy cherries and strawberries, tempered by an earthy streak. The old vines add depth and minerality. Have it with coq au vin, as a seafood red, with lightly spicy foods, or all on its own.

2013 Domaine Matin Calme “Mano a Mano” Roussillon

Domaine Matin Calme was established by Véronique Souloy and Anthony Guix in 2006. The Carignan and Grenache Noir vines here are more than 100 years old, planted on soils of granite, schist and gneiss. Because the domaine is situated at such high elevation (over 1500 feet above sea level) they are able to grow fully mature grapes without high alcohol levels.

Matin Calme is certified organic and no SO2 is used in the fermentation process, and usually none at bottling. The yields are tiny, only 20 hl/ha, and the wines are never filtered or fined. Mano a Mano is 60% Grenache/40% Carignan, made via semi-carbonic maceration in stainless steel.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley, CA

Roederer Estate was established in 1982 by Jean-Claude Rouzaud, then president of Louis Roederer, and 5th generation descendant of the founder.  Rouzaud believed that estate-owned vineyards were essential for producing top quality wine, so he searched for years before purchasing this 580-acre Anderson Valley vineyard. They only grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir here. Farming is organic and biodynamic. They are highly selective here and only about 70% of the pressed juice makes it into the final cuvée. The addition of reserve wines defines the Roederer style, which is known for its“body, finesse and depth of flavor”.

Kruger-Rumpf Riesling Trocken 2013, Nahe, Germany

You may remember this from our Thanksgiving picks. We realized we never got around to tasting it in the shop, but it is so good, we’re doing it now! Kruger-Rumpf was founded in 1790 and nearly 200 years later, in 1984, Stefan Rumpf took over the estate. Now, Stefan’s son Georg helps out with the operation. Farming is sustainable, harvest is by hand, and fermentation is short to preserve the fresh fruit character of the wine. This Riesling is pristine & dry (trocken). On the nose you get roses and peaches; on the palate it’s a tangy, twangy, sweet and sour symphony. The finish is lush and lip-smackingly delicious!

2013 Broc Carignan, Alexander Valley, CA

Chris Brockway makes site-specific, natural wines out of a “low-wattage, urban winery”.

This wine is from sustainably-grown Carignan, made via carbonic maceration (common in Beaujolais). This technique produces wines that are vivid, lively and totally crushable.

2012 Paterna Chianti Colli Aretini DOCG

Here’s another wine from SelectioNaturel and boy do we love it! Read about the producer here (three hippy couples and some “old toothless Italian guys”-ha!) and then come try the wine. It’s that lovely, rustic, dusty Sangiovese (mostly) that we just want to drink and drink and drink….with some old toothless Italian guys! Sounds like heaven.

New Stone Brewing, Pichler ’08 Federspiel, Ode to Acme Video

brook st snow 1 14The Times They Are A-changin’

In this business, everyone is always chasing what’s new neW NEW!!! There’s rarely a moment to stop and ponder what IS. It’s a treadmill, the liquor biz, hopping from season to season, barely noticing when winter turns to spring – and then spring to summer. Like pretty much everything else in this modern age, it’s a blur, and our lives bend and blur with it. But then someone comes along and writes the best ever homage to our neighbor, Acme Video, and this person positively nails what it is to simply be in and of a place, and the entire reason for us being in this business, but more importantly: in this store, in this city. We’re linking to it here, because it is THAT good. It’s an ode to brick and mortar, an ode to the humble and illustrious masses, and seriously, an ode to humanity (Oh, the humanity!) that flourishes in the little places like Acme, the places that make a city a home…Rest in peace, Acme, Brook St. won’t be the same without you.

 

AustrianWineRegions

Good News for all You Riesling Nuts: We got ourselves a little stack of Rudi Pichler 2008 Federspiel! 

The Pichler family has been involved with viticulture in Wachau since the mid-1800s. They currently farm 11.5 hectares of vineyards, with grapes from an additional 3 hectares contracted to other vintners. Gruner Veltliner makes up 65% of their holdings, Riesling is 30%, and the remaining 5% is Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and other white varietals. All are vinified in the Wachau quality categories of Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd.

The Wachau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a convention which “recognizes the way in which people interact with nature, and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two”. The wines of the Wachau are made naturally, and under specific guidelines. Read more here. Here’s a description of Federspiel from the same source:

“Federspiel is a classic dry wine that is distinguished by a strong, nuance-rich character with a must weight of at least 17° KMW and an alcohol content of between 11.5% and 12.5% by volume. The name Federspiel refers back to the times of falconry, when this favourite form of noble hunting was practiced in the Wachau”.

Whatever the rules and regulations, Rudi Pichler is simply a top producer of long-lived Rieslings. This 2008 is still singing, with a stony, mineral characteristic backed up by petrol and delicate fruit. It’s a treat, indeed. We’ll taste it tonight!

 

julia childSOLD OUT!! Feels good to write that! Unless you didn’t get a ticket. Sorry!

Join us Sunday, January 26th at 2PM, for The Proper Binge: An Afternoon With Julia Child. We’ll revisit old black & white (yet oh-so-colorful) episodes ofThe French Chef, paired with Boeuf Bourguignon, Cassoulet, and bonbons!

This is a collaboration betweenCampus Fine Wines, Cable Car Cinema, Chef C. Mulligan (man of culinary legend) and Garrison Confections. The wines featured will be from the portfolios of Wine Traditions and John David Headrick, both conscientious importers of small-production, independently-owned and – most importantly – very delicious French wines.

Tickets are $40 and are on sale at the Cable Car. Limited to 50 people.

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” ― Julia Child

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