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

February 8, 2019

Peter from Vineyard Road pours this tasty selection…and perhaps a surprise or two…

German Gilabert Cava Brut Nature, Catalonia, Spain

German Gilabert Cava is part of a José Pastor project called Vinos de Terruños, which was established in 2003 with a philosophy of bringing to market handmade wines of native Spanish varieties, from old, organic, and sustainable vineyards and authentic Spanish wine terroirs. They are usually very reasonably priced.

The grapes used for German Gilabert come from the subzone Alt Penedès, where the highest elevation plots are located. Only native grapes are used (in this case Macabeo and Parellada) and the wine is bottled without added sugar, or Brut Nature. It’s left on the lees for 18 to 20 months before disgorgement.

It’s medium-bodied with tiny bubbles and a citrus-driven character. The finish is dry and elegant. Have it with salty Spanish food.

Angelo Negro & Figli, Roero Arneis Unfiltered 2017, Piedmont, Italy

Importers notes: Since 1670 the Negro family has cultivated vineyards in the Roero hills (northwest of Alba), working to increase the value of this wonderful corner of Piemonte and dedicating wines to the prestigious native vines: Favorita, Arneis, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Bonarda, Dolcetto and Brachetto. Today the estate is run by Giovanni Negro and his family. With some of the best vineyard sites in Roero, Angelo Negro is one of the indisputable legends of the region. Giovanni Negro, the estate’s present owner, produced the first dry Arneis on record in 1971.

This unfiltered Arneis is from 20 year old vines grown on sandy soils at altitudes of 280-320 meters above sea level. The grapes are hand-harvested, macerated for 24 hours, then fermented (no malo) and aged for 6 months in stainless steel, on the lees. The wine is bottled with just a dash of sulfur, and is a unique expression of Arneis. It’s lightly peachy & grapefruity, with a touch of sour apple, and a leesy, mineral-driven finish.

Ampeleia Kepos 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Ampeleia is a joint Tuscan venture by Alto Adige’s Elisabetta Foradori (known for putting Toraldego on the map) and friends Giovanni Podini and Thomas Widmann. Ampeleia is a total of 150 hectares in Maremma, 40 of which are planted with vines at altitudes of 200-600 m above sea level. Farming is biodynamic and wines are made with minimal intervention.

Kepos is a blend of Grenache, Carignano, and Alicante Bouschet from vineyards closest to the sea. The grapes were hand-harvested from mid-September to early October, then fermented and aged in cement for 11 months. It’s medium-weight, precise, dried-herb-scented, floral, complex, and well-structured.

Luigi Giordano Langhe Rosso 2017, Piedmont, Italy

Distributor’s notes: A stone’s throw from Barbaresco’s village centre among the hills that frame the Tanaro River’s sinuous course, at the very heart of Piedmont’s wine country, the winery and its vineyards were founded by Giovanni Giordano in the 1930s during a time of profound crisis in the Italian wine world. After a period of growing and selling grapes, Giovanni’s son, Luigi, made the bold decision to vinify his own grapes in 1960. Luigi Giordano is now a fourth-generation winery whose vineyards are planted in some of Barbaresco’s most prestigious crus, including Asili and Montestefano. One particular Barbaresco bottling from the cru of Cavanna showcases the winery’s elegant, hands-off style of winemaking and currently represents the only single-vineyard cru of its kind on the market. Since 2000, Luigi has been aided in the running of the winery by two of his daughters, Laura and Silvia – both of whom are as passionate about wine making as their dad and grandad before them.

Langhe Rosso is Nebbiolo and Arneis from vineyards situated within the Barbaresco zone. After fermentation the wine ages for 3-4 months in oak casks. It’s full-bodied and balanced, lightly spicy and full of cherries, dried plums, and dried flowers.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

February 1, 2019

Monteversa Primaversa 2015, Veneto

Filippo Voltazza runs his small family vineyard in the Euganean Hills, just west of Venice. Vineyards here are packed into terraced rows, at heights up to 600 meters. Filippo’s family used to sell their grapes to local wineries, to be used in their best bottlings, until they took back all their vines in 2006. Now their 17 hectares face in all four directions to maximize exposure. The vines are densely planted to 4,000 per hectare on chalky-clay volcanic soil. Farming is organic, harvesting is by hand, and most of the wine is fermented and aged in cement, then bottled unfiltered and unfined. 

Primaversa is a gently fizzy pet-nat of Moscato Giallo fermented in stainless steel. It’s dry and herbal, a bit honeyed and nutty.  

Cantina Marilina & Federica Paternò Sikele Bianco and Sikele Rosso, Sicily, Italy

Angelo Paternò worked for 25 years as the winemaker and technical director for the Sicilian wineries Cantine Settesoli and Duca di Salaparuta before purchasing 60 hectares of his own on a hill in the southeastern Sicilian province of Siracusa. He thought this land represented one of the best viticultural areas in Sicily.

Angelo’s daughters Marilina and Federica are now in charge of the property, although Angelo still helps in the cellar. They grow organically and favor minimal intervention and no additives in the winemaking process. They are influenced by local natural winemaker Frank Cornelissen. 35 hectares of their vineyards are planted to grape varieties such as Nero d’Avola, Grecanico, Muscat Blanc, Moscato Giallo, Insolia, Merlot, Tannat, Viognier, and Chardonnay. The rest of the vineyards are various flora to encourage a diverse ecosystem. 

Sikele Bianco Terre Siciliane IGP 2016

Sikele Bianco is 100% Grecanico (aka: Garganega, of Soave) that’s macerated on the skins for 13 hours before pressing, followed by fermentation and six months’ aging in concrete. It’s unfiltered, unfined, and is bottled with just a dash of SO2. 

This orange (in color) wine is quite aromatic and actually smells a bit like oranges, and nuts, with a brisk, salty-air influence wound throughout. It has a beautifully rich texture, and is full of sweet & savory spices, peaches, and the same brisk-salty sensation that’s on the nose. 

Sikele Rosso Terre Siciliane IGP 2012

Sikele Rosso is 100% Nero d’Avola, fermented and aged in concrete for 9 months, also bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with just a dash of SO2. 2012 was a very hot and dry vintage across southern Italy and Sicily, but it was saved from producing hot clunkers by cooler temps and rain right before harvest time. This wine is aging quite nicely, with the red fruit becoming less primary, tobacco notes emerging, and a stony-minerality throughout. 

G.D. Vajra Langhe Rosso 2016, Piedmont, Italy

G.D. Vajra was officially established in 1972 but the family roots in the region go back over two centuries. The estate, well-known and respected for Barolo, sits 400 meters above sea level in the village of Vergne, in the commune of Barolo. Today the estate is over 40 hectares, 10 of which are planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo production. Farming here is organic, grapes are hand-harvested, and aging is done in traditional Slavonian casks.

The Langhe Rosso is a blend of Barbera, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Freisa, Pinot Noir, and Albarossa. Grapes are fermented separately in stainless steel, then aged for 12-16 months before blending, followed by 3 months in bottle before releasing. It’s fruity, floral and spicy, with a touch of brambly underbrush and black pepper. It’s lively and bright, and a perfect dinner party wine. 

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

January 25, 2019

Domaine Buronfosse Cotes du Jura Blanc ‘Les Belemnites’ 2012, Jura, France

Peggy & Jean-Pascal Buronfosse farm 4.5 hectares in a hamlet in the Jura foothills. Jean-François Ganevat and Julien Labet are their neighbors and friends, from whom they got help and advice when they were first starting out back in the early 2000s. They work naturally in the vineyard and cellar, avoiding additives and using only a touch of SO2, when at all. 

This white is a blend of Savagin and Chardonnay that spent 18 months on the lees. It’s lightly nutty (like walnuts) and salty, with oyster-shell minerality, and briny acidity. The fruit leans more toward apple and some subtle citrus. It’s beautifully fresh for 2012. Pair with shellfish, or try it with comte, the famous cheese of the region.

Here’s a website with a lot of info on the producers, but nothing on this particular wine.

Château de Trinquevedel 2017, Tavel, France

We’re fans of rosé in winter, and this one is particularly well-suited to cooler temps. We have a special price on this 2017, as well as a few others in the shop. They’re not our overstock, we’re buying more because they’re good, they’re on sale, and we love a deal! 

Guillaume Demoulin’s great-grandfather Eugène bought this eighteenth-century Southern Rhone 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. Tavel is the only A.O.C. entirely made up of rosé, so no red or white wine can bear the name of the cru. No more than sixty percent of the final blend can be made up of Grenache. 

This Tavel is a blend of 45% Grenache, 24% Cinsault, 15% Clairette, 10% Mourvèdre, and 6% Syrah from vines over 30 years old, planted on sand, marl, limestone, clay, and quartz. Fermentation is for 20 days in cement, then it’s aged in enamel-lined tanks and stainless steel for 6-9 months. The wine has a ripe red fruit quality, balanced by Rhone stony-freshness and spicy hillside herbs. Farmed sustainably.

Tenuta Ormanni, Chianti 2015, Tuscany, Italy

This 13th century estate has been in the Brini Batacchi family for the last 200 years and is today overseen by Paolo Brini Batacchi and his daughter Paola. It’s located between the towns of Poggibonsi and Castellina in Chianti and covers 597 acres, of which 168 are vineyards planted to Sangiovese. Fun fact: mention of this property and the Ormanni family can be found in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.

This Chianti is 95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot that’s fermented and aged in cement for 12 months. It’s traditional and tasty, with notes of sour cherry, strawberries, oregano, and dried flowers. The tannins are light and fine-grained, and the acidity is fresh and food-friendly. Have it with what you’d expect: cured meats and cheeses, pasta with sauce (meat or tomato), roasted eggplant, polenta with mushrooms….   

Alfredo Maestro Viña Almate 2016 , Castilla y León, Spain

Alfredo Maestro’s family came from Basque Country to Castilla y León, on Spain’s northwestern border with Portugal. Alfredo grew up amongst vines and winemaking, and was always interested in pursuing winemaking himself. His first vintage was in 1998. He always farmed organically, but in the beginning, he farmed in “textbook” style, to make “correct” wines according to the Ribera del Duero wine-minds of the time. This meant using cultured yeasts, acids, enzymes, color enhancers, etc…This changed in the early 2000s when it occurred to him that it didn’t make any sense to farm organically and then use chemicals in the cellar. By 2003 he was making wine without any additives at all, including sulfur. This he says, is “to better tell the story of the land.” 

Viña Almate is 100% Tempranillo from 10-80 year-old vines in Peñafiel and Valtiendas, planted at 700 to 1000 meters elevation. It’s fermented in stainless steel, then aged for two to four months in neutral French oak. It’s an unfiltered, unfined, full-bodied, floral, spicy, satisfying red that will pair nicely with most things roasted and grilled.

Cheers!

Holiday Hours

Happy New Year everyone—what a year!! We’re open 11-8 today, so swing on by for your festive needs. Thanks for being a part of the fun in 2018; here’s to peace, love, drinks and understanding in 2019. 🍾💥🕊

New Year’s Eve: 11am – 8pm

New Year’s Day: Closed

Wednesday, Jan. 2nd: noon-8pm


Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

December 21, 2018

Put on your galoshes, hop those puddles, and be thankful we don’t have to shovel! Rain or shine, we’ve got a great tasting lined up this evening with Peter from Vineyard Road. Notes are below. 

We’re also having a special tasting on Sunday with Christin from Wine Bros., from 12:30 – 2pm. She’ll be pouring fizzies from Massachusetts and Maine. Swing on by, it’ll be fun!

Cheers! Merry Christmas! Safe Travels! 

Hild Morio-Muskat Secco 2016

Matthias Hild farms 5 hectares of old, terraced parcels in Upper-Mosel, a place a bit more known for quantity over quality, with most of the grapes going to cooperatives. Unlike the famed slate vineyards of lower Mosel, the vineyards here are mostly on limestone. And where Riesling makes up over 60% grapes planted in Mosel, Hild specializes in underdog grapes like Elbling, and this Morio-Muskat. Hild works his vineyards responsibly and is on the way toward organic certification.

This is a lightly fizzy, subtly sweet, snacking on apps, cooking dinner, greeting guests, wrapping presents, eating leftovers, just-one-more-little-sip-before-bed kind of wine.

Champagne Christophe Mignon Brut Nature NV

Christophe Mignon comes from a long line of farmers and winemakers in Le-Mesnil-le-Huttier This area in the Vallée de la Marne is known for its high percentage of Pinot Meunier, which is particularly well suited to the deep clay and chalky Tuffeaux soils that dominate the terrain. Christophe’s approach to farming is sometimes called the Mignon Method; it combines biodynamics, phytotherapy, homeopathy, and geobiology. He describes nature as a Rubik’s Cube, always offering up new challenges, so therefore he changes up his farming approach accordingly. He’s followed the lunar calendar for 20 years, allowing the moon’s cycles to dictate his work in the vineyards and in the cellar. He says “the moon for a vigneron is like a metronome for a musician.” To ensure low yields and the highest possible quality, he employs just one person per hectare. He prefers his wines on the drier side, so grapes are picked at optimum ripeness, thus allowing little to no dosage, and he uses very little sulfur.

This 100% Pinot Meunier is a 50/50 blend of two recent vintages, aged 24 months in bottle and finished without dosage. It’s dry and mineral driven, floral, expressive, red fruit scented, balanced and elegant.

Pierre Morey Bourgogne Blanc 2014

Domaine Pierre Morey is 11 hectares in Meursault planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Aligote. The family traces its roots back here to 1793. They’ve been certified organic since 1992 and biodynamic since 1997. All of their wines are 100% de-stemmed, fermented with indigenous yeasts, not fined and/or filtered for reds, rarely for whites. In addition to his duties at his own property, from 1988 to 2008, Pierre was cellar master and manager at Domaine Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet. Pierre’s daughter Anne Morey has been working with her father over the last few years and is now co-manager.

This Bourgogne Blanc is from 1.76ha of multiple parcels in Meursault (Les Millerands, En Monatine, Les Herbeux, Les Malpoiriers) on deep clay-limestone soils. It spends 16-20 months aging in older oak barrels and is bottled by gravity. This wine is floral, lightly spiced, balanced acidity, with notes of apples, pears, and honeysuckle on a classic rich Meursault palate.

Burlotto Dolcetto d’Alba 2017, Piedmont, Italy

Established in 1850 by Giovan Battista Burlotto, aka The Commendatore, presently G.B. Burlotto is a family run estate. The Commendatore’s great niece Marina Burlotto manages the winery. Her husband, Giuseppe Alessandria, manages the vineyards, and their son, Fabio, is the winemaker and in charge of marketing.

Note from the importer: Burlotto owns 15 hectares of vineyards at 280 to 360 meters elevation, located near the river Tanaro in Verduno, the northern most estate in Barolo. In the cellar Fabio works traditionally, selected wines are foot crushed, with minimal intervention, harvested grapes are destemmed, natural yeast ferments, extended skin contacts, and manual punch downs. The cooler night time temperatures of Verduno and meticulous work in the vineyards and in the cellar have enabled this estate to produce elegant, profound wines now considered among the very finest in Piedmont.

Domaine Jean-Marc et Thomas Bouley Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Rouge 2015

This 8.5 hectare property in Volnay & Côte de Beaune is farmed organically by father and son team Jean-Marc and Thomas Bouley. The grapes for this Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Rouge are from just under one hectare planted in 1979, 1980, 1999, and 2002.
The vineyards are on a south-facing hillside above Volnay, at 380m altitude, on red clay (oxidized iron) and limestone soil

Vinification: 100% de-stemmed, cold maceration in concrete or stainless steel tank. 2-3 weeks’ total tank time. 1 year aging on fine lees in older oak barrels.

2015 in Burgundy was a very good vintage for reds, and this is a lovely wine to drink now or lay down for a few years. Cherry, cranberry, a touch rustic, a little bit savory…it’ll be perfect on a holiday table or as a gift for the Burgundy or Pinot Noir lover.

Tuesday Wine Tasting in the shop with Ariana Rolich!

Tuesday, December 18th, 5pm-7pm

Come to Campus to meet Ariana Rolich and taste through some delicious wine she’s importing through her new endeavor, AR Wines. 

Notes from Ariana:

RUBEN DIAZ (SIERRA DE GREDOS) Rubén Díaz is a proud son of Cebreros, the historic heart of the Sierra de Gredos, and a vital connector between the region’s most important producers and top vineyard sites. Díaz is the leading force in the Gredos for sustaining local winemaking traditions (in particular, his vinos de tonel, raised both oxidatively and biologically, some dating back to the 1800s) and for pushing the limits experimenting with the region’s unique white varieties and forgotten zones of old-vine, high-altitude red Grenache. His white wines, made from Chasselas Doré and Albillo Real, exhibit a range of styles: fresh and light, skin-macerated, sous-voile, oxidative, and many combinations thereof. His reds are pure Garnacha grown on granite and schist that exhibit the power and precision for which Sierra de Gredos is gaining fame.


Rubén Díaz 2016 Sierra de Gredos Cebreros “Finca La Coronilla” Albillo + Chasselas DoréAlbillo Real and Chasselas Doré grow side-by-side in Finca La Coronilla, a 70-year-old vineyard planted at 630m on decomposed granitic sands in the historic village of Cebreros. In 2016, a long and rainy spring gave way to a very hot summer. Albillo Real was picked first for this wine, with 7-8 days on the skins before being pressed to a single used French barrel. After 12-13 days, the Chasselas was added, following five days of skin maceration.


Rubén Díaz 2015 Sierra de Gredos Cebreros “Fiorel-la” Albillo Crianza Biologica (Saca 2017)Fiorel-la is 100% Albillo Real from two vineyards planted on decomposed granitic sands in the village of Cebreros: one is 70 years old in a zone called Las Dehesillas; the other (contributing a mere 60L of wine) is a tiny, even older vineyard in a zone called Vamoscoso. Fiorel-la was fermented with five days of skin contact, then raised in stainless steel under a light layer of flor until September 2016, at which time 300L of wine was racked into barrel to age in a special cellar that Díaz devotes to his vinos de tonel. The remaining 400L (the part that became Fiorel-la) was returned to stainless steel, where its thin veil of flor resumed. In essence, this Fiorel-la bottling is a freezeframe of one of Rubén Díaz’s long-aged vinos de tonel in its youth.


ORLY LUMBRERAS (SIERRA DE GREDOS, RIBEIRA SACRA,RIBEIRO) A sound engineer by training, Orly Lumbreras’ passion for music infuses his wine labels, his analogies for farming, and his winemaking processes alike. When Lumbreras was learning to make wine, Alfredo Maestro was his first cellar mate, and it was Maestro who introduced him to the austere, highest-elevation, outer reaches of the Alto Alberche winegrowing zone in the Sierra de Gredos. He operates on instinct in adopting vineyards, which commits him to farming extremely challenging sites in virtually untouched corners of the Gredos, including long-abandoned vineyards that may never yield fruit again. Most recently, this instinct has led him to take on the nearly impossible task of learning to farm organically in Galicia, where he collaborates with friends in Ribeira Sacra and Ribeiro to make some of his most interesting wines yet from Mencía, Sousón, Caiño, Treixadura, and more.


Orly Lumbreras Viñador 2016 Sierra de Gredos Navalmoral de la Sierra “MilaGritos” Garnacha100% Garnacha from three parcels (60-75 years old) planted on decomposed granitic sandy soil at 1000m altitude in Navalmoral de la Sierra (in a zone called Navamelque). Harvested at the end of September, 90% destemmed, fermented in concrete vats with soft foot-treading during the first few days, and thereafter merely keeping the cap moist. Macerated for 3-4 weeks then pressed a few days after completion of alcoholic fermentation to fourth-use 225L barrels for five months before blending and bottling. (25mg/L total SO2)


Orly Lumbreras Viñador 2016 Ribeira Sacra (non-DO) “Vertixe” MencíaVertixe (“Vertigo”) is 100% Mencía from 60-year-old vines planted on slate soils at 600m altitude, on a slope leading down to the river Sil in the village of Trasmonte (population: 11 people) in the Ribeira Sacra. Viticulturist José Aira has always worked this vineyard organically. Since meeting Orly Lumbreras in 2015, he has started incorporating biodynamic methods as well. Harvested on September 24th, fermented with 30% stems in open vats, foot-trodden, with four months in used barrel (third-use). (39mg/L total SO2)

  

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

December 7, 2018

Champagne José Michel NV Brut Tradition
Côtes d’Epernay

José Michel Champagne has somewhat of a cult following. This small house began in 1847; five generations later José & Nicole work pretty much like 5 generations ago: by hand, traditionally, with respect for the environment. José Michel is certified “Level 3” the top level of certification in Haute Valeur Environmentale. Initiated in 2011, HVE is a global approach to preserving the environment that does not certify the quality of a product, but the environmental quality of a farm. José and Nicole are also founding members of “Tresors de Champagne”, or “Special Club” (we carry this as well). Created in 1971 the Club Trésors was the first association of wine makers in Champagne to advocate an approach to viticulture based on the utmost standards of quality.

The 11 hectares José Michel vineyards are spread throughout three villages along the Cotes D’Epernay. The upper vineyards on the summit of the hills have more clay in the soil and are planted to Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This producer is quite well-known for Pinot Meunier, and is said to rival Krug in quality (at way, way, way less money). The middle and lower vineyards on the slopes have a calcareous soil and are planted to Chardonnay (planted in 1958). Fermentations are carried out in old oak casks or enameled steel vats. The wines undergo a malolactic fermentation and the dosage “liqueur d’expedition” is minimal.

The non-vintage Brut is a blend in which the 70% Pinot Meunier forms the base and 30% Chardonnay adds complexity and finesse. In addition to the base vintage (typically 2 years old), the NV Brut benefits from being blended with reserve wines that are often 4 or 5 years old. The Champagne is typically 2+ years “sur lattes” with a dosage of 9 grams.

Lauer Saar Riesling Barrel X, Mosel, Germany 2016

We’ve been on the Lauer train for a few years now, especially Barrel X, which just landed on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list. Congrats! Florian Lauer makes dry and off-dry Rieslings with less residual sugar than some of his neighbors, like Egon Müller and Hanno Zilliken. The focus is precision, minerality, finesse, and purity of fruit. He utilizes natural-yeast fermentations, allowing his wines to “find their own balance”. Most of his grapes are sourced from small parcels and sub-parcels on the hillside of the Ayler Kupp. Lauer bottles based on “fass”, or cask numbers that are often aligned with the names of pre-1971 vineyard names. From importer Vom Boden:

Though the many vineyards of this mountain were unified (obliterated?) under the single name “Kupp” with the 1971 German wine law, it has been Florian’s life’s work to keep the old vineyard names alive, to keep these voices alive. He has been fighting this fight since his first vintage in 2005 and only with an update to the law in 2014 can he now legally use the older vineyard names such as Unterstenberg, Stirn, Kern and Neuenberg… in addition to the expanses of the Kupp, Lauer farms two other important sites, the Saarfeilser directly across the river and the precipitous, cliff-vineyard Schonfels, a bit upstream from the other two sites. Florian also recently cleared and replanted the famous Lambertskirch, just a stone’s throw from Schonfels.

Barrel X is Lauer’s appellation level wine (his version of Bourgogne Blanc) sourced from three different villages of the Saar. It’s off-dry and full of orange-blossom, ripe citrus, precise minerality, brisk acidity…it’s a versatile food wine, happily pairing with nearly everything.

Domaine Louis Boillot & Fils, Moulin-à-Vent Vieilles Vignes 2014

This magical little Moulin-à-Vent is our spirit animal. It’s a Boillot-Barthod Beaujolais collaboration that makes you swear you’re drinking Burgundy. We bought all that was left of the 2014 vintage.

Note from the importer: Louis Boillot’s emerging position in the Burgundy firmament is not accidental. Despite having created his domaine only a decade ago, he came armed with some of the oldest and best situated vineyards in Burgundy – thanks to four generations of Boillots having acquired prime sites in Volnay and Gevrey Chambertin. In just one decade, Louis’ domaine has become one of the most admired small estates in the Côte d’Or. The turning point came in the mid-2000s, when he and his partner-the supremely talented Ghislaine Barthod-built a cave together in Chambolle-Musigny.

This brought two of Burgundy’s most gifted winemakers together – working and tasting side by side – with the alchemy you’d expect. The vineyard management was also combined, with Louis responsible for not only his own vines, but those of Ghislaine as well.

Boillot is a master with more than 30 years of experience – using no chemical fertilizers or weed killers, and meticulously pruning for balanced yields. His winemaking is equally timeless, featuring extended, gentle extractions and a limited use of new barrels. His style is marked by an inexorable march towards increasingly refined and transparent wines. At the heart of his style is a profound respect for the terroir of his old vines. The wines that Louis makes from his priceless vines are like Burgundy used to be: gentle, subtle, pure, precise and highly nuanced, their complexity and sensuality growing with age.

Charles Helfenbein, Côtes du Rhône Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban, 2015

Charles Helfenbein holds degrees in oenology and viticulture and has been making wine in northern outposts of Cotes du Rhone since 2007. He took over the vines and cellar work that his uncle had started in the Drôme in 2000. He has roughly two hectares of Syrah vines on the steep, southwest facing slopes of Brézème where the soils are primarily clay and limestone, and the slopes of the village of St-Julien-en-St-Alban, where the soils are poor, crumbly granite. He’s one of only three winemakers making wine here. He farms with “respect for nature and preserving the environment”, but is not certified organic.

The St-Julien-en-St-Alban (and the Brezeme, also in stock) is raised in 450L demi-muid barrels that allows the wine air to breathe without contributing excessive oaky aromas or flavors. It’s smoky, black-peppery, bacon-y, balanced, structured, utterly drinkable northern-Rhone Syrah. It’s bound to please.

Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

Thanksgiving picks with Peter from Vineyard Road.

Champ Divin, Crémant du Jura Zero Dosage, France (2014)

Domaine Champ Divin is a 5ha property located on the Jura Mountain’s ‘premier plateau’. It was founded in 2008 by Valerie and Fabrice Closset-Gaziaux, who both have degrees in soil and earth sciences. They worked for years as biodynamic consultants in South Africa and around France before returning home to the Jura. Here they grown Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Savagnin os shale, silty clay, and limestone in the village of Gevingey. Of course farming here is biodynamic, and wine-making is as hands-off as possible, with native yeast fermentations and limited sulfur use. Harvest is by hand and as late as possible to optimize phenolic ripeness.

This crémant is a co-fermentation of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. It undergoes full malolactic fermentation in steel and then spends a minimum of 12 months in bottle on the lees before disgorgement. Although it’s zero dosage, it’s full of ripe fruit like pear, lime, green apple, and peach, and delicate flowers, like honeysuckle. It’s medium-bodied and and has a beautiful, ripe texture, punctuated by brisk minerality. This is a perfect sparkler to get the party started.

Arnaud Lambert ‘Brézé’ Clos du Midi Saumur Blanc, France (2017)

Château de Brézé has been around since at least the 15th century, when it was served to royalty and held in the same regard as Château d’Yquem. In the 1600s, the white wines of Château de Brézé were known throughout Europe as Chenin de Brézé.

In 2009, the new owner of the estate asked Yves Lambert and his son, Arnaud, from Domaine de Saint-Just, to manage the estate. They got a 25 year lease and began converting the estate to organic farming. In a little less than a decade, they’ve restored the wines to the heights they achieved centuries ago.

‘Clos du Midi’ is 100% Chenin Blanc from the colder sites on on the Brézé Hill. The upper section of the hill is sandy, while the bottom is richer in clay. Both are atop tuffeau, the chalky limestone rock made up of compressed marine organisms that lived in floating colonies in the prehistoric Turonian era. The differing soil types, coupled with the limestone, create a wine of great tension and depth, with a rounded palate punctuated by lively acidity, and balanced with notes of honey, dried fruit, and touch of lemon…it’s a gorgeous wine that always over delivers.

Anne-Sophie Dubois, ‘Les Cocottes’ Fleurie, France (2017)

Anne-Sophie Dubois comes from the Champagne region in France. Her parents have 3 hectares in Sezanne, but when they wanted to expand and offer their two kids more opportunities, they purchased an 8-hectare plot in Fleurie, where most of the vines had quite a bit of age on them, some exceeding 60 years old. Anne-Sophie took over this domaine in 2007, after internships at Roblet-Monnot in Volnay, and at various Champagne producers. Her early years here were marked with difficulty due to hail decimating her vines. But she persisted. She farms organically, and has a delicate touch in the cellar, with an emphasis on elegance and purity of fruit. Her wines undergo long macerations, fermentations are with wild yeasts, and there is no new oak, no filtration or fining, and no pumping – just gravity.

Les Cocottes is the only cuvée Anne-Sophie Dubois vinifies whole cluster *with* carbonic maceration (the remainder are traditionally fermented, in the Burgundian style, without carbonic). “Les Cocottes” means “the chicks”, and this is what Anne-Sophie drinks when she’s kicking back with her friends. It’s a fruit-forward style that doesn’t sacrifice any character; it’s full of raspberries, cherries, and other red berries, along with crackling minerality, earthy pepper notes, and fresh & zesty acidity. It’s fun and gluggable.

Bichi, La Flama Roja, Mexico (2017)

Notes from the importer: Mexico has a centuries-long history of winemaking that has mostly gone under the radar. Spanish conquistadores planted vines in the early 1500’s, before both Chile and Argentina, and Baja California represents about 90% of the vines in the entire country due to the ideal climate and geography. Brothers Noel & Jair Tellez, with the help of Chilean (by way of Burgundy) winemaker Louis-Antoine Luyt, are producing amazingly fresh and energetic wines from very old, recently recovered vineyards of Misión (aka Listán Prieto), Rosa del Peru (aka Moscatel Negro), Tempranillo and Carinena, among other varieties. Bichi means “naked” in some parts of northern Mexico, and for Téllez and Luyt, it thus seemed like an appropriate name to give their new natural wine project. Based at the Téllez family ranch in Tecate, just over the border from California, Bichi farms 10 hectares of their own Tecate vineyards biodynamically and collaborates with a growing family of organic farmers working vineyard land in Tecate and around Valle de Guadalupe. The majority of the vines are head-trained and all are dry-farmed, handharvested, fermented with native yeast, and aged in neutral barrel or vat so that the emphasis is on each wine’s Mexican terruño.

Flama Roja comes from the Téllez family’s high elevation (2500 feet) home vineyard in Tecate – young vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, and Nebbiolo, which they planted themselves in 2004 and farm biodynamically, just like their vegetable and herb gardens. The grapes were harvested by hand, de-stemmed and co-fermented in locally made concrete tinajas with 30 days of maceration, raised in a mix of steel tank and used French barrels over winter, and bottled without fining or filtration and only 10ppm of added SO2. Flama Roja is a well-structured, medium-bodied Pacific red wine with bright acidity, red/black fruit and firm tannins. 333 cases produced.