Friday Wine Tasting in the Shop, 5-8PM

August 2, 2019

Weingut Schlossmuhlenhof Riesling Trocken (Liter) 2017, Rheinhessen, Germany

The Schloss Mühlenhof estate, started in 1846, is now on its 6th generation. It began as a rye and wheat mill until the 1920’s when the small vineyard attached became the focus for the family income…They follow what they call “ecologically healthy’ organic farming practices, avoiding chemicals and utilizing extreme green harvesting to reduce yields by nearly 50%. In the cellar they will use selected yeasts, and small amounts of SO2 to maintain freshness. This liter Riesling has been a go-to for years. It’s snappy, zesty, lemon-lime deliciousness that’s super versatile; beach, brunch, just a bottle and a sunset…it’s all good.

Fattoria di Petrognano Orci Trebbiano 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Fattoria di Petrognano is a large, 4th generation property that covers 85 hectares, 25 of which are vineyards, in the village of Bottinaccio, situated in the Lucca hills of Chianti DOCG. This area is considered the terracotta capital of Tuscany. All the wine is estate-grown and estate bottled, as well as the olive oil that’s produced here. Farming is organic. If you’re planning a Tuscan wine trip, their guest accommodations look pretty enticing.

Orci Trebbiano is 100% Trebbiano fermented and aged on the skins for 3 months in terracotta amphora. It’s copper colored, somewhat savory, rocky-mineral laced, and subtly spicy, with fresh notes of apples and apricots. Pair with seafood, mushroom risotto, fresh mozzarella, tomato salad…

Jean François Merieau La Rosée Pineau d’Aunis 2018, Touraine, France

Jean-François Merieau practices organic farming and believes in a minimalist approach to winemaking. He produces mostly single varietal bottlings, often from single parcels in the inland Loire Valley AOC of Touraine. The cellar on his property is from the 14th century and the newest building dates from WWI. You’ll often find three generations working together. His vines are old too: from 50 years for the Malbec, to over 100 year-old Pineau d’Aunis.

La Rosée is from Pineau d’Aunis vines of 45 to over 100 years old. It’s full of flowers and spices, a touch of honey, and ripe red fruit. The finish is bright, dry, and long. Works well with spicy grilled poultry, fish in yellow curry, white beans with rosemary and garlic…

G D Vajra, Clare JC Nebbiolo 2018, Langhe, Italy

G.D. Vajra was officially established in 1972 (named after Aldo’s father, Giuseppe Domenico) but the family roots in the region go back over two centuries. Aldo Vajra has been making wine here since the late 60s. Today the estate is close to 60 hectares, 10 of which are planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo production. Farming is organic, grapes are hand-harvested, and aging is done in traditional Slavonian casks. Aldo and Milena’s children Giuseppe, Francesca and Isidoro are now carrying on the family business and traditions.

Giuseppe is making this Nebbiolo in the Metodo Ancestrale style that harks back to Thomas Jefferson’s time that slipped out of fashion in the 1950s: fermentation starts in the tank on the skins and finishes in the bottle, creating a slightly off-dry, lightly sparkling wine (the fizz might subside before the bottle is finished). Serve with a slight chill with pizza, pasta, salumi, olives, cheese, etc…

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.