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There is so much more to Oregon than Pinot Noir (although those are excellent)! We just received a new batch of interesting wines from one of our favorite West Coast producers, Division Wine Co. The first bottle we opened was the 'Polka Dot' Gamay rosé pet-nat and our reaction was pure joy, and then immediately, 'can we get more?'. Alas, what we have in inventory is all we were able to secure for this year, as many of their wines are made in tiny amounts.
A new discovery from Oregon is from the Monument Wine Co., and new operation run by Tyler Magyar out of Portland. Like the winemakers of Division, Tyler discovered that the conditions and terroir throughout Oregon lend themselves as splendidly to the grapes of the Loire Valley, as they are known to for the grapes of Burgundy. The 'French Lessons' is a new favorite, a nod to Cheverny, capturing the freshness of Oregon Sauvignon Blanc, with rich, creamy Chardonnay.
Down in Mendocino, Chris Brockaway of Broc Cellars, found himself inspired by the Italian white varities planted in the Fox Hill Vineyard. This release of 'Amore Bianco' is made from 100% Tocai Friulano and as the label suggests, makes the perfect pairing for spring vegetables like artichoke and asparagus, but also is bright, gently textured, and makes for excellent drinking on its own.
There's a new vintage from one of our Chilean favorites, Pedro Parra's 'Imaginador' from 200 year old vineyards (most of the vines between 50-75 years old) of Cinsault planted on granite. Each year seems to have a unique expression of the grape and a snapshot of the Itata region, with the 2019 vintage showing dark, savory notes on the nose and brighter, fresher fruit on the palate.
Three exciting new Spanish natural wines have arrived, and both are great values that are suited to spring weather: the Viña Ilusion Rioja Prana, Toni Osorio Manies Blanco and Els Vinyerons Xarel-lo Lluerna. All three come from organically farmed vineyards, and are made without sulfur.
Moving northeast to France's Rhone Valley, a new shipment has just arrived from the Chastan sisters at the Clos du Joncuas in Gigondas. The estate has been organic "depuis toujours" and certified since 1980. The estate's Gigondas vines are on slopes below the Dentelles de Montmirail, on soils of clay with dolomite and gypsum over the limestone of the Dentelles, and average 40 to 90 years old. Vinifications here are entirely old-school; whole-clusters fermented with wild yeasts in cement and aged in old barrels. Both in their farming and winemaking, they are the Domaine Gonon of Gigondas! 2015 and 2016 are both excellent vintages here - and the new release of 2019 is supple enough to enjoy now - or cellar for 15 to 20 years. The domain's Vacqueyras and Seguret rouge are wonderful as well and we particulaly love the distinctive Seguret Blanc made mostly with old vines of Clairette!
Heading north to Cornas, we encounter a tiny allocation from the talented Vincent Paris. 2019 in the Northern Rhône is proving to be a superb vintage bringing dense, well-structured and age-worthy wines that will be in very short supply. Vincent Paris, nephew of Robert Michel, has made superb wines in 2019, offered here at low, net prices...
Perched on a unique limestone hill in Bergerac, Franck Pascal and Isabelle Carles make some of the most vibrant, soulful and just plain delicious natural wines in France at Le Jonc Blanc! The farming here is organic and Biodynamic, bringing great freshness and minerality from the unusual limestone terroir. The reds are made with zero added SO2, the whites receive a small addition depending on the vintage. We're happy to have the last shipment of their beautiful 2018s, all of which are drinking sensationally now - these are big favorites at my house, I urge you to try them! DL
This is a beautiful Gigondas Rosé from our organic friends at Clos du Joncuas. Pretty bright pink/orange color, aromas of raspberry, tart cherry, blood orange, peach skin and rose. Full palate with silky raspberry, peach, citrus and mineral flavors and firm acidity, beatifully balanced and refreshing. Long finish with tart cherry, peach, earth, and citrusy acids. This gorgeous rosé is still young – it should open up nicely over the next two to three years. It's elegant and delicious now and very food-friendly – serve with grilled fish and white meats, salade nicoise, vegetarian dishes and Provençal foods. A great rosé to enjoy all year-round!
So far everyone's first reaction to this wine has been "wow, that's tasty!" This is 100% Gamay from the beautiful, high elevation, Carousel Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. Like drinking strawberry sherbet, but in the best way! Juicy strawberry, pink grapefruit, soft, fresh herbs, and luscious, creamy bubbles on the palate with the tiniest kiss of sweetness on the finish. As delightful a pet-nat as the label implies, I only wish there was more of it available! Michelle DeWyngaert
The Gamay-based wines from Division are consistently my favorites from their lineup. The 2019 'Lutte' shows just how great the Willamette Valley is for this variety. The season was relatively cool and dry which led to long, slow ripening and a late harvest giving the grapes a perfect balance of ripeness and acidity. This years blend comes from entirely from the Eola-Amity Hills from the Methven, Jubilee, and Redford-Wetle Vineyards. The fruit is fermented with a combination of traditional and carbonic maceration with some bunches left whole cluster and then aged together in neutral barrels. The nose is earthy and rich with notes of stewed black cherry, strawberry, blood orange, freshly turned soil, and rooibos tea, and the palate has bright acidity without being too lean. Michelle DeWyngaert
The Salmagundi is a seemingly random mix of grapes, but is actually a very carefully blended snapshot of the Applegate Valley where the Côt, Syrah, and small amount of Sangiovese are sourced from. The name of the wine is a reference to an old English dish of various meats and stewed vegetables presented together where, like the wine, it is the combination that makes it delicious.
Quintessential "glou-glou" light, chillable red, perfect for the beginning of spring! What is unusual though is that this carbonic maceration is 100% Cabernet Franc from the Applegate Valley in Oregon, instead of the typical Gamay, and the result is delicious and just slightly more structured!
In true Division fashion, the Chardonnay 'Un' is exactly what I was hoping for, straddling the line between "Old World" restraint, and "New World" abundance. Meant to capture the nature of the vintage, this bottling is a blend of fruit from five vineyards across the Willamette Valley all farmed organically, biodynamically, or in transition with the help of the Division team. This year for Oregon saw a cool, albeit humid summer, which thankfully gave way to a milder, drier fall, which allowed the grapes ripen slowly, but completely. One the nose is fresh pear, almond blossom, and bit of peaches with cream or yogurt (the tangy, European kind). The palate has plenty of acidity to hold this perfectly rich, ripe, barrel-softend fruit. The wine is aged in a mixture of French and Austrian oak; each selected to minimize oak flavor, but impart gentle wood tanin and bring softeness to the finished product. A delightful Chardonnay! Michelle DeWyngaert
The makers Monument Wine Co., a new winery based in Portland, Oregon, were inspired by the wines of the Loire Valley for this bottling. More specifically a nod to whites of Cheverny (a category I have always loved) with this 50% Chardonnay, 50% Sauvignon Blanc which comes from two Applegate Valley vineyards managed by Herb Quady, the Layne Vineyard for Chardonnay, and the IronBird Vineyard for Sauvignon Blanc. This is rugged territory out in, what appears to be, middle of nowhere Oregon, with rocky granite/gravelly clay soils to feed the vines. The fruit is macerated together on the skins for one day, then gently racked into steel where it fermented and aged for nine months on the lees, bottled unfined/unfiltered with just a tiny amount of SO2. Like a great Cheverny, this wine is the best of both white wine worlds; simultaneously zippy and refreshing, and also ripe and rounded. On the nose are notes of cantaloupe, barely ripe nectarine, green pear, almond blossoms, fresh moss, and river rocks. On the palate is a a lovely richness from the ripe Chardonnay and the short time on the skins, some additional salty, cereal notes from the lees contact, and finishes with a fresh vain of acidity from the Sauvignon Blanc. Delicious and versatile as a food pairing! Michelle DeWygnaert
There's a quality that seems to run through all of the Broc Cellars wine; I like to call it "sunniness", as though Chris Brock is literally capturing California sun and bottling it. The 'Amore Bianco' is 100% Tocai Friulano from the beautiful Fox Hill Vineyard in Mendocino, a haven of Italian grape varieties, which sits on rocky sandstone and quartz. The grapes are fermented on the skins in a combination of sandstone jars and steel tanks, then pressed into neutral French oak where it ages for eight months before bottling unfiltered. This wine really does taste of Italy by way of California. All of the tell-tale signs of great Italian white with an herbaceous quality and slightly bitter finish, but with brighter, riper fruit. On the nose is grapefruit, lemon oil, tarragon, basil, and sea salt. The palate is juicy is slightly textured, a squeeze of lemon juice, almond skins, and herbaceous, almost vegetal savoriness. As the label suggests, this is a great option for those hard to pair vegetables like artichoke and asparagus! Michelle DeWyngaert
Pedro Parra is champion of terroir. After getting a PhD in the subject and consulting for some of biggest names in wine-making worldwide, he began this project with his family in their homeland, Itata, Chile. The 'Imaginador' is a unique Cinsault from 70-80 year old head-trained vines, but because of the more than 200 year history of this vineyard, there are smatterings of Muscat, Semillon, Carignan, and País planted throughout that make their way into the blend. Pedro purposefully sought out pockets of granite for the vineyards he works with because of the structure it gives to the wines. The grapes are aged in stainless steel and cement tanks for one year, then rest for eight months in bottle before release. Each vintage of this wine has been different! The 2019 has notes of roasted beets, dark rock, dried violets, stewed, spiced plums, and wild raspberry. The palate is juicy and very low tannin, but lighter than previous years at only 12% ABV, and brighter, fresher, than the nose would lead you to believe. Michelle DeWyngaert
Refreshing and easy going, this natural wine from Toni Osorio in the Penedes is very light and delicate at 10% alcohol. Made with the classic blend of cava grape varieties (Macabeu, Parellada, and Xarel-lo), it's the perfect thing for warming weather and spring produce, showign notes of green apple, citrus, lime, and fennel. Only 1650 bottles made, this was vinified in a low intervention style with no add sulfites.
100% Xarel-lo from an organically-farmed east-facing vineyard near Vilafranca del Penedès, the Lluerna is a blend of mainly grapes from the 2018 vintage with a small amount of wine from 2017. All grapes hand-harvested, fermentation and aging in stainless steel and neutral French Oak barrels, this is a great expression of Xarel-lo's minerality and depth, showing fresh citrus and apple notes, intermingling with fennel and stone on the nose. The palate is long and broad, with white apple flesh balanced by salinity and a mineral core. This is a very well-made and approachable natural wine, with no additives, clarification, or stabilization in the cellar.
Chenonceaux is a charming little commune that overlooks the river Cher, a tributary of the Loire River. It’s considered by many to be the best spot in the Touraine appellation for Sauvignon Blanc, and we may have to concur. Simon Tardieux has a long history in the Loire, going back to his teenage days working with Catherine Roussel and Didier Barouillet at Clos Roche Blance. His neighbor, Alain Courtault, farms his vineyards organically, and has joined Simon to create their small estate nestled in the Loire et Cher. There is a beautiful density to this wine, and no notes of grapefruit or lychee that are often found in the Sauvignon Blancs from Sancerre, to the east. Organic/biodynamic farming and careful hand harvesting, aging with old wood, no new oak. Highly recommended! -EL
Martin Alonso and Gloria Plaza are the farmers and winemakers behind Vina Ilusion. They own five hectares of Tempranillo in Rioja, at around 600-700m of elevation, which they farm based on the principles of Masanobu Fukuoka (do-nothing farming), Rudolf Steiner (biodynamics) and permaculture. Their goal is to rejuvenate and uplift the land that they work, own, and live on. They also make wine in a very low-intervention style: Prana is their second wine, made in a carbonic style. Medium-bodied and pretty, it shows red fruits and earth on the nose, leading to a joyful palate of cherry, red berries, and clay-y earthiness. The 2018 is a real success, and my favorite vintage of Prana that I've tasted. No fining, filtering, clarification, or added sulfites.
(Tasted January 2023: Beautiful nose, gorgeous fruit, a bit softer and richer than the 2016, great finish, delicious!) 80% Grenache with Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah, on Triassic clay/limestone soils, always farmed organically. Whole cluster fermentation in vat with 12 months aging in large old barrels. Although we love this beautifully old-fashioned, organic wine in every vintage, Dany and Carole Chastan have made perhaps their best wine ever in 2015! The wine shows deep aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate, prune, garrigue, musk and citrus, quite focused and elegant. The palate is pure, supple and balanced, even at 15% alcohol, with dense blackberry, tart cherry, red currant, spice, earth and minerals, with tart red fruits, minerals and citrus in the very long finish. This is a superb Gigondas that can be enjoyed immensely now with a steak, pork or lamb chops, Morrocan tagines and full-flavored cheeses. Cellar 10 to 15 years for a mature experience. This is a superb wine and a great value - thanks to Carole and Dany for their great farming and traditional winemaking!
(Tasted January 2023: Lovely nose, perfect balance, great finish, more structured than the 2015, hold a few more years) 80% Grenache with Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah, on Triassic clay/limestone soils, always farmed organically. Whole cluster fermentation in vat with 12 months aging in large old barrels. The 2016 is another beautiful Gigondas from the Clos du Joncuas, perhaps with less fat and density than the 2015 but quite elegant and more Burgundian in style. The aromas sing of black cherry liqueur, licorice, black olive and garrigue; the palate is dense and focused with blackberry, cherry, black olive, bitter chocolate and earth with nice sappy length with firm acidity. Drinking well now, decant if possible, or hold for five years, then drink until about 2035. David Lillie
(80% Grenache with Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah, on Triassic clay/limestone soils, always farmed organically. Whole cluster fermentation in vat with 12 months aging in large old barrels.) The 2019 Gigondas from Clos du Joncuas has a very expressive nose. Aromas of ground coffee, black licorice, dark cherry, and amazing, dense smells of ripe violets and roses. The palate follows a vein of crushed graphite, with plump black plums, blackberries, sage, and espresso. Structurally, there are well-set tannins, balanced on the gums and the back of the tongue, and the finish is bright with salinity, plus a long lasting essence of cherry. A concentrated, well-flavored, Southern Rhone that is drinking very well now, but can be can be put flat for a decade or more. After a few hours open, the wine expands, the mouthfeel becomes more gripping and a cool, lapping minerality takes hold. Bold and delicious, a real treat! David Hatzopoulos
70% Grenache and Carignan, Syrah and Mourvèdre, grown in sandy soils near Gigondas, always farmed organically, hand harvested, whole-cluster wild yeast fermentation, aged in cement vat, un-fined, unfiltered. The 2017 shows a medium garnet/black color with aromas of red currant and blackberry liqueur, plum skin, spice and black pepper. The palate shows nice density of chocolately black fruits with berry liqueur and a sappy, chalky texture, with a bit of tannin in the firm finish. Serve with a pork stew, Morrocan tagine or grilled steak.
From 80% Grenache with Syrah and Mourvedre, grown on gravelly limestone terraces, always farmed organically, whole-cluster fermention and aged in concrete vats. 2017 is another good vintage for the always lovely Vacqueyras from Carole and Dany Chastan at Clos du Joncuas. The nose is full of dark notes of plum, blackberry and spice, that open towards ripe raspberry and a stony minerality. The palate is quite bold and ripe, but very balanced. The core of the wine is limestone minerality; fresh blackberry, leather, raspberry, and earth surround that bright, mineral core. With air, this opens brilliantly, showing fresher and brighter, with notes of cherry and strawberry coming to the fore. A joyful wine and highly recommended!
(50% Clairette, 25% Roussanne, 25% Viognier, always organically farmed, wild yeast fermentation, aged in enamel vat) Floral dried pear, apricot, hay, thyme aromas. Ripe pear, stone, caramel, lemon on the palate. A big, ripe wine with a supple palate but with good acidity that will pair with fish stews, shellfish, pork and chicken dishes as well as full-flavored goat cheeses. Particularly ripe and epressive in 2019, the Clos du Joncuas (Domaine la Garancière) Seguret Blanc is an outstanding value and highly recommended. David Lillie
Syrah (early 1990s-2010), includes 25% Saint-Pierre, destemmed, cool maceration, 20 day vinification, wild yeasts, twice daily pumping overs, 1-2 cap punchings, aged 2-10 year oak casks 12 months (no racking).
Syrah from Patou (1948), Les Mazards (1910-20s), Sauman (1991), 30-70% destemmed, 1 week cool maceration, then 2-3 week vinification, wild yeasts, pumping overs, some cap punching, aged 2-10 year 225-litre oak casks 12-14 months.
The 2018 Jonc Blanc "Fleur" is a gorgeous and complex wine from 45% old-vine Semillon (70+ years old), Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris from Franck and Isabelle Pascal in Bergerac, Biodynamic farming on limestone with clay and sandy soils, vinification without additives, aging for 18 months on the lees in cuve inox, bottled with a small addition of SO2, 20mg/l total. The 2018 Fleur is a lovely wine showing floral aromas of ripe citrus, melon and pear; the palate is ripe, supple and refreshing with ripe white fruits, quite generous and backed with firm acidity and saline/mineral flavors in the very long finish. Far from the typical varietal Sauvignon, this is a rich complex white of great character that willl acccompany cheeses and white meats and is a delicious aperitif. David Lillie
The delicious 2018 Jonc Blanc "Fruit" is a bland of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 65% Merlot from a parcel on limestone of Castillon in biodynamic farming with legumes, cereals and pollinators between the vnes. There is a cool pre-fermentation maceration, then fermentation with wild yeasts for 30 days, followed by 18 months in cuve and old foudre, bottled unfined, unfiltered with zero added SO2. Pure Juice!. The wine shows lovely aromas of black raspberry, cassis and plum with earth and violet, the palate is full and supple with bright acidity and mineral flavors under the vibrant fruit. This is simply delicious and a great value - serve cool and enjoy over the next three years with charcuterie, burgers, grilled chicken and pork. David Lillie
Isabelle and Franck Pascal make this beautiful natural wine (formerly known as "Classik") from Cabernet and Merlot grown on their Biodynamic estate near Felines, in Bergerac. The wine is aged sur-lie 12 months in barrel, and is bottled without filtration or added sulfur. The color is a dark red/black; the wine shows bright, vivid aromas of ripe cassis and boysenberry liqueur with earth, musk, violet and graphite. The palate is lush, ripe and vibrant with blackberry, cassis, prune, chocolate, earth, stone and licorice lifted by firm, cool acidity that continues in the long, bright and sapid finish. Wow, delicious! Serve with grilled pork or beef, a daube Provençal, strong cheeses and charcuterie or cellar for 5 to 8 years. David Lillie
The superb 2018 Jonc Blanc Pure T is 100% Merlot grown in a terroir of green clay on powdery limestone and fossilized oyster shells, élevage in 1200 liter Taransaud foudre for two years, bottled with no fining or filtration with zero added SO2. Pure Juice. Fabulous balance between richness, concentration and freshness, with the limestone soil bringing saline flavors. The color is a deep black with very floral aromas of cassis and blackberry. The palate is dense, deep and chocolately but still bright and balanced with terrific length. Beautiful wine! David Lillie
The 2018 Pure M is a beautiful natural wine with zero added SO2, 100% Malbec from a small parcel in biodynamic farming on "Calcaires a Asteries" typical of the plateau of Saint-Emilion. Two year élevage in 1200 liter Taransaud foudre without fining, filtration or SO2, 1600 bottles produced. The wine shows complex, pure, lush aromas of cassis, blackberry and prune with hints of tobacco, spice and earth. The palate is silky and bright with ripe cassis, blackberry and blueberry fruit backed by refreshing acidity. Mineral and ripe berry fruit flavors linger in the long finish. Serve this cool with any grilled meats, and it's balanced enough for veggies and lighter meat dishes as well. Just delicious and highly recommended! David Lillie
Isabelle and Franck Pascal make outstanding and expressive natural wines from their biodynamically farmed vineyards in Bergerac, and this lively sparkling rosé is a great example of their precise, low-intervention winemaking. This delicate pét-nat is made with mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and a smaller portion of Sémillon (30%), and shows a lovely pink-orange color in the glass. The mousse is very delicate, and on the nose, raspberry, peach, tea, and crushed strawberries are evident, while citrus, melon, and strawberry come to the fore on the slightly off-dry palate. The delicate bubbles make this an outstanding candidate for before-dinner drinking, or a fun pairing with appetizers or Asian cuisines. It's intriguingly delicious, with zero additives!
Passetoutgrains rarely feels deep and serious and nor should it be required to. This is not grand Burgundy but it is a clear example of a serious grower treating all of his wines with the utmost care. This is a lovely satisfying Passetoutgrains, equal parts Pinot and Gamay and co-fermented. It's full of juicy red and blue fruit, that lovely white pepper note from Gamay grown on limestone and the energy of the 2017 vintage. Sam Ehrlich
The wines of Dominique Cornin are exemplary white Burgundy. The farming is strictly biodynamic and the wines are made without additions, excepting a small quantity of sulfur. The outstanding farming and an overall percentage of old vines make for wines with terrific freshness even in warm years. Take this '18 Pouilly-Fuissé - in a hot vintage like this, one might expect a wine that feels overly rich and creamy. Instead it's brilliantly delicate, full of lemon zest, baked green apple and chalky stony notes. It avoids the oiliness that can sometimes befall Pouilly-Fuissé, instead with a beautiful lacy fresh mouthfeel. This is quite impressive and an excellent value. Sam Ehrlich
The potential of Aligoté in the hands of talented growers has become increasingly clear in recent years and Sylvain Pataille has definitely helped lead the charge. Sourced from two parcels in Marsannay, this 2019 is a textbook example of the best of the variety, full of lemon, honeysuckle and pungent sea spray aromas and flavors. The wine is bright with acidity and the energy and freshness that characterizes Sylvain's wines. Delicious. Sam Ehrlich
Pierre-Henri Rougeot is a name most Burgundy lovers don't yet know. I suspect this will not remain the case much longer. These are Burgundies of poise and elegance, farmed and made with great care and conviction. Certified organic in 2020 but farming that way since 2012. This village Meursault comes from a vineyard at the foot of the village with a variety of soil types - a bit more clay at the north end and more limestone and small stones further south. The resulting wine is one of great balance, with crisp white fruit and citrus, some spice in the mid-palate and good length and freshness, particularly for a warm vintage like 2018. Bottled with no sulfur, this is extremely good for the level and for the price. Sam Ehrlich
Domaine Maestracci makes some of the best value wines in Corsica, a region where increased exposure and tariffs has driven up prices tremendously in recent years. They are located in Calvi, with vines planted in on the foothills of a mountain range that rises 1500 meters above the Mediterranean. The estate is Demeter-certified biodynamic and makes vibrant earthy wines . Clos Reginu is made from their youngest vines and is a lively joyous wine. It's an assemblage of Grenache, Niellucio, Sciaccarellu, Syrah and Mourvedre and marked by red fruit both juicy and dried, a touch of iron and leather and a bright energetic finish. This is terrific for the price and should be bought in quantity. Sam Ehrlich
"Pino nwar" from Marie and Vincent Tricot. All Pinot, from unique volcanic soils of the Auvergne. Fermentation and aging is typically in fiberglass. -EL
A happy Gamay from Marie and Vincent Tricot in the Auvergne. Petites Fleurs shows less of the basalt influence (pink basalt is common in the Auvergne), as the vines are from clay/limestone terroir. Whole cluster, semi-carbonic maceration, with aging in used barrels. -EL
The first cuvée that Marie and Vincent Tricot released in 2003 was 'Les Marcottes,' a Gamay from the distinct basalt and limestone soils of the Auvergne. Certainly a flagship wine for the estate, and a rare bottle, as there isn't a great deal of Auvergne Gamay being produced, let alone reaching New York. Just arrived from France recently, so we highly recommend waiting 3-4 months before drinking. -EL
Sourced from old vine parcels in Ürzig and Zeltingen in the Mittelmosel. The 2016 Alte Reben from Molitor displays a pale yellow, hinting at gold, robe. The nose offers pretty aromas of white flowers, citrus blossom, spices, and peach skin. The mid-weight palate has a zesty mineral attack, followed by a flush of ripe stone fruit flavors and filigree of cool crushed herbs, culminating in a long sapid, mouthwatering finish. Though dry, this is by no means austere and will charm on its own, though I'd love to give this a whirl with sautéed scallops in brown butter atop a celery root purée or morels and English peas stewed in butter. John McIlwain
The Cardedu '16 Caledu is a delicious Canonau. The wine has a soft nose, with lovely forest aromas - moss, birch and wild red berries. There are wafts of more savory smells, like sun-dried tomato and basil. On the palate, the wine has a crunchy mineral core. The fruit is concentrated with richer, darker flavors of cherry and plum. The mouthfeel is rich, but refreshed by that spark of stoniness. A wonderful wine to drink with a weeknight dinner... and it'll be wonderful with BBQ when we get over this last stint of winter. David Hatzopoulos
**Arrives 5/26** Grapes are grown in San Vito, Sardinia, to soils of crumbling granite and red-tinted quartz. Fruit from these 10 year old vines is harvested in mid-September. Native fermentation is done in 1950s cement tanks. Wine ages in the same tanks for 5 months before being bottled unfiltered. If you enjoy Grignolino from the Piedmont, this bottle would be great for you. Extremely fresh on the nose, with a mix of fresh picked raspberries, blueberries, sprigs of Provencal herbs, and dark flowers. Over an hour open, aromas of black tea and mint shine through. On the palate, the wine has an aperitif-like profile. Flavors of blood orange, red cherry, and a mix of bitter but refreshing herbs create an appealing, easy drinking character. Like Grignolino, although the wine is approachable, and definitely chill-able, it has some tannic foundations. Grip is felt on the sides of the tongue and the tops of the cheeks. A long finish, shaped by appealing, strong acidity, is noted with flavors of red fruits and black pepper. This is the type of wine I'd pair with cold cured meats, summer lunches, hearty fish and vegetables. So happy with this lovely wine. David Hatzopoulos
Coming from vines in San Vito, Sardinia, planted to the region's grumbling granite soils, mixed with red-tinted quartz. Vine age is 10 years. Grapes harvested in late August and early September. In the cellar, the fermentation is natural, in stainless steel, including 6-8 hours of skins contact. The wine ages in 1950s concrete tanks before being bottled without filtration. This Vermentino has an incredibly special nose. A bouquet of herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary), with sliced, chilled yellow tomato slices and shaved parmigiana. The palate has tart, small yellow apples, lemon zest, and more green herbs. The structure is bright, with a swish of delicious, tender texture - ending with a long salty finish peaked with great acid. David Hatzopoulos
The 2018 Sabbia Rosso taught me how to love Campania. This '19 is just as delicious. So expressive - the nose is a dense bouquet of dark flowers, plums, and salt. There are bold, warm scents of espresso and baked cherries. Definitely more sultry than the rustic 2018, with a little less earth and a bit more perfume, but with an attractiveness so honestly displayed that it is just as humble of a wine. The palate shows the classic plummy flavor Piedirosso almost always carries. I can taste graphite and herbs that remind me of Cabernet Franc, and a brininess that reminds me of Rhone Syrah. Structure is perfect, with dry tannin on the gums and tongue, refreshed by a bolt of minerally acidity. Pair with anything that is full of anchovies, thick tomato sauce, and black olives. Or drink it while waiting to Zoom with your brothers on a Saturday night. That's what I'm doing. Anyway, Agnanum, I love you. David Hatzopoulos