A throwback In-Store tasting with José Pastor Selections - Today, 9/23 from 4-6pm - and the stars of the show

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We're calling it a throwback tasting in the spirit of pre-Covid days when we used to pack the store with some legendary lineups and producer visits. Come today if you're free and close by to taste some fantastic wines from the José Pastor Selecitons portfolio. The stars of the show are of course these wines featured below, but we'll be opening some gems from the cellar too! For those of you who don't know much about JPS, they are one of the premier importers of artisinal, soulful wines from Spain primarily but Chile, Argentina, Mexico and the US as well. Very few of their produers are not trailblazers and standouts in the regions they represent, and those who are not iconoclasts are unwaveringly traditional in areas that succumbed to international pressure and point scores. We have been highlighting their producers since 2010 and are excited to share some of our favorite wines from over the years.

For those of you who can't make it, here's the list of wines for the tasting. I forgot we were including Cantalapiedra Lirondo in the tasting (it's sadly missing from the photo, sorry Manuel!), and I added the Akutain to this list because it is just exquisite and worth consideration if you are reading this and are also a fan of old school Rioja.... but who knows, maybe we'll open the Akutain too. Anything could happen!

-Eben

Cantalapiedra Viticultores 2022 Castilla Y Leon Lirondo Verdejo (no SO2)

From a father and son team in Castilla y León with three generations of organic farming under their belts, and since the early 2000s, incorporating Biodynamic methods as well. Isaac Cantalapiedra passed on the estate to his son, Manuel, who utilizes wild yeasts for fermentation, with minimal or zero SO2 added. This is an addictivly thist-quenching and textured Verdejo, unfiltered and with no SO2 added. A lovely opaque yellow in the glass, with white stone fruit on the nose, and great mid-palate weight followed by a clean, acid-driven finish. We can't get enough of the 2022, one of the cleanest and most gulpable of Manuel's recent vintages of this wine.

  • white
  • 22 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur
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Nanclares y Prieto 2022 Rias Baixas Dandelion Albariño

Alberto Nanclares and Sylvia Prieto are making expressive, exciting wines from Albarino and other local grapes in Rias Baixas. This wine is from multiple sites in Cambados on granitic and sandy soils. The vines range in age from 30 to 60 years, a the wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and raised in small tanks for close to a year. We just tasted the 2022 a few days ago, and it is better than even we expected, and we're always have high expectations for this wine! Delicate acidity, stones, and dry melon notes. Unlike the '21 which was perhaps a bit more stern and ungiving when it was released, the 2022 Dandelion is a very complete wine and ready to drink...right now! To be fair, it will probably be even better with 2-5 years in bottle.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Macatho 2021 Tinajacura - Itata, Chile

Macatho is a project that is the wine love-child of Macarena del Río and Thomas Payrare (Maca - Tho), and this lowly tasting note is not the place to tell their whole story, but we have to summarize at least! Macarena was born in Chile to a French mother with a love and admiration for wine, while Thomas Payrare was born in France and came to Chile on business first and then met Louis-Antoine Luyt (if you know Louis-Antoine, then you know Thomas' life changed at this point!). Macarena spent years in France working first at Cheval Blanc and Domaine Leonine, and then with such natural wine notables as Yvon Metras and Patrick Bouju. Thomas developed a deep interest in wine through his friendship with Louis-Antoine and spent some time with Christophe Comor at Domaine Les Terres Promises. Though not known far and wide, partly because he's such a chill cat, but also because he's in Provence, Christophe is a beloved member of the natural wine world, and a mentor to many younger winemakers in France and beyond. Macarena and Thomas met doing harvest at Terres Promises and the rest is history! But what is the rest? Incredible wines from tiny, tucked-away vineyards in Chile! This one, 'Tinajacura,' is a blend of Carignan and Cinsault that spends some time in large Tinajas (clay anforas) and is singing in 2021 with rustic, brambly (did they bring back some herbes de provence from France?) garrigue notes on the nose, a lovely light-body and lots of charm. We would highly recommend a light chill on this vibrant and energetic red. -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Guímaro 2020 Ribeira Sacra Camiño Real

Guímaro (which means "rebel" in Gallego) was founded by Pedro Rodriguez in 1991, in Amandi, the most celebrated subzone of Ribeira Sacra. Here Mencía and other indigenous varieties (Merenzao, Mouratón, Brancellao, Caiño, Sousón...) are planted on very steep terraced slopes of slate on the northern bank of the river Sil. The vines on these south-facing slopes (almost cliffs, really - we definitely recommend checking out a photograph of these precariously steep vineyards) produce wines of great mineral intensity and character. Camiño Real comes from six terraced vineyards around Amandi, with about 85% of the blend Mencía and 15% other indigenous red varieties. Pedro harvests the grapes by hand  and ferments them together in open-top oak vats with 40 days of maceration on the skins before raising in an foudre and 225L and 500L barrels. 2021 was by all accounts a very special vintage in Ribeira Sacra, and this is one of the most open and immediately charming bottlings of Camino Real that we can remember, with pure red and purple fruit in the mid-palate, medium-body, spice and elegance in the finish.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Envinate 2022 Almansa Garnacha Tintorera Albahra

Oh, how we love this wine! Year after year, we are reminded of how lovely and balanced Grenache can be (ok it's not 100%, but still). We're also always so impressed with the price of the wine when considering the quality and how much potential it has in the shorter term (3-5 years) for incredible development and olefactory reward. Try keeping one for a year and tell us it didn't blow you away for under $30! Albahra is Envinate's Mediterranean wine, from vines of Garnacha Tintorera and Moravia-Agria, planted in clay-limestone soils near Albacete in Castilla-La Mancha. There are two parcels of Garnacha and one parcel of Moravia-Agria. Each parcel is vinified separately, always with some whole clusters used. After about 8 months the wines are blended together and bottled without fining or filtering and with only a small amount of SO2 added. The 2021 was fantastic, and somehow the 2022 just keeps it coming! It's bright and spicy (though perhaps a bit meatier than the '21), with notes of cherries and red fruit. Charming now, this should age nicely. Any fan of the elegant and delicate side of Grenache/Garnacha should grab a bottle (or two or three)!   ///  ** "Albahra (Castilian for “small sea”) is named for the vineyard area in the Almansa region close to the town of Albacete, located at the southeastern tip of Castilla-La Mancha"

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Bodegas Akutain 2017 Rioja Reserva

Jon Peñagarikano Akutain, the second-generation owner of Bodegas Akutain, is making some of our favorite, classicly styled Riojas. Everything at the esate is traditional: hand-harvesting from six hectares of estate vineyards, fermentation with natural yeasts and without temperature control, and aging (with racking) in used American oak barrels. The 2017 Reserva is almost entirely Tempranillo from higher altitude plots in Rioja Alta. Grapes were destemmed with fermentation in fiberglass and stainless steel, followed by aging for 35 months in neutral (mainly American) oak barrels. Unfortunately for the estate, there was 70% loss in 2017 due to frost, and the only grapes they did harvest were from the Gembres vineyard (their best site). This was the only wine they produced in 2017, and though the yields were extremely low, the concentration and quality of the fruit was outstanding. This is a delicate, elegant Reserva, with nice lift and acid. The nose shows classic Rioja character: cherry, dried tobacco, and earth with just a hint of that herbal, dill-like note that signals the use of American oak barrels. This offers tons of pleasure right now, and could certainly be held for the next 10 to 15 years. A perfect "drink or hold" wine.  

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $57.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Oriol Artigas 2021 Sammay Pet Nat Negre

This is a delicious and very lively ancestral style sparkling 'Pet-Nat,' made from Trepat, which is local to Catalunya. Vines are on sandy granitic soils. Grapes are split, with half seeing whole cluster, and the other half added to juice in an infusion style. The flavors are wild, with bright red fruit, and a touch of herbs. At 10% ABV, it's extremely thirst quenching, and sure to be noticed with it's vibrant color and curious aromas. Though undisgorged, it just needs to be properly chilled to avoid any kind of mess.

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur