Cellar Clean Up - Spain and the US

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Now that we are finally situated in our new home at 79 Chambers Street, we have discovered a small forgotten stash of some of our favorite wines in our cellar and are happy to offer them with some other gems.

La Rioja Alta 1981 Rioja Gran Reserva 890

890 refers to the foundation year of 1890 (again the name was shortened to avoid confusion with the vintage). 890 is made only in the best vintages from 95% Tempranillo, with Graciano and Mencia making up the rest, and is aged in barrel from 6-8 years, and an additional 6 years in bottle.

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  • $349.99

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Envinate 2020 Ribeira Sacra Parcela Misturado de Abeleda

What a joyful wine! Misturado comes from centenarian vines of the red grapes Mencia, Merenzao, Brancellao, Caiño, Mouraton (60-65%), and the white grapes Palomino, Godello, and Doña Blanca (35-40%) in the Ribeiras do Sil region. The vines are about 600 meters above sea-level, and planted on gneiss soils with a high quartz content. Aging is in barrel for 11 months. This is a beautiful, light, and elegant red that reminds me of a cross between a really good natural wine and a fine red Burgundy. The brightness and vibrant energy of the wine is no doubt influenced by the mineral rich soils, which provide a gritty backbone. Drink now. I'm sure it could improve nicely with age, but there is a charm to the wine that I think might be best enjoyed in its youth. -EL

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  • $59.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur
  • red fortified sweet
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  • $149.99

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  • $74.99

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Bodegas Akutain 2004 Rioja Gran Reserva

I love old classic Rioja. There is a stately quality to the wines and particularly to the Gran Reservas. By the time they reach us, they have spent so much time in wood and racked so many times from barrel to barrel that they have been inoculated against any damage that oxygen might cause. Consequently, they can live seemingly forever, becoming endlessly mellower,  more harmonious and complex. If you like the sound of this, then please consider buying (then re-buying) the Akutain 2004 Gran Reserva. This is a tremendous example of really traditional Rioja. At the outset it's full of baked strawberry and cherry fruit, accented by the dill and vanilla character of old American oak barrels. But as one sits with it in the glass, it takes on grander dimension, with meaty notes reminiscent of drippings from a roasting pan and more earthy truffly notes as well. The acidity and structure are spectacular, as one would expect from a great vintage such as '04. The general energy of the wine is a marvel and will make a great cellar addition. 6000 bottles made. Sam Ehrlich

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  • Organic
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Viadero, Goyo Garcia 2014 Ribera del Duero Valdeolmos

Valdeolmos comes from a single vineyard composed of Tempranillo and Albillo on sandy limestone soils. A coferment of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Albillo, this is typically the most lifted and floral of the Goyo Garcia reds.  All grapes are destemmed, fermented with indigenous yeasts in foudre, then raised for more than 16 months in old barrel. Bottling is without fining, filtration, and no added SO2. Ben Fletcher

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Viadero, Goyo Garcia 2015 Ribera del Duero Finca el Peruco

El Peruco is a unique high altitude (~1000m) vineyard in Ribera del Duero, planted with 120+ year old Tempranillo and Albillo vines on chalky clay soils. The wine from this vineyard is a co-ferment of both grape varieties, about 85% Tempranillo and 15% Albillo. All grapes are fully destemmed before wild yeast fermentation in small foudres, followed by long élevage in large barrel. Goyo Garcia's winemaking for this wine is strictly non-interventionist and focused on less extraction: there's no racking, no additions (including no added sulfur), no fining, and no filtering. The 2015 is arresting and open, suited either to immediate, joyful consumption or longer aging. The lithe, floral character of the Albillo is in contrast with the density of the Tempranillo here, yielding a high-toned wine with beautiful red fruit and a lacy structure from both acid and tannins. Deeply mineral, with notes of fresh green herbs, this recalls other high altitude wines with its intensity and textures. I was deeply impressed by this wine in this vintage. (This wine arrives 3/12/20). Ben Fletcher

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Envinate 2015 Tenerife Taganan Tinto

Laying eyes upon the cliffs and slopes of Taganana, it is impossible to imagine that the place does not make beautiful wines. This ancient mountainous region of northeastern Tenerife is planted to a wild mosaic of varieties, including Listán Negro, Listán Gacho, Negramoll, Malvasía Negro, Listán Prieto, Vijariego Negro, and Baboso, with white grapes Malvasía, Listán Blanco, Albillo Criollo, Verdelho, Marmajuelo, Gual, Vijariego Blanco, and more. All vines are own-rooted, with some up to 300 years old. A small percentage of white grapes is included in Taganan Tinto, Envínate's village red, which contains grapes from the rocky black volcanic soils of Chavarria, as well the iron-rich red volcanic soils of Margalagua. 2015 is more open and expressive in its youth than past vintages. Aromas are subtle, with bramble, brine, iron, bitter herbs and earth; the palate is simultaneously electric and gentle, with a supple, saltwater texture and flavors of wild purple berries, tart black plum, creamy florals, and volcanic earth, with cool notes of eucalyptus and brine. A quintessential wine of place. (2 bottles per customer, please.) Ariana Rolich

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Envinate 2016 Almansa Albahra

Envínate is a collaboration between four friends who met at enology school in Alicante and have gone on to make memorable and terroir-expressive wines from special parcels of vines all around Spain: Ribeira Sacra, Canary Islands, Extremadura, and this one from Almansa (just inland and south of Valencia). Made from Garnacha Tintorera from organically farmed vines at 800 meters altitude on chalky, clay-calcareous soils, blended with another vibrant red grape, Moravia Agria (from Manchuela). Wild yeast fermented and raised in large cement vats, Albahra is racy, bright, and light-on-its-feet, with electric blackberry, soft blueberry, and chewy purple fruit skins, with purple flowers, clove, and hints of earthy funk. Outrageously delicious with a light chill and some ribs. Ariana Rolich

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Envinate 2018 Ribeira Sacra Lousas Vinas de Aldea

From a collection of parcels throughout Ribeira Sacra. "These Mencía grapes are fermented 1o0% whole cluster with wild yeasts in open top plastic tubs, then raised in used 300 and 400 liter French oak for 11 months with no racking. A touch of SO2 is added only at bottling, and the finished wine sees no fining or  filtration." (Note from Jose Pastor Selections).

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Envinate 2018 Tenerife Taganan Tinto Parcela Margalagua

Margalagua is a parcel of the Taganan vineyard composed of 100-300 year old vines of red grapes on a uniquely iron-rich seam of soil with distinctive red basalt. Due to the silky character of the wines that this parcel produces, it is vinified differently with a much longer (30-45 day) maceration and 100% stem-inclusion, yielding a darker, bolder, richer wine.  

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Guímaro 2010 Ribeira Sacra Finca Meixeman

Finca Meixemán comes from 1.2 hectares of 70-year-old southeast facing vines on schist-heavy soils and is vinified just like Capelinos. Sultry and spicy with blackberry briar, dill fronds, coriander, celery seed, cumin, and soil on the nose. The palate is long, deep and clear with soft dark cherry, raspberry juice and seeds, rosy red plums, hibiscus tea and watermelon rind is anchored by intense acidity and young tannic scratch. Meixemán is powerful without being decadent or dense, recommended for lovers of young Brouilly. Open well in advance or decant. -AR

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Nanclares 2018 Rías Baixas Albariño A Grana

The vineyard for A Graña is on sandy granitic soils and faces to the northeast. Alberto and Silvia harvest the grapes by hand, then press them whole cluster into a used 800L chestnut cask and small stainless steel tank to age on the lees for 11 months with some bâtonnage before bottling without fining or filtering. The result is a precise, acid-driven Albariño with a touch of broad, granitic minerality balanced by stone-fruit and salt. Of the single-vineyard Nanclares wines, this is a good choice for earlier drinking - with a long decant. Ben Fletcher

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Nanclares 2018 Rías Baixas Paraje Mina Albariño

Paraje Mina is the first vineyard that Alberto Nanclares acquired, and this single vineyard Albariño is an exceedingly serious and ageworthy expression of Alberto Nanclares and Sylvia Prieto's winemaking, organic agriculture, and the terroir of the Val do Salnés. As with the other wines they produce, Sylvia and Alberto are very hands-off in the cellar, pressing the grapes whole cluster, fermenting them with wild yeasts, and raising the wine in a mix of stainless steel and old barrels. The resulting wine is bold, dense and layered: notes of seashell, granitic minerality, and stonefruit wash across the palate with definite staying power. This is a wine in its very early youth that will reward patience. I would hold it at least until 2022, potentially considerably longer. Ben Fletcher


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Nanclares 2018 Rías Baixas Tempus Vivendi Albarino

Alberto Nanclares and Silvia Prieto produce very special wines from 5 hectares of  Albariño in the Val do Salnés, near Cambado, in Rias Baixas. These vineyards are worked organically, a rarity in rainy, cool Rias Baixas, and very traditionally, with the vines still trained in the overhead pergola style and all farming done entirely by hand. Alberto and Silvia are also very hands off in the cella: fermenting with native yeasts, neither fining nor filtering, and adding only small amounts of sulfur. Tempus Vivendi comes from vineyards near Sanxenxo, south of Cambado, and shows a as a very classic Albariño from the Val do Salnés, with abundant notes of crushed seashell, sea air, and ripe lemon. This is a classic pairing for shellfish and other light seafoods. Ben Fletcher

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AmByth 2010 Paso Robles Playground Vineyard

PlayGround vineyard is a cool, west-facing, windswept one-acre field blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Counoise, Carignane, and Roussanne at 1350 feet elevation. The wine is salty and savory with cool dark fruit, coffee, and aloe on the nose; the palate is a mellow swirl of muddled blueberry, brambly black raspberry, wild nettles, green moss, rich earth, and herbaceous fruit seeds on the finish. Utterly unique and full-flavored with a deceptively moderate 13.2% alcohol. (50 cases were produced with only 10ppm total added sulfites.) Perfect with lamb chops from the grill, eggplant in any form, and the buttery bitterness of aged gouda. So very good! AR

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