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100% Fendant (Chasselas) from steep vineyards in a mountainous region east of Geneva called Valais. Domaine de Beudon was established in 1971, and in 1993 it was the first winery in Switzerland to become certified biodynamic. Like some other Alpine wines that we love from this vintage (think Dupasquier) we are moved by the power, complexity, and purity. Upon opening, the nose offers sweet aromas of morning dew, white flowers, honeycomb, and fresh bitter herbs. The palate is densely mineral, with fleshy flavors of mango, hazelnut, verbena, and subtle notes of oregano. The finish is long and saline. A soulful wine to drink now with cow cheeses, charcuterie, or roast chicken. Amanda Bowman
Retsina is the ancient style of resinated white wine native to Greece. Wines have been flavored with the sap or resin of the Aleppo Pine for at least 2000 years, and the unique profile is (when well done) very friendly to the spiced seafood and other Mediterranean fare that forms the core of the Greek diet. I like to drink retsina with cured fish, with olives, or with Asian food. This retsina is the most impressive I've tasted, and very reasonable in price: the grapes (from young vines belonging to Kamara Estate near Thessaloniki) are vinified in stainless steel tanks with small bits of Aleppo Pine resin added to the must. The profile is clearly resinated (think of the aromas of pine sap and bark, rather than aggressive menthol notes) but the fresh character of bright Assyrtiko and Roditis grapes certainly comes through (typically, modern retsina is made with neutral, fleshier Savatiano - the use of Assyrtiko and Roditis makes this brighter, fresher, and more interesting to my palate). Retsina sometimes gets dismissed but I hope you'll try this as either a fun apéritif or a great pairing for well-flavored seafood, garlicky dips, or charcuterie. Ben Fletcher
The first of the Hidden Treasures series, this is a collaboration between Roland Velich and Attila Homonna from the once famed Tokaj region, who is a bit of a local superstar in his own right. As with the wines that Homonna already produces, they are dedicated to the indigenous varieties Furmint & Hárslevelü, and produce this wine from old clones that grow in three parcels near the town of Tokaj in northern Hungary. Indigenous yeast fermentation, only old wood (no new oak), and minimal SO2 at bottling.
Hidden Treasure Project No. 2 is a cooperation with Tamas Kis from Somlo. This is a completely dry white wine made from the trio of grapes Hàrslevelü, Furmint and Olaszrizling (or Welschriesling).
Hidden Treasures No 3. is from the Lake Balaton region, famous summer vacation spot and also a historic wine region! Roland Velich teamed up with the the Villa Tolnay winery in Csobánchegy, on the north side of Lake Balaton, to produce this blend of Furmint and Olazriezling. Soils here are volcanic. Fermentation is with indigenous yeast in large old barrels (mix of Stockinger and Hungarian oak) and stainless steel.