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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
On a Winter's night Giorgi Kipiani's "Sakipiano" plucked each note from a warm bowl of borsch with the fathomless pitch of horsehair drawn across taut steel. While the bitter undertones of dill were sweetened by the succulent black cherry of the illustrious Aleksandrouli , the earthy flavors of boiled potatoes and beetroot plunged into the inky depths of the tart Mujuretuli. The blend caused the imagination to hover over the Rioni river basin where the Racha village seems to sit upon roots as deep as the surrounding snow-capped mountains. It is here that the young Kipiani works his family's vines, by hand in rhythm with the surrounding fauna. The wine is buried in Kvevri and finally bottled with no additions. At 12% abv this wine is deceptively "light." A soulful bottle from the foothills of Western Georgia. Amanda Bowman
Archil Guniava makes wine in the same "marani" that his grandfather built. His knowledge about winemaking comes from traditions passed from one family member to the next rather than formal training. He makes wine intuitively and makes decisions in the cellar based on what the vintage gives him. In warmer vintages he picks his Krakhuna earlier to keep the sugar levels from reaching their astounding potential. This bottling is made without skins (he also made another Krakhuna in 2017 with skin contact) and aged in qvevri. The nose offers tropical aromas of melon and orange blossom with mineral notes of river stones. The palate is dense and has nutty and citrus flavors evocative of Malvasia and finishes with bitter herbs. This should pair wonderfully with Mediterranean-inspired food, sheep cheeses, tagines, or grilled meats. Amanda Bowman
We love this expression of Saperavi. This dark-skinned, hardy variety can be made into full-bodied, firmly (brutally) tannic wine with long aging potential, or, as in this case, light and elegant wine with long aging potential. The 2017 from Zurab Topuridze shows seductive aromas of cherry, evergreen, pepper, and a touch of game. The palate is elegant and lifted with high-toned acidity and characterized by savory notes alongside bramble fruit and bitter herbs. A noteworthy wine that we look forward to every vintage. It's sublime now but should age gracefully for another 5 years. Amanda Bowman
3 upper shoulder fills
This wine comes from the nearly unknown Santameriana grape, found only in the village of Santomeri, where the Sant'Or Winery is based. Sant'Or produces the only varietal wine from this grape, which Panos Dimitropoulos has worked to recover from obscurity. For the skin contact wine, the grapes are macerated on the skins for 20 days, before maturing it for 6 months in clay eggs. The resulting wine is medium to full bodied, with some delicate tannic structure and notes of apricot, bitter herbs, and honey. Ben Fletcher
This orange wine of Muscat of Alexandria hails from the volcanic isle of Lemnos, famed for its wines since antiquity. Terra Ambera shows floral and juicy orange notes on the nose with a more savory, high acid palate that concludes with ashy volcanic minerality. Aging on the skins for 8 days in stainless steel tanks lends this wine a delicate structure that makes this especially friendly with food. Drink this fascinating expression of Muscat with flavorful Greek or Middle Eastern dishes that highlight fish, like calamari with garlic and olive oil, or even pork or chicken souvlaki. Ben Fletcher