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Wine Club Releases

January 2023
Low-intervention + lower-alcohol European wines 

2021 Hervé Villemade Cheverny Rouge, Cheverny, FR

Hervé Villemade has been working his family's vines in Cellettes since taking over from his father in 1995. Converted to organic farming in 2000, the estate now covers about 22 hectares within the Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny AOCs.

 

This wine is a 60/40 blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, grown on sandy clay and flint soils over, fermented as whole clusters for 15 days, and aged in old barrels. An old-fashioned light-bodied red at just 11.5% alcohol, The Cheverny Rouge leads with aromas of cherry, ripe raspberry, violet, and rose. Juicy and thirst-quenching when served slightly chilled, with just enough old-world earthiness to balance it out. 

2021 Cantina Indigeno 'Mosca', Abruzzo, IT

Cantina Indigeno is small project from a group of three friends in Italy’s Abruzzo region, focused on making fresh, low-alcohol, highly drinkable natural wines from local grape varieties.

 

Organic Moscato de-stemmed, macerated with the skins for 2 weeks. Aged in fiberglass for 6 months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered, with no SO2. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts, no temperature control, filtration, zero sulfur or other additions. Aromatic and dry skin-contact Moscato. Ripe peach, nectarines, wild flower, strawberry honey and minerals. 
 

2021 Chateau Barouillet 'Splash' Pet-Nat, Bergerac, FR

Located 50 km east from Saint-Émilion, the Barouillet family has been growing grapes for at least 8 generations. Vincent Alexis, who joined his father in 2010, converted the vineyards to organic and is about to obtain a biodynamic certification. 
 

This Pét-Nat is made from 50-year-old Sémillon vines grown in clay and limestone soils. The grapes are destemmed and direct pressed into stainless steel tanks where they ferment cold for about 1 month before being bottled with zero sulfur added. The wine is low in alcohol -- at just 9% -- fragrant and lively with notes of citrus, apple and a touch of cut grass.

December 2022
Skin-contact wines from lesser known regions and varietals

2015 Fekete Béla Hárslevelű,

Somló, HU

Somló is Hungary’s smallest appellation and once an underwater volcano. Now dormant, its slopes of ancient sea sediment, hardened lava, and basalt are home to some of Hungary’s steepest, most densely planted vineyards. 32 years ago, while Fekete Béla was on a trip to buy grapes for his garage production, a farmer offered to sell his vineyards on the southern slopes. Fekete accepted and, approaching 90 years old, still tends his 4 hectares of beloved Fehérvári-cru. Everything is done by hand, and much like the man, his wines are honest, engaging and highly expressive of the region

 

100% Hárslevlü, a local grape grown in volcanic soils of the Somló region. Smoky, saline, and mineral-driven with the iconic structure of white wines from this region.

2021 Domaine du Haut Planty 'One Musk a Night', Vin de France

In the 1960’s, Michel Couillaud gradually converted his father’s Loire Valley polyculture farm into a vineyard. At the turn of the century, Alain and Christian, took over the operations with Alain Couillaud as the winemaker. The new generation brought with them the spirit of the novitiate by joining the respect for traditions with forward thinking. The new era of Le Haut-Planty was marked by the conversion to organic viticulture and an embrace of the natural winemaking philosophy

 

'One Musk a Night' is 100% organic, whole-cluster Melon de Bourgogne, macerated on the skins for one week, before being pressed into concrete tanks for a 6-month spontaneous fermentation. Hazy orange in color with notes of hay, stone fruit, white flowers.

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2021 Open Face Wines 'Duh Würzt' Gewurtztraminer, Wilammette Valley, OR

After graduating with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, winemaker Michael Croom moved back to his home state of California and danced between kitchens and wine cellars until he decided to commit to his love for wine and relocate to Oregon. In his first years as a winemaker, Michael is focusing on sourcing grapes from organic, sustainable vineyards, and working to add and remove as little as possible during its life in the cellar, in an effort to create as honest of product as possible.

 

'Duh Würzt' is 100% organic, dry-farmed Gerwurztraminer from 60-year-old vines, macerated for 21 days and aged in used oak barrels. Rich, yet less cloying and spiced that traditional Gewurztraminer.

November 2022
Our first all-Italian lineup! Three very different styles, representing three unique regions.

2021 Azienda Agricola COS 'Rami' Bianco, Sicily, IT

Founded in 1980, by Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti, and Cirino Strano, COS is considered one of the benchmark producers of the Vittoria appellation in Sicily. Farmed organically and biodynamically since the 1980s, these vines in the deep south of Sicily thrive in the hot, dry climate. Using a combination of clay amphora, concrete, and old, large botti, COS produces a fascinating collection of fresh, complex reds and skin-contact amber wines.

 

The Rami is an elegant skin contact wine made from 50% Grecanico and 50% Inzolia, spontaneously- fermented on the skins in concrete tanks for seven to ten days, before being aged in concrete vats for eight months, followed by three months in the bottle before release. Rami leads with grapefruit peel and stone fruit, followed by dried Mediterranean herbs and a long, honeyed finish.

2021 Carolina Gatti ‘Pinpinea’ Rose Frizzante, Veneto, IT

Carolina Gatti is a radical young winemaker who took over her family's 250-year-old estate in the Prosecco region of the Veneto. Her outfit is a rustic farm, where she works the land herself, with no chemical inputs, and makes the wines with very little intervention.  She’s pushing boundaries and making gutsy, unorthodox wines in a very conventional, by-the-books region.

 

The organically-farmed local varietal, Raboso Veronese, is de-stemmed within 2 hours of picking and fermented on the skins for at least 15 days with frequent manual stirring in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and without temperature control. The wine is lightly pressed, then bottled unfined and unfiltered with 20ppm added SO2. The resulting rosato drinks more like a lighter red with moderate  tannins, and bright cherry fruit that gives way to sweet strawberry finish. 

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2021 Cantina Giardino 'Re' Vino Rosso, Campania, IT

Antonio and Daniela De Gruttola seek out old vineyards in Irpinia, high in the hills of Campania. They champion and preserve the region’s native varietals, old vines, and the age-old way of tending them. The vines are planted over the region’s vibrant volcanic soils. Vineyard work is done by hand, organically. In the cantina, Antonio takes a no-nonsense approach, with the intention of letting terroir express itself in full. The grapes ferment naturally without temperature control and fermentation can go on for months.

 

Part of the ‘Na-Tu-Re’  series, the Re is 100% Aglianico from old vines in Montemarano, de-stemmed and fermented on the skins for ten days, before resting for nine months in chestnut barrels. Notes of black fruit, olive, and herbs with a dark, savory complexity.

October 2022
Two very different takes on white blends, and a stunning Sicilian Pet-Nat

2020 Domaine Rietsch 'Tout Blanc' LITER, Alsace, FR

Jean Pierre Rietsch tends to his family's 12-hectare biodynamic-practicing vineyard in Mittelbergheim, Alsace, which first saw vines planted in the 1970s.

His 'Tout Blanc' is a
 sharp and light, fully dry white blend with some aromatic qualities. 50% Riesling and 50% Auxerrois, fermented with indigenous yeasts -- unfined and lightly filtered. Easy-drinking with notes of lychee, green apple, and honey.

2021 Broc Cellars 'Got Grapes' White, California

Got Grapes is a series release by Broc Cellars, beginning in 2017, to capture a blended wine made accidentally from a busy harvest that (unintentionally) turned out to be something very special. Since then, the Got Grapes label has gone on to release many different vintages of both blended and single variety wines - all that have stood out from the rest in the cellar. 

This year's release is a mix of white barrels, puncheons and concrete eggs  -- Picpoul, Clairette, Viognier, Marsanne, Albariño, Grenache Blanc -- from all over CA, with no fining or filtration.

NV Ayunta Metodo Ancestral Rosé Frizzante, Sicily, IT

Metodo Ancestrale is the original way of making sparkling wine, during which the wine is bottled midway through the fermentation, trapping any carbonation that continues to be produced.

This refreshing beauty -- a blend of Nerello Mascalese & Nero d'Avola -- possesses a bright pink hue showing notes of bright and bitter fruit such as blood orange, pomegranate and grapefruit. Balanced with intriguing yeasty notes for roundness, it finishes crisp and fresh. 

September 2022

2021 Meinklang Foam White, Burgenland, Austria

Biodynamically-farmed Grauburgunder (a.k.a. Pinot Gris) is hand harvested, macerated for 5 days on the skins, then fermented with ambient yeast in stainless steel. With no filtration and minimal SO2 addition, this pet-nat style sparkler leads with citrus peel and apple notes, backed up by a pleasant yeastiness and creamy mouthfeel.

2021 Two Shepherds Skin-Ferment Trousseau Gris, Fanucchi Vineyard, Russian River, CA

A unique wine from an obscure grey- skinned grape, originally from the Jura. The grapes are the only planting in CA -- from a 40 year old vineyard in the Russian River Valley -- fermented with native yeast on the skins for five days to extract color, flavor and texture, then aged in neutral barrels for 8 months. Lean vibrant, and packed with stone fruit notes. 

2021 De Levende Cuvée Marty, Mendocino, CA

From a négociant project between Los Angeles-based natural wine importer The Soil Expedition, and Subject to Change Wine Co., this co-ferment of organically-farmed Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir (60% and 40%, respectively) makes for an absolutely crushable summertime red, with loads of crunchy red berry and substantial acidity. Unfined, unfiltered, with zero SO2 addition. Serve chilled. 

August 2022

2021 La Boutanche Broc Cellars Red Blend

One of our favorite winemakers (Broc Cellars) teams up with one of our favorite importers (Selection Massale) to bring you a liter of true glou glou. A blend of spontaneously-fermented Zinfandel, Carignan, and Valdiguie with minimal SO2 addition, this bottling of La Boutanche is the perfect dinner party table wine.

2021 Bodega Ugabe 'Balea Unfiltered' Txakoli

One of the first bottled offerings of an unfiltered Txakolina -- the fizzy, refreshing table wine from Basque Country, Spain -- the Balea is a blend of 90% Hondaribbi Zuri and 10% Petit Corbu. Slightly effervescent and almost lemony, this one is a daytime patio pounder.

2019 Ciavolo Nero 'NCHIARITU Rosato

The "natty-est" wine in the August lineup, the 'nchiaritu is 100% Gaglioppo from 40 year old vines in Calabria, IT. Spontaneously fermented, aged in stainless for 9 months, and bottled with no clarification or filtration, this hazy gem is the perfect pairing for your antipasto or charcuterie & cheese board. 

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