We know which wine tastings will sell out. The jaunts around Italy have their fan base; there’s no shortage of supporters of the wines of Southern France; the Willamette and the Napa Valleys each have their disciples, though admittedly there’s not much overlap there. This month, we thought it was time you’d tasted wines from places you’d written off, or more likely, places you didn’t even know produced wine. There are also a couple of spots where they’re growing varietals you wouldn’t have suspected could be grown thereabouts. Gamay from Santa Barbara County? Merlot from the chilly, hilly northernmost reaches of Italy? They’re all here on Sunday, August 26th, with our friend Luke Anable teaching us why we shouldn’t cast a supercilious glance at Canada, Maine or Baja California when it comes to selecting our wines.
We suggest you join Luke and the rest of us on Sunday, August 26, at 3:30 pm, so we can open up some really fun wine, eat some tasty snacks designed to accompany them, and learn about some fairly obscure and truly exceptional wines. It’s $30 plus tax and tip, and as you may recall, web and email reservations won’t keep a seat handy for you, so the best way to reserve your place is by calling us at 326-9363. We hope you can make it.
Stranger than fiction
2017 Oyster River “Morphos” Petillant Naturel, America $21.00
Bottled during the end of active fermentation, this wine continues to ferment in the bottle leaving it dry, cloudy, yeasty, full of life, and with a natural effervescence. Released immediately after bottling, it is the fresh wine of the harvest. It is intensely fruity after bottling, but ages gracefully into more yeasty, toasty aromas.
2013 Pearl Morrisette Chardonnay, “Cuvée Dixneuvième,” VQA Twenty Mile Bench $40.00
Francois’ career in wine began in his early 20s when he spent a year working for Domaine Alain Gras in Saint-Romain, learning about the traditional winemaking methods of the region. Once he moved back to Quebec, he worked towards becoming a sommelier and spent the rest of the 1990s building some of the most ambitious wine lists in both Quebec and Ontario. In 2000, the call of the vines was to loud to ignore and he moved back to France to pursue winemaking full-time, working for some of the most famous producers in the Côte d’Or including Frédéric Mugnier in Chambolle-Musigny, Christian Gouges of Domaine Henri Gouges in Nuits-Saint-Georges and Domaine Roulot in Meursault. After 7 years in Burgundy, he returned to Canada with an eye to make his own wine using the knowledge he gained abroad. Chardonnay “Dix Neuvième” is from the 19th Street Vineyard, planted in 1999, from vines planted in loam soils over limestone. This cuvée makes use of demi-muid, new barrique, and cement egg for fermentation and élevage. Very low SO2.
2017 La Boutanche Weiss Blend “Weingut Knauss” Kerner/Müller Thurgau/Riesling, Swabia $20.00
Andi Knauss’ Weiss is a blend of the more aromatic German varieties grown on the estate, sourced from multiple parcels planted in limestone soils. This vintage is mainly weissburgunder with the balance of kerner and müller-thurgau. It is fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel tank and bottled with very little sulfur added. Crisp, clean, and bright.
2017 Lo-Fi Gamay Noir, Santa Barbara County $28.00
A deliciously gulpable Santa Barbara Gamay Noir(Gamay with Pinot Noir root stock) made from 50% Rancho Real fruit and 50% from Lo Fi’s Clos Mullet estate. Made from native yeasts and semi-carbonic maceration and aged neutral barrels for six months. Ripe dark and red fruits bounding with energy, maybe think Brouilly, and just a delicious fun wine from low intervention cool dudes.
2016 Bichi “Mistico,” (Misión/Rosa del Peru/Tempranillo/Cariñena,) Baja California $28.00
Mistico is a field blend of grapes from the various parcels and terruños that Bichi works with in both Tecate and Valle de Guadalupe. The grapes were harvested by hand, destemmed and fermented in 450L concrete tinajas., with one tinaja of Tempranillo seeing some carbonic maceration. The wine was raised for 3 months in equal parts steel vat and older oak, and bottled without fining or filtration and only 10 ppm of added SO2. It is a fresh, broad, and complex vino tinto with notes of red fruits, spice, and mineral.
2013 Le Due Terre Merlot, Colli Orientali di Friuli $48.00
Flavio and Silvana started making wine at Le Due Terre in 1984 but their reputation is one of a much older estate. Based in Prepotto on the eastern slopes of the Friuli hills -you can see the Slovenian border from their property- they have four hectares of vineyards that surround the estate and farm another hectare in Cividale. They make incredibly elegant wines with great fruit purity that clearly demonstrate the potential of this extreme part of the Colli Orientale. Le Due Terre means `two types of soil`, the first of which is ponca, a rich, mineral marl soil best suited for the Sacrisassi Rosso varietals – Refosco and Schiopettino (50/50). The other is more clay based soil, better suited to Pinot Noir which slows down the ripening cycle and brings out deeper aromatic concentration. Their natural winemaking style (biodynamic) and minimalist intervention allows the ‘Due Terre’ to be expressed in the resulting wines. Vinification is simple, with spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel for the Pinot Noir and concrete for the other reds, and 10-12 days skin maceration with submerged cap. They then spend 20-22 months in (mostly old) oak barrels.