Sparkling  

Beverage Director, Jamie McLennan

Méthode Ancestrale ~ Pétillant Naturel ~ PétNat

White

 

2015 Frantz Saumon “Les gars Les filles” Vin de France ~ $62

This serious PetNat comes from Franz and his partner Marie Thibault’s best Chenin Blanc sites. Extended lees contact has added richness to a palate full of orchard fruit, taut mineral, lanolin, chamomile, and more… 

 

2013 Capriades “Pet-Sec” Vin de France ~ $50

From a favorite Loire PetNat producer, this Chenin Blanc spent 3 years on the lees and shows a richer side of the glou-glou style; brioche, orchard fruit, and salinity all come together beautifully on the palate here.

 

2012 Huet Pétillant Vouvray Loire Valley, France ~ $58

Conisdered one of the great Loire Valley producers, and an enthusiastically biodynamic ambassador, Huet’s pétillant falls in step with its other world-class Vouvray bottlings. Not to be missed!

 

2015 Costadilà “450 slm” Vino da Tavola, Italy ~ $44

Not typical of many other wines produced in Prosecco, this bottling is left undisgorged to retain the sediment and pours a hazy orange showing a lively palate of citrus zest, pear skin, stoney minerals, and a savory finish. 

 

2016 Furlani Antico” Trentino, Italy ~ $50

Matteo Furlani is making some of the most engaging PetNats in Northern Italy. This 100% Nosiola is full of life, pouring a hazy salmon color with flavors of pithy fruit, mild herbs, and stoney minerals.  

 

2015 Christoph Hoch “Kalkspitz” Niederösterreich, Austria ~ $60

After working with a couple of our favorite Champagne houses, Christoph moved back to Austria dedicated to making quality sparking wine from his native varietals. This PetNat is a blend of mostly Gruner Veltliner and Zweigelt showing lean layered flavors, expansive carbonation, and is just an overall joy to drink. Prost!  

 

Méthode Ancestrale ~ Pétillant Naturel ~ PétNat

Rose

2016 Broc Cellars “Sparkling Wine” Santa Barbara, California ~ $60

This tiny production natural Cab Franc sparkler is unlike anything we’ve tasted from Cali! It’s expansive and dry, showing vibrant acidity, and flavors of brambly fruit, soft herbs, mild tannin, and a lean refreshing finish.

 

2016 Marie Thibault “la roue qui tourne” Vin de France ~ $55

Marie’s PetNats are always some of our favorites, this blend of Grolleau, Gamay, and Pinot Noir is lean and refreshing showing focused flavors of wild strawberry, tangy minerals, greek yogurt, and a dry finish.

 

2016 Brand “pet-nat rosé” Pfalz, Germany ~ $66

This expansive southern German sparkler is mostly Pinot Noir with a touch of Portugieser, it’s pours a hazy magenta, showing bright acidity and flavors of juicy raspberry, tart cherry, subtle salinity, and a dry finish.  

 

2016 Meinklang “Frizzante Rosé” Burgenland, Austria ~ $42

From Angela and Werner Michlits, one of our favorite biodynamic farming couples in Austria, this 100% Pinot Noir sparking rose almost too drinkable showing summer strawberry and rhubarb with a gentle mousse. 

 

2017 Lucy Margaux “Rosé de Noirs Frizzante” Adelaide Hills, Australia ~ $75

Anton van Klopper of Lucy Margaux is making some of the wildest natural wines in Australia. This Pinot Noir PetNat is bright and refreshing showing tart strawberry, lemon zest, racy acidity, tangy minerals, and more… 

 

Méthode Traditionelle ~ Méthode Champenoise ~ Crémant

White

 

Francis Boulard “Les Murgiers” Brut Nature Champagne, France ~ $82

This bone-dry Blanc de Noirs, comprised of 70% Pinot Meunier and 30% Pinot Noir, from a favorite producer in the Valle de Marne, showing spine-tingling tension and flavors of raspberry, oyster shell, brioche, and more. 

 

Christophe Mignon “Pur Meunier” Brut Nature Champagne, France ~ $85

From one of the most meticulous natural growers in Champagne, this fuller bodied 100% Pinot Meunier is bone-dry showing a layered core of lean red fruit, toasted hazelnut, cool acidity, and a savory finish. 

 

Tarlant “Zero” Brut Nature Champagne, France ~ $90  

Our friends at Tarlant are producing some of the purest Champagnes around. This blend of equal parts Chard, PN, and PM is bottled without dosage; high-toned acidty, lean citrus, and mild oxidation are in perfect harmony.

 

Jacques Lassaigne “Le Vignes de Montgueux” Extra Brut Champagne, France ~ $90

Jacques’s NV Blanc de Blanc has been a long time favorite, it’s mildy oxidative in style, showing a gentle mousse, and balanced flavors of toasted almond, tart citrus, tangy limestone, and creamy lees.

 

Bourgeois Diaz “Cuvee N” Extra Brut Champagne, France ~ $100

A very special Blanc de Noirs that spent 6 years on the lees before disgorement and was bottled without dosage. Both powerful and graceful with integrated flavors of black fruit, oceanic minerals, and umami.

 

2011 Chartogne-Taillet “Les Orizeaux” Extra Brut Champagne, France ~ $148

Alexandre Chartogne’s single-site Blanc de Noir is one of the best ‘11s we’ve tasted; it’s both opulent and austere, with a persistant mousse, and flavors of black cherry, sea salt, Indian spice, mild oak, and more…  

 

2013 Belluard “Mont Blanc” Brut Zero Savoie, France ~ $90

100% Gringet, from a high elevation alpine vineyard, this dry sparkler from Dominique Belluard is relentless; nicely balanced and layered showing lean orchard fruit, ginger, smoke, and an immense mineral presence.

 

2016 Michel Gahier Cremant du Jura, France ~ $60

Michel makes one of the most incredible Cremants you’ll taste, 100% Chardonnay, showing laser-like focus and well integrated flavors of tart cider apples, hazelnut, croissant, and more…  

 

2013 Raventós i Blanc “DE LA FINCA” Barcelona, Spain ~ $66

A traditional blend of 50% Xarel-lo, 40% Macabeo, and 10% Parellada which spends 36 months on the lees, and is bottled dry; focused acidity, minerality, orchard fruit, and toasted brioche all in lovely balance here.

 

Loimer Extra Brut Sekt, Kamptal, Austria ~ $60

One of the best sparkling wines in Austria, this blend of Gruner Veltliner, Zweigelt, and Pinot Noir shows a fine texture, persistent mousse, and flavors of kumquat, red apple, brioche, and tangy minerals.

 

Méthode Traditionelle ~ Méthode Champenoise ~ Crémant

Rose

Pierre Paillard “Les Terre Rosés XIII” Grand Cru Extra Brut Champagne, France ~ $90

From a favorite Bouzy grower, this salmon-colored rosé spent 4 years on the lees and shows a balanced palate of lean strawberry, kumquat, candied ginger, brioche, and a seemless finish. 

 

George Laval “1er Cru Cumières” Brut Nature Champagne, France ~ $220
Foot treading, extended maceration, and no dosage or added SO2 are just a few reasons this tiny production rosé is so unique. The wine’s deep in color with a gentle mousse and flavors of rhubarb, iron, lees, and more… 

 

Bründlmayer Rosé Sekt Kamptal, Austria ~ $88

This harmonious blend of Pinot Noir, Zwiegelt, and St. Laurent by our friend Willi Brundlmayer is a favorite; it shows bright acidity, a persistent mousse, and flavors of lean cherry, violets, primal rock, and creamy lees.

White

France

2015 Dominique Belluard “Le Feu” Ayse, Savoie ~ $105

Dominique naturally farms nearly half of the worlds tiny number of Gringet vines in existence and this bottling may be the coolest expression of the varietal there is. From the iron rich high elevation vineyard Le Feu, this wine is raised in Amphora and bottled with minimal SO2; it’s medium-bodied showing aromatics and flavors of tart cider apples, delicate spice, salty minerals, fine herbs, and so much more…  

 

2016 Les Dolomies “Terra Links” Côtes du Jura ~ $65

Celine Gormally of Dolomies is one producer we’ll be following very closely for a very long time. Her Cote du Jura bottlings are some of the best coming out of the region and this 100% Savagnin is one a favorite. The wine’s powerful and textured without showing too much weight and on the palate it seemlessly displays itself with intensity and elegance.  

 

2015 Domaine des Cavarodes IGP – Vin de Pays de Franche-Comte ~ $64

It was at a French wine fair in early 2012 when we first discovered the wines of Etienne Thiebaud. The vivacity of his bottlings quickly grabbed our attention and we’ve been huge fans ever since. Incredibly fresh, this blend of Chardonnay and Savignin shows bright acidity alongside flavors of cider apples, lemon zest, lees, exotic spice, and a dry finish of Chablis-esque minerality.   

 

2012 Michel Gahier “La Fauquette” Arbois, Jura ~ $70

This bottling is relentless; the earnest and humble Michel Gahier continues to amaze us by letting his grapes, surroundings, and natural approach honestly display themselves in each of his carefully crafted wines. This oxidative Chardonnay has persistent acidity and well-integrated flavors of green apple, toasted hazelnut, turmeric, and a savory sherry-esque umami quality.  

 

2015 Gérard Duplessis “Fourchaume” Chablis, Burgundy ~ $78

This 5th generation estate, now being run by Lilian Duplessis, organically farms and has forever stayed dedicated to tradition while working some of the Chablis’s most fascinating terroirs. Their Premier Cru Fourchaume is a Rootstock favorite, the sites Kimmeridgian limestone intensifies the palate while flavors of tangy apple, green tea, creamy lees, oyster shell, and flint satisfy. 

 

2015 DeMoor “Clardys” Chablis, Burgundy ~ $85

Alice and Olivier have been farming organically since ’05; furthermore in the cellar they are a couple of the most natural producers in Burgundy. Clardys is one of their top sites set atop flint and Kimmerigian limestone and this wine brilliantly displays both the warmer ’15 vintage and the mineral intensity of this special site.

 

2014 Domaine de la Pépière (Marc Ollivier) “Clisson” Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, Loire Valley ~ $48

Marc Ollivier is one of our favorite producers in the Loire Valley. The poor granite-rich soils of the Clisson paired with Marc’s 50-110 year-old vines lend this wine a lean mineral transparency most producers in Muscadet could only dream of. It’s cool texture and persistant acidity give way to balanced flavors of sea spray, lean orchard fruit, taut minerals, and dry refreshing finish.   

 

2015 François Pinon “Silex Noir” Vouvray, Loire Valley ~ $48

A warmer vintage like 2015 suites this demi-sec, or off-dry bottling, from François well. The vines are planted to a unique combination of tuffeau limestone and black flint which lends a vibrant mineral presence alongside flavors of ripe stonefruit, honey, lemon zest, creamy lees, and more…

 

2015 Domaine du Closel “La Jalousie” Savennieres, Loire Valley ~ $64

Evelyne de Pontbriand continues to make beautiful expressions of Savennieres every vintage, this bottling comes from Evelyne’s younger Chenin Blanc vines showing a more elevated and seemless side of the region. It’s full-bodied and viscous with youthful acidity and flavors of tropical fruit, creamy lees, mild oak, white pepper, and schist.

 

2016 Frantz Saumon “Mineral +” Azay-Le-Rideau, Loire Valley ~ $60

Frantz naturally farms several sites throughout Azay-Le-Rideau and his Mineral + bottling is made to be an expression of a specific vintage rather than 1 particular site. 100% Chenin Blanc from several different parcels, this ’16 is a favorite vintage in recent years showing all the beauty of young Chenin and the true diversity of  Touraine terroir.

 

2014 Marie Thibault “Premier Nez” Azay-Le-Rideau, Loire Valley ~ $62

From only Marie’s forth vintage, this stunning Chenin had us in awe from the first sip. Organic since the wineries inception in 2011, she farms one vineyard of 50+ year old vines and considers this bottling the most age worthy of her wines. It embodies the soul of the Touraine with rich Chenin-esque beeswax and lanlolin aromatics followed by a palate full of lean citrus, almond, chalky minerals, and creamy lees.

 

2016 Domaine Santamaria Patrimonio, Corsica, France ~ $50

Thomas Santamaria is a 6th generation grower at his family estate in Patrimonio and this 100% Vermentino really blew is away with its cool maritime aromatics, radiant acidity, and fine texture. The palate shows good lift and transparency with well integrated flavors of saline, lean tropical fruit, mint, and a dry finish. 

 

Italy, Greece, & Spain

White

2015 Gabrio Bini “Serragghia Bianco” Pantelleria, Italy ~ $125

Pantelleria is an island in the Mediterranean, located between Sicily and Tunisia, with an ancient culture of wine production. Gabrio natually farms several high elevation terraced vineyards planted to purely volcanic soil; this “orange” Zibbibo saw a 3 months on the skins in clay amphora and was bottled unfiltered without SO2. The wine’s wildly aromatic showing a layered palate of tropical fruit, seasame, green tea, and moderate tannin.   

 

2016 Domaine Sigalas “Steel Fermented” Santorini, Greece ~ $50

Some of the oldest roots on the planet produce this steely, electric marvel by our friend Paris Sigalas.  Once upon a time a volcano pushed this island to double in size, then blew up the better half--and it seems they've been growing Assyrtiko ever since. Here we have a perfect wine for seafood and vegetables, bright and lively, with searing acidity, gripping minerality, lean salt-taffy--and if left in the bottle it would outlive us all.

 

2015 Skouras “Salto Moscofilero” Peloponnese, Greece ~ $48

For George Skouras this wine is about light and freshness--only the free-run juice is used here, and the grapes are chilled if necessary to ensure the skins impart as little color, tannins, or extra weight to the wine as possible. The result is sunshine in a bottle:  bright, joyful acidity that is positively refreshing radiates ripe peaches and honeysuckle, a touch of passion fruit and guava, and a long orange-rind finish. Great with a salad, perfect for seafood, and brilliant for breakfast.

 

2016 Pagos de Nona “SantYuste” Bierzo, Spain ~ $55

From 4 vineyards of very old bush vines that Esmerelda Garcia and Jesus Hermida work naturally, this is one of the most engaging Verdejo’s we’ve ever tasted. Nearly four days of skin contact have lent this bottling endless aromatics while the palate is both rich and dry showing balanced flavors of ripe orchard fruit, tangy lees, sandy minerals, lemongrass, and soft tannin.

 

2015 Benito Santos “Igrexario de Saiar” Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain ~ $48

Albariño has been a longtime staff favorite varietal and this very pure single vineyard expression is a wonderful example of why. It’s medium bodied showing a firm acid driven backbone alongside flavors of ripe tropical fruit, sea spray, jasmine, citrus zest, and a dry mineral driven finish. 

 

2015 Oriol Artigas “Peça d’en Blanch Taronga” Alella, Spain ~ $95

Taronga translates to orange in Catalan and this incredible blend of Pansa Blanca and Pansa Rosado is raised in amphora, spending 11 days on the skins, and 4 months on the lees before being bottled without fining or filtration. The wines supple texture and bright acidity lead beautifully into a palate full of lean fruit, intense minerality, sesame, mild tannin and more... 

 

2016 Bodegas Viñátigo “Elaboraciones Ancestrales Blanco” Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain ~ $80

Wildly unique, this 100% Gual (aka Bual) is vinified in what Juan Mendez of Viñátigo discribes as an Ancestrale method. No manipulation and 3 weeks on the skins have lent this bottling fine tea-like tannins, radiant volcanic minerality, and flavors of jasmine, mango, lemon verbena, rosemary, and more… 

 

Germany & Austria

White  

2016 Eva Fricke “Mellifluous” Riesling Trocken, Rheingau, Germany ~ $54

Eva started her estate in 2011 after working a decade under a couple of our favorite German producers; J.B Becker and Johannes Leitz. She’s caught the attention of many with her intense yet approachable style and we’re excited to follow her wines for many years to come. This Trocken is a lovely expression of Rheingau; steely and fresh with a mineral-driven core, acidity and lean flavors of lime zest, tropical fruit, and ginger. 

 

2015 Carl Loewen “Alte Reben” Riesling, Mosel, Germany ~ $45

Don’t miss the opportunity to taste this brilliant off-dry Riesling from an approachable young vintage. Carl vinifies this old-vine bottling on ambient yeast, in neutral oak barrels, and thinks of it as his most classic expression of the Mosel. In ’15 this wine shows very little sweetness, alongside racy acidity, and cool flavors of lime zest, sassafras, slate, green tea, and more….

 

2015 Donnhoff Roxheimer Hollenpfad Riesling Trocken, Nahe, Germany ~ $125 1.5L

This was our favorite of many dry Rieslings we tasted an event in the Spring of ’16. Bl,ind it almost seems more Austrian with flavors of lean citrus and a savory mineral component that we don’t often associate with Donnhoff. This is a magnum so may require a few friends to polish off, though with the proper amount of time we’re sure most couples wouldn’t have much trouble getting through it. Prost! 

 

2014 Beurer “Schilfsandstein” Riesling, Swabia, Germany ~ $55

Jochen Beurer is a friend and favorite amongst the southern German producers we’ve met, his Rieslings show the youth and agility he once did as a European BMX champion. Very dry, this Schilfsandstein is drinking great right now showing moderate weight, generous acidity, and flavors of lemongrass, cardamom, clementine, and intense minerality coming through on the finish.  

 

2015 Merkelbach “Lang Pichter” Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese #8, Mosel, Germany ~ $72

It’s amazing that Alfred (82) and his brother Rolf (79) still run their family estate; they’ve managed to keep their production style the same for a better part of a half century an continue to produce some of the best Rieslings in the Mosel. This tiny production bottling comes from vines planted to pure red slate and shows bracing acidity balanced by ample sweetness and flavors of mango, asian spice, lycee, and a finish that’ll last all night.

 

2010 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese “Goldkapsel”, Nahe, Germany (375 ml) ~ $78

Another gem from one of our favorite producers! This Auslese comes off a bit drier than it actually is due to the lack of botrytis, about 30%, and intense minerality on the palate. It’s reallly starting to develop with a bit of age showing sleek acidity, sweet stone fruit, lilac, gray slate, honeycomb, and a touch of botrytis on the finish.

 

2015 Alzinger “Loibenberg” Riesling Smaragd, Wachau, Austria ~ $120

Few producers in the Wachau are making Rieslings as transparent as Leo Alzinger! This ’15 Loibenberg is pretty assertive and truly remarkable in it’s youth showing a fine texture, radiant acidity, and a dense palate of ripe orchard fruit, saliva inducing minerals, a mild herbal freshness, and a gripping high-energy finish.  

 

2015 Prager “Klaus” Riesling Smaragd, Wachau, Austria ~ $120

Klaus is a favorite site; situated lower on the slope close to the Danube the denser soils here often produce a more opulent expression of Riesling. Surprisingly ready to drink now, this ‘15 Smaragd from our friend Toni Bodenstein is fuller in body and deeply concentrated showing flavors and aromas of fleshy white peach, green tea, lime zest, flint, iron, and more…     

 

Hirsch “Zöbinger Gaisberg” Riesling, Kamptal, Austria ~ 

We were fortunate enough to get our hands on several different vintages from this celebrated site. The Gaisberg is comprised of granite and mica-schist with a full southern exposure and a cool micro-climate which is absolutely perfect for the Riesling varietal. Our quantities are so limited on these that the descriptions had to come from the wines legendary importer Terry Theise. Enjoy!

2003 ~ $ 110

“The 2003, one of the top-few Rieslings of the vintage, has a stunningly expressive nose; wisteria and blackberry and Gyokoru; the is just absurd, psychedelically vivid, phosphorescent shimmer, mint and wintergreen and fruit and some sort of stone you’d lick to restore eyesight to the blind; lavish fruit yields to pure ore and spice on the finish.” Terry Theise

2006 ~ $110

“Tightly packed mineral and wisteria, molten silver; the palate is almost constricting, crazily tight, ultraviolet; also leesy and weirdly also chocolate and jasmine and tarragon; it’s a wild ride of neon and flower and mineral; it seems to attach jumper-cables from the glass to your palate.” Terry Theise

2009 ~ $110

“As perfect a dry Riesling as you’ll ever find; fantastically precise, juicy and salty, refined and exotic. Grand Cru exemplified!” Terry Theise

2010 ~ $110

No notes here, just a terrific vintage from an outstanding site that shouldn’t be missed. 

2011 ~ $110

“My entire note consists of the words OFFER THIS! Hence, I do.” Terry Theise

 

2015 Loimer “Langenlois Spiegel” Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal, Austria ~ $70

This is one of the most approachable young Premier Cru Gruners we’ve tasted in a while. Fred is a biodynamic ambassador and the founding member of Respekt, a certification promoting holistic viticulture practices in Austria and Germany. This GruVe is showing ample weight, a seemless texture, and all of the orchard fruit, peppery spice, and savory minerality we love from Gruner grown in the Kamptal.

 

2014 Meinklang “Konkret Weiss” Traminer, Burgenland, Austria ~ $78

Angela and Werner Michlits vinifed this aromatic blend of Gelber Traminer, Roter Traminer, and Gewurtztraminer in a concrete egg with a 28 day maceration. Unlike anything we’ve tasted from Austria, this orange wine has a facinating palate, it’s both floral and herbaceous showing cool citrus and savory tannin. 

 

New Zealand ~ White

2016 Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ~ $40

For all you Kiwi Sauv Blanc lovers out there this wine was not made to disappoint. It’s grassy, with plenty of ruby red grapefruit, and gooseberry that makes it undoubtedly from Marlborough…

 

Rosé

2017 Ameztoi “Rubentis” Getariako Txakolina, Spain ~  $42

Back by popular demand, this staff favorite will have your taste buds singing. Comprised of two native Basque varietals Hondurribi Zuri and Hondurribi Beltza, there is no better wine for Summer than Txakolina. This light-bodied, high-acid rosé shows fresh strawberry, bright citrus, mouthwatering salinity, and a light sparkle that refuses to let you stop at just one.

 

2016 Pagos de Nona “Mil Razas” Field Blend Bierzo, Spain ~ $55

This is easily one of our favorite rosés of the ’15 vintage, it’s from a single vineyard planted to over a dozen red and white grape varietals. All of the fruit is harvested and fermented together, then aged for 6 months in Spanish chestnut barrels, and bottled without the addition of SO2. It’s deeper in color and almost too drinkable showing lean red fruit flavors alongside notes of sage, lavender, and tangy minerals.

 

2015 Oriol Artigas “La Prats Rosat” Alella, Spain ~ $75

Located just one km from the coastline in northeastern Spain, La Prats is a historic vineyard planted to 50 different varietals and Oriol Artigas co-ferments all of the fruit that goes into this hazy unfined and unfiltered rose. The granite slope of La Prat lend this bottling a distinct mineral character along with flavors and aromas of lean strawberry, chalk, fennel, oyster shell, and more… 

 

2015 Altura IGT Chiaretto de Sangiovese dell’Isola del Gilglio, Tuscany, Italy ~ $80

Giglio is one of the seven islands that make up the Tuscan Archipelago and Francesco Carfagna of Altura has been very influectial in bringing viticulture back to the island. His funky rosé of Sangiovese is darker in color and intense on the palate showing moderate tannin and bold flavors of tart brambly fruit, aromatic mountain herbs, white pepper, and sea spray.

Red

France

2015 Chrisine et Gilles Paris Morgon, Beaujolais ~ $50

Gilles’ natural approach and the powerful nature of Gamay often associated with Morgon are clearly evident here. Medium bodied, with an engaging bouquet, this wine shows everything we love about the Cru; dark red fruit, edgy tannin, lavender, granite, and more… 

 

2015 Domaine de la Grand’Cour (Dutraive) Brouilly, Beaujolais ~ $150 1.5L

Jean-Louis Dutraive is mostly known for his work in Fleurie though he also naturally farms just over 1.5 hectacres of 40-70 yr old vines in Brouilly. Like many of his wines this bottling is pretty rich and deeply structured showing intense aromas and flavors of brambly fruit, asian spice, potting clay, and more…   

 

2016 Domaine de la Grand’Cour (Dutraive) Fleurie, Beaujolais ~ $75

This is quite possibly one of the finest Cru Beaujolais bottlings of the ’16 vintage. Like so many growers in Burgundy, Jean-Louis Dutraive lost the majority of his crop to a large hail storm in late July though the few vines that were uneffected produced remarkable fruit. The wine is lean and floral with persistant acidity and shows a seeminlgy endless finish full of bright red fruit and granite.

 

2016 Michel Gahier “Grands Vergers” Arbois, Jura ~ $75

The grape here is Trousseau, it’s utterly unique and will stimulate your senses in a way most varietals can’t. All naturally made this light-bodied wine has nervous acidity and intense flavors of tart cherry, hibiscus, morning dew, cinnamon spice, and a savory acid-driven finish. Michel is said to be a soft spoken man who lets his wines speak for themselves; if that’s truly the case, he’s certainly made believers out of us!

 

Olga Raffault “Les Picasses” Chinon, Loire Valley ~ 

These library releases from one of Chinon’s finest estates are very limited so don’t miss your opportunity to taste one. Older vines, planted in pure limestone, organically grown, and hand-harvested.  The flavors here are flattering, but pay attention to the texture; it’s so velvety and clean, it begs for another sip.

   1985 ~ $125

   1982 ~ $150

   1978 ~ $175

   1977 ~ $175

 

2004 Levet “La Chavaroche” Côte Rôtie, Northern Rhone ~ $135

This decadent Syrah shows traditional Côte Rôtie at its very best. Its medium-high acidity and dark gamey flavors of dried cherry, barnyard, charcoal smoke, gravel, bacon-fat and violets, paired with Bernard Levet’s terroir-driven style will leave nothing to be desired…

 

2015 Jean Louis Chave “Offerus” Saint-Joseph, Northern Rhone ~ $60

"41-year old Jean-Louis Chave is the current inheritor of this superlative, historic Northern Rhône estate, which has passed directly from father to son since 1481.  The family’s chief holdings are within 9 plots on the Hermitage hill:  here, J-L learned from his father Gerard the art of blending varied terroirs.  He brought his skill into the nearly forgotten region of St. Joseph in 1995 to make this Syrah from 2+ hectares he planted himself, along with a measure of purchased fruit.  Today, it’s one of the small zone’s top expressions, and one of the Northern Rhône’s finest; its sting of iron minerality and keen peppery spice is tempered by generous black fruit and rich palate feel."

 

Dard & Ribo Northern Rhone ~ 

We’re thrilled to offer and pair of Syrah’s from the unassuming duo of René-Jean Dard and François Ribo. The purity of their un-sulfured wines has quickly grabbed the attention of many and made them incredibly difficult to obtain. If you’re partial to the Northern Rhone these are a must!

 

2015 Crozes-Hermitage ~ $78

After the first sip of this Crozes we couldn’t put our glass down. It’s very lithesome and lean showing keen balance of the dark Syrah fruit, dusty tannin, spicy herbal notes and saliva inducing granite minerals.

 

2015 Saint-Joseph ~  $99

Slightly darker and richer than the Crozes, showing more pronounced black pepper and mountain herbs. It’s silky texture reveals layered flavors of red currant, strawberry seed, granite and iron.

 

2004 Pradeauex Bandol ~ $140 1.5L

Mostly Mourvèdre from Bandol’s most legendary estate, owned by the Portallis family since the 18th century and run today by the perfectionist Cyrille Portallis, known by some as the ‘Madman of Bandol’.  Everything here is utterly traditional:  the grapes are pressed with their stems for cement fermentation using only native yeast before ageing for years in giant 80-year old casks, resulting in a feral, eloquent, savage wine fringed with charming spice.

 

Italy

Red

2012 Castel Noarna “Mercuria” Trentino ~ $62

We’re convinced that Marco Zani’s very steep high-elevation vineyards are some of the best in northern Italy. This bottling, his old-vine blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and brings old-school Bordeaux to mind, it’s medium-bodied, showing restained tannin, with flavors and aromas of black cherry, violet, charcoal smoke, schist, and moderate oak.   

 

1982 Borgogno “Riserva” Barolo, Piedmonte ~ $375

One for the ages! Borgogno’s dedication to traditional winemaking and rich history made it impossible to pass up the opportunity to share this library release from one of their top vintages in the last 50 years. Built to last, all of their Barolo undergoes long cold macerations and sees extended time in huge Slovenian oak botti, these processes provide energy, length, and life to their majestic Nebbiolo.

 

2014 Produttori del Barbaresco, Piedmonte ~ $68

Forget Gaja and Ceretto! - we only know Barbaresco as an independent zone thanks to Domizio Cavazza, who effectively began this Produttori in 1894 – today it’s the world’s highest quality co-operative, with 56 members and 1/6 of the total land in Barbaresco – it remains completely traditional – no barrique, all botti and careful organic cultivation – this expresses the best of Barbaresco – edge, accessibility, cut, drive, oxidation, cherry and tar and rosepetal . . .

 

2014 COS “Cerasuolo di Vittoria” Sicily ~ $68

Tcherhis is our favorite biodynamic Sicilian winery, started in 1980 by three super-smart university pals (Cilia, Occhipinti, and Strano: ergo, COS) in their parents’ vineyards.  They researched ancient winemaking methods, and have rehabilitated old Carthaginian varietals (like Frappato, 40% of this wine, along with Nero d’Avola) to make the purest wine possible.  Hand-harvested, foot-pressed, this wine is all about velocity and speed – it’s both keen and generous, showing fresh-cut fennel, tart cranberry, and golden raisin.

 

2008 Romeo del Castello “Vigo” Mt. Etna, Sicily ~ $88

This vineyard of old vine Nerello Mascalese (100+ years-old) was in grave-danger by a major lava flow after Mt. Etna erupted in 1981. Miraculously, the flow suddenly changed direction before reaching the vines and spared more than 90% of the vineyard. The lovely Chiara Vigo is now in charge of the property, which she farms under biodynamic principles. This ’08 was her second vintage and it’s nothing short of admirable. It’s medium to full-bodied with a cherry core and flavors of spicy volcanic minerals, sage, currant, and more…

 

2016 Frank Cornelisson “Contadino Eleventh Edition” Mt. Etna, Sicily ~ $60

Frank is one of the most iconic “natural” producers in Italy. This savage field blend is comprised of mostly Nerello Mascalese and is made without manipulation of any kind. It is the sleekest Contadino we’ve ever tasted with cool flavors of dried cherry, volcanic minerals, tangy rhubarb, Provencal herbs, and soft integrated tannin. 

For anyone interested in delving into the world of “natural wine” this is definitely a fun introduction, enjoy!

 

Greece

Red

2013 Domaine Karydas Naoussa ~ $50

Basically just two hands tended these grapes, and the wine was made in ceramic-lined cement vats built into a wall at the back of the family kitchen. A tiny two hectare plot becomes stunningly clear in the wine--and after nearly two years in french oak we have a wine with incredible intensity, grace, sophistication and torque--all sundried tomatoes and rose-hips, bright red fruit, hot bricks and peppercorn, cedar, leather, and a long, soothingly tannic finish. 

 

2012 Skouras “Grande Cuvee” Nemea ~ $50

At a place called 'Bozikas,' near the northern tip of Nemea, almost a thousand meters above the sea our friend George Skouras negotiates with the gods; one of four similar sites that go to make this thrilling Grand Cuvee, this is a place of extremes--and not just for the grapes, sometimes barely accessible for humans. The soil here is so rich in iron it's dark crimson, and even smells and tastes like blood. The wine is simply amazing: majestic, lean and angular, austere but never stingy, taught acidity and profound minerality give way to volcanic smoke, burnt sundried tomatoes and fennel, bright but restrained fruit, earth, oregano and rosemary, with an absolutely haunting finish. 

 

Spain

Red

2008 Lopez de Heredia “Vina Cubillo” Rioja ~ $55

Lopez de Heredia has been a longtime favorite of ours. All indigenous grape varietals, fermentation and aging in giant oak casks, and bottle aging for decades in their ancient cellar are just a few ways they’re able to consistantly preserve the tradition of their celebrated region. This timeless meduim-bodied Rioja flatters the palate with bright acidity, and flavors of black cherry, anise, flint, shitake, spicy oak, and a dry finish.

 

2014 Mas Igneus “Barranc dels Closos” Priorat ~ $44

Comprised of 80% Garnatxa Negra and 20% Carinyena, from one of Spain’s most arid and sandy zones, this biodynamically farmed blend is one of the most approachable young Priorats around. We love this wines texture and palate expression showing black fruit, charcoal smoke, anise, espresso, and firm tannin.

 

2013 Dominio del Urogallo “La Zorrina” Asturias ~ $80

A new favorite of ours! La Zorrina is a very steep 1.1 hectacre vineyard of slate and quartz planted to 100+ year old vines of both red and white varietals. Nicolas Marcos of Urogallo co-ferments this Carrasquin led blend in open top Asturian chestnut fudre and bottles without filtration or added SO2. The resulting wine is suprisingly agile and fresh, its tightly interwoven aromas and flavors will keep you engaged to the very last sip.

 

Slovenia & Austria

Red

2010 Movia Pinot Nero Brda, Slovenia ~ $72

A friend, winemaking marvel, and proponent of biodynamics, Ales Kristancic’s wines tend to flatter all of your senses. This ‘10 Pinot Nero is the best vintage of this wine we’ve tasted; it’s medium-bodied, delicately textured, with has a wide range of flavors showing spearmint, black cherry, green peppercorn, schist and more…

 

2014 Paul Achs Zweigelt Burgenland, Austria ~ $40

Paul has been one of Burgenland most influencial winemakers over the last 30 years, promoting his region all over the globe, dedicated to gaining the notoriety this lesser known area deserves. This ‘13 Zwiegelt is simply delicious, showing wonderful restraint and elegance, with moderate oak, and notes dried red fruits, crimini mushroom, and a dark smoky finish.

 

2012 Meinklang “Konkret” St. Laurent Burgenland, Austria ~ $75

Meinklang is one of Burgenlands great young estates.  Angela and Werner Michlits vinify this “Konkret” bottling entirely in 900 liter concrete egg shaped vessels. The juice is fermented and then the “egg” is covered and the wine is left undisturbed for 12 months. Due to the forces of nature, the wine is in constant motion and the process brings out the purest expression of St. Laurent we’ve tasted. The flavors are lush, layered, and incredibly integrated, but what makes this wine so special is the silky palate feel that left us in awe.

 

Americas

Red

2015 Brooks Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, Oregon  ~ $48

Jimi Brooks - Russian lit fanatic, biodynamicist, talented chef, and francophile – was a great friend of ours; his sudden passing at the age of 38 in 2004 left us feeling like a light was dimmed in the wine world.  It has since been resumed by friends in the Willamette Valley – his wines are now being made, under his name, as he would have wished, by his friend Chris Williams.  Pure and spicy and full of bright fruit, they express the best of what Oregon can show.

 

2016 Minimus “No 23 Noir” Willamette Valley, Oregon ~ $90

Chad Stock from Minimus is making some of Oregons most facinating bottlings. This single vineyard blend of Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, and Trousseau Noir is immensly delicious, the wine’s unfiltered showing a slightly opaque soft shade of red with mild dusty tannins and flavors of bing cherry, limestone, and slightly gamey finish often associated with Trousseau.

 

2015 Eyrie Vineyards Trousseau, Willamette Valley, Oregon ~ $75

David Lett founded Eyrie in 1965, and shortly after became the first grower to plant Pinot Noir in Oregon. Since his passing in ’08, David’s son Jason has conitinued his work and this Trousseau bottling is the first form a vineyard planted in 2012. It’s lighter in body, with bright acidity and flavors of pomegranate, white pepper, sage, and saline.  

 

2015 Broc Cellars “Eaglepoint Ranch” Counoise Mendocino County, California ~ $58

At his urban winery in Berkeley CA, Chris Brockway works with several organic and biodynamic growers up and down the California coast to produce his broad range of natural wines each vintage. This bottling is 100% Counoise, a varietal best known for it’s minor role in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it displays incredible purity and lithe showing layered flavors of bing cherry, black pepper, smoked game, violets, and more… 

 

2014 Caparone “French Camp Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, California ~ $44

This organic, unfined, and unfiltered Cab is on the more unorthodox side of the California spectrum. Caparone’s dedication to “traditional / Old World” winemaking is evident and incredibly harmonious in all of their bottlings. This single vineyard Cab is medium-bodied showing aromatics of cedar, red fruit, and Provencal herbs alongside flavors of red currants, rosemary, leather, and dusty dry tannin.

 

2012 Giornata “Luna Matta Vineyard” Aglianico Paso Robles, California ~ $58

From a small family owned estate in Paso focusing on Italian varietals, this single vineyard Aglianico instantly wowed us. Brian and Stephanie Terrizzi of Giornata believe this bottling is consistantly their most expressive showing ample weigh and acidity, backed by a firm tannin structure, and flavors of red currant, tabacco, white pepper, dark chocolate, coffee, and more… 

 

New Zealand

Red

2015 Mahi Pinot Noir Marlborough, New Zealand ~ $48

Brian Bicknell and his wife Nicola started Mahi in 2001. Like so many of our favorite vignerons, they rely heavily on nature and the character of their vineyards to bring authenticity to the wines. This ‘09 is the best Pinot we’ve tried of theirs, it’s new world muscle and old world charm makes it a wonderful example of what New Zealand has to offer, showing great length on the palate with flavors of black cherry, pink peppercorn, rosemary, anise, and more…

 

2013 Rippon Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka, Central Otago, New Zealand ~ $99

From a country full of awe-inspiring sights, Rippon is truly one of the most aesthetically remarkable vineyards on the planet. Nick Mills and a small tightly knit supporting cast of family and friends are the visionaries behind this small Biodynamic winery. Breathtakingly pure, this ’10 is fuller in body showing wonderful restraint, a rich texture, and layered flavors of brambly fruit, mountain herbs, peppery spice, and a dark mineral-driven finish.