Chateau De Plaisance, Anjou La Grande Piece 2020Regular price $58.00 Save $-58.00
Variety: Chenin Blanc
The modern story of Château De Plaisance brings together the fierce Vanessa Cherruau as the brand new winemaker behind the Plaisance property at the top of the hill of Chaume. Vanessa celebrated her first vintage in just 2019 due to her recent efforts to purchase the extraordinary Plaisance property before it would have been sold to a cooperative. She continues the biodynamic farming of ‘Chaume,’ which was certified back in 2004. The property is in the midst of an appellation focused on making sweet wines, though Vanessa is part of a small band of vignerons who have realized the potential for dry wines on this particular hillside.
This Chenin is from the esteemed site of Chaume in the region of Anjou. Though other growers on this hill make sweet wine, this Chenin is dry and comes from vines over 50 years in age. The wine is raised in older barrels for one year.
Domaine de l'Oubliee, Les Valseuses Pet Nat 2018Regular price $27.00 Save $-27.00
Variety: Chenin Blanc
Xavier Courrant is the winemaker of Domaine de L'Oubliée, which literally means “The Forgotten Domaine.” After years of studying viticulture and work as a wine retailer, he gave in to the constant nagging and purchased three plots of land in the appellation of Bourgueil. A Cabernet Franc-centered growing area, he opted to also grow Chenin Blanc, a complete oddity there. Then again, Xavier does do things on his own terms. Each of his wines are named for a film or novel from Bertand Blier, the French director whom Xavier happens to love. In all, he has about seven hectares of vines, all are certified organic.
There is so much playfulness that goes on in this bottle. Chenin Blanc is the variety here; as it is not a variety that’s grown in Bourgueil, it is deemed a Vin de France. “Les Valseuses” is made into a petillant naturel, aka natural sparkling, using residual sugar in the juice to kick start fermentation. Its name means “The Dancers,” another film reference to Bertrand Blier, and the way the bubbles dance on the tongue.
Inconnu, Chenin Blanc Clarksburg 2018Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Variety: Chenin Blanc
Laura Brennan Bissell is an artist by nature, and winemaking did not find its way to her life early. Now based in the Napa Valley, Laura's vision is to make wine from low intervention vineyards and focusing on a style of wine that she says, "she would want to drink." Laura is part of the minimalist movement in the wine world and has trained under some of Napa's top names, such as Steve Matthiasson and Mick Unti. Her label is small production, and done in a style that has been a bit out of fashion for the last 20 years, but the lighter and brighter side of wine is again in the limelight.
This Chenin Blanc comes from Clarksburg, an often overlooked area in the abundance of winemaking appellations in California. A stone’s throw from the Sacramento River, the Chenin vines are farmed organically and typically dry-farmed as well. Minimal intervention carries over into the cellar where the wine is aged in neutral barrels on the lees for one year; a lengthy process necessary for this style.
Les Equilibristes, Perigord Hirsute Blanc 2020Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
Variety: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc
Les Équilibristes are the tightrope walkers. They walk a daring path where their rules are straightforward and singular though their focus brings together several grape varieties over several French wine growing regions. The entire concept was imagined by two minds heavily rooted in the wine world, something they’ve dubbed “Winemaking 2.0.” It allows a network of creativity to be shared and manifested. Francois de Monval is the “wine merchant” while his partner Florent Girou is the “travelling oenologist” and winemaker. The wines are natural at their core, but showcase the importance of creating relationships and collaborating.
Perigord is a lesser known appellation in southwest France. The style of this wine is reminiscent of Bordeaux Blanc whites, but with the addition of Chenin Blanc. The Sauvignon undergoes 48 hours of skin maceration before blending. The wine ages in barrels for six months, and then goes on to age in amphora on its lees. This wine is complex with a pleasant bitterness.
Mixtape White, Amplify Wines 2020Regular price $27.00 Save $-27.00
Variety: Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Viognier
Cameron and Marlen Porter, a husband and wife team born and raised in Santa Barbara County. The exploration, and elevation of this growing region has been their life's work. They first bonded over a shared love for wine and music, and Amplify is a natural extension of this marriage between their two greatest passions. As winemakers, they seek to amplify the voice of site and enhance the most singular characteristics of a given vineyard, marrying a sense of place with a sense of style. They believe in: native yeast fermentations; neutral vessels for fermentation and aging; no additions of any kind except for minimum effective sulfur dioxide; and farming that seeks to establish a healthy ecosystem, enhancing and supporting the natural characteristics of a given place. They embrace the happy accident, letting intuition guide our hand, with their creative spirit and palates as their primary tools.
The 2020 Mixtape White brings together Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Viognier. This vintage has a touch less sweetness than the previous. Mixtape is all about the winemaking and blending; half of the Chenin Blanc and all of the Riesling were fermented until dry. All of the fruit spent two hours on their skins to impart texture and more aromatics. It has substance and complexity. The fruit is organically farmed with no filtering or fining.
Nicolas Carmarans, Entre Les Eaux 2020Regular price $44.00 Save $-44.00
Variety: Chenin Blanc and Aligote
Aveyron is very well removed in terms of the wine regions of France. A little lesser known, the region is nestled near the mouth of the Loire River, southern Burgundy, and the northern Rhone valley. Actually, the area is better known for its sheep and the bleu d’Auvergne cheese than its vines. The reason why it’s so uninhabited is there was a massive shift of people moving to Paris where it was much easier living than the rugged terrain of southern France. Nicolas Carmarans knows firsthand as his grandfather was one of those people. Nicolas returned to his ancestral village and began growing vines there in 2002. Mauvais Temps is his most prized vineyard due to its abandoned state after the frost of 1956. The woods surrounding the vines create a diversified environment which is vital for the vines. The wines are unusual and beautifully made.
This wine’s name means “Between the Two Tides,” referring to the two rivers straddling the vines here: the Loire and the Saone. The wine brings together the Aligote and Chenin Blanc, from Burgundy and the Loire respectively. He vinifies this wine as if it were a super classic style, and it certainly drinks that way, too.
Roches Neuves, Bulles de Roche Brut NVRegular price $45.00 Save $-45.00
Variety: Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc
The small image that appears on most of Thierry Germain’s labels is a silhouette of the man himself; he is walking, casting a long shadow that transitions into two tall grape vines. This image is the perfect metaphor to imply the large shadow Thierry casts in life; affecting the vines around him through his ability to produce healthy grapes and practice biodynamic farming. While other vignerons in Saumur are pumping as much synthetic fertilizer into the vineyards as possible, Thierry is using compost when necessary, forcing the grapes to suffer, resulting in lower yields and complex pure wines.
This is a Methode Traditionnelle sparkler coming from the Saumur appellation. Vines are sixty years in age. This wine is aged for three months in small barrels, then bottle aged on its lees for nine months to add texture and richness. There is no dosage added to this bubbly. In fact, its name means “Rock Bubbles,” reiterating the clay, limestone soils from where it came.