Alain Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2018Regular price $45.00 Save $-45.00
Variety: Marsanne and Roussanne
Every wine region in the world has its benchmark producers. These are the producers that year after year release top tier wines with a consistent voice that is evident in each bottle. These producers are an inspiration to younger producers throughout the world. Alain Graillot is a classic example, presiding over 50 acres of 30+ year-old vines in Crozes-Hermitage, just off the powerful hill of Hermitage in the Northern Rhone. Graillot has always focused on the pursuit of greatness. Quality comes first.
Marsanne and Roussanne come together in this intense white blend to be entirely representative of its home in the rocky gravel soils of the northern Rhone. The two varieties together ooze of almond and beeswax textures, complemented further by its aging in Burgundy barrels.
Donkey & Goat, The Gadabout 2018Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Variety: Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Vermentino, Chardonnay
In short, Jared and Tracey Brandt of Donkey and Goat Winery are pioneers of the natural winemaking movement in California. After spending time in France back in 2002 with noteworthy winemaker Eric Texier, they returned home to Cali, inspired and ready to apply their inspirations in winemaking and marketing. Using a completely natural process in the cellar and vineyards; the couple does not fine or filter the wines, and just a small amount of sulfur is used at bottling. Their winemaking headquarters are located in Berkeley where they can implement their hands-on approach; they source grapes from Sierra Nevada, Mendocino, and Napa.
The Gadabout is an always delicious and very well priced wine. The vineyards and appellations may be changing and evolving from vintage to vintage, but the wine is consistently a crowd pleaser, and a fantastic warm weather quencher.
Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup, Languedoc Cuvee Sainte Agnes Blanc 2017Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Variety: Roussanne, Clairette, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc
Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup has quite the legend following it. In medieval times, there were three lords of the Languedoc entranced by the beauty of a princess. She vowed to give herself to the most gallant, Christian man. The lords traveled to Jerusalem on a crusade to defend the tomb of Christ; upon returning, they discovered the princess’ death. In their grief, they each retreated to nearby mountains, living their lives as hermits. “Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup” translates to a hermit dwelling; Saint Loup Peak was named for one of the princess’ suitors. The three Ravaille brothers now operate the winery, their family having lived in the Languedoc for over 1000 years. The emblem of three fish not only reiterates the story of the three suitors, but also the fraternal bond of the three brothers.
This cuvee blends together the whites varieties that thrive in this Mediterranean and mountainous area of Pic Saint Loup. Vines range from 15 to 80 years in age. The white is aged in barrels for ten months. Even though the wine is from Pic Saint Loup, white wines have not been granted the Pic Saint Loup AOC designation here, and instead are labeled the regional “Languedoc.”
Gassier, Nostre Pais Blanc 2017Regular price $23.00 Save $-23.00
Variety: Grenache Blanc, Roussanee, and Clairette
Michel Gassier is a man of many intricate traits. Michel and his wife, Tina, form the identity of Domaine Gassier, believing that their craft should come from a place of teamwork. He considers himself a “peasant-researcher.” His peasant side is derived from his genes while the researcher part reflects his own sense of character. Clearly inspired by the terroir of his vineyards and intervening as little as possible, inspiration comes from many of the international winemakers he meets. He takes notes from other winemaking methods and blending styles, consistently furthering himself to learn more and more.
The Nostre Païs Blanc is an expression of purity and balance. Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairette, Viognier, and Bourboulenc come together in a fresh Mediterranean blend. The wine ages for eight months on the lees, and in half oak and half cement.
Jean-Louis Chave, L'Hermitage Blanc 2014Regular price $315.00 Save $-315.00
Variety: Marsanne and Roussanne
Let’s just state that the Chave family has passed the vineyards and winemaking traditions down generation to generation since 1481, so, yeah, nothing else needs to be said. Jean-Louis is now the 16th generation winemaker and the family has more holdings on the famed hill of Hermitage than any other producer. But for the last 15 years the family has been rebuilding old terraces on the banks of the Rhone in the nearby region of Saint-Joseph. They are working to bring back a vineyard site that dates to the early 1900’s. This site expresses the soil mixture of granite and clay, and shows the “wildness” of the terroir.
La Baronne, "Les Chemins" Blanc 2018Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Variety: Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Vermentino
It’s true: wine is good medicine!! La Baronne’s winemaker, Jean Lignères, is still a practicing medical doctor in the small village of Moux. He comes from a large family of doctors, inheriting the role of winemaker for the (now) 90-hectare estate his father purchased in 1957. His wife Anne, along with siblings Paul and Geneviève, run the winery. La Baronne is certified organic and biodynamic. Winemaking practices are gradually shifting away from oak maturation, and using more amphorae and egg-shaped terra cotta vats. Yet, Jean is careful to avoid the oxidative style that is associated with many natural wines.
This a white wine not for the faint of heart. Grenache Blanc, Vermentino, and Roussane come together to create a full-bodied white with texture and salinity, opulent fruit and unusual depth. The wines ferments spontaneously in stainless and ages for just four months. It needs rich oily fish prepared in a Mediterranean mindset.