Ashes & Diamonds, Blanc #3 2017Regular price $50.00 Save $-50.00
Variety: Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc
At first glance, “Ashes and Diamonds” only brushes the surface of what the winery truly represents. The story—or journey rather—begins in the autumn of 2013 when Kashy Khaledi (son of winemaker Darioush Khaledi) was a creative media executive at Capitol Records, the “ideal job.” In the midst of a lengthy creative stump, Khaledi would often turn to old films for inspiration. He found one that shifted the course of his life—the 50s Polish film Ashes and Diamonds. A dream started to take shape; Khaledi threw himself into researching the viticulture and enology that shaped California’s wine culture. His quest for joint ventures began; he teamed up with Steve Matthiasson and Diana Snowden, farming vineyards in Napa Valley in the pursuit of balanced wine.
Farmed by Steve Matthiasson, the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon come from three vineyards from Napa’s Oak Knoll and Yountville districts. Ageing is completed all in barrel, 30% of which is done in new French barrels. This is opulent and textured, a white wine worthy of age.
Chateau d'Yquem "Y" Bordeaux Blanc 2018Regular price $250.00 Save $-250.00
Variety: Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc
Pierre Lurton has his hands in several different wine projects in Bordeaux, but his most famous and ambitious project would be the epic wine house that is Chateau D'yquem (pronounced “dee-kem.” Pierre is CEO of D’Yquem, which is known for its fame as the world’s most beloved dessert wine. In the particular area of Sauternes in Bordeaux is where this chateau has resided since 1593. The chateau makes two wines: the Sauternes which is sweet, and ‘Y’ Bordeaux Blanc which is dry. Both wines undergo the same meticulous attention in the vineyard, harvesting and winemaking are completed rather differently. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are the foundation for both of the wines.
“Y” is a dry white wine made from both early harvested Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon that’s achieved the perfect ripeness. The wine was first made for the 1996 harvest, as there was a call for more wine that was fresh and crisp. The wine is now made in every vintage.
Chateau Ducasse, Bordeaux Blanc 2020Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
Variety: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle
Meeting owner and winemaker Hervé Dubourdieu is almost like meeting a surgeon. Dressed to perfection and walking with confidence, his estate is located in the southern end of the famed Bordeaux wine region in Haut Barsac, famous for white wine, and more famous for dessert wine made from the noble mold, botrytis. I remember walking around the winery and feeling that if I put on a white glove I would not find a spec of dust, let alone dirt, anywhere in the winery. This cleanliness shows up in the wines. Always pristine and focused, the aromatics are fresh and the palate clean. The dessert wines produced here are what many of the estates in Barsac and neighboring village of Sauternes focus on. When a vineyard does not obtain the noble rot and the airflow is just too much to create the famous mold, it is still perfect to produce dry, fresh white wine blended with Sémillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc. No oak is used in the winemaking, and flavors of citrus and grass come through. Due to the river emptying into the Atlantic and the humid air blowing inland down into the vineyards, the wines are incredible with light seafood salads or simple preparations that highlight lemon.
Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru Classe de Graves Blanc 2018Regular price $100.00 Save $-100.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon
One of Château Malartic Lagravière’s bragging rights is that they are one of six properties to make the 1953 Graves Classification for both their whites and their reds. The property was originally known as Domaine de La Graviere, clearly taking its inspiration from the region of Graves surrounding it. It took on its current name when the Malartic family took over the domaine at the end of the 18th century. The family had a well-known son who was a French Navy Admiral, which is how there came to be a ship on the front of this label. Over the years, the care and precision of the work put forth into this property continues to show itself.
This is 80% Sauvignon Blanc while the rest of the blend is Semillon. This comes from seven hectares of vines which are all planted to these white varieties. The wine is aged in barrels, 55% of which are new. This is salty and tangy with an oily texture lending itself well to seafood pairings.
Chateau Marjosse, Bordeaux Blanc 2017Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle
Though the history of Château Marjosse is an extensive one, the story of winemaker Pierre Lurton begins in 1991. Pierre learned winemaking from his father Dominic, winemaker at the neighboring Chateau Reynier. At a young age, he was seriously ambitious, renting parcels of Marjosse from a retired French general. For his first vintage, he vinified everything by hand with almost no help. The following year, he managed the prestigious Cheval Blanc, continuing to manage his own property during off hours. The frost of 1991 lost him his entire crop, yet he took some loans and moved forward. Even though career beginnings were humble, his ardent winemaking journey has encompassed new roles—he is now CEO of Chateau d’Yquem and managing director for Cheval Blanc. The wines of Chateau Marjosse are a lens into Pierre’s grand capabilities.
The 2017 vintage of Bordeaux is known as the year of the frost; production was down a staggering 40-50%. Château Marjosse was fortunate enough to produce their white, but no red was produced for this vintage.
Chateau Rieussec, Bordeaux Blanc 2017Regular price $38.00 Save $-38.00
Variety: Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc
Chateau Rieussec is one of the most noteworthy châteaux in all of Bordeaux, hailing from the same great talents as Lafite Rothschild. The Rieussec winery and vineyard is located in the region of Graves (aka gravel) on the Left Bank of Bordeaux. In Graves is the appellation of Sauternes, famous for its honeyed, rich dessert wines, but Rieussec also makes an incredible Bordeaux Blanc Sec. The winery was begun in the 18th century under the Carmelite monks, who valued the vineyards' gravelly clay and sandy soil. During the great 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, Rieussec was ranked as a First Growth for its Sauternes and Barsac wines. Another turning point occurred in 1984 when Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) acquired the estate, implementing meticulous measures often described as “Draconian.”
This Bordeaux Blanc comes from the same vines as the Sauternes, though the main difference here is that the grapes are harvested much earlier before their potential exposure to noble rot, otherwise known as botrytis. The wine is always fermented in barrels in order to balance it and extend its ageability in the cellar.
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.
Peybonhomme-Les Tours, Le Blanc Bonhomme Cotes de Blaye 2019Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon
From the same Bordeaux house that brought us Château La Grolet. Even though Château Peybonhomme Les Tours began six generations ago in 1895, this generation begins with the union of two humans of different wine-related backgrounds. Jean-Luc Hubert descended from a long line of sailors who navigated the Gironde river utilizing “scow” boats to transport wine. Alternatively, Catherine came from a long line of winemakers, her great grandfather having acquired Peybonhomme in 1890. Both of their ancestors worked extensively with one another making and transporting wine, unbeknownst to them the union that would one day happen. The kids have grown and now assist in making beautiful, natural wines and following in their parents’ footsteps.
Peybohomme takes a traditional Bordeaux Blanc blend and creates a satisfying dry white with equal parts Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. 40% of the wine ferments in new barrels while the rest takes place in concrete. The ageing process takes place over six months while the winemaking process keeps in tune with the biodynamic calendar.
Subliminal, White Wine Santa Ynez Valley 2019Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon
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.
Coming from a single vineyard in Santa Ynez of 41-year-old vines, the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are grown together there. From here, this wine becomes centered on its winemaking. The Sauvignon Blanc, known for being acidic and citrus-forward, undergoes malolactic fermentation to bring out its richer textures and aromatics. The Semillon variety is harvested earlier to retain its underripe tones and mineral intensity, bringing balance to the blend. The wine is aged for nine months in neutral wood. It’s a special ode to producers of Sancerre and Bordeaux, but unmistakably amplifies the voice of southern California.
Tertre De Launay, Entre-Deux-Mers 2018Regular price $15.00 Save $-15.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle
In the commune of Soussac about 50 kilometres south east of Bordeaux in the Entre-Deux-Mers made from 45 % Sémillon 35 % Sauvignon and 20 % Muscadelle. It is the high proportion of Muscadelle that makes Château Tertre de Launay so special. It is a difficult grape, often susceptible to grey rot. When perfectly ripe, the Muscadelle contributes complexity, finesse, bredth and its own special aromas to the wine.
Via Revolucionaria, Sémillon Hulk Tupungato 2020Regular price $15.00 Save $-15.00
Matias Michelini left nothing to the imagination when naming his “Passion” project. Based in Tupungato in the Uco Valley of Mendoza, Matias brings experimental and unconventional notions brought on by traditional, classic terroir. His project continues to be carried out by trying new things, whether it be a wine sourced from a single vineyard or attempting non-traditional methods. Some might consider his style as pushing the envelope, but he wins us all over in his efforts to honor nature and uphold terroir. His winery was actually abandoned by Italian immigrants years before Matias rescued it, turning it into his graffitied bodega hub.
This Semillon comes from a single vineyard in the upper portion of Tupungato in the Uco Valley. This is a refreshing take on what many know as Semillon, which usually makes its way into Bordeaux Blanc blends. To retain the freshness, the wine is aged in concrete for three months and sees just one day of skin contact.