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 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, left 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 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.
Chateau Suduiraut, Sauternes 2010Regular price $75.00 Save $-75.00
Variety: Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc
bottle size: 375ml
Château Suiduirat is one of the original Premier Cru chateaux of Bordeaux from the 1855 classification, but the estate’s name of Suduiraut dates back to the year 1580. The chateau was even planted to luxurious gardens planted by Le Nôtre, the gardener to King Louis XVI. The neighboring Barsac region and Sauternes have an extensive history of grape growing dating back to Roman times. Dutch merchants flourished here during the 17th century when they vinified sweet wines without the use of noble rot. In the early 18th century, the practice of harvesting late-ripened grapes began.
Here on the left bank of Bordeaux is the wine-growing region of Graves; within Graves lies the special appellation of Sauternes. It sits on the banks of the Ciron river, near the neighboring Garonne river, both tributaries of the great Gironde river that flows inland from the Atlantic. These rivers create its unique microclimate yielding cool morning fog and sunny warmth later in the day. These factors work together in creating the unique noble rot, or botrytis, that happens to grapes that grow here. Coupled with the prominent gravel-rich soils for which Graves is named for, you’ll have a complex, rich wine worthy of age. Harvest is a laborious process; trips to the vineyard to pick the botrytized grapes extends from late September to early November. The Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blend goes into barrels for 20 months; 50% of the barrels are new, the other 50% have been used just once. This wine will age for a lengthy time. Serve with fruit-based desserts or with fine cheeses.
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.
Subject to Change Wine Co., Disco! Sauvignon Blanc 2020Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon
Subject to Change is just what it appears to be on the surface: it refers not just to the wines, but also an enormous effort to adhere to relevant social issues. The wines are small production, working with organic and biodynamic farmers, and very low intervention in the cellar. Climate change and the health of the vines is at the forefront, particularly due to local raging wildfires in California. Subject to Change is a firm advocate in supporting their neighbors through a sense of belonging for all parties involved. Their focus on fresh ideas is always just that, subject to change.
Inspired by the Bordeaux Blanc, this is a Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blend. Semillon brings richness and texture, Sauvignon brings fruit and acidity. This one undergoes a little carbonic maceration, giving this juice added freshness and life. It spends five months in neutral barrels. Disco! Will give you a sense of energy, making you want to get up and do something!
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.
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.