G.D. Vajra, Langhe Nebbiolo Clare J.C. 2020Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
The Vajra story is something quite magical. The family is not from noble descendants but is a family of hard-working, passionate, caring people. Their focus is on building something for their children, caring about the community, and cementing the stories of the regions’ past.The story of Claré J.C. has unexpected roots from a quote made by Thomas Jefferson. While he was ambassador to France in the 1780s, he spent time in northern Italy. In regards to Nebbiolo, he said, “dry as a claret, sweet and lingering as a Madeira and brisk as a Champagne.” Claret refers to the name for Bordeaux at the time, but the name couldn’t be used due to Bordeaux’s trademark. The style Jefferson would have tried was Chiaretto, a light red from Lake Guarda; because Chiaretto is now protected as an appellation , the wine couldn’t take this name either. In the end, the wine was named Claré as a nod to the style it was named for. The ‘J’ refers to Jefferson and the ‘C’ refers to G.B. Croce—a winemaker from the 17th century who wrote a book outlining winemaking techniques in Piedmont. As you can see, this bottle takes inspiration from the past; it is focused on the winemaking technique versus terroir, a different yet successful interpretation from the Vajra family.
Guimaro, Tinto 2018Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Pedro Rodriguez, the current generation at Guimaro is truly the rebel that the winery is named after. The almost vertical vineyards have forced him to become part winemaker, part mountain climber. Pedro took over the family estate known for making some of the best wine in the small town that was only sold and consumed at the local cantinas. Pedro has moved them into a new direction though, growing some of the best Mencia in the Ribera Sacra. He has converted the winery to much smaller crops, organic certification, and truly sustainable agriculture.
Railsback Freres, Carignan California 2019Regular price $40.00 Save $-40.00
The story of two brothers: even while still in high school, Eric was already collecting bottles of prized top dollar Burgundy and Chablis, hiding them under his bed when he started college. Lyle’s quest for knowledge landed him in Austria where he met one of his most important friends in the industry, sommelier Rajat Parr. After a decade of restaurant work, Eric returned to Santa Barbara to start his own project, Lieu Dit, inspired by the Loire. Older brother Lyle had also worn many hats in the industry, ultimately landing a job for one of the most esteemed importers Kermit Lynch, leading regional sales. After leading separate lives for some time, the brothers both felt a calling to merge their two paths, which is how Railsback Frères came to be born
Mee Godard, Moulin a Vent "Les Michelons" 2017Regular price $42.00 Save $-42.00
Before Mee Godard moved to France, she studied wine in Oregon, then moved her way to enology school in Montpellier. Her love for the Beaujolais area grew after working for several Burgundy based wineries. Beaujolais is one of the few places in France where an aspiring winemaker can start up their own winery. Mee is a one-person show that prunes, farms, and runs a strict cellar. She is part of a new wave of talented individuals that are actively paving a path for the future generation of winemakers by setting new trends. Everything is done by hand in the vineyard and yields are kept low. She is slowly converting the agriculture to biodynamic methods, though already practices organic. Her style involves using both carbonic and non-carbonic maceration for deeply structured wine. Keep an eye out for her Morgon wines of Beaujolais because she continues to deliver.
"Les Michelons" is a vineyard that's just over a hectare in the cru of Moulin-à-Vent. This is Mee Godard's only current vineyard holdings outside of Morgon. Yields from the vines are extremely low, but deliver dense and complex wines. They undergo a maceration in concrete tanks and then age in a mix of oak that is both old and new, large and small for 12 to 18 months depending on the vintage. Until 2017, she actually managed the vineyard by herself, but now has part-time help.
Railsback Freres, Bien Nacido Vineyard Syrah “Sans Soufre” 2018Regular price $50.00 Save $-50.00
The story of two brothers: even while still in high school, Eric was already collecting bottles of prized top dollar Burgundy and Chablis, hiding them under his bed when he started college. Lyle’s quest for knowledge landed him in Austria where he met one of his most important friends in the industry, sommelier Rajat Parr. After a decade of restaurant work, Eric returned to Santa Barbara to start his own project, Lieu Dit, inspired by the Loire. Older brother Lyle had also worn many hats in the industry, ultimately landing a job for one of the most esteemed importers Kermit Lynch, leading regional sales. After leading separate lives for some time, the brothers both felt a calling to merge their two paths, which is how Railsback Frères came to be born.
The Railsback brothers continue their love for French varieties in this northern Rhone inspired bottle. This Syrah comes from the steepest block of the Bien Nacido vineyard in the heart of the Santa Maria Valley. Even though the site is celebrated for Pinot Noir, the brothers were more excited at the prospect of growing Syrah there. As a Rhone Syrah would be made, this one goes through mostly whole cluster fermentation to give the wine more grip and all around texture. This is bottled “Sans Soufre,” meaning without the addition of sulfur. It will age for 17 months in neutral French oak barrels. Just 207 cases were made.
Dupeuble, Beaujolais Nouveau 2020Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
In the States, we talk about “The Deep South” and we are referencing the southern culture down by the gulf. The personalities coming from this part of the Country is unlike anything else. The hospitality is over the top yet sometimes slightly back country. This is very much the same for the regions where Dupeuble is from; this is the deep south of Beaujolais. Recently many of the Cru’s (towns) have become quite famous, but this part of the region is true farm country and has been for a long time. The Dupeuble Domaine dates back to 1512 and has produced wines with very little change in their methods.
The Dupeuble Beaujolais comes from vines ranging from 50 to 100 year old vines from clay, granite, and limestone soils. The juice ferments naturally via carbonic maceration for just 5 days versus its traditional Dupeuble Rouge counterpart that ferments for 8-12 days. This Nouveau ages in stainless steel to keep it fresh and juicy. Drink it immediately and enjoy it chilled as the French do!
Beaujolais Nouveau Day, historically, is the release of the first wine of the harvest, but also a celebration of the end of harvest. The grapes are harvested just weeks prior. There over 100 Nouveau festivals all over Beaujolais that go with the region's excellent food. Although the Nouveau style has given Beaujolais a reputation of plonk-like, bubblegum-ey, fruity-tooty tasting wine, that is clearly not always the case.