Weingut Barbara Ohlzelt, Gruner Leader 2019Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
Variety: Gruner Veltliner (1 LITER)
Barbara Öhlzelt founded her project in 2004, and in a short timeframe, she has gained much-deserved attention and love from the wine community. She’s a one-woman show with a lot of hustle and dedication to farming 15 acres of grapes. She is a quiet, soft-spoken woman, and the wines match her personality. They are laser focused on texture and complexity but not in a way that brashly hits you in the head. The wines are delightful and, and this subtle juice is the brilliance behind the winery. There is restraint which can be the hardest thing to achieve. Her vineyard parcels are from an area in Kamptal called Heiligenstein, and these parcels say a lot about the winery as a whole as the sites are mostly old vine on incredible terrior. Her wines at all price points stand out as best-in-class and hit outside of their category. This alone should make anyone who enjoys Gruner or Riesling seek out her wines.
Chateau Peybonhomme-Les Tours, Le Blanc Bonhomme Cotes de Blaye 2018Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon
From the same Bordeaux house that brought us Châteaux Peybonhomme and 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.
Benoit Daridan, Sauvignon Blanc 2018Regular price $15.00 Save $-15.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
Benoit Daridan took over the family winery in 2001 after many years of study and work experience around the world. As the seventh generation to take over the small 15 hectare farm, Benoit has worked tirelessly to protect and promote the family traditions of passion for the regions terror. The vineyard is perfectly positioned between arguably the Loire Valley’s most two most famous properties: Chateau de Cheverny and Chateau de Chambord. While most of the vineyard is made up of young vines, they do pride themselves on a tiny two hectare plot of 50 year old vines.
Luigi Baudana, Langhe Bianco Dragon 2019Regular price $23.00 Save $-23.00
Variety: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Nascetta
Arriving at Luigi Baudana is akin to entering the garage or basement of an old house in a sleepy European village. It’s shouldered up against the house next door, just down a short driveway and behind an old iron gate. Upon entering, it becomes immediately apparent just how small-scale this venture really is and the scarcity of the wines suddenly makes total sense. Luigi Baudana is one of the last of the old guard producers in Serralunga, Barolo. As Luigi and his wife Fiorina started slowing down, they began to look for a steward for both their vineyard sites (Baudana and Cerretta) as well as their existing wines. Giuseppe Vajra of G.D. Vajra was a natural choice, with an acute understanding towards preserving the soul of these great wines. Giuseppe is now the guardian of Luigi’s cumulative vision, but will also function as the catalyst to propel the vineyards forward, maintaining the highest standards of Barolo.
The label is a drawing done by Gianni Gallo, a celebrated Italian artist who was known for his work with wine bottle labels. The Dragon label was one of the last that he made, the Dragon meant to be a symbol of bravery. This wine is a blend of white varieties that have come together to represent the terroir of Piedmont, but still represent that Piedmont can do other varieties well.
Tenuta Maccan, Cabernet Franc 2017Regular price $18.00 Save $-18.00
Variety: Cabernet Franc
The Maccan family has sustained three generations of winemakers in Friuli Grave, a region located in the northeastern area of Italy. The owner, Stefano Maccan, sums up the family’s vision with this quote, “My family’s passion for farming grew inside me until it became something more than mere curiosity and turned into determination... the determination to finally produce my own family wine.” Even though the Maccan family had been making wine dating back to 1788, it wasn’t until 2012 that Tenuta Maccan was an established domain. The family creates other bottlings including Chardonnay, a classic Ramato Pinot Grigio, Ribolla Gialla, Sauvignon Blanc, Refosco, and Pinot Nero. Here, the Maccan team pays homage to tradition while innovating with their organic and certified sustainable farming techniques.
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.
Gerard Boulay, Sancerre Sybille Rose 2019Regular price $38.00 Save $-38.00
Variety: Pinot Noir
The Boulay family has been in Sancerre since 1380, Gerard the current generation of family adds no yeast and little to no SO2 during vinfication. He describes his role as one of “surveillance” to make sure nothing goes wrong. In general he works by instinct, “au feeling” because he wants to “let the wine live” and tries not to interfere with the natural process. Unlike many Sancerre Rosés, Boulay’s Rosé is not made from a selection of young vines but rather from 35-40 year old Pinot Noir vines located on the steep hillsides in front of the his home in Chavignol.
Gerard Boulay, Sancerre Chavignol Blanc Tradition 2019Regular price $38.00 Save $-38.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc
The Boulay family has been in Sancerre since 1380, Gerard the current generation of family adds no yeast and little to no SO2 during vinfication. He describes his role as one of “surveillance” to make sure nothing goes wrong. In general he works by instinct, “au feeling” because he wants to “let the wine live” and tries not to interfere with the natural process. Blend of young vine parcels on kimmeridgian slopes in the village of Chavignol.
Fratelli Alessandria, Verduno Pelaverga Speziale 2019Regular price $27.00 Save $-27.00
Fratelli Alessandria is one of the stars of Verduno. The Alessandria family – owner Gian Battista, his wife Flavia, brother Alessandro, and son Vittore – lovingly produce a robust range of Piedmont specialty wines from start to finish. The farmer of the group, Gian’s philosophy is “the best wine comes from a great vineyard.” Located in the town of Verduno, in the commune of Barolo, the property has operated as a winery since the early 19th century. The wines were winning prizes as early as 1843. The original Alessandria brothers (fratelli) purchased the property in 1870. There is a deep understanding of how to work the vines in the marl soils they call “Sant’Agata,” a mixture of silt, limestone and sand. The Alessandria family first released their wine in 1978. Their style has always been classic, along with the grapes of the region; they never shifted towards a modernist hand.
Pelaverga is a rare grape difficult to find outside of its home of Verduno, but a welcome alternative to what we know as Barolo. Many Barolo producers grow this playful and herbaceous red.
Meinklang, Burgenland White 2020Regular price $15.00 Save $-15.00
Variety: Gruner Veltliner, Welschreisling, Muscat Blanc
Meinklang has taken the wine world by storm in the last few years due to the family's passion for making diverse products from the estate. Farming is at the core, with full bio-dynamic practices in place. The family has a full herd of Angus and Aubrac cattle, plus sheep. The farm believes in a full circle of life within the vineyards and farmland. The family has even achieved Demeter certification, one of the most difficult biodynamic certifications. The estate is located in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of National Park Neusiedlersee in Austria, just on the border of Hungary. The insane number of different wine labels produced shows the passion for creating wine with character and personality, with over 20 labels in production.
This may be considered Meinklang's house white wine. The three grape varieties each lend something unique to this blend—acidity, aromatics, weight, and texture. This is the perfect spring white wine due to its light body, its racy lean fruit, and ageing in steel tank to keep this wine fresh.
Le Rocher des Violettes, Montlouis-sur-Loire Touche-Mitaine 2018Regular price $22.00 Save $-22.00
Variety: Chenin Blanc
Young, upcoming winemaker Xavier Weisskopf founded Le Rocher des Violettes in 2005 after studying winemaking in Chablis and Beaune. He then went to work for the hard-working and demanding Louis Barruol at famed producer Chateau de Saint Cosme in Gigondas. Xavier's love for Chenin Blanc drew him to Montlouis in the middle Loire, where an underappreciation of this historic appellation allowed him to acquire nine hectares of sacred old vine sites mostly planted pre-WWII!. He immediately converted the farming of all his vines to certified organics, with the aim to allow these precious old vines to speak.
He achieved his goal in the 'Touche-Mitaine' bottling from a single parcel of 35+ year old vines resulting in a racy, intense, and focused Chenin Blanc.
Lalalu Cabernet Franc 2019Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Variety: Cabernet Franc
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.
If there was ever a winemaker whose ambition was to make quaffable and approachable wine, it would be Laura Brennan Bissell of Bay Area, Cali. Laura takes a fun little French expression called vin de soif—literally meaning “thirsty wine”—and bottles it in the form of Cabernet Franc. Essentially, it means fresh, easy juice meant for consuming right now, with a nod to the effortless ease of Beaujolais. The Cabernet Franc comes from sandy clay and loam soils. It is aged in neutrals barrels and released after a short time.
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 lense into Pierre’s grand capabilities.
Nanni Cope Terre del Volturno Bianco 2018Regular price $55.00 Save $-55.00
Variety: Fiano, Asprinio, and Pallagrello Bianco
Giovanni Ascione used to be a writer with a passion for wine, food, travel and life. As a contributor and critic for guides and magazines, he often got pressure from disagreeable growers because they felt he had no basis for his critiques since he had never made wine. This spurred him later in life to find vines, make wine and a new story began. Starting in 2007, Ascione slowly retrained the old vines located in the vineyard Vigna Sopra il Bosco. Left to go wild for many years, the vines of the Casavecchia varietal look more like trees. Nanni-Copé is one of my favorite producers in all of Italy. When Giovanni shows the wine at local wine fairs he is regularly the center of attention. Production is only 1,000 bottles a year of the white.
Pietracupa, Fiano di Avellino 2018Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Winemaker Sabino Loffredo has swiftly created a reputation within and beyond Italy for some of the most exquisite Greco and Fiano wines in Avellino of Campania in the south of Italy. Pietracupa was founded in 1993 by his family, starting as just 3 hectares of vineyards. The vines were chosen with the intent of showcasing the mountainous terrain of Avellino to the world. He produces limited amounts of Fiano, Greco, Falanghina, and Aglianico coming from some of the finest vines in Avellino. Both wine and winemaker share a similar mantra; staying original and faithful to the land with elegance, depth, and minerality. Due to the southern climate of Campania, the wines benefit from longer time on the vine. These coastal wines crave seafood and olive oil based dishes.
Maxime Magnon, Corbieres La Begou 2017Regular price $63.00 Save $-63.00
Variety: Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Carignan Gris
Maxime is truly one of the movers and shakers in the wine world today. Pushing the natural wine movement forward and producing wines with integrity and personality. His property is in the South Eastern appellation of Corbiéres in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Maxime understands that learning from the greats of the wine world gives you an unprecedented knowledge of the vineyard and winemaking, hence his time spent training with the famed Jean Foillard in Morgon. Truly a naturalist at heart, his wines show the terrior -- pure rock and garrigue, wild herbs and shrubs -- that covers this part of France.
Josef Leitz, Riesling Eins Zwei Dry 2018Regular price $19.00 Save $-19.00
Like many of the enduring winemaking families in Europe, the Leitz family has seen it all with records dating back to 1744. Josef Leitz rebuilt the Rheingau winery after a bombing raid that had taken place in 1966. It wasn’t until two generations later that the current winemaker, Johannes Leitz, began to give the winey its current reputation, growing from roughly three hectares to forty. Even with the success and growth of his Rieslings, Johannes has stayed true to the integrity of his roots.
Eins Zwei Dry means “One, Two, Dry.” The Riesling is harvested at the end of September and done at least in the Spatlese style. The style aims for a balance in acidity, fruit, and sweetness. Grapes are sourced from multiple villages in central and eastern Rheingau. The wine is fermented only in stainless steel. Even though this is an entry level wine from Leitz, the quality is just as impeccable as his other bottles.
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.
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.”
Luis A. Rodriguez Vazquez, Os Pasas 2018Regular price $40.00 Save $-40.00
Variety: Treixadura, Albariño, Lado, Torrontés
Luis A. Rodriguez Vazquez is a quiet soul, head down into his work since 1988 in the Ribeiro region of Galicia. Luis is a bit like his homeland of Ribeiro, flying under the radar. He doesn’t actually grow the region’s popular bulk wine varieties, but instead has decided to revive some of the region’s almost extinct varieties. To his advantage, Luis grew up in Galicia in the village of Arnoia; by deciding to center his vineyards there, he knew precisely where all the best plots of land were. Many of his 180 micro-plots were planted by Luis himself. He employs the lutte raisonée farming mentality, and uses minor amounts of sulphur in the cellar. His work is well respected across the Iberian Peninsula.
This is a wine named for Luis’ Uncle Martin, from who he took over his first vineyard. It's a blend of native white varieties from steep granite-based hillsides in the town of Arnoia. This is a fresh and vibrant white with minerality not unlike seashells. It ages in vats for 10-12 months, with about three months on the lees.
Ca'La Bionda, Veronese Bianco Del Casal 2019Regular price $53.00 Save $-53.00
Variety: Garganega and Trebbiano
There are many regions in Italy that show the detrimental hand of western trends. Amarone is, and should be, one of the great wines of Italy. However, finding one that still tastes genuinely Italian can be tricky. Ca’La Bionda is located in the historic “classic” zone of the Valpolicella region. Founded in 1902, the family’s focus has always been on the grapes and the vineyard work. They presently cultivate 25 hectares. Alessandro Castellani is the current, fourth-generation winemaker. His wines are held in six-foot-tall oak casks until ready to drink. Certain wines are aged longer than others. But at every step of the way, attention is given to tradition, as opposed to modern, quick winemaking. Alessandro’s wines rarely receive much mainstream press, which is fine by him.
Coming from just outside the Soave Classico appellation, this Bianco gets a similar treatment to the Soave style. The grapes come from the Ravazzol vineyard, boasting vines more than 70 years old with superb climate and soil type, making for an invigorating white wine.
Grosjean Freres, Valle d'Aosta Gamay 2019Regular price $26.00 Save $-26.00
In the cool northern Italian region of the Valle d’Aosta, which lies nestled in the crevices of the Italian Alps dwells the family-owned vineyards of Grosjean Freres. The family would raise cattle, and during the summer grow grapes and chestnuts at the lower parts of the slopes. Though the history of this winemaking family long had roots in this region, a wider audience for the wines did not begin until Dauphin Grosjean was encouraged to show his wines at a local wine expo. Winemaking all of a sudden became a family affair, including Dauphin’s five sons. Vineyards were purchased and production increased.
This Gamay may be the same variety planted in Beaujolais, but the expression is completely different. The high altitude and cool climate makes for an extremely aromatic and intensely concentrated wine. This ages in stainless steel only to preserve all the fruitiness the wine has to offer.
Tenuta Di Carleone, Pianvecchio N.V.Regular price $26.00 Save $-26.00
Variety: Vermentino, Malvasia, Trebbiano, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer
Tenuta Carleone di Castiglioni was first mentioned in the year 1078 when monks first founded it in Chianti, named for the village of Castiglioni meaning “small castle.” The property is a romantic vision of wooded hills, rivers, and fertile plains. Nestled in between the hills are the Sangiovese vines and olive trees. Though the property was farmed for hundreds of years, it did not become the winery of Tenuta di Carleone until 2012. Karl Egger and Sean O’Callaghan both operate the winery with a clear vision, classic, with Sean’s twist.
This blend of white varieties, some classic of the region and others not so classic, come from various vineyards in Radda, Chianti. The vines for this bottling are planted next to the traditional Tuscan farmhouse called “pian vecchio” from which this bottle got its name. It is aged just in stainless steel.
Girolamo Russo, Etna Rosso Feudo 2017Regular price $65.00 Save $-65.00
Variety: Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio
Giuseppe Russo left his native Sicily for a time, trained as a pianist and music teacher, and studied literature. But when his father, Girolamo, died, Giuseppe returned in 2005 to make “the best wines (I) can in this exceptional, often challenging but uniquely beautiful area.” Although the Russo family calls the area in and around Passopisciaro home, it is an interesting and dynamic place that is attracting winemakers from all over the world. The Russos have 26 hectares of land, 15 planted to vineyards and the rest to olives and hazelnut groves. Their vineyards are on the north face of Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna, in the north-eastern corner of Sicily.
“Feudo” is another single vineyard from the larger contrada of Randazzo. Vines here are over 70 years old sitting at an altitude of 650-670 meters. Only the single oldest hectare of vines is selected for Feudo. It is raised between large barrels, cement, and vats.