These are some of our favorite wines that we consumed in 2020, and still in stock when list was created at the beginning of 2021.
Tenuta Di Carleone, Toscana 'Uno' 2018Regular price $68.00 Save $-68.00
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, even though Sean is nicknamed “Il Guercio” (meaning one-eyed rascal.) They create Sangiovese in a classic way, though with Sean’s twist using organic and biodynamic practices. Nothing is added to the wine, grappa, or cold-pressed olive oils. Keep a look out for their other Sangiovese expressions and grappa.
This is the flagship bottle of Tenuta Carleone made from the best grapes from all their vineyards. It's just Sangiovese, no blending. This wine spends 18 months between tonneaux barrels (about 10% new), cement, and stainless steel.
Fratelli Alessandria, Barbera d'Alba 2020Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
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.
Barbera, the fruitier and more approachable variety of the region, comes from the commune of Verduno. This spends 5-7 months in steel or cement vats, then 1-2 months in bottle.
Thierry Pillot, Volnay 1er Santenots 2019Regular price $100.00 Save $-100.00
Variety: Pinot Noir
Thierry Pillot is the fourth generation of the Pillot legacy in the legendary Côtes de Beaune of southern Burgundy. Even though the domain began with Thierry’s great grandfather—Jean-Baptist —the domain was named after Paul Pillot—Thierry’s father. Jean-Baptiste was a barrel maker by trade and began focusing on his vines full time in 1900; the estate was born then. Today the estate is run by the energetic Thierry, who spends most of his time in the vineyards, but is a non-interventionist in the cellar with discreet usage of new wood. The family are artists in the cellar when it comes to oak usage; it is very well integrated into the wines. Thierry is one of the finest winemakers in the Côtes de Beaune; if one should come across any of his bottles, don’t hesitate to snatch them up.
Notice that the label is under Thierry Pillot's name instead of his father's domaine name. This Volnay is from 45+ year old vines and undergoes 50% whole cluster fermentation, giving the wine a savory note and adding more aromatics. This is aged in barrel, 25% of which is new.
Anthill Farms, Chardonnay Peugh Vineyard 2019Regular price $50.00 Save $-50.00
Anthill Farms is a group of three friends who went against all the odds to start a winery in California. They didn’t have money saved nor were they born into the business. They were cellar rats, the guys moving hoses and cleaning floors, for some pretty significant wineries, Williams Selyem being the most influential. However, while still quite young, the three decided to pull together a tiny amount of cash and started making wine at a crushpad facility. Before long the wines had a cult following and we’ve been drinking them ever since. Many of Anthill’s wines only make it to a mailing list or restaurants; we are lucky to include their small production wines.
Peugh Vineyard, located in the middle of the Russian River Valley, has head-trained Chardonnay vines, something rarely seen for this variety. This is normally used on crazy, rocky soils with Syrah, Grenache or Mourvedre, but not Chardonnay. The reason this happened is the vines were planted in the early 1940s when California growers had no idea what they were doing. The result today is that this unique Chardonnay is produced from some of the oldest vines in the entire state.
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.