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.
Roches Neuves, Cuvee Domaine 2018Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Variety: Cabernet Franc
The small image that appears on most of Thierry Germain’s labels is a silhouette of the man himself; he is walking, casting a long shadow that transitions into two tall grape vines. This image is the perfect metaphor to imply the large shadow Thierry casts in life; affecting the vines around him through his ability to produce healthy grapes and practice biodynamic farming. While other vignerons in Saumur are pumping as much synthetic fertilizer into the vineyards as possible, Thierry is using compost when necessary, forcing the grapes to suffer, resulting in lower yields and complex pure wines.
“Cuvee Domaine” is Thierry Germain’s flagship wine, representing what he can do. This Cabernet Franc from Saumur comes from vines ranging from 4 to 70 years in age! All the grapes are completely destemmed, allowing for a more fresh and fruity wine. It is aged mostly in stainless, with a little bit of little exposure to small wooden tanks for 3 to 4 months. There is no added sulfur.
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.
Famille Dutraive, Saint Amour "Clos du Chapitre" 2019Regular price $45.00 Save $-45.00
With a father like the beloved and famous Jean-Louis Dutraive it does not hurt the eldest son in his quest to find his own voice amongst the vines and rolling hills of the sleepy appellation of Beaujolais. With the region gaining much attention from wine geeks worldwide due to the versatility of the wines (for dining or just flat out drinking), the camaraderie of the vignerons is unparalleled. There is a young, energetic group with easy access to top vineyard sites and everyone is cheering each other on.
After the devastating 2016 vintage, which was wiped out from hail storms, the producers remain affable and optimistic. This is how "Famille Dutraive" came about; it's a negociant project co-owned by Jean-Louis and his three children. The fruit is sourced and then vinified by the Dutraive family in their cellars.
"Clos du Chapitre," meaning the end of the chapter, is a plateau at 260 meters in altitude at the edge of St. Amour. These are 50 year old vines planted in very rocky ancient soils.
Fratelli Alessandria, Barbera d'Alba 2019Regular 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.
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.