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.
Tenuta Di Carleone, Toscana 'Uno' 2017Regular 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. Even after the devastating 2016 vintage, which was wiped out from hail storms, the producers remain affable and optimistic. In fact, that 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. Even after the awful vintage, it seems the family continues to enjoy sourcing from other villages for their fruit.
"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.
J.L. Vergnon, Champagne Grand Cru Extra Brut MSNL Chetillons et Mussettes Blanc de Blancs 2010Regular price $100.00 Save $-100.00
Father and son team Didier and Clement Vergnon - representing the 4th and 5th generations to helm this tiny estate - have cemented their place amongst the truly elite producers of grower Champagne. Exacting attention in the vineyard and cellar, with guidance from renowned oenologist Julian Goût, the Vergnons produce racy yet balanced bubbles from the chalky wonderland that is Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.
This Champagne has many things going for it. It is made from 100% Chardonnay from the 2010 vintage. All fruit comes from two different sites in the Grand Cru village of Le Mesnil - Les Chetillons and Mussettes. The vines are 40-60 years in age. The wines is raised completely in tank with no oak. It will then fulfill its ageing on the lees for 84 months (seven years) before release.
Pattes Loup, Chablis "Vent d'Ange" 2018Regular price $50.00 Save $-50.00
Pattes Loup means “wolf’s paw” and is the name of the estate of one of the most exciting winemakers to come out of Chablis. Thomas Pico started his estate in Chablis in 2005 inherited from his family. Up until this point, they had been making good Chablis, but nothing with personality or vigor. Fortunately Thomas’ grandfather planted vines on the sides of several steep hillsides, some up to 300 feet in elevation. Thomas decided to go against the wishes of his father, turning the estate into organic farming and utilizing lower yield control, ultimately going for quality over quantity. For such a young winemaker, Thomas is wise beyond his years.
This is a Chablis from an iconic producer that deserves more than its general Chablis designation allows. These vines were planted in 1951, making them almost 70 years in age. The wine is fermented and aged in both concrete and stainless; no oak! Vent d’Ange means wind of the angel.
Fratelli Alessandria, Barbera d'Alba 2019Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
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.
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.
Alberto Nanclares, Prieto Rias Baixas "Soverribas" Albarino 2018Regular price $50.00 Save $-50.00
If you were ever hoping for a story of an accidental winemaker, hang tight. Alberto Nanclares and his wife uprooted from their home in the Basque country to the ocean side village of Castrelo. The small home they purchased incidentally came with some vineyards. While Alberto initially had no plans to make wine, the thought of farming nagged at him, and so, a winemaker was born. He invested in winemaking tools, eventually setting up shop in his garage. Conventional farming then turned into organic and biodynamic, an impressive feat for a region prone to viticultural difficulties, even using seaweed from the nearby Atlantic for composting. Alberto is making incredible grower Albariño, as well as other local varieties at incredible value.
By nature, Albariño is a variety linked with the sea due to its coastal surroundings and natural salinity expressed in the wine. Soverribas is a rare expression of Albariño coming from a single southfacing parcel. It is then aged in large French barrels for 11 months and bottled unfiltered with little usage of sulfites.
Thierry Pillot, Volnay 1er Santenots 2018Regular price $95.00 Save $-95.00
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 2018Regular 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 is rare in the middle of the Russian River Valley as the vines are head trained, something very rarely seen for Chardonnay. 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 wines in the entire state.
Chateau Peybonhomme-Les Tours, Le Blanc Bonhomme Cotes de Blaye 2018Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Variety: Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon
Six generations of the Hubert family have called Chateau Peybonhomme-Les-Tours home since 1895. A family of winemakers, they have gently guided their biodynamically farmed estate to produce world-class Bordeaux. The property includes a stunning 17th century castellated tower, from which one can view the Gironde estuary, as well as their estate.