Matthieu Barret, J'aurai Ta Peau 2021Regular price $46.00 Save $-46.00
Continuing the 7th generation of his family in the small village of Cornas in the northern Rhone, Matthieu Barret made an intentional choice to shake things up in both the vineyard and the cellar. There he realized his love for organic viticulture and that’s where it began. He stopped using machines in the vineyard, encouraged a diversified environment around the vines, and used fewer barrels in the cellar. His mediums of choice are classic in the region—Syrah for the reds and Roussanne with Viognier for the whites. Of all the French allocated wines, the price points as well as the wines themselves are fairly accessible. Petit Ours Brun, aka little brown bear, is a nickname lovingly coined by Jura winemaker Stephane Tissot, eventually finding its way onto these sought after labels.
J'aurai Ta Peau means literally “I will have your skin.” This is 90% Roussanne with the remainder being Viognier to round things out. The wine sees about two months on its skins before it goes on to age seven months in clay tinajas.
Stolpman Vineyards, Roussanne 'L'Avion' 2020Regular price $46.00 Save $-46.00
Variety: Roussanne and Chardonnay
Founded over 20 years ago by Tom Stolpman when he discovered hidden in the hills of California’s Central Coast a rare limestone outcropping unobstructed from the Pacific Ocean wind which became part of the now famous Ballard Canyon AVA. The winery is currently run by son Pete Stolpman and his wife Jessica. Known for employing their own crew "La Cuadrilla", the vineyards are maintained only by hand with care and dedication.
This Roussanne heavy blend, while inspired by the whites of the south of France, takes on a new life in the microclimate of Ballard Canyon. The low humidity of the area and the late ripening style of Roussanne makes for a complex, textural, opulent style of white wine. The crew of La Cuadrilla ensures to rotate the clusters of fruit for full ripening, a task that is tedious, yet necessary. Aging takes place over 19 months between both new and used barrels. Just 500 cases were produced!
Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup, Languedoc Cuvee Sainte Agnes Blanc 2020Regular 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.”
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.
Donkey & Goat, The Gadabout 2019Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Variety: Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Vermentino, Chardonnay
In short, Jared and Tracey Brandt of Donkey and Goat Winery are pioneers of the natural winemaking movement in California. After spending time in France back in 2002 with noteworthy winemaker Eric Texier, they returned home to Cali, inspired and ready to apply their inspirations in winemaking and marketing. Using a completely natural process in the cellar and vineyards; the couple does not fine or filter the wines, and just a small amount of sulfur is used at bottling. Their winemaking headquarters are located in Berkeley where they can implement their hands-on approach; they source grapes from Sierra Nevada, Mendocino, and Napa.
The Gadabout is an always delicious and very well priced wine. The vineyards and appellations may be changing and evolving from vintage to vintage, but the wine is consistently a crowd pleaser, and a fantastic warm weather quencher.
Jean-Louis Chave, L'Hermitage Blanc 2014Regular price $315.00 Save $-315.00
Variety: Marsanne and Roussanne
Let’s just state that the Chave family has passed the vineyards and winemaking traditions down generation to generation since 1481, so, yeah, nothing else needs to be said. Jean-Louis is now the 16th generation winemaker and the family has more holdings on the famed hill of Hermitage than any other producer. But for the last 15 years the family has been rebuilding old terraces on the banks of the Rhone in the nearby region of Saint-Joseph. They are working to bring back a vineyard site that dates to the early 1900’s. This site expresses the soil mixture of granite and clay, and shows the “wildness” of the terroir.