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May Wine Picks

Sake Story Yuzu Liqueur, Nagasaki, Japan $33.99
This is a charming 7% abv fruit liqueur made from the Japanese citrus yuzu- which I love to describe as a pretty & higher-pitched lemon. It is not saccharine or syrup-esque, but very light, lifted, and versatile: a staple for your summer arsenal. Enjoy it chilled straight or on ice as an aperitif or perhaps in an experimental cocktail; I suggest nixing Lillet in favor of this yuzu liqueur for a slightly exotic twist on a Vesper Martini, or you can finish delicate raw seafood preparations such as crudos and ceviche, or even salads to compliment your favorite extra virgin olive oil for a fresh experience.
2021 Troon Vineyard Kubli Bench Rose, Applegate Valley, Oregon $23.99
This southern Oregon paragon located in the Siskiyou Mountains is a true champion of minimalist winemaking through means of biodynamics and regenerative organic practices (meaning they are leaving the land better than it was found before humans had their way with it). Aside from grapevines, Troon is home to a 100 acre biodiverse farm full of cider apples, a vegetable garden, bees, sheep, chickens, and plenty of wildlife. This fresh rose is a blend of Malbec, Tinta Roriz, & Counoise that would be delightful with grilled Halloumi garnished with honey & flowers.
 
2020 The Juice Asylum “Maggie Mae,” Tuscany, Italy $32.99
The Juice Asylum is the punk rock antithesis to what we understand the “Super Tuscan” identity to be. This particular bottling boasts 100% certified organic, biodynamic, and whole cluster Sangiovese fruit from 3 vineyards in Tuscany that sees 6 months of elevage in stainless steel tanks. “Maggie Mae” is the ultimate Tuscan red refresher full of wild blue fruit, red apple, hibiscus, and sweet soft herbs. You may have heard of the iconic Avignonesi wines- The Juice Asylum is made by the enigmatic Alessio Guidi at Avignonesi as the inspiration to “allow wine to have an experimental playground where the natural element is encouraged rather than denied and put into a facility (an Asylum, if you will) for correction.”
The wine is as equally racy as the label. Pair it up lightly chilled with panzanella, rosemary focaccia, or all of the above catching up with your crush.
250 cases made and imported by the unparalleled Vine St. Imports.

March Wine Picks

2020 Beurer Rose Trocken, Württemberg, Germany $13.99
Beurer makes a rosé that drinks like biodynamic Gatorade – this wine zings: it is pure energy. It is fresh like a spring garden around 6am just as the overeager sun pokes its gonzo eye above the horizon, pushing away the wet dew. This rosé is a saignée of Trollinger, Portugieser, Zweigelt and Spätburgunder, all farmed biodynamically and fermented with native yeast. -Vom Boden
Perfect for corned beef & cabbage or grilled shrimp tacos accompanied with prickly pear salsa.
2019 Domaine du Bouchot Pouilly-Fume Caillottes $36.99
Domaine du Bouchot was the first producer in Pouilly-Fume to become certified organic and recently finalized Demeter biodynamic certification. “Caillottes” is razor-sharp Sauvignon Blanc grown in Portlandian limestone that exudes purity, clarity, and freshness.
Celebrate spring by combining it with an asparagus/ goat cheese/ tarragon tart, Vichyssoise, or roasted cod & artichokes.

NV Etienne Calsac “Les Revenants” Champagne, France $124.99
While finishing his studies in 2010, Etienne replanted a few rows of ‘forgotten’ Champagne varieties in one of his family vineyards in the Côte de Sézanne. Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, and Arbanne were overlooked for decades, but Etienne was interested in making a Champagne ‘à l’ancienne’ – in other words, the old fashioned way. In 2016, he kept the entire harvest of these new plants, which was enough to fill one 600L barrel. The wine was kept in said barrel for six months and then spent 30 months on the lees before disgorgement in the spring of 2019. -Paris Wine Company
Around 1,000 bottles were made. Pair it up with classic Parisian poulet frites, a ham & gruyere omelette, or on its own with great friends!

December Wine Picks

Holiday Features:

2017 Laherte Freres “Les Vignes d’Autrefois” Blanc des Noirs Extra Brut $89.99
Aurelien Laherte and his team are vinifying some of the most excitingly expressive Champagnes out of the Coteaux D’Epernay with an identity that is committed to biodynamics and sustainability. This bottling exemplifies the modern Meunier renaissance as it is 100% Meunier made from 50-75 year old vines and pays homage to their ancestors. “Orchard fruit, spice, ginger, dried fruit and plum meld together in a Champagne of real gravitas.” -Vinous
Pair with cranberry brie puff pastry bites, croque madame, and New Years Eve festivities. *Only 3 bottles available*
2018 Sleight of Hand “The Psychedelic” Syrah, Walla Walla, WA $59.99
This is a single vineyard (Stoney Vine), 50% whole cluster, blockbuster of a Syrah made by Washington underdog Trey Busch. It is dense, flavorful, and packed with umami, tapenade, wild blueberries, and roasted meat. Out of 600 cases produced, only 5 made their way to Colorado and half of that allocation is locally exclusive to Sovereignty Wines. Serve alongside spiced roasted lamb or Latvian Piragi.
2020 Kumusha “The Flame Lily” Slanghoek, South Africa $32.99
An alluring blend of Roussanne, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, and Semillon, “The Flame Lily” is silky elegance. Brimming with honeysuckle, melon, and citrus oil, this *organic* new vintage from legendary sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka will accentuate more exotic gastronomic endeavors. Think Thai Larb, wasabi deviled eggs, or pork belly adobo.
 
2017 Prats & Symington “Chryseia” Douro, Portugal $89.99
Hailing from a powerhouse vintage in the Douro, this top dry bottling by Port house Prats & Symington consistently pushes the envelope for quality. The grapes selected (Touriga Nacional & Touriga Franca) for Chryseia are from estate vineyards Quinta de Roriz and Quinta da Perdiz. The wine sees 16 months elevage in 400 liter French oak barrels and exudes chocolate, balsamic, dense dark fruit, and spice.
Suffice to say this is a serious world-class red that rivals Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux and is perfect by the fire or with a warming winter meal.
Chryseia will do justice to a traditional holiday spread of prime rib, stuffed mushrooms, and beef wellington. Decanting is recommended.
Domaine de Saint Pierre “Les Larmes du Paradis”  Macvin, Jura-France 
This is a compelling and esoteric style of wine called a vin de liqueur. Essentially, distilled grape spirit (marc) is added to arrest the primary fermentation of Chardonnay and Trousseau grapes in order to maintain a fair amount of natural sugar in the finished wine. The results are a gorgeously balanced complex wine that ornately shows golden raisins, dates, hay, and toasted nuts.
Traditionally served alongside Comte (a local alpine cheese in the Jura), but can be a pairing chameleon; mix it up on ice as an aperitif  with Gorgonzola Dolce stuffed figs, or enjoy after dinner with spice cookies, black walnut cake, or Epoisses.

October – Wines of the Month

2019 Santini Collective Macon-Villages, France $33.99

Chris Santini is a French-American who studied oenology at the University of Beaune, went on to work all over Burgundy, and even landed a job with the legendary Kermit Lynch whom he travelled and tasted with all over France. Santini Collective is a relatively new project and was launched in 2013; the winery focuses on making “vins de soif” aka wines that quench your thirst and demand casual enjoyment. The fruit is always sourced from environmentally conscious farmers, the wine is vinified completely unmanipulated, and made in microscopic quantities. The Macon-Villages is as raw as it gets: it is foot stomped and then pressed in a wooden basket press!

Racy minerals, an amalgam of pears, and textural honeysuckle/beeswax components -will be delightful on the table with sunchoke gratin or roast chicken with herb jus & frites.

 

Fukucho “Seaside” Junmai Sparkling Sake, Japan $26.99

This is an exciting bubbly sake from the Hiroshima prefecture made by toji (master brewer) Miho Imada; Miho is currently one out of 20 women with the title of toji & she is gaining a reputation as one of the best and most creative sake makers in the world. “Seaside” has bright and refreshing elements of citrus, apples, and demure melon fruit from the use of white koji. It is made from Nakase Shinsenbon rice that has been polished away 30%.

This sake was certainly designed for frutti di mare, Kumamoto oysters, and delicate crudos with a squeeze of yuzu.

 

2017 Rainbow’s End Family Reserve, Stellenbosch, South Africa $47.99

Anton and Francois Malan, direct descendants of the French Huguenot winemaker, Jacques Malan, waited patiently for ten years for their vineyard holdings to mature for this bottling of their Family Reserve.

Only the best quality barrels of each variety were selected, blended and aged for two years in French oak for this profound wine that rivals most classified Bordeaux. The blend is based on nearly equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Franc, & Petit Verdot and will completely sing accompanied by braised lamb shank, oxtail stew, or a creamy wild mushroom pasta.

September Wines

2020 Schplink! Gruner Veltliner, Niederosterreich-Austria 3L Box $31.99

This exciting contemporary box white is made by Weingut Norbert Bauer which was established in 1721 & is now in its 11th generation of winemakers. Located in the Weinviertal in northern Austria, farming practices are organic with emphasis on utilizing herbs for vineyard health; the fruit is hand-picked and then left to macerate for 12 hours to increase aromatic complexity. The results are stunning and emulate white peach, zingy lemon-lime, and delicate white flowers. Schplink! is considered the only box wine coming out of Austria and is a complete game-changer when it comes to the category. Pair with Salade Nicoise, Schnitzel, and listening to Kraftwerk.
2018 Flavia Rebellious Etna Rosso, Sicily-Italy 1L $27.99
Another exclusive, this is the only 1 liter bottle coming off the volcano of Etna; it’s creator, Flavia Rallo, is a young, fourth-generation winemaker who dedicates herself to the production of natural wines from certified organic fruit that are unfiltered, and with very low sulphites. Flavia’s Etna Rosso is 100% old vine Nerello Mascalese from sandy, high altitude sites on the northern slope. The grapes are farmed organically, hand-harvested, wild yeast fermented in stainless steel, then aged 12 months in used Slovenian oak. The wine is incredibly balanced and a must-try for lovers of both Burgundy & Tuscany. It is juicy and vibrant with a definitive spice character. Pair it alongside Creole Jambalaya, baked eggplant & tomato Rigatoni, or a charcuterie board for an easy evening.
2020 Mas Martinet “Ranci Dolc” Garnatxa Negra, Priorat-Spain 375ml $87.99
This is a rare sweet treat that has already been aged 20 years in 100+ year old barrels…a historical style called Rancio. It is made by first harvesting the Garnatxa grapes around 15% alcohol, laying them on wicker beds in the shade to allow them to slowly dry for 7 to 21 days concentrating the sugars and allowing for a naturally sweet wine. Since Mas Martinet only bottles 1/3 of the contents of the aging wine in the centenarian barrels, there is always a portion of aged wine that gets blended into the newer wine, similar to the solera system employed in Sherry production. At around 80g/l of residual sugar, this is the ultimate Fall/Winter dessert wine chock full of hazelnut, chocolate, balsamic, wood smoke, and Christmas spice. Compliments blue-veined cheeses, candied nuts, and caramel-forward desserts.

August – Wines of the Month

2019 La Zorra Teso Rufete, Sierra de la Salamanca, Spain $28.99
This little gem of a wine is made from the very rare grape Rufete which is exclusive to the Sierra de Salamanca appellation west of Madrid close to the border of Portugal. It hails from the single vineyard El Tesoro that is farmed organically. La Zorra performs gorgeously and the oak treatment is brief yet balanced. Herbaceous and plummy with a hint of espresso, it will complement Texas style bbq brisket, fried eggplant, or a spread of Spanish hard cheeses and chorizo.
230 cases produced.
 
 
2019 Sam Vinciullo Red, Cowaramup-Margaret River, Australia $41.99
Forget Beaujolais! This is the wine you want to pick up now for your Fall festivities! Fresh & versatile, this 60% Shiraz / 40% Cabernet Sauvignon from western Australia is purely elegant and fresh. Peppery, sharp, and crunchy, this is a zero-zero wine with no additives, no manipulation, just beautiful & natural fermented grapes. Pair with Korean chicken wings, falafel, or a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
 
 
2020 Volpe Pasini Ribolla Gialla, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy $17.99
Ribolla Gialla is a grape that is indigenous to the Friuli area in northeastern Italy along the Slovenian border. Volpe Pasini is one of the oldest still existing wineries in all of Italy with records dating back to 1596! This expression of Ribolla Gialla is extremely pure, crisp, and bright and demonstrates ethereal minerality coupled with demure citrus and apple blossoms. Refreshing and easy, it will go with an amalgam of foods from artichokes with bagna cauda to veggie risotto.

July – Wines of the Month

2019 Truchard Roussanne, Carneros, Napa Valley $19.99

While Roussanne is typically seen from the Northern Rhone Valley, this expression comes from a 3 acre plot planted in 1998 in Carneros; it is whole cluster-pressed and sees fermentation and brief aging in French oak. It is opulent, sexy, and rich & certainly a fun way to change things up! Think grilled apricot, jasmine, and creme brulee.

Serve it chilled with dover sole, butter mochi, or popcorn on your next movie night!

 

2020 Jaimee Motley ‘Rorick Heritage Vineyard’ Rose of Mondeuse, Calaveras, CA $22.99

The Rorick Heritage Vineyard sits at 2,000 ft in elevation in the Sierra Foothills. It is organically farmed and one of the most exciting vineyards in California with over 40 varieties represented in its patchwork. This rose of Mondeuse is full of character & finesse with blood orange, sage, & lily to compliment dinner on the patio this week or Indian summer sunsets on the horizon. Pair with fondue or buffalo cauliflower.

 

2017 Antonio Pereira “Tinto Bom,” Vinho Verde, Portugal $15.99

This is a red Vinho Verde-a relatively esoteric and elusive category that we don’t see super often in the United States. The grape is Vinhao (or Sousao) which imparts a gorgeous dark concentration in the wine that doesn’t necessarily reflect the prickly and playful palate. “Tinto Bom” is made from Certified Organic farming and biodynamic practice; the grapes are foot-trodden and then aged in steel vats for 3 years. This is head-turning raw wine!

Experiment with red-fleshed fish, feijoada, or grilled octopus!

June Wines of the Month

Sophisticated Summer Sippers!

Jon Goenaga Ecological Txakoli G. 1200 DO, Getariako Txakolina, Spain 2019 $25.99

Let us first state that this is not a conventional effervescent/fresh Txakoli being poured out of a porron at an okay tapas bar; this is a SERIOUS example with some bottle age that contributes to its great complexity and weight. Jon Goenaga is a young voice committed to organic farming. “G” stands for Goenaga and “1200” stands for the amount of bottles made.
He also farms peppers, avocados, and peas which get sold off to local Michelin-starred restaurants.
Pair with grilled or oven-roasted artichokes dressed in lemon, garlic, & rosemary accompanied with white truffle aioli.

LIOCO Rose of Carignan, Mendocino, CA 2020 $21.99

This 100% Carignan comes from part of the Bartolomei vineyard that was planted in the mid-century. LIOCO is a major champion of minimal-intervention Northern California winemaking and is practicing organic farming. This new release is a stunner with hints of guava, prickly pear, and crushed minerals.

 

We are getting some great summertime Mexican market vibes with this wine!

Sip this freshness alongside Camarones a la Diabla or Pollo Asado.

 

Vending Machine Wines “Double Shotgun,” Napa Valley 2018 $26.99

This 75% Petit Verdot and 25% Cabernet Franc was hand-harvested from southwest-facing slopes and saw elevage in 50% new French oak. A great alternative to just snagging an easy Cab Sauv, this wine certainly has the finesse & gravitas you crave with food cooked over a fire.

 

Summer. Burger. Wine.

May – Wines of the Month

2020 Peter Lauer Riesling “Barrel X” Saar-Germany $21.99
This is an energetic and racy Feinherb-style (just a whisper of sweetness) Riesling made by the masterful Florian Lauer reminiscent of white peach, green pineapple, papaya, and rainwater. Farming practices are organic, grapes are hand-harvested, and average vine age is 20 years old. Pairs well with shrimp shumai and Japanese pickled cucumbers (sunomono)
Snag this up before it is gone!
 
2020 The Hermit Ram Field Blend, North Canterbury, NZ $39.99
 
Arguably either a light-bodied red or a deep and serious rose, this is a fascinating skin-fermented blend of Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Gewürztraminer from a 45-year old vineyard in North Canterbury briefly aged in Spanish amphora. Bottled unfined/unfiltered this is as natural & raw as wine gets! Huckleberry, peppercorn, & bright pomegranate. Drink it with pepper-crusted pork loin or roasted chicken with cherries & rosemary.
 
2018 Zuccardi Concreto Malbec Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley, Argentina $33.99
 
Perfumed with violets, hyacinths, & dried blueberry, this high-elevation whole-cluster powerhouse of a Malbec gets its namesake from aging in concrete to preserve the gorgeous fruit & florals the grape has to offer. This style by Sebastian Zuccardi  is certainly helming a new wave revolution in Argentina focusing on true terroir; the graphite minerality and firm tight tannins reflect the 3,600 ft elevation of Paraje Altamira. Always a treat! Enjoy with choripan, asado, or black bean empanadas with chimichurri.

 

April – Wines of the Month

2019 La Viarte Pinot Grigio $21.99

Hailing from Prepotto, Italy very close to the Slovenian border, the estate’s namesake is Friulian for springtime! This boutique Pinot Grigio is sustainably farmed, textured and elegant with hues of citrus blossom, almond, and honeydew.
La Viarte is certainly enjoyed on its own or with white asparagus in hollandaise or the local Frico Morbido- a crispy golden cheese-potato-onion pancake.

2019 Chateau Simone Palette Rose $74.99

This is a serious rose that completely transcends the category of pink wine. Mind blowing tonight at dinner, yet also insanely rewarding with age.
Primarily Grenache and Mourvedre with accessory varieties Cinsault, Syrah, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Castet, Manosquin, Theoulier, Tibouren, Picpoul Noir, and Muscat de Hambourg to impart complexity, Chateau Simone is a trip to the French Riviera in a bottle. Think quince, hibiscus, & Provencal lavender.
1500 bottles imported to the US market.
Compliments a hearty bouillabaisse, carpaccio of chioggia beets, or soup au pistou sitting outside on the patio of course!

2018 Jean-Paul & Charly Thevenet Morgon “Vieilles Vignes” $41.99

This iconic producer of terroir-driven cru Beaujolais is what we call an “original gangster” having learned organic farming and biodynamic practices from a close friend and fellow legend, Marcel Lapierre. The gamay fruit comes from 70 year-old vines from ancient sandy slopes meticulously farmed by Jean-Paul and his son Charly.
Suffice to say this is the best red we have tasted so far this year; it is incredibly compelling and exotic with elements of nori, red currant, and a slight warming madeira finish.
Celebrate Spring and pair with classic chicken with morels in cream sauce.

-Sophie Yoneoka