GRIPPY FOOD FRIENDLY
SAINT DAMIEN COTES DU RHONE GRENACHE MOUVEDRE 2019
RHONE VALLEY, FRANCE
EARTH BOLD PLUM
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
The wine is predominately made up of powerful fruit from Gigondas, Southern Rhone Valley. The wine has weight, but also maintains a degree of elegance. It is fermented in concrete and aged in both large oak vessels and concrete. Ruby fruits, a hint of olive tapenade and filling-fine tannins.
From the Producer: Domaine Saint-Damien is run by Joel and Amie Saurel and their son Romain who has now taken charge of the winemaking. The Saurel family had been tending vineyards for four generations, dating back to 1821, and until recently had been selling all of the grapes to negociants. In 1996 Joel resumed producing wine at the estate and in 1998 they brought on consulting winemaker Philippe Cambie. Vinification is classic with wines being fermented in large old cement tanks and aged in either cement tanks or large old foudres for the Gigondas.
Today the estate is comprised of 17 hectares of vineyards of which 12 are in Gigondas. All their vineyards are certified organic since 2012. The vines are an average age of 50 years and are very low yielding. The wines of Gigondas are bottled according to individual terroir (particularly soil type) known as the Saint Damien Trilogy.
VAJRA LANGHE ROSSO 2019
EXPRESSIVE FRUIT RIPE
CLASSIC / 750ML
A star-studded blend of Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto and Favorita made by one of the most renowned producers in Piedmont. Medium-bodied with a swarm of aromatics, high fruit tones, leather, dusty tannins and a wedge of oak.
From the Distributor: Our Langhe Rosso is a hug from Piedmont. It’s an invitation to explore its different varieties and to get to know its personality. From young vineyards, it is a fruity, delicately complex wine - an ideal companion at the table. It’s predominately Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, with smaller quantities of Freisa, Albarossa, Pinot Noir. Each vineyard is harvested when it reaches perfect ripeness. The varieties are vinified one by one, to express their personality and uniqueness. The wine is aged for 18-24 months partially in steel and then in first-, second- and third-use pièces. - Giuseppe Vaira
G.D. Vajra - “a world of sublime hand-crafted, artisan wines of the very highest level”, as Antonio Galloni calls it - is run in the second generation by Giuseppe, Isidoro and Francesca Vaira, lovingly overseen by father Aldo and mother Milena. It was Aldo that founded G.D. Vajra, kicking off with a counter-cultural twist by returning to his ancestors’ land in the early ‘70s, when all else were deserting the countryside in droves. That spirit of tradition with an adaptive streak characterises this far-sighted outfit. Indeed, Aldo’s decision to embrace the rogue ‘j’ on the label – a print error that happens to hark back to the pre-1920s spelling of the family name – says a lot about the clan’s capacity to roll with it and nimbly fuse its roots with the future.
PUNSET D'ALBA BARBERA 2019
CRANBERRY BALANCE TYPICITY
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Old school Barbera, wetting acidity, mid-weight and ripe dark fruits. No oak is used at all. Telltale Barbera from Alba, Piedmonte.
From the producer: It is a historical memory that the Counts of Castelborgo used the Piedmontese dialect term Punset, which literally means "beautiful hill" or "point", to describe the only one of their estates that stood out from the autumn mists and could thus be admired from their castle.
On the other hand, it is the heritage of the Marcarino family to have a long history of winemaking since the succession of ownership of the vineyards on the hill, albeit for an exclusively family production.
In 1964 Renzo Marcarino officially started the activity bringing the first bottles of the Punset wine cellar on the market, but it was in the early 80s that a decisive choice, wanted and carried out by his daughter Marina, marked the company's turning point: to convert the entire cultivation to organic, eliminating all kinds of pesticides and all synthetic products. A demanding choice, conscious and immediately disciplined through the certification.
The grapes, cultivated according to organic farming methods, are carefully selected and harvested by hand, in perforated crates, and pressed, removing the stalks. In order to obtain a pleasant and harmonious wine, the harvest is delayed as much as possible. Fermentation takes place spontaneously with the help of indigenous yeasts. After soft racking, malolactic fermentation concludes the wine-making process; the wine is aged in cement tanks for a few months, at least until the first warmth, when it is prepared for bottling.
The ruby red color accompanies pleasant aromas of red berry fruit, intense and harmonious. The fruity aroma is also very evident on the palate, characterized by a not very intense acidity and a dry and clean finish. The pleasantness of this product is given by its frankness and typicality, so evident also thanks to the total absence of wood.
CRU GODARD COTES DE FRANCS CABERNETS 2019
FINE CEDAR SUMPTUOUS
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Punching well above its 'Cotes' weight class, Franck and Carine Richard organically farm 10ha of truly delicious Cabernet Merlot blend. The wine is fresh with fine tannins and a plump fruit heavy centre that is reigned in by spice fuelled Cabernet. One of the best valued and enjoyable wines I've had from Bordeaux in a very long time.
VICOLETTO NERO D'AVOLA 2020
CHEWY PRETTY CURRENTS
CLASSIC / 750ML
A playful Nero, typical nose of currents and wild berries, with a touch of crushed leaves. It has retained a good amount of acid so it's a perfect park wine or something to cut through the fat of a pizza.
From the Producer: Made from Nero d'Avola cultivated in northwestern Sicily. The soils are clay and sand, and the climate is very windy, cool, and dry. Small yields and dedicated winemaking combine to produce a wine that is fresh, versatile and enjoyable. Ideal to serve with first courses, light pasta dishes or picnic fare.
SARA I RENE DIDO GARNATXA 2019
BRIAR HERB SPICE
CLASSIC / ORGANIC PRACTICES / 750ML
An earthy red with soft tannins and plush fruit. The fruit is grown in the rugged Montsant region that surrounds Priorat. The soils composition and undulating terrain produce a broad spectrum of unique growing climes. Both Sara (Mas Martinet) and Rene's (Clos Mogador) winemaking styles can be felt in this unique and authentic Garnatxa.
From the Distributor: Bright and fresh red cherry fruit marked by mint and other local herbs, the wine shows the clear crunch of granite soil. Juicy and direct with macerated herbs, licorice and briar in lovely pastille fruit. Good concentration, rich-but-not-sweet country wine, it's all briar-herb-cane-brambly, with a nice little nudge of spice, allspice husk and leather in the soft savoury juice and a touch of chocolate in the soft leathery tannin. Clear and direct, with absolutely no wine-making clutter, it is delicately structured and savoury. A smasher!
CAMPI DI FONTERENZA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO SANGIOVESE 2012
RICH PLUM STRUTURE
CLASSIC / BIODYNAMIC / 750ML
Sangiovese left on skins for 50 days, before being aged for 42 months in large format Slavonian Oak. The resulting wine is rich and deeply complex. A saline edge is present that folds through the sun-soaked fruit profile.
From the Producer: Ten long years passed between planting our vineyard and releasing the first bottles of this wine. We think of Brunello as a paean to Montalcino, a synthesis of everything that makes this part of the world so special; its unique combination of soils, sea breezes and woodlands. These elements find their expression in our Brunello; sun-baked saline notes, meaty aromas, heady Mediterranean herbs and fresh minerality. It is a wine that requires time and patience. We have learned to take care of it during its aging period, coaxing youthful characteristics to full maturity and nursing the potential for complexity. In present times, where everything is based on the concept of right here, right now, this is an old-fashioned wine. It is made exclusively from the estate Cru, Vigna del Bosco. Our first vintage of Brunello was 2004.
The vineyards are all located in the Poggio San Polo area in the south-eastern part of Montalcino, along the hills that slope down from Il Greppo towards Castelnuovo dell’Abate. The altitude varies between 420-450 metres above sea level. Some elements characterize this land: the woodlands that surround the vineyards the mighty Monte Amiata behind us, with its dual function as both protective barrier from the weather and thermal regulator the sea breezes that come in from south east and meet winds from north and north east the many hours of sunlight a huge variety of soil (clay, galestro or crumbly marl, lime, quartzite and so on) that defies easy definitions but augments the complexity of the wines abundant water that saves us from the negative effects of drought in dryer vintages.
The vineyards are 4.2 Ha (10.37 acres) divided into two parcels; “Bosco” and “Strada.” The “Strada” vineyard is made up of four smaller areas: Vigna della Strada, Vigna del Lupo, Vigna dell’Alberello and Vigna della Quercia. The only grape varietal planted in all of our Montalcino vineyards is Sangiovese. All vineyard operations are manual, based on the observation of the phases of the moon and the biodynamic calendar. We combat vine diseases using Sulphur and Copper, combined with natural anti-mildew treatments that rely on propolis and herbal infusions from various plants including yarrow, chamomile, equisetum, nettle and willow.
MARGAN BREAKING GROUND BARBERA 2021
HUNTER VALLEY, NSW
BLACKBERRY LIVELY EARTH
CLASSIC / SUSTAINABLE / 750ML
Made by 3rd generation grape grower, Ollie Margan. This is Ollie's first wine under the Breaking ground moniker. The wines offer a different insight into the Margan Families local clime and vines. The Barbera is a playful dark fruit-forward medium bodied red with a mellow earthy edge. Scrumptious.
From the Producer:The young vines from our 1998 established Ceres Hill vineyard. Comprised of the earlier picks from
the vineyard with the inclusion of whole bunch clusters, which acts to bind and soften the naturally high acidity. Indigenous ferment, no rectification, pressed off after partial ferment. Rested in a combination of stainless steel and old French oak. Unfined/unfiltered.
I particularly wanted to craft wines with texture and energy and place emphasis on echoing the dolorite rich volcanic soils of Broke Fordwich, Wonnarua country where my family has been growing grapes and making wine for more than 25 years. This unique sub region of the Hunter Valley is defined by the Fordwich Sill, which provides a strong buffering capacity due to enriched ionic concentration in the soil. In short, flavour is able to develop in full, without the sacrifice of acidity.
These wines favour vineyard personality over technical precision. Artifice is eschewed almost entirely, used simply to frame the distinctive fruit profile of our sites. We are extremely proud of our 100 hectares of self-managed, sustainably certified vines and these wines intend to provide a lens for our love of farming and gentle hand in the winery.
-OLLIE MARGAN, 3rd Generation Grape Grower
TELMO RODRIGUEZ DEHESA GAGO TEMPRANILLO 2018
SOFT CONCRETE CRANBERRY
Fresh bright Tempranillo, lively fruit solidified with softened tannins and polished with the aid of large concrete and wooden vats. A playful yet serious drop.
From the Distributor: Glac̩ cherry and dark fruit tea, with touches of smoky brush, pepperminty and whole-of-orchard balsalm and florals. There's husky spice, with the powerful silt-clay soils of Toro are in clear evidence underneath. All lovely and exuberant, but the real point with this wine is just how delicate and pared back it is compared to the Toro norm. Unwooded (aged in concrete and old wood vats) it's not fruity, not raw, not heavy, just a beautifully moderated fruit riot organised on glorious, gravelly, grip-and-release fruit tannins. Simple and special, with spread and reach, never sweet, heavy nor lumpy.
RAINOLDI ALPI RETICHE NEBBIOLO 2019
MOUNTAIN STRAWBERRY FINE
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
A beautifully classic Nebbiolo from a mountainous Organic vineyard in Valtellina. Aged in large Slovenian oak, the wine is able to remain honest offering Mountain herbs, red fruits, tobacco and wet stone.
From The Distributor: Rainoldi is a fourth-generation family wine business that was founded amid a climate of poverty and emigration in 1920s Valtellina. The current owners, Aldo and Michela Rainoldi, practice organic, non-interventionist farming and age their wines in traditional large Slavonian oak. Their wines are honest, pure and of the highest order - easily producing some of the finest suites of Nebbiolo in the world.
‘Alpi Retiche’ is a smashing entry level while the humble Rosso showcases Valtellina, walking a line between smokey, savoury alpine herbs and a core of delicious little red fruits. Their Inferno Superiore showcases the rocky appellation with ripeness, tobacco and wet stone minerality. The sublime Sassella Superiore Riserva is a pinnacle of the region, spending two years in cask and one in bottle before release. It is elegantly intense and loaded with strawberry, baking spice and violet.
Valtellina is a unique territory, rich in history, culture and biodiversity. It is located in the far north of Italy, in Lombardy, in a special climatic position. It is considered the most important mountain vine-growing region in Italy, the third in Europe. It is the second-largest Nebbiolo producing region in the world.
The mountains are said to put their signature on the wines of Valtellina and, not surprisingly, the Nebbiolo grapes from this valley express the rocks and mountain. For this reason, it is unique, special, elegant, contemporary, but at the same time, beyond time and timeless. In Valtellina, the vineyards hang from the mountains, suspended on spectacular terraces made of dry-stone walls. They are nestled in the woods, able to capture and store the heat of the sun. A sort of Mediterranean scrub in the heart of the Alps, where cacti, agaves and olive trees grow. This biodiversity typical of Valtellina transmits a “Valtellina style” to the grapes and wines, a style projected into the future, designed with the values of sustainability, respectful of nature and the environment.
OCCHIPINTI SP68 NERO FRAPPATO 2019
COULIS DRIVE YUM
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Frappato and Nero D'Avola grown at 280masl. The fruit spends 15 days on skins before being aged in concrete tanks for a handful of months. The resulting wine is youthful and full of vibrant primary fruit.
From the Producer: SP68 is a road but it is also a young wine. Cool and pleasant, with a delicate taste that it brings the flavour of the sun and the freshness of this land. Everything begun seventeen years ago in the ”Fossa di Lupo” area. A place where the land in the evening becomes redish and is brushed by the Ibleian winds and leans on one side of a road: the County Road 68. A county road like many others, but with a special past. It was once a stone narrow path; three thousand years ago it connected Gela to Kamarina, it travelled- as it still does - through the Cerasuolo di Vittoria roads hills and from Caltagirone continued to Catania and Lentini. There, squeezed between heaven and earth, that road also marked my destiny. In the first hectare of land next to my palmento, in Fossa di Lupo District, others followed.
The firm grew into the Bombolieri, Pettineo and Bastonaca Districts, Yet, everything is still the same as in the first year. Bombolieri is also located on the County Road 68. The vineyard here enlarges and it stoops onto the limestone base of the area, the vineyards are twenty years old if not more, and the court on which the wineries raise themselves is able to trap all the strength of the Ibleian sun. Nowhere else I can feel to have been walking on a coherent road. Never as in Bombolieri I can feel that I'm carrying with me past and future at the same time. It was the oldest wine route ever documented. That road was used by generations of farmers to bring their own wine to the coast.
MINIM SHAYS FLAT GRENACHE 2020
LAYERED FORWARD BERRY
EDGY CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
The Shay's flat is a surging fruit-forward Grenache. The wine deserves a good splash to soften it up and showcase the breadth of what is under the bonnet. Restrained oak has allowed tart berries and an array of other red-fruited classics to shine through.
From the Producer: From the Certified Organic Shay’s Flat vineyard farmed by M.Chapoutier in the Pyrenees, I’m deliriously happy to be working with Grenache again and to wrap my head around a new region! Old, deep Cambrian-Ordovician sandstones and shales through the valley, long weathered and friable with rolling steep hills surrounding the valley. It's a great spot and has a long history with grape farming. Picked for balance, the fruit came in with big ripe red fruit flavours and plenty of natural acids. Often to get that depth of flavour with Grenache it comes with a sacrifice of acid, but here the fruit is farmed well and in the right spot. We handpicked deep into March and esteemed all but 25% of the fruit, fermenting both bunch and berry in one big pot which was wrapped and gassed early to encourage carbonic maceration. Cracking the pot open after 3 days we worked the fruit a little with occasional pump-overs to pull some colour and tannin, with the ferment pressed after 3 weeks total maceration. Moved to seasoned puncheons and barriques for a 10-month rest then bottled in late January of 2021 with a small sulphur addition.
LUCIANO SANDRONE VALMAGGIORE NEBBIOLO 2017
HERB SOFT PURE
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Mouthfeel and felt, a texture driven wine with a subtle nose that leans toward wet rock rather than fruit-forward. a unique steep undulating subregion that sits on chalky sand. A beautiful insight into the versatility of nebbiolo.
From the producer: The Sandrone family farm is a continuous, three-hectare vineyard in the Valmaggiore area of Roero that they planted themselves in early 1990's. This is an extremely steep (50% gradient in places) and spectacularly beautiful terraced vineyard planted to a high density of 8,000 vines per hectare. The soil here, comprised of almost pure sand, littered with limestone fossils (i.e. chalky sand), gifts a remarkably perfumed and elegant expression of Nebbiolo, quite distinct from the denser styles of wine produced in the clay rich soils of Barolo and Barbaresco. The Valmaggiore vineyard is farmed meticulously and organically, and a strict sorting occurs each year to reach the level of purity and intensity we see in the glass today. Of course vine age is playing an ever greater role in the quality of this wine being released each year, and this is clearly one of the best examples we have shipped. Deep, fragrant and age-worthy, the 2017 offers up notes of dark cherry, pomegranate and tea, while the palate is super-fine, tightly wound and classy. There is superb purity of fruit and fine yet abundant tannins. If drinking now, the decanter is your friend. It will be even better with 5-10 years in the cellar.
"With scorching heat and little rain overall, there was reason for worry during the 2017 growing season at large, but in the Roero zone by the banks of the Tanaro river, the hilly Valmaggiore vineyards received more rain than other parts of Piedmont, so these grapes did not suffer as much. Lovely notes of red rose and some herbal tones appear on the nose of the 2017 Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore, coupled with balsam, spice and rosemary. It's voluminous in the mouth, and while the Le Vigne Barolo tends to be the most floral and delicately ethereal of Sandrone's release, this bouquet is distinctive in its own way. It would be a nice pair with a mushroom risotto." 92 points, Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate
"The 2017 Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore is bright, fruity and absolutely delicious. The warm vintage seems to have given the Valmaggiore an extra kick of mid-palate sweetness, which is not a bad thing for a wine that can at times be a bit lean. Sweet red berry fruit and floral notes are nicely pushed forward. The 2017 will benefit from a few years in bottle, which will allow the aromatics to develop, but it is impeccable in its balance and super-classy, even in the early going." 92 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous
LA VRILLE + LE PAPILLON LA TRIBU GRENACHE 2019
CHERRY SPICE CASSIS
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Grenache fermented for 6 days on skins. Aged on Lees in inert vessels before being sent to bottle without Sulphur. Fruit forward with bright cherries, cassis and henna. Unfiltered, unfined - raw.
From the Distributor: The region of Ardeche lies on the cusp between Northern and Southern Rhone. On the western bank of the river, up in the hills, is an affordable and dynamic wine area where an increasing number of young wine growers work with the same varieties as its well known neighbour. La Vrille et le Papillon (the tendril and the butterfly) is located in Valvigneres, the epi-centre of the Ardèche natural wine scene.
Meryl Croizier’s connection to vines and agriculture in Ardeche runs deep, his grandparents were vignerons and farmers. At the age of 18 Meryl spent vintage working with Gerald and Jocelyne Oustric at Domaine du Mazel, ecological producers for over 20 years, also located in Valvigneres. These brothers have been instrumental in the growth and nurturing of new winemakers in the area, renting vines to Sylvain Bock and Andrea Calek at the beginning of their wine paths. Meryl subsequently completed formal studies of Agriculture in Dijon and Oneology in Montpellier.
In 2012 Meryl and Geraldine, with three young children in tow, returned to the family vineyards to commence their own project. It was time to settle having spent many years travelling with Meryl working from the Macon through to the Madiran in the south west.
They have 5 hectares of vines comprised of Syrah, Merlot, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier and Ugni Blanc, planted on clay limestone soils with lots of pebbley rocks. They converted the handful of small plots that were not already farmed as such to organics, eschewing herbicides and pesticides. Since 2014 they have introduced tisanes and biodynamic practices also.
For their first two harvests, 2012 and 2013, Meryl and Geraldine made their wine in cellars belonging to friends. By 2014 their own cellar was complete and Le Vrille et la Papillon’s home was established. Vinification is done with wild yeasts only, the wines do not go through fining or filtration.
These wines have purity, vibrancy and freshness along with structure and acidity. They offer exceptional value as well as drinking pleasure.
CHAI SAINT ETIENNNE COTEAUX DU QUERCY CABERNET FRANC COT 2016
SAVOURY BALANCED LAYERED
CLASSIC / 750ML
A small family operation based in one of the smallest appellations in France, Coteaux du Quercy. A red blend revolving around ripe Cabernet. Elegantly structured with a plush wedge of Merlot that makes it oh so approachable. Also, the wine is made by one of the nicest families in Europe.
From the Producer: Located just 20 minutes from Cahors, the estate has been run by generations of Gisbert vignerons since 1778, focused on making wine to be shared amongst good company (and preferably over long lunches). The vineyard is nestled between fields of sunflowers and fruit trees, with vines wrapping around the church of Saint Etienne- its bell tower keeping watch over the grapes.
Making the best wine possible from sustainable vinification methods is primary for our family, sticking to tried and tested processes from generations past, in order to create balanced and elegant Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Côt blends, as well as delicious Cabernet Franc and Rosé. Camille and son Roger knew they were on the right track as the land was cultivated for vines, finding multiple reminders of the Roman ambitions to also make wine on the site. The remnants of amphora, and of course the mosaics, continue to serve as a reminder of simple, yet effective, winemaking.
CELLARIO BARBERA 3L
CONCRETE PARK YUM
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
Produced by a third-generation grower based in the small town of Carru. The fruit is hand harvest on soft marl soils. The wine is macerated for a short period of time before spending 12 months in concrete vessels. Clean, pretty acid-driven Barbera fit for any park outing.
CAVES DE DONNAS VALLÉE D'AOSTE NEBBIOLO BARMET 2019
VALLEE D'AOSTA, ITALY
PETALS GENEROUS EXPRESSIVE
CLASSIC / MOUNTAIN WINE / 750ML
Located 300masl, the Nebbiolo is trellised to form large pergolas that skirt the undulating landscape. A vibrant fruit-forward wine offering ripe cherries and a moreish wet stone minerality laced throughout the mid palate.
From the Producer: The Barmet is a young and fresh wine that recalls the genuineness and a little bit of the hardness of our territory. It takes its name from the small natural cellars (Barmet) obtained under the rocks located among the vineyards, fresh refreshment to hard work. A wine for the whole meal, it is an excellent match for cured meats, chestnut and bean soups, cabbage and ajucche soups.
In Donnas, Nebbiolo has always been cultivated, a vine for great reds for aging and of which we have news since 1200, cultivated in the Alba area, in the Langhe, in the Novarese area (with the name of Spanna), in the Valtellina (with the Chiavennasca appellation) and in the Lower Aosta Valley and Canavese (with the Picotendro or Picotener appellation). It requires a long pruning that is well suited to our pergolas; the most widely used rootstock is 420 A. Environmental factors (climate, soil, etc.) have influenced the characterization of the Nebbioli in the different areas, so much so that they recognize different biotypes in the CVT 423, CVT 415 and CVT 308 clones of our areas
CALYX WINE NEB NOIR 2019
PYRENEES + SUNBURY, VICTORIA
FRUIT TANNIN WARMTH
CLASSIC / 750ML
Fruit sourced from the Lakey Farm in Sunbury and the Malakoff vineyard in the Pyrenees. Equal parts destemmed Nebbiolo and whole bunch Pinot Noir. Cofermented and left on skins for three months before heading to oak. Vibrant acid, floral with a late grip. No filtration or fining and minimal S02. Fruit forward, tannin warmth.
From the producer: Calyx wine is produced and letterpress printed by Yuri Zinenko in a small shed surrounded by an acre of vines in Keilor, Melbourne. Everything is done on site, by hand with help from friends and family. Since 2019 I've been printing my labels on a Chandler and Price letterpress. I currently use 170gsm Awagami bamboo paper stock which I mount onto a double sided adhesive. It is then cut down on an ideal guillotine to get press ready. I hand feed and use a rubber-based ink to make the impression. Finally, I die cut the labels to shape and stick them on the bottles. Similar to my wine making it is a constant work in progress. I'm pumped to learn more and hopefully create some exciting new gear and labels in the future. Feel free to get in contact if you want any more info x. Also a huge thank you to Dan at seagull press for sharing your 50 years of printing knowledge.
BENOTTI ROSAVICA NEBIULINA NEBBIOLO 2020
LIGHT PERFUME UNOAKED
LEFT OF CENTRE / 750ML
A tiny producer making unoaked Nebbiolo from Roero, Langhe. The wine is pressed early and aged briefly in neutral vessels to retain as many aromatics as possible. It drinks like chilled herbal tea with rose petals. It has a refreshing light acidic sparkle.
From the Distributor: This is the style of Langhe Nebbiolo I have been looking for for years: a lighter and younger Nebbiolo with no oak as was traditional in this area ( we are in Roero, Langhe) according to some books from the 1800s. The soils here are sandier than in the southern part of Langhe and as a result, the wines have a little less shoulder but very pretty perfumes.
This Nebbiolo goes under an 8 days maceration in cement with very few pumps over, in order to avoid too much extraction; then finishes to ferment and age in cement.
This is a tiny producer I had the luck to meet through our common friend Olek Bondonio; The two family vineyards, Bric in Priocca and San Michele in Govone are both located at about 250m a.s.l and together comprise a little under 1 ha; here Nebbiolo was co-planted with Barbera and Dolcetto - a common practice of the old days - but the different varieties are and always have been harvested and processed at different times.
ALESSANDRO E GIAN NATALE FANTINO CASCINA DARDI BUSSIA BAROLO NEBBIOLO 2013
VELVET PRIME PETAL
CLASSIC / 75OML
The Cascina Bussia is left on skins for a month before being aged in old Slavonian oak for 4 years. A very delicate Barolo, coming of age. The wine in still bursting with primary petals, but an earthy undertone is definitely edging forward. 2013 was a solid year in Barolo leading to distinct regional typicity.
Information sourced from Kermit + Lynch Wine Merchants
From Two brothers, Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino, run this family estate in Monforte d’Alba. Alessandro managed the vineyards and served as the enologist at Cantina Bartolo Mascarello for 20 years, from 1978 to 1997. Since 1998, he has dedicated himself to running his family estate alongside his brother full-time.
The brother's farm eight hectares in the heart of the historic Bussia cru north of Monforte, one of Barolo’s most famous areas for producing wines of great longevity and finesse. The Fantino holdings are concentrated exclusively in the “Dardi” section of Bussia, a hillside with perfect southern and southeastern exposure in the geographic centre of Bussia. This gives them their “Cascina Dardi” brand name on the label of their Barbera and Baroli (for those already familiar with these wines, they were formerly labelled as Vigna dei Dardi, before the brothers registered the Cascina Dardi trademark).
Barolos from Bussia tend to have deep colour and rich fruit and while they don’t lack the classic tannic structure of Nebbiolo from this part of the world, they are not nearly as hard as the Barolos from the southside of Monforte or from Serralunga. This fact does not preclude the Fantino Baroli from aging but makes them delightfully approachable relatively young. The Fantinos are also blessed with some of the oldest vines in the entire Barolo zone, thanks to the fastidious care given to them by Alessandro and Gian Natale. Planted in 1946 and 1947 and pruned in an old style that is very labour intensive, they produce grapes that would be the envy of any Barolista.
The Fantino brothers produce an amazing Barbera d’Alba from these ancient vines in Dardi, and a “Rosso dei Dardi” from younger vine Nebbiolo planted on a west-facing slope. The Barbera is loaded with lush fruit and smooth, silky texture, and a ravishing perfume. The Rosso is playful, fruit-driven, fresh, and aromatic. They are also specialists with several traditional Piemontese wines that are mostly disappearing: Nebbiolo Passito and Barolo Chinato.
4 KILOS VINICOLA CALLET 2018
QUINCE POMEGRANATE TEA
CLASSIC / ORGANIC / 750ML
The most distinctive wines in the world are made by passionate growers who work with varieties suited to their patch of land. Callet is one of these varieties, symbiotic with the ferrous rock, picturesque countryside and the salty sea breeze that is the island of Mallorca. 4 Kilos Vinicola is one of these producers making one of our favourite examples of this unique variety. The wine is delicate with a notable savoury salinity. There is muchas textural quince, pomegranate and a black tea grip. It is a wine for food or the fireplace. Seriously delicious.
From the distributor: A kilo is old Spanish slang for a million pesetas (in today's money, about 6000 euros. Project owners Francesc Grimalt and Sergio Caballero, started the business by chipping in 2 kilos each - 4 kilos. Mallorca yields definitively Mediterranean wines - it's warm, but fresh and its climate is surprisingly conducive to good wine, and 4 Kilos is clearly the leader in quality and style. Mallorca is home to two discrete appellations: DO Binissalem Mallorca in the North-West and DO Pla i Llevant in the South-East of the island, and 4 Kilos make wines from both regions. Located in the triangle between Sardinia, Tunisia and Barcelona, Mallorca yields definitively Mediterranean wines. Warm, but fresh, the climate is surprisingly conducive to good wine. There are some unremarkable local white varieties - Prensal blanc and others, and a bit of Chardonnay too, but the Callet and Manto Negro red wines are what count. Of several decent wines made nowadays on Mallorca, 4 Kilos is clearly the leader in quality and style.
PITTINAUER PITTI BLEND 2018
TOBACCO TIGHT DARK
CLASSIC / 750ML
From the Distributor: The 2018 Pitti red’s attractive bouquet shows dark blackberry, nuances of tobacco and a bit of liquorice. The palate has tight tannins with black berries. It’s complex with fresh acid structure and potential to develop nicely in the medium term. – Gerhard Pittnauer
It’s 20-odd years since Gerhard and Brigitte Pittnauer took over the winery in Gols near Lake Neusiedl in Burgenland, bordering Hungary at the eastern edge of Austria. Over that time they’ve pushed the boundaries of Austrian red winemaking, in particular with St Laurent and Zweigelt. But then there’s the Blaufränkisch and – have you ever tried Burgenland Pinot Noir? You must. In 2001 the construction of the fittingly striking production hall in the middle of the vineyards allowed for a quantum jump in quality and quantity.