Wine & Bubbles
Wine by the Glass ~ 4oz
Bubbly by the glass ~
2010 Raventós i Blanc Reserva Brut Cava Penedes, Spain ~ $8.5gls $36btl
Raventos is one of our favorite estates in Catalonia. The families’ winemaking roots dates back over 500 years in Penedes, and the exceptional quality of their wines further proves their passion. This biodynamic blend of 60% Macabeo, 20% Parellada and 20% Xarel-lo is expansive and elegant. It spends a minimum of 15 months on the lees, and shows a beautiful balance of minerality, white peach, fresh floral notes and brioche.
NV Catherine et Pierre Breton “La Dilettante” Vouvray Loire Valley, France ~ $10gls $44btl
100% Chenin Blanc, this natural Loire sparkler is a long time favorite of ours and the perfect wine for any occasion. Catherine Breton is the driving force behind this estate’s Vouvray holdings; everything is farmed organically, vinified without manipulation, and this methode traditionelle has a minimal dosage to preserve the wines sense of terroir. It’s texture instantly grabs your attention while flavors of apricot, white lily, toasted croissant, and sandy limestone please the palate.
White by the glass ~
2009 Prager “Klaus” Riesling Smaragd 14.5%abv Wachau, Austria ~ $12.5gls $56btl
Toni Bodenstein of Prager is one of Austria’s most prominent producers and it’s a rarity to see one of his top bottlings by the glass. Only a few very fortunate estates have holdings on the Klaus vineyard and Toni’s 60+ year-old vines are among the storied sites best. This dry Riesling brilliantly display Klaus’s unique underlying minerality with ample viscousity and a seemingly endless palate full of passionfruit. pineapple, spearmint, orange blossom, bacon fat, botrytis, and a whole lot more…
2010 Carl Loewen”Leiwener Klostergarten” Rielsing Kabinett 8%abv Mosel, Germany ~ $9gls $38btl
We couldn’t pass up the oppurtunity to show this lovely kabinett from one of our favorite producers in the Mosel. Carl’s dedicated to tradition and letting his storied vineyard sites speak for themselves through his remarkable Rieslings. This “10 Klostergarten is showing low-moderate sweetness with concentrated flavors of key lime, green apple, breakfast radish, and a huge finish full of slatey minerals.
2011 Belle Pente “Belle Oiseau” Pinot Gris/Riesling/Muscat Willamette Valley, Oregon ~ $8.5gls $36btl
This lovely bone-dry aromatic Alsatian-style blend comes from a Rootstock favorite Oregon producer Brian O’Donnell. His biodynamic farming methods and natual ferments gracefully display the nuances of his vatietals alongside Willamette’s exeptional terroir. This acid-driven blend is perfect warm weather drinking with aromas and flavors of citrus zest, lavender, sea spray, sage, taut minerals, and a long refreshing finish.
2011 Le Petit Chambord Romorantin Cour-Cheverny Loire Valley, France ~ $8.5gls $36btl
Francois Cazin may own the oldest (80+ years) Romorantin vines on the planet. This ancient varietal indigenous to the Loire Valley is a Rootstock favorite with its high acidity and mineral driven structure. Francois’s natural approach helps him craft angular vibrant wines like this his ‘11 is fuller-bodied with plenty of acidity and delicate flavors of orchard fruit, olive oil, smokey flint, granite and finish that seems to last all night.
2011 Petit Roubié Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux du Languedoc, France ~ $8.5gls $36btl
This is the finest Picpoul we’ve ever tasted! Floriane and Olivier Azan are dedicated organic farmers who vinify their wines without manipulation of any kind. We love how this bottling expresses their sunny Southern French terroir with a ripe viscious palate feel and flavors of chalky minerals, tropical fruit, soft herbs, grapefruit pith and saliva inducing acidity.
2011 Pattes Loup (Thomas Pico) “Vent d’Ange” Chardonnay Chablis, France ~ $12gls $54btl
Thomas Pico continues to be widely regarded as one of the most exciting young producers in all of France! Under the tutelage of Alice and Olivier DeMoor – our favorite Chablis producers- he’s discovered the importance of natural farming and a hands off approach in the cellar. This Chablis from 60+ year-old vines is fermented in stainless steel and concrete showing racy acidity and a palate full of crisp green apple, creamy lees, sea spray, lemon zest, flint and a long persistant finsh. A new Rootstock favorite!
2012 Occhipinti “SP68” Albanello/Zibbibo IGT Sicily, Italy ~ $12gls $54btl
This is the best vintage we’ve tasted of this aromatic blend from Arianna Occhipinti. Her all natural approach really shines here showing an endless bouquet of fresh floral notes, damp stones, and tropical fruit. It’s viscious texture and high-acidity really lift the palate as it displays flavors of lycee, lemon zest, cardamom, slate, and green grape skin.
Rose by the glass ~
2012 ArretxeaTannat/Cabernet Franc Irouléguy, France ~ $9.5gls $42btl
Located in the southwest corner of France, this Basque region produces concentrated full-bodied rosés perfect for Winter drinking. Organic farming, natural fermentations, and distinct mineral expression are just a few reasons why the wines of Arretxea are widely regarded as the regions best. Their deep ruby rosé is brilliantly balanced showing bright bing cherry, crisp green apple, black pepper, mountain herbs, sea salt and more…
Red by the glass ~
2009 Unti “Green House Zin” Zinfandel Blend Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County ~ $8.5gls $36btl
Mick Unti has been a long time friend of ours at Rootstock and is definitely one of the top biodynamic producers in California. 2009 is the first vintage of this atypical Sonoma Zin Chicago’s ever seen! It’s a lighter-bodied “throw-back” bottling that pays tribute to Zinfandel of old, with a wonderfully integrated palate of bright red fruit, baking spice, minerality, and tasty delicate tannin which begs for a second glass.
2010 Guiberteau “Domaine Rouge” Cabernet Franc Samur, Loire Valley, France ~ $10gls $44btl
This incredibly sleek Cab Franc is perfect cold weather drinking. The combination of 55-65 year-old vines and Romain Guiberteau’s dedication to biodynamic farming have lent this bottling stunning varietal character and a unique mineral expression. Fermented naturally in concrete, it’s medium-bodied wiith bright acidity and flavors of red currant, violets, chalk, anise, black olive, potting clay and a long finish full of restrained dusty tannin.
2011 Rouge-Bleu “Mistral” Grenache blend Cote du Rhone, France ~ $9.5gls $42btl
Rouge-Bleu is a new estate to us at Rootstock and we couldn’t be more thrilled to offer this organically farmed old-vine CDR by the glass! Their philosophy in the winery is completely focused on terroir expression; by using only ambient yeast fermentations in large concrete tanks and tiny sulfur additions before bottling their wines greatly display the soul of the sunny Southern Rhone. This full-bodied Grenache led blend is taut with fresh acidity and flavors of black currant, iron, smoked meat, sage, gravel and a very satisfying dry finish.
2010 Hauvette “Le Roucas” Grenache blend Les Baux de Provence, France ~ $10gls $44btl
In 1988, just after her father purchased a neighbors property with 2.5 hectacres of vines, Dominique Hauvette started to work the family’s vineyards. She began with no viticultural or oenological experience, just a strong passion for organic farming. In the winery her approach has always been simple, ambient yeast ferments and little to no sulfur at bottling. This medium-full bodied blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cab Sauv has developed beautifully in the bottle with a silky texture, fine tannins and flavors cassis, plum, provencal herbs, and a cool mineral driven finish showing Dominique’s remarkable Mediterranean terroir.
2008 Domaine Mercouri Refosco/Mavrodaphne Vin des Letinon, Greece ~ $9gls $38btl
From the western edge of the Peloponnesus, from a place surrounded by palm trees and pines and a salty sea breeze, comes this stately, Burgundian blend of Refosco and Mavrodaphne, delivering lean sour-cherry, black raspberry and tobacco, violets and rosemary, all held in the firm yet gentle grip of burnt cinnamon and cedar tannins. We’re simply delighted we can pour this for you–the sexiest red you’ll sip all year, we swear.
2010 Becker Estate Pinot Noir Pfalz, Germany ~ $9gls $38btl
Becker has been a leading German Spatburgunder a.k.a. Pinot Noir producer for over 4 decades. Fritz Jr. took over for his father in ’05 and we believe the wines have never been better. Their style shows everything we love about German Pinot, this wines delicate texture and elevating acidity move gracefully across your palate displaying flavors of bright red fruit, rhubarb, salty minerals and subtle spice on the finish.
2008 Napolini Sangiovese/Sagrantino Montefalco, Italy ~ $8.5gls $36btl
This biodynamic blend of mostly Sangiovese and Sagrantino with traces of Montepulciano di Abruzzo and Merlot is one of the more facinating Central Italian reds we’ve tried in a long time. A 20-day maceration followed by long-aging in large Slavonian oak casks have lent this bottling deep aromatics and dark flavors of dried brambly fruit, smoked game, bitter herbs, and dusty tannin. Try it with cheese and charcuterie!
2012 Clos Ouvert (Louis-Antoine Luyt) “Primavera” Carignan Blend Maule Valley, Chile ~ $9gls $38btl
This natural blend of Carignan, Carmenere, Pais and Cabrnet Sauvignon is one of our favorite wines coming out of South America. After several vintages working with Marcel Lapierre, Louis-Antoine a Burgundy native, left France for Chile in search of new exciting terroir. This bottling shows several of the exciting sites he’s found including Pais vines between 200-300 years old!!!
2012 Occhipinti “SP68” Nero D’Avola & Frappato Sicily, Italy ~ $12gls $54btl
We are thrilled to offer this medium-bodied blend from one of our favorite Sicilian producers Arianna Occhipinti! She only ferments on ambient yeast and this bottling stayed in contact with the skins for 30 days(!), it’s then bottled without filtration and little to no SO2. Frappato adds a bright streak of acidity while Nero D’Avola’s inherent richness and fruit character adds darkness and depth. We don’t have much, so get it while you can!
2011 Hermanos de Domingo Molina Malbec/Tannat Valle de Cafayate, Salta, Argentina ~ $9gls $38btl
Salta’s a lesser-known region in northwestern Argrentina. The areas high elevation. terrific sun exposure, and long growing season lends the fruit produced here greater depth and character than what we’re used to seeing from Mendoza. This blend of 70% Malbec and 30% Tannat is a great representation of the zone showing a silky palate feel, moderate tannin, and flavors of raspberry, dark chocolate, black pepper, anise, and plum.
Bottle List ~ white
2010 Alice et Olivier de Moor Bourgogne Chitry, Burgundy ~ $45
Alice and Olivier have farmed organic since ’05; furthermore in the cellar they are a couple of the most “natural” producers in Burgundy. Chitry is just SW of Chablis, with which it shares very similar soil composition. This finessed Chardonnay will heighten your senses with fresh acidity, lean citrus fruit, a mild oxidative almond-y character and a huge mineral presence.
2010 Alice et Olivier de Moor “Coteau de Rosette” Chablis, Burgundy ~ $68
Alice and Olivier have farmed organic since ’05; furthermore, in the cellar they are a couple of the most “natural” producers in Chablis. This medium-bodied “Rosette” is all about purity and tension with evidence of the ’10 vintage’s freshness. It’s generous texture and racy acidity adds depth to a crisp palate of fresh citrus, stone fruit, white lily, and a finish full of crunchy minerals.
2010 Jean-Yves Péron “Côtillon des dames” Vin de France (Savoie) ~ $68
This invigorating orange wine is from one of the most exciting young producers in France. Jean-Yves farms all of his vineyards by hand and bottles without the use of sulfur. This 100% Jacquères from 100+ year-old vines is wonderfully refreshing with tart Basque cidre-esqe fruit, pronounced lees, bracing acidity, and a cool mineral tension that makes it difficult to put your glass down.
2006 Michel Gahier “Les Crets” Chardonnay Arbois, Jura ~ $50
This bottling is relentless; the earnest and humble Michel Gahier continues to amaze us letting his grapes, surroundings, and natural approach honestly display themselves in each of his carefully crafted wines. This oxidative ’06 Chardonnay has persistent acidity and well-integrated flavors of green apple, toasted almond, white pepper, and a savory sherry-esque umami quality.
2008 Jacques Puffney Savagnin Arbois, Jura ~ $75
With over 50 years experience, Jacques has become one of the most iconic producers in the Jura. He closely follows the regions undying traditions of natural farming, hand-harvesting and long barrel-aging sous-voile (under a naturally occurring veil of yeast) which develops an oxidative character in this wine that’s unique to the region. This Savignin is one of the finest examples of the varietal and region we’ve found. One experience with this wine could completely change your perception of what this Alpine region is, was, and, in our opinion, should forever be.
2010 La Pépière (Marc Ollivier) “Clisson” Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, Loire Valley ~ $50
Marc Ollivier is one of our favorite producers in the Loire Valley. The poor granite-rich soils of the Clisson vineyard lend this wine a lean mineral transparency most producers in Muscadet could only dream of. This ’10 Clisson is drinking beautifully in its youth; the extended lees aging adds depth to this wines already sublime texture, while flavors of key lime, white lily, green apple and almond give way to a dry finish full of chalky oyster shell-esqe minerality.
2010 Thomas-Labaille “Cuvee Buster” Sancerre, Loire Valley ~ $60
This single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc was grown on the steep slopes of the Mont Damnés, which many argue to be Sancerre’s very best site. It instantly grabs your attention with the interplay of taught minerals, racy acidity and focused lean fruit flavors. Stylistically, the proprietor and winemaker, Jean-Paul Labaille is as hands off as they come to ensure that each of his Sancerre’s are able show their place in history.
1985 Huet “Clos de Bourg” Moelleux Vouvray. Loire Valley ~ $150
With a history of nearly 1500 years, Vouvray’s Clos du Bourg is one of the Loire Valleys most storied sites. The vineyard’s comprised entirely of structure yielding hard limestone, which has kept this 1/4-century-old Chenin Blanc particularly youthful. This Moelleux has moderate sweetness and nicely integrated flavors of ripe white peach, sea-salt, quince, lanolin, alpine-style cheese, and almond, while the finish is long, lean, and incredibly satisfying.
Italy & Slovenia ~
2009 Ferrando “La Torrazza” Erbaluce di Caluso, Italy ~ $38
Luigi Ferrando is the leading producer of Erbaluce (‘shining grass’); next to Greco, it’s the most evocative white varietal in Italy – it’s definitely a nighttime wine – showing a ghostly sense of jasmine, guava, mint, fading honeysuckle, and summer love . . .
2009 Monastero Suore Cistercensi “Coenobium” Lazio, Italy ~ $44
Crafted by the sisters (nun wine!) of a Cistercian monastery in the central Italian town of Vitorchiano. The iconic Giampiero Bea guides them as they vinifiy this blend of Verdicchio, Grechetto and Trebbiano more like a red wine. Keeping the juice in contact with the skins and lees for an extended period of time results in a deeply layered and complex wine showing a huge mineral presence and flavors of baked apple, toasted almond, mountain herbs and a touch of grape tannin. Amazing!
2011 Cirelli “Amphora” Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy ~ $58
This is one of the coolest Trebbiano’s around! All organic, the juice is left in contact with the skins for 20 days in clay amphora then the two are separated and the juice is returned to the amphora where it continues to rest for an additional 120 days. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered, displaying cool clarity and freshness with flavors of tropical fruit, green grape skin, white flowers, chalky minerals and persistent acidity.
2006 Movia “Veliko” Brda, Slovenia ~ $75
Wow! This Veliko took our breath away… Alec Kristancic’s biodynamic blend of mostly Ribolla, with 20% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Sivi Pinot (Pinot Grigio) is nothing short of spectacular. It’s built to last through ambient yeast fermention, used Slovenian oak aging, 3 years of lees contact and bottling without filtration of any type. There is a delicate balance of richness and youth here. The acidity is bright while the finely wound flavors are quickly amplified with a few minutes in the glass.
2011 Domaine Sigalas “Steel Fermented” Santorini ~ $42
Some of the oldest roots on the planet produce this steely, electric marvel by our friend Paris Sigalas. Once upon a time a volcano pushed this island to double in size, then blew up the better half–and it seems they’ve been growing Assyrtiko ever since. Here we have a perfect wine for seafood and vegetables, bright and lively, with searing acidity, gripping minerality, lean salt-taffy–and if left in the bottle it would outlive us all.
2011 Skouras Moscofilero Peloponnese ~ $36
For George Skouras this wine is about light and freshness–only the free-run juice is used here, and the grapes are chilled if necessary to ensure the skins impart as little color, tannins, or extra weight to the wine as possible. The result is sunshine in a bottle: bright, joyful acidity that is positively refreshing radiates ripe peaches and honeysuckle, a touch of passion fruit and guava, and a long orange-rind finish. Great with a salad, perfect for seafood, and brilliant for breakfast.
2010 Viña Mein Field Blend Ribeiro ~ $38
Founded in 1988, by Javier Alen, with a vision of bringing Galician wine back to its truest form by planting only the varietals that have been cultivated in the region for nearly 1000 years. An invigorating wine, containing 7 grape varitetals, shows how diversity can bring out subtle complexities and sharpen your palate. The wines light, finessed, and slightly viscous showing fleshy fruit, primal rock, and a touch of spearmint.
2010 Mendall “Finca Abeurador” Macabeu Terre Alta ~ $55
We’re thrilled to offer this Catalonian gem! This wine actually came about by accident; in 2002, Mendall’s winemaker, Laureano Serres forgot to add sulfur to one of his tanks and when it came time to bottle he realized his mistake and found that he actually preferred the tank of un-sulfured orange wine to the rest. This bottling is orange in color and delicately textured; on the nose it’s very cider-esqe with aromas of cooked apple and fresh yeast, while the palate is cool and complex, showing flavors of green apple, white pepper, plum, fresh baked brioche, marjoram, and much more…
Germany & Austria ~
2011 Leitz “Eins Zwei Dry” Riesling Trocken Rheingau, Germany ~ $36
Johannes Leitz is a dear friend to all of us at Rootstock. We’re thrilled to show his Trocken (DRY) Riesling. This wine drinks clean as a whistle; cool acidity leads the palate through a wide array of flavors mandarin orange, key lime, and minerals. The perfect white to start your evening…
2010 Donnhoff Tonschiefer Riesling Trocken Nahe, Germany ~ $50
This dry Riesling from one of the world’s top estates has everything we love in the style. Firm and linear with balanced flavors of fruit, fresh flowers and caraway. The bright acidity and mouthwatering gray slate minerals show the best of the Nahe. Don’t miss this one!
2008 Hexamer Riesling Quartzit Reserve Nahe, Germany ~ $44
We’ve all shared a certain fondness for Harold Hexamer since visiting his estate in 2007. We are super excited to offer the first vintage of this Quartzit Reserve. 25% of this Riesling underwent a spontaneous 12-month fermentation in a 1200L cask. It was then blended with the other 75% in stainless steel where it sat on the fine lees for 12 months. The result of all of these processes is remarkable. The wine sweetness is balanced by its leesy tones, fresh acidity and Chartreuse-like herbal spiciness.
2009 Schlossgut Diel “Dorsheim Pittermännchen” Riesling Spätlese Nahe, Germany ~ $55
Armin Diel, author, wine jounalist and critic, is widely recognized as one of thee most influential winemaker/writers in Germany. With the help of his daughter Caroline, they craft some of the best Riesling in the Nahe. The Pittermannchen is a tiny south-facing site full of gray slate and quartz which is clearly displayed on the palate here. This racy Spatlese shows flavors of strawberries and cream, passion fruit, and tangerine quickly give way to a long mineral driven finish.
2010 Selbach-Oster Gracherer Domprobst Riesling Spatlese Mosel, Germany ~ $58
This wine combines the brilliance of three things (1) Johannes Selbach, (2) one of our favorite Mosel vineyard sites the Gracherer Domprobst, and (3) the highly regarded 2010 vintage. It’s definitely on the richer side of Spatlese showing a harmonious balance of fresh acidity and residual sweetness, with concentrated flavors of tropical fruit, vanilla, mint, Devonian slate and so much more…
2007 Schmitt-Wagner Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Riesling Spatlese Mosel, Germany ~ $44
The storied Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg is a favorite Mosel vineyard which was purchased by the Schmitt-Wagner family from Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804. The site is comprised entirely of ancient Devonian (blue) slate and some of these ungrafted vines where planted as early as 1893! This ’07 Spatlese is pitch-perfect with nervy acidity, moderate sweetness, plenty of slatey minerals and taut orchard fruit.
2007 Willi Schaefer Gracherer Dombprobst Riesling Spätlese #12 Mosel, Germany ~ $60
Each vintage, Willi and his son Christof will make several passes through his vineyards, only harvesting his grapes once they’ve achieved optimum ripeness. In the cellar each harvest is then vinified separately, and Willi will meticulously go barrel-to-barrel tasting the wines in search of the few barrels that may outshine the rest. When an extraordinary barrel is found he wont use that wine for his blend, he’ll simply bottle it on its own and label it with the barrel #. This Spatlese #12 is rich, tropical, and elegant, with lively acidity, sweet fruit flavors of guava, candied grapefruit and apricot with a huge mineral presence. If you’ve never had one of Willi’s wines this is a terrific place to start.
2007 Meulenhof Erdener Prälat Riesling Spätlese Mosel, Germany ~ $50
From one of Germanys “Grand Crus” the Erdener Pralat is a Rootstock favorite. It stays extraordinarily warm; the red slate soaks up the heat of the sun all day, and then gently releases it back on to the grapes above throughout the cold evenings. Stephan Justen of Meulenhof is one of 7 very-lucky major producers to own a plot on this tiny site. This wine is slightly weighty with rich aromatics of white peach, potting clay and starfruit. It’s acidity lifts the palate while flavors of sweet mango, fresh spearmint, guava, and ginger gently unravel.
2010 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese “Goldkapsel” Nahe, Germany (375 ml) ~ $78
Another gem from one of our favorite producers! This Auslese comes off a bit drier than it actually is due to the lack of botrytis (about 30%) and abundance of gray-slate-like minerals on the palate. For an Auslese it’s showing nicely in its youth with nervy acidity, transparent stone fruit, lilac and lovely honeyed botrytis notes coming on the finish.
2010 Wimmer-Czerny Roter Veltliner Wagram, Austria ~ $45
Roter Veltliner – a very low-yielding ancient Austrian grape varietal – used to dominate the landscape. Over a century ago nearly all the Roter was replaced with the much higher yielding Gruner Veltliner, leaving Roter to go nearly extinct. Hans Czerny is one of several producers to resurrect Austrias once noble grape, it’s thicker skins and naturally high acidity give it incredible aging potential, while it’s medium to lighter body, fresh citrus, and spice driven flavors make it lovely to consume young.
2010 Nikolaihof Gelber Muskateller Wachau, Austria ~ $55
After a visit to Nikolaihof in 2009, we left Austria absolutely smitten by this wine. Gelber Muskateller, a.k.a Yellow Muscat, is a naturally aromatic varietal and Nikolaihof’s young winemaker Nikolaus Saahs’s ability to display that same freshness on the palate is superlative. This wine is bright and floral showing lavender, black currant, orange peel, spicy sassafras and a whole lot more.
2006 Franz Hirtzberger Axpoint Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Wachau, Austria ~ $70
The young Franz Hirtzberger has recently taken over the winemaking responsibilities from his father at their legendary estate. Their traditional philosophy is simple, vigilant vineyard management, very selective harvesting methods, all natural fermentation, and maturation in giant oak casks. This full-bodied GruVe demands your attention showing tart grapefruit, toasted pumpkin seed, lime zest, white pepper, primary rock, and much more…
2010 Nigl Riesling Dornleiten Kremstal, Austria ~ $53
Martin Nigl’s brilliant wines always seem to demand your attention. They’re flashy and racy, as they seem to accelerate on your palate. This ’10 Dornleiten is no exception, it’s showing everything you’d want from a bone-dry Austrian Riesling; salty minerals, tart fruit, fennel and a lively satisfying finish.
2006 Nikolaihof “Steiner Hund Reserve” Wachau, Austria ~ $68
This thought-provoking dry Riesling, from one of the world’s great estates, left us in awe. Steiner Hund, a very special tiny site just beyond the Wachau boundry, which is why this wine is labeled Reserve and not Smaragd. Harvested late and left to rest in old Austrian oak cask for several years, it’s medium-bodied with bracing acidity and flavors of fresh clementine, salty minerals, green apple skin, a cool aloe-y richness and a concentrated finish of surprising length. Cheers!
2009 Alzinger “Loibener Steinertal” Riesling Smaragd Wachau, Austria ~ $60
This wine will leave you breathless! Leo Alzinger has become one of the Wachau’s top producers making wines with an unmatched balance of elegance and assertiveness. This 09’ definitely leans more towards the assertive side with medium-high acidity and a concentrated palate showing lime zest, green tea, tart apple, fresh floral notes and much more…
2007 Rudi Pichler “Weissenkirchner Achleithen” Smaragd Wachau, Austria ~ $65
Rudi’s done it again! This is a beautiful bottling from one of our favorite sites in the Wachau. Combining Rudi’s vast knowledge of his vineyards and his natural approach in the cellar helps him display the inherent beauty of the Achleithen through this bottling. It was vinified entirely in stainless steel and is remarkably layered, showing flavors of lemon zest, white peach, petrol, white pepper and relentless acidity.
2006 Prager Achleiten Riesling Smaragd Wachau, Austria ~ $70
Prager is one of the world’s very best estates! The Achletien is a very steep-terraced vineyard planted on pure gnice “primary rock” overlooking the Danube River. At Prager the winemaker Toni Bodenstein is constantly sampling and studying the various terroirs of the Wachau Valley in attempts to better display them through his wines. This racy dry Riesling is showing great right now with intense flavors of white peach, fresh floral notes, mild petrol and a huge seemingly endless finish.
Hirsch “Zobinger Gaisberg” Riesling Kamptal, Austria ~
We were fortunate enough to get our hands on several different vintages from this celebrated site. The Gaisberg is comprised of granite and mica-schist with a full southern exposure and a cool micro-climate which is absolutely perfect for the Riesling varietal. Our quantities are so limited on these that the descriptions had to come from the wines legendary importer Terry Theise. Enjoy!
1998 ~ $145
“The palate is a drowning surge of solid stone. Then the fist-full of tight little sugar-berries. After five minutes in the glass, there are UNBELIEVABLE aromatics. Explosively tight and just infrared fruit. How does white wine get better than this? It was the wine of the vintage for me!” Terry Theise
2002 ~ $120
“The 2002 is just screaming with great sizzling depth of mirabelle and raspberry. High-toned minerally nose and the palate has the usual sizzling precision and wonderful saltiness.” Terry Theise
2004 ~ $110
“This is a devilishly complex thing; spicy-salty aromas, ferrous and showing some of the ‘04s charred smoky notes; a sizzling spicy palate, thickly juicily mineral.” “There’s a note of not-quite-fully-ripe blackberry; the palate really swells and billow and sweetens, reaching a crescendo of lavish iridescent intensity.” Terry Theise
2006 ~ $110
“Tightly packed mineral and wisteria, molten silver; the palate is almost constricting, crazily tight, ultraviolet; also leesy and weirdly also chocolate and jasmine and tarragon; it’s a wild ride of neon and flower and mineral; it seems to attach jumper-cables from the glass to your palate.” Terry Theise
2008 Hirsch “Zöbinger Heiligenstein” Riesling Kamptal, Austria ~ $60
This wine is from one of our favorite vineyards! The Heiligenstein is one of the most geologically complex on the planet with layers of sandstone, volcanic rock, and primary rock giving wines produced here a very unique sense of place. While Josef Hirsch farms the vineyards on biodynamic principles his son Johannes works the cellar, together they are producing some of the most terroir expressive Riesling and Gruner Veltliners in the Kamptal region. This 08’ is showing a palate full of peach pit, apricot, flint and spicy mountain herbs with a seemingly endless finish.
2011 Hermann J. Wiemer Riesling Finger Lakes, New York ~ $38
A native of Bernkastel in Germany’s Mosel River Valley, Hermann Wiemer discovered the cool climate and gravel soils of New York’s Finger Lakes region in 1979. He has been instrumental in the development of this young region and we are convinced his Rieslings are some of the best in America. The ‘11 dry Riesling is medium-bodied, and just a touch of sweetness short of bone-dry, showing flavors of ripe apricot, candied lemon, orange blossom and a long mineral driven finish.
New Zealand ~
2010 Rippon Riesling Lake Wanaka, Central Otago ~ $50
We’re convinced our friend Nick Mills is producing the best Riesling in the southern hemisphere. His natural approach brings energy and life to all of his wines and this medium-bodied off-dry Riesling is no exception. Bright acidity and layered flavors of kumquat, lychee, and lemongrass prime the palate for a long mineral-driven finish, giving this wine a distinct sense of place.
2012 Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ~ $38
For all you Kiwi Sauv Blanc lovers out there this wine was not made to disappoint. It’s grassy, with plenty of ruby red grapefruit, and gooseberry that makes it undoubtedly from Marlborough.
Bottle List ~ rosé
2010 Tempier Bandol, France ~ $75
Tempier is a perennial favorite, producing one of the most sought-after southern French rosés every vintage. The legendary Peyraud family has been instrumental in the protection and expression of Bandol’s exceptional terroir. Their organic salmon-colored Mouvédre led blend shows the best of the south with great minerality and flavors of candied blood orange, Provencal herbs, lemon zest and shimmering acidity.
Bottle List ~ red
2011 Marcel Lapierre Morgon, Beaujolais ~ $40
Marcel Lapierre is one of 4 producers credited with the revival of Beaujolais. They fought the invasion of pesticides and fertilizers in the 80’s, believing that their unfiltered natural wines were superior to the “industrial wines” that Beaujolais was better known for. Sadly, on October 10th 2010, the wine world lost one of its most influential vintners when Marcel lost his battle with melanoma at the age of 60. Now his son Mathieu carries on his fathers legacy making wines with the same tenacity, showing the world a more authentic side of Beaujolais.
2007 Ghislaine Barthod “Les Bons Batons” Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy ~ $60
Ghislaine’s fine, delicate wines stimulate the palate much like a faint perfume can recall a powerful memory. Since apprenticing with her father in the 1980’s, she’s transformed her tiny family property of 5.8 hectares into Chambolle’s benchmark estate using very traditional methods and only native yeasts for slow fermentations that express the essence of her local terroir.
2009 Jean-Yves Péron “Champ Levat” Vin de Pay d’ Allobrogie ~ $74
Jean-Yves is one producer we’ll be keeping a close eye on for years to come. This 100% Monduese is from high elevation super-steep rocky vineyards that can only be worked by hand. It’s medium-bodied showing balanced brambly fruit and funky barnyard, with terrific grip and a finish of remarkable length. A Rootstock fave!
MV Franck Pascal “Confiance” Coteau Champenois ~ $125
Incredibly rare and utterly satisfying, this multi-vintage red Coteau Champenois is comprised of 60% ’08 Pinot Meunier, 20% ’07 Pinot Meunier, and 20% ’07 Pinot Noir. Located in Vallée de la Marne, Franck Pascal farms organic/biodynamic, and has since taking over his estate in ’94. This harmonious medium-bodied blend won us over with is seductive texture, taut tannin and mystifying flavors of red currant, rosemary, potting clay and much more…
2011 Tire Pé “Diem” Bordeaux ~ $36
This lovely naturally produced Bordeaux is unlike any other wine we’ve tasted from the region. It’s a classic right-bank blend of mostly Merlot with equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc – farmed organically, aged 6 months in cement tanks and bottled without filtration of any type. A true expression of fruit and terroir, showing red currant, provencal herbs, plum, gravel and cedar with soft granular tannin.
2010 Michel Gahier “Grands Vergers” Arbois, Jura ~ $62
The grape here is Trousseau, it’s utterly unique and will stimulate your senses in a way most varietals can’t. All naturally made this light-bodied wine has nervous acidity and intense flavors of tart cherry, cranberry skin, hibiscus, morning dew, cinnamon spice, and a savory acid-driven finish. Michel is said to be a soft spoken man who lets his wines speak for themselves and if that’s truly the case, he’s certainly made believers out of us!
2005 Guiberteau “Les Arboises” Samur, Loire Valley ~ $75
From 55+ year-old vines planted to clay and limestone this Cabernet Franc is a lovely example of time and place. Romain Guiberteau continues to show us the beauty and importance of biodynamic farming. Long ambient yeast fermentations in concrete, extended macerations, and very little new oak seem to best express Romain’s local terroir. This sleek ’05 has all the richness and texture you’d expect from the vintage with balanced acidity and layers of dark fruit, garrigue, smoke, potting clay, olive brine and a wealth of minerals.
2009 Jean Louis Chave “Offerus” Saint-Joseph, Northern Rhone ~ $60
“41-year old Jean-Louis Chave is the current inheritor of this superlative, historic Northern Rhône estate, which has passed directly from father to son since 1481. The family’s chief holdings are within 9 plots on the Hermitage hill: here, J-L learned from his father Gerard the art of blending varied terroirs. He brought his skill into the nearly forgotten region of St. Joseph in 1995 to make this Syrah from 2+ hectares he planted himself, along with a measure of purchased fruit. Today, it’s one of the small zone’s top expressions, and one of the Northern Rhône’s finest; its sting of iron minerality and keen peppery spice is tempered by generous black fruit and rich palate feel.”
2004 Levet “La Chavaroche” Côte Rôtie, Northern Rhone ~ $135
This decadent Syrah shows traditional Côte Rôtie at its very best. Its medium-high acidity and dark gamey flavors of dried cherry, barnyard, charcoal smoke, gravel, bacon-fat and violets, paired with Bernard Levet’s terroir-driven style will leave nothing to be desired…
Dard & Ribo Northern Rhone ~
We are thrilled to offer and pair of ‘10’s from the unassuming duo of René-Jean Dard and François Ribo. The purity of their un-sulfured wines has quickly grabbed the attention of many and made them incredibly difficult to obtain. If you’re partial to the Northern Rhone these are a must!
2010 “Les Rouges des Baties” Crozes-Hermitage ~ $76
From a 2 hectacre single site planted to red clay, this wines dark brambly fruit, iron rich minerals and subtle oak presence are perfectly integrated for exeptional drinking.
2010 Saint-Joseph ~ $84
Slightly darker and richer than the Crozes, showing more pronounced black pepper and mountain herbs. It’s silky texture reveals layered flavors of red currant, strawberry seed, granite and iron.
2004 Domaine de Beaurenard “Les Argiles Bleues” Rasteau, Cote du Rhone Villages ~ $60
“There’s no CDR even remotely like this – to say it’s terroir-driven is an understatement! From a 7th generation estate, and our favorite pair of brother-winemakers in France, the genial and erudite Coulon boys, this special wine is made from old Grenache and Syrah vines planted to terraced parcels of blue clay (‘Argiles Bleues’) near the village of Rasteau: every step of its elaboration – harvest by hand, native yeast fermentation, a year and a half ageing in foudre, bottling without filtration – is taken in order to retain the extra richness and elegance which this soil type provides. Robust and pure, it captures the soul of the South, showing anise, rosemary, and spicy white pepper.
2010 Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano Trentino ~ $44
Since 1985, dynamic, captivating, now-legendary Elisibetta Foradori has spent her life researching the history of the Teroldego varietal (a cousin to Syrah), and has been replanting her family’s vineyards in Trentino to its multiple lost clones in order to successfully show its ancient storied potential. The resulting wine is sassy, spicy, layered, dark, elevating, and elegant.
2004 Riecine “Reserva” Chianti Classico, Tuscany ~ $70
Riecine is one of Tuscany’s best small-production estates. Their winemaker Sean O’Callahan dedication to tradition and organic farming shows in all off their magnificent bottlings. This Classico is primarily Sangiovese, from a terrific vintage, it offers up aromas of leather, cocoa, and cherries, with a balanced palate of raspberry, spicy oak, gravel, cedar and supple tannin. A Rootstock favorite!
2006 Querciabella Chianti Classico, Tuscany ~ $55
Established in the early 70s, Querciabella is one of Tuscanys newer estates. Slightly more modern it their approach – especially for the Chianti standards – the Classicos are blended with about 15% Cab Sauv and 5% Merlot, but since their conversion to biodynamics in ‘99 their wines have stylistically become a benchmark in the region. This full-bodied ’06 CC is savor and elegant with ripe strawberry, tobacco, minerals, and dark chocolate with soft spicy tannin.
2007 Produttori del Barbaresco, Piedmonte ~ $64
Forget Gaja and Ceretto! – we only know Barbaresco as an independent zone thanks to Domizio Cavazza, who effectively began this Produttori in 1894 – today it’s the world’s highest quality co-operative, with 56 members and 1/6 of the total land in Barbaresco – it remains completely traditional – no barrique, all botti and careful organic cultivation – this expresses the best of Barbaresco – edge, accessibility, cut, drive, oxidation, cherry and tar and rosepetal . . .
1982 Borgogno “Riserva” Barolo, Piedmonte ~ $375
One for the ages! Borgogno’s dedication to traditional winemaking and rich history made it impossible to pass up the opportunity to share this library release from one of their top vintages in the last 50 years. Built to last, all of their Barolo undergoes long cold macerations and sees extended time in huge Slovenian oak botti, these processes provide energy, length, and life to their majestic Nebbiolo.
2009 Cabanon Cuoredivino “La Botte nº 18” Oltrepo Pavese ~ $44
Cabanon’s cherubic Elena Mercandelli is nothing short of a wunderkind. She was Italy’s first award-winning teenage winemaker at her family estate, dating to 1909, and in her passionate attention to her given, perfectly-situated, well-ventilated, heavenly plot of land, has amassed a range of winemaking knowledge that should be the envy of the world. She’s a real artist in the vineyard and cellar – we had the chance to see her work for 3 solid weeks – carefully, daily, organically balancing yeast performance with varietal maturity for optimal flavor and finesse, she’s bottling the best wines the Oltrepo Pavese’s ever seen.
2005 Paulo Bea “Rosso de Veo” Umbria ~ $110
Located in the Montafalco foothills, the Bea family tradition dates back to the 1500s. Their “natural” winemaking style has been passed down through the generations focused on one common goal, making “true” wines that best reflect Umbria’s unique local terroir. This 100% Sagrentino from the younger vines of the Pagliaro and Cerrete Crus invigorates with aromas and flavors of mountain herbs, sun-dried brambly fruit, rosehips, cassis and integrated tannin. Just give this wine a moment; you’ll be amazed as it captivates all of your senses as it slowly develops in the glass.
2009 COS “Cerasuolo di Vittoria” Sicily ~ $58
Tcherhis is our favorite biodynamic Sicilian winery, started in 1980 by three pot-smoking, super-smart university pals (Cilia, Occhipinti, and Strano: ergo, COS) in their parents’ vineyards. They researched ancient winemaking methods, and have rehabilitated old Carthaginian varietals (like Frappato, 40% of this wine, along with Nero d’Avola) to make the purest wine possible. Hand-harvested, foot-pressed, this wine is all about velocity and speed – it’s both keen and generous, showing fresh-cut fennel, tart cranberry, and golden raisin.
2010 Occhipinti Frappato Vittoria, Sicily ~ $68
In 2001, at the age of 21, Arianna Occhipinti started her own label naturally farming only Sicily’s indiginous varietals. In just over a decade she’s become one of the islands most recognizable and influential growers. Her long macerations (60 days on this Frappato) help her minimize the use of sulfur, and concurrently the wine devolops a remarkably deep bouquet and a palate that brings to mind sun-soaked volcanic earth and wild fermented Belgian framboise.
2010 Occhipinti “Siccagno” Vittoria, Sicily ~ $68
We are thrilled to offer this medium-bodied 100% Nero d’ Avola from one of our favorite producers Arianna Occhipinti! With her immensely natural style she is consistantly able to display the best of Sicily’s island terroir. All of her wines are fermented using only ambient yeast and this bottling stayed in contact with the skins for 40 days. The result of these processes shows a side of Nero we can’t get enough of, the aromas and flavors of blue fruit, bitter herbs, bakers chocolate, and smoke marry perfectly to the it’s finish full of chalky minerals.
2011 Frank Cornelisson “Contadino #9” Mt. Etna, Sicily ~ $60
Frank is one of the most iconic “natural” producers in Italy. This savage field blend is comprised of mostly Nerello Mascalese and is made without manipulation of any kind. It is the sleekest Contadino we’ve ever tasted with cool flavors of dried cherry, volcanic minerals, tangy rhubarb, Provencal herbs, and soft integrated tannin. For anyone interested in delving into the world of “natural wine” this is definitely a fun introduction, enjoy!
2007 Romeo del Castello “Vigo” Mt. Etna, Sicily ~ $72
This vineyard of old vine Nerello Mascalese (100+ years-old) was in grave-danger by a major lava flow after Mt. Etna erupted in 1981. Miraculously, the flow suddenly changed direction before reaching the vines and spared more than 90% of the vineyard. The lovely Chiara Vigo is now in charge of the property, which she farms under biodynamic principles. This ’07 was her first vintage and it’s nothing short of admirable. It’s medium to full-bodied with a cherry core and flavors of spicy volcanic minerals, sage, currant and more…
2008 Domaine Karydas Naoussa ~ $50
Basically just two hands tended these grapes, and the wine was made in ceramic-lined cement vats built into a wall at the back of the family kitchen. A tiny two hectare plot becomes stunningly clear in the wine–and after nearly two years in french oak we have a wine with incredible intensity, grace, sophistication and torque–all sundried tomatoes and rose-hips, bright red fruit, hot bricks and peppercorn, cedar, leather, and a long, soothingly tannic finish.
2011 Gaia Estate “Notios” Nemea ~ $38
Co-founded in 1994 by Yiannis Paraskevopolous, Professor of Oenology at Athens Tech., Gai’a Estate in Koutsi has made its name by combining careful attention in the vineyard, and a truly old-world sensibility, with modern technological savvy, curiosity, and an experimental spirit, making wines that expand the idea of what a still traditional Nemea might be. This ‘Notios,’ named for the south wind, is their entry-level red and shows a charming, juicier, maybe easier-going side of Aghiorghitiko. A quick, cool maceration and but a month and a half of oak lend soft shoulders, a rich milk chocolate texture, super-ripe black raspberry and velvety tamarind.
2007 Skouras “Grande Cuvee” Nemea ~ $50
At a place called ‘Bozikas,’ near the northern tip of Nemea, almost a thousand meters above the sea our friend George Skouras negotiates with the gods; one of four similar sites that go to make this thrilling Grand Cuvee, this is a place of extremes–and not just for the grapes, sometimes barely accessible for humans. The soil here is so rich in iron it’s dark crimson, and even smells and tastes like blood. The wine is simply amazing: majestic, lean and angular, austere but never stingy, taught acidity and profound minerality give way to volcanic smoke, burnt sundried tomatoes and fennel, bright but restrained fruit, earth, oregano and rosemary, with an absolutely haunting finish.
Skouras Megos Oenos Peloponnese ~
The first winery in Greece to combine an indigenous grape with an international, this blend of eighty per-cent old-vine Aighiorghitiko from the harsh, granite-spiked Asprokambros (‘the White Valley’), and intense, mineral-driven Cabernet Sauvignon continues to provide a benchmark for serious wines with a sense of place.
2000 ~ $57
Summer in Nemea was hot with cool nights; ideal conditions to achieve mature grapes with crisp thick skins. This wine is built for longevity and was drinking well when I tasted it in October 2009. It’s delightful on the palate with good balance of tannins, fruit and acidity. Light black pepper midway through with a finish of currants and rosemary.
2005 ~ $57
This 05 has a beautiful bouquet that’s true to the fresh Mountain Nemea air. Summer started hot and cooled in August. With no September rains the grapes were able to reach full maturity and a quick 3-day harvest commenced on September 20th. It is showing strong tannins with integrated oak, has great acid while finishing with dark cocoa and black currant.
Spain & Portugal ~
2005 Lopez de Heredia “Vina Cubillo” Rioja, Spain ~ $45
There are few wineries in the world as serious about tradition as the folks at Lopez de Heredia. They only cultivate Rioja’s indigenous grape varieties, ferment and age in giant oak casks, and bottle-age sometimes for decades in their ancient cellar. This staff favorite flatters the palate with bright acidity, and flavors of black cherry, anise, flint, licorice, charred spicy oak, and a dark finish.
2009 Mas Igneus “Barranc dels Closos” Priorat, Spain ~ $42
Comprised of 80% Garnatxa negra and 20% Carinyena, from one of Spain’s most arid and sandy zones, this biodynamically farmed blend is one of the most approachable young Priorats around. We love this wines texture and palate expression full of black fruits, smoke, anise, barnyard, espresso, with restrained tannin.
2010 Quinta do Infantado Field Blend Douro, Portugal ~ $40
Infantado is one of our favorite port houses in the Douro region and this unfortified brooding organic blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz is one of the areas best. Staying true to tradition, they harvest everything by hand; the grapes are partially destemmed, and then foot-treaded in lagar. The finished wine is supple and dark, with chewy tannin and a palate showing tart blackberry, dark chocolate, schist, spice and a finish of impressive length.
Slovenia & Austria ~
2005 Movia Pinot Nero Brda, Slovenia ~ $69
A friend, winemaking marvel, and proponent of biodynamics, Ales Kristancic’s wines will flatter all of your senses. This ‘05 Pinot Nero is only getting better with time it’s medium-bodied, delicately textured, with has a wide range of flavors showing spearmint, black cherry, green peppercorn, schist and more…
2009 Paul Achs Zweigelt Burgenland, Austria ~ $40
Paul has been one of Burgenland most influencial winemakers over the last 20 years, promoting his region all over the globe, dedicated to gaining the notoriety this lesser known area deserves. This ‘09 Zwiegelt is simply delicious, showing wonderful restraint and elegance, with moderate oak, and notes of barnyard, dried red fruits, and a dark smoky finish.
2007 Meinklang “Konkret” St. Laurent Burgenland, Austria ~ $75
Meinklang is one of Burgenlands great young estates. This “Konkret” bottling is vinified entirely in 9hl concrete egg shaped vessels. First the juice is fermented in the egg, then the vessel is covered and the wine is left undisturbed for 12 months. Due to the forces of nature, the wine is in constant movement and the process brings out the purest expression of St. Laurent we’ve tasted. The flavors are lush, layered, and incredibly integrated, but what makes this wine so special is the silky palate feel that left us in a state of serenity.
2006 Weinert Malbec Mendoza, Argentina ~ $44
Weinert is a favorite Argentine estate, crafting all of their wines on old-world principles. They pay very close attention to there wines evolution as it rests in cask, making sure not to loss the beauty and integrity of their Mendoza fruit. Full-bodied and wonderfully rich showing flavors of red cherry, cedar, bakers chocolate, vanilla and soft juicy tannins.
Louis-Antoine Luyt ~ Maule Valley, Chile ~
Louis-Antoine, a native Burgundian, has quickly become our favorite producer in South America. After working several vintages with the LaPierre family in Morgon, he took his knowledge of natural wine production to Chile where he started buying fruit exclusively from organic farmers and producing partially carbonic-macerated wines unlike anything we’d previously tasted from the country.
2009 Louis-Antoine Luyt “Clos Ouvert” Carmenere Maule Valley, Chile ~ $50
Sadly, Luyt lost more than 70% of his ’09 production due to the devastation of the 2010 earthquake in Chile. This textured Carmenere shows a lovely balance of dark brambly fruit, spicy volcanic minerals, notes of barnyard and racy acidity.
2010 Louis-Antonie Luyt “Huasa de Trequilemu” Pais Maule Valley, Chile ~ $50
These Pais vines are planted to a rootstock over 220 years old (!), it’s easily the most concentrated Pais (a.k.a Mission) bottlings around with a silky texture, lively acidity, and dark layered flavors of carob, Concord grape, molasses and a pure mineral-driven finish.
2010 Louis-Antoine Luyt “Carignan Trequilemu” Carignan Maule Valley, Chile ~ $50
This is one of the most drinkable lighter bodied Carignan’s we’ve had in years. Its partial carbonic-maceration brightens the palate while the wines inherent varietal character provides flavors of tart red fruit, mountain herbs, black peppercorn and savory mineral complexities.
2011 Brooks Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, Oregon ~ $40
Jimi Brooks – Russian lit fanatic, biodynamicist, talented chef, and francophile – was a great friend of ours; his sudden passing at the age of 38 in 2004 left us feeling like a light was dimmed in the wine world. It has since been resumed by friends in the Willamette Valley – his wines are now being made, under his name, as he would have wished, by his friend Chris Williams. Pure and spicy and full of bright fruit, they express the best of what Oregon can show.
2007 Caparone “French Camp Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, California ~ $38
This organic, unfined, and unfiltered Cab is on the more unorthodox side of the California spectrum. Caparone’s dedication to “traditional / Old World” winemaking is evident and incredibly harmonious in all of their bottlings. This single vineyard Cab is medium-bodied showing aromatics of cedar, red fruit, and Provencal herbs alongside flavors of red currants, rosemary, leather, and dusty dry tannin.
2009 Unti Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Sonoma County, California ~ $55
This is the best Zin from Mick Unti we’ve ever tasted to date. The Unti family has been a leading producer in Sonoma County for over 15 years and continues to impress with the quality of their biodynamically farmed fruit. This ’09 bottling is blended with 10% Petite Sirah to provide structure and 6% Barbera for balanced acidity, the wine is very approachable with a sublime texture, moderate restraint and all of the delicious dark fruit and baking spice flavors you’d expect from the varietal.
South Africa & New Zealand ~
2009 Paul Cluver Pinot Noir Elgin, South Africa ~ $38
Family run for 4 generations, this smaller estate has been making some of the best Pinot in SA for decades, and this ’09 is no exception showing flavors of lean red fruits, iron, and mocha alongside generous acidity and a velvety texture.
2009 Mahi Pinot Noir Marlborough, New Zealand ~ $48
Brian Bicknell and his wife Nicola started Mahi in 2001. Like so many of our favorite vignerons, they rely heavily on nature and the character of their vineyards to bring authenticity to the wines. This ‘09 is the best Pinot we’ve tried of theirs, it’s new world muscle and old world charm makes it a wonderful example of what New Zealand has to offer, showing great length on the palate with flavors of black cherry, pink peppercorn, rosemary, anise, and more…
Rippon Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka, Central Otago, New Zealand ~
From a country full of awe-inspiring sights, Rippon is truly one of the most aesthetically remarkable vineyards on the planet. Nick Mills and a small tightly knit supporting cast of family and friends are the visionaries behind this small Biodynamic winery. Breathtakingly pure, their wines are some of Central Otago’s very best.
2007 ~ $99
’07 was a wonderful vintage at Rippon. The brilliant bouquet of preserved raspberry, sun-soaked volcanic rock and black pepper show the best of Kiwi Pinot. This wine was built to last with elevating acidity, moderate tannin and flavors of ripe strawberry, peppercorn, shitake, and a savory volcanic mineral-driven finish.
2008 ~ $99
Another great bottling from Rippon, fuller in body and texture than the ’07 but showing similar restraint. It’s seductive texture and rich layers of brambly fruit, soft mountain herbs and peppery spice pair perfectly with this wines dark mineral-driven finish.
2009 Burn Cottage Pinot Noir Central Otago, New Zealand ~ $90
We are simply delighted to finally offer this new Kiwi favorite! Started in 2002 this project has kept many of us eagerly awaiting its inaugural vintage. Ted Lemon of Littorai in Sonoma County was brought on to control the vinifications, along with one of New Zealands most gifted biodynamic thinkers, Jared Connelly, to head up the vineyard management. Quality dedicated and farming biodynamic since their inception, this wine shows Central Otago fruit at it’s very best. It’s sophisticated and savory, with bright natural acidity, elegant restraint, and a black cherry core.