Wine Club: September 2014

by whitney on September 15, 2014

The Naturalist: Roagna

The Roagna family has been making wine in Barbaresco since the 19th century.  Thirty-four year old Luca Roagna now runs the show, working very traditionally, but with an eye on the future.  The Roagna wines are special because they are complex without being complicated and always a fantastic value for the quality.  The Langhe Bianco and Rosso are their entry level bottlings, offering more bang for your buck and wines that you can drink now. Their vineyards are farmed organically and fermentations are natural.

2012 Roagna Langhe Bianco (90% Chardonnay, 10% Nebbiolo) – A unique blend! A wine with some curve and texture aged for 1.5 years in large oak botti.

2008 Roagna Langhe Rosso – Like a baby Barbaresco. The Nebbiolo for this wine comes from younger vines in Paje and Pira.

The Gastronomist: France meets USA

We’ve got two domestic winemakers influenced and inspired by the wines of France for your September drinking pleasure. Mike Roth left his post at Martian Vineyards to start his own label, Lo-Fi, in Buellton. Scott and Dana Frank of Bow & Arrow make Loire-esque wine in Willamette Valley, Oregon. Both are of the same ethos: to create wines that are pure, fresh, light, young, affordable and food-friendly.

2013 Lo-Fi 33 1/2 (Counoise/Cinsault/Syrah)

2013 Bow & Arrow “Rhinestones”  (Gamay/Pinot Noir)

Photo credits 1 and 2


The Rosés You Should Drink & Where to Drink ‘Em

by whitney on September 2, 2014

Labor Day is now behind us, which means summer is (sadly) coming to a close. But that doesn’t mean that your rosé drinking has to end! We asked our wine friends at some of the top restaurants in town what rosés on their list get them most excited. It’s a varied and delicious bunch, so read on and drink up while the temperatures are still high and the wine ice cold.

Kathryn Weil Coker, Rustic Canyon

2013 Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris | Corbieres, France ($11/gl)

“I love this rose every year. It’s a blend of Grenache, Mouvedre, Carignan & Cinsault. Frankly, it’s a total crowd pleaser – fresh and crisp, but with a little mid-palate creaminess. And the value is outstanding.”

Maxwell Leer, Bestia

2012 Clos Cibonne Tibouren Cru Classe “Cuvée Speciale des Vignettes” |  Provence, France ($19/gl and $76/btl)

“This glowing wine is a fabulous companion to our food at Bestia. Whether you’re eating pan seared tongue or gizzards, this wine tootsie rolls across the board.”

Michael Nemcik, Fifty Seven

2012 Chateau Barbanau L’Instant Rosé | Côtes de Provence, France ($12/gl)

“I love it because it’s dry, has a nice ruby grapefruit smell, and vibrant acidity. Also! We are going to start brunch in a few weeks and pour All You Can Drink Rosé!”

Matt Ahern, Salt’s Cure

2013 Red Car Rosé of Pinot Noir  (out of magnum) | Sonoma Coast, California ($13/gl and $100/btl)

“Magnum format (hock bottle) is sexy for service. The wine is bright/fresh and at the same time has really good texture. Fleshy . . .”

Marisa Brown, Lukshon

2013 Umathum “Rosa” | Burgenland, Austria ($42/btl)

“This wine blows my mind- starting with the color all the way through to the long-lasting finish. It’s 40% zweigelt, 30% saint laurent and 30% blaufrankish- an intriguing blend considering zweigelt is a cross of saint laurent & blaufrankish. The wine pours almost neon pink- it doesn’t look real! Aromatics of red delicious apples, pink peppercorn, and strawberries burst out of the glass. The palate shows bing cherries, underbrush, watermelon rind, and even a bit of smoke. This is a more plush wine with medium body, subtle tannins, and wonderful complexity that continues to change with every swirl.”

Ashleigh Parsons, Alma

2013 Jolie-Laide Trousseau Gris | Russian River Valley, California ($13/gl)

“I was introduced to Scott Schultz by Abe Schoener last summer. I fell in love with his Jolie Laide Trousseau Gris, 2010 and 2011 vintage. I asked him to bring his wines to LA but he didn’t have the time. 6 months later, he emailed me with good news and told me he was ready to distribute. This year’s vintage is so unique. With 5 days on the skins, it has a peachy color and lightness that’s perfect for this time of year.”

2013 Arnot-Roberts Touriga Nacional Rosé | Kelseyville, California ($15/gl)

“I love the weight of this rosé. It stands up to a meal but can also be enjoyed with friends outside during the afternoon hours of the day.”

Max Marder, Marvin

2013 Domaine Comte Abbatucci Gris Impérial | Corsica ($16/gl)

“SUPER delicious rosé from Corsica. You can definitely tatse the influence from the nearby Mediterranean. Tangerine and apricots, bright acidity and leaves an almost salty taste in your mouth that keeps me wanting more. Great balance, nothing flabby about it, nor is it too high toned. I love it. When I drink this wine I feel like I am surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea.”

2010 Recaredo Cava Intens Rosat Brut Nature Gran Reserva ($18/gl)

“More like an ultralight, sparkling, DRY red than what you’d expect from a truly pink wine. Perfect with some of our starters, several inspired by traditional Spanish tapas (Iberico ham with tomato bread), as well as lighter, summery foods in general. Dry as a bone and definitely “lights up my pleasure receptors in the wine geek cortex”. Totally a crazy, fun, unique wine.”

Photo credit


Wine Club: August 2014

August 15, 2014

August is all about small production California winemakers that are thinking outside of the box, making wine in unconventional ways or in surprising places. The Naturalist: Vesper Vineyards Chris Broomell and wife Alysha Stehly, owner/winemakers of Vesper Vineyards in San Diego, both come from farming families and grew up less than a mile from each [...]

Read the full post →

Staff Pick: Rosé for the Dog Days of Summer

August 12, 2014

August’s staff pick is a rosé to get you through the (continued) heat of the summer months.  Who: Whitney What: 2013 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosato Why: “The wines from Etna are amazing and should be thoroughly explored by all wine drinkers. The volcanic soil does magical things. This rosato shows off the fresh and [...]

Read the full post →

The Voyager Wine & Unexpected Collaborations (That Make Perfect Sense)

August 1, 2014

When Jenny Lewis approached us about the possibility of releasing a wine in conjunction with her album, The Voyager, we were excited. Now, I’ve been known to make a disparaging remark (or three) in the past about “celebrity” branded wines, but this wasn’t what Jenny had in mind at all. This wouldn’t be a large [...]

Read the full post →

Help the Indies, Win ‘Wine Grapes’

July 24, 2014

Jancis Robinson just announced a really great giveaway on her site in support of independent wine retailers around the world. This is the deal – you write a glowing review of your favorite wine shop (you can submit as many of your favorites as you like), email it in to Jancis and her team, and [...]

Read the full post →