Wine Club: August 2014

by whitney on 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 other in northern San Diego county. They are making great wines in an area that has been under the radar far too long. Their hope is to show the world that complex, balanced wines can come from San Diego. Their wines are textural, tangy and bright with an ease about them. They are what they are, simply and purely. They farm organically, apply some Biodynamic treatments and ferment naturally. If you’d like to read a bit more about Vesper and the San Diego winemaking scene, check out this article by Jon Bonne in the SF Chronicle.

2013 Vesper Rancho Guejito Vineyard Rosé  (42% Mourvedre, 30% Counoise, 28% Grenache)

2012 Vesper McCormick Ranch Carignan

The Gastronomist: Jolie-Laide

Scott Shultz named his winery after the french term for “ugly-pretty,” celebrating those things (and wines) that are unconventional but beautiful. Growing tired of the restaurant world (Scott was the sommelier at Napa’s Bouchon), he decided to try his hand at winemaking. He works with Pax Mahle (Pax and Wind Gap) and shares a space with two of our favorite California wineries Wind Gap and Ryme Cellars. He sources fruit from unique sites that are all farmed organically or sustainably. The wines are made with minimal intervention and a light touch, producing lighter style wines that are very varietally and/or site expressive. They are special wines made in small quantities and are certainly worth exploring!

2013 Jolie-Laide Fanucchi-Wood Road Vineyard
Trousseau Gris
(whole cluster fermentation)

2012 Jolie-Laide Rossi Ranch Vineyard Red  (Grenache/Syrah)


Staff Pick: Rosé for the Dog Days of Summer

by whitney on 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 fruity side of Etna’s main grapes (Nerello Cappuccio and Nerello Mascalese) and that classic volcanic minerality. It’s the perfect late summer rosé, a little more complex and structured than a Provencal, but still super refreshing. It even ages well if you want to put one in your cellar and forget about it for a little while!”

When: “Grab a bottle, hit the beach/a picnic/a BBQ/an outdoor concert and you’re good to go. You can drink this anytime, anywhere. Just not in your car while you’re driving, that’s illegal.”


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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Wine Club: July 2014

July 15, 2014

The 7th annual Summer of Riesling, a high-acid lovefest created by NYC sommelier and restaurateur Paul Grieco in 2008, is upon us! We can’t be left out of the wine party, so we’ll devoting this month’s club (both Gastronomist AND Naturalist) to Riesling and only Riesling. Both selections could easily fall into either wing of [...]

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Staff Pick: A Refreshing AND Opulent White

July 8, 2014

July’s staff pick is a skin contact white wine made by nuns (with help from Giampiero Bea) outside of Rome. If that doesn’t sell it, maybe Caroline’s description will!  Who: Caroline What: 2011 Coenobium ‘Ruscum’ Lazio Bianco (with 15 days of skin contact!) Why: “This wine has interesting tea-like qualities which provide complex textures, yet [...]

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