Jenny Lewis & The Voyager 2 Wine

by jill on April 21, 2015

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I’m excited that the second release of the Voyager, our collaboration with Jenny Lewis, is finally hitting the shelves tomorrow, April 22nd (in-store-only until Friday, when it will be available online for purchase). This has been a truly fun project for us – both the first version which we worked on with Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars, and now the follow-up from La Clarine Farm, an even more hands-on experience.

For the Voyager 2, a small group of us traveled to the Sierra Foothills and spent some time with winemaker Hank Beckmeyer, who had assembled a blend for us that we had tasted about a month prior. The blend was good, but a little lighter than Jenny’s typical style. I can’t be certain, because Jenny didn’t say so at the time — but I suspect that if we couldn’t fine-tune the wine to her liking during our February trip, there might not be a Voyager 2 today.

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What exactly happened at La Clarine Farm? A few things. Baby goats were held. Darts were thrown at a local bar, nearly taking out Johnny’s eye. There was a bit of thrifting done, and a bit more Grateful Dead played. And, thankfully, just the right amount of Syrah was added to the blend that all of us felt the wine really popped. Jenny’s instincts were spot on. So maybe we can add super-taster to her resume?

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It should be noted that the label design for the second wine release is by Adam Siegel, the masterful artist responsible for Jenny’s airbrushed suits. Both inside and out, this bottle is all Jenny Lewis (well, and Hank Beckmeyer, too!).

I thought it only appropriate to ask Jenny a few questions about what gets her going wine-wise. So until tomorrow, when you can snag a bottle, enjoy this little Q&A.

What was your first/formative wine experience? 

I think it was with an $11 ’05 Bordeaux. Realizing that wine isn’t necessarily about the price point. If you are educated about what you like, and don’t have a lot of money, you can still consume great wine!

When (and why) did you start getting into “natural” wine?

I was experiencing a sudden bout of insomnia and my dear friend and sort of foodie mentor, Jesse Harris, suggested I try natural wine as an alternative to quitting drinking completely! Much to my surprise, the philosophy of Biodynamics coincided with the rebirth of my own health and well being.

What’s your favorite thing to drink after a show?

Always a glass or two of natch.

What restaurants do you go to the most in LA?

Atch Kotch on Vine, Night + Market, Hugo’s and Salt’s Cure.

In working on the two Voyager wines, what’s been your favorite part of the winemaking process?

Visiting Hank at La Clarine Farm and learning about his process. It really feels like an indie rock label operation. Punk as fuck and of pure intention.

Will you continue this Voyager wine adventure and make another one after this? 

I would love to! All the ballers are in the booze biz – George Clooney’s Tequila, Bill Murray’s Slovenia vodka. I consider myself a mini, albeit natural, baller.

What’s the one wine you could drink every day, your go-to? 

Le Telquel (thanks Jill). Ask her to show you her tattoo…

If you could travel to any wine region in the world, where would it be?

The Loire Valley, of course…

 

Top photo by Lisa Cole

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Wine Club: April 2015

by dylan on April 17, 2015

Gastronomist – Cep

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A winery’s second label is kind of like a band side project. Think Thom Yorke from Radiohead when he recorded those electronic albums as Atoms for Peace. Or when Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie rounded up some friends and recorded one of the greatest albums of all time as The Postal Service. Cep is Peay Vineyards’ second label. Winemaker Vanessa Wong takes the extra barrels that weren’t used for the Peay wines and has a little fun. You’re getting the same high-quality fruit from a classic Sonoma vineyard but with an experimental, playful vibe. These wines are less intended for the cellar and more for drinking right now.

2014 Cep Sauvignon Blanc

2013 Cep Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Naturalist – Julien Altaber

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One of the perks of a side project is the ability to take advantage of your boss’s expertise (and sometimes facilities) to make your dream wine. Julien Altaber makes very small batches of wine while working for Dominique Derain in Saint Aubin. The synergy between Altaber and Derain is solid and the wine is proof that these guys make a great team. Altaber’s wines are pure and expressive. He follows a strict biodynamic regiment and keeps sulfur use to a minimum. ‘Métisse’ is a blend of both red and white grapes – Gamay and a bit of Chardonnay. Julien’s Bourgogne Blanc is vibrant and fresh – made from grapes grown in Derain’s vineyards around Saint Aubin and Côte Challonaise.

2013 Sextant Julien Altaber ‘Métisse’

2013 Sextant Julien Altaber Bourgogne Blanc Chardonnay

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Wine Dinner Series: Paris Wine Co. @ Night + Market Song

April 15, 2015

We thought it would be fun to change up our tasting program a little, to include some events that give you all a sense of how we enjoy wine outside of the shop — no spit buckets, no speed tastings, no pen and paper or dissection of what’s in the glass; rather, wine, food, and […]

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Staff Pick: Tendu White

April 13, 2015

  Who: Dylan What: 2014 Tendu White Why: “This is the wine version of Easter candy. When this bottle hits the shop I know that summer is just around the corner.” Where: “Throw it in the cooler for beach trips. Pour generously.”

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Uncouth Vermouth

April 1, 2015

Vermouth is an aromatized and fortified wine that is infused with various botanicals like bark, herbs, spices and the like. It’s birthplace was in Piedmont, Italy and was originally intended for medical purposes, but is now more commonly enjoyed as an aperitif (over ice with perhaps a bit of soda) or as a lovely and […]

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Staff Pick: A Perennial Pink Favorite

March 20, 2015

 Who: Whitney What: 2014 Arnot-Roberts Rosé Why: “It seems that here in LA we’ve zoomed straight through Spring into Summer. Lucky for us, all of the 2014 rosés have  started to arrive! This 100% Touriga Nacional pink thang from our California favs Arnot-Roberts never disappoints. This year, it is a beautiful pale coppery blush and […]

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