February: California Love
It’s a California love fest for this month’s wine club selections with two of our favorite winemakers, Hank Beckmeyer of La Clarine Farm and Kenny Likitprikong of Hobo Wine Co.
Naturalist: La Clarine Farm
2014 La Clarine Farm Elvis – Hank is always coming up with new cuvées, which always keeps us excited for every new release. The ‘Elvis’ is a whole cluster fermented blend of Grenache and Mourvedre, from his home base of Sierra Foothills. Hank named this wine after reading Jad and David Fair’s booklet of drawings called “Moods of Elvis”, and much like Elvis, this wine has many moods and loads of complexity. FYI- Jad is the designer and artist of LCF’s labels!
2014 La Clarine Farm FNA – A whole cluster pressed Fiano and Arneis (Italian varieties from Campania and Piedmont, respectively) field blend. Hank recommends you decant this before enjoying. An hour of air is perfect. And don’t serve too cold, like a typical white wine. Let this one open up and show off all of its aromatics and flavor.
Gastronomist: Folk Machine
2014 Folk Machine Central Coast Pinot Noir – The Folk Machine label, just one of the lines of wines Kenny is behind, started out in 2005 solely devoted to Pinot Noir. Since then it’s become his place to experiment with more esoteric grape varieties. But, he still produces high quality affordable Pinot, including this little number- one of our go-to California Pinots under $20 year after year.
2015 Folk Machine White Light – A follow-up to his bright and crisp hit Tocai Friulano, this White Light is a blend of Friulano, Riesling, Verdelho. He doesn’t make too many white wines, but when he does they deserve attention – fun and drinkable without ever being boring.
2014 Folk Machine Charbono – The Charbono grape variety, also known as Italy’s Bonarda or Douce Noir, has seen a bit of a resurgence in Napa and the surrounding areas in the last few years. But it’s still super limited, with less than 100 acres planted in California. This Charbono hails from Suisin Valley in Solano County, just east of Napa. It shows all the dark, wild berry fruit of Charbono and its interesting, subtle and velvet-y tannic structure.