Monthly Descriptions

November Wine Club Release

This month we have two Gamays from producer Michel Guignier. Located near the secluded forests of Vauxrenard in Beaujolais (not too far from Fleurie and a one hour drive north of Lyon), Michel’s granite-rich vineyards sit about 500 meters above sea level, which provide a cooler climate for his grapes. This is not his first, or even his tenth, rodeo. He's been making wine for decades, and his father's father's father made wine before him. To merely label Michel as a vigneron is a gross understatement. The man is a true Renaissance farmer, growing everything from grapes, vegetables, fruit trees, and grains to raising cows, horses, hens, and rabbits. He is committed to cultivating a biodiverse environment and believes that by allowing his plants and animals to struggle (meaning, live and grow with little human intervention), they learn how to adapt, cooperate, and thrive together. And as the saying goes, the harder the grape works, the more interesting and unique its wine can taste.

Michel Guignier's wines are refreshingly straightforward and unostentatious. While their beauty and drinkability are immediately apparent, they deserve your undivided attention. We're sharing two of his delicious Gamays with you for November's wine club because light, chillable reds are exactly what a big Thanksgiving meal needs to wash it down. They're meant to be drunk with family and friends, so pour and cheers liberally!

For more information, check out:

Michel Guignier, 'Oh...!', Gamay, Beaujolais, France, 2019, ($48 Club)

The 'Oh...!' offers a well-rounded expression of the winemaker's grit and the land's vitality. Young and buoyant, this juicy red hits your tongue with bright acidity, lean minerality, and tart berries. It’s what a Gamay from Beaujolais should be! A bit wild, no-nonsense, and pleasurable to gulp down. The perfect cooking companion when you want that carefree buzz in the kitchen before your guests arrive. Whatever you end up doing, just have fun drinking it!

Michel Guignier, 'La Bonne Pioche', Gamay, Beaujolais, France, 2018, ($68 Club)

The beloved and sought-after 'La Bonne Pioche' translates to "The Right Pick". This Gamay comes from 45-year old vines whose roots grow deep into healthy, mineral-rich soil. This is an electric, predominantly fruit-forward red. You'll want to let its vibrant, chewy texture hang out on your tongue as if you're savoring a sour candy. It's an undeniable crowd-pleaser, so be prepared to show some generosity and after popping it open. 

Cantina Furlani, 'Alpino Negrik' Vino Rosso, Negrara, Trentino, Italy, 2019, ($48 Club)

Cantina Fulani exists 700 meters above sea level, overlooking the third largest city in the Alps, Trento, which is located in north-east Italy. The area is renowned for its dramatic Dolomite mountain range and Sasso Dolomitico soil (clay over schist and broken granite). The citizens of the Alps are known for respecting their homeland as a place where people and nature peacefully coexist. Matteo Furlani's wines perfectly represent this philosophy, as he has always farmed biodynamically and applied his formal education in agronomics to his vineyards. As a result, his soils are some of the healthiest and finest in quality in the region, and it shows in how fresh and alive his wines taste. Upon seeing a new Furlani cuvee come into the shop, we all revert to a childlike giddiness in anticipation, whether for the first time or the twelfth time. There is a playful and exciting energy we associate with his wines, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

This 'Alpino Negrik' Vino Rosso is made almost entirely from the black-skinned Negrara grape, which is native to the Trentino region. The balance of holiday spice and crispy autumn fruit will put you in a cozy mood, so put on a bulky sweater for the occasion. If you're feeling fancy, pair it with any mature, crystallized, Italian hard cheese. If you're feeling low-brow, it drinks excellently with a greasy burger and extra-salty skinny fries. Take your pick!

For more information, check out:

Le Coste, 'Bianchetto', Procanico/Malvasia/Moscato/Indigenous Varieties, Gradoli, Lazio, Italy, 2019,
​($68 Club)

North of Rome at the border of Tuscany, husband and wife power couple Gianmarco Antonuzi and Clementine Bouveron make some of our favorite Italian wines in the shop. Their passion: mastery and equanimity as biodynamic growers and winemakers is a privilege to experience and taste. Even with 14 hectares of land, they scrupulously care for every plant and animal individually. Nothing is rushed, in the vineyard or cellar, and their patience is deservedly expressed in the complexity and finesse of all Le Coste wines.

This little skin-contact Vino Bianco packs a punch with gorgeous floral and citrus notes and invigorating acidity. If you would like to introduce your friends and family to their first orange wine, this one is a winner. It's elegant, pretty, and sure to impress. It's mainly made up of the dry and crisp Procanico grape (if Procanico doesn't sound familiar to you, it's also known as Trebbiano Toscano), but the Malvasia adds a lovely bouquet of blossoms, and the Moscato kisses it with orange zest. Gradoli's volcanic soils provide exceptionally fertile, mineral-rich nutrients for these grapes. It is spontaneously fermented, spending two weeks on skins with six months of elevage.

For more information, check out:

October Wine Club Release

​We have two wines from Domaine de l'ASTRÉ. This winery was founded in  2017 when Aude Duval and Sylvain Ohayon took over their vineyard in 2012 and began farming  it organically. They have 8 ha including Semillon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The estate is located in the Bergerac appellation, surrounded by a forest. Though awaiting certification, the wine is made following biodynamic principles. 

L’astre, “Pelroge” Rouge, Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon, Bergerac, France, 2019

​This wine is made from 85% Merlot & 15% Cabernet Sauvignon (15% whole bunches for the Merlot). There is a short maceration with very little manipulation. Aging is completed in steel tanks for 6-7 months with a touch of sulphur at bottling. It is ruby red in color with good, bright acidity. We hope you enjoy this wine as wind-down into the fall. 

Here's what the winemaker's said:  "...Basket of acidulous red fruits, floral notes, spices such as liquorice and a minty touch are revealed with a frank attack and already sweet tannins, the promise of a digestible and elegant wine."

L’astre, “Flamenc” Rosé, Sémillon/Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon, Bergerac, France, 2019

​Read this blend carefully: This rosé is made from 50% Sémillon, 30% Cabernet Franc, & 20% Cabernet Sauvignon! The juice is direct pressed & free-run. White and red grapes are mixed together, with light periodic racking. Aging is in old barrels 7 there is just a touch of sulphur at bottling. 

Here's what the winemaker's wrote about it: "In a salmon color, this elegant and fresh rosé is destined to original wine pairings ... Dominated by orange peel and tangy red fruits notes, this gourmet nectar offers a controlled acidity and a vinous touch for the pleasure of the taste buds."

Cantina Giardino, “NA”, Falanghina/Coda di Volpe/Greco, Irpinia (Campania), Italy, 2019

​You probably know how much we like this producer already. We jumped at the opportunity to include it in this month's wine club. Made by Antonio and Daniela De Gruttola who seek out old vineyards in Irpinia, in the hills of Campania. They champion and preserve the region’s native varietals, old vines and an age old way of tending them. The vines are set at altitude and are planted over the region’s vibrant volcanic soils. Farming is all done by hand. In the cantina, Antonio takes a no-nonsense approach with the intention of letting this terroir express itself in full. The grapes ferment naturally without temperature control and fermentation can continue for months. 

This wine is a blend dominated by Falanghina from Benevento and Coda di Volpe from their vineyards in Montemarano, with a touch of Greco in the mix. Each grape spent four days on skins before being pressed off and blended for nine months rest in old chestnut casks. This really impresses with a wonderful purity of fruit, just the right amount of tannin and mouth watering acidity.

Martin Woods, Gamay, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2019

​Martin Woods(the woods and the winery) is hidden in the oak-forested foothills of Oregon's Coast Range, within the cool-climate McMinnville AVA, just outside of the city of McMinnville. Martin Woods is driven by partnerships with cool-climate vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley to produce terroir-driven Chardonnay, Gamay, Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, and Pinot Noir. The focus is on wine with the classical qualities.

This Gamay is made from vineyards at the Tualatin Estate & Havlin vineyard on mostly south-facing slopes of marine sedimentary & loess soils in the cool windy land of the Van duzer Corridor that provides an excellent climate for Gamay.