Wine Club July 2019

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Hello everyone, your July edition of wine club is now available for pickup. There are some really fantastic bottles this month, so we really look forward to hearing your thoughts on them. If you have any questions or would like additional details about this months selections, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line. Cheers!

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NV Cantina di Soliera Lambrusco di Sorbara - Emilia-Romagna, Italy $18.50

Where

Lambrusco di Sorbara is one of five designated subregions in Emilia-Romagna for the production of Lambrusco. It is positioned north of the city of Modena, close to the village of Sorbara. It lies within the larger Plain of the Po, or Po Valley, a flatland that covers 46,000 square kilometres from the Western Alps to the Adriatic Sea. The climate here can be stifling hot and humid (it is technically classified as humid subtropical.) This is caused by the surrounding Alps and the Apennines that trap in the influence of the Adriatic Sea. Viticulture in this area goes way back, all the way back to the seventh century BC!
  

What

Lambrusco is a style of red sparkling or semi-sparkling wine that can be made from some 60 different varieties of the Lambrusco grape. The best examples are made from 4 main varieties: Lambrusco di Sorbara, Lambrusco Maestri, Lambrusco Grasparossa, and Lambrusco Salamino. Traditional Lambrusco has very little in common with the mass produced plonk found in most grocery stores, and is most often dry (secco) or semi-dry (semisecco).

The Cantina di Soliera Lambrusco di Sorbara is made from the lightest and finest of the top four Lambrusco grape varieties. Produced using the charmat method, it underwent secondary fermentation in tank to obtain its distinctive sparkle.

Who

Cantina di Soliera is a winemaking cooperative with 422 member growers within the Lambrusco di Sorbara zone. Founded in 1982, it is the region's most prolific producer. In addition to 20 hectares of top “cru” vineyards within the borders of the region, it also has some holdings in the neighbouring DOC of Grasparossa di Castelvetro. Associated with three interprovincial partners (Cantina di Limidi, Sozzigalli and Rolo winery), Cantina di Soliera’s winemaker Marco Facchini has access to 100 years of sparkling wine making know-how.

Taste

Some are taken off-guard the first time they try Lambrusco. Chilled red sparkling wine is not very common. The Cantina di Soliera Lambrusco di Sorbara is a great introduction to the style, as it’s more rosé than red. In the glass it shows a bright pinkish red hue with a steady stream of frothy bubbles. Light bodied with high acidity, it displays notes of sour-cherry, rhubarb, hibiscus and violets. Like with all sparkling wines, we suggest skipping the flutes and serving this Lambrusco in white wine glasses to better appreciate its floral aromas. It is the perfect pizza wine!

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2018 Field Recordings “Skins” White Blend - Central Coast, California $31.50

Where

Running 450 kilometres from Contra Costa County to the Santa Ynez Valley, the Central Coast AVA covers a large swath of territory between Los Angeles and San Francisco. First planted in the 1700’s by Spanish missionaries, the region contains a total of 40 sub-AVA’s, such as Paso Robles, Santa Cruz Mountains, Monterey, and Santa Barbara. With soaring land prices in the Napa Valley and Sonoma County, the Central Valley is a place to watch. Much of the Central Coast is affected by cool coastal influences that are channeled in via wind gaps that open towards the Pacific Ocean. Further inland the region receives significant sunshine and warmth.

What

The Field Recording “Skins” is an uncommon blend of Chenin Blanc (40%), Pinot Gris (25%), Riesling (25%), and Verdelho (10%). The grapes were harvested within the Central Coast AVA from 5 vineyards: Spanish Springs, Greengate, Pomar Junction, Sarmento, and Martin Brothers vineyard. Once in the winery the grapes were destemmed, followed by a maceration on the skins for 72 hours to 29 days. This method of fermentation draws out flavour and aroma compounds (including phenols) from the skin’s, as well as a distinctive orange colour. It is essentially a white wine made like a red wine. Following fermentation the wine was aged for 6 months in neutral French oak barrels.

Who

Field Recordings’ Andrew Jones is the man to know on the Central Coast. A veteran fieldman for a grapevine nursery, he’s had a hand in replanting much of the regions vineyards. In his words: "Every season I see about 2 to 3 million vines go in the ground." Through his connections with grape growers Jones was able to create Field Recordings in 2007. His portfolio of wines is a relative catalog of the states under the radar vineyards. In addition to his single vineyard labels, Jones also bottles wines under the Wonderwall, Alloy Wine Works and FICTION labels.

Taste

The “Skins” white blend is the perfect introduction to skin-contact wines. Faintly tangerine in color, the nose shows cidery aromas of orange peel, bruised apple, honey, and tea leaf. The palate is nicely round with a touch of tannins and mellow acidity. Compared with some other skin-contact wines, it is noticeably less volatile in character. It is best served not too cold, and decanted for maximum deliciousness. It is light enough to pair up well with seafood or salads, but also bold enough to tackle a thick pork chop. Plenty of spice? No worries. This is a super versatile food pairing wine.

 

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2018 Foradori Lezèr Vigneti delle Dolomiti - Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy $32.50

Where

The IGT of Vigneti delle Dolomiti is located at the far northern reaches of Italy. Introduced officially in 1996, this Alpine zone lies mostly within Trentino-Alto Adige, although a small portion spills into the Veneto. The Dolomites, part of the Southern Limestone Alps, are famed for skiing and mountain climbing. It is the crossroads between Mediterranean and continental Europe. The Foradori estate is located on a floodplain formed by the confluence of the Noce river with the Adige river. Known as the Campo Rotaliano, this area has been an important hub for centuries. Subject to frequent flooding, the landscape has particularly loose and free-draining soils ideal for viticulture.

What

Italy’s alpine wine regions are home to many unique local grape varieties. Teroldego, an ancient deeply pigmented variety, is the favoured choice for red wines. It is chiefly planted on the plains between the mountains, and traditionally trained on pergolas. It is most at home in the calcareous, granitic and porphyritic rocky soils of the Campo Rotaliano.

The Foradori Lezèr is made from 100% Teroldego that was spontaneously fermented in cement tanks. Bottled without fining or filtering, it was conceived as an easy drinking vin de soif version of Teroldego. It took around 20 different variations to end up with a final version of Lezèr. Consider it a sort of “gateway drug” into the fantastical world of Foradori.

Who

Elisabetta Foradori commands deep respect from her peers for her fervor for Trentino’s indegenous varieties. Thrust into the role of winemaker when she was only 19, Elisabetta played a key part in Teroldego’s renaissance. The Foradori estate, 28 hectares in size, was first purchased by her family in 1934. Under her guidance the vineyards were mostly replanted to guyot training and converted to organic farming. By 2009 the estate was fully biodynamic. In the cellar she dropped cultured yeasts and pulled back on the use of sulphur. Making a huge break from local convention, she introduced aging some wines in unlined Spanish clay tinajas (amphorae). Thanks to her impeccable farming practices, she was also able to introduce two single-site Teroldegos, Sgarzon and Morei. Her practices are a marked departure from the heavy handed methods of larger Trentino wineries. On top of creating incredibly compelling wines, Elisabetta has become a muse for Italy’s new generation of winemakers. Now joined at the winery by her sons Theo and Emilio, the future at Foradori looks very bright indeed.

Taste

As Elisabetta’s son Theo puts it, “we want something that’s great for spring and summer, something that’s fun and easy to drink.” Light cherry red in the glass, the Lezèr could easily be misidentified as Beaujolais. On the nose it is driven by a bouquet of freshly picked bramble fruits and sappy spices. It is light in body with lean acidity. The palate is thirst quenching, juicy, and utterly smashable with notes of ripe raspberries and bitter strawberries. Best served slightly chilled, the Lezèr is the superlative unpretentious beach wine.

 

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2017 Circus Number Alentejo Red - Alentejo, Portugal $20.00

Where

The region of Alentejo is the progressive winemaking heartland of Portugal’s south. Named after the Tejo river, this area is very sparsely populated and primarily dedicated to agriculture. It’s landscape and climate has been compared to that of California. The gently rolling hillsides insure that the Atlantic’s cooling influence is well moderated. Sunshine and warmth is abundant.

What

The Alentejo has played a large role in reshaping the Portuguese wine industry. Many wineries here have embraced modernity, producing full flavoured wines that appeal to both new and old world wine drinkers. Once dominated by large government run operations, the region has seen a boom in small producers invested in the region future.

The Circus Number Alentejo Red is a blend of 30% Castelão, 30% Trincadeira, 30% Aragones (Tempranillo), plus 10% other local grape varieties. The grapes were harvested from the Redondo, one of 8 sub-regions within the Alentejo. This area is known for producing red wines with a fruity profile. Hand harvested during the last week of August, the grapes were fermented in temperature controlled fermentation vats for 5 to 6 days. It was aged entirely in tank with no oak influence.

Who

Circus Number is one of a handful of wine brands created by Gota Wines. Releasing their first vintage in 2008, the company was founded by Natalia Jessa. A veteran wine buyer from Poland by way of Ireland, Jessa was drawn by Portugal's immense potential. Her driving credo is to make wines that are both approachable in style and price point. Altogether they produce wines from 6 different regions.

Taste

Deep violet in the glass, this obscure red blend holds succulent notes of ripe pomegranate, licorice, and black-cherry. Medium-full bodied, the palate is moderately tannic with a peppery finish. Warm and generously flavoured, it is the ideal house wine. Although many wine drinkers will be unfamiliar with the blend, is has close to universal appeal. It is an excellent match for sweet and spicy barbecued pork ribs. A brief spell of decanting for half an hour or so would be advisable.

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2015 Bodegas Ortega Ezquerro Crianza - Rioja, Spain $25.50

Where

The village of Tudelilla is located within the Rioja subregion of Rioja Oriental. Formerly known as Rioja Baja, it is the most eastern zone of DOCa Rioja. Compared to the zones of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, it has a significantly hotter and drier Mediterranean climate. It is also significantly larger in size, accounting for 40% of Rioja’s total output. Tudelilla itself sits 545 meters above sea level. Characteristized by rocky and pebbly soils, the vineyards are mostly planted to bush trained old vine Garnacha. The rest of the zone is mostly made up of scrubland and almond fields.

What

Wines from Rioja Oriental are typically known to be bold, fruit-forward, and rich in style. Garnacha plays a large role here. Rioja has a well defined style based on blended wines that are aged in oak barrels. The amount of time spent in barrel plays a large role in the final style of a wine. A Crianza spends a minimum of one year in casks and a few months in the bottle, while a Gran Reserva spends at least 2 years in oak casks and 3 years in the bottle.

The Bodegas Ortega Ezquerro Crianza is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha harvested from 70+ year old vines planted at 650 meters above sea level. Once destemmed and partially crushed, the grapes were fermented in temperature controlled tanks at 28-29ºC. Once fermented the wine spent 14-16 months in a combination of 70% new American oak barrels and 30% second-use French oak barrels.

Who

Bodegas Ortega Ezquerro was founded in 1896 when Quintín Ortega planted his first vines. Quintín, an accomplished barrel maker, refurbished an old wine cellar in order to make wine for his family. Today the estate is still family owned and managed by Quintín’s grand-son, Carmelo. His winemaker, David Bastida, employs modern tools and techniques without veering away from the wineries humble roots. In the vineyard he chooses to fertilize only with manure and natural plant treatments, and hand harvests only the best grapes.

Taste

The Ortega Ezquerro Crianza displays the classic Rioja aromas of ripe red fruits dusted with vanilla-coffee spice. The full bodied palate has silky fine tannins and a sweet toffee finish. Round and mouth-filling, it is the ideal pairing for grilled red meats and aged cheeses. A good regional pairing for this wine are Albondigas, a kind of Spanish meatballs served in pinchos/tapas restaurants.

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2017 Lapis Luna Wines Zinfandel - North Coast, California $20.50

Where

California is a grape growing titan. It is the largest and easily the most important wine making region in the United States. It spans 1370 kilometers from North to South, and ten degrees of latitude. With a footprint this large, there is plenty of variety in geography and climate. Two main influences are altitude and proximity to the Pacific Ocean. High elevation and maritime influenced zones can experience strikingly cooler temperatures than zones located inland. Temperatures in the Central Valley can reach a scorching 46 °C. In contrast, California’s North Coast AVA (home to Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma, and Solano counties) enjoys milder temperatures from coastal breezes and cool mountain air.

What

The Lapis Luna Zinfandel is in fact a blend of 80% Zinfandel and 20% Sangiovese. California AVA guidelines dictate that a wine labelled by variety must contain at least 75% of that variety. It is common practice for varietally labelled Californian wines to contain small percentages of other grapes that are not listed on the label. For this wine the grapes were sourced from vineyards within the North Coast AVA. The Zinfandel came from Pauli Ranch in the Ukiah region of Mendocino. Once in the winery the grapes were destemmed, crushed, and inoculated with cultured yeasts to induce fermentation. Maceration on skins ranged from 12 to 28 days. Fermented to 13.8% degrees alcohol, the wine was aged in 10% new French and American oak barrels for 10 months.

Who

Lapis Luna Wines was reinvented in 2018 by Drew Stapp and Andrew Nelson. Having cut their teeth with the Rabble Wine Company, Stapp and Nelson set out to reinvent this 20 year old North Coast wine brand. It is one of two projects to be backed by WarRoom Ventures, a company also founded in 2018 to invest in new wine enterprises. The name of the winery translates to “stone” and “moon.” While not owning any vineyards themselves, they have secured long term relationships with small grape growers in Lodi and North Coast AVA’s. Their brightly coloured labels depict 400 year old copperplate engravings that show the relationship between the earth and the moon.

Taste

Youthful and fruity, this Zinfandel showcases smooth notes of strawberry, blackberry, and cinnamon. Unlike some Zinfandels that exhibit “cooked” aromas, this wine is noticeably fresh. The palate is medium-bodied with mellow tannins and well balanced acidity. Soft enough to be served without food, it is best paired with grilled white meat and light cheeses like buffalo mozzarella.