Hello & Happy Friday!
Craig set off for France a few days ago for his annual visit with producers in Champagne and Burgundy. Due to his travels, the store will be closed the following date:
Store Closed Monday, April 24th
Be on the lookout for his travel posts on Facebook and Instagram!
It’s the second to last Friday of the month, and time for us to introduce our latest “6 for Everyday” Wine Club, the $30 and under edition.
We have some great wines from the good ol’ USA, as well as a new wine from South Africa, and some old favorites from France and Portugal that have moved into current vintages – it’s a great mix of white, red and rosé to match up with this transitional spring weather.
Don’t miss this!
Have a great weekend,
Craig, Jamie & Evie
6 for “Everyday” Wine Club –
The $30 & under Edition
2015 Owen Roe “Ex Umbris” Syrah
Yakima Valley, Washington
Jerry Owen, on the the vineyard side, and David O’Reilly, who makes the wine, formed Owen Roe with a simple purpose: to produce excellent wines from grapes grown and cultivated in the best vineyards in the Pacific Northwest.
Their first vintage was in 1999, and ever since, they allow only minimal handling, racking by gravity, and excellent cooperage. From the fruit to the bottle, cork, and label, Owen Roe aims for quality over quantity.
“Ex Umbris” comes from four tiny estate vineyards in Yakima Valley. It is bursting with lovely dark fruit aromas, black cherry, boysenberry, blueberry and plum swirl through the glass. Flavors of dried fruits, spice, pepper and layers of pie filling, berry cobbler and cigar box fill the palate. Enjoy now, but make sure to open and/or decant for 1-2 hours. This wine is complex and will age well for many years, so stock up and store away
$26.00 BTL / $312.00 CASE
2016 Donovan Rall Grenache Blanc
Piekenierskloop, South Africa
We’ve introduced you to Donovan’s wines in the past, and this is the first time the Grenache Blanc has ever been bottled and released to the market.
Rall Wines was established in 2008 and is owned and run by young independent winemaker Donovan Rall. He graduated from Stellenbosch University with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology in 2005. Afterwards, he traveled extensively to work harvests all over the world.
Since the beginning Rall’s focus was on producing just one white and one red blend made by hand and in tiny quantities from the most unique and oldest possible sites he could find.
With this in mind the first 10 barrels of Rall wines was made in 2008 and a few years down the line nothing had changed, until now.
Production is still tiny and the focus remains on simplicity: learning and understanding more about each vineyard and its contribution every vintage. He and his friends are working tirelessly to preserve the old vines and historic vineyards in South Africa and focusing on elevating the overall quality of the wines.
Grapes for the Grenache Blanc come from a Piekenierskloof ungrafted vineyard some 15 years old and juice underwent spontaneous fermentation, a portion on the skins and maturation lasting six months in a combination of concrete egg and old oak.
The wine has a complex nose of citrus, white peach, apricot, ginger and spice. The palate is vibrant, with more fruit notes and a pithy, almost bitter finish. It’s one of those bottlings which are entirely uplifting to drink
$26.00 BTL / ONLY AVAILABLE WITH SAMPLER
2016 A Tribute to Grace “Highlands Vineyard” Rosé
Santa Barbara, California
A Tribute to Grace is named for winemaker Angela Osborne’s grandmother. Angela studied film in her native New Zealand and worked at a wine shop to pay the bills. While she enjoyed wine, it was not her passion. Angela was ready to pursue her film career when a winemaker friend found her a harvest job and insisted that she move to California to take it. Once there, she discovered Grenache and fell hard for the grape that would later become the singular focus of her winemaking.
Angela’s search for graceful Grenache has led her to vineyards from Santa Barbara to the Sierra Foothills. A Tribute to Grace is made from sustainably-farmed grapes with an eye towards Biodynamics. Angela’s mindfulness continues to her delicate handling of wine, which includes the use of neutral oak and only small sulfur additions at bottling for stability.
This lovely little rosé is perfect for the sunny we’re all waiting for in Chicago. Medium intensity, youthful with floral, melon, and stone fruit aromas. It’s dry and finishes on the palate with flavors of raspberry, peach and strawberry jam.
$27.00 BTL / $324.00 CASE
2013 La Madura “Grand Vin” Rouge
One of our favorite wineries in the Languedoc, Cyril and Nadia are making excellent wines in the Saint-Chinian appellation. This is the latest release of their top red, predominantly made from Syrah and Mourvèdre, with a little bit of Grenache and Carignan.
Domaine La Madura, we believe, is one of the best producers in the appellation of Saint-Chinian in the western Languedoc region of France. What is special about this region is that it offers a variety of different types of soils, expositions and elevation levels. It allows an estate like La Madura, who has several parcels planted with different varieties, the ability to blend.
Domaine La Madura is broken up into a series of small plots, which is typical of the estates in the Languedoc, where the region’s best terroirs are found. Not just the soil but the altitude also varies considerably from one plot to another, which means that harvest can be spread out and grapes are able to be picked at their peak ripeness.
This full-bodied red is aged in 225L barrels, and delivers a powerful yet fresh flavor profile of black and red berries, coffee and cocoa notes, mulberry on the finish.
$30.00 BTL / $180.00 SIX PACK CASE
2015 Tiago Teles “Gilda”
This is a producer you are all familiar with by now, and this latest release of “Gilda” is just as delicious and complex as vintages past.
For any newcomers, it’s important to know that Tiago is a relative newcomer to the wine scene in Portugal, with his first vintage was in 2012. He is passionate and dedicated and his vision of fresh, naturally made wines that express their terroir shines brightly in his wines.
Craig first met Tiago at a wine tasting on the waterfront in Lisbon. He loved the wines and realized that they were the perfect wines to bring in for diners at Fat Rice, a Chicago restaurant that Craig helps with the wine list. The food of Fat Rice calls out for largely sparkling, white and rosé. Reds can work, but with spice levels that can climb, the red wine needs to be lower in alcohol, with a good degree of freshness. Tiago’s reds were the perfect answer.
“Gilda” is a wine that blends a high proportion of Merlot alongside Tinta Barroca and Tinta Cão. If you put this in a blind tasting it would be difficult to not call it Right Bank Bordeaux, although the mid-palate lends itself to a richer style, and the Portuguese varieties add some spice notes unique to Bairrada and Portugal.
We love the aromatics on this wine, with notes of green peppercorn, plum, and mineral. This is a wine of freshness, and at 12.5% alcohol it glides across your palate. We even recommend bringing down the temperature of the wine to around 58 degrees.
$17.00 BTL / $204.00 CASE
2014 Domaine Laurent Cognard 1er Cru “Le Vieux Château” Montagny
Until 2004, this estate sold its grapes to the local co-op, which dominates production in the area. That year, Laurent Cognard returned to his family’s property after years of working as a wine consultant for the fine wine section of a major brewery in Lyon and then a stint as commercial agent for Champagne Billecart Salmon in Paris.
He spent the next few years revamping the family’s seven hectares of vineyards, progressively moving them into a more natural and sustainable farming model.
The terroir is very stoney, which gives an attractive steely minerality to the wines. 80% of the Montagny 1er Curs are fermented in 500 liter casks, the remainder is aged in stainless steel to retain the freshness of the wines. The result is a creamy texture on the palate with fresh citrus characters running through to a zingy finish.
This is truly a terroir-driven Chardonnay. The Montagny 1er Cru “Le Vieux Château” is situated on a sheltered hillside with that stoney terrain of white limestone. The wine has lime cordial and sherbet aromas with tons of minerality and a soft texture on the finish.
$25.00 BTL / $300.00 CASE