If you love light, perfumed, elegant red wines, this one is for you.
Schiava is a delightful variety that grows mainly in the porphyric sand and silt soils that are so prevalent in the viticultural regions of the Dolomite Mountains in northeastern Italy. Some of you may have had Elena Walch’s version of Schiava, a great producer and one we have used in our sampler pack before.
Cantina di Montagna’s version is so light, many of us will argue that it treads into rosé territory. Pale and transluscent, it is absolutely bereft of the tiniest inkling of tannin, and appears to have simply been kissed by the skins for a fleeting moment.
Further investigation into the subject has revealed that Schiava comes in many different hues, white, pink and red, and that this particular cooperative is utilizing all the different colors of Schiava that grow in their various vineyards. In this context its blush of color makes perfect sense. So please don’t be disconcerted.
For Sheb and her unquenchable thirst for all things light and alpine, it was love at first sip (ok ,maybe glug). This is fantastic fish wine and is incredible with sushi.
$12.00 /BTL. $144.00/CASE OF 12
2013 Vina Mida Offida Pecorino-Marche, Italy
Vini Mida is a 3 hectare estate located in Castorano. Winemaker Roberto Corradetti produces between 7,000 – 8,000 bottles of wine per year. The history of Vini Mida began with Roberto’s father, who was passionate about wine and made small quantities for home use. After the birth of Roberto’s son in 2000, they decided to take a more full-time approach and 2004 marked the start of the company.
Roberto is very connected to his vineyards, and has strong beliefs on farming and the health of the farm. His vineyards are organically farmed, even certified as Agricoltura Biologica.
This hard work in the vineyard pays off in the wines.
A few months ago we did a successful campaign with their red wine made with Montepulciano. We had put the white out in our “value section” but you thirsty people started downing it with abandon, and we knew we wanted to have it in this sampler, so we hid it in the back until now.
When most of us think of Pecorino, we think of a spicy, firm cheese made from sheep’s milk. Pecorino does indeed refer to sheep, but in the grape’s case it is due to the shape of the bunches, which resemble the head of a sheep. This is a variety we really only see coming out of the Marche.
Mida’s rendition is quite full-bodied, even without the aid of oak, and there is an herbal quality as well as ripe peach and apple flavors to the wine.
$15.00/BTL.-$180.00/CASE OF 12
2011 Calcu Cabernet Franc-Colhagua Valley, Chile
We are thrilled to see that wine drinkers are beginning to pick up on the charms of good old Cabernet Franc, an ancient grape with a long and storied history.
Cabernet Franc got its start in the Basque Country, an offspring of Hondarribi Beltza, one of the Txakolina grapes. From there is made it’s way up the Atlantic coast, into Bordeaux and then the Loire Valley, where it was referred to for years as Breton.
In 1830, a Frenchman named Claudio Gay set up a Chilean repository of pre-phylloxera vines at the University of Chile’s Quinta Normal department. These vine specimens served Chile well; its geographic isolation, due to the Andes, prevented phylloxera from entering the country. Today, Chile is the only major winemaking country to remain totally phylloxera-free; in the late 1800s the country was able to capitalize on Europe’s vineyard devastation and a large domestic consumption to advance its own industry.
Think of Cabernet Franc as a more herbaceous, plummier version of it’s more famous son, Cabernet Franc. Calcu, a label from the reputed Viña Maquis and much of the fruit does come from their estate in the heart of the Colchagua Valley. Aging is in stainless steel tanks for freshness, and neutral french oak for complexity.
$11.00/BTL-$132.00/CASE OF 12
2012 Domaine de L’Hortus “Le Loup Dans La Bergerie” Rouge- Vin de Pays du Val de Montferrand, Languedoc, France
One of France’s greatest treasures is the vast stretch of land called the Languedoc and all the delicious wine that comes from there. This region has more acres planted to vines than anywhere else on the planet and is responsible for 30% of all wine made in France!
Admittedly, a large percentage of this output is regular old wine (it used to be called “vin ordinaire” in France). But times have changed and as a younger, more quality-focused generation takes the helm, the conversation is more about specific terroirs and more vigorous vine management, which has resulted in a large shift. We are seeing some great wine coming out of these beautiful little villages, and less ordinary stuff.
Domaine de L’Hortus produces quality wines in the zone of Pic-Saint-Loup, and this bottling is a blend of Grenache, Syrah & Merlot. However, these particular vineyards lay outside the boundaries of the appellation. So the family makes a value driven red for everyday drinking that is tasty and expressive. It’s a soft, supple wine with a bit of black pepper and cheery purple fruit.
$11.00/BTL-$132.00/CASE OF 12
2013 Lagar de Darei Branco-Dão, Portugal
Darei is a place, a tiny village, where Carlos Ruivo, proprietor of Casa de Darei lives and works the vines. There goal of authentic, handmade wines is realized in the four different wines they produce.
While it has become somewhat trendy in the Dão to produce wines solely of Encruzado, Darei still does what has almost always has occurred, and that is to blend white varieties. This wine is a blend of Encruzado, Malvasia Fina, Cerceal, Bical and Gouveio. These are native grapes, each playing a role in the complexity of this wine. And yes, there will be a quiz. At the end of the newsletter.
Some of you may have tried the “Private Label” white on our last 6 for $120- Something Sampler, an oak aged version. Our selection for the 6 for $70-Something Sampler is a steel aged version, fresh with a nice texture and plenty of clementine and peach fruit, as well as mineral and freshness.
$13.00/BTL-$156.00/CASE OF 12
2011 Bodegas Vinae Mureri “Xiloca” Garnacha- Vino de la Tierra Ribera del Jiloca, Spain
The Ribera del Jiloca is a growing region located in the province of Zaragoza, in the mountain geographic center of the ancient kingdom of Aragón. What rich history once existed in this region has since been replaced by a remote, bucolic landscape, sparsely populated and shielded from modernity by its treacherously graded terrain.
Ok, that’s nice but what about the wine?
When we reach out to our vendors for great values we can place in the samplers, there always seems to be a Garnacha in the mix. And not flabby or dilute ones either, but high-quality, delicious wines like this Xiloca, that comes from high-altitude, older vines, perched happily on sunny mountain sides in beautiful, exposed slate that is peppered with trilobite fossils from the Cambrian era.
So, it is with happiness that we present to you another lovely, silky Garnacha, laden with raspberries and white pepper, aged in tank and bottled for the sole purpose of your nightly enjoyment.
$10.00/BTL.-$120.00/CASE OF 12