Dec 2020, Issue 4

 

NeverEnding Story

It's almost unbelievable that the holidays are here and this wild rollercoaster of a year is nearly over. In some ways it has felt eternally long, and in others like it's passed in the blink of an eye. For as many unsettling moments as there were, there were still so many beautiful ones, and so much to be grateful for. We wish you all the happiest of holiday seasons, and hope you find an abundance of new and beautiful moments as our stories go on.

-Jeremy

PS - Click the grid above for a special Holiday collection of wines!


Casebianche, Pashkà

This month, we begin in Campania, Italy, south of Naples. Elisabetta Luorio and her husband Pasquale left their hectic Napolese city life behind in the late 90's to take over her father's vineyards. They've since converted everything to biodynamic practices, allowing the magic of nature to take over and really letting the grapes speak for themselves. Their land is steeped in history - ten minutes down the road are ancient Greek temples to Poseidon and Hera, and wine cultivation has existed in the vicinity for thousands of years!

Why We Love It

This sparkling red wine is a blend of Aglianico and Barbera, refermented in the bottle and unfiltered. Notes of red fruit, spice and herbs with a touch of earth. This sparkler is wonderful served slightly chilled with salumi, and Betti and Pasquale suggest inverting the bottle before opening to fully integrate all the unfiltered goodness back into the wine.

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Les Vignes de Paradis, Dominique Lucas

Our next stop is Savoy, France, high in the French Alps. Dominique Lucas is the best kind of renegade winemaker - 5th generation Burgundian who left his family's estate to escape the rigid winemaking laws there, and settled in Savoy, where he could experiment to his heart's content. He farms 10 hectares of vines using biodynamic techniques, and ferments in a wide variety of vessels, from old barrels to cement eggs and clay amphorae...and even a concrete pyramid!

Why We Love It

Chasselas is Switzerland's most important grape, and has been cultivated in the Savoy region of France for many generations. Dominique has a strong reverence for the grape, and although his vines are young, his careful hand produces wines of depth and complexity. If you've never had Chasselas before, make sure this bottle is your first! Deep aromas of citrus and tropical fruit with notes of honeysuckle and a long rush of minerals.

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Cantine Valenti, Ciuri di Lava

On to Sicily, Italy, we have an incredible project from Giovanni Valenti and his son Alessandro. Their vineyards are some of the very highest on Mt. Etna, a literal Eden surrounded by massive old lava flows and charred ash. Etna is an active volcano, and the danger and excitement that hang in the air of their vineyards is palpable. You can feel this energy in the bottle as well...it's amazing to experience a wine with such beauty and refinement coming from such a wild place. Magic in a bottle, for sure.

Why We Love It

Ciuri di Lava is 100% Carriante, coming from a very small plot. After fermentation, the wine stays on the skins for 4 months, creating a rich, golden color and deep, oxidized flavors of grapefruit, melon and hints of nuttiness. This wine is like liquid gold!

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Alicante Wine Label

Christophe Ferrandis, Iniziā

Our final stop this month is the French island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean Sea. Christophe Ferrandis grew up in Marseilles and spent many summers in Corsica as a child. Iniziā is his personal project and a return to his childhood roots. He planted 5 native grape varietals all together on a small part of his uncle's land, an homage to the traditions of Corsican farming. 2017 is his first vintage, and all the grapes were co-fermented together. Less than 90 cases were produced, making this a really special holiday treat.

Why We Love It

A unicorn wine if there ever was one, Iniziā is made from Minustellu and a field blend of forgotten Corsican grapes. High aromatics, bright red fruit, notes of cola and hints of a briny savoriness (we ❤️ island wines!) this wine has a strong sense of the untamed and isolated place it comes from...we want to go there. Now.

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Alicante Wine Label

Helen's Holiday Care Packages

Looking for the perfect gift? Maybe it's just us, but wine always seems like a good idea. This holiday season, we have some beautifully curated care packages available for local delivery and statewide shipping! Send some to your nearest and dearest, and treat yourself to one as well. You deserve it.

Click the images below for more information!

Thanks for reading and until next time, Cheers!


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