May 2021, Issue 8

 

Knocking on Helen's Door

Happy May! With Spring now in full bloom, hopefully all of you are feeling that sunny optimism as we move into the warmth of the season. We are so excited to open our doors to the public once more, so you can peruse our physical shelves and discover some new favorites on Wed/Fri/Sat from 12-6pm. Online ordering will also continue for in-store pickup and local delivery, so you can stock up your cellars in whatever way makes you happy. Cheers to sunnier days ahead!

-Jeremy

PS - Click the grid above for all of May's picks!


Domaine Belluard

We begin this month high in the French Alps. Dominique Belluard took over his family's land in Savoy back in 1988. His main focus has been the grape Grignet, a native varietal found only in his area that was nearly extinct. In fact, there are an estimated 64 acres of Grignet in the world, and Dom cultivates 54 of those! He's also the only winemaker to be bottling this grape commercially, making this bottle of bubbles EXTRA special. Biodynamic, emotional and absolutely gorgeous.

Why We Love It

This sparkler is made from 100% Grignet, and unless you've had one of Dom's wines, you've probably never had this grape before. Bright and fascinatingly complex, with notes of pine forest, baking spice, toasted walnuts, pear, honey and lemon curd. It doesn't get much better than this.

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Domaine Padié

Our next stop is in the Southwest of France, a wine region known for it's renegade spirit and boundary-pushing bottles. Jean-Philippe Padié was born and raised in Burgundy, but always dreamed of moving to his grandparents' home in the Languedoc-Roussillon. He's been making natural wine in the village of Calce since 2003, never using additives or sulphites. The land is full of vertical faultlines that create countless valleys with countless microclimates, and Jean-Philippe's wines are a reflection of this wild and untamed land.

Why We Love It

"Le Tourbillon de la Vie" is named after a song by Jeanne Moreau and translates as "The Whirlwind of Life". Made from 100% Macabeu, this wine is medium-bodied, bright and dry, with notes of pink grapefruit, stone fruits and mint. Drink this will all things spring - fish, chicken, a big, herby salad, tapas, or just sitting out on the beach at sunset. Pure magic.

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Margins

Next, we're heading to the Santa Cruz Mountains in California. Winemaker Megan Bell is all about the margins - those underrepresented places that are often left out or overlooked - and bringing them and their vines into the spotlight. Part of her project is to work with small, local growers to help them transition to organic farming practices. These are exciting, low-intervention wines with a mission, and we're excited to showcase the great work that Megan is doing!

Why We Love It

This rosé is a blend of Barbera, Merlot and Petite Syrah. The vineyards are on the coastal side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and this cooler growing climate has preserved the natural acidity beautifully. Super bright and thirst-quenching, with notes of strawberries and citrus.

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Alicante Wine Label

Clos Lentiscus

Our last stop this month is in the Penedès region of Spain, just north of Barcelona. Manel Arinyò and his brother Joan took over their father's land in 2001. Prior to this, the land was farmed conventionally and the grapes were sold off. Manel converted everything to organic and biodynamic techniques, and started bottling his own wine. His sparkling wines rival the best grower champagnes, and really, everything he touches turns to gold. These wines are as natural as can be, but there's no funk in sight. Just purity, elegance and sunshine.

Why We Love It

Litrona is 100% Sumoll, a native grape to the Penedès region of Spain, and these vines are 80 years old! Fermented and aged in very old barrels and clay amphorae for 1.5 years before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Notes of dark fruit and earth. Best with just a slight chill.

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Alicante Wine Label

Thanks for reading and until next time, Cheers!


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