Apr 2021, Issue 7

 

Needles and Pins

As the vaccine rollout opens up more and more, there are a lot of emotions coming up to the surface. Excitement, relief, and even a catharsis of all the tension we've been carrying with us for the past year. As we rush to return to "normal", what if we considered what parts of "normal" are worth rushing back to? Maybe we have a chance to create something better. April is a time of rebirth, and what better time to start something fresh and inspired? Cheers to new beginnings, more kindness and deeper connections. The shop will be re-opening starting April 30th, and we can't wait to welcome you back. Wed/Fri/Sat from 12-6pm!

-Jeremy

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


Listen In...

Alexis had the opportunity to talk about Helen's Bottle Shop's evolution and pivoting during the pandemic with The Brand Smiths, an exciting podcast about small businesses and modern ways of connecting with the public.

Click the logo to listen in!

Sous le Végétal

Our first stop this month is the beautiful Greek island of Samos. Sous le Végétal is a collaboration project of Jason Ligas and Patrick Bouju. They are working against the norms of industrial farming, turning to biodynamics as a way to restore a healthy permaculture to their land and vines. They even use herbs and natural balms to soothe, heal and protect their vines! Focusing solely on the grape Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, each of their cuvées shows just how versatile and shapeshifting this grape can be.

Why We Love It

Livia is made from 100% Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, most famous as a light sparkler from Northern Italy and as a dessert wine from the South of France. This grape is native to Greece, and shines here with a light all its own. Long and full-bodied, with zippy acid and notes of aromatic flowers and savory sea salt.

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Kunoh Wines

Our next stop is on the gorgeous South Island of New Zealand, in Tasman. Yuki Nakano is a former sommelier from Kyoto, who brings his passion for Japanese food culture to New Zealand winemaking. He brings out a savory, umami quality that is all his own - he only eats Japanese food to keep his palate as fine tuned as it was during his days in the world of fine dining. With a big thirst for knowledge, Yuki has developed a strong grasp of the nuances of natural winemaking, although has never formally studied. A wunderkind of epic proportions, his wines are rare, fresh and one-of-a-kind. Kunoh is Yuki's mother's family name, which he's carrying on with this magical project.

Why We Love It

Table 30 is made from 90% Pinot Blanc and 10% Riesling, co-fermented on the Riesling skins, aged for 10 months and bottled unfiltered. Lightning bolts of acidity, notes of lemons, limes and magnolia blossoms. Round, textured and unforgettable.

Label art by Parisian artist and friend Yuki Yashiro.

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Idlewild

Mendocino County, California is our rosé stop this month. Sam Bilbro is the man behind this incredible project, focusing solely on grape varietals that are native to Piedmont, Italy. All the grapes are sourced from 2 vineyards, managed by Wild Ruth Farming, a collaboration between Idlewild and Ruth Lewandowski Wines. This means small production, and a truly hands-on approach from the beginning of the vines to the finished bottles. Holistic farming practices are used, which help let the land and the grapes speak for themselves. What you get from all this is a strong reflection of European winemaking, where a sense of place takes centerstage, wrapped up in a fresh, modern, New World sensibility. Surprising and delicious at every turn.

Why We Love It

Flora and Fauna Rosé is a blend of Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera. From California. That alone is exciting enough, but wait until you taste it. Aromas of blood orange, grapefruit, sea spray and alpine herbs, juicy berry and orchard flavors that dance between savory and fresh. Powerful but with delicate subtlety. This is a serious rosé that you'll have a blast drinking. Happy Spring, indeed.

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Alicante Wine Label

Nicolas Carmarans

We finish our journey this month in the Southwest of France, a region that truly is the Wild West of winemaking: less rules, more experimentation and some renegades who are making magic happen. Nicolas Carmarans ran a wine bar in Paris for many years before moving back to his home of Aveyron, to get closer to the land and to start making wines of his own. He blends native varietals with modern techniques for some really special and unique wines.

Why We Love It

Fer de Sang is made from 100% Fer Servadou, sourced from 70 year-old vines. Grapes are fermented in fiberglass tanks and undergo carbonic maceration, a process that is used famously in Beaujoulais, giving a lightness and playfulness to grapes that would otherwise be more stern and serious. This stunner has notes of smoke and leather with bright berries and a silky texture. Ooh-la-la!

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Alicante Wine Label

What's new at Helen's

We will be re-opening the shop to the public on April 30th! We want to do so with as much care and thoughtfulness as we can, so we'll be open Wed / Fri / Sat from 12-6pm. Same delivery schedule will continue as well, so you can get your favorite bottles in whatever way makes you happy. We can't wait to welcome you back in!


Thanks for reading and until next time, Cheers!


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