100% Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch)
Organic, hand harvested, spontaneous fermentation, unfiltered, unfined, and undisgorged
Köveskál, Balatonfelvidék, Hungary
Winemaker: Attila Pálffy
Pink orange with a tiny magenta rim and lots of tiny bubbles with a white foam pour. Creaminess is the first waft right after popping the crown cap and still there post pour. Next up are all sorts of blossoms, raspberries, and light strawberries. Now for the taste and ZING! It’s a mosh pit of raspberries, crancherry cocktail, blackberries, and a tiny smidge of strawberry preserves. A shake of salted lemon zest jumps in with that creaminess that’s still hanging out.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Nah, the mosh pit becomes a slow waltz with a partner that keeps stepping on your toes. BLEH
7th gen winemaking family (Pálffy Pince), Attila Pálffy has his side project which shows his heritage’s knowledge and his rebellious side. P.A.N.K. is his creative outlet and experimental flare. From what I’m reading, he manages to tick off the Hungarian “wine police” with his haze and bio side which fits his love of punk and is very evident in his craft aesthetic. Once again, I am on the search for who the label artist is. It’s a bit of street art, fine art, and on this one and others a touch of the animals in Attila’s world. Báró is his friend’s greyhound dressed in a tough rock vibe. Can’t you just see him grabbing the mic and belting out something that would irritate your parents. Keep on howling Báró and Attila!
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“Ground Control To Major Tom”
Pinot Noir 2020
Whole cluster, unfiltered, no added sulfites, and very natural
Cellared & bottled by Pomar Junction Wines
“Drifter” domaine project started in California from Wine Mc2 (Jean Luc Lametrie)
This is 80s Merry-Go-Round electric orange pink pour. Oh the memories of that store! 🤣 Scents start emerging of cherry-strawberry cotton candy, roses, mandarin zest, a smidge of lemon-lime and some creaminess. Sip and whoo! A ripe juicy cherry strawberry watermelon cocktail, blood orange zest, and weirdly Muscadine grape (which is bizarre since it’s not). We had a small vineyard of these when I was growing up. The grapes were delicious. The wine my father attempted was not. Keep on going and there’s seltzer crispness and smoke. Let it BREATHE for a little and you will be rewarded. There’s so many scents and flavors that pop out of everywhere and some of them mellow out later. This is one fun Pét that is ready to soar!
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: adds the flavor of grapesicle…BLEAH! Dreadful!
I am going to admit, I fell for the label. It’s absolutely beautiful and as fun as the wine. Whoever the artist is for MOOA wine’s bottles is seriously talented. And yeah, I’m a huge David Bowie fan, so having this song in my head on repeat is a real treat.
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Château Haut Lavigne
Cuvée N comme … – Rosé 2020
50 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Cabernet Franc
Vin de France
Côtes de Duras, France
Winemaker: Nadia Lusseau
Burnt orange watermelon glass. Sniffing strawcherberry, raspberries, buttery brioche, and mandarins. Oh pile on the delicious tastes of cranberry, strawberry, cherry, raspberry, a sprig of hay along with a tiny tart funk balsamic tang, and a lick of granite.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: tons of strawberries and berries galore
Nadia Lusseau may have not started out as a winemaker, but during her studies she ended up doing a stint in an oenology lab where things changed. By 2002, she acquired her land in Côtes de Duras and was growing organically in 2005. This is one woman that is truly passionate about wine and is firmly invested/committed to her land and all that grows and inhabits it. As she says on her site, “The vineyard is year round devotion. No Sundays or public holidays !!!” Her hard work, patience, honed skills and natural senses are like Nadia Comăneci who graces this bottle, and I easily award it the gold.
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Wild Nature Wines
Prosecco Rosé Brut DOC 2019
90% Glera, 10% Pinot Noir
Certified vegan, organic for more than 40 years, and biodynamic
Winemaker: Emilio Fidora
Salmon rose pour with delicate white bubbles. So alive and romantic! Breathing in a salty fizz, laid back strawberries and cherries, light cherry blossoms, red delicious apple peels, and a dreamy breath of Spring. This is a beautiful mouthful of cherries, strawberries, cranberry, and salt. The tingly bubbles also have a spritz of lime, and an apple roundness, a smidge of cinnamon on the back, and as time goes on all of a sudden a cherry jelly belly drops in. It’s a total party!
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Makes it even more crisp if that is possible
Wild Nature Wines are essentially that. They have two estates in Veneto (Venice and Verona) where they live in harmony with the all sorts of four-legged and winged neighbors such as owls, foxes, rabbits, and even this regal and funky pheasant on this label. Each wine gets their own unique familiar drawn entwined with the environment and growing as one. I don’t know who the artist (anyone know?) is but they are truly talented. Talent also runs in this family, and innovation. Emilio’s grandfather (Guido), made history bringing on the organic over 40 years ago (Veneto’s oldest organic estate); and then Emilio decided to embark forward in the steps toward biodynamic and now they are certified bio and vegan and living up to their name.
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Chiaro di Luna Rosé
Roero (winery), Corneliano d’Alba (CN), Piedmont, Italy
Winemaking Family: Giuseppe “Beppe” Careglio and daughters Pamela and Carol
Delicate salmon color. Breathe in and there’s light Crème de Cassis, shortbread, then all that fades or blends into light dancing cherries and everything keeps circling and eventually chercranstrawberry enters stage right but walking in on tiptoes ever so lightly. First sip and all that tiptoeing stops. Out pops cherries, strawberries, and cranberries. This is just a happy delicious wine full of dance and life.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Not bad. Everything goes deep and dark. It’s like from day to night.
One dad, two daughters and two majestic dogs carry on the winemaking/vineyard history passed down through this family. Their beautiful land of Roero (which is part of a Unesco World Heritage site since 2014) is filled with “Rocche” which were created from erosion and are canyons, chasms, hills that are sheared off, pinnacles, and such that appear through the region. They are incredible geological wonders, and detail the history of this part of the world. Much to my delight you can still find fossils and shells. I can only imagine this place dappled by moonlight or “Chiaro di Luna”.
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Beach Blvd Wine Co.
Sustainably-farmed estate vineyards
Paso Robles, CA
Canned in Bayonne, NJ
Crack the can and out pours a pretty orangey rose gold. I know there’s a fruit (probably a strawberry) in there somewhere, but I can’t believe I’m writing this…it smells like burnt rubber. No amount of off-gassing is going to save this…OMG! The taste is just the same. Oh lord! This was a gift from a friend (and I tried two cans with the same result), but I’m starting to wonder if they lost their sense of smell and taste. We are all still living with that still hanging over our heads.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: no way this is going to make it any better
Ok, so I have no more info on this can than what you see. The Beach Blvd website isn’t working. I was really looking forward to this since cans come in handy in this hot weather, but…oh well…
NOTE: I have just poured it out, and see that it was canned on 7/19/19, so maybe that’s the reason!
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Le Fonde 2019
Toscano Rosato IGT
Trequanda, Siena, Italy
Organic and guyot training
Founder and owner: Robert Buly
Enologist: Diego Ciurletti
Agronomist: Alessandro Gemini
Cantina Chief: Stefano Censini
Radiant salmon color. First scents of very light orange cream with a tad lemon zest. Keep letting it breathe just little bit longer, trust me. You’ll be greeted by cranberries, dried apricots, touch of magnolias but not heady, and then there’s also strawberries and raspberries. Lift that glass, sip and enjoy lemon, pink grapefruit, and zingy orange which leads to apricot and a whole pile of fruits like watermelon, strawberries, and raspberries. Now there’s salt, smoke, and a lick of slate. Ok, you’re going to think I’m a weirdo, but something about this reminds me of an Orange Julius that isn’t super sweet. Maybe it’s just bringing back a memory which good wine and food always should do. For all you old mall rats and I was one of them before I got my job at the record shop, you will get this flavor (yes, this is a good thing with this wine). Some would call this a summer wine, but I think it is perfect for year round. I’m doing my third tasting on New Year’s Eve and it’s a welcome breath of fresh to 2021.
Pairs w Cheez-It’s: Delicious, it just brings out the fruit even more. Smooth.
My first Buli was their Estate 44 (2015) which was a big beautiful blend. La Fonde (2019), is a wonderful introduction for me to their varied styles. As you can tell from above, I love it. But there’s more to this tale. As in my first review, all of their wines are born from a film worthy WWII romance between a US soldier, an enchanting Italian lady, and a bottle of red wine. Robert Buly grew up in Pennsylvania, but his mother (the daughter of the mentioned couple) and brothers held on to their Italian heritage by speaking Italian at home and when they could travel back to Italy. All of their mother’s relatives were still back there, so what a better opportunity to fall for the food, wines and that way of life. Come on, who wouldn’t dream of such a great opportunity. This family is gifted to have these deep roots or in other words “Le Fonde”.
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Tenuta I Fauri
Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC
Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
Winemaking family: Luigi and Valentina Di Camillo (brother and sister)
This is a cherry red Rosè. Elegant fresh breath of flowers and more specifically roses. Cherry and strawberries start to pop in too, the more it warms. Delicious swig that has my tastebuds dancing. Definitely cherry, plummy and strawberry sweetness. It’s fruity but not overwhelming. It’s more refreshing, oh and something floral in the taste too. Wait something woody nutshell emerges, but not bad. The more I think about it, it’s almond and not the shell. Been eating quite a few when we were locked down. Yes, I do eat other things than just Cheez-It’s.
Pairs with Cheez-It’s: say goodbye to the almond and hello to a gush of fruit
Tenuta I Fauri was founded in 1978 by Domenico Di Camillo (Luigi and Valentina’s dad). This is another lovely story, of a family falling in love with wine and passing it down the generations. Also brother and sister both studied oenology and then came aboard the family business. Quite the power team with some great PR. They were picked by Forbes back in 2019 as one of five small wine producers to watch. From this bottle alone, I can definitely see why.
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