Smooch that Big Bad Wolf

Chateau de Roquefort
Gueule de Loup, de Villeneuve 2018
Bouches du Rhône IGP
80% Grenache, 10% Cinsault, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Biodynamic, organic, vegan, indigenous yeasts, natural , unfiltered, unfined, co-fermented
Provence, France
Winemaker: Raimond de Villeneuve

Shiny glistening garnet. Immediately it’s creamy, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, cola, rich dried figs and reduction too, lovely dark funk. Getting ready for that first sip and it’s a cherry coated in white and black pepper, dried mission figs, dark plums, strawberry and raspberry frappe, and to cap it off, coriander and smoke.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Smooth berries and dark berries. Like blueberries in a muffin pan that has stuck to the edge and erupted and you want to scrape off that charred goodness.

When I saw “Gueule de Loup”, all I could think of is the Italian phrase “in bocca al lupo” which translates to “in the mouth of the wolf” but is to wish you good luck (albeit the wolf dies). In French it is all about the wolf’s mouth too, but is also a snapdragon flower, which roams wild with the vines. Well, Raimond’s land is pretty lucky in this microclimate that lets the grapes be picked a little later. He’s also full of quotes on his site that sum the most of him and his cuvées’ parts. Please take a look at the photo essays with each one. You’ll feel like you can touch and smell the land and the play and earnestness of his beliefs. As with, “These are not “serious” wines. They are addressed to all those who like “seriously” to drink wine and not to those who taste with the tip of their lips, smell and exclaim for hours!” This is real, natural, a whole other level, and just enjoy. Please never forget time with wine is time well spent when you can just relax, smile with your friends, and talk (not only about wine).

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Enchanted Forgotten Orchard

New York Cider Company
FIREFLY #2
NY State foraged wild and heirloom apples: Rhode Island Greening, Newtown Pippin, Golden Delicious, Liberty, Cortland
Finger Lakes, Ithaca, NY
Wild fermentation, sustainable farming methods , traditional cider-making techniques, and bottle conditioned
7.7% ABV
Cider Makers: Joseph Steuer and Steve Daughhetee

Hazy yellow/light gold with teeny tiny pretty bubbles. Aromas of apples from sweet to tart, apple blossoms, fresh stripped young, tiny apple branches; and a little natural funk but not overly powerful since it kind of hides in the back. Transports me to childhood when I’d climb the trees, whittle the tiny branches, and pretend I was riding a dragon from one of Anne McCaffrey’s books. Delicious dry, tangy wake up call. Yeah, I’m tasting this on a Saturday morning to make sure I get the full experience. Crisp fresh apples, lemony tart, a drop of that funk and hay, and as it opens a sweet middle (but not overly). This is so wonderfully natural. I’ve had a lot ciders homemade and store bought, and have often found the homemade ones stand out. I have no idea why except for love, care, and nature. FIREFLY #2 is a winner for me. If I didn’t know better, I would think it was made by a friend, the good ol’ fashioned way.

Pairs with Cheez-it’s: Cheese, salt and apples…what a perfect pairing. Delicious! Please don’t tell me you haven’t tried a piece of sharp cheddar cheese on a slice of hot apple pie?

New York Cider Company started from Steuer and Daughhetee meeting while apple picking. With a mutual love of making cider it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and partnership. Moving from a home-brew to a whole full on cidery in 2017, was quite an accomplishment. They had rough patches from health issues to an oops moment of their cider being the wrong abv which also meant labels needed to be remade; but there were also blessings such as Steuer being featured on Humans of New York. Now that’s a huge! They also have been fortunate with their 125 year old apple trees and the forgotten foraged abandoned ones, and both are as super natural as you can come. This is again a place where less is more. Just let nature take its course. Speaking of nature, this past year they say was a great one for fireflies at their farm. As a child, one of my favorite things when the evening was warm and we could sit by the pond, listen to the frogs, and watch the fireflies appear in the orchard doing their magical dance. Oh, how I miss the simple things like such an evening.

@vinewinenyc @nyciderco @cheezits #cider #apples #applecider #wine #winestagram #instawine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #cheezit #sustainable #FingerLakes #Ithaca #NY #natural #firefly #fireflies

No Duck or Baga Left Behind

João aka Duckman
Duckray
Pet Nat
Bairrada, Portugal
100% Baga
Sustainable, unfiltered, unfined, natural, spontaneous fermentation, and hand-harvested
Winemaker: Maria Pato

Pale rose gold/pinky color with dainty bubbles and a little sediment. Sniffing apples, back home in the orchard apple blossoms that are swirling around me and getting stuck in my hair in the spring breeze, faint pale roses, a super teensy bit of cinnamon, and seltzer. Now this is a whole new word post smell. The scents where more restrained and this is a flavor explosion (the label art says it all) of lemon, Lemon Drops (candy), pink grapefruit, and crisp green apples. It’s clean, bright, and vibrant! At last there’s just the slightest kiss of cinnamon.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Just brings out more fruit

I’ve lost count of how many of these feisty ducks I’ve bagged, and each one is so unique yet so perfect, and a bouquet of happiness. These Baga grapes are from their Quinta do Ribeirinho vineyard. As I’ve written before, this winemaking flock dates back to the 18th century, and includes Maria, her father Luis, sister Filipa, and in Duckray, Maria’s grandmother got in on it. I’m reading she painted 6 of these bottles, and if you get one you receive a special prize. They are missing the white duck label, and instead of the spaced out paint flecks of red, yellow, and green; they are more more densely sprayed in blue, green and yellow splats around the shape of that invisible quacker. Well, I may not have been fortunate to find Maria’s grandmother’s artwork, but this bottle is a fresh wonderful prize all in itself. Once again, I am so grateful for this family of winemakers. Some of your wines bring happy tears to my eyes, others make my heart soar, and this one just makes me want to dance.

@vinewinenyc @joao_pato_aka_duckman @saviosoaresselections #wine #winestagram #instawine  #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #cheezit #portugal #bairrada #baga #QuintadoRibeirinho #sustainable #natural #wild #duckman #petnat #pétnat #duckman #duckray

There is Always Resilient Hope

Flat Brim Wines
Not Tragic
Pinot Noir Rosé 2020
Willamette Valley, Portland, Oregon
Sustainably sourced grapes
Winemakers and Owners: Ian and Becky Atkins

A glass of red/orange streaked sunrise. At first I thought buttery and that of all things turns into toffee then chewies (I’ve mentioned before). They’re not blondies, they’re brown sugar goodness that look like light beige brownies. After that there’s cherry/strawberry reduction, scratch of that orange peel, and yeah, smoky Twizzlers. Sipping and these babies have been smoked but in a good way…cherries, raspberries, strawberries, and Lady apples. There’s a creaminess, a little cloves, and a nice last ember.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: I don’t even know how to put it other than everything becomes more. More smoke and sweeter, bolder fruit

You’re experiencing what happened on the west coast. The fires engulfed and destroyed lands, houses, and vineyards. Smoke drifted and traveled and touched many grapes, and out of tragedy came a blossom of hope. Yes, it was smoked but it grew, developed and was nurtured (and boy was this really thought out work) into this bottle. Ian and Becky Atkins took a great chance with these grapes, but as the old adage goes, “ when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Ok, so this is far better than lemonade. Last night after the first glass, I put in an order for a 2nd bottle, and that should say something. Honestly, I would love a case! Hopefully though, the west coast will not see the destruction and devastation again.

@vinewinenyc @flatbrimwines @coeurwineco @cheezits #wine #winestagram #instawine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #cheezit #organic #natural #sustainable #pinotnoir #rose #Rosé #FlatBrim #WillametteValley #Portland #Oregon

 

The Roaring 20s, Storks and Strawberry Lips

Weingut Heidi Schröck & Söhne
{Nostalgie Naturelle} Pinot Pét Nat 2019  Vol. 2
Rüst, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Austria
100% Pinot Blanc
Organic, indigenous yeasts
Winemaker: Heidi Schröck 

Golden haze of super active bubbles. Scents of fine lemon, light flowers, pears, honeysuckle and honey, and a shake of salt. Drinking those lemons again, tangerine peels, and mandarin oranges (been hooked on these lately). There’s also pears and maybe even poached pears with a smidge of cloves and tingly ginger, fresh honey including some comb that you can chew on, and something green, light, fresh and sweet like raw snow pea shoots. Damn bright, fresh and delightful…it’s like drinking a glass of joy and happiness!

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: mmmm yummy

Everywhere I look, people are praising Heidi Schröck and her wines. She’s an innovator, brought the “sexy back” to old time grapes, keeping the classics alive, and received the “Falstaff Vintner of the Year” award in 2003. She took over the family winery in 1983, and her vineyards now spread out over 10 hectares through Rust’s hillside. Now it’s Heidi together with her twin sons recreating her great-grandfather’s “natural sparkling wine” from the “Roaring 20s”. This delicious Pét Nat is a perfect present coming wrapped already in an old map of Rust. BTW did you know that not only is Rust well known for their wine but also storks. The city and the Lake Neusiedl are just enchanting looking…almost fairytale with the stork nests on rooftops or old chimneys. There’s even an “Association for the Protection of the White Stork”. Rust and Weingut Heidi Schröck & Söhne are another to my growing list to visit in the future. When I do, I want the “I am so wild about your strawberry lips” tasting package too. You not only get wines and food, but also stories which is what I’m looking forward to the most.

Oh one more thing to add before I go, Pinot Pét Nat 2019 Vol. 2 is a pet that comes with instructions on the label, so always remember to read everything on the bottle and serve at 10° C and in a wide-bellied glass.

@vinewinenyc @schrockheidi @skurnikwines #wine #winestagram #instawine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #cheezit #organic #natural #PétNat #petnat #pinotblanc #Rüst #Neusiedlersee-Hügelland #Austria #weingutschroeck

Getting the Mix Right

Celler Frisach
L’Abrunet de Frisach Negre 2019
Garnatxa Negra 60%, Carinyena 40%
Terra Alta D.O.
Corbera d’Ebre, Catalonia, Spain
Organic and Biodynamic
Winemaker brothers: Francesc and Joan Ferre

Light cherry garnet color. After uncorking there’s cherries, plums, tiny flowers, and some dark natural earthy funk but not as much in previous ones I have had. There’s also almond and something toasty like biscotti. As for taste, there’s light cherry dancing with a little sprig of hay. Raspberry comes next, a pinch of pine, smooth cherry jolly rancher, and juicy plums with a mix of dried ones too. Moving on to the tingle on the tongue, almond, white pepper, and at the end there’s chocolate but so lovely and light. Quite a mouthful, but it all works together so well.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Tart!

This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered L’Abrunet de Frisach Negre, but it was quite a while ago with a different label and a much stronger natural funk that hung around. I was so happy when I opened the  2019, and it is a bottle of perfection. They got the mix just right. This is one of those wines where you’re kicking yourself for not having a second bottle. Not going to lie, I did not share this with anyone because no way this one is all mine.

Francesc and Joan transformed their 200 year old family farm/vineyard into Celler Frisach back in 2009, but evidently their family had been doing it in an organic manner all those past years. Coming from this farm experience they want their vineyards to stick to the same historic integrity and also look to the future of experimenting with the grape and furthering the eco-friendly and certified organic aspects of their farming. Their L’Abrunet de Frisach Negre, the Garnatxa Negra and the Carinyena grapes are now grown in the blended farming way of the past. They grow together yet in two different plots within their land, to get the best result for the grapes and then harmonize in this bottle. As many of the wine families I’ve written about, Francesc and Joan have that same dedication and respect to their heritage, land, vineyards and Terra Alta. As they say on their site, “We are roots, we are Corbera, we are wine”.

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Summer in the Winter

Shobbrook Wines
By Tommy Ruff
Poolside 2018
Rosé
Barossa Valley, Australia
Syrah
Organic, Biodynamic, not filtered or fined

Hazy pinky rosy gold color. Whiffs of apricot, light flowers, a sprinkle of salt, a little caramel, and fragrant tangerines, and mandarins. First sip and wow, tangy, tart and tingly! It’s fresh and very natural, with some of that good old hay. Next comes lemon and lime-ade, again those lovely seedless mandarins and tangerine. Shake up all that citrus and throw in some yellow plums, touch of watermelon, bright young berries and SweeTARTS and Sour Patch Kids with a shake of sumac and white pepper. For all my beer buddies, this is one of those wines that is a sour lover’s wine.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Tones back the tart. Very nice.

From what I’m reading on Shobbrook’s site, they have moved their vineyard to Flaxman Valley and their first harvest was 2019. Since this Poolside is 2018, I’m guessing it came from their Seppeltsfield property or Vine Vale. Will be very interesting to try the new wines and see how they change. Knowing Tom Shobbrook’s reputation and innovation it will be fun, purely natural, and I’m sure some delightful surprises. As I await the 2020, I keep seeing mentioned online, let’s kickback, get a little Ruff, and pretend we’re Poolside (even though it’s FREEZING) and chill out to “Summer In The Winter” by Kid Ink ft. Omarion.

@vinewinenyc @tomshobbrook @chrisjterrell #wine #winestagram #instawine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #cheezit #Biodynamic #organic #natural #tommyruff #shobbrookwines #terrellwines #Rosé #Rose #Syrah #BarossaValley #Australia #Poolside

Mr. Moonlight

Domaine des Carabiniers
Lunar Apogé
100% Syrah
IGP Pays d’OC 2018
Roquemaure, France
Biodynamic, organic, dry farmed, hand harvested at night to prevent oxidation, and native yeasts
Founder and winemaker: Christian Leperchois; Vineyard Manager & Maître de Chai: Fabien Leperchois

Ruby garnet bling. Popping out cherry scents, roses, plums, Tampa cigar rolling tobacco leaves…yeah, I went to school down there for a little bit, and toasted rosemary. Dark cherry luscious tastes that turns into a cherry tart hand pie, juicy plums, raspberries, strawberries, dried cherries, chewing fresh rosemary and nibbling on an orange peel. Smoooooth as it opens up. Tasted during Full “Wolf Moon”, it’s less about howling, and more about warm nuzzling.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: makes it deeper, richer

This is a history of wine born in Tuscany and then transplanted to France. After settling in their new country, the Leperchois family started with 3 hectares and is now up to 50 (potentially still growing) and in 1990 became organic and 2006 biodynamic. Even with their growth, they are keeping it truly a family operation and focusing on quality. Just check out their pics on their site which also include their adorable little black panther Vestide who was found, or found them in their vines. Domaine des Carabiniers’ Lunar Apogé line gives a nod to the lunar calendar and how it is an important part of cycle of the vines and wine just like climate, soil, weather, and how you let nature do it’s thing. As Fabien says on their site, “To make a good wine, you need to have good grapes. Nature does the rest. A Maître de Chai is first and foremost a wine-grower, more so with Biodynamic farming.” Sometimes, as in this beautiful wine, less is more.

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A Good ol’ Wild Flock

João aka Duckman
Maria Duck – Pet Nat
Bairrada, Portugal
100% Fernão Pires (a.k.a. Maria Gomes)
Sustainable, unfiltered, unfined, natural, hand-harvested, and wild
Winemaker: Maria Pato

Hazy golden with lots of white lively bubbles. Breathing in a mix of apple and pear cider, hay, tangy tangerine, apricot, and orangesicle. Zip, pop, bang and my tongue is dancing with zingy citrus, tart lemon candy wedges, kumquats, crabapples, and gooseberries. Wow, now that’s a wake up call to a party.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: mellows the tart out

Oh Duckman, how you never fail to surprise and make me happy. Maria and the rest of the flock (father Luis, sister Filipa, and past relatives that date back to the 18th century) all have had their feet paddling around in wine, as I’ve written about in past posts. This project, is all Maria. There’s as little intervention as possible for these indigenous Fernão Pires grapes, that come from their Amoreira da Gândara vineyard. All stainless and no oak, help this little quacker soar, sing and zing fresh! This is a pet nat that is not only delicious, fun, and a joy to drink, but it also makes you think. It transports you to her part of the world in Portugal and invites you to stay.

@vinewinenyc @joao_pato_aka_duckman @SaviosSelections #wine #winestagram #instawine  #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #cheezit #portugal #bairrada #FernãoPires #MariaGomes #sustainable #natural #wild #duckman #petnat #pétnat

 

A Thorny Situation

Thistle & Weed
Duwweltjie 2018
100% Chenin Blanc
W.O. Paarl
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Organic and unfiltered
Viticulturist: Etienne Terblance
Winemaker: Stephanie Wild

Shimmy shimmy shiny gold. My nose is filled with an early hint of vanilla, then citrus scents of lemon. persimmon, blood orange, and light grapefruit (ie IPA). There’s also super ripe cucumber, pine, and some salty (not sexy, wiggle that moustache) thyme. Kicking back apricot, melon, pears, honeysuckle, citrus tang of lemon and mandarin orange, white pepper, and a little wax yet no wane.

Pairs w Cheez-It’s: more smooth less tang

Etienne Terblance and Stephanie Wild both come from wine in their life. Young Etienne helped out in his parents’ seaside restaurant and then took off for school and received a Masters degree in Viticulture and Oenology from Montpellier SupAgro and a PhD in Viticulture from Stellenbosch University. Stephanie’s history is little different. Her grandfather was the well known Niel Joubert, founder of the Stellenbosch Wine Route. She also holds a Masters from Stellenbosch University in Viticulture and Oenology, and everywhere I google, I see her on lists for top South African women winemakers, and top winemakers in general. Often I write about power teams like this and they are married couples but in this case, they’re friends. Their combined knowledge, experience and expertise has led them to pick the perfect spots for their vineyards, like the one for this Chenin Blanc. Duwweltjie vineyard named (fondly or maybe not so fondly) after the plant that translates to Devil’s thorns, that can puncture anything from shoes to rubber tires, etc and generally be a real pain in the ass. Just check out the label. Well, that annoyance is worth it to get to these 65 or so year old vines. I’d gladly be willing to take a wander through these plants just to get a case of these beauts.

Sidenote: as I mentioned before they are not a couple but it warms my heart to see on the site that they give shout outs to their families. Etienne is a father to Elmie (human), Ben (canine) and husband to Lizanda. Stephanie is wife to Kannas, and mother to Frances (human) and Khalessi & Khumba (canines). Reading this put a smile on my face.

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