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This wine is one of the last vintages which were made by Renato Vacca who passed in 2020 -  the person who elevated this winery to an even higher level than they were before. He also helped to elevate the wines of Produttori di Barbaresco during his time studying there. He was a quick learner, and the region was already in his soul. 

The Albesani is a very ripe vineyard in Barbaresco, with an entirely south-facing slope to give the wines sunshine all day. There is a rich, dark-cherry core to this wine, along with wild strawberries. Sandalwood, cedar, and potpourri dominate the nose and the finish, which is fat for Barbaresco. This is a great wine for a grilling out night, or let it decant for 20 minutes before you drink it. 

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Cassis was first planted to the vine in the 12th century and the vineyards were developed on the north, east and southeast slopes that surround the village which sits immediately on a little bay on the Mediterranean; thus, the perfect circumstances for marrying wine to the bounty of the sea! Phylloxera wiped out the vineyards in 1870 but by 1892 the citizens of Cassis had re-established their vineyards but this time without the Muscatel variety.

This Domaine was owned by the same family for generations until relatively recently. The property had fallen prey to an issue that affects many long-standing wineries - the family has no heirs to take over, and sadly the wines were affected by less than optimal winemaking. Jean-Louis Genovesi, a native of Cassis who had departed for Paris and made his fame (and a few centimes as well) in the capital. Jean-Louis and his son, Sébastien, have revived the domaine and the wines, both blanc, and rosé are more compelling than ever. The domaine sits just beneath the imposing limestone outcropping of Cap Canaille and is a mere 200 meters distance from the shores of the Mediterranean. Thus situated, the Domaine du Bagnol is the beneficiary of the cooling winds from the north, northwest, and northeast (Tramontane, Mistral, and grégal) as well as the gentle sea breezes that come ashore.

The Rosé is produced from several parcels that comprise slightly less than 7 hectares of vineyards. The vineyards are clay and limestone, situated on a gentle slope with a north–northwest exposure. The blend is Grenache (55%), Mourvedre (31%) and Cinsault (14%). It is so fresh and brilliant. Flavors of dried berries, and provincial herbs. It drinks like a delicate red, but has the elegance of a beautiful rosé.

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$38.00
 
SKU: Domaine de Bagnol Rosé, Cassis, Provence 2021

This is the closest we will probably ever get to carrying a wine that would be considered a "Natural Wine" in the context of the trend. However, this Chateau in St. Emilion has been making their wines the same way for decades, so they aren't following any trend - just making great wine. 

They focus on only indigenous yeasts, no sulfur use, but great care is taken to make sure it isn't a wine full of funk. In years when it is needed, they will use sulfur, as making a wine that tastes good is more important than being a part of the current "thing". There is a wonderful richness from the Merlot in this wine, but the Cabernet Franc is truly the lead singer. The flavors of black olive, savory herbs, and a wonderful rich fruit cover your palate, with a long finish. This is classic Bordeaux at its best. 

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The Piemaggio estate lies in the northwest sector of Castellina-in-Chianti, in the heart of the historical Chianti Classico zone, and traces its roots back to the 11th century; a pieve(church) from the era located at the property’s highest hilltop (maggiore) gives the estate its name. Vines cover 12 hectares worth of Piemaggio’s hillsides, all in the hamlet of La Fioraie, with Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, and Colorino planted in the classic alberese (sandstone) and galestro (limestone marl) soils of the zone, at altitudes between 380 and 480 meters above sea level. Steady breezes and thick surrounding forests help mitigate drought and help ensure a properly long growing season.

We were clued into Piemaggio by a friend of ours who works closely with Montevertine and who deeply understands our aesthetic and approach, and from the first sip, these felt like a snug warm coat. Here was the magic of Sangiovese on full display, that tango of unapologetic acidity and savory fruit, shot through with a vein of bold earthiness and given form by a stony, cleansing minerality.  

Vineyard work here is organic unless an entire crop is on the line, and nothing that happens in the cellar is flashy or trendy; fermentations take place in cement, and aging takes place in a combination of concrete and used wooden vats of various sizes (between 500 liters and 25 hectoliters). The wines rest further in bottle, and are put up for sale ready to delight. Furthermore, in tribute to the hamlet’s origin legend, the labels all bear prominently the name La Fioraie (“the flower sellers”). According to lore, a medieval pilgrim friar passing through the area fainted of exhaustion under the intense Tuscan sun, and was revived to health by a group of three flower vendors who saw him crumple. The friar, carrying the fond memory with him during his subsequent travels, later returned to the area, built a church, and planted vines. While modern medicine may reject such a remedy for reviving consciousness, Piemaggio’s wines certainly possess the ability to resuscitate one’s faith in an often under-inspiring appellation.

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At only 333 cases of wine, we know this is an incredibly handcrafted wine. Desconcierto Albariño wine has been made exclusively from grapes of the Albariño variety and is produced in the town of Cambados. The vineyards are situated at an altitude of 40 feet above sea level and the soil is basically composed of fine granite particles and sand. The spacing is 5 x 4 on a trellis system with a density of approximately 600 vines per hectare with an average age of not less than 25 years. The abundant rainfall typical of the Galician climate, the town’s exposure to the sea, and the geographical location of our vineyards, which are very close to the shores of the Arousa Estuary, give this wine a disconcerting, strong Atlantic character.

This is quintessential Albariño! Such clean, lively white peach flavors dominate the palate, and the mineral finish kicks in at the end. Cambados is also famous for their amazing tin fish, like octopus and scallops. Make a dish with smoked paprika, garlic, and olive oil - you will have the perfect meal. 

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$36.00
 
SKU: Desconcierto Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain 2020

If a producer makes us excited, it’s AR PePe. Our heart lies in Northern Italy and Nebbiolo. But this is a region very different than Piedmont, the Langhe, Barolo, and Barbaresco. Here, we are in Lombardy in the Valtellina region. Located near-ish Lake Como, close to the Swiss border, this is a rugged country. It’s cold, and the vineyard slopes are scarily strep. Some vineyards are terraced. Workers have to tie themselves into anchors with ropes to descend the hills in vineyards with no terraces. One thing is true. If you make wine in the region, you do it for the love and passion of the land and the Nebbiolo grape, known locally as Chiavannesca. These wines are not about power and structure. They are elegant wines that display incredible aromatics and delicacy, more like Pinot Noir. 

AR Pepe makes many wines from the areas of Valtellina. The region has five sub-zones, which are more or less separate hillsides running east-west - Maroggia, Sassella, Grumello, Inferno, and Valgella. Sassella, meaning stones, is the most famous of the subzones. AR PePe’s holdings are between 450 - 550 meters in elevation. In the best years, AR PePe produces about 500 cases of Nuova Regina.

From the winery: “Born in 1860. Reborn in 1984. Brought up in 2004. These are the three great milestones in our history, which began at the time of the Unification of Italy. This can be seen in contemporary documents, such as those that tell of the long, unbroken business relationship with a loyal customer who, as the generations went by, continued for over a century to stock up at the winery, then known simply as “Pelizzatti”.

In 1973, after many trials and tribulations, both the trademark and the actual business were sold. But this was no more than a setback, because already in 1984 our father, Arturo Pelizzatti Perego, decided to make a comeback, using his own acronym – ArPePe– and making it his declared aim to bring out the full potential of Nebbiolo from the Alps in the unique terroir of the Valtellina. Arturo regained possession of his part of the vineyards and of the premises used for ageing at Buon Consiglio. In 2004, we combined all our forces on this path, continuing his commitment to achieving his goal, which many considered as visionary.

We own 13 hectares of vineyard all standing in grass, in the heart of the Valtellina Superiore DOCG area, dotted around Sassella, Grumello and Inferno. All processes are entirely by hand, and indeed the morphology of our vineyards makes it impossible to use tractors. The frequency of plant protection treatments depends on the rains, but also these indispensable operations are carried out manually. Vines are very sensitive to the weather and winemakers know how challenging it can be to look after them. It is by no means unusual to spend 1,500 hours on cultivating a single hectare (about two and a half acres) of vineyard.” 

The Grumello is one of the most powerful of their Superiore wines. This is akin to a great Barolo from Serralunga, with lots of dried fruit, black tea, and aromatics which sing!

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$63.00
 
SKU: Ar.Pe.Pe Grumello-Rocco de Piro Reserva, 2015
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