Champagne method Sangiovese, ever heard of one? Sangiovese is the most widely planted grape in Italy and more of a rarity in California. Local winemaker (and Vintage Berkeley alum) Liv Ross, set out to make her Italian-American family proud with this strange magic. No less than stunning with succulent acidity, bright raspberries, pomegranate and a tarragon twist. More than suitable for a celebratory toast or next to ricotta spinach flan with shaved black truffles.
When burly & box-shouldered 4th-gen vigneron Raphael Saint-Cyr took over his family's domaine in the 2000's, he was armed with the folly of youth... and immediately converted all 23 hectares of vineyards to organic farming. The results? Cru Beaujolais at its most classic and refined: juicy with black cherry fruit, shot through with granitic mineral zip, this is a naturally made, all season wonder. Aged in neutral barrel, this is way closer to a straight-spined, black-tied Burgundy than to that ill-formed idea you got of Beaujolais way back in the 90's. Absolutely age-worthy, but who's waiting?
This Chardonnay is insane! A very impressive freshman effort from Annie and Noelle, the duo behind Etteilla, who recently relocated from Austin to SF with the dream of making natural wine. They cut their teeth working for Tony Coturri, godfather of Cali natural wine, and are now making truly great wines in Richmond. The fruit here comes from Redwood Valley and the wine is creamy, screaming with bright acidity and fresh and lifted with minerality. No sulfur added at any stage! I first tasted this at a “Sip and Spin” DJ party the girls hosted this summer in SF and it stopped me in my tracks.
The folks at Domaine Seguin-Manuel, in operation since 1824, seem to be oblivious to the passage of time. How else could you explain the sub-$50 pricetag on this, their pure-fruited, finely etched, unsulfured Savigny-les-Beaune? Sourced from a small, sloped parcel in their organically farmed, clay and limestone rich vineyard, this is straightforward stuff, in the most deliriously pleasing way - a burst of fresh, brambly red berry, the gentle tug of integrated, cedar-scented tannins, and nuanced, floral aromatics on the palate. Approachable and expressive - even in its youth - this is as cheerful as Burgundy gets. If you looking for a pairing, you might want to consider star anise rubbed duck breast with blood orange jam.
Few people are willing to take more chances in domestic winemaking than Bree & Chad Stock, the couple behind Limited Addition, long recognized for their unique approach to the Willamette Valley. Sourced from a nearly 50 year planting in the Eola Amity AVA, 'Noble Dry' is almost the antithesis of the trends of domestic Chenin Blanc - rather than the early picked approach with laser-beam acidity and potent minerality, Bree & Chad allow a portion of the vines to develop botrytis (hence the 'Noble' moniker), lending a rounded, savory, toasted brioche and hazelnut edge to the citrus and pronounced mineral character that still shines through.
This isn't the feral, brooding Bandol of lore. Instead, the organic La Font des Peres vineyards, a north facing site made up of 200 terraces, yields Mourvedre at its softest and most elegant. There's concentration here, to be sure, but where Bandol can often be inky and overly intense, this is inviting, lithe, lively stuff: composed of dark and lush fruit, with dried rose, lavender, and wild strawberry accents.
We'll have our Thanksgiving picks available at all the shops this week (with bottles open for you to try!).
Catering to a particularly discriminating crowd? Or in need of a particular pairing for a special dish? We've got you covered - swing by the shop, give us a call, or shoot us an email to let us know how we can help. We'll be open normal hours all week and from 10-2pm on Thanksgiving Day!