The Wizards of Sactown
Californicorn I:
2020 Haarmeyer Nebbiolo
(One of the most exciting CA reds we've had this whole annus pandemicus!)
Only $32.50! Buy here.

Californicorn II:
2014 Haarmeyer "St.Rey"
Sous Voile Chenin Blanc
(The only CA white we've ever had that took our brains to the Jura!)

Only $40! Buy here.

TL;DR: 1) Because two of the most thoroughly exciting and utterly sui generis Californian wines we've tried all year... come from the same winemaker! 2) Because it's high time you got over the notion that "terroir," soi-disant, Because there's not much made of these, and these will be gone before you get to the "May Flowers" part of the rhyme.

 


Isn't it time you met third generation Sacramentarian Craig Haarmeyer, the man responsible both for a) making two of the most exciting Californian wines you'll try all year and b) coining the phrase "Sacramento Terroir?"  — and no, that last is not a joke!

Or if it is? It's on you and us both! Because the idea that great wine sites occur only only where there are sweeping vistas and Tuscan villas is for the rubes. (In fact, many might make the case that the greatest single vineyard in California is one locked between a bunch of power lines!)

 Craig (together with son Alex, pictured above) manages every aspect of his tiny production: they hand-pick their grapes, they manage their own cellar in meticulous if low-intervention fashion ("nothing added but elbow grease," Craig  says), and they champion the soul, place and historical grape varieties of the Sacramento delta.

While many of you know his hyper-affordable, massively crushable "St. Rey" Chenin Blanc already — it's a customer favorite and shop staple at $17 and change — it's his two newest wines that recently set our heads aspin, Beetlejuice-style.


This is your brain on Haarmeyer

The first is a Californian spin on Nebbiolo, the grape responsible for the vinous majesty of Barolo and Barbaresco. But Craig's version doesn't aspire toward a mere imitation of its Piedmontese forebears! Like all genuine American originals, it instead seeks its own path — and indeed, we think Craig has here forged an absolutely compelling, utterly sui generis, and unmistakably Californian wine.

While Nebbiolo raised in Barolo's zip code has never fairly been called "light," "fresh," or "gulpable,"  that's indeed what we have here: gorgeously translucent in hue (honestly, please write us if you see a more beautiful shade in your glass all year), with notes of dusty rose, white pepper, dried strawberries, and the barest most wondrous hint of tannins... despite its freakishly low 12% ABV!And at $32 and change? This is quite simply one of the coolest and most covetable Cali reds you'll try all year!


Get SAC to where you once belonged!

Meanwhile, an even crazier Cali unicorn (technical term: Californicorn) can be had in his "Sous Voile" Chenin: this is a wine truly unlike any we've ever had from our fair state.

Let us explain! The white wines of France's Jura region are justly famous, and are now among some of this generation's somms favorite things to turn diners on to. 
Perhaps their most celebrated wines? Those me that are made in what's called a "sous voile" ('under the veil') style, aged under a layer of naturally occurring yeast. The process makes for a vinous wonderment:at once nutty and fruity, with a yeasty, bready, umami-esque character that accompanies its dried fruit notes and intense acidity. As Craig says:

“This wine is the result of us deciding to hold back one barrique from the ’14 vintage, partly because that vintage yielded more fruit than we anticipated and that we thought it would a good idea to set something aside for an extended elevage. We then hauled it to my friend's local cidery where he graciously allowed us to park our barrels, and then moved it to our own spot in West Sacramento in 2016, where we further neglected it. This wine has never been topped and never sulfured. We racked it cleanly to tank and bottled it. A surface film developed after we got the barrel to our winery, which previously housed a 40 year old Sherry-style-wine solera. The flor yeast is of unknown origin. This is a Jura-style wine made in California!"

This is a stunning, once-in-a-blue-moon wonder, like nothing you've ever had from California. A food pairing wine par excellence (mushrooms, roast chicken, fatty fish, artichokes, and all manner of umami-laden dreamscapes), it's also just a gorgeously unique thing to drink

These are two of the coolest new Californicorns in a long time, and we don't have much: get it while it's getting to be got!


Californicorn I:
2020 Haarmeyer Nebbiolo
(One of the most exciting CA reds we've had this whole annus pandemicus!)
Only $32.50! Buy here.

Californicorn II:
2014 Haarmeyer "St.Rey"
Sous Voile Chenin Blanc
(The only CA white we've ever had that took our brains to the Jura!)

Only $40! Buy here.

 


The Dream of Spring.


It Behooves You to Dream

2018 Stereophonic
"The Dream of Spring"
Red Blend


Usual price: $48

Our price on 1: only $45! Buy here.
Only $41 on 3. Buy here!
Only $37 on 6! Buy here!
(Best price in CA!)

TL;DR: 1) Because the arrival of spring - in a year when rebirth has never been more clamored for - demands an appropriate bottle! 2) Because nothing goes with your rosemary-besotted lamb chops like a Syrah-driven wonderment! 3) Because this Rhône-styled blend may be the Stereophonic team's best wine yet... and this is the lowest price on it that's ever been offered!


Cooked up in the long-simmering creative cauldron of winemaker Jason Lefler's mind, The Dream of Spring is the culmination of a two year rumination on what our wines would taste like... if we had to start over from scratch.  

What if we rediscovered wine hundreds of years after forgetting everything? What if the records were incomplete? What if no one remembered that the Pope lived in Avignon, and that the old coot was a sucker for Grenache? What if, instead of the idea of the "GSM blend" that governed Châteauneuf-du-Pape and its myriad 20th century Pape-a-likes, people and Pope alike instead properly posited the "SMGPS blend" (see below) as the pinnacle of Rhône Ranger-hood?

What if, What if, What if?


John Sebastiano vineyard, one of CA's greatest

Built on a core of a truly special batch of Syrah— one harvested on the day of the mid-term elections, from one of California's greatest Rhône-aimed vineyards (the John Sebastiano Vineyard in Santa Rita Hills) — the grapes for this tiny batch of wine were crushed, fermented and bottled with the hopes and dreams of a better future to enjoy them in.  

Picked at its absolute prime, with the full phenolic wonderment afforded by a perfect vintage in one of the coolest climate vineyards in the region, the Stereophonic winemaking team of Jason Lefler and Aaron Jackson knew they had the perfect stuffing to build a blend around.

In the southern Rhône, of course, the appellations mandate that Grenache gets pride of place. But here in California? Jason and Aaron  were free to improvise... and Oh Mama, are we happy they had their freedom. Having intuited that they had a gem on their hands in the form of some nigh-perfect Syrah, they (extending the metaphor) sought to carefully enlist other grapes as the perfect jewelry in which to set it.

The Syrah provides a core of plum, cherry, violet and bacon. The Grenache fills in the mid-palate, and adds a mineral note; the Mourvedre provides a little bit of baked fruit and some tannic structure. And lastly (sorry Châteauneuf, but we have some tricks that aren't contained up any Pope's sleeve!), they added a very small amount of Petite Sirah to lengthen the finish.  

The result? A multi-dimensional and age-worthy gem of a wine, and one that evolves with every hour it's open 
— we think it's one of the best wines the Stereophonic team has ever made.*
 
In an effort to put this delectable fever dream on the table of all? We're offering it at its lowest price ever:


2018 Stereophonic
"The Dream of Spring"
Red Blend


Usual price: $48.


Our price on 1: only $45! Buy here.
Only $41 on 3. Buy here!
Only $37 on 6! Buy here!

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