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JANUARY WINE CLUB




Happy New Year everyone! We are so excited for this year, and to offer you more amazing natural wines.




BORA TIER


TENUTA SANTA LUCIA ORANGE CREST

GRAPE VARIETALS: Albana

REGION: Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Style: Skin-Contact Pet Nat


The Santa Lucia Estate was founded in the 1960s by Paride Benedetti and his wife Assunta when Paride inherited both his father's and grandfather's farms and merged them into a singular estate producing wine, fruit, and cheese.

Towards the end of the ‘90s, there was a turning point: the farm specialized in winegrowing; a revolution which started from the vineyards to continue in the cellar. All vineyards are grown according to organic farming with an espalier training system and Guyot pruning. In recent years outstanding outcomes have been achieved by evaluating the lunar phases' influence (both in the vineyards and in the cellar) by applying biodynamic philosophy.


Orange Crest is a beautiful pet-nat, with notes of lemon curd, minerals, and white tea. The small bubbles make it super refreshing, crisp, and fun. This is one of our go-to wines!


Pair with: Fried foods, sushi, prosciutto+arugula pizza



A.PEGAZ BEAUJOLAIS VILLAGES ROUGE

GRAPE VARIETALS: Gamay

REGION: Beaujolais, France


An evening meal over a long table, buzzing with happy conversation. There’s Beaujolais on the table, and probably some kind of duck dish too. Outside, the vineyards are just about ready to harvest, but for now, it is dinnertime. This is making wine at Domaine J.F. Pegaz, headed by Jean-François, the sixth-generation winemaker. In his term at the head of his family’s domaines, he has converted to organic farming on some of the steepest and highest vineyards in and around Mont Brouilly. More than that, Pegaz holds Terra Vitis certification, a more expansive program that demands both organic practices and social responsibility, engagement with the local community, and ethical treatment of workers. Pegaz employs only viticulture students, houses them on the property, and shares group dinners during harvest. Put another way, the Pegaz family is working to preserve both the land for the future and the community that will farm it.


This well-rounded Beaujolais-Villages is the perfect introduction to the domaine’s wine. These vines are 40+ years old! Fermented in cement tanks.


Fresh limestone-infused black cherry, raspberry, and orange oil notes come with a dusting of cinnamon and dried leaves. The palate is wrapped in long, silky tannins and offers hints of raspberry and rhubarb. Partial carbonic maceration ensures the wine maintains a bright, cheerful tone even with a surprisingly full body.


What exactly is carbonic maceration?

Carbonic maceration is a process of fermentation most commonly associated with Gamay, although not exclusively. Unlike the standard yeast-fueled fermentation, in which yeast is manually or naturally added to the grape to convert sugar into alcohol, carbonic maceration does not use yeast to begin fermentation. Instead, whole bunches of grapes are placed in a sealed tank filled with carbon dioxide, triggering a process within the grapes known as intracellular fermentation.


Once the alcohol level reaches about 2% ABV, the grape skins split apart and release the juice. Because carbonic maceration includes minimal contact with the grape skin, the process produces fresh-tasting wine that is lower in tannin, lighter in color, and fruity in character.


Pair with: Grilled salmon, cheese plates, onion rings



LE MISTRAL TIER


ALESSANDRO VIOLA, NOTE DI ROSSO

GRAPE VARIETALS:Nero D'Avola & Syrah

REGION: Sicily, Italy


Alessandro Viola is a very small producer located in the northwest corner of Sicily, south of Palermo. Alessandro’s father was a vine grower, although he bottled very little of the wine he made. Alessandro was fascinated by grape growing from an early age and after a few vintages of self-teaching, he decided to get a formal education and study enology. During his university studies, he steered away from the mechanical side of winemaking he was being taught, instead focusing on the science. He strongly believed that as long as the grapes, soil, and winemaking were all working together, nothing needed to be added or taken away from the wine. After his university degree, he worked in the north of Italy and then for a larger winemaker on Mt Etna, however, he had never forgotten the wines he had made before, made by hand without anything added.


Eventually, he started making wine for himself, initially with a friend, before branching out to make wines under his name. Today, he cultivates 7 hectares of organically farmed vines worked strictly by hand. The vineyards are located in 2 areas, the first in Pietra Rinosa close to Alcamo in the north-western tip of Sicily, where the soil is made of clay and the vineyards sit at 200m above sea level, taking a large influence from the ocean. The second area is in Fastuchera, where the vineyards are higher, at 400 meters. The soil is calcareous, producing finer, more mineral-driven wines.


Alessandro is strictly committed to growing and championing local varieties, including Catarratto, Grillo, Nero D’avola, and Nerello Mascalesse. His style is unique, and his commitment to organic and biodynamic practices with no additions is central to his winemaking philosophy.


On the label the denomination "Senza Solfiti Aggiunti" which is Italian for no added sulfites.


Rustic and bright, showing aromas of ripe plums, cherries, balsamic notes of eucalyptus, and toast. Soft, well-integrated tannins, juicy, with balsamic freshness and good persistence.


Pair with: Red sauce pasta, bacon cheeseburger, lentils



JEAN-PIERRE ROBINOT- L'OPERA DES VINS "LES ANNESS FOLLES"

GRAPE VARIETALS: Chenin Blanc, Pineau d'Aunis

REGION: Loire Valley, France


Jean-Pierre first discovered his love of wine when he was 22 years old with a bottle of Cheval Blanc 1964 and from that moment on he became incredibly passionate, even obsessive about wine. In the late 1980s, Jean-Pierre met Jules Chauvet and Marcel Lapierre which offered him a moment of wine revelation.


Soon after, he opened L’Ange Vin, which became one of Paris’ first natural wine bars. He then went on to create the magazine “Le Rouge et Blanc” with critic Michel Bettane vin his early 30’s. “Le Rouge et Blanc” has become an internationally renowned, “bible” of information on natural wine growers in France.


After 12 years of running the wine bar and the magazine, Jean-Pierre decided that the only way to truly understand natural wine was to begin making it himself. In 2001, he started his own winery in Chahaignes, his native village in the Loire. At the time he was still running his wine bar in Paris, so the wine could only be made during rare free moments where he would sip between Paris and the Loire on the train. His early creation, “Cuvée TGV”, is jokingly named after the high-speed train he took during this time.


After this first vintage, Jean-Pierre decided to close the restaurant and move his family to Chahaignes. He quickly began to acquire plots of land surrounding his home and planting vines of Pineau d’Aunis, Chenin Blanc, and Gamay. He also owns and rents five different cellars that are carved into the hills around his winery, each containing dozens of barrels in various states of fermentation.


Robinot’s wine can take a long time to ferment, generally 2 to 4 years, but often even more. He believes in letting wines stay in their old oak barrels until fermentation is complete. Robinot operates under a “no rush” mentality and is fascinated by the changes the wines go through during this time. To the outsider, Robinot’s process may seem like chaos, but he is certainly the master of chaos knowing exact information about every barrel and bottle. Adding to the confusion, the labels on each wine are changed every year. The labels are frequently his or his daughter’s paintings or manipulated photographs and are always identifiable as Robinot’s.


He currently makes two different lines that are both made without sulphur or any other interventions. Domaine de L’Ange Vin wines are made from grapes grown in his own vineyards, and Opera du Vin wines are made from the grapes he purchases from nearby vignerons.


Les Années Folles is one of Robinot's famously delicious petillants, a looser style of sparkler that starts its fermentation in tank and finishes in bottle under the closure of the crown cap, where the lees sit for 9 months before being disgorged. 


A beautiful shade of rose hip, the delicate bubbles carry varietal notes of red fruit, and a taste of cherry coke with a hint of salt.


Pair with: A good friend that you want to share the bottle with :)



TOMMASI RIPASSSO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE

GRAPE VARIETALS: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella

REGION: Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC, Italy


"We were so proud of our first “Ripasso” made with a selection of our best grapes, that we became the first family to flaunt the name on a label. The Ripasso technique is grounded in peasant traditions that vary from family to family, but it is still a relative newcomer among Valpolicella wines. Nevertheless, it already ranks as one of our most popular and well-known classics."


This wine is made by re-fermenting the juice from the Valpolicella on the warm Amarone grape skins, in the typical “Ripasso” (meaning “re-pass,” or “go over again) method, which imparts a rich character and personality to the wine. The grapes are sourced from three of the most prestigious Tommasi vineyards: Conca d’Oro, La Groletta, and De Buris.


Intense ruby red, the Ripasso has a nose that recalls spicy black pepper and raisin, while the palate is intense and spicy, with lots of sweet red cherry flavors.


Pair with: Mushroom risotto, steak, braised short ribs










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