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October Wine Club

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Bora Tier

Picollo Ernesto, Gavi Le Rive (2022)

Lorenzo Picollo founded the winery in 1945. Today, Lorenzo’s son Ernesto takes care of the winemaking, and Ernesto’s son Gianlorenzo manages the vineyards.  Ernesto is very careful to give maximum expression to his vineyards and to the Cortese grape. The soil of the region is a mix of sand and clay. Their range of wines includes two Gavis – the basic Gavi and Gavi del Comune di Gavi Rovereto. Fermentation is in stainless steel and malolactic is allowed, but on a limited basis.

Jules, Méditerranée Rosé 2022

Le Grand Cros is first a story about a couple, Jane and Hugh Faulkner, who fell in love with a little corner of Provence in 1989. On the 24 hectares of vineyards in the foothills of the Massif des Maures, surrounded by pine and olive trees and dry stone terraces, they restored an ancient Provencal manor house and brought a new lease of life to Le Grand Cros. In 1999, their son Julian joined them to take over the reins and carried out major restructuring of the vineyards and upgrade of the winery. This enabled them to better respect the great potential of the terroir and the environment.

In order to better respect the natural environment along with the quality and authenticity of their wines, Julian strives to blend science and art. He has always been a very early adopters of the latest technology: such as the weather station that enables them to precisely adjust their work in the vines and reduce the use of fungicides; or the infra-red camera to calculate the optimal date of harvest. However science does not have answers to everything and it’s at that point that art and the instinct of the winemaker takes over to ensure the quality of our wines that best reflect the spirit of Le Grand Cros estate.

A clear salmon pink rose. The nose is nice and simple, with aromas of strawberry and a touch of minerality. The balance is on the fresh side, a fruity expression and a pepper finale. A straight forward and fresh wine.

Yering Station, Little Yering Pinot Noir (2017)

As lovers of wine, the Rathbone family had contemplated the idea of becoming wine producers for many years and finally purchased Yering Station in 1996. Having planted the Laura Barnes Vineyard in 1995 and with the family’s background in agriculture, manufacturing and their passion for the wine industry, the purchase of Yering Station was an obvious step forward. This natural progression coupled with a combination of family talents allowed them to develop a successful business around quality wine. The Rathbone’s purchase of Yering Station was a big year for the property bringing forth the successful venture with Champagne Devaux.

Yering continues to be a family owned and operated winery dedicated to producing wines of quality and distinction. The Rathbone family is committed to providing an environment that allows its passionate young team to thrive.

Bright, red cherry Intense red cherry and raspberry fruit. Perfumed and ethereal. A classic Pinot style lovely cherry and red fruit overlayed with savory spices. A silky concentration provides richness and length. Beautiful natural balance.

Le Mistral Tier

Carl Ehrhard ‘Frau Ehrhard’ Natürlich Riesling Trocken Rheingau Landwein 2020

It’s Riesling Season!!!!!

I absolutely adore sipping on a glass of riesling in the backyard, a little chill in the air.  It’s one of my favorite ways to usher in the changing of the seasons.  It also means that scotch season is right around the corner (sorry bourbon, I’m leaving you behind). This a bit of a wild one, not a typically dry riesling by any means, but a fun lean into a style you will rarely see from German winemakers.

The label is a homage to Carl’s wife, Petra - his partner in wine, parenting, and everything else. It pictures their three daughters in the background and evokes Petra’s skills as a master of haute couture dress making and design. It was painted by a very good friend of theirs about 15 years ago.

Only a little funky, but in a delicious and fascinating way. It is aromatic and intense, chock full of bright fruit and minerality, with touches of wild spice and earthiness. It may make your mouth pucker a bit, but you will keep reaching for your glass. This is a dry, full-bodied wine, and it needs a little time in the glass or a short decanting to show its full range of flavors.

Here are some geek sheet notes if you are curious about the actual method of winemaking:

Region: Rudesheim, Rheingau, Germany

Style: orange

Farming/cellar: hand-harvested, vineyard sorted, de-stemmed and spends 10 weeks / 3 months on the skins. Spontaneous fermentation takes place in 1200L wooden barrels with natural yeasts from the grapes that lasts five months under temperature control. The wine spends 18 months on the lees with battonage occurring twice total while aging in neutral oak vessels of varying sizes. Not fined or Filtered. No added so2

Chateau Ste Anne Bandol Cote de Provence Red 2019

(Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Grenache)

Chateau St Anne is highly allocated, with the US only receiving 50 cases every couple of years.  The Breeze was lucky enough to snag 2 cases of this fantastic southern French blend.

Chateau St Anne is a 5th generation Bandol producer. In what we call "natural wine”, there's a history of vignerons rebelling against the stringent laws of AOC classifications, eschewing their guidelines and labeling cuvees as VDF. This is not the case with Chateau St Anne, and they were one of the wineries instrumental to setting up the AOC Bandol itself in the early 1940s. Though, on the other side of the aisle, they were hand-in-hand with Thierry Puzelat, Marcel Lapierre, and Overnoy in setting up the AVN (which stands for adult video news Association de Vins Naturels) in the 1980s. Undoubtedly, Ste Anne was an apostle in the group that spread the Lapierre gospel nationwide in the 80s, or what we call first-wave natural wine. All this is to say: when it comes to natural wine's history, or even Bandol's history, Chateau St Anne was there.

Chateau Ste Anne sits at the Eastern edge of the Sainte Anne d'Evenos, a hill on the Eastern side of the Bandol bounds, on the opposite side of the hill from Domaine Tempier, less than 2 miles away. The winery is managed by Françoise Dutheil and her son Jean-Baptiste (pictured). Their terroir is unique among the Bandol appellation; proximity to the sea and strong winds between steep hills create a microclimate where they're able to give Mourvedre (the chief grape here) terrace plantings, and achieve elegant ripening despite the punishing summer heat. The main takeaway here is with Ste Anne, you have Bandol at 12.5% alcohol. Average age of vines for recent bottlings is 40-55 years. The reds see something like 18 months in foudres, and the rosé and white are direct press, stainless, and undergo malo. There's judicious use of sulfur, of course, usually <40 ppm applied at elevage.

Very, VERY few wines in our Natural world achieve the combination of being enjoyable upon release, rewarding cellaring, helping to shape an appellation, AND shaping the world of Natural wine. Chateau St Anne achieves all four.

Domaine du Possible ‘Charivari’

I want everyone to drink this wine. It’s been hiding on the bottom shelf of The Breeze for a little while now and hasn’t gotten the love it deserves. It’s everything I could want in an earthy, mineral-driven, graphite, herbal style red wine. There is so much going on in this wine you can truly find something new is every sip.  Tell your friends, this is the wine they want for fall!

Grape: Carignan 

Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; 30-106 years old on soils of gneiss; 100% carbonic maceration; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; zero-zero; 12% ABV

Winemaker: Loïc Roure

Loïc Roure was planning to open a restaurant/wine bar when he stumbled upon an old cooperative winery in 2003 and bought that instead, pivoting to the winemaking side of the business.  After an extensive renovation (the place had been abandoned since 1990) Loïc now works and lives in Lansac's old cave cooperative, farming his 10.5 hectares of vineyards around the Côtes du Roussillon A.O.C.  

He has worked organically from the start, preferring his hands to tractors, and mostly eschewing So2 additions.  Which is fairly easy in this extremely windy region, which naturally repels mold and pests, making chemical-free growing work easier.

We love Loïc's carbonic Charivari, with fruit and funk mingling on the nose and melting into a mouthful of dark, tangy fruits (blackberry + black plum!)  with tongue-tickling vibrance that keeps it fresh.  


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