May 2024

May 2024

1. Domaine du Mortier "Brain de Folie" Rouge (shown below!)

  • Producer: Domaine du Mortier
  • Region: Loire Valley, France
  • Variety: Cabernet Franc, Grolleau
  • Alcohol: 12.5%

Cyril and Fabien, not originally from a winemaking background, developed their passion for viticulture as teenagers when their parents bought a property with a vineyard in 1989. They established Domaine du Mortier in 1996, located near Bourgueil, and expanded it to 16 hectares, specializing in Cabernet Franc suited to the alluvial soils of the Central-Loire Valley AOCs. Their diverse cuvées, such as Les Sables, Les Graviers, Les Pins, and Dionysos, reflect the unique terroirs and are crafted through natural processes in their cellar. Additionally, they manage an agroforestry project in Brain sur Allonnes, enhancing biodiversity and practicing organic and biodynamic methods. The domain also creatively responded to challenges like severe spring frosts by producing a special cuvée, La P’tite Vadrouille, using their remaining grapes combined with Merlot from Dordogne.

The vineyard comprises two gravelly plots in Brain sur Allonnes, next to Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, totaling 1.2 hectares with vines of different ages, maintained with alternating rows of grass and plowed soil, facing south. Cabernet Franc and Grolleau are the grapes used in this "Brain de Folie". During winemaking, hand-harvested whole bunches undergo carbonic maceration in 50-hectoliter concrete tanks for about 14 days using lees from previous vintages as a starter for fermentation. The wine is matured in tanks for 4 months before being bottled with a minimal addition of sulfur.

2. Monte Rio Cellars Côt (Malbec) (shown below!)

  • Producer: Monte Rio Cellars
  • Region: Lodi, California
  • Variety: 100% Malbec
  • Alcohol: 12%

Mr. Cappiello began his wine career in 2002 as a Sommelier at Tribeca Grill, later advancing to Wine Director and restaurant owner over 15 years. His transition to winemaking was influenced by relationships with winemakers, including his current business partner Pax Mahle. He continues as Wine Director at Walnut Street Café in Philadelphia and engages in various roles, including Food & Wine host for Playboy and founding member of Winemakers & Sommeliers for California Wildfire Relief. With 30 years in the restaurant industry, he has accessed renowned wine cellars, earning multiple accolades including "Sommelier of the Year" from various publications. His winemaking, which started in 2018 under Pax Mahle's guidance, emphasizes natural, organically farmed California heritage varieties. This Malbec is inspired by Loire Valley producers where it is referred to as Côt. It features aromas of raspberry, leather, and baking spice. Light to medium in body, it is juicy and delicious. This is the first vintage of this wine!


3. Fres.Co Primitivo Red (shown below!)

We are huge fans of Fresh Wines! This Primitivo (aka Zinfandel) from Sonoma County has big fruit profile with a bit of spice! Tastes like a classic California Zin with tons of red and dark fruits, but fresher and with a good amount of juiciness that will keep you coming back for more! Perfect pairing for that meatball recipe you’ve been wanting to try out. Give this one a slight chill, but we won’t be mad if you want to drink this one well chilled. Enjoy! xx

  • Producer: Fresh Wines
  • Region: Sonoma, California
  • Varieties: 100% Zinfandel (aka Primitivo)
  • Alcohol: 14.3%


4. Les Lunes "North Coast Claret" Cabernet Sauvignon 2022 (shown below!)

  • Producer: Les Lunes
  • Region: North Coast, California
  • Varieties: Caberbet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
  • Alcohol: 12.5%

Les Lunes Wine is a small, artisanal winery located in Northern California. It was founded by Shaunt Oungoulian and Diego Roig, who focus on creating wines that genuinely express the terroir of California's diverse wine regions. They lease and farm their vineyards, taking a hands-on approach to viticulture that emphasizes organic and biodynamic practices.

The philosophy at Les Lunes is rooted in a minimalist approach to winemaking. They believe in letting the grapes and the vineyards speak for themselves, without intervention from modern winemaking gadgets or additives. This results in wines that are expressive of the soil and the climate where the grapes are grown.

Les Lunes produces a range of wines, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel, as well as blends that showcase the unique characteristics of their sourced vineyards. These wines are noted for their balance, purity, and depth, often highlighting the natural acidity and complex flavor profiles that are characteristic of well-managed vineyards with minimal interventionist winemaking.

The winery is part of a new wave of Californian vintners who are moving away from highly manipulated wines towards those that are more natural and sustainable. This philosophy not only reflects in their farming practices but also in their winemaking, which involves native yeast fermentations, minimal sulphur additions, and a general avoidance of fining and filtration, allowing the wines to maintain their natural vibrancy and authenticity.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is big and bold, and perfect for nights in with a bowl of spaghetti meatball or lasagna. Serve room temp or slighter cooler (but it doesn't need to be chilled!). Enjoy! xoxo

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