November wine notes will be up first thing Saturday morning! Cheers! xo
1. Marcobarba “Barbianca” Still White
- Producer: Marco Barba
- Varieties: Various regional varieties
- Region: Gambellara, Italy
- Alcohol: 11.5%
- Flavor Profile: Mineral-driven, medium-bodied white wine bursting with zesty citrus fruit, dried herbs and a touch of salinity. Pair with a creamy pasta, grilled seafood or risotto. Serve chilled and enjoy! xo
Barbianca is crafted from a blend of white grape varieties native to the region, some familiar and others less known, Barbabianca undergoes a natural fermentation process using the yeasts naturally present in the vineyard. It matures for a minimum of 6 months in concrete tanks, maintaining its connection to its fermentation roots. The best part? It's bottled unfiltered, with just a touch of sulfur added.
In the eyes of Marco and the Barbaboyz, Barbabianca is all about easy-drinking pleasure. It's the ideal companion for leisurely aperitifs or convivial seafood feasts with friends. Picture pairing it with delectable gratinated scallops or a plate of pasta adorned with a savory sardine sauce.
Barbabianca captures the spirit of 'beva,' which in Italian means 'easy drink,' making it the perfect choice for laid-back moments and memorable gatherings! Serve chilled and enjoy! xoxo
2. Les Hautes Noëlles "Cabotage" Chardonnay
- Producer: Les Hautes Noëlles
- Region: Loire Valley, France
- Varieties: 100% Chardonnay
- Alcohol: 12%
- Flavor Profile: A full-bodied wine that pairs well with a variety of cuisine!. Notes of peach, vanilla and almond with a hint of hazelnut. Serve chilled and enjoy life to the fullest!
Travel back to the 11th century when, while William the Conqueror embarked on his English conquest, something equally captivating was unfolding in the charming commune of St Léger les Vignes. It was here that the art of winemaking was in its nascent stages, just beginning to take root. Fast forward to the year 1180, and the wines produced in this region had already garnered such acclaim that they were selected as the Mass wine for the distinguished Abbey of Notre Dame de Buzay, founded by none other than the esteemed Bernard de Clairvaux, as well as the Abbey of Villeneuve.
Today, nearly nine centuries later, Domaine Les Hautes Noëlles proudly upholds this rich winemaking legacy. This family-owned estate, which was established in the 1930s, is nestled approximately 15 kilometers southwest of Nantes, right on the tranquil shores of Lac de Grandlieu, France's largest natural lake. With the Atlantic Ocean a mere 30 kilometers away, the vineyards occasionally benefit from the coastal breezes. In 2010, Jean-Pierre Guédon assumed the reins, and in 2020, Juliane and Jean-Gabriel Tridon took up the mantle to continue this storied journey. Today, they lovingly tend to 26 hectares of vineyards, meticulously adhering to the principles of organic viticulture.
But you might wonder, why are they here? After years of traversing the high seas, they found themselves yearning for the embrace of the land. It was during this period that they stumbled upon the world of wine—real wine, crafted by passionate artisans in cellars and amidst the vines. It was here that they realized a new and enthralling chapter of life was beckoning them—a simple yet profound connection, one shared by people of the sea and those of the land.
In a world that often seeks to exert control over every aspect of existence, the vine imparts a profound lesson in humility. There's what they understand about nature, what they grasp without the ability to fully explain, and then there's the vast, enigmatic unknown. The vine demands constant attention, urging them to plan not only for today but for the generations yet to come. And as for the wine itself, it evolves silently and purposefully within the quiet confines of a vat, taking all the time it requires.
This is their daily life now—a life immersed in this unspoiled and enchanting setting. And they wish for nothing more than to share it with you, their cherished members. Their dedicated team, akin to a crew on an enduring ocean voyage, navigates the challenges of winemaking with a shared vision. Their team comprises a versatile blend of experienced individuals, joined from time to time by seasonal workers when the vineyards require their attention. Brice, full of youthful vigor, lends his enthusiasm to both vineyards and cellar. Vincent and Marjorie make a formidable plowing duo, while Jacqueline, the bottling queen, reigns supreme amidst labels, cases, and the shop.
In this shared voyage, you are warmly invited to join in savoring the marvels of the vine and the simple, yet profound, pleasures of life amongst the vines. Welcome to Domaine Les Hautes Noëlles—a journey encompassing wine, nature, and the beauty of the unknown.
3. Joyce Albariño
- Producer: Joyce Vineyards
- Region: Arroyo Seco, California
- Varieties: 100% Albariño
- Alcohol: 13%
- Flavor Profile: Aromas of ripe citrus fruits like lemon and grapefruit with hints of white flowers, peach and apricot. Crisp and zesty, lively and refreshing with a satisfying mineral undertone! Dry, clean finish! Serve chilled and enjoy!
Joyce Wine Company's journey began right in the heart of the vineyard. It all started back in 1986 when they planted four acres of vines on the picturesque hillside behind the Joyce family's home, nestled in the serene village of Carmel Valley, California. At that time, Russell Joyce, now the owner and winemaker, was just a young lad, learning the ropes and developing a strong work ethic by tending to the vines, tending the barrels, and engaging in everything from hand bottling to hand labeling in the family's workshop. Together, Russell and his father embarked on the adventure of crafting wine, selling their creations to local restaurants and retailers along the single street that comprised their world. It was a labor of love, more work than reward, but it ignited a fiery passion.
Russell Joyce is a winemaker who forged his path through self-discovery and determination. Fueled by his unwavering passion for winemaking, he dedicated his life to mastering the craft and delving into the techniques and traditions of world-class producers, all of which have influenced his own unique winemaking style. In 2010, Russell took his production to a larger scale, operating from an industrial winery located in South Salinas. During this pivotal phase, Russell met and fell in love with Charlotte, who would soon become his wife, marking the inception of the third generation of family winemakers.
Over the course of the following decade, Joyce Wine Company became a well-established presence in Carmel Valley Village, renowned for its inviting tasting room where patrons could relish a comfortable atmosphere and a warm community spirit that revels in the joys of life.
In 2021, as the business and family continued to flourish, Russell and Charlotte took a significant step forward. They acquired the historic Ventana Winery, situated in the Arroyo Seco AVA, marking a new chapter in the story of Joyce Wine Company. Here, Russell, along with his son, embarks on a journey that includes foot-treading grapes and exploring vineyards, as they continue to craft exceptional wines under the Joyce Wine Company banner.
4. Pollerhof "Huhnergarten" Gruner Veltliner 2021
- Producer: Pollerhof
- Region: Burgenland, Austria
- Varieties: 100% Grüner Veltliner
- Alcohol: 12%
- Flavor Profile: Clean, refreshing, with lively acidity and zesty character! Notes of green apple, pear and citrus fruit with undertones of minerals, white pepper and wet stone. Serve chilled and pair with sushi or sashimi, artichoke dip, Teriyaki chicken or salmon!
The Weinviertel, Austria's largest wine-growing region, sprawls across the northeastern corner of the country. It's a diverse region, with plans for further division into Western, Eastern, and Southern parts. However, think of the Weinviertel as a series of wine islands scattered amidst vast farmland. You can drive for miles without spotting a single vine, and then suddenly, you'll stumble upon a village surrounded by nothing but vineyards. One such wine island is Roschitz, nestled in the Western Weinviertel.
Roschitz, a small village near the Czech border, is as peaceful as can be. It lacks the bustling restaurants of a city, offering instead a tranquil, picturesque setting. The heart of Roschitz is its Kellergasse, a narrow lane flanked by wine cellars dug into the earth on both sides. Most of these cellars are for private use, but one stands out—Pollerhof.
Pollerhof, where Erwin Poller lives, is a unique gem among these cellars. Inside, you can descend to the lower level, where bottled wines are stored, or stay on the ground level, featuring a tasting area and a small stage for intimate events like readings and plays. It's beautifully simple. Out back, the Gelber Muskateller vines gently slope down to the main road, creating an idyllic scene.
Erwin Poller is a one-man show at Pollerhof. While he's always adhered to biological principles in his winemaking, he decided to pursue organic certification, becoming fully certified in 2021 after a transition period.
Pollerhof produces wines from a remarkable variety of grapes. Grüner Veltliner takes the lead, but you'll also find Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gelber Muskateller, Traminer, Malvasia, Müller-Thurgau, Zweigelt, Blauburger, Cabernet, Gamay, Syrah, and several blends. In other words, Erwin is quite the busy winemaker.
The Poller family has a rich winemaking history spanning over 300 years. Erwin's grandfather, Johann Poller, exclusively began making wine in 1920. He would transport his barrels to Vienna, a three-day journey, sell the wines, and return. He is honored on the unique label. Today, with around 20 hectares of property, 10-15 of which are vineyards, Erwin still handles most tasks himself. He even allows his chickens to roam the vineyards, fertilizing the soil and helping control pests.
Erwin crafts one of our impressive Grüner Veltliner liter wines—a full-bodied and more serious take on liters. He also produces excellent Veltliner from vineyards like Galgenberg (Gallows Hill), Phelling, and his flagship wine, Frau Mayer, sourced from a small vineyard with very old vines.
All grapes are hand-picked, ensuring only ripe, clean fruit is used. Small boxes are employed for gentle transport from vineyard to cellar. The grapes undergo a gentle pressing to minimize stalk damage and bitterness. Erwin mostly uses stainless steel for fermentation, relying on his own yeast culture developed over the years. The soils in his vineyards are complex, with Galgenberg featuring loess, chalk, and granite, while Frau Mayer boasts a 100% granite base. These diverse soils contribute to the unique flavors of Pollerhof's wines.