May 2024

May 2024

1. 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!


2. Katharina Gessl "Hawara" Grüner Veltliner (shown below!)

  • Producer: Katharina Gessl
  • Region: Weinviertel, Austria
  • Variety: 100% Grüner Veltliner
  • Alcohol: 11.5%

Katharina Gessl, from Zellerndorf in Austria's Weinviertel region, manages a 20-hectare vineyard and 180 hectares of organic farmland. After studying International Wine Business and living in Germany, the Netherlands, and Vienna, Katharina returned to her roots and founded the Katharina Gessl winery in 2022. She took over selected vineyards from her family’s farm and produced her debut vintage. Her wines are characterized by a blend of playfulness and elegance, embodying a youthful and refined joy. Katharina's guiding principle, "S’Leben leben" (Live life), captures the essence of her approach to winemaking. Hawara wine is straightforward and elegant, presenting a genuine expression of its origins without any frills. It captivates the palate with a clear, unpretentious profile of melon, walnut, yellow apple, and delightful thyme. As it matures, it introduces notes of eucalyptus and a hint of vanilla. This wine pairs excellently with various dishes, making it not only a delightful drink but also a versatile companion for food lovers.


3. Jan-Philipp Bleeke "Space Dream" Riesling (shown below!)

  • Producer: Jan-Philipp Bleeke
  • Region: Mosul, Germany
  • Variety: 70% Riesling, 30% Müller-Thurgau
  • Alcohol: 11%

This charming (very light) skin contact is my favorite of the bunch! So tropical, so easy-drinking, so delicious! Winemaker Jan-Philipp Bleeke grew up in East Westphalia, a region unsuited for winemaking. After various detours through Dortmund, Herford, Gütersloh, Bielefeld, Berlin, New Zealand, and Hamburg, he discovered his true passion for viticulture. Although he is a trained automotive salesman and holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing management, Jan-Philipp chose to pursue winemaking in Mosel. His decision was driven by the simple joy he finds in the craft, an escape from the corporate world where he felt out of place. "Space Dream" is a unique Riesling and Müller-Thurgau blend, perfect for a night under the stars. It has been aged for 19 months in old oak barrels and stainless steel tanks, and is distinguished by a fresh, fruity aroma that takes you on a cosmic journey. Bottled in April 2023, let this dreamy riesling take you on a celestial adventure! Serve chilled and enjoy with fried chicken, or your favorite cheese, charcuterie and Marcona almonds! It's the best! 


4. G.D. Vajra Barolo Rosabella Rosato (shown below!)

  • Producer: G.D. Vajra
  • Region: Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
  • Varieties: Nebbiolo
  • Alcohol: 12.5%

This is the kind of rosé you want all rosé to be like. The Vajra family has been cultivating Bricco delle Viole, the highest cru in Comune di Barolo, since the 1880s. Aldo Vajra took over the estate at just fifteen in 1968, and under his direction, the estate achieved the region's first organic certification in 1971. Aldo also revitalized local grape varieties, including Freisa and initiated the cultivation of Rhine Riesling in Piemonte. Today, the family manages 40 hectares of vineyards, with prized plots like Fossati, Coste de Vergne, and La Volta. Their high-elevation vineyards contribute to the wines’ finesse and complexity. The Vajra estate remains a family-owned, independent winery, now involving Aldo’s children and a team of professionals, dedicated to maintaining tradition while embracing innovation. Rosabella is a rosé de saignée made from primarily Nebbiolo (90%), and Dolcetto and Barbera (10%) grapes, sourced from young vineyards across Barolo, La Morra, Novello, Sinio, and Serralunga. The wine was briefly aged in stainless steel and bottled in January 2022. Tasting notes reveal a delicate and translucent rosé with floral scents, cherry, wild strawberry, and a hint of candied plum and incense, offering a bright palate with lingering minerality and a persistent finish. Serve chilled and pair with all sorts of cuisine from pizza and pasta to seafood salad and potato chips. We love rosé!

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