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. Taparas Côte Du Rhône Rouge
- Producer: Les Vignerons d'Estezargus
- Region: Rhone Valley, France
- Varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Carignan
- Alcohol: 14.5%
- Flavor Profile: Medium-bodied, easy-drinking, clean, rustic red wine with notes of red and black fruit - it’s lively and juicy! Serve chilled for maximum enjoyment.
Les Vignerons d'Estézargues is a small cooperative of 12 winemakers/winegrowers in Rhone Valley, Southern France, founded in 1965. Together they have been making small, organic batches of natural wine for more than 30 years! Imagine a place just a stone's throw away from the enchanting medieval city of Avignon, known for its Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. Here, in the quaint village of Estézargues, you'll find a rather extraordinary cooperative: Les Vignerons d’Estézargues! In France, these cooperatives, often referred to as 'cave co-op,' are traditional hubs for winemakers to collaborate, share expertise, and reduce costs by pooling resources. However, most co-ops focus on mass production, prioritizing quantity and cost-efficiency over quality or environmental considerations. But here's where Les Vignerons D’Estézargues breaks the mold. This unique cooperative, a rarity given its size, piqued the interest of Jenny Lefcourt (wine importer) early on, leading to the introduction of their incredible value wines to the US through J&F (Jenny & François Selections!). Established in 1965, Estézargues began its journey towards natural winemaking in the 1980s, under the influence of winemaker Jean-François Nicq, who drew inspiration from natural wine pioneers like Marcel Lapierre.
What sets them apart is their commitment to minimal intervention—no commercial yeast, no enzymes, no gum arabic, no acidifiers, and very little sulfur, used only when necessary. They're not shouting 'vin naturel' from the rooftops, but insiders know that an Estézargues label means honest, no-nonsense wine. Another remarkable feature is their dedication to vinifying each terroir separately. This approach, championed by Denis Deschamps, allows them to showcase the unique character of each grower's best plots. These wines proudly bear the names of the individual domains, like Genestas or Grès Saint Vincent. In a world where individuality and community thrive together, Estézargues embodies this spirit. Armelle Rouault, the congenial CEO and winemaker, affectionately calls their cooperative a 'village gaulois,' with original founding families still at the helm, now in the hands of the third generation. As for the future, Armelle is excited about the transition to organic farming, with a significant portion of their land already certified. The sun-drenched plateau of Estézargues, kissed by the Mistral wind, makes it an ideal spot for organic viticulture, echoing the return to nature's wisdom. In the heart of the South, where tradition meets innovation, Les Vignerons d’Estézargues is carving its unique path in the world of wine.
3. Les Hautes Noëlles “Voulez Vous” Gamay
- Producer: Les Hautes Noëlles
- Region: Loire Valley, France
- Varieties: 100% Gamay
- Alcohol: 12%
- Flavor Profile: Medium-to-light-bodied red wine full of red fruit and black cherries. Luscious and juicy, with a dry finish. Serve chilled and enjoy within 3 days of opening!
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.
4. Borgo Savaian “Aransat” Orange Wine
- Producer: Azienda Agricola Borgo Savaian di Bastiani Stefano
- Region: Friuli Venezia Giulia
- Varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio
- Alcohol: 13%
- Flavor Profile: Notes of ripe fruit, apricot and vanilla, with a savory finish! Serve chilled, re-cork after opening and store in fridge. Enjoy within 3 days of opening!
Borgo Savaian represents three generations of winemaking, deeply connected to the beautiful land of Cormòns. It all began with Bruno, a true expert in the secrets of Cormonese gravels and Collio marls. Then came Mario, and alongside him, Marinella. In the early '70s, they ushered in innovation, especially in winemaking, and by the end of that dynamic decade, they bottled their creations for the first time. Fast forward to today, and it's Stefano, together with his sister Rosanna, who carries on this remarkable legacy, combining tradition and innovation seamlessly. Drawing inspiration from their grandfather Bruno's teachings, they're on a quest for the ultimate quality in their vineyard and cellar creations. Their 18 hectares of vineyards are nestled alongside Monte Quarin, a perfect spot for viticulture. Here, the unique Collio 'ponca' soil meets the gravels of the Friulian plain, creating a magical synergy that you can taste in every sip of their wines. Quality begins right in the vineyard, where they use both the traditional 'cappuccina' and Guyot systems, ensuring each plant thrives. Careful techniques, like dry and green pruning, set the stage for impeccable grapes at harvest time. They take special care to harvest their grapes in the coolest hours of the day, thanks to a shaking harvesting machine. This not only minimizes the risk of uncontrolled fermentation but also preserves the wines' unique sensory profiles. So, here's to the dedication of three generations, the magical terroir of Cormòns, and the exceptional wines of Azienda Agricola Borgo Savaian di Bastiani Stefano!