Tradicionalni recepti

Iz kleti: Caiarossa, novo vino v stari deželi

Iz kleti: Caiarossa, novo vino v stari deželi

Oh, biti nova vinska klet v stari državi-dobro financirana in z možnostjo mešanja, kot želite, najboljšega novega in starega v klasičnem okolju.

15-letno posestvo Caiarossa se nahaja v obalnem območju Maremma v Toskani, mestu, ki so ga v zadnjih 30 letih "znova odkrili", ko so mnogi super-Toskanski proizvajalci, ki si je upal uporabiti francosko grozdje skupaj s tradicionalno sangiovese, ki se nahaja tukaj.

Caiarossa ni nastanjen v starodavnem gradu ali samostanu, ampak v utišani rdeči, hlevu podobni, sodobni zgradbi, ki jo je zasnoval Michael Bolle. Njegove zasaditve so predvsem 11 sort, večinoma francoskih. Njegove metode v vinogradu in kleti so stare-vendar ne stare z lokalnim znanjem in zagotovo ne kmečko. Caiarossa je segel v Avstrijo zaradi svojega biodinamičnega režima gojenja-vse do slavnega zakopanega kravjega roga Bio-in na Kitajsko zaradi feng shui zasnove same kleti, čeprav bi lahko bila v naravi krmljena z gravitacijo.

Nazadnje je v lasti nizozemskega podjetnika Erica Albade Jelgersme, ki je prav tako lastnik dveh uglednih bordojskih dvorcev-Giscours in du Tertre.

Pred kratkim sem okusil vertikalo šestih letnikov (2004-2009) njene primarne rdeče mešanice, ki se preprosto imenuje "Cairossa", in dve njeni drugi etiketi, vino, v katerem prevladuje sangiovese, "Pergolaia".

Pri mladi kleti so navpične degustacije še posebej zanimive, ker nakazujejo smer, da vino vzame več kot tam, kjer je bilo. Tako kot večina bio vin (ne glede na njihove posebne postopke) je v vsakem letniku Caiarossa ponavadi več slanih nota, kot jih je v sadnih "sodobnih" vinih. Tako kot mnoga vina, ki so brez kisika ali reducirajoča, je treba Caiarosso pred pitjem prezračiti ali pretočiti-tako, kot bi odprli okna in odstranili pohištvene pokrove v čudovitem soncu osvetljenem salonu, ki je bil pozimi zaprt.

Se pravi, starejši vinaČeprav je bil okusen, se je težje nagibal k slanemu, še posebej v letih 2005 in 2007, ki sta poudarila dišave gozdnih tal, gobe, janež, prašno čokolado. Zdi se, da je bilo leto 2008, čeprav je bilo še zelo zaprto, nekoliko boljše sadno ravnovesje. The 2009 Caiarossa - trenutni letnik, ki ga boste lahko kupili za približno 65 dolarjev na steklenico - je še bolj saden, čeprav je nekaj tega mogoče pričakovati pri mlajšem vinu. Ima mešanico zelo živahnih, nekoliko pikantnih temnih češenj z rahlim podtonom balzamične ostrine-zelo zapleteno in precej dobro.

Tako kot Caiarossa iz leta 2007 2007 Pergolaia je tudi precej pikanten in nekoliko oster, medtem ko je 2008 Pergolaia (približno 27 dolarjev) je pokazalo več obljube-temno češnjevo sadje, ki se dviga nad zelo vitko, sangiovezno citronsko, prašno-taninsko strukturo z lepim pridihom zaključnih grenčin. To je idealno vino za hrano.

Potem je tu še belo vino - 2010 Caiarossa Toscano bianco (45 USD), redka mešanica viognierja in chardonnaya v razmerju 50/50, ki ni vedno ugodna.

Ampak tukaj so dela-skoraj masleni, mehki jabolčni okusi z dobrim ravnovesjem in nekje med belo južno Rhone in blitvo Napa, zelo zanimivi in ​​prijazni do hrane.

Za Caiarosso je 15 let dobro porabljenih.


Obisk teksaške vinske dežele

Kako najbolje raziskati območje med Johnsonovim mestom in Fredericksburgom.

Država Hill je zrasla v eno najboljših vinskih destinacij na svetu in nismo edini, ki povemo toliko. Toda z nekaj desetimi kleti, ki so raztresene samo na območju Fredericksburga (in peščica, ki jih je v krajih, kot sta Sisterdale in Comfort, zloženih ob ozadju), se lahko odloči, katere obiskati, če načrtujete kratek izlet. Spodaj je nekaj odgovorov na vprašanja, ki jih najpogosteje zastavljam o tem, kako načrtovati vikend pot v klet v Hill Country.

To bo prvo v seriji o obisku najboljših vinskih destinacij v deželi Hill. Naslednja v tej seriji bo objavljena pozneje ta mesec.

Koliko kleti lahko realno obiščem v enem dnevu?

To je odvisno od tega, s koliko ljudi ste. Vikend za dva? Verjetno se lahko uvrstite med štiri do pet. Potujete v veliki skupini? Idealno število so verjetno tri, ki omejujejo število postankov in omogočajo vsem v skupini, da okusijo, okusijo, kupijo vino in se naložijo nazaj v avto/avtobus/kombi za naslednjo postajo.

Vedite, preden greste: Degustacije vključujejo tri do pet vin (potencialno več, če si rezervirate čas za posebno degustacijo in ogled po različnih kleti). Poskusite začeti razmeroma zgodaj, na primer ob 11. uri, ne pozabite pojesti kosila (navsezadnje boste zaužili precejšnjo količino alkohola) in se ustavite ter zadiši, počakaj, rose.

Naj se vozim sam ali naj najamem turistično podjetje?

Če nameravate piti, ne vozite. Obdobje. Če vztrajate pri svojem vozilu, določite določenega voznika.

Vedite, preden greste: Obstaja nekaj možnosti po ugodnih cenah, ki vas popeljejo v vinske kleti po vaši izbiri. Vozniki vam pogosto povedo nekaj o vsakem kraju (ta podjetja običajno dobro poznajo kleti na tem območju), večina pa vam bo pomagala pri nakupu v avto, kjer jih bodo shranili v hladnem, klimatiziranem prostoru. Nekateri izleti bodo celo organizirali kosila v škatli za priročen obrok, ki ga boste lahko uživali v eni od kleti na poti.

Za veliko skupino Texas Wine Tours vodi nekaj limuzinskih avtobusov za petnajst in dvajset potnikov, za bolj intimne skupine pa lahko uredijo tudi manjše limuzine in mestne avtomobile. Za manjše skupine, ki iščejo strokovnega vodnika, se popeljite z nekdanjo kletno podgano, Clintom Thomasom, Cellar Rat Wine Tours, ki je sodelovala z William Chris Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars in Grape Creek Vineyards. Ali pa za več izkušenj hop-on-hop-off izkoristite 290 Wine Shuttle, ki vsakih dvajset minut odhaja iz Centra za obiskovalce Fredericksburg, ki ljubitelje vina popelje in odpelje v dvajsetih minutni intervali za 19,99 USD. (Shuttle vozi samo ob sobotah od 10.00 do 18.00)

Kakšne so kleti, ki si jih morate ogledati?

To bo v veliki meri odvisno od vašega osebnega okusa, vendar ta kratek (in nikakor ne izčrpen) seznam kleti vzdolž koridorja ameriške avtoceste 290, ki vodi od vzhoda proti zahodu-z nekaj predlogi za ukrivljenimi potmi-ponuja vrsto okusov , od sladkega in sadnega do robustnega in strukturiranega.

Ena najnovejših kleti, ki je prišla na prizorišče, Lewis Wines je sodelovanje poslovnih partnerjev Douga Lewisa in Duncana McNabba, dveh mladih podjetnikov, ki sta najprej skočila v kad za drobljenje grozdja teksaškega vina. Če se osredotočite predvsem na sorte, ki uspevajo na tleh Hill Country in High Plains, boste našli drzna rdeča vina s čudovito barvno ekstrakcijo in strukturo ter nekaj odličnih osvežilnih belih vin. Pokličite vnaprej, klet trenutno ponuja degustacije samo po dogovoru.

Najboljše izbire: 2010 Texas Red Wine Mourvedre Blend, 2013 Texas Chenin Blanc

Degustacijska pristojbina: 10 USD (oproščeno z nakupom ene steklenice vina)

William "Bill" Blackmon in Chris Brundrett, ki se nahajata v majhnem mestecu Hye, med Johnson Cityjem in Stonewallom, proizvajata obrtna vina iz sadja, pridelanega po vsem Teksasu. Ponujajo degustacijo v intimnih prostorih svoje 100-letne prenovljene hiše in v obsežni sosednji sodobni degustacijski sobi. Pijačo lahko uživate tudi na verandi. (Ob vikendih imajo glasbene vitrine.)

Najboljše izbire: 2012 Mourvedre (rdeča) in Enchanté (rdeča mešanica), 2013 Blanc du Bois (bela) in Mary Ruth (rosé)

Degustacijska pristojbina: 10 USD (oproščen z nakupom treh steklenic vina)

Stari standard vinske hiše Hill Country, Pedernales Cellars, so prvotno začeli z Larryjem in Jeanine Kuhlken, ki sta leta 1990 zasadila vinograd v bližini Fredericksburga. Vinogradnjo sta prevzela sin David Kuhlken in zet Fredrik Osterberg, ki je skupaj gradil na konceptu polne kleti. Danes Fredrik vodi operacije, David pa vino. Obiščite nas na nenačrtovani degustaciji ali pa za bolj intimno doživetje izkoristite novo rezervno sobo vinske kleti (potrebne so rezervacije). Viognier in Tempranillo sta temelj Pedernalesa, a če ponujata mešanici rdečega in belega vina, ju ne gre zamuditi.

Najboljše izbire: Teksaški rezervat Tempranillo, Moscato Giallo

Degustacijska pristojbina: 12,95 USD za degustacijsko sobo, 25 USD za rezervno sobo

Eno najstarejših kleti v regiji, Becker Vineyards, sta v začetku osemdesetih let ustanovila dr. Richard Becker in njegova žena Bunny. To je ena najbolj prometnih kleti na kateri koli vikend, kar je razumljivo, saj je tudi ena najlepših, še posebej, ko sosednja polja sivke v polnem razcvetu. Klet proizvaja široko paleto vin iz teksaškega grozdja, nekatera pa uporabljajo sorte, pridelane izven države.

Najboljše izbire: 2011 Kanadski rezervat Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011 Claret

Degustacijska pristojbina: 10 USD za šest vzorcev.

Ta edinstven podvig je združeno partnerstvo treh vrhunskih kleti v Teksasu: McPherson Cellars iz Lubbocka, Lost Oak Winery iz Burlesona in Brennan Vineyards iz Comanche. Ta elegantna degustacijska soba se je odprla pred nekaj leti, da bi ljubiteljem vina v Teksasu omogočila enkraten obisk in preizkusila nekaj svojih najboljših ponudb portfelja.

Najboljše izbire: McPhersonova 2013 Roussanne in Les Copains mešanica rdečega vina Lost Oak 2013 suhi rizling iz leta 2013 in 2012 Syrah in Brennan Vineyards 2012 Viognier in Tempranillo 2011

Degustacijska pristojbina: 10 do 20 USD, odvisno od izbire

Še ena odporna pripravljenost na 290 Wine Trail so Grape Creek Vineyards, ki ponuja vinsko doživetje, navdihnjeno s Toskane. Z lahkoto se lahko ustavite za hitro degustacijo, vendar, tako kot pri več kleti v okolici, degustacija in sodni prostor dajeta to intimnejšo izkušnjo. Vprašajte za vina Texas Appellation.

Najboljše izbire: 2011 Rendezvous (mešanica Red Rhone), 2010 Estate Epiphany (rdeča italijanska mešanica)

Degustacijska pristojbina: 12 USD (oproščen z nakupom vina ali članstva v vinskem klubu)

Nepretirana pot:

Do tega malega dragulja Hill Country se boste morali odpeljati približno pol ure, vendar je vredno dodatnega truda. Vinarija Bending Branch je s svojimi degustacijskimi prostori trdno pritegnila pozornost vinskih strokovnjakov po vsej državi zaradi svojih bogatih in robustnih rdečih vin iz cabernet sauvignona, tempranilla in manj znane francoske sorte grozdja tannat. In dobili so svetlo in živahno belo vino, narejeno iz francoskega grozdja Picpoul Blanc.

Najboljše izbire: 2011 Texas Tannat, 2011 Tempranillo

Degustacijska pristojbina: 10 USD (oproščeno z nakupom dveh steklenic vina)

Ogled kleti:

Vinarija Hye Meadow se je pred kratkim pridružila hlevu kleti ob hodniku 290 z veliko izbiro vin iz zvezne države Washington in peščico teksaških vin. Drugi dolgo pričakovani dodatki vključujejo julijsko odprtje kleti Calais, presajanje kleti Dallas, jesensko odprtje novih kleti Kuhlman in kleti Lost Draw ter novo vinsko podvigo iz slavnih vinogradov Spicewood, kleti Yates, ki naj bi se v prihodnjih mesecih razbila. .

Kje naj jem in ostanem?

To so številni penzioni in penzioni, butični hoteli in penzioni na območju Fredericksburga, dolg seznam, ki ga je mogoče popraviti s pomočjo spletnih rezervacijskih storitev, kot sta BedandBreakfast.com ali lokalni operater Gastehaus Schmidt. Na obeh straneh lahko zožite iskanje za skoraj vse vrste nastanitev, ki jih iščete.

In za večerjo vam ni treba ustaviti vinske ture, večina restavracij v Fredericksburgu ponuja vinska vina, na primer Ottojev nemški bistro ali Cabernet Grill, ki uporablja lokalne sestavine in ponuja vinsko karto samo za Teksas.


10 vin države New York, ki jih lahko pijete zdaj

Tu so vrhunske steklenice proizvajalcev v Finger Lakes in Long Island, regijah, ki si zaslužijo več spoštovanja, kot jih prejmejo.

Kredit. Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

New York je tretja največja država za pridelavo vina v državi, za Kalifornijo in Washingtonom. Kljub temu ne dobi skoraj spoštovanja, ki si ga zasluži.

Ne da njene številke veliko pomenijo. Toda v zadnjih 20 letih se je kakovost vin v zvezni državi New York hitro razvijala, zlasti v dveh vodilnih vinorodnih regijah, Finger Lakes in Long Island.

Zlasti Finger Lakes se je razvil kot vodilna vinska regija s hladnim podnebjem v Združenih državah, z izjemnimi, zgovornimi rizlingi in izrazitimi, gracioznimi frankovskimi franki kot vinska vina, čeprav bo pinot noir nekoč tretji raznolikost.

Napredovanje Long Islanda ni bilo tako gladko, z nekaj živahnimi začetki v smeri nekoč prevladujočega sloga Kalifornije z močnim sadjem in preveč hrasta. Toda pomorsko podnebje Long Islanda otežuje podporo temu slogu. Več proizvajalcev je v zadnjih letih umaknilo stopalko za plin in sprejelo zmernejša vina, kar se zdi veliko bolj usklajeno s tem, kar lahko regija ponudi.

Med digitalnim nakupovanjem v nekaterih vodilnih maloprodajnih trgovinah na Manhattnu sem pobral teh 10 newyorških draguljev, pet iz Finger Lakes in pet z Long Islanda. Z lahkoto bi izbral še 10.

Finger Lakes je bilo še posebej razburljivo za ogled. Ta zgodovinska vinska regija se je razvila v 19. stoletju okoli domačega ameriškega in hibridnega grozdja. Bili so bolj prilagojeni podnebju kot bolj znano grozdje vinifera, ki vključuje skoraj vse znano evropsko vinsko grozdje.

Nekatera od teh domačih vin so postala gospodinjska imena, na primer Manischewitz, pregovorno košer vino iz grozdja concord.

V začetku šestdesetih let je dr. Konstantin Frank, begunec iz druge svetovne vojne iz Ukrajine, pokazal, da grozdje vinifera lahko prenese hladno podnebje Prstnih jezer. V naslednjih nekaj desetletjih je njegova vinska klet, dr. Konstantin Frank, in nekaj drugih pionirjev vinifere, kot je Hermann J. Wiemer, pridigali vrline Finger Lakes, pogosto ravnodušni javnosti.

Toda njihovo delo se je obrestovalo, zlasti v zadnjih 20 letih, saj je na desetine mlajših proizvajalcev pokazalo, kako dobra so vina.

Nov in izboljšan ugled Finger Lakes temelji na grozdju vinifera, kot sta rizling in cabernet franc, vendar ugibam, da bo nekaj avtohtonega in hibridnega grozdja, na primer katawba, delaware in nekaj, ki trenutno ni povezano s Finger Lakes, lahko sčasoma tudi trdi. , saj resni proizvajalci izkazujejo svojo vrednost.

Zgodovina pridelave vina na Long Islandu sega v leto 1973, ko sta Alex in Louisa Hargrave ustanovila prvi komercialni vinograd in klet. Za regijo, staro manj kot 50 let, je bil napredek hiter, saj so proizvajalci spoznali teren in kako ga najbolje gojiti.

Veliko se je še treba naučiti. Proizvajalci Long Islanda še vedno ugotavljajo, katere sorte so najboljše, dveh mojih najljubših usposobljenih in poskusnih pridelovalcev pa ni več. Shinn Estate je bil pred nekaj leti prodan in je prešel v Rose Hill Vineyards - vina še nisem videl ali poskusil - in Southold Farm and Cellar je bil prisiljen v spor o določitvi območja.

Kljub temu mi je pri vinih Long Island veliko všeč. Razen petih proizvajalcev v mojem izboru imejte odprte oči še Macari, Bedell Cellars, Anthony Nappa, McCall in Lenz.

Iz prstnih jezer bodite pozorni tudi na Konstantina Franka in Hermanna J. Wiemerja, oba pod novim vodstvom, Forge Cellars, Empire Estate, Keuka Lake in Lakewood.

Še zadnja točka: V času, ko so vina po vsem svetu pogosto 14 odstotkov alkohola ali več, je devet od teh 10 vin 11 do 12,8 odstotka. Samo eden, Onabay, se dvigne na 13,3 odstotka.


Kaj za vraga je naravno vino?

Vprašajte tri vinogradnike, kaj pomeni narediti "naravno vino", in dobili boste tri različne odgovore, ki jih bo verjetno spremljalo sleganje ramen.

"Oh, najbolj naložena vprašanja," pravi Regan Meador iz Fredericksburgove kmetije + klet Southold. "Na tej točki je to bolj trženjski izraz in teh se izogibamo."

Za razliko od izdelkov z oznako „certificirano ekološko“ ali „brez GSO“, naravno vino nima kontrolnega seznama lastnosti ali neodvisnega žiga odobritve. Pa vendar se proizvodnja naravnega vina po vsej državi povečuje. Trenutno obstajajo tri obleke v Teksasu - Southold, La Cruz de Comal Wines in Robert Clay Vineyards - ki gojijo grozdje in izdelujejo vino po naravnem credo.

Southold Farm + lastnik kleti Regan Meador

Pomislite na naravno vino, saj je manj več. Pridelovalci čim manj storijo z grozdjem na trti, vinarji pa čim manj z vinom v sodu, pri čemer se izogibajo kemičnim pesticidom, insekticidom in konzervansom ter barvnim in aromatičnim dodatkom.

Toda ta preprosta razlaga vodi do več vprašanj. Kaj počnejo drugi ljudje, če so naravni vinarji prostovoljni?

Tako kot se kmetje in rejci odločajo o gnojilih in pesticidih, se tudi pridelovalci grozdja odločajo. In potem so čisto kozmetične odločitve. Tudi preudarni pijanec bi bil lahko presenečen, ko bi vedel, da obstaja nekaj, kar se imenuje Mega Purple, koncentrat grozdnega soka, na katerega se zanašajo številne kleti množične proizvodnje, da bi zagotovil odtenek, ki ga pričakujemo od močne zalivke.

"Obstajajo ljudje, ki gledajo na naravna vina in mislijo, da je vse drugo nenaravno," pravi Andreea Botezatu, docentka za enologijo - ali študij vina - na teksaški univerzi A & ampM. "Obstaja argument, da je običajno vino hitra hrana vina. Da, obstajajo velike korporacije, ki izdelujejo vino za rezanje piškotov, druge pa zelo dobro izražajo terroir [ali okoljske značilnosti vina]. Njihovi posegi so namenjeni kakovosti vina in užitku potrošnika. "

Kot vam bo povedal vsak kmet, je kmetijstvo igra na srečo. Pesticidi obstajajo, ker so hrošči najhujši sovražnik grozdja-razen če ne štejete pepelaste plesni, poplav ali katerega od drugih patogenov, ki uničujejo pridelke, in vremenskih vzorcev, ki uspevajo v Teksasu. Kemične rešitve teh okoljskih izzivov so del orodjarja običajnih vinarjev in mnogi v industriji pravijo, da obstaja način, kako jih odgovorno uporabiti. Z opustitvijo teh orodij se pridelovalci naravnega vina bolj izpostavijo čudakom narave in si otežijo delo. Toda naravni vinarji niso nič, če jih ne preganjamo.

Lewis Dickson, lastnik vina La Cruz de Comal v jezeru Canyon, se ne drži vinskih trendov. Leta 2007 se je po letih eksperimentiranja držal le dveh malo znanih grozdov, ko je zasadil svoj 3 hektar velik vinograd: blanc du bois in črno špansko.

Zaradi dodatnih okoljskih tveganj nekatere priljubljene sorte - na primer cabernet - v nekaterih rastočih regijah preprosto ne bodo posegle. Če boste v Teksasu izdelovali naravno vino, morate izbrati grozdje, ki prenese toploto. "Po mojem mnenju Hill Hill ni država sauvignona," pravi Dickson. "Gre za pozno zrelo grozdje in pozno zrelo grozdje je bolje na območjih s štirimi različnimi letnimi časi."

Dickson si ni zastavil naravnega zastavonoše vina. "Tako so me naučili," pravi. "Piškote delam tako, kot jih delam, ker me je tako naučila mama." Vinarstva se je naučil od kalifornijskega prijatelja, ki se je učil od svojega toskanskega dedka. "Moje vino je popolnoma naravno - brez kvasa, brez kisline, brez sladkorja, brez sulfitov - vendar to ni prapor, s katerim se v glavnem maham," pravi Dickson. Zanj je pomembno, da vam je všeč, kakšen je okus njegovega vina.

Meador iz kleti Southold Farm + Cellar je razvil teksaško prijazno analogijo, zakaj ima raje naravno vino. "Zrezek lahko pečete na dva načina," pravi. »Lahko vzameš lep rez in ga daš v vrečko s kopico italijanskega preliva, ga vržeš na res vroč žar, skuhaš do konca in preliješ z omako z žara. Nekateri menijo, da je to dobro, in to je v redu. Drug način pa je, da kupite lep rez, ga začinite s soljo in poprom ter ga le malo skuhate. "

Preden se je leta 2017 preselil v Fredericksburg, je Meador, domačin iz Teksasa, pet let delal vino na Long Islandu v New Yorku. Ko je naletel na ovire, ki so širile prvotno lokacijo Southolda, sta z ženo prodala kmetijo in se odpravila proti jugu, kjer je bila zemlja cenejša. Videl je priložnost, da bi pomagal prebroditi novo pot.

Pomislite na naravno vino, saj je manj več. Pridelovalci čim manj storijo z grozdjem na trti, vinarji pa čim manj z vinom v sodu.

Tako kot Meador, Dan McLaughlin ve, kaj pomeni začeti znova. Z vinogradništvom Robert Clay je začel kmetovati leta 2012. 50-hektarno posestvo Mason, ki ga je prejšnji lastnik zasadil leta 1996, je bilo v tako grobem stanju, da se je McLaughlin mučno odločil, da bo celotno parcelo z motorno žago pustil, da vinska trta ponovno zraste. "Bilo je odpovedati ali iti vse," pravi. Leta 2013 ni pobiral sadja. Leta 2014 je pobral 21 ton in od takrat je skoraj vsako leto povečal proizvodnjo.

Po petih letih običajnega kmetovanja je McLaughlin leta 2017 začel prehajati na ekološko pridelavo in vinarstvo brez dodatkov-obrat je bil skoraj tako velik, kot je njegova trta z buldožerjem. Z veseljem prizna, da se je za nasvet obrnil na Meadorja in Dicksona, ponavadi preden gre svojo pot. "Ne poslušam ljudi predolgo," pravi McLaughlin. "Če imam črevesni občutek, mu sledim."

Zanj to pomeni sprejeti koncept teroira v starem svetu in kupce prilagoditi ideji, da se bo letošnje vino razlikovalo od naslednjega. "Ena stvar, ki mi pri običajnem vinu ni bila všeč, je, da mora imeti vsaj v Združenih državah vsako leto popolnoma enak okus," pravi McLaughlin. "In razumem: ko ljudje kupujejo mleko, želijo, da ima okus po mleku."

Toda edinstvenost naravnih vin je tisto, zaradi česar so tako posebni. »Naravna vina izražajo občutek za kraj, čas, razmere v letu. Iz leta v leto niso narejeni za reprodukcijo, "pravi Botezatu podjetja A & ampM. "So izraz trenutka."


Vinogradi Roberta Renzonija

Old Country Soul sreča okus novega sveta

Ko je nekdanji distributer rokenrola in alkohola Robert Renzoni leta 2008 odprl svojo istoimensko klet, je nadaljeval družinsko tradicijo, ki se je začela pri njegovem pradedu Federicu, ki je v osemdesetih letih 20. stoletja delal v vinogradih Fano v Italiji.

Njegovo bogato posestvo, podobno toskanski vili, ima zdaj priljubljeno italijansko restavracijo, pivo na točko in veliko več turističnih dobrot, vendar se je Renzonijeva zavezanost kakovosti vina iz leta v leto le še stopnjevala.

"Vse se začne in osredotoča se na to, da je vino številka ena," pravi vinarka Olivia Bue.

Diplomant Encinitas z univerze v Kaliforniji, Davis, Bue je začel v kleti leta 2014. To je prišlo po službi v Mollydooker Wines v Avstraliji in Cakebread Cellars v Napi.

"Za pripravo najboljšega vina ni proračuna," pravi. "Če v kleti nekaj potrebujemo, bo to kupil."

Da bi bila njegova ekipa na tekočem s trendi in slogi, ki jih zasledujejo drugje, jih Renzoni popelje na degustacijske izlete po Kaliforniji in v Valle de Guadalupe v Mehiki. "Super je bilo navdihniti skupaj," pravi Bue.

Tako kot mnogi njeni sosedje tudi Bue naredi več kot dva ducata letnih steklenic iz skoraj 20 grozdja. Toda klet je največ uspeha doživela pri italijanskih sortah, kot so Montepulciano, Sangiovese Grosso, Vermentino in Barbera, za katere so razvili daljše staranje. riserva program.

"Vsi smo skupaj in ugotavljamo, kaj je tukaj najboljše," pravi. "Obstaja prostor za poskuse in napake in vsako leto delamo poskuse."

Toplo vreme, suhe razmere in dolgotrajen spekter Pierceove bolezni, ki je regijo opustošila v poznih devetdesetih letih, so lahko izziv. Toda glavna ovira Temecule je, da je deležen priznanja kritikov in pozornosti resnih zbirateljev vina.

"Toda kot vinarji se počutimo, kot da imamo vse v rokah," pravi Bue. "Nič nas ne zadržuje."

Joseph Wiens / Fotografija Gabriel Nivera


Vinske kleti imajo moč v domovih v Atlanti

Vinska klet se lahko zdi zadnja stvar, za katero bi pričakovali, da bo zgrajena v času upadanja gospodarstva. Toda ta domača svetišča enonofilije- predanost vinu- še naprej pospešeno poslujejo v domovih v Atlanti.

Erik Kuehne, direktor jugovzhodnega oblikovanja in prodaje za inovacije vinske kleti s sedežem v Cincinnatiju, v mestu namesti med 20-25 vinskih kleti na leto.

"Atlanta je eden najhitreje rastočih vinskih trgov v državi," je dejal Kuehne. "Povpraševanje po vinu je pravkar prišlo čez streho in ljudje potrebujejo mesta za shranjevanje."

Lokalne kleti segajo od baronskih kleti z 10.000 steklenicami, ki jih je zasnoval Wine Cellar Innovations, do relativno skromne vinske kleti s površino 250 kvadratnih metrov v kleti Buckhead, ki jo je ustvaril notranji oblikovalec Carter Kay iz podjetja Carter Kay Interiors kot del prenove celotne hiše. Za podobo kleti, ki je bila vedno v hiši - pogosta zahteva lastnikov vinskih kleti - je Kay uporabila rešeno opeko in predelani les, da bi podarila občutek značaja in zgodovine.

Dobra vinska klet opravlja številne naloge. To je predvsem funkcionalni prostor, ki zahteva praktične funkcije, kot so hladilne enote z regulatorji temperature in vlažnosti. Pogosto pa so tudi družabni prostori, kjer se lastniki stanovanj in njihovi gostje zbirajo, da poskusijo vina.

Za vinsko klet, ki jo je ustvaril v kleti hiše Buckhead iz tridesetih let prejšnjega stoletja, je lastnik studia Castro Design Studio Rodolfo Castro ustvaril veliko mest zunaj hladilne kleti, vključno z mokrim barom in sedežno garnituro, kjer bi lahko lastnik imel degustacije vin in družite se s prijatelji.

Kuehne s sedežem v Chambleeju že skoraj 10 let oblikuje vinske kleti, predvsem v severnem predmestju. Čeprav je zgradil kleti od 5000 do 250.000 dolarjev s kar 10.000 steklenicami, je v zadnjih letih opazil trend k manjšim kletim (pod 2.000 steklenicami). Kuehne je za spremljanje svojega osebnega kataloga vin dejal, da stranke pogosto uporabljajo brezplačno spletno storitev, imenovano www.cellartracker.com.

Skupaj s težnjo po manjših kleteh se je spremenila tudi lokacija skladišča vina, je dejal Kuehne.

»Včasih je šlo vinsko klet v klet. Te dni s širjenjem hladilnih sistemov. lahko delamo vinske kleti na skoraj vseh področjih hiše, "je dejal Kuehne. "V stenah, ki so globoke od 15 do 20 centimetrov, smo vzeli majhne kotičke in gradimo v omari po meri, ki je v hladilniku."

Toda klet je še vedno najcenejši in klasičen kraj za postavitev vinske kleti. Kuehne je skupaj z mojstrom iz Ohaja postavil vinsko klet za zbirko 5000 steklenic za vaskularnega kirurga Chucka Moomeyja in njegovo ženo, medicinsko sestro Michelle, v kleti svojega doma v Suwaneeju.

"Namenjen je posnemanju stare ječe," je dejal Chuck Moomey. "Ima ogromno 12-metrsko zloženo kamnito steno z izpostavljenim lesom, nato pa greš skozi ta velika železna vrata v samo klet in na vseh štirih stenah te čaka steklenica za vino."

Moomeyja je navdihnilo potovanje, ki sta ga zakonca opravila v italijanski vinski skupnosti Montalcino in zgodovinskih kleteh, ki sta jih tam srečala. V stropu kleti je uporabil 100-letni les, da je posodil starinski ambient.

Čeprav je bila klet Moomeys namenjena predvsem shranjevanju in ne druženju, pogosto postane družabno središče, ko gostje obiščejo. "Vedno se ljudje preselijo v vinsko klet in to se zdi, kot da se večina pogovora in zabave nadaljuje," je dejal Moomey.

»V moji kleti mi je všeč, da je več kot le opeka in les, beton in les. Zame je to nekakšen katalizator prijateljstva, "je dejal. »Ne grem dol samo zato, da bi občudoval samo klet. Zame je pomembneje imeti nekaj, kar lahko delim z drugimi. "

Vas zanima klet?

Erik Kuehne iz podjetja Wine Cellar Innovations ponuja svoje nasvete strankam, ki razmišljajo o dodajanju vinske kleti svojemu domu.


Okus novega ameriškega jabolčnika

Simbioza umetnosti in znanosti

Narejeno v: Dan Rinke in Kim Hamblin
Regija: Dolina Willamette, Oregon
Kaj: 50 odstotkov grunerja, 50 odstotkov divjih jabolk, kofermentiranih
Kakšnega okusa je: To je poln jabolčnik, poln cvetov breskev in belega popra, ki ima bogato, gosto teksturo smaragdnega grunerja.
Zakaj je pomembno: Tako grozdje kot jabolka sta bila pridelana biodinamično v vinogradih Johan in nato naravno kofermentirana v nevtralnih akacijevih sodih.

Ashanta Sidra

Narejeno v: Chenoa Ashton-Lewis in Will Basanta
Regija: Sonoma Valley, Kalifornija
Kaj: 92 odstotkov ekoloških jabolk Gravenstein, Jonathan, Rhode Island Greening in Golden Delicious, ki so fermentirali s sveže stisnjenim grozdjem viognier in kožicami grozdja carignan
Kakšnega okusa je: Lupine grozdja pretvorijo ta jabolka v meden, cvetlični, oljnat in vijoličen jabolčnik, ki je krepko svež z veliko teksturo, da se potopi.
Zakaj je pomembno: Čeprav predstavlja samo 8 odstotkov celotnega jabolčnika, grozdje močno vpliva na jabolka, kar prinaša težo in sadni profil. Vsi njeni deli so še vedno prepoznavni, vendar združeni v celoten paket.

Emme Wine Jonathan x Nero D’Avola Co-Ferment Pét Nat

Narejeno v: Rosalind Reylonds
Regija: Sebastopol, Kalifornija
Kaj: Jabolčni sok Jonathan, stisnjen z nagnjeno korito, kofermentiran s kožicami nero d’avola vinarke Marthe Stoumen
Kakšnega okusa je: Sočna jabolka in robide z močnimi čistilnimi tanini iz nero d’avole. Reynolds pravi, da spominja na "jesen vzhodne obale, svetlo sonce, kristalno modro nebo, vendar pod njim hladen vetrič. Nosi šal. "
Zakaj je pomembno: To je pravi produkt sodelovanja med jabolčniki in vinskimi skupnostmi.

Rose Hill Pomme Cerise

Narejeno v: Matt Sanford
Regija: Hudson Valley, New York
Kaj: 45 odstotkov jabolk Northern Spy, 45 odstotkov jabolk Golden Russet, 10 odstotkov sladkih in pikantnih češenj
Kakšnega okusa je: Krvavo pomaranča, hruške v zlatem sirupu, sicilijanski rosato.
Zakaj je pomembno: Prikazuje resnično moč so-fermentacije, da ustvari nekaj povsem drugega.

Wild Arc Farm Dabinett Greening Cider

Narejeno v: Todd Cavallo in Crystal Cornish
Regija: Hudson Valley, New York
Kaj: 30 odstotkov jabolk Dabinett in 70 odstotkov Rhode Island Greening
Kakšnega okusa je: Tako kot apnena svetlost sauvignon blanca sreča bogate, zrele note ananasa chenin blanc.
Zakaj je pomembno: Je naravno fermentiran in staran v hrastu 10 mesecev, vendar pakiran v pločevinkah po 12 unč, opomnik, da ni treba, da domače naravno vino in jabolčnik staneta veliko ali da ju shranite za posebne priložnosti, ki jih nameravate zaužiti-širite ljubezen.


Bizantinski svet dodeljenih vin

Zaščita teh zaželenih vin, tudi za restavracije in prodajalne, je pogosto mračen posel.

“If you wind up with any allocations all, it’s about how much money you spend, who your friends are, and what your previous allocations have been,” says Lieberman. Distributors are known to hold back wines to make them appear rarer. Or they can refuse to sell wines to certain clients in favor of placing them at sexier accounts.

Allocations may also come with strings attached.

“It’s never something written down in a contract,” says Walker Strangis, owner of Walker Wine Company in Los Angeles. “It’s just, wink-wink, nudge-nudge. ‘Maybe we can find another case of this if you can help us move other things.’ ”

His business focuses on old and rare wine acquisition and cellar building, but he had never purchased current-release allocations until 2020.

“Conversations are a lot more open and honest now,” says Strangis. “It’s like, ‘These wines are here. We need to move them. What are you interested in?’ ”

“It’s never something written down in a contract. It’s just, wink-wink, nudge-nudge. ‘Maybe we can find another case of this if you can help us move other things.’ ” —Walker Strangis, Walker Wine Company

Neil Rosen, a 20-year portfolio manager at Rosenthal Wine Merchant, hasn’t changed his approach to allocations much during the pandemic.

“We’re not strategic with our allocations,” he says. “We don’t try to leverage access to certain wines to do more business with people. That does a disservice to the wine, and our other wines [that] we think are just as wonderful.”

Last year, wines got stuck in Rosenthal’s inventory. “For me, it was nostalgic,” says Rosen. “People called about white Burgundy, and something was available that never would have been. It was cool because you could sell to someone who had never had the producers.”

That’s how Strangis got his hands on Domaine Henri et Gilles Buisson for his wine club.

“I would never have known about it,” he says. “It’s small-production. I can make a decent margin and turn my clients onto a wine that’s affordable, and they get to be part of the inner circle.”

Bottles of Mascarello Giuseppe e Figlio 1961 Barbaresco at Walker Wine Company (left) and founder Walker Strangis (right) / Photos courtesy Walker Wine Co.

Flatiron Wines is among the most adept players of NYC’s allocation game, along with shops like Chambers Street Wines, Astor Wines & Spirits, Crush Wines & Spirits and Le Dû’s Wines. The team at Flatiron works to secure allocations and identify quality producers whose wines are likely to be allocated.

“Take Anne-Sophie Dubois,” says Dalzell. “We could have her wines to our heart’s content. But after two seasons, we get cut. But we still get a lot, because we sell a lot. You’re securing your position early on.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Dalzell has received more allocated wines in greater quantities, including bottles that typically only go to restaurants. This means having to do less allocating of her own allocations.

Flatiron’s best customers get priority on certain rare wines that never make it into public view. But in the current climate, it’s been able to offer more allocated wines both online and on store shelves. Flatiron even features bottles like Willi Schaefer Riesling and Marcel Lapierre Beaujolais in its weekly newsletter.

“It’s been years since customers have gotten more than one chance to buy Lapierre,” says Dalzell. “But we got three different drops as restaurants shut down.”


Hill Country Wineries

The Pioneers

Becker Vineyards

Founded 1995 | Fredericksburg

After Dr. Richard and “Bunny” Becker found the perfect log cabin retreat away from their San Antonio home, they had to decide what to do with the land. They were inspired by travels in the lavender fields of Southern France, whose terrain and climate reminded them of Texas Hill Country. Richard became one of the pioneers of Texas wine, starting with varietals he enjoyed and researching what grows here. For 25 years, the winery has grown estate sauvignon blanc, semillon, grenache, malbec, merlot, petite syrah, syrah, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon. Becker was the first Texas winery to produce viognier, now one of the state’s signature whites. Careful cooperage emphasizing tight wood grain for softer tannins, unlike the French Limousin region’s looser-grain barrels, helps balance oak and fruit. Stand on the stone porch, and catch the scent of lavender carried by the east-west cross breeze that cools the vines.


Curbside pickup: Mon.-Thurs. 10 am-5 pm Fri.-Sun. 10 am-6 pm.

The Rebels

Spicewood Vineyards and Ron Yates Wines

Founded 2007 and 2016 | Spicewood

Tempranillo was Ron Yates’ muse. The shorts- and sandal-clad vintner, who wakeboarded and water-skied on Lady Bird Lake and went to law school at St. Mary’s University before starting a record label, fell in love with the grape on a trip to Spain in the late ’90s. But the vineyard he ended up buying turned out to be uncannily suited to the sauvignon blanc with which it was already planted—and with which he immediately began to win awards. Try the 2017 vintage, crisp and classic, with the racy minerality you’d find in a Sancerre. Spicewood Vineyards, off the beaten path at the end of a country road, is estate-​focused. But for his new eponymous Ron Yates winery and tasting room 35 miles to the southwest, Yates sources grapes from all over the state, based on close relationships with growers. Todd Crowell, the winemaker at both, modulates style. Think an expressive tempranillo for Spicewood—smoky, leathery, laden with brambly fruit—while the style is elegant and unusually reserved at Ron Yates, more cool blueberry with additional time in French oak. Yates recently released two frisky pétillant naturels, all effervescence and fun. Come May, you’ll want to return for a paella in Spicewood’s vineyard.


Bottle service and limited tastings: daily 11 am-6 pm.

The Geologists

Kuhlman Cellars

Founded 2010 (Opened to public 2014) | Stonewall

The thing to do here is to take in the view of the rolling hills and enjoy a bottle of rosé accompanied by Marcona almonds dusted with herbes de Provence, which the winemaker’s mother sent from France. Bénédicte Rhyne, the Burgundy-trained winemaker, has worked to make rosés in the style of Provence’s lean, strawberry-scented rosés. She produces dainty, taut Southern Rhône Valley rosés with vibrancy and depth, whether crisp and light or refreshing and effervescent. Wines have names like Alluvé and Gypsum, which draw attention to terroir and soil types, and Hensell, which is named after the pink sandstone that underlies Gillespie County’s aquifer. Owners Chris and Jennifer Cobb began in 2010 with an experimental vineyard on a farm they bought near Fredericksburg, a mere 11 acres with varietals planted one per row to see how they grew.


Bottle service and tastings with online reservations: Thurs.-Sat. 11 am-6 pm Sun. 12-5 pm.

The Minimalist

Crowson Wines

Founded 2018 | Johnson City

In his tiny tasting room, Henry Crowson is making low-intervention, “natural” wine—unfiltered and unrefined, with a light touch. It’s not wild, though the yeasts are. The young winemaker, who worked at William Chris and helped found a whiskey distillery, adheres to a philosophy of minimalism, capturing the energy of place through the yeasts that come in from the vineyard (one of the defining precepts of naturally fermented wine). “It excites me that whatever yeast is there was meant to be there,” he says. He makes a gorgeous malvasia bianca and a funky, skin-contact roussanne in amber or orange hues. He channels his love of experimentation into a full-bodied zinfandel made with the French technique of carbonic maceration that yields Beaujolais. Sometimes his choices for his diverse repertoire come from a sense of place, in terms of what will grow well here, and sometimes they come from sense of style, playing with method. What will define Texas wine, he hopes, is variety born of diversity of terroir.


Tastings with reservations.

The Chemist

Bending Branch Winery

Founded 2009 | Comfort

Bending Branch is synonymous with tannat. Owner Robert W. Young became enamored of the Basque grape and its potential. He wanted more color extraction and thought it could be done. With his chemistry background and enology-school experience, he figured out how. At his winery in Comfort, he uses modern techniques like cryomaceration (a freezing method that increases tannins and color compound extraction), flash détente (tannin-releasing heating), and whole-cluster fermentation to yield deep, inky tannats and an estate cabernet whose smokiness pairs well with brisket. Also noteworthy are a crisp, melony, award-winning picpoul blanc and a new tannat rosé made frizzante style, which playfully expresses the grape’s range. For tannat nerds: the 2017 Texas Tannat blends three Texas vineyards and three fermentation styles for a dark, lush, velvety wine.


Curbside pickup: daily 12-5 pm.

The High Plains Drifter

Lost Draw Cellars

Founded 2009 | Fredericksburg

It may hold a vintage Gulf gas pump in the corner, but aside from the legacy oil-and-gas in-law connection that allowed them to land a tasting room in Fredericksburg, Lost Draw is all about moving forward. In its bag of tricks is Andy Timmons, who was awarded the T.V. Munson award, named after one of Texas’ great grape figures, and is one of the most influential growers in the High Plains. He works with his nephew, winemaker Andrew Sides, a Texas Tech graduate who is making some of the best wine in the state. Aside from growing for others, their portfolio includes exceptional whites—albariño, roussanne, marsanne, viognier, picpoul blanc, and the proprietary Arroyo Blanco blend—in addition to malbec and tannat. Look for the popular Spritztown, a play on Fredericksburg’s nickname, and counoise rosé and red, which highlight an unusual Rhône grape for single-varietal wines.


Curbside pickup: daily 11 am-5 pm.

The Long Island Transplants

Southold Farm + Cellar

Founded 2012 ( Refounded 2016) | Fredericksburg

At the top of a hill, behind their modern home ( pictured ), is the tasting room modeled on a farmhouse that Regan and Carey Meador left behind in Long Island when they returned to Regan’s native Texas in 2016. An arrow marked “wine study” points from the bottom of the slope up to the white farmhouse. It is outfitted with Edison light bulbs and has views across valleys to both the north and south. The couple wanted to continue to make their Southold Farm + Cellar wine, but they knew they’d have to figure out all new grape sources. Yet you’ll find one last vintage from Long Island, Suitably Stunning, a Champagne-style sparkling rosé. Regan is joined in winemaking by Adrienne Ballou, and theirs is of the low-​intervention variety, responding to the grapes and the process. Carefully sourced Hill Country fruit undergirds the wines now, but rootstock will be grafted in the spring. Whimsical names like Little Pieces of a Big Soul, made from touriga nacional, or Sing Sweet Things, an albariño, underscore the fact that time and place conspire to make every bottle different. Choose one, and settle into a swing on the back porch.


Bottle service with reservations: Fri.-Sun. 12-5 pm.

The Perfectionists

Duchman Family Winery

Founded 2004 | Driftwood

Many, myself included, consider Duchman vermentino and monte-pulciano to be wines that changed their view of Texas winemaking. Duchman entered the stage in 2004 with sophisticated wines from Italian varietals, which we would begin to see as common parlance, though they were not household names before. They became synonymous with excellence. In the hands of winemaker Dave Reilly, Duchman’s wines brilliantly showcase the varietals, whether the magical vermentino, delicately tropical, aromatic, and vibrant a smoky, nimble aglianico or a dainty trebbiano dry rosé. Reilly likes elegant wines that beg to be drunk with food. He highlights the new style of winemaking, in which masterful restraint and finesse create distinction without getting in the way.


Curbside pickup, bottle service, and picnic meals: Mon. 12-6 pm Sun., Tues.-Thurs. 12-7 pm Fri., Sat. 12-8 pm.

The Innovators

Ab Astris

Founded 2018 | Stonewall

On land that belonged to the Lyndon B. Johnson ranch, this lovely, bucolic tasting room nestled under shading oaks was the dream of Erin and Tony Smith from Austin. The pieces fell into place when their kids and their spouses joined them from Dallas—one son-in-law a sommelier, the other a former corporate attorney who trained to become a winemaker. John Rivenburgh, the tannat king who was part of that varietal’s revolution, and whose Kerrville Hills Collective they’re using to make the wines, provided guidance. From a deep, dark tannat to the dazzling 2019 clairette blanche, a first for their estate and a first in Texas, it’s baby steps to pétillant naturels and sparkling reds. They’re genre-pushing and want to be part of the story of learning what grows well in Texas. Their accomplished wines are now part of the expanding universe.


Tasting room: Fri. 12-5 pm Sat. 12-6 pm Sun. 12-5 pm.

The Mentors

William Chris Vineyards

Founded 2008 | Hye

No wine country tour would be complete without William Chris Vineyards, which produces thoughtful, exquisitely precise wines. Decades ago, while standing in the property’s oak grove, founders Chris Brundrett and Bill Blackmon were two of the first to commit to using 100 percent Texas grapes. Old and new still mingle here, as the new tasting room’s world of concrete and glass joins the original farmhouse from the former turkey farm. The vineyard’s portfolio is deep, running from its standout single-vineyard mourvèdre, redolent of black cherry, plum, and leather, to Mary Ruth, a dainty, aromatic white blend of malvasia bianca and blanc du bois named after Blackmon’s mother. Numerous scene-broadening winemakers get their start here.


Bottle service and educational food pairings by
reservation: Mon.-Wed. 10 am-5 pm Thurs.-Sat. 10 am-6 pm Sun. 11 am-5 pm.

The Iberian Explorer

Lewis Wines

Founded 2010 | Johnson City

Doug Lewis, who cut his teeth at Pedernales Cellars, is the wunderkind making wine with Portuguese grape varietals like touriga nacional, tinto çao, and arinto. He favors low-intervention techniques on the Round Mountain Vineyard he leases, and he also takes advantage of grapes from carefully selected local growers. His portfolio includes port a vinho verde-style white made with chenin blanc and blanc du bois (sometimes cut with albariño or muscat) and tinto çao, which he shapes into an age-worthy wine that mingles elegant black fruit, licorice, and tobacco. The winery’s coat of arms hails from his father’s family, the Lewises, reflecting Welsh or Viking—not Iberian—roots. The crest speaks to a desire for an Old World approach to wine, one focused on the relationships between vineyard, grower, and winemaker that express terroir. “If we have a pretty simple way of making wine, the vineyard speaks for itself,” Lewis says.


Curbside pickup with pre-order: Wed., Sat. 11 am-3 pm.

The Sophisticates

Pedernales Cellars

Founded 2005 | Stonewall

This winery has one of the most picturesque views along Highway 290. A century-old agave plant at the entrance welcomes visitors to an old farmhouse and a new winery built into a hillside. For me and many others, Pedernales presented the albariño and viognier that were revelations in the mid-2000s. David Kulkhen’s precise winemaking, informed by the esteemed University of California at Davis enology program, helped make Pedernales part of the cohort (along with Duchman, William Chris, and others) that raised Texas wine to the international level of competition. His wines are elegant. Beautifully cultivated grapes find expression in blends, like the GSM Melange, with its Texas twist or single-varietals like the viognier, with its luxurious weight of satin.


Tastings with reservations and curbside pickup: Mon.-Thurs. 10 am-5 pm Fri., Sat. 10 am-6 pm Sun. 12-5 pm.

The Umbrella

Slate Mill Wine Collective

Founded 2016 (Rebranded 2020) | Fredericksburg

Recently, and with new ownership, Slate Mill Wine Collective established itself as a custom crush facility—an incubator model that provides smaller brands with access to equipment and cellar crews. The winery was crafting already under the 1851 Vineyards label, named after the founding date of the winery’s original flour mill. But then they brought on rising-star winemakers who are examples of what collectives allow. Like Randy Hester, a sort of voluntary prodigal son, who brought back to Texas more than a decade of experience in Napa to infuse the scene with his precisely crafted C.L. Butaud wines (big reds and unctuous whites). Or sommelier-turned-winemaker Rae Wilson, who, in 2014, launched Dandy rosé, a bright, dry, Provençal-style rosé slam dunk that catapulted her. A new label, La Valentía, will favor site-specific older vines. Wilson’s involvement with Andrew Sides of Lost Draw Cellars on The Grower’s Project label highlights a desire to tap Texas wine’s vast potential and sustainability through specifically nurtured, small-production growers’ fruit. Also on the roster: Slate Mill’s own winemaker and Tatum Cellars founder Josh Fritsche, who until earlier this year was at William Chris. Try his work in Slate Mill’s lime-bright, mouthwatering trebbiano or in Tatum Cellars’ gorgeous mourvèdre with bold black fruit. Note: Dandy rosé and C.L. Butaud are available through their sites and at Central Market in Dallas. Tatum Cellars wines are available at Slate Mill.


Tastings: Thurs.-Sun. 11 am-6 pm Sun.-Mon. 12-5 pm. Production tours by appointment only.

The Mad Genius

Calais Winery and French Connection Wines

Founded 2008 and 2019 | Hye

Benjamin Calais is the French génie fou with piercing blue eyes and unruly hair who is making Bordeaux-style reds and elegant, oaked whites on land that’s bare save for a French flag and a “cave” dug into the earth. He is obsessed with and passionate about cabernet sauvignon, and so he has done the hard work of seeking the sites where it grows, sourcing from the highest elevations in Alpine and the Davis Mountains AVA, braving frost and hail. He’s able to deliver cabernets that rival those from France or Napa Valley, using single vineyards that express themselves powerfully. But also a picpoul blanc, a sauvignon blanc from some of the oldest semillon vines, and a mourvèdre-heavy rosé meant to age or drink with food. On top of a nearby hill is Calais’ other venture, French Connection Wines, which he debuted just over a year ago with two sommeliers, one of whom is his fiancée. Here, his precise winemaking is focused on lighter varieties of reds, whites, and rosés, like a beautiful, limpid counoise rosé. Nosh on boards with triple crèmes and jambon de Bayonne, and “ la vie est belle ” feels true.


Calais Winery: curbside pickup Fri. 12-4 pm, Sat. 11 am-5 pm, Sun. 12-4 pm tastings by appointment at Bryan’s on 290. French Connection Wines: tastings with reservations Fri. 12-6 pm Sat. 11 am-6 pm Sun. 11 am-5 pm.

The Groundbreakers

Fall Creek Vineyard

Founded 1975 | Driftwood

Susan and Ed Auler’s winery has been sitting prettily in Driftwood, across from Salt Lick BBQ, since 2014. But the couple has been growing grapes in Tow since 1975, when hardly anyone was growing grapes in Texas. Susan is a grand dame of Texas wine, and she is still an influential winery owner. Ed was instrumental in claiming the Hill Country AVA appellation in 1990. Now, with a Chilean winemaker, they continue a roster of consistently outstanding quality. With a GSM, cabernet sauvignon, mourvèdre, sauvignon blanc, and a grenache rosé, the roster focuses on French varietals—both Rhône Valley and Bordeaux. A surprising chardonnay is creamy and beautifully structured, an example of how a winemaker can coax intrigue from a grape not built to thrive here.


Tastings: Mon.-Sat. 11 am-7 pm Sun. 12-5 pm.


République’s new wine director is now one of the most influential Latina sommeliers in the country

Sommelier Maria Garcia sits for a portrait with a glass of wine at Republique restaurant.

(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Los Angeles Times)

Sommeliers Maria Garcia and Taylor Parsons from Republique restaurant are seen in December. Parsons left the restaurant in January, and now Garcia oversees the wine program.

(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Bottles of wine rest in the cellar above tables at Republique restaurant.

(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

On the second day of January, Taylor Parsons, chief author of one of the most dynamic wine lists in Los Angeles, left his position at République — that day, by his calculation, represented his 1,000th evening menu at the celebrated Hancock Park bistro. He plans to spend the next year developing a restaurant project he can call his own, consulting, and helping his wife Briana Valdez expand her own business, the Loz Feliz Tex-Mex joint HomeState.

He left the wine program in the hands of 33-year-old Maria Garcia, who instantly becomes one of the most important wine directors in the city, and one of the most influential Latina sommeliers in the country.

Garcia is an L.A. native raised in Whittier. She was set on taking her history and political science degrees from UCLA into a career in education — in fact, she was teaching at a high school in Crenshaw when her interest in wine and cocktail culture drew her back toward the culinary arts. Her wine career, then, has been short, but highly pedigreed. After dabbling in retail and wine-slinging as a street rep for a broker, she landed a job at Spago, where for three and a half years she managed the cellars and worked the floor for Chris Miller, M.S. — as did Parsons, for one year, where he became well-acquainted with Garcia’s skills and work ethic.

At Spago, Garcia became a kind of unofficial enforcer for the sorts of service standards the restaurant needed to elevate its game toward the Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, a kind of Oscar nod for restaurant wine programs. Garcia beefed up staff training, service accouterments, storage protocols and monitored countless other minuscule details which helped to bring the entire program to another echelon, resulting in a half-dozen Grand Awards since 2010.

Since joining Parsons at République nearly three years ago, Garcia has retained that role, managing the cellar, overseeing service standards and staff training, such that the wine program runs at an unusual level of efficiency and polish, even as it remains one of the most idiosyncratic in the city, if not the country.

Why idiosyncratic? Parsons and Garcia have, in effect, created a wine list that’s more conceptual than fixed. It’s a nod to the particular demands of Walter Manzke, a chef given not only to daily changing menus, but who is so predisposed to improvisation that he thinks nothing of going four courses deep on the fly for a four top, off-menu, laying waste to the walk-in to pull together something special and singular.

To match up with their chef’s itinerant inclinations, Parsons and Garcia have fashioned a wine program that’s more ephemeral than literal. The physical wine list, the one presented at table, is a single page of about 75 wines. But this is just the tip of the iceberg the rest of the wine selections loom in the cellar, more than 2,000 strong, off-list, which Garcia and her staff draw from depending on the menu, and on the guest and the timbre of engagement they’re looking for, and if needed, draw from the hidden trove stashed away.

For the moment, Garcia is keen on preserving this moving target of a wine list, as she settles into the driver’s seat. While she ponders introducing a reserve list, it’s the mini-list that puts everything in motion.

“The page opens the dialogue,” explains Garcia. “It’s just a conversation starter.” But the additional latitude of the “off list” list gives Garcia, her staff and her customers a much broader horizon. “Guests come here looking for new wines now,” she says, “not something they can find anywhere. They’re here to get turned on to something different.”

Wine Director: Maria Garcia

Floor sommelier(s): Alexander Goldfisher

Number of wines on the list: 75ish

Number of wines “off” the list: 2,000ish

Least expensive bottle: $36

Most expensive bottle: $4,500

Median bottle price: $120

% Domestic/Imported: 20%/80%

Number of wines by the glass: 12-15 (including fortified/sweet)

Particular strength: France: Burgundy, Champagne, Loire and Rhône Valleys. Italy: Piedmont, Tuscany. The “New California.”

publique current staff go-to wine:

Cavallotto 2008 Barolo ‘Bricco Boschis’

“We ripped through our allocation of this Nebbiolo,” République wine director Maria Garcia says, “in part because we met the winemaker a few months back. Many of the servers have tasted a few of his vintages and recognized that it was a special list addition. Plus, a lot of guests were looking for something with a little age that’s reasonably priced to celebrate the season, and the Cavallotto was in this category.

Your current obsession:

Loire producers Thibaud Boudignon, from Anjou, and Château de Brézé, from Saumur

“These are two of my favorite producers this year. They possess many of the qualities we look for in producers. They make low intervention, small production wines of exceptional quality. They’re beautiful, textural, mineral wines, appealing to the Burgundy lover in me plus I can introduce these wines to guests without them breaking the bank.”

Your most exciting wine by the glass:

Jean & Sebastien Dauvissat 2008 1er Cru “Vaillons” Chablis

“This is an older Chardonnay from Chablis, in Burgundy, from a special premier cru vineyard. To be able to offer premier cru Chablis with a little bit of bottle age by the glass is something special. The guest can experience what we mean when we speak about development, without having to commit to an entire bottle.”

If you could change L.A. wine tastes just for one day, what would you tell folks to do:

“Trust your sommelier. Go to dinner, tell them what you like, and take a risk. Let them guide you to something new, even if it’s in the wheelhouse of the types of wines you already like. If you trust your sommelier, today might be the day you fall in love with a new wine.”

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Poglej si posnetek: Interesantni vinski podrumi (December 2021).