Staff Picks: What to Drink This Week
Things our staff thinks you should consider trying!
2021 Union Sacre Wines Pinot Gris - $27.99
Union Sacre Wines was started by two friends from opposite ends of the earth, one French and one from Michigan, to pay homage to the wines of Alsace by making wines in California's Central Coast. Vinified dry and unfiltered, and organically farmed from the Oasis vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, this skin-contact or ramato style Pinot Gris can slot in as a rose or an orange wine with its salmon pink hue and notes of juicy citrus, orange blossom and stone fruit. The bottle is quite lovely to boot, with charming artwork on the inside label (turn that bottle around and you'll see what I mean). Pale pink juice from sunny California is a perfect way to welcome in the much needed Spring sunshine!
2019 Foillard Beaujolais Villages - $32.99
Jean Foillard is a one of the OGs of the natural wine movement. He is part of the "Gang of Four", a group of producers in Beaujolais who in the 1980's under the tutelage of Jules Chavet, a negociant and winemaker in Beaujolais, returned to making wine without chemicals and synthetics. The results of this organic viticulture with use of minimal sulfur in the cellar produce ethereal wines that the fine wine world has been buzzing about for decades, especially with the rise of somm culture and social media. A great entry into the world of natural winemaking in Beaujolais is Jean Foillard's Beaujolais Villages. This wine is a blend of several vineyards on the outskirts of the cru villages. It shows aromatics of rose petal and cran cherry fruit. The palate exhibits minerality with juicy raspberry fruit. Always a great go to food wine for whatever finds its way to your table.
2018 Tommasi Poggio Al Tufo Cabernet Sauvignon, Tuscany - $18.99
Sometimes we happen upon a wine that no one is asking for, a delicious underdog worthy of hand selling. This Toscana Cabernet Sauvignon is exactly that — an affordable 'weirdo', a diamond in the rough. These Cabernet vines grow in coastal Tuscan soils of Tufo, a soil rich in volcanic rock, imparting alluring minerality to this wine. This distinctly Italian Cabernet is rich and sultry, dark fruited with nuanced notes of balsamic, vanilla, cigar box, and spice. The tannins are structured yet soft, and the mouthfeel is full-bodied and plush. This rich red wine is a guarenteed crowd pleaser for most every palate. For under $20, you couldn't find a Cab with more complexity or balance!
2020 Orsogna Lunaria 'Civitas' Pecorino, Abruzzo - $18.99
As we focus some of our recommendations this week on wine made using organic Biodynamic principles, I wanted to highlight a white wine from a progressive, forward thinking, cooperative in Abruzzo (about half way up the east side of the long boot of Italy).
This is Pecorino....wait a sec...the cheese?! No. Not the ubiquitous Italian sheep's milk cheese but, rather, the native white grape varietal, Pecorino, named as such because local sheep (Pecora) like to munch on these heavily clustered grapes while meandering through the vineyards. The award winning cooperative I mentioned is Cantina Orsogna. They are Demeter certified Biodynamic and donate some of their proceeds to the WWF Life Euroturtles project, helping to protect wild turtle populations in the Mediterranean. Besides their excellent work in causes to protect treasures of nature and their viniculture that is fully in tune with nature, the resultant wine they make is a true pleasure to drink. After fermentation using native yeasts the wine remains in tank for 30 days on lees before bottling, to ensure maximum body. Aromas of citrus, pear, peach, and orange blossoms entice the senses as you then sip in a rich fruity palate that is mineral driven and lifted by mouthwatering acidity. Enjoy with char-grilled fish, tomato salad, and (not surprising) aged Pecorino cheese!