Unico Zelo "Jade and Jasper" Fiano 2022

Riverland, South Australia

Epicurean Wines | Constantine Wines

Regular: $29.99

TWS SALE: $23.99

Fiano is a grape variety capable of producing intriguing and tasty white wines ranging from waxy, rich, nutty, and tropical to minerally, bright, citrusy, and vibrant. The cultivar is best known for its plantings and productions in Italy (Campania and Sicily) – but what would happen if vines were planted in a desert?

Thankfully for the sake of curious minds and palates, winemakers Brendan and Laura Carter decided to find out. Focusing on producing wines from Mediterranean grape varieties (predominantly Italian) in the Adelaide Hills, this thoughtful duo is passionate about building strong relationships with growers and showcasing Australian wine that is representative of the diverse region – wines that are interesting and expressive, but also approachable for relaxed enjoyment (likely alongside seafood!)

The Jade and Jasper is 100% Fiano sourced from Waikerie in the Riverland – a warm, arid region featuring low elevation and sandy limestone soil, with the massive Murray River as an oasis running through. Long sunny days, cool nights, and low humidity combined with the well-draining soil allow for the Fiano to ripen happily for early harvest (retaining acidity for freshness). Wild fermentation and ageing occur in stainless steel tanks, and the result is a Fiano that is nothing short of crushable at 12.5% ABV – light and fresh, it shows white peach, almond blossom, green apple, lime zest, honeydew, Meyer lemon, guava, Anjou pear. Racy and fruity, it also has a Pilsner-like crispness to it that makes it an ideal candidate for a few cold glasses in the afternoon sun, with crabcakes, or paired with one of my favorite companions to Fiano – pesto.

-Lauren Loeffler

Stamnaki Moschofilero 2021

Peloponnese, Greece

Eklektikon Wines | Comete Wines

Regular: $17.99

SALE: $13.99

Greek wine is difficult both to buy and sell. The language and alphabet is intimidating, and the regions and grapes are mostly unknown to Americans. The entirety of Greece produces less wine than Bordeaux, so availability can also be an issue. We sell Greek wine because it is fascinating and delicious. Like many of its other Mediterranean cousins (Portugal and Italy especially), Greece contains a wealth of incredible native grapes totally disproportionate to its size.

One of the most famous and exported Greek whites is the Moschofilero grape. Much like Pinot Gris/Grigio, Moschofilero is genetically diverse, so the grapes can range in color from very light to very dark, but it is typically vinified as a white wine.

The most striking and immediately recognizable feature of Moschofilero is its beautiful floral aroma, reminiscent of a more restrained Gewurtztraminer or Dry Muscat. On the palate it has some of the stone and focus of a Riesling, but is more gentle and less acidic, comparable to a great Alto-Adige Pinot Grigio.

I love Moscofilero because it strikes an intriguing balance between simplicity and complexity. It is both extravagant and mellow, able to function as an easy summer sipper or as something more ponderable.

The 2021 Stamnaki Moschofilero is a great intro to the grape at $13.99.

The Stamnaki’s distinctive nose shows honeysuckle, ripe honeydew melon, jasmine, peony, and white tea with some stone/minerality. The palate is lean and clean, giving pithy mandarin orange, white peach, lemon, lime, hints of herbaceousness, and a faint cleansing almond skin bitterness. It's simple but fun and festive - easygoing yet interesting. Pair with seafood or most anything. A perfect wine to ring in the spring.  

-Kasimir Bujak

WillaKenzie Pinot Meunier 2018

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Jackson Family Wines | Republic National Distributing Company

Regular: $24.99

SALE: $19.99

Pinot Meunier (pr: PEE-no MUN-yay) is most commonly known as one of the main three varieties of grapes used to make the world-famous sparkling wines of the Champagne region of France. The other two are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, from which Pinot Meunier is a genetic mutation. Pinot Meunier (often just called Meunier) is a cool-climate varietal which comprises approximately 1/3 of the plantings in Champagne. The grape is named for the way its leaves, with its fine white hairs, (especially on the underside) resemble the flour-dusted hands of a Miller- "Meunier" in French. This early ripening, cool-climate varietal is most prevalent in northerly regions of Champagne and on north-facing slopes. Approximately 80% of the worlds Meunier plantings are in France (Champagne, Loire Valley and Moselle). The remainder are scattered worldwide, mostly in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and cooler regions of Australia, California (especially Carneros-the AVA that straddles the southern ends of Napa and Sonoma) and Oregon. Meunier shares many aromatic and flavor profiles with Pinot Noir. Being a earlier-ripening variety, it (as expected) is slightly lighter and higher in acidity than Pinot Noir. Look for aromas/flavors of tart cherry, raspberry, strawberry, pomegranate, mushroom, violet, and earth. In my opinion, this Willakenzie Estate Pinot Meunier is by far the best $20 Pinot at The Wine Source. I would argue that it out-performs many wines that are 2-3 times it's price. Cheers!

-Danny Zetlmeisl

Tenuta Demaio "Bombino" 2020

Puglia, Italy

Natty Wine | International Cellars

Regular: $21.99

SALE: $16.99

Tenuta Demaio is a wonderful winery in Rignano Garganico, a small mountain village located in Puglia, Italy. They have a serious commitment to natural winemaking, foregoing filtration, stabilization, and only adding minimal sulfites when needed. What’s interesting about Tenuta Demaio is that they focus on an often overlooked Puglian grape called Bombino. 

Bombino has a long history being ignored. Its original purpose was to make massive amounts of table wine for local Italian wine drinkers, but this might actually be misattributed. In Ian D’Agata’s “Native Wine Grapes of Italy” he mentions Bombino’s confusing heritage -- for many years winemakers mistook other Puglian grapes such as Trebbiano Abruzzese, Mostosa, or Ottonese as Bombino.  This has caused massive confusion for Bombino growers making it difficult to really define what Bombino is or what it should taste like. 

Despite Bombino’s confusing background, Tenuta Demaio’s is delicious.  It has a salted almond aroma with tastes of aniseed, apricot, and mango.  Bombino has long been seen as something neutral and uninispired, but Tenuta Demaio rightfully contests this by producing one of the best Italian white wines for the price. 

-Andrew Thorp

Robert Foley Vineyards Charbono 2018

Napa Valley, California

Roanoke Valley Wine Company

Regular: $49.99

SALE: $39.99

To say that California Charbono, also known as Bonarda, is a rarity would be a gross understatement. In all of California, there are only thought to be about 77 acres of Charbono planted as of 2020. Originally, it was introduced to California by Italian immigrants who misidentified the vines as Barbera. Only a handful of these plantings survived Prohibition, and the ones that did were often misidentified as Barbera, Dolcetto, or Pinot Noir until ampelographers finally sequenced them. Charbono wines from California had a brief brush with fame in the 2000’s where they became cult hits from producers like Bonny Doon, Heitz, Turley, and, of course, Robert Foley. Sadly, the fame wasn’t to grow much or last long, and Charbono plantings continue to dwindle as they are replaced by grapes with shorter growing seasons, higher potential alcohol, and greater consumer demand.

Despite the confusing lineage and limited supply, Charbono wines can be unequivocally fantastic when executed well. Robert Foley’s Charbono most interesting quality is how it masterfully manages to blend power and grace. The nose is expressive and dense with plenty of cedar, pipe tobacco, rose petals, and gentle incense. The palate shows medium-full body and an abundance of black raspberry, dark cherry, strawberry, and licorice. It’s unbelievable that a wine this full of flavor and complexity is relatively light and a very mild 12% alcohol. It’s a pleasant change of pace from the full-throttle, brawny and bold reds that California is known for, and yet it has enough in common with these wines that it has a pleasing familiarity too. This is a wine that simply must be experienced to be believed. A perfect accompaniment to a tender cuts of beef. 

-Andrew Sayers

***limited quantity available currently; more due to the shop in mid-April!

e-mail us if you wish to check inventory or be alerted when it's back in stock!

Kocjančič Rado Vitovska 2020

Friuli Veneia Giulia, Italy

Doria Wines | Passion Distributing

Regular: $29.99

SALE: $23.99

There is little historical information available on the grape known as Vitovska- and what could be more exciting? We do know that it is a crossing between the grapes Glera and Malvasia Bianca Lunga. Although it has been generally accepted that Vitovska is native to Carso: the coastal region of Friuli Venezia Giulia (because that’s where it’s almost entirely grown now), there isn’t much evidence to fully solidify this assertion. Its native origin is debatable between Italy or Slovenia as there are no traces of this cultivar anywhere else. It was often mistaken for Ribolla Gialla in having botanical similarities. Innovative & passionate winemakers of the last century have worked to ensure this forgotten variety did not go extinct! 

Azienda Agricola Kocjančič Rado is one of those working to preserve Vitovska’s presence in the wine market. They farm both vineyards and olive groves on a sandstone marble hill near the Gulf of Trieste & behind the Rosandra Valley in Carso. The Kocjančič family were once well-known farmers, but they suffered greatly at the hands of the Italian government when it expropriated much of their land for the SIOT pipeline in the 1960’s. The Kocjančič family vineyards then remained a dedicated hobby until Rado, son of Vojko, wanted to continue the tradition more seriously. In 2000, after studying winemaking and working in the California wine industry, Rado renovated old vineyards and leased 10 hectares of abandoned pastures where, with the help of his father and brother, planted 15,000 new vines. From these 15,000 vines are native varieties such as Refosco, Moscato, Malvasia and...Vitovska! Rado has farmed the vineyards organically since 2014 and is influenced greatly by biodynamics to utilize naturally occurring treatments over harmful, invasive interventions. 

Azienda Agricola Kocjančič Rado’s winemaking is both a statement in reclaiming family heritage and deep honor to the land. I like to remember that wine is not just an agricultural product but also an anthropological one. What one bottle may mean to us may mean everything to an entire family- it may resemble perseverance and defiance: making your ancestors proud, defining yourself, sustaining an identity.

This specific bottling of Vitovska is made with semi-macerated grapes, meaning slight skin contact- and it’s apparent in the texture and flavor. It is aged in both stainless steel and wooden barrels on its lees until springtime. Vitovska’s thick skin makes it an excellent grape for the notable skin-maceration style of Slovenia and Friuli. This Vitovska has a uniquely sumptuous and oily texture to its mouthfeel with an herbaceous, dried citrus peel and hay quality in its flavor. I recommend you take a chilled bottle of this Kocjančič Rado Vitovska with a can of oily tinned fish, a few tangelo, a fresh baguette, maybe some olives and have yourself a picnic- with your shoes off- while you ponder how wine is ultimately made by many hands, with many stories. 

-Dayna Palmer

Cavallotto Pinner 2021

Piedmont, Italy

Oasis Wines | Passion Distributing

Regular: $39.99

SALE: $31.99

Even the most casual wine novice is likely to have heard of Pinot Noir. I’m often a fan of Pinot Noir as I prefer my red wines to be lighter in body and lower in tannin. When I think of this variety, the growing regions that first come to mind are Burgundy, California, and Oregon - Plantings are also found throughout Germany, New Zealand, Italy, Australia, Chile, and Argentina but in considerably smaller quantities. Pinot Noir is the direct relative for grapes Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Précoce, can be vinified as a red, rosé, white, and sparkling wine and has several names. In Italy, Pinot Noir is called Pinot Nero and sometimes called “Pinner” for short (PINot NERo).

The Cavallotto Pinner is a beautiful example of a white Pinot Nero. The most common example of white Pinot Noir can be found in Champagne as Blanc de Noirs (my preferred Champagne!). The Pinot Noir/Pinot Nero vines planted on the Cavallotto estates actually come from Champagne originally. In a vineyard that predominately grows Nebbiolo, the Pinot Nero is grown on a small north-facing portion of the estate that is inhospitable to growing Piedmontese reds. The red fruit is organically farmed and then pressed and fermented without skins in the style of white wine, but results in a light peachy hue. Stainless steel is used for the fermentation and aging, followed by 9 months of rest on the lees. The wine is beautifully fresh and aromatic. The nose reminds me of strawberry tart, honey, stone fruit, yellow apple and pear as well as white flowers. The time on the lees gives the body a soft roundness that is kept fresh with a bit of minerality. This uncommon expression of Italian Pinot Nero is truly elegant and not to be missed.

-Sheena Callage