This Month's Three Bottle Drop

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    The weather is cold, and the days are still gray, so I am sending you three wines that always seem to put a smile on my face.  A little dose of sunshine, you might say.  All three of these producers are always rock solid.  They overdeliver in flavor and complexity for the price point, & most importantly, they always provide a heavy dose of deliciousness!
    Happy New Year!

    Tement 'Kalk & Kreide' Sauvignon Blanc, Südsteiermark, Austria 2021

    When Armin Tement joined in 2005, his goal was not only to make an unequivocal Styrian wine but also a wine that expresses, in his words, ‘Tement’s own style”. With the support of the family, Armin began following organic agriculture, eventually converting all eighty hectares over the next ten years and becoming certified organic in the 2018 vintage. South Styria gets a lot of rain, and incredibly, Armin, Stefan, and Manfred are in the process of converting to biodynamic agriculture, and they should be certified in 2022 by both Demeter and Respekt. There are three main weather influences that are a part of the terroir here: the Adriatic Sea to the south brings storms and rain, the Pannonian Plain brings hot and dry weather, and the Alps bring cool air at night.

    Styria is one of the three major growing regions in Austria, and it’s the smallest, with 4,633 hectares planted. The subregion of Sudsteiermark, or South Styria, covers 2,563 hectares and lies on the border with Slovenia. Styria is quite different from the rest of Austria as the main white varietal is neither Grüner nor Riesling, but Sauvignon Blanc! Other white varieties also do well here, notably Gelber Muskateller, Pinot Blanc, and Morillon, the local name for Chardonnay.

    The vineyards are located in Südsteiermark (southern Styria), directly on the border with Slovenia, on a narrow plateau into which the slope of the Zièregg cru gently flattens.  This is their entry wine that showcases the nerve and energy of their wines.  This wine is the epitome of springtime wine, flinty & fresh and dazzling minerality.  

    Grape: Sauvignon Blanc

    Paring: Grilled asparagus, spring salad with an herb vinaigrette & goat cheese

    Soil: A patchwork of limestone, sand, and slate

    Viticulture: Organic

    Clos de la Roilette Fleurie, France 2021
    Alain Coudert’s Clos de la Roilette is a longtime favorite Fleurie producer whose wines should not be overshadowed by newer, more faddish names.”
    —Eric Asimov, The New York Times, April 2016

    We agree with Eric.  They are delicious now but also have a sneak propensity to age.  And at their appealing price of $26 a bottle, it never hurts to grab a few of these and put some in the cellar.

    Clos de la Roilette was born out of the pride of a Frenchman upset that his vineyard lost the Moulin-à-Vent appellation status to the newly created Fleurie appellation. The original owner named it after his horse Roilette and decided not to add an appellation to the label. After his passing, the vineyard was forgotten. The Coudert Family took over in 1967 and has since made it truly special. The farming is done sustainably with minimal intervention showcasing its distinct terroir; unlike most of Fleurie, Clos de la Roilette is rich in clay and manganese, which adds more structure and intensity to the juice.  Great people, great terroir, good winemaking.  

    Grape: Gamay

    Soil: Clay and Manganese

    Farming: Organic

    Pairing: Pepperoni pizza, roasted chicken

    Antoniotti Odilio ‘Pramartel’, Piedmont, Italy 2017

    The Antoniotti family has been making wine in their town of Casa del Bosco (Sostegno) in northern Piemonte for generations. Today Odilio, along with his son Mattia, works the vines and makes the wines in the same traditional manner.

    They currently work six hectares in two of Italy's smallest DOC's, Bramaterra and Coste della Sesia.  Bramaterra is truly microscopic, with only a handful of vignaioli producing it. Coste della Sesia,  while still small, is a broader 33-hectare appellation that overlaps with Bramaterra, Gattinara, Lessona, and many others: usually, the wines receive this appellation when they aren't as qualitative. A good example: four of the Antoniottis' six hectares fall within the Bramaterra appellation, but only two are vinified as such.

    The soils here are volcanic porphyry, a type of granite rich in minerals.  The vineyards can only be accessed using a 4x4 vehicle up a steep forest road.  While the wine comes mostly from vines planted in 2003, Odilio and Mattia recently acquired a neighboring plot from a neighbor that was planted in the 1960s. This wine (Pramartel) is basically the younger version of the Bramaterra with the same blend: 70% Nebbiolo, 20% Croatina, 7% Vespolina, and 3% Bonarda.  Pramartel is one of the best value wines from Piedmont and always falls under the radar, which is great for us. :)

    Pairing: Ragau, mushroom sauces, duck, pizza night.  Very diverse.

    Grape: 70% Nebbiolo, 20% Croatina, 7% Vespolina and 3% Bonarda

    Soil: volcanic porphyry

    Viticulture: Organic

    Happy Sipping!
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    Antoniotti Odilio 'Pramartel', Piedmont, Italy 2017
    $22.00 USD
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