TKO to SO2!

Natural Wine Round-up, Part 3! Tasting at Racines, Tuesday June 4th!

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Natural wine has made it, ladies and gentlemen. From New York to Los Angeles (and every major city inbetween)...from hamlets in Vermont to the mountains of Colorado, people are seeking out natural wines in growing numbers. While some may lament the end of the good old days, when natural wine fairs in Europe were sparsely attended, and Americans were nowhere to be found, the truth is that the winemakers seem to be quite content! I spoke to several winemakers this past winter who were blown away by the amount of people who attended the annual wine fair circuit in France. They finally had grapes in 2018, and had wine to sell, and spirits were quite high, even though the crowds made it difficult to focus and ask questions. Of course I enjoyed knowing about these wines over a decade ago, when it was a little secret amongst a small community of wine geeks, but in the end, it's about time people caught on and took this movement to the mainstream!

So what is a "natural wine?" one might ask. Though definitions may differ slightly, it is widely accepted that these are wines made from grapes that are farmed with organic or biodynamic methods (i.e. no synthetic pesticides or herbicides, and no chemical fertilizers) and that are made with little intervention in the cellar - thus without the huge list of additives often found in conventional wines, and with zero or minimal added sulfites. How much free or total SO2 is normal for a wine to be called "natural?"  It depends on who you ask of course, but levels up to approximately 40 milligrams (total) per liter seem commonly acceptable.* In much of Western Europe, there are many who insist that a truly "natural" wine has no SO2 added! In the book, Between the Vines (G. Laroche/F. Henry/H. Annoni and translated by our friend Oswaldo Costa), Burgundy producer Renaud Boyer says: "To me, a natural wine is a wine made with organic grapes and vinified without any added products: no chaptalization, zero sulfur, and no filtration. If you work with non-organic grapes, they're much more sensitive, it's very difficult to make natural wine with grapes that are not organic. Even if you obviously have to follow what happens in the cellar, 90% of the wine is made in the vineyard, at least it used to be."

And what's the big deal with sulfites? one might also ask. For this, I refer to another passage from Between the Vines, this one quoted from Julien Guillot (Clos du Vignes du Maynes), which explains a bit of the science (anyone who has a degree in this stuff, please feel free to send any insight or feedback!):

As Julien explains, "One of the known effects of SO2 is its ability to destroy the vitamin B1 that we all have in the liver. That prevents you from digesting alcohol normally. Vitamin B1 plays an essential role. We digest alcohol via oxidation, anaerobically, meaning there is no oxygen. So, what oxidizes the alcohol that we send to our liver are enzymes. These enzymes, when they work, they change shape as needed, it's like a washing machine program. But if you drink more bottles you need to repeat the cycle, that's where the vitamin B1 comes in. It allows the enzyme, which has changed forms several times, to return to its zero state. But if you've swallowed too much SO2 and you have no more B1, the enzymes no longer do the job. The alcohol is no longer oxidized into acetaldehyde, and there you begin to have problems (dizziness, headache, loss of consciousness). If the digested wine enters the bloodstream as acetaldehyde, then you're not drunk, you have no alcohol in your blood, it's a different chemical form, it doesn't have the same effects, so your cognitive functions are not impacted in the same way. This doesn't prevent drunkenness in all cases, but, if you do a blood test, you may be very surprised to find that you'll show almost nothing. It happened to me once when I left Marcel Lapierre's at four in the morning. I left before it got out of hand. I took the car and got pulled over in Macon. I blew in the breathalyzer, zero. Since I'm a bit of an ass, I joked. I said "I'm sure your thing isn't working, because zero isn't possible." I blew again, zero."

Though we do all know that drinking too much wine is generally not a good idea, and drinking and driving is NEVER a good idea, this may help to explain why people seem to be more clear-headed while drinking natural wines, and less hung-over the day after!

 

A diagram showing accepted additives and total SO2 mg/l for Conventional, Organic, Biodynamic, and "Natural"
Vins S.A.I.N.S created this image. This small rogue group of winemakers insists on zero-added SO2.

 

 

**A little sulfur is frequently necessary, especially in difficult vintages, and a level below 40ppm is hard to detect and won't cause headaches for most consumers. At CSW we love wines without added SO2 and we applaud those growers willing to do the extra work to present a delicious natural product to their customers. (And happily the days of defective and "mousy" no-sulfur wines are largely behind us.)

The wines in today's email are 100% delicious, we urge you to try them.

Please join us at the bar at Racines NY next Tuesday, June 4th, as we pour 6 of the most delicious pure juice wines from today's email. Six half-pours, $35, beginning at 6pm, hosted by Eben Lillie!  To reserve, please email info@racinesny.com or call 212-227-3400.

 

PLEASE NOTE: For any Southern US and West Coast customers, we highly recommend that these wines are not exposed to high temperatures during transit, so we will default to holding your wines until the Fall. Honestly, a bit more time in bottle would do them well!

-Eben Lillie

Subject to Change 2017 Mendocino County Coastview Chardonnay

This Chardonnay is sourced from the Coastview Vineyard, which must be one of the most extraordinary vineyards to see anywhere, at the top of a peak in the Gabilan Mountains, situated 2,400 feet above sea level, on a dirt track it took seven years to cut. From this height, the ocean is visible over the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west. Thin topsoil here overlays decomposed limestone and granite. Father-son vineyard managers John and Parker use a huge herd of sheep instead of machine mowers in this rugged terrain, and winemaker Alex Pomerantz uses this fruit to make an incredible Chardonnay that isn't quite like anything I've tasted. Whole cluster pressed before being put into neutral barrel to ferment and age for five months before being racked and put in tank for another five months. Lean and aromatically expressive, this is a very pure and pretty wine, not without richness, but more angular in structure, which should allow it to benefit from some time in the cellar. 12.5% alcohol by volume, and bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with no sulfur added. 294 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar

  • white
  • 10 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Oriol Artigas 2017 Alella El Rumbero 1.5L

From a single vineyard of granitic sand, this is a flavorful, medium-bodied red. A blend of Syrah, Merlot, Garnatxa, and Sumoll, from teenage vines. The Merlot is typically direct press, and the other grapes all whole cluster, with about a week of maceration. No filtration or clarification and no sulfites added. This is a very tasty, meaty red, that could be served with a slight chill. Not particularly tannic, but nonetheless bold, gaining finesse with a bit of time open.   Eben Lillie

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $69.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur
  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • no discount
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Clos Lentiscus 2013 Penedès Brut Rose

This is not a Brut Rosé for the faint-hearted! Dark, savory, peppery and unforgettable, it's formidable enough on its own, but may be best paired with food. Fried food, pan-Asian cuisine... the list is endless! It's quite structured for a sparkling wine, think more of a light Lambrusco than a sparkling rose, and you get the idea. Minerality here is expressed through some structure, and flavors of fresh soil. No SO2 added.   Eben

  • rosé sparkling
  • 11 in stock
  • no discount
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur
  • white
  • 22 in stock
  • $37.99

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $39.99

Vignes du Maynes 2017 Mâcon-Cruzille Manganite

Made from massale-selection Gamay Petit Grains planted in 1953, grown on a limestone/clay parcel high in magnesium, in the Clos des Vignes du Maynes in Cruzille, organic since 900 AD, now certified Biodynamic. The energetic Julien Guillot vinifies his reds without sulfur or additives of any kind, producing complex, mineral, elegant wines that transcend their appellation.  The 2017s here are lovely, showing the elegance, purity and balance typical of the estate with the wonderful ripeness of the vintage. The wine shows gorgeous red and black fruit aromas with cranberry, raspberry, earth, stone and musk with hints of mint and spice. The palate is bright and sappy,  beautifully balanced with black raspberry, tart strawberry, citrus, stone and earthy flavors, that continue on the very long finish with chalky red fruits and refreshing acidity. Always one of the greatest Gamays produced anywhere, the 2017 Manganite is a young wine that will benefit from decanting or five to fifteen years in the cellar. Highly recommended! DL

  • red
  • 6 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
  • red
  • 7 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Weingut Karl Schnabel 2017 Südsteiermark Rotburger Kreuzegg

Rotburger is the original name for Zweigelt; this bottling is sourced from one of Karl and Eva Schnabel’s three vineyards, the Kreuzegg vineyard on the Sausal mountain, home to slate soils with silex. As is true with all of the Schnabel red wines, natural fermentation occurs in open tank, with hand-pigéage; the wine is then scooped via bucket into used Burgundy barrels where it ages on the lees until being bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with no sulfur. Deep, dark magenta in color, darker than expected. Scents of ripe purple plums, stewed strawberries, carrot peelings, and just a hint of savory soy sauce, the wine is medium-bodied, juicy and mouthcoating with flavors of blueberries, blackberries, black raspberries, plums, and only the faintest whisper of tannins on the finish. May need another month or so to really knit together, but we look forward to where this wine is heading. (2/2019) Cari Bernard

  • red
  • 9 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Julie Brosselin 2016 Vin de France Rue de la Peste

All Syrah with no SO2 added. Vibrant and lifted, with subtle tannin.    Eben

  • red
  • 22 in stock
  • $17.99

  • No Sulfur
  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • $42.99

Julie Brosselin 2016 Vin de France Mata Hari

Grenache Blanc, over a month of skin contact, yielding a rustic "orange" wine, that we would recommend paired with food. Serve lightly chilled, as too much cold will mute the subtle fruit and intensify the tannins.    Eben

  • white
  • 8 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Clos des Mourres 2018 Vin de France Pompette Rosé

"Pompette" Rosé is made from directly-pressed Caladoc (a hardy cross between Grenache and Cot). This flavorful and fruity rosé shows a fascinating neon pink in the glass. The 2018 is ripe yet wonderfully balanced. The palate is supple with flavors of red cherry and lush raspberry which are buoyed by notes of blood orange and fresh herbs. A characterful rosé for lovers of natural wine! Amanda Bowman

  • rosé
  • 18 in stock
  • $18.99

L'Ostal (Ostal) 2017 Vin de France Baran 1.5 L

100% Malbec from the South-West of France (the wine is Vin de France, but it's technically Cahors). Charlotte and Louis Perot are off to a great start with their young domaine, L'Ostal. This is an elegant, dark expression, with freshness and honesty. A very pure, natural wine, that should develop nicely with another 5 or so years in the bottle, or over the course of the night if opened soon. Proof that not every natural red is a juicy, light, glou glou wine. It's just as possible to have a dark, savory and supple red, as long as the vineyards are yielding high quality fruit, and the winemakers are careful with maintaining good acidity.   Eben

  • red
  • 5 in stock
  • $69.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur
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Subject to Change 2017 Mendocino County Coastview Cuvee 831

This is a perfect California wine for our store, as it is an homage to Julien Guillot's Burgundian field blend, Cuvee 910, which we have proudly carried for years. This wine is a co-ferment made from 2 tons of Pinot Noir and 1 ton of Chardonnay, both sourced from the extraordinary Coastview Vineyard perched high in the Gabilan Mountains, which separate the Monterey AVA from the Central Valley. Field blends like this were very common in the Middle Ages, when all available grapes were brought to the winery and crushed and fermented together, but the practice has become rare today. This wine makes that rarity seem strange. This is Pinot in the form of a lightning bolt, with the beautiful red fruit and elegance of Pinot Noir but an intensity and zippiness usually associated with white wine. These two varieties are co-fermented together on the skins for 55 days. This wine has loads of character, but still remains chimeric, with many different aspects that change and interact in the glass. As with all the Subject to Change wines, this is bottled unfined and unfiltered, and no sulfur is added anywhere in the winemaking process. This is a truly special wine from an incredible place made with tact and intelligence. 12.5% alcohol, and only 210 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Subject to Change 2017 Mendocino County Sunhawk Farms Field Blend

This is a field blend from the Demeter-certified biodynamic Sunhawk Vineyard outside Hopland in Mendocino. Not your typical field blend, this is a blend of (wait for it), Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise, Roussanne, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Picpoule Blanc, and Muscat. Hand-picked in multiple passes (lots of varying ripeness here), and foot trod in the picking bins before being given a 24 hour soak before pressing. Primary and Secondary spontaneous fermentation occur in neutral barrel before being racked into tank for a five month elevage. Somewhere between an Italian rose and a glou-glou Loire red, this wine is snappy and fresh and not very tannic, and can get away with being drunk chilled. A perfect rooftop party option, pairs best with sunsets over Manhattan, barbecues in Prospect Park, or stuffed in a backpack with some ice packs in the Rockaways. 12% alcohol. Only 200 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Subject to Change 2017 Mendocino County Bonfiglio White Blend

This is an elegant, structured, surprisingly lean blend of 45% Marsanne and 55% Roussanne from the CCOF certified organic Bonfiglio vineyard, a small seven acre site in Mendocino farmed by one of California's peerless advocates for Rhone varieties, Glenn McGourtey. Picked together and cofermented in half neutral oak and half stainless steel, 10 % of the Roussanne undergoes carbonic maceration. This is not as rich as your typical Rhone blend, instead having tons of incredible, zippy acidity and fine lemony citrus character with an underlying herbal, waxen character. This is a great, refreshing, summertime wine that works great as an aperitif or would be singing with rosemary lemon chicken or simple summer pastas. Andrew Farquhar

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Basket Range 2018 Adelaide Hills "Deja Vu" Pinot Noir

"Deja Vu" is 100% Pinot Noir from brothers Sholto & Louis Broderick's family estate in the Basket Range, South Australia. Their father, Phillip, has been farming organically and making wines since the 1980s; and where his style is traditional for the region, his sons have fully embraced the "new" style. Their vines are planted high on dramatically sloping hills where the grapes ripen easily in the summer sun, yet maintain their acidity  from the cool nights. The sons pick their Pinot early to achieve  refreshing, crunchy acidity in their wine, which is fermented with native yeasts in neutral barrels without sulfur additions. The 2018 offers aromas of bramble fruit, damp soil, violets, and black cherry. The palate is light with powdery tannins and offers flavors of cherry, underripe blueberries, and savory spice. A playful Pinot Noir that is superb with a chill alongside grilled meats and summer vegetables. Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $37.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Commune of Buttons 2017 Adelaide Hills "Kikuya" Pinot Noir

"Kikuya" comes from a single parcel of Pinot Noir planted in the cool Piccadilly Valley region of Adelaide Hills. The grapes are sourced by Jasper Button, who along with his sister Sophie, comes from a family background of growing organic grapes in Adelaide. Their 2017 is wild and characterful. The nose is redolent of ripe blackberries, sandalwood, and lilac. The palate is light and chalky with generous acidity. Flavors of bramble fruit, red cherry, and a touch of leather and funk. Serve with a slight chill and enjoy! Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Didgori 2017 Georgia Racha Sakipiano

On a Winter's night Giorgi Kipiani's "Sakipiano" plucked each note from a warm bowl of borsch with the fathomless pitch of horsehair drawn across taut steel. While the bitter undertones of dill were sweetened by the succulent black cherry of the illustrious Aleksandrouli , the earthy flavors of boiled potatoes and beetroot plunged into the inky depths of the tart Mujuretuli. The blend caused the imagination to hover over the Rioni river basin where the Racha village seems to sit upon roots as deep as the surrounding snow-capped mountains. It is here that the young Kipiani works his family's vines, by hand in rhythm with the surrounding fauna. The wine is buried in Kvevri and finally bottled with no additions. At 12% abv this wine is deceptively "light." A soulful bottle from the foothills of Western Georgia. Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Didgori 2017 Georgia Racha Tsolikouri

Giorgi Kipiani's soulful Tskolikouri is grown on limestone and clay in the mountainous region of Racha in western Georgia. The vines range in age, but the average is around 50 years old. The Tsolikouri spends 6 months on its skins and stems (which are more green in Racha) in buried qvevri that are 150-250 years old. The 2017 shows a mesmerizing marigold color in the glass. The aromas are vernal with notes of waxy honey, apricot skins, and alpine flowers. The palate is exquisitely structured with chalky tannins and mineral acidity. Flavors of ripe stone fruit mingle with notes of bitter chamomile. A fascinating wine from one of our favorite producers in Georgia. This should pair beautifully with roast chicken and garlic, spicy stews, or strong sheep cheeses. Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Iberieli 2017 Kakheti Saperavi

We love this expression of Saperavi. This dark-skinned, hardy variety can be made into full-bodied, firmly (brutally) tannic wine with long aging potential, or, as in this case, light and elegant wine with long aging potential. The 2017 from Zurab Topuridze shows seductive aromas of cherry, evergreen, pepper, and a touch of game. The palate is elegant and lifted with high-toned acidity and characterized by savory notes alongside bramble fruit and bitter herbs. A noteworthy wine that we look forward to every vintage. It's sublime now but should age gracefully for another 5 years. Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Guniava 2017 Georgia Imereti Krakhuna

Archil Guniava makes wine in the same "marani" that his grandfather built. His knowledge about winemaking comes from traditions passed from one family member to the next rather than formal training. He makes wine intuitively and makes decisions in the cellar based on what the vintage gives him. In warmer vintages he picks his Krakhuna earlier to keep the sugar levels from reaching their astounding potential. This bottling is made without skins (he also made another Krakhuna in 2017 with skin contact) and aged in qvevri. The nose offers tropical aromas of melon and orange blossom with mineral notes of river stones. The palate is dense and has nutty and citrus flavors evocative of Malvasia and finishes with bitter herbs. This should pair wonderfully with Mediterranean-inspired food, sheep cheeses, tagines, or grilled meats. Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Carlania Celler 2017 Conca de Barbera El Plantarga Rose (Trepat)

The 2017 El Plantarga rosat is all Trepat, a local grape to the Conca de Barbera DO in Spain. Winemakers Jordi Miró and Sònia Gomà-Camps farm without pesticides or herbicides, and only small amounts of sulfur and biodynamic preparations are used in the vineyards. The soils are mostly clay and limestone, which might help to contextualize the lively, flavorful, bright red fruit on the palate that is balanced by a dry, mineral finish. Made without any additives or SO2 added. Did we mention it's $12.99??

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $12.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Bodegas Vinificate 2015 Cadiz Mahara

This beautifully aromatic wine is made from 100% Tintilla de Rota, a grape variety related to Graciano that is native to Andalusia but now nearly extinct. The grapes for this wine go through an extended 6 month maceration on the skins before aging in Amphora, a combination that balances concentration and elegance. The resulting wine is dark in the glass but medium bodied, with an intense nose of purple flowers, garrigue, and sea air. On the palate, the wine shows pretty red and black fruit, a gamey, savory note, and a saline mineral core. Drink with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, or anything from the grill. No SO2 added. Ben Fletcher

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Oriol Artigas 2017 Alella La Rumbera Blanco

This is all Pansa Blanca from three different vineyard sites. It's a perfect introduction to the grape, and a gateway to Oriol's single-vineyard expressions. The parcels are all on granitic sand, which lends a particularly salty and spicy character to the wine. Mostly de-stemmed, with 20% of the grapes left on the skins for a short period (1-2 weeks), and aging for 10 months on the lees in stainless steel. Beautifully textured and also zippy and fresh.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Oriol Artigas 2017 Alella Beier

Oriol Artigas and his friend Pep have a small winemaking project they call Els Bardissots, and this is one of the wines they make together. Beier is the name of the grape, and also the word for "bee house," as there is some history of beekeeping that is intertwined with the history of the variety. As far as Oriol knows, there is only one remaining site in Catalunya, owned by an old man who makes wine for personal consumption. Oriol and Pep managed to befriend this old man over time and now help with the farming and make a small amount of wine that they bottle and sell. Whole cluster fermentation for 1 week, followed by one week with the skins before pressing. Color is almost like a dark rosé in the glass, with a very pretty and floral nose, and a palate that is exploding with fresh minerality and zingy spice.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Oriol Artigas 2017 Alella 3 Porcs! 1.5L

3 Porcs is a collaboration between Oriol, Francesc Ferre from Cellar Frisach, and a mutual friend who mostly makes wine for family and friends. In Oriol’s words: In 2017 we made a blend of 3 garnatxes. Garnatxa blanca from Tuets. Garnatxa Gris from Frisach. And garnatxa negra from me. All with the whole bunches during 5 days of skin contact. And after bottled in magnum with 8 month on the lees. The wine was made for us in celler frisach. (Only in mag and from a very limited bottling, this is all we got!)  Eben Lillie - with thanks to Liz Fayad from Jose Pastor selections for Oriol's quote.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $64.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

La Perdida (Nacho Gonzalez) 2017 A Chaira Doña Blanca

A rare release of Nacho Gonzalez's Doña Blanca. 4 months of maceration, but a gentle maceration at that, which lends a lovely, delicate structure. Lychee, pear, and passion fruit on the nose. Crunchy minerality on the finish. A young wine, but nonetheless nice to drink now, it should be well integrated and balanced with a few more months in bottle.   Eben

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $44.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Celler Jordi Llorens 2017 Conca de Barbera Blan 5-7

The soft-spoken Jordi Llorens makes some fascinating wines in Conca de Barbera, in Catalunya, where his family has lived since the 1700's. A blend of Maccabeu and Parellada from multiple parcels. Co-fermented, certified organic, and all aged in anfora without any addition of sulfites. It's a bit opaque in the glass, with nice weight, a touch of grip and a long finish. It's unfiltered, unfined, and a bit peculiar, but impeccable, clean and a very balanced real wine.  Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Cantalapiedra, Manuel 2017 Castilla Y Leon Lirondo Verdejo (no SO2)

From a father and son team in Castilla y León. Three generations of farming organically, and since the early 2000s, incorporating Biodynamic methods as well. Isaac Cantalapiedra passed on the estate to his son, Manuel, who utilizes wild yeasts for fermentation, with minimal or zero SO2 added. This is a skin contact Verdejo, unfiltered and no SO2 added. A lovely opaque straw color in the glass, with white stone fruit on the nose, and great mid-palate weight followed by a clean, acid-driven finish.  Eben

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Losada, Diego (La Senda) 2016 Bierzo Tinto "1984"

This is a funky red from Bierzo native, Diego Losada. 100% Mencia, sourced from 3 small vineyards around the village of Hervededo, in Galicia. The parcels for this wine come from the mountains in Bierzo, where the soils are iron rich, littered with quartz and other minerals (a contrast with the mostly clay/limestone terroir in the area). 3 days of maceration without punch down, and 8 months in 5-6 year old barrels. Losada harvests fully ripe fruit, and does not interfere with the natural fermentation or acid levels. A delicious Mencia, with a bit of a dark side.   Eben

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Clos Lentiscus 2015 Penedes Perill Carinyena

This is a beautiful, pure expression of Carinyena (Carignan), from Clos Lentiscus winery, in Penedes. The style of maceration here seems like it was almost an infusion, as the palate is dominated by bright red berry fruit, and lots of fresh minerality. The wine is not thin, however. It's got a lot of character, just very little tannin for a red. Prime candidate for a chill. A delicious natural wine from our friend Manel, and one that should continue to drink well with more time in the bottle.    Eben

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Celler Les Foes 2018 Castellon de la Plana - Valencia L'Adolescent

Grenache and Syrah, delivered to you via an addictive, chillable red from the south of Spain. We first were turned on to Celler Les Foes last year when we tasted the 2016 L'Adolescent. It was funky, and dark-fruited, while also being really fresh and drinkable. The 2017 is more of the same. Sure to serve you well all summer long, at any rooftop party or BBQ you find yourself attending.  Eben

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Celler Les Foes 2017 Castellon de la Plana - Valencia Brutal

A blend of Garnatxa and Cariñena (Grenache and Carignan), from Celler Les Foes in Valencia, Spain. 42 day carbonic maceration in stainless steel, aged in fiberglass. No added S02. This little Brutal is a spicy red, with crushed wild berries and black pepper on the nose. I'd recommend letting it develop a bit in bottle before opening, as there was a potential for some elegance and more finesse that was a bit masked by the immediate intensity of the wine's flavors. Maybe another 3-6 months before opening will yield a more calm and balanced expression.   Eben

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Celler Les Foes 2017 Castellon de la Plana Cami les Contrabandistes

Embolicaire and Cabernet Sauvignon from old vines. Perhaps better known as Trepat (in Catalunya), Embolicaire provides freshness and acidity, along with bright red fruit. The Cabernet lends some blackcurrant and supple dark red fruit. A bit "barnyardy" on the nose, the palate of the wine is very balanced. It's silky and forward, but also has great mineral structure. It's the kind of wine that's hard to put down, and may be our favorite of the four cuvées we have in stock. Whole cluster fermentation, 12 months in barrels. No added SO2.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Celler Les Foes 2017 Castellon de la Plana Les Foes

This wine, which takes the name of the winery, is all Garnacha, and perhaps the lightest and freshest of the wines we have from Celler les Foes. The fruit comes froma  young vineyard planted about 10 years ago. Whole cluster fermentation, with aging in used barriques for 9-10 months. The style is light and direct, with some subtle herbs on the nose, but mostly driven by bright, juicy red fruit. A lively red that deserves a light chill.  Eben

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Maison en Belles Lies 2017 L'Etrange Rouge

Pierre Fenals has slowly patched together a collection of vineyards in Burgundy, with some tiny plots he owns and others he manages and farms. L'Etrange is Pinot Noir, with a touch of Aligoté and Gamay, fermented with native yeasts and vinified and bottled without the addition of sulfur. Opened recently with friends, this was ready to go, with bright red fruit, and perfect acidity. I sophisticated and classy Burgundy, clean and direct, and most likely best for short term consumption (1-5 years), while waiting for the Maranges to age!   Eben

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Valentina Passalacqua 2017 Rosato Pulia IGP Mezzorosa 1L

Another full-bodied rosato that is at once complex and engaging, and ridiculously easy to drink. Valentina Passalacqua farms her grapes biodynamically in northern Puglia, and uses 100% Montepulciano for the rosato. Without any additions of sulfur during winemaking or at bottling, this is incredibly pure and fruit driven, while still being fresh, mineral, and slightly salty. A medley of wild red berries, cherry, and red plum couples with wet rock minerality and great acidity. At only 10.5% abv, this wine is a summer thirst-quencher, great for pizza or an outdoor barbecue, or just chilling on a rooftop in Brooklyn. Oskar Kostecki

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $25.99

Brand 2018 Pfalz Pet Nat Blanc

Daniel and Jonas Brand are fifth-generation wine makers in the northern Pfalz, currently with 18 hectares in the family. Soil types in the northern Pfalz range from clay and loam, to loess, and limestone at different states of erosion. For a region that gets most of their rain in winter, the soil plays a vital role in holding water for the vines. They began experimenting with converting their vineyards to organic farming in 2011 and are now fully-certified with the 2018 vintage. Their Pét-Nat Blanc is made from 30-year-old vines of Silvaner and Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) grown on scant soil over limestone. Cari Bernard

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $27.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Brand 2018 Pfalz Pet Nat Blanc 1.5 L

Daniel and Jonas Brand are fifth-generation wine makers in the northern Pfalz, currently with 18 hectares in the family. Soil types in the northern Pfalz range from clay and loam, to loess, and limestone at different states of erosion. For a region that gets most of their rain in winter, the soil plays a vital role in holding water for the vines. They began experimenting with converting their vineyards to organic farming in 2011 and are now fully-certified with the 2018 vintage. Their Pét-Nat Blanc is made from 30-year-old vines of Silvaner and Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) grown on scant soil over limestone. Cari Bernard

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $71.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Brand 2018 Pfalz Pet Nat Rosé 1.5 L

Maybe the color on the Brand Pét-Nat Rosé gets more beautiful with every vintage, or maybe I'm just happy to have it back; this year it's a jewel-toned snapdragon electric pink (still Pinot Noir and Portugieser, still no sulfur added). Totally dry, with a prickly, energetic mousse bolstering flavors of red grapefruit, tart crushed cranberries, green olive brine, wild strawberries and red hibiscus. The wine just landed (April 2019), and it's super-fun now, but I don't doubt it will evolve into an even better place in six months or so. Buy some for now and later! Cari Bernard

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $71.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Knauss, Andi 2017 Württemberg 'Pure' Red

Blaufränkisch, Spätburgunder, and Zweigelt fermented separately in neutral demi-muid, blended in tank before bottling without any added sulfur. Hauntingly aromatic with notes of bramble and soy, blueberries, violets and spice, the palate is juicy and vibrant, with a mélange of wild berries, dark chocolate, and red plums. A healthy choice with BBQ-anything! Cari Bernard

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $43.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Zillinger, Johannes NV Weinviertel Revolution White Solera

If the 'Velue' wines are straightforward and true to variety, the 'Revolution' wines are more on the experimental side. I loved this when it was tasted, but was never able to write all the cellar info down. To paraphrase the importer: 'this release is 50% Chardonnay partially fermented (carbonic) in amphora followed by co-fermentation with Scheurebe, and blended with Riesling from a solera of vintages 2013-2015 aged in used wood, unfined, unfiltered with no sulfur added'. A touch of structure and texture from the skin contact is finely integrated with bright notes of nectarine, Fuji apple, quince, and zesty kumquat. Cari Bernard

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Weingut Karl Schnabel 2017 Südsteiermark Sausal

A blend of Rotburger (Zweigelt), Blaufränkisch, and Pinot Noir, the Sausal bottling is an easy-going, lighter-bodied red, sourced from all three vineyards on the Sausal mountain. Mineral freshness and high flying acidity to make your mouth water as a bounty of juicy and ripe wild strawberries, cranberries, raspberries ruby red grapefruit, and tart cherries wash over your palate layered with savory notes of red florals, pollen, and pink peppercorn. No fining, no filtration, no sulfur added. Serve after ten minutes in the fridge and enjoy with friends and loved ones! Cari Bernard

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Brand, Charles & Philippe 2016 Alsace Tout Terriblement

Tout Terriblement is all Gewurztraminer from Philippe Brand, an up and coming winemaker in Alsace, whose family domaine is about 20 minutes west of Strasbourg. Though we don't have the analysis in front of us, my guess is that there are somewhere between 1-3 grams of residual sugar here, giving it a ripe fruitiness, and making it a very worthy pairing for asian cuisines and food with a bit of spice. The nose is classic Gewurztraminer, though a bit dialed back on the spice/white pepper notes. A really pleasant wine.    EL

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $42.99

Sablonnettes 2017 Vin de France Le P'tit Blanc

This is for sure the most dynamic and peculiar little white we have under the $15 price point here at Chambers Street. Chenin Blanc, with about a week of skin contact and no sulfur added. The maceration is purely to give the yeast food and keep it productive, and not for color or to say they are making an "orange wine." As Jeremy Menard explains, he did an experiment with two vats, with the exact same juice from the same day of harvest and the same press. One vat had the juice with no skins (in typical fashion), and in the other, he left some skins with the juice. About a week later, the vat with the skins had fermented completely dry, and was quite happily moving along with malolactic fermentation, whereas the one without skins hadn't even finished its sugars yet. It's never a race to have a finished wine at Domaine Sablonnettes, but it is a sign of how the Menard family is constantly developing their approach in the cellar, so they can successfully make honest, natural wines. Young at the moment (tasted just after arriving in New York in late July), there are pleasant aromas of orchard fruits (apples and pears) and orange zest. A great mineral finish, which is no surprise given Chenin's ability to transmit soil into the glass, and the impeccable and longtime organic farming at Sablonnettes. Ripe, dry Chenin that should be fantastic in a few months and even better in 2019 or beyond.   EL

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

La Grave Figeac 2015 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru L'Essai (No SO2)

Who said that no S02 red wine can't be classicly structured and delicious! L'Essai is mostly Merlot (90%) with a touch of Cabernet Franc (10%), planted on sandy gravelly soils. Aged for 15 months with no added sulfur, this wine showcases a beautiful structure of good acidity, light tannin and superb minerality while displaying a freshness of aromas, quite unique for this appellation. With a bouquet of juicy red berry, tart black plum, rose petals, white pepper, crushed rock and green tobacco, the wine is vibrant with its complex flavors lingering deliciously on the finish. Pair this wine with hamburgers, steak tartare or a plate of charcuterie and cheese. Caroline Coursant 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Le Geai 2015 Bordeaux Superieur Pur Nature (No SO2)

The Le Geai "2015 "Pure Nature" is a natural wine with no added sulfur, certified Biodyanmic. Its unusual blend is 70% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 10% Carmenere and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a fresh, earthy and delicious Bordeaux, showing vivid aromas of black raspberry, red currant and cassis, ripe but bright; the palate is dense with cassis and red currant, quite lively and with underlying earth and mineral flavors that linger in the finish. For anyone seeking a more natural style of Bordeaux, with zero-added SO2, this is highly recommended!  David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Ratapoil (Raphael Monnier) 2017 Vin de France Pinot Noir L'Ingenu

The 2017 Ratapoil "l'Ingénu" is from Pinot Noir vines in the village of Molamboz, northeast of Arbois. "Wine with no additives and unfiltered, of course" says the label. This vibrant Pinot Noir shows bright aromas of blackberry and tart cherry with hints of violet and white pepper. The palate shows blackberry, red currant, earth  and citrus flavors with black fruits lingering in the tart finish. We would suggest cellaring this wine for three to five years.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Clos des Mourres 2018 Vin de France Pompette Rouge

"Pompette" is pure pleasure for those seeking a light and juicy bottle to start their evening, continue their evening, or end it on a gentler note.... The 2018 is an unusual, though delightful, mix of Tempranillo, Counoise, and a now-rare Vaucluse grape variety called Aubun. The grapes are hand harvested then partially crushed wholecluster in stainless tank for fermentation (native yeasts, of course). Only light pigeages and pump overs are used in order to bring out the natural fruity character of the grapes. The wine is then aged in neutral barrels for 8 months before bottling with no sulfur additions. The nose shows lovely floral aromas with plum and white pepper. The palate is light with soft tannins, good acidity, and pleasing flavors of rosewater, dusty minerals, and plum flesh. Drink with a chill without delay! Amanda Bowman

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Anders Frederik Steen & Anne Bruun Blauert 2017 VdF Cette main legerement serree m'a laissé perplexe

This is a fun blend of Carignan and Chardonnay, from Anders Steen and Anne Blauert. Lots of berries and fresh crunchy red fruit in the mid-palate, with good acidity. Steen likes the idea of making a white but he never likes pure whites, so he usually combines his white grapes with red ones. He likes berries in the juice, so you have fermentation inside the whole berries and outside as well. That sort of partial carbonic energy is alive and well here. Quite clean, and a little herbaceous. Serve slightly chilled.  -Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Anders Frederik Steen & Anne Bruun Blauert 2017 VdF Pure Magique Pas des Chimiques

The Pure Magique is mostly Syrah, with 25% Viognier. Some of the Syrah is direct press, and the majority of the grapes are kept intact and soaked in the juice, along with the juice from the Viognier grapes. Nice, clean and fresh! It drinks like a light red, and has a bit of herbaceous/spice character, most likely from the Viognier. Drink lightly chilled.   Eben

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

  • No Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $94.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

L'Ostal (Ostal) 2017 Vin de France Icare

I first met Charlotte Perot last February, at a wine fair in France, where she was nestled in a corner, quietly pouring her wines. I was curious to taste the L'Ostal wines, as we rarely see dynamic, natural wines coming out of Cahors. The wines were fascinating... dark and full of flavor, yet vibrant at the same time, with fresh acidity balancing luscious black fruit. Though technically not Cahors (Charlotte and her husband Louis bottle their wines as Vin de France), they spent time learning from Simon Busser, one of our favorite Cahors producers, and the wines speak of the region. Icare is actually a collaboration wine, blending Louis and Charlotte's Malbec and Merlot from west of Cahors, with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the illustrious Jeff Coutelou in the Languedoc. For any fan of no-sulfur wines who occasionally prefers a wine with dark fruit and full body, this is a MUST! A great beginning for a young domaine that shows a lot of promise.   Eben 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $31.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur