New Domestic Arrivals: Matthiasson, Salinia, AmByth, Forlorn Hope, and More!

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Our domestic shelves are dense with delicious wine these days. Equally rich is the talent in American winemaking today; the minute one wine sells out, there are a dozen more that we are eager to offer in its place! Many of our favorite American producers make wine in such small amounts that, when combined with regular infusions of rare and mature bottles from private cellars, the section is in constant and invigorating flux.

We take a break from the happy work of stocking this dynamic department to welcome some new arrivals: the elegant and affordable Linda Vista Chardonnay from organic experts Steve and Jill Matthiasson in Napa; the mouth-watering 2012 incarnation of Dirty & Rowdy's skin-(and egg-)fermented Semillon; a pair of unusual and wonderful whites (one sparkling, one from a biodynamic field blend of red and white grapes) from Salinia Wine Company in Santa Rosa; the best $20 Oregon Pinot Noir we've tasted yet; hard-to-find bottles from Scholium Project and Channing Daughters; two fresh and fabulous new releases from Forlorn Hope's Matthew Rorick; and more! -AR

 

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Matthiasson 2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay Linda Vista Vineyard

Steve and Jill Matthiasson are making terrifically toned and expressive wines. The Linda Vista Chardonnay, from organically farmed vines just across a creek from their home vineyard in Napa, has an elegant, precise palate of crunchy stone fruit, zippy citrus, vigorous acidity, and long mineral finish. A great choice for raw seafood and lighter summer fare. -AR

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $25.99

Field Recordings. 2011 Jurassic Park Chenin Blanc Santa Ynez (Acacia Barrel)

Field Recordings is one of the new breed of micro batch wineries producing very interesting tiny production wines in California.  This Chenin Blanc comes from 35 year old own-rooted vines planted in the Jurrasic Park vineyard of Santa Ynez Valley. This particular bottling was fermented and aged in Acacia, which gives the wine a hint of a nutty/herbal quality. Certainly this wine would not be confused with a Savennieres, but there are similarities as the Chenin character expresses itself in a rich dry style with lots of waxy minerality. Only forty cases made!  JR

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

Salinia Wine Company 2012 Sun Hawk Farms Louisa Smith Love & Collarbones

We are pleased to have received a single case of this unusual and delicious white wine from Louisa Smith, Kevin Kelley's assistant at Salinia Wine Company. Mendocino's Sun Hawk Vineyard is a biodynamically-farmed field blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise, Cabernet, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Picpoul Blanc, and Muscat Blanc, from which Kelley makes his lush, garriguey, eponymous red blend. Smith's version is composed of juice from Sun Hawk's white varieties, co-fermented with the free run from the reds with 7.5 weeks of skin contact. Piquant and silky, with blood orange, roasted pumpkin seed, subtle ginger, musky white grapefruit, a broad dewy mineral tone, and spicy white tea leaf on the finish. Innovative and alluring. 23 cases produced. -AR

  • Out of Stock
  • 0 in stock
  • $36.99

Dirty and Rowdy 2012 Napa Valley Sémillon Yountville

It’s our second year working with Dirty and Rowdy’s Semillon, and may I say that I like it even more than last year? The wine seems lighter and fresher than last year’s version, and has only 11.7 degrees of alcohol. Even with the low abv, the Semillon has plenty of characteristic richness with an underlying bolt of citrusy acidity. The wine is cloudy and there is sediment, but not as much as some skin contact wines. Just like last year, a concrete egg was employed to increase the lees interaction with 20 percent of the wine, while the bulk was fermented on its skins in used barrels and a steel tank. Harvest was pushed forward about a month from last year to create a taut wine full of lively minerality. With a track record like this we can’t wait to try next year!  JR

 

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

Channing Daughters 2006 North Fork Meditazione

Channing Daughters was paying homage to Friulian winemaking method and tradition long before it became trendy. The 2006 Meditazione consists of 36% Tocai Friulano, 25% Pinot Grigio, 17% Sauvignon Blanc, 10.3% Chardonnay, 9.5% Muscat Ottonel, 1.2% Viognier, 1% Malvasia Bianca from the North Fork of Long Island and is a true orange wine. Iridescent tangerine in the glass with orange rind, clarified butter, baked apple, and cinnamon sticks on the nose; flavors of naval orange flesh, roasted golden beets, crunchy carrots, crisp red apple, spicy wheat beer, and toasted hazelnuts transmit the complexity of the skins. Thin, papery tannins complete the mouthful. The current release of this wine is 2009, so we are pleased to have received a handful of bottles from 2006. Mellow, earthy, and enticing with cheeses, savory pork, game, and poultry. -AR

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

Forlorn Hope 2012 Kirschenmann Vineyard Lodi Pinot Gris

Matthew Rorick makes really good wine. The Pinot Gris from Kirschenmann Vineyard in Lodi (22-yr-old vines abutting century-old dry farmed, head trained Zinfandel, impeccably farmed by Tegan Passalacqua) is tremendously complex and clear. A rosy blood orange color in the glass, with sleek aromas of cherry blossom, rose hips, orange sherbet, almond paste, and watermelon pith. Pure and precise on the palate--the vinous equivalent of freshly pressed red currant juice--with subtle pink grapefruit zest, crisp watermelon flesh, and long, silky rhubarb crisp finish. Seven days of carbonic maceration preceded whole-bunch fermentation, followed by eight months in neutral oak. 47 cases made; one case arrived. -AR

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

Rorick, Matthew 2012 California Valdiguie

Originally mistaken for and labeled as "Napa Gamay" in California, Valdiguie is a variety native to the southwest of France and notable for its naturally moderate alcohol, shapely tannins, and lively spice. We have come to expect complexity and compactness from Rorick's wines and his Valdiguie (from 20-year-old vines in Suisun Valley, just east of Napa) is no exception: aromas of black cherry, red vines, oregano, thyme, black olives, cherry pits, and passionfruit, with a sleek and vibrant palate of choke cherry, red currant, and crunchy berry seeds laced with hibiscus and wild flowers. For the legions who insist that Californian wine is too heavy, too expensive, or both... Your Napa Gamay awaits! -AR

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

Crowley 2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Laurel Hood

Crowley winery is dedicated to recreating classic Burgundian wines in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Dundee Hills. What does this mean? Well for Crowley it means no irrigation, high elevation sites, cool sub-climates, no acidification, neutral oak, and sustainable vineyard work. Everything on the laundry list of wine geek credentials matters deeply, and Crowley is also delicious! The Laurel Hood bottling comes from very old vines in the Chehalem Mountains. We found the wine to have soaring aromatics of raspberry and ripe summer currants with an underlying sense of savory herbs and forest. This is delicious now, and certainly has enough structure to reward some time in the cellar.  JR

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $33.99

Drovers 2011 Willamette Pinot Noir

Is there such a thing as value in Pinot Noir? We’re often skeptical, but Drover’s delivers a deep and complex Willamette Pinot Noir for around twenty dollars. There is no candied new-world fruit, and the alcohol weighs in at a feather-light 12.5%. Classically high-toned with a bit of dusty minerality, this is a must try for any Oregon fan and would provide a delicious change of pace for a Burgundy nut.  JR

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

Farmers Jane 2010 Santa Barbara County Field Red (Mostly Grenache)

Farmers Jane is a collaboration between winemakers Faith Armstrong and Angela Osbourne, who met working their first California harvest and remained friends en route to their own illustrious ventures: Armstrong's Onward Wines, concentrated on crafting exquisite Pinot Noirs from Mendocino County, and Osbourne's A Tribute to Grace, which ushers Santa Barbara Grenache to unprecedentedly elegant destiny. Farmers Jane Field Red is vibrant and textured, with crushed red berry and black cherry fruit, and a whiff of Carignan earth and herbs. 93% Grenache from Watch Hill Vineyard in Los Alamos (Santa Barbara County) and 7% Carignan from Hawkeye Ranch in Redwood Valley (Mendocino County).  357 cases were produced. -AR

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $25.99

AmByth 2011 Paso Robles Bailey Vineyard Zinfandel

Spicy and savory with no added sulphur, AmByth's Zinfandel comes from certified organic, 35-year-old, dry farmed vines in Paso Robles, California. Aromas of fresh figs, damp earth, nutmeg and tobacco; intense but velvety black raspberry and boysenberry fruit on the palate with supple black licorice, sweet smoke, white and pink peppercorn, salty garlic scapes, pretty young pea shoots, and cool vegetal flavors like green cabbage and turnip. Surprising, complex, delicious, and daring. (Planted in the middle of a recent French lineup, AmByth won over a good many Francophile tasters!) -AR

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $39.99

Scholium Project 2004 Napa Valley Hudson Vineyards Scheria Syrah

The vast majority of Scholium Project's wines are sold directly to their mailing list, so it is a great pleasure to come across older releases like this one (which was only made twice -- 2002 and 2004). 100% Syrah from Napa's renowned Hudson Ranch, destemmed and fermented in puncheon with 2 years in neutral oak. According to winemaker Abe Schoener, "Scheria always means that the wine is severe and came from a warmer, drier year. Iseult, for the same block, means that the wine is richer, softer, more seductive." Welcome to Scholium School! -AR

 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $69.99

Porter Creek 2012 Sonoma Rose (Zinfandel/Carignane)

We are super excited to be able to offer Porter Creek’s Rosé for the first time.  The wines of Porter Creek have long exemplified a balance of ripeness and structure from California’s Russian River Valley by using biodynamic principles, and cellar work that seeks purity over oak flavors.  Knowing all of this, it is no surprise that this Rosé of Zinfandel and Carignane is both rich and delicious.  The pale pink color betrays what is actually a fairly dense wine characterized by herbal smokiness and pretty tangerine fruit.  JR

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

Salinia Wine Company 2011 Mendocino Twenty Five Reasons Petillant

Salinia's Kevin Kelley is one of the deepest, most innovative thinkers in California winemaking. 25 Reasons is a frothy, floral, spicy, and mineral petillant natural, made from organically-farmed 45-year-old Sauvignon Blanc from Redwood Valley, Mendocino (with two weeks on the skins). Musky grapefruit, crisp dry pineapple, ginger, jasmine, spearmint leaf, and a squeeze of lime, with the perfect amount of sparkle. Visitors to Kelley's tasting room in Santa Rosa are served 25 Reasons twice (and always in a saucer-shaped coupe): the first glass from the top of the bottle, which is clean, light, minerally, and refreshing—a perfect apéritif! He then gently tips the bottle back and forth to integrate the delicate lees and sediment from the bottom of the bottle, for a second taste that is cloudy, richer, more herbal, musky, and an inspired pairing for pork chops, poultry, and cheese. -AR

 

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $21.99