Touraine Rouge, Francois Chidaine 2018 $18 (Loire, France) This is a blend of Cot (aka Malbec), Cab Franc and Pineau d'Aunis from biodynamic vineyards in Montlouis, hand harvested and wild fermented partial whole cluster in tanks, then pressed off to age in old barrel before getting bottled unfiltered with minimal sulfur. Medium bodied with dark fruit, but juicy and light on it's feet with a lipsmacking finish.
Chinon "Chais St. Laurent", Maison Foucher 2019 $17 (Loire, France) 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from a few practicing organic plots in Chinon, hand harvested, fermented in steel, then aged for 8 months in old barrel. Perfectly medium bodied with spiced dark cherries. Reference point Cab Franc.
Gaillac Rouge "Croix d'Azal", Domaine Philemon 2019 $16 (Southwest, France) 100% Braucol (aka Fer Servadou) from a single vineyard planted in 2003, farmed organically, hand harvested and wild fermented, then bottled unfiltered with minimal sulfur. Medium bodied and rustic, in the best possible way with brambly red fruit and earth.
Fronton Negrette "On L'Appelle", Vignobles Arbeau 2018 $15 (Southwest, France) 100% Negrette, a grape native to southwest France, specifically in the area just north of Toulouse. This one is made by the Arbeau family, who have been making wine here since the '30s and Negrette makes up about 50% of their production. The farming is uncertified organic and all wines are made with native yeast and bottled unfiltered. This is perfectly medium bodied with notes dark blue fruit, black licorice and spice with a lipsmacking finish. Drink with anything that goes with fries.
Cotes Catalanes Rouge, Ferrer-Ribiere 2017 $18 (Roussillon, France) 50/50 Carignan and Grenache from 80+ year old biodynamic vineyards just north of the Spanish border. All hand harvested and wild fermented, partial whole cluster carbonic in ceramic eggs, then bottled unfiltered with minimal sulfur. Full bodied with silky dark fruit and spice.
Ull de Llebre "Cantarelus", Cavas Bolet 2019 $16 (Catalonia, Spain) Speaking of Catalan Tempranillo, this one comes from organic plots in Penedes grown by one of our favorite Cava producers, all hand harvested and wild fermented in steel, then 3 months in barrel before getting bottled unfiltered with minimal sulfur added. Earthy cherries and crushed flowers.
Colheita Tinto, Casa de Saima 2016 $16 (Bairrada, Portugal) Mostly Baga with a little Touriga Nacional and Merlot, all from biodynamic vines, hand harvested and foot stomped in old stone lagares, wild fermented then aged in old barrel for a year before bottling unfiltered with minimal sulfur. Wild dark fruit and and earthy baking spice.
Vinho Tinto "Deu Bode", Bojo do Luar 2019 $18 (Portugal) This is a field blend of about 70% red grapes and 30% white, including Vinhao, Bastardo, Espadeiro, Borracal, Arinto, Loureiro, etc. All fermented with chestnut flowers and aged in steel tank, then bottled unfiltered with just a touch of SO2. Light on it's feet and definitely in the chillable/chuggable category with fleshy, juicy red fruit and a lip-smacking finish.
Uva Attack, Galgo Wines 2019 $20 (Catalonia, Spain) 60% Trepat, 20% Garnacha and 20% Syrah and made by Joseph Foraster in conjunction with Galgo Wines and Ezequiel Sanchez Mateos. Hand harvested, cold pre-fermentation and soft press followed by spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel with only indigenous yeast. 3 months in French barrels and then bottles unfined and unfiltered. 75 cases made and 50 cases exported to NY.
Mas Donis Negre, Celler de Capcanes 2019 $17 (Catalonia, Spain) 30% Ull de Llebre (aka Tempranillo), 25% Syrah, 25% Merlot, 20% Garnacha all hand harvested from organic vines in Montsant, hand harvested and wild fermented, then aged all in steel and bottled lightly filtered. Full bodied with dark berry fruit and baking spice.
Bobal, La Traca 2018 $13 (Valencia, Spain) 91% Bobal, 9% Tempranillo from a single 60 year old vineyard of bush trained vines that have never seen chemicals, just west of Valencia. All hand harvested and wild fermented, then aged in a combination of steel and huge old barrels before getting bottled unfiltered with minimal sulfur. On the lighter side of medium with nice juicy red plum and cherry fruit.
Jumilla "Altos de la Hoya", Bodegas Olivares 2019 $15 (Murcia, Spain) 92% Monastrell (aka Mourvedre), 8% Garnacha all from a high elevation (800+m) large single plot of ungrafted old vines, the oldest of which were planted in 1872 (!). The vineyard is dry farmed- no irrigation or chemicals, then hand harvested and the grapes are wild fermented, destemmed and aged in a combination of different sized old french barrels. Full bodied with spicy dark fruit.