Ortrugo Frizzante, Bulli NV $18 (Emilia-Romagna) Old school farmer fizz made from 100% Ortrugo, which is a grape that really only grows in western Emilia. This one comes from the Bulli family in Colli Piacentini, just south of Milan and not far from the border of Piedmont. The Ortrugo is from organic 10-50 year old vines planted on limestone. It's made in the Ancestral Method, so this is a Pet-Nat, undisgorged and no sulfur added. Dry and crisp with ripe yellow orchard fruit, savory wild herbs and zippy minerality with big, easy bubbles.
Forli Bianco, Vini Marta Valpiani 2018 $14 (Emilia-Romagna)Staying in the same region, but moving east to the Romagna side, this is 100% Albana from the hills around the town of Forli, just south of Ravenna on the Adriatic coast. This is made by Marta Valpiani and her daughter Elisa Mazzavillani from biodynamic vines planted between 1967 and 1987, hand harvested, fermented with native yeast and aged in concrete for 6 months, then bottled unfiltered with minimal sulfur added. Round and ripe with pears and wildflower with a juicy finish.
Gavi "Regaldina", Terre di Mate 2017 $22 (Piedmont) Stefania Carrea is hands down our favorite Gavi producer. This is 100% Cortese from biodynamic vineyards in southeastern Piedmont (not too far from Bulli above), hand harvested, fermented with native yeast and made all in steel, then bottled unfiltered with just a little sulfur. This isn't a fully orange wine, but there is some texture to it with notes of apple skin and candied citrus zest with zippy acidity and a medium bodied frame. The perfect fall white.
Landes "Les Sables Fauves", Laballe '18 $12 (France) This cheap and cheerful gem comes from Armagnac country southeast of Bordeaux and is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard, Gros Manseng, and Chardonnay from biodynamic vineyards. Fresh, bright and easy with nice ripe citrus and stone fruit.
Vinho Verde "Tez", Bojo do Lujar 2019 $23 (Portugal) This isn't the fizzy stuff we have all come to associate Vinho Verde with. This is a fresh, mineral driven skin contact white made from a blend of 50% Avesso and 50% Arinto that spends three months on skins and is fermented in stainless steel and aged in concrete, then bottled unfiltered. The wine is fermented with chestnut flowers, which act as a natural stabilizer as a substitute for sulfur. While this is an orange wine, it's really fresh and light on it's feet with bright minerality and citrus, balanced by aromatic orchard fruit and nice texture from the skin contact, but not overly grippy or intense. Total crowd pleaser.
Vinho Tinto "Deu Bode", Bojo do Lujar 2019 $18 (Portugal) This is a field blend of about 70% red grapes and 30% white, including Vinhao, Bastardo, Espadeiro, Borracal, Arinto, Loureiro, etc. Again, all fermented with chestnut flowers and aged in steel tank, then bottled unfiltered with just a touch of SO2. This one is definitely in the chillable/chuggable category with bright, juicy red fruit and a lip-smacking finish.
Cotes de Millau, Seigneurs de Peyreviel 2018 $11 (France)This wine has been on our shelves since we opened, and for good reason. This is a blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Gamay, 15% Cab Sauv, 5% Fer Servadou from a tiny co-op of 11 farmers in Millau, northwest of Montpellier, who grow organically and just make this one perfect country wine. Medium bodied and perfectly rustic with dark cherry fruit, wild herbs and dusty earthy notes. Bistro wine.
Nero d'Avola, Ala Nera 2018 $14 (Sicily)This is 90% Nero d'Avola and the other 10% is a blend of Frappato and Nerello Mascalese, all from Organic vineyards in Alcamo, northern Sicily near Marsala, hand harvested, fermented with native yeast and aged all in steel. Juicy, spiced dark fruit with a plush, velvety finish.
Montepulciano "Monty Says Glou Glou", Fontefico 2018 $19 (Abruzzo) Apparently Glou Glou is how turkeys say Gobble Gobble in Italian. This is Montepulciano d'Abruzzo from organic vineyards in Vasto, right on the Adriatic coast, made by Nicola and Emanuele Altieri using partial carbonic maceration all in steel, bottled unfiltered with just a touch of sulfur to produce this juicy, chuggable red. Throw it in the fridge and order pizza.
Sangiovese "Baiocco", Antonelli 2019 $13 (Umbria) Another old favorite, this is organic Sangiovese from the rugged hills of Montefalco, hand harvested, fermented with native yeast and aged all in steel. Fresh red cherry fruit with flinty minerality and nice firm structure.
Barbera del Monferrato, Cascina Zerbetta 2017 $18 (Piedmont) Biodynamic Barbera from a tiny husband and wife farm in Monferrato, considered to be the birthplace of this grape. Hand harvested, fermented with native yeast and aged all in steel and bottled unfiltered with minimal sulfur. Full bodied with dark red plum and berry fruit with a juicy, silky finish.
Rosso "Giandon", Il Farneto 2019 $15 (Emilia-Romagna) Back to Emilia, this time in the hills between Parma and Reggio Emilia, land of Parmiggiano and Prosciutto, where Marco Bertoni farms biodynamic vineyards of old native grapes. This is a blend of Marzemino, Malbo Gentile and Lambrusco grapes like Salamino and Maestri, all hand harvested, fermented with native yeast and made in steel. Medium bodied with wild berries and mossy forest floor notes with a lean, bright finish.