THURSDAY NIGHT TASTING 6-8PM:NICK AFRICANO POURING JOSÉ PASTOR SELECTIONS
José Pastor Selections at the Lions Club Bar!
You might not have noticed but New York City right now is the best place to drink wine ever! And José Pastor is a good example of why; bringing us wines that are made without destroying people or the planet, from vines that grow in harmony with the ecosystem and geology around them. It’s true everyone’s been talking about “wines of place” forever but still, we get closer and closer. And that’s why we tend toward wines that come and go quickly. They’re real agricultural products made in small batches. José Pastor is a great example of that. And our pal Nick (also the founder and host of En Rama, the world’s greatest and only pop-up Sherry bar) will be behind the bar tonight pouring some truly amazing wines from Spain & one from Portugal – also amazing, naturally. There’s deep red from Lisboa, there’s killer Godello from Valdeorras, there’s one of the world’s finest Cava, and there’s a still white from one of the Cava grapes, Xarel-lo.
PLUS WINE, BREAD, CHEESE, and VINYL!
Júlia Bernet, Cava Brut Nature Ingenius (NV)
In the small Catalan town of Subirats lives a wine grower by the name of Xavier Bernet. Here at his winery, named for his daughter Julia, he produces Cava with poise and precision. These are pure wines indicative of terroir and varietal, part of a small yet growing movement to help restore the reputation of Cava as fine wine, associated with the CORPINNAT movement away from commercial winemaking. After separate vinification of “Xarel·lo” and “Chardonnay” grapes, the cuvee is made up of 80% of “Xarel·lo” and 20% of Chardonnay grapes, then elaborated in the traditional method. Drink this anytime, with or without anything. Organic, no sulfites added, minimum 18 months in bottle. $20
Joan Rubio, Essencial Xarel-lo
Xarel-lo has been mostly known here as a Cava grape, but still wines have always been made and more and more they make their way to us. This one is – how shall we say? – particularly dope! Rubio was making wine at Recaredo, another favorite Cava house, for years. He’s only been making wine under his own name since 2015. Joan has recovered the old facilities where his grandparents made wine from the grapes on their small estate and practices biodynamic agriculture, with minimal tilling and leaving vegetation cover in place. In the winery everything works by gravity, draining and not pressing, with as little intervention as possible, thereby obtaining wines that are sincere and highly authentic. Essencial is a natural white from three small vineyards planted in chalky soils, a fluid wine that is fresh and crisp with an intense floral nose. The palate is silky with a very long finish. Organic, biodynamic. $20
Adega Regional de Colares, Chão Rijo Lisboa Tinto 2015
Vivid cherry and leather Tempranillo from near Lisbon. Colares is in a beautiful area right on the ocean, a choice place for city dwellers to create weekend homes. For the past fifty or so years, vineyards have been replaced by beach houses, chipping away at the Colares DO (a mere 12 acres remain). Because of the sandy soils, Colares was able to escape phylloxera and is the only region in Portugal where American rootstock didn’t need to be extensively used. Planting the vines is painstaking; you dig into the sand until you hit clay, which can be a far as nine feet down. The combination of the work involved with maintaining the vineyards and the value of the real estate has threatened the vineyards with extinction. Thankfully, Adega Regional de Colares is putting enormous energy into keeping Colares alive. The wines are impeccably balanced with a sandy texture and vivid flavors that could only come from the influence of the Atlantic. Lutte Raisonée. $20
Vina Somoza, Valdeorras Godello Neno 2015
Vibrant acidity, fresh stone fruit, striking mineralogy and overall balance and beauty make this our pick for Godello of the year! Viña Somoza was founded in 2001 by Victor Fernández with the goal of recovering vineyards in Valdorras to preserve Galician traditions of winemaking. They have made numerous technical strides in the cellar over the years, especially with the recent hiring of Javier García Alonso in 2015. The majority of their plantings are Godello, however, Javier has also been working with some red varietals since he came aboard, such as Mencía, Garnacha Tintorera, and the nearly forgotten Brancellao. He currently spends a day or two each week in Galicia working with the Somoza wines; the rest of his week is spent up in the Sierra de Gredos mountain range, tending to his remote Albillo and Garnacha vines for his other project, 4 Monos. The Neno is 100% Godello from several parcels with varied soils, elevations and expositions. Organic. $25