THURSDAY NIGHT TASTING 6-8 PM: ORGANIC WINES FROM FRANCE & SICILY WITH VINOTAS SELECTION
Saddle up to our well-air-conditioned tasting bar tonight from 6-8pm to taste wines from France and Sicily with David Sugarman (aka Dr. Sug) from Vinotas Selections. Plus bread from She-Wolf Bakery and cheese from Eastern District!
AZIENDA AGRICOLA PIANOGRILLO 2015 GRILLO SICILY
Located at the southern tip of the island, Azienda Agricola Pianogrillo has been a working farm since before the Middle Ages, when a watchtower built on the high Pianogrillo hill warned of invading Saracens. The current owner, Lorenzo Piccione, follows tradition and respects history by abiding by the most ancient and revered principles of winemaking: biodynamics in the field, hand- harvesting, natural yeasts, minimal intervention and almost no SO2. In addition, he places great value in polyculture, so he grows olive trees to make his own olive oil and plants various trees in the fields to ensure the health of the vineyard. And of course he makes his own cured meats and sausages.
The Pianogrillo Grillo is a gorgeous rendition of this oftentimes abused grape: grown on chalky soils, it is fermented with wild yeasts in stainless steel, unfined, unfiltered and barely sulfured. The wine shows notes of bright citrus, bitter pith, with a medium body with similar aspects as well as Asian pear balanced by quartz-like minerality and a long, lip-smacking finish. $23
AZIENDA MARINO ABATE 2015 PERRICONE SICILY
I love that we’re pouring TWO wines from Sicily tonight. It’s a total coincidence, but wine from Sicily is my mother’s absolute favorite and it happens to be her 75th birthday TODAY. Happy Birthday MOM!!! She and I will be drinking some Sicilian beauties tonight.
This lovely winery located in the rolling hills of Sicily’s West coast, near Marsala, is a 4th generation family farm. The Abate family works 16 hectares (40 acres) on deep clay soils, growing both grapes and grains (and of course olives). Currently, Angelo Abate runs the estate with his sons, Vincenzo, Nicola and Rosella. Everything they do here is organic and done to maintain the quality and sanctity of the land.
Perricone (also known as Pignatello) is a grape that’s native to Western Sicily and used to make full-bodied, dark colored wines. Marino Abate’s is organically grown, hand-harvested, and wild-yeast fermented in stainless steel before being aged in neutral barrels. This dark beauty is lengthy and spicy and rich but with a surprising amount of freshness that begs you to drink another sip every time. A real pleasure. $30
DOMAINE VINCENT FLEITH 2016 SYLVANER ALSACE FRANCE
Domaine Vincent Fleith’s history goes back to 1661(!), when their ancestor Antoine Fleith began working the vines. Vincent took over in 1996, working on what is now 9 hectares (22 acres) of mountainous vineyards that encompass 4 terroirs.
The domaine has been certified Biodynamic since 2008, and began working naturally back in 1994. The local flora and fauna are in exquisite balance now, with wildflowers growing between the rows to attract beneficial bugs. Everything here is done by hand. Wild yeasts are allowed to ferment on their own, little to no oak is used, and no other manipulations are allowed to interfere with the wine-making process. Purity and quality are the key words.
The Domaine Vincent Fleith Sylvaner is a gorgeously light and crisp expression of the grape. It is bright and refreshing with a long clean finish. Some floral and dry honey notes. Perfect for hot and humid days like today! $23
PURO 2017 MALBEC FRANCE
This staff-favorite value comes from Château De Gaudou, a 17th century château located about an hour from the city of Cahors. Winemaker Fabrice Durou is making magic by capturing the beauty of French Malbec and putting it in the bottle for $12! We loved the value of this wine so much that we actually put it on the shelf in 2 different places. France, where it belongs, but also Argentina for all the Malbec lovers out there…
The Puro Malbec comes from the domaine’s youngest vines: 40+ year old Malbec grown on steep rocky hillsides covered in clay and gravel. No chemicals are used in the field, grapes are hand-harvested, native yeast fermented in stainless and cement tanks, then bottled unfined and slightly filtered with a drop of SO2 for stability.
The wine exhibits dark yet bright notes of blue and red fruit. Medium-bodied with an earthy but clean finish. Totally worth buying a case of this stuff if you’re an every-day-red-wine-kinda-person. $12 ($10.80/bottle with case discount)