Wine Club – August 2022
Selva Vins, 2019
Fresh can also mean unique, unexpected, or offbeat, and this wine delivers a serious one-two-punch on those three counts. Veteran winemaker (and T.N.W.C. veteran) Carlos Rodíguez Furthmann from Selva Vins is back with a banger from Mallorca made with the indigenous grape Gorgollasa. There’s something about island wine, it is said, that is unrepeatable in other places. It’s a certain wild earthiness, in this case almost spicy and peppery, that goes way beyond the simpler fruit of the mainland. Plus, Carlos’ vines are nestled in the mountains in the centre of the island. There they benefit from winds and relative altitude to combat the intense sunshine, meaning that the wine is “fresh” in the more literal sense of the word, too: fresh like that perfect breeze at the top of the mountain trail.
La Stoppa, 2018
There’s almost too much to say about Elena Pantaleoni’s historic wine, Ageno–and we don’t say historic lightly. This is one of those rare natural bottlings that has years and years of back catalogue behind it (20 years, to be precise). Vintage after vintage, its dark, spicy, skin-macerated Malvasía di Candia has fascinated us and many others with its wisps of patchouli, bergamot, exotic flower, and a strength of body but lightness of spirit. This is absolutely a cellar bottle if there ever were one. Let’s leave the “fresh” game behind for a second: we actually implore you to keep this bottle a little while longer. One day in the future–this winter, or next, or even further along the line–you’ll need a wine to warm your soul and enrapture your senses, and you’ll pull out this bottle, and it will transcend you.
Poderi Cellario, 2021
The team behind Poderi Cellario knew this wine was fresh when they named it–Atlantide, for the ocean, duh–and they sent it our way at just the right moment. It’s flower petal, peach juice, sparkling Pinot Noir, perfect for Atlantic, Mediterranean, Adriatic and any other marine getaways you may have planned. Two parts acid, one part salt, just a quarter of a part sweet, and, best of all: no parts heat! We seriously think that you and boo could drink three of these over the course of a day and barely even notice. Its freshness is instantaneous, like dipping your toes in the ocean after an hour in the sun. It will relieve any lingering doubts about your will to live through this forsaken heat spell. It will lighten your feet as you walk across the blistering sand. It will, as they say, give you wings. (Metaphorically.)
La Salada, 2021
La Serra is a xarel·lo whose freshness comes not from fruit, nor from acid, but from highlighting the unmistakably vegetal qualities of Catalunya’s premier white grape. It’s a Simon & Garfunkel ballad of a wine–fennel and parsley, (sage, rosemary, and thyme)–crafted by the hands of the eternally humble but niche-famous catalan winemaker Toni Carbó of Celler La Salada. Think fresh like the scent of a balsamwood candle in a dusty beach house. While it may be light in alcohol, it’s surprisingly not-so in mouthfeel, with a voluminous, almost waxy texture that betrays its quiet power. And yes, it is technically an orange, having stuck around with its skins for two weeks, but that’s honestly besides the point. We probably wouldn’t have known that if we weren’t told so. This humble, quiet wine has too much else to say.
Tenuta L’Armonia, 2021
Another special collaboration with good friends, exclusive for T.N.W.C. members! If you were at our birthday party in Milan, you know that this “orange” wine from Tenuta Armonia’s volcanic soils in Vicenza was a huge hit. We only put “orange” in quotations because, although this is a skin-contact blend of the high-acid, sparsely-planted, indigenous venetian grape Durello and the fruit-forward, tropical, hot-climate expression of Chardonnay, it has a splash of the world-class red grape Nebbiolo in there to deepen the colour. Nebbiolo itself is a high-tannin and high-acid grape, which lends itself beautifully to this bottling, adding grip and grit without diminishing the acidity. The resulting wine is aromatic, smooth, and–dare we say it?–fresh, like eating a perfectly ripe nectarine on a shaded bench mid-afternoon.
Celler Els Mecanismes, 2021
Winemaking is not easy, friends. The sheer amount of decisions that must be made after the grapes are harvested is almost unfathomable for those of us who just want to drink the stuff. Thankfully, the team at Mecanismes are young, able, and more importantly, studied. They know full well that where they grow grapes is the hottest and driest region of Catalunya. So, they did! What needed! To be done! Half this Carinyena went directly to the press, and the other half was macerated lightly for a short while with its skins. It’s one of our very favourite winemaking decisions, a tactic for blending rosé-reds that are invariably fresh, like the cranberry juice in a cocktail. Taking something that could otherwise be potent, brightening it up with tartness, and loosening it up with fluidity. Makes winemaking look easy, anyway.
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