Wine Club – December 2022
Vinyologia Canor, 2021
We fell in love with Tor a few months back, and are very excited to bring this enigmatic white to your doorstep for the first time. Juan Tárrega was born in Alicante into a family of painters and winemakers–a tradition he carries on today–and this artistic spirit is carried over into the wine, just as his family has always done. Warm, expressive, and somewhat abstract, Tor can be the first bottle at the family apéro or the last bottle at your friends’ gathering. Its heady moscatel is balanced out by the powerful garnatxa blanca to create a work of art in a bottle, a liquid image of the dry mediterranean vineyard in which he grew up painting. Its power is electric, just like its namesake. We know you will enjoy just as much as we do. Maybe it’ll even inspire you to take up an artistic pursuit for yourself in the new year.
Sylvain Bock, 2021
Sylvain Bock’s Neck is a grenache-syrah blend with a calm spirit and a plump little body. It’s one of those no-thoughts-needed reds that works for any and all parties invited to the holiday dinner. This is precisely because it has a centre-south French, mediterranean-tinged fruit quality and it’s fermented through a well-worked carbonic maceration. Those fancy words just mean to say that it has round, juicy centre and smooth edges: concentrated and dense, but not at all astringent. In this case, the Grenache and the Syrah are vinified separately and then blended according to taste, which helps achieve that “just-right” sensation. Sylvain’s been at it for 10 years on his own, after even more years working in various corners of the world, so we’ll safely chalk it up to expertise on this one.
Ostal Levant , 2021
Nestled in the Sud-Ouest of France, around a town called Cahors, is the ancestral homeland of the grape variety made famous in Argentina: Malbec. Speaking generally, the wines produced in both Argentina and France from this powerful grape of the Cabernet family are coarse and spicy. Speaking more specifically, Louis and Charlotte Pérot of Ostal Levant work against the grain in this respect, destemming each grape by hand and macerating and pressing slowly, with an eye towards refinement, elegance, and purity. If you’re a Malbec drinker, Fioretti will flip a switch for you, and if you’re not, this will convince you that you could be. No sulphur and no fining/filtering round out their wholly atypical approach, for being so close to the capital of French industrial red wine making (we’re looking at you, Bordeaux). A game changer!
Chapi Wines , 2021
Despite being the capital of one of the principal wine producing countries in the world, Madrid itself is not renowned for its wines–until now. There are a couple of newly famous Garnachas from the nearby mountains, but what’s actually fresh and exciting are a series of fun and energetic natural wine projects popping up in and around the cellar of Fabio Bartolomei of Alba Wines, a mentor of sorts for young upstarts in the region. This includes the semi-anonymous collective behind Chapi Wines, which exists, in their words, “thanks to an adventurous hare that leapt off a jar in order to fly”. Mysterious origin story aside, this wine speaks for itself: a bright, high-key natural, lightly sparkling white/red blend of Albillo Real and Garnacha, great for a gathering of friends or a quiet drink between two.
Within the extensive terminology of Prosecco (DOCG Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco, anyone?), Col Fondo refers to a specific style that is, and has always been, much closer to an ethos of natural wine. Most of the world’s industrial prosecco is made using the Charmat method, where the secondary fermentation (the one that makes the bubbles) happens in massive, pressurised steel tanks. Col Fondo, an ancient precursor to the stuff of bottomless brunch mimosas, refers to the secondary fermentation happening inside the bottle (like in Cava or Champagne) and thus leaving all the sediment and lees “Col Fondo” (translation: at the bottom). Generally dry, cloudy, lightly frizzante, and sometimes even sour, these wines are old school natural sparklings. This red one by Zanotto is a great introduction to the style.
Anders Frederik Steen & Anne Bruun Blauert, 2021
Anders & Anne, good friends of T.N.W.C., are once again finding poetry in unlikely places–first in Anders’ garden, as we all know from the book, and now in the name of this new release. It’s a short couplet: It was the first day of summer vacation. I was sixteen years old. It is quietly, profoundly evocative of time, place, and ambiguous memory; it’s an emotional cue, more than a sensory one. It asks us to drink the bottle in those precious moments where we feel newly liberated, or when we are giddy with anticipation. For working wine drinkers of age, the holiday season is the perfect analog to “school’s out for the summer”. The wine in question is a full-bodied pet’ nat’ for rich dinners and heady conversations–and it lives up to the expectation it creates.