Wine Club – July 2021
Punta Flecha, 2020
You’d think the theme of this month’s box is wine traditions passed down through generations, but it isn’t; it’s just a coincidence. The folks behind Punta de Flecha took over their family’s vineyards back in 2009 and have been making impressive, honest Garnacha ever since. They’re situated in the last wine stronghold of Serranillos del Valle in the south of Madrid and they work the land—originally planted in 1940—with utmost respect, treating it with fermentation and biodynamic plant decoctions. In the cellar, they pace themselves with the moon cycle, resulting in wines with an especially untarnished connection to their little place in the world. This 2020 La Vinoleta is 100% Garnacha and it does not disappoint. Its elaboration starts with 30% of its grapes being grape-treaded and 70% being destemmed. From there, fermentation takes place in clay amphoras using yeast from their own vineyard and maturation in American oak barrels for nine months. It’s floral and expressive, which is very appropriate considering its lovely pink colour.
Celler 9+, 2016
Wine is a family affair for Moisès Virgili i Rovira, who grew up running around his grandparents’ vineyards in the Nou de Gaià region of Tarragona. He’s deeply rooted in his place of origin and for 20 years now has been focusing on how his sulphite-free wines can best express the Mediterannean. His grapes are always organic and carefully cared for by their own surroundings, kept ripe by the sun, cool by the sea breeze, and solid by the sandy loam. This guy we’ve picked for you is 100% Sumoi. Grapes are stored in stainless steel tanks where they macerate for seven days before they’re pressed and stored in 300-litre amphoras for an average of three months. The result is a sturdy wine with good acidity and perceivable notes of cherries, herbs, blackcurrant, pepper, and grape skins. It sounds intense, but it’s actually very nice and transporting, a really good red for a late summer evening.
Cascina Roera, 2017
Claudio Rosso and Piero Nebiolo, the people behind Cascina Roera, seem to have been destined to make wine from the crib. It’s their names, sure, but also their entire lives. They grow their grapes in the heart of Barbera d’Asti (in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy) and have made an art of the symbiotic relationship they’re able to maintain between soil and plants. Chardonnay sometimes gets a bad rap, perhaps because of the Alanis Morissette song, but 1996 is long past and this wine is anything but ironic. The grapes are harvested by hand during the coolest hours of the day in early September and are then crushed and destemmed, maintaining contact with the must for seven days. They’re pressed with a small vertical press and matured in small stainless steel tanks. Although 2017 was a challenging year in the region, this wine came out exceptional, buttery, with balanced acidity and citric, green apple notes that make it great on its own as an aperitif or paired with many of your favourite summer foods.
Anders Frederik Steen & Anne Bruun Blauert, 2020
If you try to sort away and clean up and somehow dig yourself into the wine, things will come out. When I taste, I don’t try and move away from what the winemaker has done to the wine. I try to taste myself away from what’s obvious and head into the unknown. It’s the same as reading a newspaper: anyone can read the headlines and create an opinion about what’s going on. But the text says something different, and between the lines there’s something else entirely. My childhood memories of smelling Bordeaux wine are like, ‘OK, welcome to the sawmill’. It’s often full-on barrels, Merlot, fruit, and barriques. But the thing is, that’s just not what the wine is. That’s part of the wine, maybe 80% of it in the worst cases. But the interesting part lies in the background … I constantly look for these hidden words in a wine.
Anders Frederik Steen & Anne Bruun Blauert, 2019
When I start to dissect the different flavours of a wine, I look for a balance between the most essential components: saltiness/bitterness, oxidation, and acidity. In my head I picture these three flavour components as the primary branches in a tepee, and this creates a triangle, a pyramid with only three visual sides but four corners in total: three corners that form the base and one that points upwards. The base represents the basic flavours of the wine—it could be fruit, a certain richness, or floral notes—and if the three branches of saltiness/bitterness, oxidation, and acidity are strong enough and placed in a way that allows them to carry an equal amount of weight (like a tepee), then the wine, for me, has a balanced structure and will be strong enough to support all the other flavours.
Panda & Swan, 2020
Fun fact: Jan Matthias Klein runs Staffelter Hof, one of the oldest wineries in the world. Other fun fact: Jas Swan is one of the freshest wine makers in the game, and names Gilles Azzoni (what up, June boxes?) and Jan himself as the two people who most inspire her. This German Gem is their first baby together and it is as timeless and round as the traditions that inspired it. This Foo Foo is a red blend made in the Moselle with grapes sent over by friends at Maison Crochet. It is 97% Gamay and 3% Pinot Noir (added at pressing). Maceration is semi-carbonic and the grapes then do their thing in stainless steel and old wooden barrels. Jan himself describes it as light, fun, and fruity, but it’s also got some rich notes of almond, clove, liquorice and wooden furniture. There are only 800 bottles of this dynamic-duo collaboration, so make sure to enjoy it as much as possible.
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