Wine Club – October 2023

L’elephant Blanc
Leah Angles, 2022

Leah Angles is a new discovery for us, and one of the most exciting ones we’ve made in recent months. The team first met Leah and her wines through different sources, and separately we all came to the same conclusion: this a woman with undeniable savoir-faire, who is crafting wine wise beyond its years. In one way, this is a typical, almost classic-leaning AOC Collioure wine: rich and deep, mature in alcohol and tannins, with a long-term point of view. On the other hand, it still possesses a lightness of spirit and a bright, profiled edge that is more characteristic of a modern natural style. The balance between these two worlds is key to understanding Leah’s wines, and it is, in our humble opinion, what places her amongst those at the forefront of the new artisanal wine vanguard. The ethos of equilibrium. Brava!

Amb Pells
Batussa, 2022
Garnatxa Blanca

Batussa is a design-forward wine project by a group of winemaker and designer friends from our hometown of Barcelona. In a way, although it is an agricultural product, it is a very city-forward project: birthed to and meant for Barcelona’s best and hottest natural wine watering holes. Batussa has a singular, highly respectable goal: making quality natural-leaning wine that is accessible, attractive, and damn tasty. And lucky for us, they hit every time. This is the newest Batussa launch; so new, you are amongst the first to try it, dear member. It’s a skin-contact garnacha blanca with a dreamscape label and a dreamscape vibe to boot, perfect for sharing with friends or for stashing away for yourself. It’s also destemmed, to make it slightly less grippy than it otherwise would be with two full weeks of skin contact. Orange at its peak

Arnaud Combier, 2020

It’s been so long – some would even argue too long – since we’ve included a good, old fashioned Beaujolais in the box. This Eastern French region has been the modern homeland of natural winemaking since the 1970s, and its meaty-but-juicy carbonic maceration reds from local grape Gamay are the basic reference point for plenty of natural red wines that have come since. Arnaud Combier was born into this tradition. The son of a winemaking family in Burgundy, he studied viticulture and worked around the greater Burgundy region until returning his grandfather’s vines in 1998. Apart from working his own domaine, he crafts a series of freer-spirited natural leaning wines alongside TNWC mainstay François de Nicolay, and this Chiroubles is one of them. It’s Gamay at its best, from the most floral and heady of the Beaujolais crus.

Domaine Padié , 2022
Grenache Blanc, Maccabeu, Vermentino

The label is inspired by Massive Attack’s debut Blue Lines, an album that broke genre and maintains a fresh sound to this day, all of 32 years later. The name of the wine is an illogical equation that somehow feels right anyway. What should be a straightforward bottle is much more complex than it looks, and so it all feels right. Jean-Philippe Padié crafts this wine by blending parcels of Grenache Blanc, Macabeu, and Vermentino, from multiple soil types and multiple sun-orientations. But, just like its name, the result is more than the sum of its parts. Fresh and crisp, but round and full at the same time. This experienced winemaker, with a couple decades making natural wine in his adopted hometown under the belt, clearly has a respect for the complexities of life – and it shows

Maria & Alex Koppitsch, 2022
Gruner Veltiner, Weissburgunder, Sauvignon blanc

The hard work of the vineyard and the precarity of living vintage to vintage often turns hopeful young winemakers weather-worn quickly, but not the Koppitsch family. Ask anyone – Maria and Alex Koppitsch are some of the most agreeable winemakers out there. They bring an infectious joy to winemaking that makes the whole endeavour feel fun again. And for them, that’s kind of the point. Homok belongs to a series called “Fun Wines”. According to them: it’s “supposed to make you happy.” A simple sentiment, sure. But honestly, all the tasting, all the pairing, all the fanfare and collectionism–all that seriousness that surrounds the concept of natural wine sometimes tends to obscure the simple fact that they are meant to be enjoyed. And this juicy, fruity, aromatic party white is thoroughly enjoyable. Have fun!

Nessu, 2022

We mean this in the most loving way possible: Jesús and Maitane from Celler Nessu are some of the wacky wild children of Catalan natural wines. What makes their wines unique is that they come at it with a truly no-holds-barred, no-rules-followed sensibility – experimental, curious, and open-minded. Longtime TNWC members will remember last year’s Besstia, a bubbly red (and not rosé red… red red). This year, we fell in love with Hurra, a celebratory white made of Macabeu. It’s bright and persistent, the result of a couple new toys in Nessu’s arsenal as the project grows. It’s a Hurra in the sense of, Yes! Or Eureka! Experimentation pays off. Cleaner than last year’s wines, but just as fun-loving. Wacky in the best way possible. We expect more and more from this project as it grows16


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