Wine Club – September 2022
Judith Beck, 2020
September means the long-awaited return of the red wine to our daily drinking canon, and we are excited to share with you one of our perennial favourites for that purpose. Judith Beck’s Zweigelt is a fun, approachable, and dare we say, inclusive bottle, meaning it can please anyone and everyone. You, your parent, your coworkers and classmates, and even that person you’ve had your eye on all summer. No need to worry if they’re a seasoned natural wine drinker or not. They won’t find it too acidic nor too funky–that’s because it isn’t! This Austrian gem has a great spice- and earth-factor to meld its round, supple body with its light, bright spirit. We just hope your new partner has the same kind of sex appeal.
|Nothing says festivity more than sparkling wine. From that satisfying sound of the moment you pop the cork, to the dancing of the CO2 on your tongue, anything worth celebrating is worth a bottle of bubbles. So it’s especially great when a natural, accessible option comes into our hands to pass on to you. Viamic’s Bombolla is an easygoing rosé version that seems intended for celebrating the little things in life. It’s not overly serious; it’s not stuffy; it’s just a bright, dry, fruit-forward bottling that screams in fun and fresh. Bring it to your back-to-school gathering; bring it to a colleague’s birthday party; bring it to your post-vacation meet-up with friends. Actually, it doesn’t really matter where you bring it, but we do recommend drinking it in good company and good spirit. That’s what bubbles, and life, are for.
Vinya Ferrer, 2021
The Catalan Highlands (the Terra Alta, in local parlance) are a wondrously underrated place to make wine. The high-ish altitude (for a mediterranean landscape, anyway) helps the grapes grown there ripen more slowly and more evenly, to a point where the winemakers don’t necessarily have to harvest mega-early in order to maintain that elusive acidity: the one that keeps wines with a higher alcohol content drinkable. In simpler terms, the “curse” of natural wines made in the Mediterranean is just a little bit less potent here. Case in point: Nar i Tornar Poket. (Translation: To go and come back, a little bit). Mostly white grapes, blended not ungenerously with a potent red, make for a ripe, rich, lingonberry-like clarete that still has a fresh, forward flow. A little bit red, a little bit white, it’s a wine to go and come back to.
|We dreamt of Greece this summer: blue sea, blue sky, blue bathing suit, white sand, white buildings, and white wine. Thinking wishfully, we were drawn to (or did we manifest?) this salty but aromatic bottling from the longstanding Greek organic and biodynamic grapefarming Tatsis family. In truth, the vines aren’t exactly seaside in this case–they’re from the central-northern hills of Greek Macedonia–but Malagouzia is the varietal equivalent of eating an overripe peach while an iodized sea breeze brushes past your bare torso. So give this one to us! It’s just such a pleasant wine, with a marked regional character (something we love about Greek wines in general). So maybe we’re being too nostalgic for something that never was, but this wine definitely took us there.
Andi Weigand, 2021
T.N.W.C. mainstay Andi Weigand is in hot demand these days. His very smashable, super direct, and impressively stable wines have put him on lists all around the international map of independent wine establishments, which is a huge success for him, of course. (Congratulations!) Under normal circumstances, it would be a pity for us, as this particular wine–his Amphora white, a soft-exterior but crunchy-on-the-inside flower bomb of a low-alcohol wine–is highly allocated. Meaning: everybody gets a little and nobody gets enough. Thankfully, though, we’ve been on-board with his second-generation winemaking project for a while now, and we were able to scratch enough bottles off him to bring them to your doorstep, dear Member. It’s a bottle to be savoured now, and properly, because it’s unlikely you’ll find it anywhere else!
|There are few people who understand the grandeur of bubbly wine other than Ton Mata of Recaredo fame. Les Voranes, a bottling from his personal project of traditional-method sparkling wine, is a masterclass in that grandeur. Champagne is great, but the brand overtakes its actual value. Corpinnat, the break-off group of Cava makers working with a commitment to organic farming and quality artisanship, is THE great alternative, especially if we’re talking in metrics of quality and price. The mediterranean climate brings herbs and structure that Champagne can only achieve through maximal intervention (adding sugar and yeasts). But Els Bufadors use natural grape must for the second fermentation, and the purity of the process shines through. Drink now or keep, to see how the bubbles integrate and the complexity deepens over time.