winemaker kissing bottle upon its release

  1. Regnier Antoine Sunier Montmerond Gamay, $38
  2. Domaine Saint-Germain 2023 Persan, $35
  3. Stolpman Vineyards 2021 Uni White (Roussanne / Chardonnay), $32
  4. Desire Lines 2021 “Winds of Change” Syrah, CA, $34
  5. Carol Shelton 2019 “Wireless” Old Vine Carignane, $34
  6. Dom Vincent Wengier 2022 AC Chablis, $32

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1. Regnier Antoine Sunier Montmerond Gamay (France) $38

You’ve likely heard of Beaujolais from one of the 10 designated villages (“Cru Beaujolais” or Cru Beau for short)? This is even more refined – a Beaujolais form a single vineyard, the Montmerond vineyard!

Relative to the ‘Village’ versions of Beujolais, this wine, from 60+ year-old vines in the Montmerond vineyard, brings an extra layer of complexity and weight to your glass. Deep and rich with a well-delineated mineral and structural framework, Montmerond has been farmed organically for many years. To this wine it lends great tension and longevity.

The fruit is beguiling and delicious from the outset, but given time it will exhibit impressive notes of truffle, leather, dusty earth and plums. With a bit of time under its belt, I’d feel confident putting this wine up against many fine Burgundies.

2. Domaine Saint-Germain 2023 Persan (France, Savoie) $35

The Wine

This ancient red grape was once typical of the Savoie region, but declined in plantings until it disappeared almost entirely for decades. Despite its recent resurgence, less than 70 acres are being farmed today! And to say we’re excited to share this wine is an understatement.

The 2022 vintage is worth buying in its own right, an epic vintage, and it’s also the first release since the young-and-uber-talented Louise Saint-Germain took over cellar duties from her father. GO LOUISE! If you order just one wine from us this month, please-please-please let it be this one. You will not regret it!

In the glass, there’s a purity of black mulberry fruit and unbridled mineral power. But this ’22 vintage balances all that power with a thirst-quenching juicy/berry freshness, and a modest 12% ABV.

It never ceases to blow my mind how a wine vinified with zero sulfite additions like this, can be so chiseled and perfect, so free of any “off” aromas or rough edges. This ’22 Persan is like biting into a perfectly ripe black plum or eating a skin-staining handful of fresh huckleberries in the forest.

Every sip is so vivid, and so evocative of fond memories. And an epic bottle like this silences any debate about “natural wine”. Of the world’s few, precious acres of Persan vineyards, this vineyard “Princens” is the oldest Persan vineyard known, and it’s also the source for all new plantings of the variety. So, anytime you drink Persan from anywhere in the world, you can rest assured its lineage descends directly from this wine and vineyard.

The Winery

Domaine Saint-Germain is located in the Bauges regional park at the foot of the steep Bauges Mountains, facing the Alps. The domaine has around 25 acres of vineyards on the south-facing slopes of the village, Saint-Pierre d´Albigny. From a family of vine growers, brothers Etienne and Raphaël Saint-Germain established their domaine in 1999. The two decided to dedicate themselves to building up a traditional Savoyard family vineyard and domaine. Recently, the helm was passed to the next generation, Louis, and while it seemed difficult to believe, the wines have gotten even better.

Like her father and uncle before her, Louise strives to produce honest and expressive wines. In the vineyards, they avoid the use of herbicides, practice careful selection of young vineyard parcels and grape varieties,  limit yields and hand harvest. In the winery, they work traditionally, using minimum intervention between harvest and bottling.  And while the Savoie abounds with good to great white wines, Saint Germain is producing some of the region’s most compelling!

3. Stolpman Vineyards 2021 Uni White (Roussanne / Chardonnay

The Wine

Roussanne might be the richest, most decadent white grape in the world. With a ripe fruit intensity and a viscous mid-palate, the wine delivers a hedonistic “wow” factor not often found in white wines. But because Roussanne spends months ripening on the vine, slowly developing its signature flavor concentration, the tart acidity of the grape often dwindles by harvest time, leaving the wine a bit flabby. Not so, here!

Stolpman added a bit of zesty Chardonnay to lend a structured backbone that refreshes the palate after Roussanne’s up-front wave of flavor ebbs. The wine delivers both intensity and the refrained elegance of a fine wine. The slightly hazy “nigori style” wine was bottled without stripping anything away, meaning it saw no fining, filtration, or other settling.

Apart from the inviting flavor profile – orange blossom, honeysuckle, Meyer lemon – we are obsessed with the wine’s texture. Bound within the creaminess lay a world of jasmine, tropical guava, pear and marzipan. Like an unfiltered Sake, Uni White’s textures highlight the delicate, pristine notes of raw fish, even inspiring the label image and the wine’s name – Uni. But the wine also has a bold side that invites pairing with more intense proteins, even red meats!

12% ABV.

The Winery

Over 20 years ago, Tom Stolpman discovered one of the greatest viticultural sites on earth. Hidden in the hills of California’s Central Coast, on a rare Limestone outcropping & unobstructed from the Pacific Ocean wind, this unique land is perfect for Syrah and Roussanne grapes – grapes that thrive in the South of France as well.

The third generation has a firm hand on the helm now and they’ve established Stolpman Vineyards as a leader in conscious farming, dry farming, & sustainable employment practices (housing and healthcare and livable wages – some employees have worked for the Stolpmans their entire careers!)

In the winery, native fermentation & minimal manipulation are guiding principles. Dedicated to sensible farming & winemaking, Stolpmans believe they can create vibrant, site-specific wines, with a focus unique to Ballard Canyon AVA, California.

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4. Desire Lines 2021 “Winds of Change” Syrah, CA

The Wine

The 2021 Syrah is dominated by grapes from Santa Barbara County (68%) with the remainder from the North Coast. One percent of the wine is Viognier co-fermented with the Syrah, a common practice in the Northern Rhone for centuries, to lift the aromatcs and aid in color extraction from the Syrah skins.

In addition, a portion of the clsters were fermented whole, also to the benefit of the wine’s aromatics. Aging occurred in neutral 500L barrels without racking, leaving the resulting wine slightly hazy – a winemaking decision that allows a wine’s texture to express itself, adding a layer of pleasurable complexity.

The 2021 Syrah Winds of Change is fabulous. Silky and perfumed, this mid-weight Syrah is compelling right out of the glass. Scents of lavender, spice, mint and licorice open first, followed by a burst of blue/purplish Syrah fruit. Deceptive in its mid-weight feel, the 2021 is bursting with flavor and freshness. Drink it over the next decade or so.” – By Antonio Galloni on April 2023 (94+ points)

The Winery

What is a Desire Line? You might call them social trails, cow paths, pirate paths, kemonomichi (beast trails), chemins de l’âne (donkey paths), Olifantenpad (elephant trails) – each represents the natural course of evolution, of user experience over design, a cumulative creation of collective intelligence. Desire lines are unofficial routes, formed over time as the people traversing a space reject the designated paths in favor of a path all their own.

Desire Lines Wine Co. is the path chosen by Cody and Emily Rasmussen, makers of small amounts of wine from amazing vineyards all over the Golden Coast in their adopted home state of California.

Desire Lines is one of my most exciting discoveries this year. Cody Rasmussen is the Assistant Winemaker at Bedrock. He makes these wines with his wife, Emily, sourcing fruit from a pretty enviable collection of vineyards. The wines, highly expressive of both variety and place, are well worth checking out.” Antonio Galloni, April 2020

5. Carol Shelton 2019 “Wireless” Old Vine Carignane

The Wine

Back to the Future – Carol crafted wine from these 70+ year old Carignane vines during her long stint at Windsor Vineyards and now they have  “come back home to mama!” The wine’s moniker, “Wireless”, came from the vineyard’s head-trained vines which use no trellis wires to support growth!


Wow — big & smoky with a caramel oakiness on a deep razzberry fruit core. Creamy on the palate, with a bit of brown spices (nutmeg/cinnamon), with good depth of fruit and a lively acidity that keeps the wine from being jammy. Lingering razzelberry-chocolate on the finish. Great with pork tenderloin, and (surprisingly) with strawberry salad and even grilled salmon!

A blend of 97% Old Vine Carignane, 2% Alicante Bouschet, 1% Zinfandel, the grapes are 95% Oat Valley Vineyard, (Alexander Valley just north of Cloverdale) 70+ year old vines, sustainably dry-farmed, Head-trained beauties. The juice was fermented in tank, spending a total of 13 days on skins (including 3 days of cold soak pre-fermentation, to lock in the grape’s higher-toned aromatics). It then spent 20 months in used American oak barrels – 75% neutral, 25% 2nd-fill.

The Winerywinemaker kissing bottle upon its release

Carol Shelton is widely cited as the most awarded winemaker in the United States. She has won countless medals for her wines and has been honored as Winemaker of the Year five times, as of this writing*. In her years of working with some of the industry’s top winemakers and wineries, Carol continues to win awards and accolades for premium Zinfandels produced under her own brand, Carol Shelton Wines, which she launched on a shoestring and a prayer in 2000.

*Whoops, also named “Winemaker of the Year for 2021” by Women’s International Wine Competition.


6. Dom Vincent Wengier 2022 AC Chablis

The Wine

From the south of Chablis appellation, grown on hillsides with slopes ranging from 10% to a treacherous 40%, the grapes grew in clay-limestone soil from the Kimmeridgian period. These soils are rich in this type of limestone, typified by very fine but easily visible seashells – part of what gives Chablis its great reputation.

Drink now through 2029. Serve chilled to a temperature between 54 and 58 F (note, your refrigerator is between 32 and 40!

The Winery

Vincent Wengier is a fourth-generation Chablis winemaker who, along with his wife, Sophie, has produced wine under his name since 2018. Domaine Vincent Wengier was first established in 1950 and is located in the southwest region of the appellation, in the village of Préhy, two hours southeast of Paris.

The Wengiers manage 65 acres of vines, spread over four appellations. They hold HVE (high environmental value) certification for their successful programs that promote diversity in the flora and fauna within the vineyard. They also became certified organic in 2023.


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