August 2021 Bargain Club


A bottle of each:
des Gryphées Beaujolais cuvée des balmes (practicing organic)
Atalyas de Golban Ribera del Duero (Organic)
Shebang! (Sustainable)



Xarel·lo is a white grape variety of Spanish origin specially grown in Catalonia. With Macabeu and Parellada, is one of the three traditional varieties used to make the sparkling wine Cava. It also makes a bracingly refreshing table wine, as evidenced in this staff and store favorite.  

Aged completely in stainless steel, Bohigas Xarel·lo is a light to medium-bodied wine, with crisp, fresh acidity and hints of citrus oil and green apple skins on the nose. 

Made using organically farmed grapes, grown at high elevations, the juice macerates for a few hours in contact with the skins prior to being fermented in stainless steel vats. The wine sees no aging in tank before bottling, resulting in a fresh and clean wine with bright flavors.

Since the 13th century, the same family has been farming the land around Fermi Bohigas in the northern Penedes region of Catalunya at the foot of the majestic Monserrat range, about an hour northwest of Barcelona outside the town of Odena in the Anoia river valley. Jordi (father) and Maria (daughter) Casanovas are the 35th and 36th generation living on the property since the time of the Moorish occupation when the neighboring hillside served as the final outpost for the Catalans. The 650 acre estate is split between two properties, “Can Maciá” and “Can Batllevell”. Olive trees, wild garrigue and 260 acres of grapes are grown on the two properties and the Bohigas wines come exclusively from the Can Maciá section.

The farming here is organic, and the northern and higher altitude location make for a perfect micro-climate than tends to be cooler than the rest of the region. The old farm house adjoins a century old winery which sits atop cave cellars that are still actively used for the production of sparkling Cava, which the family has been producing from only their own vineyards since 1929. The vinifications are done in modern, stainless steel vats with perfect control of temperature and cleanliness while the cellars are still used for hand riddling of the Cava bottles.

The commitment to quality viticulture extends into the cellar where they produce balanced, mineral-driven wines that can only come from the Jura. The wines always exhibit a focused purity and intensity of flavor which maintain the cool climate typicity of this mountainous region.



Bodkin Sauvignon Blanc The Victor’s Spoils (Organic)

Bodkin Wines was founded by Chris Christensen, an Iowa native, in 2011. His passion for aromatic wines and winemaking led him to create America’s first Sauvignon Blanc with bubbles. In 2013, Andrew Chambers, an Oregon native, joined the brand and they purchased 24 tons and made 1,100 cases of their award-winning Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. Since that time, Bodkin Wines has produced over 15 varietals of wine, eleven of which were scored at 90 points or higher by Wine Enthusiast. They are consistently growing, year after year, but are determined to keep their presence small and unique. Bodkin Wines is still 100% owned by both Chris and Andrew, two guys living and working hard in Sonoma County.

Winemaker Chris Christensen was named “Winemaker to Watch” by the SF Chronicle in 2017, and has been lauded nationally for his work with Sauvignon Blanc. (We’ll be bringing in several of his sparkling SBs soon). He’s one of the few African American winemakers working today, and we are very happy to support him and his family by bringing in the wine.

Winery notes: “Light and approachable, this high flavor-low alcohol wine is perfect to drink all day long and on into the party hour. Pineapple-guava with accents of tangerines and nectarines dominate the flavors and aromas. This wine pairs well with live music, sunny days, fresh cuisine, cool dudes and hot babes-so it pairs with pretty much the best things in life. The winemaker calls that winning and to the victor go the spoils. Grip and Sip!”

90 points, Wine Enthusiast: This is a delightfully bright, light and refreshing wine, grassy and herbal within a context of textured grapefruit and lime. It’s lovely and complex with great persistence of acidity.

Pair with lighter foods, like fish, salads, or appetizers; or try as a refreshing aperitivo. The mouth-watering acidity of this wine makes it a perfect foil for fattier dishes, so have fun!


Javier Rousseau Pais Rosé (Organic and Natural)

For over 250 years, the Rousseau family has been farming this same estate, home to 150+ year old vineyards. With a true love of the land and an irrepressible desire to tell its story, Javier Rousseau (who trained professionally as a chef before turning his focus to winemaking) produces wines that absolutely sing.  Bursting with old-vine character, vibrancy, and fresh acidity, they are the natural companions to a good meal.

Pais, or Mission Variety, came to the Americas as raisins onboard Spanish ships in the 16oo’s. Arriving in the port of Concepción, vineyards were planted from the raisin seeds, initially at least, to make wine for Catholic Mass. Phylloxera never came to Chile, and many of the roots of these age-old vineyards have survived since colonial times. Today they make a lighter, fresher kind of red with a good dash of history.

This bottling is comprised of juice from dry-farmed, 100-year-old plus head-trained bush vines  (pie franco) planted in clay-loam soils at 400 feet above sea level.   Hand-harvested, native yeast spontaneous fermentation, aged in very old casks for six months before bottling and release.  Nearly magenta in color and laced with that tart cranberry and watermelon character that País shows in spades, it’s invigorating.

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des Gryphées Beaujolais, Cuvée des Balmes (ORGANIC)

You can’t ignore the “gryphées,” or seashell fossils, that crunch underfoot as you walk through Pierre Durdilly’s vineyards in Moulin-à-Vent, as if the ocean were just over the next gentle hill. It’s this unique terroir, with its mineral complexity, that sets the family’s wines apart from other more rustic bottles from the region. How this terroir is expressed in their supple, complex Moulin-à-Vent is exactly what inspired us the first time we tasted at this modest family cellar. While our history with the Durdilly family goes back at least two decades, today we welcome the family’s third winemaking generation, looking to take the estate in new, exciting directions. Guillaume, Pierre Durdilly’s son, is a keen talent and an eager learner. He’s also inspired his father to expand the domaine, acquiring vineyards in other Beaujolais cru villages in an attempt to help preserve the region’s many outstanding older-vine vineyards (many of which have been abandoned by winemakers retiring or sadly, giving up the craft entirely). With families like the Durdillys looking to preserve the “patrimoine” of Beaujolais, the region’s history and traditions are secure!

The father-son team of Pierre and Guillaume Durdilly tend their older vines,  adhering to organic treatments whenever possible.  Vineyards in general are found on very steep, granite-rich hillsides, the classic terroir of Beaujolais. The family likes to plant beneficial herbs between vineyard rows, to both prevent erosion and combat pests. Grapes are harvested by hand and fermented (usually with semi-carbonic maceration, a traditional practice in Beaujolais) in either cement or stainless steel tanks. Wines are often aged in either large, older foudre or tank, depending on the cru, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

In local patois, a “balmes” is a slope. This steeply graded vineyard was planted nearly 100 years ago, its ancient vines producing a handful of bunches each vintage. But what a treasure in Beaujolais! Excellent terroir (a mix of limestone, clay and the classic “pierres dorees,” the mineral-rich, golden chalk that characterizes much of Beaujolais) plus very old vines places this anything-but-simple Beaujolais Rouge in cru territory. Simply a treasure in great Gamay!



Atalyas de Golban Ribera del Duero (Organic)

Atalayas de Golbán has young vineyards with 30 years of age as well as old vineyards that can reach up to 100 years of age, and the aim is to combine concentration and strength without sacrificing liveliness.  The intention of this wine is to express the virtues of the Tinto Fino variety, which are elegance, finesse and a long ageing period. The Tinto Fino is a classic clone of the Tempranillo variety grown in Ribera del Duero. This is a great red wine aged following the times of a Ribera del Duero. It is a delicious wine.

This is a great wine from Ribera del Duero, complete and ripe. Intense, elegant and lively. Red and black cherry in color, with a fresh nose reminiscent of stone fruit. As it develops, balsamic tones with hints of liquorice appear. In mouth it is impressive and balanced, with a long and tasty step of mouth, appearing again the fruit already more mature. The wood brings seriousness and complexity. For the good harmony of its components, makes us foresee a perfect maturation in the coming years.

94 points, Wines and Spirits  The team at Dominio de Atauta developed this project based at a separate facility in town, working with fruit from local growers in Soria. Half of their crianza comes from these high-elevation sites, planted in sandy soils at altitudes up to 3,200 feet where the vines are 70 to 80 years old. The other half is from vineyards in Burgos, mostly La Horra and Roa, where 30-year-old vines grow in clay. Winemaker Jaime Suárez says the only difference between this wine and La Celestina Crianza (also recommended in the June issue) is that the better grape selection goes to La Celestina. And yet, this wine blew me away. A week later, in the company of the top wines of our Ribera del Duero tastings, it was still holding its own—not complex, like what turned out to be several Vega-Sicilia wines, but fresh and delicious. I can’t say I wasn’t bemused (confused… embarrassed…) to find out this is a $19 wine. Its time in French oak barrels (20 percent new) points up the luxurious texture, a silken richness to frame the layers of red and black-skinned fruit—the acidity of fresh currants and the warm sunshine of blackberries. It’s a savory tempranillo, all of a piece, and that integration sustains it…if you don’t immediately finish the bottle with a dinner of roast lamb. Astonishing.


15APR2019 bottles ShebangWeb

Shebang! (Sustainable)

Sherman and Hooker Shebang is made by Bedrock Wine Company and is a wine crafted from a blend of declassified Syrah, Petite Syrah, and Zinfandel from Bedrock Wine Co., along with selected bulk lots from other small producers.  Shebang is a project by Morgan Twain-Peterson, the son of Ravenswood founder Joel Peterson. Morgan grew up in the world of wine in California. In addition to this project, Morgan also produces tiny amounts of old vine, heirloom red and white blends, Pinot Noir, and Syrah under the Bedrock Wine Co. label.  Also noteworthy: Morgan passed the prestigious Master of Wine and has become one of the less than thirty American Masters of Wine!

Sherman & Hooker is named after the two Civil War generals who founded Bedrock Vineyard in 1854. It is a blend of declassified Syrah, Petite Syrah, Zinfandel and friends from Bedrock Wine Co., along with selected bulk lots from other small producers.  All of the lots, whether from Morgan or from friends, were aged in French oak, and saw no chips, staves, or other gobbledy-gook. Morgan chose to make the wine a multi-vintage, multi-varietal blend in order to maintain quality at a terrific price point. This wine provides delicious drinkability and is sure to be a JUGernaut of a wine!…

Mostly Zinfandel blended with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouchet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a touch of whites for aromatics. Sourced from several old vine vineyards throughout Sonoma County.

Fermented using native yeasts in stainless steel, and aged in a combination of stainless steel (85%) and French oak (15%)

The informing impulse behind Shebang is to create a wine that is long on deliciousness and low on pretense. We do this by vinifying the wines with the same care and love as the higher end Bedrock wines- picking at respectable sugar levels (not too high!), using only native yeast fermentations, and a trace of good French oak to round things out

It’s a wine that is meant to be the perfect complement to pizza, pasta, burgers, or whatever is on the table.  It’s real wine that’s not manufactured or manipulated. The result is a serious bottle of wine with integrity that drinks WAY beyond its price point!  

“Morgan Twain-Peterson is one of the most impressive young winemakers I have ever met, and it’s not just because he grew up the son of a famous producer. Making wines at this level requires talent, passion, hard work, and a great palate, none of which is easily inherited. Along with Mike Officer of Carlisle, Twain-Peterson is on a mission to rediscover what he calls California’s old-vine “heritage” vineyards. These historic sites planted by California’s early immigrants, often home to unknown field blends, remain some of the most fascinating vineyards in California. Officer and Twain-Peterson were tired of seeing these old sites gobbled up by industrial-scale wineries, so they decided to do something about it. Bravo.” Antonio Galloni



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