la capranera Falanghina (organic)
desire lines evanghelo red blend
tatomer white wine blend ‘hinter der mauer’ (Organic)
Field Recordings Hock (Sustainable, vegan)
pinot project french Rosé of pinot noir (Sustainable)
Coltorenzio Santa Magdalener(Organic)
Brunely Cairanne (Organic)
ch. bourdieu bordeaux (Sustainable)
Fableist Albariño (Organic)
Red Car Rosé of Pinot Noir (Organic)
Cruse Monkey Jacket Red (Organic)
Etxea Cabernet franc (sustainable but with natural practices)
La Capranera falanghina (practicing Organic)
San Salvatore was founded in 1988 by Giuseppe Pagano. The estate is located in the middle of the Cilento National Park, near Paestum, in the Campania region of southern Italy. The area is known for its ancient Greek ruins, rich biodiversity, and over 2000 years of grape cultivation. Of the estate’s 250 acres, the majority is devoted to vegetable farming and woodlands. Vineyards comprise 60 acres and there are 25 acres of olive groves.
The estate is certified organic and uses biodynamic methods. The water buffalo that roam the property are the sole source of fertilizer used on the vines, along with milk for mozzarella production. Solar powers the winery.
La Capranera is Pagano’s passion project of producing low intervention, organic wine from Cilento’s indigenous grape varieties at an accessible price point. “La Capranera, translates to “black goat” in Italian, is named for the breed of goats – cilentana nera – that graze in the national park near where the grapes for these wines are grown. Once on the verge of becoming extinct, the goats have had a resurgence in population.” Philosophy: “Modern wines with a brilliant, easy-to-drink and strongly territorial bouquet that, like the name of the animal, they are in their ease in every situation.”
Responding to Campania’s recent wine renaissance, La Capranera focuses on organic wines from indigenous grape varieties priced modestly enough that the greatest percentage of wine enthusiasts can experience these ancient varieties and the character of this place. The vines are sustainably farmed with organic methods, and the resulting wines offer a pronounced youthful vibrancy that sets them apart.
Now internationally celebrated, the wines of Campania are produced from three ancient, local grape varieties – Fiano, Falanghina, and Aglianico – harvested from vineyards in the Capaccio-Paestum area of Campania in the province of Salerno, in the middle of the Cilento National Park. The Tyrrhenian Sea is located just a few miles away, and that proximity has a moderating effect on the region’s climate, producing excellent wines of exceptional ripeness and balance.
Indigenous to Campania, Falanghina, or Falanghina Greco, is known for its quite outsized character. Many believe that––along with Aglianico––the grape may have been a basis for the Falernum wine so revered in ancient Roman texts. The grapes for this bottling were grown on 16-year-old vines planted to clay and chalk soils with south-southwest exposure about 450 feet above sea level. The vineyard site in Capaccio-Paestum is in the province of Salerno just a few miles from the Tyrrhenian Sea. tropical notes and accents of banana; a splendid complement to fresh cheeses (Mozzarella di Bufala), and an excellent foil to shellfish and seafood
Desire Lines Red Wine, Evangelho Vineyard (Sustainable, following low intervention practices)
Desire Lines is the project of Cody and Emily Rasmussen, who made California their home in 2011, three months after graduating college and two months after getting married. They made the first wine of our very own in 2014, and so began Desire Lines Wine Co. Cody started working for Morgan Twain Peterson’s Bedrock Winery with zero wine experience; he’s now their Assistant Winemaker. The wines are all made at Bedrock.
Approximately halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, you’ll find the Evangelho vineyard sitting unassumingly amidst mixed farmland and PG&E power lines, its ancient, ungrafted, dry-farmed vines embedded in sandy soil at the intersection of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers.
Portuguese settlers planted these vines 130 years ago; it is one of the last ungrafted vineyards in California, among the oldest, and the only one left in this area. You cannot recreate or mimic sites like this – there are only perhaps two or three vineyards like this left in the U.S.A. and once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Desire Lines’s 2018 Evangelho Vineyard Red is a blend of 90% Carignan and 10% Mourvèdre, showing delicate, lifted aromas of bing cherry, candied floral notes, blood orange, and potpourri. Decant it for at least two hours to release its full bouquet. Elegant, understated, and no less than a piece of California vineyard history. Absolutely incredible.
Winery Notes: “Evangelho Red Wine is a blend of roughly 95% Carignan and 5% Mourvèdre. The wine was fermented with 30% whole cluster under a submerged cap and aged for ten months in neutral 400L barrels. The carignan from Evangelho gives a juicy wine that smells of flowers and red fruits, with a soft tannin profile (a product of the sandy soils) and vibrant acidity. The inclusion of cluster adds spice to the nose, while the small portion of carbonic maceration and mourvèdre add flesh to the palate. The winemaking style is inspired by our love for the great cru Beaujolais of France (and in our book, that’s Clos de la Roilette’s Cuvée Tardive and the old-vine single parcels of Château Thivin): wines that are a joy to drink while young and age gracefully as well.”
San Francisco Chronicle: “Like many wines from this vineyard, Desire Lines’ 2019 Evangelho red is driven by fresh, bright fruit flavors — pomegranate and raspberry shine through here. The extreme winds at the vineyard, coming off the nearby San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers, are largely responsible for that profile. Cedar and bitter, spicy star anise fill out a frame that’s girded by velvety tannins. It’s not a small wine; this would delight a lover of big Zinfandels. But it’s tightly focused, and the 2019 is amazingly approachable at this youthful stage.”
tatomer white wine blend ‘hinter der mauer’ (Organic)
“Hinter der Mauer” is an Austrian-German term that Graham Tatomer learned while working harvest in Austria at Emmerich Knoll which roughly translates to “your back against the wall”. The room between the walls of the terraces of the vineyard and the vines he would work on was very tight and this feeling of having your back against the wall is something very familiar during the COVID-19 pandemic. This wine is an homage to his time in Austria working these vineyards and is expressed through these diverse sites throughout the Central Coast of California.
SF Chronicle’s Wine of The Week – From one of California’s leading Austrian-inspired Riesling producers–which, granted, is a small but dedicated pool of talent–Graham Tatomer has made this new white blend inspired by the white wines of Austria. There’s 80% Grüner Veltliner plus 20% dry Riesling in the cuveé. The vineyard sources are Kick-on Ranch, John Sebastiano, Paragon, Oliver’s, and La Estancia. Try this Austrian-inspired wine as a refreshment before dinner, or with roast chicken, or fish.
pinot project french Rosé of pinot noir (Sustainable)
The Pinot Project Rosé wines are proprietary wines made for Skurnik Imports and at present features wine from France and Italy. These are bright, fun wines, made for easy consumption at parties, picnics, on the porch, etc. The French entry is made from Pinot Noir grapes, sourced from the Languedoc, home to some of the finest rosés in the world. The grapes are gently pressed and the juice remains on the skins just long enough to give the wine its pale pink hue. The rosé is vinified in stainless steel to preserve its mineral core and juicy freshness.
La Capranera Aglianico (Organic)
One of my favorite places on the planet is the Süd Tirol, or Alto Adige as it’s called in the rest of Italy. Long part of the Austo-Hungarian empire (ceded to Italy after World War One), this alpine region is surrounded on three sides by the stunning Dolomites (part of the Southern Limestone Alps).
It’s this mountain range that help to produce the soils that make Alto Adige so special. The broad spectrum of soils range from volcanic porphyry (in Merano, Bolzano, and Kaltern) to weathered primitive rock soils composed of quartz and mica (the Isarco Valley) to limestone and dolomite (the Bassa Atesina) to sandy marl (south of Kurtatsch), offering just the right underlayer to each grape variety.
One of the false myths in the wine world is that wines made from cooperatives is insipid, not noteworthy juice, only fit for the bulk wine market. While cooperative wineries in France have, until the last 20 years or so, been responsible for perpetuating this myth, cooperatives in the Alto Adige (or Südtirol in German, the first language of many inhabitants here) have always made wines of great quality, finesse and terroir.
Perhaps it’s because of because of the contrast between the warm summers and cold winters of vineyards grafted on to the Dolomite foothills. With its generally cool nights even in the height of summer, Alto Adige is able to produce some very focused flavors and a degree of finesse. In the more northern part of the appellation, farms tend to be smaller, and it is often economically infeasable for for small farmers to produce and market wine.
Colterenzio was formed in 1960, when 28 farmers formed a cooperative in order to gain their independence from the wine merchants of the time. These rebels named the newly-founded cooperative after their homeland, the small hamlet of Schreckbichl, (Colterenzio in Italian).
Unlike the French co-ops which by paying by the ton, encouraged farmers to overcrop and bring lower quality fruit to the winery, Colerenzio works with farmers to encourage quality over quantity. Now over 300 farmer families are members of the co-op, located south of Bolzano in the Adige river valley. 12 varieties cultivated. 45% of production is red wine, 55% white wine. 300 days of sunshine a year.
Jancis Robinson: “The two neighboring wine regions of Trentino (the lower, more southerly part of the Adige valley around the town of Trento) and the upper Adige valley produce Italy’s most alpine wines in a region dominated by exceptionally competent co-operatives or cantine. Those of Bolzano, Caldaro, Colterenzio, Cortaccia, San Michele Appiano, Terlano and Termeno are notably quality-minded.”
Alto Adige wines tend to be brighter, less reliant on oak, focused and clean, and these value priced wines from Colterenzio are benchmarks of those descriptors.
These are all value priced wines, that hopefully will find their way regularly into your homes and into your glasses.
Made from co-fermented Schiava (aka Vernatsch) (95%) and Lagrein grown in stony, glacial sedimentary soils and aged in larger older wooden casks, this offers bright wild berry and cassis flavors backed by black olive and licorice.
Brunely Cairanne Côtes du Rhône Villages – Organic
Domaine Brunely 2018 is an earthy Cairanne with lush raspberry, dried wild herbs, and spicy flavors on the palate. Produced from Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan wine grapes from vines averaging 10 to 45 years of age. Aged up to 12 months in concrete tanks
Domaine Brunely has been in the Carichon family for three generations and is one of more larger and well-known producers in Vacqueyras, which is the house specialty. Total holdings include 198 acres of vines spread between Vacqueyras, Cairanne, Ventoux, Gigondas, and Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Stylistically, winemaking veers towards the traditional spectrum here, where no wood is used other than in their Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Farming is natural. The average age of the vines is 30-years old, with very stony soils consisting of garrigues silico-limestone.
90 points, Parker: “A blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 15% Carignan and 5% Cinsault, Brunely‘s 2018 Cairanne starts off earthy, but give it a few minutes in the glass, and raspberry fruit emerges, alongside hints of garrigue and subtle spice elements. Medium to full-bodied, it’s supple and silky in texture, with a mouthwatering finish. It’s fun, easy-drinking stuff, without being simple or one-dimensional. 90 points.” –
Ch. Bourdieu BLAYE Côtes de Bordeaux
Chateau Bourdieu Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux offers a beautiful red ruby color deep and intense. It exhales red fruits and blackcurrant aromas, completed by notes of redcurrant. The mouthfeel is round and juicy, with smooth, well-integrated tannins that offer a nice structure and a long finish.
The judges at Decanter’s 2020 World Wine Awards evaluated 8,642 red wines this year, and Château Bourdieu’s 2019 Cotes de Bordeaux was one of just five Bordeaux to score 97 points or higher (it was in good company alongside Bellevue Cardon Pauillac and Haut-Breton Margaux). Yes, there is plenty to smile about in this blend of 87% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc: “Flamboyant and deep, with ample, lush and fresh forest fruits, bramble and cassis, with cascading sweet spice swiftly following. A super, brooding wine that will shine brighter with time. 97 points.” – Decanter World Wine Awards.
A little shy at the beginning, it opens up to fantastic black raspberry and warm plum, with accents of savory leather, tobacco leaf, allspice, cedar, and crushed violet. By the time the last spicy and herbal notes finish lingering on your palate, your head will be awash in the glory of Bordeaux, and the bargain price will be the last thing on your mind.
Château Bourdieu dates back to the 15th century, but its modern history goes back to proprietor Luc Schweitzer’s youth: On his way to boarding school, he’d pass by and gaze at the estate, and as time went on, he became more and more determined that someday he’d own the gorgeous château. Over the years, Luc—who came from a family of Algerian grape growers—gained an even deeper appreciation for the limestone-rich terroir in Bourdieu’s sub-region of Blaye, and finally, in 1993, he realized his goal by purchasing the estate.
Ever since he took over at Bourdieu, Luc has had his mind on improvement. At the end of the first harvest, he had a new cellar built and expanded the winery’s quality by fine-tuning the winemaking with stainless steel tanks and temperature control. His efforts have not gone unnoticed: Just last year, Forbes singled Bourdieu out for making outstanding value wines that capture power “while still respecting the seduction of subtlety.”
FABLEIST ALBARIÑO – ORGANIC
Between Fableist, Wonderwall, Neverland, Fiction and Field Recordings, we carry more wines made by Andrew Jones than any other winemaker – over 20 SKUs and growing. Why? His wines are varietally correct, reflect a sense of place, follow sustainable or organic farming practices and punch well above their weight class in the value department.
The Fableist project is co-owned by Sans Liege and Groundwork owner winemaker Curt Schalchlin. All of the Fableist wines are named after Æsop Fables, and the Albariño bottling is no exception – being named after The Fox and The Stork.
100% Albariño from two Central Coast vineyards: Morrow View and Riverbench. Stainless steel fermentation and élévage. Not to be confused with cool weather Spanish or Portuguese versions, this wine is definitely Californian, but still steers well away from being blowsy or overbearing.
Look for stone fruit, citrusy notes of limón and grapefruit, and a blast of honeysuckle on the midpalate, all enshrined in a wine that is brimming with mouth-watering acidity. Perfect as a porch pounder, aperitif, or accompanying fish and other lighter fare, this wine should be an arrow in your regular wine choice quiver.
Red car Rose of Pinot Noir – Organic
Winery notes: 2020 Rose of Pinot Noir began with fruit hand-harvested during the coolness of the night, from Rosé vineyards at an average of 21 Brix. We immediately whole cluster press this cold fruit, separating the juice & skins in a classic Vin Gris style resulting in a pale, salmon color.
We ferment our Rose juice in a combination of neutral French Oak barrels and stainless steel, culminating in a bone-dry wine backed with racy acidity and 12.4% alcohol. This wine was produced using fruit grown in the Green Valley AVA and Sebastopol Hills – 54% and 46%, respectively. The Hervey Vineyard in Green Valley is a small, family-owned & operated site that has been the heartbeat of our Rose for many vintages. The Ramondo Vineyard to the South lies within Sebastopol Hills and provides us the opportunity to produce distinct wines from multiple clonal selections that we farm specifically for our Rosé.
As with each of our wines, we feel that our Rosé is truly made in the vineyard. We take a great deal of pride in the fact that each vintage we produce here is comprised of natural acid & minimal intervention, resulting in a wine that is a true reflection of our vineyards, the vintage, and our style.
When growers started planting Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley, everyone said it was crazy and now winegrowers are pushing the limits on the far West of the Sonoma Coast and achieving spectacular results at elevations and locations that were thought maniacal. Through new eyes, a desirable low fertility soil managed impeccably with sustainable, organic, and biodynamic style farming practices are producing world-class grapes which makes finding incredible Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from this region a wonderful adventure. Red Car started in a Beverly Hills garage by two Hollywood types. The company soon caught the cool weather coastal bug and decamped for Sonoma County, where they have become one of the defining producers of the cool coastal Pinot Noir movement.
Etxea 2017 Pickberry Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Sonoma Mountain (Sustainable with Organic and Natural Practices)
This Cabernet Franc is sourced from the rolling Northern hills of Sonoma Mountain. At 700 ft. elevation, the hillside location helps protect from spring frosts and allows for cool, foggy nights. The vineyard’s unique split trellising helps spread out the crop and maintain small clusters.
Our Cabernet Franc grapes were hand-harvested on October 2, 2017, de-stemmed, and fermented on the skins for 23 days with native yeast. The wine was then gently pressed and racked into neutral oak barrels to age for nearly two years. This Cabernet Franc has notes of rhubarb, fig, and wild berries. A classic bistro wine with a lingering finish!
95 points, Wine Enthusiast: This is a new partnership between neighbors Luisa Bonachea, a trademark lawyer, and winemaker Ryan Pass, whose day job is with Farella Vineyard (formerly known as Failla). Named for the Basque word for house, this red is incredibly impressive – a light take on a classic variety from a classic mountain site. Herbal, earthy, and floral, it sings on the palate in crisp red fruit, vibrantly fresh texture, and lasting elegance.
Cruse Monkey Jacket red – Organic
Cruse Wine Co. is a small winery in Petaluma dedicated to making uniquely Californian wine for your table.
Monkey Jacket is 53% Valdiguié, 14% Carignan, 14% Red Field Blend, 8% Petite Sirah, 8% Tannat, 3% St. Laurent, 1% Pinot Noir from Mendocino, Solano, Napa Valley, Carneros, and the Sierra Foothills. The synergy of these diverse terroirs showcases the beauty of Northern California, while still remaining accessible.
Approximately 20% of the blend was fermented whole cluster. All of the grapes were fermented in concrete and then pressed into older French oak barrels, a few puncheons, concrete tanks, and a small amount of stainless steel with an eye on the transparency of fruit. Malolactic occurred naturally with the wine receiving a light sulfur addition immediately before bottling.
The palate is late summer in California, sunny and dry, with concentrated dried fruit. The finish is clean and ends with raspberry and rhubarb. The wine showcases the synergy of the diverse terroirs that make up Northern California while still remaining accessible enough to be a daily drinker. Bright, crunchy acidity, refreshing finish with just a bit of simple tannins that cleanse. If a red wine can be thirst-quenching then this is it. . 12.5% Alcohol