Farmstead Classic Wine Club – February Allocations
Choose at least two:
Cochon Pinot Blanc (Sustainable)
Rouges Queues Haute Côtes de Beaune (Organic, Biodynamic, Natural)
Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico (Organic, following Natural vinification techniques)
Pax Vicar Red Blend (Natural)
Cochon Pinot Blanc: Subtle aromas of crushed white flowers, stone fruit, golden apple Asian pear followed by hints of lemon zest and a stony minerality. This elegant wine is medium-bodied and crisp with a slightly rounded mouthfeel. Displaying a deft balance of texture as well as a lifted acidity, bright fruit combined with steely, chalky coolness. Shows tremendous zest, purity and focused energy with a refreshing balance.
This vineyard is part of the original Graton Road Ranch in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley purchased by Warren Dutton in 1964. Originally planted to Riesling and French Colombard this spot is particularly suited for cool climate white varieties. The cool coastal air comes in to the valley and lingers with the morning fog creating a long growing season for complex flavor development and fresh natural acidity in the fruit. An Alsatian Clone of Pinot Blanc was selected to replace the French Colombard and planted in 2003. The Shop Block is a small parcel next to the Dutton’s shop for vineyard equipment and vehicles long prized for its complex Chardonnay. Planted in the Valleys classic and prized deep, but well drained Goldridge sandy loam soils the Pinot Blanc vines grow healthy and harmonious, dry farmed and seemingly a perfect match for this famous site.
The 2019 vintage began with a late spring and transitioned in to a warm summer producing ideal conditions at harvest for fully ripe, complex Pinot Blanc grapes. The pristine fruit from this block was hand picked and brought in to the winery in the early morning hours in mid- September. The grapes were gently whole cluster pressed to a stainless steel tank for primary fermentation. A slow, cold fermentation utilizing a special Alsatian yeast isolate took place over a thirty+ day period after which the wine was transferred to another stainless steel tank for 4 months of additional aging to preserve the wines purity and freshness. We allow the wine to undergo partial malolactic fermentation in tank to create a more rounded mouthfeel and balance the wines natural acidity without taking away from its crispness and minerality.
Dom. Rouge-Queues Haute Côtes de Beaune When we brought in a few cases of this organic Burg stunner early last year, we were blown away by the quality, focus and yumminess from this relatively new producer. We tried to reorder from our supplier, and poof, would’ntchaknow it was all gone! Apparently other fine wine shops in the area also liked the wines. So, to prevent another such disaster, we preordered a small boatload of wines from this producer, and are presenting it for the first time in our Classic Club.
The wines are aged for 11-12 months in used barrel and may be bottled without SO2 if the conditions allow. To us, these wines embody everything that we hope to represent: excellent farming, little to no intervention in the cellar, with the resulting wines tasting pure and alive, but also possessing a sense of place and character of the vintage.
At the southernmost end of the Côte d’Or is the relatively new (1989) appellation of Maranges, composed of the villages Cheilly, Dezize, and Sampigny. Formerly considered a source of structured blending wine for punching up Côtes-du-Beaune Villages wines, Maranges now produces some affordable Burgundy of great character.
Located in the town of Sampigny-lès-Maranges, Isabelle and Jean-Yves Vantey’s Domaine des Rouges Queues produces lovely wines which start with old vines and great farming. The Vanteys have worked the vines without chemicals since 1998 and made the transition to biodynamics from 2008.
The vines date from 1960 and 1973 in the premier cru La Fussière and average 60 years old in the village Maranges. Their cellar work is non-interventionist; the fermentation is spontaneous in stainless and open-top wooden fermenters. The aging is in neutral oak and sulfur is used sparingly. The wines display succulent fruit, great freshness, and have detailed minerality. These are sturdy, honest, satisfying wines which should age nicely.
This bottling is a blend of two vineyards, one two acres at the top of a steep slope above the town of Change, the other barely an acre in size in Sampigny les Maranges, Change was planted in 1963, while Sampigny was planted in 2000. Vinification: Partly destemmed, partly whole bunches macerated on the skins for 12 days on oak tanks. After gentle pressing, the wine is put in old barriques to continue fermentation and then aged for 12 months before bottling.
Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico “Despite being located in one of the very best areas in Chianti Classico and boasting a superb track record, Rocca di Montegrossi remains one of the most under-the-radar estates in Chianti Classico, and Italy, for that matter. Proprietor Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi crafts deep, powerful wines that capture the essence of Monti, a sub-zone of Gaiole that has long been prized for the personality & pedigree of its reds. The estate’s Chianti Classico is often one of the best wines in its class, while the flagship San Marcellino & Geremia are reliably outstanding.”—Antonio Galloni, Vinous
The history of the Ricasoli-Firidolfi family in Tuscany is a rich tapestry of kings and statesmen, its fabric woven together with the vine. For more than 37 generations, this ancient family has cultivated grapes and crafted wines in Monti in Chianti, the “very best area” of Chianti Classico, according to Antonio Galloni.
The family’s roots in Tuscany began with a man named Geremia back in 1141, when the name “Chianti” had yet to be spoken and Tuscany was the scene of many a battle between warring families. The “rocca” of Montegrossi was a strategic post, high up on a plateau, providing shelter for traveling dignitaries.
For centuries the family guarded the “rocca” and cultivated vines on its sunny slopes. Yet it was in the nineteenth century when Baron Bettino Ricasoli—the “Iron Baron” and future prime minister of a united Italy—created the original “formula” for Chianti Classico’s blend of grapes.
The “Iron Baron” was winemaker Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi’s great-great-great grandfather. Today on the very same land where his forefathers grew grapes, Marco crafts peerless Chianti Classico wines according to the traditions and wisdom of countless generations.
Chianti Classico is the estate’s flagship wine is a blend of about 90% Sangiovese, with 10% Canaiolo and Colorino. The wine ages mainly in large cask and barrels made with Allier oak for 12-24 months. After being bottled unfiltered, it ages another six months at the estate prior to release.
Estate vineyards are located in Monti in Chianti, a “micro-area” of Gaiole. This area, between 1,050 and 1,500 feet in altitude, offers the ideal range for ripening Sangiovese perfectly. Soils combine alberese (limestone) and galestro (schist) with clay. Wines are thus more elegant, intensely perfumed and darker in color than from other Chianti Classico areas. Hand-harvested. Fermented on indigenous yeasts in lined cement tanks. Aged for 11 months in traditional wooden vats, between 54HL and 56HL (called “tine,” made with French Allier oak) and lined cement tanks.
Pax Vicar Red Blend (Natural) A combination of Alder Springs Grenache and Bedrock Vineyard Mourvedre, this classic wine screams southern Rhone. There is an intriguing wildness centered around an earthy complexity found in only the best Mourvedre wines in the world, which adds a tannic structure to this delicious blend.
91 points, Vinous Pax’s 2016 The Vicar shows what a gorgeous vintage this is. Fresh, vibrant and wonderfully nuanced, the 2016 is a striking, translucent wine that conveys energy, vivacity and purity. The Vicar, the entry-level wine in the Pax range, overdelivers in 2016. The blend is 50% Grenache from Alder Springs and 50% old-vine Mourvèdre from Bedrock, done with 100% whole clusters, a combination that works brilliantly. Don’t miss it.