January 2018 Wine Alliance Notes

Italian Mono Variety Reds

It’s gross outside. Pouring rain, gusty wind, giant puddles, wet dogs, wet everything. Sound like a complaint? Well yes, until you find yourself inside with a rich stew and a glass of wine that warms your chilly bones.

As an antidote to the January doldrums we offer you the project of getting to know a few Italian reds. We specifically selected well known, single variety reds as a way of jumping into the vast study of Italian wine. If one of the club selections speaks to you, we can find others for you to taste and compare. Perhaps this will ignite curiosity.  You wouldn’t be the first to fall down a rabbit hole exploring Italian wine. There is lifetime’s worth of tasting and travel to pursue!

To hint at just how deep and long Italian wine culture is consider that in the 8th century BC, when the ancient Greeks colonists arrived in Italy, they found that vines were already being cultivated and staked in vineyards.  At the time they named the peninsula Oenotria, land of the trained vines. Grapes are grown in every single region from north to south. At its last grape census 350 indigenous varieties were counted-no other country has more.  In this month’s club we focus on three well known stars; Nebbiolo, Barbera and Sangiovese.

Nebbiolo – The great, if temperamental, grape of Barolo and Barbaresco was first documented as producing distinctive wines in the 13th century. It is a light skinned grape that makes very powerful wines high in tannin and acid.  It is most well known for its role in the long lived wines of Barolo and Barbaresco in Piedmont, but it is also grown in the subalpine regions of Alto-Piedmont, Valtellina and Val d’Aosta.

Barbera – The origins of Barbera date back to the 7th century though it is thought to be relatively new to Piedmont where it is widely planted alongside Nebbiolo and Dolcetto. It is also grown in Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and made in a number of styles (including sparkling). The grape always brings high acidity and low tannins to the table. Even the most serious of Barberas will be friendly.   

Sangiovese – Sangiovese is the most planted grape variety in Italy with a concentration in central Italy where you find Tuscany, Brunello, Umbria, Lazio and the Marche. Although Sangiovese’s origins are less clear than Nebbiolo or Barbera, most believe it to be an ancient grape. Sangiovese is divided into two main subcategories-Grosso and Piccolo. Sangiovese di Romagna, our club selection, falls into the Grosso family. Beyond this there are many mutations of Sangiovese and each will produce a different wine.

Everyday Club

2016 Ca del Baio, Langhe Nebbiolo DOC, It $16
Grape - Nebbiolo grown in Barbaresco and Treiso
Vinified and aged in stainless steel tanks.  

 2013 Villa Venti, Primo Sengo, Romagna DOC, IT $25
Grape - Sangiovese di Romagna DOC Superiore
Vinified and aged in stainless steel tanks

 Focus Club

2014 Brovio, Nebbiolo d’Alba Valmaggione DOC, IT $35
Grape - Nebbiolo
Vinified and aged in Stainless steel tanks

2014 Iuli Barabba, Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG, IT $46
Grape – Barbera
Vinified – Stainless steel and aged 26 months in old barrels
Not So Fun Fact: Due to an explosion in the wild boar population, the Barabba vineyard was lost. This will be the last vintage we receive…enjoy.

 

December 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

 

December 2017

It’s Bubbles December! Around Vif we try not to get stuck on tradition but really, does any other type of wine say “festive” like sparkling wine?! It’s really hard not to indulge in seasonal spirit so why bother. This month we want to stock you with a few bottles that are sure to add to the joy you're creating.

As a starting point it’s good to have a basic understanding of how bubbles wind up in wine. Fermentation occurs when hungry yeast cells in a vat of grape juice feast on the sugars found in the juice. The sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). There’s a lot of CO2 released during fermentation. If you keep a tank open during the fermentation process all the CO2 will be released into the atmosphere. If you don’t, the CO2 will be captured in the wine and will stay there until the tank is opened at which point the CO2 is released in the form of bubbles! It’s important to know that any wine could be sparkling if the wine maker decides to harness that CO2. It’s good to know that there are a number of ways to do that i.e. Méthode Traditionnelle, Méthode Ancestrale, Charmat and even simple carbonation for some bulk wine production.

Our focus this month is on Méthode Traditionnelle – formerly known as Méthode Champenoise. In this case the wine goes through two alcoholic fermentations.

The first fermentation, done in a tank or barrel, creates a still wine and the second fermentation, done in bottle, creates and traps the bubbles. That second fermentation is initiated when the winemaker adds yeast and sugar, made from grapes, to the still wine. Once the bubbles are in the bottle the wine must be disgorged which is the process of removing the spent yeast cells. Some liquid is always lost during disgorgement so at this point the sparking wine is topped up and may or may not receive a dosage. The dosage is an addition of sugar that determines the final style and balance of the wine. When you see the terms Brut or Brut Nature on a bottle they are in reference to the dosage.

Here’s a little chart that will help you understand the style of a sparkling wine.
(dosage is measured in grams of sugar per liter of liquid)

Brut Nature, Zero Dosage = no sugar added and less than 3g/l

Extra Brut = 0-6 g/l

Brut = 0-15 g/l

Extra Dry = 12-20 g/l

Dry, Sec = 17-35 g/l

Demi Sec = 33-50

Doux, Sweet = more than 50 g/l

Check out this video! It shows the process of hand disgorging, adding dosage, corking, caging and labeling bottles in the cellar of Anselme Selosse, a very famous Champage producer…it’s in French but just watching will teach you a lot about the complex process of making sparkling wine.

Focus Club

Pascal Doquet Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru Extra Brut, Champagne FR $50

Grape – Chardonnay

Costadilà Vino Frizzante da Tavola 450slm, IT $26

Grape – Glera

 

Everyday Club

2014 Avinyó Cava Brut Reserva, SP $20

Grapes – Macabeu, Xarel-lo, Parellada

Vinyes Singulars Cava Brut Nature, SP $17

Grapes – Macabeu, Xarel-lo, Parellada

 

 

 

November 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

Vif Natural Wine Club
November 2017

Ingredients Matter

And so the season of indulgence begins!

Our philosophy on the matter is-if you’re going to eat and drink big try your best to eat and drink the best ingredients possible. Most people think about ingredients when cooking but never even consider them when opening a bottle of wine. This oversight is entirely forgivable as the marketing of wine has led us to think that all wine is naturally made and organically farmed. Beware! The wine industry is a big and powerful business that would have us believe every wine it sells comes from a vineyard where an old dude in corduroy jeans works quietly surrounded by song birds, butterflies and bunnies. In the cellar he simply squishes up the grapes and voila, wine!

It’s a great image however it’s a curtain hiding the ugly truth of manufactured wine. There’s a lot of potential ingredients that can be added to wine before, during and after it’s been fermented. They are designed to adjust a wines color, texture, aroma and flavor. They can fix problems like too little alcohol, too much alcohol, too little acid, too much acid. The list is kind of terrifying and in some cases toxic, especially when you consider the residue of chemicals sprayed in vineyards riding on the skins of grapes and then making their way into the vat. The crazy thing is that there is no requirement that the ingredients added to wine must be listed on the label!

Yikes! What to do? Well, you know…drink natural wine. Producers of natural wine know that the best way to achieve a balanced and delicious bottle is to constantly work towards ultimate health in the vineyard. Healthy soils = vines = healthy grapes = healthy fermentation = healthy wine all made without the use or need of additives!

Back to indulgence, I can tell you from experience both personal and observational that when drinking a lot of wine one will feel way less hungover when the wine consumed is made naturally! There has been no formal study, but my working theory is that this is true because natural wine is made from really good ingredients and none of the bad ones.

The wines for your club this month were selected with a holiday table in mind.
Drink Well!

Focus Club

2015 Domaine de la Cadette, Bourgogne Vézelay, La Châtelaine $25
Grape – Chardonnay
Fun Fact – Just this month Vézelay was granted AOC status! 

2016 Château Thivin, Côte de Brouilly, Cuvée Zaccharie $45
Grape – Gamay
Of Interest - Cuvée Zaccharie comes from a small and very old vineyard sites, has a long vinification then is left to age in small old barrel for 1-5 years. Expect a serious wine and decant!

Everyday Club

La Soeur Cadette, Vin de France, Melon $23
Grape – Melon de Bourgogne
Fun Fact – There is very little Melon left in Burgundy where this wine is from. Most of it now grows in Muscadet.

Domaine les Villiers, Beaujolais Villages, P’tit Grobis $18
Grape - Gamay  
Fun Fact – The winemaker employs two different fermentation styles, traditional and carbonic, then blends them together for this wine. Why stop at one!

 

October 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

Each month when selecting wines for the club I try to find something that will bring you closer to a producer or deepen your understanding of some element of natural viticulture or wine making. Try as I might to plan and impose a structure on the act of choosing, sometimes I’m just so dang surprised and delighted by a wine and its story that I can’t resist tucking it into the club. It wouldn’t be wrong to call my process ‘organic’ to which I would comment “organic isn’t the easy path but it is a rewarding path”.     

This month’s process was launched one lucky afternoon when we were presented a stunning line up of wines from Domaine Hauvette.  I’ve known this estate for many years but for a variety of reasons we’ve had spotty access to it here in Seattle. So, it was with the kind of joy that you feel when you unexpectedly run into a dear friend and seamlessly fall back into step that I tasted the wines…inspired. Hauvette was the springboard which, in a winding way, led to Chateau Sainte Anne and Domaine Laguerre.

Drink with Focus

Domaine Hauvette

Dominique Hauvette has the kind of story that people want to have (at least this person). In the early ‘80s she left her job as a lawyer in the Savoie to re-find her passion for raising horses. This shift ultimately landed her in Les Baux de Provence located the rocky, scrubby foothills of the Alpilles where she established her estate. Once settled, she began learning how to make wine and some thirty-ish years later she farms 17 hectares biodynamically and is making 5 cuvees that speak of her commitment to finding finesse in her rugged terroir.     

2010 Domaine Hauvette “Cornaline” Les Baux de Provence, France $45

50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

Fermented in wooden tanks then aged in foudre.

Domaine Hauvette “Jaspe” IGP Alpilles Blanc, France $35

100% Roussanne

Fermented in cement eggs then aged in stainless steel tanks.

Of Interest - This wine doesn’t receive the appellation designation of Les Baux in Provence because the rules don’t recognize a wine that is made from 100% Roussanne, therefore it can only be granted the IGP. No matter how it’s labeled it’s amazing!

Drink Everyday Club

Château Sainte Anne

Château Sainte Anne is another estate that we’ve loved for many vintages. Although this is a 5-generation estate they ‘officially’ began making wine naturally back in the ‘70s, well before it was cool.   In fact, they resisted the advertised promise of products chemical companies said would facilitate the vigneron’s life and never employed the use of herbicides or pesticides. This long time commitment to natural practices brought them, along with famed producers Lappiere, Gramenon and Overnoy together as a group in support of working naturally in vineyards and cellars (hmmm, the beginning of a movement?).  Château Sainte Anne has a contiguous property that straddles Bandol and Côtes de Provence. Both are sub-appellations of Provence where the wines produced are historically strong, structured and long lived.

Château Sainte Anne, Côtes de Provence, France $23

Grapes - Mourvedre, Cinsault, Grenache

Fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged for 18-24 months in old barrels.

Domaine Laguerre Eos Côtes du Roussillon

Founded by Eric Laguerre in 1999 Domaine Laguerre is the youngest of the estates in our line-up this month…still that’s 17 years! The estate is in St. Martin de Fenouillet which is in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains on granite soils. Laguerre’s vineyards are situated in the cool climate that comes with altitude and are at the highest elevation in the Roussillon region. If you have preconceived notions about Roussillon whites, let go of them. The combination of granite, altitude, low yields and organic farming come together in a way you won’t anticipate.

 Domaine Laguerre Eos Côtes du Roussillon, France $16

Grapes - 30% Grenache Blanc, 40% Maccabeo, 30% Rolle

Fun Fact – Eos is the Greek Goddess of the dawn.

 

Enjoy!

 

P.S. – If anyone is interested in Domaine Hauvette Petra (rose) we have it in 750’s and Magnums! Give me a shout and I’ll set some aside for you.

 

September 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

Honest Wine

Omero Cellars and Minimus Wines

Natural wines are honest. They can’t help but tell you the truth about who they are, what they’re made of, and where they come from. Creating a wine that can only speak the truth about its variety, vineyard and vintage takes a person who is willing to listen carefully to these elements and never make assumptions about what they will hear.

Chad Stock, of Omero Cellars and Minimus Wines, is that kind of winemaker. He is intensely curious about what the true voices of Oregon wines are now and seeks those yet undiscovered. This inquisitiveness has led in many directions, one of which challenges the initial decision of Oregon winemakers to plant Burgundian clones of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the region. What he has found is that the difference in soil types between where the vines were produced, nurseries in Burgundy, and where they were planted, vineyards in the Willamette Valley, doomed Oregon to producing low acid counterpoints of their Euro cousins. This discovery set Chad on a hunt for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines that would perform well on the soils in Oregon and in turn would make a naturally balanced wine. He is now experimenting with 10 Chardonnay and 18 Pinot Noir clones that are specifically not from the Dijon Clone of Burgundy. That said he hasn’t settled on just those two grapes. He has planted 27 small plots, each with a different variety, in hopes of fine-tuning which grapes work best and where. At this point he feels a sense of promise that a handful of his selections will be better suited for the Willamette Valley than Pinot Noir.

As if studying over 50 grape varieties doesn’t give a person enough to do, Chad stretches his skill as a wine maker by producing numerous small batch cuvées each year. In this arena he experiments with various fermentation styles and vessels. This could mean leaving a white wine on its skins for half a year, or ageing in wine barrels made of chestnut to see how they impact the final wine. The experiments that work best are bottled for our intellectual and drinking pleasure.

Chad has three separate labels that represent three very individual notions he wants to convey. They are Omero Cellars, Minimus Wines and Origin. In the Natural Wine Club this month we present selections from Omero Cellars and Minimus. To highlight the difference between the projects we offer you these two brief quotes;

“Omero asks how do we deliver delicious, approachable wines without hiding behind chemicals and additives.”

“Minimus challenges convention. It asks why? Why not? What’s possible?”

Chad Stock is an honest, open and curious individual. He is careful not to stamp out the natural voices of the wines he makes so we can enjoy a pure representation of Oregon. We encourage you to taste these with open ears.

Everyday Club
2015 Omero Willamette Valley Pinot Gris $21

2015 Omero Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $19

Focus Club

2016 Minimus Pet Nat $28

2016 Minimus Vermentino Layne Vineyard $25

2016 Omero Willamette Valley Gamay Noir $25

 

August 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

Natural Wine Club – Summer Dreaming

Wow Summer, why are you in such a hurry? Before we have to say ‘see you next year’ how about we linger for a few more nights over a glass of wine and watch the sun sink behind the Olympics?

For August’s Natural Wine Club, I propose a season’s finale mental vacation. A day dream that takes you somewhere remote, raw, beautiful and warm. Any wine maker would tell you that vine growing regions over deliver in all ways mentioned while providing the added bonus of a delicious activity to ward off reality. As your assistant in ushering along the image, we offer you a selection of wines that are grown in places that quiet the soul and call out for exploration. While you sip, open google maps, find the vineyard, a near-by restaurant, a place to sleep…buy a ticket, live the dream.

Drink Everyday Club
2016 Ameztoi Primus Txakoli, Getariako Taxkolina, SP $23

Grape: Hondarrabi Zuri
About the wine- The Primus is a unique cuvee at Ameztoi in that it spends time soaking on its skins and is then left on its lees for 6 months before bottling. It’s also only produced in special vintages-about 75% of the time.

Fun Fact to fuel a Day Dream- The vineyards of Ameztoi are in the Basque Country and sit facing north on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. From the property, you can see the city of San Sebastian where you might grab a lunch of fresh seafood. The wine is named Primus, which means first, in honor of the Getaria native that completed the first circumnavigation of the globe after Magellan’s death. 

Love a Map!

 https://www.google.com/maps/place/Txakoli+Ameztoi/@43.2939931,-2.2078143,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0xd51c895df58be7b:0x80d0079165f2db62!8m2!3d43.2939931!4d-2.1990542

2016 Côte di Franze Cirò Bianco, Calabria, IT $17
Grape: Greco Bianco
About the wine – Although the landscape surrounding Côte di Franze Cirò is unspoiled and offers long views out to the Ionian Sea, it’s also hot, so the family built an insulated winery and use stainless steel tanks so they can maintain freshness and quaffability  in their wines.
Fun Fact to fuel a Day Dream -  The vineyards of Côte di Franze are in the best regarded growing region of Calabria, Cirò, which is way down in the toe of the boot in Italy. They rest in a stretch of hills above of the dramatic Ionian Coast. Calabria is a rugged region with a history of wine production that dates back so far that is it said that Olympian victors thanked the Gods with the wines from Cirò.

Love A Map!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cote+di+Franze+-+Cir%C3%B2/@39.4053869,17.0525482,9494m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x1340f788308b4c3f:0xd74ccb7c462e8a5d!8m2!3d39.387428!4d17.100251

Drink with Focus Club

2015 Occhipinti SP68 Bianco, Terre Siciliane IGT, IT $25
Grapes: Moscato di Alessandria, Albanello
About the wine – The SP69 Bianco is macerated on its skin during fermentation for 15 days. After, it is aged for 16 months in concrete vats and then bottled unfiltered.
Fun Fact to fuel a Day Dream – Arianna Occhipinti is so intensely engaged with her land in the Southeast corner of Sicily that she alone is worth a trip to Sicily.  Since we’re fueling a dream… Please read, Arianna brings her landscape to life. http://www.agricolaocchipinti.it/en/detailed-study

Love a Map!

https://www.google.it/maps/dir/''/az+agr+arianna+occhipinti/@36.9899324,14.474692,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x1311a41f06b70b6f:0x2c0d85ed794f1faf!2m2!1d14.544732!2d36.989953

2014 Nanni Copé Sabbie di Sopra il Bosco, IGT Terre del Volturno, Campagnia, IT $58
Grapes: Pallagrello Nero, Aglianico, Casavecchia
About the wine – At Nanni Copé only one wine is made, this wine. It is the result of Giovanni Ascioni’s obsession with 2.5 hectares of land called Vigna Sopra il Bosco, in Campagnia, where some of his Cassavecchia vines are over one hundred years old. Here each plant is registered and the vineyard is divided into sections with unique protocols for pruning, foliage management, surface management and harvesting. The wine making is equally focused. At Nanni Copé ‘attention to detail’ is an understatement.
Fun Fact to fuel a Day Dream – Castela Campagnato is a quiet, unpolluted area in the hills 40 kilometers Northeast of Naples (not too far a drive for the best pizza in the world).  The region sits about 700 feet above sea level bordered by the Sub Apennines to the east and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. Not too far south you’ll find Mt Vesuvius. Nature and history will compete for your attention.

Love a Map!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/41%C2%B009'29.0%22N+14%C2%B024'50.0%22E/@40.9736271,14.2682221,78237m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d41.1580556!4d14.4138889?hl=en

 

 

 

July 2017 Wine Alliance Notes

Pétillant Naturel aka Pet Nat

Pétillants Naturels have been surging in popularity over the past 5 or so years. While it’s easy to find these delightful sparkling wines in the super cool natural wine bars of Paris and NYC, they’ve been harder to get your hands on in our neck of the woods. So, it is with great excitement that we offer a collection of Pet Nats in Vif’s July club!

What are Pet Nats and where do they come from?

As a starting point it’s good to have a basic understanding of how bubbles wind up in wine.  Fermentation occurs when hungry yeast cells in a vat of grape juice feast on the sugars found in the juice. The sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2).  There’s a lot of CO2 released during fermentation. If you keep a tank open during the fermentation process all the CO2 will be released into the atmosphere. If you don’t, the CO2 will be captured in the wine and will be there until the tank is opened, at which point the CO2 is released in the form of bubbles! If you move a wine that hasn’t finished its fermentation from an open tank (or barrel or amphora etc) into a bottle and put a cap on it you will capture the bubbles and have a sparkling wine. Ok, admittedly that is a very abbreviated discussion of a complex process but I hope it helps as we discuss Pétillant Naturel.   

Historically, sparkling wines were an accident of the seasonal cycle. Think about what it must have been like in the early 1500s. Fermentations would begin after harvest in the warmth of late summer/fall and percolate during the season and then “go to sleep” or stop fermenting in the cold of winter. The following spring when the temperature would rise, if there was any sugar left, the wines would “wake up” and the producer had a naturally sparkling wine. Eventually wine makers learned how to control the process and began to bottle their sparkling wine. This style of making a sparkling wine from a single fermentation is called Methode Ancestral and predates the Champagne Method by a couple hundred years. The big difference between the Ancestral and Champagne methods is that Ancestral wines go through one fermentation while the Champagne method requires two.

Pétillant Naturel is a sparkling wine that goes through a single fermentation. It is started in a fermentation vessel and then when just the right amounts of sugar and yeast remain to produce bubbles the wine is transferred, lees and all, into the bottle. This is an important detail as the lees contribute to the flavor profile and make the wine cloudy. It sounds just like Ancestral right? Mostly it is. I would bet that if wine makers were to argue over what makes a Pet Nat, the Pet Nat-ers would likely say that the difference is that the Ancestral-istas filter out the yeast and halt the fermentation by chilling the wine before bottling and they don’t.

So why aren’t Pet Nats called Method Ancestral? Maybe it’s attitude and perspective. The producers making Pet Nats are making wines for the joy of a party and embrace natural rawness. Producers of Methode Ancestral are making wines of history and seek precision. Both are relevant. But hey, it’s summer in the P.N.W. Let’s party till the sun goes down!

Drink with Focus Club…or as much focus as is possible with Pet Nat

2016 Vinyas Singulares Toma Castanya!, Penedès, SP    $30

Grape -  Xarel-lo

2016 Stolpman Combe Pet’Nat, Ballard Canyon, CA    $42

Grape - Trousseau

Drink Everyday Club

2016 Maule Garg’N’Go, IGT Veneto, IT   $22

Grape - Garanega

La Staffa Mai Sentito, IGT Marche, IT   $20

Grape – Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi

 

June 2017 Wine Alliance

Wines that make you say Yum!

Each month when considering the wine club selections I try to work with a theme. Last month we did mono-variety whites. This month’s plan was a celebration of rosé and sunshine but I got sidelined when I tasted the La Baronne reds. They were so charming I couldn’t resist grabbing them for you. So, a new theme…Wines that make you say Yum! It should be enough to drink a wine because it’s just really delicious. For the record I did find a great rosé for you too.

What makes a wine delicious? A well situated and farmed vineyard, ripe fruit and a great winemaker certainly are big contributors, but there is also you. Without you and your personal sense of smell and taste, a wine’s purpose, to be enjoyed, would be unrealized. I bet you never imagined wine drinking was such a big responsibility!  

To maximize your deliciousness quotient you’ll want to engage your senses. Funnily your nose is more important to perception of taste than your tongue. The olfactory system is packed with flavor sensitive nerves and the aromas deliver the message to the system. It is through your sense of smell that the subtleties of wine become apparent. If you don’t do it already, try to make swirling a habit when drinking wine as it releases those important aromas.

Taste buds-remember them? Sour, sweet, bitter, salty and umami.  Your sensitivity to those basics will have a big impact on the style of wines you like. For example, if you like sour and tart things you’ll probably like high acid wines. Although taste buds don’t actually do a lot of tasting, they are put to work distinguishing texture and balance i.e. mouth feel.      

Everyday Club

2013 La Baronne Les Lanes Rouge, Corbières, FR $19

Grapes – Grenache, Carignan

Fun Fact – Although not as old as the vines in the Pièce de Roche, the vineyard ages here are nothing to shake a stick at. The Grenache was planted in 1955 and the Carignan in 1975.The yield for this site is 28 hectoliters to the hectare*.

2016 Gobelsberg Cistercien Rosé, Kamptal, AT $17

Grapes – Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Pinot Noir

Fun Fact – Established in 1171 Gobelsburg is one of the oldest wineries in Austria. Monks tended these vineyard for ages and after an annual trip to Burgundy brought vines of Pinot Noir back home with them.

 

Focus Club

2013 La Baronne Pièce de Roche, IGP Aude-Hauterive, FR $42

Grape – Carignan

Fun Fact – This wine comes from a vineyard that was planted in 1892. As vines get really old they produce fruit with great concentration of flavors but in very little quantity. Here the yield is just 19 hectoliters to the hectare*.

2016 Gobelsberg Cistercien Rosé, Kamptal, AT      MAGNUM! $32

Grapes – Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Pinot Noir

Fun Fact – Established in 1171 Gobelsburg is one of the oldest wineries in Austria. Monks tended these vineyard for ages and after an annual trip to Burgundy brought vines of Pinot Noir back home with them.

Terms

Hectoliter to the Hectare – H/H is the European measure of how much juice comes from a vineyard.  A hectoliter is 100 liters. A hectare is 10,000 square meters. In the U.S. we say tons per acre. In general, the lower the yield the higher the concentration and quality of a wine. Be aware H/H truly makes sense in combination with vine density but even without it’s a good jumping off point for understanding why folks think it’s an important measure.