Wine of the Week: La Clarine Farm “Josephine+Mariposa” Red Blend

If you’ve been following Winelandia for any length of time, you probably know that we are La Clarine Farm’s #1 fan. We love the holistic approach that winemaker Hank Beckmeyer has in his vineyards and winemaking methods. Hank consistently makes wines that we love; they have texture, minerality, character, longevity, and soul.

The La Clarine Farm 2012 “Josephine+Mariposa” red blend is no exception. This is a versatile and robust red wine that will satisfy the palate of any red wine lover. A blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, the grapes are grown in yellow slate and gravelly loam (a soil type called the Josephine/Mariposa Complex). It has fresh and pure high toned fruit aromas, herbal qualities, and loads of minerality. On the palate, it’s rich and bold with balanced acidity and fine grained tannins.

THIS WINE IS SOLD OUT

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Winemaker:  Hank Beckmeyer
Bio: Run by Hank Beckmeyer, La Clarine Farm is a principled stand out in California winemaking. A follower of Masanobu Fukuoka’s “Do Nothing Farming” methods, Beckmeyer has created a holistic vineyard and winery experience, trying to leave the grapes alone to, in a sense, make the wine themselves. Beckmeyer sees himself as a guide for the transformation of grapes into wine. Beckmeyer understands that terroir is constantly changing, and everything he is doing to the vines, the grapes, and the land, is changing the terroir  – he is trying to keep it as pure and unadulterated as possible.
Beckmeyer has been quietly making wines in the Sierras since 2001, and has a diverse lineup, comprised largely of Rhone wines, both white and red. Hank’s laid­-back winemaking approach produces wines with texture and tons of interest -­ he simply lets each wine, each vintage, become whatever it might.
Region: US>California>Sierra Foothills
Vineyard: Josephine+Mariposa complex. Gravelly loam and yellow slate. Head-trained vines.
Blend: 72% Grenache, 28% Mourvèdre
Aging: 15 months in stainless steel and 600L puncheons
Production Notes: Foot-stomped grapes. Native yeast fermentation. Grenache & mourvèdre fermented separately. Pressed into puncheons after 8 or 9 days. Beckmeyer aimed to capture the essence of the vineyard by creating this vineyard-specific blend.
Tasting Notes: Bouquet of high toned tropical fruit & dried herbs. Mouthwatering acidity, stony minerality, and fine-grained tannins.  Well-structured and full-bodied without being heavy. Give this wine plenty of air, and experience it’s transformation in your glass.
Food Pairings: Cassoulet, braised meat, roasted lamb, grilled sausages

Winery Visit: Two Shepherds

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Remember when Winelandia first got started? One of the first wines we offered was an interesting little Grenache Blanc made by wine blogger & garagiste-turned-pro winemaker William Allen under his label Two Shepherds. William makes a number of wines from Rhone varieties in very small batches – he only makes a half barrel of some of his wines. Many of these wines are classic in style, but William doesn’t shy away from experimentation – he makes a number of skin-fermented white wines and fringe varietal wines. I was fortunate enough to be invited to taste in his winery just this last Friday, and boy did he open a lot of new and exciting wines for me!

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We started with the 2012 Santa Ynez Valley Grenache Blanc – the original wine Winelandia offered from Two Shepherds. It has come along quite a bit since the last time we tasted it – more secondary aromas and mineral notes are emerging, which is a sign of quality in a white wine. One of the key factors in what makes this wine great is that it’s aged on the lees in a combination of neutral oak and stainless steel – giving body to and softening the wine while also preserving it’s freshness. A very rich and complex example of a varietal wine that is typically a simple porch-pounder.

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Next we tasted his 2012 Russian River Valley Pastoral Blanc, a blend of Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, and Grenache Blanc from Saralee’s Vineyard – the only vineyard in the Russian River Valley AVA growing Marsanne and Roussanne. It was rich and velvety with notes of stonefruit, white flowers, mineral, and spice, with present and balanced acidity. While it’s showing beautifully now, I’m certain it will continue to increase in complexity for years to come. I loved this wine so much, I picked some up for the shop.

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One of the wines I was most excited to taste was up next, William’s 2012 Fanucchi-Wood Vyd. skin-fermented Trousseau Gris. Perhaps you’ve heard me shout from the rooftop, proclaiming my love for Trousseau Gris. It’s a special and rare variety, originating from the Jura region in France. Trousseau Gris is gray grape, a mutation of the red Trousseau variety, and there’s only 10 or so acres of it planted in California, most of which is owned by the Fanucchi family in the Russian River Valley. That’s the vineyard William got the fruit for this wine from (Wind Gap & Jolie-Laide also make delicious wines from this vineyard) and it was a treat to experience his interpretation of it. The color is a rich coppery-pink, and on the palate it’s full of texture and lovely, juicy fruit and spice. The wine spent a full 10 days fermenting on the skins, where it extracted truckloads of character – this is a geeky wine for sure.

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Next up was the 2013 Mendocino County Grenache Gris Rosé. A very special wine made from a rare grape, Grenache Gris, a mutation of the well-known Grenache Noir. The vineyard is a unique site, where the vines are dry-farmed, head trained, and over 100 years old. This brand-new 2013 rosé was simply beautiful – rich and herbal, with loads of texture from 7 days of skin contact. Although it’s a fuller-bodied rosé, it retains tons of brightness and energy – it’s absolutely lively and juicy on the palate. It’s showing beautifully now, and will only get better by Thanksgiving. Just 33 cases were made, and I picked up just a few bottles for the shop, which you can buy here.

All of these lovely white, pink, and orange wines aside, William also makes extraordinary red wines from Rhone varietals. There’s a cool-climate 2012 Grenache Noir from the Russian River Valley; a 2011 Syrah/Mourvedre from the Russian River Valley & El Dorado AVA; and his flagship red blend, the 2011 Pastoral Rouge – a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah. All of the red wines are rich and textural, without being heavy or over-extracted, while showing grace, finesse, and restraint. Two Shepherds is a winery to keep an eye on – it hasn’t been around for long but William is already making wines that rival those of the rockstars of the region.

Big thanks to William for hosting me at his winery and opening so many of his treasures to share – I am very excited to see how these wines age and what he’s up to next.

 

 

Wine of the Week: Clos Siguier 2011 Cahors

This wine is now SOLD OUT. Thanks for your interest!

The story of this wine is a serendipitous one. One evening, I went to my favorite watering hole, Terroir, with the intent of enjoying a glass of wine while using their wifi to get some work done, as I often do. After all, they have an excellent selection of natural wines, great tunes, zippy wifi, and a comfortable atmosphere. I sat down at the bar next to a gentleman who also happens to be a wine rep (a person who sells wine wholesale) that I work with. He had been pouring samples for another one of his clients, and so he poured some for me, too.

One of those samples was this wine from Clos Siguier, a 2011 vintage Cahors. A blend of 95% Côt (Malbec) and 5% Tannat. It was in a price bracket I don’t normally explore, as I find that many wines in that range don’t quite meet my requirements to be featured on Winelandia. However, this one was different – it had lovely flavors, body without being heavy, balanced acidity, brightness, lots of aromatics, and freshness – these are all of the elements I seek when choosing wines for our shop. This is fairly atypical for Cahors, which usually prides itself on black, savory, age-worthy wines. This wine is still black in color, but it had enough fruit and and freshness to make me smile. A superb wine for the price – just $16 retail – perfect for a weeknight dinner. It is even on the wine list at Chez Panisse, a local foodie mecca.

I picked up just a case of this wine to offer in Winelandia’s online shop, because I feel it would be an excellent addition to your arsenal of wines suitable for a casual dinner at home or at a friend’s house. It’s versatile enough to enjoy on it’s own or with your favorite meal. We hope you like it as much as we do.

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Winemaker:  Gilles Bley
Bio: Gilles Bley is a 4th generation winemaker in Cahors. He has a profound understanding of the region and a strong perspective on how Cahors should be made.
Region: France>Southwest France>Cahors
Vineyard: Organically farmed. Estate fruit. 60 year old vines. Red clay & limestone soil.
Blend: 95% Côt (Malbec), 5% Tannat
Aging: Neutral oak
Production Notes: Hand-harvested fruit, native yeast fermentation. 5-6 week maceration.
Tasting Notes: Bright and youthful. Fruit-forward and friendly without being over-extracted. Enticing aromas of black & red fruits, black tea, and crushed rock emerge from the glass. Medium bodied, medium acidity, fine tannins. Excellent wine for the value, and very food-friendly. This wine is featured on the bottle list at Chez Panisse!
Food Pairings: Aged raw cow’s milk cheeses, blue cheese, duck confit, cassoulet, lamb

Try it with our Lamb Chops with Herbes de Provence recipe.

Wine of the Week: Guillot-Broux 2012 Macon-Villages

This wine is SOLD OUT. Thanks for your interest!

A delicious and affordable young white Burgundy that you can drink any day of the week. This wine is incredibly versatile and food-friendly. It’s also great as an aperitif, with a cheese plate, or all by itself on a sunny day.

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Winemaker:  Emmanuel Guillot-Broux
Bio: Emmanuel and his two brothers make some of the finest wine in all of Burgundy. The vineyards have been organic since the 1950s but were only recognized as Certified Organic in 1991. They grow Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Chardonnay across three villages in Macôn. Following the traditions of their grandparents, they are shepherds of the land, growing their grapes responsibly and producing wines with as little manipulation as possible. They believe that good wine is made by the vines, not in the winery.
Region: France>Burgundy>Macôn-Villages
Vineyard: Certified organic. Densely planted 10-80 year old vines. Blue clay and limestone soil.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Aging: 6 mos neutral oak, 5 months enamel-lined vats.
Production Notes: A blend of chardonnay grapes from three different villages within Macôn. Hand-harvested and sorted. Native yeast fermentation, malolactic fermentation in oak. 1700 cases produced.
Tasting Notes: Exotic tropical fruit and brioche aromas. The palate is elegant and rich with white fruit and creamy notes of mineralty framed by a note of oak and vibrant acidity.
Food Pairings: Excellent as an aperitif, or enjoy with hearty salads, fish, or roasted chicken.

Buy this wine on Winelandia.com

Try it with these recipes:
Wild Mushroom Risotto with a Poached Egg
Roasted Little Birds with Garlic-Herb Butter
Pan-seared duck breast with parsnip puree & arugula salad

Wine Review: La Clarine 2012 “Sumu Kaw” Syrah

Buy on Winelandia.com!

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Winemaker:  Hank Beckmeyer
Bio: Run by Hank Beckmeyer, La Clarine Farm is a principled stand out in California winemaking. A follower of Masanobu Fukuoka’s “Do Nothing Farming” methods, Beckmeyer has created a holistic vineyard and winery experience, trying to leave the grapes alone to, in a sense, make the wine themselves. Beckmeyer sees himself as a guide for the transformation of grapes into wine. Beckmeyer understands that terroir is constantly changing, and everything he is doing to the vines, the grapes, and the land, is changing the terroir  – he is trying to keep it as pure and unadulterated as possible.
Beckmeyer has been quietly making wines in the Sierras since 2001, and has a diverse lineup, comprised largely of Rhone wines, both white and red. Hank’s laid­back winemaking approach produces wines with texture and tons of interest ­ he simply let each wine, each vintage, become whatever it might.
Region: US>California>Sierra Foothills
Vineyard: The Sumu Kaw Vineyard is at 3000′ elevation atop a ridge in the Sierra Foothills, and is located in the middle of a pine forest. The soils are composed of volcanic loam, which help create intense aromatics in the wine.
Blend: 100% Syrah
Aging: 600L puncheons
Production Notes: Fermented whole cluster. Racked once with a single 20ppm SO2 addition. 345 cases produced.
Tasting Notes: Dark fruit and herbs with smoky, meaty undertones. Nicely balanced with tannins and acid. Showing nicely now, but could easily age for 6+ years. Give it 6-8 hours of air prior to drinking.
Food Pairings: Game, sausages, pizza with smoked mozzarella

Buy on Winelandia.com!

Introducing our Winter Wine Club Offer

We’re pleased to introduce you to the wines in our winter wine club offering! Not a member yet? Get in on the action by signing up for our wine club! https://signup.winelandia.com
P1240064-webIt’s been pretty warm around these parts, so instead of offering heavy winter wines we are focusing more on wines with energy and verve. Evocative of the impending spring, these wines are fresh and rich. A Chenin Blanc from the Loire that tastes like pure bottled sunlight; a Müller-Thurgau from extreme elevations in northern Italy; a rustic and juicy old vine Zinfandel from a cool-climate Biodynamic vineyard in the Russian River Valley; a dry Brachetto that smells like a bouquet of roses; a funky & geeky red blend from a French-born producer in Chile; and a feminine & seductive Mourvèdre from the decomposed granite soils of the Sierra foothills.

The Lineup

2012 Frantz Saumon Minéral +, Montlouis sur Loire, France
2012 Radoar “Etza”, Alto Aldige, Italy
2012 Poco a Poco Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, US
2011 Matteo Correggia “Anthos”, Roero, Italy
2012 Clos Ouvert “Primavera”, Maule Valley, Chile
2012 La Clarine Farm “Cedarville”, Sierra Foothills, US

2012 Frantz Saumon Minéral +, Montlouis sur Loire

P1240048-webWinemaker: Frantz Saumon
Bio: Setting out to make wine representative of its appellation, Frantz Saumon purchased a small plot of land in Montlouis in 2002. Since then, he has acquired more land and most of the 6 hectares are planted with old growth Chenin Blanc, which is all farmed organically and by hand.
Region: France>Loire Valley>Touraine>Montlouis sur Loire
Vineyard: Organically farmed, various parcels
Blend: 100% Chenin Blanc
Aging: Stainless steel tanks
Production Notes: Minéral + is made with grapes from all of Saumon’s Chenin Blanc plots in Montlouis. Mineral soils help produce a wine that is full of distinctive Montlouis minerality. The vines average age is 40 years and they are planted in a blend of soils composed of tuffeau (limestone) and silex (flint). Every vintage yields a wine with a little bit of residual sugar, but the wines taste dry. The sugar lends a textural element to the wine which helps balance it. 100% indigenous yeast fermentations and aged in Stainless Steel tanks.
Tasting Notes: Stonefruit, citrus and mineral, medium bodied, elegant, and rich with a backbone and texture that will compliment a wide variety of foods.
Food Pairings: Smoked fish, spicy Asian food, pâte, chicken in cream sauce

2012 Radoar “Etza” Müller-Thurgau, Alto-Aldige

P1240056-webWinemaker: Norbert Blasbichler
Bio: Radoar is located near the border of Austria in Northern Italy. Norbert Blasbichler took over in 1997 and is the 15th generation to farm this land, which has been in the family since the 1300’s. Radoar is, first and foremost, an organic apple farm. They grow Golden Delicious apples, and create distillates such as brandy from the fruit. In addition to growing apples, chestnuts, peaches, pears, and walnuts, Radoar grows several types of grapes from which they produce wine and Grappa.
Region: Italy>Trentino-Alto Aldige>Alto Aldige>Valle Isarco
Vineyard: Certified organic. 3000’ in elevation, the estate vineyards of Radoar are 1.5km from the farm.
Blend: 100% Müller-Thurgau
Aging: Stainless steel
Production Notes:  Müller-Thurgau is a cross between Riesling and Madeleline Royal, developed in the 19th century. Organically farmed, direct-to-press, and fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of citrus and white flowers followed by ripe peach on the palate with juicy acidity and a lingering finish. This is a great wine to serve with hard-to-pair vegetables such as asparagus and Italian cheeses.
Food Pairings: Asparagus dishes, brussel sprouts, artichokes, seafood, smoked fish, spicy Asian food, fresh burrata with olive oil & sea salt

2012 Poco a Poco Zinfandel, Russian River Valley

P1240053-webWinemaker: Luke Bass
Bio: Luke Bass’s family has owned Porter Bass Vineyards since 1980, when the family discovered the century-old vineyard. The land had been subjected to decades of farming-induced erosion, so they slowly brought it back to life through Biodynamic and organic farming. Luke grew up on this property, and was a winemaker before he even had his first paying job. Previously, he interned at Flowers winery, which evolved into a position as cellar master. He has also worked at Hirsch & Tandem in Sonoma, as well as Flagstone in South Africa and Casa Marin in Chile.
Region: US>California>Sonoma>Russian River Valley
Vineyard: Demeter Certified (Biodynamic). The vineyards are protected from winds by the surrounding Redwood and Fir trees, while the fog produced by the nearby Russian River helps cool the vineyard in the summer.
Blend: 100% Zinfandel
Aging: 12 months in neutral French oak
Production Notes: Old vine Zinfandel. Native yeast fermentation and spontaneous malolactic fermentation. Very little sulphur dioxide (SO2) added.
Tasting Notes: Blackberry, dark cherry, wild bramble, spice. Medium-to-full bodied with zippy acidity.
Food Pairings: Fried chicken, sweet BBQ, burgers, pasta with rustic sauce, pizza, root vegetables.

2011 Matteo Correggia “Anthos”, Roero

P1240045-webWinemaker: Luca Rostagno
Bio: Matteo Correggia died in a tragic tractor accident in 2001. His wife, Ornella Correggia took over winery operations and hired Luca Rostagno as the winemaker. Ornella has continued to grow the winery’s reputation as the benchmark producer in Roero, and has introduced organic & biodynamic farming and winemaking practices.
Region: Italy>Piedmont>Cuneo>Roero
Vineyard: Organic. Sand, silt, & clay soils at 900’ elevation. East/South-east facing slope.
Blend: 100% Brachetto
Aging: 8 months in stainless steel
Production Notes: Brachetto is a native Piemonte varietal normally used to produce sweet, sparkling wines. This version is totally dry and exceptionally elegant. Estate fruit, organically farmed. Fermented with controlled temperatures in stainless steel. Minimal skin contact during indigenous yeast fermentation. Manually harvested in mid-September.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of fresh roses dominate, with notes of herbs, strawberries, and cherries. Light-to-medium bodied, with delicate texture and balanced acidity. Serve slightly chilled on a warm California winter day and enjoy on the patio by itself or with Italian-style snacks.
Food Pairings: Antipasto, light pasta dishes, salumi, BBQ poultry

2012 Clos Ouvert “Primavera”, Maule Valley

P1240046-webWinemaker: Louis-Antoine Luyt
Bio: At the age of 22, Luyt set out for Chile under the guise of wanting to brush up on his Spanish. Luyt learned that Chilean wines were homogenous, and wondered if great wines could be made there. He went back to France and began to study viticulture & oenology in Beaune. During his studies, he befriended Mathieu Lapierre, and eventually worked with the Lapierre family at their winery in Morgon for 5 vintages. There, he learned about natural winemaking, a skill he became determined to bring back to Chile. Clos Ouvert was founded in 2006 by Luyt and two partners, who backed out of the project in 2010 after a massive earthquake resulted in the loss of 70% of their 2009 wines. Luyt pressed on and expanded, which now involves many different types of grapes and parcels.
Region: Chile>Central Valley>Maule Valley
Vineyard: Various parcels, organic & dry farmed
Blend: 40% Carignan, 30% País, 20% Cinsault and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 8 months in neutral French oak barrels
Production Notes: País and Carignan are carbonically macerated. The Cinsault and Cabernet Sauvignon are destemmed and vinified in a Burgundian style. The finished wines are blended to produce Primavera.
Tasting Notes: Full bodied, structured, lively, and full of mineral. Smoky elements give way to ripe fruit, herbs, and black pepper.
Food Pairings: Smoked or braised meats, grilled sausage

2012 La Clarine “Cedarville” Mourvèdre, Sierra Foothills

P1240059-webWinemaker: Hank Beckmeyer
Bio: Run by Hank Beckmeyer, La Clarine Farm is a principled stand out in California winemaking. A follower of Masanobu Fukuoka’s “Do Nothing Farming” methods, Beckmeyer has created a holistic vineyard and winery experience, trying to leave the grapes alone to, in a sense, make the wine themselves. Beckmeyer has been quietly making wines in the Sierras since 2001, and has a diverse lineup, comprised largely of Rhone wines, both white and red.
Region: US>California>Sierra Foothills
Vineyard: Cedarville. Organically farmed. Soils comprised of decomposed granite.
Blend: 100% Mourvèdre
Aging: 12 months in puncheons
Production Notes: This wine was made during an ideal vintage in California – lots of sun during the summer and no rain. Hank Beckmeyer decided to try something new this time around, and set out to make the wine more sensual by employing a new ‘recipe’. He shortened the length of time the wine spent on the skins, pressing early and letting the wine finish fermentation in the tank or barrel. The result is a brighter and more supple wine than the previous vintage.
Tasting Notes: High-toned tropical fruit and crushed red berries on the nose, with tart cranberry and mineral on the palate.
Food Pairings: Roasted poultry, braised root vegetables, grilled vegetables

Winery Visit: Copain Wines

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s no secret that I’m obsessed with wines from the Jura. White, red, yellow, sparkling, rosé – I love them all. The red wines are particularly delicious to me, so you might imagine how excited I was to find that Copain – a local producer based in the Russian River Valley – was growing and making wine from the Trousseau grape. There are only a handful of Californian producers that I know of making wine from Trousseau – one being the renowned Arnot-Roberts – which they have made since 2009. It turns out, the Copain plantings of Trousseau are grafted from the original vines used to produce the Arnot-Roberts Trousseau.

Colleen happened to be the person to introduce me to this great wine from Copain. We enjoyed a bottle of it over dinner at her house one fateful night. I was taken aback by it’s freshness, finesse, texture, and the outright Jura-ness of it. A California red wine epiphany. It was like drinking red Jura without the reductive aromas often found in Jura reds. I was in love with this bizarre little bottle from our home turf.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(above photo is a Jura red, not the one from Copain)

I eventually found this wine again at Ruby Wine in Potrero Hill, and snapped up a bottle before it was all gone. Revisiting this wine really cemented how I initially felt about it, and it was showing even better the second time around. It was floral, spicy, and fruity all at once. It’s not often you can find a wine from California with so much elegance, complexity and femininity. It was full of texture while still being light on it’s feet. I was crushed when I found out that the Trousseau was all sold out for the year – I’d hoped to score some of it for the Winelandia Wine Club. I guess I can wait until next year.

The Copain Trousseau is what inspired a trip to the Copain winery in the Russian River Valley – just off Eastside road in Healdsburg. I headed up there just this past weekend to taste through their current offerings and to see the estate. You have to make an appointment to visit, so be sure to call before stopping by. It’s conveniently located just off Highway 101 in Healdsburg.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUpon arriving, I was immediately enamored by the beauty of their estate. Small and rustic, it overlooks Riverfront Regional Park, a gorgeous little oasis complete with a redwood grove and multi-use trails for bikes, equestrians and hikers. The park would be a great place to enjoy a picnic at if you are visiting the winery, as the picnic area at the winery is reserved for wine club members only. They have 13 acres planted here – all of which is Picpoul Blanc, Trousseau and Poulsard. Everything is farmed sustainably, encompassing both organic and Biodynamic practices (although they are not certified for either). I took a seat at one of the comfy wooden chairs out front, and Phil graciously began my Farm Table tasting beneath the strangely warm January sun.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhil poured for me all of their current offerings, beginning with their estate Picpoul Blanc. This neat little wine is aged in neutral French oak, which gave it body and character not normally found in your typical Picpoul Blanc porch-pounder. It was a great entrance to the wines that would follow, which included their entry-level “Tous Ensemble” Chardonnay, followed by several Pinot Noirs and Syrahs. The Pinot Noirs, mostly from the Anderson Valley area, showed rich and flavorful typicity of the region. The Syrahs – from the Yorkville Highlands – were dark, savory, and brooding. All of their red wines (the Syrahs in particular) showed tons of aging potential with great structure and balanced acidity. Copain wines are definitely Californian in style, but with restraint and balance normally reserved for the Old World.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Farm Table tasting also included a delicious spread of local cheeses, meats, and snacks. I especially enjoyed the crostini with white bean purée and fried rosemary. Everything paired beautifully with the wines that were served, the abundant sunshine, and the relaxing view. It doesn’t get much better than this – it’s the Holy Grail of the wine country experience.

I appreciate the warm hospitality shown to me by my host, Phil, and the beautiful wines made by Wells Guthrie. Winelandia hopes to offer wines from Copain in the future, as we feel they are one of the better producers in California. We highly recommend you stop by Copain for a visit if you’re planning a trip to the Russian River Valley – you won’t be disappointed. They are just an hour and a half north of San Francisco. Be sure to call ahead to schedule, as they are appointment only.

Copain Wines
7800 Eastside Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 836-8822

The Winelandia Holiday Lineup!

The Holiday 6-Pack has already sold out, thanks to everyone who ordered! We do have some of the La Vigne di Alice Brut Tajad and the Celler Acustic Red blend available for purchase. We can also re-order any of these wines by the case, so please let us know if you are interested in special-ordering by emailing orders@winelandia.com.

The Winelandia 2013 Holiday Lineup

NV Le Vigne di Alice Tajad Brut
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Winemakers: Pier Francesca Bonicelli & Cinzia Canzian
Bio: Cinzia and Pier are sisters-in-law who set out in 2004 to produce artisinal Prosecco that is all their own. They started Le Vigne di Alice, an homage to Cinzia’s grandmother Alice who worked in the family’s osteria. The winery is in the northern-most reaches of the Conegliano and Valdobiaddene hills with the Dolomites in their backyard. Their focus is sustainably farming and producing natural, top-notch Prosecco.
Region: Veneto
Country: Italy
Vineyard: Estate
Blend: Verdisio, Glera & Boschera (proprietary field blend)
Aging: 45-60 days on the lees
Production Notes: Produced from sustainably farmed grapes using the Charmat method. This fun and rustic wine is produced as a field blend of three estate-grown indigenous Italian grape varietals – verdisio, glera and boschera. The chalky, rocky, lean soils lend a pure, mineral edge to this brut-dry sparkling wine. Perfect as an aperitif or with a cheese plate, this unusual Italian sparkler is sure to please wine geeks and novices alike.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of mineral and fruit; crisp and lean.
Food Pairings: Sushi, asparagus, nuts, prosciutto, Italian cheeses

2010 Suriol Cava Brut Nature
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinemakers: Assis & Eudad Suriol
Bio: Cellers de Can Suriol is a family estate devoted to making traditional and ecologically sustainable wines using as little intervention as possible. They have been growing grapes and making wine on the same property located in the Alt Penedés since the 15th century.
Region: Alt Penedés, Cava
Country: Spain
Vineyard: Certified Organic, calcareous soil vineyards. 25 year old vines.
Blend: 40% Macabeo, 30% Xarlel-lo, 30% Parellada
Aging: 20 months on the lees
Production Notes: Fermented with indigenous yeasts in a vat, malolactic fermentation in concrete, secondary fermentation in the bottle. This vintage-dated Cava is quite unusual in it’s richness, body, complexity, and seductive character. We love the fine bubbles and beautiful golden color – it would be an excellent wine to pop open on New Year’s Eve to ring in the new year with friends and loved ones.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of honey, citrus, flowers, and anise. Medium bodied, mineral, and fruit-filled with a long finish.
Food Pairings: Jamón, seafood (fried, fresh, grilled), hard Spanish cheeses, tapas, tortilla española

NV François Pinon Vouvray Brut Non-Dose
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Winemaker: François Pinon
Bio: François Pinon is a retired child psychologist, making some of the best wines in Vouvray since 1987. He aims to maintain typicity of the region in his wines.
Region: Vouvray (Loire Valley)
Country: France
Vineyard: Certified Organic, estate-grown. Clay and silica soil on a base of tuffeau (limestone) and silex (flint). Average vine age is 25 years. Vineyards are plowed & hand-harvested, and chemical fertilizers and pesticides are never used.
Blend: 100% Chenin Blanc
Aging: 12 months sur lie
Production Notes: Only certified Organic estate fruit is used in the production of this wine, and the care taken in the vineyard really shines through. Aging occurs in a combination of stainless steel tanks and foudres (old, large-format oak casks) to maintain balance and freshness. Non-Dosé means there was no sugar added during disgorgement, so this wine is very dry. The finished wine is then sterile-filtered instead of heavily dosed with SO2 to provide stability.
Tasting Notes: 
Have you ever had a sparkling Vouvray? It’s like drinking real Champagne without the deep regret of emptying your bank account. Chenin Blanc lends itself to this Loire Valley specialty, producing a nuanced and delicious sparkling wine. Fresh, savory, bubbly, Chenin Blanc goodness. It’s our favorite sparkling wine from Vouvray.
Food Pairings:
Oysters, shellfish, goat cheese, trout, brunch foods, salads.

2010 Celler Acústic Red Blend
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Winemaker: Albert Jané
Bio: Albert Jané, a third-generation winemaker, believes the best wines are made with old winemaking techniques.
Region: Montsant (Catalunya)
Country: Spain
Vineyard: The organically farmed vineyards (planted in 1932) are located at high elevations, between 1200′ & 2200′. The soil is composed of clay, rock and sand.
Blend: Samsó & Garnacha
Aging: 10-12 months in new & used French oak barrels
Production Notes: Hand-harvested grapes are fermented with indigenous yeasts. The wine is racked using gravity into the estate’s 200 year old underground tanks, then is aged in a combination of new and used French oak barrels for 10-12 months. The wine is unfined, unfiltered, and a true expression of Montsant terroir.
Tasting Notes:
Ripe, layered black & red fruits, balanced acidity, supple tannins, and well-integrated oak make this wine perfect for drinking on it’s own or enjoying with food.
Food Pairings:
Braised beef, stew, roasted game birds, charcuterie, mushroom dishes, or delicious all by itself.

2010 Réméjeanne ‘Les Arbousiers’ Côtes du Rhône
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Winemaker: Rémy Klein
Bio: Originally established in 1960, Rémy took over the domain from his father in 1988. He constantly strives to improve upon the quality of his wines by trying new approaches, and expands the vineyards while planting fig and olive trees.
Region: Côtes du Rhône
Country: France
Vineyard: Certified Organic vineyards rest at an elevation of 650′-900′ in sandstone and limestone soils. Vines are an average age of 25 years. The higher elevations and geographic location of the vineyard creates a much cooler climate than the surrounding areas.
Blend: 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah
Aging: 12 months in cement tanks
Production Notes: Grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and cold-soaked prior to fermentation. This red wine is from a cooler part of the Southern Rhone, which imparts a freshness and liveliness not usually found in wines from this region.
Tasting Notes:
This wine has density, concentration, and structure which all interplay to produce a delicious, harmonious red wine. Notes of red fruit, tobacco, licorice, mint and spice.
Food Pairings:
Roasted chicken, root vegetables, burgers, onion soup, pizza, sausage.

2011 Domaine Filliatreau ‘La Grand Vignolle’ Saumur-Champigny
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Winemaker: Frédrik Filliatreau
Bio: A 4th generation winemaker, Frédrik continues to work with his family to produce wines from various vineyards in Saumur-Champigny.
Region: Saumur-Champigny
Country: France
Vineyard: La Grand Vignolle is a well-known vineyard which rests atop a tufa-stone outcrop that runs along the Loire river. The old vines are organically farmed and yields are kept low.
Blend: 100% Cabernet Franc
Aging: Stainless steel
Production Notes: The highly calcareous soil lends acidity and juiciness that is often lost in wines from this region. The wine is aged in tanks instead of oak, which adds additional freshness to the wine. The wines of Saumur-Champigny are some of our favorite old-world Cabernet Franc – a genetic parent of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. While this wine is drinking well now, it would make a great gift for a person who is interested in aging wine.
Tasting Notes:
Chisled red fruit, tobacco & licorice. Full-bodied and structured with herbal notes which are the hallmark of Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley.
Food Pairings: 
Aged goat cheese, lamb, duck, vegetable dishes, steak with pepper, eggplant.

Secret Wine Club: Jura

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis weekend, Colleen and I hosted another wine tasting for our friends. The theme was Jura wines.

The Jura is a a cool-climate, mountainous region in France between Burgundy and Switzerland, and is composed of six regions including Arbois, Macvin du Jura, Côtes du Jura, Crémant du Jura, Château-Chalon, and L’Étoile. Within these regions, wines are produced from poulsard, trousseau, savagnin, chardonnay, and pinot noir. White, red, rosé and sparkling wines are produced from these grapes.

The most famous wine from the Jura is called vin jaune (literally, yellow wine). This wine is made from the white savagnin grape which is picked when it’s very ripe. The finished wine is put into large oak barriques, and is allowed to evaporate through the staves of the barrel until a pocket of air forms at the top. A special strain of indigenous yeast forms a veil (or voile, au Français) over the surface of the wine, imparting a unique salinity and oxidative quality that gives vin jaune it’s trademark aroma and flavor. Vin jaune is quite intense, an acquired taste, and very hard to find.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany white wines from the Jura have a similar (but not as intense) oxidative quality to them, since they are often made in the same method. However, the difference between vin jaune and standard white wine from the Jura is the duration for which it’s aged. Vin jaune must be aged for a minimum of 6 years, while other white wines aren’t required to age for as long. Some whites from the Jura are aged in a barrel without that pocket of air, creating wines that are still very uniquely Jura, but much fresher in flavor and less intense.

The red wines from the Jura are very unique as well, and a little more approachable than their white counterparts. The reds are light but structured, with aromas of fruit, spice and earth. Poulsard makes the lightest of the red wines, while trousseau makes more robust (but still pretty light) reds. Pinot noir is also grown in the Jura and made into red wine, but the straight varietal wines are difficult to find.

Our wine list for the evening:
2011 Les Dolomies Savagnin, Côtes du Jura
2009 Domaine de Montborgeau Chardonnay/Savagnin, L’Etoile
NV Phillipe Bornard “Tant-Mieux” Pétillant Naturel of Poulsard
2012 Michel Gahier Trousseau, “Les Grands Vergers”, Arbois
2011 Jacques Puffeney Poulsard, Arbois
2006 Jacques Puffeney Vin Jaune, Arbois

Choosing the correct food pairings for these wines was really fun, as they are wonderful with food and the Jura has some really interesting regional culinary specialties. Wild mushrooms seemed to be quite common in the Jura, and in the winter I’ve been told that potatoes topped with melted raclette are a staple. The Jura is also a fly-fishing destination (weird, right?), so I wanted to make something out of freshwater fish. We also found some regional cheeses, and a rustic cream tart sort of thing called a Toétché, for which I could only find a recipe in French. Our resident Francophile Colleen was able to follow it just fine, no surprise there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur menu for the evening:
Toétché (above)
Trout rillettes
Fresh baugette
Sautéed wild mushrooms (yellow foot, black trumpet, oyster, hedgehog)
Warm salad of roasted rose finn potatoes and wild mushrooms
Morbier & Comté cheeses
Wickson apples
Breakfast radishes with cultured butter and grey sea salt
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe found that the Toétché paired perfectly with the vin jaune. This made me very happy, since I wasn’t sure what the Toétché would even taste like. Big ups to Colleen for making it come out perfectly, it was absolutely beautiful and delicious. The morbier and comté cheeses were also wonderful with the white wines, although they did not pair particularly well with the reds. The trout rillettes were lovely with all of the wines, while the apples provided a nice, palate-cleansing counterpoint to all of the savory foods. I especially loved the breakfast radishes with cultured butter and sea salt, while others in the room weren’t so enthused (I learned of this snack from a Frenchman who was so graciously hosting me at a winery some time ago). Perhaps it’s an acquired taste, but I find that radishes are an excellent vehicle for butter. The sautéed mushrooms were lovely piled atop fresh bread and enjoyed with the poulsard and trousseau.

As for the wines, we found that most people loved the ‘Les Dolomies’ ($28)– a white savagnin aged in a topped-up barrel. It was fresh, rich, and awesome with food. The Gahier trousseau ($39) was definitely the stand-out, everyone really loved it (it was my favorite as well). The Puffeney vin jaune ($80) was intense, too intense for a lot of people in the room. I also wish I’d opened it earlier and possibly decanted it, but my decanter was full of the Bornard ‘Tant-Mieux” ($32)which was absolutely reductive, sweet, and generally awful (not surprisingly, it tasted much better the next day). A friend also brought a bottle of Chardonnay from Côtes du Jura, which was great to balance out all the savagnin in the room.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI hope everyone who came had a great time and learned a lot about these rare, unusual wines. I had a blast curating the list and finding foods to pair. I hope that everyone took away some useful knowledge and would feel confident ordering a glass from the Jura section on the wine list at their favorite French restaurant.

Introducing the Winelandia Fall Lineup

The Fall 6-pack is sold out. Contact orders@winelandia.com if you have questions about re-ordering any of these wines by the case.

We’re very excited to introduce you to the delicious wines in our Fall offering!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn this lineup, we have included some outstanding wines from lesser­-known regions all over California. These are all sustainably produced, food­-friendly wines with a sense of terroir. We wanted to focus on local, artisanal, natural, small-production wines to pair with your favorite Thanksgiving foods and really show you what New California has to offer. We currently only have these wines available to wine club members, and we are almost sold out. Register for our wine club at https://club.winelandia.com if you wish to get in on the action.

Deux Punx 2011 Grenache Noir
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Winemakers: Dan Schaaf & Aaron Olson
Bio: Dan Schaaf and Aaron Olson are the Deux Punx. Living in San Francisco, Schaaf and Olson started making wine at home and the project just ballooned from there. They work with several vineyards in both California and Washington, and prefer a hands-­off, experimental approach to winemaking. Always willing to take chances, Deux Punx are still finding their style and perspective, and we’re excited to be part of that journey with them.
Deux Punx are wine lovers and music lovers, their labels are creative and done by artist friends of theirs, and they definitely think wine is meant to be shared and enjoyed, not cellared and ignored – that’s how we feel too! We just can’t believe that both of these guys have full­time “day jobs” and families in addition to making and selling this wine. Superhuman!
Region: Lake County
Vineyard: Tejada
Blend: 100% Grenache
Aging: 18 months 100% neutral French oak
Production Notes: Produced from sustainably farmed Grenache grown by the Tejada family, this is a pure expression of warm­-climate Grenache. Native yeasts were used for fermentation and aging was done in 100% neutral French oak to show off what was done in the vineyard. 125 cases produced.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of ripe red fruits & spice with firm tannins and juicy acidity. This would be a great wine to have with anything grilled, roasted, or barbecued.
Food Pairings: Burgers, grilled lamb, pizza, sausage, roasted poultry, BBQ red meat.

Verse 2012 Pinot Noir
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinemakers: Ryan & Megan Glaab
Bio: Ryan and Megan Glaab have been making wine as Ryme Cellars for only 6 years, which is hard to believe considering how good this Pinot Noir is. Ryan is the assistant winemaker at another of our favorite wineries, Wind Gap. They met and fell in love during a harvest at a winery in Australia, and, now married, turned their relationship toward business too. Ryme wines ­and their accompanying Verse label ­are all made from Sonoma county grapes, and seek to highlight restraint and food friendliness. We really think these two have a bright future in winemaking and can’t wait to drink what’s next.
Region: Carneros
Vineyard: Las Brisas
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Aging: 10 months neutral French oak
Production Notes: This bright & fresh Pinot Noir is a blend of two different clones – Swan and Gamay Beaujolais (which is neither gamay nor from Beaujolais). It’s made from 20 year old sustainably farmed vines grown near the convergence of the San Pablo Bay and the Petaluma Wind Gap in the Carneros AVA. The grapes were mostly de-stemmed but 25% were left whole cluster and they were fermented with native yeasts in open-­top fermenters. This wine was aged for 10 months in neutral French oak and bottled without fining or filtration. 290 cases produced.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of red raspberry, wild fennel and tarragon, rounded out by dusty red clay earth and juicy cherry on the palate. This bright and juicy Pinot Noir has a beautiful texture and will be sure to dazzle on your Thanksgiving table!
Food Pairings: Roasted cornish game hens, duck breast with pomegranate gastrique, aged goat cheese, pork loin, wild salmon.

La Clarine Farm 2012 White Blend No. 1
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinemaker: Hank Beckmeyer
Bio: Run by Hank Beckmeyer, La Clarine Farm is a principled stand out in California winemaking. A follower of Masanobu Fukuoka’s “Do Nothing Farming” methods, Beckmeyer has created a holistic vineyard and winery experience, trying to leave the grapes alone to, in a sense, make the wine themselves. Beckmeyer sees himself as a guide for the transformation of grapes into wine. Beckmeyer understands that terroir is constantly changing, and everything he is doing to the vines, the grapes, and the land, is changing the terroir – he is trying to keep it as pure and unadulterated as possible.
Beckmeyer has been quietly making wines in the Sierras since 2001, and has a diverse lineup, comprised largely of Rhone wines, both white and red. Hank’s laid-­back winemaking approach produces wines with texture and tons of interest – he simply let each wine, each vintage, become whatever it might. Very different from most California producers, that’s for sure.
Region: Sierra Foothills
Vineyard: Various
Blend: 47% Viognier, 41% Marsanne, 12% Petit Manseng
Aging: 100% Stainless steel
Production Notes: Produced from organically grown grapes, fermented with native yeasts, aged in stainless steel, and unfined/unfiltered prior to bottling – this is about as real as wine gets. Minimal SO2 used. Only 155 cases of this wine were produced, which means it won’t be around for long.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of white flowers and herbs with tons of mid­-palate richness, medium body and zingy acidity on the finish.
Food Pairing: Roasted game hens, chanterelle & gruyere bread pudding (see recipe), cheeses, smoked meats, fish, Indian food, lobster, salads.

LIOCO 2011 Indica
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinemaker: John Raytek
Bio: Started by two sommeliers who wanted to make the kinds of wines they loved to drink, Lioco has developed into a great example of clean, food-­friendly, cool­-climate winemaking. Matthew Licklider and Kevin O’Connor are endeavoring to make transparent wines – wines where the customer knows what goes in, and comes out of the wine. Lioco has only been around since 2005, and recently one of their proprietors took over as winemaker, so we’re looking forward to the next evolution of this label. Their lineup includes the Indica wines, which are food-­friendly, drinkable, and affordable, as well as some single­vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that are at a higher price point. Something for everyone!
Region: Mendocino County
Vineyard: Various, Redwood Valley
Blend: 98% Carignan, 2% Grenache
Aging: 11 months neutral French oak
Production Notes: Produced from organic, dry­-farmed, head trained, old vines. 25% whole cluster fermented, and bottled without fining or filtration. Neutral oak aging brings out the best in this wine. This wine will drink beautifully now, as well as age for a few more years. 684 cases produced.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of sour plum, red licorice, and lavender with blackberry, salted plums and orange pekoe tea on the palate. This rustic red wine with medium body is extremely food friendly, so don’t be afraid to experiment with pairings.
Food Pairings: Cracker crust pizza, carnitas, sausages, barbecue.

Two Shepherds 2012 Grenache Blanc
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinemaker: William Allen
Bio: With a name like Two Shepherds, you’re probably surprised to find out that William Allen is a one-­man show. Allen is a longtime wine industry professional, and garagiste (home winemaker), who decided to start a professional winery with an emphasis on Rhone varietals. His first release was only in 2010, but he’s called on many of the great low-­intervention winemakers in California for advice, and it shows in his wine. He works out of a small winery in Santa Rosa, shared with two other wineries.
Allen only works with Rhone grapes, and even planted his own vineyard of Grenache recently. His wines are balanced, with both texture and acid, and really shine with food.
Region: Santa Ynez Valley
Vineyard: Saarloos
Blend: 100% Grenache Blanc
Aging: 80% 7 months sur lie neutral French oak, 20% 6 months in stainless steel
Production Notes: The winemaker aims for long hang­-time with these grapes, allowing for flavors to become more complex while preserving the grape’s acidity. This wine is from a particularly cool site in the Santa Ynez Valley. The wine is barrel fermented in neutral French oak, and then aged on the lees for another 7 months. It is then blended with 20% of the same wine aged in stainless steel, adding freshness and balance. Serve slightly below cellar temperature, do not over-­chill. 125 cases produced.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of green apples, white peach, orange blossom and honeydew with juicy acidity and elegant minerality.
Food Pairing: Miso­-cured Black Cod, chanterelle & gruyere bread pudding (see recipe), ceviche, grilled chicken, pasta with lemon & spinach.

Porter Creek 2012 Rosé
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinemaker: Alex Davis
Bio: Porter Creek sits in a quiet corner of West Sonoma County, with a tiny tasting room and several lovely chickens you can visit and talk to. Winemaker Alex Davis has been profiled by many media outlets, but that doesn’t diminish the understated character and approach that he takes with all of Porter Creek’s wines. Their backbone is cool­-climate Pinot Noir, but Porter Creek produces a variety of other wines as well. The winery and vineyards have been organic for some time, and they are currently pursuing Demeter Certification – that’s the certification for Biodynamics. Davis speaks of being a wine crafter rather than a wine maker, because he feels it implies the minimal intervention approach he takes in all he does.
All of Porter Creek’s wine are consistent in their balanced profile and food friendliness. While each is different, they all possess acid and texture, and even the higher end, single vineyard pinot noirs are affordably priced for how much technique and skill went into their production.
Region: Sonoma County
Vineyard: Various
Blend: 75% Zinfandel, 25% Carignan
Aging: 6 months neutral French oak
Production Notes: Made from organically farmed, head-­trained grapes, this is a rosé for people who love the rosés of Provence and Bandol. Bone dry and balanced with delicate acidity, this wine was fermented 100% whole cluster with 95% native yeasts. 620 cases produced.
Tasting Notes: Focused aromas of spice and fruit with a mineral finish.
Food Pairing: Raw kale harvest salad, roasted cornish game hens, salads, pizza, salmon, hard winter squash, wild mushroom risotto.