Isabelle Legeron founded her global wine festival Raw in 2012 as a way to connect winemakers with folks who care about what they’re drinking. And over the years, Isabelle [as well as Raw attendees] has learned firsthand from the winemakers who attend Raw that great wines aren’t possible when winemakers are using chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
So she decided to dedicate her January wine selection to the winemakers that double as farmers, making sure that each bottle included in the pack could be traced back to thoughtful farming and winemaking practices. These are the bottles that did just that:
- Celler de les Aus, Aus Pet-Nat: “This xarello is made using the ancestral method, which means the fermentation is paused midway and then finished in the bottle — just be careful when opening. The reward is refreshing saline notes, ripe pears, apples, vanilla, and cream, plus a dash of smoke and spice on the finish.”
- Clot de l’Origine, Le P’tit Barriot: “This blanc de noir — a white wine made from red grapes — is made by direct-pressing syrah grapes. It has a pomelo nose, and a lovely texture that is almost opulent. It shows crisp, almost grassy aromas, and some fresh, spicy hazelnuts at the start that give way to citrus notes as the wine opens up.”
- Domaine des Les Terres Blanches, BB Rosé: “There is a lot going on in this bone-dry rosé made from gamay grapes. A pale salmon color, it shows expressive soft red fruit notes including wild strawberries, and is both unexpectedly complex, mineral, and weighty, especially after a little time left in the glass.”
- Constantina Sotelo, Octopus: “A deeply colored, fairly tannic wine that saw nine months of skin contact in tinajas (Spanish clay jars). The result shows flavors of lime zest, aniseed, orange blossom, and green tea leaf; it’s a testament to how well skin contact suits albarino. It adds texture and depth to a grape that is naturally fresh.”
- Meinklang Roter Mulatschak: “Low-alcohol and fun, this light-colored red wine is a blend of Zweigelt and St. Laurent. It is vibrant with great acidity, and tastes just like ripe, freshly pressed pomegranate juice. Boasting notes of spicy mulberries, as well as a silky texture thanks to its light tannins, Mulatschak is a very versatile red wine.”
- Les Vignes du Domaine du Temps, Sans Ordonnance Rouge: “This blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot is fresh and vibrant, showing crunchy blackberries, red currants, wild thyme, and rosemary. It’s not de-stemmed before being processed which is what gives it juicy, fruit-forward notes. This is an easy-drinking crowd-pleaser.”
- Domaine Blanc Plume, GR-36: “This blend of merlot and syrah is deliciously ripe, with notes of jammy plum, unctuous mulberries, and dark cacao. Cutting through the dense, bold concentration of flavor is a lovely, refreshing minerality. Tannins are chunky but integrated. All in, this is a heart-warmingly honest wine, perfect with steak frites.”
- Clot de l’Origine, Quilles Libres Rouges: “This is a quintessential Mediterranean wine: concentrated and intense, with notes of black olives, licorice, and wild herbs (thyme, rosemary, mint). Tannic but vibrant, this is a great expression of long-lived grenache: fresh, fruity, serious, and complex all at once.”
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