One of the things that draws our October curator Tamy Rofe most to the big world of wine is the conservation and preservation of the art of winemaking. And while it’s the winemakers that are upholding traditions through their craftsmanship, Tamy feels it is her side of the industry's responsibility to share it with folks like you. What you can expect is a taste in our October box is wine from a handful of the winemakers around the world who are clinging to the way things were in the best way possible; like a winery in Portugal making a red wine from a blend of over 25 red and white varietals.
- Castello di Tassarolo “Orsola” | Piedmont, Italy; white, cortese: What we have here is 100 percent cortese di Gavi, a grape native to the region that has been hand-harvested in small crates and utilizes indigenous yeast. The result packs a punch of white flowers, peaches, and stone fruits on the nose with a delicate and juicy freshness on the palate.
- Ocho “Who RU” | Kakheti, Georgia; white, rkatsiteli, mtsvane: In Georgian mythology, Ocho is considered the protector of forests and wild animals. On their labels, you’ll see precious animals of Georgians fauna that are at risk of extinction (these guys are full-on ready to preserve tradition). The Who RU cuvee is a blend of rkatsiteli and mtsvane that has a taste of orange blossom, dry herbs, and fruits. This wine has an amazing tension of acid and tannin, plus intriguing flavors of apricots and other stone fruits.
- Folias de Baco, Uivo “Renegado” | Douro, Portugal; red, red + white varietals: It’s a blend of over 25 different varietals (both red and white), which is the way it has always been done in Portugal. This has aromatics and wonderful acidity from the white grapes, and a punch, gravitas, and structure from the red grapes. This wine is versatile, at once delicate and powerful, with beautiful aromatics and freshness. A true pleasure to drink.
- Estación Yumbel ‘Pipeño’ | Sur, Chile; red, pais: Which leads us to Mauricio Gonzalez, the man behind Estación Yumbel who dry-farms a miniscule 4-hectare project in a remote section of the already rural Bíobio Valley. Mauricio is arguably making some of the most authentic wines coming out of Chile, and what we have here is his Pipeño made from vines that are over 100 years old. Made wholly of pais, this is a bit more precious than other pipeños and more powerful, with both concentration and freshness plus dry herbs, citrus, and loads of crunchy red fruits. Some delicate tannins round it all out. I love this wine and I particularly love it in October.
- Azimut Blanc | Penedès, Spain; white, macabeo, xarello, garnacha noir, malvasia: The Suriol family produces wines under two labels – the Can Suriol bottles sporting their name as well as this Azimut line (named after the Arabic word for direction). The latter is an important part of the family’s natural approach made with grapes purchased from neighbors, and it has instantly become known for its easygoing wines. This blanc is lush with plenty of citrus fruit, a pleasant creaminess, and a saline touch.
- Villalobos Nativa Valle de Itata Red | Itata and Maule Valley, Chile; red, pais, carmenere, carignan: Villalobos is fully a family project run by artist Enrique Villalobos (his paintings outfit the bottles) along with his wife Rita Encina (a professional ceramist) and their sons Martin, Alejandro, and Rolando. Their estate is made of entirely untrained and ungrafted vines that were planted as early as the 1940s. This red blend is an easy-to-drink, medium-bodied beauty with notes of berries, soft tannin, and fresh acidity. It’s crisp with a longing finish.
- Bodegas Pinoso Zillamina Red | Valencia, Spain; red, monastrell: Bodegas Pinoso is one of the biggest producers of organic and vegan-certified wine in Spain with more than 600 hectares under certification. Located about one hour west of Alicante, this area sees very little rainfall and plenty of sunlight which are challenging yet perfect conditions for the wines of intense color and high aromatic potential that Pinoso is known for. This fun, crushable, and classic Spanish red is made using 100 percent monastrell, and shows juicy black cherry, red plum, sweet earthy notes, and a spicy finish. It’s good with just about everything.
- Gaspard Sauvignon Blanc | Loire Valley, France; white, sauvignon blanc: “Gaspard” is a traditional French boy’s name that means “bringer of treasure” – a fitting title for these easy-drinking wines that keep on giving. An exclusive label from wine importer Jenny & Francois, Gaspard is all about bringing you the very best of the Loire Valley, from the fruity cabernet franc to its beloved chenin. This crisp white has notes of freshly-cut grass, lemon verbena, and lush tropical fruits and a mouthwatering acidity. It’s irresistible and perfect on its own, though you could also enjoy it with goat cheese, as the typical Loire Valley pairing suggests.