Kaitlyn Caruke and Chloe Grigri, who selected our September wines, started their careers cities apart — Kaitlyn in New York, serving at local wine icons like Pearl & Ash and Rebelle, and Chloe in Philadelphia, where she opened the Good King Tavern in 2013 in partnership with her dad. In 2019, Chloe tapped Kaitlyn to join the opening team of Le Caveau, a French bar à vins upstairs from the Good King Tavern. Shortly after opening its doors, Le Caveau received a James Beard nomination for outstanding wine program. Today, the pair are regarded as driving forces of the growing wine scene in Philly — and good friends who even live in the same apartment building.
So for their theme, Kaitlyn and Chloe focused on the special friendships found in winemaking (and in wine consumption!). Their picks included wines made as collaborations between two winemaker friends, as well as bottles made by winemakers who buy their grapes from neighbors. It’s all about discovering the magic that comes from passionate individuals joining forces, resulting in a product that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
Here’s what we drank in September:
- Alfredo Arribas SiurAlta Rouge — This wine is a blend of 90 percent garnacha and 10 percent trepat, harvested by a team of winemaker Alfredo Arribas’s closest friends in the Priorat wine region of Catalonia. During fermentation some of the wine undergoes full carbonic maceration, which gives you that snappy, vibrant mouthful of fun reminiscent of the ’90s and those blue razz Pop Rocks we all secretly love.
- La Bullette de David Les Vins Pirouettes — Pirouettes is a wine project conceived by long-standing Alsatian winemaker legend Christian Binner, who works with an informal association of growers on 14 different wine estates across 13 villages. This bottle is a slightly sparkling, methode ancestrale wine made from 100 percent riesling. It’s aperitif-style, with notes of juicy stone fruit, wildflowers, clover honey, and bright-green apple skins, but also some savoriness.
- François Ducrot ‘Solange’ Rosé — François Ducrot’s approach to winemaking is inherently collaborative: He works with small organic farmers whose fruit is often sold en masse to make big-label bulk wines (and therefore get little credit for their work in the vineyards), to showcase their fruit and their work. This rosé in particular is made of 100 percent merlot that comes from an organic farm located in Lansargues (20 miles east of Montpellier). As for flavors, expect strawberries plucked off the vine, fresh rosemary sprigs, and a bouquet of wild white flowers.
- Gober & Freinbichler ‘Vineyard Project 004’ Blaufränkisch — This one’s a collaboration between Dominik Gober and Gerald Freinbichler, winemaking pals who met in the cellar of Franz Weninger. On the nose there is cinnamon and blueberries, we’re talking blueberry pie minutes away from coming out of the oven. And on the palate it’s silky-smooth, with notes of fresh cracked pepper, black cherries, and a touch of smoke.