What’s On The Barrel
A phrase used by somms and cork dorks to describe wines that are very hard to find. These are all fantastic, minimal handling wines made in the vineyard. All these wines are allocated to michelin star restaurants around the world and top retailers world wide. It is quite extraordinary these wines are made available in Alberta!
Milan Nestarec WTF (What The Flor) & Podfuck (Czech slang for ‘Con’)
Both of these wines are farmed by Milan Nestarec in Moravia. His wines are natural to the extreme made with only 100% grapes with nothing added.
WTf is 100% Gruner Veltliner. The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The juice ferments in 600-liter 5-year-old acacia barrels. 30% of the skins are in contact with the juice for about 14 days, with occasional piegeage and indigenous yeast fermentation. The wine spends 7 months under flor in the same barrels. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with zero sulfur added. 24 bottles imported. $59.95
Podfuck is 100% Pinot Gris fermented on skins for 3 weeks days and pours a translucent, pale red. The grapes are hand-harvested and destemmed. The juice ferments in 600-liter 4-year-old wooden barrels. The wine spends 16 months in the same barrels. The wine is bottled unfiltered, unfined, and with zero sulfur added. 24 bottles imported $65.95
Forlorn Hope ‘Gemischter Satz’ (Austrian for the planting of different grape varieties together in one vineyard)
A wild blend of 40 varietals (red and white) all from Mokelumne Glen Vineyard in Lodi vineyard that is c0-planted. Everything is picked together and fermented together. The wine is one of the wildest wines we have come across. Incredibly concentrated with dried flowers, dried herbs, melon fruit, quince, white lillies, framed by soft minerality and bright acidity. 5 cases imported $53.95
Strohmeier Sonne No. 5
100% Sauvignon Blanc from Bad Gams Vineyard in Styria, Austria. Fermented spontaneously with 1 month of maceration with the skins and aged for 9 months in oak barrels. Bottled without fining, filtartion or sulfites. 12% alcohol. If you have never had orange wine or have had it and it’s “not your thing” then you need to give this a try! This is the freshest, most tasty orange wine we have come across. Decant for 20 minutes and it erupts with fresh mango, papaya, star fruit, crushed slate minerality. It is hard to phathom how this wine came into existence. The highest of quality of any orange wine being produced. 24 bottles imported $73.95
Weingut Knoll Pfaffenberg Steiner Riesling Kabinett & Kreutles Loibner Gruner Veltliner Smaragd
This producer has ever only been available in Calgary at Metrovino. They somehow managed to slip into the open market and 18 bottles of each were made available for the province. We quickly snatched them up. Weingut Knoll is easily at the height of Austrian wine producers with allocations going to top retailers, michelin star restaurants, and collectors. These wines do not ever dissapoint- we recommend aging for 5 years before open or decanting for 24 hours before serving. Ian Cauble MS, from Somm (I,II, III) and founder of SommSelect says “If I were to compose a wine list with only ten producers on it, without question,Weingut Knoll would make the cut.” These bottlings encapsulate the energy and vast geological history of the Wachau and will age effortlessly over the next decade—becoming more complex year after year. Riesling: $65.95 Gruner $79.95
Frank Cornelissen ‘Munjebel’ Bianco
a legend on the island of Sicily, Frank’s wines are pure magic! A blend of 60/40 Carricante/ Grecanico this wine encapsulates the far out sight that is Mount Enta. With extremes on both ends- being grown on a active volcano and being so high in elevation, this is a ‘cool’ climate region and the only place on earth that can make wines like this and Frank is one of the top producers here! Frank’s farming philosophy is based “on our acceptance of the fact that man will never be able to understand nature’s full complexity and interactions . . . Consequently, this has taken us to avoiding all possible interventions on the land we cultivate, including any treatments, whether chemical, organic, or biodynamic, as these are all a mere reflection of the inability of man to accept nature as she is and will be.” Downright amazing wines with a true respect for nature. 5 cases imported $54.95
Case of the Month
We love to put together these cases with many goals in mind: a strong sense of place, to challenge your tastes and preconceptions of what wine is and can be, and yummy-ness. These cases are always filled with hard to get wines from around the globe with as little intervention as possible.
2015 Gadais Pere et Fils Muscadet Sevre et Maine, Vielles Vignes, Sur Lie, Loire Valley, France
This has come to be the “house wine” of Crestwood. A couple of years ago we found out that the importer wanted to drop the producer as it wasn’t selling and since then we have kept it in the market exclusively. Pierre Henri Gadais has recently taken over from his father Henri Gadais and is one of the leaders in the Muscadet region to define certain plots and areas with the goal to create “Crus” (specific areas worthy of their own specific classification much like in Beaujolais where there are 10 Crus. His work is paying off. Sourced from 50-85 year old vines and on lees (dead yeasts) for 18 months adds incredible concentration of minerality and texture. Enjoy!
Imported by: Enotri
2016 Gadais Pere Et Fils Muscadet, “Les Perrieres- Monopole”, Loire Valley, France
From the same family who is helping to redefine the region, we have a ‘cru’ Muscadet, that’s right a ‘cru’ Muscadet, aged on its lees in barrel, with the structure and ageability of a fine Chablis. But because this is the Melon grape and not Chardonnay (and the western Loire, not Burgundy), the wine is scandalously underpriced. It is a true ‘terroir’ wine in that it doesn’t just express soil character but actually transports you to a place—in this case the Atlantic coast of France, with a big tray of oysters in front of you, and a glass of wine like this providing the perfect accompaniment. What I found in this 2016 was not just a bright, pleasant seafood wine, however; I found another level of depth and structure altogether. Les Perrières, despite its more modern look, is from 50+-year-old, bush-trained Melon vines (a note: ‘Muscadet’ is often listed as the grape name, but it is not; nor is it a ‘place’ name—it’s a word that was once used to describe the style of the wine, an anomaly in French wine labeling). It is fermented using only ambient yeasts in a combination of used, 300-liter wood barrels and subterranean, enamel-lined concrete tanks. It spends an impressive 18 months aging on its lees (the spent yeast cells left over from fermentation) in large, used wood barrels, lending it atypical levels of creamy complexity. Another quirk of this bottling is that it bears the more generic ‘Muscadet AOP’ appellation rather than Saint-Fiacre/Sèvre et Maine—although this 2016 qualifies as the latter, because it contained a tiny amount more residual sugar than appellation rules allow. Rather than change the label, the Gadais have chosen instead to focus on the vineyard name rather than the appellation name.
Imported by: Enotri
2016 Thomas Pico Chardonnay Vin de France, France
Thomas Pico of Domaine Pattes-Loup had a major shortfall in 2016, losing 80% of his crop and with five full time employees to pay, he had to lean on some friends to balance the books. He purchased high quality, high altitude Chardonnay and some Gros Manseng from Limoux. All the grapes sourced were grown from certified organic vineyards. He picked and pressed the juice in Limoux and shipped it to his cave in Chablis where it was aged in stainless steel over winter and bottled in April. A ripe, flavorful Chardonnay with a great expression of Limoux (known for sparkling wines). A great introduction to the wines from Thomas Pico. Imported by: Sedimentary
2015 Sybille Kuntz Kabinett Trocken Riesling, Mosel, Germany
Riesling can be likened to oysters as the perfect ingredient. You don’t do anything to oysters (or at least you don’t have to). Riesling is the same way. Sybille Kuntz makes most of her wines dry, which is becoming for and more fashionable. Dry Riesling is on the rise and for good reason: it is damn delicious. The Kabinett is the basic wine in the superior quality wine category (Qualitätswein mit Prädikat) defined by the German Wine Law. It is gained mainly from old vines managed under organic farming methods in the Pauls Valley, a side valley formed by the River Mosel some thirty-five thousand years ago. Today it is part of the single vineyard site Lieser Schlossberg. Picking is done a little later than the Qualitätswein. A dry, aromatic and elegant wine. We allow a spontaneous cover crop to grow in the rows which keeps useful and harmful creatures in a natural balance. This flinty, fresh, lemon zesty Riesling is a prime example why somms love Riesling! Drink more better Riesling!
Imported by: Salivate
2017 Ampeleia “Unlitro” Toscana Rosso, Tuscany, Italy
Whenever we are faced with that nagging feeling there there are no new, exciting wines left to discover, something truly brilliant comes along and blows us away. Such is the case with Ampeleia’s stunning “Unlitro”. When we heard that it was a blend of Grenache, Carignan, and Alicante Bouchet we were baffled. These are atypical grapes we thought non-existent in the the Sangiovese, Cabernet, and Merlot dominated region of Tuscany. This is still technically a Super-Tuscan, but one unlike you’be probably ever experience. About twenty-five percent of the wine undergoes carbonic maceration where the fermentation starts in the berry and can create soft, very aromatic candied aromas, and when combined with whole cluster fermentation, it takes on a whole new identity. The wine is incredibly Burgundian with undergrowth, cherry blossoms, truffle and candied cherries it is such a great wine with 33% in the bottle which is something we won’t argue about. A candidate for party wine of the year.
Imported by: Vino Al Vino
2013 Olga Raffault “Les Picasses” Chinon, Loire Valley, France
Time to put on the sommelier cap on and pay attention to this very special wine. If you want to start cellaring wines or you already do, then this should be in your repertoire of bottles. Two, sometimes three times a year, we receive a small allocation of Olga Raffault’s wines and every time we get them, they are quickly sold. This year is the largest amount we’ve ever gotten (10 cases, with only 6 left already). There are many producers in Chinon, but Raffault has earned a reputation as one of the most outstanding and consistent in the appellation. 10-year verticals of Raffault’s “Les Picasses” grace top wine lists around the world, and most somms, wine writers, and collectors would agree that this is a timeless, region defining estate. The major reason we think this is a perfect wine to start with for your cellar is this is as close to a bankable, “sure thing” investment as exists in wine- once these bottles reach the 15 to 20 year mark, they triple and quadruple in value. As seen on the wine list at Terroir in Nmew York City, this wine from the 80s and early 90s goes for 250+ U.S. Dollars. This is also nice because it won’t break the bank, so you can drink it now or save it as an ever-appreciating blue chip investment. It’s a wine-win!
Imported by: Four Corners
2016 Foradori ‘Vigneti Delle Dolomiti’ Teroldego, IGT, Mezzolombardo, Trentino, Italy
Elisabetta Foradori is making pure, absolutely delicious wines. All her Teroldego (the grape varieity) wines I have tasted are lip smackingly crushable. She says as much with silence as with words. She holds that paradox along with others: a soft tone that conveys deep strength, a seriousness that is playful, a commitment to tradition expressed by continuing experiments, and wisdom lived simply and lightly. Fermented and aged 12 months in cement and old foudre. Comes out with fig, cherry, black berries, clove, star anise, and mint. If you ever find any of her wines buy them!
Imported by: Sedimentaery
2016 Tbilvino Saperavi, Kakheti, Republic of Georgia
More than a few historians believe that wine originated in the Caucasus some 7,000 years ago. But only lately has wine from Georgia, the heart of this region, gotten any attention on our shores. Saperavi (literally “paint,” or “dye” in Georgian) is an important native grape as well as a teinturier-meaning it is not only ‘red’-skinned but red-fleshed, leading to deeply colored wines. Young Saperavi is inky and rich. The grape is thought to have originated in the Kakheti region of southeastern Georgia. Kakheti’s climate is likened to that of southern France, while the soils are a mix of sand and iron- and limestone-infused clays. As in a lot of ex-communist republics, Georgia’s wine industry is still in recovery from decades of nationalized production, but is well on the way to produce world class wines.Imported by: Black Stallion
Imported by: Black Stallion
2016 Boundary Line Shiraz, South Eastern Australia
I am sure we are all familiar with the big, over the top, knock you out Shiraz wines are the early and late 2000s and that have still kept a small hold in today’s market. This is a fresh Shiraz! Sounding more like a contradiction or a fugazi, but that is exactly what this is. It’s soft, fresh, round, yet still filled with Shiraz characters of cured meat, white pepper, blueberries, and that Aussie eucalyptus or piney trademark. Pop and pour and enjoy. Imported by: Artisan Wines
2015 Domaine Matha ‘Cuvee Lairis’, Marcillac, France
We discovered this wine and grape, Mansois (pronounced Man-zwa), late last year and were waiting anxiously for it to arrive. Very small amounts were made available to Alberta but we will take what we can get (4 cases). This is such an impressive wine coming in at $25 on the shelf. We decanted this winefor 6+ hours and it does not stop generously giving all it has. Organic practices and aging in stainless steal and sees no oak. The wine shows pepper, black cherry, potting soil, cooking spice, under growth, wet forest floor laced with black berry. Like a hypothetical blend of Cabernet Franc from the Loire, Gamay from Beaujolais, and Grenache from the Rhône.
Imported by: Four Corners
2015 Weingut Weninger ‘Vom Kalk’, Neusiedlersee, Austria
Austria continues to over deliver on pretty much any wine you can find. This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sankt Laurent planted on chalk around the southern end of the Neusiedlersee is rich, concentrated, and inviting. Aged in neutral oak and concrete, this wine showcases loads of minerality with lush black and blue fruit with bright acidity and crunchy tannins. Not over ripe and not under ripe Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon which is very hard to find at this price (either tend to be much over ripe to the point where the acidity is gone, making the wines flabby). Franz Weninger is making the whole world pay attention to Austria and Hungary. Very limited amounts of his wines come in and they are remarkable!
Imported by: Juice
2014 Artuke “Finca de los Locos”, Rioja, Spain
The brothers running Artuke are crafting pure expressions of Rioja from single-vineyard sites, and, most noticeably, are eschewing rigid aging requirements. But don’t let that concern you—the wine is anything but tender-footed, and the same goes for brothers Arturo and Kike. They grew up on these rugged lands and their forefathers farmed here for the better part of a century. 2014 is incredibly rich and intense without ever losing sight of its defining earth and soul. From Rioja purists to casual drinkers, I urge everyone to pick up a few bottles of “Finca de los Locos.” In the spirit of its name, you’d be crazy not to try this wine Imported by: Iberian Tastes