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
2016 Tiberio Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC, Italy
The wine is made with 100% Trebbiano Abruzzese (Trebbiano Abruzzese is the name of the grape, while Trebbiano d’Abruzzo is the name of the wine). When we had the pleasure of meeting Cristiana Tiberio, she reiterated the importance of this ancient varietal that has NOT been manipulated and changed in a lab. She shared how fortunate her family is to own vineyards of the authentic Trebbiano Abruzzese. The varietal has long been confused with other clones and varietals in Italy, such as Bombino Bianco, Mostosa, Pagadebit, and even the very low quality Trebbiano Toscano. She says that “the majority of the region’s Trebbiano Abruzzese vineyards are actually a mix of different varieties that have different soil, exposure, rootstock and optimal harvest date requirements, leading to many less than stellar wines and accounting for Trebbiano d’Abruzzo’s lowly reputation.” She goes on further “At Tiberio, the Trebbiano Abruzzese vineyard is planted in the ancient canopy training system with a 100% massal selection (not cloned) of 55+ year old authentic Trebbiano Abruzzese vines. The vineyards are located at an altitude of roughly 1100-1250 feet (350-400 meters) above sea level, sloping down from the Apennine Mountains toward the Adriatic Sea.” The soil composition is mainly limestone with gravel-sandy subsoil. Alcoholic fermentation and elevage is in stainless steel tanks (no oak) with malolactic transformation/fermentation blocked with cool temperatures of stainless steel tanks. Tiberio has clearly championed Trebbiano Abruzzese with it’s complex and intense saline minerality, with layers of lemon curd, yellow apple and under ripe pineapple. This an underdog varietal that has been bashed for no reason other than it was in the wrong hands. This is the real deal!
Imported by: Artisan
2017 Joao Taveras de Pina Rufia Skin Contact White, Dao, Portugal
A field blend of Bical, Cerceal Branco, Encruzado, Malvasia Fina, and Siria that saw 4 weeks on skins and 6 months under flor! Flor is a layer of yeasts that form naturally when certain yeasts are present (mostly in Spain and Portugal) and protects the wine from oxidation. This wine is off the charts! Joao is a simple farmer who spends his life in the vineyard ensuring the ecosystem is healthy. He plants lots of chamomile, whose seeds are sown to prevent erosion, increase biomass, and attract beneficial insects which protect the grapevine from predatory insects. Other than that, Joao never sprays and will typically mow some grass that grows. His wines are also distinct and incredible. If you see them, buy them.
Imported by: PNW Negociants
2017 Eric Texier “Chat Fou” Cotes Du Rhone, France
Eric Texier, a former nuclear engineer, started making wine in Rhone in the early 1990’s and has become one of the most revered and respected grower/ producers in Rhone. This crazy cat (chat fou) is 60% Grenache, 15% Cinsault 15%, 15% Carignan, and 10% Chasselas (a white grape). Texier only farms Biodynamic vineyards and employs natural fermentation only and hardly uses sulfur, if at all. Eric insists that his wines are so pure, clean and precise do to the diligence in the vineyard. Showcasing strong gratanic minerality (wet black slate) and lifted aromatics, from the Chasselas, of violets, fresh blackberries, white pepper and potting soil. Absolute steal of a wine!
Imported by: Sedimentary
2016 Rogue Vine”Grand Itata”, Itata Valley, Chile
The 2016 “Grand Itata” cuvee is made up of 95% Cinsault and 5 % Pais from the La Bella vineyard planted in 1960 on Paleozoic granite. The vineyard is farmed organically and native yeast ferment, the wine is fermented with 2% whole cluster in large concrete eggs. The concrete eggs are said to add texture due to allows a continuous flow within the egg. The result with this Cinsault dominated blewnd is identical to top Cru Beaujolais from Morgon or Fleurie. With intense aromatic of dried red rose petals, strawberry, raspberry, wet slate, and moss with firm, but silty tannin and racy acidity. Leonardo Erazo is making inspiring wines from Chile and is one producer to be on the watch for.
Imported by: Vino Al Vino
2015 Domaine Matha “Lairis”, Marcillac, France
100% Mansois (MAN-zwa)- think Cabernet Franc met Gamay, and Grenache. Jean-Luc Matha, who once studied to be a clown and a priest, has come back to Earth and is farming 6 hactares of vines in Marcillac. He is the first in the region to employ sustainable practices and trim clusters from the vine in order to concentrate the juice. All the fruit is destemmed and fermented in stainless steel and transferred to old foudres (large wood vat). His wines are some of the best wines we have come across in terms of flavor with layers of complexity from intense mineral tones and black, lifted and aromatic fruit and perfumed aromatic of Burgundy. The wines are very serious and will benefit from aging at least 10 years. The wines should be decanted for 1 hour and the wine never stops giving all it’s got, and it has a lot. It has a lot to say, but you have to be willing to listen.
Imported by: Four Corners (Cellar direct)
2017 Chiusa Grande “Vinosophia” Montelpulciano d’Abruzzo
A classic table wine from Abruzzo, Montepulciano is an under-appreciated workhorse. Chiusa Grande delivers accurate and delicious wines, grown biodynamically, with a nod to the ideals of natural balance as well as respect for tradition. This bottling is an example of how a low intervention, un-manipulated wine, can also be instantly crushable at a great price. Cherry, some light pepper and tobacco and an enticingly floral nose give all the pleasure of a more serious wine with none of the assault to your budget. A pizza wine for sure, but also lovely with cheese, or Netflix for that matter.
Imported by: Vino Al vino