Farmstead Classic Club - July Allocations

Choose at least two:
Coltorenzio Pinot Blanc (practicing organic)
Hauts Vallons Bandol Rosé (Sustainable)
Fattoria di Basciano Chianti Rufina Riserva (Sustainable)
Sans liege red blend offering (Sustainable)

 

 

 

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Colterenzio Pinot Bianco Cora (practicing organic)

One of the false myths in the wine world is that wines made from cooperatives is insipid, not noteworthy juice, only fit for the bulk wine market.   While cooperative wineries in France have, until the last 20 years or so, been responsible for perpetuating this myth, cooperatives in the Alto Adige (or Südtirol in German, the first language of many inhabitants here) have always made wines of great quality, finesse, and terroir.  

Perhaps it's because of the contrast between the warm summers and cold winters of vineyards grafted onto the Dolomite foothills. With its generally cool nights even in the height of summer, Alto Adige is able to produce some very focused flavors and a degree of finesse.  In the more northern part of the appellation, farms tend to be smaller, and it is often economically unfeasible for small farmers to produce and market wine.  

Colterenzio was formed in 1960 when 28 farmers formed a cooperative in order to gain their independence from the wine merchants of the time. These rebels named the newly-founded cooperative after their homeland, the small hamlet of Schreckbichl, (Colterenzio in Italian).  

Unlike the French co-ops which by paying by the ton, encouraged farmers to overcrop and bring lower quality fruit to the winery, Colerenzio works with farmers to encourage quality over quantity.  Now over 300 farmer families are members of the co-op, located south of Bolzano in the Adige river valley. 12 varieties cultivated. 45% of production is red wine, 55% white wine. 300 days of sunshine a year.  

Jancis Robinson:  "The two neighboring wine regions of Trentino (the lower, more southerly part of the Adige valley around the town of Trento) and the upper Adige valley produce Italy's most alpine wines in a region dominated by exceptionally competent co-operatives or cantine. Those of Bolzano, Caldaro, Colterenzio, Cortaccia, San Michele Appiano, Terlano and Termeno are notably quality-minded."  

Alto Adige wines tend to be brighter, less reliant on oak, focused, and clean, and these value-priced wines from Colterenzio are benchmarks of those descriptors.  These are all value-priced wines, that hopefully will find their way regularly into your homes and into your glasses.

While many people associate Pinot Grigio with the Alto Adige, it's Weissburgunder/Pinot Bianco that the natives drink.  Look for aromas of white spring flowers, ripe Bartlett pear, and roasted almonds take the lead. The juicy, round palate offers lemon pastry, juicy golden apples, and a nutmeg note alongside fresh acidity. It finishes on a slightly sweet note recalling glazed brown sugar.

The name Cora is a composition of the two Latin words Cornelianum (Cornaiano) and Appianum (Appiano). The female name underlines the elegance of the wine.  Excellent Alto Adige fruit, from vineyards at 1475-1800 feet of altitude, particularly distinctive for Pinot Bianco. Soils are gravelly with high calcium carbonate content; cool micro-climate with strong contrasts between day and night time temperatures. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with the temperature-controlled at approx.65°F, a small part of the must is put in large wooden casks. The new wine subsequently matures for several months on the fine lees.

91 points, Vinous:  "The 2019 Pinot Bianco Cora is deliciously ripe and extroverted, leading off with crushed yellow apple and sweet spice, with dusty florals adding grounding depths. It’s soft in texture, contrasted by salty minerals and mouthwatering acidity with notes of young peach and inner florals. This is deceivingly structured, and it shakes off that fruit-forward persona toward the finale. Consider me a fan of this high-energy and truly seductive Pinot Bianco."

 

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Moulin de la Roque Bandol Rosé Les Hauts de Vallon (Sustainable)

50% Mourvèdre, 40% Grenache, 10% Cinsault.

Founded in 1950 by the winegrowers of la Cadière d’Azur, St-Cyr-sur-Mer and Sanary-sur-mer, the Moulin de La Roque cellar was initially designed for the oakbarrel maturing of Bandol red wines. In 1964, through the efforts of the winegrowers and following numerous alterations, Moulin de La Roque became a wine production cellar for Bandol wines.

The  Bandol  produced each year at Moulin de La Roque are harvested, vinified and matured with a constant eye to achieving quality excellence. Backed by its expertise and the latest equipment, the Moulin de La
Roque cellar also preserves the methods that have forged the reputation that Bandol wine enjoys today.

Looking out to the Mediterranean sea and surrounded by hills and mountains, the terroir of Bandol forms a veritable natural amphitheater. Bandol terroir has the advantage of enjoying a microclimate which favours the optimum ripening of its principal grape variety, Mourvèdre.

Soil: Red sand loaded with limestone pebbles  Winemaking: Manual harvest grapes are destemmed to avoid harsh tannins. Grapes transferred to gentle pneumatic presses and the juice flows into temp-controlled stainless steel tanks. Following alcoholic fermentation, there is a lengthy vatting period of 20 to 30 days to allow the young wine to truly come into its own.  

Tasting Notes: Clear ruby pink color. Wide nose filled with powerful, exotic fruits and spices. The taste is wide, long, rich, delicate and tender; fruity with good persistence.

90 points Wine Enthusiast (2019 vintage):  Attractively structured with a layer of tannins from the Mourvèdre, this wine has bite as well as red-berry acidity. Richness gives the wine weight and makes it an ideal partner at the table.

 

basciano 

Fattoria di Basciano Chianti Rufina Riserva (Sustainable) 

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Masi family has owned the Fattoria di Basciano estate. The Masi family has been making wine here for three generations. They are located right in the heart of the Chianti Rufina area, on the top of a hill overlooking the Argomenna Valley on one side, and the right bank of the Sieve river on the other.

The vineyards are at an elevation of almost 1000′ above sea level, lying on very stony soil, locally known as “Galestro”. The micro-climate is ideal for the ripening of grapes and olives. It is dry, with light breezes, marked by scarcity of rain and a remarkable range of night and day temperature in summertime. The 200-acre property is divided by vineyards (100 acres), olive orchards, and forest land (50 acres each).

93% Sangiovese 7% Colorino.  Grapes are picked about 7-10 days after the harvest for their entry-level Chianti Rufina. Fermentation takes place at a temperature between 25 and 28°C. Maceration (skin contact) of about 25 days. The malolactic fermentation is completed in tanks, then the wine stays for 18 months in French oak barrels, half new and half one or two years old.

Deep ruby red color. Concentrated nose showing plum and berry character. On the palate full and round, with soft tannins and a long, fruity, peppery finish.

92 points, James Suckling:  Plenty of toasted-oak spices here, as well as caramel and cedar, but also an impressive background of brambleberries and fresh dark plums. Full and hearty on the palate with soft, approachable tannins. Good poise and depth. Drink now.

92 points, Parker:  Paolo Masi's (Fattoria di Basciano) 2016 Chianti Rufina Riserva is a linear and elegant wine. The bouquet starts off with dried cherry and dark fruit, but just as much attention is given to nuanced aromas of crushed stone or brimstone. The mouthfeel shows medium intensity, and the tannins add some dryness; however, this wine produces very food-friendly qualities, especially if pasta or lasagna is on the menu.

Sans liege red blend offering (Sustainable)

 3K4A5100sqSM

Sans Liege wines are made by Curt Schalchlin, a name you might recognize, as he owns Groundworks and co-owns Fableist, both very popular brands here at Farmstead.  (At present, we carry about a dozen different Fableist and Groundworks bottlings).  Curt is the owner and only employee of Sans Liege Wines.  

Growing up in East Los Angeles, Curt was not a wine country kid raised among the vines. He got a glimpse of the wine world when coming to the central coast at the age of 20. He became enamored with winemaking and jumped right in. 

His wine label Sans Liege (sahn leej) or "without allegiance" aptly describes his tenacity to pursue winemaking on the central coast unhindered by the trappings of any particular style. He is excited to to have the opportunity to be a part of a winemaking region that is still shaping its history. For Sans Liege, he focuses on Rhone varietals (especially Grenache) and favors character over notoriety when choosing vineyards for in diversity lies the promise of uncommon opportunity.

The Offering is a heady, full-throttled Santa Barbara County GSM blend that goes well with many foods that go with red wines.  Distinctive, refined, and well-built, offering expressive black cherry, cigar box, green olive, and cured meat accents that build richness on the long finish. 39% Grenache, 36% Syrah, 25% Mourvèdre.  Curt recommends decanting an hour before serving, and chilling it down to 60F (half an hour or so in the fridge.  

Winery notes:  The early fall breeze brushes through the orchard, bringing with it aromas of red plum, cinnamon bark, cocoa, and freshly oiled leather. The harvest table Is bountiful; friends and family all gather 'round. Wooden bowls full of green olives and mixed berries are passed as you warm your hands on a rustic mug filled with anise black tea. You can’t help but smile with gratitude for the season.


 

 

 

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