Lost Angel Moscato 2014


Brand: Lost Angel Wines are a brand of Foley Family wines, which was founded in 1996 by vintner William Foley II. Foley Family Wines encompasses vineyards in California and the Pacific Northwest and includes brands such as Sebastiani Vineyards, Chalk Hill Estate and Three Rivers Winery. Foley places an emphasis on “the average American wine lover” that enjoys well-made wines ranging in both style and price.

Philosophy: “Create bangin’ wines that seduce the palate with scandalously good flavors.”

Winemaking: Each property contracted with Foley Family Wines is committed to sustainable farming practices. The moscato was aged in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes: Gold in colour with profuse aromas of peach, nectarine and honeysuckle. Sweet peach, mango and nectarine saturate the voluptuous body. Grilled pear and honeysuckle coat the moderate finish. Sweet, but not cloying thanks to the welcomed underlying acidity. The balancing acidity is responsible for making this a versatile sip from spicy foods [especially those incorporating black pepper, ginger and chili peppers] to dessert.

78% Muscat Canelli, 22% Chardonnay
Vinted and Bottled by Lost Angel Wines
11% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Morgante ‘Bianco di Morgante’ Sicilia IGT 2014

Estate: 4th generation grape grower Antonio Morgante, along with his sons, Carmelo and Giovanni, established The Morgante winery. The family has grown grapes for hundreds of years, but it was only in 1994 that they began to vinify their grapes themselves. The 500 acre estate is located in Grotte, a small town near the southwestern coast and the famous Valley of the Temples in Sicily. Currently there are150 acres of vineyards, the rest of the land is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the indigenous plant and animal life.

Philosophy: The “pursuit of excellence”, along with commitment to “social responsibility and sustainability”.

Winemaking: Renowned oenologist Riccardo Cotarella heads the winemaking at the estate. Nero d’Avola grapes are sourced from the 25 acre Contrada Racalmare vineyard. The soil is a mix of calcareous and clay. Fermented [off the skins to produce a white wine] and aged for 4-5 months in stainless steel tanks.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of lemon, honey and minerals. Zippy acidity highlights creamy lemon flavours that melt into an almond, lemon zest and clean mineral finish. Sunny and refreshing, with a bit more heft then the typical white wine, well worth seeking out.

100% Nero d’Avola
Sicilia IGT
Bottled by Morgante S.R.L. Società Agricola
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Castello di Farnetella Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG 2012


Estate: Castello di Farnetella is located in the province of Siena in Tuscany, Italy. The Poggiali family [owners of the renowned Fèlsina estate] purchased the historic estate with its 65 hectares of vineyards in 1981. Fèlsina is headed by Domenico and Giuseppe Poggiali along with Giovanni Poggiali, the oldest of Giuseppe’s three sons. Fattoria di Fèlsina is renowned as one of the greatest vineyards in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany, producing “one of the finest ranges of age worthy and complex Chianti bottlings in all of Italy”.

Philosophy: “A profound respect for the Tuscan traditions of yesterday.”

Winemaking: As with all of Fèlsina’s properties, the vineyards are farmed organically and sustainably, additionally, Castello di Farnetella is also practicing biodynamic methods. Grapes are hand harvested from vineyards with loam, sand, clay and chalky soils.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, black pepper, leather and earth. A lovely, well balanced, fruit forward expression of Chianti, with cherry, leather and floral notes supported by a spiced, earthy core. Grippy tannins and traces of cigar box spice are complimented by black cherry on the dry finish. A phenomenal value that will be drinking for many years to come.

90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG
Estate Bottled by Fèlsina SPA
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2022

Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015


Winery: Loveblock Vintners was founded by Erica and Kim Crawford and is located in the high hills overlooking the Awatere Valley in New Zealand’s famous Marlborough region. The estate vineyard, ‘Loveblock Farm’ is certified organic, whilst the other vineyards are practicing organic, as with the majority of vineyards in New Zealand, synthetic/chemical products are not used. Many sustainable methods such as “natural compost, cover crops and livestock are used to enhance soil health”.

Philosophy: “Creating the best wine we can to express this extraordinary place and its unique aspect. We follow our deeply held belief in ethical farming which enables the wine to show its true and naked terroir.”

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from “from estate vineyards in Marlborough, two in the lower Awatere valley, and one at the base of the Waihopai valley”. The soil is a blend of alluvial loam with clay over stone. “A small portion of the wine goes through natural and malolactic fermentation, cutting the sharp edge off the palate.”

Tasting Notes: Super pale gold in colour with aromas of yellow apple, melon, papaya and green olive. Tropical in character, with bright pineapple, peach, papaya and apricot flavours balanced by vivid acidity. The herbaceous hint on the dry, citrus finish is a lovely compliment to all of the fruit.

Sauvignon Blanc with small amounts of Arneis, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer [I was unable to confirm varietal percentages.]
New Zealand
Produced & Bottled by Loveblock Vintners
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2020

A Tale of Two Austrian Rosés


Discovering a wine shop that has a curated selection of off the beaten path wines at affordable prices is a blissful experience for any wine lover. Focusing on small producers that craft their wines using sustainable, organic and biodynamic practices, 22 Second Street Wine Co is a boutique shop with a selection of unique, compelling wines that I can’t wait to pour.

Here are two equally priced, 2015 Rosés hailing from Austria that I picked up, excited to have an opportunity to do a side by side tasting. They are engaging, expressive and couldn’t be more different from each other. Sláinte!

Josef Ehmoser Zweigelt Rosé 2015


Estate: Headed by 3rd generation winemaker Josef Ehmoser and his wife Martina, the Josef Ehmoser estate is located in Tiefenthal in the village of Grossweikersdorf, in the Wagram region of Austria. The vineyards are located on the left bank slopes of the Danube River. A “high regard for the natural elements” and supporting “the potential of the vines and highlight their innate character” is the driving force behind Josef and Martina’s methods in the vineyards and cellar. The labels, which depict the sun, water and their vines, are a reflection of this conviction.

Philosophy: Simply stated: “respect the environment”. “We are merely observers. It is only in harmony with nature that the true character of our wines thrives. Through deep understanding of the vine, the environment, and the natural processes, the grapes achieve balanced ripeness.”

Winemaking: Sustainable farming, including no irrigation, along with minimal intervention in both the vineyard and cellar are practiced. Grapes were sourced from loess soils [fossil and mineral-rich soil], then “gently crushed and pressed”. Cool temperature fermented in stainless steel, then aged on the lees. “Uncomplicated and refreshing, Josef recommends his varietal Zweigelt rosé on hot summer days and humid summer nights.”

Tasting Notes: Pale coral pink in colour with aromas of citrus zest, minerals and orange blossom. Tart berries are laced with soft, sweet strawberry and highlighted by a refreshing acidity and clean minerals on the zippy finish. Light and lithe, this really shines with food, especially salty dishes. A perfect refreshing summer sip.

100% Zweigelt
Estate Bottled by Josef Ehmoser
12% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Judith Beck ‘Beck Pink’ Rosé 2015


Estate: The Judith Beck estate is located on the eastern side of Lake Neusiedl, in the commune of Gols in the Burgenland region of the most eastern part of Austria [which is also the country’s warmest growing region]. It is a family estate, founded by Judith’s parents Matthias and Christine Beck in 1976. Judith took over the reins of the winery in 2004, whilst her father Matthias devotes his time to the care of the 15 hectares of vines. The estate has always used sustainable methods; in 2007 they converted to biodynamic practices. Judith Beck wines are known for their “of pure and vivid expression of the variety “ along with elegance, power and complexity.

Philosophy: “Wine and the joy of living and pleasure all go hand in hand. We prefer wines which captivate all of our senses with each new bottle and each new sip.”

Winemaking: Father and daughter believe in as little intervention as possible in both the vineyard and winery. All wines are vegan with only native yeasts used in fermentation. The grapes were immediately pressed after picking, “the young wines developed on their lees in tank, with one racking; no malolactic fermentation”.

Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with alluring aromas of smoky, sweet mesquite and wildflowers. Raspberry, peach and floral notes are glazed with smoky mesquite; a complimentary hint of funky earth comprises the meaty, nearly savory finish. An unconventional and super versatile Rosé that is fantastic on its own, and can be paired with light or heavy dishes alike.

80% Blaufränkisch, 20% St Laurent
Produced by Judith Beck
12% Alcohol
Enjoy now