Dionisos ‘La Bodega de las Estrellas’ Tempranillo 2015

Estate: Following over a decade of working with organic vines, 4th generation winemaker Dionisio de Nova García returned to his family vineyards in Castilla. He is a pioneering force in biodynamic and organic farming. His cosmic calendar and planetarium in the winery have earned the winery’s nickname “The Winery of the Stars”. For a deeper look into his star based farming, click here. The original cellar dating to the 19th century contains his renowned clay amphora, used for fermenting and ageing. Click here for details on the benefits and effects of clay in his winemaking.

Winemaking: Hand harvested grapes are fermented with wild yeasts, malolactic fermentation in clay amphorae with bâtonnage of its lees. Very low sulfites, unfiltered. Aged in old clay amphora.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of summer fresh berries. Loaded with fresh, sweet cherry, blackberry and raspberry, accented by pepper spice and earth hints. Good acidity keeps it refreshing, finishing clean and fruity. Fantastic on its own and super versatile at the table.

100% Tempranillo
Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Spain
Estate Bottled by Dionisos Biológica S.L.
13.5% Alcohol
$46 [3L box equivalent to 4 750ML bottles]
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VRAC Red Cotes du Rhone 2016

Brand: Vrac translates to “bulk” or “loose”, whilst ‘En Vrac’ translates to “bring your own bottle”. These phrases refer to the French practice of locals filling their own vessels with wine directly from the winery’s tanks. The producer intended to reflect that custom with VRAC, and crafted a simple, French countryside jug-style wine.

Winemaking: 90% of the fruit is de-stemmed, with the remaining 10% left as whole clusters. Fermentation occurs in open concrete and stainless steel vats. After pressing, the wine is aged in steel tanks.

Tasting Notes: Inky red violet in colour with aromas of fresh, juicy berries, earth and a floral hint. Plush blackberry, raspberry, black pepper and smoky earth are backed by food friendly acidity. Finishing dry and fruity. Straightforward, a great fusion of jammy berries and earth. Consistently a fantastic value.

Red Rhône blend [I could not verify varietal percentages, typically Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.]
Estate Bottled by La S.C.A. V.E.A.
14% Alcohol
$20 [3L box equivalent to 4 750ML bottles]
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Gotham Project ‘Boom Box’ Rosé 2016

Brand: Gotham Project is a collaboration between Charles Bieler [of Bieler Pere et Fils, Charles & Charles and Three Thieves fame] and Bruce Schneider [of Schneider Vineyards, Schneider Selections and Onabay Vineyard]. The duo has pioneered wine on tap in the US, beginning in 2009 with their inaugural release of Finger Lakes Riesling from Seneca Lake, NY. They are the leading producer of wines on tap in the States, and “the only vertically integrated wine-on-tap company in the United States. Their wine ‘filling station’ is just a few miles from the #1 port for imported wines in the U.S., ensuring all wines remain as fresh as their first day of life until they hit your glass.” Their portfolio of tap wines feature wines from all over the world, from New York to Greece to New Zealand, and can be found in hip, progressive wine bars and restaurants. Boom Box Rosé is their first wine to be available for enjoyment at home.

Philosophy: “A BETTER GLASS OF WINE!”

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from dry-farmed, old-vine [80+ years] vineyards in Bullas, Spain. [Bullas is known for its light reds and rosés made from Monastrell.] Grapes were picked “on the early edge of ripeness and made direct to press”.

Tasting Notes: Sunset orange-pink in colour with aromas of peach, watermelon, cherry and tomato leaf. Predominately savoury and spicy notes, complimented by cherry and strawberry. Pink grapefruit and herbs on the dry finish add to its refreshing, off the beaten path character.

100% Monastrell [Mourvèdre]
Bullas
Spain
Cellared and packed by Gotham Project NY
13% Alcohol
$25 [3L box equivalent to 4 750ML bottles]
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Domaine de la Patience ‘From the Tank’ Rosé 2016

Brand: ‘From the Tank’ is a collaboration between Jenny & François Selections and various small, natural artisan winemakers that focus on expressing their terroir. Jenny & François Selections is a New York based wine distributor founded in 2000. They feature small vineyard wines and “winemakers who work like artisans, crafting a different wine each year. They do not impose a preconceived taste on their wines, but look to be surprised by what nature gives”. The concept ‘From the Tank’ hails from traditional wine culture in France, “of going to the local winery with a big empty jug to fill up with easy-drinking juice”.

Philosophy: “High quality natural wine at a very low price that’s good for the planet too!”

Estate: ‘From the Tank’ Rosé was made exclusively for Jenny & François Selections by Domaine de la Patience, located in the Costières de Nîmes in southeastern France. The family estate takes its name from “La Patience”, a wild aromatic herb that makes its home in the vineyards. Christophe Aguilar farms the 60 hectares of vines, the very same soil that his grandfather respectfully farmed 50 years ago.

Winemaking: The vineyards are certified organic. Grapes were sourced from 20+ year old Syrah vines and 40 year old Grenache vines, then aged in concrete vats with minimum sulfur added.

Tasting Notes: Light coral pink in colour with aromas of strawberry, watermelon and a hint of tropical coconut and banana. Tasting similar to the aromas, with strawberry and mango glazing traces of banana and coconut. Fresh acidity, a streak of minerality and zippy citrus zest on the crisp, dry finish. A fantastic summer sip, a steal at $20!

80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Vin de Pays du Pont du Gard
France
[Bottling information not available]
12-14% Alcohol
$20 [3L box equivalent to 4 750ML bottles]
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Vrac Rosé Vin de Pays de Mediterranée IGP 2016

Brand: Vrac translates to “bulk” or “loose”, whilst ‘En Vrac’ translates to “bring your own bottle”. These phrases refer to the French practice of locals filling their own vessels with wine directly from the winery’s tanks. The producer intended to reflect that custom with VRAC, and crafted a simple, French countryside jug-style wine.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards in the Pays des Maures and the Pays de la Mediterranée, in the heart of Provence, southeastern France. “The juice is bled from the macerating fruit (“saignée” in French) at the perfect moment to optimize the color and flavor from the skins, and is left to ferment in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures for a long, cool fermentation.”

Tasting Notes: Pale coral-pink in colour with summery aromas of strawberry, raspberry and clean minerals. Tasting similar to the aromas, light and airy strawberry and raspberry along with a quick shake of white pepper harmonize with a tangy acidity. Clean minerality and a hint of citrus comprise the dry, zippy finish. Friendly and gluggable, easy to pair with summer dishes, consistently one of my fave “drink all summer” Rosés.

60% Cinsault, 30% Grenache, 10% Tibouren
Vin de Pays de Mediterranée IGP
France
Bottled by Sas Savatier Selection
12.5% Alcohol
$9 or $20 3L box [4 bottles]
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