RAW WINE Recap!

We had such a blast attending RAW WINE Fair this past weekend in NYC and tomorrow evening we're opening a few wines whose winemakers we got to meet in person. What an awesome opportunity talking and tasting directly with the masterminds behind the wines!

RAW Wine Fair was founded by Isabelle Legeron, France’s only female Master of Wine, and one of only 343 MWs worldwide, and along with her accolades she has the most radiant smile in the room and exudes a warmth and passion for wine that is contagious. This was the first year that RAW came stateside and we already can't wait to attend next year. In Isabelle's words: "RAW WINE is about showcasing growers whose fundamental farming and cellar philosophies make these living wines possible. [...] RAW WINE is also leading the charge for transparency. We believe than in an ideal wine world, any processing and additives will be clearly communicated to the drinker so that you know exactly what is in your glass. [...] RAW WINE is unprocessed. It is about touch, authenticity and frank wine talking, but most of all it's about showcasing really good wines." If you're interested in learning more about RAW and Isabelle's philosophy, and the incredible winemakers that RAW showcases, come talk to us and taste with us at the shop! She also wrote a great book about natural wine that you can purchase here

2015 Donkey & Goat 'Lily's Pet Nat' - Anderson Valley, California ($45)
Sparkling Chardonnay, unfiltered and unfined, from Jared and Tracey Brandt from Berkeley, California. Their wines are made from sustainably farmed vineyards in the Sierra Nevada, Mendocino and Napa. Lily’s Pet Nat, short for pétillant naturel, is a simpler and ancient way to make sparkling wine in its purest form. After spontaneous fermentation begins, but before it is complete, the wine is bottled where fermentation continues creating delighful bubbles. This is a put your warmest sweater on, pull a few extra chairs onto the porch with friends and listen to Solange’s new album, A Seat at the Table. 

2014 Valentin Zusslin, Alsace Dry 'Edelzwicker' - Alsace, France ($25)
Meeting Marie from Domaine Valentin Zusslin from was such a pleasure. Sister and brother duo, Marie and Jean Paul Zusslin, have managed the domaine since 2000. The winery is based in Orschwihr, near Colmar, in Alsace. The region can be found in the very eastern side of France in a valley along the Rhine River – a river that separates France and Germany. On the other side of the river is Baden, a German wine region that produces wines in a similar style. The wine we’re opening tomorrow is Edelzwicker, an Alsatian wine term taken from the German words of edel (nobel) and zwicker (blend). A noble blend! After these few exhausting days, a noble blend does a body good.

2013 Meinklang 'J13' Juhfark - Somlo, Hungary ($34)
Each member of the Michlit family works in the vineyard and cellar at Meinklang. Angela and Werner Michlit are in charge of the estate located in Burgenland in Austria, but they also have vines on an extinct volcano in Somlo, Hungary. These “Austro-Hungarian” wines share farmland with their own Angus cattle, hence the cows on their labels. The vines are totally unpruned, called graupert, and they ferment their wine in concrete egg-shaped containers. The family also opened a brewery where they refine ancient grain beer out of wheat. The Juhfark grape, from the Hungarian sites, is unique in its flavor. It has a lemon pie nose and a round texture full of honey and slight smoke. 

2013 Le Clos des Jarres 'Insouciance' - Languedoc-Roussillon, France ($21)
We met Vivien Hemelsdael a few times this past weekend - in NYC, in Salem, and in Boston – so you can say we’re smitten. Vivien started Le Clos des Jarres in 2010; a small, 12-hectare domain specializing in organic viticulture in Minervois and Coteaux de Peyriac in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The domaine is named appropriately Le Clos des Jarres, translating to ‘closed jars’, as Vivien’s wines are aged in clay jars alike to anfora. The 2013 'Insouciance', or 'carefree', is a blend Merlot and Caladoc, both made exclusively from whole bunches of grapes, packing a bright finish with aromas of redcurrants and raspberries, and subtle black pepper notes, leaving you with a mouthful of freshness. 

2014 Domaine Réveille Cotes Roussillon 'Elan' - Languedoc-Roussillon, France ($38)
France Crispeels may appear petite in person, but her wines are nothing but small. They are a force to be reckoned with. Domaine Réveille is the lifelong dream of France Crispeels, a devotee of Loire legend Nicolas Joly and natural winemaking. Vignoble Réveille translates to ‘waking vineyard’ conveying the vitality of the wines and France’s desire to make her wines in a pure, lively expression of terrior and earth. Elan is a blend of Syrah, Carignan, and Grenache. Retrying this at RAW was a blast, especially with France smiling at us as we enjoyed her creations. Come get Elan!