Saturday, Jan 13
3-7 PM no reservations needed

Los Angeles natural wine orange biodynamic organic
My first encounters with vitovska, many years ago, were inauspicious. Dry, mineral, and with vivacious acidity, I dismissed it as a simple grape, capable of making an innocuous apéro, but not an engaging wine of the sort you want to hang out with. I was wrong, dead wrong. My mistake was the fallacy of induction, in which I reasoned from a few data points to make a conclusion about the whole—If you’ve only ever tasted a mealy, Red Delicious apple you might be forgiven for judging apples harshly, never understanding that the Red Delicious is but a deracinated form of something more profound.

Vitovska is a white grape cultivated in the northeast of Italy as well as across the border in Slovenia. There, it shares territorial distribution with another regional grape variety, ribolla gialla, and although it tastes nothing like ribolla, it is, like ribolla, a grape that seems to be born for making skin contact, orange wines. Like ribolla, it produces wines that radiate character and charm, but only when you ferment it with the skins of the grapes. Without skin contact, vitovska tasted blind, could be a wine made from any number of grapes. With skin contact, magic. This is something that the father of modern orange wine in Friuli, Josko Gravner, came to conclude about ribolla, and it’s something that can be said about vitovska, too. I love how maceration brings out a luscious, sandalwood and marmalade side of the grape, tempered by a slight amaro character, but laced up with firm, taut minerality that keeps it from being blousy. I know it is fanciful, folkloric thinking to believe so, but when I drink Sandi Skerk’s skin-contact vitovska, I cannot help but picture the harsh, eroded karstic soils upon which it grows, a seeming avatar of his terroir.

Orange wine tasting $15

Clot de l’Origine “L’Original” Vin de France (Roussillon) 2016
Koehnen Wine Company Albariño/Verdejo California 2015
Skerk “Ograde” Italy 2009

Red wine tasting $15

4 Monos Tinto Vinos de Madrid 2016
Almaroja “Charlotte Allen” Arribes 2011
Domaine de la Possible “C’est Pas la Mer à Boire” Côtes du Roussillon 2015

Christmas hours

We’re open on December 24th at 9 am for your last minute gift needs (wrapping available). We have an array of unusually enticing Christmastime wines on the shelves, including Jean Bourdy’s “Galant des Abesses,” made from the same recipe the Bourdy family since 1579, different bottlings of single-vineyard grower Champagne from Alexandre Chartogne, as recently featured in the New York Times, and an embarrassment of food-friendly gamay-based wines, some from Beaujolais, some not.

12/9 tasting
3-7 {M no reservations required

Los Angeles natural wine organic biodynamic no sulfites
Chardonnay tasting $15
Montchovet Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blanc 2014
JP Brun Beaujolais Blanc 2016
Sebastian Dampt “Côte de Léchet” Chablis 1er Cru 2015
Porter Bass Chardonnay Russian River 2014

Gluggy French red tasting $15
Domaine des Hauts Baigneux Grolleau Azay-le-Rideau 2016
Jean-Claude Lapalu “Eau Forte” Vin de France 2016
Thierry Valette “La Cuvee Bistro de Puy Arnaud” Vin de France 2014
La Roche Buissière “Petit Jo” Côtes du Rhone 2016

Friday, 12/8
6-8 PM $12 no reservations needed

Los Angeles natural orange biodynamic organic wine
Tonight, stop by for a super casual fragilistic tasting of four Italian wines, all of which are light as a feather, some of which are naturally fizzy, some of which are not. First, two light and naturally fizzy wines, both dry, from Emilia. One is white and made from the local curiosity, ortrugo, a neutral, high-acid grape variety seemingly born to make fizzy wine; the other is a darkly pigmented red with a pleasant, amaro-like finish, made from a traditional blend of barbera and croatina. Then, two wines from Italy’s northwest. One is a schiava, a grape that is only capable of making light reds with little extract and tannin, perfect for rendering the sort of gluggy, food-friendly, low-alcohol reds that a lot of us are gravitating towards these days. The other is a marzemino, a red grape whose heyday was three hundred years ago, a pre-modern variety that, so far, continues to slumber and wait for its hipster revalorization.

Croci “Lubigo” Vino Frizzante Bianco NV
Croci Gutturnio DOC NV
Niklas Schiava Alto Adige 2016
Vallarom Marzemino Trentino 2015

Saturday, December 2
3-7 PM no reservations needed
$15

Los Angeles natural wine orange organic biodynamic
 Road weary, we rolled into Palermo, ill-tempered and spiritually fatigued from endless roadwork delays on the autostrada. A trip that should have taken just a few hours stretched to twelve, and driving in Palermo during evening rush hour is, even for an ex-New Yorker, a harrowing experience. Amidst stray dogs, moldering garbage piled high, a legless man motioned us to park in a spot he was guarding with his body, and my wife, raised in the Lower East side, asked in despair, “why did you take me to the East Village, 1975?” Later, we learned that there was an ongoing sanitation strike, but even without that knowledge we came to enjoy this shabby, slightly meshuggah and chaotic old town, and it became metonymic for something essential about Sicily itself. Sicily is kind of a raw place, hard hit during WWII (large swaths of the La Kalsa in Palermo remain undeveloped, boxes of roofless rubble behind their facades), but also hard hit from centuries of successive colonization by civilizations that are long-dead, yet leave their traces everywhere you look. Perhaps this is a pathetic fallacy, but I can’t help but see the traditional wines of the island as a reflection of this, with some of the most exciting stuff happening on high-elevation vineyards on the slopes of an active volcano, Mt. Etna, where at any moment, a lava flow may destroy a vineyard that’s been worked for over 100 years. We’re pouring two wines today from this crazy mountain, one white, the other red, plus two reds from elsewhere on the island.Salvo Foti “Aurora” Etna Bianco 2016
Occhipinti “Il Frappato” Terre Siciliane 2015
Lamoresca “Mascalisi” Sicilia 2015
Romeo del Castello “Allegracore” Etna Rosso 2015

Saturday, November 25 tasting
Jura: white, orange, and red
3-7 PM $15 no reservations required

Los Angeles natural wine orange organic biodynamic
The French use the adjective “digestible” to describe wines that are particularly agreeable—wines of which you can seemingly drink an ocean without ill-effect (though from my own in-depth participant observation research on the topic, I would say that this is not always the case). After gorging on a Thanksgiving feast, what better to drink than wines that are, at least in principle, highly digestible?

In English, this phrase lacks poetry, and you wouldn’t be irredeemable if, upon hearing it, visions of Metamucil or Maalox dance in your head. In practice, digestible wines are typically and delightfully light-bodied drinks with little extract and tannin, low-ish in alcohol, and in my neck of the woods, natural wines without liver-burdening crap added to them. The Jura is a small region in the East of France in which digestible wines prevail. Perhaps this is a function of such local culinary traditions as andouillette (if you have to ask…) and rich Comté cheese enjoyed any number of ways: rich foods that cry out for the lightest of refreshments. And so, in the Jura you find the local ploussard grape, which in most years makes red wines of such subtle delicacy, so light and digestible, that as you drink, you ponder, “what is this that I am I drinking, am I even drinking at all, and why am I here on Earth?” And then the bottle is empty, leaving you wanting another.

Valentin Morel Savagin Côtes du Jura 2014
Gérard Villet Arbois “Cuvée Orange” 2014
Valentin Morel Poulsard Côtes du Jura 2015
Domaine de Saint Pierre Poulsard Arbois 2016

Thanksgiving hours

Los Angeles natural organic biodynamic orange wine shop
Wednesday, 11/22: 11 AM – 8 PM
Thursday, 11/23: 9 AM – 2 PM

Friday, 11/10
$12
6-8 PM no reservations required

Los Angeles natural wine orange wine no sulfites organic biodynamic #rawwine
Taste natural wines from France, Austria, and Georgia
Live winemakers in the shop!
Hot khachapuri!
$12 / 6-8 PM no reservations required

Tonight, tomorrow afternoon, and this coming Wednesday, we have an embarrassment of winegrower riches at the shop in celebration of Raw Fair, the ginormous natural wine tasting that’s happening this Sunday and Monday at Vibiana, downtown (get discounted tickets by clicking here and using the code LoudoesRAWWINE when you check out). Come taste with real live winemakers!

Tonight, taste with growers from France, Austria, and the Republic of Georgia, with hot khachapuri (traditional Georgian cheese bread) pulled straight from our oven. Saturday, taste with Italian natural winemakers from the Critical Mass Selections import portfolio, with Sicilian pies from Prime Pizza. And then on Wednesday, taste the bone dry, minerally Muscadet (and a couple of reds, too) with Fred Niger of Domaine de l’Ecu, with the consummate pairing with Muscadet, raw oysters, from Shucks Oyster Bar.

Tonight’s tasting 12 wines!

Domaine Plageoles mauzac nature 2015
Domaine Plageoles mauzac noir 2016
Domaine Plageoles “Bro’cool” 2016
Domaine Plageoles Vin de Voile 2000

Domaine des Deux Ânes “Gris” 2015
Domaine Deux Ânes “Fontanelles” 2015

Gut Oggau Weiss out of magnum 2015
Gut Oggau Rot out of magnum 2015

Gogita Makaridze Tsitska 2015
Gogita Otskhanuri Sapere 2015

Archil Guniava Tsolikouri-Tsitska-Krakhuna 2015
Archil Guniava Otskhanuri Sapere-Tsolikouri 2015

Saturday, 10/28
3-7 PM / no reservations needed

Los Angeles natural orange organic biodynamic wine Sherry
Today, we have an extra-special tasting with our friend and Spanish wine importer, Alex Russan. Alex first came to our attention when he darkened our doorstep a few years ago, peddling the Sherry he was beginning to import into the US. What struck us immediately about Alex was that here was a man who was singularly, nay, obsessively dedicated to unearthing superb, old, dry Sherry. The wine that blew us away was his “Los Abandonado,” from a solera dating to the 18th century, and then abandoned for over 40 years due to the shifting sands of ownership changes at the bodega. We’re pouring two different tastings today, one of lighter-bodied reds from the north of Spain, the other of his beloved dry Sherries, including the last bit of the Los Abandonado. Sherry is one of the wines for which sommeliers and annoying wine shop owners are forever waxing poetic, and reader, I am one of those. I know it’s a losing battle, foisting Sherry upon resistant customers, all of whom assume that it’s going to be a sweet drink best enjoyed in the company of grandma, and yet here I go again: all the Sherries we’re trying today are dry, with zero residual sugar, and illustrate how old Sherry remains one of the most underappreciated and reasonably priced super-complex, barrel-aged wines that you can get your hands on.

Spanish red tasting $12
Akilia “Clarete” 2016
Fento Rias Baixas 2014
Bodega Almaroja “Charlotte Allen” 2011

Dry Sherry tasting $12
Tosca Cerrada ’15 Palomino en Rama (unfortified, not technically Sherry)
Alexander Jules Amontillado “3/10” (18 yrs avg)
Alexander Jules Amontillado “Sin Prisa” (very old)
Alexander Jules “Los Abandonado” (very, very old, and untouched for 40 yrs)

Friday, 10/27
$12 / 6-8 pm / no reservations needed

Los Angeles natural wine organic biodynamic orange soif no sulfites
I do believe that our excessive heat in Los Angeles has muddled my already addled brain. It doesn’t take much for that to happen, as I have not much material, to begin with, but in general, I try to make do with what God gave me. I can no longer think right, and if you’ve visited the shop lately, I don’t talk too good, either. I’m managing to get by with emotive horn-honks and appreciative grunts (if you’re the kind gent who asked me about a Savigny-Les-Beaune yesterday, I apologize for my answer, which I suspect amounted to trained-seal like noises and a weird, flapping of the hands gesture). All I want to drink are the lightest of red wines, lighter-than-a-feather reds that even the slightest of breezes threatens to lift away, up up and away in my beautiful balloon, and my lips curl and I shout out in a parched, raspy voice, “no, come back to me, red wine!” And so, today we’re pouring four such light red wines, all candidates for chilling, all low-ish in alcohol, nothing too ripe-y ripe, just fresh stuff that you want to put in your mouth.

Antoine Llyut “Portezeuelo” Pipeño 2015 Chile
Domaine Les Foulards Rouges “Les Glaneurs” 2016 Côtes du Roussillon/France
Cyrille Sevin “Une Histoire de Rouge” Vin de France NV Pét-Nat of gamay + cabernet
Joubert Beaujolais Villages “Cuvee Jules Chauvet” 2015 France