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Tastings 1/19 – 1/21

Thursday 1/19: beneath the valley of the ultra-mineral
$12 6-8 PM no reservations required 10 percent of day’s sales to Planned Parenthood

This Thursday we’re tasting three dry and ultra-minerally red wines: one from the Atlantic-influenced northwest of Spain; another from the center of France; and one from the slopes of an active volcano in the south of Italy. Plus, a special, fancy pinot by the glass grown on a high-altitude vineyard first planted by visionary Martin Ray in the ‘40s.

DaTerra Viticultores Valdeorras 2015 / 80-20 mencia (red)/godello(white) from Galician genius Laura Lorenzo
Château de Brézé “Clos Mazurique” Saumur Rouge 2015 / graphite-y but not hardcore petrichor cabernet franc from historic domaine
Ciro Biondi Cisterna Fuori Etna Rosso 2013 / sanguine & ferric from the southern slope of an active volcano
Fancy by-the-glass ($70/btl $14 glass): Arnot-Roberts Pinot Noir Peter Martin Ray Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains 2015 / superb, nervy, lithe (12% abv) pinot from vineyards planted in the 40s by pioneer Martin Ray

Friday 1/20: special tasting
Complex, delightful, and weird-ass medieval/early modern rancio wines with importer Jake Parrott
10 percent of sales to benefit Planned Parenthood
$12 6-8 PM no reservations required

This Friday please join us for a tasting of archaic, dry rancio wines from the southwest of France. These wines reflect a style of wine that predates modern France, back when this territory was Catalonia, today shared between Spain and France. The basic idea behind rancio wines, made mostly from grenache but also sometimes maccabeo, is to intentionally subject the wines to both natural heat and oxygen, sometimes for years—both of which run counter to the sacred tenets of most modern winemaking. The wines are warmed by the sun in either old barrels or in large glass demijohns, during which they slowly, slowly caramelize and oxidize, picking up flavors and aromas of nuts, dried fruit, honey, and incense—confusing, perhaps at times, because your brain thinks, “huh, dried apricot?” yet your tongue says, “this is bone dry.” Tasting these marvelously complex wines opens a window onto a spectrum of pre-modern flavors, and we have their importer Jake Parrott on hand to help navigate us through these fascinating waters.

Saturday 1/21
Two tastings: one white, the other red
3-7 PM no reservations

Two tastings, one of dry, aromatic white wines, the other red wines from California and Oregon.

White tasting ($12)
Brkić Zilavka 2015 Bosnia / ever had a Bosnian wine? I didn’t think so.
Salvo Foti “Aurora” Etna Bianco carricante 2015 / smoked obsidian
Pollerhof “Frau Meyer” Grüner Veltliner Weinviertel 2015 / granite-grown old vines grüner

Red tasting ($12)
Tendu red California 2015 / Matthiessen’s democratically priced red blend
Solminer Blaufränkish Santa Ynez 2014
Patricia Green “Ribbon Ridge” Estate Pinot Noir 2013

Tastings 1/13 – 1/14

Friday, January 13th tasting: Wines from the Jura
6-8 no reservations needed

Jura tasting $12

Domaine des Marnes Blanches Côtes du Jura Savagnin “En Jensillard” 2015
rare, aromatic clone of savagnin
Domaine des Marnes Blanches Côtes du Jura Côtes du Jura Poulsard 2015
enuf said—we can’t keep poulsard on the shelf!
Bourdy Côtes du Jura rouge 2011
poulsard + trousseau

 

Saturday, January 14th tasting
3-7 no reservations required

Your choice, two flights, all French.

White Burgundy tasting $12

Pierre Morey Bourgogne Aligoté 2013
black sheep of Burgundy given its due respect
Perraud Pouilly Fuissé 2014
zero added sulfites!
Goisot “Corps de Garde” Saint Bris 2013
fié gris, the archaic ancestor of modern day sauvignon

Red French tasting $12

Tessier “Le Point du Jour” Cheverny 2015
pinot + gamay
Dupasquier Pinot de Savoie 2013
pure, unfettered pinot
Château de Montmirail “Cuvée des Deux Frerès” Vacqueryas 2014
hunk, a hunk of burning love!

This week’s tastings

Thursday 1/5: Taste reasonably priced red Burgundy
6-8 no reservations needed

It’s cold and rainy: perfect weather for braises, brasato, stew, if you call it that, or maybe even a daube or a civet. You can if you must drink a big fat wine with that, but don’t come complaining to me if you realize, midway through the bottle (or perhaps, mid-way through the glass) that you’ve lost site of the colloquy of savory, earthy flavors that you wanted and your taste buds are overwhelmed by the noise of some bombastic froot bomb, like boorish party guests whom has overstayed their welcome (my apologies; this is often me). What you want is something with acidity, not too much tannin, and not too much froot, and that points in the direction of Burgundy. Yet, finding weeknight red Burgundy that works well with these savory comfort foods—affordable stuff of the sort you want to put in your mouth, is not always so easy these days. Tonight, we’re tasting three exemplary, daily drankin’ Burgundies that, I think, redeem the category.

Affordable, everyday Burgundy ($12)
Tripoz Bourgogne Rouge 2014
Domaine de la Cras Bourgogne Coteaux de Dijon 2014
Richoux Irancy 2013

Friday 1/6: Italian red tasting + fancy by-the-glass 1983 schiopettino
6-8 no reservations needed

Three Italian wines, all made from traditional Italian grapes (no super Tuscan cabernets—they had their time and place, which, alas, was a long time ago in a galaxy far away) using traditional winemaking techniques (wild yeast fermentation, nothing added during fermentation, no new oak). And, as is our wont on Friday nights, we open a Fancy Friday bottle: tonight, a historic wine from Ronchi di Cialla—the first release of their historic replantation of schiopettino from 1983 ($15 for a two ounce taste)

Italian red tasting ($12)
Lamoresca “
Mascalisi” Sicilia rosso 2015
frappato + nerello from the southeast of the island
San Fereolo Dogliani 2008
Beautiful, earthy dolcetto from the living master of the grape variety
Foradori “Sgarzon” Teroldego Trentino Italy 2013
fermented in terracotta amphora
Friday fancy: We’re opening one bottle of 1983 schiopettino from the first vintage from Ronchi di Cialla’s historic replantation of this amazing and noble red grape.

Saturday 1/7: TWO tastings: white and red
3-7 no reservations needed

Your choice: taste dry white wines, ranging from luscious to mineral, or taste new California reds.

White tasting ($12)
Two Shepherds Grenache Gris Mendocino 2013
very old vines (over 100 years)
Luis Rodriguez “Os Pasás” Ribeiro Spain 2014
ultra-mineral, complex, dry blend of treixadura, albariño, & etc.
Schäefer-Fröhlich “Vulkangestein” Riesling trocken Nahe 2015
ultra-crunchy and dry, more minerals than death valley

Red tasting ($12)
La Clarine Farm Mourvèdre “Cedarville” Sierra Foothills 2015
savory, high-altitude, granitic
Folk Machine Valdiguié Redwood Valley 2015
spicy, ripe, but not extracted
Cruse Wine Co Syrah Sonoma 2015
whole cluster fermented, wild yeasts, finished in concrete egg, no added sulfites

Thursday, 12/22: Christmas in Provence

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Special Provençal Christmas tasting
Thursday, December 22nd
Taste the traditional Christmas wine of Domaine Les Bastides + more!
6-8 PM no reservations required
$12

Domaine Les Bastides Rosé Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence 2015 ($25)
Domaine Les Bastides Rouge Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence 2013 ($25)
Domaine Les Bastides “Valeria” Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence 2012 ($35)
Domaine Les Bastides Vin Cuit Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence NV ($54)

This Thursday we’re tasting the wines of Domaine Les Bastides, including their fabulous vin cuit, the traditional Christmas wine of Provence and an essential accompaniment to the “Le Treize Desserts de Noël,” a 13 (!) dessert course that follows the Provençal Christmastime feast. Vin cuit, or cooked wine, is not as you might expect a wine that is cooked but is rather a wine made from fresh grape juice that the winemaker slowly, slowly simmers (never boiled) over an open fire. As the winemaker simmers they stir and skim continuously so as to facilitate evaporation and to also avoid scorching. The winemaker stops the simmering once the juice loses about half of its water and then ferments the concentrated must into a naturally sweet wine that captures the vivacious bright acidity of the fresh juice. These can, in the right hands, be exciting and delicate wines that are fun to drink as an apéritif, with foie gras, and of course dessert. This Thursday we’re tasting what is perhaps the very finest vin cuit from the domain that, in the 1970s, resuscitated the wine and saved it from extinction.

Carole Salen is a one-woman winemaking powerhouse who operates the winery and vineyards first planted by her late father Jean in the late 60s. Jean Salen realized that the vin cuit that he knew and loved from his childhood had, after the war, dwindled away to the point where no one bothered to make any of it commercially, and it was Jean who decided to do something about this eclipsed fragment of his patrimony and began producing the wine again. When you visit her domain what strikes you first is that this is a working farm, all business, with zero bling or flash. The winemaking is simple and straightforward, and you can still see some of old-fashioned, enameled, carbon steel fermenters, which Carole insists exert an influence upon the wine that is superior to that of stainless steel. Carole farms organically and works primarily with the traditional Provençal grape varieties (cinsault and grenache for the red and rosé wines; ugni blanc and rolle for the white wine), yet she also does wonderful work with cabernet, an unlikely grape in this context–originating far to the north–but nevertheless somehow just works down south, too.

Tastings 12/15 – 12/17

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Thursday tasting ($12) 6-8 PM $12 no reservations needed

Cool-climate, mountain fruit chardonnay that will make you forget that you ever hated on this grape, from two of the most soul-stirring new California winemakers. An astounding red wine, smoky yet delicate, from the high-altitude slopes of an active volcano. Intricate and leathery Greek wine made from a nearly extinct grape grown on the volcanic soils of Santorini.

Arnot-Roberts Trout Gulch Chardonnay 2015
Girolamo Russo “San Lorenzo” Etna Rosso 2013
Hatzidakis Mavrotragano 2012

Friday tasting ($12) plus Fancy Friday by-the-glass ($14)
6-8 PM $12 no reservations needed

Start with a refreshing and rustic dry natural sparkling wine from the north east of Italy, and then taste two great traditional Italian reds: one a Sardinian wine made from the curious and cranky old grape variety monica; the other an exemplary everyday drankin’ nebbiolo from one of the great producers of traditional Barolo. If you dare: Fancy Friday by-the-glass, we’re opening one and exactly one bottle of a super savory cab franc from the Loire–a nearly 25-year-old bottle of Bourgueil.
Gaspare Buscemi Vino Frizzante Venezia Giulia 2011
Cardedu “Praja” Monica Sardinia 2015
Brovia Nebbiolo d’Alba 2013
Friday Fancy! Breton “Les Perrieres” Bourgueil 1992 by-the-glass ($14)

Saturday tasting
3-7 PM no reservations needed

Two tastings, one of white wines, the other of red wines. A rare chance to taste a Lapierre Morgon, superb and allocated cru Beaujolais from the late master of the medium, or, if that’s just too boring for you, how about a nutty Jura savagnin, 18 months is barrel? Too boring? Gorgeous, slate-y cab franc. Too boring? I got nuthin’, not even an Adderall XR for you.

White tasting ($12)
Pollerhof “Frau Mayer” Grüner Veltliner Weinvertel 2015
Ferrando “Cariola” Erbaluce di Caluso 2014
Varron Savagnin Côtes du Jura 2013

Red tasting ($12)
Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2015
Thierry Germain “Terres Chaudes” Saumur Champigny 2012
Oikonomoy Liatiko Crete 2006

Tastings!

We host wine tastings on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Friday tastings always start with an invigorating sparkling wine (could be a Champagne, could be a dry Lambrusco), and a Friday Fancy by-the-glass pour of something, well, fancy. On Saturdays, we always offer two tastings: one of white or rosé wine, the other of red wine.

Here’s what’s happening this week.

orange wine natural wine los angeles organic biodynamic

Friday night flight $12+ Fancy Friday by-the-glass ($14)


Start your weekend off with the pause that refreshes: a bone-dry apéritif of zero dosage Champagne, 100 percent pinot meunier, from the brilliant Christophe Mignon. Then taste two savory reds, one from the Loire, the other from France’s southwest. And if you dare, follow this up with another savory treat: for this week’s Friday Fancy, we’re opening one, and just one, bottle of a majestic, structured Hermitage from Colombier ($14/glass)—serious, smoky, syrah from the grape’s homeland.

Christophe Mignon Brut Nature Champagne NV
Bainbridge and Cathcart “Rouge aux Lèvres” Vin de France NV
Plageoles Duras Gaillac 2015
Friday Fancy:
Domaine du Colombier Hermitage 2013 (decanted)

Saturday tastings: crisp/dry/aromatic whites + California syrah

Two tastings, one white, the other red.

Aromatic white tasting $12

Philippe Tessier “Les Sables” Cour-Cheverny 2014
Clemens Busch “Pünderich” Kabinett Riesling 2015
Pollerhof “Vom Löss” 2015

California Syrah tasting $12

Arnot-Roberts “Sonoma Coast” Syrah 2015
Jolie-Laide “Halcon Vineyard” Syrah Mendocino 2015
Drew “The Ornbaun” red wine Mendocino 2014

 

Thursday Harvest Tasting 12/8

california natural wine
A flock of wild California winemakers descends from remote aeries to pour us their fresh autumn releases. 6 to 8 pm.

Join us and wine impresario Adam Vourvoulis and taste with Michael Cruse, Amplify Wines, Darek Trowbridge, Field Recordings, Méthode Sauvage Wine Co., j.brix wines, Scar of the Sea wines, Solminer, and Noel Diaz of Purity Wines.

 

 

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Tasting 12/3-12-8: new releases from Ovum + Frank Cornelissen live! + California harvest tasting with a horde of winemakers!

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Saturday, December 3

Two tastings!
A red tasting of savory wines from Italy’s Südtirol
+ a white tasting of Ovum’s latest releases
3-7 PM $12 no reservations needed

Two tastings! A tasting of new releases from Ovum, the extraordinary, aromatic white wines of genius winemakers John House and Ksenija Kostic. Or, a tasting of savory, alpine reds from Italy’s Südtirol region, the German-speaking region near the Austrian border. Caution: there may be alpenhorns.

Ovum tasting

Ovum Memorista Riesling 2015 earlier harvest
Ovum Memorista Riesling 2015 later harvest
Ovum “Love Me or Leave Me” Gewurztraminer 2015

Südtirol tasting

Rynnhof Vernatsch 2014
Martin Gojer “Quirein” Lagrein 2013
Berger Gei Lagrein Riserva 2013

Monday, December 5

Special Monday tasting with far out Sicilian renegade winemaker Frank Cornelissen
6-8 PM $12 no reservations needed

Madman, mystic winegrower Frank Cornelissen is at the shop for a special Monday tasting. Frank’s a natural wine purist – nothing added during vinification or bottling, and he farms in an extreme area: high-altitude vineyards situated on the slopes of Mt Etna, an active volcano. We’ll taste the new vintage of his fresh and gluggy Contadino, a wine that we love and stock continuously during the short window of its availability, and then two of his more gnarly Munjabel (Sicilian dialect = beautiful mountain) reds.

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Thursday, December 8

California harvest tasting with a bevy of real live California winemakers!
+ snacks from Hatchet Hall
6-8 PM $20 no reservations needed

Join us and Hatchet Hall’s wine impresario Adam Vourvoulis for a California harvest tasting celebrating new releases from:

Mike Cruse of Cruse Wines, Mikey Giugni of Scar of the Sea, Andrew Jones of Fiction/Field Recordings, Chad Hinds of Méthode Sauvage, Cameron Porter of Amplify Wine, Jody Towe of J. Brix, Darek Towbridge of Old World Winery.

Tastings!

 

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Thursday: real live Hungarian winegrower + fresh oysters!
Friday: Thanksgiving tasting pt 1
Saturday: Thanksgiving tasting pt 2

Thursday November 17
Taste dry Hungarian wines with winemaker Samuel Tinon
+ Oysters from L&E Oyster Bar
6-8 PM no reservations required
Tasting + oysters $25 tasting alone $15

Samuel Tinon is at the shop this Thursday showcasing his dry white wines, but what does that mean to you? Well, if you dig dry white wines that are overflowing with energetic and taut minerality, you need to meet him and taste his wines. And to sweeten the pot we’ll have our pals from L&E Oyster shucking pristine oysters to complement Tinon’s wines.  Tinon is a French expat living and farming in Hungary’s Tokaji region. Although he is Bordeaux born and educated, he’s utterly uninterested in making Bordelaise-style wines, preferring instead to work in the staunchly traditional and unique idiom of the historic Tokaji winegrowing region. He farms organically and is a resolute advocate for the wide range of wine styles in the Tokaji. The soils in Tokaji consist of a layer of windblown, friable clay that covers a much deeper layer of volcanic rock—the whole growing regions sits atop over 200 extinct volcanoes. These savory yet delicate wines are full of life force and minerality; beautiful reflections of this unique volcanic terroir. This Thursday we’re showcasing three of his bone-dry white wines, two made from the local furmint grape, the other made from hárslevelű, another unique local grape variety.

Furmint Birtok 2015
Hárslevelű Olaszliszka 2014
Single vineyard Furmint from Kásás, Megyer, Szent Tamás  2015

Friday November 18
Thanksgiving tasting I
6-8 PM no reservations required $12

Friday’s tasting is full of fun ideas for your Thanksgiving supper—wines that play well with autumnal flavors and textures.

Southold Farm + Cellar “You Pretty Things” Natural Sparkling Wine ($26)
dry sparkling syrah & muscat
Brendan Tracy Gorge Sèche Vin de France 2014 ($26)
Fresh, light chillable Loire valley blend of pineau d’aunis, gamay, côt
Domaine Les Aphillanthes “Cuvée des Galets” Côtes du Rhône Villages 2014 ($20)
Full-bodied but not syrupy, spicy, a little smoky, grenache, syrah, mourvèdre
Gilles Cornas 2012 ($64)
meaty, savory syrah that benefits from decanting (we will decant for the tasting)

Saturday November 19
Thanksgiving tasting II
3-7 PM no reservations

Saturday’s tasting is full of more fun ideas for your Thanksgiving supper—wines that play well with autumnal flavors and textures. We’re offering two tastings: one of old vine whites, the other red.

Old vines white tasting $12

Enric Soler “Improvisació” Xarel-lo 2014 Penedes Spain
old vines xarel-lo, like biting into a geode
Raul Perez “Muti” Rias Baixas Albariño 2014 Rias Baixas 2014
old vines albariño, dating back to 1912
Patrick Baudoin Les Gats Anjou 2012
sixty-year-old vines

Autumnal red tasting $12

La Collina Lambrusco ($18.50)
dry, crisp sparkling red
Dutraive “Le Clos” old vines Fleurie 2015 France ($38)
outrageous cru Beaujolais
La Prevostura Lessona 2012 Italy ($39)
nebbiolo from the north of Piemonte