Friday 10/13 and Special Raw Fair preview tasting Saturday 10/14

We have two great tastings this weekend. On Friday, taste Italian red wines that color outside of the lines, and on Saturday we’re hosting a Raw Fair preview tasting with Isabelle Legeron, plus oysters from L&E Oyster Bar.

Los Angeles natural wine organic biodynamic Friday, October 13, 2017
Marginal Italian red wines
$12 / 6-8 PM / no reservations

Why do grape varieties fall out of fashion? Part of the reason is fate. When the invasive phylloxera louse destroyed most of the vines in Europe by the late 19th century, there came a tremendous decline in grape biodiversity. Some grape varieties were lost forever; others became regional specialties, with ever-dwindling numbers of farmers willing or interested in working with their grandparent’s grapes. And yet others fall out of fashion because they do not hew to the standards of modernity—they just don’t behave in ways that easily fit into the Cartesian coordinates of marketplace categorization. I am a champion of the underdog grape because I know that sometimes, the old ways are sometimes good ways. Tonight, taste four marginal Italian red wines made from grape varieties that have become marginal, for no fault of their own. We have mayolet from the Val d’Aosta, the French-speaking part of Italy at the Swiss border. There are only about 1,000 acres of it still under cultivation, not only because it’s not easy to grow, but also because mayolet wants to make fresh, low-tannin, juicy wines that until recently, no one wanted, but now just what so many of us want to drink. We have another wine with yet more old, ultra-regional varieties from this part of Italy (petite rouge, cornalin, vien de nus). And then two mono-varietal reds made from delightful regional curiosities: cjanorie, from Friulian grape conservator Emilio Bulfon, and a rare example of old-school brachetto, a Piemontese grape that today is mostly made into frivolous, sweet, fizzy wines, but here in its traditional manifestation, dry, chalky textured, lavender-y.

Villet Mayolet Val d’Aosta 2015 (rare variety indigenous to the Val d’Aosta)
Emilio Bulfon “Cjanorôs” Friuli 2015 (cjanorie, exceptionally rare Friulian variety)
Sottimano “Maté” 2016 Piemonte (dry, still brachetto)
La Crotta di Tanteun e Marietta “Farouche” 2015 Val d’Aosta (petit rouge, cornalin, vien de nus, gamay)

Saturday, October 13
3-7 PM no reservations
Wine + half-dozen oysters: $25 Wine only: $12

Isabelle Legeron, the author of “Natural Wine” and the brains behind Fair, the forthcoming, epic, two-day natural wine fair at Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles, is in the shop to talk to us about natural wines and sign her book. Raw Fair is taking place in Los Angeles on November 12-13th, and we’re damn excited about it. 120 natural winemakers with hundreds of wines to try. Do not miss this! Tonight, we’re previewing a few of the wines from growers who will be at the Raw Fair in November, and I thought: raw wines need raw oysters, and so we also have our friends from L&E Oyster Bar shucking raw oysters for us, and we’re tasting a half-dozen oyster-loving wines with which to enjoy the world’s finest edible bivalve.

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