Welcome to the latest installment of the Streetcar Monthly Pass. If you’ve already purchased a pass, thank you! If you haven’t, you should check out this page to learn how it works. Below you’ll find some information about each of this month’s six Monthly Pass selections. If you bought a 2 or 4 bottle package and one of the wines you didn’t get piques your curiosity, we have all six in stock. Unfortunately, we can’t swap out one wine for another, since they aren’t all equal in value. On to the wines!
appellation: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Clisson (Loire), France
grape variety: melon
appellation: Südtirol – Alto Adige, Italy
grape variety: pinot bianco
The Counts von Keunburg have been the stewards of the ancient Castle Sallegg and its vineyards since 1851 which sit overlooking Lake Caldaro in the Dolomites of northeastern Italy. Both red and white varieties do well here, in the gravel and limestone-rich south-facing slopes, which sit with their backs protected by the Kaltern forest, which rises into the mountains. The Preyhof vineyard, for which this cuvée is named, is the estate’s highest parcel of vines, and is for white grape production. This bottling is fermented and aged in stainless steel, except for a small portion which is put in small barrels before being bottled. Ample and bright, this white has enough fleshy body to stand up to fuller dishes. Try with middle eastern spices, or a pasta with a creamy sauce.
appellation: IGP Mediterranée, France
grape varieties: syrah, rolle
There are exactly three wineries in Palette, the smallest appellation in Provence, and only two of them bottle wine. The reputation of Palette has entirely relied on the famous and infamously expensive wines of Chateau Simone, whose rosé you’re likely to see on some of the better wine lists around town. Henri Bonnaud is the other producer, and has only become available to us in the last year or so. Three rosés are bottles here, all from organically grown grapes. “Steff” is an odd blend of syrah and rolle (vermentino) that charmed us with its faint blackberry aroma when shown a few months ago. We’re hoping for an atypically warm night or two this month to celebrate the demise of winter, and could see this wine in the picture.
appellation: Corbières (Languedoc), France
grape varieties: carignan, syrah, grenache, mourvedre
Philipe Mathias is the winemaker at Chateau Pech-Latt, a small estate in Corbières, one of the larger appellations that makes up the wild, sun-drenched Languedoc-Roussillon. In a region known more for the mass production of hearty, somewhat anonymous reds, Philipe is working to reverse that notion with lower yields, organic practices, and terroir driven character. In adherence to AOC regulations, this is a blend of grenache, carignan, and syrah. It is full and dark, with satisfying berry fruit and earthy backbone – a perfect sidekick to the last of the cold-weather braises you still want to do, or a pot of cassoulet.
appellation: Valle de Chañarmuyo, Argentina
grape varieties: cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon
There’s no denying that most grapes enjoy growing in the high altitude mountainside vineyards of Argentina. This doesn’t leave winemakers without challenges, as evidenced by how frequently we taste overly ripe, mistreated malbecs from Mendoza. Keo is a new wine to us, and well, to most people, as the project was only started 15 years ago, starting with new plantings of malbec, cabernet, and other varieties in the Chañarmuyo Valley, around 900 kilometers north of Mendoza. We found a lot to like about this blend of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, which saw a short time in oak barrels before bottling (thus, “roble”). Balanced, savory, fruity, and dry, we imagine this might be nice with steak. Tell us if we’re wrong?
appellation: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy
grape variety: montepulciano
In 1996, at the age of 22, Federica Morricone took over the winery and vineyards surrounding the village of Medoro that her grandfather bought thirty years prior. Since then, her efforts to lower yields and increase quality have brought national and international recognition, culminating in this wine being awarded the coveted “tre bicchieri” award from Gambero Rosso (Italy’s top wine publication). Noticeably less reliant on brute force than the average montepulciano, Villa Medoro’s version is more subtly aromatic and gently spicy. Time to look up eggplant recipes.