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!
2011 Laurent Cognard Montagny 1er Cru “Le Vieux Chateau”
appellation: Montagny (Côte Chalonnaise), France
grape variety: chardonnay
In 2004, after working in various aspects of the wine industry, Laurent Cognard returned to his family’s tiny 7-hectare estate located in Buxy, in the Côte Chalonnaise. As is often the case, until Laurent took the reins, his family had sold their harvest to the local cooperative. The vines are divided between two premier cru sites in Montagny, “Les Bassets” and “Le Vieux Chateau”, which he has worked steadily to revitalize, using organic practices, natural treatments, and ploughing to push the vines’ roots deeper. 80% of fermentation is done in barrel, no more than 30% new, and then blended with the remaining 20% which he ferments in stainless steel to maintain freshness and zing. Four years in and this wine has maintained its freshness and lively citrus character, supported by substantial backbone and classic Burgundian chardonnay character. Pair with anything from riper creamy cheeses to roasted chicken with lots of garlic and dijon mustard.
2014 Domaine Lagneau Beaujolais Villages
appellation: Beaujolais, France
grape variety: gamay
Gerard Lagneau, his wife Jeannine, and their son Didier all work together on their 17-hectare property in Beaujolais, with vines planted in Morgon, Régnié, and Côtes de Brouilly. This is our first look at the Lagneau family’s village wine, whose soft, fruity personality is achieved by the regionally typical technique of carbonic maceration. Its lightness of body makes it a truly satisfying apéritif, with or without snacks, though a little cheese never hurt nobody!
2008 Chateau Tour des Gendres “Gloire de Mon Père”
appellation: Bergerac, France
grape varieties: cabernet sauvignon, malbec, merlot, cabernet franc
The Chateau Tour des Gendres is located in the Bergerac appellation of the Dordogne, just east of the right bank vineyards of Bordeaux. The estate has been famed for its wines since the 12th century, and today is farmed and maintained by the Conti family, who purchased the estate in the early 1980’s. All vineyard work is organic, and biodynamic principles are applied when possible. This bottling is made of 40% cabernet sauvignon, 30% malbec, 20% merlot and 5% cab franc grown in les Gendres vineyard’s calcareous, limestone heavy soils. The wine is fermented in tanks before spending 6 months on its lees in stainless steel and a year in barriques. The extra bottle age has softened its tannins, and accentuated the licorice and blackberry notes. Perigord ducks are raised nearby to this region, so a traditional pairing for this red would be grilled duck breast or duck confit over a fresh salad.
2013 Château Lestignac “Va te faire boire”
appellation: Vin de France
grape varieties: merlot, cabernet franc
Lestignac is a small family estate situated just 10 km south of Bergerac, on the limestone plate of Monbazillac, due east of Bordeaux. The property had been in the Marquet family for over 4 centuries, and they rescued it from sale and made their first wine in 2008. The estate has been organic from the start, and Camille and Mathias are committed to continuing that through the winemaking, most being bottled without sulphites. This wine, whose name is a play on a very dirty French phrase, roughly translates to “go and get drunk”. Majority merlot with a hearty portion of cabernet franc, those of you lucky enough to receive both this wine and the Tour des Gendres will find the wines to be light years apart stylistically, despite their proximity of origin. Pair with rustic country dishes like slow-cooked white beans, or take their advice and just dive right in!
2014 Bernabeleva “Camino de Navaherreros”
appellation: Madrid, Spain
grape variety: garnacha
Bernabeleva is a small family run estate located in San Martin de Valdeiglesias at the foot of the Gredos mountains, just west of Madrid. It takes its name, which translates to “forest of the bear”, from ancient stone bears carved out of boulders to mark hunting territory that are found on the property. The estate has 35 hectares of vines, planted mostly to grenache and morenillo for the reds and albillo and moscatel de grano menudo for whites. Their grenache vines are quite old, some parcels are upwards of 80 years old. In total, the estate makes 4 different red wines, focused on these different vineyard sites to highlight their particular personalities. This wine is made from a blend of fruit from each of the different vineyard sites, each vinified separately and then blended. Juicy and aromatic with lots of appealing blackberry fruit and spice, a perfect pair for Spanish-style pinchos, like olives, or sliced chorizo.
2012 Tenuta dei Fossi “Sikele”
appellation: Sicily, Italy
grape variety: nero d’avola
Founded in 2001, Tenuta dei Fossi is situated on a hilly land once known as Poggio dei Fossi, a name that connotes a wine-rooted tradition, and is now known as the comune of Noto in the southeastern Sicilian province of Siracusa. Founded in 2001, today it is managed by the female face of the Paterno family: two sisters Marilina and Federica, who focus their philosophy on the absolute respect for the land. Recent exchanges with Frank Cornelissen, the mystical Belgian hero of natural winemaking on Mount Etna, seeming further proof of the sisters’ commitment to continuing the experimental work of natural winemaking. Here’s an example of the island’s most famous native variety, nero d’avola, produced in a no-frills, traditional style, designed for pure drinking enjoyment. A rare red that’s truly suited to pairing with seafood, try it with octopus salad or bacalaitos.