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!
2014 Señorio de P. Peciña Rioja Blanco
appellation: Rioja, Spain
grape variety: viura
Pedro Peciña worked as head agronomist and vineyard manager at La Rioja Alta for 20 years before establishing his own winery in 1992, focusing it around his family’s 20 hectares of old vines in San Vicente. His style is classic, a nod to the traditions established by houses like Lopez de Heredia. The vineyards are farmed in a natural and sustainable manner. Harvest is done by hand, and the wines are all de-stemmed and then fermented by individual parcel using indigenous yeasts. In total the he produces six wines in total, from a young, tank fermented tempranillo to Gran Riserva bottlings only made in the best years. This Rioja Blanco is 100% viura from two miniscule vineyards, El Codo and Finca Iscorta. The grapes spend 24 hours on their skins to give the wine more ample body and texture, a nice compliment to its fleshy melon and lemon peel notes. Drink this white with savory things, like roasted pork chops and potatoes, or richer fish.
2015 Folk Machine White Lights
grape varieties: tocai friulano, riesling, and verdelho
Folk Machine is the brain chain and labor of love of Kenny Likitprakong, who founded his company Hobo Wines in 2002, named in part to honor the wandering vagabonds he romanticized as a child, and partly to describe his lo-fi style and lack of conventional winery and vineyards. Kenny bottles all sorts of wine from various vineyards scattered over northern California – always with the aim to make wines that are both individual and classically California in personality. He keeps a light touch in the winery, intentionally leaving as much to the quality of the grapes as possible. White Lights is a blend of tocai friulano, with verdelho and riesling. Tocai friulano is most widely planted in the northeastern corner of Italy, and is also known as sauvignonasse, though it has no direct relation to sauvignon blanc, as that name might suggest.. At 11% abv, this is super light and easy, and sunny enough to help you look forward to Spring.
2014 Laurent Barth Pinot D’Alsace
appellation: Alsace, France
grape varieties: pinot auxerrois, pinot noir
Laurent took over his father’s estate in 1999, which at the time was under contract to sell their fruit to a cooperative for bottling. Laurent made his first estate wine in 2004. He farms organically, using some biodynamic techniques, and makes wine as naturally as possible. Though it is permitted to call a wine made with pinot auxerrois “pinot blanc”, Laurent chooses to avoid this confusion and contribute his own by adding 5% pinot noir to this blend. While Laurent’s farming techniques and philosophy are geared to achieving the ripest possible fruit, we love this wine for its natural balance of ripeness and acidity.
2015 Château de Brézé Clos Mazurique
appellation: Saumur (Loire), France
grape variety: cabernet franc
Not only is Chateau de Breze a UNESCO world heritage site, but it is also an important reference point in French wine history. The wines of this estate have won the praises of French royalty for centuries. Yves and Arnaud Lambert took on the management of these historic vineyards in 2009, immediately converting to organic agriculture. Production is dedicated to chenin blanc and cabernet franc, both of which do particularly well on Brézé’s higher elevation and tuffeau-heavy soils – the same porous, chalky limestone used to build the famous castle itself. This is cabernet franc at its most delightful – bright red and juicy with satisfying peppery finish. Sip and imagine yourself in a French bistro.
2014 Vegas Altas Tempranillo
appellation: Extremadura, Spain
grape variety: tempranillo
Juan Sojo and Ángel Luis González are like brothers from different mothers. One minute they’re arguing and the next they’re toasting to another harvest. They studied oenology together and ever since have been making wines together. Ángel Luis comes from a background in agriculture while Juan comes from a background in chemistry. Both so different, but yet complement each other so well. Together they want to prove their homeland’s winemaking potential. They control and source grapes from 38 hectares of vineyards (some over 80 years of age) and have become the only organic wine producers in all of Extremadura. Following biodynamic principles and taking advantage of the night’s cooler temperatures, they reap their harvest under September’s full moon. Every grape cluster selected passes through their hands guaranteeing the highest quality and allowing them to limit the use of additives in the cellar. This is their take on northern Spain’s most prized red variety, tempranillo, fermented with native yeast in stainless steel tanks and bottled unfiltered. Have the jamon ready.
2015 Château du Cèdre “Marcel Malbec”
appellation: Cahors, France
grape variety: malbec
Pascal Verhaeghe and his brother, Jean-Marc, bring a welcome refinement to the wines of picturesque Cahors, located about an hour and a half east of Bordeaux. Their father began making wines at Château du Cèdre in the 1970s, and the fun-loving sons took over in the 1990s, banning all herbicides and chemicals, and adopting a domaine motto: “Move forward, experience new ways.” Cahors wines are made predominantly from Malbec and known for being powerful, rich and dark. “Marcel” is a fine introduction to this style of malbec, whose lightly tannic structure might surprise those used to drinking soft, supple Argentine versions. Burgers and steak apply here to soak up some of that tannin.