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!
2015 Rossi Cairo Gavi
appellation: Gavi (Piedmont), Italy
grape variety: cortese
The Rossi Cairo family purchased the La Raia farm in 2003, and their first project was converting the 180 hectare farm to biodynamic farming methods. Today, in addition to their wines, the estate also produces honey, cultivates ancient grains and manages a small herd of Fassone cattle, who play a key role in the biodynamic process. Gavi sits on the southeastern border of Piedmont, abutting Liguria to the south and Lombardy to the east, and is one of just two DOCGs for white wine in the region. In addition to three versions of Gavi, which is always made of cortese, two reds are produced at La Raia, both made of barbera. Crisp, bright, and appealing, Gavi is a classic apéritif, and pairs well with young cheeses or lighter vegetable starter dishes.
2015 Zlatan Bogdanuša
appellation: Hvar, Croatia
grape variety: bogdanuša
Viticulture was first brought to this region by the Greeks in the fifth century BC, well before the time of the Romans. Now, nearly thirty years after the fall of the Soviet empire and centuries of shifting boarders, Croatia has begun showcasing it rich viticultural history and important indigenous varieties to the modern world. Established in 1985 the Zlatan Otok winery sits on the rocky southern slopes of the island of Hvar off Croatia’s south Dalmatian coast. This white is made from one of the island’s local white grapes, called bogdanuša, whose name means “God-given”. Saline and clean, pair this truly divine white with with grilled fish and vegetables or sheep’s milk cheeses.
2014 Chateau Le Payral Bergerac
appellation: Bergerac, France
grape varieties: merlot, cabernet sauvignon
Thierry is the third generation of the Daulhiac family managing Chateau Le Payral, in the Bergerac appellation, just east of Bordeaux, along the Dordogne. Theirry converted the entire estate to organics in 2005, and has increasingly relied on biodynamic practices over the last few vintages. As is typical throughout Bergerac, the varietal makeup is similar to Bordeaux, with merlot, both cabernets, and a small amount of malbec forming the basis for the red blends. Whites made from sauvignon, semillon, and muscadelle, including sweet wine falling under the Saussignac appellation, are also produced at Le Payral. This is their everyday drinking red, perfect for burgers, burritos, or baloney sandwiches.
2010 Chateau Trillol
appellation: Corbières Cucagnan (Languedoc), France
grape varieties: grenache, syrah
The Bordelais Sichel family, of Chateaux Palmer and Angludet fame, purchased Chateau Trillol in 1990. Work immediately commenced to expand the area planted to vines, from 6 to what is now 40 hectares in total. Grenache and syrah from two distinctive terroirs come together to form a wine of firm structure, ample fruit, and a distinctive wild herbaceousness that can’t be mistaken for anything but the Languedoc. At six years on from harvest, this feels at peak maturity, with a pleasant story to tell. Shepherd’s pie, or something of equally satisfying comfort would be a nice pair.
2014 Angelo Negro “Angelin”
appellation: Langhe (Piedmont), Italy
grape variety: nebbiolo
The Roero is a hop, skip, and a jump away from the famous Langhe, and has more humble feeling to its rolling hills. Angelo Negro is a historically significant winery whose origins date back to 1670, when two of the estate’s most important vineyards—Perdaudin and Prachiosso—were first planted. Giovanni Negro, the estate’s present owner, produced the first dry Roero arneis on record in 1971. While arneis plantings still far outnumber all other varieties combined, impressive nebbiolo can still be found. “Angelin” is a joyful, generous, light red that wants to be on the table for Sunday dinner with the family.
2012 Black Kite “Glass House Vineyard”
appellation: Sonoma Coast, California
grape variety: pinot noir
Black Kite is a tiny producer in the Anderson Valley that produces a handful of cuvées of pinot noir and chardonnay from vineyards they own or manage. Just 145 cases of this wine were produced, from a vineyard they no longer work in Sonoma. This is full-throttle Californian pinot noir, carrying a powerful intensity not typical to the variety. Aged for a year in French oak barrels (half new), we’re sure this has benefitted from the extra couple years in bottle, and probably could age for another decade or more. Decant it for an hour before serving with steak or seared tuna.