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!
NV Pere Mata Cupada No. 15
appellation: Cava, Spain
grape varieties: macabeo, xarel-lo, parellada
This July marks Streetcar’s fourth anniversary, and if that weren’t enough to celebrate, this week Boston Magazine named us Best Wine Shop for the second time in the last three years! With so much to celebrate, we have included this lovely Cava – because what’s a celebration without bubbles? Pere Mata farms five hectares in the town of Sant’Sadurni d’Anoia in the heart of the Penedes. He works with traditional Cava varieties xarel-lo, parellada, and macabeo, seeking to make Cavas that are as terroir-specific and distinct as grower Champagnes. The wines go through their first fermentation in stainless steel, and the second in bottle. They spend two years resting on their lees, and receive zero dosage, resulting in a cava that is bright and pure, a true expression of its locale. Cheers!
2014 Domaine Gueguen Saint Bris
appellation: Saint Bris (Chablis), France
grape variety: sauvignon blanc
François and Céline Gueguen seem to the epitome of the small family winery. Both have wine flowing through their veins, as François managed the winery at Céline’s father’s estate in Chablis for 15 years before the two started their own firm. Their vineyard holdings are a combination of his and her families’, totaling a little over 20 hectares scattered throughout the region. The house style of their Chablis is cool, crisp, firm, and classic, with the obvious and not uncommon goal of allowing the characteristics of the vineyard to shine in every vintage. Saint Bris is one of those bizarre French ghetto appellations for a grape variety that has been disallowed from the region’s noble bottlings, which is this case, is sauvignon blanc. It’s not surprising to find sauvignon growing in this part of chardonnay-dominant Burgundy, as we find the same kimmeridgian soils found in Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé in the eastern valley of the Loire. Enjoy on a picnic with a baguette and some good fresh goat cheese.
2014 Darting Gewürztraminer Kabinett
appellation: Dürkheimer Nonnengarten, Pfalz, Germany
grape variety: gewürztraminer
Because sometimes we refuse to try to out-write importer Terry Theise on his own wines:
“…say you’d spent a bunch of consecutive evenings eating cutting-edge food, very edgy and compelling. (Lucky you; I love that kind of food too, and wish I were your BFF and could have joined you.) Then one evening you’re in a more mainstream restaurant and you’re served a perfect piece of wild turbot, cooked correctly and garnished sensitively. And you take the first bite and think, ah, FOOD. I forgot what FOOD tasted like, and how good it could be. That’s Darting.” Darting’s gewürztraminer is very little other than what gewürztraminer is in its purist form: roses and lychee. Its beauty is in its deceptive simplicity and effortlessness. Let the food run the conversation here, as this wine will play nice with just about any exotic set of flavors, or the aforementioned simply prepared fish.
2014 Glatzer “Rebencuvée”
appellation: Carnuntum, Austria
grape variety: zweigelt
Carnuntum is an old Roman army settlement halfway between Vienna and the Slovakian city of Bratislava. On their days off from waging bloody wars, Roman soldiers spent their time planting vines, and theirs were the first plantings in this region. Today the region is known for its red wines, especially those produced from the native blaufränkisch and its offspring, Austria’s most widely planted red variety, zweigelt. Walter Glatzer describes his approach to winemaking as a “combination of innovation and tradition”, taking advantage of modern technology to elevate tried and true viticultural methods. The fruit for this cuvée gets a short, one-week maceration, and then spends nine months in large 2,000 liter casks. Sappy and succulent with lots of berry and fresh mint notes, this is a red for lighter proteins, like grilled chicken, or pork chops.
2015 Paolo Scavino Dolcetto D’Alba
appellation: Piedmont, Italy
grape variety: dolcetto
The Paolo Scavino winery was founded in 1921 by Enrico Scavino’s father Paolo. 2016 is Enrico’s 66th year at the helm, with his daughters Enrica and Elisa working closely at his side. The winery is located in Castiglione Falletto, one of the eleven communes of the Barolo appellation, in the historical Langhe hills. Few other producers in Barolo have the opportunity to work with the diversity of grand cru vineyards throughout Barolo, and the Scavinos take full advantage, producing exemplary wines from nearly every corner of the region. We were particularly impressed by this year’s Dolcetto D’Alba, a simple, charming, and delicious example of one of the world’s most under-appreciated grape varieties. Produced from fruit harvested from vines of an average age of 50 years and fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks briefly before bottling, this is a juicy red that can be slightly chilled this time of year and served with grilled meats and veggies or other lighter fare.
2015 Rado Kocijančič Refošk
appellation: Goriška Brda
grape variety: refosco terrano
Rado Kocijančič continues the arduous task of cultivating six steep hectares in eastern Slovenia’s reputed Brda growing district, at a site whose winemaking history goes back to the 15th century. After World War II, when Brda was transferred from Italy to Yugoslavia, the new government moved to nationalize private property, effectively claiming half of all deeded holdings from landowning families during this tumultuous period. Rado’s grandfather’s twenty hectares became ten. Although Rado would rather forget this not so distant past, he is content that his vines are planted in soils that have been compared to Burgundy’s prestigious Côte d’Or. His terrain, ponka in Slovenian dialect, encompasses calcareous/clay marls that are sandwiched between vertical layers of sandstone and derived from an ancient sea bed that has gradually risen over the span of about sixty million years. The vine’s roots are therefore able to explore fossilized marine elements that impart mineral qualities to the wines of this esteemed appellation. Similar to the generations that preceded him, Rado continues to focus on local varieties Rebula, Jakot (Tocai Friulano), and Refošk as well as newcomers Sivi Pinot (Pinot Grigio) and Sauvignon Blanc. Refošk is not the same as the Italian refosco, and is known elsewhere as resfosco terrano or teran. Its pronounced salty feel accentuates the wine’s brambly fruit and subtler savory notes. Try it with something healthy like this.