Monthly Pass – June 2015

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!


IMG_37452014 Gentilini Robola

appellation: Cephalonia, Greece
grape variety: robola

The Gentilini estate is located on the Greek island of Cephalonia, one of a chain of Ionian islands in the Adriatic sea on Greece’s eastern border. The property has a long history, first established in 1590’s by an Italian ambassador from Padua. Today the family is owned by the Cosmetatos family. The robola grape was long thought to be a relative of Ribolla, perhaps brought to the island by Venetian merchants, but recent DNA studies have proven it to be its own distinct variety. It does very well on the island’s heavy, limestone soils, producing an aromatic, light-bodied white with notes of flint and lemon. Try with an appetizer of feta with olive oil and fresh feta, or some grilled octopus with preserved lemons.


image32014 Francois Chidaine Touraine Sauvignon

appellation: Touraine, France
grape variety: sauvignon

Francois Chidaine is almost unquestionably the best producer in the village of Montlouis-sur-Loire, just east of Tours, in the central Loire valley. While most of his white wine production is dedicated to chenin blanc, both in Montlouis and Vouvray, one of our favorites is this simple, typical sauvignon blanc. Bright and bombastic, it’s fresh, crisp, orchard-fruit aromas practically jump out of the glass, and the palate is pleasantly balanced between plump fruit and classic Loire minerality. Have this white as an aperitif or with light fish and vegetables. (And be sure to try his other wines from Montlouis and Vouvray, if you happen to find one.)


IMG_37482014 Domaine la Blaque Rosé

appellation: Pierrevert, France
grape varieties: cinsault, grenache, syrah, vermentino

Nestled in the morning shadow of the Alps, north of the central hubbub of Provence, is the recently AOC-recognized Pierrevert (1998). Domaine la Blaque came on our radar last year with their olive- and garrigue-scented traditional red blend, of which we ran out too soon. We loaded up on the new vintage, which is just as great, and just received of this, our first vintage of rosé. Aromatically this shows its proximity to the mountains with a subtle violet aroma and very light, clean mouthfeel. As with most rosé, this is very easy to drink on its own, but it will truly shine with something like bronzino seasoned with fresh herbs.


image22013 La Kiuva Arnad Montjovet

appellation: Arnad Montjovet – Vallée d’Aosta, Italy
grape varieties: picotendro, gros vien, neyret, cornalin, fumin

La Kiuva is small cooperative winery perched in the northwestern reaches of Valle d’Aosta, where the Italian Alps touch the borders of France and Switzerland. The co-op has 60 members maintaining a total of 25 hectares of vines. Together they produce 3 different cuvées, all based on picotendro, the local clone of nebbiolo which yields small bunches of tiny, ripe grapes that mature slowly in these chilly mountain slopes. Aromatic and balanced, with clean acidity and an appealingly rustic spiciness, this is an elegant option to pair with pasta dishes of all kinds, or alongside alpine cheeses like Fontina (whose home is also Valle d’Aosta) or Tomme de Savoie.


image42013 Corzano “Il Corzanello”

appellation: Toscana, Italy
grape varieties: sangiovese, merlot, cabernet sauvignon

This 140-hectare farm is a living bit of history in the hills outside San Casciano, just west of Florence.  The estate is made of two centuries-old properties, one named Corzano, the other Paterna, which were united and brought back into production in 1978 by Swiss architect Wednel Gelpke and his family.  From the start, Wendel was committed to reigniting the traditions of the region, and since his death the family continues to produce award-winning sheep’s milk cheeses, olive oil, and of course wine. “Il Corzanello” is fermented and aged in stainless steel, and then spends eight months in bottle before release. Ruby red and full of sangiovese’s classic spicy cherry notes, with good structure imparted from the cabernet. All it needs is some grilled vegetables, good bread, cheese, and olive oil.


image52013 Judith Beck “Beck Ink”

appellation: Burgenland, Austria
grape varieties: zweigelt, st. laurent

Judith Beck runs her family’s estate in Gols on Lake Neusiedl in Burgenland, southeast of Austria.  Her parents established the property in 1976, and she made her first vintage in 2001. Her father still helps with the vineyard work, and in 2007 they converted the estate to biodynamic viticulture. In this corner of Austria, where the climate is moderated by the lake, the focus is on red grapes: 85% of their vineyards are planted to zweigelt, blaufränkisch, saint laurent, merlot, and pinot noir, and the remaining 15% on welschriesling, pinot blanc, and chardonnay. “Beck Ink” is fermented in stainless steel and then spends 8 months in barrique. This is a medium-bodied red with surprising spice and mineral depth, a nice pair for some charred burgers or ribs on the grill. Judith’s philosophy about wine is pretty hard to argue with: “Wine and the joy of living and pleasure all go hand in hand.”

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