Monthly Pass – March 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!


image (1)2013 Schloss Gobelsburg “Gobelsburger”

appellation: Kamptal, Austria
grape variety: grüner veltliner

One of the oldest wineries in Austria, Schloss Goblesburg was established in the 12th century by the monks of Zwettl (those crazy monks). The current caretakers, Eva and Michael Moosbrugger work hard to maintain the character of the estate’s truly historic vineyards. “Gobelsburger” is a blend of younger fruit from a handful of parcels. For those uninitiated to the charms of Austrian wines, this is the perfect primer to the nation’s most widely-planted white variety. Its pretty grapefruit notes and clean mineral finish make it extremely versatile in food pairing.


image (3)2013 Eric Chevalier Chardonnay

appellation: Val de Loire, France
grape variety: chardonnay

Eric Chevalier’s family has owned Domaine de l’Aujardière for four generations, though he was the first to vinify and bottle the wines at the property. The estate is located in the village of Saint-Philbert de Grandlieu, just southwest of Nantes, in the western part of the Loire Valley. About half of the estate’s production is Muscadet, the rest divided between chardonnay, fie gris (also known as sauvignon gris), grolleau and pinot noir. The chardonnay is grown on soil rich with quartz, making this wine extra flinty and clean, with simple, lean fruit, not amplified by oak aging. Try this with a roast chicken with a lemon and mustard rub over roasted potatoes.


image (2)2013 Tenuta di Gracciano della Seta Rosso di Montepulciano

appellation: Montepulciano, Italy
grape varieties: prugnolo gentile (sangiovese), merlot

The Setta Ferrari Corbelli family have owned the historic Villa Svetoni and its surrounding vineyards since the mid 1900’s, but the property has been well known for its wines produced in the Gracciano hills for centuries. Though the name is understandably confusing, the wines of Montepulciano are not made from the montepulciano grape – which is widely grown in Abruzzo, south east of Tuscany. Prugnolo gentile is the local name for the clone of sangiovese grown around the village of Montepulciano in the easternmost section of Tuscany, near Siena. The appellation’s most famous wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, is required to spend at least two years in barrel, just as in Chianti Classico Riserva and Brunello di Montalcino. The Gracciano Rosso is made from the same fruit used for the the estate’s highest wines, but only spends about eight months in barrel before bottling. It is soft and smooth with chewier, darker cherry fruit than sangiovese from Chianti. This red pairs nicely with aged pecorino and salami of cinghiale (wild boar)- a speciality of Tuscany, and Montepulciano in particular.


image (5)2013 Château Fontanès “Les Traverses de Fontanès”

appellation: Vin de Pays des d’Oc, France
grape variety: cabernet sauvignon

Cyriaque Rozier, the highly acclaimed winemaker and vineyard manager at Château La Roque, makes his own wine under the label Château Fontanès in Pic St-Loup in the Languedoc. In total, he works 4.5 hectares, which are planted with forty-year-old cabernet sauvignon vines, as well as syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, carignan and cinsault. The original cuttings for his vines were all selected from his favorite domaines in Côte-Rôtie, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and Bandol. This is a juicier style of cabernet, made with the intention of providing pleasurable drinking now.


image (4)2010 i Greco “Catà”

appellation: Calabria, Italy
grape variety: gaglioppo

Calabria is the southern most tip of Italy, or the “toe of the boot”, so to say. Wine production here is historically significant (wine from Cirò said to have been awarded to ancient Olympic Games winners), though less so in modern terms. Nearly all the wine produced in Calabria is red, and the bulk of that is produced from gaglioppo, which has recently been found to have a parent-sibling relationship with sangiovese. The grape is drought-resistant, which is important here, and is known to produce sturdy, hearty reds, often with a mouthful of tannin. Greco farms their vineyards organically and is mindful of keeping the tannic impact in the wines to a minimum. Six months of oak aging give this red a mellower, warmer composure. Try it with eggplant, which is found throughout traditional Calabrese cuisine.


image2013 Valle Dell’Acate “Il Frappato”

appellation: Sicilia, Italy
grape variety: frappato

As the leader of the current generation maintaining Valle Dell’Acate, the Brand Ambassador for Vittoria Cerasuolo, and more recently the Ambassador of the nutrition project “Women for WE-Expo”, it’s safe to say Gaetana Jacono has her hands full. Valle Dell’Acate was founded in the late 19th century, and today is one of the most important wine producers in Ragusa, the southeastern province of Sicily. Frappato was rarely seen on its own until the last decade, when producers like Arianna Occhipinti and COS brought the spotlight. It’s the lighter, more fragrant half of Cerasuolo di Vittoria, which is blended with nero d’avola. Light enough to pair with seafood (octopus if you can manage it…), we can see this quickly becoming a store favorite.

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