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!
appellation: Mendocino, CA, US
grape variety: tocai friulano
Label of the year award nominee! Those lucky enough to meet Kenny Likitprakong when he was here a few months ago had the first opportunity to try this zippy little white. Kenny bottles all sorts of wine from various vineyards scattered over northern California. He has a light touch in the winery, intentionally leaving as much to the quality of the grapes as possible. Tocai friulano is also known as sauvignonasse, though it has no direct relation to sauvignon blanc, as the name might suggest, and as it has been confused historically in Chile, among other places. At 11% abv, this is super light and easy, making it a great sunshine aperitif.
appellation: Piemonte, IT
grape variety: cortese
The Icardi family has been producing food-friendly reds and whites in Piedmont since the 60’s. They grown all their fruit organically, and are moving in the direction of biodynamics. We’ve recently taken a particular liking to their barbera, which is fresh and fruity and goes with everything. Cortese is most famously grown to produce Gavi, the wine used to wash down seafood all down the Ligurian Coast. Icardi’s version has the requisite fresh acidity to accomplish the same feat, with a touch more aromatic presence of apple and fresh herbs.
appellation: Touraine, FR
grape varieties: grolleau, pinot noir
Just arrived! François Chidaine has made a name for himself and for the appellation of Montlouis by producing classic, highly concentrated, mineral-driven wines. His chenin blancs grace many local wine lists for their effortless drinkability and verve. The rosé remains a bit of a hidden jewel. While pinot noir recognizable, grolleau may scare away some drinkers, though it shouldn’t. It’s the third most cultivated red in the Loire Valley, ranking ahead of pinot noir. Its ease of productivity makes it a favorite for growers, especially in rosé. This is likely to be a little more lean and mean than usual, as their were significant difficulties in the region this vintage.
appellation: Fronton, FR
grape variety: négrette
Legend has it that négrette was brought to the area around the city of Toulouse from the Near East by the Knights Templar. While it’s true that most grapes have ancestry in the Near East, chances are slim that the legend is true. More likely, per DNA analysis, is that négrette mutated or was crossed with a grape in the côt (malbec) family of grapes some hundreds of years before the advent of modern amphelography. All that aside, this is a delicious traditional bottling from the appellation of Fronton, about a half hour drive northwest of Toulouse. Drink with good food!
appellation: Saumur, FR
grape variety: cabernet franc
Cave de Saumur is a 300-member, quality-minded cooperative in the Loire Valley appellation of Saumur. They recently changed the company name to Robert & Michel, to reflect the origin as a small team that included 40 growers in 1957. Cabernet franc is one of the oldest and most important French varieties, though it has been recently revealed that the grape likely originated in Spanish Basque country. It has been grown and celebrated for centuries in the Loire Valley, where ripening is sometimes a challenge. Nowadays you will be unlikely to find a bistro in Paris without at least one such wine.
appellation: Rosso dell’Umbria, IT
grape varieties: sangiovese, merlot
Adanti is one of the oldest and most well-established wine producers in Umbria, producing a full range of wines in a variety of styles. Nispero is 90% sangiovese, fermented in stainless steel and aged for 9 months in large oak barrels. It’s a simple country wine with nothing to prove. Sometimes these are the most satisfying. Enjoy it the next time you make pasta.