Monthly Pass – October 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!


2014 Domaine Dyckerhoff Reuilly

appellation: Reuilly, France
grape variety: sauvignon blanc

Domaine Dyckerhoff is the project of husband-wife team Christian and Bénédicte, and while they are transplants to the Loire (Germany and Alsace, respectively), their wines are classic Loire. The couple has five hectares in the Reuilly appellation, which sits just east of Sancerre, near the city of Bourges. The appellation sits on a small outcrop of limestone, an island of land perfect for wine production, surrounded by farmland otherwise dedicated to grain production. The focus of the estate is sauvignon blanc, which they have planted in three different north-facing lieu-dits, as well as 1.5 hectares of pinot noir and pinot gris, with which they make one red and one rosé. Their Reuilly is brightly aromatic, with notes of passionfruit and citrus, and a linear palate layered with bracing acidity and clean mineral texture. Pair with fresh goat cheeses and light fish dishes, like trout finished with parsley and butter.


2013 Mas d’Intras Ardèche Blanc

appellation: Ardèche
grape varieties: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc

Cousins Denis Robert and Sebastian Pradal are their family’s third generation to manage Mas d’Intras, situated in the village of Valvignères, in the Ardèche.  The estate  is comprised of 23 hectares spread across 22 tiny parcels, all certified biodynamic. Their focus is on the red varieties historic to the Rhone Valley: grenache, syrah and carignan. Additionally, they have small parcels of cinsault, merlot and cabernet sauvignon (which they added in 1970), as well as sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, used in this cuvée. The whites come from a tiny, low-yielding parcel called “La Montagnère”, the highest-positioned vineyard in Valvignères, which they painstakingly revived in the late 1980’s after nearly 70 years of disuse. This bottling is 60% chardonnay and 40% sauvignon blanc, fermented together in cement tanks. The vines benefit from high elevation exposition, and the resulting wine is fresh and bright, with the chardonnay giving the wine its body and structure and the sauvignon contributing a citrusy freshness. Versatile with fish and light vegetable dishes.


2013 Château Laurou “Tradition”

appellation: Fronton, France
grape varieties: negrette, syrah, cabernet franc

Fronton is a tiny appellation that sits just northwest of Toulouse, in the southwestern corner of France. The first grapes were planted here over a thousand years ago by the Romans, who established outposts along the river Tarn in their fight against the Gauls. Legend says it was returning knights of the crusades who transplanted mediterranean rootstock after they retreated from Cyprus, giving us what we know today as negrette, the principal grape of Fronton. Nearly half of the appellation is planted to negrette, and AOC rules require that Fronton wines contain at least 50% negrette. Château Laurou has about 45 hectares of vines in the region, and for this bottling they blend 55% negrette with 35% syrah and 10% cabernet franc. This wine sees no oak, and is nicely balanced with classic negrette aromas of liquorice and purple flowers, and satisfying body from the syrah and cab franc. Pair with a rustic bean stew, or herb roasted chicken thighs.


2013 Oddero Dolcetto D’Alba

appellation: Dolcetto D’Alba (Piedmont), Italy
grape variety: dolcetto

Sisters Mariacristina and Mariavittoria share the matriarchy of the Oddero winery, a historic property which has produced wines in Barolo for the past 180 years. The estate is based in La Morra, and has 35 hectares of vines spread across the commune of Barolo. They are known for producing truly exemplary Barolo from some of the most important plantings of nebbiolo in the world. They fill out their portfolio with traditional versions of the area’s other varieties, including barbera, moscato, and this dolcetto. Dolcetto is the table wine of the Piedmont, and is dear to the Piedmontese people –  hence its diminutive name which literally translates to “little sweet one” although it does not yield a sweet wine. The Oddero sisters’ dolcetto sees no oak, and is meant to be approachable and friendly, with soft body, low acidity and pretty, dark, plum fruit. Dolcetto is famously food friendly: put it up against anything from pizza, to roasted chicken or a simple pasta.


2014 La Tosa “Terre della Tosa”

appellation: Gutturnio, (Emilia-Romagna), Italy
grape varieties: barbera, bonarda

The Gutturnio DOC is tucked in the hills outside of Piacenza in the west end of Emilia-Romagna. Its name is derived from the Latin word gutturnium, an ancient Roman jug-like drinking vessel. Gutturnio is always a red, and must be composed of barbera and bonarda, also known as croatina. La Tosa is the project of two brothers, Stefano and Ferruccio, who were born in Milan, but whose mutual passion for wine and agriculture led them to buy a historic farmhouse outside of Piacenza and set up their own winery. They produced their first vintage in 1985, and today have 19 hectares of vines, spread across 6 different vineyard sites in Colli Piacentini (2 of which they lease). Besides barbera and bonarda, they also grow local white varieties malvasia di candia, ortrugo, and trebbiano romagnolo, as well as some sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. This bottling is the brothers’ table wine, meant to be fresh and friendly, with typical, racy barbera fruit, and a darker, structural undertone provided by the bonarda. Perfect next to a fall antipasto of sliced salami and smoky speck, with a firm cheese and some local concord grapes.


2013 Douloufakis Dafnios Liatiko

appellation: Dafnes (Crete), Greece
grape variety: liatiko

This is our first wine from the Greek island of Crete, which is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. The most prized variety of the region of Dafnes is liatiko, which is named after the month of July, in reference to its early ripening. It produces a light- to mid-weight red that can be made into a dry or sweet wine, depending on the appellation regulations. This example, from the multi-generational, organic-certified Douloufakis winery, is dry and gently aromatic, and a nice wine to pair with an old family recipe for moussaka (or the one you’re about to Google).