Monthly Pass – November 2013

Welcome to the second 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, don’t forget to take advantage of your 10% discount, which is valid on all wine purchases through the end of the year. Unfortunately, we can’t swap out one wine for another, since they aren’t all equal in value.

On to the wines!

photo (21)

2010 Vignoble David & Duvallet “D2” Vieilles Vignes
appellation: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie, FR
grape variety: melon de bourgogne

Stéphane David and Sébastien Duvallet sustainably farm a 74-acre estate that was founded in 1927 by David’s great-grandfather at 1/20th its current size. This is their best wine, hand harvested from 50-year-old vines in a vineyard called “Clos du Ferré”. In Muscadet, soil means everything. These vines grow in soil comprised of schist and mica that sits over a granite bedrock.

2010 Testamatta “Cicala del Giglio”
appellation: Toscana, IT
grape variety: ansonica (inzolia)

Bibi Graetz is an artist in Tuscany who happens to also make wine. One way or another he manages to cultivate a couple hundred acres of vineyards, though he only owns a couple of those acres. This is one of the few white that he produces, from the small island of Giglio, just off the Tuscan coast (where that cruise ship ran aground last year). The white wine made on Giglio is usually of the grape ansonica, more commonly known as inzolia in Sicily, where it originates.

2012 Gaia “Notios”
appellation: Peloponnisos, GR
grape varieties: agiorgitiko

Gaia was founded nearly twenty years ago by two Greek agronomists seeking to propogate Greek varieties and raise the level of quality and awareness of Greek wines internationally. Notios (the southerner) is a fresh, vibrant look at the agiorgitiko grape variety. Ask us how to pronounce it. It’s fun.

2010 Quinta de Saes
appellation: Dão, PT
grape varieties: touriga nacional, alfrocheiro, jaen (mencia), and tinta roriz (tempranillo)

References to the Saes estate go back nearly eight centuries, with the earliest recorded evidence of winemaking dated 1527. Wine was continuously produced from that time until the early 20th century. Alvaro Castro recognized the historic significance of the estate and purchased it in 1989 with the idea of resuscitating the land. This wine is a typical Dao blend of varieties, with no special attention paid to touriga nacional, as has been the trend in the last twenty years in Portugal. Castro sees touriga nacional as simply part of the blend, which was the prevailing notion for centuries, until modern enologists sought to make it Portugal’s answer to cabernet sauvignon.

2009 Château Couronneau “L’Ecuyer de Couronneau”
appellation: Bordeaux Supérieur, FR
grape variety: merlot

Château Couronneau is a 15th century estate with a long history of producing revered wines. The current owners have taken the important step of converting the entire 35 hectare estate to organic viticulture. Merlot is king in this part of Bordeaux, and “L’Ecuyer” is an obvious attempt to make the most gulpable wine possible.

2004 Bodegas Fernandez “Escudo de Plata” Gran Reserva
appellation: Jumilla, ES
grape variety: monastrell

The current trend is to extract as much fruit and alcohol as possible, polish it all up with lots of fancy new oak, put a flashy label on it, and call it Jumilla. Bodegas Fernandez harvests adequately ripe fruit, ferments traditionally, and allows the wine to slowly evolve into a silky smooth, aromatically complex wine. The Gran Reserva spent four years in French and American oak barrels and several more years in bottle before release. Bodegas Fernandez will celebrate their centennial anniversary in a few years. We’re betting they’ll outlive just about everyone making wine in Jumilla these days.

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