September 2023 Wine Club

Hi everyone! Kids may be back in school, and they say Labor Day is the end of Summer, but I guess there's just a permanent heat wave these days. And technically it's still summer until September 22. Here in San Francisco, "summer" is basically just starting. So keep the grills out, swimsuits on, and sleeves (or shirts?) off. 
The idea with this September shipment is to savor these last few weeks of summer weather...
So we have a crisp, slightly aromatic Silvaner- Germany's underdog grape. It's conveniently in a 1-Liter bottle so you can knock back an extra glass or two. Equally delicious as an apertif, or paired with lighter, fragrant fare.
Next up is a rosé from Southern France that's equally traditional as it is natural. It's juicy af and downright chuggably delicious. Bring it to the beach. Bring it to a dinner party. Pair it with Mediterranean food. Doesn't really matter how you drink it. It's gonna be fun... unless you're not.
Third in the lineup is another 1-Liter porch pounder. It's what the cool wine youngsters are calling a "coferment." So it's white and red grapes fermented together in the same stainless steel vat all with the same amount of skin contact. An orange-rosé hybrid if you will. Super floral from the Muscat, with some structure and backbone from the Zweigelt (Austria's answer to Pinot Noir). It's exactly what I want to drink outside before summer is over!
Lastly, we have a fuller-bodied red hailing from one of the most exciting regions to watch in France right now. The Languedoc is known for bulk production of crappy wine. Here we see a new generation farming meticulously and taking a hands-off approach in the cellar. From a terroir standpoint, Domaine Mamaruta has found a diamond in the rough. Their estate sits close to the Mediterranean coast on prized limestone soils. Drink this on the nights when you're grilling red meats on your patio. 
Cheers to the last days of summer!

Helmut Christ | Silvaner | Nordheim, Franken, Germany | 2021

Although Michael’s father was the first in the family’s lineage to make wine (1974), the Christ family has been farming grapes for countless generations. They adopted biodynamics the same year they started vinifying the estate fruit, despite the Demeter certification not being offered to alcohol producers at that point in time. It was healthy soils that mattered to them anyways, not the orange badge. 
The Nordheim, Franken region of Germany is located further north than most German wine regions, so it’s too cold for red grapes and even Germany’s flagship grape, riesling, is difficult to ripen here. So the Christ family works with Silvaner for the most part- it ripens and matures earlier in the growing season. 
🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Pair with: Asian food, chicken kebabs, grilled seafood
🍇 Grape Variety: 100% Silvaner, the underrated semi-aromatic white grape grown in Germany and Alsace, France
🌱 Farming: Biodynamic
🍾 Winemaking: 40 years old vines, hand picked, direct pressed, juice chilled down to separate the sediment, transferred into stainless steel, Pied de Cuve used to kickstart native yeast fermentation (like a sourdough starter for natural wine), racked 2 weeks after fermentation to remove sediment
🧑🏼‍🌾 Winemaker: Michael Christ 
🌎 Region: Nordheim, Franken, Germany
🌡 Serve: Cold

Maison Plantevin | Grenache/Mourvedre Rosé | Cote du Rhone, France |2021

We often see a recurring theme when it comes to vignerons who work naturally in Europe… Laurent-Arnaud Plantevin is a 6th generation winegrower who happens to be the first in the family’s lineage to make wine- the previous generations sold their grapes to local coop’s. Located in France’s Southern Rhone Valley, Maison Plantevin farms 16 hectares of vines dispersed among a myriad of microplots around the towns of Seguret, Sablet, and Plan de Dieu. 

All of the vines are farmed organically. In the cellar, Laurent does as little as possible to let those 6 generations of meticulous farming shine in the glass. Here we see a slightly riper, fuller bodied rosé suitable for those last few al fresco dinners of summer. 

🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Pair with: Mediterranean fare, summer watermelon salad, charcuterie, seared tuna steaks

🍇 Grape Variety: Grenache and Mourvedre, two principal grape varieties of Southern France

🌱 Farming: Organic

🍾 Winemaking: short maceration to extract tannin/body/color, followed by stainless steel fermentation to preserve freshness and keep the wine snappy and refreshing

🧑🏼‍🌾 Winemaker: Laurent-Arnaud Plantevin

🌎 Region: Cote du Rhone, France

🌡 Serve: Cold

Ziniel | "Zini" Coferment | Burgenland, Austria | 2021

Andi’s smiley baby face lights up with passion when he talks about his family estate, farming techniques, and wine. He attended Austria’s best viticulture school, and it shows…. Even his most experimental wines are clean, refined, and fundamentally sound. 

“Zini” is certainly esoteric. A coferment of skin-macerated white and red grapes combine to create beautiful aromatics with plenty of freshness, vibrancy, and acidity- a perfect summer wine when you can’t decide to pull the cork out of a red or white bottle. As Andi describes, “my brothers and I are fun guys. Everyone in our hometown calls us ‘Zini,’ so we wanted to make a fun, unpretentious wine, in a big bottle.”  

 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Pair with: Picnics! Grilled pork, kebabs, sausages 

🍇 Grape Variety: Muskatellar, Sauvignon Blanc, Welschriesling (pinot blanc), and Zweigelt

🌱 Farming: Organic

🍾 Winemaking: Each grape variety is cofermented together in the same stainless steel vat on their skins for extra complexity and aromatics

🧑🏼‍🌾 Winemaker: Andi Ziniel

🌎 Region: Burgenland Austria

🌡 Serve: Cold


Mamaruta | Carignan Blend | "Cacahuète" | Languedoc, France | 2017

Marc Castan recovered his grandfather’s abandoned vines in Southern France’s Languedoc region and brought them back to life. The Languedoc has a reputation for mass-produced cheap plonk sold in bulk. However, in the right nooks and crannies, there are vineyards with amazing terroir with land at affordable prices. So young, hungry, up-and-coming winemakers are purchasing land there. 

Marc’s vineyard site is on the Audois coast, so it benefits from a strong maritime influence. The terroir is rich and diverse with soil varying from pebbles rolled on the edge of a pond to limestone cliffs on the Mediterranean coast. The vines are surrounded by biodiverse vegetation- tamarind, pines, reeds, olives, almond trees, and scrubs of sage, lavender, and rosemary.  

🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Pair with: Grilled Steaks, brisket, and other meaty meats

🍇 Grape Varieties: 45% Carignan, 45% Mourvedre, 10% Grenache

🌱 Farming: Organic

🍾 Winemaking: The grapes are sourced from a plot on clay-limestone soil. They were manually harvested in the morning at cool temperatures and undergo a 20-day maceration in wooden vats. Fermentation occurs spontaneously with native yeast, and is finished in barrels. The wine ages for 10 months in barrels. Unfined & Unfiltered. No added sulfites. HARDCORE natural winemaking!

🧑🏼‍🌾 Winemaker: Marc Castan

🌎 Region: Languedoc, France

🌡 Serve: Room Temp

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