For this February wine club, we decided to take you on an adventure and jump around the map a bit! We love getting away in February and if you can’t do it physically you might as well do it through wine.
P. & E. Mullins
2018 Kobal 'Bajta' Muscat Pétillant Naturel
Podravje, Śtajerska, Slovenia
Our representative for Eagle Eye Import wines, Chris Robinson went on a trip to Slovenia and Croatia last Summer. Hearing about his adventures, his meals and seeing his pictures secured Slovenia and Croatia to our bucket lists to visit someday. It introduced us to new wine varietals we had never had before, even though they are some of the oldest wine producing regions in the world. We’re excited to share this one really unique wine with you that probably wouldn’t be available state side if it wasn’t for Chris pushing for it to be brought into their portfolio. This is a Pétillant Naturel, Pét-Nat for short. This is a wine produced in méthode ancestral, dating back to the 16th century, pre-champagne even. Essentially, the wine is bottled prior to fully completing its first fermentation, allowing carbon dioxide to be produced by the natural sugars found in the grapes giving it a natural fizz. It is 100% Yellow Muscat. The frizzante wine is 100% dry, its savory and juicy with notes of apricot and citrus. A fun pairing for brunch. Chris was first served this al fresco for brunch at a vineyard with a gorgeous spread of charcuterie, bread, cheese and butter and fruit.
2018 Zahel Orange T
Zahel is the only Austrian winery producing a wine with 100% Orangetraube. What is Orangetraube you ask? This is a little know varietal originally selected from wild vines by the influential German viticulturist Johann Phillip Bronner back in 1840. Most frequently it has been used as a blending grape for a field blend known in Austria as Gemischter Satz. When fully ripe, the grapes' skin takes on a slightly orange tint, hence the name Orangetraube, which literally translates to "Orange Grape." In 1966 winemaker Karl Zahel decided isolate the variety in a single vineyard. He had noticed that the Orangetraube gave his Gemischter Satz a unique quality and wanted to highlight the little-known grape in a wine of its own. Farming the vineyard with biodynamic practices, Zahel has showcased this unique and special wine. This 2018 vintage scored 90 points with Wine Enthusiast. It is a yellow straw color in the glass. The nose has aromas of apple, orange blossom and flint. The palate is medium in body and has bright notes of tangerine and lemon. The wine's fine acidity is well balanced with subtle sweetness.
2017 Beckmen Vineyards Cuvee Le Bec
Santa Ynez Valley, California
In the hills just North of Santa Barbara lies the Santa Ynez Valley. Rolling hills and little pocket vineyards. This one is near and dear to us. Pat and I stopped here on our very first date. We drove up the 154, picked up some charcuterie, cheese and a baguette and the Los Olivos General Store, drove up the little road along a lavender farm to Beckmen vineyards, picked out a lovely bottle of wine and went and sat below the willow tree next to the little pond. Who wouldn’t fall in love? Out of all the vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley, we chose to go to Beckmen that day because of their dedication to biodynamic farming and crafting beautiful wines. This Rhone style blend of 47% Syrah, 34% Grenache, 11% Mourvèdre and 7% Counoise has beautiful notes of blackberries, violets and pepper aromas and flavors. The body is full of texture, silky layers that leave an elegant long finish. Only 3,950 cases produced.