Welcome to the dog days of winter it’s cold, grey, and snowy and it is the perfect time to cozy up inside by the fire with a great bottle of red. The icing on the cake is that all the bottles we are featuring this month are liter size, because sometimes when you reach for the that usual 750ml size for just a little bit more, it’s already gone and this time of year, it’s nice just to have a little bit more. We hope you enjoy discovering these wines as much as we did.
P. & E. Mullins
2020 Nestarec Nach
Winemaker Milan Nestarec was born in the biggest wine growing village in the Czech Republic. The family business was in growing and producing bulk wine. Milan’s father was frugal with money earned, saving everything he could to buy more land and plant more vines. To this day, Milan is grateful for that. Since the labor all fell within the family Milan’s winemaking skills started to be honed at a very young age. As a teenager he became intrigued with low intervention winemaking and at the young age of 17 he took over the role of winemaker. In 2009 he released his first vintage made with spontaneous fermentation from native yeast, the wine aged on its lees and had very little sulfur added. From there on he continued to finesse his style and produce noteworthy natural wines. This red is a blend of organically farmed Pinot Noir and Zweigelt (an Austrian variety that is fruity and bright). The wine is fermented in big open wooden vats with indigenous yeasts. In the glass this is a luxurious royal red blue. Even though it is unfiltered, it has a clarity and elegance to it. Aromatics are subtle but the palate is what wins over your senses. It is bright with blueberries and mouthwatering acidity with a soft long finish.
La Boutanche Cinsault
You might recall that we shared a rosé bottle resembling this in our past November wine club, these are Boutanche wines, a pet project of Selection Massale which features different natural winemakers making a “glou glou” (easy to guzzle) liter size wine. Each winemaker is represented on the label of the wine they have produced as a different character. This liter was produced by winemaker Martin Texier, his character is the gorilla. It is a 100% Cinsault from the Languedoc. Wine was always in Martin’s genes as his father is also an accomplished nuclear engineer turned winemaker in Northern Rhone, Eric Texier. Like his father, Martin also flirted with previous careers before marrying into the family business of wine. From studying economics in college, to having a successful stint as a DJ and working in sales in the wine trade in New York and at the infamous A1 Records. Martin has 5 hectares all planted with classic Rhone varietals that are all farmed organically and naturally from the vineyard to the cellar. All fermentation is with native yeast and no there is no added sulfur. In the glass this is a vibrant copper red. It’s very aromatic with dried roses (not in a perfumy way) and tart cherries. There’s something savory that lingers. The palate is dry with subtle tannins and a lively acidity. Overall, it’s an approachable easy drinking red that pairs well with food. Quite guzzelable and straight forward.
2019 Hervé Villemade “Bovin”
We find ourselves back in one of our favorite appellations within the Loire, Cheverny. This is where winemaker Hervé Villemade has been making wine since he took over his family estate in 1995. Soon after, he transitioned the vineyards from conventional farming to organic. Due to his own sensitivity to additives, he began producing his wines with minimal intervention. The grapes are all grown organically, and hand harvested. This 100% Gamay is fermented whole cluster in concrete tanks. It is unfiltered and unfined. The label is playful with the cow’s udders as wine bottles on the label, but don’t let that sway you into thinking this isn’t a pure and luscious wine. We recommend letting this open up for a bit, either open the bottle a couple hours before serving or decant it. In the glass it’s darker than expected with a blueish purple red hue like blood, it is clearly unfiltered. The nose is barnyardy with bright violet and iron. The palate has gorgeous mouthfeel. It’s silky and creamy with a weighted velvety feel. Acidity carries its way through with notes red berry notes reminiscent of cherries and cranberries. You’ll be happy to have that extra glass from the bottle size.