What it is to be Wild:
Natural Wines for the Fearless
Orsi San Vito ‘Sui Lieviti’ 2014 - Emilia Romagna
This native, ancient predecessor to more refined sparkling wines hails from a 50-year-old vineyard overlooking the hills of Bologna… managed biodynamically, unirrigated, unadulterated, and planted with Pignoletto. It’s a petillant naturel (‘methode ancestrale’ if you’re feeling historical; ‘pet nat’ if you’re feeling casual), the remnants of in-bottle fermentation proudly clouding the wine.
The varietal itself, Pignoletto, is thought to have its origins in a historical wine called Pino Lieto, supposedly described by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia as “not sweet enough to be good.” So though the grape might not have been for first-century tastes, we absolutely love it!
It displays notes of pear and apple skin buoyed by a light fizz. the palate is textured with touches of lemon and grapefruit, courtesy of the Riesling, with which the Pignoletto is blended.
Cascina degli Ulivi ‘Semplicemente’ 2015 - Piemonte
Stefano Bellotti’s biodynamic farm in Piemonte is a humble place that yields exceptional wines! Some years ago, he became an outspoken critic of bureaucratic rules that claim to protect the purity of wine but actually punish vintners like him, who are not using industrial methods. he has changed the classification on most of his wines from DOC or DOCG to table wine (Vino Rosso or Bianco). and, he is a leader in Renaissance Italia, affiliated with Nicholas Joly in France.
Stefano bottled his first Semplicimente in 2008 as a result of his ongoing battles with the DOCG system. The Semplicimente Bianco is 100% Cortese from Gavi vineyards, made partially in stainless steel and partially in large oak and acacia barrels.
La Stoppa ‘Trebbiolo’ 2014 Emilia Romagna
Located in the Apennins Mountains, the 32 hectares of the La Stoppa estate has been owned by the Panteleoni Family since 1973. Originally planted with non-indigenous varietals that couldn’t handle the region’s hot climate, Elena decided to replant with Barbera and Bonarda and a small amount of Malvasia Candia, Ortrugo and Trebianno for whites in the 90’s.
The soils consist of heavy clay, and the estate has been worked organically since the early 90's (certified in 2008). Named for the Val Trebbiolo, the local valley in which the grapes are planted, this is a blend of Barbera (60%) and Bonarda (40%).
It has a medium body, bright and light berry flavors, lively and juicy, with some earthy leathery notes.
Eric Texier ‘Chat Fou’ Rosé 2015 - Rhone
Eric Texier has been at the vanguard of the natural wine scene for quite some time now and never fails to amaze. Even with such a seemingly simple offering as this refreshing Rosé… his precision as a winemaker shines through!
Made from Cinsault, it is floral with fresh berry fruits and a lip-smacking acidity.
Terres Dorees Cote de Brouilly 2014 - Beaujolais
Terres Dorées is the domaine of Beaujolais icon Jean-Paul Brun. The vines for this beautiful wine grow on the south-east facing slopes of Beaujolais known as the Côte de Brouilly where he has two plots of 50 year old vines at around 300 metres above sea level.
Ripe blackberry and raspberry/strawberry fruit aromas with a touch of violets and earth. The palate is ripe but balanced (at 12.5% alcohol) with black and red fruit liqueur and fresh citrusy acids that linger in the finish.