Anthill Farms, Suenen Champagne… Flatiron’s San Francisco Newsletter is up and running!

Do you live in California and want to hear about the best new wines from the Anderson Valley to Ambonnay? Eager for access to super-allocated wines, and rare, ready-to-drink treats at special discounts? Need to know about the best tasting opportunities in the Bay Area?

Then sign up for our Flatiron SF Newsletter!

Every week the newsletter will feature a variety of exceptional wines and spirits — it’s a great way to try new wines, round out your cellar and have first chance at limited releases. This week we’ve got Anthill Farms’ Pinot Noirs, 2008 grower-Champagne from Suenen, mature beauties made at Renaissance by Gideon Bienstock, now of Clos Saron fame, and more. You can read this week’s first SF newsletter here,  or sign up to receive it weekly by emailing us here.

See you at the shop!

 

Dinner with the Winemakers: Montesecondo and Zanotto at Reynard

We love wine dinners, especially with the winemakers. There’s nothing better than enjoying wine in an intimate setting with the folks who produced the goods! And it’s even better with a menu perfectly designed to complement the wines (like our menu below!). But best of all, and among my greatest wine memories, are some of the casual, low pressure wine dinners I’ve enjoyed with winemakers on their own turf in Italy and France: dinners built for sheer pleasure.

Such was the inspiration to organize a feast with great winemakers from two of Italy’s most famous wine regions: Chianti and Prosecco. In 1999, Silvio Messana moved back to make wine at his family’s Chianti Classico estate, Montesecondo, after many years in the NY wine trade. As many of you know, Silvio today crafts some of the most delicious, traditional Tuscan wines out there, using painstaking and natural methods.  Riccardo Zanotto takes a similar approach on his estate in the Veneto, where he hand-harvests Glera grapes and employs a “hands-off” style in the cellar (a rarity in Prosecco).

Both men are touring the US with their importers, Louis/Dressner/McKenna and are looking forward to sharing their wines with a small group of wine-lovers.

Montesecondo Magnum Bottles

Dinner is Thursday, March 20th at 6:30, in the private dining room of Reynard, in Williamsburg’s beautiful (and beautifully hip!) Wythe Hotel. We’ll start with a classic Italian-style apertivo hour of Prosecco and antipasti, to be followed by a seated 3 course meal. The cost is $120, which covers everything: food, wine, tax and gratuity.  We’ll be collecting payment in advance so you can relax, settle in and thoroughly enjoy the dinner!

***There are still a few seats available for this event. Please call us at (212) 477-1315 or email here to secure your reservation.*** 

We hope you will join us for an evening of excellent wine and food, engaging conversation and jovial atmosphere!

 

Menu & Pairings

 

Aperitvo

 

Selection of seasonal antipasti

 

Zanotto Vino Bianco Frizzante Col Fondo NV

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1st Course

 

Sourdough & fresh ricotta w/ honey & chili flake

 

Seafood sausage, barlotti beans & bacon vinaigrette

 

Kohlrabi, mache, apple and piave

 

Montesecondo Rosso IGT Toscano 2012

Zanotto Fermo Bianco VDT Veneto 2012

 

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2nd Course

 

BRAISED SHORT RIBS

with creamy polenta, radiccichio w/ fennel & citrus, roasted baby carrots w/ cumin

 

Montesecondo Chianti Classico 2010 (Magnum)

Montesecondo IGT Rosso “TIN” 2011 (Magnum)

 

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Dessert

 

LEMON TART

 

Bera Moscato D’Asti NV

Pepiere, Organic Muscadet from Clisson

Domaine de la Pepiere Clisson Muscadet

Back in January I had the pleasure of travelling through much of the Loire Valley visiting winemakers and attending trade shows with our friends at Louis/Dressner Selections and David Bowler Wine. The first stop was the medieval village of Clisson in Muscadet and an all-day Muscadet-a-thon at Domaine de la Pepiere. The owner and winemaker of Pepiere is Marc Ollivier (read interview here) and over the last few years he has become well-known in the U.S. wine community, especially among those who are interested in naturally-made, terroir-driven wines. But in France Muscadet is still generally considered a decent, cheap wine for seafood, made in bulk and dominated by big negociants and companies. Marc is helping to change that by combining old traditions with “natural” innovations to produce an exciting range of wines.

He vinifies in steel and cement tanks (traditional) using wild yeast (innovation) and ages on the lees for several months (traditional) before bottling with only a minimal amount of sulphur (innovation).  For some years Marc has been converting his vineyards to fully organic practices and like all of the world’s best winemakers he believes that the most important/difficult work is done in the vineyard and the cellar more or less takes care of itself.

The Muscadet region as a whole is also working to raise its reputation both in France and the rest of the world. For about a decade they have been establishing “Crus” meant to highlight specific terroirs. The cru of Clisson is one of the best. To qualify, the grapes must come from vineyards surrounding the picturesque village and they must also be planted on a specific and rare type of rocky granite, now also called “clisson.” The granite gives these wines an uncommon density, richness of fruit, and length. Combine that with the classic citrus, saline, and Muscadet minerality and you have a wine that can easily compete with White Burgundy in the same price range, especially when it’s made by Marc Ollivier.

Domaine de la Pepiere, Muscadet Sevre et Maine “Clisson”, 2010 $26.99

2010 is an amazing vintage for Muscadet and check out the Jero! $139.99

Az. Ag. Gabutti (Boasso Franco), Langhe Rosso 2008 $22.99

It is always exciting to find great, traditional wines from very well known wine regions that are new or have little presence in the New York market. So it is with the wines of Franco Boasso, introduced to us here by our friend Mike Foulk whose new import company MFW is now bringing them to NYC.  The winemaking is old school in the best sense of the phrase and the great terroir of Gabutti (known by Piedmontese fanatics via the highly regarded Cappellano Estate) clearly shines through. For more information about Franco’s outfit see this post on Levi Dalton’s Blog (great pics too)

Franco’s Baroli are great  (though by all accounts require patience) but for everyday drinking his Langhe Rosso is an exceptional value. About 50% Nebbiolo with almost as much Barbera and a touch of Dolcetto, this is a classic Piedmontese table wine except that it has an elegance that is both surprising and welcome. The aromatics are clearly Nebbiolo (floral, spiced cherries, hints of anise) and the silky texture and length are there as well. But the acidity and brightness of Barbera make it extremely drinkable especially when paired (as I did) with a mushroom risotto. However, there is an underlying structure and tannic frame that would complement meat, especially game or veal, if you were so inclined. Overall it is wine that offers both complexity and familiarity and has the charming Italian combination of polish and rusticity.