We love bringing winemakers into the shop. It truly is a deeper experience to taste wine with the person who brought it to fruition. That's why we are very excited to bring in one of our favorite Spanish producers, Miguel Alfonso, from Galicia's Pedralonga. The wines are affordable, and unique. Using very traditional Galician methods, and keeping in mind the Galician adage, “A man who does not watch the moon does not reap the harvest", Miguel makes a red and a white wine. The white is 100% Albariño, not de-stemmed, and the red is a blend of Mencía and two grapes indigenous to Galicia, Caiño and Espadeiro. The wines are stony yet juicy, fresh yet serious. They are produced with authenticity in mind, and respect for the terroir and the vintage conditions. Miguel is in town for a big portfolio tasting, but will be stopping by the shop this coming Monday, March 26th, to pour his wine and talk to you about his methodology, his wine and his land. Stop by any time from 5 to 7! The wines: Pedralonga, Rias Baixas Tinto "DoUmia", 2015 -- $19.99 Pedralonga, Rias Baixas Albarino, 2016 -- $25.99 As always, there is a 15% discount on the wines for newsletter subscribers.
Friends of Flatiron Wines SF, Here is a quick look at the week ahead at Flatiron Wines & Spirits - San Francisco. In-Store Tastings Wednesday 3/21, Meeet the Winemaker: Amy Chappellet, Chappellet Winery | Chappellet produces wines of extraordinary power, grace and balance. The family purchased 320 acres of rocky hillsides above the valley in the mid-60s including the soon to be famous Pritchard Hill Vineyard, which quickly became recognized as one of the worlds best locations to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. When Don Chappellet purchased this prime mountainside Napa land, he paid the same price that it would cost to buy one comparable acre today, thus these world class wines are often a fraction of the price of their less heralded neighbor’s. Please join us in welcoming Amy Chappellet from Chappellet this Wednesday to taste through a delicious lineup. Thursday 3/22, Meet the Winemaker: Pax Mahle, Wind Gap and Pax Wines | Pax and Pam Mahle started Pax Mahle Wines in 2000 after years of being in the wine business. He originally was known for his powerful and muscular red wines from warmer sites, but has since broken out of that box with his cooler climate wines under the Wind Gap label. Pax does not adhere to any specific style these days as evident by the range of wines he produces, but rather he focuses on what each vineyard has to offer and being true to the land. That also shows in his winemaking, which is non-manipulative, allowing the fruit to express itself in the wine. We are thrilled to have Pax himself in the shop this Thursday. Don't miss your opportunity to come and taste! All in-store tastings are from 5pm - 7pm, unless otherwise stated. No need to RSVP, just grab a friend and show up. As always, low-cost to no-cost. Lastly, as we do every Wednesday, we're preparing quite the line-up of features for this week's newsletter, scheduled to be sent later today. A few of the highlights this week include: the stellar range of 2016 Chablis from Patrick Piuze, the much anticipated 2015 Cote-Roties from staff favorite Domaine Bernard Levet and the newest arrivals from cult favorite Frank Cornelissen. Cheers to you and a week full of new discoveries, Your Friends at Flatiron Wines SF Don't want to miss beat? Sign-up for our newsletter already! As loyal subscribers already know, the newsletter is not only the best place to get first crack at your favorite, hard-to-find wines at special discounts but it's also where we go in great depth about the producers, vintages, regions and trends in the world of fine wine. We send it once a week on Wednesday, unless, you elect to receive more. You can do so by using the form below or, here, if our site's sophisticated technology isn't functioning as described. ;)
Saint Joseph Rouge (the red wine of Saint Joseph) is made with Red Syrah and up to 10% of the white grapes Marsanne and Roussanne. Saint Joseph Blanc (the white Saint Joseph) is made from Marsanne and/or Roussanne). They are excellent wines with a variety of foods and we love any excuse to open a bottle with dinner. Sam Sifton’s most recent What to Cook this Week noted that Monday, March 19 is the feast of Saint Joseph. That immediately put me in mind of the delicious wine of the same name from the Northern Rhone. What a great excuse to enjoy a Monday evening bottle of Saint Joseph! Then I read that the feast is traditionally a Lenten one, and my first instinct was disappointment. Saint Joseph is mostly known for intense red wines that you want to drink with hearty, meaty dishes: roasted lamb, Cassoulet, that kind of thing. White Saint Joseph But that’s silly. First of all, Saint Joseph is also home to stunning white wines that pair perfectly with all sorts of vegetarian meals. And it turns out we have two of the very top small-grower Saint Joseph Blancs in stock right now, wines that are especially fascinating to compare side-by-side, from Monier-Perreol and Hervé Souhaut. Souhaut has become a darling of the Natural Wine Movement™. His wines are pure and full of life and exploded on the scene as exemplars of what natural wine could be. Today they are chased almost as much as the other elites of that movement, Foillard, Lapierre, etc. Monier-Perreol, on the other hand, has stayed somewhat under the radar, collected mostly by in-the-know wine geeks and died-in-the-wool fans of M-P’s importer, the great Kermit Lynch. It’s hard really to understand why they haven’t blown up more. They’re a small family domaine of the very old style. They farm Biodynamically, even practicing a traditional polyculture, with apricot orchards on their land. The wines are delicious and, like Souhaut’s, pure and terroir-specific (John Livingstone-Learmonth even M-P’s wines “notably pure” and ranks them as one of his rare “soil to glass transfer” producers”—one of the elites of the old-school, terroir focused producers). These aren’t the kind of producers whose wines we expect to see stick around, so I was pretty excited to find them both in stock (for now). Particularly since they complement each other so well. You see, Saint Joseph Blanc can be made from Marsanne and/or Rousanne. There are no rules requiring any particular proportion of each grape, so some examples are a blend of the two grapes and others are 100% one or the other. And while Monier-Perreol and Souhaut have much in common in terms of philosophy and approach, their white Saint Joseph’s are polar opposites in terms of varietal: Monier-Perreol’s is 100% Marsanne and Souhaut’s 100% Roussanne. The differences between Marsanne and Roussanne can be a bit of a mystery, even to devoted wine geeks. So tasting these two wines is a rare and exciting chance to really dig into their identities. The received wisdom is that Marsanne brings power and richness, and Roussanne elegance and freshness. And these wines show why that’s the received wisdom: there’s no doubt some truth to the view. But tasted side by side, these wines also show the limits of the received wisdom. Souhaut’s Roussanne has plenty of acidity and a fresh, accessible feel of mountain air. But M-P’s wine is hardly lacking for freshness, either. And while it may be the slightly richer wine in the mouth, it’s not like Souhaut made a wine without any base notes. Both are accessible now (the M-P especially with a little air) but take on all sorts of complexity and depth with time in the cellar. These wines will be great with any vegetarian meals you cook up, in honor of Saint Joseph or otherwise. And with spring just around the corner, not matter what the weatherman says, these are definitely wines for the times. And don’t feel like they’ll only work with vegetables and fish. They’re also great with Chicken or veal, or with a plate of cheese after the meal. Red Saint Joseph Even if the Feast of Saint Joseph was traditionally a Lenten one, we would be remiss to let the day pass without grabbing some St. Joseph Rouge for later in the week. There will be meat on our tables and St. Joseph makes some of the most magical and under-appreciated wines for pairing with dinners of all sorts. We all think of Burgundy as an ideal restaurant wine, since it can work with so many dishes, from fish through steak. But Saint Joseph Rouge also has its own, broad range. There are the lighter, purer examples—almost like Syrah-based Burgundies—with very fine tannins and lovely fruit. They are delicious with white meats and even heavier fish dishes. Then there are the meaty, bloody examples that are naturals for roast lambs and game. Ordering in BBQ? Don’t sleep on the Syrah! It cuts through sauces, complements deep rich meaty flavors, and will keep you coming back to watch how the bottle is opening up, long after you’ve had your fill of meat! We have great examples of Saint Joseph Rouge from both ends of the spectrum, and one beauty from right in the middle. Big and Savory Saint Joseph – Domaine Faury Saint Joseph 2015 ($29.99) Faury’s St. Joseph is one of our favorite examples a perfectly-pitched meaty St. Joseph. It’s got the bacon fat and hints of black olive framed by the mineral notes and pure berry fruit. But it’s never clumsy or big for the sake of being big: like all the great Northern Rhones, it’s got elegance to spare. The 2015 is a super vintage and we only have a bit of this wine left. But we’re about to get the 2016—which will be amazing, too. If you want to hear about that as soon as it lands (and get a special, Newsletter-only discount, in the bargain) sign up for our Weekly Newsletter here, or using the form below. Light and Burgundian Saint Joseph – Jean-Baptiste Souillard Saint Joseph 2015 ($37.99) Souillard is a young up-and-comer who trained in Burgundy (among other regions) and is imported by Burgundy legend, Becky Wasserman. He takes a decidedly Burgundian approach to his winemaking. While his Syrahs taste like Syrahs, the emphasis is definitely on the airy and straight-up delicious aspects of his terroirs and variety of choice. Goldilocks Saint Joseph – Natacha Chave’s Domaine Aléofane Saint Joseph 2015 ($32.99) Natacha is from a family of vignerons, but set out on her own to make the wines she wanted to make: beautiful, fresh and balanced, with succulent Burgundian fruit, but pronounced savory notes too. This is great stuff, and not yet discovered in America. To help you celebrate Saint Joseph’s feast, we’re discounting all our Saint Josephs for the week on our web store. They’re 10% off, 15% if you buy 6 or more. But this is an online-only offer for readers of our blog: use coupon code FEAST18 to take advantage before end of day Sunday March 25th.
Join us this Friday night as we pour a selection of wines from The Winebow Group, a distributor that focuses on small, family-run winemakers. These wines are balanced, complex and delicious. We've put together a selection of wines for this evening that would be perfect to serve at your next dinner party. The lineup: a light, crisp rosé from Long Island that you might confuse for a Provençal wine; a light and juicy Beaujolais; a mineral-driven but weighty Chablis; and a surprisingly Burgundian Pinot Noir from New Zealand's Central Otago, to round things out. Spencer will be your faithful guide, and we think you just might find one of your new favorite bottles. Wolffer Estate, Long Island Rose, 2017 -- $18.99 Marcel Lapierre, "Raisins Gaulois", 2016 -- $15.99 Francine & Olivier Savary, Chablis “Vaillons”, 2016 -- $34.99 Two Paddocks, Pinot Noir, 2015 -- $47.99