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December 2016

Cornelissen Contadino 2015


The new vintage of the Contadino has just arrived!  Frank Cornelissen is an awesome guy who has one of those reality distortion fields that people talk about every now and then, often in reference to Steve Jobs.    Frank just has an amazing amount of passion and dedication to making the most honest and natural wine expressions possible from Etna's north slope.  His goal is to make wine that is the liquid representation of Etna's rock.  This 2015 Contadino is a really lively and vivid wine that grabs your attention.  It's so full of energy and raw joy that it's hard to actually pin the wine down and say that it's one thing or another.  


Aroma: Like always, Frank's wines are a different animal from what main stream wine is.  There's so much here that the best I can do is a mix of scorched earth, ripe red strawberries, and baking spices like cinnamon, cardamon, and nutmeg.  This Contadino has a lot of fruit in the nose ranging from dried apricot to ripe dark cherry and dark blood orange.


I'm blown away by how this wine is big and powerful with such presence while at the same time being so zippy and up on it's toes and just jumping for joy!  It opens with this racy almost blood orange kind of acidity but then the mid palate opens up and the finish is so long.  And there's just this hint of a burnt smoky kind of thing in the back underlying all of that.

The Contadino is such a special wine.  The mid palate is so juicy and lush but it's racy and dancing at the same time.  Based on what I've tasted this might be the best Contadino yet.  It has all that excitement and energy but it's structured, serious, and balanced.  Not too many stores have had time to get the 2015 Contadino in yet but you can certainly special order it!  The price has stayed the same and it should be a few bucks under $30. 

Matin Calme Mano a Mano

Vintage 2014

Grenache and Carignan from 100 year old vines.  Matin Calme uses organic agriculture and very natural wine making.

Aroma: this is straight up natural wine.  Put it to your nose and right off the first whiff you know this is going to be a wild unapologetic fun ride.   It smells like bloody beef, wet straw, fur, some dried tobacco, and rotten cherries.  Can I still convince you it smells good?  Really, trust me, the Mano a Mano smells like fun; it smells like a party in the woods at night in the late summer.  Or at least it smells like the parties I went to, I don't know about you all.


Taste: Mmmm!  It tastes like all the berries: cherries, raspberries, blackberries, and maybe some real real ripe strawberries.  There isn't enough acidity to make this taste like really fresh young fruit so it comes across more like ripe dark berries.  There is interesting acidity here though, just, it's a teensy bit volatile so the Mano a Mano is smooth at first and then all kinds of wild black pepper and fur and reverb comes in.  Matin Calme hasn't made a really clear crystal cut kind of a violin concerto wine, the Mano a Mano is more of a distortion, sampled, glitchy, fun electronica beat kind of wine.  I love the xxxx out of wines like this.

Kind of sadly only 5 cases came into Maine.  I've sold some and I'm trying not to drink all the rest.  If it sounds good to you please help keep me from drinking it!  Maine and Loire has it priced in the low $20s so go grab one and put on the Glitch Mob or early Daft Punk.