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December 2017

November 2017

Thanksgiving Wines 2017

Every year Thanksgiving some how sneaks up on me.  I always think it won't happen this time, and then it does. But here we are now with the sun setting around 4 and just 4 days until Thanksgiving!   As many of you know, Thanksgiving is pretty much my favorite holiday, what with the focus on food, wine, and celebrating with friends.   So I wanted to share some of the wines I'm excited to drink.  These are different kind of off the beaten path wines that I've tasted in the past few months and thought "Ah ha!  This would be killer at Thanksgiving" 

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Glicine Barbaresco

You're probably asking "Has Ned gone crazy?  All those broken cars have gotten to his head"  No, I really am recommending Barbaresco for Thanksgiving.  The Glicine is an integrated traditional Barbaresco; all tar and roses with lovely floral aromatics and that jazz.  Seriously, this is a beautiful Nebbiolo with integrated mature tannins that will work with Turkey, gravy, and all those supporting actors.  The Glicine Barbaresco is around $36 retail and available at Browne Trading, The Blue Hill Wine Shop, Cumberland Food Stop, and Sawyers Specialties in South West Harbor.

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Conestabile Della Staffa Rosso Conestabile

This is made by Danilo, the guy I went and visited in Italy last month.  Danilo makes wine using no modern technology; believe me, I helped him and it's a lot of manual labor.  His 400 year old stone barn doesn't even have heat or A/C, but the wines are brilliant.  Particularly this wine is brilliant!  This is a lovely thirst quenching red made from Sangiovese, but Danilo makes this from Sangiovese that he's learned from experience have less tannin to the grapes they produce and fresher juicy characteristics.  The Conestabile is a fun lively medium bodied red that is so refreshing and uplifting that I seem to always want another mouth full.  Those are perfect qualities to go with the gamey flavors of turkey, gravy, and potatoes.  This is about $21 and available at Maine and Loire, The Rosemont Markets, Blue Hill Wine Shop, the Brooklin General Store, Vic and Whit's, Maine St Meats, The Farm Stand, Meridians, Tess's Market, Local Market, Treats, and New Morning Natural Foods in Kennebunk.

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Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Rosso

This may not be too big a surprise, everyone already knows Arianna's wines are killer, but they're hard to get and they're really legitimately brilliant.  This Nero and Frapatto blend is really actually the perfect weight for Thanksgiving.  It's bright and juicy, medium bodied from the ripe fruit, but the tannins aren't rough.  Overall, this is actually sort of like a ripe fruit driven Oregon Pinot Noir.  The SP68 Rosso is about $25 and available at RSVP, Sawyer's Specialties, Bangor Wine and Cheese, The Blue Hill Wine Shop, The Lincolnville General Store, and Maine and Loire

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Eloi Lorenzo Vino Tinto Brancellao

This is an eye catching unorthodox looking bottle. The label is held on with a string around the neck and glued onto the bottle in a strip right down the center so that it sticks out like a flat placard.  The wine is a brilliant thirst quenching red from Galicia.  It's bright and juicy with lots of ripe cherry and vivid raspberry to it.  The juicy thirst quenching character will off set rich fatty foods like gravy and sweet potatoes.  This is just a flat out delicious and exciting easy drinking red.  This Brancellao is about $22 and available at Oak Hill Beverage and Maine and Loire

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Cieck Erbaluce

Erbaluce comes from the root words "dawn" (Erba) and "light" (luce).  it's am ancient indigenous grape variety of Piedmont.  Remo Cieck founded the winery back in 1985 and has been working to build the profile of this unknown noble grape.  I opened one of these a week ago at a big party and was reminded how serious and deep a wine this is.   It's very aromatic and has perfumy aroma, but then on the pallet the Cieck has great acidity and a salty minerality that wakes up and the whole wine.  Think fuller bodied mineral driven alpine or Alsatian style wine and you'll be right on the money for how this drinks.  It will be a super good and fun pair for Thanksgiving.  The Cieck is about $18 and available at The Farm Stand in SoPo, Maine and Loire, Spruce Creek Provisions, and Browne Trading.

Tiberi Musticco

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Tiberi is a little family winery in central Umbria.  For many years they'd just grown grapes and sold them off to huge companies, because that's what the wine industry tells people they have to do if they don't have the scale to afford modern wine making equipment and technology.  So the Tiberi family was selling their grapes and even though they have old vines on a great southwest facing hill top they couldn't make ends meet.  They started to think about selling their farm, but then heard of this crazy guy: Danilo Marcucci.  

 

Danilo was impressed by them and their vineyard so he agreed to help teach them how to make wine with no modern technology.  It's much more work fermenting wild and not using sulfur, but on their small scale it works and allows them to make a value added product so that they can make ends meet and keep the farm.  Yay natural wine making!

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Danilo and I went on a crazy 25 mile run to Tiberi and then drank wine in their driveway.  

Musticco is Italian for Mosquito; that was Federico's wife's name when she was young.  This is a blend of Gamay de Trasimeno (which is genetically Grenache) and Ciliegiolo.  The wine is bottled during it's initial fermentation when the yeast is still eating the natural sugar.  Because the fermentation finishes in the bottle the CO2 dissolves back into the wine and makes it fizzy.  It's how sparkling wine was made way long ago before Champagne became Champagne.  This is a living wine with yeast in it, no sulfur, and no additives.

Aroma: Cherries, cranberries, beeswax, cooked rhubarb, maybe some mint, some black pepper; it's a really interesting smell that has aromas of tart red berried right superficially, but it also has aromas of spices and food.  It legitimately smells like the holidays to me.

Taste: The fruit flavors are ripe!  It's a fuller bodied rose, but totally dry.  The effervesence is great: just enough to perk up your pallet and give the wine some fizz, but not full on and it takes a back seat to the fruit.   The Musticco also has a bit of salty minerality on the mid palate.  It's savory and really lingers; this is such a cool wine.  I really think this would be killer with turkey, or a ham, or bacon, or some kind of salted pork roast!  Now I'm making myself hungry.  This is so good!  

And this just came way down in price due to closer connections between us all and volume (thanks Matt Mollo!).  This is about $20 retail. 

 

 


2017 Autumn Wines

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Our Top Priority Drinking List For Autumn!

We've picked up new importers, Ned went adventuring in Italy, and we've been inundated with new wines! Here's the list of what we really don't want you to miss out on in our expanding book.

Also, as you may notice up there we have a new logo. I wanted something that more accurately referenced that we focus on wines that particularly taste like the place that created them. So yeah, Devenish Wines Taste Like Dirt.

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Koehler Ruprecht Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) Kabinett Trocken About $20 Retail
Link to Website

Koehler Ruprecht is an old school star in the Pfalz that has worked without herbicides or fertilizers forever.  The 2015 vintage is a steal!  The vintage was big and warm, and Koehler just did everything right with these ripe grapes to create a completely dry but oh so lush wine.  The Weissburgunder is ripe and overflowing the glass with tropical fruit but there’s proportional minerality and acidity!  This white is so dynamic and just rocking up on the tips of it’s toes it’s so full of energy.

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Vieille Julienne Cotes du Rhone "Lieu-dit Clavin" 2014  About $30 retail

Link to Website

Well, damn.  Vieille Julienne.  Jean-Paul Daumen’s family has owned this land since 1905.  He’s gotten 100 points from Robert Parker not 1, not 2, but 3 times.  Usually I don’t go in for that kind of wine, but...I was really impressed.  This really tastes like the southern Rhone and in a beautiful way.  You’d never imagine that hot, sun baked rocks and scraggly wind desiccated bushes of rosemary could taste so good!  This is such concentrated bit spicy gnarly warming but balanced and deep reflective Grenache.

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Perrini Negroamaro 2016  About $16 Retail

Link to Website

Perrini is an excellent organic family winery in Puglia, the heel of the Italian boot.  Negroamaro means dark and bitter and this is a great example.  It’s medium bodied and has lovely cherry, apricot, blood orange, and fig flavors followed by eastern baking spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.

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Conestabile della Staffa il Rosso 2016  About $20 Retail

Link to Webstie

Danilo has spent 20 years searching out elderly farmers to re-learn winemaking techniques from 100 years ago.  This just hit America and there are only 50 cases.  It’s Sangiovese with Sagrantino and Grenache aged in super old barrels.  This is deep, meaty, bloody, with densely packed juicy cherry fruit.  The wine is thirst quenching thanks to Danilo’s obsessive focus on clean precise winemaking, but it’s a chewy meaty mouth full of flavor.  This is a ridiculous price for this kind of wine.

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Peppucci Grecchetto di Todi About $15 Retail
Link to Website

Filippo Peppucci’s family winery is in central Umbria adjacent to Montefalco, but out in the hills of Todi.  They have a beautiful west facing hill top planted to local varieties and he takes particular pride in his Grecchetto.  Filippo’s Grecchetto is lush riper, but mouth watering with salty minerality that follows on the heels of the ripe citrus fruit.  The medium body and long lingering minerality would be great with meatier white fishes.

 

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Alpamanta Cabernet Franc Mendoza 2003
Just over $30 Retail
Link to Website

Andrej Razumovsky founded the winery 13 years ago on the far outskirts of Lujan de Cuyo, where the roads sometimes aren’t even passable.  Driven by a dedication to farm biodynamically and as sustainably as possible Andrej is making wines that are true to the dry, warm, sunny Argentine climate, but with impressive balance and complexity.  This has the some of that peppery spice hallmark of Cabernet Franc balanced by sleek elegant dark fruit and polished tannic structure.

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Suelo Farmers R.L.R. Vineyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2015  About $28 Retail

Link to Website


Matt and Eric have worked at a range of other wineries including Flowers and Cristom where they were heavily involved in converting to biodynamic farming and seeing the benefits of using natural yeast.  This is the result of all that practice and work over the years.  This comes from an organic vineyard in Sonoma.

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Nicolas Reau Anjou Rouge "Enlevement Demande" 

About $27 Retail
Link to Website

Nicolas took an unusual route to winemaking, starting his professional life as a concert pianist.  One day he noticed an ad for a professional degree in winemaking and decided to make the leap!  In 98 he bought a 56 acre domaine, and then sold off 46 of those acres, only keeping the best old vines in a particular clos.  This is delicious mouth watering Cabernet Franc that’s ripe, peppery, juicy, and has just the right amount of acidity to be vibrant and lovely.  Farmed organically and made with very low intervention.

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Kiko Calvo Bigardo Toro 2016 About $21 Retail

Link to Website

Kiko Calvo grew up in Toro but then worked all over the world to get his winemaking chops before coming back to work his family’s vineyard.  This handmade organic Tinto de Toro is full of dark juicy fruit balanced with dry meaty structure that you can sink your teeth into.  The acidity is just right and keeps this wine from being too dry.  This is a lovely sunny piece of Spain in a bottle!