Valentines Day Wines!
Old Vintages of Domaine de la Chevalerie

Maine Wild Wine Fest This Saturday

Maine Wild Wine Fest This Saturday

Wine Makers and Importers Visiting from All Over!

2nd Annual Maine Wild Wine Fest is this Saturday the 20th!

Maine Wild Wine Fest 2023 is one week away! We have so many more importers and wine makers I can’t even put them all in here! Martha Stoumen! Kevin McKenna, Owner of Louis Dressner! Laurent Bonnois of Maximilien Selections! Dierdre Heekin of La Garagista!  
But it’s all the people you don’t know who will be there that you should really be excited about. People like Shaunt Oungoulian from Les Lunes in CA making beautiful elegant affordable natural wine. And Raphael Lyon of Enlightenment wines in NYC making killer meads with wild foraged ingredients! We have so many incredible people coming from all over the world. It’s going to be a unique opportunity to learn and hear diverse views from all over.

MWWF Tickets

MWWF Events
Thursday the 18thChaval hosts Laurent Bonnois to debut the 2022 vintage from Fabien Jouves Friday the 19thFriends and Family hosts Shaunt Oungoulian of Les Lunes for happy hourVessel and Vine hosts Ian Barry of Barry Family Cellars Table Bar hosts Natalia of Subject to Change pouring new releases in GardinerMaine and Loire hosts Laurent Bonnois pouring Natural French wines from 3-5Lorne hosts Kiki from Vandal in NZ to pour and talk from 5-7Onggi hosts a ticketed workshop with the Korean style rice wines of Hana MakgeolliBroad Arrow Farm hosts Andrea of Strade Bianche wines for a late afternoon tastingCrispy Gai hosts Winemaker Raphael of Enlightenment Wines for a wine dinnerWayside Tavern hosts RAS wines for a happy hour take overRosemont on Brighton Ave hosts Michel from Vinotas to pour everyday Natural Wines
Saturday the 20th2nd Annual Maine Wild Wine Fest!Vessel and Vine hosts Salvatore from T Edward Wines for an Italian Tasting at 5Leeward hosts Kalche wine maker Kathline to pour and introduce her VT winesThe Danforth hosts Karen Ulrich to pour natural wines from Bobo SelectionsMaine and Loire hosts Chepika Wines and Nathan K for a 4:30-6 wine tasting
Sunday the 21stHunt and Alpine hosts Brian Smith of Oyster River Wine Growers for a wine dinnerJudy Gibson hosts an Italian wine dinner with the wines of Salvatore from T EdwardThe Alna Store hosts Daniel from Vinum Wines to pour Eastern European WineBillecart Salmon Champagne Brunch at Crispy Gai with Karen UlrichWolfpeach hosts a wine pairing class with Jim Sligh

New Natural Spring Wines!

Hey, we’ve got wines! Woohoo! Actually we have a whole so many exciting wines arriving for spring and summer that it’s kind of overwhelming. And that’s the point of this email! Lots of the wines fit into a good solid email topic, but some don’t. It’s easy to write about someone like Fausto Cellario and all his new fizzy wines, but what if a winery only makes one wine? What if that wine is insanely good and perfect, but…. I can’t just write an email about one wine. I am in fact referring to Caneva da Nani: the greatest Prosecco that’s not actually legally Prosecco.  
So that’s what this email is: all the really fantastic one off wines that have arrived in the past few weeks. I don’t necessarily have long stories about them all but they’re brilliant wines that you all deserve to know about and enjoy!

Caneva da Nani el vin col fondo
About $20/btl
You can find it at Zu Bakery, Nina June, Maine and Loire, Black Birch, Bar Futo, and Bow Beverage in Portland
Caneva da Nani is a little 15 acre farm in a beautiful natural amphitheater of hills right by the famous Caritzze hill that is the most famous spot in all Prosecco. The Canello family has been here for 5 generations and Massimo is the current wine maker, but still working with his father Nani who the winery is named for.  

This is a Col Fondo, which sort of kind of translates as "on the lees". Here it means a sparkling wine that has completed it's natural primary fermentation in the bottle and has residual sediment. This is an old school style of sparkling wine that the local farmers have always made for themselves. Historically the wine would get to cold to ferment over the winter but then when it was bottled in early spring the bottling process plus warmer temps would wake the yeast back up and the wine would finish fermenting in the bottle. The Canello family pretty much still makes the wine the same way, bottling when there is the right amount of residual sugar left to create the perfect fritz of effervescence. They basically just make this one wine... and it is so good! This is 100% Glera grapes from the family's 50 year old vines trained up on trellises over head to protect them from dampness near the ground in this relatively wetter region. 

Although they're within the Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore zone (highest altitude, most respected terroir) he cannot call his col fondo by its DOC name. The DOC does not allow for the wine to be sold under the Superiore DOC if it has a crown cap. The family has experimented with refermentation under cork and the results aren't as good. They would rather make wine exactly how they want and not be allowed to use the DOC name than compromise and get to use the more prestigious name.  
Aroma: fresh green apple, apple blossom, some white rose, a little bit of fresh white peach. A little bit of fresh grass... It's a super pretty fresh aroma that's floral and lovely and just smells like spring and life!
Taste: oh gosh these bubbles are beautiful. So fine and pretty and frothy and persistent. It's just so elegant and pretty! It's got a little bit of green apple up front, then those frothy textural bubbles. A little bit of pear, a little bit of cooked apple, there's a little bit more citrus- some lemon on the finish. I wouldn't call it zippy but it is very uplifting and thirst quenching. I think this vintage is prettier and more precise than how I remember the 2021 being at this stage of its life. This feels like the best vintage ever but my mind might be playing tricks on me…. I can’t get over how gorgeous and fine this texture is!

Domaine Philippe Brocourt Chinon Les Gravieres 2021
Approximately $22
You can find it at Store Ampersand, Zu Bakery, and the Honey Exchange
Philippe Brocourt inherited his family’s winery back in 1986 at 21 and it sounds like he really hasn’t changed much in all this time. Chinon has a really strong wine culture and like many producers there he’s proud of it. He has about 32 hectares of vines, mostly planted in 1981. He’s worked sustainably for his whole career: avoiding the use of pesticides, weeding manually, he doesn’t till the vineyards and encourages other plants to grow. Philippe has parcels covering the three primary different terroirs of Chinon: sand and gravel along the river, clay up above the river on the plateau, and mixed clay over limestone on the hillsides. This cuvee is made from 8 parcels on gravel and sand along the river (Gravieres means gravel). The gravel and sand soak up more sun and ripen the grapes a bit earlier. Cab Franc from soil like this is always softer and more elegant. Philippe uses a shorter maceration as well to keep it fresh. It ferments with native yeast and then spends 8 months in stainless steel. No enzymes or additives, no filtration, and no fining. I’m really impressed and excited: this is classic Cabernet Franc, ripe and developed, but supple and eminently approachable at a great price!
Aroma: bright and fresh raspberry, deep red cherry with a little bit of currant and wintergreen. It smells very much like fresh berries. Clean and crisp smelling but also a little bit floral. It's definitely on the pretty side for Cabernet Franc
Taste: Lush ripe fruit but supple texture. Very approachable. It's got the classic uplifting fresh not at all heavy Cabernet Franc profile but the fruit profile is just a bit riper and more developed than Cab frog from the Loire often is. Cherry/Raspberry up front, a little snappy in a very nice way, then a little bit of brambley black pepper but with deep supple texture. The finish is really elegant but there’s just enough depth to really have presence and feel like you can sink your teeth into it. It's a very approachable satisfying drink now kind of Cabernet Franc!

Pomalo Frankovka Rose
Approximately $16
You can find this at Folk, Hops and Vine, Long Cove Oysters, Sawyer’s Market, Regards, RSVP, Monte’s, Sweet Pea Cafe, Ciao, Wind and Wine, Crispy Gai, Perks Beer and Bev, and the Warren Wine Shop
Pomalo is a slang word in Croatia, from the Dalmatian coast that means something like slow down, take it easy, no stress: it’s a product of the lifestyle and island culture of the Dalmatian coast. Pomalo the wine brand was created between Vinum wines and the Begovic cousins: a pair of wine makers who didn’t know each other until they re-connected and discovered each other through their shared connection to their ancestral town of Kozice Croatia. Ilya and Daniel picked the name Pomalo to use to explore all the exciting and unknown varietals of Croatia. This is hand harvested, direct pressed with minimal skin contact, and then cold settled for 48 hours. The juice then ferments spontaneously, after which it is racked and rests for 4 months. Light filtration and a light addition of sulfur. The grapes were grown on a vineyard in interior Croatia in the Pannonian basin on soil of light mixed clay
Aroma: fresh strawberry! A little bit of raspberry, a hint of cooked rhubarb, some fresh pink grapefruit juice: this smells so pretty, racy, and crisp
Taste: crisp racy strawberry, pink grapefruit, and peach up front. That’s followed up with some riper cherry and a bit of deliciously savory salt on the mid palate. The finish gets crisper again with some more strawberry and then a hint of an aromatic herb like tarragon. This is a little zippier and crisper then a Provence rose but also has more mouth-watering fresh fruit. It's clean, exciting, and very enjoyable to drink. It think this is also a pretty killer value compared to what I’ve tasted this season… and while I sort of try to ignore labels, this one is really good. The color pallet and color of the wine are really really attractive.

Domaine Balansa “La Vinhota” VDF Red
Approximately $27
You can find this at Wolfpeach’s new retail in Camden and Maine and Loire in Portland

Domaine Balansa is Céline Peyre and Alexandre Gressent, a couple who left their lives in the city to go back to Céline’s family’s vineyards down in Aude in the southwest of France. I think it came out of a trip they took back to visit Céline’s family and sort of just decided…. not to leave. They have old vines on amazing looking old rocky hillsides of shale. They’re exposed and windy, sunny, Mediterranean, and surrounded by scrub bushes. This is a blend of Lledoner Pelut and Grenache Noir with a 4 day spontaneous carbonic maceration. It’s extremely exciting and lively, but uniquely light and uplifting feeling. Céline and Alexandre are driven to make fine wines while minimizing any negative impact on their local environment. The vines have been organic for generations but they made the change to biodynamics when they took over. I definitely encourage you to check out the amazing pictures on their website:
Domaine Balansa
Aroma: very bright pretty red cherry and raspberry. A little bit of deep cooked apricot and concentrated blood orange. The aroma also has a super pretty floral component that's in the background but smells like dried roses and is really lovely
Taste: dry raspberry, beautiful elegant cherry and then lovely blood orange with delicious salt on the mid palate. The wine is really vibrant, fresh, and uplifting. The tannins are gentle and it has a really sunny slightly garrigue kind of flavor to the mid palate. Is it possible to be austere in a beautiful way? Beautifully austere? Well this wine does it. Light in the most beautiful effortless “without weight” sense of the word.

Domaine Le Grain de Seneve, Pierre de Faite VDF Red 2020
Approximately $27/btl
You can find it at Blue Hill Wine Shop and Maine and Loire
I’ve been a big fan of Herve Ravera and his horse Reggae Nights for…. I don’t even know it’s been so long! Herve left a nursing career in his early 30s and moved to the tiny town of Marchampt, located way out at the far west edge of the Beaujolais appellation. The vineyards are on steep granitic hillsides and can yield intense racy moving wines but it doesn't fall into any Cru appellation. Herve Ravera has approximately 5 acres of old vines. He does everything himself and farms with a horse named Reggae Nights. His wines are always brilliant racy and vibrant. They have this brilliant balance of fruit and acidity and minerality that just always wow me.
This is a new cuvee that he’s making for the first time and it’s about $10 less than his flagship Roue Libre!
Aroma: a little bit of blackberry, a hint of black licorice and red currant….some red rose. It's a beautiful perfumy and powerful gamay aroma. It combines heady expressive floral qualities with some spicy aromatic herbal notes, maybe a little bit of fennel breath. I absolutely love this!
Taste: fresh ripe raspberry that quickly evolves into a juicier lusher blackberry with some crunchy pith and gravely minerality followed by a lovely easy-going salty undertone. Then a little bit of blackcurrant and a lingering finish with some not aggressive but firm tannins

Pigoudet Cote de Provence Rose 2022
Approximately $16
You can find this at Bow St in Freeport, Perks, Bow Beverage in Portland, RSVP, Rosemont Market, Grippy Tannins, Folk, Hops and Vine, Engrain, Blue Hill Wine Shop, and the Crocker House.
The blend is Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet, and Cinsault grapes all from Pigoudet's 100 acres of 35 ish year old vines from the extreme north west of the cotes de Provence appellation. They farm organically and use native yeast. The juice is direct press to keep the wine clean and fresh and zippy. The fruit is bright and racy and there's good refreshing bright acidity, but there's some ripe fruit flavors here. It's great and just want with fresh seafood.
Aroma: This is so classic: there's elegant dry raspberry, dainty pomegranate, and some pretty tarragon, lavender, and rosemary aromatics. Lovely pale strawberry and cherry blossom aromas.

The taste is zippy and tart at first, then there's a red cherry flavor followed by a crisp slightly crunchy and angular mid palate. This is a super refreshing rose with some nice dry cranberry in there and then a soft strawberry fruit kind of finish that lingers with some touches of those aromatic wild herbs. This is a lovely more linear crisp elegant acidity driven rose and I love it.

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