Our American section is radically different from when we first opened, just two and half years ago. For starters, there’s more of them. While we still have a handful of wines from producers who have set the bar for a generation or more, we keep falling for wines from the new generation winemakers. Their stories don’t draw a common thread from one to the next, though we find some common themes in the resulting wines: less reliance on oak barrels, lower alcohol levels, higher natural acidity, and more attention to overall balance. Just in time for the holidays, we’ve put together a six bottle sampler to give you a survey of the new guard, at a specially-discounted price.
NEW AMERICAN SAMPLER $135
A bottle of each of the six wines listed below, at just over a 10% discount.
La Garagista “Lupo in Bocca” Barnard, Vermont $25
Yes, that Vermont! Deirdre Heekin farms French-American hybrids in a handful of vineyards using traditional European methods. The early results of her efforts are nothing short of staggering, and we offer this rosé of a grape called marquette as exhibit A. She is also an acclaimed author, restaurateur, and sommelier.
2012 Analemma Rosé Columbia Gorge, Oregon $28
Analemma was founded as a result of their signing of a lease to farm Atavus, one of the oldest vineyards in the Pacific Northwest. They produce a tiny amount of “rosé” of pinot noir which is so light that it might as well be called a white wine. Think still Champagne with a touch more nutty extract.
2013 Broc Cellars “Love Red” Berkeley, California $23
Chris Brockway has become one of the darlings of the new American generation of winemakers for demonstrating the potential for restraint in Californian wines. “Love Red” is a new cuvée with carignan at the fore, a grape long maligned and all but forgotten in California until pretty recently.
2012 La Clarine Farm “Piedi Grandi” Sierra Foothills, California $25
It’s amazing to us that we’re even able to get anything from La Clarine Farm, given the minuscule quantities produced. “Piedi Grandi” is a bizarre blend of nebbiolo, mourvedre with a drops of syrah and semillon, all from a single vineyard. Farming is biodynamic, and winemaking is natural (no additives of any kind).
2013 Folk Machine Charbono, Suisun Valley, California $23
Kenny Likitprakong (Hobo Wines) has become one of our favorite producers, as whether it carries the label Camp, Folk Machine, Hobo, or whatever else, each wine has a unique story to tell. The grape charbono is part of California winemaking history that has held few champions. Having only tasted a handful of wines made from charbono, it’s hard to know what’s typical. This one is full of fruit without being jammy, and seems like it might age well.
2013 Fausse Piste “Garde Manger” Syrah, Columbia Valley, Oregon $27
Syrah might finally be receiving the attention it deserves, thanks to a renewed interest in the wines of the northern Rhone, and the discovery that American syrah doesn’t have to be over 15% alcohol. “Garde Manger” weighs in at 13.5% and suffers no lack of intensity or balance. Revealed behind all the excess fruit is the meat, smoke, and black pepper inherent to the variety.