April 2014

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Welcome to the latest installment of the Streetcar Monthly Pass. If you’ve already purchased a pass, thank you! If you haven’t, you should check out this page to learn how it works. Below you’ll find some information about each of this month’s six Monthly Pass selections. If you bought a 2 or 4 bottle package and one of the wines you didn’t get piques your curiosity, we have all six in stock. Unfortunately, we can’t swap out one wine for another, since they aren’t all equal in value. On to the wines!


photo (93)2013 Ostatu Rosé

appellation: Rioja, ES
grape varieties: tempranillo, garnacha

Bodegas Ostatu is a family winery located in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa region in the town of Samaniego. The Saenz de Samaniego family has been in the area for many generations. The winery dates back over two hundred and fifty years. The vineyards, which are protected by the Sierra de Cantabria range, are composed of chalk and clay and the average age of the vines is 50 years. The estate is comprised of over forty hectares of vines located in and around the town of Samaniego. The poor soils and the unique location at the foot of this mountain range together create a special microclimate that is very favorable to the Tempranillo grape. This rosé is sourced from some of Ostatu's oldest and highest elevation vineyards. Rosé season is here!


photo (95)2012 Domaine Massiac Viognier

appellation: Pays D'Oc, FR
grape variety: Viognier

Named after an ancient castle that burned to the ground during the French Revolution, Domaine Massiac now encompasses 21.5 hectares of vineyards, 8.5 of which are used to produce appellation Minervois. As of the 2012 vintage, the entire state has been certified organic. About a quarter of the estate is devoted to white grapes, almost entirely sauvignon blanc and viognier. The challenge in growing viognier in a climate warmer than that of the northern Rhone Valley is in achieving the high-toned floral aromatics without too much weight on the palate. Though this viognier weighs in at almost 15% alcohol, it maintains a levity and drinkability that matches the classic viognier aromas of white peach and honeysuckle. Try this with the freshest, greenest flavors possible this time of year -- fresh peas and asparagus are the first to come to mind.


photo (97)2011 Geil Scheurebe

appellation: Rheinhessen, DE
grape variety: scheurebe

Johannes Geil is a young, down-to-earth winegrower with a mind for experimenting to achieve the best results. He works with more than a handful of varieties, including riesling, pinot blanc, pinot noir, and a small amount of scheurebe. Originally crossed by Georg Scheu in 1916 (riesling x ?), scheurebe has taken a liking to the sandy soils of the Rheinhessen. At 9.5% alcohol, don't be surprised to find your glass empty before it typically would be. Don't be shy when pairing -- scheurebe likes to play with all kinds of intense flavors.


photo (98)2012 Maison P-U-R Yin & Yang

appellation: Vin de France
grape varieties: cinsault, syrah

Maison P-U-R is the brainchild of winemaker Cyril Alonso and managing director Florian Looze. It is essentially a natural wine négociant, purchasing fruit from vineyards all over France and making wine in two different small facilities, one in Burgundy and one in the southern Rhone. This wine is made from fruit grown in Minervois, and, after a short whole-cluster fermentation, crushed in their southern facility. As with all their wines, the viticulture is organic, and the wine is made with very little sulfur and "with no vulgar addition". Party wine!


photo (96)2012 Gaspare Buscemi ViNero

appellation: Venezia Giulia, IT
grape varieties: refosco, cabernet franc, merlot

Some of you are probably familiar with the Gaspare Buscemi VinOro, a white blend of friulano, sauvignon, pinot grigio, and chardonnay, which has been one of our go-to Italian summer whites. We knew about some of his more expensive reds, but this is our first time landing the elusive ViNero. This is a tiny producer tucked in the eastern corner of northern Italy, right next to the border with Slovenia. At the fore of the blend we have refosco, an ancient variety with genetic ties to marzemino, teroldego, and lagrein. This is a brigh, fresh, low-sulfur, high-energy red wine. Great to pair with salumi and hard cheeses. Or pizza.


photo (94)2000 Sant'Elena Merlot

appellation: Venezia Giulia, IT
grape variety: merlot

Yes, another red from Venezia Giulia, but the two couldn't be more different from eachother. The main reason? Twelve years! Sant'Elena was purchased by the owner of New York's Vinifera Imports around ten years ago and soon raided the estate's cellar for a bevy of back vintages of merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Surprisingly, this wine still has lots of life in it. If we had been told this was from 2010, we wouldn't have batted an eyelash. This is one of the most serious reds we've been able to mix in with the Monthly Pass. We can't wait to hear what you thought about it!