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!
appellation: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur lie (Loire), France
grape variety: melon de bourgogne
This organically managed estate is located just outside the city of Nantes in the heart of Muscadet country, in the western reaches of the Loire Valley. The family vinifies each of their white wines separately according to vineyard site and soil type, resulting in bottlings of melon de bourgogne that are significantly different from each other in style and personality. “Les Gautronnières comes from a walled vineyard planted on soil comprised of decomposed granite and amphibolite rocks, also called “green rocks”, that yield a lush, more ample bodied white wine. Pair this wine with sweet shellfish like mussels or scallops cooked with saffron and green herbs.
appellation: Saint Bris (Chablis), France
grape variety: sauvignon blanc
Tucked on the border between the southeastern corner of Austria and Hungary, the Meinklang estate is a textbook example of a truly holistic biodynamic estate. In addition to growing grapes, the Michlits family grows a variety of ancient grains, which they use to make beer, and feed their herd of cattle - whose manure in turn is mixed with pumice to fertilize the soils. They produce a range of wines, red, white, and sparkling. Somlo is named after an extinct volcano, whose soil gives this bright white its unique verve. Made from a blend of local grapes Harshvelu, Jufark, Olaszrizling, and Furmint (say those five times fast), Somlo is just brimming with stone fruit aromas and refreshing minerality, making it a perfect summertime apéritif or pairing for grilled vegetables and light cheeses.
appellation: Douro, Portugal
grape variety: codega do larinho
Importer Chris Campbell of C&P Imports, raises an important point on the back of this wine's label: "In the Old Douro, native grapes were not considered esoteric; but modern fashions forgot traditions, and what was once local, and easy to find became lost in the trend." While this wine, made from a grape that we've never heard of, may be esoteric to you and we, its very existence today relied on its having been the kind of wine your neighbor made from the grapes growing in their back yard. This is what winemakers João Silva e Silva and Francisco Baptista are trying to represent, and it's a value that we hold dear here at Streetcar. And the wine? It wears the mark of northern Portugal on its sleeve, with Atlantic salinity and bracing freshness, with a distinctive fruit profile that we found delicious. It reminds us how much we enjoy tinned sardines...
appellation: Pelješac Peninsula (Dalmatia), Croatia
grape variety: plavac mali
For those of you that have been with us for a little while, you may already be familiar with plavac mali and, in particular, with Vina Skaramuca. If not, let this beautiful rosé be your primer. The Dalmatian peninsula lies on the east of the Adriatic, across from Ancona, San Marino, and the Italian region of Le Marche. Its wines are an expression of its marine surroundings and warm, sunny climate. In our mind, what sets this rosé apart from the typical Provençal rosé is the tension between its pronounced salinity and exuberant fruit. Think of it as the vinous form of strawberries and balsamic vinegar. By now, you ought to know what to do with a bottle of rosé... just drink it!
grape variety: gamay
Vincent and Isabelle Greuzard are the fourth generation to run this small family estate, located in the Mâconnais in the southernmost part of Burgundy. Unlike the rest of the region, where pinot noir is king, the Mâconnais shares its southern border with Beaujolais and its cru village Moulin-à-Vent, and the chalky clay soils here are suited to growing gamay as well. The Greuzards' 50 year old gamay vines are located in the village Serrières, which benefits from its grape-ripening southern exposure. This gamay is a lovely summertime red, with pretty bright fruit, balanced against a light mineral finish.
appellation: Vin de France
grape varieties: grenache, marselan
In a relatively short time, Joël Saurel has brought his family's estate, which sits mostly within the limits of Gigondas, from a producer of bulk wine destined for négociants, to the short list of top producers in the appellation. The recipe has been pretty simple: carefully harvest the scant fruit from 42 hectares of low-yielding old vine grenache, and traditionally vinify a handful of terroir-specific cuvées in grenache vats or large, oak foudres. The rest is left to Mother Nature. "Le Dix" is a declassified blend of younger vine grenache and marselan, a relatively recent breed of cabernet crossed with grenache. Chill this one down a bit for optimal pairing with outdoor bbq faves.