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: Macon Charnay (Burgundy), France
grape variety: chardonnay
Jean-Marie Guffens is the larger-than-life personality behind the wines of Domaine Verget, his high-end négociant project that he established the 1990’s as a way to introduce drinkers to the myriad of terroirs of Burgundy for an easier-than-typical price point. Verget has been particularly successful at delineating chardonnay’s various expressions of southern Burgundy, where historically the chardonnay flowed more cheaply, but without so much distinction. This bottling comes from a clay-rich south-facing slope in the village of Charnay. The wine completes fermentation in stainless steel, and spends just a few months in barrel before bottling. With bright yellow fruit and a satisfying dense palate, this is a white for richer seafood or softer cheeses.
Upwell rose is a collaboration between Samantha Sheehan, winemaker at Napa-based Poe winery, and Eric Clemons, the owner of Coeur wines, an importer and distributor based in New York City. At Poe, Sam focuses exclusively on single-vineyard chardonnay and pinot varieties along the North Coast. For this collaboration, Eric challenged her to break that framework, and to search for a small, value-driven vineyard that would highlight all she loves in California terroir nicely in pink form. This rose is made of 100% tempranillo, sourced from a sustainable farmed parcel in Lodi, run by the Bokisch family. Zippy and bright, with clean ... ah, never mind, it's a rosé, it's 100 degrees outside, you do the math!
appellation: Goriska Brda
grape varieties: refošk
Last July we introduced Monthly Pass-holders to Rado Kocijančič's delicious red refošk, grown in Slovenia’s reputed Brda growing district. We could hardly contain our excitement for the release of his rosé, for which importer Gemma Iannoni (Giannoni Selections) recruited our very own Jessica Smith to design the label. Pretty snazzy, eh? Not surprisingly, we've plowed through the majority of our allocation, though we managed to squirrel away just enough for everyone here to get one. It shares its red brother's brambly fruit and Adriatic salinity, and holds a more athletic posture than the typical Provençal rosé. When it's too hot to drink red, but it's red that you want, drink this rosé.
appellation: Côtes du Tarn, France
grape variety: jurançon noir
After a few years of tasting jurançon noir from tank and begging Mathieu Vieules to bottle it separately, importers Edward Addiss and Barbara Selig (Wine Traditions) finally convinced him to do it in 2013. The grapes are hand harvested and put into the cement fermentation tank in whole clusters for a semi-carbonic fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Jurançon noir is an old variety local to the southwest of France. According to Jancis Robinson, it is a cross between Folle Blanche and Cot (Malbec). To produce quality wine, this vigorous variety must be severely pruned, which, when successful, will produce a dark, spicy and slightly bitter wine that is 11% alc, when fully ripe. We like it with a slight chill, though if it gets too cold, that tannin will bite your tongue. Saucisson sec, sheep's milk cheese, and a good loaf of bread will make this wine very happy.
appellation: Toscana, Italy
grape variety: sangiovese
We've debated including this wine in the pass for years, and now we're not sure why it took so long. This is the only TetraPak wine we can stand behind, because not only is the package eco-friendly and outdoor-friendly, but the wine is organic, delicious, and true to its Tuscan roots. It really tastes like it supposed to taste! And as an added bonus, this box contains 33% more wine than the typical bottle.
grape varieties: too many to list -- there are 28 of them
In 1997, after years working for various large Portuguese wineries, Joao Silva e Sousa and Francisco Baptista joined forces and established “Lua Cheica em Vinhas Velhas” (full moon on old vines), a project dedicated to exploring and revitalizing the forgotten indigenous varieties of the Douro Valley. This bottling, aptly named “28 Uvas" is a field blend from one old vineyard co-planted with 28 different varieties. Medium-bodied and bright with ample fruit structure leading to a refreshingly clean finish, this is a perfect red for anything on the grill, from eggplant and peppers to fresh sausages.