Welcome to the first 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, don't forget to take advantage of your 10% discount, which is valid on all wine purchases through the end of the year. Unfortunately, we can't swap out one wine for another, since they aren't all equal in value.
On to the wines!
2012 Filipa Pato Vinho Branco
appellation: IGP Beira, Portugal
grape varieties: bical, arinto
Filipa Pato is the niece of one of the most talented and famous winemakers in Portugal, Luis Pato. The tagline printed in script at the top of her labels suggests a bit of an autonomous philosophy: "Authentic wines without makeup". Her wines are sourced from organically farmed vineyards, and only uses native yeast. She uses only varieties considered native to her region of Portugal, some whose names have documented references dating back to the 18th century. This saline, pungent, aromatic white loves to pair with seafood.
2011 Laurent Barth "Racines Métisses"
appellation: Alsace, France
grape varieties: riesling, sylvaner, pinot blanc
Laurent took over his father's estate in 1999, which at the time was under contract to sell their fruit to a cooperative for bottling. Laurent made his first estate wine in 2004. He farms organically, using some biodynamic techniques, and makes wine as naturally as possible. "Racines Métisses" is a blend made with each of the varieties that he grows, with the exception of gewürztraminer. While Laurent's farming techniques and philosophy are geared to achieving the ripest possible fruit, we love this wine for its natural balance of ripeness and acidity.
2010 Patrice Colin "Pierre François"
appellation: Coteaux du Vendômois
grape varieties: pineau d'aunis, pinot noir, gamay, cabernet franc
Patrice Colin comes from a long line of winemakers, dating back to the middle of the 18th century. His organic-certified estate is situated in the Upper Loire Valley, where the Loir tributary juts out toward Paris. We've enjoyed his effortlessly light rosé of pineau d'aunis for several vintages now, though this the first vintage we've seen of this red blend, which also features pineau d'aunis. Also known as chenin noir, the variety is either loved or hated for its typical peppery, green, aromatic fruit. We love.
2010 Christian Venier "La Roche"
appellation: Vin de France
grape variety: gamay
Christian Venier took up his family's line of work in 1998, after acquiring a domaine from a retiring winemaker on the southern banks of the Loire, just west of Cheverny. His philosophy shares much in common with his more famous cousins, the Puzelats. This is to say that he works his vineyards biodynamically and doesn't intervene whatsoever during the winemaking process. No sulfur, no fining or filtration (vegan), and nothing added or taken away from the pure fermenting grape juice. This is his basic gamay, which at 11.5% alcohol, is just about as guzzlable as a wine can be.
2012 Le Cantine di Indie "Polpo Rosso"
appellation: IGT Terre Siciliane, Italy
grape variety: nerello mascalese
Being an avid follower and loyal customer of Streetcar, you may have witnessed the exciting début of Indie Wineries a few Saturdays ago. We featured a couple of wines produced as a collaboration between the importer and one of their small producers. The third installment from that series is sourced from the organic-certified estate of Massimo de Gregorio, near Palermo in Sicily. The grape here is nerello mascalese, a native of the region surrounding the actively volcanic Mt. Etna, on the other side of the island. The handsome red octopus on the label doubles as an excellent pairing suggestion.
appellation: Navarra, Spain
grape varieties: tempranillo, garnacha
Also an importer / producer collaboration (not an intentional theme), Verasol is the work of Jose Pastor and winemaker Charo Moriones. It's a simple expression of the two kingpin Spanish grape varieties, tempranillo and garnacha, with roots in the limestone sub-soils of the Olite subregion of Navarra, just south of Rioja, in northern Spain. Organic farming, native yeast, no oak, not bells, no whistles. Just honest, tasty red wine.