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April 2024

  • Posted on
April 2024

Friulian masterclass white masquerading as glou glou white, Classic Alsatian pinot blanc, a hidden gem of a white from northern coastal Portugal, a hidden gem of a red from southern coastal Portugal, Beaujolais, and Spanish Beaujolais.

Welcome to the latest installment of the Streetcar Monthly Pass. If you’ve already purchased a pass, thank you! If you haven’t, here's where you should go. Below you’ll find some information about each of this month’s six Monthly Pass selections. On to the wines!


Sfera Bianco (i Clivi)
variety: ribolla gialla
appellation: Friuli, Italy


“Cosmic verve in a grounded Italian Liter!” That’s the tagline for the Sfera project which partners with small certified-organic farmers throughout Italy to bring natural wine to the market in fun, accessible ways. The wines—bianco, macerato, rosato, and rosso—are all under 12.5% alcohol, vinified dry with native yeast and low sulfites in shareable liter bottles. Cristiano Garella of Alto Piemonte is the main winemaker for Sfera and here he’s collaborated with the esteemed Friulian estate i Clivi, who are known for making really elegant, graceful wines that show off the depth of their local grape varieties. 100% ribolla gialla, aromatically subtle, citrusy and fresh with mineral notes, this is a bottle you bring over for dinner with friends only to watch it disappear too quickly as you get lost in conversation. Treat it as an aperitif or an accompaniment to lighter pasta or seafood dishes that echo the brightness of the wine.



2021 Cave de Turckheim Pinot Blanc "Tradition"
variety: pinot blanc
appellation: Alsace, France


Cave de Turckheim is a cooperative of 240 growers centered around the pre-Roman comune of Turckheim, which lies just 6 km from the center of Colmar. Founded in 1955, the coop has earned an international reputation for the consistent quality of its wines. Their philosophy is rooted in the notion that everything that makes a wine great is already present in the fruit when it is harvested. Thus, winemaking relies on traditional fermentations and as little manipulation of the wine as possible. Pinot blanc may be the least celebrated sibling of the pinot clan of grape varieties, but we keep finding versions that beg for more of the spotlight. This is a fine example, and one that would love to find its way next to a spring salad of asparagus, watercress, and radishes. 


2022 Luis Pato Maria Gomes
variety: maria gomes (fernao pires)
appellation: Bairrada, Portugal


Luis Pato is an icon of Bairrada, which sits just south of Porto a few kilometers inland from the Atlantic coastline, part of the wider Beira Atlantico region. Luis’ father João was a leader in the region and his daughters Filipa and Maria have both gone on to become accomplished winemakers as well. The family’s winemaking experience dates back to the 18th century at least, but these last three generations have been pivotal in revitalizing the region in the post-Salazar years. Bairrada is known mostly for age-worthy reds made from the baga grape (often compared to Piedmont’s nebbiolo) and high quality sparkling wines, but the whites shouldn’t be overlooked. Maria Gomes is the local name for fernão pires, an aromatic white Luis describes as, “ideal to pair with fish, seafood, and a good conversation.” This is a perfect white for sipping this spring (which must be coming soon), offering glimpses of sunny days ahead. Seafood is an obvious choice and Portuguese cuisine has no shortage of recipes to inspire, it has us wanting to revisit ovos rotos com bacalhau.




2021 Quinta do Piloto Alfrocheiro
varieties: alfrocheiro
region: Setúbal, Portugal


Quinta do Piloto is located in the Palmela sub-region of the Peninsula de Setúbal. The Cardoso family is one of the ancient Palmela families with great traditions in making traditional Palmela wines. Filipe Cardoso is a 4th generation winemaker, following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather Humberto, who created the estate in the early 20th century with lands inherited by his wife. This unusual cuvée highlights alfrocheiro, a variety said to have made its home primarily in the Dao region north of Lisbon, though here we have one from just south of the city on the Setúbal Peninsula. Its closest genetic relative is trousseau (aka bastardo), which was brought from the mountains of eastern France hundreds of years ago. This wine is somewhat reminiscent of its alpine cousin in its dark forest evocations and surprising palate levity. It pairs well with lentils, casseroles, roasted vegetables, and barbecued red meats. Try it chilled as well!!



2022 Domaine de la Prébende Beaujolais
variety: gamay
appellation: Beaujolais
organic, no sulfur added


Domaine de la Prébende is located in the southernmost appellation of the Beaujolais wine region which is simply known as "Beaujolais". As you move further north you have "Beaujolais Villages" and then it's on to the 10 crus (Morgon, Chiroubles, Régnié, et al). The Beaujolais AOC has a reputation for fresh, fruity table wines that are easy to drink but often lack distinction. The structure, complexity and price of Beaujolais wines increases in the northern appellations and they're some of our favorite wines to recommend. However, there are some heavyweight winemakers in the Beaujolais AOC and the Depeuble family are a perfect example. They officially founded Domaine de la Prébende in 1947 and today the winery is run by Ghislaine Depeuble. She named this wine in tribute to her great-grandmother who managed the vineyards and winemaking in the early 20th century and serves as a continual source of inspiration. The "Anna Asmaquer" rouge is made from vines ranging in age from 40 to 80 years old which are hand harvested, fermented naturally via carbonic maceration for 8-12 days, then aged in cement and stainless steel with no sulfites added. Yields are also limited, which in addition to the old vine grapes, brings an intense concentration to the fruit which comes in waves on the palate (along with a serious mineral streak and wild berry nose) A super fun, delicious wine that will pair well with most meals. 



2022 Merayo Bierzo
variety: mencia
appellation: Mencia (Galicia), Spain


In 2010, after having dedicated the previous 20 years to the recovery and maintenance of his vineyards—not to mention a lifetime to winemaking—Pedro Merayo established Bodegas y Viñedos Merayos. The Merayo family has always been strongly linked to the world of wine and they have owned one of the most important wineries (Bodegas Merayo, closed c. 1989) in the region for decades. However, in the late 1980′s, Pedro Merayo decided to take time off from winemaking to concentrate his efforts on the care and maintenance of the family vineyards. After the great changes of the late 1990′s, including the creation of new wineries and the modernization of existing ones in the context of an international market, the family decided to return to its roots. They resumed winemaking in the winery located on the family estate, and offer this charming, easy-drinking mencia as a Spanish alternative to Beaujolais.