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December 2017

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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. On to the wines!


2014 Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin "Clos des Allées"
appellation: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine (Loire), France
variety: melon

Pierre-Marie is the ninth generation of his family to grow wine grapes in the village of La Landeau, in the Muscadet appellation of the western Loire. From his 50 hectares of vines he makes several cuvées, each bottled according to vineyard site to highlight the facets of their varied terroirs. This cuvée is from forty-year-old vines in the walled vineyard Clos des Allées, which the Luneau-Papin family owns in its entirety, indicated by the word “monopole” on the label. The wine spends 9 months resting on its fine lees (dead yeast cells), an important step in developing its fine, amply textured mouthfeel.


2016 Heidi Schröck Gelber Muskateller
appellation: Burgenland
variety: gelber muskateller

Any excuse to hand the wine writing reins to Terry...

"...this tastes like Muscat whose neck had been bitten by a white witch, causing it to fall into a swoon. It has a mere (and welcome) 12.5% alc and a little “natural wine” flavor; it’s juicy, leesy and dry, more the linden and chamomile aspects of Muscat and less of the orange blossom. It actually tastes more like Savignin than like Muscat, fluffy and sort of tightly rich, like bright colors on an overcast day; intense fennel and physalis. Soulful, original, and please don’t drink it too cold."

-- Importer Terry Theise


2014 Charles Joguet "Cuvée Terroir"
appellation: Chinon (Loire), France
variety: cabernet franc

The Joguet family estate is situated in Sazilly, just outside the village of Chinon in the central Loire Valley. For centuries, the family sold their grapes to the local cooperative, until Charles Joguet, abandoning a career as a painter and sculptor, took over the family estate in 1957. Charles began to bottle the family’s wine at the estate, and quickly realized that to truly express the full range of his family’s lieu dit holdings, he needed to bottle the wines separately, according to site, some of which date back to the Middle Ages. The cuvées are divided stylistically, some precocious and meant to be drunk young, like this one, and others built intentionally for aging. Cabernet franc makes a lovely table wine, versatile alongside all sorts of food, from a cheese plate to roasted chicken.


2016 Verdier-Logel "La Volcanique"
appellation: Côtes du Forez
variety: gamay

If you keep going up the Loire River, it eventually bends to the south and ends up almost in the city of Lyons. Here you will find the tiny appellation of Côtes du Forez. The region is unique in France because of its numerous (now collapsed) volcanoes, pushed up by the Alps along a fault line here in the Tertiary Era. The soil left by these ancient volcanoes is rich in granite and basalt, perfect for growing gamay. Odile Verdier and her husband Jacky Logel started the domaine in 1992 by augmenting her grandfather’s domaine with the acquisition and planting of more vineyards nearby. Of the two cuvées brought to the US, this is the one with more depth and power, no doubt a result of the basalt-rich soils whence it came.


2016 Filipa Pato Tinto
appellation: Bairrada
variety: baga

Fílípa Pato is the daughter of legendary Bairrada producer Luis Pato. After school (she studied chemical engineering), she traveled the world, and found herself drawn to vineyard work in France, Australia, and Argentina. In 2000, she returned home, and rather than joining her father, she established her own project, first in the Dao, then settling in Bairrada. Using the principles of biodynamics, she farms twelve hectares of vines planted entirely to local varieties. This cuvee is 98% baga, with just a tiny amount of white grapes bical and maria gomes. Vinified and aged half in neutral wood and half in stainless steel, this vintage is darker and more serious than what we remember previous vintages. Try it with French lentils or something with sausage. 


2013 D’Angelo “Sacravite”
appellation: Basilicata
variety: aglianico

Aglianico is an ancient grape, brought to the south of Italy by Greek settlers. It’s Italian name is thought to be a corruption of vitis hellenica, Latin for "Greek wine”, and it was the principal grape of the Roman drink falernum. The D'Angelo estate sits on the southern flanks of Mount Vulture, a defunct volcano in the Basilicata DOC in the ball of the Italian boot. Aglianico is a burly grape, with thick, black skins that yield a highly tannic wine that benefits from extended barrel and bottle aging. This bottle sees a shorter time in barrel, and so doesn’t carry the Vulture DOC labeling. A shorter time in barrel keeps the wine fresher and easier to enjoy at a younger age. Pour this next to braised short ribs, or any dish with enough fat and depth to support this wines deep berry notes and expansive palate.