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!
2022 Quinta de Soalheiro "Allo"
varieties: alvarinho, loureiro
appellation: Minho, Portugal
The Minho region is the top northwestern corner of Portugal, named after the river which forms 80 km of the border with Spain. Soalheiro has been around since 1974 when the Cerdeira family decided to go all in on the alvarinho grape. Siblings Maria João and António Luís are in charge these days, working organically and on initiatives to get other smaller growers in the region to practice sustainable agriculture. A very easy drinking, refreshing white, this 50/50 blend of fruity alvarinho with floral loureiro is a great cocktail or table wine. It’s an easy pairing with a platter of salty almonds and aged cheese or with seafood like clams or squid.
2020 Auvigue Mâcon Villages
appellation: Macon-Villages (Burgundy), France
Auvigue is one of the oldest wine growing families in the south of Burgundy, with documentation of their activities going back to at least the 17th century. Jean-Pierre and Michel Auvigue maintain their family's legacy with their holdings in and around Solutré and Fuissé. Their vineyard management has moved steadily toward organic principles over the last few decades. The fruit for this village wine is hand-harvested, expeditiously pressed, and raised entirely in stainless steel tanks, to offer the freshest possible rendition of the noble chardonnay grape variety. As we settle into the cooler months, we revisit chardonnay to pair with roast chicken, seafood stews, and all other manner of comfort food.
2021 Eschenhof Holzer "Invaders"
variety: muller thurgau
appellation: Wagram, Austria
Sixth generation winemaker Arnold Holzer is bringing a fresh energy and perspective to his family's northern corner of Wagram, very close to Kamptal. Bright, aromatic whites are the name of the game here, with some light, fruity reds also in the mix. While the area is best known for its veltliners (both grüner and roter), here we have a light orange treatment of müller thurgau, which is a very old crossing of riesling and sylvaner. The time on the skins amplifies the variety's inherent tropical aromas, and gives a tangy, zesty textural character without veering into the more tannic world of amber wine. This is a perfect introduction to orange wine for the uninitiated, and a delicious wine to drink as an apéritif, or with really anything at all. BONUS: the playful label is not just what it seems! When you're on your phone, search for "taste invasion" wherever you download apps.
2022 AA "GX"
region: Catalunya, Spain
Alta Alella is a family run project started in 1991 by enologist Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets and his wife Cristina Guillen on the site of an existing century-old estate within the Alella, which is the smallest DO in Spain. AA is the closest winery to Barcelona, located within the agricultural area of a natural park known as the “Serralada de Marina’. The vines are grown on Sauló soil which is one of the most important elements that determines the character of the wines. Josep and Cristina's daughters Mireia and Georgina are now leading the winery, with its 60 hectares of organically-farmed vineyards and full range of still whites, reds, and Cavas. Try this juicy, transparent garnacha with lentils and fried shallots, mezze, or paella Mixte.
2021 Troupis "Fteri" Agiorgitiko
appellation: Peloponnese, Greece
The Troupis family has been farming since the 1970s, growing fruit trees, flowers and grapes. Back then, the grapes were used to make their personal supply of wine and anything remaining was sold off. It wasn't until 2010 that they decided to devote all their energy to winemaking, upgrading their facilities and equipment and eventually becoming a name to know in the ever evolving Greek wine industry. Their winery is situated in the Fteri ("fern") region of the Mantinia plateau at an altitude of 700m. This location has a microclimate particularly well suited to the native varieties moschofilero (their most planted grape) and agiorgitiko (pronounced aye-yore-yee-tee-ko). Troupis "Fteri Agiorgitiko" is a fruit-forward red with notes of pomegranate, caramel and spice along with velvety tannins and refreshing acidity. It's food-friendly but if you're making braised meat in tomato sauce this would be the way to go. Best enjoyed with a light chill.
2021 Faillenc Sainte Marie Corbières
variety: syrah, grenache, cinsault
appellation: Corbières (Languedoc), France
Faillenc Sainte-Marie is a small family estate in the southern Languedoc appellation of Corbières. Their eight hectares of old head-trained vines are situated among rocky limestone foothills between the old towns of Carcassonne and Narbonne. Winds from the northwest and the south face off in a rugged Mediterranean climate where only vines and olives can really thrive. The resulting low yields give concentrated, complex grapes to vigneron Jean-Baptiste Gibert, who took over the work from his parents years ago and underwent the process to gain organic certification. The wines have consistently over delivered and this particular cuvée has been a favorite for years. Powerful, but restrained, it’s a field blend of syrah, grenache, and cinsault with an untamed edge reflecting the wild, inhospitable terroir. Lamb meatballs would be a perfect pairing.