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 Tetramythos Achaia Malagousia
appellation: Achaia, Greece
Founded in 1999 by the brothers Aristides and Stathios Panos, Tetramythos respects Greek tradition while using organic viticulture and innovative winemaking techniques to make wines using indigenous and international varieties. The vineyards are planted at up to 1,000 meters elevation on the limestone-rich slopes of Mount Aroania, allowing great swings in diurnal temperature to ensure ripeness balanced with freshness and acidity. Their Malagousia is a delightful mélange of wildflowers, citrus and peach that’s refreshingly crisp with a long finish. It’s so undeniably tasty that the venerable decanter.com named it their Offbeat Wine of the Year for 2023. We think it’s a great aperitif wine but also matches quite well with seafood, salads or Greek mezze.
2022 Weingut Taubenschuss Poysdorf Grüner Veltliner
variety: grüner veltliner
appellation: Weinviertel, Austria
in conversion to organic
The village of Poysdorf is a small wine town situated about 60 km northeast of Vienna in the gentle rolling landscape of the Weinviertel region. Here brothers Markus and Thomas Taubenschuss run the Weingut Taubenschuss with help from their parents Monika and Helmut. The family has 22 hectares under vine, mostly grüner veltliner and pinot blanc, which are currently in the conversion process to organic certification (expected to be certified this year). They also have really adorable sheep grazing the vineyards, seriously check these cuties out. While this crunchy, peppery grüner works well with salads or lighter fare, its brightness can also help cut through a pork chop or sausage, and it plays nicely alongside spicy dishes — have fun experimenting with pairings.
2020 Domaine des Grands Rocs Chénas "Vieilles Vignes"
appellation: Chénas (Beaujolais), France
Eric Sorais and his team purchased Domaine de la Motte and its expanse of vineyards throughout the Beaujolais region in 2018 and renamed the estate Domaine des Grands Rocs. One of the gems of this historic property is a 70-year-old plot in Chénas. Sandwiched between Juliénas to the north and Moulin-a-Vent to the south, Chénas is the smallest of the 10 recognized crus, and often gets lost in the shuffle, but for no good reason. Its prized granitic soils are just as likely to produce age-worthy, classic renditions of gamay as any other cru. This example is sturdy yet refined, with subtle fruit and spice aromas and a satisfying, lush mouthfeel. It would play nicely with meats and cheese or any mid-week fare.
2021 Ocre Rouge "Le Rouge"
varieties: syrah, grenache, merlot
region: Rhone, France
Domaine de l'Ocre Rouge is the work of wife and husband team Marceline & Aymeric Beaufort, who both grew up in Champagne. Aymeric is the son of iconic Champagne vigneron Jacques Beaufort (who started farming organically in 1970 after realizing that he had an allergy to synthetic chemicals). Rather than split the duties at his family winery with his seven siblings, Aymeric decided he would branch out on his own. In 1999, the couple purchased parcels on the plateau de Dions near the city of Nîmes in the eastern Languedoc. In addition to making lovely sparkling wines, they make traditional rustic still wines with an elegance reminiscent of their northern winemaking lineage. They have been working organically since the beginning and only use indigenous yeasts and nothing is fined or filtered. This is a velvety blend of syrah, grenache, and merlot. Could be a very romantic bottle for Valentine’s Day paired with braised short ribs ❤️.
2022 Bernabeleva "Camino de Navarreros"
appellation: Vinos de Madrid, Spain
101 years ago, a doctor from Madrid named Vicente Alvarez-Villamil bought a parcel of land west of the city and on the eastern edge of the Gredos mountain range which he named Bernabeleva after finding ancient carvings in boulders marking forests dedicated to the goddess of hunting. His original plantings of garnacha now form the basis of the Bernabeleva wine production, now led by the doctor’s great-grandson, Juan Diaz Bulnes. While this part of Castilian Spain sees its fair share of scorching heat, punctuated in the summer by the African winds, its elevation and old granitic soils form the perfect environment for growing grapes, as has been known for centuries. As the spotlight has returned to this wild terrain over the last quarter century, the recovery of ancient, abandoned vineyards has been the life’s work of Bulnes and a small community of like-minded farmers, including the legendary Telmo Rodriguez. “Camino” is the perfect gateway into this beguiling wine region, giving a surprising and uncommon depth of characterful fruit and freshness. Give it a shot with roasted lamb or pimenton-roasted garbanzos.
2022 Leonardo Bussoletti "Asla"
appellation: Narni (Umbria), Italy
Chances are you've had ciliegiolo before whether you realize it or not, as it is a relatively common blending grape in Tuscany that likely found its way into your bottle of Chianti. Further east in Umbria, Leonardo Bussoletti has been championing this indigenous variety, making no less than a half a dozen different bottlings of 100% Ciliegiolo, the only red variety that Bussoletti grows on 9 hectares of vines. Since taking over his family vineyard in 2009, he's been laser focused on this grape, working with the University of Milan to identify over 30 clones of this variety, and identifying and grafting the clones he feels are ideal for his vineyards. He's serious about Ciliegiolo and thinks it has potential to make serious wine, not merely playing second fiddle to Sangiovese. That said, this particular bottling is one of his more playful efforts right down to the bottle art referencing C.S. Lewis' Narnia (said to be inspired by the picturesque town of Narni where Bussoletti resides). That said, there's some structure here and this is a fun wine that can stand up to hearty fare if it has to, but the strawberry and raspberry fruit on the palate will treat your mouth right even if you are sipping it alone.