Say hello to the newest edition of Vine Arts Wine Club! How’s it September already? Summer went by WAY too quickly. Well, fortunately we have a great lineup of wines to ease you into the start of Autumn.

For everyone signed up for pickup, your wines will be ready Thursday, September 1st at both locations. For everyone signed up for delivery, your wines will be delivered on September 1st as well. Right in time for the long weekend!

Cheers!

2018 Julien Barge “Loch Ness” Côtes-du-Rhône

Rhône Valley, France

$27.40

Where

The Côtes du Rhône is vast, covering a large section of France’s south. We’re talking about 44,000 hectares of vines! Stretching as far north as the city of Vienne, 90% of all Côtes du Rhône wine comes from the southern half. The vine was first brought to this area by the Greeks in the 4th century BC, and cultivation has endured ever since. The area was officially designated an AOC appellation in 1937. In technical terms the region includes 171 counties across 6 different departments. The Southern Rhône enjoys a mediterranean climate with scorching hot summers. The Northern Rhône, buffeted by the Mistral wind, experiences slightly cooler weather and a climate verging on continental.

What

The wines of the Rhône are broken down into four categories: Côtes du Rhône AOC, Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC, Côtes du Rhône (named) Villages AOC, and the Crus. The Côtes du Rhône AOC is the entry point for the region, and about 50% of all Rhône wines will be given this designation.

Behind the goofy label, the ‘Loch Ness’ Côtes-du-Rhône is serious juice! The cuvée is composed of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah sourced from like minded growers who farm organically in the Ardèche. The grapes were fermented in concrete tanks with minimal intervention, and aged in a mix of concrete and large oak casks

Who

Julien Barge descends from a long line of Northern Rhône winemakers. His family have been growing grapes in the area since 1860, though it wasn’t until 1929 that Jules Barge started selling wines bottled on site. Major change came to the family business when Julien’s father, Gilles, joined his own father at the winery in 1979. Although many traditions were kept, Gilles introduced some modern techniques and standards. Unique at the time, he started bottling some wines as single-vineyard cuvées. Emphasis was made on whole-cluster fermentation and the use of neutral old barrels for aging. He was not interested in the flashier style of wines that were starting to appear in the area. An ambassador for the region and its wines, he was also the President of the Côte Rôtie Growers Syndicat. Under Julien’s direction the winery continues to bottle wines of utmost purity and simplicity. Using no herbicides or pesticides in the vineyard, in the cellar he takes a soft approach, intervening as little as possible, allowing the wines to fully express the complexity of his vineyard holdings.

Taste

Generously flavored and perfumed, the “Loch Ness” Côtes-du-Rhône is a friendly introduction to the world of Julien Barge. The predominance of Grenache in the blend lends ample fruit, while the Syrah kicks in a dusting of spice. Purplish red in appearance, the nose has aromas of roasted plum, licorice, black cherry, violet and black pepper. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with fine tannins, balanced acidity, and ripe blackfruit flavors. The finish is dry and spicy. Not only a great match for barbecued meats, this wine is also a great match for Mediterranean style grilled eggplant.

2020 Cantine Sardus Pater Carignano Is Solus Carignano del Sulcis

Sardinia, Italy

$28.35

Where

Sitting 240 kilometers off the west coast of Italy is the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. Second only to Sicily in size, this rocky Italian island outpost is famed for its pristine sandy beaches and wild interior. Geologically speaking, it is one of the oldest places in Europe. The mountains at the center of the island have rounded peaks from countless centuries of erosion. The climate is mostly temperate. During the summer, dry and hot winds from North Africa buffet the island. The rainy season falls between October and February. The majority of Sardinia’s vineyards are planted at the south end of the island.

What

The wine appellation of Carignano del Sulcis was created exclusively for wines made from one grape – Carignano (aka Carignan). This variety is thought to have originally been brought to Sardinia from either southern France or Spain. Afterall, although Sardinia has been joined with Italy for 150 years, its viticultural heritage owes more to these two countries.

The “Is Solus” Carignano is made from grapes harvested from own-rooted vines planted on the small island of Sant’Antioco, which sits at the southwestern tip of Sardinia. The bush-trained vines are planted to sandy soil and average 35 years in age. Vinified in stainless steel tanks over 15 days, the wine was matured in Allier barriques for 12 months.

Who

Located on Sant’Antioco island, Cantine Sardus Pater was established in 1949 as a winemaking cooperative. Today the winery draws in grapes from 300 hectares of vineyards, tended by 200 growers. The vineyards are planted in a series of gently undulating sand dunes, so sandy in fact that the vineyards remain un-grafted, escaping the perils of phylloxera. Up until 1994 the winery was exclusively focused on the production of Carignano. The name of the winery comes from the mythological hero of Nuragic Sardinians, Sardus Pater (“Sardinian Father”). All of the labels depict portraits of archeological relics found during the research and dig campaigns carried out on Sant’Antioco.

Taste

Garnet red in appearance with brickish inflections, the “Is Solus” Carignano has a rough Mediterranean character that speaks to the wild terroir of Sardinia. On the nose leathery aromas of sun dried cherry and red plum are complemented by hints of wild fennel and cured meat. The medium bodied palate has chewy tannins and biting acidity. On the finish it’s pleasantly earthy and bitter.

As one would expect for an island, much of the typical cuisine of Sardinia is based around seafood (well matched by the region’s crisp white wines). For a wine like this we want something more meaty though, like Agnello coi carciofi (Sardinian lamb with artichokes stew).

2019 Ca del Monte Valpolicella Classico

Veneto, Italy

Previously $26.90

Where

Renowned for the romantic city of Venice, Veneto is Italy’s 8th largest region. Known as the Tre Veneto, it follows the borders of the once great Repubblica di Venezia (Republic of Venice), a dominant force that ruled this area for 1000 years. Neighboring Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna, it produces more wine than its size would suggest. Two different climatic zones exist: an eastern area close to the Venetian Lagoon and a western area on the shores of Lake Garda. Grape growing would not work here without the aid of the Dolomites mountain range, whose peaks block more extreme northern weather. Three main topographys exist: northern plains, rolling hills and coastal fields. The viticultural area of Valpolicella covers a large swath of land in the west.

What

The Valpolicella wine district is home to not just one, but four highly successful wine styles. The standard Valpolicella wine is youthful and bright. Valpolicella Ripasso, which is made by “repassing” Valpolicella wine over the grape skins of Amarone, is deeper but yet still vibrant. Amarone della Valpolicella, the fullest style, is made via the “appassimento” method, where grapes are intentionally dried out to concentrate the sugar content. Fermented fully to dryness, this still is higher in alcohol too (often 15-16%). The fourth style is known as Recioto della Valpolicella. A “passito” wine, the winemaking method is similar to Amarone della Valpolicella where the grapes are dried. Unlike Amarone della Valpolicella though, Recioto della Valpolicella is sweet.

The Ca del Monte Valpolicella is made from 45% Corvina, 35% Rondinella, 15% Molinara, and 5% Negrara-Pelara. The fruit was hand-harvested from sustainably farmed vines planted to poor calcareous marl soils. Vinified in stainless steel tanks, the wine was aged in large oak casks.

Who

The wine estate of Ca del Monte is located in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico zone, the historical center of the region. Six-generation grape growers Umberto and Guiseppe Zaconte tend 20 hectares of vineyards on south and southwest facing hillsides which overlook the town of Negrar. The vines range in age between 20 and 40 years, and are planted to Corvina, Rodinella and Molinara. Organic farming principles are implemented, although the brothers have not sought out official certification. The winery itself is housed in a 17th century mansion, which was built atop an ancient monastery.

Taste

This is old-school Valpolicella! Garnet red in appearance, the nose has piquant aromas of sour cherry, red currant, green peppercorn, and leather. The medium bodied palate is fairly juicy, with bitter cherry flavors and harmonious tannins. A noticeable ‘green’ note lingers into the balanced finish. We suggest playing to this wine’s earthy character and pairing it with umami laden mushroom pizza.

2020 Anthonij Rupert ‘Protea’ Merlot

Western Cape, South Africa

$17.70

Where

The Western Cape is the major area for wine production in South Africa. This large wine appellation covers much of the southwestern corner of the country. It can count two of South Africa’s biggest names, Stellenbosch and Paarl, as subregions. Given its immense size and a series of mountain ranges collectively known as the Cape Fold Belt, the Western Cape has a large diversity of microclimates. The “Cape Doctor”, a wind created by the convergence of the Antarctic Benguela Current and Agulhas Current of the Indian Ocean, brings cooling breezes from the southeast.

What

The first vines in the Western Cape were planted as early as the late 1600’s. It’s in fact one of the oldest areas of the “New World” when it comes to winemaking. Today the Western Cape wine industry is geared towards a wide range of grape varieties. Bordelais grape varieties are the most prevalent, although Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are growing in popularity.

The Anthonij Rupert ‘Protea’ Merlot is made from grapes harvested from multiple Western Cape sites. Picked by hand, once in the winery the grapes were de-stemmed and crushed prior to being moved to large French oak and stainless steel tanks. The wine was fermented on the skins for 15 days and then pressed. The free run juice and press juice was aged separately and blended after 8 months. The maturation process took place in 2nd and 3rd use 225L French oak barrels. For added complexity, some of the wine stayed in tank in contact with new French oak staves.

Who

The history of Anthonji Rupert Wines begins in the 17th century, with the founding of L’Ormarins farm in Franschhoek. Franschoek is home to South Africa’s most prestigious wine estates. It was this lineage that instigated Anthonji Rupert to purchase L’Ormarins farm. Sadly passing away in 2001, Anthonji was succeeded by his brother Johann Rupert in 2003. Johann would go on to build a new winemaking facility, and expand the wineries holdings. In addition to L’Ormarins farm, there is Rooderust farm in Darling, Riebeeksrivier farm in Swartland and Altima farm in Elandskloof.

Taste

Bold and velvety, the ‘Protea’ Merlot packs appealing fruitiness and structure. Ruby red in color, on the nose you find punchy aromas of blueberry, blackberry, plum, tomato leaf, and cocoa. The palate is medium bodied with succulent blackfruit flavors, chocolatey spice, and smooth tannins. A lengthy fruity and savory finish wraps things up nicely. Try it with heartwarming Autumn dishes like cottage pie or meatloaf.

2021 Domaine de Castelnau Garenne Picpoul de Pinet

Languedoc Roussillon, France

$24.05

Where

It doesn’t get much more Mediterranean than Picpoul de Pinet. An area situated on the southern French coast, it’s only separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a 5 kilometer wide lagoon. As one would expect, vineyards close to the sea are very strongly maritime influenced with free-draining sandy soils. Further inland the landscape is characterized by dry scrubland and jagged rocked soils. Temperatures are reliably temperate year round, with especially hot summers. A destination for cold weather fleeing Europeans, this area is also home to flocks of pink flamingos who can be seen even during the winter. This is the largest white wine region in the Languedoc.

What

The appellation of Picpoul de Pinet primarily centers around one grape variety: Picpoul. This ancient variety gets its name (translates to “stings the lip”) from its very high acidity, which makes it uniquely capable of dealing with the hot Mediterranean climate of southern France. Known by a few other names, it is known as Folle Blanche in the Loire Valley. Of the 1500 hectares of Picpoul planted in France, 1450 hectares are planted in the Picpoul de Pinet appellation.

The Garenne Picpoul de Pinet is made from fruit harvested from vines planted to clay-limestone soils. In the cellar the grapes were gently pressed and fermented slowly in temperature controlled tanks with contact on the lees.

Who

The history of Domaine de Castelnau is a long one, going all the way back to the 13th century when the property was owned by the Seigneurs (Lords) de Guers. Today owned by Christophe and Beatrice Muret, the winery sits in the heart of the Picpoul de Pinet appellation between Béziers and Montpellier. It’s one of only 20 domaines in the area that are independently owned. Spread across 97 hectares, about 13 hectares of the estate’s vineyards are dedicated to the cultivation of Picpoul. The winemaking regime is overseen by oenologist François Prinsloo, who blends modern techniques with traditional winemaking principles.

Taste

Zippy and subtle, this is a benchmark example of Picpoul de Pinet. Pale straw yellow in appearance, the nose has fresh aromas of lemon, green apple, quince and sea salt. The light bodied palate is punctuated by sharp acidity, crisp citrus flavors, and crunchy minerality. This is a wickedly mouthwatering and refreshing white wine! If ever a wine was perfectly conceived to pair with oysters, this would be it!

2021 Paddy Borthwick Paper Road CPR

Wairarapa, New Zealand

$28.80

Where

The New Zealand wine region of Wairarapa is located on the southern tip of the North Island. Less known than the region of Marlborough, it accounts for only 1% of the nation’s overall wine output. Meaning “glistening waters” in te reo Māori, Wairarapa is subdivided into three zones around the towns of Masterton, Gladstone, and Martinborough. The region’s climate is defined as semi-maritime, and is strongly influenced by the long coastline. To the west and northwest, the Rimutaka and Tararua mountain ranges block cool winds and shelter the vineyards.

What

Wairarapa’s cool climate makes it a great region to grow cool-climate grape varieties. The most popular white grape variety is Sauvignon Blanc, accounting for about ¼ of all plantings.

The Paper Road CPR is made from a trio of grape varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. It’s a combination of grapes similar to the classic ‘Gentil’ blend of Alsace. The fruit was harvested fully from estate vines, which range in age between 9 and 17 years. For best results, the grapes were picked in three stages and pressed slowly to allow slight skin contact. Complexity was achieved through slow fermentation with selected yeasts and months aging on the lees.

Who

The story of this winery originates with PJ Borthwick, who immigrated to New Zealand from England in 1936. Purchasing the Te Whanga Station 100 km’s to the north of Wellington, Borthwick established one of New Zealand’s most successful cattle stations. Maintained by the same family for generations, Te Whanga today is home to 700 Angus cattle and 10,000 sheep grazing on 1600 hectares of land. In the 1980’s PJ Borthwick’s grandson, Paddy, decided to expand outside of the family business, studying viticulture at Roseworthy College in Australia. Gaining work experience around the globe, Paddy created Borthwick Vineyard and Winery in the late 1990’s. Today the estate includes 27 hectares of vineyards planted to stony, free draining, alluvial soils. In the cellar, Briony Carnachan is in charge of winemaking.

Taste

Pale straw green-yellow in appearance, on the nose the Paper Road CPR has strong aromas of fresh squeezed lime, quince, white peach, and ginger. The medium bodied palate is fleshy and tropical with crisp fruit flavors. A fine line of minerality lends poise and a touch of bitterness. Culminating in a dry and fresh finish, this white wine is very expressive and fruit driven. A swell foil for richly flavored seafood dishes like lobster rolls.