Our Wine Wednesdays, include one *free sample from each of our hand selected fine wine features (up to four wines). New wines are chosen each week. All feature wines available by the glass or flight of four. This weeks tasting will be sourced from Napoleonic distributor Proof Wine & Spirits from the triangle and will helmed by a classically trained musician turned oenophile Lytton. All products are from small organic growers producing traditional unadulterated wine.

Domaine de la Pépière La Pépie Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie AOC
100% Melon de Bourgogne. In 2016, Pépière’s classic, earliest-released Sur Lie bottling has an addition to the label, the “La Pépié” moniker because Marc Ollivier and his partners had the addition of non-estate fruit to this bottling. The 2016 vintage was such a devastatingly short one–reducing Pépière’s total production to 15% of a normal year–that they felt they had no choice. Marc was able to buy the fruit and make the wine, so it is in complete keeping with the Pepière approach to farming and winemaking. Aside from the bit of sourced fruit, the rest came as always from the central 10-hectare vineyard of the estate on sandy, granite-based soils. Farming is organic and harvest by hand, as for all of the estate vines. Its worth noting that this wine is the ultimate pairing for fresh oysters!

Cardedu Nùo Vermentino di Sardegna DOC
6-8 hours of skin contact makes this an “orange wine” with training wheels – the natural wine folks go crazy for this stuff! The vineyards of Cardedu (car-DAY-do) are in the area of Ogliastra, the most mountainous and least populous province on the island; a land of turquoise shimmer and ragged-dry cliffs. Here on the southeast coast of Sardegna the Loi family grows and makes wines from the native varieties Vermentino, Cannonau, and Monica. Cardedu is one of the island’s better known traditional producers. The Loi family doesn’t think of itself as a natural wine producer; they are not in that hipster giro / circle. Yet all wines are hand-harvested, fermented with native yeasts, and there’s dry farming without use of herbicides or pesticides.

Daniel Largeot Bourgogne Rouge
Daniel Largeot was a well-respected winemaker in Chorey-les-Beaune, whose deep, traditional red wines were much appreciated by a mostly local clientele. He started bottling his own wine in 1965 and was joined by his daughter Marie-France, who completed wine studies in Beaune in 2000. She was joined by her husband Rémy Martin (that really is his name) in 2002. Coincidently, Rémy was a classmate of Vincent Charleux of the Maranges domaine Maurice Charleux. Unfortunately Daniel Largeot passed away in 2008, but his daughter and son-in-law continue to work his 13 hectares spread over five appellations, with Marie-France in charge of vinification and Rémy in charge of the vines. Their philosophy that wine is made in the vineyard is simple. “We invest tremendous time and effort between the vines,” says Remy, “because when the grapes are not at their best, they are difficult to improve in the winery.” In the vineyards, grass is allowed to cover the soils until spring when it is plowed several times to develop healthy activity underground. Shoots are pruned short, sometimes fruit is dropped and leaves are plucked. Harvest is by hand with sorting in the vineyard and when the fruit arrives at the winery. The grapes are usually de-stemmed although, depending on the vintage and wine, some grapes might be vinified whole cluster. After a cold maceration to extract fruit and color, a traditional fermentation takes place with punching down and pumping over to extract the raw material. Aging takes place in their underground cellars in 225-liter oak casks, some of which are new while the others have seen between 1 and 4 wines.(From vines just outside of Chorey-les-Beaune, aged in tank and older oak casks). Tasting notes: Notes of cherry and a touch of vanilla and spice highlight this excellent value that will prove to be a popular wine by the glass. Insane value.

2015 Akutain “Cosecha” DOCa Rioja Alta
The story of Akutain begins over four decades ago, when Rioja’s storied estates were consistently producing Spain’s most highly sought-after wines. At this time, Juan Peñagaricano Akutain was an engineer in nearby Basque Country, working for a company that sold cooling units to wineries. Juan developed personal relationships with many Rioja bodegas and spent time tasting and learning in the region, most notably in the cellars of two of the great traditionalists of yesteryear – CVNE and La Rioja Alta. These experiences gave him the confidence to plant his first vineyard in 1975, located 5km west of Haro at Rioja’s epicenter. With a desire to work in the chateau style, Juan acquired a horse stable adjacent to the vineyard and converted it into a small bodega. Akutain has been making wine here in this small but highly functional bodega ever since, with the goal being “to control the whole process from vineyard to bottle.” They strive to produce wines in the traditional style set forth by the Grand Bodegas, but on a much smaller scale, and most importantly to singularly reflect the wind-swept, high elevation terruño of Rioja Alta. Harvesting is by hand, all fermentations are with natural yeasts in fiberglass vats (with no temperature control), and all aging is in used American oak. Due to the small size of the cellar, they do not rack the wine from barrel to barrel, but rather decant the wine periodically out and then back into the same barrel. They bottle age for a significant amount of time in natural caves that the Akutains built under the first vineyard they planted back in 1975. This is traditional Grower Rioja at its best! The Akutain Cosecha is comprised of mostly Tempranillo with Garnacha, is fermented in fiberglass vats with native yeasts and raised for a short time in the same fiber glass vats. A delicious wine to pair with a variety of Tapas, and a pure example of Rioja Alta terruño.