2017 Mas des Volques, “Esus,” Duché d’Uzès — Nicolas Souchon was a young oenologist working at Clos Saint-Jean in Châteauneuf-du-Pape when he decided to start his own winery.
His family had vineyards on the other side of the Rhône River in Duché d’Uzès, a small appellation north of Nîmes that runs from the Pont du Gard west to the foothills of the Cévennes. With the assistance of highly regarded wine consultant Philippe Cambie, Souchon founded Mas des Volques, naming it after the ruins of a Gallic village found on the property. The terroir, with its warm days and cool nights, produce wines with great freshness and finesse. This blend of 45% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, and 10% Carignan is full-bodied and smooth with notes of dark fruit, black pepper, and a touch of earthiness that develops further as the wine opens up. Enjoy it over the next few years with lamb, cassoulet, Boeuf Bourguignon, or hearty mushroom-based dishes. $15
2019 Simpatico Cellars, Old Vine Grenache — Here’s another wine from our former shop intern, Cassie Wistrom. After graduating from the Wine Academy at South Seattle College, she worked with a number of producers, including a stint at Washington’s iconic Betz Family Winery, before founding her own winery along with co-owner and co-winemaker, Craig Sosey. This wine is sourced from the oldest Grenache vines in the state, planted in in the early 1970s in Upland Vineyard on the slopes of Snipes Mountain in the Yakima Valley—a site Bob Betz also found ideal for growing Grenache with great depth and character. Simpatico’s is wonderfully smooth, savory, and aromatic, with flavors of red fruit, white pepper, and a touch of spice. With mouthwatering freshness, satiny texture, and a lingering finish. $27
2019 Cantina Kurtatsch, Pinot Grigio — Kurtatsch is one of the oldest wine cooperatives in northern Italy’s Alto-Adige region. It has been producing wines since 1900, always with the goal of crafting characterful wines of utmost quality, using sustainable practices. Their vineyards, in the foothills of the Italian Alps, have an alpine climate with Mediterranean influences. The large diurnal temperature shifts result in wines with great freshness. Their Pinot Grigio is sourced from high-elevation vineyards on hillsides and steep slopes, which imparts more character and expressiveness than fruit grown at lower elevations typically achieves. This wine is juicy and fresh, with flavors of orchard and citrus fruit, creamy texture, and zesty acidity. The diverse soils add a nice stony minerality. Enjoy it over the next several years with mushroom risotto or grilled fish. $15
2019 Bodegas La Cana, Albariño — Rías Baixas is the leading wine zone in northwest Spain’s Galicia region. While most other regions in Spain are famed for their red wines, this cool, rainy, coastal area is known for its clean, refreshing whites, and its most important grape is Albariño. This grape produces fresh white wines, often with a touch of salinity, and good minerality from the local soil, typically granite with a bit of chalk and clay. La Cana is named for the straw-like canas (reeds, or canes) that grow along the inlets of the Galician coast. They produce traditional, authentic, serious Albariños, from their organically farmed, unirrigated vines. This one is aged in a combination of used barrels and stainless steel, with regular battonage (lees stirring), producing a particularly rich, complex version of the grape, with lovely texture and balancing freshness. Albariño is a quintessential wine for seafood and this one is no exception. $19.75
2019 Michele Biancardi, “Uno Più Uno”— Michele Biancardi grows three indigenous grapes in his organic vineyards in Puglia, in the boot heel of Italy: Fiano, Primitivo, and Nero di Troia. This wine is a blend of the latter two. Primitivo is the well-known dark-skinned grape that is closely related to Zinfandel. Nero di Troia (aka Uva di Troia) is less familiar, and rarely planted outside the region. It is a low yielding grape with good structure and moderate acidity that produces full-bodied wines. Biancardi’s goal is to craft distinctive wines that express the terroir of Puglia and allow the natural flavors of the grape to shine through. This wine sees no oak and is fresh and fruity, with dark, red berry flavors of plum and blackberry, a touch of spice and earth, and great acidity and structure. Enjoy it with pizza, or sausage or tomato-based pasta dishes. $16.50
2019 Biokult, Zweigelt Meets Pinot Noir — Biokult is a partnership of a number of passionate organic winegrowers in Austria. They farm naturally and in harmony with the flora and fauna on their land, produce their wines with natural, spontaneous fermentation, and bottle without stabilizers or fining. Their goal is to produce “elegant, fresh, and characterful wines” that burst with life and represent their soils. This wine is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Zweigelt, a crossing of Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent created 1922 and now Austria’s most widely planted red variety. It is medium bodied and fruity, with ripe, juicy flavors of raspberries and a touch of spice and minerally earth. It’s ready to drink anytime and, as the label notes, it is perfect for spicy fish, noodles, poultry, and meat dishes. You could even enjoy it with a slight chill. $15