2020 Simpatico Cellars, Fanatic Albariño — As many of you know, Simpatico was founded by our wonderful former shop intern, Cassie Wistrom, along with two classmates from their time at the Wine Academy at South Seattle College.
Albariño is a cool-climate white grape native to northwest Spain, where it produces clean, refreshing wines that are perfect with seafood. This one is sourced from Dutchman Vineyard, a cool, high-elevation site in the Yakima Valley with rocky, pre-Missoula Flood soils. Cassie feels the Albariño from this vineyard really captures the inherent character of the grape. This one is aromatic, fresh, and elegant, with notes of citrus and orchard fruit, crisp acidity, and a stony minerality. It even has a touch of Albariño’s signature salinity, surprising since it is sourced far from any ocean. Perfect for anything from the sea or with vegetarian fare. $19.75
2020 Les Equilibristes, Hirsute Blanc — Les Equilbristes (the tightrope walkers) is a small collective of passionate winemakers from several regions of southwest France, united in their goal of producing vibrant, unique wines, using utmost natural practices. The founders hoped to push other winemakers to “shake up their habits and to wander down roads less traveled in their respective regions.” This wine is a blend of Sémillon, Sauv Blanc, and Chenin Blanc from Bergerac, just east of Bordeaux in the Dordogne Valley. The Sauv Blanc sees about 48 hours of skin contact, adding texture and complexity to this refreshing, aromatic, medium-bodied wine with its notes of citrus and stone fruit. It could pair with a wide variety of foods, from shellfish, to pork or chicken dishes. $19.75
2018 Vallepicciola, Chianti Classico — In the 1980s Bruno Bolofo began converting an old medieval monastery on a hill overlooking the Tuscan village of Siena. He proceeded to create what is now a property complete with hotel, restaurant, and vineyards, including holdings in Castelnuovo Berardenga, one of the prime sites in the Chianti Classico DOCG. The limestone and clay soil, a signature of Berardenga, really shows through in this 100% Sangiovese. The wine is aged in large barrels for about 12 months, plus a further three to five months in bottle before release. Wines from Castelnuovo Berardenga are prized for their power, intensity, and elegance. This one is still youthful, with fresh, ripe cherry notes and smooth tannins. Enjoy with roast lamb or beef, or pasta dishes. $22
2019 Colosi, Rosso Terre Siciliane — Colosi began in 1987 on the small Aeolian island of Salina, just north of Sicily. They planted their vineyards on the local volcanic soil that is particularly suited to growing their indigenous grapes. Today they also source fruit from select vineyards on the island of Sicily, from where this Rosso Terre Siciliane comes. We’ve been big fans of this red blend for as long as we can remember, but it had been a while since we’d tried it. And when we recently had a chance to revisit the wine, a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Nerello Mascalese, we found it was better than ever! It is complex, aromatic, and full of Sicilian character, with notes of plum and dark fruit and a hint of savory herbs. They suggest pairing it with red meat, grilled tuna, or aged cheeses. $13
2021 Krontiras miKron, Malbec — Constantino and Silvina Krontiras chose the hills of Mendoza’s Luján de Cuyo, the first region in Argentina to gain official appellation status, as the perfect place to create their eponymous winery. They found the “sacred geometry” of the site perfect inspiration to plant their biodynamic vineyards and produce wines with a pure expression of their terroir. This fresh, fruity Malbec is made in a Beaujolais style using carbonic maceration which produces a softer, lighter expression of the grape, with refreshing fruit flavor and modest alcohol. It’s a great summer Malbec, perfect to put a slight chill on and enjoy with cheeseburgers. $17.50
2017 Mas des Bressades, Les Vignes de Mon Père — Mas des Bressades was founded by Roger Marès in the 1960s in Costières de Nîmes, the southernmost appellation in France’s Rhône Valley. Their vineyards are filled with the same round galets stones that give Rhône wines, especially Châteauneuf-du-Pape just to the northeast, their distinct character. This wine, made by Roger’s son Cyril, is a blend of 70% Cab Sauv and 30% Syrah, sourced from some of his father’s older vineyard plantings (hence the wine’s name “my father’s vines”). It is aged one year in new and one-year-old oak. With power and structure from the Cab and roundness and finesse from the Syrah, it is a robust, concentrated wine, with deep flavors of cherry and black currant, cocoa, and spice. $18