We are a wine shop that explores the best of both worlds with retail shopping and a walk-in tasting room open Tuesday through Sunday. Our tasting room selections change monthly and always focus on a different "Old World" and "New World" region. The ever-changing menu allows our guests to constantly explore and discover something new. This month we are exploring Beaujolais, France and Central Coast, California. Order a flight of all four wines or simply stop by, shop, and enjoy a glass. It's up to you!
With an elaborate winemaking history too often simply associated with Burgundy, the wines of Beaujolais truly sit in their own category. More widely known for the "Nouveau" wines at the time, it was perhaps the rise of the “Gang of Four” in the early 2000’s that first began to educate the international consumer on Beaujolais’ uniqueness of place. These four producers showcased by importer Kermit Lynch would indeed be the catalyst to shift our perspective on the wines of Beaujolais in the United States.
While The steep granite slopes of the northern "crus" share little resemblance to Burgundy and may actually suggest more geographic similarities to the Northern Rhône, this is a region primarily focused on one single red varietal; Gamay (there are small amounts of the white varietals Chardonnay and Aligote produced). Since jumping into the relatively recent spotlight, winemakers have continued to focus the lens and dial in specific vineyards to push the topic of the need for further classifications. The electricity and excitement of this region continues to keep our attention, while the wines remain fantastic values in the marketplace. Today, the nuances of the specific sites or "lieux dits" are the focus.
This month's flight highlights four classic producers from the region. While there are many exciting up-and-comers, we wanted to show off a few of the bench-mark wines. Two of our selections from Lapierre and Jean-Foillard, based out of the cru of Morgon, make up two of that infamous "gang of four". Chateau Thivin is yet another gem out of the Kermit Lynch portfolio producing electric juice from the Cote de Brouilly. Lastly, we have Jean Paul Brun's Blanc de Blanc Cremant 'Charme'. We love showcasing sparkling wines from all parts of the world so why not one from Beaujolais? It is sure to delight.
The Central Coast covers the viticultural area south of the San Francisco Bay all the way down the coast to Santa Barbara in California. Bordered on the east by the much warmer Central Valley, much of the climate here is cooler along the coast and grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir flourish. The AVA's (American Viticultural Areas) Santa Barbara, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Maria and San Benito have all become well known for producing high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. As there are over 40 AVAs in the region now, it is difficult to summarize each one. However, warmer inland AVA's such as Paso Robles and Santa Ynez are known for more robust grapes such as Syrah or Cabernet. All in all, over 90,000 acres are under vine in the Central Coast leading to a wide diversity of wines and wine styles across the region.
This very spirit of diversity is what inspired our range of selections for this flight. This month we are showcasing a lively and aromatic Malvasia (an Italian varietal) from the intriguing producer, Birichino. The Sandhi Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay shows off the fresh thoughtful wines being produced by the Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman team. The classic Rhone blend from Bonny Doon pays homage to the infamous "Rhone Ranger" Randall Graham, who's experimentation with Rhone varietals in the 80's opened the doors to a new myriad of wines from the region. Finally, the Sanford & Benedict vineyard is one of the oldest Pinot Noir sites in Santa Barbara County. This vineyard not only set the stage for high quality Pinot Noir coming from the Santa Rita Hills, but it could be the reason for the creation of the Santa Rita Hills AVA altogether.
Central Coast Flight
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