PALTRINIERI 2019 PIRIA LAMBRUSCO

EMILIA-ROMAGNA, ITALY

Since ‘98 Paltrinieri has been owned and operated by Barbara & Alberto Paltrinieri, keeping alive the tradition of work that Alberto’s grandfather Achille started in 1926. I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara & Alberto a couple of years ago and while their English isn’t great, they are wonderfully kind and lovely people.

Oh Lambrusco!!! SO so misunderstood!

When most folks hear the word Lambrusco they immediately think of insipidly sweet, sparkling red wine from Italy. And while it can be just that, Lambrusco can be, and is, so much more than that (even rosé)!

Lambrusco refers to both the wine and the family of grapes from which said wine is made. There are six common Lambrusco grapes, but for this particular wine we are focus on just two. The Piria is made from 70% Sorbara & 30% Salamino. And it’s DRY, which is incredibly important to mention! Dry, but fruity! On the nose you’ll find morello cherry, field strawberry and orange zest. These aromas translate onto the palate where you’re met with a delicate, fine and creamy bubble.

MALOOF 2019 THISTLE VINEYARD PINOT GRIS

DUNDEE HILLS, OREGON

Maloof Wines is a husband (Ross) & wife (Bee) team based in Forest Grove, Oregon. They’ve been making juice alongside their best pals (Fossil & Fawn) at their estate vineyard, No Clos Radio, since 2015.

Ross & Bee are dedicated to making wines full of energy, with the number one goal of truly capturing a place and time in each bottle. They work closely with their farmers to achieve this goal, and consider them to be the true inspiration of their work.

The grapes are direct pressed into neutral barrels for both fermentation and élevage. After nine months the wine is racked and bottled with no fining or filtering. Only 316 cases were produced.

It’s got gorgeous weight and texture, but still bright and zesty with super fresh acidity! Notes of peaches and cream and yellow plums jump from the glass. On the palate there are flavours of Asian pears, gooseberries, McIntosh apples and lemon balm.

Eat pizza, suck glass.

MANOIR DU CARRA 2019 BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES

BURGUNDY, FRANCE

Manoir du Carra has been a winery since 1850! Today it’s run by the 5th generation, brothers Jean-Frédéric and Damien Sambardier. From only 4 hectares in 1962, the vineyard holdings have now grown to over 37 hectares including the appellations of Beaujolais-Villages, Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, and Moulin à Vent.

All the grapes for this wine came from two south facing hills made up of pink granite soils. Vines range between 70 to 100 years old.

The grapes go through semi-carbonic maceration before being pressed off into neutral oak barrels for three to four months before being bottled, unfined and unfiltered.

Fun fact! This vintage was sent to us with an alternative label that was originally created for an importer in Virginia. The standard label is VERY classic (aka kinda boring) with a black & white picture of a Chateau.

Aromas of violets, stewed strawberries and blackberries are complimented with flavours of plums, raspberries, vanilla and just a hint of pink peppercorn.

VIÑA ILUSIÓN 2018 PRAÑA

RIOJA, SPAIN

In Hindu philosophy including yoga, Indian medicine and Indian martial arts, prana (प्राण, prāṇa; the Sanskrit word for breath, "life force", or "vital principle") permeates reality on all levels including inanimate objects.

Viña Ilusion has been the home of Martin Alonso & Gloria Plaza Medina since they bought the land and built their house there in 1992. Since then the vineyard has been organically farmed with what they call an eclectic approach of a combination of the teachings of Fukuoka, Jean-Marie Roger, Rudolf Steiner, permaculture, many years of experience and of course what each new day presents to them.

The Praña is predominantly made from Tempranillo with just a little bit of Grenache and a little bit of Cabernet Sauvignon.

50% of the wine goes through Carbonic Maceration.

The resulting wine has amazing structure and depth of character with notes of sage, graphite, black plum, pomegranate and grape flavoured Jolly Ranchers. It’s got super fresh acidity, firm tannins and a long, lingering finish.

MAC FORBES 2017 SYRAH

YARRA VALLEY, AUSTRALIA

Mac (short for Macgregor) grew up in the Yarra Valley, but at 18 Mac packed his bags and headed to Europe. After a while he found himself short on cash; conveniently, he was in the south of France during harvest and found work at a winery. Despite the long hours and hard, physical work (not to mention electrocuting himself a couple times), Mac fell for the excitement and camaraderie of harvest and winemaking. He returned to Australia in ‘04 with a mission: to better understand Australia’s climate and soils and make authentic wine that truly reflected the region. 

The Yarra Valley Syrah comes from Healesville, Mac’s home vineyard.

‘17 was a warm vintage leading to beautiful ripeness and lots of complexity in the grapes. This is a bit more polished than your average Aussie Syrah (/Shiraz). It was fermented with indigenous yeast and spent 11 months in neutral French oak. It’s elegant and juicy with notes of cassis, plum, violets, pink peppercorn and an earthy note reminiscent of red beets.

BENEVOLENT NEGLECT 2018 ENZ ZINFANDEL

CENTRAL COAST, CALIFORNIA

Benevolent Neglect is a labour of love, born of pure passion! Their winemaker, Matt Nagy, boasts a pretty impressive resume with experience making wine with two of California’s most legendary producers – Thomas Rivers Brown and Steve Matthiasson. These influences are hard to miss in the BN wines. Brown’s trademark is to have a rich, decadent core of fruit while Matthiasson is known to strive for finesse and balance. Benevolent Neglect strikes an amazing balance of these two styles.

The wines are made with as little intervention as possible; the idea is to take what was made in the vineyard from sun, water, and soil and let it become the finest wine that it can be.

This gorgeous Zinfandel is the perfect example of what they do at BN. As soon as I tasted it, I knew I had to include it in the BRICKS 6.

It’s layered and structured and brimming with notes of fig on both the nose and the palate. Fresh fig, dried fig, fig jam! Along with crushed blackberries, cinnamon and bresaola. Only 160 cases produced.

-Erin Loader