News From Pigeon + Friends: A Brand New Cellar Sale 2.9.21
News From Pigeon + Friends: Brand New Cellar Sale
New Week New Wines!
We are excited this week because we have some very cool wines on offer.
First off we have our Suped-Up Sipper. There is a whole world of wine between “everyday” and “special occasion” wines. These are wines for any day to make that day that much better. So this pack is a small departure from the usual ones in that it is a few dollars more. These wines are still selected with value in mind, and bring so much pleasure to the glass. These wines are drinking beautifully now, and are a little more special than the standard “sipper” fare. (Our next offering in two weeks, will return to the normal sipper price, but we just feel that sometimes you need to get dressed up).
Next up is our trio of Rieslings. All on the dry side, and all exemplifying the beauty and versatility of this most noble of grapes.
Finally we are offering, by the bottle, one of the most delicious Pinot Noirs we drank last year… and with 10+ years of age on it. No, it’s neither from Oregon, nor from Burgundy. Read on.
TO ORDER select your wine bundle of choice, follow the steps to securely order your wine. All payments will be processed ahead of time through our website.
Once you order they will be available for pickup Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6:00 pm, beginning on Wednesday the 28th.
We are all in this together, and when you’re drinking good stuff, well hey, you’re keeping it classy.
Suped-Up Sipper, 6-Pack, $190
For the past 10 months – writing that gives us pause – you’ve supported us by purchasing sipper packs and we hope that we’ve support you with wine, a necessity of sorts in getting through this pandemic. The goal for each sipper pack, regardless of theme, is to provide you with a variety of wines to drink with various foods and hopefully turn you on to some producers, regions or grapes that might be new to you. For this week, we decided to do an upgrade. There is a whole world of wine between “everyday” and “special occasion” wines. These are wines for any day to make that day that much better. These wines are drinking beautifully now and are a little more special than the standard “sipper” fare. These wines are still selected with value in mind, and bring so much pleasure to the glass. (Our next offering will return to the $125 sippers, but we just feel that sometimes you need to get dressed up).
Bourgogne Aligoté, Domaine Sylvain Pataille, 2018, Burgundy
Sylvain Pataille’s wines have nearly universal appeal. The grapes are always organically farmed and the wines made with minimal intervention. They are loved both the natural wine crowd, as well as the classic crowd – we personally don’t feel sides need to be taken in that debate, but we digress. Aligoté is a sibling of Chardonnay and has been growing in Burgundy for hundreds of years. It is regarded as being leaner and more acidic than Chardonnay but this could also be because its frost-resistant qualities caused it to be planted in cooler vineyard sites. Pataille is one of a handful of producers to embrace and explore the potential of Aligoté, specifically the doré clone which yields smaller and more concentrated berries than the more common vert clone. This bottling comes from 50-year-old vines planted on limestone, clay and gravel soils. Pataille ferments 2/3 in neutral oak barrels and 1/3 in stainless steel which rounds out the mouthfeel without compromising freshness. It is super racy! It smells of green apples, lemons, and white flowers. This is our favorite wine with oysters and clams right now.
Riesling, Pfaffenberg 1ÖTW, Rainer Wess, 2012, Kremstal, Austria
Riesling has long been a grape which is loved by wine nerds throughout the world but has not caught on with the broader public. “Is this wine sweet or dry???” Well here’s a pro-tip for you, pretty much all Rieslings from Austria are dry! Rainer Wess worked in many sectors of the wine business before his dream of owning his own winery came to fruition in 2003. His facility, based in the village of Krems, is a renovated 300-year old monastic winery. The Pfaffenberg vineyard is steeply terraced and very rocky which forces the vines’ roots to dig deep in search of water. This wine is in a great spot, it still has plenty of peachy fruit but also has developed some notes of beeswax, petrol, and shows intense minerality. Richness, power, and acidity to boot. Drink with stinky cheese, rich fish, or roasted chicken.
Chardonnay, Cascadia, Brick House, 2017, Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley Chardonnay is one of the most dynamic and exciting parts of the wine world right now. We acknowledge that it’s possible we’re a little biased. Over the last decade consumers and producers have come to realize the potential of Chardonnay grown in varied volcanic and sedimentary soils of our home state. Doug Tunnel has been part of this charge for longer than a decade. In 1990, Brick House Vineyards was a dilapidated hazelnut orchard with an old brick house on the property (and a school bus that someone was living in). The orchard had been farmed “conventionally” and sprayed with chemical herbicides and pesticides for years. When Doug Tunnell bought the farm, he planted grapes and immediately converted to organic farming, the results were stunning and by the early 2000s he was employing biodynamic methods to help naturally enrich the soils. This Ribbon Ridge Chardonnay smells of crushed pear, Meyer lemons, and dried pineapple with bright acidity to balance its medium body. Taste this and get excited about Oregon Chardonnay!
Savigny-Les-Beaune, Aux Forneaux, Domaine Rapet 2017, Burgundy
Wines from Burgundy have always occupied a large portion of the Le Pigeon bottle list. We love the stuff! Unfortunately for everyone Burgundy’s prices have really skyrocketed in the last decade. This means that we are always on the hunt for Burgundies that are characteristic of their terroir, but that don’t cost an arm and a leg. We were blown away when we tasted this wine and immediately knew we needed to share it with you. The Rapet’s have been making wine in the Côte de Beaune since 1765 and the wines have never been better. This Pinot is sourced from 50-year old vines in the Forneaux vineyard (this comes from the lower half of the vineyard; the upper half is designated Premier Cru). After fermentation, the wines ages in 20% new French oak barrels. This is CLASSIC Savigny-Les-Beaune at its finest. The wine smells of black cherries, raspberries, violets, and dried herbs. Although this will undoubtedly improve in the coming years, it is so delicious now that we encourage you to pop it open.
Ribeira Sacra, Carravel, Adega Algueira, 2016, Galicia
Ribeira Sacra, located in Northwestern Spain, is one of the most breathtaking wine regions in the world. Dramatic terraces that date back to Roman times rise high above the serpentine-shaped Sil River at a 75-degree incline. The Algueira family are based in the Armandi subzone, which is considered one of the finest. The family has chosen to embrace the local varieties native to the area, and this 100% Mencia is made from biodynamically grown fruit. Their goal is to showcase the natural character of the variety. They only employ indigenous yeasts in their fermentations and tread the grapes by foot. Aging occurs in neutral 500L oak barrels. The wine smells of pomegranates, wild berries, earth and has lots of peppery and floral notes. Its medium body and slight tannic grip make it a great match for lots of different foods…it’s a great way to make pizza or burger night more special! You won’t believe how much you have been missing having Mencia in your life.
Rioja Gran Reserva, Marqués de Legarda, Bodegas Real Divisa, 2005, Spain
It’s cold right now and the best way to warm up is with a big glass of full-bodied red wine. Marquis de Legarda is the top wine of Bodegas Real Divisa, the name is in recognition of a noble title granted to the family centuries ago. Founded in 1367, Real Divisa was the first winery in Rioja and may be the longest continuously operating winery in the world! The blend is made up of 91% Tempranillo and 7% Graciano (which adds color and spice notes) and 2% Mazuela (for freshness) and is aged for 3 years in a mix of French and American oak barrels. The wine smells of plums, baking spice, vanilla bean and tobacco and at 16 years old it is just entering its prime drinking window. Bodegas Real Divisa only sells 20% of their production outside of Spain so this is a rare treat.
It’s Always Riesling Time, 3-Pack, $86
Riesling is treasured for its ability to express terroir through bottlings that range from bone-dry to richly sweet; it is better at doing this than any other grape in the world. We wanted to put together a trio of small production wines that showcase the magical complexity and deliciousness of Germany’s most important varietal. All of these are German, and all are wines that we consider DRY. Riesling can be dry and fruity. It is the balance of residual sugar, if there is any, as well as acidity, that gives us our subjective impression of dryness. Often times Riesling is our Ace-in-the-hole for pairing wines with Chef Gabe’s complex food combinations. We hope you enjoy drinking and experimenting with pairings at home!
Riesling Kabinett, Zeltinger Himmelreich, Selbach-Oster, 2017, Mosel
The Selbach-Oster estate was founded in the mid-1800s but the family traces their roots in the wine business back to 1660. The Mosel is an extremely cool climate so the best vineyards are planted close to the river (which helps moderate the temperature) on slopes so steep they are nearly impossible to farm. Southern exposure is ideal so the grapes get as much sun as possible. That is exactly how the Himmelreich (which means “heaven”) vineyard is planted in the village of Zeltingen. The soils are 100% blue Devonian slate which is fractured and exposed throughout the vineyard, the slate plays a vital role in ripening the grapes because the rocks absorb the heat from the sun and refract it back onto the vines. This Kabinett bottling has about 17 g/l residual sugar which helps to balance the bracing acidity. It is a light and racy wine and smells of lime, peach and freshly cut herbs. This is excellent as a refreshing aperitif or with cheese, but our favorite pairing is fried chicken!
Riesling Spätlese Feinherb, Erdener Treppchen, Meulenhof, 2019, Mosel
Also, hailing from the Middle Mosel is the tiny Meulenhof estate with about 7 hectares of vineyard holdings and mere 4,000 case annual production. One of the keys to the outstanding quality of the Meulenhof wines a very high percentage of own-rooted vines that are trained to stakes that are meticulously farmed. The Erdener Treppchen vineyard is so steep that many years ago vineyard workers carved a stone staircase into the vineyard to that they could tend the vines-treppe means staircase in German. The soils in this vineyard are iron-rich red slate which helps to impart weight and power into the wine. This wine is picked at Spätlese ripeness meaning there is a good accumulation of sugar, however, it is designated Spätlese Feinherb. Meaning they ferment the wine drier than in the past. It is densely packed and smells of peach, kiwi, cloves and flint…wines like this are a terrific match to spicy food!
Riesling, Grosses Gewächs, Im Pitterberg, Kruger-Rumpf 2019, Nahe
Many of the best producers choose to bottle wines from their most prized vineyard sites as dry examples known as Grosses Gewachs – like Grand Cru. You can trace the origins of Kruger-Rumpf back to the 1700s but up until 1984 they were selling their fruit off to other producers. Quality really took off when Georg Rumpf took over winemaking at the domaine after graduating from Geisenheim: Germany’s most prestigious winemaking university. Kruger-Rumpf is located in the Nahe which is a slightly warmer region that the Mosel and known for its highly varied soil types. This single-vineyard bottling is sourced from the Im Pitterberg vineyard which has full southern exposure and well drained slate and loam soils. Rumpf’s vines are planted very densely at 7500 vines per hectare. This wine is fresh, pure, and full of acid, it smells of yellow fruits, wet rocks, and dried herbs. This wine will continue to blossom with some more time in the cellar so tuck it away for a while if you can.
A Singular Sancerre, a Decade in the Making, $140 Sancerre Rouge (Pinot Noir), Les Marnes, Domaine Vacheron, 2010, Loire
A few months ago, we opened our last bottle of 2010 Vacheron “Les Marnes” Sancerre Rouge from our cellar and we were absolutely blown away. The wine was simultaneously youthful and mature, it was sauvage yet refined, delicate but assertive…simply put, it is one of the best bottles of Pinot Noir-from anywhere-that we’ve tasted in a while. When one the importer reached out to us with a special back-vintage offer of the same wine we bought as much as we could get our hands on, which was not so much. The Vacheron family is internationally regarded as being among the finest producers of Sauvignon Blanc in France. However, many do not realize that they cultivate 28 acres of Pinot Noir. The “Les Marnes” vineyard is unique because its soils are composed of iron-rich clay with tons of seashells strewn throughout, the rare soil type is known as “marne de crétacée”. The Biodynamically grown berries are hand-harvested and fermented with 100% whole clusters which helps to accentuate the fruity and the spicy/savory notes in the wine. The juice ages for 18 months in second-fill barrels from Romanée-Conti. Aromas of red cherry, wild berries, earth and pine waft up from the glass. What sets this wine apart is its aromatic intensity and silky diaphanous texture. It is seamless, with a finish that lasts for minutes. When placed in the context as being on par with the greatest wines from Burgundy, it is a steal at this price.