News From Pigeon + Friends: A Brand New Cellar Sale for March 9
News From Pigeon + Friends: Brand New Cellar Sale
This week is all about some of our favorite things.
First off we have an amazing Spanish Sipper pack. As a country, Spain has one of the most dynamic wine scenes that is evolving and changing all the time. We are featuring wines from a couple of our favorite Spanish regions that will truly surprise you.
Next up under things we love is Burgundy, of course. The region is famous and for good reason. Some of the most prized and collectible wines are from here, but if you dig just a little there are so many stupendously delicious wines that truly represent great value. This 6-pack isn’t cheap, but it is value-packed.
Finally, we have a vertical from Crowley Wines. The Four Winds Vineyard 2015, 2016, and 2017. We would never say one local winery is our favorite, there are too many we love, but Crowley is up there. This is a great chance to delve into vintage variation… and drink some tasty wine.
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 10th.
We are all in this together, and when you’re drinking good stuff, well hey, you’re keeping it classy.
Shoulders of Spain Sipper 6-Pack $125
This week we chose to feature Spanish wines in the sipper pack. Wine is made in every corner of Spain and the history of wine in Spain goes back millennia. Instead of trying to broadly represent all the regions and varieties in one 6-pack, we chose to hone in on a couple areas that we are really excited about and that you may not be as familiar with. Galicia (specifically Ribeira Sacra and Monterrei) in the NW and Penedès (part of the larger Catalonia region) in the NE – the shoulders of Spain if you will. The Galicia region in the Northeastern part of the country, known as “green Spain”, is one of the most dynamic and exciting growing areas in the world. There is a ton of variety amongst the wines, and in the last couple decades many passionate producers have re-embraced local grape varieties and converted to organic farming methods. Galician wines are go-to wines around here because of their versatility with food and approachability. Then there is Penedès, which is a region broadly associated with Cava but that is home to a many small, passionate producers who are making soulful and delicious still expressions of local and international grape varieties. We hope this pack gets you as excited about Spain as we are. Arguably no other country has a wine scene as dynamic and exciting as Spain’s.
Cava Gran Reserva Brut Nature, Mirgin, Alta Alella, 2016, Alella
Cava is one of the most undervalued wines in the world. Far too often, it is lumped in with lower quality wines in the “everything that isn’t real champagne category,” but one of the many things that sets Cava apart from wines like most Proseccos is that it is made using the champagne method. This means that the secondary fermentation (which gives the wine its bubbles) occurs inside the bottle as opposed to other sparklers that get their bubbles in a big tank. This wine contains all three of native varieties permitted in Cava production: Xarel-lo, Macabeau, and Parelleda and spends over 40 months aging on its lees. These bubbles will help usher in spring with aromas of white peach, flowers, hay, and almonds.
Penedès Blanc, Rupestris, Celler Pardas, 2019, Catalonia
Cellar Pardas was founded in 1996 by Ramon Perera and Jordi Arnan who have been friends since they were kids. The Penedès regions where their winery is located is mostly known for its Cava production, but Ramon and Jordi have been exploring the potential of the local varietals as dry, still wines. The Rupestris is mostly Xarel-lo, usually used for Cava production. Their farming decisions and winemaking style are those of minimal intervention…they do not irrigate or till which forces natural competition for water and causes the vine roots to dig deep into the bedrock for water. In the winery, the juice is moved by gravity flow to help preserve delicate aromas and is aged in concrete tank. This medium bodied wine smells of yellow apples and lime skin with tons of mineral character. Try it with grilled fish or paella!
Monterrei (Treixadura/Godello), Via Arxentea, Manuel Justo, 2019, Galicia
After honing his craft in other producers’ cellars for 15 years, Manuel Guerra Justo set out on his own with about 5 hectares in the Monterrei subzone which borders Portugal. This wine is equal parts Godello and Treixadura. Two of the most important local grape varieties. It is fermented in stainless steel which provides a great opportunity to experience the character of Galician whites without the influence of oak barrels. Aromas of peach and Meyer lemon jump from the glass, this medium bodied white is fresh and salty and pairs great with seafood and sheep’s milk cheeses.
Rosado, La Rosa, Can Sumoi, 2019, Penedès
The name Raventos is inextricably linked with the region of Penedès. The Raventos family is a premier Cava producer in the country and the benchmark by which many others are measured. The Can Sumoi project represents Pepe Raventos’ deep-dive into dry expressions of local red and white varietals. Can Sumoi is a 350-year-old farmhouse that sits at 600 meters elevation in the Serra de l’Home mountain range. There are about 30 hectares of old, native varieties grown organically on the property. This rosé is a blend of 50% Sumoll (a local red variety that nearly went extinct) 30% Parelleda and 20% Xarel-lo (the primary white grapes in Cava production). This rosé is pale, crisp, and fruity with notes of wild berries, tangerines and white flowers.
Penedès, Negre Franc, Celler Pardas, 2015, Catalonia
Ever had a Spanish Cabernet Franc? Neither had we until we tasted this gem from Ramon and Jordi at Cellar Pardas. Although they spend most of their time producing wines made from local varieties, they do have some Bordeaux varieties planted as well. They feel that their property’s combination of clay and limestone soils creates a unique expression of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon that contrasts other examples from France or the United States. The wine is fermented in concrete and aged in 300L neutral oak barrels. Complex aromas of dark berries, plums, black pepper and tobacco leaf jump from the glass. This is a full-bodied wine but it is so well balanced that it is dangerously easy to drink.
Ribeira Sacra (Mencia), Adega Algueira, 2019, 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. This 100% Mencia is made from biodynamically grown fruit. They only employ indigenous yeasts in their fermentations and tread the grapes by foot. Aging occurs in neutral 500L oak barrels. This wine is all about brightness and freshness. It smells of red cherries, spices, and underbrush. It’s medium body and polished tannins make it a versatile wine for pairing with lots of different foods.
Burgundy for Everyday 6-Pack $255
Burgundy has always made up a big part of Le Pigeon’s wine list….and for good reason. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Burgundy are fantastic food wines and are also delicious and complex in their own right. In the last fifteen years prices for the top vineyard sites and producers have risen exponentially to the point many are out of reach and become investments more than beverages. A bright spot is that as a whole, from North to South, and top to bottom of the quality pyramid, the wines of Burgundy have never been better. For over a decade we have been championing the appellations, wines, and producers that over-deliver and may make you re-think your pre-conceptions about the villages they come from. This pack is very versatile in that it can be drunk now or cellared for a few years, and the wines are at a price point that they could be drunk on a special occasion or just a random weeknight. We are very excited to share our love of Burgundy with you and show that this region of growers, not big conglomerates, produces many many soulful wines that are still quite approachable.
Cement de Bourgogne, Blanc de Noirs, Frédéric Magnien, NV
Frederic Magnien grew up riding his bike through the Premier and Grand cru vineyards of the Cote de Nuits, his father is a well-known winemaker of Domaine Michel Magnien in Morey Saint Denis. Fred left home and worked harvests in California and Australia. Upon his return, he started his own negociant business (a negociant is a winery that purchases fruit from other growers) instead of working at his father’s winery. He is not your typical negociant, he partners closely with his growers, he mandates how he wants the parcels farmed, he chooses to deal with older vine parcels and he uses his own picking crews. The Pinot Noir for this cuvée consists of fruit from Vosne Romanée, Gevrey-Chambertin, and Chambolle-Musigny that Fred instead blends it and makes this sparkling cuvee. This wine is made using the champagne method from organically grown grapes. Aromas of apple skin and forest berries waft from the glass. It is generous and mouth coating but has a crisp finish. This wine would give a lot of Champagnes a run for their money!
Saint Aubin, Domaine Sylvain Langoureau, 2018
Domaine Sylvain Langoureau is based in the village of St. Aubin which is located to the west above the villages of Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. Historically St. Aubin was considered a less prestigious appellation because its cooler micro-climate made it more difficult to reliably ripen Chardonnay every year. However, today things have changed. With better farming practices and with the effects of global warming St. Aubin is gaining a reputation for mineral driven and chiseled white wines that ripen fully and reliably every year. The Domaine is a tiny family operation focused on producing world-class, organically grown Chardonnay. This bottling is sourced from various parcels around the village of St. Aubin and smells of lemons, green apple, and dried pineapple, it is already showing lots of layers and complexity and promises to drink well over the next 5 years.
Mâcon-Loché, Domaine Tripoz, 2018
The Côte Mâconnais is located south of the Cote d’ Or and the landscape is a little different. Vineyards planted on the rolling hills are interspersed with other crops and grazing lands. A majority of the wine produced is Chardonnay which does well in the limestone-rich soils found in the region. Loché is one of 27 villages in the area that is allowed to append its name to Mâcon because the wines are recognized for their superior quality. This energetic wine is produced by the husband and wife team of Camile and Laurent Tripoz who founded their winery in 1990 and have been growing biodynamically since 2001. They choose to ferment and age this wine in stainless steel to capture the electric acidity of this wine. All of the great wines of the world have one thing in common, balance, and this Chardonnay has it in spades. It has all the ripe fruit one expects from the 2018 vintage but it is underscored by notes of saline and wet rocks. It also has the perfect amount of acid to frame the structure of the wine and carry the finish for minutes. This spectacular wine would pair wonderfully with roasted, grilled, or fried chicken!
Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune Rouge, Pierre Boisson, 2018
The Boisson family has been making wine in Meursault for over 200 years but only produce about 3,000 cases per year which means that only a few lucky markets get to enjoy these amazing wines. The Hautes-Cotes-de Beaune appellation blankets the hills above the Cotes de Beaune and is another growing area that has increased in quality in the last couple of decades. The Boissons treat their Hautes-Côtes wines with the same meticulous attention as their Premier and Grand Crus. This wine is sourced from two tiny parcels and after a gentle fermentation it ages in French oak (20% new) for 18 months. This Pinot is plush, open-knit and ready for drinking. Aromas of blueberries and raspberries fill the glass as well as some pleasant earthiness and spice the tannins are soft and polished. This wine will continue to evolve for hours after it is open…if it lasts that long!
Beaune, 1er Cru Les Cents Vignes, Domaine des Croix, 2013
In 2005, David Croix, still in his 20’s gathered some investors to purchase a few vineyard parcels and a facility in Beaune to start his own domaine. He had always felt that although Beaune was the commercial center of winemaking in Burgundy, the vineyards of the village were under-appreciated, and perhaps not made as well as they could be. Wines of the varying crus of Beaune are the center of his domaine. We think this wine is great example of David succeeding in his quest to produce wines from Beaune that can match the quality of any other villages in the Cote d’Or. The Cent Vignes vineyard sits low on the slope and has a special type of soil called grèze litée which are pebbles with sharp angles that help maintain adequate drainage when it rains. The 2013 has really benefitted from a few years of cellaring and is beginning to develop some earthy, secondary aromas. It smells of black cherries, wet soil and tomato leaves…try this with a mushroom risotto. If you can manage to get your hands on some truffles to pair with this wine then you will be in heaven!
Pommard, Tavannes, Fernand & Laurent Pillot, 2016
Wines from the village of Pommard are prized for being the heartiest and structured in the Cote du Beaune, and this bottling will not disappoint. The Pillot Family have been working the land in burgundy since the 1800s and make wine in a very traditional way. No chemicals are used in the vineyard and fermentations occur using indigenous yeasts. This allows the grapes from each vineyard site to best express the nuances of the places where they were grown. Their parcel of the Tavannes vineyard is about 2 acres and contains red clay and limestone soils with a high concentration of iron oxide. After fermentation, the wine spends 15 months aging in French Oak barrels (1/3 new). This wine smells of cherry kirsch and wet leaves and is hearty enough to stand up to braised meats and roasts. Although it is showing well it will undoubtedly improve after a year or two of additional cellaring.
Crowley Four Winds Pinot Noir Vertical 3-Pack $160
Part of excitement about wine is that it is different every year based on the climatic factors that occurred during the growing season. Pinot Noir is known for its finicky nature but is respected and grown because of its ability to transmit differences in climate and soil. When we received the opportunity to present a three-vintage vertical of Crowley’s Four Winds vineyard we jumped at the chance. Tyson Crowley has been making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley for over 20 years and is an active member of the Deep Roots Coalition. The “DRC” is a group of producers who only make wine from unirrigated, or “dry-farmed,” vineyards. They believe that the roots of non-irrigated vines are forced to dig deep in search for water and better express their terroir because of that factor. Four Winds is a unique vineyard that sits at 800 feet in elevation in the McMinnville Coast range. The windswept site has soils comprised of marine sediment that are incredibly shallow. It is planted to own-rooted Pommard clone Pinot and the vines are 30 years old. This vineyard site is conducive to the style of Pinot Noir that Tyson likes to make. Wines with elegance, bright fruit and higher acidities, and tons of depth.
Pinot Noir, Four Winds Vineyard, Crowley Wines, 2015, McMinnville
2015 was a very warm vintage for the Willamette Valley. The Four winds vineyard greatly benefitted from its high elevation and proximity to the Van Duzer Corridor which helped lower the temperature in the vineyard. This wine smells of red and black cherries, spices and has incredibly silky texture.
Pinot Noir, Four Winds Vineyard, Crowley Wines, 2016, McMinnville
2016 was relatively similar to 2015 but temperatures were a little bit cooler (still warm). What is unique about the 2016 in comparison to the 2015 is that instead of de-stemming all of the fruit (like he did in ’15) Tyson used 50% whole clusters in the fermentation. We think that this both accentuates the crunchiness of the fruit as well as the depth of the spice aromas. This bottling has a little more tension and smells of strawberries and wet rocks.
Pinot Noir, Four Winds Vineyard, Crowley Wines, 2017, McMinnville
There were a few ups and downs in the 2017 growing season but they ended up resulting in a “normal” harvest on October 6th. Tyson went back to de-stemming all of the fruit in 2017 and the wine is linear and bright. The wine smells of raspberries, orange oil and graphite and will continue to improve for a decade.