Keush "Origins" Brut Sparkling ($23.99)
From the producer:
"Grapes sourced from Vayots Dzor province in Armenia. The vineyards are un-grafted, 60- 100 years old. Located between 1500- 1800m above sea level.
These are some of the highest elevation vineyards in the northern hemisphere, and at 1800 m, the highest elevation vineyards in the world that produce méthode traditionnelle.
Origins represents the perfect storm of limestone soil and volcanic rock growing idyllic crisp white grapes, ripened by sunlight from high elevation vineyards. A product born from a 6,000 – year- old viticulture history, Origins embodies the bold Armenian soul and its wine loving spirit.
Voskehat 60% and Khatouni 40%
Minimum 22 months on the lees
Voskehat, meaning ‘queen- berry’ thrives in high-altitude, rocky soils. It is known for its vine longevity, easily living up to 100 years. Voskehat is terroir-driven and a native to the Armenian land. It is known to produce elegance and acidity in wines.
Khatouni, is a rare variety that grows well in the Vayots Dzor of Armenia. This variety is highly productive in the region’s terroir and is used to craft wines with a crisp, bright finish."
I have been eager to bring an Armenian wine into the shop, as that area of the world is where grapes were first cultivated to make wine. I tried this sparkler last week, and absolutely fell for it. It drinks super dry, but has an appealing mouthfeel and a beautiful crispness. I can't wait for you to try it!
Scarbolo "Cabernet" ($19.99)
From the producer:
"Gino, a hardworking member of a tenant-farming family, was also responsible for the production of the wine of the estate on which the Scarbolo family lived. Over the seasons he learnt all about the strict rules of nature and gained full understanding of the magic behind winemaking.
Great enthusiasm and passion, in the fifties, Gino moved to Lauzacco with his family, where he had purchased his own fields and had decided to grow grapes among other crops. Indeed, he started producing wines which he sold locally in bulk, and started setting the foundations of the company as we know it today.
In 1982, Valter, who had grown up learning the dedication and passion for winegrowing from his dad, decided to study viticulture and oenology to continue the family business with a further qualitative leap: he planted his first vineyard inspired by the French school, which was characterized by narrow plant density and low yields, and began selling the wine in bottles rather than in bulk. Vintage after vintage, the vineyards grew in number and the Scarbolo brand took up the current profile. The traces of the tractor wheels left behind since 60 years ago, are continued by Valter and Maria Grazia together with Lara and Mattia, who have injected fresh energy and creativity into the family enterprise leading it to a new chapter.
'Logic viticulture,' a philosophy Valter Scarbolo has always followed in his vineyard management. Balance is the key element for the wellbeing of any living thing, including the vines, and any extreme situation undermines their health. This idea lies at the core of 'logic viticulture' which translates into choosing vineyard managing procedures that diminish intervening in the life of the vine. However, as the weather is not always the friendliest of allies, protecting the grapes, especially in the crucial moments of their development, is a logical choice.
It is logical to respect the environment. It is logical to be aware of our responsibilities today and the legacy we leave behind tomorrow. It is logical to preserve the quality of the grapes and make wine that expresses the territory it comes from.
The Cabernet variety was introduced into Friuli Venezia Giulia several decades ago and found a comfortable new home. It adapted very well, probably because it found itself on the same latitude of its original French region, but of course, as every land is different Cabernet from our region is unique in its own way.
Cabernet Franc 70%, Cabernet Sauvignon 30%
Aged in oak barrels for 10 months, then bottle aged for an additional four
months before release.
Intense with notes of black pepper and raspberries.
Robust, full bodied with rich, jammy tannins. A perfect wine to pair with roasts, fatty meat, aged cheeses and savory pasta dishes."
This is the third wine I carry from Scarbolo, and that should tell you how highly I regard their products. I tasted this the other day, and was smitten. It drinks somewhere between a light Bordeaux and a Chinon, with a distinct black pepper balance to the raspberry tones. This is a delicious and unexpected wine from the north of Italy.