Laurence Féraud | Chateau Pegau Côtes du Rhône Rouge | $18.99
In addition to managing the legendary Domaine du Pegau in Chateauneuf-du-Pape with her father Paul, in 2012 Laurence Féraud acquired a large property and chateau in Côtes-du-Rhône Villages and added the second label Chateau Pegau to her collection. Laurence is very highly regarded in this important Côtes-du-Rhône appellation, and happens to be among my favorite all-time wine-makers. The Chateau Pegau Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge (pictured above far left) is a wonderful winter warmer and Laurence has crafted this wine using much the same methods employed in the creation of the Domaine Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Look for leather, dried black fruits, and herbaceous earthy tones but at a fraction of the price. We also carry the Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc as well as the highly revered Châteauneuf-du-Pape Pegau Cuvée Réservée Rouge.
Andrea Mullineux | Kloof Street Syrah | $19.99
After spending time at wineries in France and California, in 2007 Andrea and her husband Chris Mullineux ultimately decided to produce their own wine in Swartland, South Africa. Their hard work paid off when Andrea was named Wine Enthusiast’s 2016 International Winemaker of the Year. I was lucky enough to meet Andrea Mullineux at a tasting at the SoPo Warehouse, and had the chance to taste some of her very sophisticated top-end Chenin Blancs and Syrahs, which were stunning for their depth and complexity. Andrea also poured a Chenin and a Syrah from her second label, called Kloof Street. Grapes for Kloof Street Swartland Rouge come from up to eight sustainably farmed vineyard parcels in different parts of Swartland, with vines anywhere from 12-40 years old. The blend changes each vintage depending on the character that best displays the classic Swartland terroir. We carry both the rouge which is made up mostly of Syrah and the Chenin. The rouge (above, second from right) almost reminds me of Cornas (in the Rhone Valley) with its medium to full body and mix of spice and purple fruit, and the Chenin is really pure, mineral-driven, and pretty.
Elisabetta Fagiuoli | Montenidoli Vernaccia di San Gimignano | $26.99
When I asked Elisabetta Fagiuoli, who is around 90 years old, who makes the wine at Montenidoli, she looked at me with a mixture of gentle indignation and mischievous pride and said, “I do, of course.” Elisabetta and her partner Sergio began Montenidoli in 1965 when it was an area of complete wilderness. From the beginning, they committed themselves to preserving and respecting the integrity of the land, in particular the soil in which their vines would flourish. Elisabetta has been called ‘The Soul of Chianti’ because it is hard to know where Elisabetta ends and the earth begins. The Vernaccia di San Gimignano (above, second from right) is a dry, savory white fermented on the skins with supple texture and a nice, long finish with floral and almond notes.
Birgit Eichinger | Gruner Veltliner Wechselberg | $24.99
The wines of Birgit Eichinger, in Austria’s Kamptal region, were one of my happiest discoveries last year. I brought in two of their wines last January, before the pandemic, and I can’t get enough of them personally. Although Birgit founded the winery with her husband Christian in 1992 he is more of a grounds and property person, and the winemaking duo at Weingut Eichinger is Birgit and her daughter Gloria, which is gratifying to see since it means we can look forward to another generation of wines from this wonderful estate. Birgit’s Gruner Veltliner Wechselberg (above, far right) is a hidden gem from a vineyard just east of the famous vineyards of Lamm, Renner, and Gaisberg. Juicy and expressive, it offers ripe stone fruits with inflections of saline, snap peas, and white pepper, rounding off with beautifully refreshing acidity. A real treat.
Cheers to the women who created these remarkable beers
This Czech-style dark lager was first brewed by the women of Bissell Brothers and debuted in May of 2020. A complex grist bill, thoughtful hopping, diligent lagering, and respect for tradition combine to create a beer perfect for any season.
This kellerbier is malty in aroma and flavor with spicy hop notes and hints of bubblegum, banana and clove. Created and brewed by the women of Austin Street for International Women’s Day 2020, this Crispy Girl is light and crushable.
Brewed by the Women of Austin Street, this fierce and bright pink gose is slightly tart, juicy and reminds us of drinking a blood orange margarita with a salted rim.