Join us for Industry Night, Pop-Up and Pours as we host Casa Dumetz Wines! These wines are born in premiere Santa Barbara County, California vineyards with a focus on site expression in Grenache.
As always we will have Chef Alyx Gille from Good Tides Organics manning up the Station Wagon, serving her market driven food!
Stop by for a flight, glass, or take home a bottle. See you then!
A rundown of some of the new wines at The Station!
Tatomer Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2014 $38
Winemaker Graham Tatomer has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle as a winemaker to watch. He studied on and off for four years under one of Austria’s best winemakers, Emmerich Knoll, learning how to make world class Riesling and Gruner Veltliner. Upon returning to the States, he too began making world class Alsatian varietal wine, creating a niche in the Chardonnay heavy land of Santa Barbara County. Formerly the winemaker at Martian Ranch in Los Alamos, he has recently decided to devote himself to his private label which newly features Pinot Noir. This blend comes from a few vineyards and consists of the 115, 667, 777 and pommard clones. Rare to see in a retail shop, we’re thrilled to feature at The Station!
The steep hillsides of the Ligurian coastline in Northwest Italy takes a heroic effort to produce wine from. Mechanization is impossible so only truly passionate winemakers are willing to painstakingly produce wine from the terraces first planted by the ancient Greeks. You wonder why anyone would until you taste the quality that these steep, stony soils produce.
Vermentino Intrigoso 2013 $25
This Vermentino comes from Enoteca Bisson winemaker Pierluigi Lugano’s most prestigious vineyard site: “Trigoso”. These steeply terraced vineyards produce low yields whichare then fermented and aged in stainless with extensive lees contact during both stages. The result is a full bodied wine with rich flavors and golden color. Only 100 cases are allocated to the US each year.
Glera Vino Frizzante 2014 $18
This lightly sparkling wine is distinct as Lugano insists on producing it in a bone-dry style. It is fermented and aged in stainless, and bottled early the following year to preserve freshness.
Lange Nebbiolo DeForville 2014 $19
The DeForville family began producing wine in Piedmont in 1860 and now features their 5th generation of family wine makers. The importer, Rosenthal Wine Merchant, has been working with the family since 1978.
This Nebbiolo comes primarily from the younger vines of the various “cru” vineyards in Barbaresco. The average age of the vines is 30 years. The grapes are hand harvested and the wine is fermented in stainless steel for 10 days to 2 weeks and then is aged in large oak barrels for an additional year before being bottled.
2012 Celler Credo Miranius $18
The rare quality driven, single-vineyard vintage Cava producer also makes a remarkable still wine from the same Xarel-lo grape. The still version’s grapes come from low yielding, north facing limestone slopes. They are also the first biodynamic winery in the Penedes region, just south of Barcelona, Spain.
2014 Lucien Crochet Sancerre $27
The cousin of previous Station favorite Francois Crochet, this family knows the secrets of Sauvignon Blanc. The importer has been working with Lucien for over 30 years. Only organic supplements are used in the vineyards and harvest is manual. The soils are clay and limestone. Fermentation occurs in temperature controlled cuves between 14 and 18 degrees celcius. In contrast to many Sancerre producers, the wine lies on its lees for a considerable time with racking done in late spring, which is when many producers choose to bottle. Instead, Lucien elects for more aging time, with bottling usually occurring a full year after harvest.
Well I’m glad you asked.
Here at The Station, we’re dedicated to celebrating and promoting Récoltante-Manipulant winemakers from Champagne. That is to say, Grower-Producers. The large houses you mostly know by name or by their bright yellow labels are mostly Négociant-Manipulant… Meaning they purchase fruit from growers all over Champagne. So what’s the big deal with that? Why do we try to support the little guys? What’s the big difference?
There are several reasons we have chosen to carry these small Farmer Fizz producers over the easier-selling and familiar big name Negociants… They show a truer terroir rather than a house style, they can be more expressive, the farming practices are often better, you’re putting money in a family’s pockets instead of a corporation… To put this “Grower Producer” movement in to perspective, here are a couple fun facts:
- There are over 18,000 independent growers in the Champagne region. Only 5,000 of these are Grower Producers, or make their own Champagne from their vineyards.
- As of 2008, these wines made up only 3% of the market share of Champagne being imported to the US. This number is quickly increasing as the Grower-Producer movement catches momentum and more importers are scrambling to find smaller RM producers to represent and bring in.
I think Champagne importer Terry Theise puts it best below.
Why Drink Grower Champagne?
You should drink grower Champagne if you’ve forgotten that Champagne is WINE.
You should drink “farmer-fizz” if you’d rather buy Champagne from a farmer than a factory.
You should drink it if you’d rather have a wine expressive of vineyard, and the grower’s own connection to vineyard, than a wine “formed” by a marketing swami who’s studied to the nth-degree what you can be persuaded to “consume.” Do you really want to be reduced to a mere “consumer” when you can drink Champagne like a whole human being?
You should drink grower-Champagne if the individually distinctive flavors of terroir-driven wines matter more than the lowest-common denominator pap served up by the mega conglomerates in the “luxury goods” business.
You should drink it because it’s honest REAL wine grown and made by a vintner—by a FAMILY just like yours—by a “him,” not by an “it.” You should drink it because it’s better to buy wine from a person than from a company.
You should drink it because its price is honestly based on what it costs to produce, not manipulated to account for massive PR and ad budgets, or to hold on to market-share.
You should drink grower-Champagne because, like all hand-crafted estate-bottled wines, it is not a mere Thing but is indeed a BEING, expressive of where it grew and who raised it. In drinking it you help protect DIVERSITY, and diversity leads to VITALITY. And if you’d rather eat a local field-ripened summer tomato rapturous with sweetness instead of some January tomato you buy at the supermarket hard as a stone and tasting of nothing, then you should be drinking farmer-fizz!
Whew, I don’t know about you… but I’m inspired to drink some Champagne. Here, in no particular order, is a list of the FaRMer Fizz we are currently carrying here in the shop…
- Aubry Brut, 1er Cru ($38) – A blend of all 7 grapes grown in Champagne, 4 of which are very rarely found. A Station fave, we sell more of this than any of our other cuvées. Light honey, grapefruit… a playful cuvée and a tremendous value.
- Pierre Peters Cuvée Réserve, Grand Cru ($56) – All Chardonnay, and quite a show-stopper. Sleek and racy, but still somehow voluptuous. Chalk-driven, finishes with citrus and green apple.
- Remi Leroy, Brut ($44) – 95% Pinot Noir, 5% Chardonnay, all organically grown. Crisp, high acid cuvée with lovely notes of wild red berries and a solid zing of clove.
- Vilmart et Cie Grand Cellier, 1er Cru ($63) – Barrel fermented first (a rarity in Champagne), rich and sumptuous, this is basically Baby Krug at a fraction of the price. Champagne expert Peter Liem expounds: “Vilmart & Cie. is not only one of the greatest grower-estates in Champagne, but one of the finest champagne producers of any type in the region.”
- Marc Hebrart Brut Rosé, 1er Cru ($49) – My very favorite Rosé Champagne. Discreet, elegant aromas and flavors of strawberry and raspberry, light and pretty.
- Pierre Gimonnet et Fils 2008 Special Club ($92) – For fans of the low-dosage wines… Gimonnet’s cuvées rarely disappoint. All Chardonnay, all chalk driven, with seamless balance, crushed oyster shell, lemony splash and suave stoniness. 2008 is lauded as the best Champagne vintage of the decade, so this is a good one to snatch up as the importer has already sold out.
As we wrap up 2015, resolve to drink BETTER in 2016. You can start with that midnight toast, and we can help you find just the right wine to fill that glass.
See you soon, and Happy New Year!
Oh, I’m so excited I could dance! I mean, really BOOGIE! In fact I am dancing, right now at my computer… it makes it hard to type, but there’s autocorrect so you wouldn’t even know it!
(but now Things… maybe you won’t judge me if you notice any typos, right?)
So here’s the thing I’m boogieing about: We’ve been working on this for Third a while, and finally we’re ready to launch our very own Station Wine Club.
Or… Wine ClubS, since we are offering 3 different options. We’ve outlined them below, and we could not be more excited about THE FUTURE OF WINE CLUBS AT THE STATION!
As we are in the thick of this thing called the Holidaze (not a typo btw, that was deliberate), consider gifting a Wine Club subscription to that wine lover in your life who is oh-so-difficult to shop for. Or gift it to yourself. You deserve it.
Details on the three clubs are outlined below. To sign up, you can call us (805.706.0711) or email us… OR come in and see us (we love seeing you) and we’ll get you all signed up.
***More fine print: Wines will be ready for pick-up on the 4th of each month, and credit cards will be charged at that time as well. So… Our first wine club will be ready on January 4th! How great! Pick-up parties and other wine-club perks are in the works as well.