Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wine of the Week - La Croix Montjoie Bourgogne Blanc "l'Elegante"

This week's featured wine comes from one of Shiverick Imports newest producers. La Croix Montjoie lies in the Vézelay region of central Burgundy. Vézelay is most know for the Vézelay Abbey, a Benedictine and Cluniac monastery where the monks there became pioneers in the wine culture of Burgundy. The Bourgogne Blanc "l'Elegante" is made from 100% Chardonnay. The 30 year old vineyard is comprised of clay and limestone soil, contributing to the wine's fresh and harmonious style. The l'Elegante has a delicate nose of hazelnuts and citrus. Well-balanced, round and elegant, with a long finish. This Bourgogne Blanc is an exemplary pairing with cooked shellfish, and with its soft aromas it can be served with steamed or poached fresh-water fish. Its liveliness also makes it ideal for cheese-topped pasta or rice, goat’s cheese and taramasalata (a spread made of carp roe), and even heavier dishes such as fried eggs or omelettes with herbs.  

Domaine la Croix Montjoie was created in 2009 and is named after the crossroads between Vézelay and Tharoiseau. The ten-hectare vineyard is located in Tharoiseau and is planted to Chardonnay. The south-southeast facing slopes and stony clay and limestone soil provides the ideal conditions for grapes to reach their full potential. Cultivation and vinification are managed with great respect for Burgundian traditions. The approach is to strive to respect the environment in order to produce wines of quality and typicity. The domaine is committed to wine growing practices that minimize intervention to allow the terroir to express itself. In the same vein, winemaking is done with the goal of allowing the fruit to assert its natural characteristics and to reflect the soils and climate of Vézelay.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Drew Family Wines in the News

Drew Family Wines, located in the high-altitude Mendocino Ridge AVA, has received accolades from the Sacramento Bee as well as the Purely Domestic Wine Report, published by Doug Wilder.

Mendocino is one of California’s largest and most diverse appellations. Located about 150 miles from San Francisco, it has never been as developed as the Napa and Sonoma Valleys further south. Within the coastal zone of Mendocino County likes the Mendocino Ridge AVA. A cool climate and high altitude area roughly 36 miles long, the designation is unique in that it is limited by elevation, reserved for vineyards stilling at 1200 feet or higher that are within 10 miles of the Pacific Ocean. Just inland from the Mendocino Ridge lies Anderson Valley. Though lower in altitude than the mountains to the west, the valley AVA still ranges in altitude from 800-1500 feet above sea level and has only a handful of vineyards on flat land.

This distinctive and remote area is where Jason and Molly Drew founded Drew Family Wines in 2000. In 2004 they stumbled upon an old neglected 26-acre orchard for sale and decided this would be their estate. While others saw a daunting project in this old orchard property, Jason and Molly saw ancient oceanic soils, south facing slopes and a true coastal climate, with the ocean a mere 3.3 miles away. They eventually planted their seven acre estate Pinot Noir vineyard organically, and it just produced its first crop in 2014.

With over 25 years in the wine business in Central and Northern California, Jason Drew brings a vast depth of knowledge and a holistic perspective to his winemaking.  Drew focuses on small lot coastal Pinot Noir and Syrah from Anderson Valley and the Mendocino Ridge. For his sourced fruit, he has long standing partnerships with several local vineyard growers who share his passion for sustainable and meticulous farming practices. Single vineyard sources are chosen for their climate, clonal selection and complexity of soil type. Winemaking practices remain focused on traditional methods that include whole cluster and native yeast fermentations, hand punchdowns and no fining or filtering. 

Meet Our New Producers

Shiverick Imports is proud to announce our collaboration with no fewer than eight new producers from France and Italy! Over the last year, David has committed a lot of time to developing further our Italian and French portfolios, focusing on organic viticulture, unknown local varietals, cool climates, and female winemakers.

Maremma, Tuscany

This is an exciting new Bolgheri project whose aim is to tell the story of the Maramma region of Tuscany through the rediscovery of indigenous varietals. Unlike the standard bearer of Bolgheri, Sassicaia, which is based on a Cabernet blend, Castellaccio is successfully experimenting with ancient relics such as Foglia Tonda and Pugnitello.

Oltrepò Pavese, Lombardy

The Lombardia region of Oltrepò Pavese is a triangular strip of land south of Milan and the Po river. Within Oltrepò Pavese, Azienda Agricola Martilde is entirely within the borough of Rovescala at an altitude of about 200 m, with an area of almost 17 hectares. Martilde practices a very natural syle of viticulture, with all of their estate vineyards either certified organic or in organic conversion.

Blanc de Morgex de la Salle, Valle d'Aosta

The ultimate mountain wine, Blanc de Morgex de la Salle, is made from the local Prié Blanc grape. Vineyards are located 3600 feet above sea level in the shadow of Mont Blanc in the Italian Alps. Maison Vevey Albert farms in a strictly organic manner and produces 5000 bottles of wine with delicate notes of mountain herbs and hay, dry freshness, and bright acidity.

Serdiana, Sardinia

In 2010, Antonella split from her multi-generational winemaking family with important land holdings in southern Sardegna to create a new brand of organically produced wines made from indigenous varietals.

Montlouis, Loire Valley

Situated just across the Loire river from Vouvray, Montlouis-sur-Loire produces wines from 100% Chenin Blanc. In 2011, Benoît Mérias took over Laurent Chatenay’s six hectares of vines, which have been certified organic since 2000. Benoît trained at Amboise and has worked for Jacky Blot and in Marcillac and is a dynamic young producer in the small appellation of Montlouis.

Vézelay, Burgundy

Domaine la Croix Montjoie was founded in Vézelay in 2009. The estate has 10 hectares of vineyards on clay-limestone soil with a south/southeast exposition. Viticulture and vinification are managed with great respect for Burgundian tradi- tions. They aim to respect the environment while producing wines of quality that refelect the typicity of Vézelay, a town in Northern Burgundy that has become more relevant in our age of global warming.


The Dubreuil family has been growing vines in Bugey for three generations. The small appellation of Bugey has only about 500 ha of vines in total and is located near Savoie. The AOC specializes in Cerdon, a low-alcohol sparkling wine. Gérald Dubreuil winery cultivates their seven hectares of vines at Poncin, a little village between Lyon and Geneva.

Lantignié, Beaujolais

Domaine Raphaël Chopin was founded in 2009 when Raphaël began farming acreage his grandfather had once owned. The vineyards are entirely mature vines, ranging in age from 40 to 100 years. He owns five hectares over three appellations, in Régnié, Brouilly, and in the commune of Lantignié in Beaujolais-Villages. The vineyards are farmed using Lutte Raisonée.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wine of the Week - Sequerciani Vermentino

Maremma is a beautiful coastal region off of the western side of central Italy. Although it's officially apart of Tuscany, the unique mountainous landscape and proximity to secluded beaches makes Maremma a region unlike any other. These contrasting geological features make up the highly distinctive terroir which produces exquisite Vermentino. Both the Maremma coast and it's local hills with their rich metal deposits, contribute to the wine's fresh minerality and distinctive richness. Sequerciani chooses to age the late maturing Vermentino in terracotta amphora, steel, and neutral barrel; truly capturing the terroir expression of this white varietal. The Sequerciani Vermentino has a golden yellow color, with a fresh, intense and fruity bouquet. It's dry, with a warm and aromatic flavor. 

Founded in 1992 by filmmaker Reudi Gerber, Sequerciani began as eight neglected hectares in Maremma. Gerber decided to revitalize the property, converting it to organic agriculture and progressing on to receive Demeter biodynamic certification. Situated on rolling, panoramic hills 200 meters above sea level and only 25 minutes from the sea Sequerciani is now a 50 hectare “azienda” – a working farm that produces wine, olive oil, and other biodynamic agriculture products. The fertile soil and gentle sea breezes provide an ideal growing situation for the traditional and indigenous grapes of the region. In the vineyard, Sequerciani follows the normal biodynamic procedure, with natural fertilizers, biodynamic treatments (horn silica and horn manure) and manual harvest in small boxes.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wine of the Week - Enodelta Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso

This week the region of Campania, one of the most dynamic areas in Italy is highlighted. With rolling hillsides, beautiful coasts, and striking mountain sides, the wines of this region are just as varied as the landscape. Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio, home of Enodelta Winery, is located in the foothills of Mount Vesuvius. This area takes its name from an old legend saying that when Lucifer was cast out of heaven, he grabbed a chunk of paradise and carried it with him as he fell, dropping it on the coast of Italy, at the foot of Vesuvius, where it framed the bay of Naples. Seeing this loss, Jesus wept and the tears watered those slopes. Where they fell, vines miraculously sprang up, becoming the vineyards of Lacryma Christi. The beauty of this land is reflected in the variety of well crafted and expressive wines from Enodelta as well.  

This week's featured wine is a blend of  Piedirosso, an ancient black-skinned grape variety, and Aglianico, the full-bodied and well structured southern Italian varietal. The Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso is open and aromatic with sour forest fruit and spice. A youthful palate with sour
cherry, crunchy cranberry, almonds and a refreshing finish. Due to it's light body, this rosso can be served chilled, much like a Beaujolais. Pair with margherita pizza or charcuterie and mild italian cheeses.  

Although his grandfather had vineyards and owned one of the largest caves in the country, Antonio Caputo, owner of Enodelta, was not necessarily destined for the wine business. His parents wanted him to become a lawyer with a stable job, but he had other interests and a relentless entrepreneurial flair. He jumped head first into wine, and by the 1980s, when Antonio was in his early twenties, he managed to start making his own wine under his own label. Ever an innovator, he continued to push himself and took on the challenge of making Aglianico, Fiano, and Greco, even though very few people at the time were bottling these varietals. Now Enodelta produces 500,000 bottles of IGT, DOC and DOCG wines.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wine of the Week: Montaribaldi Barbaresco "Palazzina"

The Barbaresco "Palazzina" is produced with 100% Nebbiolo grapes coming from the DOCG area of Barbaresco. Palazzina, at almost 30 years old, is the youngest Montaribaldi vineyard; yet is one of the most famous crus of the Barbaresco region. Due to its youth, the Barbaresco produced here has a more notable finesse and elegance when compared to neighboring vineyards. The wine is aging in both once-used barriques and oak barrels for 20 months and after almost 2 years from harvest, the Barbaresco Palazzina is bottled. The finished wine is a vibrant garnet red, with an enveloping and rich body. Hints of violet and aromas of cocoa are followed by vanilla and tobacco; resulting from the oak aging. Austere tannins are rounded out by a finish on the palate. 

In 1968 Pino Taliano founded Taliano Guiseppe. He acquired vineyards throughout the Piedmont and his desire was to create a diverse array of holdings that could highlight the different soils, climatic conditions and traditional varietals of the Piedmont. In 1994, Pino's son Luciano took over the reins and changed the name of the family business to Azienda Agricola Montaribaldi. The name Montaribaldi refers to the ancient Roman road that linked the winery to the different vineyards throughout the Piedmont, thus creating a philosophical and geographical umbrella that tie Luciano's forward looking Domaine to the rich viticultural history of the region. The vision of the Montaribaldi reflects the mantra of "place over process" and the winemaking is done in such a way as to bring this to fruition.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Montecucco - Sangiovese In A New Light

David Ransom's article for The Somm Journal takes a closer look at the lesser known Italian regions that are tackling the prominent Tuscan varietal. Receiving DOCG Status in 2011, Montecucco along with the neighboring region of Morellino, have become pioneers for the new emerging ways Sangiovese is being bottled. Located in close proximity to Montalcino, home to Brunello, wines made here "are every bit as good, and age-worthy" Ransom writes. Wine makers in Montecucco, including our own Assolati, are producing wines that are ripe with softer tannins making them accessible earlier; even with their slightly fuller body when compared to wines from Morellino. Luckily, these wines are becoming more available in the United States as consumers seek out new and exciting producers and regions to try.