Cortese, Mendocino, California | Always looking back on his Mormon upbringing, in biblical names the meaning of the name Chilion is: finished, complete, perfect – we couldn’t agree more. Pensive winemaker Evan Lewandowski is a graceful hue in the New-Cali rainbow, fermenting his expansive range of low intervention wines with a clear vision in mind. From Fox Hill Vineyard, where two acres of cortese (aka 1/6 of all the cortese planted in the U.S!) are farmed on this pebbly, uplifted former riverbed, flecked with quartz. Regional Italian grape gortese will always be a rarity here, however, cortese with 6(+) months of skin contact really amps up the ‘it’s not a phase mom’ vibes of this outlier wonder. ‘Chilion’ is all about amplified spice, herbs and phenolics where you least expect it – like the delicate air and gentle fruit forwardness cortese is known for. Apricot sorbet, peach dreamsicle, yelling “HERBS” over a PA system, hay ride, preserved orange rind, prickly aloe vera minerality & a bunny-like nibble of tannins. Drink alongside fragrant pesto pasta, or just anything at all with heaps of basil.
Friulano, Riesling & Muscat, Sonoma County, USA | A single sip of this hazy, sunset-toned beauty brings us back to that fateful moment when we realized that we were officially too big to ride the coin-operated rocket ship outside of the Toys ‘R Us at Dufferin Mall. Love, loss and life, all felt in a single, heart-shattering moment! Expect nothing less from Ruth Lewandowski, a poetic winery at the forefront of California’s natural wine movement. Evan sourced this fruit salad of aromatic Italian varieties from some of North California’s oldest vineyards – Friulano from Fox Hill, Riesling from Cold Ranch and a splash of Lost Hills Ranch Muscat. Lurid, mouthwatering and spicy, Tatto is the juicy, olfactory piña colada you’ve been dreaming of, the very embodiment of yanking the nearest lemon off the tree and doing nothing all day except eating a bag of sour peach gummies. Each grape was wild fermented for 7-10 days in tank, then left on the lees for 6 months and aged in bottle for 7 months, bottled without fining, filtration or added sulphur. Juicy and balanced, acid in check but bright as sunshine, Calamansi orange, peach Tang, Five Alive, meyer lemon, ginger chew, cherry pit & a long, pithy & slightly musky finish. Pair with twilight tarot readings & bouches in desperate need of amusing.
Sangiovese, Mendocino, California | This Sangiovese is a mighty keeper of dragons and true history in motion in its depth and low intervention, New Cali approach. Winemaker Evan Lewandowski grows his grapes in California, but all we taste is dusty old soul Italian Sangio cartwheeling through. ‘L. Stone’, named after Italofile Lowell Stone who planted a smattering of Italian grapes in the late 80s, was harvested from the fabled Fox Hill Vineyard – a pebbly, uplifted former riverbed, flecked with quartz. The soil is teeming with minerals leftover from everything that ever traveled downriver, creating a uniquely complex terroir. ‘L. Stone’ smells like nibbling green strawberries while scavenging through your great aunt’s bookshelves – and tastes like a thimbleberry & Italian amaro popsicle, deer leather keychain, old pile of newspapers, with fresh cranberry acidity & cat lick tannins knitting everything together. A wildly special ultra-natural wine that pairs well with shawarma wraps, playing Euchre & listening to Italian opera.
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