Feb 23, 2023Living Wine February 23 Newsletter

modified a year ago
by aleks@vintners.co

‹— Just Arrived in our Warehouse—›

After some (unfortunately not unusual) delays and struggles with our shipping and warehouse partners, we finally received a large number of new wines. We are super excited to share them with you. Here are the new additions to our portfolio that you can taste / buy / sell starting tomorrow:


Mas Lasta (France, Terrasses du Larzac)
Cascina Corte   (Italy, Piedmont, Dogliani)
Madame Flöck  (Germany, Mosel)
Karl and Eva Schnabel  (Austria, Styria)
Eric Thill  (France, Jura)
Podere Sottoilnoce  (Italy, Emilia-Romagna)
Mathieu et Sylvanie Bouchet  (France, Loire)
Domaine de l'Aitonnement  (France, Savoie)

As well as some restocking and new cuvées from two winemakers you are already familiar with:


Thibaud Capellaro (France, North-Rhône) (super tiny quantities)
Julien Viana, Cellier de la Baraterie   (France,Savoie)

We hope you and your customers will also enjoy these wines as much as we do!


‹— Impromptu New Release Tasting —›

Considering the large quantities of different new wines, we thought it would be nice to invite you to our office to taste it all.


Please come visit us this Tuesday later in the afternoon. We’ll repeat this next Monday and hope to do similar “open house” tastings for all new releases in the future.


‹— New Producer Highlight: Mas Lasta —›

Mas Lasta means "the last" in Esperanto. This is a tribute to the last winegrowing footprint before the Larzac plateau in the commune of Saint-Privat, located at the foot of the springs gushing from the Causse du Larzac in Aveyron. This is where Anne-Laure Sicard of Mas Lasta organically cultivates Grenache and Syrah, as well as high-altitude Carignan up in the Terrasses du Larzac appellation.

Just after a few minutes spent with Anne-Laure, one feels her passion for wine exuding through all of her pores. Her love for nature and particularly the area where she works, is admirable and so genuine that her wines are pure products of love. It is only with such devotion that one can craft wines in this forgotten, high-altitude terroir.

Anne-Laure studied agronomic engineering and oenology in Montpellier. After the completion, her passion for wine took her all around the world (Australia, Spain, Uruguay, Canada, New Zealand and a few French wine regions) producing wine as a flying winemaker. She then finally settled in Saint-Privat on the high-lying land of the Terrasses du Larzac in 2015. She created Mas Lasta in 2016 to vinify these plots from where the grapes used to go to the local cooperative.


Mas Lasta started with 8 hectares of old, neglected vines, planted in sandstone soil and backing on to the Causse Larzac. Her determination was to bring this precious wine terroir back to life. She works carefully and as naturally as possible, often using alternative methods to tend her vineyards. 


"As I’m a fighter by nature (I’m a fan of the French women’s rugby team known as "Les Affamées" meaning the "Hungry Women"), I embarked on natural winegrowing by converting the vineyard to organic agriculture," says Anne-Laure.


She is also not afraid of experimenting, which is reflected in her wines. She produces a cuvée that is fermented and aged in qvevri buried outside in the vineyard. To protect the qvevri, Anne-Laure placed a flock of geese around it. The territorial birds are also great for eating grass in between the vines, without eating the fruit or damaging the plants. 


There is a plan to rejuvenate and extend the vineyards between now and 2025. "The terroir is tough, but I’m tougher and I’m always busy doing something! After planting another 4 hectares, I’m planning to diversify the vineyard by adding high altitude fruit trees and to create a partnership with a sheep farmer."

Mouton Blanc de Noir 2021
$19/FL, $18/3 cases, $17.50/3 cases

Pet'Nat' Blanc NV

Terrasse du Larzac 2018
Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault
$21/FL, $20/3 cases, $19/5 cases

Pre-Order Here!

‹— New Producer Highlight: Cascina Corte  —›

Cascina Corte is an organic farm located in Dogliani, on the hill that lies less than a few miles away from Barolo. At its helm is Sandro Barosi, who purchased it in 2001 with his wife Amalia Battaglia. Alessandro used to work for Slow Wine, while Amalia is a doctor. They carried out major restructuring work. They restored the old 18th-century winemaker’s house to its original condition using natural materials. They had also done significant work on the abandoned vineyards that had been leased by the previous owner to a sharecropper.

The estate spans over 15 hectares, but less than half of that is planted with vines. They started with 3.5 hectares of old Dolcetto vines, planted between 1946 and 1955 and planted additional 1.5 hectares of Nebbiolo and Barbera. The terroir is composed of compact tuff and limestone. The rows in between the vines alternate between open (plowed) soil and grass cover, and the high-trained vines are pruned to the Guyot Simple method.


The majority of their wines are vinified in stainless steel vats and then, depending on the wine, aged for 18 months in demi-muids (600L casks) and foudres. There has also been a development with the amphora line, used for some Nebiollo, Barbera and Dolcetto cuvées. The wines are then bottled with a minimum addition of sulfur if necessary for the conservation of the wines intended for cellar aging and transport.


What we loved about Cascina Corte’s wines is their freshness and how joyful they are. This is not always the case in this area of Piedmont. The approach to winemaking here delivers very vibrant, yet vivid wines, with great balance and precision.

Langhe Barbera 2020
$18/FL, $17/3 cases

Langhe Riesling 2020
$20/FL, $19/3 cases, $18/5 cases

Langhe Nebbiolo 2020
$21/FL, $20/3 cases, $19/5 cases

Languhe Freisa 2021
$20/FL, $19/3 cases, $18/5 cases

Langhe Nebbiolo Amphorae 2018
$34/FL, $33/3 cases

Pre-Order Here!

‹— Grape Focus: Mondeuse Noire —›

(Image from Wikipedia)


Although other red grapes are planted in Savoie, there is no doubt as to which grape is most synonymous with this region in the French Alps.


Mondeuse Noir, often simply called Mondeuse (but there is a Mondeuse Blanche and a Mondeuse Grise too), nobly contorts into several expressions. Spicy and a little meaty like its famous relative, Syrah. Lean, bracing and mineral - the style most associated with the clean flavors of Alpine wines. It can also reflect the earthiness of Cabernet Franc, with vegetal greenness and sparky graphite. With its ability to fit many forms and please many palates, Mondeuse is gaining popularity in markets across the world, most significantly in the arena of natural wine.


Historically, during fermentation, winemakers creating a varietal wine from Mondeuse would chaptalize. This addition of sugar would plump up the resulting texture and enhance the ultimate alcohol level of the wine. But with climate change making the region much more capable of fruit maturity combined with preference for boozy, inky reds on the decline, plus the wine world’s appreciation of low-intervention cellar work, plenty of thoughtful producers are eliminating this technique, allowing bottles of Mondeuse to be vibrant and perky, with a drinkable ABV falling between 11 and 13%.


Mondeuse also lends itself to blending. A well-known combination is Mondeuse with Pinot Noir and Gamay. What we call the Autrement blend (a nod to cult Savoie winemaker Jacques Maillet’s delicious bottling) is a harmonious blend of poppy red fruit and cool structure. Although he retired after the 2016 vintage, the Curtet couple has continued the cuvée. Raj Parr in California has his own bottling for Phelan Farms. And of course, Julien Viana, of Savoie, has a stunning version, named Paroxysme - carried by Living Wine.

We love the versatility of Mondeuse and we admire the vignerons who have helped it achieve its modern-day fanbase. Give a look below at the Mondeuse cuvées that we’re offering now.

Cellier de la Baraterie, Paroxysme 2020
Pinot Noir, Gamay, Mondeuse
$14/FL, $13/3 cases, $12/10 cases

Cellier de la Baraterie, Mondeuse d'Arbin 2019
$18/FL, $17/3 cases, $16/5 cases

Cellier de la Baraterie, Mondeuse Saint Jean de la Porte 2020 (coming soon)
$17.50/FL, $16.50/3 cases, $15.50/5 cases

Celine Jacquet, Mondeuse d'Arbin (coming soon)
$17/FL, $16.50/3 cases, $16/5 cases

Domaine de l'Aitonnement, Dark Side 2021

Domaine de l'Aitonnement, Nebula 2021
Mondeuse, Douce Noire

Order Here!

‹— What's Coming... —›

There is a lot more on the way!


We are happy and excited to receive new wines and expand our offering. However, there is more to come.


Soon, we will be receiving more wine from new producers in our portfolio:

Casa Caterina (Italy, Lombardy)
Baša   (Serbia, Fruška Gora)
Céline Jacquet  (France, Savoie)
Etienne Seignovert  (France, North Rhône)
Roxanich  (Croatia, Istria)