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Our Easter and Spring Due Santi Selections offer is here, and we are so pleased to share these six gorgeous wines with you all. Once again, we have decided to partner with North Berkeley Imports, because they continue to deliver some of the most outstanding wines produced in Europe. This month, we are working with Italy and France to curate a pack of wines that will go perfectly with this Easter and spring season. This offer even includes one of the most beloved red wines year after year. We hope you will have a go at this delicious set and share your feedback with us.
THIS MONTH'S WINES
Ostro Pinot Nero Rosé Spumante (sparkling rosé)
Region: ITALY • Friuli • Prata di Pordenone
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard: Estate vineyards are planted on clay- and limestone-rich soils, unique to the region, with topsoils of gravel, the classic terroir of Grave. Vines are an average of 20 years old.
Winemakers: Giovanni Ruzzene
The playful Ostro, the south wind that travels from the Adriatic Sea with its fresh, sea-salty tang, encourages the lively flavors and vibrant citrus tones of local grapes of the Friuli region. We looked far and wide for a Prosecco that would impress, and found it here in its native land of Friuli. Ostro is an exclusive selection to North Berkeley Imports.
This little party starter is a sparkling rosé made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes grown on Friuli’s peerless, rocky terroir. There are fine bubbles and notes of red fruits, currants, wild strawberries, and rose petals. This wine is perfect as an aperitif to your Easter feast. It also goes well with spicy and salty foods and fried fish.
Region: ITALY • Friuli • Prata di Pordenone
Blend: 100% Friulano
Vineyard: Estate vineyards are planted on clay- and limestone-rich soils, unique to the region, with topsoils of gravel, the classic terroir of Grave. Vines are 35 years old.
Winemakers: Giovanni Ruzzene
To the northeast, the towering Alps; to the south, the placid Adriatic Sea. The Maccan family couldn’t have found a more charmed spot to cultivate Friuli’s native grapes. Here along the banks of the Livenza river in the foothills of the Alps, the classic stones of Grave mix with limestone, giving a Burgundian finesse to Friulano and Refosco. With some 37 acres planted to Friuli’s native grapes, the Maccan family harvests their bounty by hand and crafts character-rich, single-varietal wines that effortlessly reflect the breathtaking beauty of this mountain refuge.
There is always a potency of mineral in a great Friulano, and in this case, there is also a lushness to couple with the power. This particular Friulano has aromas of fresh apricots, citrus, and light wildflowers. It’s fresh, fruity, and suave; light on the palate but intensely flavored. Works perfectly as an aperitif, with local salumi or with grilled fish.
Region: ITALY • Liguria • Ortovero
Blend: 100% Pigato
Vineyard: Estate-owned vineyards are found across both terraced hillsides above the Mediterranean coast and flatter lands near the town of Ortovero. Soils predominantly sandy, with limestone. Age of vines is an average of 50 years.
Winemakers: Antonio Basso
Winemaker Antonio Basso represents the third generation of farmers from Ortovero, and tends some 259 separate, small vineyards on steep hillsides just three miles away from the azure Mediterranean as the crow flies. Altitude here ranges from 150 feet to as high as 2,100 feet! This is the inspired madness of vine growing in mountainous Liguria—so much so that there are only a few dozen, full-time producers in the region. Yet for those stubborn, inspired few, what Liguria can give is nothing less than extraordinary. The thread that connects the wines of Liguria is indeed the sea: whites are limpid and invigorating, reds tangy and saline-kissed. Each bottle begs for Mediterranean cuisine and lively company.
This wine has aromas of white peaches, honey, and wildflowers and has flavors of citrus, white pepper, fresh almonds, and stone fruits. Pairs perfectly with a big roasted chicken, pork, or shellfish for your Easter dinner. Also goes incredibly well with a garlic-heavy sauce, like pesto. And do not skimp on the great EVOO and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
.Domaine Paul Durdilly et Fils Beaujolais ‘Les Grandes Coasses’ Vieilles Vignes Cuvée Unique (red)
Region: FRANCE • Beaujolais • Le Bois d’Oignt
Blend: 100% Gamay
Vineyard: The estate cultivates some 20 different, small vineyard plots in and around the town of Bois d’Oignt, at 350 meters in altitude. Soils are a mix of granite and clay; more than half of the vineyards share a unique vein of limestone, similar to Burgundy. Age of vines is 40-80 years.
Winemakers: Paul Durdilly
Winemakers: Diego Conterno and son, Stefano Conterno
So, on to France and our reds for this period of renewal. When does a non-cru Beaujolais wine taste and age like a fine Burgundy? When it’s crafted by a talented winemaker such as Paul Durdilly from Le Bois d’Oignt in southern Beaujolais. Durdilly’s ‘Les Grandes Coasses’ is one of the more complex and balanced “basic” Beaujolais wines you can find. Le Bois d’Oignt’s secret is that many of its vineyards have soils that are pure limestone, the same “mother rock” of the Côte d’Or. Which is why Gamay grown on Durdilly’s high-altitude vineyard slopes is so refined and supple with complex flavors.
This wine has violet aromas, akin to Vosne-Romanée. Tannins are silk and flavors suggest red berries, red plums, and light spice. Goes well with white meat, like chicken, and hard cheeses, such as Comté.
Region: FRANCE • Languedoc-Roussillon • Portel des Corbières
Blend: 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre
Vineyard: Estate vineyards are located up in the hills near the village of Portel des Corbières, on gravel-rich terraces with large quartz stones (seen most often in Châteauneuf-du-Pape), with limestone subsoils. Vine age is 30-50 years.
Winemaker: Jean-Luc Brouillat
Located in the heart of Corbières, Mattes-Sabran crafts full-flavored, seductive wines from the garrigue-covered hillsides along France’s Mediterranean coast. With a noble history stretching back some 1,000 years, Mattes-Sabran today epitomizes all we love about the traditions of France’s wine-making south. The main house, once home to dukes, today welcomes international visitors while geese and lazy cats wander. A well-worn table welcomes outdoor meals with shared bottles in the shade. Importantly, Mattes’ exemplary terroir—much of which recalls Châteauneuf-du-Pape—inspires top-notch wines that are excellent value.
With aromas of blackberry, licorice, and Asian five-spice and flavors of red and black plums and smooth tannins, this is the wine you want to drink with your grilled red meat or game on Easter.
Region: FRANCE • Rhône Valley • Courthezon
Blend: 82% Grenache and 18% Syrah
Vineyard: A mix of vineyards that share similar terroir to classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards: large, round quartz river stones (galets roulés), clay and sand. Vine age is an average of 45 years.
Winemaker: Bruno Gaspard
And now, one of the darling red wines of the last 15 years, Le Clos du Caillou “Old Vines” is one of the most delicious products from the appellation year after year. Wines from Le Clos du Caillou are Rhône blends at their most intense. Concentrated and richly textured, these organically raised wines capture the spice of older-vine Grenache as grown on the region’s finest terroirs. The estate in Courthézon, in the northeastern part of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, boasts a mix of terroirs with a predominance of sand, which gives Caillou wines their silky elegance and fine-grained texture. The estate has been practicing biodynamic viticulture since 2003, and was certified organic in 2010. Caillou’s devotion to the character of the land (through bottling wines according to terroir) and its dedication to natural viticulture has only intensified over the years; this is what makes Caillou one of the leading estates in the southern Rhône.
This special red blend (‘Cuvée Unique’) is an exclusive selection of North Berkeley, assembled with the help of winemaker Bruno Gaspard. It has aromas of garrigue (wild thyme, lavender and rosemary) and flavors of raspberry and black cherry. Pairs perfectly with grilled steak, game meat, and lamb. It is a like savory blackberry tart after a steak dinner. These guys sell thousands of bottles a year of this wine. We hope you will know why soon.
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