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LITTLEWINE Club January 2021


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#1 Kalk & Kiesel Red 2018

By Claus Preisinger | Burgenland (Austria) £28

Meet the Maker in the January Film Episode (accessible via the button below)

What's it Like?

One of Claus' missions is simple: to create wine that is delicious and easy-to-drink. Ergo this fresh red with a little extra depth. It's a wine that flitters between seasons — summery reminders of fresh strawberries meet autumnal undergrowth. Tip: drink slightly chilled to explore that extra layer of juiciness.

What's in it?

This is a field blend of biodynamically farmed Blaufränkisch and Pinot Noir. Its name, Kalk (chalk) und Kiesel (stones), refers to the soils in which the vines are rooted. As with all his wines, it’s bottled unfined & unfiltered.  No sulphites were added to this cuvée either; this is just raw grape juice.

How's it Made?

He may still be young, but Claus already has a whopping 21 vintages under his belt. This means he’s been around the block of which wine styles he likes a few times. Now, he’s content with his method. This is made with whole bunches (stems & all), fermented naturally, and then aged for eight months in large barrels. 

“The soil is the most important thing. It’s your biggest investment. It's your base - it’s what you stand on, and you have to save it for you and for the next generation.”


#2 Vouvray Brut Dilettante NV

By Catherine & Pierre Breton | Loire (France) £24

Travel to their vineyards by drone by clicking the button below

What's it Like?

This is a bottle we always keep in the fridge - for a birthday, a great day at work, or even for those times we feel like giving the middle finger to the curveballs life throws at us. With its apple skin and chamomile aromas & a pinch of rock salt, it’ll leave you with a smile on your face, your thirst quenched.

What’s in it?

This is biodynamically farmed Chenin Blanc from the motherland of Chenin: the flinty soils of Vouvray. It is a blend of several vintages, and is produced as a méthode traditionelle (the same process as Champagne), meaning organic cane sugar is added with yeast to restart fermentation in the bottle. 

How’s it Made?

The whole bunches of Chenin Blanc are pressed slowly to get a little texture through skin contact, before fermenting naturally in tank. The wine is then aged for twelve months before blending and adding the liqueur de tirage, and then for another eleven months. Minimal sulphites added.

“The balance definitely comes from working organically. Even if it’s not something you can taste straightaway, it’s the balance in the primary materials – in the grapes – that we work towards."

Catherine & Pierre Breton

#3 Roterfaden Pinot Noir 2018

By Roterfaden | Württemberg (Germany) £28

Read Hannes & Olympia's Story by clicking the button below

What's it Like?

This is the kind of wine that makes your shoulders immediately relax, soothing your lockdown stiffness. It's a comfort wine: there’s just something about Pinot Noir in wintertime; the forest-like aromas of pine needles; as freeing as taking a hike in the woods. 

What’s in it?

This is made from biodynamically farmed Pinot Noir grapes (some destemmed, some whole bunch) from Germany's Württemberg region. It's bottled unfined & unfiltered, with just a touch of sulphites.

How’s it Made?

The destemmed berries & whole bunches macerate very gently "infusion-style" (like tea) with the juice for three to four weeks, to extract as little harsh tannin as possible, creating a delicately structured Pinot. It then ages in large older barrels for ten months.

"We began with grandpa’s tractor. In the cellar, we had no pump—just buckets.”


#4 Satellit 2019

By Jutta Ambrositsch | Vienna (Austria) £24

Read Jutta's Story by clicking the button below

What's it Like?

This tastes like an apple strudel, without the sugar. Its acidity means this is a wine for recharging batteries; an instant pick-me-up that'll have you wiggling to Prince's 'Kiss.' Got the January blues? This will flip them on their head and give you the January greens, instead. 

What’s in it?

This is a ‘Gemischter Satz’ - the traditional Austrian term for a field blend; the traditional way of planting varieties in the city of Vienna. In this case, there's Riesling, Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc (& more). This organic parcel is located on the other side of the Danube to Jutta’s other vineyards, hence its name.

How’s it Made?

The whole bunches are pressed, and then the juice & skins sit together for a few hours. This little extra bit of skin contact gives added texture and the impression of acidity. As this vineyard produces a wine that’s naturally a touch richer, Jutta likes to use the skins to give a brighter dimension. 

"Designing my own labels was the hardest graphic design job I ever had. There was so much information. I had no distance from the project—I knew everything about the vineyards."

Jutta Ambrositsch

#5 Domaine des Cavarodes Arbois Trousseau Les Lumachelles 2018

By Domaine des Cavarodes | Jura (France) £39

Read Etienne Thiebaud's Story by clicking the button below

What's it Like?

Etienne Thiebaud says that the limestone of this vineyard always gives the wines more tension and an element of minerality (like licking a stone, we won’t judge if you try). You find that in this wine; even from a hot vintage like 2018, there is a fresh zing to be found here. Like biting into a blackberry straight from the bush.

What’s in it?

This is produced from the Trousseau variety, indigenous to the Jura but also well-known in Portugal and Spain under its synonym Bastardo. The name of the vineyard, ‘Lumachelles,’ is actually an old French geologic term for the Kimmeridgian limestone soils it is planted on.

How’s it Made?

The bunches of grapes are destemmed by hand, and maceration is done infusion-style, meaning as gently and as hands-off as possible (kind of like tea). The length of time is decided by sense and taste; for Trousseau usually between three to four weeks. The wine is then bottled after seven to eight months to preserve the fruity aromas. 

“The perfect vineyard doesn’t exist. That’s why we have different grape varieties - they have adapted to different soils and places along the way."

Domaine des Cavarodes

#6 Edelgraben Weißburgunder 2015

By Claus Preisinger | Burgenland (Austria) £49

What's it Like?

Although this is a skin contact wine (a white wine made like a red wine), it presents itself more classically—with a strong mineral backbone and layer upon layer of lemon & lime complexity. It might be its name teasing us, but we swear we can taste an element of fresh air here.

It's a little like Takashi Murakami's 'Flowers' painting—modern, but already a classic.

What’s in it?

This is one of Claus’ top wines, made from biodynamically farmed Weissburgunder (aka Pinot Blanc), planted on limestone and slate. It comes from the single vineyard called Edelgraben, but because the wine is made with more experimental methods, it can’t be labelled as such. Hence, ErDELuftGRAsundreBEN: with the vineyard name in capitals, this is a play on words: Soil, Air, Grass & Vines in German. 

How’s it Made?

Claus values the fruit from this vineyard so much that he felt it would be a shame to simply throw the grape skins away after direct-pressing (aka the traditional way in this region). Instead, the juice macerates with the skins for two weeks while natural fermentation starts, and then the wine is aged in amphorae for seven months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered and without added sulphites.

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