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June Cosmos Edition

LITTLEWINE CLUB

Read about the winemakers by clicking the buttons below. To read the full features, please Head Backstage.

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#1 As Xaras 2019

By Fedellos do Couto | Ribeira Sacra, Spain

What's it Like?

This epitomises everything we love about the Ribeira Sacra region and its iconic grape variety, Mencía. It's a soothing, gentle wine; think fragrant rose petals, fresh raspberry juice with that curious hint of stoniness — minerality — which we love to find in wine. Serve ever so slightly chilled and get ready to relax.

Where's it From?

This comes from two young Mencía vineyards, which sit on either side of the Xares River of the Ribeira Sacra, hence its name. The vineyards are located at 550-650
metres above sea level, hence the freshness you find in the wine. Soils are composed of granite with some schist and quartz.

How's it Made?

This is very simple winemaking, to allow the fruit to express itself as purely as possible. The whole bunches were macerated for two months, with little extraction, during which the wine fermented naturally. It then aged in old 500L oak barrels for 12 months, before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Fedellos do Couto
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#2 '120 NN' 2018

By Weingut Odinstal | Pfalz, Germany

What's it Like?

This has everything we love about Riesling rolled into one delicious, easy-drinking bottle. Ever-so thirst-quenching, this is the perfect wine for when those temperatures start to rise. Think lemon and lime zestiness, with a certain salinity and smokiness that we can't get enough of.

Where's it From?

From the biodynamic Odinstal winery of the Pfalz, Germany, this comes from Riesling vineyards further down the hill, close to the other vineyards of the area, but still the highest vineyards of the town; at an elevation of 120m. Soils are immensely varied; sandstone, basalt, limestone and clay.

How's it Made?

The grapes undergo a fairly short period of maceration (eight hours) to give the wine some texture. The wine then ferments naturally, before ageing in stainless steel for nine months. Unfined and gently filtered before bottling, with a very small addition of sulfites.

Weingut Odinstal
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#3 Le Jaja 2016

By Domaine Partagé | Savoie, France

What's it Like?

This was one of the first wines that put the incredible Savoie wine region on the map for us. With it's mineral, pine sap scent and almost umami-like flavours, this mentally transports us to the forests of the Alps.

Where's it From?

This is the Savoyard variety, Jacquère, hence the fun name of Le Jaja. It comes from 30-year-old biodynamically farmed vines in the Chignin appellation, planted on alluvial and clay soils on limestone bedrock, on a south-east facing slope.

How's it Made?

The grapes are pressed directly, slowly and over the period of a few hours, to give a little texture. The wine ferments naturally, and is aged on the lees for nine months, in horizontal fibreglass eggs! Bottled unfined and unfiltered with very low sulfites.

Domaine Partagé
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#4 L'Oume 2017

By Les Frères Soulier | Southern Rhône, France

What's it Like?

This is the lighter and juicier side of the southern Rhône, but not compromising on any of that fragrant 'garrigue' scent (wild herbs) that the region is so famous for. Cherries, fresh blackcurrants and some subtle rosemary sprigs and spice... the perfect light red wine for the BBQ.

Where's it From?

This comes from the wilderness of the Gard, in the southern Rhône. The vineyards of Les Frères Soulier are tended according to permaculture, and this comes from an old vineyard of Cinsault (planted 1954), with a touch of Grenache and Syrah. The vineyard faces north, which gives the wine a tad extra freshness.

How's it Made?

The whole bunches underwent a semi-carbonic fermentation of ten days, meaning the extraction is very gentle. The wine fermented naturally, and then aged for six months in old oak barrels, followed by bottle ageing. Bottled unfined, unfiltered and without any addition of sulfites.

Les Frères Soulier
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#5 Bastarda

By Fedellos do Couto | Ribeira Sacra, Spain

What's it Like?

This has become one of Spain's most celebrated natural wines, and it's not hard to see why. The purity of fruit here is searing — almost like plunging your nose into a bowl of fresh strawberries and raspberries — but it's not just fruity. There's a certain earthiness and a green side to this wine that keeps you coming back for more...

Where's it From?

This is from the the grape variety Bastardo, otherwise known as Trousseau, which originated in the Jura region of France. It is likely that it was highly prized, and thus cuttings may have been given as gifts, hence the variety ended up in Spain and Portugal possibly as far back as the 16th century. This vineyard is located in Ribeira Sacra, on terraces next to the rivers Sil and Bibei at high elevation (550-750m), on granite, schist and sand soils.

How's it Made?

The whole bunches are gently macerated for a long period, with the juice fermenting naturally in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in old 300-500L oak barrels for ten months, before being bottled unfined and unfiltered, with a very small addition of sulfites.

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#6 Terrassen Nakt NV

By Weingut Odinstal | Pfalz, Germany

What's it Like?

Trying to describe this wine is like trying to describe an artwork that has deeply moved you; you can never quite succeed in explaining how it makes you feel. This is the greatest experiment we've ever tasted; that's for sure; think orange peel, raisins, salted caramel and artisan sea salt. A wine to take your time with...

Where's it From?

This comes from a single vineyard that is not accessible by tractor, hence everything is done by hand. They also treat this vineyard solely with plant teas, compost extract, whey and rock flour (no sulphur or copper).

How's it Made?

This is a kind of 'solera;' consisting of three vintages. 2015 was directly pressed after a short maceration on the skins. 2016 was fermented as whole bunches in the 2015 wine, and 2017 was foot-stomped and fermented in the 2015/2016 wine. In May 2018, they took the bunches from the 2016 out, and pressed the remaining wine. Unfined, unfiltered and bottled without sulfites.

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