Welcome to the May Red Club from MYSA Natural Wine! 

A note from our founder:

Happy May Friends!

This month we're France and Italy focused with some of my favorite Italian grapes (Nerello Mascellese and Barbera) as well as som stunners from France with names you'll recognize! Acacias is one of the most revered from the king of Malbec himself so definitely save for a special occasion!

-Holly Berrigan - Founder, MYSA Natural Wine

  1. Etna Rosso - Graci
  2. Calades - Domaine la Monardière
  3. No Trix - Cantine Barbera
  4. Les Acacias - Fabien Jouves Mas del Perié
  5. Wine Evaluation Sheet

Etna Rosso - Graci

Sicily - Italy 

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Description:

A vivid cherry colored red wine from the Etna region of Sicily. Floral with small red fruits, and herby tones fill the nose. The palate is well-balanced, with lovely fruity aromas, fine tannins, vibrant freshness, and saline notes. If you're a fan of Pinot Noir, you'll LOVE this! Fruity with silky smooth tannins.

Pairings: Pasta, Cheese Plate, Meat Sauces

Serving Temperature: 50°- 55° 

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About Graci

"Sicily has a colorful yet mysterious reputation, a land of vast diversity and contradiction. In no category is this more perfectly represented than by wine, with the inky, robust wines of western Sicily contrasting with the oxidized white wines of Marsala, the fruity, ripe wines of Vittoria in the southeast, and finally the ethereal, unique wines originating from the live volcano that looms over Catania on the eastern shore. Graci, situated on the north slope of Mount Etna at Passopisciaro, is found in an area where viticulture dates back several thousand years. Their vineyards sit at an altitude between 600 and 1,000 meters above sea level. Planting density ranges from 6,000 to 10,000 vines per hectare. Many of the vines are still on original rootstock, ungrafted, having never been affected by the phylloxera scourge thanks to the unique nature of the volcanic soils.

At Graci, young Alberto Aiello Graci remains steadfast in his respect for local traditions as well as the distinct nature of each vintage and only cultivates traditional varieties indigenous to Mount Etna: the red grapes Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, and white grapes Carricante and Catarratto. Intervention of any kind is extremely limited, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. They do not use herbicides in order to preserve the unique balance and vital energy of the soil. They do not use barriques, but only the big, upright, wooden casks known as tini and large, well-used wood barrels. Their sole objective is to reflect the personalities of their vineyards and the sublime differences between each and every harvest.
 
As for the volcano itself, Mr. Graci, for one, barely gives it a second thought.  “Lava? We are fatalists,” he said. “We don’t care. It’s normal for us.”
The vineyard is 1,000 meters high, or about 3,300 feet, the upward limit at which Nerello can ripen. Interspersed are olive and apple trees and birds, bees and bugs that fill the air with industrious chirps and hums.
“This is a place where it’s possible to have a balance between elegance and rusticity,” Mr. Graci said. “This sensation is hard to find anywhere else.” - Graci"

Calades - Domaine la Monardière

Rhône - France

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Description:
A blend of Cinsault, Counoise, Grenache with medium aromas of black cherry, herbs, and jam on the nose. While on the palate, you'll get a jammy fresh round feel with smooth tannins! Medium on the body with jam and cherry. 

 

Pairings: Charcuterie, Pasta, Barbecue

Serving Temperature: 50°- 55°

About Domaine la Monardière

"Of the 175 wine growers in Vacqueyras; only 45 are bottling their own wines and selling direct from the domaine, with the rest selling to the co-op or to one of the three négociants in town. The Vache family of Domaine la Monardière falls amongst the growers. The Vache family bought their domaine in 1987 from the Monarde family, and immediately got to work revitalizing the vineyards, building a new winemaking facility. They began by selling the wines from the domaine's door. The Vaches also harvest all of their vineyards by hand, which is not a requirement of AOC Vacqueyras, nor is it a common practice. They have been working organically in the vineyards since 2000, but only began the certification process in 2007, and have now been certified since 2010.

They have 22 hectares total, 18 hectares in Vacqueyras and 4 hectares in Vaucluse. They never purchase any fruit or must. Monardiere has a lot of sandy soil and so they make a significant amount of rose and white - the total for both in the appelation is only 5%, but 15% of Monardiere's wine is rose and another 15% is white. Sixty percent of the appellation is on a plateau with a lot of stones and a clay subsoil. For all of the wines, they work with lower yields than the 36hl/ha that are allowed. They normally average 30-32hl/ha, but recent vintages have been hit hard 22 hl/ha in 2012 and 18hl/ha in 2013!

Since they practice organic viticulture, it only follows that they should vinify with as little intervention in the cellar as possible, to produce authentic wines that are true to their origin. After harvest, the grapes are sorted and mostly destemmed, and then put into cement vats; the indigenous yeasts found on the grapes start the fermentation naturally. They pump-over the wine daily for a gentle extraction. The Syrah and some of the Grenache vats are punched down manually, and maceration takes place for two to three weeks. The wines are then aged in vats or used barrels throughout the winter and then bottled without fining or filtration and a low amout of sulfur. The Monardiere wines offer an incredibly pure expression of Vacqueyras. - Bowler Wine"

No Trix - Cantine Barbera

Sicily - Italy

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Description: 
Medium-bodied and easy to drink! Berries, floral, herbs, and hints of spices with silky tannins. Very elegant and lively! Red berries, floral, and fine herbs. 

Pairings: Beef, Aged Cheese, Mushrooms

Serving Temperature: 50°- 55°

About Cantine Barbera

"From vineyards that enjoy mild winters, warm dry summers and great diurnal temperature variation, the berries are ripe and sweet and smell of sunshine and gentle Mediterranean wind. Here, there are three different areas where Marilena farms: ""vigne in costa"" where Inzolia and Nero d'Avola is planted to soils that are deep and calcareous with plenty of limestone; ""vine al pozzo"" which is in the heart of Belicello, where international varietals, along with Perricone and Nerello Mascalese are planted to fertile and rich alluvial soils made by clay banks; and ""la vota"", which is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in soils of yellowish alluvial sands that also contain a good clay silty fraction.

Employing only indigenous yeast, Marilena uses a small wooden 44-pound press to manually 'squeeze' her grapes. Spontaneously fermenting, the fruit sits with skins and stems before the juice is pressed and poured into the tank where it begins its official fermentation. - T Edward Wines"

Les Acacias - Fabien Jouves Mas del Perié

Cahors - France

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Description: 

Full of flavor with notes such as floral, raspberries, and crisp cherry. Not to be missed! Pairs perfectly alongside heavy meats. Elegant and rich with cherry, oak, and blueberry. 

Pairings: Stew, Game, Grilled Vegetables

Serving Instructions: 55°- 58° 

About Fabien Jouves Mas del Perié
 

"Fabien Jouves’ family has a long history farming grapes in Cahors. The domaine is a 6th generation property and is located in Causses (literally meaning limestone plateaus), on the highest slopes of the Cahors appellation. His family’s 22 hectares sit atop the hills of Quercy at over 1,100 feet. The high elevation guarantees low nighttime temperatures, which partly explains the freshness and vivacity of the wines. In addition to his family’s holdings, Fabien purchased two other pieces of land; his property totals over 30 hectares.

Fabien Jouves' first vintage as the vigneron was in 2006. He initially intended to become a doctor, when in the early 2000s his parents were struggling with the family domaine and were going to sell it. He chose to help his parents and enrolled into the prestigious École du Vin de Bordeaux. Over the weekends, Fabien would drive to Cahors to take care of the vines. Upon graduation, he became the head of the domaine and immediately embarked to convert the viticulture to biodynamic. He says that when you work naturally in the vineyard and in the cellar wine is really the incarnation of the emotion of a winegrower, which is magical. Conversion began in 2004, and Demeter certified the domaine biodynamic in 2011. He is currently a member of the Renaissance des Appellations.

Fabien’s employs a non-interventionist vinification philosophy. The whole vinification process occurs naturally with spontaneous yeast. Various vessels are used to age the wines: concrete tanks, barrels, large foudres, and amphorae depending on the wine’s personality. His Vin de France (Vin de Soif) tier is his creative outlet, and showcases the grapes excluded from the modern AOC such as Jurançon Noir, Gamay and Chenin Blanc. Each of Fabien’s Vin de Terroir cuvées is a vineyard designate wine, which is why he uses a Burgundy bottle instead of the traditional Bordeaux. Similar to Burgundy, the focus is on showcasing the various differences in soil composition. Fabien even goes one step further and lists the soil type on the front label of each cuvée."

Wine Evaluation Sheet

Want to have some fun evaluating and taking note on your wine? Check out our natural wine tasting sheets we made special for the club!