Here at ARGAUX, we believe in getting outside as much as possible and taking every opportunity to learn about the earth and environment that supports our wines (and ourselves)!
We first started getting into Natural Wine after we attended the Raw Wine Festival in LA. It opened us up to the true grander of the movement… and we got on board. According to Raw Wine, “Natural Wine is farmed organically (biodynamically, using permaculture or the like) and made (or rather transformed) without adding or removing anything in the cellar. No additives or processing aids are used, and ‘intervention’ in the naturally occurring fermentation process is kept to a minimum. As such neither fining nor (tight) filtration are used. The result is a living wine – wholesome and full of naturally occurring microbiology.”
The first time we tasted the Meinklang Graupert and the No Sapiens Bichi was thanks to Tali at Kismet. Tali is one of Margaux’s best friends since seventh grade, and she is also the Culinary Liaison at Kismet. The entire wine list at Kismet consists of all natural wine and they do a really good job at hand selecting really approachable, food friendly natural wines.
Even better, the wine list changes weekly, which gives you the opportunity to constantly explore new offerings.
We recently sat down with Beverage Director Kae to discuss the work that goes into producing natural wine, and why drinking them can be a great adventure. We get a lot of questions from our members about natural winemaking, so we had her deconstruct the natural wine world a bit.
She explained that grapes are incredible porous fruits, any pesticide that is sprayed on them goes directly into the cellular structure. Natural winemakers go to great lengths to preserve their crops through methods such as dry forming and cover cropping, which results in a wine that is not only grown with the utmost respect for the earth, but also is healthier for the consumer. Drinking natural wine, like eating organic, is a personal choice, but is arguably healthier overall.
There will usually be more variance in natural wines from year to year, as the winemakers are never adding anything to achieve consistency. Instead, they work with what the earth offers up, resulting in some really fun experimentation.
These wines can often be cloudier (like the Le Trouble Fait on this week’s menu), or a bit funkier or unexpected than one might be accustomed to. This factor, for Kae, is what makes drinking natural wines so much fun – you can really see and taste the variances and the earth, and you never quite know what you will get.
And now to the fun part – tasting the wines. For a limited time, we are offering a wine package of four natural wines.
When Margaux first ordered the Meinklang Graupert, Arden absolutely did not expect to like it…and was against ordering it! But all doubts were cast aside with her first sip. It tastes like something you would have at a spa, a peach, lavender iced tea. At only 10% alcohol it’s lighter and fabulous. We are both loving it!
The No Sapiens is from Tecate is one of Arden’s favorite reds right now – it’s light a perfect for spring, goes well with a barbecue. It could have a bit of a chill on it too.
The other two wines Margaux discovered through research, and they round out the collection.
The 2016 Laura Lorenzo Portella Do Vento from Galicia, Spain, is a blend of Mencia and Garnacha. The winemaker, Laura, has been making wine since she was 16 and studied in Argentina and South Africa before settling down for good in Spain. The grapes were harvested by hand in late September, 80% destemmed and fermented with wild yeasts in steel vats, and raised for 9 months in used 500 liter French barrels. “This is Laura’s “glou-glou” wine that she loves to share with her American friends. Fresh and easy-drinking, it is very versatile with a wide variety of foods…or straight from the porrón!”
This wine is a showstoppa! Kickass natural wine made by a kickass, 6ft tall women with dreads down to her butt. Share with family, share with friends. This is a cool wine that is the talk of the town with Somms right now. Bring to a dinner party and look like you are in the know, because you are.
The 2016 Bengoetxe Txakolina is the fulfillment of Iñaki and Rosa Maria Etxeberria’s dream to restore their storied estate back to wine growing. Their vineyard is not plowed and thus teaming with microbial life and flora. They were granted organic certification in 2007, one of only two wine estates to be certified in the Basque Country. This wine is a richer expression of Txakoli with luscious texture, sharp acidity, and penetrating saline minerality. 4,000 bottles produced, 100% Natural Wine.
Drink this when you are trying to spice up your life. It’s a Wednesday night, you are starting to see a glimpse of the weekend and all you need is the couch, some seafood curry, a glass of Txakolina and Seinfeld reruns. Thank GOD for Wine Wednesday.
We are all for the adventure of Natural Wine. Pick up your bottles in the wine shop today and give them a sip! Thank you to Tali and Kae for some excellent recommendations!
Cheers from your Pocket Somms! – ARGAUX