More and more of DeMoor please.

DeMoor’s “Sans Bruit”

DeMoor’s “Sans Bruit”

Every once in a while you stumble upon a producer whose wines consistently speak to you. Alice and Olivier De Moor are that couple for me. Their wines are classic, classy, and universally loved. Find me a person who doesn’t want to shed a tear over their Chablis, and I’ll eat my hat. Their Aligoté is one of my favorite wines of all time. That’s why when the Sauvignon Blanc came into Rebel Rebel, I jumped at the chance to take it home.


Alice and Olivier De Moor are the perfect couple to be producing white Burgundy. They’re the picture you imagine when thinking about French wines. Olivier grew up in the town of Courgis, less than 5 miles from Chablis. Their Chablis is aged in the cellar of his grandfather’s house. They’ve been partners in wine since 1989, creating beautiful Chardonnay, Aligote, and Sauvignon Blanc in a majestic blindingly-white soiled region for 30 years. Beyond making elegant wines, though, they’ve been pioneers in their region when it comes to crafting wines naturally. They’ve been farming organically for 14 of those years, since 2005. Today, they make wines without S02 during harvest or bottling.


Sauvignon Blanc is not the bread and butter of the De Moor team. Their different cuvees of Chardonnay are their mainstays. However, that’s what makes their Sauvignon Blanc so beautiful. It’s an anomaly in the line-up. The Sans Bruit is grown on Portlandian rock, covered in well-draining clay. It’s aged in stainless steel tanks, a departure from the old oak barrels that age their Chardonnay. It’s finicky, sometimes taking a whole year to ferment. I brought the Sauvignon Blanc to a birthday party held outside in the backyard, mostly wine-os like me and other beverage enthusiasts. 


The wine was elegant and alive, but confusing, or rather—curious. If you had blinded me on it, I would have called it Chardonnay. To quote my friend Katie, “whoa, Sauv Blanc?’. It had a silky texture, a body that made you savor the wine—not crush it in the late June heat. A bundle of citrus, just a slight touch of grass, it was Sauvignon Blanc, but it was also more than that. It was smooth, restrained, it was captivating. It was Burgundy.


Drink this Sauvignon Blanc outside, with friends. Preferably, in a backyard in the summer, as the party is settling down and the sun is setting.



Pitter Patter of my heart at Paterna

Paterna!!

Paterna!!

BY: Grace Wexler

@grace_wex

I was lucky enough to have a chance to visit Paterna earlier this year in March. Even when I’d tasted Paterna’s wines the first time, without context of place, I really loved them. They are charming and playful but have moments of profundity and seriousness. Delivering all the punch of Chianti but with more vibrance and bounce and emotion. Visiting their farm I was even more overcome by the beauty and calm that settles upon this lovingly worked organic Tuscan world. Claudia and Marco showed us around their vines explaining little interesting changes and discussions they have as agriculturalists year to year. Marco represents a generation of winemaking before Claudia so there are always little reminders of tradition vs new, memories vs now. They’re debating whether the old pruned wood should be burned ( this is the old way, the superstition is that the smoke from the burning wood will protect this years vines from frost and disease.) or if it should be chopped up and put back into the soil to nourish the vines and complete the life cycle. Marco explains that the harvest begins almost an entire month earlier than it did when he was a kid. Their work confronts them with the changing climate day to day and year to year. Their vines are the loveliest. The sun sparkles across scraggly little green mounds of cover crops between rows, nitrogen fixers like wild peas and wild barley, and illuminates an array of little bumps of color of tiny wildflowers speckled through the ground on their entire property. To go full millenial on you and really pull it back from the poetic: Paterna is a viiiiiibe. This feels immediately like a place where you can’t help but pray to the earth and feel the good she emits.


We move to a tour of their cellar two rows of old barrique. Giant stainless vats. Colorfully painted cement containers. Marco pulls samples with the thief ( legit I did have to look up the official term for that big ‘ol pipette) and empties little splashes into each glass. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit what a true THRILL it gave me everytime I tasted a wine direct from its vessel. Like…. What is this fresh magic?? Back at their Cantina, Tamara has created a true feast of beans and pasta and cured meat. Best of all we get to top everything with the olive oil they make themselves. If you ever want to see if olive oil can make you cry, theirs will certainly make you feel all the feelings. It is at their cantina table that I taste the Il Terraio for the first time and it is at my own kitchen table that I taste it again. Il Terraio is , unsurprisingly, a magical ride. A blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia and a baby bit of Orpicchio, 20% of this wine sees skin contact during fermentation but the other 80% is direct press. Looking back at my notes from tasting this in Tuscany I feel very validated that the second time I drank it I experienced the same things.


Claudia and Marco

Claudia and Marco

Cement Tanks at Paterna

Cement Tanks at Paterna

Old barriques and stainless vats in Paterna’s cellar

Old barriques and stainless vats in Paterna’s cellar

One of the sweet angelic dogs at Paterna

One of the sweet angelic dogs at Paterna

OMG sweet baby cat with wine.

OMG sweet baby cat with wine.

It’s not a highly aromatic wine so you really find yourself burying your nose deep in there, and when you do- ripe sunwarmed lemon, fresh dreamy grass, Anjou pear…. Fresh rain?? Tasting this wine is a quiet moment, sitting, listening to the wine unfold its flavors on your tongue. It’s light, crisp, clean. Unripe mango, a twist of lemon, a lil punch of pineapple and pear. This wine doesn’t scream fruit or scream acid or SCREAM anything. A little reminder of acidity tickles your palate at the end but it’s got nothing to prove.  I must truly share that sometimes tasting a wine makes me so emotional that I write incredibly cringe worthy verbose tasting notes and visuals and this is what a wrote at my kitchen table at 7:30 pm in June : A wine you have to get up close to hear, it’s not shouting anything, it’s singing a quiet self assured song. It knows itself, its not trying to prove anything, like lying in the grass at Paterna with a gentle sun and a breeze listening to the bees buzz and the dogs running……Don’t worry I know that a more annoying description of a wine has never been written but the fullness of my heart when drinking wine from Paterna made me feel like you just had to see how romantic their wine makes my senses.



Oh Nerocapitano, My capitano.

BY: Margot Mazur  @solomargot     How it’s made:   Region: Sicily, Italy  Varietal: 100% Frappato  Fermented in: plastic vats  Aged in: cement  Maceration: 14 days

BY: Margot Mazur

@solomargot

How it’s made:

Region: Sicily, Italy

Varietal: 100% Frappato

Fermented in: plastic vats

Aged in: cement

Maceration: 14 days

Sicily may as well be its own country. Yes, it’s part of Italy, but when you consider the culture, the landscape, and yes, the wine, you notice some incredibly unique characteristics of this island that keep you guessing and pull you in. At Lamoresca, named after the local olive variety, Moresca, the 4 hectares under vine are surrounded by iron rich, red-tinted clay and sandstone hills that, during the heat of the summer, may make you think you’re closer to Mars than to Italy. The vines stand close to booming olive trees, co-mingling with the history and heritage of the land. Wines coming from Filippo and Nancy Rizzo hold on to those traditions, while maintaining a natural winemaking philosophy that showcases the region’s terroir.

Understanding Sicilian wine is understanding Sicilian soil, climate, and culture. The climate near Lamoresca, about a 30 minute drive from the Southern coast, is very warm and dry, with very little rain. They harvest their grapes by hand at full ripeness, which usually happens in the last week of October. They focus heavily on their olive oil production, taking care to tend their local olive trees—Moresca and Tonda Iblea varietals that produce a fruity, delicate flavor that’s typical of Sicily.

Lamoresca’s wines are all extraordinary. They focus on the historic grapes of their region, including Nerello Mascalese, Nero D’Avola, and Frappato, but the one that’s especially close to my heart is their “Nerocapitano”, made entirely from Frappato, a lighthearted grape that makes a joyful, earthy red wine in the hands of team Rizzo. Nerocapitano is a local name for Frappato, one that can be used interchangeably. This wine is made with an eye to tradition, fermented with no temperature control in open top plastic vats. You won’t find huge new-fangled winery equipment here. The wine sits on the skins for two weeks, then undergoes a natural malolactic fermentation, in tandem with the Sicilian breeze.

I drank this wine over Memorial Day weekend, when I unplugged and took a trip up to a remote cabin in Maine with my boyfriend. We were completely alone, an hour drive from the nearest town and cell phone reception. We started a fire outside, sat on a couple of wooden Adirondack chairs, and popped the Nerocapitano before the sun set. The wine was a perfect match to the warmth of the day, with gorgeous bright cherry notes and a beautiful texture. It’s light, yes, but earthy in a way that’s unique to a Sicilian wine. Volcanic flavors bounce around a perfectly balanced acidity. It’s a wine made to be enjoyed in nature, recognizing your own terroir—the feel of the breeze, the smell of the grass and soil, and the warmth of the early summer sun.


Your Summer Plans: Visit Maine & Drink Cider (also, wine!)

Photo Courtesy of  Upper Glass   BY: Danielle Pattavina  @dpattavin

Photo Courtesy of Upper Glass

BY: Danielle Pattavina

@dpattavin

Your Maine Itinerary:

Drive straight to Tandem Coffee, 742 Congress St, Portland for the best breakfast and pastries (and coffee).

Pit stop at Maine & Loire, consider dinner at Drifter’s Wife either now, because you left really late, or tomorrow on your way back down.

Arrive! Oyster River Winegrowers in Warren (buy cider & wine for your hike tomorrow). Check their website for *Pizza Nights* and *Cider Dinners*! Oyster River Winegrowers are community people and they’re always doing special things.

Sammy’s Deluxe in Rockland for real Maine food and natural wines.

Camp the night?

North for Chase’s Daily breakfast & hiking snacks.

Back South for a hike at Maiden Cliff.

Drive to Glidden Point in Damariscotta Bay, buy a bag of oysters, and shuck them in the peace of forest and lake right where they were raised.

Stay forever.


Your Summer Plans: Visit Maine & Drink Cider (also, wine!)

We had a rocking time with Oyster River Winegrowers at the Olmstead Tasting afterparty a few  weeks ago here at Rebel Rebel!

You should go to Maine and visit them. Taste their ciders and their enigmatic wines, in their barn.  

A deepdive on their Instagram will provide you a virtual trip and give shape to how they farm and make their ciders and wines. But, better to just go to Maine and see firsthand.


Oyster River Winegrowers is in Warren, Maine, only 3 hours from Rebel Rebel, or 1 hour 20 mins from Portland and was established in 2007. The operation is small: Brian, Allie, Joanna, Reggie (Reggie is a dog). Brian studied winemaking at Fresno State and then set out to make wine with: nothing added and nothing taken away. All the fruit is hand-harvested. The yeasts are native to the fruits and their cellar, no refrigeration, and the fermentations are spontaneous. They grow a variety of apples and grapes and their livestock graze the land providing fertilizer.

Tasting the Hoboken Station Cider

Photo Courtesy of  alongcamecider

Photo Courtesy of alongcamecider

For lunch I roasted a whole porgy with Spring onions; second course: Landaff from Jasper Hill. I paired it all with the Oyster River Winegrowers Hoboken Station Cider. The cider has a soft carbonation and is golden with acid that pokes you in the nose— a modest but high-registering twinge of just ripening pineapple rind. It’s dry and has shedding layers of a slightly musty damp basement, some toasty toast, a lil’ bit o’ lemon peel and a season's worth of apples in a multitude of forms: bruised golden-ripe apples, crunchy green apples, gnarled and sour tough little apples, big juicy yellow apples... It’s named Hoboken Station Cider for a trolley stop that used to be where Oyster River is, in the 1900s.

Photo Courtesy of  Wikipedia

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia


The 2015 cider was made of Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Ellis Bitter, and Rhode Island Greening.

These are all cider apples. Look for their Wildman cider. The Wildman is made from wild apples that have no names. Apples, unlike some other tree fruits, cannot pollinate themselves so, every seed has the possibility to produce a different apple. The Wildman cider is made with these types of ‘wild apples’ (it also sits on the skins for a bit). The Organic cider is made from all eating varietals (like Macintosh and Cortland).

 







Rebel Rebel Quasi-Newsletter Vol.2

You asked for it, and we delivered! The news of the day--what's on the horizon for Rebel Rebel, what's going on in the world of wine, and what we're talking about and listening to behind the bar! Each week I'll be sharing upcoming events Rebel Rebel is hosting, or local events that you shouldn't miss. And like the librarian I wish I was, I'll be recommending a few articles about the broader world of wine, hospitality and feminism. Think of it as a quasi-Rebel Rebel newsletter. All the news worth reporting, reported!*


What We’re Reading:

Lauren Friel is Making Boston Drinking Culture a Little Less Bro-y

OH HAI BON APPETIT

Check out this dope write-up on Lauren and on Rebel Rebel. Meghan Nesmith gets it.

“‘We decided on all natural wines for two reasons,’ Friel says. ‘First, the damage that conventional, industrial wine making does to the environment is terrifying, frankly. The other is that natural wine, because it always has been kinda scrappy, is more inclusive of young people, women, people of color, and queer people. It’s also just more fun.’”

Favorite throwaway detail from the article:

“Her neon yellow acrylics tapdance along the rows…”

Lauren’s nails have been on point this week, and I’m glad someone else noticed.


How The Boston Area’s Female Wine Experts Are Breaking The (Wine) Glass Ceiling

“Hayes also sees a correlation between the rising popularity of natural wines — her own specialty — and the preponderance of women leading area wine programs. The natural wine community’s focus on sustainable practices, Hayes points out, reflects its compassionate and accepting outlook overall.”

We  ladies at Rebel Rebel feel privileged to work in a city with so many talented female wine professionals, and we agree with Lauren Hayes that it’s no coincidence natural wine can be found on more lists across the city. Let’s lean into the trend!


How Does Your Love of Wine Contribute to Climate Change?

“All these measures barely scratch the surface, unfortunately. To really make informed choices, consumers need to know what wineries are doing in the vineyard...no step is too small. The least we can do is make climate issues more urgent in our own lives, and to pass that message on to others.”

We need to ask more of the wine we drink, and wine production in general, in our changing world.


Turn It Off: Why The Wine Industry Should Prioritise Dry-Farming

“...before there can be organic, natural, green, zero-carbon or biodynamic wines with any authenticity to help us in this quest, there have to be ‘dry-farmed’ wines.”

It’s not Waterworld yet, so let’s dry-farm!


What ‘Wine Country’ Gets Right (And Wrong) About Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

One of many think-pieces about the Netflix movie. We at Rebel Rebel heartily enjoyed it, even if it wasn’t completely accurate to the Napa Valley experience. Let’s address the infamous natural vineyard scene, though, and what exactly “wine diamonds” are:


What The Heck Are Tartrates? And Do They Signal That Something Is Wrong With The Wine?

“The higher quality your bottle of wine is, the more likely you are to see tartrates. That’s because on the lower end of the wine spectrum, the wine is often cold stabilized in order to filter the tartrates out.”

Short, sweet, and science-heavy! Older article that breaks down what those crystals are at the bottom of your glass, and why they’re a good sign.  



 
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We’re Mad as Hell.

Alabama y’all. Another move to overturn Roe v. Wade and use female bodies as political chess pieces. Not on our watch. We launched #RoseForResistance to bring together local businesses to help women in Alabama, donating 100% of our rose sales to the Yellowhammer Fund

Emily Isenberg, of Isenberg Projects, has helped spread awareness and support for our fundraising efforts. Check out the website #RoseForResistance for participating partners and other restaurants donating rose sales this weekend. We’ve had tons of wine donated to the cause--special shout-out to Vineyard Road, Olmstead Wine, Violette Imports, Louis Dressner Selections, Oz Wine Co. and Birichino out in Cali.

On that note:

Events to Fight the Patriarchy!

Memorial Day Monday Bake Sale! 11am - 1pm

Bake Sale to support Planned Parenthood. Sweet treats for sale $5 a pop; all proceeds go towards supporting our choices and our bodies.

Tuesday, May 28 A Fundraiser For Abortion Access 6-8 PM

Organized by The Cauldron, a radical feminist social practice that focuses on transformative experiences through intentional gathering, vulnerability and fostering community. 100% of rose sales at Rebel and event ticket prices go to The National Network of Abortion Funds. Buy your tickets here .

Other Rebel Rebel Events:

Sunday, May 19 Searching for the Holy Grail of Wild Mushrooms w/ Tyler Akabane 12-  1 PM

This class is for anyone interested in learning about some of the world’s most sought after mushrooms! In this class we will cover the who what where and why’s of why these fungi claim such high prices, as well as how to find some of them around here! We will also go over some of the wild plants and fungi of mid spring that should be out in our area RN.

Tickets available via Eventbrite


What We’re Listening to:

If you’re a member of the Glou-Glou Illuminati you listen to the wine podcast “Natural Disasters” produced by natural wine enthusiasts Marissa Ross and Adam Vourvoulis. It’s been on hiatus but it returned last week with a new episode and a new season! Check it out if you haven’t before.

Carly Rae released her new album, finally, sooo…




Oh Cecilia, You're Breaking My Heart.

BY: Margot Mazur  @solomargot

BY: Margot Mazur

@solomargot

About this wine:

  • 60% Syrah, 40% Sauvignon Blanc

  • 30 year old vines

  • Suncrest Vineyard, Penn Valley, CA

  • Foot stomped grapes

  • Aged in oak for 8 months

Frenchtown Farms ‘Cecilia’ Rose

Gosh, wine can be so much fun. Certain wines can sometimes create such a feeling of joy and wonder in me, like a kid running up to an ocean wave. Some wines you just have to, have to, show your friends—they make you giddy. Frenchtown Farms’ ‘Cecilia’ is just that. I took ‘Cecilia’ to a friend’s dinner party the other night, and was thrilled to pour it for folks who I was sure would also think it was just about the coolest thing in the world. (Shout out to Kelcey’s amazing potatoes).

‘Cecilia’ is a co-ferment of Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. Usually, if there is more than one grape varietal in a wine, winemakers will harvest them separately, then put them in their own separate fermentation vessels—be that oak or stainless steel or what-have-you—then, either allow them to age separately before blending, or blend and allow them to age blended. ‘Cecilia’, however, is co-fermented, which means that the Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc ferment together in the same vessel. This is rarely done, and brings out a ton of flavor in wine that you don’t usually get. The way two grapes co-ferment can be unpredictable, and for me, Frenchtown Farms really knocked it out of the park. The two grapes speak to one another in such a way that makes you think the wine is a single varietal. It’s harmonious, balanced.


The mix is 60% Syrah and 40% Sauvignon Blanc, which gives the wine a beautiful blush rose color. The wine is unfined and unfiltered, and ages in oak for 8 months before bottling. This wine is as fresh as they get—floral with so much beautiful and bright berry flavor. It’s got some texture to it, and just begs you to put it in your bike basket, skip out on work, and head to a picnic. This wine is the beginning of Spring and you’re feeling the floral breeze, surrounded by blossoms and flowers, and you’re thinking—dang. Summer’s almost here.

Drink this with laughter! It’s a great pairing.

We Were on a Podcast!

This is one of the wines talked about ( can you tell we love it?)

This is one of the wines talked about ( can you tell we love it?)

This is Grace and Maia sitting by a microphone to prove that they recorded a podcast.

This is Grace and Maia sitting by a microphone to prove that they recorded a podcast.

So this cool thing happened. These two guys Nick and Andy who have a podcast about Pizza ( immediately interested, right?) approached Rebel Rebel about sitting down and chatting with them about natural wine and pairing wine with Pizza, and well, we did it! Here it is.

K, Syrah Syrah!

 
BY: Grace Wexler  @grace_wex

BY: Grace Wexler

@grace_wex

Yes! This is the map I was talking about! That’s Tarn!

Yes! This is the map I was talking about! That’s Tarn!

What is it?

Bubbly Syrah from South Western France! ( Tarn to be more specific, Gaillac to be even MORE specific. ( See the map on the left)

Who made it??

Marine Leys. She’s worked with other winemakers and even used to work in film production in France, Canada, Ireland and Turkey. Now she has her own land ( about 5 ha) in Gaillac and she’s Making amazing wines from mostly indigenous Tarn varietals ( think Duras, Mauzac, Braucol). Thank goodness she is because this juice is pure heaven!

A sparkling RED you say?

Oh yeah, I said it.

But what is it like?!

Imagine nestling the tip of your nose into a soft fluffy bouquet, tiny bubbles come and cuddle up to you carrying with them gentle notes of cranberry, ripe strawberry… is that… roses?? Plunging deeper you let the vibrant red liquid wash over your tongue and all your senses. The gentle cranberry transforms into wild, fresh, tart, BOUNCY cranberry. Tiny blueberries pop on your palate- dancing and bobbing between each bud. Fresh spring leaves burst forth on the branches of the trees that line your path as you pirouette into the warm afternoon! .... I don’t know, it’s kind of like that.

How does Marine make it bubbly?

Ancestral Method baby. After the grapes are harvested and destemmed, the juice ferments in fiberglass tanks for 3 months. Just when the wine is nearly done fermenting, she takes it (no filtering!) and bottles it up! That way, the fermentation finishes in the bottle and the CO2 that is produced by the yeast eating up the rest of the sugars is trapped inside until it can reveal itself as delicious bubbles in your glass!

But where can I get it?

…. What do you think! At Rebel Rebel of course!





Rebel Rebel Quasi-Newsletter Vol.1

*You asked for it, and we delivered! The news of the day--what's on the horizon for Rebel Rebel, what's going on in the world of wine, and what we're talking about and listening to behind the bar! Each week I'll be sharing upcoming events Rebel Rebel is hosting, or local events that you shouldn't miss. And like the librarian I wish I was, I'll be recommending a few articles about the broader world of wine, hospitality and feminism. Think of it as a quasi-Rebel Rebel newsletter. All the news worth reporting, reported!*

Actual Photo of @wwwmaia researching this piece.  BY: Maia Fleming

Actual Photo of @wwwmaia researching this piece.

BY: Maia Fleming

 

What we’re listening to:

"I’ll Drink to That!" podcast, episode 463, “The School of Hard Rocks”

A thorough, easy-to-understand breakdown of rock and soil types by geologist and terroir specialist Brenna Quigley. Recommended by Danielle!

Lizzo’s new album on repeat. Duh.

 

What we’re looking forward to:

Tuesday, May 7th Faith Armstrong Foster visits Rebel!

Come hang with none other than Faith Armstrong Foster, mistress of California’s finest natural wines (and proprietress of Onward Wines). We’ve loved Onward Wines for years and years, and we’re SO PSYCHED to have Faith joining us. She’ll be here to answer all of your burning Cali natty questions, and we’ll pour a range of her wines for your delight. 8PM ‘til late! This is a free event that’s open to the public—come one, come all!

Saturday, May 25th 12-1 pm CBD for Stress and Sleep

Are you CBD-curious? Heard about the amazing health benefits of this hemp-based product and want to learn more? Join Emily Kanter of Cambridge Naturals for an informative and interactive talk on CBD for stress, sleep and healthy pain management, and try some of our favorite CBD products yourself! Ticket includes a take-home sample of topical CBD and a 20% off coupon for a CBD product of your choice at Cambridge Naturals.






What we’re reading:

How Natural Wines Develop Reductive Notes

“Unlike traditional wines ‘that are saturated with sulfur dioxide and will remain stable without any possibility for evolution in one direction or the other,’ says Valette, ‘natural wine with little or no sulfur doesn’t block the wine’s natural chemistry, which means that in some cases, at certain periods in the life of a wine, it can lead to reductive or oxidative phases.’”

The science behind reductive notes in wine, and a balanced take on why they can be prevalent in natural wine in particular. We agree with Lena Mattson's experience pouring natural wine--reductive notes aren't a huge concern, and they typically disappear after the first glass.

Why Is the Wine Industry Ignoring Black Americans’ $1.2 Trillion Buying Power?

And the excellent article it references from 2016:

Drinking While Black: One Woman’s Dilemma

“‘People aren’t talking to us, period,’ Tanisha Townsend, a wine educator and consultant, says. She’s speaking about the wine industry’s ‘old-fashioned’ approach to consumer marketing — one that doesn’t aim to reach drinkers who aren’t white. The majority of wine advertising and marketing, and many of the industry’s cultural gatekeepers, don’t appear to recognize the diverse preferences or buying power of the black market.”

The wine industry needs to be more inclusive. Period. And it needs to acknowledge its race issue.

The Big Reverb of Australia’s Lo-Fi Wine Movement

“With their emphasis on minimalist winemaking and organic or biodynamic farming, these producers have unintentionally become a sort of conscience to the industry, a voice in the heads of wine drinkers everywhere, asking questions that go beyond taste to issues of health, morality and philosophy, all while making wine that ranges from delicious to profound.”

An overview of the growing natural wine movement in Australia, and the debate the movement is sparking.

It’s Getting Harder to Tell the Difference Between Wine, Beer, and Cider

“I was a late adopter, but hey, I eventually made it to the world of natural wine. And it was then that I started to notice that as the wine, beer, and cider that I drank got more rebellious, they also became more and more similar to one another.”

A short article, but it highlights some of our favorite producers, including Oyster River Winegrowers (stop by Rebel Rebel to try their Hoboken Station Cider!)

Getting to Know Piquette, a Wine-Adjacent Spritzer

“Pretty much everyone [in the U.S.]—save for about eight people—is completely in the dark about piquette.”

Not for long! A common practice in Europe, more and more American winemakers are beginning to produce piquette. Low ABV, perfect for the summer, piquette is 1.) sustainable and 2.) delicious.




Howlin for Villalobos "Lobo"

BY: Claire Cerda  @claireacerda

BY: Claire Cerda

@claireacerda

       Folks at the bar sometimes come in and ask for a glass of wine that comes from a specific place, such as Italy, Argentina, or Spain. The other evening, I had someone ask me about wine from Chile and we got into a really interesting conversation about their volcanic soil, the mission grape, and three amazing Chilean natural winemakers: Villalobos, Cacique Maravilla, and Roberto Henriquez. We’ve served Cacique Maravilla’s Pipeño and Vino Naranja at Rebel Rebel before, and I’m so excited that we’re pouring Lobo Carmenere from Villalobos by the glass this week. It is made with 100% Carménère, which gives the wine ripe fruit flavors with a dark chocolatey bitter finish (in a good way). This grape has an interesting story: for many years, people thought it was extinct!

It’s originally from Bordeaux, France. In 1867, a plague of phylloxera, which are almost microscopic, pale yellow sap-sucking insects, related to aphids, destroyed most of the vineyards in Europe, including the Carménère in Bordeaux. Just before the plague broke out, Chilean growers had imported cuttings from Bordeaux, which included Carménère grape, were planted in the valleys around Santiago near Merlot vines. They were spared from the phylloxera plague because of central Chile’s climate and minimal rainfall. “In 1994, the French ampelographer (grape botany expert - a.k.a. coolest job ever), Jean-Michel Boursiquot, noticed how some of the ‘Merlot’ vines took a much longer time to ripen. Boursiquot carried out research to determine that somewhere close to 50% of the Merlot planted in Chile was actually the long lost Carménère variety of Bordeaux.” (Wine Folly: 10 Cool Things to Know About Carménère Wine). After a few years, Chile officially recognized Carménère as its own unique variety and to this day remains the the world's largest area planted with this variety. Come check out a little piece of history and have a glass of Lobo Carmenere from Villalobos at Rebel Rebel!

#roséforatleastpartoftheday

BY: Grace Wexler  @grace_wex   Poderi Cellario E Rosato    What are the grapes ? Nebbiolo and Dolcetto   Where is it from ? The Piedmont in Northern Italy   What method does it use ? Direct Press   Why is it good ? Because it tastes like a sunny afternoon with a cool breeze! Cranberries, unripe strawberry. Tart, focused and freeeeesh!

BY: Grace Wexler

@grace_wex

Poderi Cellario E Rosato

What are the grapes? Nebbiolo and Dolcetto

Where is it from? The Piedmont in Northern Italy

What method does it use? Direct Press

Why is it good? Because it tastes like a sunny afternoon with a cool breeze! Cranberries, unripe strawberry. Tart, focused and freeeeesh!


Idlewild The Flower Flora & Fauna    What are the grapes?  Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo   Where is it from?  Mendocino, California   What method does it use?  Direct Press   Why is it good?  It’s a juicy refreshing delight! Soft round lush fruit, punctuated by bright, tart, freshness. Structure and bounce!

Idlewild The Flower Flora & Fauna

What are the grapes? Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo

Where is it from? Mendocino, California

What method does it use? Direct Press

Why is it good? It’s a juicy refreshing delight! Soft round lush fruit, punctuated by bright, tart, freshness. Structure and bounce!


Ok, but what IS Rosé?

We all know rosé is delicious, but what IS it? How is it made? Traditionally There are two ways to make rosé.

Option 1: Direct Press

After grapes are harvested, they’re crushed up and gently pressed, separating the skins from the juice. Wines mostly get their color from the skin of the grape. The direct press method affords the juice just a small amount of time in contact with the skin which is how the blushy pink hue is achieved. The overwhelming majority of rosés you see today and on our shelves at Rebel Rebel are made using this method.

Option 2: Saignée

Saignée method views rosé more as a byproduct of red winemaking than as a singular product that a winemaker sets out to create. “Saignée” comes from the french word that means “to bleed”. In this method some of the juice from fermenting young red wine is bled off/ removed. This juice finishes fermentation separately and becomes rosé. It has had a shorter period of time in contact with the grape skins ( maceration period) so the juice has extracted some color and tannin but not as much as the red wine that remains in contact with the skins as it finishes fermenting. This method also has the added effect of concentrating the juice that will become finished red wine.

Theres also an Option 3 but its not very common.

Option 3 is blending! We’ve all accidentally made rosé in our glass when switching between red and white at the dinner ( or lets be honest lunch) table but, blending red and white wine together on purpose is another way to make pink. In traditional winemaking, the only place where you’ll see this done is Champagne. Champagne houses and vigneron can legally blend Chardonnay with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Any other rosé that has a classification/designation however ( AOC, DOC, DOCG, IGP ….you get it) can’t be made pink by blending red and white. Here we have another reason why natural wine can be so extra fun. If you aren’t following the rules to begin with then you can make rosé however the fuck you want! It’s still not as common as seeing rosé from the direct press method from above, even in the natural world, but you will occasionally find a rosé that blends red and white together (Frenchtown Farms “ Cecilia” is a good example of this. This wine blends Syrah with Sauvignon Blanc!).


We have a couple fun rosés on our shelves so come test out your new knowledge when you reach for that pink drink. #onlypinkdrinks2019




Yo Cab Franc! You are Welcome at this Party.

BY: Margot Mazur  @solomargot   About this wine:    Grapes : 50% Malbec, 50% Cabernet Franc   Region : Cahors, France   Fermentation : Whole cluster, native yeast   Aging : 6 months in cement and barrels

BY: Margot Mazur

@solomargot

About this wine:

Grapes: 50% Malbec, 50% Cabernet Franc

Region: Cahors, France

Fermentation: Whole cluster, native yeast

Aging: 6 months in cement and barrels

Fabien Jouves’ ‘Tu Vin Plus Aux Soirees’

If you’ve read this blog in the past, you’ve known me to wax poetic about all of the worldly delights of Cabernet Franc. The grape is a mainstay in my life, one that can reveal itself differently from bottle to bottle. From earthy and peppery to rich and juicy, it’s a grape that has many costumes, yet speaks of terroir. That’s fitting, as I’m drinking Fabien Jouves’ ‘Tu Vin Plus Aux Soirees’, the wine’s label a multitude of costume masks.

This wine is Cabernet Franc from a joyous angle, thanks in part to it’s partner in assemblage, Malbec. The split is 50/50, and the two grapes make an incredible companionship resulting in beautiful red and blue fruit flavors, a velvety round texture, and an earthy nose. The wine is lush and ready to be loved by anyone—it’s crowd pleasing and inspires joy. A perfect choice for, well, a soiree!

As it should, the wine speaks to the winemaker as well. Fabien Jouves started making wine in 2006 at his family estate in Cahors, but shies away from tradition a bit by creating a variety of wines that are out of the box for the region. ‘Tu Vin Plus Aux Soirees’, is a case in point. Malbec, or Côt as the locals call it, must make up at least 70% of any wine produced in Cahors. If a winemaker chooses to break that rule, they can only put “Vin De France” on their label, and they won’t make it to a “AOC” status. By blending 50% Cabernet Franc into his 50% Malbec, Jouves is making a statement, as well as creating the wine he’s most excited about.

This wine is fun, forward, juicy, and delicious. To hell the rules!

Wine Drunk: A Retrospective

By Claire Cerda

@claireacerda

I recently started reading a really cool (read: nerdy) book called 900 Years of Wine: A World History by wine writer and wine historian Rod Phillips. In his book, Phillips describes how the economics, the politics, and the culture of wine developed from ancient times, through the Middle Ages, and into the modern era. I’m only a few chapters into the book but I wanted to share some really interesting stories that I’ve learned about winemaking from 9000 B.C. to 1000 B.C.

Wine was first made in the Fertile Crescent, which is now modern-day southern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and northern Egypt. Historians aren’t really sure who the first person was to make wine, but they do agree that wine was “discovered unlike beer and bread which are thought to have been invented” (pg. 15). Phillips writes that pre-Neolithic humans may have discovered wine after eating the fermented wild berry juice leftover in the animal hide or wooden containers used for foraging. It’s also thought that humans may have observed birds and other animals acting a little tipsy after eating fermented fruit and berries (hey, we’ve all been there).

Phillips also tells a wine discovery story about Persian king Jamsheed. I’ll warn you - it’s a little grim. Jamsheed really liked fresh grapes and kept them on hand in jars during off-season months. One day, he tried some grapes from the jar only to find that they weren’t as sweet as he remembered. They had fermented in the jar. He labelled the jar “Poison” and put it back on the shelf. Phillips writes, “As the story goes, a woman from the royal harem, suffering from headaches so severe that she wanted to die, drank some of this ‘poison’ so as to put an end to her suffering. She was promptly overwhelmed by the alcohol and fell into a deep sleep. When the woman woke she was surprised to find that her headache was gone (and we must assume she was also surprised to be alive). She told the king of the magical cure, and he set about making more wine” (pg. 15). In order to make more wine, they needed more fruit. They planted vines and after about two or more years, they were able to make a lot more wine from their more regular supply of fruit. Wine production increased throughout the Fertile Crescent during this time because humans were no longer relying on wild grapes but rather using their own cultivated crop. Phillips is sort of suggesting – if you can believe it - that the discovery of wine was a major catalyst for humans transitioning away from nomadic hunter gathering lifestyle into a more settled society. I believe it. #worthit

What's your favorite wine book? Come in to Rebel Rebel and let's talk about it!


Oh, hello, Xarel-lo!

BY: Maia Fleming  @wwwmaia

BY: Maia Fleming

@wwwmaia

Who makes it: Partida Creus

Where: Penedes

What is it: Xarel-lo

How is it made: Direct press, initial tank fermentation, 10 months in bottle on the lees then disgorged. Practicing organic.

Everyone’s a sucker for good packaging. Wine is no exception. Even professional wine-drinkers (yes, I have a great job, I know!) fall for branding. Earlier this year, Rebel Rebel put Partida Creus’ wine “VN” Vinel-lo Blanco on the list. The second I saw the bottle I knew I was in love. Wax top? Check. Enigmatic, simple, bold label? Check. Slightly clear bottle, fine lees a seductive cloud rising from the bottom? Oh, hello there... And then I tasted the wine. Holy Shit! A fangirl was born. Wine so good it doesn’t need to rely on its packaging, distinctive as it may be.

That being said, I recognized the Xarel-lo Ancestral immediately as the work of Partida Creus, its large “XL” a homing beacon from the Rebel Rebel shelves. Xarel-lo is a white grape variety of Spanish origin best known for its use in the production of Cava. The word “Ancestral” refers the method used to make the wine sparkling. Ancestral is one of the earliest methods of sparkling winemaking, the grape must bottled while fermentation is taking place, trapping the CO2 as the fermentation finishes. The wine is then disgorged but no yeast, sugar or dosage is added. This method is also known as petillant naturel, aka “Pet-Nat.”

Partida Creus wines are made by Antonella Gerona and Massimo Marchiori, ex-architects that stumbled into wine-making after retiring and buying a farm. The husband and wife team fell in love with the farm, roughly an hour south of Barcelona, for its lush almond and olive trees. The rare indigenous grape growing wild on the property? That was a surprise. Eighteen years later, after starting with the Sumoll they discovered, they now make a business of buying old, abandoned, low-yielding vineyards and farming obsolete grape varietals.

This “XL” Ancestral isn’t made with a rare varietal, but Xarel-lo is a classic Catalan grape, perfect for the clay limestone soil. Barely bubbly, tart and bright, the wine has exaggerated minerality and intense acidity. The nose: summer straw piled high, drying in the sun, lemon curd cold from the fridge, banana cream pie, homemade limoncello. Something sweet and something golden. Drink this with ceviche, fish stew, pasta with puttanesca. Or by itself on a patio!

Of Brooklyn and Balagny

BY: Margot Mazur  @solomargot

BY: Margot Mazur

@solomargot

Grape: Gamay

Region: Fleurie, Beaujolais

Alcohol: 12.5%

Gamay is a fantastical grape. It’s a grape that inspires so many different characteristics. It’s a grape that really runs the gamut of flavor. If you’re looking for fruit—Gamay. If you’re looking for depth and mushrooms—Gamay. Glou glou? Gamay. Structure and complexity? You guessed it. Julie Balagny’s ‘En Remont’ is a testament to all the different aspects of Gamay that we know and love. Its structure is silky, yet put together. The acid is lively, inspiring you for another sip. It’s floral and deep—it doesn’t lack complexity.

I’ve heard of Julie Balagny along the grapevine (lol), and mostly, as with many female winemakers, men have told me she’s “a recluse”, and “weird”. No matter what you may have heard, Julie is a serious winemaker who focuses on her task at hand—making interesting, complex, sometimes challenging wines that play to a sense of nostalgia and memory. She grew up in Paris, fell in love with the countryside, and moved to Beaujolais in 2009, finding a small area of Fleurie to call her home. Her wine benefits from natural yeast and is steeped in the Beaujolais tradition of cold carbonic maceration, inspiring the fresh raspberry fruit so evident in the wine.

As a Brooklynite who went to school upstate, I relate so much to Julie’s love of the country and eagerness to move out of the big city. Her character vibes with me, her pull to nature and wine country appeal to me. To be honest, Julie’s wines—I’ll say it—they push me a bit. The combination of the challenge and the inspiration of the winemaker, though, move me. Today, Julie lives in the Moulin-A-Vent area of Beaujolais, among chickens, cats, and dogs, using old-school hand-cranked American presses, moving into biodynamic production, and really connecting with the land around her. I’m so glad for winemakers like Julie, and the culture and forward-thinking (yet, so rooted in tradition) winemaking that she represents.

Brumaire!

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BY: Claire Cerda

@clairecerda

A couple of weekends ago, I escaped the almost-spring-but-not-really cold weather in Boston and visited San Francisco, CA to attend the 4th annual Brumaire wine festival. Brumaire is organized by Bradford Taylor of Ordinaire wine bar, Josh Eubank of Percy Selections, Quinn Kimsey-White of Psychic Wines, and Matt Coelho of Woods Beer Co. By opening up Brumaire to the public, they are supporting winemakers that have made a conscious decision to make wine naturally, with nothing added or removed in the cellar. They’re also at the forefront of what the Brumaire organizers call a revolution. This revolution is radically shifting people’s expectations and approach to wine. To further demonstrate this, on their Brumaire poster, they list the following quote by philosopher and literary critic Walter Benjamin, “In every era, the attempt must be made to wrest tradition anew from the conformism that persistently tries to overtake it.” This quote set the tone for the entire event. Brumaire 2019 featured more than 40 producers from around the world. It was held at Starline Social Club in Oakland, CA which was a historic saloon space converted into an event space and bar. Upstairs there was a big, open ballroom area where a lot of the more established wine makers were pouring and downstairs were the “young guns” or folks pouring wines from their first or second vintages.

I didn’t get a chance to try everyone’s wines, but here are a few producers I really enjoyed meeting that you should check out too!:

  • La Onda by winemaker Dani Rozman from the Sierra Foothills in California

  • Sonoma Mountain Winery from winemaker Nic Coturri in the Sonoma region in California

  • La Garagista from winemaker Dierdre Heekin in Vermont

  • Fable Farms from winemakers Jon and Chris Piana in Vermont

  • ZAFA wines from winemaker Krista Scruggs in Vermont

  • Julie Balagny from winemaker Julie Balagny in Fleurie (Beaujolais) in France

  • Marto Wines by winemaker Martin Otto Wörner from the Rheinhessen region in Germany

  • Kindeli Wines from winemaker Alex Craighead in Nelson, New Zealand

  • Populis from winemakers Diego Roig, Sam Baron, and Shaunt Oungoulian in Mendocino county in California

  • Cote de Cailloux from winemaker Jacques Mathieu from Sonoma Valley in California

  • Zumo from winemaker Diego Perez made in Oakland, California

  • Artemis Botanical Wines from winemaker Ian McCarthy in Richmond, California

You can find Julie Balagny and La Garagista’s wine at Rebel Rebel. Come check ‘em out!


Muscadet All Day

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There’s 10 inches of snow on the ground, and I’m daydreaming about being up in Maine for the summer—shoes off, walking through the blueberry fields toward the dock. Smelling the salty air, tiptoeing around shells, putting my feet in the water. I can almost taste the brine. When I miss it this much, Muscadet is there for me.

Michel Delhommeau’s Harmonie was made in the Loire Valley of France, but it’s a seasonal New England time capsule. His grapes never felt the salty air of the Penobscott Bay in early June, but somehow, they’re kindred spirits. The wine is a crisp morning, rocky sea foam, a fresh summer apple during a hike. Dried pineapple rings from the corner store.

Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine (it even has Maine in its name) is surrounded by granite that formed millions of years ago, as lava cooled. Everywhere else in the Loire, molten lava turned into granite, but in Monnières, the village where Michel Delhommeau makes Harmonie, it held its ground. Harmonie is grown from 25-40 year old Melon de Bourgogne on unique gabbro soil—an igneous rock, formed by molten lava. Gabbro—this ancient, independent hunk of crystal—is the reason for Harmonie’s, well, harmony.

The best wines, yes they’re balanced and complex and well made, but really, the wines I try to remember are the ones that spark nostalgia for me. They’re the wines that make me remember something beautiful and precious. Harmonie carries a memory with it—one I can’t wait to return to.

Drink with oysters, scallops, lobster rolls, crab cakes, and other seaside fare. If you’re a vegetarian, succotash, summer squash, and herbs herbs herbs.


Hooray Vouvray!

BY: Maia Fleming  @wwwmaia   Who makes it:  Damien Pinon   Where:  Vouvray   What is it:  Chenin Blanc   How is it made:  Practicing, non-certified organic since 2007, indigenous yeast

BY: Maia Fleming

@wwwmaia

Who makes it: Damien Pinon

Where: Vouvray

What is it: Chenin Blanc

How is it made: Practicing, non-certified organic since 2007, indigenous yeast

“As long as you're using Chenin Blanc, anything is possible.” --Francois Pinon

I found that quote while scouring French and English websites, trying to find out if Damien Pinon is related to well-known Vouvray producer Francois Pinon (spoiler alert: probably only distantly). Francois goes on to say, in his interview with Jules Dressner, that Vouvray is the “only appellation in France where you can produce the wine you want on any given parcel. Sparkling, still, sec, demi-sec, dessert wines: the choice is the vigneron's.” That’s part of the magic when you see Vouvray on a wine list. Is it still? Is it sparkling? How much residual sugar does it have? Does it see oak? How long has it been aged? It smells like  a classic aromatic white, flowers and fruit, but the first sip is always unpredictable.

Chenin Blanc as a varietal is known for its puckering acidity and inherent sweetness, and it is most famously grown in South Africa and the Loire Valley in France. Vouvray is an appellation d’origine controllee (AOC), aka a “protected designation of origin,” in the Loire. It’s the largest white wine appellation in the wider Touraine region, on the northern banks of the Loire, and it almost exclusively grows Chenin Blanc. Hence, if you see the word “Vouvray,” you should think “Chenin Blanc.”

On to the Vouvray of the Day®! Damien and Michel Pinon are 3rd generation winemakers that operate a 22-hectare estate in the commune of Vernou-sur-Brenne. The vines grow in calcareous clay and tuffeau limestone, and the wine is vinified and preserved in cellars dug into the tuffeau. Damien Pinon’s 2017 “Tuffo” Vouvray is a sec (dry) wine that smells like ripe pears, bruised bodega persimmons, and heady calla lilies. Medium-bodied and perfumey, it coats your mouth, with a pop of minerality and acid to balance out its fruit. I think the wine could stand up to more rich foods than the traditional chicken or fish, so go crazy. Think a cheese plate with charcuterie and preserves! If you’re just dipping your toe into the waters of Vouvray, this is the perfect introduction.


Lo-Fi from Santa Barbara is some hi-fi natty.

BY: Claire Cerda  @clairecerda

BY: Claire Cerda

@clairecerda

 

Now that you’ve you've fallen in love with the Old World style Cab Franc from Chateau Yvonne that Margot wrote about last week on the blog, you should check out this New World style Cab Franc from Lo-Fi which comes from Santa Barbara, California.

Old World wines refer to wines made in countries that are considered the birthplaces of wine, mostly Europe and the Middle East. They tend to be lower alcohol and lighter-bodied, with deeper and earthier flavors. In contrast, New World style wines come from countries that used to be colonies, such as the U.S., New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Australia and South Africa. They tend to be higher in alcohol, fuller in body, more fruit-driven in flavor. Old World wines are typically bound by certain laws protecting which grapes, techniques, etc. a winemaker can use if they want to associate themselves with their region (also called French AOC, Italian DOC or DOCG, Spanish DO, etc. depending on where they are). New World wines are more often #norules and typically use whatever grapes and styles the winemaker thinks would taste best, meaning there’s a lot of experimentation. For many years, people thought New World wines were lower quality than Old World wines. After the “Judgment of Paris” in 1976, people started to gain more respect for New World wines. A panel of world-class critics selected a New World Chardonnay called Chateau Montelena from California as the best wine in a blind tasting over big selection of heavy hitters from Burgundy in France.


Lo-Fi wines follow the tradition of New World, #norules wines set by Chateau Montelena, but their expression is a balance of New World and Old World. It’s a passion project between two friends, Mike Roth and Craig Winchester. They're extremely versatile wines that are easy to drink. The Cab Franc is low in alcohol, made in neutral oak - so it does not impart flavor on the wine, relies on native yeasts for fermentation, and has little to no sulfur added when bottling. Roth and Winchester, big time record collectors, use a round LP vinyl label with a hole in the middle as the inspiration for the wine label design. When describing their wines, they say that they enjoy the spontaneous and magical parts of natural winemaking, just like the vinyl nerds that enjoy the unpredictable and unedited cracks, snaps, and pops from their records. I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to honor this wine than to share a playlist with y’all that I’ve been working on for little while for the bar. Cheers!