Crazy California🏀

    Hey, Fionn again on this pretty gloomy lookin’ Thursday.

    No time for doom and gloom though. Plenty has landed this week to keep those spirits high, including a rather special pallet of something exciting and exclusive. More on that next week. Did a little bit of quality control yesterday whilst whipping the floor with my colleagues at some rogue card game. I can confirm things are delicious/I am amazing at cards. So watch out.

    Anyway, this week we had a nice restock on some of the most captivating wines coming out of California. Rajat Parr needs no introduction to the wine world. Expert somm, winemaker extraordinaire, all-round legend. The latest releases from his insane Phelan Farm project are nothing short of breathtaking. We just couldn't help ourselves.

    Scythians is pretty much all Palomino and is good, like really good. Spiced, salty, textured, refreshing. The ferment partially takes place in old sherry barrels. Not just any barrels either, these come from the lovely guys down at COTA-45. Those industry connects are clearly pullin’ strings. Not just for the flex though, this adds a whole heap of complexity to the final wine. A stunning example of a grape that is finally being shown the love it deserves!

    Moving onto another variety you wouldn’t associate with Cali. His Freund is all Gruner Veltliner that again somehow manages to be one of the best examples I’ve had the pleasure to taste. You got that white pepper typicity in spades but the fruit here is on another level. Gorgeous and generous yellow apples and plums. The finish is long, creamy, and seemingly never-ending. Another showstopper.

    Not only are the whites in fine form but the reds are singing too. Only 100 cases were made of this Pinot, and we’ve got one of them. Meaning we’ve got 1% of the total bottles in the whole wide world. You can have some too. Whilst we’re in more familiar territory for Cali, this feels like a nod to good old Burgundy rather than the denser styles you'll find from the States. Ethereal, elegant, and simply exceptional. Good Pinot is hard to beat, and this is some of the very best.

    Finally, back to some grapes that shouldn’t work here but remarkbly do. Leon is a Jurassic blend where Trousseau, Poulsard, and Pinot Noir do most of the heavy lifting. A touch of white grapes are thrown in for a happy co-ferment and a lithe, fragrant bottling that is almost tonic-like. Drinkability, and complexity all rolled into one. My kind of wine.

    Rajat also makes some mean other wines from his Sandhi range. Here Chardonnay and Pinot are very much the main characters and they have become benchmarks for the region. Everything the man touches seemingly turns to gold. The wines speak for themselves and Rajat is singlehandedly redefining the California wine scene. Srsly check 'em out.

    Also, in our insane pursuit of bringing in the very best from the Jura. We’ve had more highly allocated, silly hard-to-get-hold-of wines land this week. Amélie Vuillet & Sébastian Jacques only have just over a hectare which is practically nothing, so quantities are tiny and limited. Move fast guys.. Vin d'Zi is a Chardonnay/Savagnin blend that is full of stony minerality and citrus. Highly recommend leaving this one in the cellar for a few years to soften out. Méli Mélo is another blend that leans into the world of light bright red. Wildy charming, this is the bottle I’d be reaching for now. Chilled slightly, a bit of charcuterie for sure, and ideally with some cheese and a few mates.

    OK, a lot of just wine has just arrived that needs putting on shelves, into boxes, poured into mouths, etc... So I've gotta but catch up soon!