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October 2021

Satellite Wine Club, October 2021

Carbonic White Wines!?


Say When Wine Co. - ‘Weird Parties’ - Grenache Blanc - Martian Ranch Vineyard 👽 - Santa Barbara County, CA - 2020

$51 Retail, $490/Case ($40.8/Bottle)


Kolfok - 'INTRA! The Wild' - Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling - Burgenland, AT - 2020

$31 Retail, $298/Case ($24.8/Bottle)


Winestronauts,

Autumn is here… Time to get cozy!


** Initiate Hot Take by Drew in 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1! **


This month is Skin Contact White Month! Specifically: These wines are unusual skin contactors as they are fermented CARBONICALLY) - That’s all Whole Clusters put in a tank and sealed with only CO2 with no foot stomping. In that environment the wine ferments enzymatically - inside the berries - no yeast until the skins literally burst part-way through their conversion to alcohol! You’re left with a really beautiful, pure yet uniquely preserved expression of the grape varietal and a unique texture… verrrrrry cool. If you’ve had a “Nouveau” style wine… or enjoyed more than a few wines at Satellite: you’ll have had at least something carbonic. 


The two wines are awesome and from phenomenally special biodynamic farms a world apart.  


We’ve carried the Kolfok Intra! (...The wild) before and it’s reliably excellent Gruner veltliner with welschriesling - smooth yet textured and kind of... Just perfect. Like a normal white wine made with those grapes but with the phenomenal texture and tension laid in from the skin contact.


The other wine is a bit more substantial, from Say When wines - a brilliant young LA couple making wines in Lompoc. It’s called Weird Parties (each vintage the label is a new picture of a weird party… they’re photographers, damn good ones. This vintage is a pic from a hotel where the neighbors left a half-drunk mess of every wine on the room service menu on their front stoop, daily!) - It’s all biodynamic Grenache Blanc from Martian Ranch 👽


Both wines were made exactly the same style and are really a look into this unusual and, tragically under-explored style of white wine making. While these wines totally speak to each other, this inquiry is a comparison of the regions and grape varietals in them. Something different, something delightful as we vacillate between hot and cold weather here in autumn’s early days. 


** Winestronaut! Please note this is a hot take! More info, elaboration, and whacky use of adjectives to follow! Hustling to keep it bustling for you in the shop and the club! Thanks for your membership, your support, your patience, and your handsome good looks ;) - Drew **


Say When Wine Co. - ‘Weird Parties’ - Grenache Blanc - Martian Ranch Vineyard 👽 - Santa Barbara County, CA - 2020

$51 Retail, $490/Case ($40.8/Bottle)


“Tasting Notes — Extremely aromatic in the glass, with notes of apricot, orange, and dried mango initially and mellow out sweetly to crème brûlée with candied ginger spice.

 

Process — Grapes were hand harvested 9/11/2020, and carbonically macerated for 19 days until being pressed on 10/1/2020 and racked into neutral French Oak. Bottled on 6/20/2021.”


A little on the Winery Follows: 


“Say When started in 2013. Not long after we met, Rachel was preparing to bottle the first wine of her own — a humble barrel of Pinot Noir made on the side while working full time as an assistant winemaker. While proud of the wine about to be put into the bottle, everything outside of the bottle still needed to be worked out. That's when Michel jumped in.

 

After several long distance phone calls that unintentionally turned into creative brainstorms, we created 300 unique labels using the actual wine as our medium and hand numbered each bottle. We then scanned each label onto the website and created a gallery that allowed people to comment with a story or tasting note on their individually numbered bottle. Michel helped turn that first barrel of wine into a business and we have been collaborating together ever since. 


We are a hands on winery. We make all of our wines ourselves in a shared winery space in Lompoc CA. Rachel focuses on the physical winemaking, but every decision in the winery is made together. 

 

We source our grapes from vineyards in the Central Coast of California that are farming and picking by hand. While more than half of our wines come from vineyards certified SIP Sustainable, Organic, or Biodynamic, we are moving our entire production in that direction. Working with small family farms from Santa Barbara County to Paso Robles allows us to source a wide range of varietals and we continue to challenge and push our winemaking in new directions (case in point, our Weird Parties label was born out of a desire to do just that). 

 

Every wine is made with a gentle hand; we utilize sulfur as a preserving agent but no other additions are made to the wines. Everything undergoes native fermentation, meaning that no commercial yeasts or nutrients are added. All of our wines are aged in neutral French Oak for 6-10 months depending on the wine. From there, each wine is given a unique identity to reflect the personality within the bottle. 

 

Between harvests you'll find us two hours south in Los Angeles, where we balance our lives between the city and our winery, growing our small business so we can continue doing what we love.”


Kolfok - 'INTRA! The Wild' - Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling - Burgenland, AT - 2020

$31 Retail, $298/Case ($24.8/Bottle)


Now for a little hot take from our friends at Wine Monger - the importers who give us the gift of Kolfok wines - some of my favorite styled wines in the world, let alone Austria:


“Stefan Wellanschitz likes the phenolic notes of skin-fermented wines but was looking for a way to preserve the wine's elegance. He achieved just that with intracellular fermentation. The intact grapes rest in a large fermentation vessel where native yeasts slowly start the fermentation process inside of the berries, leading to a gentler extraction of the skins. After nine weeks the grapes were pressed and finished primary and secondary fermentation in 1100 and 1500 Liter used Stockinger oak barrels[...]


Tasted blind, one would readily suspect a skin-fermented wine, but the wine's clear appearance makes these phenolic notes a surprise to the uninitiated. A gem of creative winemaking by someone who understands the craft intuitively. In regional dialect Kolfok means an unconventional thinker. Winemaker Stefan Wellanschitz's family's estate in Neckenmarkt dates to the early 19th century, when this part of Burgenland was still Hungarian and not Austrian. 

In 2013 Stefan decided to deviate from the family's more traditional style and launch his own wines with a philosophy of natural winemaking combined with an emphasis on terroir. His goal aptly demonstrates Neckenmarkt's unique combination of alpine soils and Pannonian climate. Stephan rejects the idea of monoculture, planting cover crops of herbs and beneficial plants. All work in the cellar is gentle with minimal intervention. There is no pumping, filtering or fining and very low sulphur use.”



White wines for snuggling into. Just the way they’re made… is just the way they;re meant to be enjoyed!

 

This is October at Satellite.



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