As an example of the incredible wines you'll receive as a Connoisseur Club member, here's what was featured in a recent month.
Prima Materia Nebbiolo Carbonico
Prima Materia grows 10 acres of mostly Italian grapes in Lake County, California. Their vineyards lie at around 1500 feet above sea level in volcanic soils between the Mayacamas Mountains and the Mount Konocti volcano, and winemaker Pietro Buttitta, a former chef, aims to highlight the lesser-known Lake County terroir. The Nebbiolo is produced with carbonic fermentation, a process where whole grape bunches are deprived of oxygen initially, producing an enzymatic fermentation. After this, the Nebbiolo ferments with native yeasts on skins and stems for five days, before pressing and finishing with 16 more days of fermentation.
The Nebbiolo Carbonico may look like a rosé but it drinks like a red. Serve it a bit cooler, 50-55F (20 minutes in the refrigerator). It’s light and dry wine, with notes of violet, cranberry and subtle hints of peppercorn, pairing beautifully with a cheese & charcuterie board.
The Carso appellation of Friuli sits on a plateau of solid limestone and red clay carved with caves and underground rivers on the far Northeastern edge of Italy near the border with Slovenia. Sandi Skerk’s six-hectare property lies just 500 meters from this border, where he crafts wines in an underground limestone cave cellar crisscrossed with suspension bridges and wooden ladders. One of the great natural winemakers in Friuli, Sandi Skerk focuses on indigenous grapes from the region, using meticulous farming, strict selection, and low intervention techniques to produce wines in the traditional style he learned from his grandfather. Upslope from the Adriatic Sea, the vineyard experiences gentle marine breezes and the characteristic significant day-to-night temperature swings.
Skerk’s Ograde is a white made with equal parts Malvasia, Vitovska, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, macerated for 10 days on the skins at low temperature in wooden vats with indigenous yeasts. The wine then ages for 12 months in wooden vats, 12 months in oak casks, and finally four months in the bottle, with no filtration, clarification, or cold stabilization. The wine is rich and complex with notes of wild herbs, mountain flowers, and candied citrus. It is an appropriately savory compliment to vegetable dishes, roast chicken or poultry and Alpine cheeses.