Trailblazers to watch in 2019

These four imports from cutting-edge producers around the world showcase sustainable winegrowing at its most creative and unexpected.

Brought to you by our wine columnist Daniel Kemp

Matthiasson Linda Vista Vineyard Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017, $69

“Despite being more delicate than most chardonnays from the same area, its texture is deep and the fleshy stone fruit powerful.”

Napa Valley isn’t often associated with small production or a focus on organics. But Steve and Jill Klein Matthiasson’s project is just that – working only with a handful of organic and/or biodynamic certified single vineyards around the Yountville and Oak Knoll sub-regions. Their main release chardonnay, despite coming from another in a string of warm vintages in Napa, has restrained alcohol (12.2% by volume) lending the wine a sense of balance and precision.

Terra Tangra Grand Reserve Bulgaria Bordeaux blend 2013, $85

“Showing both boldness and elegance, this can be enjoyed now with a long decant.”

Terra Tangra is located in the Sakar Mountain region of Bulgaria, where the Thracians were making wine in antiquity. And while the region’s winemaking is steeped in this lengthy tradition, Terra Tangra’s approach couldn’t be more modern, or exciting. Owner Alexander Batchvarov brought in expert winemaker Xavier Meade from Bordeaux, invested in state-of-the-art winemaking facilities and converted the vineyard to Certified Organic status. The Grand Reserve is a cabernet franc-dominant blend aged for 16 months in seasoned French oak.

Von Winning Pfalz Chardonnay II 2016, $48

“Displays a level of mineral-laden focus and clarity strongly reminiscent of great white burgundy.”

Von Winning’s approach as a 300-year-old producer in the historical Pfalz region of Germany changed dramatically in 2007, when the winery was converted to organic practices and heavily modernised. The new winemaking team, headed by Stephan Attman, decided it was time to do something different. Their secret weapon might be their chardonnay, a grape not historically associated with Pfalz – a perfect balance between the expressive, bold chardonnay we are used to here and European restraint and refinement.

Finca Bacara Four Elements Time Waits For No One 6M Jumilla Monastrell 2017, $35

“This monastrell reminds us of the importance of treasuring the beauty of wines that speak of their natural place. One of our best recent finds.”

Jumilla is an exciting new region of southern Spain we are busy championing. With a distinctive high-elevation micro-climate the region has begun producing some of the best Monastrell in the world. That fact has been affirmed this year with Finca Bacara’s 2017 release of the Time Waits For No One Monastrell, part of the Four Elements series, representing Earth. 

At Great Little Vineyards, we focus on supplying wines that are not only consistently high quality, but also show respect for the environment. These are a few examples of how drinking less from higher quality and sustainable producers can equate to respect for the environment and a lower carbon footprint for everyone.

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