Posts tagged #organic wine

Louis-Antoine Luyt Legno Duro

louis-antoine luyt

Louis-Antoine Luyt Legno Duro
Varietal: Carginan
Region: Maule, Chile
Year: 2014
Price: $20.99
Retailer: DomaineLA

The cool thing about having a wine store you love and trust completely is that you can buy shit based on the labels with greater success. Like, I know anything I buy from Domaine is going to be up my alley so I don't have a problem throwing down $20 for dope font work. 

In this case though, the dope font work was on a bottle from Louis-Antoine Luyt, so it was going to be good no matter what. The native Burgundian's Chilean wines are organic and fermented using carbonic maceration (the same technique that makes Beaujolais so damn delicious). 

I opened this wine, and jesus christ was it acidic. Like someone got in your mouth and titty-twisted your jowls acidic. I let it breathe for a couple hours, and holy moly. It opened up into a very drinkable and fun wine. It ironed out so much, but still maintained a sense of its organic grittiness. Like gravelly guitars with clean melodies.

It's so energized, it feels light on its feet, but also grounded. Like, literally grounded, as in soil. But also just grounded, like there is something more to it. Sure it's easy-drinking and goes down like water on a Saturday afternoon, but there is a thoughtful weight behind it. It reminds me of the dance scene in Pulp Fiction. It's as playful as doing The Swim but its as serious as Uma Thurman's stare. And I want to twist with it all night long. 

Tasting Notes: Dusty and spicy with bell pepper and wet garden herbs on the nose. Earthy but tart, with a bit of salt and metalic minerality. Smooth but dirty. Juicy on the front and dry on the back. Which sounds very sexy. BECAUSE IT IS. 

Ross Test: Definitely let it open up but then you're definitely good to go. 

Also Check Out: Louis-Antoine Luyt 'Pipeno Santa Juana'

Montenidoli Tradizionale

montenidoli tradizionale marissa ross.jpg

Montenidoli Tradizionale
Varietal: Vernaccia
Region: Tuscany, Italy
Year: 2013
Price: $17.99
Retailer: DomaineLA

I don't know where this week went, much like I don't know where summer went. Ah time, that god damn vacuum. 

It's been extremely hot in Los Angeles, and I'm sure my electric bill at the end of the month will reflect that. I don't mind the heat, but fuck the humidity. I've lived in Southern California my whole life and I didn't even know what humidity was until I went to Walt Disney World when I was ten and told my mom I was going to die. A white wine was definitely in order... but which?

I decided on this vernaccia, an Italian white wine organically farmed with native yeasts, and totally up my alley. 

Until I opened it. I did not dig the bouquet. It smells like a rundown dollar theater you even avoid as a teenager because you know the dude who's inviting you is going to try to get a handjob and you've never done that and have no intention of doing so in a mildewy auditorium while watching an Adam Sandler movie. That smell.


No, not a handjob.
It tastes good!

It tastes like how I imagine eating a floral arrangement right out of one of those refrigerated cases would taste. Bright and not grassy, but stem-y and petal-y, with a strong satiny finish. It's a bit heavy but still quite refreshing. As it opens, its body grows and it gets a little pissy, making it more complex. This is definitely more of a meal wine rather than a "HEY IT'S FRIDAY AFTERNOON!" wine. In the future, I would pair it with a thoughtful meal like paella, or whatever else someone wanted to cook me that involved seafood. It would also go well with a big salad

Tasting Notes: Musky butter popcorn and hints of barnyard on the nose. Rich and floral with slight herbal notes on the palate. Definitely eat with it. 

Ross Test: Fine but not worth it. 

Philippe Jambon "Une Tranche Fine"

une tranche fine.jpg

Philippe Jambon "Une Tranche Fine"
Varietal: Gamay
Region: Villié-Morgon, France
Year: 2013
Price: $21.99
Retailer: DomaineLA

If you can't tell by my makeup-less, top-knotted, surly-ass face, I was in desperate need of a gamay today in a way that only a woman immobilized by cramps sent from the depths of hell itself could truly understand. 

ross test une tranche.jpg

Despite still looking like an angry monster, "Une Tranche Fine" was just what the doctor ordered, along with Aleve and a passionate pursuit of high-grade painkillers, despite both of my god damned drug dealers ignoring my cries for help from the feminine product isle. If it wasn't for this wine, I would be crying or dying or both, presumably in the fetal position in bed while the DVD menu of Seinfeld looped for hours on end. 

But fortunately for the both of us, I have gathered the strength to persevere and tell you all about this wine.

Aside from its medicinal purposes, "Une Tranche Fine" is overall an exquisite example of organic French gamay. It tastes like bottled fireworks. Scintillating and skillful, its tart and carbonite fruits straight up explode in your mouth. I could get sexual with this, but I am not going to. But just know I could get sexual with this, and that you could also get sexual with this. It's a sexy wine! 

I feel like this would be a fun third date wine. I've only been on one third date ever and that was six years ago, but had I been drinking such bomb wine six years ago, I definitely would have pulled this out and been like, "Heyyyyyyyy. [wiiiink]" It's very flirty wine; friendly and quick, with light-hearted bitterness. "Une Tranche Fine" will make you smile and tug at the nape of your neck while you try not to fall in love. 

I just don't see how you're not going to bone after drinking this! It's too delicious and fun! It's like a carnival date!

Like a cool carnival, not a Dateline "Whyyy'd my baby get murdered?!" carnival.

Tasting Notes: Vibrant on the bouquet and the palate, with tons of energized cherry, cranberry, and sour rose petals. I need one or ten more bottles STAT. 


Agnanum Falanghina

agnanum marissa a ross wine.jpg

Agnanum Falanghina
Region: Campania, Italy
Year: 2013
Price: $15.99
Retailer: DomaineLA 

Another varietal I'd never tried before so I was like, "Yeah I'm gonna try this varietal!" because for the adventurous and brave spirit I lack in activities such as riding on motorcycles or jumping off top bunks, I make up for in my daring wine drinking.

So I'm drinking this Falanghina in mens underwear and shirt, which is my official s/s 2015 look, and just catching up on The Rock's Instagram, which is currently my favorite. I had never really given Dwayne Johnson much thought and I don't follow many celebrities on Instagram, but after drunkenly following him on Instagram in an airport bar two months ago, I've fallen in love with him. He's just so fucking likable! He's like Sofia Vergara with tons of muscles.

It's hot and I opened this white hoping for something bright and refreshing. I'm not disappointed in the wine, but this is not bright and refreshing. Upon first taste, this wine reminds me of scotch on both its bouquet and palate. Super smokey, but light enough to still be drinkable and not actually taste like scotch (thank god).

As it opens up, it tastes just like camping, and that briskness you feel as the breeze whips by when you first sit around the fire passing a flask of bourbon. Crackling fumes with a bit of heaviness, the kind of heaviness you need in the wilderness to go to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Such an interesting flavor profile, and one I didn't expect from an organic white wine. Usually they are so tart, and although this still has a tarty tinge, it is mostly grounded in classical elements. There are few wines I've tasted that have embodied earth, wind and fire so well and so balanced. It's gritty and smoky but airy. 

Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me, but the more I drink the more I feel like I've been drinking whiskey. The intoxication is warm and fuzzy and a bit volatile. Like I could get into a bit of trouble, for better or for worse.

Or pass out in a sleeping bag. 

Tasting Notes: The nose is pineapple on the grill and black licorice. The palate is very similar the with tropical and smoky notes, but with hints of fuzzy peach and salted caramel. 

Ross Test: Surprisingly good! 

Vini Rabasco Vino Rosso "Cancelli"


Rabasco Vino Rosso "Cancelli"
Varietal: Montepulciano

Region: Abruzzo, Italy
Year: 2014

Price: $29.99
Retailer: DomaineLA

I can't think of anything in the world I want more than to go back to Italy. I think about it every day. If I could pick up my life as I have it now and move it anywhere, I'd take it to Rome in a heartbeat. To stroll through Trastevere hand in hand, jasmine wafting on the wind, humming Nino Rota, stopping for a quick Spritz before dinner at Osteria Barberini. Walking through Villa Borhese at dusk, and cocktails at Harry's. Ugh. I just threw my head back in agony just thinking about it. 

I've never lived anywhere but Southern California. IE, OC, LA. All over, and yet, nowhere. And life has been good. I can't complain, but sometimes I wonder if my California anchor is what makes me who I am, or if it is holding me back. Some days, I would really like to just move away and start over. I'd love to be someone no one knows, in a place I truly need to explore. I've never had either of those things. I know it's not too late, but as things stand now, it would be a really stupid decision. 

But, this longing to leave and be an adventurer for once aches in my bones.  

Maybe one day. After I have a bit of money and before I have children. Maybe then.

Until then, I will listen to Nino Rota in men's underwear with a fan on my face in Silverlake and Vini Rabasco "Cancelli" in my glass, sighing along with each orchestrated crescendo. 

This wine reminds me so much of Italy. Its vibrance pulsating through me like a crazed taxi navigating traffic around the Seven Hills of Rome and its unmarked roundabouts, while maintaining such a calm and casual elegance. Have you noticed that about Italians? They're relatively unexcitable and very sophisticated. A cantankerous tank of a woman running the register at a market in Italy talking shit about me she doesn't realize I understand still has more poise than I do on my best night in Los Angeles.

That's not to say they aren't passionate though. Lord knows Italians have unbridled passion for basically everything, myself included. And that's what makes them even better. How can they be so restrained and so god damned wild all at once?

I'm not entirely sure. But what I do know is that this red blend of Vini Rabasco's embodies all that. The "Cancelli" is a rampant Fellini character: archetypal yet complex, simple yet so god damn sensual. It's Sylvia in the Trevi fountain, asking Marcello to come to her. She is in a beautiful gown, in a god damn fountain. THE TREVI FUCKING FOUNTAIN. IT IS SO CLASSIC AND ANCIENT AND REVERED AND THEN, HERE IS SOME BUXOM BLONDE CELEBRITY JUST JUMPING IN. JESUS CHRIST IS IT JUXTAPOSED BEAUTY AT ITS FINEST. ELGANT AND SO DAMN WILD.

I want to live in Fellini's Rome, but living in LA with this Rabasco will suit me just fine until then. 

Tasting Notes: In the glass, bright ruby. On the nose, blackberries, cherries, wet Raven's Revenge sour candy from the 90's. On the palate, it is so lively cranberry and tart black fruits and a beautiful mineral linchpin. I could just die. So smooth yet mysteriously gripping. The finish is sybaritic, tipping on downright sexual. Nope, JK, I would straight up fuck this wine.  

Ross Test: Better in a glass but still good. HEY, EVERYTHING IN ITALY IS GOOD. 

Mushy Love Stuff & Jean Foillard Morgon "Côte du Py"


I had planned to do a big post on Fourth of July, the party we threw, and the wines that I served as well as wines that were brought. But all that went out the window on Friday. 

Friday was my sixth anniversary with Ben.
And as Ice Cube would say, it was a good day.

We've been inseparable since 2009, when he met me and was a dick because his friends had told him he would fall in love with me, and he had just moved to LA and gotten out of a relationship and wanted nothing to do with me. No one had ever told me about him though, so when we met, I was bummed because he was cute, but was mostly like, "Whatever, that dude is a dick." Later that night, a guy I didn't know was married with kids was hitting on me. Ben saw it, and said he became oddly protective and jealous, because everyone had told him I was the girl he was going to fall in love with. He awkwardly whisked me away from the married guy to the roof, and we awkwardly looked at the view. We left the roof, awkwardly, but hung out the rest of the night, talking about bands we couldn't believe the other one listened to too and laughing about how horrible my outfit was.

(Seriously, it was the worst outfit of my life: boot-cut suit pants, a raglan sweater, and pumps. It was laundry day, and I was extremely hungover, and I really, really did not give any fucks because at the time, I really, really did not care about dudes [until I was at a party in half a BCBG suit with a hot dude who listened to Olivia Tremor Control].)

Since then, we've been through thick and thin. We've had the most fun, and we've seen each other through some of the hardest times we will probably ever have. If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting Ben, you know first hand what a wonderful person he is. It is hard to find someone so funny, quick witted and smart who is also so genuine, selfless and virtuous, with unlimited kindness and loyalty. He is the best friend anyone could ever ask for. I truly could not be who I am today without him. 

Part of me feels like we will always be those silly drunk twenty-three year olds flirting on the streets of Echo Park on a hot Sunday afternoon. And another part of me feels like we have always been who we are now: a team of love, friendship and support working towards personal and shared dreams, rampant happiness and a deeply fulfilling future. 

And eating and drinking very well while we're at it. 
Because we fucking love that shit!
It's important to get with people with similar interests!

The night of our engagement, Ben had reservations at A.O.C., one of the best spots for wine and food in Los Angeles. I hadn't been since they moved locations, and was really excited to be going back. I immediately wanted a Morgon.

Morgon is a cru of Beaujolais, which you probably have realized is one of my favorite wine regions. Morgons are like most Beaujolais wines in that they have lighter, tarter features but they are aged longer, creating more Burgundy qualities. 

They only had one Morgon on the menu, and I was delighted to see it was a Jean Foillard "Côte du Py". First of all, Foillard is one of the premier French winemakers and one of the organic wine community's greatest crusaders. Secondly, Côte du Py is basically like, the Mount Olympus of Morgon. It's only a hillside, but it produces Morgon's best wines that, as far as I am concerned, are actually made by gods. I mean, they sure as hell taste like it! 

And then to top it all off, it's imported by Kermit Lynch.

IMPORTANT: Anything imported by Kermit Lynch is gold.

The Foillard "Côte du Py" is to die for. Its texture is straight silk, and its palate plump with plum and gritty cherries. Earthy and fuller bodied, this wine tastes like my youthful, fun, everyday-drinking gamay grew up and got engaged.

Quite fitting to say the least. 

Definitely check out this wine, especially with eating. It has a bit more meat on it so it feels more like a dinner wine. And it's extremely food friendly. We had five courses ranging from cheese & charcuterie to pappardelle to Spanish fried chicken, and it worked flawlessly with each dish.

Speaking of Spanish fried chicken, definitely have it at A.O.C. and get lost in their incredible wine list. So many natural and organic gems to explore!

Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir


Villa Maira Private Bin Pinot Noir
Price: $19.99
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Year: 2013
Retailer: Villa Maria online

Ever have one of those days that is so long and exhausting that you just have to get home and kiss the one you love? 

Yes, I had one of those days.

Last week, I put in my notice at my day job [please do not email me about this, I will not respond]. That in itself was a huge, kind of heartbreaking thing because I've been at my job for nearly four years, but also extremely exciting because I'm going to be pursuing writing and wine full time, but also extremely scary because uh hello, $$$. Today, I spent nearly eight hours interviewing people. Even though everyone was lovely, it was exhausting. Who knew drinking coffee and talking to lovely people for eight hours could drain you like... hm, my first instinct was to make an allusion to blow jobs but this is not that kind of drain, because that is ideal. This is the kind of drain that makes you want to fall asleep in a bath tub, never to be seen again.

The point is, I'm tired and emotional and have all sorts of feelings and BLAH.


I was fortunate enough to have been recently sent some bottles of Villa Maria. Villa Maria is located in New Zealand, and I like them because they are organic and sustainable, or as their rep said "sheep-friendly and shit". I honestly couldn't have said it better myself so I won't try.

New Zealand is tight because they do have this whole Sustainable Wine Growing initiative (SWNZ) that is great. As a country, they work to maintain best practices for the environment and to have 100% of their wine growers work under those practices. They regularly audit to ensure that each winery is up to par on soil, irrigation, pest management and biodiversity.

Villa Maria has been a part of SWNZ since its establishment in 1995. They also have BioGrow certification in their winery and bottling facilities so they can trace their grapes to the bottle, ensuring they are each organic. 

Point is, that is tight and I dig it.

And thank god it also tastes good.

This wine is perfect for right now, a bright gray early evening of spring rain. 


This Pinot is airy and crisp with a slightly warm touch, much like this rain feels. Refreshing but with a sting. It feels like an Andrew Bird song from my past: extremely drinkable but not without a tinge of emotion.

Or maybe I just should skip past the Andrew Bird songs that come on shuffle because who the fuck has time for that.

Do not have time to project my personal shit onto a Pinot.

[Puts this song on and gets back to fucking business]


As I was saying, this Pinot is extremely drinkable. It's not complex, but I really do not need anything complex right now. I just need something juicy and enjoyable that has light notes hitting all over my tongue. I don't want to think about it, I want to drink about it. I want to be transported to somewhere else, for a moment or an hour.

It's like kissing without thinking. Sometimes you just need to make-out without anticipating what happens next or overanalyzing what's happening right now. Just fucking kiss me. And make it good. So we can leave all this, for just a moment or an hour. Or three. Or forever.

I have a couple bottles of Villa Maria, soooo.
Gonna have some siiiiiiiick make-out seshes OBVIII.

Ugh, Kevin Morby just came on, I gotta get outta here before I go from sexy to sentimental like Drake 0 to 100 real quick.

Tasting Notes: Bright cherries on the nose and palate with a big, yet balanced, splash of acidity. I love how light it is and that it's kind of salty. It really does taste like spring rain. I am definitely drinking the whole bottle without a second thought. And I love that I don't have to have a second thought. It's just like, "YES THIS IS A GOOD IDEA." I don't need to be contemplating the universe of a wine every fucking night. Sometimes I just like having some good, environmentally friendly, fun.

Ross Test: Very do-able, but it gets a little chalky and too acidic. Prefer it in a glass, but let's not pretend I haven't chugged half of this bottle and wasn't cool with it because I was VERY COOL WITH IT. 

Calabretta "Cala Cala" Vino Rosso


Calabretta Vino Rosso "Cala Cala"
Price: $18.99
Year: Multi-Vintage (2005, 2008, 2009)
Region: Sicily 
Retailer: DomaineLA


This wine isn't from Rome, but I still thought it would be a good wine to break in my new Nino Rota vinyl. La Dolce Vita is so dreamy, dark and a little desperate. And as I stare out in the black abyss that is my front yard, I can't help but think that is exactly how I feel going into the new year-- dreamy, a little desperate, staring into a dark unknown. Oh, what I would do to have my days filled with press conferences and my nights spent frolicking in the Trevi Fountain. Or simply just being back on the Via Veneto. IL SOSPIRO. 

As much as I want to say that the Cala Cala somehow relates to Roman cafe society, it doesn't at all. 

The Cala Cala reminds me much more of Michael back in the homeland during The Godfather, Part One. You know, where he's hit by the lightening bolt that is Apollonia? Yeah this tastes like that. It's like BANG! I love it! And sure, Michael is loving Apollonia's tits or face or both but I'm like, LOVING this wine.

It's a dusty hillside stroll covered with wildflowers and some cow shit.
So, a pretty solid hillside in my personal opinion.  

Tasting Notes: Coffee and cherries and that aforementioned cow shit on the nose. Super lively and bright in your mouth, but has a really meaty quality to it. It's an organic wine, so it's pretty funky and kinda sour. I wouldn't serve it to your Italian grandmother, she would be very confused, but definitely serve it to your friends who are up for a little chalky weirdness.

Ross Test: Great on the front, a bit rough on the back.