Cover image: Indie Wineries National Portfolio Tasting © Kristen Smart for Indie Wineries
Those lucky enough to meet passionate, knowledgeable winemakers know to appreciate the product with each swirl of the glass. Such was the case many times over at a recent event held by Indie Wineries near Union Square.
This lively event included winemakers and distributors from all corners of the world, offering wines that surprised and delighted. Indie Wineries specializes in supporting and distributing of independent wine producers who abide by organic farming practices and whose small batch style of production yields wines of truly artisanal quality.
Highlights of the portfolio tasting included: SoloUva Brut, which now tops my list of sparkling wines to be sought out as a companion to a mouthful of bread and cheese or perhaps a decadent slice of sautéed foie gras. This glass graces the nose and tongue with notes of grapefruit and apricot at first sip, followed by a surprisingly long, supple finish. Similarly, Principiano’s Extra Brut Rosé also stood out as a fine aperitif for a spread of hors d’œuvres at a future dinner party.
Hailing from Willamette Valley, Oregon, Love and Squalor’s 2014 Pinot Noir, retailing at $27, balances ripe fruit–cherry and plum– with earthy flavors reminiscent of wild mushrooms from the forest floor. A tannic finish complements the wines delicacy with an unapologetic sturdiness.
Wines from Old World Winery of the Russian River Valley in California share none of the penchant of the region’s largest producers for wines of high alcohol and sugar content. Instead, these wines are the result of the maker’s adherence to a long tradition of Old World style production, pressing all wine by foot and using only elements in the winemaking process (wild yeast, protective sulfurs) that can be found on the winery’s grounds. Production is organic and biodynamic, and includes traditional Rhone varietals as well as the luminous and rare Abouriou. This grape, previously unknown to me, is full-bodied and tannic, rich with dark fruit flavors.
Finally, the tasting came to a close with a sip of a perfectly lively and crisp Verdejo from producer Barco del Corneta of Spain. Founded six years ago by 33-year-old Beatriz Herranz and producing just 5,000 bottles per harvest, this tiny winery included a map in its presentation, but the glass itself was cause enough to encourage investigation into its origins.
Indie Wineries boasts portfolios of wine-producing regions the world over, and this tasting was an undeniable confirmation of the fact that the independently produced wines they choose to distribute adhere to a very high standard that defies precise
definition. When one lifts a glass of wine that bears the Indie Wineries distribution label, one will not be disappointed. So, the next time you’re perusing a wine list and find yourself at a loss for where to begin, you might try asking your server whether or not they offer wines from Indie Wineries.