Our wine list is curated by writer/oenophile Alex Halberstadt.
$12 / $42
Raventos i Blanc Brut “L’Hereu” 2010 (Macabeo/Xarello, Barcelona, Spain)
New York resident Pepe Raventos says he aims to make the greatest sparkling wine in the world. He already makes the best one in Spain. Biodynamic, from vines planted during the first Reagan administration.
Lini 910 Labrusca Rosso NV (Lambrusco Salamino, Emilia Roamagna, Italy)
From around Bologna, the everyday drink of the locals, made by the most quality-conscious of the region’s producers. Probably the best accompaniment to charcuterie the world knows.
Henriet-Bazin Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV (Chardonnay, Champagne, France)
Marie-Noelle Henriet took over her father’s mediocre estate and turned it into a pilgrimage site for wine geeks. As useful for salvaging crappy days as for toasting occasions.
$11 / $34
Pépière Muscadet "Les Gras Mouton" 2012 (Melon de Bourgogne, Loire-Atlantique)
Nothing’s better with oysters than Muscadet, and Marc Ollivier’s is saline, bracing and yeastier than most—a benchmark, every year. Biodynamic.
$9 / $32
Commanderie Quincy 2012 (Sauvignon Blanc, Loire-Cher, France)
Quincy is down the road from Sancerre, and the wines are cousins. Hand-harvested at a small family winery, this smells like grapefruit and grass. As mood-altering as finding a fifty-dollar bill.
Später-Veit Riesling Feinherb 2012 (Reisling, Mosel, Germany) 1 Liter
From one of humanity's oldest vineyards, Falkenberg, high above Piesport. But what's crucial is that it comes in a liter bottle, costs this little, and tastes like spring.
Bernhardt Ott Gruner Veltliner Am Berg 2011 (Grüner Veltliner, Wagram, Austria)
From the standout producer in Wagram, near Wachau. More body and savory flavors than most whites, and more minerality. The thing for vegetable dishes and salads. Biodynamic.
Dr. Konstantin Frank Rkatsiteli 2010 (Rkatsiteli, Finger Lakes, NY)
Dr. Frank arrived from the Soviet Union in the early fifties and decided to make wine from vinifera grapes upstate, on the shores of Keuka Lake. People laughed derisively. This is his finest, from a Georgian grape planted across the doctor’s former homeland.
Alice & Olivier De Moor “A Ligoter” 2012 (Aligote, Chablis, France)
Aligote is the unloved stepchild grape from Burgundy that you’re supposed to pour into a Kir, except this is too precious to mix. Tender, delicate, and mineral as the best Chablis. Biodynamic, from one of our favorite producers.
Wieninger Wiener Gemischter Satz 2010 (field blend, Vienna, Austria)
Combines 20+ grape varietals that grow wild on the hillsides above Vienna—the only appellation inside a major city. Fritz Wieninger helped turn it into the most compelling wine region in Austria. Versatile, complete, biodynamic.
Ca’ dei Frati Lugana 2011 (Trubiana, Trentino, Italy)
One of Italy’s classic whites. Trebbiano from the shores of Lake Garda in Lombardy, this is not for lovers of wimpy, flavorless whites. Pairs suavely with cheese.
Champalou Vouvray Cuvée des Fondraux 2010 (Chenin Blanc, Loire)
Aged in old wood, off-dry, and full of mellow, Rubenesque beauty. A foil for anything spicy, and outstanding as an aperitif.
Ermes Pavese Blanc de Morgex 2010 (Prié Blanc, Valée d'Aosta, Italy)
From Europe's highest vineyards. Pavese works near the summit of Mont Blanc with vines that predate the Phylloxera epidemic. Smells like a meadow of wildflowers.
Contra Soarda Vespaiolo "Vignasilan" 2011 (Vespaiolo, Veneto, Italy)
The finest wine ever made from this grape, according to everyone. Tended by an ornery fanatic in Vicenza. The flavor and energy are nearly overwhelming. Brings the mind to a halt.
J.A. Ferret Pouilly-Fuissé 2009 (Chardonnay, Burgundy, France)
All the nutty richness and complexity of Meursault, but more rustic. Madame Ferret, the doyenne of Pouilly-Fuissé, recently handed over the keys to the cellar, but the wines remain exemplary.
Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Reserva 1998 (Viura, Rioja, Spain)
The only white Rioja made in the style of the 19th century: mellow, nutty, and endlessly complex. Organic. “A shining, visionary example for…producers all over the world.” -Eric Asimov, NY Times.
$11 / $35
Benjamin Taillandier Six Roses 2013 (Cinsault blend, Minervois, France)
Taillandier converted his hillsides outside Carcassone to biodynamics and makes this unfined, unfiltered rose from Cinsault, Carignan, and Syrah planted three decades back. So there’s no middleman between you and the soil.
$12 / $38
Olivier Lemasson R12 (Côt, Grolleau, Gamay, Loire-et-Cher, France)
Bottled with a dash of carbonation, this malbec blend is as much fun as karaoke on a boat. Lemasson farms by the cycles of the moon and is a big deal in Paris. The numeral in the name indicates the vintage.
$11 / $36
Paul Janin Beaujolais-Villages 2012 (Gamay, Beaujolais, France)
From vines in Moulin-a-Vent, which makes the longest lived cru beaujolais. Janin is probably the village's most respected grower; this is why.
$10 / $34
De Forville Barbera di Asti "Ca del Buc" 2012 (Barbera, PIedmont, Italy)
The hamlet of Castagnole Lanze, where the DeForvilles farm this vineyard, resembles a set from Game of Thrones. Their barbera smells like roses and feels like silk. The definition of moreish.
Danila Pisano Rossese di Dolceacqua 2012 (Rossese, Liguria, Italy)
Ruby, violet scented, and a brilliant alternative to rosé. Pisano works her grapes by hand eight hundred feet above the Mediterranean. A tough lady.
Moric Blaufrankisch 2012 (Blaufrankisch, Burgenland, Austria)
Roland Velich is a taciturn genius who proved that Blaufränkisch—and Austria—can make world-class reds. From pre-clonal vines dating back to Roman times, this drinks like a rosemary-scented Bordeaux.
Lucien Jacob Savigny-lès-Beaune 2011 (Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France)
Long ago, the French called the reds of Savigny “chat” (cat) in recognition of their lightness and grace. Jacob’s is like a whole menagerie of cats. Stick your nose right in the glass and take a whiff.
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Riserva 2004 (Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain)
Jake Barnes drinks La Rioja Alta in The Sun Also Rises. Like walking through the woods in October. Profound but not difficult--the most recommendable red on this list.
J.P. Thévenet Morgon Vielles Vignes 2011 (Gamay, Beaujolais, France)
Jean-Paul Thevenet bottles the most elegant cru Beaujolais of all. From two parcels that are 45 and 110 years old. Like a Chandler novel.
Robert Sinskey “P.O.V.” 2009 (Cabernet Sauvignon blend, Napa Valley, CA)
Sinskey uses goats and sheep to mow his cover crops and has been farming biodynamically as long as anyone in California. All the exuberance of Napa without the excess.
Clos Saron “Out of the Blue” 2011 (Cinsault, Sierra Foothills, CA)
The oldest Cinsault on the continent, planted in 1885. Gideon Bienstock and Saron Rice ferret out the oldest vines in California and bottle their wines with little-to-no sulfur dioxide. Biodynamic.
Bonavita Faro 2011 (Nerello Mascalese Etc., Sicily, Italy)
A thousand feet above the Strait of Messina, Giovanni Scarfone makes the most exciting wine so far in Sicily's rediscovery of its native grapes. Powerful, mysterious, complex–imagine a Sicilian Barolo.
Hirsch Vineyards San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir 2010 (Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, CA)
David Hirsch grows this Pinot on a foggy ridge above the Pacific - maybe the greatest vineyard in the state. Restrained but nothing like burgundy, the San Andreas shows off California winemaking at its finest. Wants to be decanted.