We are a small wine shop in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlottesville with a carefully curated selection of fine wines, craft beers & assorted sundries. We taste thousands of wines each year and email our members about the bottles we find remarkable. It’s like having your own personal Sommelier.
We are open to the public but members save 20% off the normal retail price of wine, beer, and food. Membership is $200 a year, and also includes access to private tastings with winemakers, first dibs on tickets to our wine dinners, local vineyard tours, and much more.
What it is: Dry Furmint from Hungary with pedigree, history, and backstory. It has high ratings from the critics. It’s a darling of sommeliers. It’s organic, biodynamic, hand harvested, naturally fermented with indigenous yeasts, and aged in 500-liter Hungarian oak casks.
Why you need it: Story and trendiness notwithstanding, what’s important is that this is delicious, refreshing, mouthwatering white wine with depth and complexity. It drinks like the great white wines of the world.
What it is: 100%Albariño from Bodegas del Palacio de Fefiñanes, the flagship wine from a centuries old producer in Rías Baixas.
Why you need it: This bottle is so much more than Vino Blanco. The classically produced Albariño de Fefiñanes is consistently rated above 90 points and the 2018 vintage is no exception. It has all the things I search for in a white wine: intense aromatics, richness on the mid-palate, and acidity that is racy but not sharp. This particular iteration has the ability to age a few years (if you can hold on to it that long). And at under $17 per bottle, you can afford to enjoy it over and over again.
What it is: Excellent, balanced, high altitude Cabernet Sauvignon from the Red Hills Lake County AVA
Why you need it: Volcanic soils, great diurnal temperature swings and pure California sunshine come together to create an incredibly balanced, single vineyard Cabernet from a great winemaker for under $24.
What it is: Ancient Moscatel (Muscat) from the terrifyingly beautifulslate slopes of Malaga on Spain's southern Mediterranean coast, for a mere $16.
Why you need it: If you're stuck in a wine rut, you need this wine. If you love refreshing yet substantive and spicy-floral whites, you need this wine. If you've ever had an excellent Gewurtztraminer or Muscat from Alsace but wished it was under $20 instead of $30-ish, you need this wine. Hell, if you like to be excited by white wine rather than just placated, then you definitely need this wine!
What it is: Stupid-cheap Bobal from Spain that is both delicious and complex.
Why you need it: When Ryder first offered out a Bobal a few months ago, I was intrigued. Now, I'm a convert. This grape does magical things and the price (sub-$10) is too sweet to pass up. This needs to be in your house by the caseload for the coming months.
All of which is to say, if you're a fan of Beaune whites like Chassagne-Montrachet, or of moderately-oaked California Chards, you really owe it to yourself to see what $21 can get you in the Macon in 2017. I'm pretty sure you'll be as smitten as we are.
As we enjoy Virginia's two-week-long Spring season, we must remember that it's about to get warm. Very, very warm. So, as you peel yourself off your lawn chair to get something to drink, make it this: A dry, citrusy German Riesling with screaming acidity, in a bottle big enough that you don't have to get up all that often.