the winemakers

COLLINE DE L’HIRONDELLE VENTILO ROSÉ 2018

Dry, slightly spicy rosé, rare Chenançon grape, very old vines in Corbières. $20

Learn More
Colline de l’Hirondelle – Douzens, France (Corbieres)

Jennifer Buck and Didier Ferrier tend and farm supremely old vineyards at the base of the Montange d’Alaric in the Corbieres region of Languedoc Roussillon in the south of France. Didier’s family has owned the vineyards for generations and it is only now, under the stewardship of Jen and Didier, that the fruit is being utilized for estate bottled wines as opposed to going into the soup wine of the local co-op. Ancient Carignan, Grenache and Syrah, along with the indigenous cross Chenançon, conspire to create soulful cuvees that express the garrigue (scrub herbs) and nuances of the south of France.

Ventilo 2018. $20 btl

Jen and Didier were prescient when creating this unique Provencal style rosé from the individualistic and rugged Chenançon variety. It’s attributes lend themselves perfectly for this style of wine as the peppery nuances combine with the richness of the fruit to produce a serious yet quaffable pinkie.

Oiseau 2012. $23 btl

Colline de l’Hirondelle translates to ‘swallow’s hill’ and the bird wine, as we affectionately have dubbed this wine, is their highest production/flagship wine (still minuscule at 833 cases). A base of garriguey old vine Carignan with Grenache and Syrah lending a Provencal seasoning to the mix. (April arrival) .

FAY D’HOMME MUSCADET SÈVRE ET MAINE 2016 & 2018

Stony dry, pure Loire valley white from a tiny, biodynamic producer. $18

Vincent is one of the leaders of the natural wine movement in this Atlantic Ocean influenced region of northwest France. His efforts are as direct from vine to glass one could hope for with he only acting as a conduit. His vineyards look more like a garden, with a natural mix of green plantings between the vines. Only natural yeasts are used and there is definitely the influence of the saline sea spray promulgated by the vineyards’ proximity to the ocean.

Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2016 & 2018 $18 btl

The flagship wine comprised of 100% Melon de Bourgogne, the signature white variety of the region. The 2016 vintage was on the warm side lending a richness to this wine giving it an almost Mâconnais feel. Supremely satisfying all purpose vin blanc.

Monnieres St. Fiacre 2012 $27 btl

Over the last few years, cru vineyards in Muscadet such as Monnieres St. Fiacre, have become all the rage amongst wine geeks. The vineyards for this wine are supremely old at 65+ which creates the conditions for sparser fruit that is ultra concentrated. Would remind the imbiber of a Chablis with this, the 2012, being the current vintage. Singular wine, perfect with seafood, oysters and poultry dishes.

Abouriou 2015 $16 btl

A variety that is indigenous to southwest France but found its way into a few vineyards in the Nantais. Vincent’s red wines are ethereal and lithe, exhibiting a high tone purity found in very few vin rouge.

SCHAETZEL RIESLING RÉSERVE 2015

Stone fruits and mineral, ultra satisfyingly dry biodynamic Riesling. $26

Learn More
Domaine Martin Schaetzel – Ammerschwihr, France (Alsace)

Jean Schaetzel was selected as the professor of oenology at the local university as the maestro is considered to be one of the top vignerons of the region. He has partnered with the entrepreneur Marc Rinaldi to create a well funded concern that is dedicated to biodynamic farming and a concentration on two of the great Grand Cru’s of the region, Schlossberg and Brand. Every expression of Schaetzel’s is rife with character and depth with an off the charts palate satiating quotient.

Pinot Blanc 2017. $24 btl

While most Pinot Blanc can leave the imbiber wanting more, this expression takes the palate to a level very few efforts in the region can. Older vines and a deft touch imparts layers of rich, citrus fruit to the wine.

Riesling Cuvee Reserve 2015. $26 btl

Riesling is where the estate dedicates 50% of its focus, arguably the preeminent white variety in the world. This is quintessential regional Riesling with much of the fruit being declassified from the grand cru holdings of the estate. Pretty darn killer.

Learn More
Colline de l’Hirondelle – Douzens, France (Corbières)

Jennifer Buck and Didier Ferrier tend and farm supremely old vineyards at the base of the Montagne d’Alaric in the Corbières region of Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France. Didier’s family has owned the vineyards for generations and it is only now, under the stewardship of Jen and Didier, that the fruit is being utilized for estate bottled wines as opposed to going into the soup wine of the local co-op. Ancient Carignan, Grenache and Syrah, along with the indigenous cross Chenançon, conspire to create soulful cuvees that express the garrigue (scrub herbs) and nuances of the south of France.

Ventilo 2018

Jen and Didier were prescient when creating this unique Provencal style rosé from the individualistic and rugged Chenançon variety. It’s attributes lend themselves perfectly for this style of wine as the peppery nuances combine with the richness of the fruit to produce a serious yet quaffable pinkie. $20

Oiseau 2012

Colline de l’Hirondelle translates to ‘swallow hill’ and the bird wine, as we affectionately have dubbed this one, is their highest production/flagship wine (still minuscule at 833 cases). A base of garriguey old vine Carignan with Grenache and Syrah lending a Provencal seasoning to the mix. $23

Learn More
Vincent Caillé – Muscadet, Loire Valley, France

Vincent is one of the leaders of the natural wine movement in this Atlantic Ocean influenced region of northwest France. His efforts are as direct from vine to glass one could hope for with he only acting as a conduit. His vineyards look more like a garden, with a natural mix of green plantings between the vines. Only natural yeasts are used and there is definitely the influence of the saline sea spray promulgated by the vineyards’ proximity to the ocean.

Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2016 & 2018

The flagship wine comprised of 100% Melon de Bourgogne, the signature white variety of the region. The 2016 vintage was on the warm side lending a richness to this wine giving it an almost Mâconnais feel. Supremely satisfying all purpose vin blanc. $18

Monnieres St. Fiacre 2012

Over the last few years, cru vineyards in Muscadet such as Monnieres St. Fiacre, have become all the rage amongst wine geeks. The vineyards for this wine are supremely old at 65+ which creates the conditions for sparser fruit that is ultra concentrated. Would remind the imbiber of a Chablis with this, the 2012, being the current vintage. Singular wine, perfect with seafood, oysters and poultry dishes. $28

Abouriou 2015

A variety that is indigenous to southwest France but found its way into a few vineyards in the Nantais. Vincent’s red wines are ethereal and lithe, exhibiting a high tone purity found in very few vin rouge. $16

Learn More
Domaine Martin Schaetzel – Ammerschwihr, France (Alsace)

Jean Schaetzel was selected as the professor of oenology at the local university as the maestro is considered to be one of the top vignerons of the region. He has partnered with the entrepreneur Marc Rinaldi to create a well funded concern that is dedicated to biodynamic farming and a concentration on two of the great Grand Cru’s of the region, Schlossberg and Brand. Every expression of Schaetzel’s is rife with character and depth with an off the charts palate satiating quotient.

Pinot Blanc 2017

While most Pinot Blanc can leave the imbiber wanting more, this expression takes the palate to a level very few efforts in the region can. Older vines and a deft touch imparts layers of rich, citrus fruit to the wine. $24

Riesling Cuvée Réserve 2015

Riesling is where the estate dedicates 50% of its focus, arguably the preeminent white variety in the world. This is quintessential regional Riesling with much of the fruit being declassified from the grand cru holdings of the estate. Pretty darn killer. $26

HEYL WEISSER BURGUNDER 2017

Fruit forward buy dry with mouthwatering intensity, very cool indeed. $18

Learn More
HEYL ZU HERRNSHEIM – RHEINHESSEN, GERMANY

The crimson hued, volcanic outcrop of soil in and around the village of Nierstein produces the fruit for some of the most distinctive wines in all of Europe. This unique terra is responsible for the rarely found mineral depth realized in the wines of Heyl Zu Herrnsheim, symbolized by the iconic label of St. Peter holding the key to heaven. The pleasure quotient is incredibly high as the imbiber is continuously drawn in by the aromas and layers of flavor.

Weisser Burgunder 2017. $18

The German moniker for Pinot Blanc. Very few white wines under $20 are as mouthwateringly intense.

Riesling 2016. $18

A bit more citrus on the nose and palate here. The red soil imparts a mouthwatering acidity making this the perfect Riesling for non-believers in the greatest white wine grape in the world.

Brudersberg Riesling 2013 and Brudersberg Riesling 2015. $39

This monopole vineyard produces one of the iconic wines of Europe, let alone Germany. A center cut, prime piece of Nierstein. The 13 shows a touch of tertiary notes while the 15 is full throttled, full of character Riesling goodness.

RICHOU ANJOU ROUGE ’4 CHEMINS’ 2017

Terroir driven, captivating organic Cab Franc. Salmon anyone? $22

Learn More
Domaine Richou – Anjou, Loire valley, France

When perusing the vineyards of Domaine Richou with Didier, the eldest son of the Richou family, he occasionally reaches down and scoops up a rock, turns to you an implores you to smell and almost taste the offering. He is quite literally the rock star in the Anjou region of the Loire valley! He actually packed some of these igneous and metamorphic samples when traveling to the United States to exhibit along his vinous gems (the TSA authorities at JFK must have had a look of incredulity when his bag passed through the x-ray). The granite and schist laden terroir – along with a minimalist approach to winemaking – makes for some of the purest expressions of the region.

Les ‘D’ en Bulles NV. $22 btl

The D stands for Didier and Damien (Didier’s brother) and the Bulles for bubbles. A blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Chenin Blanc made in the méthode ancestrale pétillant, the second fermentation occurring naturally in bottle with no chaptalization or disgorgement. Spends 18 months on its lees before release.

Anjou Blanc ‘Chauvigné’ 2017. $22 btl

Comprised entirely of Chenin Blanc, the signature white variety of the region, and exhibiting a heady nose of mineral, pear, and crushed flowers with a rich yet understated mouthfeel and a captivating finish.

Anjou Blanc ‘Les Rogeries’ 2015. $32

Here we have Didier’s single vineyard, older vine effort and a Chenin Blanc tour de force. A powerful Chenin with an unctuous mouthfeel and a driving mineral balance with a finish that seemingly never ends. The grape of Beaujolais produced from a single vineyard comprised of schists/quartz soil. The fruit is lifted by a driving mineral nerve making for one serious example of Gamay.

Anjou Rouge ‘4 Chemins’ 2016. $22 btl

A Cabernet Franc dominated blend (the signature red variety of the region) with a dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon thrown in for good measure. A fresh, yet serious, example of the under appreciated member of the Cabernet family. This wine is oh so refreshingly delicious and is the perfect ‘bistro’ wine, being able to complement a host of cuisine, perhaps the best red for pairing with salmon.

Anjou-Villages Brissac 2015. $25 btl

The Richou’s Anjou Villages (technically considered a step up qualitatively) is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon and exhibits darker and deeper pencil lead mineral components than the previous wine. Clive Coates, one of the most respected wine scribers in England, has pronounced this as one of the benchmark efforts of the region.

TIMOTHY MALONE WILLAMETTE PINOT NOIR 2017

4 vineyards in Chehalem/Dundee. Red fruited bliss, seductive. $32

Learn More
Timothy Malone Winery – Willamette valley, Oregon

Flashback 10 years and Tim Malone was somm extraordinaire behind the bar at Fat Cat Pie Co. before moving out to Oregon to follow his passion. After stints at Cameron Winery and J. Christopher Wines, two highly regarded earth inspired producers, Tim is now crafting his expressions from superb fruit sourced in the Chehalem Mountains and Dundee Hills AVA regions of the Willamette valley of Oregon. As with his mentors John Paul and Jay Somers, Tim emphasizes the purity of the unique terroir by underemphasizing the use of new oak, allowing the soil to speak. Tim’s wines were recently lauded in the January issue of Vinous authored by Josh Raynolds.

Medici Vineyard Riesling 2016. $25 btl

Tim sources the fruit for this beauty from one of the oldest Riesling vineyards in Oregon. Old vine creaminess with a touch of residual sugar to balance the natural acidity.

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017. $32 btl

His regional expression sourced from vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains and Dundee Hills. In the world of Oregon Pinot, this represents a wonderful value for an artisan effort.

Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2016. $44 btl

The red hills of Dundee create the mesoclimate for what most observers feel to be the “grand cru” area of the Willamette. More power, structure and mineral depth exhibited.

Learn More
HEYL ZU HERRNSHEIM – Rheinhessen, Germany

The crimson hued, volcanic outcrop of soil in and around the village of Nierstein produces the fruit for some of the most distinctive wines in all of Europe. This unique terra is responsible for the rarely found mineral depth realized in the wines of Heyl Zu Herrnsheim, symbolized by the iconic label of St. Peter holding the key to heaven. The pleasure quotient is incredibly high as the imbiber is continuously drawn in by the aromas and layers of flavor.

Weisser Burgunder 2017

The German moniker for Pinot Blanc. Very few white wines under $20 are as mouthwateringly intense. $18

Riesling 2016

A bit more citrus on the nose and palate here. The red soil imparts a mouthwatering acidity making this the perfect Riesling for non-believers in the greatest white wine grape in the world. $18

Brudersberg Riesling 2013 and Brudersberg Riesling 2015

This monopole vineyard produces one of the iconic wines of Europe, let alone Germany. A center cut, prime piece of Nierstein. The 13 shows a touch of tertiary notes while the 15 is full throttled, full of character Riesling goodness. $39

Learn More
Domaine Richou – Anjou, Loire Valley, France

When perusing the vineyards of Domaine Richou with Didier, the eldest son of the Richou family, he occasionally reaches down and scoops up a rock, turns to you and implores you to smell and almost taste the offering. He is quite literally the rock star in the Anjou region of the Loire valley! He actually packed some of these igneous and metamorphic samples when traveling to the United States to exhibit alongside his vinous gems (the TSA authorities at JFK must have had a look of incredulity when his bag passed through the x-ray). The granite and schist laden terroir – along with a minimalist approach to winemaking – makes for some of the purest expressions of the region.

Les “D” en Bulles NV

The D stands for Didier and Damien (Didier’s brother) and the Bulles for bubbles. A blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Chenin Blanc made in the méthode ancestrale pétillant, the second fermentation occurring naturally in bottle with no chaptalization or disgorgement. Spends 18 months on its lees before release. $23

Anjou Blanc ‘Chauvigné’ 2017

Comprised entirely of Chenin Blanc, the signature white variety of the region, and exhibiting a heady nose of mineral, pear, and crushed flowers with a rich yet understated mouthfeel and a captivating finish. $22

Anjou Blanc ‘Les Rogeries’ 2015

Here we have Didier’s single vineyard, older vine effort and a Chenin Blanc tour de force. A powerful Chenin with an unctuous mouthfeel and a driving mineral balance with a finish that seemingly never ends. $32

Anjou Gamay ‘Les Châteliers’ 2016

The grape of Beaujolais produced from a single vineyard comprised of schists/quartz soil. The fruit is lifted by a driving mineral nerve making for one serious example of Gamay. $19

Anjou Rouge ‘4 Chemins’ 2017

A Cabernet Franc dominated blend (the signature red variety of the region) with a dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon thrown in for good measure. A fresh, yet serious, example of the under appreciated member of the Cabernet family. This wine is oh so refreshingly delicious and is the perfect ‘bistro’ wine, being able to complement a host of cuisine, perhaps the best red for pairing with salmon. $22

Anjou-Villages Brissac 2015

The Richou’s Anjou Villages (technically considered a step up qualitatively) is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon and exhibits darker and deeper pencil lead mineral components than the previous wine. Clive Coates, one of the most respected wine scribers in England, has pronounced this as one of the benchmark efforts of the region. $25

Learn More
Timothy Malone Winery – Willamette Valley, Oregon

Flashback 10 years and Tim Malone was somm extraordinaire behind the bar at Fat Cat Pie Co. before moving out to Oregon to follow his passion. After stints at Cameron Winery and J. Christopher Wines, two highly regarded earth inspired producers, Tim is now crafting his expressions from superb fruit sourced in the Chehalem Mountains and Dundee Hills AVAs of the Willamette Valley in Oregon. As with his mentors John Paul and Jay Somers, Tim emphasizes the purity of the unique terroir by underemphasizing the use of new oak, allowing the soil to speak. Tim’s wines were recently lauded in the January issue of Vinous authored by Josh Raynolds.

Medici Vineyard Riesling 2016

Tim sources the fruit for this beauty from one of the oldest Riesling vineyards in Oregon. Old vine creaminess with a touch of residual sugar to balance the natural acidity. $25

Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017

His regional expression sourced from vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains and Dundee Hills. In the world of Oregon Pinot, this represents a wonderful value for an artisan effort. So irresistible we find ourselves reaching for the glass before even finishing the first sip. $32

Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2016

The red hills of Dundee create the mesoclimate for what most observers feel to be the “grand cru” area of the Willamette. More power, structure and mineral depth exhibited. Tim suggests the Dundee Hills begins to hit its stride after 3 years in the bottle, however it never seems to be around long. $44

 

ELIAN DA ROS ‘LE VIGNOBLE D’ÉLIAN’ 2016

Rich and layered old vine Cab Franc. Cult producer in France. $25

Learn More
Domaine Elian da Ros – Marmandais, France

Elian da Ros has achieved cult like status amongst searchers for unadulterated, character laden, earth driven, natural wines. He farms the oldest vines in the sleepy area of Marmandais, located directly under the shadow of the behemoth that is Bordeaux. The indigenous Abouriou variety plays a complementary role to the Bordelais varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon with a bit of Syrah used for a seasoning. Elian worked with MW Olivier Humbrecht of Domaine Zin Humbrecht for five years before returning to his native Marmandais, certainly one of the best mentors for producing biodynamically crafted vin extraordinaire such as these.

Le vin est une Fete 2016 & 2017. $19

This wine is a party’ literally reads the label in French, connoting Elian’s treatment of this unbelievably delicious blend of Abouriou (40%), Cabernet Franc (40%), and Merlot (20%). He allows the Abouriou to go through partial carbonic maceration, lending a fruit forward aspect to resulting wine with the structure being supplied by the complementary players.

Le Vignoble d’Elian 2016. $25

This cuvee is dominated by old vine Cabernet Franc (50%) with the remainder dedicated to Merlot and Syrah from same old vineyard. The graphite and earth imbued Cabernet Franc give this wine a depth and layered feel and would remind the imbiber of a hand made, garagiste style St. Emilion of the highest order.

Chante Coucou 2014 & 2015. $32

The Chante Coucou is a Merlot dominated blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Syrah playing supporting roles. The terroir is gravelly clay in profile, the perfect substrata for the softer Merlot. Perhaps the Pomerol to the St. Emilion like expression above.

Clos Baquey 2012. $45

This is Elian’s tour de force blend of Cab Franc and Merlot (35% each) with Abouriou and Cabernet Sauvignon at 15% each. Each variety is vinified separately in open concrete vats with light pigeage over a 2-3 week period lending a suppleness to the intense fruit. This is serious wine indeed and one that is sought after by many of the top restaurants throughout France along with his other cuveés

DOMAINE DE PIAUGIER SABLET ROUGE 2016

Garriguey (scrub herb) Grenache heaven. Baby Châteauneuf du Pape. $20

Learn More
Domaine de Piaugier – Sablet, France

Sophie and Jean Marc Autran farm some of the oldest and most advantageously situated vineyard sites in the Côtes du Rhone Villages area of Sablet, located in the shadows of the Dentelles de Montmirail. This unique 200 million year old, pushed up from the earth, mountainous outcrop laid a limestone base to the soil adding a singular stylistic component to the wines emanating from the surrounding vineyards. These Grenache based reds offer the wine drinker an incredible quality to value quotient as the relative anonymity of the Sablet region makes for conditions whereby the wines can be blindly be thrown into tastings with their more famous neighbors of Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape and hold their own.

Côtes du Rhone ‘La Grange de Piauger’ 2016. $16 btl

This is ESTATE bottled Côtes du Rhone as opposed to most examples found in the market that are sourced from the entire region. The forty year old vineyard is comprised of a base grape broth of Grenache with a complementary seasoning of Carignan, Cinsault and Syrah. This is seriously delicious Côtes du Rhone from a superb vintage.

Sablet 2016. $21 btl

The Autran’s flagship wine with it’s trademark red label and perhaps the most beloved red wine by our patrons over the years. This old vine Grenache with a touch of Syrah provides pleasure well above its station price wise and could be tasted with $30 plus wines from neighboring Gigondas and definitely be in good company.

Sablet ‘Les Briguiéres’ 2016. $27 btl

Jean Marc’s grandfather planted this hillside vineyard abutting the Dentelles over 50 years ago. He made the decision to include 20% of the plantings to Mourvedre along with the Grenache that comprises the remaining portion. The Mourvedre lends a wonderful darker/earthier component to the resulting wine making this one of the true benchmark efforts in the appellation. Les Briguiéres is capable of aging up to twenty years in good vintages but is seductively enticing to drink on release, enabled by fruit forward nature of Grenache.

Sablet Blanc 2017. $24 btl

The token white wine in the Piaugier stable is also a terrific value when contemplated with the more expensive peers of the region. A unique blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Clairette, Roussanne and Marsanne creates a rich white wine lovers dream. Aging in two year old seasoned French oak barrels adds an extra layer of depth and structure. A wonderful complement to seafood stews, poultry and the like.

TABARRINI SAGRANTINO ‘COLLE GRIMALDESCO’ 2013

Singular big, bold, rich red. Black fruit, tobacco, cocoa, road tar. Unique! $35

Learn More
Tabarrini – Montefalco, Italy (Umbria)

We have fond memories of being the first wineshop in CT, 20 years ago, to offer the unique Italian wines from Montefalco, Umbria and it’s signature variety, Sagrantino. Since then the wines from Montefalco have gained an underground following and the wines we sold back then have nearly tripled in price. In early 2017 an article featuring Tabarrini in the Wine Spectator caught our attention. Giampaolo Tabarrini, a 4th generation winegrower in Montefalco, was specializing in tiny production Sagrantino and actually was the first to bottle a single vineyard Sagrantino (in fact he makes 3 different single vineyard Sagrantinos). The wines earned huge scores from WS and the production was so small, we figured we’d never see them here. Fountainhead has since become the #1 seller of Tabarrini’s wines in the state and we were recently blessed with a visit from Giampaolo Tabarrini himself. Upon meeting him there were a lot of hugs and slaps on the back (you know how Italians are) and he agreed to do a tasting at Fountainhead when he returns in March 2018. Giampaolo is one of the coolest winemakers we’ve ever met; on his website the bottle of Boccatone is pictured next to Led Zeppelin’s first LP and a Pearl Jam CD, very cool.

Bianco Umbria ‘Adarmando’ 2016 $21

The dream of a great white wine from the hills of Sagrantino has been rediscovered and finally realized in this Trebbiano Spoletino, a traditional vine of great elegance and charm. This is unlike any Trebbiano we’ve tasted as is comes from 100 year old vines! Giampaolo’s grandfather planted these vines, but as white wine was secondary to red, the Trebbiano vines were grown vertically so the family could grow vegetables in the same space underneath the vines. These vines are now over 20 feet high and actually look like trees. Making this white wine is truly a labor of love as Giampaolo described what a pain it is to harvest grapes from a ladder. We believe the effort is worth it as this is one of the most exciting white wines we’ve tasted in a long time. 666 cases made.

Montefalco Rosso ‘Boccatone’ 2014 $22

The DOC regulations of Montefalco Rosso allow up to 15% Sagrantino to be added a blend featuring Sangiovese and other varieties. Tabarrini’s version utilizes the maximum 15% Sagrantino, with Sangiovese but also adds a significant chunk of Barbera. Boccatone means ‘slap in the mouth’ in Umbrian dialect, apropos as this is real attention getter. Dense and chewy loaded with ripe cherry and rose petals.

Sagrantino ‘Colle Grimaldesco’ 2012. $35 btl

Sagrantino makes a powerful wine and taming its tannins is the key to making balanced versions, Giampalo feeling this taming begins in the vineyard. This focus on the different terroirs led him to produce three distinct expressions of the variety. “There is a reason Sagrantino was almost extinct in the 1960’s, Tabarrini says, “it requires great effort to grow properly.” Grimaldesco is one of these single vineyards featuring clay-limestone soil with river pebbles. Unctuous, ripe and fleshy with dark fruit, tobacco, cocoa and road tar (it’s a good thing!). 93 WS, fewer than 1200 cases made.

Sagrantino ‘Campo alla Cerqua’ 2012. $50 btl

Stony soil, looser and lighter than the other two expressions. “Cool, relaxed, distinctly mineral, it combines the individual identity of the grape with a joyous but very aromatic complexity,” writes Giampaolo in his Italiaish. The river pebble dominated soil makes for a higher toned effort. 94 WS, 150 cases made

Sagrantino ‘Colle alle Macchie’ 2013. $50 btl

A product of deep clay and magnificent southern exposure creates super extracted fruit. This cuvee is aged in French oak and refined for many months in the bottle and not released until four years after harvest. A muscular and powerful wine, incredibly complex with superb tannins creating conditions for 10-20 year potential aging. 95 WS, 250 cs made

Learn More
Domaine Elian da Ros – Marmandais, France

Elian da Ros has achieved cult like status amongst searchers for unadulterated, character laden, earth driven, natural wines. He farms the oldest vines in the sleepy area of Marmandais, located directly under the shadow of the behemoth that is Bordeaux. The indigenous Abouriou variety plays a complementary role to the Bordelais varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon with a bit of Syrah used for a seasoning. Elian worked with MW Olivier Humbrecht of Domaine Zin Humbrecht for five years before returning to his native Marmandais, certainly one of the best mentors for producing biodynamically crafted vin extraordinaire such as these.

Le vin est une Fête 2016 & 2017

‘This wine is a party’ literally reads the label in French, connoting Elian’s treatment of this unbelievably delicious blend of Abouriou (40%), Cabernet Franc (40%), and Merlot (20%). He allows the Abouriou to go through partial carbonic maceration, lending a fruit forward aspect to resulting wine with the structure being supplied by the complementary players. $20

Le Vignoble d’Élian 2016

This cuvée is dominated by old vine Cabernet Franc (50%) with the remainder dedicated to Merlot and Syrah from same old vineyard. The graphite and earth imbued Cabernet Franc give this wine a depth and layered feel and would remind the imbiber of a hand made, garagiste style St. Emilion of the highest order. $25

Chante Coucou 2014 & 2015

The Chante Coucou is a Merlot dominated blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Syrah playing supporting roles. The terroir is gravelly clay in profile, the perfect substrata for the softer Merlot. Perhaps the Pomerol to the St. Emilion like expression above. $32

Clos Baquey 2012

This is Elian’s tour de force blend of Cab Franc and Merlot (35% each) with Abouriou and Cabernet Sauvignon at 15% each. Each variety is vinified separately in open concrete vats with light pigeage over a 2-3 week period lending a suppleness to the intense fruit. This is serious wine indeed and one that is sought after by many of the top restaurants throughout France along with his other cuvées. $48

Learn More
Domaine de Piaugier – Sablet, France

Sophie and Jean Marc Autran farm some of the oldest and most advantageously situated vineyard sites in the Côtes du Rhône Villages area of Sablet, located in the shadows of the Dentelles de Montmirail. This unique 200 million year old, pushed up from the earth, mountainous outcrop laid a limestone base to the soil adding a singular stylistic component to the wines emanating from the surrounding vineyards. These Grenache based reds offer the wine drinker an incredible quality to value quotient as the relative anonymity of the Sablet region makes for conditions whereby the wines can be blindly be thrown into tastings with their more famous neighbors of Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape and hold their own.

Côtes du Rhône ‘La Grange de Piaugier’ 2016

This is ESTATE bottled Côtes du Rhône as opposed to most examples found in the market that are sourced from the entire region. The forty year old vineyard is comprised of a base grape broth of Grenache with a complementary seasoning of Carignan, Cinsault and Syrah. This is seriously delicious Côtes du Rhône from a superb vintage. $16

Sablet 2016

The Autran’s flagship wine with it’s trademark red label is perhaps the most beloved red wine by our patrons over the years. This old vine Grenache with a touch of Syrah provides pleasure well above its station price-wise and could be tasted with $30 plus wines from neighboring Gigondas and definitely be in good company. $20

Sablet ‘Les Briguiéres’ 2016

Jean Marc’s grandfather planted this hillside vineyard abutting the Dentelles over 50 years ago. He made the decision to include 20% of the plantings to Mourvèdre along with the Grenache that comprises the remaining portion. The Mourvèdre lends a wonderful darker/earthier component to the resulting wine making this one of the true benchmark efforts in the appellation. Les Briguiéres is capable of aging up to twenty years in good vintages but is seductively enticing to drink on release, enabled by fruit forward nature of Grenache. $27

Sablet Blanc 2017

The token white wine in the Piaugier stable is also a terrific value when contemplated with the more expensive peers of the region. A unique blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne creates a rich white wine lovers dream. Aging in two year old seasoned French oak barrels adds an extra layer of depth and structure. A wonderful complement to seafood stews, poultry and the like. $24

Learn More
Tabarrini – Montefalco, Italy (Umbria)

We have fond memories of being the first wineshop in CT, 20 years ago, to offer the unique Italian wines from Montefalco, Umbria and it’s signature variety, Sagrantino. Since then the wines from Montefalco have gained an underground following and the wines we sold back then have nearly tripled in price. In early 2017 an article featuring Tabarrini in the Wine Spectator caught our attention. Giampaolo Tabarrini, a 4th generation winegrower in Montefalco, was specializing in tiny production Sagrantino and actually was the first to bottle a single vineyard Sagrantino (in fact he makes 3 different single vineyard Sagrantinos). The wines earned huge scores from WS and the production was so small, we figured we’d never see them here in CT. Fast forward 6 months and we learn an importer friend of ours will be getting Tabarrini wines here in CT! Fountainhead has since become the #1 seller of Tabarrini’s wines in CT and we were recently blessed with a visit from Giampaolo Tabarrini himself. Upon meeting him there were a lot of hugs and slaps on the back (you know how Italians are) and he agreed to do a tasting at Fountainhead when he returns in March 2018. Giampaolo is one of the coolest winemakers we’ve ever met; on his website the bottle of Boccatone is pictured next to Led Zeppelin’s first LP and a Pearl Jam CD, very cool.

Bianco Umbria ‘Adarmando’ 2016

The dream of a great white wine from the hills of Sagrantino has been rediscovered and finally realized in this Trebbiano Spoletino, a traditional vine of great elegance and charm. This is unlike any Trebbiano we’ve tasted as is comes from 100 year old vines! Giampaolo’s grandfather planted these vines, but as white wine was secondary to red, the Trebbiano vines were grown vertically so the family could grow vegetables in the same space underneath the vines. These vines are now over 20 feet high and actually look like trees. Making this white wine is truly a labor of love as Giampaolo described what a pain it is to harvest grapes from a ladder. We believe the effort is worth it as this is one of the most exciting white wines we’ve tasted in a long time. 666 cases made. $21

Montefalco Rosso ‘Boccatone’ 2014

The DOC regulations of Montefalco Rosso allow up to 15% Sagrantino to be added to a blend featuring Sangiovese and other varieties. Tabarrini’s version utilizes the maximum 15% Sagrantino, with Sangiovese but also adds a significant chunk of Barbera. Boccatone means ‘slap in the mouth’ in Umbrian dialect, apropos as this is real attention getter. Dense and chewy loaded with ripe cherry and rose petals. $22

Sagrantino ‘Colle Grimaldesco’ 2013

Sagrantino makes a powerful wine and taming its tannins is the key to making balanced versions, Giampalo feeling this taming begins in the vineyard. This focus on the different terroirs led him to produce three distinct expressions of the variety. “There is a reason Sagrantino was almost extinct in the 1960’s, Tabarrini says, “it requires great effort to grow properly.” Grimaldesco is one of these single vineyards featuring clay-limestone soil with river pebbles. Unctuous, ripe and fleshy with dark fruit, tobacco, cocoa and road tar (it’s a good thing!). 93 WS, fewer than 1200 cases made. $35

Sagrantino ‘Campo alla Cerqua’ 2012

Stony soil, looser and lighter than the other two expressions. “Cool, relaxed, distinctly mineral, it combines the individual identity of the grape with a joyous but very aromatic complexity,” writes Giampaolo in his Italiaish. The river pebble dominated soil makes for a higher toned effort. 94 WS, 150 cases made. $50

Sagrantino ‘Colle alle Macchie’ 2013

A product of deep clay and magnificent southern exposure creates super extracted fruit. This cuvee is aged in French oak and refined for many months in the bottle and not released until four years after harvest. A muscular and powerful wine, incredibly complex with superb tannins creating conditions for 10-20 year potential aging. 95 WS, 250 cases made. $50

where we are located

Hours* Monday-Thursday 12-7pm
Friday 11am -9pm and Saturday 10am-8pm
*or by appointment

For inquiries or orders please contact Mike at mike@fountainheadwine.com

Fountainhead Wines
12 Knight Street
Norwalk, CT  06851
203.854.9138

stay up to date

by joining our mailing list and be the first to hear about the latest shipment of wines before everyone else.