This month’s Club Sauvage selections highlight the excellence to be found within the Louis Dressner Selections portfolio. These folks have been championing natural wine from lesser appellations for decades–long before it was easy or fashionable. Both of this month’s wines come from rockstar winemakers that got their start working at some of the best wineries in their respective countries. Both were inspired by the delicious, properly-made natural wines they encountered during their apprenticeships and were inspired to set out on their own making just that. They’ve both made serious names for themselves among lovers of natural wine. We begin with a white from one of the most pioneering producers of natural wine in Italy’s Lazio region.
Winemaker Joy Cull grew up in Connecticut of all places. She fell in love with wine early, traveled to Italy and managed to snag an apprenticeship at the fantastic Le Coste estate in the very same region. After her time there, despite how seriously difficult it can be for Americans to set up shop in the wine business in Europe, she set out on her own intent on making unique wines with zero sulphur added. In the last five years, her wines have exploded with popularity. For good reason–hers are unapologetically natural wines that taste nothing like anything anyone else is making in Italy. They are a joy to drink.
Joy’s Vino Bianco represents a blend of mostly Procanico with a bit of Malvasia. Procanico is the local name for Trebbiano, a grape widely planted in central Italy. Her vines are planted to rock and ash-based soils. The commitment to minimal intervention is real here, and all wines are crushed solely by foot, fermented spontaneously, and made with no sulphur whatsoever. This wine bears some volatile acidity on the nose, highlighting notes of chamomile, wild honey, and granny-smith apples. The funk on the nose will surely blow off with some air, or a quick decant. Try this with a funky Robiola.