Life Changing Wines: 2021 Edition

Life Changing Wines: 2021 Edition

Dec 29, 2021Sadie Williams

Wine changes lives. It’s a simple matter of fact, one that we are lucky to witness every single day. Whether it’s in our store with a customer, a group of friends at the wine bar, or one of our classes, we are constantly witnessing these moments — when someone’s eyes widen, when the conversation slows and awareness deepens. 

But it goes beyond our spaces. The winemakers we represent are people whose lives were changed by wine. These people are artists and scientists. They are passionate, driven creators, and every year, they strive to farm and vinify the most terroir-specific, expressive wines they possibly can.

Giulia Negri has been a customer and staff favorite this year. She was just 24 when she took over the family estate in Piedmont, switching from the field of biology to enology and becoming one of the most notable Barolo producers to emerge from the region in the last 10 years. 

Then there’s Serge Férigoule of Sang de Callouix in the Southern Rhone, who names each of his wines after his daughters. He started as an apprentice, then moved on to partnering with his mentor, and eventually took over the vineyards they had farmed together and launched his own label in the 1990s. 

And we can’t forget Evelyne Dauvergne, who went from teaching kids to managing one of our favorite small, grower Champagne houses, Paul Bara. 

So whether we’re growing or consuming wine, we are tied together in this way, by this substance that alters us, pushes us, and portals us into new worlds. It’s why our founder, Jason Zuliani, started Dedalus. And he tastes a lot of wine every year in his search to bring you the best wines out there. We asked him to look back on which of those bottles changed his life in 2021. 

His responses are illuminating. They include American and European producers, new and old houses. Stylistically, geographically, he’s all over the map. What unites these selections is a certain electricity. Something undeniable. You just have to taste it to understand, and we can’t wait to help you do that.

Foillard Morgon Cote de Puy '3.14' 2014

“I shared this recently with friends. It was a mind-bending romp back in time that amplified Foillard's trade in psychedelic aromatics and juicy pleasure.”

Catherine & Pierre Breton Chinon, 2015

“It's easy to look past the OG dollar bill when the shiny penny catches the sunlight. This one was a gorgeous, soulful reminder that the Bretons are still gangster.”

Hiyu Columbia Gorge 'Aura' 2019

“Regenerative wizardry from Nate Ready. He blends skin macerated Pinot Gris with a micro-fermentation of Pinot Noir and ends up with mesmerizing, alien aromatics. It must be tricky bottling shattered expectations…”

Simon Bize Savigny-Les-Beaune, 2018

“Chisa Bize shows up with more intensity and energy in her village wines than most producers bring to their Grand Cru bottlings. Fully here and now, super delicious — it feels great to be excited about Burgundy again.”

Guimar Ribeira Sacra Blanco, 2020

“It takes a super brash punk-rock winemaker to farm Ribeira Sacra's it’s-so-steep-you-might-die-here cliffside vineyards. Pedro Rodriguez is that winemaker. Sex Pistols intensity meets a pineapple hand grenade.”

Emrich-Schönleber Nahe Riesling Trocken 'Mineral' 2020

“Emrich-Schönleber's takes dry riesling to a place usually reserved for great white Burgundy. And then keeps going. Until only a few wines seem to breathe the same air. Texture, complexity, style — this is one of the most compelling and memorable wines I enjoyed all year.”


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