Drink with: Smokey, spicy bean chili or grilled, spiced chicken tacos
I love finding new California winemakers who are making clean, delicious and extremely interesting wines that are actually affordable. Populis, a project based in Orinda, California, is doing just that. Young winemakers Diego Roig, Sam Baron & Shaunt Oungouian make Populis wines together, along with more great site-driven wines for their Les Lunes brand.
They work only with small organic vineyards throughout California and make wine with as little intervention as possible. No additives and very little, if any, added SO2. Their mission is refreshing: bring delicious, honest wine to the people at a great price so that they may pop more than one bottle at a time! And the wines are unmistakably Californian, in that they are reflective of the Cali sun, fruit, terroir, and history, rather than made in today’s inflated Parker-driven style. They say, “Our goal is to grow wines that pay respect to the great wines of California’s past, before money, ego and points got in the way”. Enough resting on your Judgement of Paris laurels California, this is the mentality you need to appeal to the next generation of wine drinkers – great, honest, artisanal wine at reasonable price points!
This Carignan is so delicious and it makes people happy. Seriously, it has something for everyone. The grapes come from 70 year-old vineyards in Mendocino County that have been dry-farmed and organic since inception (certified organic even). Their production method is totally out of the box, with 2/3 of the grapes put in the tank as whole cluster, and the remaining 1/3 immediately pressed, producing pink juice that gets co-fermented with the whole clusters. Then it all ages in 60-gallon used French barrels. The resulting juice is light, bright and punchy, with loads of juicy red fruit on the nose and mouth. Plenty of acid on the attack and a nice bite of tannin on the finish keeps this wine taut and extremely drinkable. It would be awesome with pretty much any lighter meat and veg dish, but honestly, this is one I love with a slight chill, straight out of the bottle.