4 local experts talk natural wine in St. Louis
Characterized by organic growth and low intervention, natural wine is a trend gripping many local institutions and consumers.
“Natural wine is a category that isn’t for everyone; it’s a wild animal,” said Brian Hobbs, owner of Chateau Maplewood. “But you know it’s made with as little manipulation as possible.”
Here’s what a few local experts had to say about their current favorite bottles.
2018 Field Recordings Blanc de Franc
“We’ve been really into pét-nats [pétillant-naturels] over at Elmwood. It’s got a little bit of a softer bubble. It’s not super foamy. It’s just really clean and crisp and a great aperitif. It’s a really great way to start a meal.” – Juliette Dottle, sommelier and assistant general manager, Elmwood
2016 Maître de Chai Stampede Zinfandel
“This one is so clearly from California with the beautiful ripeness and opulent fruit, but it has this really great underlying spice to it and earthiness. It pairs great if it’s a cold day and you’re eating some comfort food.” – Dottle
$75, available at Elmwood in Maplewood
2017 Vater & Sohn Silvaner Trocken
“This is a Silvaner from Germany. It’s in the same vein as like a Riesling, so you have those petrol, mineral notes to it. Really nice citrus, nice herbal complexity to it. Great, long finish. It’s a really pretty one.” – Chateau Maplewood owner Brian Hobbs
$15, available at Chateau Maplewood in Maplewood
2018 Stirm Los Chuchaquis Methode Ancestrale Albariño
“This is made in ancestral method/pétillant naturel. Elegant, lighter bubbles. Unrefined and unfiltered. It reminds me of salty lemonade. What’s more refreshing and food-friendly than that? If you have a wine drinker, a cocktail drinker and a beer drinker sitting at the same table, this would be a catchall.” – Kara Flaherty, sommelier and beverage director, Vicia
$50, available at Vicia in the Central West End
2016 Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil Trinch!
“Very reliable for quality, Catherine and Pierre Breton have been in the winemaking game for a long time and have it figured out. You can still taste that natural funk, but not to a fault. It adds to the fresh, yet somehow rustic, flavor profile. It’s great with food because of the slight peppery notes that act like an added ingredient to food.” –Flaherty
$56, available at Vicia in the Central West End
Adam Rothbarth is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine.
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