Fifteenth (15th) Edition Wine Club

California, cont.

If it wasn't obvious enough last month, I'm passionate about California wine and winemakers. Since there are so many to feature, I decided to continue the California theme into August Wine Club. Some of these producers might be familiar if you've been in Wine Club long enough, but we're featuring all new cuvées from them. 


Orb '22

Cloverdale, CA 

Devin Meyers, the human behind Dorsal wines, is a character. He's a true romantic: no decision is ever made because it was simply convenient. He navigates through the world with artistry and intention. His wines are emblematic of his character: thoughtful, poetic and lovingly ephemeral.

After years of jobs in rural Alaska, the poet/fisherman/naturalist became enamored with wine. Devin previously worked as Caleb Leisure’s assistant, before which he worked in Australia, for winemaker Sam Vinciullo. In 2020 he worked with Nic Coturri (son of famed Sonoma Mountain winemaker, Tony Coturri), when they moved to the San Juan Islands in Washington. This was a troubled harvest which ended abruptly when the vineyards all burned in the Oregon fires four days before harvest. In 2021 Devin began farming a vineyard in Grass Valley, in the Sierra Foothills and moved to a facility in Cloverdale, California where Caleb Leisure, Llewelyn, and a couple others make their wine.

'Orb' is a rosato of Grenache with a 3 day maceration after which it is tread by foot into stainless steel tanks. Textural, tremendous with food, silken, dusky. Summer and autumnal : a wine that will love the foliage season & cooling bite on the east coast. Chill this wine down! 

Love Potion '22
Cabernet Franc/Chardonnay

Richmond, California

Talia and Austin began making wine a few years ago as a hobby and a reprieve from their day jobs in the film industry. They thought that perhaps it would be a fun hobby, and later realized it was a profession that required an immense amount of work. Thankfully they had a natural talent for it and have found themselves making skillful and fun wines out of the co-working Richmond winemaking facility heralded by Noel Diaz, owner of Purity Wines. 

This wine symbolizes a new, slightly more serious direction for Talia and Austin. 'Love Potion' is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay from Madera. Madera, for those unfamiliar, is it's own county just north of Fresno. It's not well known for anything, but especially not wine. It's a hot area and the Cabernet Franc got extremely ripe, rocketing up the alcohol and eliminating the acidity. In order to counter balance those things, they added some of their bright and acidic Chardonnay. This is a lovely, spiced, medium bodied red wine that can take a small chill to enhance it's freshness and make that acid pop. You'll get subtle hints at the signature flavonoid of Cab Franc, known at Pyrazine, which tastes like green bell pepper.  


Mountain Misery
Red Paws '21
Cabernet Sauvignon

Sierra Foothills, California

Shiva Osteen and Valley Lee are the winemakers behind Mountain Misery. They both grew up in the Sierra Foothills in a town called Nevada City. They began making wine when they were 20 when they traveled to New Zealand to learn there. After that they worked for Gideon Beinstock of Clos Saron, another famed California natural wine maker. They feel passionate that their wines be made here and consumed here, and thus self distribute almost exclusively in California. The wines being released currently are the last we'll be seeing of Mountain Misery, but not the last of Shiva and Valley as they work on their individual winemaking projects. 

From Shiva & Valley: "Late pick Cab Sauv, footred whole cluster and left open top
for two weeks. 20 months in barrel. Farmed by us in Chicago Park. Diane rescues dogs with terminal illnesses. I love this wine because I love California Cab. This is a drink with your parents wine and I'm so proud of it." No need to chill this wine. It's full bodied. 


Gearhead Wines
Freak Show '21
Albarino/Pinot Gris/Orange Muscat/Sauvignon Blanc

Richmond, California 

Another Purity Winemaker! Craig is a character, frequently seen donning a tie-dye shirt and making friendly conversation. You can read about his trajectory below. 

From Craig: "Started in my garage in 2016 12 cases sulfured that year not sure why. Met Tony [Coturri] at Brumaire, 2016 he stuck his finger in my face and said DO NOT SULPHER your wines all 00 since. Invited to the Purity space in 2017 Martha ,Chad ,Nole ,Arion of Conduit wines all big baller wine makers . Kept my mouth shut learned a lot in 2017 2018 Chad taught me carbonic maceration. Past life's Fisherman Captain 5 seasons San Diego Artisan Bakery 18 years Wine maker biblical.

Freak show was a catch all tank from left over pressing Albarion ,Pinot Gris ,Orange Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc." Get her nice and cold and rock on.