GLOBAL SOMMELIER SERIES
WHAT DOES JANE DRINK ON HER DAYS OFF?
Author of Vignette: Stories of Life and Wine in 100 Bottles
Former Wine Director at Attica, Melbourne
Former Sommelier at Eleven Madison Park, New York City
Former Sommelier at The Catbird Seat, Nashville
Former Sommelier at The Violet Hour, Chicago
MEET JANE LOPES
ELEVEN MADISON PARK | ATTICA | PUBLISHED AUTHOR
Having previously worked at New York’s Eleven Madison Park, Nashville’s The Catbird Seat, Chicago’s The Violet Hour, Jane was most recently the Wine Director at Attica, one of Australia’s most celebrated restaurants. She was featured on Esquire Network’s 2015 television series Uncorked which follows six New York City sommeliers in pursuit of the prestigious Master Sommelier title.
In September of 2018, Jane passed the Master Sommelier exam, becoming the only woman in Australia to do so, and one of only 34 women in the world (an accomplishment awarded to less than 300 people in total since the 1960s). In September of 2019, Jane finally put her University of Chicago literature degree to good use by publishing her first book – a personal and educational guide to wine called Vignette: Stories of Life and Wine in 100 Bottles.
"These are people that are taking good care of their land and building a sustainable wine future."
– Jane Lopes on why she selected these bottles
IN THIS SELECTION
What — Riesling
Where — Nahe, Germany
When — 2018
“2013 marked my first real wine trip anywhere, and amongst my first visits was to that of Dönnhoff. It was through tasting here that my love for Riesling was truly cemented. I was awestruck by the incredible balance – flavour, sugar, acidity. From then onwards, Dönnhoff has constantly delivered with quality.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Dry style of Riesling with bursting citrus flavours & a distinct slate minerality
The Dönnhoff family has a rich 250-year history in the wine region of Nahe, Germany. The estate is blessed with a suite of incredible vineyards, with one of their key vineyards, Oberhäuser Leistenberg being the main source of grapes for their Tonschiefer cuvée. Tonschiefer is a translation of “clay slate”, which refers to the rich slate that dominates the vineyard. Dönnhoff produce a variety of sweetness levels with their Rieslings with this one being in a dry style. Driven by a crystalline acidity and supported by generous fruit characters, this vintage of Tonschiefer is a wine with a long future ahead of it.
What — Pinot Blanc
Where — Alsace, France
When — 2018
“On that same 2013 trip, I visited Weinbach. It’s a visit I still clearly remember, especially the very mum & pop feeling of tasting in their living room. They produce some of the most incredible wines in all of Alsace. Pinot Blanc is one of the most overlooked varieties. It’s capable of fresh and easy drinking styles while also having the ability for wonderful complexity. Weinbach has always had a consistency to their style and have not chased fads over the years. I love the “flesh” to their wines that always add interest & intrigue.“
Character & Tasting Notes — Ripe pears with a fuller & more textural palate yet refreshing finish
The famed Weinbach estate dates back to 1612 when it was founded by the Capuchin friars, with the Faller family as its custodians for the last 122 years. Under unique Alsation labelling laws, the Pinot Blanc of Weinbach is actually a blend of Auxerrois and Pinot Blanc (with the term “Pinot Blanc” being permitted for wines made with Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir) with part of the fruit coming from their famed monopole Clos des Capucins. The wine is aged only in stainless steel to retain freshness, while displaying a greater textural component than most examples from the region, having been whole-bunch pressed. Dry with a long lasting finish layered with spice.
SANDHI SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
What — Chardonnay
Where — California, USA
When — 2016
“To me, this was one of those wines that put a different style of Californian Chardonnay on the global radar. For a long time, most people would hear American Chardonnay and just think “big, oaky butter bombs”. This wine however, is so fresh & precise. It doesn’t skimp out on the fruit but also shows that you don’t have to rely on serious oak and over-ripeness to give interest to a wine.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Pure fruited expression of Chardonnay, with ripe stone fruits & a lemony zest with a very light toasted character
As Wine Director for the Michael Mina restaurants, Raj Parr was responsible for some of the top wine lists across the US for a long time. In 2010, partnering with Sashi Moorman, he created Sandhi. Their aim was to create wines that truly speak of the places from which they come, with organic practices in the vineyards and as little intervention through the winemaking process as possible. This cuvée is a blend of vineyards within Santa Barbara with an average vine age of 25 years. The wine is aged in older barrels, helping to retain a purity of fruit, as opposed to an oaky impact.
CRUSE WINE CO. ALDER SPRINGS VINEYARD
What — Tannat
Where — California, USA
When — 2017
“Along with Raj, Michael Cruse is a highly important figure in the American wine world pushing forward fresh and balanced styles of wine. Michael’s passion is for working with ‘alternative’ or lesser known grapes, and showing what’s possible, while avoiding big, alcoholic monsters. Across the range, he does very well to retain true varietal expression with a beautiful freshness to the wines.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Dark cherry and blackberies jumping forth with a savoury edge of cedar and tobacco
Michael Cruse first came to winemaking prominence with his traditional method sparkling wine project Ultramarine. Since 2013, Cruse Wine Co. has presented “unabashedly Californian” wines that are delicious and fresh in style, with a focus on less common grape varieties. The Alder Springs Vineyard Tannat is from a high altitude vineyard providing a cool climate influence which allows the grapes to ripen completely without losing their finesse. A freshness of fruit, as opposed to a rustic quality often seen with Tannat comes forth, balanced by dark cherry and a leathery overtone.
BURLOTTO LANGHE NEBBIOLO DOC
What — Nebbiolo
Where — Piedmont, Italy
When — 2018
“I’ve always loved Italian wine. When you drink a lot of something, it becomes rare to have one of those true new discoveries, and that’s what Burlotto did for me. They produce such lifted and perfumed examples of Nebbiolo; an incredible combination of power and delicacy.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Sweet floral and tobacco notes meld into a core of bright red stone fruits, mint and anise
In the late 20th century, G.B. Burlotto was one of the driving forces not just within Italy but around the world. While his passing marked a more troubled time for the estate, his great-grandson Fabio Alessandria is set on returning the estate to its former great self. The domaine is founded on traditional principles of Barolo using extended skin contact and ageing in large barrels, however they still find themselves expressing a sense of youthful approachability as exemplified through their Langhe Nebbiolo.
OCHOTA BARRELS FUGAZI
What — Grenache
Where — McLaren Vale, Australia
When — 2018
“Moving to Australia certainly brought about with it some revelations, both in general and definitely in the world of wine. Most examples you see in the US are the high alcohol monsters with lots of new oak being thrown at them – essentially people trying to make Grenache as though it’s Shiraz. Fugazi was one of those wines that redefined what Australian Grenache can be. I love the way it holds a ripeness of fruit while still having a freshness and overall balance to it; not the monolithic beasts that you’d usually see.”
Character & Tasting Notes — Raspberry and blueberry notes with wild herbs and pepper
Taras Ochota truly personifies the term “rockstar winemaker” with his past of playing in punk rock bands before turning to winemaking. With a vinous career that has taken him from Italy to the US, Taras and his wife Amber now find themselves back home in South Australia. Their approach is geared for unadulterated examples of wines, with a less is more philosophy to their winemaking. The Fugazi Grenache is from an unirrigated site within the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. Incredible density of fruit that remains light on its feet and unencumbered by oak.