Around the World Tasting: Italy, So. Africa, Finger Lakes, Lebanon

Around the World Tasting: Italy, So. Africa, Finger Lakes, Lebanon


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Monday through Wednesday: 11am - 10pm
Thursday through Saturday: 10am - 10pm
Sunday: noon - 6pm
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Includes perks! Like a 10% discount everyday. You heard that right. 
It's difficult to say Happy Friday when large portions of the earth are either burning or drowning, but we gotta grab joy where and when we, happy Friday; soak up this glorious weather if you are able. We never know when it might turn on us too. Ok that's all for the doom and gloom! Tasting notes are below. 

Oh and, there is no tasting theme! Or maybe it's "cool wine from all over." That works.

Cheers to decent humans! 
Join us for GargantuWine at Farm Fresh for some Raucous Bacchus on Saturday, Sept. 23rd. We'll have lots of wine to taste, tables of yummy snacks, your favorite DJ (Subdweller) spinning tunes, and Fearless Fish and Tallulah's will be on hand with oysters and add-on à la carte options. 
Tastings in the Shop
Thursday, August 17th, 5-7PM
: Our first spirits tasting in a very long time. Details to follow. And more spirits tastings to follow too! 
Friday, August 18th, 5-7PM: Jamie from Craft Cellars will be here with some of our new California wines, including Zumo, from Rhode Island native Diego Perez. Put it on the calendar if it isn't already. 


We were in Wine Enthusiast as one of the Best Wine Shops in the U.S.; According to Pros! That's crazy talk, but we'll take it. 

We're in Wine Enthusiast Twice!

It's a really great article on natural wine shops and we never won't be excited to be included in it.
Tasting in the Shop Tonight, 5-7PM. 

Podere Il Saliceto Bi Fri Frizzante, Emilia-Romagna $25.99

This frizzante is produced by Gian Paolo Isabella (most well-known as a decorated Muay Thai champion) and his brother-in-law Marcello. They founded this organically farmed, 4 hectare estate in 2005, in the tiny village of Campogalliano, on the outskirts of Modena (Emilia-Romagna region). They are dedicated to working with traditional local grapes such as Lambrusco di Sorbara and Salamino, but they also work with the less common Malbo Gentile, from which they make an oaked, savory wine capable of aging for up to a decade. This wine is not that.

Bi Fri is Sauvignon Blanc & Trebbiano made via natural primary fermentation in stainless steel, and secondary fermentation in the bottle with must from the original harvest. Minimal added sulfur and no filtering or fining. It’s fizzy, refreshing, mineral-driven, citrus-zesty, & dry. It’s a perfect little starter, really gets the juices flowing! 

The Blacksmith Reigning Sun White 2022, So. Africa $18.99

Tremayne Smith was studying to be chef when he changed course and decided to pursue winemaking instead. After gaining experience at South African wineries Sijinn and Mullineaux, as well as numerous internships abroand, be became head winemaker at Fable Mountain Vineyards, an organically farmed, isolated property high up in the Tulbagh region, about two hours from Cape Town. In 2014, he founded his own personal label, The Blacksmith, which focuses heavily but not exclusively on Rhone varietals, which do well in the heat of the Western Cape. Tremayne works closely with farmers in remote locales, often sourcing fruit from very old, low-yielding vineyards in Paarl, Wellington, and Slanghoek. In the cellar, the wines are fermented with native yeast and very little sulphur is added. Tremayne takes a minimalist approach while understanding that the wine isn’t going to make itself; he endeavors to make wines that are low abv, full of bright aromatics and fresh, crunchy fruit, but that also have a bit of structure and grip. 

Reigning Sun is Chenin Blanc, Muscat d’ Alexandrie, and Semillon. The majority of the blend is sustainably grown Chenin from Paarl, the Muscat d’Alexandrie (Hanepoot) comes from further east in Slanghoek; the Semillon is grown in the Swartland. 

Fermentation occurs naturally (and separately) after an initial pressing, then continues in concrete and stainless steel. Once the primary fermentation is complete the components are blended together and further matured in neutral vessels.

This is a joyful little white. The aromatics lean toward white flowers and tropical fruit; on the palate it’s tropical fruit again, as well as pears, peaches, juicy citrus, and vibrant acidity. We get a touch of RS that would make this wine a perfect pair for spicy foods, crispy BBQ pork, or with your standard brunch fare or late summer picnic in the park. Shhhh, there are no rules anymore ;-) 

Element Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop Finger Lakes Red 2016 $31.99

We last had this wine over a year ago and we had no idea there was more, otherwise we would have scooped it up at the time. This is a most peculiarly delicious wine that defies all retail rules: a New York red blend that’s over $30 on the shelf but somehow sold almost10 cases? Yup. It’s compelling! We’re linking to our site for the full producer bio, because there’s too much info, but here’s the lowdown on the wine: 

Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Gamay, Merlot, and a touch of Blaufränkisch. It’s vinified in neutral barrique and then aged for 18 months in neutral 318L puncheon. This wine can be enjoyed in its youth when the fruit flavors are bright and forward, or now, as it ages, and the tertiary, earthy aromas are coming to the fore, mingling with chocolate and baking spices. The tannins are pleasant and refined, and the acidity is still vibrant; as the bottle opens up, so do the savory/umami notes which wind around wild strawberry and ripe raspberry, and the tangy/twangy nose calms down a bit in the process. As it continues to open, it becomes almost Burgundian. This wine is a journey. Decanting is recommended.

Domaine des Tourelles Bekaa Valley Rouge 2020, Lebanon $19.99

This wine was just in our July wine club, it’s a nice pair for these cooler nights. There’s a little more info on our site, if you are in need of more info.

Domaine des Tourelles winery and vineyards sit at the highest altitude in Bekaa Valley, in Chtaura. Its 40 hectares of organically and dry-farmed vineyards receive water from the snow melt from the surrounding mountains. They are either owned or under long-term contracts for upwards of 25 and 30 years. Some of their vines are more than 70 years old and amongst the oldest in the Bekaa Valley. Yields are extremely low and everything is hand-harvested. The wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless (for the whites and rosés) and concrete vats (very rare in Lebanon) for the reds. A minimal amount of sulfur is added at bottling, and the wines are vegan.

Domaine des Tourelles was founded in 1868 by Frenchman François-Eugène Brun; it was the first commercial producer in Lebanon of wine, arak, and other spirits. In 2000, it was bought by descendants of Brun’s Lebanese wife, Nayla Kanaan Issa-el-Khoury and Elie F. Issa. Today it is run by their children, Faouzi Issa (winemaker), Christaine Issa, and Emile Issa-el Khoury. Faouzi trained in Montpellier and worked at Domaine René Rostaing in Côte Rôtie before joining the legendary Château Margaux, from 2007 to 2008. He then went back to the Bekaa Valley and proceeded to produce wines that are amongst the most recognized and awarded in Lebanon. Decanter Magazine called him the "Dusty Winemaker": dust, Faouzi says “encourages the natural yeasts that give our wines their distinctive character.”

The rouge is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cinsault, and Carignan planted on sandy clay-limestone soils. It’s fermented and aged in concrete tanks, some which are the original ones built in the cellars a century and a half a go. This is a full-bodied, rich and perfumed wine with blackberries, plums, and raspberries on the nose, along with cigar box, black licorice, and black pepper. The palate is velvety and full of dark fruit, tobacco, licorice again. The finish gets a nice mineral lift from the limestone soil influence before trailing into warm spices and earthy complexity. While this would make an ideal pairing for grilled or braised meats of the region, it would also pair well with grilled eggplant and mushrooms.

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