The Wine Mailbox Program
Our Wine Mailbox Program brings you a bottle of wine every month in your very own PUBLIC bronze mailbox. Each artisanal wine from Australia, New Zealand, and around the globe, is hand-selected by Chef Brad Farmerie for your enjoyment. Brad will include personal tasting notes, food pairing suggestions, recipes, and sometimes, imported foodstuffs or PUBLIC kitchen creations. And, of course, you’ll receive invitations to PUBLIC special events and private tastings. We also do our best to accommodate last minute and special reservations for our mailbox members.
GIVE A GIFT
+ $50 per month
+ Available as a 3-month gift membership ($150), a yearly membership ($600), or an ongoing membership ($50/month)
+ Limited availability
For more information on the program, please contact David Leisk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-343-7011.
THIS MONTH’S FEATURED SELECTION
Tahbilk – Marsanne 2008
Nagambie Lakes, Victoria
The Tale: Founded in 1860 Victoria, our featured producer this month is firmly a member of Australia’s old guard of winemaking. Vines had only been in the Hunter Valley for three decades and in Adelaide’s for two. Across the Pacific, Buena Vista Winery was established as California’s first commercial winery in 1857. However, Ohio followed by Missouri were America’s largest producing states throughout the latter 19th century. In fact, Hermann, Missouri’s Stone Hill Winery produced the second-most wines in the country and third-most in the world, winning prizes at the 1873 & 1876 World Fairs.
Wine production in both countries at the time was drastically different than one would see today. Australia’s plentiful warm climate made it suitable for the era’s popular sweet and fortified wines. America, unlike many parts of Australia, found it very difficult to grow the now-dominant European varieties, and throughout the Midwest and East Coast focused instead on American and French-American Hybrid varieties like Norton, Catawba and Concord. However, as the 19th century ended, the Temperance movement was on the rise. Though the Australian wine industry was affected, it didn’t suffer from the Prohibition that forced America’s to start from scratch.
Though there were dominant wine styles at this time, quirkier production and thus styles certainly existed in a time without online resources and plentiful choices for vine material. Though America’s winemaking history was effectively gutted from Prohibition, Australia still has remnants of a time where practicality and winemaking was a means to an end, not simply following a detailed marketing plan. Many of these peculiar traditions persist today, and to the vinous traveler can seem quite odd. Hunter Valley Sémillon, Swan Valley Chenin Blanc, Great Western Pinot Meunier as well as Rutherglen Muscat and Topaque are great examples, but this month’s wine is yet another.
Tahbilk holds not only some of Australia’s and the world’s oldest Shiraz vines (1860), but also pulls from the world’s largest and oldest (1927) plantings of Marsanne. This Rhône Valley white wine staple is often blended with its regional cousin Roussanne and consumed young, though exception can exist with Marsanne-dominant Hermitage Blanc. Tahbilk has a tradition of showcasing Marsanne by releasing bottlings several years after the vintage and is quite well known due to their long standing tradition and consistent family ownership since 1925. This practice certainly qualifies as unusual, but uniquely suited to Australia’s exciting and quirky landscape. It makes one wonder how many pages America lost to Prohibition.
Fruit Harvesting: Hand-picked
Processing: Crushed, chilled then pressed
Fermentation: Inoculated in stainless steel; 10-15
days in temperature-controlled tanks
The Flavo(u)r: This white wine is medium-bodied and dry with a mix of soft fruit and developed non-fruit aromas. Delicate lemon, underripe peach and dried pineapple blends with intriguing aromas of grassy herbs, cracked granite and old wood, like an old fence post. The finish is imbued with plentiful acidity and a fine mineral texture that both persist.